The Hills Church : Glorifying God through Transformed Lives

Developing a Gospel Habit and Taste for God's Word

At The Hills Church we believe that the primary means of Knowing God is through reading His Word. We believe that for each person to grow in knowing God and becoming more like Christ we must be people of the book. Hence, we encourage all members of The Hills Church body to regularly read God's Word. Below you will find helpful approaches for reading through the Bible and developing the gospel habit of Bible reading. And since we are a community of believers, we also believe you should not just read through the Bible alone, that reading and reflecting on God's Word together is essential to glorifying God through transformed lives. So as you read make sure you are gathering together with the body each week.

Four Things to Pray before You Read the Bible

Here are four things to ask of God before you read your Bible.

Help (from the Holy Spirit)

Let my cry come before you, O LORD;
give me understanding according to your word!
Psa 119:169 (ESV)

Humility (to submit to God)

"He leads the humble in what is right,
and teaches the humble his way."
Psalm 25:9 (ESV)

Honesty (to be faithful stewards)

1 This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2 Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful.
1 Cor 4:1-2 (ESV)

Hunger (for God and the Word of God)

Incline my heart to your testimonies,
and not to selfish gain!
Psa 119:36 (ESV)

Read through the Bible in a Year

One of the great challenges and accomplishments as a follower of Christ is reading through the entire Bible. Below we've provided links to a few Bible reading plans to help you in reading through the Bible.

Five Day Bible Reading Schedule

Mark Roberts at Five Day Bible Reading has developed a 5-day-a-week one-year reading plan.

This reading plan has some nice features to it:
1) It's primarily chronologically based; this helps especially working through the Old Testament and New Testament history.
2) It's only 5 days per week! This gives you some flexibility each week to miss a day here or there for one reason or another.

The Navigators Bible Reading Plans

The Navigators provide three different Bible reading plans:
1) The Navigators Bible Reading
2) The Book-at-a-Time Bible Reading Plan
3) The 5x5x5 New Testament Bible Reading Plan

To gain access you need to provide some contact information including your email so that they can email you the plans.

Reading through the Bible with Your Kids

David Murray has written a great book, Exploring the Bible: A Bible Reading Plan for Kids, to help you read through the Bible with your kids and to teach your kids how to read the Bible on their own. You can purchase a copy from Amazon.

Reading through the Psalms each Month

The plan is simple, and you will find it easy to stay on track or to return to the course if you miss a few days,  You will read five Psalms a day.

Start with the calendar day and read that Psalm (for example, if today is July 8th, you would read Psalm 8).  Now, use your math skills and add thirty to it and continue adding thirty to the current Psalm you are reading until you have read a total of five Psalms.  (example:  8+30=38; 38+30=68; 68+30=98; 98+30=128).  Rules have exceptions, and the exception is on the 29th.  On the 29th of each month, skip Psalm 119, with its one hundred and seventy-six verses.  Read Psalm 119 by itself on the 31st of each month. 

Reading through Proverbs each Month

Proverbs provides profound guidance on Living the Gospel. A good way to read through Proverbs regularly is to use a simple approach of reading one chapter of Proverbs a day that corresponds to the day of the month. So on the first day of the month, you read Proverbs 1; on the second day, you read Proverbs 2, and so on. This means you'll read the entire book of Proverbs (all 31 chapters) 7 times each year (and most of it the other 5 months; you over achievers can read the entire book each month of you'd like :-).

Other Reading Plans

There are many other Bible reading plans available. Below are links to various web pages that offering Bible reading plans you may want to chose from. Some read through the entire Bible, some just through the New Testament. Some are for the entire year; some are just for a month; some are for a few months. The key is to start simple. We all get over zealous and bite off more than we can chew. But most of us know the key is to develop the habit and that starts in the first 30 days. So find a reading plan that is attractive to you and start with it.
Crossway Free Bible Reading Plans (available in nicely formatted and printable PDFs)

Bible Apps for Your Smartphone

God has extended His grace to us in this day and age through the common grace of smart phones (iPhones, Android phones). Part of the blessings of these devices is that you can load a Bible app on them to help you with your Bible reading, devotionals and study. There are many Bible apps out there, but there are three that generally standout among the rest.

Note: The links below are provided so that you can read about the Bible apps. To actually install them on your smart phone you need to download them from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.

YouVersion is free Bible app available on iPhone or Android graciously developed and provided by It's a great app to have both to read AND listen to the Bible. You can download multiple versions of the Bible (ESV, NASB, KJV) in multiple languages (English and Spanish among many others).

Accordance has a free version you can download. (It includes the ESV for free, the Bible version we primarily teach and preach out of at The Hills Church.) It has a simple, clean interface, and you can take your own notes. You can also buy other Bible versions and resources (such as commentaries) to add on to your collection. In addition to the mobile phone version, Accordance has both a Mac and Windows version, where you can sync your notes and libraries so that you can use the resources both on your computer and your smart phone.

Logos is very similar to Accordance and is essentially its competitor. It also has a smart phone app, Windows version, and Mac version. And you can buy additional resources to add on to it.

ESV Bible
At The Hills, we use the ESV as the primary translation out of which we preach and teach (though we do read and study out of other versions as well). You can access the ESV Bible online through a web browser or download the ESV Bible application on Apple or Android.

Note: The Hills Church does not officially endorse any of the Bible software noted above. However, our pastors do use all of the software mentioned above. We find them useful for our edification and growing in Christ, so we thought you might find them useful, too.

Online Bibles

There are many websites that have the Bible online. Below you will find several that you might find useful.
ESV Bible
Bible Gateway
NET Bible
CSB Bible