Perhaps you have noticed the technological revolution going on around us. If you can take a moment to unplug your head from that device playing music or to look up from your texting, web surfing, or game playing, then you will notice a lot of other people with their heads plugged up or their heads turned down, lit up by the glow of a screen. Whether a smartphone, a tablet, or one of the devices in between that can’t decide whether it is a smartphone or a tablet, these devices are seemingly everywhere—in pockets, in hands, on the elevator, in the car (please don’t drive with a device in hand; it isn’t worth it!).
Along with the revolution of mobile technology comes nearly unlimited access to many things good and bad. Our devices are rather neutral, but they can be used as weapons for righteousness or unrighteousness—which one will depend largely upon you. Will you lazily allow your smartphone to be a gateway for that which seeks to kill your soul, or as a matter of will and discipline, will you tame your tablet that it may be a blessing and a tool for your spiritual growth?
I hope we choose the latter. Smartphones and tablets can be great tools for the spiritual discipline of Bible intake. Here are some categories of apps that can help you maximize these tools for your continued growth in the faith.
• Bible Text Apps. At the most basic level, you can find Bible text apps for most Bible translations available—KJV, CSB, ESV, etc.—and most of these apps are free. These provide the plain text of Scripture without bells and whistles. You can read the Word on the go, standing in line at the grocery store, or sitting in the waiting room of your doctor’s office. And for those moments when you think of a phrase of Scripture but you can’t remember its context or where it is found, these apps have a search tool to help you find it. We have the gift of God’s Word readily available to us; why not use your device to take advantage of that gift wherever you are?
• Bible Study Apps. These apps aid in your study of God’s Word and typically provide access to numerous Bible translations along with the bells and whistles. Through this tool you can search and cross-reference Scriptures, take notes and highlight the text, read reference works, and access numerous other books. It is almost like taking a Bible study library with you as you walk down the street. The app is most likely free, and it will come with a basic set of Scripture translations and reference works, but additional resources come with a cost.
• Bible Curriculum Apps. The newest realm of Bible apps corresponds to ongoing curriculum options. If your group at church is using a curriculum to help guide each week’s study, then there might be an app available for your phone or tablet that gives you access to your leader guide or personal study guide wherever you are. Consider the possibility of studying and preparing for your group meeting using this tool on the go. During the typical experiences of your week, you could have your study guide handy on your device, teaching and encouraging you with truth gleaned from God’s Word, and then you could share firsthand how the study has impacted your life. These apps will also have a cost, but perhaps you will find these apps a convenience and a blessing.
Explore the Bible has an app with purchasable content for adults, young adults, and students (iOS and Android [coming soon]), and an app for kids and parents (iOS and Android). Content is also available at Lifeway.com. Check them out!