Fortune cookies are popular for two reasons: First, they are tasty. Second, they usually pack a big, important message into a small, but profound, one-liner.
One-liners can strike the fear, say with the old "It's not you, it's me." Other one-liners warm the cockles of our hearts: "You complete me"
Other one-liners that might ring a bell: "I'm lovin' it"; "I got you, Babe"; "Use the Force"; "Tomorrow is another day!" (my favorite diet line!)
With one simple line comes so much more: memories, meaning, and feelings. It seems, the less words you use, the more powerful the message can be. I think I like them so much because one line of information seems all my brain can take sometimes! I'm not sure if it's my cranial capacity, attention span or what, but given anything much longer than one or two pages, and I'm lost (hence the short posts I write)- but give me a good one-liner, and I get it!
I think the Savior must have known that about me, and that perhaps there are many more like me out there, because he had some of the best one-liners ever uttered or written. Here are some of my favorites:
Ye are my friends (John 15:14)
Be not afraid, only believe (Mark 5:36)
I am the bread of life (John 6 48)
Have faith in God (Mark 11:22)
He that is not with me is against me (Matthew 12:30)
If ye love me, keep my commandments (John 14:15)
Follow me (Mark 2:14)
Thy faith hath made the whole (Mark 10:52)
Weep not (Luke 13:13) (a very special one-liner for me)
If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them (John 13:17)
Peace, be still (Mark 4:39)
I have overcome the world (John 16:33)
There are many more, which I might share in another post sometime. There are also a great many more found in the scriptures, spoken by those who were with him.
For with God nothing shall be impossible (Luke 1:37)
He is not here, for he is risen (Matthew 28:6)
If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole (Mark 5:28)
One thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see (John 9:25)
Lord, I believe (John 9:38)
And, we can't forget, of course, Paul- the great missionary:
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ (Romans 1:16)
Charity never faileth (1 Corinthians 13:8)
For we walk by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7)
One Lord, one faith, one baptism (Ephesians 4:5)
I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me (Philippians 4:13)
I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith (2 Timothy 4:7) (OK- it's more like three lines- but I so love this one!)
There are even some gems in the Old Testament I've found:
Ye shall not fear them: for the Lord your God he shall fight for you (Deut. 3:22)
Who is on the Lord's side? (Exodus 32:26)
Let there be light (Genesis 1:14)
I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee (Joshua 1:5)
Intreat me not to leave thee...for wither thou goest, I will go (Ruth 1:16)
Here am I (Samuel 1:4)
I've hear the question asked, "How can I relate to people that lived thousands of years ago in a completely different culture?" "Are the scriptures truly for us today?"
The answer is unequivocally, "Yes!" A one-liner taught us that "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever" (Hebrews 13:8). So is his gospel. It is the same truth, the same gospel, the same plan of Salvation, the same Savior who was "foreordained before the foundation of the world..." (1 Peter 1:20).
The knowledge that the scriptures are for me brings me great peace. I can read these wonderful one-liners, and know they are for me. I put them together, and I can hear the Savior say to me, "Michelle, ye are my friend. Have faith in God. Weep not,thy faith hath made thee whole. I am the bread of life. Be not afraid, only believe. If ye love me, keep my commandments, happy are ye if ye do them. Follow me. I have overcome the world."
In turn, others' words become my words, "I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ.I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me. With God nothing shall be impossible. Lord, I believe." And hopefully, at the end of it all, I will be able to speak the words of Paul, with all sincerity and truthfulness, "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith."
In the one-line words of the Savior, "Search the scriptures...they are they which testify of me." (John 5:39)
I don't know how it's done, but words, one-liners to complete books, have changed my life. I share the sentiment of a man miraculously healed by the Savior, who said, "one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see." (John 9:25).