YouVersion Plans Offer Lessons in Love

God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.
1 John 4:16, New Living Translation

Whether you’re preparing for marriage or already married, this Valentine’s Day, learn about love — from the words of the One who is love. YouVersion offers several Reading Plans devoted to love and marriage:

Love and Marriage - Relationship insight from God’s Word helps you strengthen your lifelong bond. Each day features a short Bible passage and thoughts for you to discuss and pray about together. From LifeChurch.tv. 5 days

One: A Marriage Devotional - Develop a thriving relationship with your spouse through this marriage-building devotional from Jimmy Evans. Read once a week for a year, or daily for a more intensive experience. From Marriage Today. 52 days

Happily Ever After - While marriage has its challenges, listening to what God has to say about this sacred institution helps you commit your ways to be more like His. From Time of Grace. 31 days

From This Day Forward - Focusing on 5 key areas, this plan helps you build a marriage that will stand the test of time. Each day, you and your spouse will together read selected Bible passages, discuss selected topics, pray together, or engage in activities together. From LifeChurch.tv. 33 days

Love, Romance, & Marriage: Bible Audio Guide – Each day, a short audio clip shares biblical principles about love and romance, along with practical application to help you see God’s plan for your marriage. From Through the Word. 6 days

Marriage: A Lifelong Journey – Strengthen your commitment to the lifelong journey you have embarked on. Each day, read a short devotional and Bible verse to enrich your most important relationship. From Jim Daly. 7 Days

Learning together what God’s Word says about marriage relationships is one of the best ways you can strengthen your commitment to each other and to your faith. If you’re married or engaged, consider going through at least one of these plans together, and not just in this season, but throughout the year.

Begin Today to Prepare Your Heart for Easter

During the forty days leading up to Easter, most often called Lent, Christians all over the world commit to sacrificing earthly pleasures. Because Easter falls on March 31 this year, that means today, February 13, is our first day.

Most are seeking to separate themselves from the physical nature of their lives, purposefully turning their thoughts instead toward their spiritual nature — to Christ in particular. If this sounds like something you’d like to be a part of, here are five areas you might consider for your journey:

  1. Pray. Pray however God’s Spirit leads you, whether in formal prayer or in short bursts. Just focus on drawing closer to His still, small voice.
  2. Deny yourself. Whether you choose to fast from food or something else you enjoy, each time you miss it, allow that time to remind you to turn your thoughts toward God.
  3. Repent. Ask God to reveal your innermost thoughts to you. Where it’s appropriate, ask for His forgiveness, and ask Him to change your heart.
  4. Give. Give whatever you can to those in need, whether by volunteering your time and talents or money.
  5. Read God’s Word. YouVersion offers Reading Plans specifically designed for this special time of reflection:

 

YouVersion Announces 21-Day Challenge Winners of iPad minis, Prize Packs

On January 21, we invited everyone to join us for the 21-Day Challenge. Registered YouVersion community users who completed at least one day, every day, of an eligible Reading Plan from January 21 through February 10 had their names entered into a random drawing. The prizes were five iPad minis and 21 YouVersion prize packs. (Refer to original blog post for full contest rules.) The results are in, the custom 2013 badges are on their way to your inboxes, and we’re excited to announce the prize winners!*

iPad minis (Don’t forget to put the Bible App on your new iPad mini, first thing!)

Laura O.  -  John F.  -  Jim S.  -  Orlando H.  -  Abner S.

YouVersion T-Shirt and Sticker Pack. Congratulations to these 21 users:

Chad F. (United States) Manda H. (United States)
Elisangela M. (Brazil) Amy T. (Canada)
Seth D. (Canada) Emmanuel E. (Uganda)
Lindsay C. (United States) Daniela H. (Germany)
Keith H. (United States) Lisa M. (Great Britain)
Matthew C. (United States) Eddie B. (Netherlands)
Chanell B. (United States) Jennifer G. (United States)
Paul P. (Canada) Caitlin L. (United States)
Arteida M. (Bahamas) Liliana G. (Argentina)
Kymberly K. (United States) Carla M. (United States)
Suzanne B. (United States)

 

We hope that joining us for the challenge during these last 3 weeks helped you firmly establish your own daily Bible reading habit. But even more important, we hope this time brought you closer to God as you enjoyed spending time with Him each day in His Word. And now, even though the challenge is over, there’s no reason to stop! With more than 350 Reading Plans, your next plan is already waiting for you…Thank you, everyone! Besides our lucky winners, we’d like to thank everyone else who participated in the 21-Day Challenge! If it hasn’t already, your special 21-Day Challenge badge should show up on your YouVersion profile sometime during the next week.



*Winners can expect to receive prizes within the next 7–10 business days. Any correspondence with YouVersion must take place through the email address you used when you registered your free YouVersion account.

The Bible App Named Official App of The Bible Series

Have you ever tried to picture what Noah’s family experienced during the flood? What it looked like when Samson destroyed the temple? How it felt to be present when the wise men knelt before Jesus?

