Wednesday, June 11, 2014

How to Read the Bible on Your Phone...

This might be common knowledge to some, but I've noticed via comments on blogs and Instagram that many people are unfamiliar with the YouVersion Bible app {because they make it confusing by giving it multiple names as you will see below} or perhaps you have the app installed on your phone but don't know about its many wonderful features. So I thought I'd do a quick tutorial today to show you how this Bible app can enrich your time with the Lord, help you read the Word while you're on the go, and even keep you on track with a Bible reading plan.

Honestly, I prefer to read a hard copy of my Bible while sitting on the sofa in the morning, but I still use this app often to look up verses, keep track of my current reading plan or devotional, and I use it when traveling so I don't have to add a Bible to ten thousand pounds of baby gear when I pack. But I don't think it matters if you prefer to read on paper or on your phone. What matters is that you read God's Word, and the YouVersion app is His grace to read more easily and conveniently.

So what is the YouVersion app and where you can find it? Technically it's the Bible app, but when you open up the program, it will say "YouVersion" at the bottom of the screen. If you type "Bible" into the search bar in the app store, it should be the first option that pops up.

On the home page, you will see a verse of the day and if you are currently doing any reading plans, you will see your plans up near the top.

If you click on the menu button {three lines in upper left corner}, you will see a full list of options. I don't use all of them, but to simply read any section of the Bible, click "Read" and at the top of the screen you can choose your book and chapter. To see your current reading plans or browse new ones, click "Plans."

When reading the Bible, you can always change the version in the top right corner {ESV is my personal favorite}. At the bottom of the screen you can change the text and colors, hear an audio version of the passage, or you can search a term or verse at any time by clicking the magnifying glass.

If you click on a verse, it will become underlined and a small button will appear in the lower right corner. If you click that button, a screen will pop up that allows you to highlight the verse, bookmark it, add a note about it, or share it via email or social media. I don't use these features often, but I've seen people in church who add notes to passages during every sermon and they must have quite an archive of Biblical teaching stored in their phones.

When I click over to my "Plans" page, I can see the reading schedules I'm currently working on and I can also see the plans I've completed in the past. If I click on my current ESV reading plan, I can see the passages I need to read for the day, and if I touch the verse it will take me to that section of the Bible and then automatically check it off my reading list for the day. If you want to browse new plans, click the green button at the bottom of the page.

You can search plans in multiple categories. Some are full or partial Bible reading plans. Others are devotions to supplement your Bible reading. For actual Bible reading plans, I personally like the ESV Study Bible, the One-Year Chronological Bible, and the M'Cheyne One Year Reading Plan. Some devotions I have done in the past are The New City Catechism, For the Love of God, a bunch by John Piper {just search his name} and She Reads Truth. And I'm sure there are many other good ones out there that I haven't encountered yet.

And here is the beautiful perk to doing a reading plan on YouVersion... If you click on the little settings icon to the right of your plan's title, it will take you to the settings page where you can see your progress, your expected end date, and you can choose other options like having a reminder of your plan emailed to you each day. Down at the bottom is the wonderful grace button. If you ever get behind on a plan and feel discouraged, you can push the "Catch Me Up" button and it will reset your schedule to your last completed day, give you a new end date goal, and your missed days will be erased! Keep on it, friend!

So there you have it. The Word of God on your very own phone. What a gift! I hope this app blesses you in your time with the Lord. And if you use any of the other functions on YouVersion that I didn't discuss here, please feel free to share in the comments below!


Katy Lukes said...

Thank you SO MUCH for this. I am constantly impressed by your unwavering faith and your ability to post blogs about Jesus and not solely just about home/baby/fashion/design...not that ANY of those things are bad (I love them all and I, too, have a 6 month old!). Truly, your heart for the Lord and your persistence for sharing His love in your life are remarkable. Thank you.

Bible Gateway said...

Another free Bible app you may want to try is the BibleGatewayApp, available for both iPhone and Android. Download it at