While there can be a danger or an abuse in comparing ourselves with other brethren (II Corinthians 10:12), Paul did exhort Timothy to be an example (II Timothy 4:12f), and Peter presents Jesus as an example, in whose steps we are to follow (I Peter 2:21-24). Note an example of some Bible students Jim Waldron presented in his Newsletter (Vol. 51; No. 3; May, 2017).
These students were graduates of the Tamil Nadu Bible Institute in India. There were 29 young ladies (average age-19), and 26 young men (average age– 18), who graduated on April 29th of this year. They had been in a tree year school of Bible study.
One part of their assigned study was to see how many verses of Scripture they could write from memory. One young lady, Gracie, wrote 1013 verses. The 29 young ladies wrote 15,536 verses, or an average of 555 verses per student. There were 9 young men who each wrote over 1,000 verses, and the total for the 26 young men was 22,568 verses—for an average of 868 verses per student. How many verses do You think You could write (at one setting)?
Do you think this type study—this familiarity in God’s Word—this type student “going out with the Gospel” - in any way explains why so many are obeying the Gospel in India??
Do You devote any time to memorizing God’s Word? Would You be upset, as the elders “feed the flock” (Acts 20:28), if they urged You to memorize some Scripture?? Paul charged Timothy to “study” (KJ) - “be diligent” (NAS) - Greek— spoudason [I Aorist, Imperative of spoudazo - “ be zealous or eager, take pains, make every effort”¹] - in the way he handled God’s Word. The first part of that definition even means, “hasten, hurry.” Cf II Timothy 2:15.
How many members of the Lord’s church are doing that today? Are you? When lesson sheets are handed out, do you look up all the passages given? If there are blanks to fill in, do you do Your “homework??” If so, may the Lord bless You in doing and sharing those precious words by which You and others can more richly enjoy the abundant life in Christ Jesus (Matthew 4:4; John 10:10).
- William F. Arndt and F. Wilber Gingrich, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1957, p. 771.