The 21-Day Challenge: A Fresh Start

21 Day Challenge 512You’ve shared with us time and time again that reading the Bible is important to you. It’s something you want to do daily, a goal you set for yourself each year. We also know this is that time of year when life happens…you wake up late and miss your morning reading, someone in your house gets sick, or you lose momentum in Leviticus.

YouVersion loves to help you follow through on your good intentions—read the Bible. So for the third year, we’re kicking off the 21-Day Challenge to encourage you to keep up (or get back on track) with your daily Bible habit!

It only takes three weeks of consistent behavior—just 21 days—to establish (or reestablish) a habit. To help cheer you on, from January 21 through February 10, if you complete the day’s selections from at least one Bible Plan each day, you’ll get a special 21-Day Challenge badge on your YouVersion profile. Also…

You’ll also be entered to win one of

5 iPad minis, 5 Nexus 7 tablets, or 21 YouVersion prize packs!*

Here’s how it works:

  • If you don’t already have a free YouVersion account, sign up for one.

  • Complete each scheduled day of any YouVersion Bible Plan or combination of Bible Plans, starting January 21 through February 10.

  • If you are subscribed to more than one Bible Plan, you only need to complete 21 consecutive days for one of them. (But feel free to read as much as you’d like).

  • Listening to audio versions counts, as long as you mark off the reading for the day.

  • Whether you read, listen, or sign up to receive your Plan by email, be sure that every passage for each day’s reading is checked off as completed.

  • Don’t miss or skip any days!

  • 10 winners will be selected through a random drawing from the pool of eligible participants. Available prizes are 5 Apple iPad minis and 5 Google Nexus 7 tablets.

*ATTENTION: INTERNATIONAL USERSUnfortunately, since YouVersion cannot ship iPad minis and Nexus 7 tablets outside of the U.S., we will select 21 additional International winners. (All of the other rules will still apply.) Each International winner will receive a prize pack that includes a YouVersion T-shirt, a YouVersion sticker pack, and other fun YouVersion memorabilia. 

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Big Milestones for the YouVersion Community in 2013

The scope and scale of what God is doing through the Bible App and the Bible App for Kids is hard to fathom. We continue to be amazed and humbled by the stories we hear from you every day. Here are just a few highlights from what happened in the YouVersion community during 2013:

More Bible App installs than ever. Because you shared the Bible App and helped your friends and family install it, we saw nearly 49 million new installs during 2013. This brings the lifetime total to an astonishing 124 million installs on unique mobile devices around the globe. December alone saw 4.6 million installs (our biggest month ever), with 2 million installs taking place between December 22 and January 1.

Extending the reach of God’s Word. Thanks to generous partners and a global network of volunteers, 295 new Bible versions in 220 new languages were added to the Bible App in 2013. That means more than 739 Bible versions now represent over 460 languages, freely available on mobile devices to people around the world.

Bible engagement is exploding. YouVersion was developed to increase Bible engagement, and time after time you tell us Plans are what help you make the Bible a daily habit. 2013 saw a dramatic increase in Bible Plan completions with more than 7.4 million Plans completed in one year. In total, people have finished more than 13 million Plans since the Bible App launched. See more stats from 2013 on our year-in-review infographic.

Reaching the next generation. In November, the Bible App for Kids launched on iOS and Android devices, and you supported the launch in the way that only the YouVersion community could. In the first week alone, the app was installed 1 million times, reached the number 2 spot in overall free apps for iPad, and number 3 in overall free apps for iPhone. It was also the number 1 free app in the Kids or Education category on iTunes, Google Play, and the Amazon App Store. Our hope is that kids will being a lifelong love of Scripture as they engage with a Bible app designed specifically for them.

Of course, these numbers gain their real meaning when we consider what’s behind them: the real difference it makes when people bring the Bible into their daily life. Here are a few of our favorite quotes and stories from 2013:

“My 4 yr old LOVES the #BibleForKids. Thanks so much for helping to grow in him a love for the Word!” — Angela

“Walked in on my son tearing up as he watched Jesus die on the cross on @BibleAppForKids. Praying for the call on his life this morning!” — Wade

“YouVersion allowed me to, for the first time, read the Bible cover to cover. I listened to a 1yr Bible plan in my car every day for a year. I consider it one of my most important life accomplishments.” — Andrew

“Thanks for the app…as we know Bible is not allowed here in Saudi arabia…we christians have the opportunity to read the Holy Gospel in a closed islam country” — Anonymous

We say it often, but this is just the beginning. As hard as it is to imagine what’s ahead, we know God is able to do far more than we could ask or think (Eph. 3:20-21). We look forward to seeing millions more fall in love with God’s Word and experience His life-changing power. Thank you for sharing the Bible App, and for your support, as we work together to help make this the most Bible-engaged generation in history.

