Here’s another updation to you all. It was a long and nervous 2 days, but IT WAS ALL WORTH IT! Not just because I placed in the top 20, top 7, and top 3 (with grueling tie-breaking rounds between us), but because I got to be a trumpet blast (even if I had to whisper) of the preciousness of God’s Word. I am so provoked by all these kids who have treasured the Word of God not only in their minds but in their hearts. This Bible Bee is not about our diligence and how awesome we are, it is about the worth of Jesus and His Words, that they really are better than life (for most of us this meant: better than friends, games, evenings, afternoons, mornings, and even junk food that would hinder us from knowing the Word).
I am especially provoked by the other 2 of “the three”, Daniel Staddon and Ellen Lawrence. That was the funnest tie breaker of my life. They are crazy awesome and so humble! What kind of competitors root for you to win, even though knowing that your loss is their gain?! Thank you all for supporting me. I am abundantly blessed and have absolutely no reason of remorse for even getting 2nd. In the end we are all headed for a wedding feast (Rev. 19) and we will rejoice that we won the greatest competition, the competition that begins today, when after you walk out of J.W. Marriott, whether win or lose, and you press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Phil. 3). It is the prize of being pleasing to Jesus, of being seen by Him when no one else sees you. It won’t matter if you’re really smart or get F’s, if you’re young or old, male or female, if you embrace today that narrow way of love, of keeping and teaching (live it and speak it) His commandments, you will be GREAT (Mt. 5:19). I tell you what, our hearts are desperate to be seen, to be noticed, to be great. And yet mystery of mysteries, the greatest glory is found in serving your brother/sister/mother/father (Mt. 22:36-40, Gal. 5:13-14). Then God is going to CROWN YOU (2 Tim. 4:7-8, Rev. 2:10)! God is going to HONOR YOU (1 Pet. 1:7)! Your resurrected body will shine because of the love you displayed in the secret place (Mt. 6:1-18, Dan. 12:3). Know that, as I said in the final round, “Jesus is interceding for us right now” (Rom. 8:34), He is praying that in this race of faith (1 Tim. 6:11-12, Heb. 12:1-2, Phil. 3:11-16, 1 Cor. 9:24-27), your faith would not fail (Luke 22:34-31)! So, as Paul did not cease to pray, may we also pray (even if it be in constant 15 second prayers) that we would be “strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience (endurance) with joy” -Col. 1:11 Whether you are a full-time mother, a pastor, a student, a kid, a full-time businessman, do not be deceived! If you faithfully sow to the Spirit (by talking with Him, yielding to, and obeying Him as He teaches you to love and serve), you will reap eternal life and greatness in the age to come (Mt. 20:26-28). Do not grow weary in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not loose heart (Gal. 6:7-10)!