Sometimes It’s a One- or Two-Verse Day

Sometimes It’s a One- or Two-Verse Day

July 9, 2015

"Pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body." Proverbs 4:20b-22 (NIV)

Lysa TerKeurst

Do you ever get overwhelmed when you sit down to read your Bible? There are so many books, deep thoughts, spiritual insights and life-altering truths … where do we begin for today?

My sticky farm table and I have a long history of early mornings together. I gather up my Bible and my computer. I push past the sleepy feelings begging me to go back to my bed. And I look at the well-worn book as my love letter from God.

I don’t say that in a syrupy, flowery way. Truly, His words are a lifeline to me. A whisper from my God. A personal note. A treasure.

But right now I’m in a season where I don’t consume chapters at a time. Some days it’s just one or two verses that I tuck into my heart so I can live out our key verses (Proverbs 4:20-22) and pay attention to what God says.

I want to really pay attention. I need to listen well to what God is saying. I look for one verse that I can savor word by word, letting it sink in deeply … interrupting me, rearranging me, redirecting me.

And I pray …

"God, what plans have I made for today that this verse needs to interrupt?

"God, what thoughts did I bring in from yesterday that this verse needs to rearrange?

"And God, what heart attitudes have I been carrying that this verse needs to redirect?"

His Word is the protective covering over my plans, my mind and my heart. To let me run free without it, will surely find me tripping over my own selfishness, insecurities and weaknesses. So, with His love letter, He reminds me to pause, pause, pause.

Pause and let the Holy Spirit intervene in my natural flesh response.

Pause so I don’t make the conversations all about me.

Pause and remember I’m not always right.

Pause to see the blessings, so many blessings, and say "thank you" at least once an hour.

Pause to serve, pause to give, pause to encourage when everyone else rushes by.

"My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding — indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding … then you will understand what is right and just and fair — every good path," (Proverbs 2:1-3, 9, NIV).

Don’t get overwhelmed with the enormity and depth of the Bible.

It’s okay if we read just a verse or two today.

But more importantly than reading His words, we must choose to receive them. And even more importantly, we must live them.

Dear Lord, help me to see You today in a single word or in a single verse. You are all powerful and anything is possible through You. May Your words and Your truth seep into the plans I make and every thought I think today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Proverbs 4:6-8, "Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. Cherish her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you." (NIV)

Luke 11:28, "[Jesus] replied, ‘Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.’" (NIV)

This month, Proverbs 31 Ministries is launching First 5, a mobile app to help you devote the first few moments of your day to the Lord no matter what you’re going through. Sign up today for our interest list and be entered to win one of our weekly giveaways, here!

The next time you open your Bible, pray that God would reveal the specific verses He wants you to read that day. Then, look for ways throughout your week to live out the truth found in those Scriptures!

Lysa TerKeurstClick here to pin the imageClick here to download this free printable PDF


© 2015 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.

Would you like your picture to show up next to your comment? Click here for instructions.

Visit and create a free account with the email address you use to leave comments on blogs and other websites. Upload the picture you want associated with that email address and you're all set!


  1. Thank you for this devotional! I never realized or have overlooked that yes… we can have our time with God with even just a single verse.. If we let it read through us.. Pausing and savoring in our soul what it means.. Until we get to the very heart of what God is revealing to us through His word.. that’s awesome 🙂

  2. Sherilyn says:

    Thank you for reminding me that God is Good. I have been recovering from major surgery and have not had the time to devote to my usual bible study. Your devotional is a confirmation that God can work His purpose through one or two verses, all He needs is a willing heart.
    God bless you and thank you for reminding me that our God is mighty and able and this will help keep me focused on loving my family, loving my church family and loving others as God does His wonderful healing work.

  3. Deborah Winters says:

    Loved this truth! Times when I feel interrupted I must remember these may be God’s divine appointments and to walk in kindness! I feel guilty when I don’t spend hours in prayer and a long time in His book, but a lot of times, Hod feeds me on just a few verses. Grateful for your devotion and your devotionals! Thank you!

  4. In our busy season of life, my husband and I will open up our Bible early in the morning while getting ready for work. We will randomly open it to any page and just let the words jump out at us. We pick a small section and read it together. It never fails to surprise me just how relevant the verses we read are! Somehow God directs us to read just what we needed for that day. If you aren’t following a specific study, I encourage you to randomly open your Bible and see where God leads you! Thank you for the reminder today! It’s been awhile since we’ve done this and I think it’s time to start again.

  5. I love the questions you ask God in response to the verse(s) you read,and what you said about really paying attention to how the Holy Spirit is guiding you, even in those few words. I get so much more out of my times with Him when I come with open ended questions. One of my favorites is to ask, Where are you at work, and how can I join you? and just listen for His response.

