Do you sometimes find that reading the Bible is a little “black-and-white”. That is because our Bibles are printed that way. Well, O.K. some have some red letters in them in the New Testament, but the other some-odd percent is just black and white.
This can make it tough sometimes to see the full color of what the Bible has to offer. If you are looking for a way to add some color to your daily Bible here is any easy way to do so.
First, get a new Bible.
When I first began this, I bought a new Bible that is bigger than my normal one. I did this so the pages won’t have that familiar look to them to aid in my concentration. You can of course use the one you are already using, but I found that starting fresh gave me an opportunity to read the Scriptures for the “first” time since all my notes, etc. were not there.
Second, get a pack of colored pencils.
I bought a set of 36 colors. The lead needs to be relatively soft so it won’t tear the pages, but firm enough to not rub onto the other pages. You’ll want to test them out on a page that you won’t mind getting torn if the pencil is too firm or smudged if too soft.
Third, make a list and put it in your Bible of what colors mean what.
Feel free to use any color for any category you want and to add to it. Here’s a list to get you started;
Work of God Dark Green
Commands/ Light Green
Reason’s from God Light Blue
Worship Dark blue
Just because orange
i.e. it doesn’t fit the others but you want it highlighted
Promise of God Light purple
Fourth, go color!
Now you are ready to begin. Start by having the colored pencils and the list by your side and within reach. Sitting at a table or in a chair that has a large armrest helps. This makes it easy to color without having to balance everything on your lap.
Now, color over the word(s) and phrases that correspond to your list while reading.
For example, Genesis 1:1 is all dark green for the work of God.
Genesis 2:3 is half dark green “Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it” and the other half, light blue “because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.”
Another example Genesis 16:9 I have highlighted in light green the words, “return,” and “submit” as they are commands from God to Hagar.
Furthermore, every time God says, “I will” I have that in either aqua for encouragement or light purple for a promise, or sometimes both if I cannot decide. i.e. Gen 2:18; 6:13; 7:4; 8:21, 12:1, 2, etc.
When I find things that talk about the character or person of God I use yellow as in Genesis 8:21 or in Psalm 18:2 “the Lord is my rock and my fortress, and my deliverer;” etc.
Sometimes, I use orange to color something to either stand out from the rest or because it doesn’t seem to fit the other categories. For example, In Deuteronomy 11:22 I used orange to color the word “if” in an otherwise light green sentence, just to point out the condition in it. Another example is in Judges, I used orange to write in the margins the years that they judged for.
Still further, I sometimes use orange to highlight a text note to make it easy to come back to.
I find this “color-coding” method to be helpful as it enables me to easily come back to specific scriptures and/or ideas, themes, etc. This is because just by the color of a page (or set pages/book) it is easy to see what is going on. This has helped me be both encouraged and challenged by scriptures in a new way.
By using colors, it also adds to my concentration of the passages as I am looking for key words and phrases then coloring them. This helps cut down on distractions and encourages me to focus on each word without just “glossing over”. This then helps me add deeper meaning to my reading, especially when I re-read the text.
It has also helped me to pray through scripture as the prayers of others are highlighted and I can use those or other scripture that are commands to help me see where I am falling short and to have compassion on others.
If you feel a bit funny using colored pencils, just invite your children to help you and make it a time of reading and deciding what colors should go where together. What a great opportunity to open the scriptures, minister to your children, and be ministered to.
So I encourage you to get out there and color and see how God will enrich your Bible reading and devotional time together.