Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Bible Reading Encouragement

On Sunday, my wife and I began a Bible reading strategy that I thought might be helpful to you as well. As a pastor, I find it relatively easy to stay on course when studying a paragraph of Scripture for a sermon or working through a Bible book as I teach or write, but consistency in reading outside of specific study is sometimes not easy. I really appreciate when the ease of technology puts together the best of the Internet’s abilities to do something that can actually help you grow in character.

Of course, with any Bible reading plan, if the only reason you are doing it is to say you’ve done it, or to check off boxes on a reading plan, it won’t change your life. But if you’re sincerely looking for a way to aid you in your reading, keep you on track, and even help to hold you accountable to a real-life person, this can be a super assistant, and may even be beneficial in your Godward progress.

YouVersion.comIt’s a free tool from, which offers a series of Bible reading plans. You can simply read any paper and ink Bible and check off the day’s scheduled reading, or you can have the Bible delivered to you in a variety of ways. You can have YouVersion send you a daily email with the first part of your reading embedded, so that you’re encouraged to start there and then click through to the site where you can complete your reading and check off the day’s plan. Or you can simply go to your main login page, where the plan automatically (if you stay signed in) pulls up where you’re supposed to start for the day. If you’re on your smartphone a lot, YouVersion has free apps available (iPhone, Android, others) that will let you read on your mobile device, and then whatever your read on mobile will sync with the full Web version so that you don’t have to keep checking in both places.

The service helps keep you on track, gives the ability to share Scripture on Twitter and Facebook, and it uses real friends, if you wish, to help hold you accountable. If you opt in to accountability, it will send reading progress reports via email to whoever you assign as an accountability partner. So my wife and I will be helping each other in this way. We chose the same reading plan, in part so that we can talk about what we’ve read together.

I look forward to coming back to the blog and posting how this has been a blessing in our walk with God—and even in our marriage.