As we study God’s Word, it’s helpful to understand the context in which these events took place. The Bible series, from television’s top husband-and-wife team Roma Downey and Mark Burnett, is the greatest visualization of the Bible we’ve ever seen. From Genesis to Revelation, this five-part series combines a powerful collection of stories with live action and truly amazing CGI.*

We’re thrilled that the Bible App has been named the official app of The Bible series. YouVersion is committed to leveraging the best of today’s and tomorrow’s technology to help people engage with God’s Word, and we think The Bible does just that. Very soon, you’ll have the opportunity to access video content from the series directly in the Bible App.

We can’t wait for you to see it! Watch The Bible series on the History Channel beginning 3-3-13. Check your local TV listings for times and keep an eye out for video in the Bible App!

*Please note that these powerful stories contain scenes that are similar to PG-13 content. We encourage you to make the best viewing decisions for your family.


America’s Top Football Players Use the Bible App

The biggest day in American sports is here, and the Bible App is part of the conversation for players on both sides of the field.

We had a special opportunity, thanks to 1615.tv, to talk with several players who are competing in the big game today. Like so many of you, their love for God’s Word has grown by being able to read the Bible anytime, anywhere with the Bible App. Whether it’s sharing the Verse of the Day, adding bookmarks, or listening to audio Bibles, these players are an active part of the global community of people seeking God through His Word.

 

Share this video: 

Bible App Community Shatters Records During 2012

Worldwide, the YouVersion community saw more people than ever before engaging with God’s Word through the Bible App. And this past year — as in every year — we continue to be amazed and humbled at all that God is doing through YouVersion. Thank you for doing your part to share the Bible with others. And let us together give honor to Him:

“To him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever.” 
Ephesians 3:20–21, English Standard Version

More Bible App installs than ever. At the end of 2011, the Bible App had been installed more than 37 million times. Then in just one year, during 2012, installs of the Bible App more than doubled, to over 75 million! December 2012 alone set a new one-month record of 4 million installs.

More Reading Plans completed than ever. From 2009 to 2011, the YouVersion community completed 1.15 million Reading Plans. In just 2012 alone, together we completed 4.8 million! Besides new installations, December 2012 set another all-time one-month record: 562,514 Reading Plans completed. And we’re kicking off 2013 right, too, with more than 1 million Reading Plans started in just 8 days, between December 30 and January 6.

More of God’s Word. In 2012, the YouVersion community spent 23.6 billion minutes reading inside the Bible App. Compare that to all-time total minutes of 39 billion minutes so far, and it’s obvious that 2012 was a great year for getting into God’s Word. It was a great year for sharing verses, too: more than 31 million times, on Facebook and Twitter and through SMS and email messages.

Last but not least, here were the YouVersion community’s top 10 most bookmarked verses of 2012:

  1. Philippians 4:6
  2. Proverbs 3:5
  3. Jeremiah 29:11
  4. Romans 12:2
  5. Philippians 4:7
  6. Proverbs 3:6
  7. Philippians 4:13
  8. Matthew 6:33
  9. 1 Corinthians 13:4
  10. 1 Corinthians 13:7

Of course, these numbers gain their real meaning when we consider what’s truly behind them: the changed lives of literally millions of people. Perhaps best of all, because of the following promise that we have from God’s Word, we honestly believe that this is just the beginning:

“The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry. It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.”
Isaiah 55:10–11, New Living Translation

21-Day Challenge 2013: Win 1 of 5 iPad minis, Other Prizes

If you’ve never read your Bible consistently before, it can be hard to get started. Research indicates it takes 21 to 28 days to establish a new habit. That’s why YouVersion started the 21-Day Challenge.

The 21-Day Challenge is designed to inspire you to try — and stick to — using Reading Plans to help you connect with God’s Word. All you have to do is complete the daily reading selection for any Reading Plan for 21 days, from Monday, January 21 through Sunday, February 10. You’ll get a special 21-Day Challenge badge on your YouVersion profile, and you’ll be entered in a drawing to win one of five iPad minis or one of 21 YouVersion prize packs! (See official rules below.)

Reading Plans are a proven tool to help you read more of the Bible, more often. And once you’ve read the Bible for 21 days in a row, you’ll have all the momentum you need to keep going. With over 360 Reading Plans and counting, you’re sure to find the plan that’s just right for you. Thanks to YouVersion’s incredible worldwide community of translation volunteers, you can even choose from plans in any of 29 languages.

Tell your friends… and keep reading!



Official Rules:

  • If you don’t already have a free YouVersion account, sign up for one.
  • Complete at least one scheduled day of any YouVersion Reading Plan every day, from Monday, January 21 through Sunday, February 10.
  • Even if you’re subscribed to more than one Reading Plan, you only have to complete a day’s reading for one of them each day.
  • Listening to audio versions counts — as long as you make sure the reading for the day is checked off.
  • 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!
  • 26 prizes in total will be distributed to winners selected through a random drawing from the pool of eligible participants. Due to certain international customs fees and regulations, certain prizes may only be available for distribution to winners living in the United States. In such cases, winners living outside the United States will receive alternate prizes.

