Revive Our Hearts Podcast

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Life-Changing Bible Verses You Should Know, with Rebecca Lutzer

Leslie Basham: When Rebecca Lutzer prays, she acknowledges her weakness and the Lord’s strength.

Rebecca Lutzer: There is God-work that only God could do. We can’t do it. I just say, “God, do your God-work in so-and-so’s life.” I can pray and talk and listen, but there’s work that only God can do.

Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Monday, June 30.

Today’s guest says there are Scripture verses every believer needs to know. She’ll tell you what they are as she talks with Nancy. One detail to keep in mind, they recorded this interview in 2012 when dramatic wild fires were threatening parts of Colorado. You’ll hear them mention that crisis. Here’s Nancy.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Well, I’m so thankful to have my very, very sweet, long-time, dear, precious friend, Rebecca Lutzer, with me in the studio today, at long last. Rebecca, thank you so much. You’ve been a friend to me, a friend of this ministry. You and your husband are ministry partners and encouragers.

Rebecca: I’ve looked forward to doing this with you. We’ve enjoyed many years of precious friendship and fellowship, and you’ve been a great encouragement to both of us.

Nancy: We run into each other at all kinds of different places, at National Religious Broadcasters. We ran into each other in a market in Turkey. Is that where we were, on two different tours?

Rebecca: Yes, that was a fun experience.

Nancy: So I just thank the Lord for the gift of your friendship. I want us to talk for just a few minutes here about a resource and a concept that I think is going to be really a blessing to our listeners. And let me back up by saying, one of the things that we have promoted heavily on Revive Our Hearts is the whole concept of course of getting into the Word. That’s what we’re all about, getting women into the Word, but also meditating on Scripture and memorizing Scripture.

Rebecca: Very important.

Nancy: At any given time we are usually promoting some kind of Scripture memory track for people. You and your husband are big believers in getting God’s Word in your heart. So you’ve written together a book called, Life-Changing Bible Verses You Should Know. And I love this book. Tell us why it was on your heart to write it. What gave you the passion to produce this resource?

Rebecca: Well, Nancy, because Scripture is such a part of our lives. It’s actually the reason we live. The reason we are in ministry is the Word of God because it tells us how to live. It tells us how we began, where we are going, how we should behave every day. And on the journey we need instruction. There are so many, especially newer Christians, who have not been into Scripture memory; they haven’t hidden the Word of God in their hearts. They don’t have a foundation whereby they can stand on to know how to behave and to answer a lot of the threatening things that are coming against Christianity today.

There was no basic Scripture memory book out there. And so we were really lead of the Lord to encourage Christians to focus on very specific Scriptures that are a little bit more worthy of our concentration so that we can know how to live and not just memorize the Scripture, but to know what it means—to have the doctrine of it in our hearts and minds.

Nancy: So you’ve picked forty different topics, I think it is. They are just in alphabetical order here starting with adversity. We have adversity. We need to know how to deal with it. And then the next one is anxiety, which those can go hand in hand. Then there are other topics that are more doctrinal, theological—the armor of God, assurance of salvation, eternal life, the Holy Spirit, justification—what in the world does that mean? And boy, we can’t assume that people understand these things biblically.

Then there are just a lot of practical topics of forgiveness and peace and purity and sensuality, temptation, thanksgiving, the will of God—forty topics like that. And for each one, you’ve selected one or two verses, maybe three in some cases that are good summary verses on that topic that are good to memorize.

Rebecca: And there’s also an appendix in the back which has further Scripture on each topic.

Nancy: So if you want to know about renewing your mind or about witnessing or about the Word of God—just key topics, key Scriptures. So you take a chapter, like starting with this first one on adversity, one of the verses is Psalm 46:1:

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble.”

Rebecca: And oh my, Nancy, how we need that today. Every day on the news there is something that is affecting great numbers of people at a time. When we have loss and when we have suffering . . . Here in just the last week there are fires and floods and tornadoes. There’s job loss, death of loved ones, accidents, marriages are falling apart. If we don’t have God’s Word to look at and understand and allow it to comfort us and guide us through these times, we’re just going to be a mess.

I’d like to give an example. Last week I was just watching and listening to this terrible tragedy in Colorado. I very much love the state of Colorado where my beloved mountains are. I’ve been there many, many times and have many dear and sweet friends there. I was actually weeping. I had connected my computer to a TV station in Colorado Springs, so I was watching some things and listening. I was weeping and just crying out to God to have mercy. Then other news came on that was very significant on Friday, and I was feeling very burdened and anxious. I physically was anxious.

