I underline (love gel ink with sparkles in it) and I highlight (yellow, pink, & orange are my colors of choice). I make notes anywhere there is white space, hopefully with pens that won’t “bleed through”. I use the little sticky “flags” to mark particular pages so I can find them quickly. Some passages all I do is write a date in the margin. When I run across those dates, sometimes I know exactly what was going on in my life then; other times, I’ve forgotten what seemed so important at that time. (Yes, that is a page from my Bible at right, the same page I’m writing about.)
While I’m a very technology-type of gal (I sometimes use the Bible on my iPhone in church or at BSF; I love my Logos software on the computer), I want my leather Bible with its thin sheets of paper when I’m studying. I want my highlighters and pens and ruler on my desk, ready to use at any moment. My Bible is very personal to me, and there is comfort in going to it every morning to see what God has to say to me.
Sorry. Went slightly off topic there.
I have learned to be better about dating the notes I write in my Bible, but the one I came to today was not one of those:
“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” (Luke 22:31–32, NASB95)
At the top of the page, I had written this:
22:31 “you” is plural in the Greek––the devil wants to sift everyone. 22:32 “you” is singular here. Jesus prays specifically for Simon and for anyone whom God allows Satan to sift.
Since I don’t know Greek and am only able to comment on Greek and Hebrew because of my Logos software that allows me to hover the cursor over a word and learn the original root of that English word, I know the source of that note was from someone else. Perhaps a commentary, but more than likely a sermon. Wish I’d written down where I heard it years ago, but what is cool is, it came up in my Bible study today which then sent me to several commentaries. Needless to say, my study time was longer than usual this morning.
Here are my thoughts at the conclusion of this study time:
The enemy wants to sift all of Christ’s disciples. Not just Peter and the other eleven but me too. He doesn’t always get to. The Lord has to allow it. And because the devil can’t see the inside of us or know our thoughts or our hearts, he often is wrong about us. He looked at Peter and knew that sometimes this fisherman and friend of Jesus spoke hastily and pridefully, sometimes he acted foolishly; the devil figured when he sifted Peter, all that would be left was chaff. Wrong! Christ was about to let Peter be sifted but what was going to be left was less of Peter and more of Jesus. He was going to come out better on the other side of the sifting.
I want that to be true of me. When I’m sifted, let there be less of Robin and more of Jesus. And since “sifting” isn’t your ordinary, everyday type of temptation, I can’t help hoping I won’t have to go through too many periods of sifting in my lifetime.
When the singular “you” shows up in verse 32, it’s when Jesus says he has prayed for Peter. Now isn’t that comforting to know? The Lord didn’t just throw Peter out there to bungle through on his own. He prayed specifically for him and for his faith, that it wouldn’t fail. We can know that He will pray the same kind of prayer for us, individually, specifically, for just what He knows we will need at that particular time.