3 Ways to Make the Bible a Daily Focus this Year

Happy New Year! God is constantly in the process of making “new creations” (2 Cor. 5:17). But in certain seasons—like the coming of a New Year—we tend to be more aware of His renewals than at other times.

As you consider goals and resolutions for 2014, here are three simple ways you can make the Bible a daily part of your life:

  1. Find your #Verse2014. Choose one verse that you can focus on throughout 2014. Invite it into your life, display it, and share it with people you know.
  2. Commit to a Bible Plan. This has helped so many in our community make God’s Word a daily part of their life. Sign up for a short, 20- or 30-day devotional. Build your confidence by completing your first plan. Then come back for another. We’ve included a list below of some of our favorite starters.
  3. Share the Word. Invite family and friends to read with you. Help them get the Bible App, show them how to sign up for the plan you’re using, then discuss what you’ve read. Inspire others by sharing what you’re reading in emails, texts, TwitterFacebook, and Instagram. God’s Word comes alive in community (Heb. 4:12).

Plans to Get You Started:

My Utmost For His Highest This special edition of Oswald Chambers’ timeless, widely read devotionals now includes Chambers’ personal prayers. From Discovery House Publishers. 30 days

Our Daily Bread In just a few minutes each day, inspiring stories point you toward God through biblical wisdom. 30 days

Day By Day With Billy Graham Daily Scripture, insight, encouragement, and practical application from Billy Graham’s sermons and writings. 366 days

Dave Ramsey’s Financial Wisdom from Proverbs Learn practical, biblical principles for understanding and managing money. 10 days

Made to Crave: 21 Day Challenge Scripture and devotionals equip you with spiritual principles for your physical health. 21 days

How To Maximise Your Life Hillsong Pastor Brian Houston shares biblical truths for building meaningful relationships and healthy life balance. 31 days

Toward A Fearless New Year Pastor John Piper teaches from the Scriptures how knowing God’s greatness chases away fear. 7 days

How To Be Rich Pastor Andy Stanley shows what God’s Word actually says about how to be truly rich according to God’s economy. 10 days

The One Year® Bible Reading from the Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs for about 15 minutes a day, read through the entire Bible in 365 days. 1 year

Chronological Read the entire Bible in 365 days, with its historical events appearing in the order they occurred. 1 year

Here’s where you can find hundreds more Plans to start that daily habit of seeking God through His Word in 2014: bible.com/reading-plans.

#Verse2014 & Bible Plans for the New Year

A new year brings fresh focus and intentionality. As we dream, plan, and set goals, many of us create lists. But what if you stopped at just one item? We can find incredible clarity and power in simplicity, so as a community we’re trying something new: choosing one Bible verse as our personal focus for 2014.

#Verse2014

Find Your #Verse2014. A promise to reflect on. A different way of thinking. A new discipline. Through prayer and reflection, choose one verse that captures what you’re seeking in 2014.

Make Your Verse Visible. Display your #Verse2014 where you’ll see it every day: a bathroom mirror, in your car, your laptop’s desktop background—even on your phone’s home screen.

Share Your #Verse2014. Tell your family and friends about your verse and why you chose it. Share it from the Bible App, or via email or text. Post it on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. And use the hashtag #Verse2014, so others can see it, too.

Spend Time in Many Verses. Your #Verse2014 is a focal point for the year, but the vastness of God’s love can’t be boiled down to a single verse. Instead, use it as a springboard to dig deeper into the Bible and your faith as you continue to pursue God’s Word throughout the year.

Need some inspiration for your verse? See the YouVersion Community’s 2013 verse of the year along with other popular passages in this infographic.

Plans to Start Your Year Off Right

The following Bible Plans have helped hundreds of thousands remain connected to God’s Word. Try signing up for just one to start. Then, roll into another one as soon as you’re finished to keep your daily habit going.

