Do you have a new year resolution for how much you’ll use your smartphone? What about one for what you’ll use it for?
Readers are likely to be familiar with The Good Book Company’s flagship daily Bible-reading notes, Explore, perhaps fewer have realised there is also a popular app option. Rather than lugging a Bible and paper devotional around, the app combines both, meaning that daily Bible reading can occur wherever you have your phone.
Cultivating a good routine
The app is simple, attractively designed, and harnesses the kind of features you’d expect: font size can be increased depending on preference; a daily reminder feature offers a helpful prompt when it comes to cultivating a routine of Bible reading; bookmarks can save your place in a particular study.
Once in the app, you can purchase from a plethora of reading plans, whether buying the latest month’s plan, or choosing to focus on a Bible book or topic of your own choice. In that sense, Explore app users have more flexibility than those reading the paper version.
A 28-day helpful introduction to daily Bible reading, ‘Time with God’, can be downloaded free of charge (as can studies on Titus) but other plans range from £0.99 to £2.99, depending on number of daily studies. Once bought, these then remain in the app’s library.
Physical or Digital?
Some may argue that the act of physically getting your Bible out in public, e.g. on the train or in the office, was a helpful step in both discipleship and witness. But in reality, perhaps the inconvenience of such Bible reading ‘on the go’ ends up limiting the amount of Bible reading that is actually done.
By the way, a little disclaimer: this reviewer occasionally writes notes for Explore, but here our focus is on the app rather than the quality of the devotional writing!
However, if you value Explore’s careful, well-applied book-by-book approach, yet you struggle to ‘make it happen’, perhaps because your best times for Bible reading aren’t at home, then this app is well worth considering.
More info on Explore here.
A version of this article was first published here in the January 2021 Issue of Evangelicals Now and is shared here with permission. EN is a monthly newspaper published in print and online, offering a biblical perspective on current issues and insight on what’s happening with God’s people worldwide. Online subscription is just £10 p/a with print & online combined for just £18. Order a free sample or subscribe here.