Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: 24 Hours (01/27/11)
TITLE: A Verse a Day Keeps the Devil Away
By Fern Brown
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Recently my granddaughters discovered a contest to enter, engaging them to learn eight hundred Scripture verses within twelve weeks. One granddaughter challenged my daughter to learn a verse every twenty-four hours. I wanted in on that! I have struggled through the years with busyness, tiredness, illness, and wrong thinking that it’s hard to learn new things. Those thoughts intruded into my brain once again. However, I remembered Philippians 4:13 says, ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.’
My daughter mentioned the verse for a particular day was John 3:18, taking me to a long ago, far away place.
“Sissy,” my oldest sister whispered, shaking me awake again. The house was stuffy and quiet, and through the screened window, I saw that it was very dark outside. Betty continued, “You need to learn your last Bible verse. You’ve memorized one each day all week. You have to say all of them at Bible School tomorrow night.”
“I’ll learn it tomorrow,” I groaned sleepily, pulling the cover over my head.
“Oh no, you won’t, Little Angel. You’ll learn it tonight.” She pulled the sheet from my face and hands. I clung to it, whimpering, as if my life depended on it.
“You’re almost awake. If you put a smile on your grumpy face, you’ll learn faster. Come on. Do I need to pour a glass of cold water on you?”
Rubbing my sleepy eyes, I slowly raised my body to an unstable, sitting position. My lips forced a fake, lopsided smile. I didn’t want cold water to wake me up, and I didn’t want to disappoint my big sister. We practiced in the semi-dark bedroom in hushed tones, not wanting to disturb the rest of the family.
To a bleary-eyed five year old, learning John 3:18 seemed to take forever. I wanted to snuggle under the sheet, curl up and go back to sleep more than once while she mentored me in Scripture memory. Though she was barely thirteen years old, Betty determined to help me learn. She struggled through it with me, even though I steadily drifted in and out of la-la land.
“You have less than twenty-four hours. Tomorrow I cannot help you, Little Sister. Mother and Daddy have to work. I have to baby-sit for you, your brothers and baby sister and there will be very little free time before Bible School starts tomorrow night. I am sorry that you are tired, but you MUST learn it now. I won’t let you sleep until you know it perfectly.” She meant it.
Betty applauded me as I received awards the next evening for bringing visitors and my Bible throughout the week. I could see the pride on her face when I quoted the verses I memorized each day. She held her breath as I flawlessly worked my way through John 3:18.
Though she was extremely hard on a five-year old child, I appreciate valuable life lessons I learned from that single experience.
I realized my need of a Saviour and trusted Jesus Christ for eternal life.
I learned to not be a quitter. If I keep going in God’s strength when things get tough, I’ll overcome any trial.
I gained understanding that if I apply myself, whether I’m too tired, busy or sick, I can do anything God wants me to do in every twenty-four hour period He gives me.
I gained insight that time is fleeting. We can fill twenty-four hours with worthwhile achievements or we can kill time with frivolities. I understand that I simply don’t have time to “kill”.
The Bible is my lifeline. Had she not urged me to treasure it, where would I be today? Would the Bible be the most precious book in my life?
We are indebted to my big sister who took a chunk of time from her daily-allotted twenty-four hours to teach a little girl to love and appreciate God and His Word. Because Betty labored to impress God’s Word into my mind, I learned the importance of teaching our children to love the Bible. In turn, they instruct their children, and their children challenge them and me to stay faithful. Is there a better use of twenty-four hours?
John 3:18KJV He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
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