In a while I just went and sat in my chair where I read the Word and memorize the Word and pray. I just gave the verse to the Lord, “Casting all your care upon Him for He cares for you” (1 Pet. 5:7). And I said, “Lord, I’m so anxious and fearful for these people and concerned about our nation. I can’t really do anything about it, and it’s all in Your hands. I’m casting.” I tried to visualize that word. “I am casting my care on You because You care about me, and You care about all these matters. And Lord, please do what You’re going to do.” And as the minutes passed and even on into the afternoon, I realized that I was at peace. I was still praying and concerned, but God had literally lifted those anxieties.

Nancy: So you are talking not just about reading the Scripture, but getting it into your heart, memorizing it so that when you are in this crisis situation it comes to you, it’s there on your heart, and then you can respond to it, in the midst of that life situation.

It reminds me of what Paul says in Philippians 4:6–7: “Don’t worry about anything. Instead pray about everything. Let God know your requests. Be sure to thank Him. And if you do this, the peace of God that passes all human understanding will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (paraphrase).

Now, I didn’t just quote that perfectly, but it’s enough in my heart that when I come up against that situation that can make me anxious, I’ve got the Word of God right there to counsel my heart, to direct me. And He says if you’ll do this, you’ll get peace. And that’s really what happened to you as you were watching all this horrific news. You were directed to God’s promises, able to have the anxiety turned to peace.

Rebecca: Yes. I’d like to use another example of my little granddaughter, Abigail. She is eight-and-a-half. She was worried about something. I can’t remember exactly what it was. But she went to bed, and she was worried about this. I had looked up the Scripture that says, “Don’t worry about tomorrow because tomorrow has enough worries of its own” (Matt.6:34 paraphrase).

So I showed her the verse. I quoted the verse to her, and she said, “Mimi, where is that? How do you know that’s true?” I was able to turn to the Bible, and she is very familiar with looking up Scripture verses. I showed that to her and her eyes just lit up that she didn’t have to worry about this and that we could pray about it. Even if it didn’t work out the way she had hoped or wanted, that’s what God’s Word said about it.

Nancy: So it’s the power of God’s Word not only in your own life, but in your children, your grandchildren. Did you grow up memorizing Scripture?

Rebecca: I did—in the King James Version. And so when I want to quote now, it usually comes out that. And so I often look things up in ESV or in one of the other translations.

Nancy: Have you found as you have gotten older that it is harder to memorize?

Rebecca: It is.

Nancy: And I would say amen to that!

Rebecca: But I also say the verses I’ve learned as a child do come back to me—not every exact word, but it’s just amazing how the mind can keep that. It’s what God says in His Word, “Your word have I hidden in my heart that I might not sin against you” (Ps. 119:11).

Nancy: Wouldn’t you agree that it’s not too late to start?

Rebecca: Oh, it is never too late to start. Just think of all the things that we memorize or that we put our minds on all the time. You know, recipes and jingles and things that we want to share with other people or talk with our grandchildren about or just all the matters of life that we are concerned about that are in our minds. Now, I write lists. I couldn’t survive without writing lists. And so I have those to remind me.

But we don’t have any excuse about not knowing God’s Word and to turn to it. Instead of calling a friend or getting online or doing all the things that we can be distracted with, we should go to God’s Word first. I have told my family and many, many women that I have spoken with and taught that we trust God’s Word above everything else in our lives.

Nancy: Including our own emotions.

Rebecca: Well, that’s one of the points that I have is because our emotions deceive us. Our emotions are changing every day depending on a lot of different things. Our circumstances are changing. We can’t build our doctrine on circumstances but only on the Word of God. That’s what keeps us sure and not falling into error or believing something that is false.

Nancy: I think it is important also not just to be able to counsel our own hearts and to minister to others. So you’ve got a neighbor in a tough marriage, facing that kind of adversity, or who gets a cancer diagnosis, and how do you minister encouragement and grace and help to someone else who is struggling with temptation that they can’t get victory over, or maybe they are wondering or not sure of their salvation.

Can you go to the Word on these forty topics and if somebody asks you a question about this area, do you know where to go to give them hope, to give them answers? Do you know where to go to get answers for your own soul? That’s why it is so valuable on all these different topics.

Rebecca: I would like to share another example under the topic of suffering. As you mentioned cancer, we have dear friends that we’ve known for many, many years. He and my husband were tennis partners for twenty years and had built such a dear relationship and friendship. When he was diagnosed with cancer and as it progressed, he was suffering, getting closer to the end of his life. He suffered exceedingly great pain. Oh, my, how he suffered.

