Well, we are currently doing a series of postings on the Cultivate blog over the next few weeks talking about ways you can read the Bible. You can certainly open up and just start reading for yourself (in fact, I would highly recommend it!), but I know that studying the Bible can also be pretty intimidating. I sat in three years of college courses from really smart people on reading and studying the Bible, and it still intimidates me sometimes.
Last week, we gave you a great reading plan you could check out for yourself called the e100 Challenge. This week, I want to offer you a great way to read your Bible, even when you’re on the go. It’s an awesome tool called YouVersion, made available from the awesome folks at LifeChurch out in Oklahoma.
YouVersion is a simple-to-use Bible reading app that you can view either on your computer, on your smart phone, or even on a tablet like an iPad. It’s available for just about any mobile device imaginable from iOS (iPad/iPhone/iPod touch) to Blackberry, to Android, Windows Phone, and even Palm webOS (along with a few others!) Downloading the YouVersion app is free, and you simply download it as you would any other app for your phone or mobile device. For more detailed instructions, you can go to the YouVersion website (www.youversion.com) and click on the “Mobile” tab on the top and select your device. If you’re wanting to read on your computer, you can also access the YouVersion website to browse your options on there.
There are several great things about YouVersion. In addition to being a great way to read the Bible no matter where you are, YouVersion also has tons of different translations of the Bible, even in different languages! You are definitely not limited to a version of the Bible you find tough to read. And if you’re wanting to do a more in-depth study of a particular verse or passage, you can flip between several different translations of the same verse pretty effortlessly. Many translations of the Bible are even downloadable, so you can download a translation and not even need an internet connection to read from it.
My most favorite feature of YouVersion, though, is the many Bible reading plans you can look through and choose from. I always struggled to do a Bible reading plan because I’d always lose the sheet that told me what I was supposed to read, or I’d leave it in my Bible at home but I would have a different Bible or something like that. But with YouVersion, you can make your own (free!) account, choose a plan, and then access that plan anywhere you have an internet connection. The plans come in all different types: you can do a chronological plan, a plan to go through just the New or Old Testament, or the entire Bible. They’ve even got varying lengths. Some plans are as long as a year, while some are just a week long. There’s something for everybody. You can even set YouVersion to send you a reminder to do your daily reading! So, there is no excuse for why you don’t follow up on your Bible reading plan!
I love this app. I’ve got it on both my iPad and iPhone and it’s personally been so helpful for me when I have a few free moments to spend some time reading God’s Word and experiencing the life change and increased relationship with God that comes from that. I’m reading the Bible more now than I have in years, and I think that the YouVersion app has been a big reason for that! Download it and check it out for yourself! You will be so glad that you did.