We live in a world filled with resources, apps, and gadgets. If there is one thing that is certain, we have no shortage of digital “tools.” Below I have listed several apps and tools that I often use to encourage my growth in Christ and His word.
One caveat, the Bible is always primary. The best tool is found in the timeless truth of God’s word, The 66 books of the Bible. My Schuyler Personal Size Quentel ESV, fine point blue pen, and LEUCHTTURM1917 notebook are always close by. Lastly, it's hard to overlook the importance of a health local church, and faithful biblical preaching from the pulpit. Beyond these , here are some tools I have found helpful.
1. Logos Bible Software
Hands down, Logos Bible Software has become an integral part of my daily study and devotion. I’m a pastor, so I have invested much time and resources into this software. If you know a good painter, he likely has a more than nice paintbrush to give shape to his craft. Or a musician may have a quality instrument. Over the years, I too, have given priority to investing in Logos. Much of my heavy research material is contained within my Logos library, so I use Logos for sermon prep, devotional reading, and research writing. There are several tools and resources within this program. To be fair, it can be expensive. However, the basic software comes with some pretty neat resources as well. For example, a camera to link biblical passages digitally from a photo. This can be helpful when leading a bible study to have biblical references on hand with a quick “click.”
There are other helpful tools and an abundance of books available for purchase. These books are also “indexed” within Logo’s library, which makes the program so beneficial for study, devotion, and research. Check it out, and download the mobile app; it’s free! Plenty of bible translations and resources with the free version.
Oh, man! I love this one! Dwell is an audio bible app. There are several translations (I use the ESV). Moreover, there are a ton of voices/readers. The settings are adjustable, so you can get just the right balance of ambient background music if desired. The reading speed can be adjusted as well. Some other features include bible reading plans. Several plans go through the entire Bible, while others are topically focused. For example, a series of bible passages on “anger” or “lust,” etc.
Much of scripture was an oral tradition (likely) communicated orally and eventually penned. Hearing the scriptures read is incredibly beneficial. After all, “Faith comes by hearing and hearing through the word of Christ.” (Rom 10:17). I have used this app to read through various books and passages of scripture. Honestly, it is often my preferred resource when I’m driving in the car. Instead of listening to a podcast, sermon, or music, I will put on the Book of Psalms or the Book of Isaiah. For example, my wife and I listened to the majority of Isaiah on a recent road trip to Virginia.
Again, this is a paid app, but gosh, it is useful!
3. Fighter Verses
I love scripture memory. I love Fighter Verses! I was discipled through scripture memorization. Actually, I came to faith through extensive scripture memorization. After a year of memorizing various passages, God revealed to me that I was lost and needed to repent and trust Christ for salvation. Before then, I would have told you I was a Christian. After all, I prayed “the prayer” and frequently attended church. Nonetheless, I was lost and needed Christ. The work of God’s word pierced through my calloused heart and imparted life to my soul through the power of the Word of God and His Holy Spirit (Heb 4:12, 1 Pet 1:23).
This scripture memory system is both a physical memory system but also offered through the Fighter Verses App. The app is inexpensive, less than $5, and it comes equipped with various scripture memory plans.
Let me encourage you to use this app the same way I discipled. Meet with a friend, commit to memorizing the scripture passage together, and discuss how the memory verse was applied during your week.
4. Bible App (YouVersion)
Good news – This one’s free! The thought just occurred to me while writing this article; all these resources come with a (slight) price tag. AH! Sorry, but they are great apps! However, the Bible App (YouVersion) is completely FREE! It’s also a great resource. There are a ton of bible reading plans and translations. It’s interactive as well. I have found this app is a great encouragement and reminder to simply get in the word daily.
You can also read scripture with friends, encourage one another through prayer, etc. You can also follow your church if they have an account. For example, I upload my sermon each week for GraceLife Church of Decatur. We also have a suggested reading plan. You are more than welcome to follow us if you’d like. Just follow this link and click “Set as my church.”
To be fair, any streaming player will work. My wife and I have a family plan for Spotify, so that’s just what we use. Most people have some streaming app they are already paying for, and it will work fine. Spotify is simply the vessel to the resource. The real resource is the various artist and podcast. Here are a few of my favorites right now.
The CornerRoom – many of their songs are simply scripture set to music. We listen to them all the time! It’s great
Sovereign Grace Music – solid theology, modern hymns, corporate worship song. Good stuff!
Peppa Pig – I’m kidding…But I do listen to it often with my daughter in the car!
Matt Papa, Matt Boswell, Shane and Shane, Getty Worship – All are great!
The Paul Tripp Podcast – great podcast. Episodes can be a little lengthy, but the content is really good.
Doctrine and Devotion – If you know, you know! I love listening to the Jojo and the Fofo!
The Faithful Expositor – I’m always encouraged, sharpened, and challenged by my friend and former pastor, Jono Sims.
How About You?
What resources and tools have you found helpful in growing in Christ? Comment below, if you’d like.