Revamp your wake-up routine

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Start Today with a Fresh Habit

When you wake up, what is the first thing you do? Are you an email checker? Social media scroller? A “just ten more minutes” sleeper? Or maybe you’re that person who’s happy and chipper before their first cup of coffee.

Whatever your wake-up routine looks like, how you begin each day impacts your mood and mindset. So before you do anything else, get into the habit of fixing your mind on what matters most.

Start your day with Verse of the Day Stories, and make space for God to speak to you through reflection and prayer.

Here are 3 ways you and your family can use this feature to listen to God’s Word:

  1. Open your YouVersion Bible App and look for the Stories icon at the top of your Home page. Spend a few minutes on each Story screen, and use those cards as a launching point for reflecting on Scripture.

    Open Verse of the Day Stories

  2. If there are any preteens in your life, help them develop a relationship with God that’s their own by activating Kids Bible Experience in your Bible App Settings. Using the same format as Verse of the Day Stories, this feature contains content curated with preteens in mind.

    Activate Kids Bible Experience

  3. If you prefer listening to the Bible, get the daily Story read to you on your favorite voice device. Just start with the same “Ok Google…” or “Alexa…” that you use with any other voice command.

    Learn More about YouVersion for Voice

How to move forward in 2021

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We’ve all acquired patterns of behavior that form the basis of our daily routines. But what happens when our daily routines are suddenly changed? After spending a year embracing uncertainty, how do we start to move forward?

The beginning of 2021 is the perfect time to reset our minds, look closely at our habits, and prepare our hearts for what God is going to do next.

Here are 5 ways to do that:

  1. Set aside time with God every day.
  2. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

    JEREMIAH 29:13

    Start rebuilding healthy habits by making time with God your top priority. When you prioritize time with Him, you allow Him to renew your mind and change the way you think.

    One tool you can use to create a daily quiet time routine is Verse of the Day Stories. Start your day with a Story and get into the habit of letting God’s Word speak to you.

    Ask yourself: At what times of day do I find it easiest and hardest to connect with God?

  1. Fix your eyes on Jesus
  2. Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.

    HEBREWS 12:1-2

    Keeping Jesus at the center of your life will help you lay aside anything that might easily entangle you, and eventually, this practice will change the way you live.

    So today, take a moment to think about what might be keeping you from focusing entirely on Jesus. Try creating a Prayer in your Bible App and list the distractions you want to surrender. Then, set up a Prayer reminder to help you give those distractions over to Jesus every day.

    Ask yourself: What desires are keeping me from centering my life completely around Jesus?

  1. Remember Whose you are
  2. You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

    1 CORINTHIANS 6:19-20

    Everything you’ve sacrificed this past year will never compare to the ultimate sacrifice God made for you. So when you begin to grow discouraged, remember that God is eternally invested in your life. Your future is in the hands of Someone who loves you, and He wants you to become the person He created you to be.

    Ask yourself: What habits will help me glorify God more?

  1. Start small
  2. One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.

    LUKE 16:10

    Growth takes time, so just pick something small you’d like to change, and start there. Consistently doing one thing well will make it easier to master other habits later. And if you miss a day (or five), give yourself grace. Starting small makes it easier to pick yourself back up and keep moving forward.

    Ask yourself: What is one thing I can start to master?

  1. Invite others to join you
  2. As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.

    PROVERBS 27:17

    We weren’t meant to go through life alone. You’ll find it easier to stay on track if you invite some friends to join you on your journey. Try finding a Bible Plan you’d like to read, and then commit to processing each Plan day together.

    Ask yourself: What trusted friends can I invite to join me?

As you keep developing healthy habits, over time you will find yourself becoming more like the person God created you to be.

It only takes a moment to get going, and these 5 steps are a great place to start. Pick the number you want to focus on first, and then stay committed to moving forward by applying this bonus step…

Set Reminders to help you pursue what matters most.

Reminders are perfect for the times when you need some extra encouragement to continue to build good habits. And by setting up Bible App reminders, you’ll always have a way to stay connected to God’s Word and His will for you. Reminders are currently available for Bible Plans, Verse of the Day, and YouVersion Prayer.

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The OpenDyslexic font is now in the Bible App!

Woman using Bible App on phone

Dyslexia is quite common: approximately 10-20% of people have some level of it. That means 10-20% of people find it challenging to read God’s Word.

We don’t want anything to prevent people from spending time in the Bible, which is why the OpenDyslexic font is now available in the Bible App.

The OpenDyslexic font features larger word and line spacing as well as unique, weighted letters to help people easily differentiate words and sentences.

Here’s how to select the OpenDyslexic font in your Bible App:

First, make sure your app is up-to-date, then tap the Font button (Aa) in your Bible Reader (or in your Reader Settings). Next, select the font list, and select OpenDyslexic.

