Thursday, March 13, 2014

Write in Your Bible; Leave a Legacy

Do you have any particularly favorite verses in the Bible? When I determined to read the Bible for myself back in 1998, I first prayed to God to help me to simply understand it and then to give me a desire to read it.

As I traveled more and more through His Word, I began to underline favorite passages. As I learned more about how to study my Bible, I began to highlight passages in certain colors that stood for certain subjects:passages about His promises to us, passages directed at women, passages about the Holy Spirit, etc. I have also incorporated symbols above words: a heart above the word, "love" for example. When I return to a book in which I have done this, I can see where there is a section devoted to this topic and I pay attention to it more in that manner.

Years later, in a storybook I read to my girls, there was a boy looking at his grandmother's Bible and he would spy the initials, "T.P." sprinkled along the margins or next to certain passages. When he asked his mother what they meant, she replied that those initials meant, "tested and proved." Right away, I adopted this for myself too, looking in the Word - and paying attention in my life as I began to know His Word - for those verses which I had experienced myself and which had become, "tested and proved."

It was then that I realized, too, that my own notes in the margins could reach across generations and say things to my children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and more, that I may never get to tell them in person.

Now I write notes of fascinating historical context in the margins of my Bible. I write other translations of verses next to certain passages - translations of particular beauty and clarity - that deepen my understanding of what it being said. I make notes for myself, but I also always have in mind the eyes of someone dear to me, or even the eyes of someone dear that I may never meet this side of Heaven.

Some people have Bibles that, perhaps, they feel are too precious to write in and I understand that. My Bible is a paperback study Bible that I chose in order to study and so that I felt that I could make notes in it if I so desired. After a number of years I began to wonder if I should get a nicer Bible. But that often means a leather cover and I didn't want that if I could avoid it. And then I thought that it would take me a long time to re-write all the things I had written for myself into another Bible. Because I think I will always want to write in my Bible. I want to pay close attention to God's Word in my life and remember those things that are T.P. And I want to share that with others. I don't have a lot, materially, to leave to others when I walk out of this earthly plane, but God's Word is a treasure that leads to a rich life. If that is my only legacy, I am pleased it is mine.

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