spiritualgrowth
Peggy Jording

Peggy Jording

Spiritual Growth

April 2021

As you get ready for Holy Week, do you have special devotionals that prepare you for Easter? One of the devotionals I use is an app by YouVersion. This app provides many reading plans, devotionals, and the verse of the day that you can use to stay in the Word and grow closer to God. YouVersion is free and there is no advertising. It is rich with 2,232 versions of the Bible in 1,522 languages! Wow! Imagine over 2,000 different versions of the Bible! According to the website Bible.com, there have been over 465 million app installations on unique devises. YouVersion has Bible apps for iOS, Android, Voice (Google Home or Amazon Echo) and computer (Bible.com).

“It is great to learn how popular YouVersion is,” you may say, “but how will it help me become more intimate with my Savior?” First, it is easy to use and easy to sign up. Download the app on your smartphone or tablet or access their website (Bible.com) from your computer. Join with Facebook, Google, Apple or sign-up using your email address. Once you are in the program you will find tabs labeled “Home”, “Read”, “Plans”, “Discover” and more. Using the app on my Android phone the tabs located are at the bottom of the screen, but on the computer, they are at the top of the screen. If you just want to read the word of God select Read. From there you can choose a Book, Chapter and Verse. Then, you can choose which language and version of the Bible you would like to read. Some of the versions have audio, and some can be downloaded. I have two versions downloaded, so, when I don’t have a cell signal, I can still read the Bible. As I am reading, I can bookmark, highlight, or make notes on a passage. When highlighting a verse there are a rainbow of colors available. Verses about one topic can be highlight the same color, and a different color can be used on verses related to a book you are studying.

Let’s say you want to find a devotional plan for Easter on YouVersion. On my computer, I easily found more than six pages of possible plans, with 23 plans per page, ranging from three days to 40 days long. You could do a plan before and even another during Holy Week! A neat thing about this app is that you can add friends or family and schedule a devotional plan to do together! When you read a plan with others the last page of the plan is called, “Talk it over.” Here you share the “one thing God is saying to you.” Since you are studying as a group, you can respond to each other’s thoughts and make plans for your next devotional plan! Plans range from readings, meditational, video, and audio. They vary in length from a couple of days to 15 days, 21 days, 30 days or even 365 days! Devotional plans can be selected to be saved for another time, and once a plan is completed, you will find it in your completed plans. When starting a devotional, you can read it privately or share your progress where friends see which devotional you are doing.

The Verse of the Day pops up on your home screen. These are great for encouragement, memory verses, further reading, praying and for making verse images. Verse images can be made from the verse of the day or from any verse in a devotional or in the Bible. In addition, you can make a verse image using stock photos or personal photos on your phone or computer. Not only can you create a verse image, but you can share your insights on social media, email, texts, etc.

Other aspects of YouVersion are videos, prayers and building a Bible habit. Videos can be docudramas broken into scenes, such as Son of God and Jesus or broken into chapters like Paul’s Letter series, “YouVersion Rest”, and “Jesus in all of John”. Videos may be teaching clips, or videos embedded in the devotionals themselves. Prayers can be added to your prayer list. You can share prayer requests with others, mark prayers answered, and archive them. To add a prayer, create a title and write down the prayer. Building a Bible habit is encouraged as you see the of number of days in a row you have visited YouVersion and read a devotional. You develop current streaks and perfect weeks, which are the number of weeks you have read each week. YouVersion can be found at Bible.com, and the app is available through your phone app store.

How do I become more intimate with my Savior? I take time every day to read a devotional, listen to the Bible being read, and connecting to others, as I grow closer to God. Please join me and take the Bible with you wherever you go.

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