NIV Available for Download from YouVersion until January 21

Green Download Button from the Bible App™For a limited time, you can now download the New International Version (NIV) for offline use in the Bible App.

What does offline mean?  When you download a version, you can read it literally anytime, anyplace, even when you can’t connect to your service provider or to the Internet. On a plane, in church, or even when you just can’t get a good signal – offline versions help you stay connected and reading the Bible wherever you go.

If you missed your chance last time, have a new mobile device, or if you know someone who would be excited about this offer, spread the word and make sure you take advantage of this opportunity. Special thanks go to Biblica and Zondervan for making the NIV available to the YouVersion community!

This limited time offer will end at 11:59PM on Monday, January 21 Central Time U.S. (GMT -6)


Note: When you look at the available versions on your device, remember to hit the “Refresh” button, to ensure that the list you’re seeing is the most current.


Downloading offline versions:

Many versions in the Bible App™ are available to download to your mobile device, generously provided by Bible publishers free to the YouVersion community. (And several of these are available all the time—not just during promotions.)

Below are links to detailed instructions on how you can download the NIV, or any version that is available for offline download. Be sure you don’t miss this opportunity!

Pick a Great Reading Plan from YouVersion

Yesterday we shared why it’s so important that we engage with God’s Word every day. The Bible App makes it easy, with hundreds of Reading Plans, ranging in length from just a few days to a whole year. To find your next plan, browse through the convenient categories, or use Search to find something specific.

If you’re still looking for ideas for your next Reading Plan, here are a few you might try:

Brand New Plans Just Added:

NIV Once-A-Day With six new devotionals, make the Bible a daily habit as you read short devotionals that fit into the pace of life. From Zondervan. various lengths

Made to Crave: 21 Day Challenge Bridge the gap between your desire to live a healthy lifestyle and the spiritual strength you need for lasting change. From Lysa TerKeurst. 21 days

God’s Glory and Your Purpose: Devotions with John Piper In this five-day video devotional, John Piper explains what the Bible teaches about the glory of God, and how it impacts our daily lives. From Desiring God. 5 days

Lead Like Jesus: 21 Days of Leadership Bible-based leadership principles for the effective development of people whose heart’s desire to lead as Jesus did. From Ken Blanchard. 21 days

One: A Marriage Devotional by Jimmy Evans Develop a thriving relationship with your spouse through this marriage-building devotional from Jimmy Evans and Marriage Today. 52 Days

Browse even more new plans…

Tried and True “Classic” Plans:

The One Year® Bible The most popular plan on YouVersion, experience the joy of reading the entire Bible with as little as 15 minutes of reading each day. From Tyndale. 1 year

Right From the Heart 1-Minute Devotions A daily injection of truth, reminding you what matters most in life – a relationship with Jesus Christ. Basically, we cut the fluff and get right to the point. From Bryant Wright and RFTH Ministries. 1 year

The Essential 100 A favorite around the world, the E100 guides you through 50 Old Testament and 50 New Testament passages, helping you see the big picture of God’s Word. From Scripture Union. 100 days

Soul Detox Use this plan to identify what’s been chipping away at your soul, and to cleanse your spirit, as you step into the person God created you to be. From LifeChurch.tv. 35 days

Psalms and Proverbs in 31 Days Encounter God and find comfort, strength, solace, and encouragement that covers the breadth of the human experience. From YouVersion. 31 days

Browse all plans…

The new year offers us a great time to get back to basics on the things that matter most in our lives. The first step may be the hardest, but it’s also the one that has the most power to change your life!

Hear God’s Voice in Your Everyday Life

What’s the most important voice in your life? You can probably picture a specific person’s face, even hear their voice in your head. That relationship didn’t “just happen.” You work on it. You value it.

That’s the kind of relationship God wants with you as his adopted child. And what in your life could be more important than that? He wants you to talk to him, and he wants to talk to you—through his Word. Starting a new year is the perfect time to freshen relationships and renew dreams. What might your 2013 look like — if you leave space to hear from him?

YouVersion’s Bible Plans make it easy to connect daily with God. People in the worldwide YouVersion community constantly share how much it means to make God’s Word a part of their everyday lives. The key is to just get started. Here we’ve made a short list to help you turn engaging with the Bible into a daily habit:

  1. If you haven’t already, download the Bible App to your device. (Read more…)
  2. Get your free YouVersion account.
  3. Sign up for a Reading Plan. (Read more…)
  4. Then just start reading God’s Word—or listening to it—a little each day. It really is that simple!

To help you stick with it, invite your friends! It’s easy to connect to Facebook and Twitter and let them know what you’re reading.

If you’re still having a hard time picking a plan, check back here tomorrow. We’ll share highlights from some exciting, brand-new Reading Plans, as well as some proven favorites!

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