About a year ago I found a really easy and awesome way to read daily devotions (daily inspirations-including Christmas reading programs at present) and/or the bible with a bible app for my smart phone! Don’t stop reading this if you don’t have a smart phone, because this tip I have to share today also works with a regular computer, or tablet (such as an Ipad). You may also be able to use it on an electronic reader (such as a nook or kindle) , but I am not 100% sure on that since I don’t know how those work.
There is a Free bible app that you can use with any electronic device, be it an Android, an Apple, or a computer. I never knew anything about “apps” until I got smart phone last year, but some of them really come in handy! This free app is called “YouVersion”. You can go to their website to sign up if you are using your computer. The website is www.youversion.com. If you have a smart phone or tablet, you can just do a search on your device for free bible apps and you will see YouVersion.
There are so many ways you can use YouVersion. While you can read the free reading plans they have on your computer, I prefer using a device, because it is so portable and convenient. This is a personal choice of course, but last year I had decided I wanted to try to read the bible all the way through again. I was going through some new stressors and decided that I needed to strengthen my personal relationship with God in a different way this time. My grandma and other various people I know find their source of strength in reading the word and had suggested that. I have always been a devotion reader, but I am going to be blatantly honest here…I tried reading the bible all the way through once in my early 20’s and found it boring. There are several reasons why-some of it probably due to my age and level of comprehension at the time (my bible is the King James version).
Don’t get me wrong- I liked certain areas of the bible, but I found reading it from the first page to the last page a daunting task at the time. What I ended up doing was jotting down scriptures I really liked, to refer to, but I can’t say I absorbed a whole lot of what I read in all of the in between spots. A lot of it just didn’t stick.
On the flip side of that coin, I have always been a devotion type person. I always found it easier to understand and much more entertaining to read Christian books, or various daily devotions. What I like about YouVersion is that now I can do both (devotions and bible reading).
I downloaded the bible app for YouVersion on my smart phone and also picked out a free reading plan for a daily devotion. I must confess, I started with the devotion 🙂 However, I DID start reading the bible, but this time picked the New Living Translation to try.
What I LOVE about the bible portion of this app :
- The fact that you can choose to read any translation you want (such as New King James, NIV, NLT, etc.) without having to buy separate bibles
- The fact that it has a built in audio thing , so that you can hear the scripture being read aloud instead if you wish
- You can actually highlight verses with one of several colors electronically (just like you would use colored highlighters in your real bible)
- You can bookmark pages where you left off
- You can make notes electronically to save (if you are inspired to jot something down for example.)
And my top 2 favorite things!!
- It’s portable. I think 50% of why the reading is going so much easier for me this time is due to the fact that my phone is always with me. I can read stuff whenever I have a free moment (in bed, outdoors, while waiting for dinner to cook, I have even used it in the bathroom before :0 -that is supposed to be a surprised smiley ;)) It’s a lot easier to not forget to do something when you have it with you all the time.
- It breaks it all up in to little pages! Another big reason why I didn’t enjoy reading much before, was because my bible is thick and has little print. I am not sure if it is like this with every translation , or if it is just the NLT version I am reading with this app, but each chapter is broken up in to little sections with a title as to what that section is about. The words are also big. I find it easy to read at least one chapter a day, when there is no more than one chapter in front of me (on the screen) at a time.
I can’t believe how much I am actually enjoying reading through the bible now. I started at the very beginning and am part way through Exodus. ( I have put it on hold until Jan. 1st to do some other Christmas reading plans instead, but will be back to it soon!) I have not found myself bored or overwhelmed like last time and more importantly , I am not doing it to reach a personal goal of reading through the whole bible. I am actually learning, absorbing, and understanding this time through. It is one of the things I am currently inspired by 🙂
YouVersion has a lot more that you can do with it, but I just haven’t gone in to all of that yet. They have online communities and reading groups you can be part of for example. There are people who network with others through that community and do study plans together. Twitter is also connected to the app , so you can tweet out what you just read (for those of my blogging friends who use Twitter 🙂 ). You can even read notes other people have made during their reading (online).
I hope you find this tip helpful! If you have ever struggled with making your bible reading fun and easy (or if you have never read the bible but are curious about it), maybe you will enjoy this like I have.
Tomorrow I will share the Christmas reading plans I am currently enjoying (one has to do with Christmas carols!) plus the book I got free with the bible app. They have a lot more to read aside from the bible itself and I think some of you may enjoy this stuff too.
Questions: Have you ever read the bible all the way through from start to finish? What was your experience like?