Article By: Hannah Miller, High School Youth & Young Adults Pastor.

January first is my favourite day of the year! There is something so exciting and fresh about day one! Every year, I have a little January first routine, and one of the things I do is choose a new translation of the Bible to read for the year. I grab a new notebook and a fresh (never before used) pen, and a highlighter. That first morning, when I opened the Word of God, I felt so excited! I have 365 days with God ahead of me, and I can’t wait to see all the things he reveals through his Word.

Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the Word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Please read that again and let it soak in! God’s Word is alive and active! It’s alive in that it is relevant today. It’s alive in that taking in the Word of God brings energy and life to our innermost being. It’s alive in that it’s exciting and invigorating! But it’s also active! When I bake bread (which is not a common occurrence), I use active yeast, which is a leavening agent that causes the bread to rise. You see, the yeast converts the fermentable sugars present in the dough into carbon dioxide and ethanol. When this happens, the dough expands and gets a lighter consistency. God’s Word converts us too! Reading God’s Word reacts with our souls and causes us to rise. What a beautiful image!

Every January, I read the book of Genesis and am always amazed at how fresh and new it is. I see things I never noticed in years past. God speaks new things to my heart. He challenges me, and he speaks to me. He soothes the hurts and challenges wrong theology. He guides and directs me. My Bible reading this year has felt extra potent and powerful, and I am so excited to wake up and spend time with Him. Here’s the thing; He wants to do the same for you! He wants to have an intimate and personal conversation with you. He doesn’t want to be put aside until He’s needed. Instead, He wants to be alive and active in your life and does that through His Word!

I know that as pastors, we are always telling our church family to get into the Word and become daily Bible readers. Do you know why we say that? We say that because we believe that God wants to speak to you. We think that His Word is alive and active and that it’s for you. We believe that his words react with your heart and convert the broken, sinful, confused, angry and hurtful things that dwell within you and mend them, turning them into love and fruit (see Galatians 5:22-26). There is transformational power in the Word of God!

But here’s the thing, just having the Bible sit on your shelf or just opening it briefly on a Sunday at church isn’t enough. You need to open the Word daily and allow God to speak to you daily. Let Him speak to you on the discouraging days, the exciting days, the dull days, and the joyful days. A relationship where you only talk with a person once a week or month is a relationship that lacks depth. If we want to know God, if we want a deep relationship with Him, we need to be in his Word.

This isn’t a very long blog post, and it’s probably more challenging than uplifting in some ways, but sometimes we need that. We are halfway through the month! There is still time to build a new habit and commit to a new goal. Here’s the thing, though; the best goal is not to get fit, eat better, reach financial freedom, or take that trip before the end of the year. Rather, the best goal you can make in 2023 is to be a daily Bible reader. As you get into God’s Word every day, He will come and transform you. You will find that all your goals and plans for the year will align with God’s Word every day! Open your Bible, download the YouVersion App, find a reading plan, or commit to a chapter daily. However, it looks for you; get into the Word! This time next year, you will be so thankful that you did!