Verse of the Year

Jan 1 - Dec 31, 2015 All Day Bayside Midtown Free

A Message from Pastor Ray

You may be asking – why does our church have a verse of the year? Let me put it this way…

We live near Beale Air Force Base, home of the 9th Reconnaissance Wing of the Air Combat Command Twelfth Air Force. It’s one of the few places where pilots are trained to fly the famous U-2 spy planes. Pilots attending our church have taken me on some of the scariest automobile rides I’ve ever been on—sitting in a “chase car” going 100 miles an hour, 50 feet away from a massive U-2. I’ve thought to myself, “No question. These are the best pilots in the world.”

Quite possibly the most famous U-2 pilot of all time was Francis Gary Powers. On May 1, 1960, Francis Gary Powers took off from a military base in Pakistan, only to be shot down at 70,000 feet by the Soviet Union. Powers ejected, was captured, convicted of espionage and sentenced to ten years in a Soviet prison. After his release, he went on to pilot a series of the world’s most dangerous experimental aircraft.

Years later, he lost his life in another crash. What happened? He was piloting a simple traffic helicopter for an L.A. television station when it went down. Know why he crashed? Simple. He ran out of gas.

Unbelievable. After surviving a U-2 crash, Soviet prison, and thousands of dangerous experimental flights – he crashed because he ran out of gas.

What a lesson.

You can be the most skilled and talented person in the sky, but if you’re running on empty, you’re going to crash and burn. Refueling is one of the most important things in life. We teach it all the time: The most important thing you can do for your life – future – relationships – is to KEEP YOUR SPIRITUAL BATTERIES RECHARGED.

That is why we started Bayside.
That is why we worship.
That is why we teach the Bible.
And that is why we select a Verse of the Year that God uses to shape our lives and our church.

Decades ago the prophet Isaiah wrote these words to challenge and encourage God’s people:


“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name; you are Mine!
Isaiah 43:1b

This verse promises every Christ follower three things that everyone wants and very few people have:“Do not fear”
God wants you free from fear. Why? Because fear and anxiety cripple your spiritual life and drain you of the joy and energy it takes to live with faith and confidence.

“I have redeemed you”
God wants you free from guilt. Isaiah freed people from their past by reminding them of the pardon and presence of God.

“I have called you by name; you are Mine!”
God wants you living with purpose. Isaiah reminds these people that they are ‘called’ by God – by name!

I have a good friend who realized from reading this verse that God knew him individually, and that he was being called into a lifetime of effective ministry. This very verse changed the course of his life.

My prayer for myself, our church and you – is that God will use this verse all year to comfort, challenge and change all of our lives for His glory.

“Beware of looking back at what you once were when God wants you to become someone you have never been”- Oswald Chambers.