He said that sometimes at night that he’d have to leave the bedroom. He didn’t want to disturb his wife because his pain was so great. He would just go into the living room and try to rest and call upon the name of the Lord.

And he said, “One night I went in the living room and my faith that I had had so many years just drained from me.” But he had already taken time to write down two pages of Scripture which he had laminated. Here he was feeling void of his faith and able to hold the Word of God in his hands and look at it and say, “But I know this is still true.” That sustained him and carried him right up to the end of his life. But it was such a beautiful example that if we don’t know the Word of God and can’t turn to it and use it, then it’s of no value.

Nancy: Jesus talks in the Sermon of the Mount about the person who hears His Word and obeys them. How that is like building your life on a solid sure foundation—like a house built on a rock. And that when the storms come, which they will, your house will stand if you have grounded your life on Christ and His Word. If you don’t have the Scripture in your heart, where do you go? Where do you turn?

Rebecca: Nancy, I don’t know. I don’t know what people do. I think they are just out there flailing and scrambling. What do you do when your house is burned down or filled with water from flooding or there are so many things that are affecting people.

Nancy: And as a pastor’s wife, you’ve seen a lot of this, just in your community of faith there.

Rebecca: Yes, there are many people suffering with cancer, with poor diagnoses.

Nancy: Do you find yourself when you are ministering to those people using the Scripture a lot?

Rebecca: Absolutely. I can’t make them be sustained by it, but as long as this is what you are offering. What else do you have to offer? The economy isn’t there. There are so many support groups that can do things for you, but they can’t give you peace, and they can’t just carry you. One of my favorite verses is Hebrews 4:16 that says: “Let us come boldly to the throne of grace asking for mercy to help and grace in time of need.”

And over and over again I ask God to help me to understand exactly what the word boldly means. Even if it is when you are alone and you just cry out to God in a bold, stronger voice and say, “God, this is Your Word. This is all I have, and I ask You to honor it and to do in my life or someone else’s life what Your plan is.”

I’m actually praying for the unsaved parents of a number of my good friends. These people are getting older. In fact, one recently died. and they don’t know the Lord, and that’s a big burden in their hearts. So they are praying and trusting, but also casting it on God to do what He will do.

Sometimes I think that when I talk to the Lord about things that there is God-work that only God can do. We can’t do it. And I say, “God, do Your God-work in so-and-so’s life.” I can pray and talk and listen, but there is work that only God can do.

Nancy: Can you tell us a little bit about your pattern of how you get into the Word? Is it in the morning that you are meeting with the Lord in His Word? How does that look for you?

Rebecca: I’m not a very early morning person. I’m more a night person. You could ask my husband all about that.

Nancy: And he is probably a morning person?

Rebecca: Yes, he is very much a morning person. It has varied for me over the years as I’ve tried to develop a good pattern and consistency. But it is in the morning, before noon, and sometimes later in the evening when it is so quiet and the cares of the day have settled down and passed that I just feel so peaceful in the Lord’s presence—to read His Word and to pray and to be reading through the Scripture and praying Scripture back to the Lord—this is His Word. He knows it so well. I believe He will honor His Word. And as we don’t know what to pray and if we just pray His Words back to Him and say, “Lord, would You do what Your Word says?” and then I can rest.

Nancy: And do you consciously memorize Scripture as a regular thing?

Rebecca: No, I’m saying that I don’t at this point in my life.

Nancy: But you have memorized a lot.

Rebecca: I have memorized much Scripture in the past. As you alluded earlier, getting older you don’t retain it as well. I find myself going back and refreshing my mind—going over Scripture.

Nancy: That is part of the value of the tool that you and your husband have written, Life-Changing Bible Verses You Should Know. These are pretty common ones if you’ve been through the Scripture or you’ve been a Christian a long time. You’ve probably heard these, but maybe don’t have them right at your fingertips. I just love these forty topics with two or three verses for each one. It’s a topical gold mine of Scripture verses.

You can’t memorize them all at once—and that’s not the point. But it’s to make a project over the course of months or years to get these Scriptures in your arsenal so that you have weapons against the enemy. Isn’t that how Jesus defeated Satan?

Rebecca: I’m so glad you said that word weapons because the Scripture and the Word of God is our weapon against evil—against Satan who hates us and would like to ruin us and cause us to stumble or fall into temptation or whatever. The Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God is our weapon against him.

Nancy: I wonder how many times we are trying to use other weapons that are like swords with no edge.

Rebecca: All the time.

Nancy: Our own thinking, our own reasoning, our own ideas, calling somebody else first. When you think of Jesus there in the wilderness—in the desert—being tempted by the devil and how He just pulls out this Sword and goes after the devil with the Word of God. He has given us that same Sword that we can have victory over the devil as well.