That’s it! Now, every time you read God’s Word, it will be in a font that’s easier to visually process.

Do you know someone who would benefit from using this font? Help them transform their Bible reading experience by telling them about this update.

Update Bible App

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5 Practices to Help You Become the Person God Created You to Be

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Follow my example: Even the Son of Man did not come for people to serve him. He came to serve others…

MARK 10:45

The things you do consistently over time create the person that you ultimately become. Are your habits filling you with the wisdom, compassion, and joy you need to serve others? 2020 may be more than halfway over, but it’s never too late to start growing. Here are 5 spiritual practices that can help you become the person God created you to be:

Find wisdom in God’s Word.

Woman journaling while reading Bible on phone

Bible Plans help you learn about and explore God’s Word in manageable chunks, a little at a time each day, with selections you can read, listen to, or watch. Try a featured Plan, or search by category, topic—or even by emotion. When you start a Plan, invite friends to join you.

Find a Plan >

Enjoy conversations with God.

Person praying with Bible App open on phone

Prayer is simply talking to God about whatever is on your mind, by yourself or together with friends, and then listening for Him to speak. Our Prayer feature helps you keep track of things you’re praying for, Prayers you’ve created, and Prayers that Friends send to you.

Add a Prayer >

Connect in biblical

Group meeting together

We’re not meant to do life alone. Invite friends to join you in the app, where you can explore God’s Word together, share prayers with each other, and more. Look for Suggested Friends in your Home feed, tap [Friend icon], or go to More, Share the Bible App.

Invite Some Friends >

Honor God in worship.

Hand raised in worship

Take time each day to express respect and devotion to your Father. Sing to Him. Thank Him in prayer for something He’s done in your life. Tell other people about what He’s doing. Search your music streaming service for “worship” or “praise,” then listen to renew your mind with reverence for Him.

Learn More >

Invest in God’s kingdom.

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God modeled generosity by giving us Jesus, His most prized possession. Give your time by working to become a better listener. Use your talents to serve others in your community. Invest your resources— first into your local church— or consider supporting YouVersion’s mission.

More Ideas >

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How do you study the Bible? Here are 5 steps…

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This year, many of us have had to adapt to a “new normal” that doesn’t feel normal. Sudden life adjustments like this can negatively impact mental health and lead to chronic fatigue and burnout.

Yet, in the midst of this, God still calls us to come to Him, promising to give us rest. One way we draw closer to God is by spending time in His Word, but how do you make time with God a daily habit? And then, how do you bridge the gap between knowing Scripture and living it out every day?

Here are 5 seamless steps (that form an easy to remember acronym) that can help you PAUSE, rest, and study the Bible every day—even when you feel overwhelmed.

Prepare your heart

Lord, my heart is not proud. I don’t look down on others. I don’t do great things, and I can’t do miracles. But I am calm and quiet.… I am at peace, like a baby with its mother.

PSALM 131:1-2

Start your quiet time by reciting this Psalm, and then write out your concerns and worries. Visualize putting everything that’s competing for your attention into a box, then giving that box to God. (You may have to repeat this process several times before you feel ready to move on to the next step.)

Ask God to Speak to You

Before you dive into your daily Bible study, ask God to help you understand His Word, and how you can apply Scripture correctly to your life. He promises to give us His wisdom when we ask for it.

A Prayer for Wisdom:

God, please quiet my mind so that I can hear You clearly. I want Your wisdom as I study this passage, so that I can recognize biblical truth and apply it to my life. Please help me clearly see You at work in Your Word. Amen.

Save this Prayer to your Bible App

Unpack the passage

When was the passage written? Who was the intended audience? What is the main theme? Are there any repetitive words and phrases (if so, why)? What does the passage show you about God’s character?

As you begin your Bible study, read through the passage several times, each time answering a different question. Pay special attention to any phrases or ideas that continue to stand out to you.

Summarize the Scripture

What resonated with you as you were reading? Spend several minutes asking God to show you the truths in His Word, and then write down 1-3 key takeaways from the passage. This will help you process and track the insights that God shows you.

Exercise the Application

If you want to grow stronger in your faith, then it’s not enough simply to study God’s Word—you also need to live it out.

Write out 2-3 ways you want to practically apply the Scriptures you’ve studied, and then regularly check your progress. You can even turn your goals into Prayers in your Bible App, and set reminders to pray about them!

Once you’ve finished your Bible study, spend a few minutes in silent reflection, and ask God to remind you throughout the day of all that you learned.

PAUSE phone wallpaper

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Even when uncertainty surrounds us, choosing to PAUSE with God daily will ultimately help us see our problems and pain from His eternal perspective. And in the process, we will find rest for our souls and renewed hope for our lives.

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