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The Perks of Being a Bible Quizzer: The Case For Setting Your Mind On Scripture

The Perks of Being a Bible Quizzer: The Case For Setting Your Mind On Scripture

When I was growing up, my dad helped lead a Bible quizzing program at our church and his energy and enthusiasm about it was contagious. Though I sometimes gave my parents a hard time about it, and even tried to quit once or twice, I was a highly engaged Bible quizzer from 3rd–12th grade.  

Looking back, I must confess that Bible quizzing is one of the best things that ever happened to me. Every year we would study a different book (or books) of the New Testament, and we had to be very familiar with the material, even memorizing particular verses and passages, to be successful in the competition.

Despite all of that Scripture in my mind, even as a Bible quizzer, I still found a way to be a rascal in many of my interpersonal relationships, but that was no fault of the Scripture. My life contains many mistakes, but my involvement in Bible quizzing, which led me to ingest large amounts of the New Testament into my long term memory, and eventually into my heart, is not one of them. 

I backed my way into immersing my mind in Scripture as a child, but now in adulthood, I have found it to be extremely helpful for the learning involved in discipleship to Jesus. 

 

The Why

If we have accepted the status of disciple (a student or apprentice) of Jesus Christ, then, as good students, what we fill our minds with will have important ramifications on our learning. As disciples of Jesus, our course of study is to learn how to live our lives within the reign and action of God, just like Jesus would if he were us. Such a way is outlined for us in Scripture.

In Psalm 1:1–3, we find a picture of the kind of person whose delight is in God’s law or word, and meditates on it day and night: he or she is like a tree planted by streams of water. Their fruit yields in season, their leaf does not wither, and whatever they do prospers. This kind of  student or disciple has their mind on the material, and will be successful in learning kingdom living.

How could we expect to grow in Christlikeness, if we don’t recognize our obligation to set our minds on the material of the course? If we set our mind on “whatever,” then “whatever” will be our result. The lesson of garbage in, garbage out, is completely accurate.   

Can you imagine failing a course, and then complaining to your teacher, “Oh… you actually expected me to study?” 

If our goal is to learn to live in cooperation with God’s action, then, as students, there is material available for us to set our minds upon to aid us in that pursuit. 

We can do this, and we can start afresh today. 

 

The How

With the right “why” in hand,  we are motivated and prepared to ask how we might immerse our minds in Scripture. 

To this end, Dallas Willard offers 3 keys for setting our minds on Scripture: 

 

  1. Concentration: We have to actually set our attention on the Scripture.
  2. Repetition: We have to go over the same material multiple times to become familiar with it.
  3. Understanding: We must understand it for it to be profitable to our hearts.  Sometimes looking at multiple Bible translations or resources like commentaries, BibleProject podcast and videos, and audio Bible recordings can help. 

If you are ready to concentrate, repeat, and understand Scripture, here are a few passages to start with. I know you will find many more to add to the list!

Psalm 23
Proverbs 3:5–8
Isaiah 40:27–31
Philippians 4:4–9
Colossians 3:1-17

In Psalm 119:11, we read, “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”

May this be true of each one of us this year, and for the rest of our earthly sojourn. 

What if Jesus really isn’t dead? Now what?

What if Jesus really isn’t dead? Now what?

Life Changing Moments

 

We all have moments that change not only how we show up in life but what we are even able to comprehend in life.  

Some are truly marvelous. I applied and actually got in! She said, “Yes!” We’re pregnant! I got the promotion! They found the cure!

Others are unimaginably brutal. He left me! I lost everything! I hit rock bottom! I’m getting evicted! She didn’t make it….

Whether good or bad moments, after you go through them you are never the same. 

Now imagine those first followers of Jesus. They probably were used to being surprised after three years of following him from town to town, but when they saw him beaten within an inch of his life and then crucified, everything they held dear was taken from them in a moment. After the trauma of Jesus’ death, they were running from the authorities, running from themselves, and questioning God. Why? How can this even be happening? When he said he was going, that he was going to die, I never thought….

Then in the midst of unbearable sadness, grief, and sorrow, Jesus came back to life. Jesus actually came back to them alive after dying. They couldn’t have fathomed a crucified Messiah, but even that pales in comparison to the thought that Jesus would come back to life. And yet, there he was; flesh and blood, warmth and breath, standing with scars. 

There was no mistaking it was Jesus, but what could this mean? Why death and then, maybe even more puzzling, why resurrection? How could he come back to life? And then in the midst of those thoughts there is the question of what this means for each of us. 

 

Now What? 


Together we want to explore not merely the plausibility of Jesus’ resurrection—although that is a worthwhile journey—but more, the consequences of death not having the final word. We want to explore the “Now what?” of Jesus’ resurrection for a world riddled with death and decay. Jesus’ resurrection is not merely an idea to ponder but a change in reality to embrace.

And if you are hungry for change anywhere in your life, this is a question of supreme importance. Imagine what this could mean for you! Think of those areas that feel defined by death; a relationship, financial status, an addiction, self-mortifying guilt or self-eroding anger. Jesus’ resurrection has a massive impact on history, and Jesus’ resurrection life has life-altering, imagination-expanding, hope-cultivating power for you personally.

What could Jesus’ resurrection mean for you? For me? For us?

 

Join us!


We hope you join us as our study of the Gospel of John continues to reveal the extraordinary importance of Jesus actually being alive, and what that has to do with how
you live today. This isn’t something just for your neighbor, spouse, friend, or child. This is for you, but invite them, too. Why? Because life longs to bring more life. If you’ve tasted this life, you’ll want others to experience Jesus’ life too! 

You know what’s amazing? If Jesus couldn’t stay dead after being crucified in the first century, that means the life-giving work recorded in the first century for you and me is only the beginning of what he is continuing to do today. 

What if Jesus really didn’t stay dead? Now what? 

 

Invite


If you already believe in Jesus’ resurrection, below is a video we created to promote the beginning of this new journey of study starting on Easter Sunday. Go ahead and share it. Share it on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or wherever God has you. What might our resurrected Lord Jesus do through your invitations this Easter? Let’s find out!