  6. Krista Williams says:

    Love this so much! Lord, interrupt me, intercede for me, redirect & rearrange me according to Your Word! Amen

  7. Rochelle Howard says:

    Recently a tough season prompted me to find a few scriptures that I could focus on daily. I have also been looking at a way to really learn scripture. God directed me to 6 scriptures that I pray like I used to pray the rosary. This took about 15 minutes every morning but literally changed my outlook everyday. God revealed to me when it is time, He will direct to adjust these scriptures according to what He wants me to focus on. This has helped me really creates a powerful meditation and deeper connection with God’s word.

  8. Lysa, you are so right. Even a verse or two a day refreshes our soul and gives us something to think about as we go about our daily chores. No matter how much time we have available it is important to stay consistent in our time with God. Not only does it refresh us but it protects us from all the errant teaching that is abundant in our world today. Thanks for a great and important reminder.

  9. I love this! I think so many skip searching God’s Worr all together because they feel they need to absorb huge chunks at a time. One verse can be as powerful as several chapters. There are times for chapter soaking, but there are seasons of savory bites too. Here’s what God is teaching me lately

  10. Bonnie Mae Evans says:

    Great insight, Lysa! Thank you for being sensitive to the Holy Spirit in your writing. This was a great encouragement to me this morning! I will carry these thoughts throughout my day.
    Blessings to you.

  11. Lysa, is there a way to download the above image to my phone? (Like I do the bible verse for the week?)

  12. Thanks Lysa for showing us we can do one or two verses a day & still learn great messages from our Lord, this is exactly what our Pastor did at bible study last night he took just one verse and showed us just how much we could learn and how the Lord will speak such power though just that verse!Love the new works of JUST 5. blessings to you.

  13. Donna 871 says:

    I so needed this devotion today. I’m struggling with Bible study on my own. I’m lost in my aloneness–husband, father and brother has died. And my Mom has Alzheimer’s so she left me 8 years ago. Some days I just want to curl up and not emerge. I know I am covered in the blood of Jesus Christ and I’ll see my family some day in my heavenly reward. But it’s so lonely here. I know the Bible is packed with God’s promises; I just need to find that verse or two every day. Please pray for me.

    • Dear Lord, Thank You that You have come alongside Donna. Please open her heart to Your presence. I know that Isaiah 41:10 says You are with her and will uphold her and help her. I like to rephrase those verses to say: “Don’t worry, I’m right here.”
      The Holy Spirit has the comfort you need. May He open up your spirit to receive it along with His love and joy.

    • Donna,
      Hugs, Donna–and prayers. Your mention of aloneless struck a chord. As a full time caregiver I, too, struggle with aloneness at times. I just recently read a book, When Women Walk Alone, by Cindi McMenamin and would like to recommend it to you.

  14. Thank you Lysa so much for allowing the Lord to speak to you, His word, in such a beautiful way. He has truely given you a gift of communicating his word in a way that reaches hearts, as this devotional today has reached mine. Thank you for obeying His call on your life. As I am walking through one of the most difficult seasons in my life, I am thankful for sound doctrine to keep moving me forward. I do not want to give up.

  15. Jessica says:

    What powerful Bible verses! I want to understand His Word. I want to live His Word. I want to soak in HIS Word. When I see The Bible, it can be intimidating. However, God did not intend for it to be. It was created and written to ease our life, to guide us, and to save us. We have started to read The Bible, a chapter or two at a time. I am amazed at the ease of reading It, honestly. I don’t know what took me so long to start reading The Bible. The words are captivating, suspenseful, tear-jerking. The Bible is the ultimate plot. No matter what I have read that night, God uses it to reach me. Something I read, always pertains to the part of life I am currently in. I pray for a renewed strength and stamina to continue as I devour The Bible. I want His Words to be the first that come to mind in time of need, fear, gratitutde, doubt, and happiness.

    • Jessica,
      You should be on staff here! What lovely writing: super thoughts and beautiful words.

  16. Steffany Baker says:

    That was just pure wonderful. Nailed it. Thank you for how you all seed into each of us every day. Totally wake up looking for your thoughts.

  17. Janet Trenda says:

    Thank you, Lysa. I am on the brink of a new decade, and this is the perfect focus for transformation. I love the doable focus and the depth we can absorb taking it in slowly. Beautiful!

  18. Those 3 questions you ask yourself about a particular verse that seems to stand out is so applicable. Thank you for sharing practical ways to get the most out of reading God’s word.