Made to Crave: 21 Day Challenge Scripture and devotionals equip you with spiritual principles for your physical health. 21 days

Soul Detox Learn from God’s Word how to neutralize the influences that can negatively impact your faith journey. 35 days

From This Day Forward Explore five biblical principles for a healthy marriage through Scripture, prayer, discussion, and activities. 33 days

Experiencing God’s Renewal Daily devotional and Scriptures share what it truly means to become “a new creation in Christ.” 5 days

Dave Ramsey’s Financial Wisdom from Proverbs Learn practical, biblical principles for understanding and managing money. 10 days

The One Year® Bible Reading from the Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs for about 15 minutes a day, read through the entire Bible in 365 days. 1 year

Chronological Read the entire Bible in 365 days, with its historical events appearing in the order they occurred. 1 year

Life Application Study Bible® Devotion Daily devotions and a Bible verse help you apply the Bible to your life. 1 year

In addition to these, YouVersion has recently added many new Bible Plans—so many, in fact, that we now offer more than 600! From topical studies to whole-Bible Plans, you’ll find plenty of options that will help you connect daily with God’s Word in the new year. Get started at bible.com/reading-plans.

Our Year with the Bible – Infographic

Our Year with the Bible - Infographic

New Bible Plans for the New Year

Each new year brings new promise: an opportunity to start fresh. As you consider habits to begin or disciplines to develop, Bible Plans are a great place to start. Spending time in the Bible each day might be your goal, or helpful support for making changes in your life. Whatever you’re looking for, we’re thrilled to bring you hundreds of devotionals, including these new additions:

My Utmost For His Highest This special edition of Oswald Chambers’ timeless, widely read devotionals now includes Chambers’ personal prayers. From Discovery House Publishers. 30 days

How To Maximise Your Life Hillsong Pastor Brian Houston shares biblical truths that will help you build meaningful relationships and a healthy life balance. From Hillsong Church. 31 days

Toward A Fearless New Year Renowned Bible teacher John Piper takes you through Scriptures that demonstrate how knowing God’s greatness chases away fear. From Desiring God. 7 days

How To Be Rich Pastor Andy Stanley shows what God’s Word says about how to be truly “rich” according to God’s economy. From North Point Community Church. 10 days

Seeing The Kingdom Colson Center theologian T.M. Moore shares what the Bible says about God’s Kingdom—in this world, in the Church, and in your life. From The Colson Center. 7 days

For The Love Of God This daily devotional helps you deepen your understanding of God’s Word by walking you through the entire Bible in a year. From The Gospel Coalition. 1 year

Sun Stand Still Devotional Pastor Steven Furtick leads you through Scriptures that challenge you to ask God for the impossible and the miraculous, even as you pursue His very purpose for creating you. From Steven Furtick. 5 days

In addition to these devotionals, YouVersion has recently added many new Bible Plans—so many, in fact, that we now offer more than 600! From topical studies to whole-Bible Plans, you’ll find plenty of options that will help you connect daily with God’s Word in the new year. Get started at bible.com/reading-plans.

If you’re new to YouVersion, or if you’ve just added a new smartphone or tablet during this holiday season, don’t forget to install the Bible App on all your devices. Visit bible.com/app for a free, easy way to download the app on your mobile platform.

And don’t forget the brand-new Bible App for Kids! Available now at bible.com/kids, it’s also always completely free. Featuring fun animation and engaging storytelling, your children can explore the big stories of the Bible and fall in love with God’s Word.

 

Celebrating the Story of Christmas

For unto you is born...Christ the Lord.

All of us here at YouVersion want to wish you the best during this holiday season. We hope you’re able to reflect and celebrate that He is come: Immanuel, “God with us.”

Both the Bible App and the Bible App for Kids offer lots of great ways you can explore the meaning of Christmas together with your family:

  • Read the story of Christ’s birth in Luke 2:1-20.

  • Use your favorite audio Bible to listen to passages about the birth of Christ.

  • In the Videos section of the Bible App: Watch “The Nativity Story” or the “Birth of Jesus.”

  • In the Bible App for Kids: Explore The First Christmas Gift (pictured).

Being together with family and friends frequently presents opportunities for you to share your faith. And the Bible App and the Bible App for Kids make it so easy!

  • Use your device to show these apps to the people you’re with.

  • Show how they can get the apps on their own devices.

  • Even offer to install the apps for them!

