Bible Bee Changed My Life

9:46 PM


In the last post, I had the privilege of sharing testimonies from Bible Bee contestants.  Today, I'd like to share how God has used the Bible Bee in my personal life.

I think that it must have been 2009 when I first heard about the Bible Bee.  The only part of the competition that I understood was that the contestants memorized tons of verses.  My reaction was similar to most people's: sounds impressive, but definitely too hard for me.

Fast forward to 2011.  Nationals was held a few hours from where I live, so we went, mostly just to listen to the speakers.  On the last day of the competition, we watched the Finals of the Junior age division.  My sisters and I were 14, 12, and 11 at the time.  These contestants were our ages.  Again, I was impressed, but I was certain that I could never memorize so many verses in a few months.  But God had different plans.

In 2012, my dad signed up to host a Local Bible Bee, and he signed my siblings and me up to participate.  I resigned myself to my fate -- spending an entire summer studying the Bible.  I got a little bit more excited about it when the box of study materials came.  We would be studying 2 Timothy and learning about 100 verses.  (FYI, the past few years have had significantly fewer verses to memorize -- more like 50).

I did the bare minimum and did not give Bible Bee my best that summer.  Honestly, I wasn't used to giving hardly anything my best.  But I did learn several very important things that summer.  First of all, I learned 2 Timothy 3:16-17, which says, "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work."  This is a passage that has stayed with me since, reminding me that every single word in the Bible is good, true, and necessary.

Second, I learned to do a good thing when it was hard.  Yes, Bible Bee was fun a lot of the time, but there were still many times when I would've rather been playing or reading a book.  I began to realize that it was important to obey God, even when I was tired or felt lazy.  His Word is my food, and I need to eat it even when I don't feel like eating it.

Third, I learned that I could memorize one hundred verses in a summer.  I hadn't known this before.  I had learned several hundred verses total during the first twelve years of my life, but I had never memorized this much in such a short amount of time.  When you memorize almost every day, even if it's only a verse, you can't help but start to see a change in your life.

Finally, I began to experience the conviction of the Holy Spirit over my lack of love and dedication to the study of God's Word.  Oh yes, I had experienced shame about it before.  But now I was experiencing "godly grief [that] produces a repentance" (2 Corinthians 7:10).  I wanted to change.  I wanted to give my life to learning Scripture.  I wanted to make it a very high priority.

This was true repentance, because it resulted in a change in my life.  I began to read the Bible every single day, reading the "meat and vegetables" of the Pentateuch, and not just the "dessert" of Psalms.  I started memorizing on my own for the first time as well.  I had never memorized a whole book of the Bible, and now I was learning James, which also had a big impact on my life (just memorize James 4:17 if you want proof).

I came back to the Bible Bee in 2013 with extra motivation, because now I loved and desired the Word of God.  I determined to give it my best (or at least better).  Something wonderful also happened that year.  Ever since early 2011, I had doubted if I was truly saved, but now I came to a full assurance that I was secure in Christ, that I was saved by His grace and couldn't look to my works for salvation.

To my complete shock, I qualified for Nationals that year.  I stood completely in awe of the grace and goodness of God.  At first, I was thrilled, and then, I was overwhelmed.  Six hundred verses in three months -- impossible!  And I'm just a normal person.  I can't do that.  But I didn't know the verse that says, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." (Matthew 19:26)

I decided to "just try it until I give up".  So I did try it, and I was very surprised to find that I was able to (or rather, that God was enabling me).  I was also surprised to find that I absolutely loved it!  Instead of feeling drained after memorizing, I felt refreshed.  Over and over, the Lord revealed to me how wrong my attitude had been toward His Word.

I've now competed in the Bible Bee for five years.  I've never won a trophy.  I've only competed on stage once (and that was over very quickly).  But I've gained a prize much more valuable -- knowledge of and love for God's Word.  Scripture is now my greatest delight.  "Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O Lord, God of hosts."  (Jeremiah 15:16)

Join me this summer as I study the Word of God!

https://biblebee.org/summer-study/register/

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20 comments

  1. Thank you for the encouragement! It is so true that Bible Bee causes a hunger for God's Word. :)

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  2. Really nice blog. I'm embarrassed to say I had never heard of this event. Thank you for brining it to my attention. BP in Oregon

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    1. Thank you! Bible Bee is a fairly small competition, so it's completely understandable that you've never heard of it before :).

