IOUS Bible Approach

I heard about an acronym that can be used to ready our hearts in anticipation of reading God’s Word. This approach keeps us from rushing into Bible reading flippantly, missing the Holy Spirit’s guidance in our quiet time. It goes like this…



I – “Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain” (Ps. 119:36)


O – “Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law” (Ps. 119:18)


U – “Unite my heart to fear your name” (Ps. 86:11)


S – “Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love” (Ps. 90:14)

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Bible Study Tools and Devotional Resources

Making room for God’s Word in our lives is a healthy discipline of growing Christ-followers. God’s Word is transformative in renewing our minds, healing our hurts, restoring our damaged souls, and navigating our future. It’s the truth that sets us free. Give yourself to a daily Bible reading plan and see how this timeless gospel changes your life.

The Discipleship Journal Bible Reading Plan offers special features that will aid you in your journey through the Bible.

  • By reading from four separate passages in the Bible every day, you will be able to better grasp the unity of the Scriptures, as well as enjoy the variety of seeing four different viewpoints. You can begin at any point of the year.
  • To prevent the frustration of falling behind, which most of us tend to do when following a Bible reading plan, each month of this plan gives you only twenty-five readings. Since you’ll have several “free days” each month, you could set aside Sundays to either not read at all or to catch up on any readings you may have missed in the past week.
  • If you finish the month’s readings by the twenty-fifth, you could use the final days of the month to study the passages that challenged or intrigued you.

As you read the passages each day, ask God to speak directly to you from the Scripture portions you read. I like using the I-O-U-S acronym in approaching my Bible reading. Be expectant, and let your continual exposure to God’s Word reshape your attitudes and behavior as you gain a better understanding of every part of His written testimony to us. It is helpful to also journal your thoughts from the passages you read, highlighting some of the key thoughts that are relevant to you in that moment.

Bible Study Portals


Devotionals are publications which provide a specific spiritual reading for a daily time of prayer and meditation.


Bible dictionaries are one of the most practical and useful theological reference books available. The combination of definitions and proper names for Biblical words with online verse reference, allows users to define and analyze Scripture. Discover the meaning of words and study them in context to the theological concepts of that specific verse or passage. Many word searches also include the original Greek and Hebrew word with meaning. Popular dictionaries of the Bible include Baker’s Evangelical, Easton’s, and Smiths – named after their well-known theological authors.


A Bible concordance is a concordance, or verbal index, to the Bible. A simple form lists Biblical words alphabetically, with indications to enable the inquirer to find the passages of the Bible where the words occur.

Bible Study Tools and Resources

Digital Resources

The American Bible Society recently reported that 41 percent of Americans read the Bible digitally. With the tremendous surge in web-based Bible use, it’s no surprise that a wealth of online study tools exist as well. For example:

There are many great Bible study resources for mobile device platforms:

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