God’s Word Shapes Our Lives

As Christ-followers we recognize how important it is to know—and live—God’s Word. We also recognize how difficult that can be sometimes. Scripture is full of tough commands:

  • Love your neighbor as yourself. (Mark 12:31)
  • Take up your cross and follow me. (Luke 9:23)
  • Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
  • Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry. (James 1:19)

Fortunately, as we study the Bible and begin to internalize it more and more, one of God’s promises comes to life:

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing, and perfect will.”
Romans 12:2

In other words, as we spend time in conversation with God through the study of Scripture, we experience transformation: change that compels us—and equips us—to actually live the words. We’re encouraged to hear how YouVersion is making the Bible more accessible to people across the world, allowing them to connect with God’s Word and experience that transformation.

“Love driving home and being able to just listen to the Bible. It’s refreshing to hear, and it brings new light.”
– Ronnie

“I love my @YouVersion reading plans. I find myself so happy and excited to read. I’ve also found my life to be more calm and understanding.”
– Tiffy

“Thank you for the Bible in 1 Year plan! It got me into a great habit, and it’s strengthening my relationship with God.”
– Emily

“I thank God for this resource. It has allowed me to study and hear The Word more often and more clearly. I am truly growing through using @YouVersion.”
– Ingrid

What about you? Are you working through a YouVersion Reading Plan that’s affecting your worldview? Have people noticed a change in you since you’ve been engaged more with God’s Word? We would love to hear your story!

YouVersion Adds 5 New Plans to Help You Connect with the Bible

During the month leading up to Easter, more than three million people downloaded the Bible App™ for the first time. If you’re just getting started trying to figure out this whole Bible thing, or even if you’ve been using the Bible App for a long time, we have exciting news for you: We just added five brand new Reading Plans!

Any one of these plans can help you get into God’s Word for the first time, or get you back into the Bible if you’ve fallen behind.

Daily Devotions with Greg Laurie. Pastor Greg Laurie offers relevant, encouraging, devotional thoughts from God’s Word to help you “know God and make Him known.” 30 days

Seeds of Spring: A Woman’s 40-Day Journey. Using the metaphor of a garden, each day presents a Scripture (seed), thoughts for meditation (planting), and practical application (watering). Ideal for moms, single women, and college students. 40 days

Holy Emotions – Biblical Responses to Every Challenge. Learn what the Bible has to say about your natural emotions—and how to manage them. 30 days

A.C.T.S. Prayer Bible Reading. Each day presents 4 short readings, each one addressing one of these: A – Adoration, C – Confession, T – Thanksgiving, and S – Supplication — each one selected to help you draw closer to God through prayer. 52 days

Reading Through the Gospels with the Foursquare Church. Read through the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) 4 times, each time with a different theme: Jesus our Savior, Jesus our Healer, Jesus our Soon-Coming King and Jesus our Baptizer with the Holy Spirit. Each Monday kicks off the week with an inspiring weekly devotional. 1 year

Reading Plans are great for helping you consistently engage with your Bible. When you subscribe to a plan, the Bible App feeds you just a few selections each day, breaking your reading (or listening) into manageable chunks. And with 240 plans now available in 16 different languages, you’re sure to find a plan that will work for you. The YouVersion community has already completed more than 2 million reading plans. Join us!

YouVersion Community Completes 2 Million Reading Plans

In November of 2007, we announced the first Reading Plan for YouVersion. Of course, Reading Plans have come a long way since then. Reading Plans are now a major part of the Bible App™ on every platform, with more than 230 Reading Plans available in 16 different languages (and more of both still to come). Then in December 2011, more than four years after the launch of that very first plan, we shared that the YouVersion community had completed more than 1 million Reading Plans.

Now, something extraordinary has happened. What took the YouVersion community four years to accomplish the first time, we’ve now done again—in less than 4 months! Together, we’ve now completed more than 2 million Reading Plans.


“…He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion…”
Philippians 1:6

What does 2 million completed plans mean? More and more people are using the Bible App to engage with God’s Word as a part of their everyday lives. To those of you who contributed to this milestone, thank you! And congratulations!

What is a Reading Plan? Reading Plans are specifically designed to help you be intentional about the time you devote to reading (or listening to) what God wants to speak into your life. You can select from Reading Plans that cover topics you want to know more about, that help you center your thought life around wisdom from the Bible, that take you through a portion of the Bible, or even through the entire thing. If you need a little help getting started with a Reading Plan, here are just a few you might consider:

A Jolt of Joy. The Bible tells us that “in His presence is fullness of joy” and “the joy of the Lord is our strength”. Joy isn’t simply another emotion; it is a fruit of the Spirit and one of the best weapons in your arsenal to fight against discouragement, depression, and defeat. Learn what the Bible has to say about joy, and strengthening yourself to become a defiantly joyful Christian.
Publisher: Carol McLead and Just Joy Ministries 31 days

Psalms and Proverbs in 31 Days. The Psalms and Proverbs are filled with songs, poetry, and writings – expressing true worship, longing, wisdom, love, desperation, and truth. Here, you will encounter God and find comfort, strength, solace, and encouragement that covers the breadth of the human experience.
Publisher: YouVersion 31 days

Discipleship Journal’s Book-at-a-Time Reading Plan. An easy-to-follow guide to reading the Bible one book at a time. From Discipleship Journal, this book-at-a-time Bible reading plan gives you what you need to read the Bible in one year.
Publisher: NavPress 365 days

And even if one of these plans doesn’t fit your life right now, we encourage you to invest just a little time exploring your many options. With more Reading Plans than ever before, YouVersion has something for everyone!

