Before I got married, I served in several ministries in church. My favourite was the Bible Challenge ministry. We would meet once in a year and train to compete with other churches for the Bible Challenge trophy . During the competition, we had the judges test our knowledge of the book we memorised in a Bible trivia. We were tested on the authorship of the book, the purpose of the writer, the time it was written, the original language of the manuscript, the meaning of the contents of the letter, and intricate details such as names of people, places, and events mentioned in the book. Paul the Apostle’s letters were often the ones we did. The judges would also test the competing teams and the audience in attendance on scriptural knowledge from other parts of the Bible. There would be other individual gifts apart from the overall trophy.
In preparation for the competition, we would be required to memorise an entire book of the Bible, chapter by chapter, verse by verse, word-perfectly in the NIV 1984 translation. As we approached the competition, we would give ourselves weekly memory targets and meet on Sunday to recite them and have a Bible study on those sections. I remember memorising the entire books of 2nd Timothy, 1st John, and Colossians. Today I can recite some whole sections from those books straight out of my mind.
The real beauty of the Bible Challenge ministry was not in the winning of the trophy (which we did severally as CITAM Valley Road). Neither was it in the several smaller gifts one could bag on the day of the competition. Nor was it in the awe and wonder of the congregants when as a team we would recite the entire memorised book in one, clean, word-perfect run before the whole church whenever we brought the trophy home. Nor was it in the benefit of brain cell and muscle memory improvement. The real beauty was in the personal character-development and transforming work of the Holy Spirit using the very scriptures we memorised. He would use the memorised verses to rebuke, correct, instruct and train us in our personal walks with God.
I couldn’t help but notice my Christian sanctification cooperate more with the LORD and less with the flesh the more we met every Sunday to study the verses we memorised as we prepared for the competition. I couldn’t help but notice my pride humbled more in my conversations with people. I couldn’t help but notice the voice of God become clearer in my mind. I couldn’t help but notice a sharper conviction concerning sin and righteousness. I couldn’t help but notice having significant supernatural strength in the face of temptation.
I remember hearing other members of the Bible Challenge team confess that their prayer life improved because of the ministry. The scriptures improved their prayerful expression and intimacy. Some confessed that they began reading the Bible daily after the challenge. Others admitted that their doctrinal soundness sharpened because it became harder to abuse Bible verses when they knew and understood their context and the themes that surrounded the book. Some confessed that they overcame strongholds of their minds that made them believe that they had a bad memory.
More research outside our personal experiences revealed that Christians who developed an intimate relationship with the scriptures easily overcame bouts of depression, suicidal thoughts, porn addictions, alcohol dependency, fear, anxiety, and loneliness (see: www.centerforbibleengagement.org). I began to understand what David meant when he said in Psalm 19:10-11 [The scriptures are]…more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb. By them your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward.” (NIV)
It was not enough to get these benefits simply from memorising an entire book. The benefit was activated when the soul obeyed the memorised words. If your soul is bent on doing its own will against God’s, you will abhor the Bible Challenge ministry. I have come to see that scripture memory is a fine way to train children to internalise the truths of the word of God. Scripture memory, however, is not only for Sunday school children. An adult who keeps the scriptures in their wrought memory will find them very useful in times of anxiety, fear, doubt, and any turmoil that works against the peace and contentment of their soul and spirit. Those scriptures will be fished out by the Holy Spirit in time of need to do the ultimate and most intimate task of our interaction with the Bible- meditation.
Biblical meditation is unlike worldly meditation. Worldly meditation often involves emptying yourself as you anticipate an infilling by an exterior force. Biblical meditation, on the other hand, involves filling your mind with thoughts of the Lord and the truths of His word, then pondering on them over and over until they refresh your soul and spirit as an internal force. In my few 19 years as a Christian, I have found that it is more expedient to meditate when you already know the scriptures in your mind and in your heart. Scripture memory greatly facilitates biblical meditation.
I want to challenge you to consider joining a Bible Challenge ministry in your church. You can begin to really impact yourself spiritually. And if you don’t have such a ministry, you can prayerfully consider starting one, as the LORD leads you. You will benefit others as well.
In the spirit of augmenting the work of Bible Challenge ministries and to continue in the task to inspire men and women in the faith to know their Bible more, I came up with a board game to test your knowledge of the Bible and help you know the scriptures while having competitive fun at the same time. We are calling it “LOGOS- The Ultimate Board Game.”
Logos is a Greek Word that means God’s divine revelation. We have a board, a maximum of five teams, a timer, and an explosion of fun that will make you want to really rev your Bible knowledge engines.
Your Bible Challenge ministry doesn’t have to meet once a year waiting for the annual competition. They can build up their passion for the scriptures with Logos during game nights, sleepovers, picnics, and ministry hangouts. You can make this purchase for your church. Logos is available for 4900 KES.
And even if you have no passion or desire to join the Bible Challenge ministry of your church, you can buy this game for them as a gift and a blessing to the Body of Christ. You could also purchase it for the youth ministries of your church for their after-church hangouts. The proceeds of this game go towards the running and fundraising of the ministry that my wife and I run (The Relationship Centre Ltd).
You can get your game by sending 4900 to Mpesa Paybill Number: 204 634 Account: Logos (It will read THE RELATIONSHIP CTR). Once you make your payment, fill in this online form and we shall deliver the game to you: https://www.penstrokes.co.ke/logos/