Rebecca: I think we as Christians don’t realize the power of God’s Word. It’s sort of sitting there on our table. We love the Bible. We know some verses. Sometimes I haven’t always done this, but I try to think, “What is my first response to a situation either of pain for someone else or for myself or a misunderstanding that arises or an opportunity to forgive someone or to minister to someone?" What do I think about first? I try to think about the Word of God and a Scripture. When I write to people, now mostly by email, of course, I try to use a very appropriate Scripture that would minister to them.

Nancy: That can be such a way of encouraging others. Encouraging ourselves, encouraging others, training your children and your grandchildren. I mean, the Word is so powerful and so practical. Remember the Scripture saying, “Man should not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes out of the mouth of God”? (Matt. 4:4 ESV) It is how we live. It is bread that gives us life.

Rebecca: The more you read it, the more you love it. And as 2 Timothy 3:16 says that: “All Scripture is God-breathed and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness, that the man [and I’m also going to add the woman] of God may be competent, equipped in every good work” (paraphrase). Sometimes we don’t just see that it’s everything we need for our lives—the instruction.

Nancy: I know that people who listen to this program are listening because they want to be instructed in the ways of God. And yet, perhaps you as a listener have not experienced the life-changing power of God’s Word as we are describing it. Maybe you want to hide God’s Word in your heart, but you’re not sure where to start. Or you want to know more about what God has to say about the issues that are on your heart, on your mind.

Let me recommend this resource by Erwin and Rebecca Lutzer called, Life-Changing Bible Verses You Should Know. And just a word about how it’s organized, we’ve said it’s got these forty topics, a couple of Scripture verses, key memory verses on each one. And then what is does is unpack those verses so you can meditate on those verses and get them into your heart. You and your husband do a good job of illustrating how those verses can practically apply in those situations.

And then there is a little section at the end of each of these forty chapters, “Taking God’s Word to Heart.” There are some meditation questions, some making-it-personal questions. I love that about this. It just concerns me that there are so many believers today who don’t have a grasp of what the Scripture has to say on basic issues—salvation, Heaven, worry, fear, the fear of the Lord. These are key topics, key verses. Now there is this resource that you have written that is so practical, not only for our own lives but for ministering to those that we love.

So it’s available in our resource center—this book by Rebecca Lutzer and her husband Erwin, Life-Changing Bible Verses You Should Know. You should know these verses. I just want to say that. I was challenged as I looked at it again. We need some refresher on some of these verses so that they are at our fingertips, not just in our mind but in our hearts.

So contact us here at Revive Our Hearts. Let us know you’d like this book on key Bible verses. It’s available for your donation of any amount. We’d love to send that to you. You can give us a call at 1–800–569–5959. Let us know you’d like to send a gift to the ministry, and we’ll send you this book by the Lutzer’s. You can also contact us online at our website, You can see more about this resource there. Let us know that you’d like to make a contribution, and you’d like this book on Life-Changing Bible Verses You Should Know.

Thank you so much, Rebecca. I wish we had more time. There’s lots more we’d like to share and someday we’ll be back in the studio together to share more of what God’s put on your heart. Thank you for your heart. Thank you for your prayers. Thank you for praying for me and for your support of this ministry.

Rebecca: You’re welcome. It is a joy.

Nancy: I love you and am so thankful for you and your husband.

Rebecca: Thank you, Nancy. Well, I love you, and it’s precious to be partners in ministry. That’s the most important thing in the world as you just minister to people. If we have God’s Word in our hearts, it just will flow out of us.

Leslie: Paula Hendricks looks back on her life and realizes how much energy she spent on what she calls “boy craziness.” Eventually, she realized these weren’t just crushes on guys, but they showed a deeper heart issue. You’ll learn how to say “no” to idolatry and “yes” to freedom when Paula joins us over the next three days. Please be back for Revive Our Hearts!

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

All Scripture is taken from the NKJV unless otherwise noted. 

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About the Teacher

Rebecca Lutzer

Rebecca Lutzer

Rebecca has used her gifts of encouragement and teaching to minister to women during her forty years as a pastor's wife. She is married to pastor and author Erwin Lutzer of The Moody Church in Chicago. Her passion is that women know and live the truth of God's Word. She is also an RN and enjoyed working as a surgical nurse for several years. She is the author of Life-Changing Bible Verses Every Woman Should Know and Awesome Bible Verses Every Kid Should Know, and is coauthor of Jesus, Lover of a Woman's Soul.