BY: Isabella Morganthal
It was June 3, 2011.
Summer was just beginning and the sun was shining warm and bright. But I remember my focus that day was not on summer or the sunshine. My focus was wrapped around the neatly packaged box I had just received from UPS. My very first National Bible Bee box.
You see, for the summer of 2011 I had signed up to participate in a competition for young people, that was focused on Scripture memorization and studying the Word of God. June 3, 2011 began my first journey with the Bible Bee. Yet what I soon realized was that this competition was not really about a competition at all. It wasn’t even really about the Bible Bee, or the prizes, or making it to the national level.
I continued to compete in the Bible Bee every summer until I aged out in the fall of 2015. I walked away from the competition having never even made it to the top 5 final round or winning any cash prizes. But honestly, none of that mattered to me. The one thing that mattered to me was what the Bible Bee is all about: the Word of God.
You see, I already had my prize. The priceless and matchless Word of God in my heart was a prize greater than any earthly treasure. And when I walked away from the Bible Bee, I had a deeper love for and understanding of God’s Word.
You may never have heard of the Bible Bee, so you may be wondering how it’s possible for you to love God’s Word just as much and make time for Him over the summer. I know summer always seems to fly by and be so much busier than we hoped. But if you want to radically change your spiritual life this summer, here are my top 5 tips for falling deeper in love with God’s Word…
- Choose a specific quiet time that you will have every day. Set this time so that it is the same time every day, getting you into the habit of it. I prefer to have my Bible reading in the morning, shortly after I wake up. Doing it this way prepares me for the day ahead and immerses me in God’s presence right away. Maybe the afternoon works best for you though, when you’re more alert. Or maybe you would rather have this time right before bed. Whatever works best for you, choose that time and purpose to stick to it! Don’t give up!
- Complete a Bible study. It’s great to read a chapter or two in your Bible, but if you want to grow and develop a deeper relationship with Christ, study is what you need to do! When you study the truths in the Bible and God’s words to you, they will come alive and allow you to understand Him better. You can do this on your own, using a notebook to journal what you’re studying. Choose a theme, such as patience, that you want to study and use Bible study tools (Strong’s concordance, Bible maps/charts, Greek/Hebrew word studies) to learn more. A great online website for study tools is: www.blueletterbible.org. If you’re just starting out however, and you’re a little unsure how to do all this studying on your own, consider purchasing a Bible study or commentary from a popular author! There is an abundance of them out there that are so good. Some of my favorite Bible studies however, come from Lysa Terkeurst.
- Have an accountability partner. Let’s be honest. Sometimes when we make goals/plans we tend to do it alone and then we totally fall behind. When we don’t have accountability it can be easier for us to ignore our plans and just let them slide. This goes for our Bible reading too! So this summer, get an accountability partner. Encourage, pray for each other, and share what God is teaching you. Meet every now and then just to catch up and spend time in person. Maybe you can even go through a Bible study together!
- Memorize Scripture. I’ve been memorizing Scripture basically since I could talk. Memorizing Scripture is super important to me, and here is why it should be important for you too: “How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word. With my whole heart I have sought You; Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments! Your Word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You! Blessed are You, O Lord! Teach me Your statutes! With my lips I have declared all the judgements of Your mouth. I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies, as much as in all riches. I will meditate on Your precepts, and contemplate Your ways. I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word.” (Psalm 119:9-16 NKJV) This verse is all about hiding God’s Word in our hearts! Make your goal this summer as you read the Bible to also take time to fill your heart with the words too.
5. Check out the National Bible Bee! Yes, this was coming. 🙂 If you are between the ages of 7-18 and you want to grow in Jesus over the summer and you want to make reading/studying your Bible a priority, sign up for the Bible Bee! The summer study registration usually opens sometime in April each year. You won’t regret checking it out and participating in 2018. Visit their website here: http://www.biblebee.org.
Have fun growing in Jesus this summer, friends!