Thursday, February 27, 2014

Practical Christian Know How Part 3- Tabbing Your Bible

So here we are in week three of the Practical Christian Know How Series. Three weeks already! Man, how the time flies! I hope that you are learning things that can help you in your daily Christian walk.

I know this was supposed to be done yesterday but I had a CRAZY day! So better late than never huh!? Let's get busy.

What is tabbing your Bible and how do you do it?

Tabbing my Bible started when I had a problem. I would be talking to someone and I knew there was a certain verse that related to what we were talking about. I could remember the overall content of the verse but could never remember it verbatim nor could I remember where in the Bible it was. Then there was times that I was in a situation personally and I wished I could remember some scriptures to help me. This led me on a search. I had to do something! I could memorize the entire Bible, which I find highly impossible to do. (since I have to write down what I need to do tomorrow or risk forgetting it) Or I could find a creative way to mark my Bible where I could find it in a hurry. (Side note- I do work at memorizing scripture. However, it takes me a little while to learn one verse much less learn all of the ones that I wanted to remember. Memorizing scripture is important so do not think I am saying do not do it!)

The first system I tried was writing a few words of the verse in the back of my Bible and then beside it listing the reference as to where it was. But that did not work as I had a long list to scan down. How could I mark my Bible? Then it hit me! We used "tabs" or flags to find things on paperwork in a hurry, why could I not do that with my Bible? I could!!

So I decided I would color code everything. I do my calendar and files that way, why not my Bible too!? I used the same pens that I had bought before.(You can read about them in my post, "My Favorite Bible Study Method". ) Then I needed some flags that would be the same colors as the pens I had.

I found these Post-It flags at Staples. At the time they were on special for $6.00. That was a lot of flags so I got two of them. One for now and one for later! Now to start tabbing!

I decided to place them at the top of my Bible since when I held my Bible in my lap, that part would be safe from pulling the tabs off. I placed my first tab at the front of my Bible up next to the inside binding. This would be my guide as to where to place the rest of the coordinating tabs in my Bible. Red for me is verses about Anger. So I went through my Bible and found all the verses that I liked about anger. I underlined the verse in red (since that matched my tab) and then I placed a tab at the top of the page-only leaving about a quarter of an inch sticking off of the page & remembering to keep the tab in line with the other one on the front page. That way when I stood my Bible up (like the picture at the top of the page),  all of the same colored tabs were in line with one another.

Now if I am angry I can get my Bible out, flip to a page with a red tab sticking out and I can read God's word about how my anger is dangerous if it leads me to sin. (Psalms 4:4)

Then I continued with some other themes I wanted to be able to reference in a hurry. In my Bible I did purple to mark encouraging verses, light blue for the Holy Spirit, light green for how a Christian is supposed to live, dark blue is for forgiveness and orange is for verses that tells about how God is all knowing.

As you see on the page pictured above and to the left, these particular two pages, left and right spread, have verses about encouragement and the Holy Spirit. Because the tabs are placed in the exact same location on every page, I can put multiple tabs on every page. Since this page did not have any verses that I marked about anger, it does not have a tab in the first section. (Which would have been a red tab.) I underlined the verses for encouragement in purple and the verses about the Holy Spirit in light blue, so they match the tabs.

Now let's see how this would make your everyday life easier. Let's say you were having a down day. You got an unexpected bill in the mail and you did not have the money there to pay for it, you felt discouraged. So you get your Bible out and look for a purple tab. You flip your Bible open to the marked page and look for the purple ink. There is your verse!! You read it but still do not feel encouraged. You look for another purple tab. You flip there, look for the purple ink and read that verse. You can continue doing that until you feel a change of mind.

You see Romans 12:2 says, "And do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is the good, acceptable and perfect will of God." If you do not put God's Word where you can readily access it, you are not going to be picking up God's Word and using it to renew your mind. We need to dwell on Scripture!

I know there are smart phones and more now that have Bible apps on them, but I am old fashioned and like my paper copy. I carry it around with me everywhere. I treasure my Bible. Why? Because it has helped me in so many ways that I can not count them all.

Where is your Bible? Is it sitting on a shelf somewhere covered with dust? Is it still in the back seat of your car from Sunday morning? If you do not feel close to God I can guarantee that you do not read your Bible. I can not tell you how many times that God has spoke (not audibly but through His word and felt Him in my spirit) and gave me an answer to something that I was praying about.

Tabbing my Bible has helped me SO much! I encourage you to give it a try. See if it helps you too! Let me know below how things are going for you if you do give it a try! Good luck & may God's Word be with you!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for this post. I have a small compact bible that I have wanted to bevel the edges/margin with a highlighter so I could find verses quickly. However, the publisher left literally a centimeter of space in the margin. I don't have enough space to color. It didn't dawn on me that my post it flags could serve as the highlight. I'm using eight colors for topics, so I'm not sure if I have enough space on the right side of the bible for all the colors. if not, then I'll probably cut the tabs in half to make them narrower. Thanks for this tip!