Christians Around the World Celebrate Jesus’ Resurrection

“I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen.” Matthew 28:5–6, New Living Translation

Today Christians all over the world are celebrating the resurrection of our Savior. We’d love for you to join with us, too. Let’s think not just about what Jesus’ sacrifice meant to His disciples and to the people of His time, but what it means to us today and every day: that He freely offers us gifts of forgiveness, renewal, and peace. Whatever challenges you’re facing in your life today, please know that Jesus offers these same gifts to you.

The best way to understand what happened at Jesus’ Resurrection is to take it straight from the source: the Bible. Consider reading The Story of Easter plan all in one sitting, or try listening to the Resurrection story from John 20 with your family. If you have a favorite Bible passage of your own, consider looking it up today and re-reading it with fresh eyes to remind yourself of what your faith means to you.

Of course, there’s no reason we have to stop celebrating what Christ did for us even after this day is over. We can continue extending His gifts of renewal and peace to others throughout the year, just as He offered them to us. He is risen indeed.

Optimized Layout Debuts in Latest Bible App for iPad Update

Yesterday we shared several of the new features that the latest Bible App™ update brought to all Apple devices we support: iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. But we radically updated the Bible App for iPad specifically to take full advantage of all that this remarkable device has to offer. Get the latest release of the Bible App for your iPad now in the iTunes App Store. Here’s some of what we think you’re going to love about the new Bible App on your iPad:

Complete Slide Out Menu. Instant access to all of the Bible App’s features is now just one tap away, no matter where you are. The slide out menu is a new addition to the Bible App on all iOS devices, but on iPad, it gives you everything. On any screen, just touch the menu icon at the top to display the full Bible App menu. Bookmarks, Notes, Share, Plans—it’s all there… and more. Try it!

Today View. Also in the Bible App on other iOS devices, the top of the slide out menu includes Today, which displays a Verse of the Day, ready to share. But you also get more—a lot more. More screen real estate means we can bring you one-tap access to your Profile settings, the last passage you were reading, today’s readings for all your active Plans, even the last passage you bookmarked.

Parallel Reading Mode. Truly make the most of your iPad’s beautiful screen. In landscape mode, with just one tap, you can display any two Bible versions you want side by side. Reading different versions in the Bible App—and now, even comparing them to each other—has never been easier. This feature is available only on iPad. (Well, and at YouVersion.com, as we shared with you several days ago.)

Of course, all of the features you’ve already been enjoying in the Bible App for iPad—like full-screen reading mode, audio Bibles, Bookmarks, Notes, Sharing, and YouVersion Live, to name just a few—are still there. But tap around and explore. And be sure you read yesterday’s announcement. As always, you can get learn more about most features at our Support website. Also, be sure you come and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter!

Instructions for how to get yours are below the image:


Update Your Bible App on iPad Now:

If you already have the Bible App installed:

  1. On your iPad, tap the App Store icon.
  2. When the App Store opens, tap the Updates icon.
  3. Tap Update for the Bible App.
    OR
    Tap Update All.


If this is your first time installing the Bible App:

  1. On your iPad, tap the App Store icon.
  2. When the App Store opens, tap the Search icon.
  3. Search for “Bible”.
  4. Tap the Bible App from LifeChurch.tv.
  5. Tap the FREE button.

Updated Bible App for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch Adds New Features

Today we’re excited to announce a dramatic new update to some core features of the Bible App™ for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch—available now in the iTunes App Store. We’ve been listening to your feedback. (And we’ve been experimenting some on our own.) We’ve poured a crazy amount of work into the latest enhancements for the Bible App for iOS. We think you’re really going to enjoy what you find here:

Slide Out Menu. (Pictured) Just tap the menu icon at the top for quick access to those Bible App features you use most: Bible, Plans, Bookmarks, Notes, and more. Just one more tap takes you anywhere you want to go, including the all-new Today view…

Today View. (Pictured) Right at the top of the new slide out menu, Today displays the brand new, easy-to-share Verse of the Day, the last passage you were reading, the new Profile viewer (described below), and links to today’s readings for all of your active Plans.

Profile Viewer. Now you can review and adjust most of your account settings on a single screen. Specify the name your account will display, change your profile picture, or update your contact information. Even browse your Friends’ profiles and the profiles of the people following you.

Bug Fixes. We addressed some specific issues related to audio Bibles and made a few other adjustments. And with this release (as always), we tweaked the Bible App to enhance performance wherever we could.

Offline WiFi Downloads. If new updates are available for any offline versions you’ve already downloaded, the Bible App checks to see if you’re connected to WiFi. If you are—assuming you have this handy feature activated—the Bible App will automatically update your versions for you, completely in the background. You don’t have to do anything, and you’ll always have the latest versions of all your offline Bibles.

