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Through God's Word & Prayer

Growing Through God's Word

We truly believe that being in God’s Word daily is the best way to grow in our faith. But it wasn’t until 2020 that either of us actually made a daily habit of reading the Bible. We always claimed it was way over our heads. We’re so thankful for a friend who invited us to read the Bible in a year with them and a group of others. We started out excited thinking that it would be really great to say that we accomplished such a great task. But what began as a check-the-box mentality, God quickly turned into so much more. We found ourselves craving more and more of His Word each day. As we were working towards end-of-the-year bragging rights, God was working on our hearts, revealing His character, and making the Bible come to life in a way that only He can, meeting us right where we were at and growing our relationship with Him by leaps and bounds.

If you’ve also felt like the Bible is way over your head, we want to encourage you that it’s really not.

Whether you have a physical Bible or not, we recommend checking out the You Version Bible App which is totally free and available on smartphones and tablets as well as online at Bible.com.

We still prefer to read our physical Bibles, but we use the You Version Bible app for its many benefits listed below…

The reading plans at You Version are one of our favorite features. You can find plans on just about any topic from Anxiety to Zeal that you can read by yourself or with a group. The plans range in length from 3-days to 365-days. So, there really is something for everyone, no matter what you’re facing, where you’re needing guidance or encouragement, or how you want to grow in your faith.

The You Version App offers over 2,800 Bible translations. We know that can sound overwhelming, so we included more information about Bible translations below. In our own Bible study, we like to use a mix of several different translations. Comparing the texts against each other helps us to better understand the true and full meaning of God’s Word. However, if you’re just getting started with reading the Bible, we encourage you to find a translation that you can easily read and understand, and this app is a great source for figuring that out.

Not only are there many different Bible translations, the You Version Bible App provides access to God’s word in 1600+ languages. And for those who are more auditory type learners, you can click on the audio feature to have the Bible read to you. 

You can also add bookmarks, highlights, and private or public notes to any verse in the Bible.

Are you a visual learner? You Version includes an incredible library of videos covering a multitude of topics.

You can also grow your prayer life, with prayers you can keep private or invite friends to join you in. There are also daily prayer prompts if you need guided prayer.

You Version also has a separate Bible App for Kids, which introduces children to 41 of the “big” Bible stories and helps them understand the overall story that the Bible is telling.

These features are just touching the surface. The You Version Bible App is really an incredible Bible resource that we highly recommend.

Not sure where to start with Bible Translations?

With so many Bible translations, finding the right one to get started can feel completely overwhelming. The best advice we can give you is to find a version that you can easily read and understand. I (Amy) grew up on the King James Version (KJV), and while it is a popular word-for-word translation, I still get pretty confused with all of the thys and thous, so I prefer a much easier to read version myself.

Below we have included information about the different types of translations in hopes to help you find the best fit for yourself. Most translations tend to fit into one of these three categories. 

Bible Translation Categories

Literal translations are basically word-for-word translations, providing each word of the original text with an equivalent English word, as much as possible. These translations remain closer to the original text but can sound awkward to the modern ear, sometimes requiring more clarification and explanation.

See examples of some literal equivalence translations below.

Dynamic equivalence takes more of a though-for-thought approach. These translations are less concerned with providing exact English words as they are with communicating the basic message of scripture. They tend to be easier for modern readers to understand but may lose some of the ancient elements of the text, such as cultural customs, wordplays, allusions, and figures of speech.

See examples of some dynamic equivalence translations below.

Optimal equivalence translations seek a combined approach, using word-for-word, literal translation whenever possible and a thought-for-thought, dynamic translation when necessaryto produces the best balance of accuracy and readability.

See examples of some optimal equivalence translations below. 

Literal Examples

  • English Standard Version (ESV)
  • King James Version (KJV)
  • New American Standard Bible (NASB)
  • New Kings James Version (NKJV)
  • Revised Standard Version (RSV)

Dynamic Examples

  • Contemporary English Version (CEV)
  • Good News Translation (GNT)
  • New International Readers Version (NIrV)
  • New Living Translation (NLT)
  • Revised English Bible (REB)

Optimal Examples

  • Christian Standard Bible (CSB)
  • Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
  • New Century Version (NCV)
  • New English Translation (NET)
  • New International Version (NIV)

We don’t believe that any of the translation methods are “better” than the others and we actually use a mix of all of them when reading the Bible. 

To give you a place to start, we recommend NKJV if you’re looking for a word-for-word translation, NLT if you prefer a thought-for-thought translation, and CSB for a combined translation.

We’ve included a few verses from each of these translations below to give you an idea of how each of them might sound.

John 3:16-17

New King James Version

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”

New Living Translation

“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.”

Christian Standard Bible

“For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”

Romans 10:9-13

New King James Version

“If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

New Living Translation

If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved. As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.” Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They have the same Lord, who gives generously to all who call on him. For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Christian Standard Bible

“If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. One believes with the heart, resulting in righteousness, and one confesses with the mouth, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, Everyone who believes on him will not be put to shame, since there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, because the same Lord of all richly blesses all who call on him. For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Ephesians 2:8-10

New King James Version

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

New Living Translation

“God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”

Christian Standard Bible

“For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift — not from works, so that no one can boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time for us to do.”

Psalm 16:11

New King James Version

“You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”

New Living Translation

“You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.”

Christian Standard Bible

“You reveal the path of life to me; in your presence is abundant joy; at your right hand are eternal pleasures.”

Growing Through Prayer

What is Prayer?

Prayer is how we talk to God and how God can talk to us. We can pray to Him anywhere and anytime. There’s no perfect place, time, or method.

How Do We Pray?

It’s easy, just talk to God like you would a friend. Your conversations with God shouldn’t be fancy, they shoule be real. The more you do it, the more comfortable it becomes.

Praying through JOY

J = Jesus: Give praise to Him for who He is and all that He has done and continues to do.

O = Others: Putting others first, we get to lift them up in prayer, sending both requests and thanks to God on their behalf.

Y = You: God already knows what’s on your heart but He still loves to hear all about it from you.