Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. – Proverbs 22:6.

But He answered and said, “It is written, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”‘ – Matthew 4:4.

During most of my years in grade school, my family did not attend church. However, during the summer, I was allowed to go to Vacation Bible School and I have good memories of those times. It was in Vacation Bible School that I first memorized Scripture. It was in Vacation Bible School that I learned that Jesus always forgives. It was there that I learned that church was not a boring place to be but a fun place where I heard that God loved me. Bible School was a big deal to a little boy trapped out on a farm far away from any friends to play with.

One summer in particular was exciting because I not only went to the Methodist Vacation Bible School but I also was invited to go to the Nazarene Bible School. The Nazarene Bible School was located at a little country church and there I encountered more than fun with my friends. My first day in class our teacher asked us if anyone knew the Lord’s Prayer. Without thinking of the consequences, I held up my hand that I knew it. I did not want everyone to think I didn’t know anything. I had no idea what the Lord’s Prayer was, so I wasn’t prepared for the teacher’s next question. She wanted me to say it! How could I say it when I didn’t even know what it was?

My teacher had a very fitting assignment for me during the rest of the week. My project was to memorize the Lord’s Prayer and say it during the program Saturday night when all the parents would be there to see what their children had made and learned during the week. I can tell you that it was very lonely up there on the stage Saturday night when all by myself I recited the Lord’s Prayer. It was my first experience with Scripture memorization and with public speaking. I now knew what the Lord’s Prayer was!

Bible School helped to form my values, which included the knowledge that there is a God and that I need Him in my life. I learned that God is always listening and that I can talk to Him like a friend. Bible School laid the foundation for my eventually coming to personally know Jesus as my Savior and for my hearing God’s call upon my life.

I still have all of my Vacation Bible School Certificates, which my mother pasted into a scrapbook. Precious memories, which helped to form a life. If you have children, I would encourage you to let them attend Vacation Bible School this summer. Attending Bible School will help to set the values and direction of their lives.

(The importance of early Bible training for children.)

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