Five Hot Verses

There are some who may not understand the term, but back on the farm in Wisconsin, “barnburning” meant one of two things:

1. A person who burns down a barn, (obviously literal.)
2. Something amazing or noteworthy. To be strong, impressive, or of interest, (metaphorical.)

The following verses from the Bible have had a tremendous influence on me. Here are five “barn burners” — incendiary verses that have ignited me and given me support in challenging times.  I hope at least one will fire up your heart.

It is a challenge to limit myself to just these five, so much has blessed me over 40 years–I should have at least 500.  Scraping up five was really not the problem, there could be so many more.

So here are the five which have made a definite impact on my thinking. Get ready for some “spiritual napalm.” (All verses are from a common version of the Bible– the ESV.) 


ONE: “Strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.” Acts 14:22

This is a very precise chapter in my mind.  A great deal of attention is given to Paul and Barnabas’ relationship to the people.  At first, they are deified, but moments later the crowds pick up rocks to stone him.  However, Paul’s message to the local church was impressive.  He strengthens, and he encourages.  The reality of difficulty and tribulation has become the very doorway for them, and the church, to come into the kingdom.  This encourages me, and helps me in the conflicts I deal with.


TWO: “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” Luke 12:32

This verse tells me of God’s commitment to me.  First, I’m part of a little flock.  Nothing of any significance.  The world evaluates me, but I’m just a simple guy involved with a simple group of people, nothing more.  However in this verse, fear is the primary issue.  “Fear not, little flock.”  Our fear is supposed to be eradicated and extracted. Especially the fear of non-acceptance by God.

The word “pleasure” is an interesting choice of a word.  We understand pleasure, or at least we think we do.  This verse implies that the Father has put into play His intensity. Pleasure is often a way of doing intensity.  God is “ultra-involved” and is exceptionally extravagant in His treatment of us.  We are brought into this place of great mercy, by His kindness and grace.  He can’t wait to pour out his love on us.


THREE:   “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”  Phil. 1:6

What confidence!  That is a vital ingredient in our lives,  this confidence and boldness.  Our God is active in bringing us to a deeper place of  maturity.  Paul understands this, and uses God’s diligence as the basis for his growth.  This verse is a real confidence builder for me.  A promise that He will continue His work in me, no matter what.  This is also a great promise for young Christians.  I often look at my own issues, and I give up after I accrue a certain frequency–a certain “sin-ratio.”

Shortly before I became a Christian, I spent a lot of time with Fred Tsholl who was the night-shift announcer at a nearby Christian radio station.  He was so patient and kind to me.  I would sit with him in the studio, all night long.  When it was time for me to leave he would always quote this verse to me.  Looking back, this verse became quite significant.  I take it as a promise from the Lord Himself.


FOUR:  “But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.” 2 Cor. 4:7

‘Jars of clay,’ really nothing more than this.  We are weak and vulnerable, we so easily can be broken.  But a treasure, I don’t think we grasp the value of treasure.  But, if it resides in us, we become a repository of great significance.  This magnificent work is not of our own effort.  It belongs to God.  It is nothing we can claim from any working on our part.


FIVE: “Who is that coming up from the wilderness,
leaning on her beloved?”
 Song of Sol. 8:5

This world is a tangled place, it can be a dense and difficult wilderness. There doesn’t seem to be a smooth road anywhere.  We make our way slowly, through much suffering and personal doubt.  This particular verse gives me an assurance of His presence, even in the middle of hardship and challenge.  He is present with me.

We come up out of this ugliness, precisely because of that close presence.  We lean on the Lord, as we traverse this hard place. That at times is all we can do.  His dear presence will bring us through this darkness, He gives me the amazing strength to do this journey.


bry-signat (2)


8 thoughts on “Five Hot Verses”

  1. Thank you for sharing these…Number 5 in your list…is beautiful what an amazing Love we have been given….It describes how i feel.


  2. this an unbelievable unexpected treasure. lord please bring us all through in your strength so we can let you deliver us and stop trying to ourselves. your word has prepared us. keep bryan on the narrow road to the straight gate. no more believers being pulled away. anxiety, depression angst, spiritual attack, lonliness, fear obliterated by the triumphant


  3. Bryan, You are truly a blessing to many. I love your website. I’m not tech savy and it has taken many months but I am a Christian Counselor ( who is purposed to launch very shortly a domestic violence ministry to address this epidemic social issue in the church along with mental illness and addiction. The enemy seems to have found the perfect place to flourish. My heart grieves that as Christians we aren’t burdened (in my humble opinion) to do real life with one another on a d aily basis. Instead of being the spiritual hospitals churches should be, they have become so luke warm. If you ever have some spare time, I would love to chat with you about your ministry. I am just a babe and very unexperienced with non profits but am so eager to make a difference for Our Lord. The other website Christian Mental Health and Family Hope Ministries is the non profit I’m still working on. Your site gave me much encouragement this evening or I should say this am when I was worn out from a recent strategic spiritual attack it seems on every area of my life. Thank you for all you do for the Kingdom. I hope it’s okay that I put a link to your resource page for any clients or visitors. The ministry site is and was on a WordPress and had over 57,000 visitors but just as I was done it crashed. I am using a Weebly which was easier but I can’t figure out a way to list the posts like you have in an archive list. Anyway, thanks.


    1. I needed to hear these 5 special verses. What I felt was doubting and failing my Savior, was actually a normal part of living in this world (this tangled mess) and the tribulation par for the course. Love the picture of my Lord lovingly leading me out of that “jungle.” per Solomon 8:5


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