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  3. Thank you for your testimony! It can often be so hard to keep going, but it's always worth it! And God can really do amazing things! :)

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  4. Hi, Anna! I am thinking about doing the Bible Bee this year. Although my parents don't think if I do make it to the Nationals, we can't go, I will still memorize.
    I have one quick question. When the study begins, I will still be 14, but in August, I will be 15. Which should I register for, Seniors?

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    1. Hi,
      I'm so glad to hear that you are planning to do Bible Bee this year! I hope that you will be as blessed by it as I have been.
      Yes, you should register as a Senior.
      May God bless your summer in His Word!

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    2. Thanks, Anna! I am so excited and hope my family can do it this year. I have such a passion for memorizing and really want to witness to others. This is a perfect chance to.
      I am glad I can register for the Senior division. Thanks again! Have a blessed summer as well.

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    3. That is so great! Memorizing Scripture is so important in sharing the Gospel. There are times when you won't have a Bible with you, but if you have it in your heart, then you'll be prepared to share it with others. "But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect." (1 Peter 3:15)

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    4. I am so glad that you share my passion for memorizing because when I talk to my friends about it, they aren't into God's word exactly like how I am.
      And that verse is partially why I want to memorize so I can encourage and minister.

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    5. You'll get to meet many other people with this passion if you do Bible Bee!
      Let me know if you have any questions about Bible Bee.

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    6. Thanks, Anna. I have one question. I use the NIV Bible, but does the BB allow that particular version? If they don't, I guess I will have to get a new Bible! :(

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    7. No, you can't use NIV. You can choose from ESV, NASB, KJV, or NKJV. I actually used to use NIV, but I switched to ESV five years ago, and I love it! :)

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  5. Is the ESV a whole lot different than the NIV? I have memorized many verses from the NIV and now am concerned that I will mess up if I switch. (I haven't started the study, but I am saying when I do!)
    Thanks for your answers, they have been very helpful. :)

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    1. It is somewhat different, but I'd say that it's one of the best ones to switch to from NIV. It may be a bit hard to get used to it at first, and you'll probably have to re-memorize some things eventually, but I think it's worth it :).

      You're welcome! Happy to!

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    2. A Bible is a Bible and is still God's word. I'll get used to it and you are absolutely right, it is going to all worth it. Thanks! :)

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  6. Dear Anna, I am sorry for writing what I wrote earlier about "A Bible is a Bible." I know now that everyone's opinion differs and I do not wish to condemn them for their beliefs. There are some who think the King James Version is better or some think the NIV is better. I was ignorant and foolish, so I ask for forgiveness.

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    1. Hi,
      Sorry that it took me so long to reply! My weekend was extremely busy, and I didn't want to publish your comments until I had time to reply :).
      No worries! I agreed that a Bible is a Bible, though I also realize that some people disagree with that. But I didn't think that your comment came across as condemning or anything; you were just stating your opinion.
      Have a nice day! Hope your summer in God's Word is fruitful!

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    2. FYI, NIV is now an available version for Bible Bee!

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    3. Oh, praise the Lord! I have been praying that this would happen and look! I am SO thankful. :P

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  7. Hey, I love this! I agree, the first year, I did NOT give Bible Bee my best. But being ALL in last year + seeing the amazing rewards was such an amazing experience. And I love what you said about "600 verses in 3 mos + I'm just a normal person!" BB has shown me just how much a "normal" person, who is bad @ memorizing can accomplish. It takes dedication + lots of hard work + prayer, but everyone IS absolutely able to do it. With God, all things are possible! Thanks for this, sweet Anna! <3<3

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Please make sure that your comment is in accordance with Colossians 4:6: "Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person." I will not reply to every comment, but if you have a question or concern, I will try to get back with you.
Thanks for making my day!