Colors make me happy. I love looking at rows of crayons in boxes, sorting through my collection of colored pens, and decorating cookies with multicolored sprinkles. So, it’s only natural that I use color in my Bible as well! But when it comes to color coding in my Bible, I use colors intentionally. Color coding is involved in every step of my personal quiet time; in prayer and praise, study, and application.
Who God Is
A few years ago, I started making a list in the back of my study journal of all the things that describe God (holy, just, faithful, etc.). But I didn’t get very far in that list before I switched to a new journal and had to start the list over again. So, when I got my current Bible, I decided to mark the attributes in the Bible.
Prayers and Praises
Praying Scripture is one of my favorite ways to pray. When I don’t know how exactly to pray for someone, I can pray that they will be firmly established in their faith (Col. 1:23), that they will be filled with the knowledge of God’s will so they may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord (Col. 1:9-10), or that they will know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge (Eph. 3:19).
When I’m praying for missionaries that we know, I can pray that they will share the gospel with boldness (Eph. 6:19). To assist in my prayer time, I like to underline prayers in orange, so they are very visible as I look through my Bible for specific prayers. Along the same lines, I underline praises in yellow, so during my praise time, I can praise God the way Moses in Exodus 15 and David in 1 Chronicles 29 did!
Interesting & Repeated Ideas/Phrases
Whenever I stumble upon a verse that I find interesting, I highlight it in yellow. If there is an idea or statement repeated in the book or passage I’m reading, I highlight it in pink. Highlighting repeated ideas/phrases can reveal underlying themes in a book.
For example, two of my favorite themes in Acts are 1) how people were “filled with wonder and amazement” over and over as God showed Himself through the apostles (Acts 3:10; 8:13; 9:21; 13:12 just to name a few!), and 2) “the word of God kept spreading” (Acts 6:7; 11:21; 13:49). Other things that I highlight are descriptions of people (in green), promises of God (in blue), and examples to follow (in orange). Descriptions show us who we should and should not imitate, and they help us see common factors in prominent characters in the Bible. We can set our hope on the promises of God because we know that He will never go back on His promises.
When I was studying one of the epistles, the words “so that” jumped out at me. In Philippians, Paul gives many commands for Christians on how to live and show themselves as God’s children in the world. But, several of these commands are given with a “so that.” “Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach” (Phil. 2:14-15, NASB).
God doesn’t just say or command us to do something for no reason. He gives us reasons, even though, as God, He never is required to explain Himself. Marking these reasons gives me a deeper understanding of what God is teaching through His Word.
These are some of the ways I use color coding to study God’s Word. Every person’s method is a little different, but I hope these ideas inspire you as you strive to grow in learning and loving God’s Word!
Written By National Bible Bee Alumna: Annalysa Cagasan