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I Know It's In the Bible Somewhere...
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As Christians we know that our Bibles are an absolutely vital means of knowing God, understanding God’s will for us, being encouraged and challenged and strengthened in our walk with Him, and so on.

But too often we struggle when we want to find a particular passage. We can kind of remember what a verse is about, but we can’t remember where it is in the Bible. We don’t always know the Scriptures well enough. It can be frustrating! We want our Bible to be a daily means of communication from God to us and from us to others, but too often we struggle to find the right passage in a timely way.

Having the Bible on our smartphone or our tablet can help because we can do a quick search for a word or a phrase, but even that isn’t the whole solution.

There’s a discipline I’ve practiced for almost 3 decades now that’s helped me tremendously and it might be a blessing to you, too. It’s a discipline I learned while I was in college from a wise Bible teacher I looked up to greatly. People ask me about it from time to time, so I thought I'd share it with you.

The Bible in Living Color
I want to suggest that you consider coloring your Bible. I’ve been coloring my Bibles since 1981 and it’s been a huge blessing to me and I can’t tell you how many times it’s helped me find passages I’ve been looking for.

Especially as a Growth Group Bible study leader.

A question comes up in a discussion and I know there's a great verse to answer it, and even if I can’t remember the exact verse reference, or sometimes even which book it’s in, I can often find what I’m looking for by quickly scanning the colors.

And you don’t need to be a leader to see the benefit. Any time you discuss God’s Word with someone individually or in a group, you can benefit from this practice.

First let me tell you the benefits I’ve seen and then I’ll get specific on how I do it.


  • Coloring your Bible helps you stay focused while you read.
    You’ve probably had this happen lots of times: You’re reading your Bible in your devotional time and then your mind drifts off to something else. And then you catch yourself and try to refocus your attention and you have to re-read the paragraph because you lost the train of thought.
    If you’re going to color particular phrases in the passage specific colors, you need to read and understand what’s being said in each phrase. You’re way more likely to stay focused.
  • Coloring your Bible helps you easily locate verses.
    If you’re looking for an appropriate verse on, say, salvation, and you’re pretty sure it’s in one of Paul’s letters, or maybe in the book of Romans, you can easily flip through the pages and spot the related verses because all the verses related to that topic are a specific color.
  • Coloring your Bible helps you see subject patterns over pages and books.
    You’ll easily begin to see which chapters and books deal with which major subjects. This will help you when you need to look up these topics.

Now, this kind of coloring works best on one of those old-fashioned paper Bibles (remember those?). Most eBibles enable you to highlight verses, but the ones I’ve used won’t let you highlight parts of verses different colors – you can only highlight the whole verse one color. That can be helpful, but not as helpful as being able to highlight specific phrases within verses.

There are quite a number of different color schemes you can find (just do a simple Google search), or you can come up with one yourself that will best suit your needs, but here are the colors I’ve used.

Color scheme (in no particular order):

  • Yellow – Anything related to the nature and character of God
  • Red – Anything related to the suffering, blood, death, and resurrection of Jesus
  • Blue – Anything related to the person and work of the Holy Spirit
  • Green – Anything related to grace and salvation
  • Purple – Anything related to prayer or praying or written prayers
  • Brown – Anything related to sin and the judgment of God
  • Orange – Anything related to Scripture or the Law

In addition to that, I mark in the margins a couple of specific symbols. Passages that have anything related to Satan or the devil, I mark next to it in the margin a red pitchfork symbol. And I mark specific miracles with a red “M” in the margin next to the text. I also underline noteworthy verses with a black pen.

One important thing to remember is that you only color the specific words or phrases that relate to that topic. Many sentences in the Bible contain several of these topics in the same sentence, so you may have a sentence with 2 or 3 or 4 different colors in it.

What does it end up looking like? Here are a few examples:






I hope you’ll give it a try! It just may help you see things in the Word you’ve never noticed before. And it may energize your devotional times that may have gone flat. Remember, you can use different colors from I use and highlight different kinds of topics, just be consistent throughout the Bible! It’ll make your searching much simpler.

Whether you color or not, read the Scriptures! Read all of it. It’s all God’s Word and it’s all important. Happy coloring!



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