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Twelve-year-old me was upstairs in my room practicing my violin when I heard a strange voice downstairs. Soon I heard clapping and cheering and then more strange voices. I went downstairs to investigate, and in that moment, I got my first taste of the National Bible Bee. (Okay, maybe it wasn’t the first taste. Our family had signed up in 2011, but opening the box with our supplies was pretty much as far as it went.)

As we watched the 2016 semi-finals and finals, my older sister decided to compete the following year. She put all the dates on that calendar, and, through her, our family officially became involved in the National Bible Bee.

I know that when my family first started participating in the National Bible Bee, I didn’t want to do it. It didn’t excite me, and I wasn’t interested. I wanted to study the Bible; I wanted to memorize Scripture; but I wanted to do it my way, which was the easy way.

As I helped my sister study and met people from the National Bible Bee, my attitude changed because I saw how studying Scripture through it had impacted their lives. I decided to try the Summer Study, and little by little I spent more and more time in God’s Word.

Recently, as I’ve looked back over my time participating in the National Bible Bee, I’ve seen just how much it has encouraged me to grow in the Lord. Both through the Bible study and the incredible friends I have met through it, I have been encouraged in my relationship with God. 

I realized just how much Christ grows us through the time we dedicate to spending in His Word and communing with Him. I don’t think I could put into words all the ways God has blessed me through the time spent with Him as my walk with Him has deepened. He has given me strength, hope, and joy every day. He has shown me what it means to rejoice in all circumstances. He has given me an increased desire to spend time with Him and is teaching me to always turn to Him in prayer first. He has helped me to conquer and show love in areas I have always struggled with. I could go on and on, but the bottom line is that Jesus has made me more like Himself through my relationship with Him.

I would encourage you to spend time in God’s Word. Don’t let time stop you; afterall, we should be giving God the firstfruits of our time, not the last. God blesses time that is given to Him  –  I know from experience.

The National Bible Bee is an incredible way to grow in Christ  –  take it from someone who thought she would never want to do it. You can spend just twenty minutes before breakfast studying the Bible and committing your day to the Lord. That is the best way you can spend your time. You will never regret it!

Written by NBB Participant: Macy Carpenter