  19. Lysa
    Just today I took up my Bible and just felt so weary I could barely track with what I was reading.
    I’ve recently become caregiver for my disabled brother and I am 60 years old (he is 54.)
    I know this is a job from the Lord and I am willing to do it but it has been tough.
    Lately I’ve been so tired I feel I’m not even able to do devotions as I should or as I used to.
    I can’t tell you how blessed I was to read your Proverbs 31 meditation this morning from my inbox, telling me it’s OK to just be able to handle one or two verses.
    Thank you, my sister! God is using you
    In Him,
    Pam Wissman
    Reisterstown MD

    • Pam, I, too, am a full time caregiver in my 60’s—for my daughter in her 30’s who has MD. But then, this is not a new thing to me as she has always lived with me. My son also had MD and he has passed away. As MD is degenerative and progressive, I can longer get to Church as my daughter isn’t up to it. Bible reading, Christian books and Christian blogs keep me fluid and flowing and drawing close to God. May God bless you. Sincerely, Sue

  20. Thank you for the awesome word this morning!! It encouraged me not get frustrated and overwhelmed about reading my bible in the busyness of lift. I need Him everyday in my life. I cannot afford not to read and meditate upon God’s word. The scripture alone Proverbs 4:20b-22 ministered to my spirit. I felt life as I read it this morning. To God be the glory for the things He has done and going to do!!

  21. Jessica says:

    Awesome reminder that we don’t need to consume the bible, but let it consume us.

    Thanks Lysa

  22. Marla Webb says:

    Amen, Sister. Feeling this totally. ❤️ Thanks!

  23. I so much needed to hear this today. Our family is going through so much and has been for a number of years. Giving myself the freedom to read just one or two Scriptures per day, knowing the Lord will direct me to them and use them throughout my week, is just what I need for now. Thank you!

  24. I enjoy your devotional …but wondered if you have one in the KJV?

  25. Praying for you dear sisters, especially Donna871 and Dee in your loneliness and difficult seasons of life. I have been struggling, too, and felt like giving up. But God told me I have other options. God will make a way. Since the difficulties continued instead of resolving I asked God what He wanted me to learn from these most challenging times and experiences. The answer I received was empathy and total dependence on Him. So through these hard times God has given me empathy. And though it’s been painful, God has been training me to depend completely on Him, and to encourage others to do the same. God is faithful. And loving. Read Psalm 36:5-10, and Psalm 37:3-8. How priceless is God’s unfailing LOVE!
    God has also shown me the importance and power of prayer. He intercedes for us and we need to intercede for one another. So I am praying for you for comfort and peace. Lifting you both now to the throne of God’s Grace for strength and mercy in this, your time of need. For power and passion to follow Him wherever and however He leads. For full surrender and faith in His LOVE and power. And I suggest you follow Hannah’s recommendation to ask God to open your eyes and ears to find out where God is working, and to join Him in that work. Many blessings to you dear sisters. 🙂

  26. Every morning I would try and read my chapters only to find myself applying a verse or two to my everyday life. It was great but I felt guilty because I found no use for the other verses in the chapter. After reading this devotional, I no longer have to feel guilty for reading a few verses instead of the whole chapter if that is where the holy spirit is leading me. God speaks to everyone differently…
    Thank you Lysa

  27. Justine says:

    Thank you for the devotion!

  28. sharonboling says:

    I am not receiving my devotionals.cannot find any othwr way to get in touch with you

  29. Lysa, thank you for the devotions. I need this encouragement daily. To Donna, I pray you will find that verse…& other verses for each hour/day. To Sue, thank you for sharing. I am in a similar very sad situation with my son. Today has been one hour at a time, trying to focus on blessings for that moment. Please pray for my family as we are all struggling through this together. Please pray we will support one another & not accuse each other out of frustration with other stressors. Pray that I will be a loving wife & mom. Pray that I will take the never ending disappointments & keep my cool. Thank you for praying.

  30. Teresa Mae Fry says:

    Lysa – We must be twins! (like Danny Devito and Arnold Schwarzenegger, since I’m 5 ft. 8 in. and weigh 185 lbs.) Every time I read your post it just hits me where I’m living and I thank God for you. May His favor be poured out on you and your family.

  31. Sharon D'Amico says:

    This post and following comments are a huge blessing to me in this season of my life. The Spirit of God is always communicating to us right where we are and He does it in sweet, surprising ways! At 68 years young I find myself wiped out from caring for two little ones. Hubby helps as best he can . . he has survived cancer 2x and is 73. We have 10 hr. days with our Grands and love them so much. I have been longing for my old ways of spending quality time with my Jesus but it’s been near impossible. Then today I found your post and felt like it was just for me until I read about the others who feel like I do. So now I will latch onto a verse or two and apply it to my actions, thoughts, and attitudes. Thank you One and all!! Blessings galore.

  32. OMG! I would like to say thank you for this post.
    At times I feel so overwhelmed or intimidated by His word because its so much. I thank you for a new found way of approaching His word.

Would you like your picture to show up next to your comment? Click here for instructions.

Visit and create a free account with the email address you use to leave comments on blogs and other websites. Upload the picture you want associated with that email address and you're all set!

Share Your Heart


Notify via Email Only if someone replies to My Comment

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!