A few months ago, when we began with the preparation for Bible Quiz, Pastor Marvin Byers told us that the beginning of this was like giving birth to a baby, as Jesus said in John 16:21. So many preparations had to be made before his arrival to this world! And his birth? Exhausting! But, what joy when that life is brought forth into the world! That is exactly what our testimony has been these past months. Every practice, every competition, every preparation has been exhausting many times. But the fruit and the flow of new life are beginning to be seen in all those who are involved, from the youngest to the oldest. We have the conviction that this joy is just the beginning of something beautiful that will grow as each day passes.
We have collected a few testimonies from people of different ages, from each one of the categories of Bible Quiz as an example. Our desire is that this might plant in every heart the desire to dedicate more time to the things of the Lord, including studying and memorizing His Word.
One mother said:
One of the many precious testimonies is that my four-year-old daughter already memorized Malachi 1:1–5, and many of the verses that her older brother has learned. In our devotionals, she uses the biblical words that she remembers to praise the Lord. One time I heard that she was very broken, inviting the Lord to come into her heart. When we realized her confession of faith, we prayed with her and the Lord came in such a special way and saved her. We saw how much God appreciates and considers the investment that we make in our children.
Many times we cannot imagine the eternal effect that can be made by spending a little time each day with our children, helping them memorize and understand the Scriptures. Truly, by doing so, we are preparing them to meet with the Lord!
One of our daughters told us how she has seen the abundant grace of the Lord upon her life, since she has been able to memorize so much in short periods of time. It has been a great miracle to her, since they had told her that she learns very slowly, and that she is slow at thinking.
When our twelve-year-old daughter was memorizing Malachi 2, one day she was playing with her brothers, but she came in the house crying, and told me that she had to talk with me. I was worried, because I don’t think she had ever said such a thing to me before. In private, very broken, she told me that God had spoken to her through what she was learning in Malachi, she was not following the Lord as she should. I thought, how is she not following the Lord as she should? I asked her which verses the Lord had spoken to her. She began to quote Malachi 2:1,2: “And now, O ye priests, this commandment is for you. If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto my name, saith the LORD of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings: yea, I have cursed them already, because ye do not lay it to heart.” Nothing in life is worth more than investing in the lives of our children by preparing them to meet with the Lord.
The fruit of that investment is also being seen in our adolescent children. They have been raising a flock of hens with the intention of selling eggs. Our two neighbors also have hens, but things have not gone well for them because they have lost many hens to dogs, hawks, and raccoons. One neighbor was left with a single hen. When we saw that, and we saw how many hens that we still had–not one killed by a dog, hawk, or raccoon–it was evident that God had taken care of our flock. We saw with our children how they had been faithful in honoring the Lord by tithing and giving offerings from the very small earnings that they had obtained by selling their eggs, and how God was honoring them by taking care of their flock. Not only did he take care of them, but it was as if the heavens were raining eggs: suddenly there were so many eggs that we didn’t even know what to do!
Our oldest son reminded me of Malachi 3:10 and began to recite, “Bringye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” Clearly, this is what God had promised to do—to pour out a blessing until there would not be room to receive it. We also remembered the next verse: “And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground.”
Another pastor asked two quizzers what blessing they believed Bible Quiz was to their lives. One young lady replied: “By reading the verses again (trying to memorize), I have seen things from another perspective. When I read about the Lord’s coming in Matthew 24, a fear and trembling entered into my heart over whether I was ready for His coming, and I asked myself: Am I ready for His coming? I have to know the Lord more!”
One young lady shared how the book of Malachi affected her life greatly, when she began to memorize the verse in which the Lord rebukes the people of Israel for offering that which is blind, lame, and sick. She felt that the Lord was asking her: “What kind of offering are you bringing to the Lord of hosts?” This made her search her own heart to see if she was bringing the best that she had to offer Him.
Another one of our young people shared this:
Signing up for Bible Quiz has been a great blessing to my life. During these months that we memorize, the Lord has changed the way I spend my time. I was trapped and blinded by something that could appear to be innocent to a normal person: video games. These games consumed the majority of my time and life. Now I have understood biblical truths that I had never seen before, and I prefer to face the reality of my eternal life, rather than the imaginations created by mortal men. Keeping the Lord’s Word has really changed my heart, and has given me comfort in God’s promises. Treasuring His Word in my heart has given me something to live for, that is, to know God and serve Him.
Another young lady said that before Bible Quiz began, she would just speak with one person, and now she has new friendships, and can speak with everyone in the church. One youth said that she was so shy, that she could not talk with anyone. Now, Bible Quiz has transformed her life. She is no longer shy and can talk with anyone.
Another youth shared the following: “This has been the best experience that I have had in my whole life! The Lord has changed my attitude, and my way of seeing God’s plan for my life.”
Truly this river of life in our youth is priceless. The Word of God is becoming a reality for them!
In the older quizzers, the testimony has been equally as precious. One sister who was going through a difficult economic situation shared:
It gives me joy that the word is with me at each moment in my mind. When I am not reading the verses, I am repeating them in my mind. That gives me joy and peace. Yesterday my car broke down and it’s at the mechanic’s, but I didn’t worry, I trust that God has us in His hands.
Mothers with small children testify of having grasped the vision and run, despite their limited time. One mother tells that what is most impressive is hearing her three-year-old daughter recite large portions of Malachi, learned only by hearing her mother. She felt that the Lord Himself was saying to her: “This is the reward that I am giving you for your great effort and dedication.”
Another busy mother says that when she signed up, she didn’t know how she was going to do it; she felt that she had a disadvantage in comparison to others who had more time. That made her seek God for the grace to memorize. Now that she is so busy memorizing the Word, she asks herself: “What did I spend all my time doing before this?” She realized that that which was important to her before, is no longer so important.
The blessing of Bible Quiz has reached many, even those who form part of the team that helps edit the questions. One of them said: “Despite the fact that the beginning is difficult, we trust that the harvest, especially in the lives of the children and youth, will prove that it was worth the effort! By faith I see many Timothys, he who knew the Holy Scriptures from His childhood.”
What would you reply if someone would ask you what the best experience of your life has been? It is doubtful that many would respond: “Memorizing the Bible.” This is something that God has been doing in Hebron Ministries through the Bible Quiz completions. Memorization permits the Lord to give us all a vision of how precious it is to dedicate time to read, study, and memorize His Word. We are sure of something: this effort will have a reward of eternal fruit in all those who participate: quizzers, coaches, officials, and parents.