Are you looking for a way to get more out of your Bible reading time?
Would you like to stay more focussed on what you are reading?
Would you like to make your Bible reading more interesting?
Color coding your Bible may be the answer.
What is color coding?
Color coding your Bible is using colors to highlight or mark out important or meaningful words, phrases or even passages using different colors.
You may use one color to highlight one category such as God’s character, another color for faith, another color for prayer, another for God’s promises and so on.
What are the benefits?
The main benefit of color coding is that it slows down the reading process, it gives you an opportunity to think about what you are reading, and allows you time to process the passage or verse.
It can help you to stay more focussed on what you are reading and a little less open to distractions.
It adds structure to what you are doing rather than just randomly highlighting verses with no real format to it.
Color coding can make it easier to find special passages at a later time. For example, if you are having a difficult day and you want to be encouraged by God’s promises you can easily go to your Bible and find the promises you have highlighted.
What do I need?
Firstly, you need a plan. Think about what categories you want to work with and which colors you want to allocate them. For example you may use God (Blue), Jesus (Red), Holy Spirit (Purple), Prayer (Aqua), Promises (Yellow), Sin (Brown), Faith (Orange), whatever you want and however many you want.
Then you will need your colors. You can use pencils, pens, highlighters, but be careful, especially if your Bible has thin pages, that your colors don’t bleed through to the other side of your page. You may also want to use a ruler to keep lines straight, or an eraser in case of any mistakes, and of course a pencil sharpener to keep your pencils in good coloring condition.
How do I do it?
Now to get started!
I think it’s always a good idea to pray first before any study of the Scriptures.
Psalm 119:18 says, “Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things out of your law”. I like to ask the Holy Spirit to open my spiritual eyes to see and understand what He wants to show me and teach me.
Next read the passage through at least once without making any markings. Read the passage through again this time asking yourself questions about the passage, the context, the author, the recipients, use the cross references (usually found either at the bottom of the page or in the centre column) to gain a better understanding of the passage and how it fits in the context of the Bible as a whole.
As you read through the third time you are ready to start color coding. You can read through as many times as you need to go through each of your categories and marking up what you find.
You may also want to use a notebook or a journal to record what the Holy Spirit has shown you.
James 1:22-25 encourages us to be doers of the Word and not just hearers only. Once you have finished your Bible reading and color coding you may want to pray again and ask God to help you to apply the things that you have learned into your life.
As you spend the time color coding, and thinking more deeply about God’s Word, you will find yourself reflecting on God’s Word more throughout the day.