The Bible App Named in Apple’s Best of 2013

Apple's Best of 2013For the fourth consecutive year, the Bible App has been ranked in the top 100 Free apps for iPhone on Apple’s “Best of” list. And for the third year in a row, the Bible App was also ranked in the top 100 for iPad.

This is just a part of the story that continues to unfold across the worldwide YouVersion community throughout 2013. What we’re seeing right now is nothing short of an amazing work of God.

  • The Bible App for Kids launched to broad acclaim, reaching an incredible 1 million installs during its first week! Many parents shared stories like this one: “Walked in on my son tearing up as he watched Jesus die on the cross on @BibleAppForKids. Praying for the call on his life this morning!” —Wade

  • The Bible App reached 100 million installs—just in time to celebrate our 5th anniversary in July. And by the time 2013 ends, we’ll have reached nearly 125 million. People all around the world are engaging with the Bible in new ways, people like Roxann, who told us she was finally able to set aside the Braille Bible that took up 5 feet of shelf space. Now she can hold her Bible in her hand.

  • Each of these milestones represents people spending time in God’s Word, people like Andrew: “YouVersion allowed me to, for the first time, read the Bible cover to cover. I listened to a 1yr Bible plan in my car every day for a year. I consider it one of my most important life accomplishments.”

Because you never stop sharing how the Bible is shaping your life on Facebook, on Twitter, and face to face, many more people all over the world continue to discover the Bible App and experience the powerful love of God.

Celebrate Jesus’ Birth with “The Christmas Story” Plan

One Week to Christmas

Looking for a great way to focus on the birth of Jesus? Try “The Christmas Story” Plan from YouVersion. This simple 5-day plan chronicles the humble beginnings of our Savior, connects us with His arrival as “God with us,” and ends with a celebration of His birth. Today is a great day to start reading “The Christmas Story”!

Share the Christmas Story with Your Kids

Your kids will love exploring the story of Jesus’ birth in “The First Christmas Gift,” just one of the stories they’ll find in the Bible App for Kids. Installed on more than a million devices during just its first week, the Bible App for Kids draws in children of any age, with colorful artwork and fun, touch-activated animations. Download and share the Bible App for Kids now at bible.com/kids.

"The First Christmas Gift" from the Bible App for Kids

The Bible App for Kids Surpasses One Million Installs in First Week

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Less than one week after launching, the Bible App for Kids has been installed on more than one million unique devices around the world. We’re amazed at how God has already been using the Bible App for Kids to connect children with the story of God’s love. Here’s what just a few of the people who have downloaded it so far are saying:

Bible App for Kids at #1“My 4 yr old LOVES the #BibleForKids. Thanks so much for helping to grow in him a love for the Word!”
—Angela

“Walked in on my son tearing up as he watched Jesus die on the cross on @BibleAppForKids. Praying for the call on his life this morning!”
—Wade

“Using the new Kids Bible App with my nephew & I’m fighting tears back from his excitement and seeing him grasping what he’s learning.”
—Desirae

“3 girls on 3 different devices ALL using the @BibleAppForKids!!! They can’t get enough!”
—Liz

“Just downloaded the @BibleAppForKids. It’s so beautiful and so cool! What an experience!”
—David

Part of the Bible App for Kids’ early success came from being visible in app stores. Over the weekend, the Bible App for Kids reached as high as the #2 overall free app for iPad, #3 overall free app for iPhone. It was also the #1 free app in the Kids or Education category on iTunes, Google Play, and the Amazon App Store. Climbing so high on each of these lists means that potentially millions of people who otherwise wouldn’t even know it existed will now see the Bible App for Kids when they’re browsing for new apps to install.

The Bible App for Kids

We specifically designed the Bible App for Kids to help children connect with Bible stories not just once, but again and again. And it’s our sincere prayer that exploring the Scriptures will help millions of kids discover a lifelong love for God’s Word.

Throughout the holidays, as you find yourself together with family and friends, whether at home, at church programs, or even at work parties, please keep sharing the Bible App for Kids. You can show it to them on your device, direct them to bible.com/kids, or even offer to install it for them.

You can download the Bible App for Kids for free at:

Website: bible.com/kids

Apple App Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bible-for-kids/id668692393?ls=1&mt=8

Google Play: play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.bible.kids

Amazon Appstore: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00GURLC40

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