As we struggle to grow our spiritual lives under the especial temptations of the digital age, sometimes the most helpful thing to do is to find a Bible plan we can carry with us on our mobile devices. If we do so, our phones, which usually is and can still be a distraction, might just turn into a tool of accountability, so that every time we see it, we remember that we need to set aside time with God sometime during the day. With that said, I have been engaging with YouVersion a lot lately, and I’ve also discovered a few plans that stood out to me along the way. While I compiled this list, I evaluated (1) Scriptural soundness, (2) Scriptural focus, and (3) Scriptural text so that I might have the very best to share with you.
- “Seamless” by Angie Smith (Seven Days) | I love it when a sound Bible teacher shows how the Bible “fits” together—how each message ties in with another, which in turn ties with another, and on and on until you can’t help but step back in sheer awe of how completely impeccable the Scripture truly is. Angie’s assigned Bible readings for each day were neither too small nor too heavy, and her videos emanated God’s love and a passion for knowing it better.
- “Live By the Spirit” by John Piper (Seven Days) | For the longest time, I never really understood what the Holy Spirit did in the life of a Christian, much less where stemmed His equality with the Godhead. Though “Live By the Spirit” was not the first time I began to comprehend the holy Third Person, John Piper did a wonderful job at looking upon Him in the same fear and wonder that is due to the rest of the Trinity. I firmly believe that this message about the Holy Spirit is something the church is literally dying to hear—and accept.
- “When We Pray—7-Days with Tauren Wells” by Tauren Wells (Seven Days) | Usually I am a little wary around devotionals that appear to revolve around a Christian servant rather than the Master he says he serves, but this one gave all the glory to God. Not only does Tauren Wells sing one of the few modern CCM songs that actually makes doctrinal sense, but he also shows through this devotional that he can point to specific Scripture and delve into even more detail.
- “Teens’—Q&A devotionals on top questions” by Zondervan (Twelve Days) | For me, the main highlight of this teen Bible plan was its unashamedness to answer the deeper questions, giving teens honest, straightforward answers and assigning them one related chapter of the Bible per day to think and pray about. When teens are treated as a group who can indeed mature, their true potential in the church explodes, and I think this can be a wonderful catalyst for that Rebelution.
- “Ecclesiastes: Bible Audio Guide” by Through the Word Inc. (Thirteen Days) | The most expositional plan on the list, Through the Word’s audio guide to Ecclesiastes starts the devotional with a four-minute explanation of the reading and concludes with the reading itself—excepting the first day, this reading is usually one chapter at a time. Sometimes I don’t really like the illustrations the commentator uses, but his commitment to the Word is definitely clear.
Even though modern devotional literature isn’t usually all too impressive (to say the least), don’t let that hinder you from searching. Like those above, some can be the most beautiful, passion-driven non-Scriptural writing you will ever find on this side of heaven—so start one now and see how it goes!
“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” ~Colossians 3:1-3, ESV
November 15, 2018