Have you ever seen someone with their Bible and noticed how much they have marked it up?? If only these Bible’s could talk, I’m sure they would have an interesting story.
It is pretty intimidating to start to write in a Bible. I think back to when we were kids and were told never to write in books; or worse yet, color in books other than actual coloring books. As we have gotten older, there have been many books, including text books and other study materials, we have often highlighted, underlined, and even written notes in to help us remember what was written. Why then, are many afraid to write in their Bibles??
Let me suggest that it is important that we write in our Bibles.
When you see someone who has a Bible that is well worn and written in, it often serves as a picture of a person who has been immersed in reading and studying God’s Word. Through all the years of working their way through the Bible’s pages, time and time again, it tends to reflect a person’s relationship with the Lord and seeking to live for Him. This may not always be the case, but it can more often show a person looking to grow in their faith.
Maybe a good question is, how can a person learn how to write in their Bible??
I don’t think many of us have had much, if any, teaching on what some mature believers do as they write in their Bibles. I know that I have had very little unless I have specifically asked someone. But what I have found is that writing in our Bibles is very similar to how people write in other books.
Writing in our Bibles ends up being some sort of system in which we look to learn and remember the things that have been written. This can sometimes be tricky with Bible pages being really thin and can sometimes bleed through to the other side. It can also be somewhat different if you ever use a digital Bible. But more than being caught up with the actual process of writing in our Bibles, the most important thing is to find a way that works for you.
For me, I have found a combination of circling words, underlining verses, writing notes in the margins, and other punctuation type marks to help me understand, learn, and quickly reference God’s Word. I don’t use a highlighter, but know some that do. Again, it is really more about how we relate to the Bible and looking to grow in our understanding of what is written.
I have found that along with our yearly Bible Reading Plan, it has been a good time to mark the things that the Lord is teaching me as I go each passage. Every time I go back through, there are things that I have missed and reminds me that God’s Word is truly “living and active”. (Hebrews 4:12)
The main goal is trying to become more and more familiar with the Bible. With so few really being taught the Bible today, and even less those who read their Bibles regularly, it is critical that we find ourselves immersed in our reading and studying God’s Word from beginning to end. There are so many things being proclaimed as “Christian”, the only way to know for certain if we are following the Truth is to really know the Bible ourselves.
It isn’t enough just to think that we may have read through the Bible at some point. A true systematic approach to the Bible is the only way to know that we are cherishing all that God has given us. If all we do is open our Bibles for church or on other rare occasions, then it will reflect in our lives and our beliefs.
Many downplay the importance of serious study of Scripture because they think that somehow “Jesus” supersedes the Bible. But in reality, it is the Bible that points us to Jesus; therefore we should take our reading and studying in a serious manner so that we might know Him more. We cannot say that we love the Lord if we don’t have a devotion to the source that points us to Him.
Writing in our Bibles shouldn’t be something we find scary or even neglect. It should be something that we do regularly as we do with many other books. Writing in our Bibles isn’t just an academic practice, but a way that all believers make a serious effort to know God and seek walk in greater faith and obedience to Him.