This post was originally published as Bible Study Made Simple podcast episode 17, 3 Tips for Using a Color-Code. You can listen here.
Have you ever wanted to use a color-code in your Bible but don’t know where to start? Today, we will go over my top 3 tips for using a color-code in your BIble study.
I am Eva Kubasiak, and this is Bible Study Made Simple. Have you ever felt intimidated or confused by the Bible? Or maybe you have started studying the Bible before but haven’t found a way to incorporate it into your regular routine. The Bible Study Made Simple podcast is here to help you move from intimidated and confused to confident and joyful in your approach to Scripture, and help you find a routine that sticks. The goal isn’t checking off a box perfectly, but instead, our goal is an intimate connection with the God of the Bible - plus having tons of fun along the way!
In episode 16 of the Bible Study Made Simple podcast (blog link), we talked about the benefits and why you might use a Bible study color-code. Today, we will go over my top 3 tips for starting with one.
I love a new Bible. Bible shopping is my favorite time of the year. In fact, I usually get a new Bible each year, and that helps me trace what God is teaching me in each season of my life. It also gives me the chance to change translations and read through the Bible in that translation. For 2022, I got a New Living Translation Bible, wrapped in leather from Paul’s Leather Company. This isn’t sponsored or anything, I just love their Bibles!
However, some people are the exact opposite of me and use the same Bible year after year and struggle to get a new one. You probably know right away which category you fall in! So tip #1 may be hard if you are in group 2, but my tip is to start a new color-code with a new Bible.
If you haven’t marked in your Bible yet, or if you haven’t marked much, this isn’t as big of an issue. You don’t want to get confused about if you underlined something in blue because it was something your preacher said once, or if it is a part of the color-code you are using.
So my first tip is to get a new Bible, and particularly one you don’t mind writing in. I have a few Bibles that are really special to me and so I prefer to not mark in those. However, the Bible I am using on a day to day basis, I want to make sure I am good to mark in that one.
And one other option is using a Scripture journal, or even just printing off each book of the Bible as you are going through it. Something to give you a blank slate to approach Scripture with fresh eyes.
My next tip is to write your color-code out and carry it with you. If you use my color-code from the Word in Color course, I actually have a bookmark printable included where you can just print off the color-code. There is nothing more inconvenient than sitting down with your Bible and getting ready to study, and you can’t remember if pink is a promise or if green is, and then searching to find the last promise you underlined in your Bible! Write it down, and keep it handy.
When I was first learning my color-code, I would write it out in the front of each Bible I used. This would help me to remember, but also to not lose my bookmark.
And my last tip is to start small. Don’t start off with 17 colors and symbols. Start with 3. Yep, just 3.
I have tried a bunch of systems over the years, and I even tried one where I had a full notebook page of symbols and colors and underlines and boxes, and it just got too overwhelming! Goodness, who could keep up with that? Not me!
So I stick with my basic 9 colors, and I recommend that you start with only 3. The Word in Color is actually broken down into 3 units, with 3 colors in each unit specifically so you can go at your own pace through the lessons, and pick up the next 3 colors only when you are ready.
Out of those first 3 colors that you start with, I highly recommend that the first color be characteristics of God. Remember, the Bible is a book about God and we want to look for who He is on the pages of His Word. So start small, and make one of those represent characteristics of God.
So there you have it. My 3 tips for color-coding in your Bible. Get a new Bible or a Scripture journal you don’t mind marking in, write the color-code down to help you remember it, and then start small and look for God. Color-coding adds that extra umph to your Bible reading, and I would love to see you try it!
One of the things that I mark with my color code is prayers. Prayers in the Bible are so powerful, and one of the ones that comes to mind regularly for me is in Psalm 43. The Psalmist is crying out to God, and as he is asking for guidance, he says, “send out your light and your truth; let them guide me.” Maybe you could use a little guidance or wisdom in your life today? Here’s a prayer based on Psalm 43:3 for you to borrow.
Father, when life is hard and I need your direction, send Your light and Your truth. When life brings several decisions that need to be made, send Your light and Your truth to guide me. As I am learning more about who You are, and leaning in close, send Your light and Your truth to pull me in. I am grateful that You aren’t a God of confusion, worry, or distance, but instead, You are a God who clarifies, carries my burdens, and draws me close. Amen.
As you take your next steps towards God through studying the Bible, I pray that you remember our goal is connection with God over perfection in our process. Remember, your time with God doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.