Have you felt overwhelmed by how much you need to study for Bible Bee? I certainly have, and I know many other BBers would say the same. But in the midst of all the quizzing and cramming, RA and CRs, verse cards, flashcards, and infinitely long Greek lists, don’t forget to rest and meditate on the words of Christ!
Choose That Good Part
Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.Luke 10:38-42 KJV
In this passage, Jesus taught Martha an important truth: we must not let anything distract us from sitting at Jesus’ feet and listening to His Word. God isn’t as concerned with how much work we do for Him. He is more concerned that we love, seek, and trust Him with every part of our being.
“Well then, good for us BBers! We’re always in His Word! In fact, we spend our summers and often our falls studying and memorizing it!”
These thoughts have entered my mind while reading this passage, but we need to be careful! It may be true that we spend a lot of time in God’s Word, but that does not necessarily mean that we are choosing “that good part.”
Hearers, But Not Doers
It is possible to read and even study the Bible without truly listening to it or obeying it. The apostle James addressed this problem in James chapter 1, verse 22. He warned the church to be doers of the Word, not merely hearers of it. If they didn’t apply and obey the Word, having heard it could do them no good.
This is especially important for us BBers, who engage frequently with the Word for competition purposes. We must be careful to become doers of the Word. We must not let the competition distract us from what Bible Bee is all about.
I have felt convicted of this many times. Often, during Bible Bee season, I can be so focused on cramming all the facts into my head that I forget to slow down and listen to what God is saying through His Word. I act just like Martha, troubled about the many things I need to study. When I do this, I forget the true purpose of the Bible Bee: to know God’s Word and make Him known.
Take the Time to Meditate
I find it very easy to get distracted from truly listening to the Word, especially when studying for Bible Bee. After all, doing well in Bible Bee requires a lot of work, and slowing down to listen to the Word can seem to detract from that goal. But what is more important: doing well in Bible Bee or growing in your relationship with God? If you are more worried about how well you do in the competition than about knowing God and His Word, then your priorities are in the wrong place.
In Luke 10, Jesus reminded Martha that the one needful thing is sitting at His feet and hearing His Word. One of the best ways to do this is to meditate on Scripture. When Paul tells Timothy to meditate on the ministry of Christ, he continues by telling him to “give [himself] entirely to [it]” (1 Timothy 4:15). Meditation is a way to internalize something completely.
Joshua 1:8 tells us the importance of meditating on God’s Word: “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.” (KJV).
Trust Enough To Rest
Pausing to meditate on the Word can be a sacrifice during BB season. Sometimes I want to cram for the test rather than doing something that probably won’t get me much points. For me, making this choice can be an ongoing struggle. Listening to God’s voice requires a daily mindset of trust.
One thing I have learned to keep in mind when considering this: ultimately, God is in control. No matter how hard I study, He will be the one who determines whether or not I will advance. Trusting Him for the outcome frees me to rest and meditate on His Word.
Making the choice to stop and meditate can be hard, but it’s worth it. Whenever I have taken the time to meditate on Scripture, I have been refreshed and encouraged. Meditating on Scripture is one way to “be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2). If we become doers of the Word and meditate on it daily, the Word of God renews our minds and transforms our lives in marvelous ways.
I have a challenge for you, friends: choose to rest and listen. However you are engaging with the Word today, don’t forget to meditate on the Scripture. Choosing to truly listen to God’s Word can transform you in a way nothing else can.
Are you resting at His feet?