You’ll find all of these features in the new Bible App update on all Apple devices we support: iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. But tomorrow, we’ll share some sweet tweaks we added to help you get even more out of your Bible App experience on iPad. In the meantime, consider visiting YouVersion’s Support website to make sure that the Bible App on your device is doing everything it can. And once you’ve tried out the new Bible App, please let us know what you think on Facebook and Twitter!

Whatever iOS (Apple) device you have, instructions for how you can get your Bible App update are below.


Get Your Bible App Update Now:

If you already have the Bible App installed:

  1. On your Apple device, tap the App Store icon.
  2. When the App Store opens, tap the Updates icon.
  3. Tap Update for the Bible App.
    OR
    Tap Update All.


If this is your first time installing the Bible App:

  1. On your Apple device, tap the App Store icon.
  2. When the App Store opens, tap the Search icon.
  3. Search for “Bible”.
  4. Tap the Bible App from LifeChurch.tv.
  5. Tap the FREE button.

Reading Through—Not Past—Holy Week

As Christ-followers, there’s a certain joy associated with Resurrection Sunday. We imagine the rolled-away stone, and we’re reminded of Christ’s victory over death and our new life in Him. We read how He appeared to His friends, and we recall that He is with us even now.

While Christ’s resurrection is reason to celebrate, it’s important that we approach not only the empty tomb, but also the cross. Holy Week is an opportunity for us to spend time considering the depth of God’s love for us and the sacrifice He made on our behalf.  Sometimes, though, it seems we’re so grateful for the empty grave that we skip through the Garden…offering only a passing glance toward our weeping Savior.

YouVersion offers two Holy Week reading plans: The Story of Easter walks you through the events leading up to Jesus’ death, and Words of Jesus During Passion Week allows you to explore the stories Jesus shared with His disciples along the way. Through our reading, we can sense what it must have been like to hear Jesus’ explanation of what the next days will bring. We can experience Peter’s burning shame as he’s called out as a disloyal coward. Our heart will shatter with Mary’s as we watch Jesus crumble to the ground again and again.  We’ll fear the whip and, perhaps most importantly, we’ll remember that we are wielding the whip  . . . reason enough to hold our joy until the morning.

We can, of course, choose to celebrate Resurrection Day without thinking about the days leading up to it. But how much more freedom might we feel if we’ve truly considered the depravity Christ took from us? How much more honor do we pay our Savior by stopping to meditate on his sacrifice? If we allow ourselves to experience the deepest dark, the light becomes more wonderful.

How Much Can the YouVersion Community Do with Just One Minute?

A lot can happen in just one minute. We’re pleased to share with you that much of that includes people engaging with God’s Word. Here’s just a little snapshot of what’s going on right now, during every minute of every day, throughout the YouVersion community all over the world.

(View the infographic at full size.)

One Minute in the YouVersion Community

We Want to Do Better

Recently, you may have occasionally noticed outages as you tried to connect to the Bible App™ or the all-new YouVersion.com, whether you were trying to follow along in church, to access one of your Reading Plans, or even simply to read your favorite version of the Bible.

Please accept our apology.

If you’ve been an active part of the YouVersion community, then you probably know our simple mission: To help as many people as possible read the Bible, no matter where they live or what language they prefer. And with your passion to share God’s Word, the continuing success of that mission has eclipsed our highest hopes: the Bible App has been installed on more than 40 million unique devices.

Let us assure you: The connection problems you’ve experienced lately are entirely unacceptable to us. We’re taking aggressive steps not only to ensure that you won’t have simply a basic connection, but full, reliable access to all of the many tools and services that the Bible App and YouVersion have to offer.

We’re doing everything we can to make sure the Bible App will be there… whenever and wherever you want to connect with God’s Word.

First Time Ever: Bible App for BlackBerry PlayBook

The Bible App™ is now immediately available on the BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablet! Visit BlackBerry App World to get yours. The Bible App for PlayBook has all the same great features you already enjoy on other platforms, now optimized to make the most of this exciting device. Here are just a few examples:

The Bible App for BlackBerry Playbook

Bible Search. Filter your Bible searches, showing only Old Testament, New Testament, Apocrypha, or a single book. Even sort your results.

Reading Plan Reminders. Schedule your Reading Plans to pop up at your convenience.

Note Highlights. Tag and organize your individual Notes with customizable colors.

Notification Preferences. Tell the Bible App
which account actions you want to trigger emails to yourself.

User Profile View. View and adjust all your account settings in one place—even browse your Friends’ and followers’ profiles.

In-App Help. Access Technical Support from directly inside the Bible App.

Password Reminder. If you forget your YouVersion password, email reset instructions to yourself.

Sign up with Facebook. Save time by instantly signing up for your free YouVersion account using your Facebook login.

Once you’ve downloaded the Bible App onto your PlayBook, come visit us on Facebook and Twitter to let us know what you think. And if you know someone else with a PlayBook, please be sure you let them know about this exciting, first-ever release!