With being on the edge of one year ending and another year beginning. I have been pondering what I should invest time and effort toward in 2023. As I drove to church this morning, the words of Isaiah 40:8 seemed to offer an answer. The verse reads: The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever. 

The first time I remember reading that verse was when my dad gave me a new Bible when I was in the 7th grade. I was not yet a follower of Jesus, but my dad wanted me to have the same translation our church was using in its teaching ministries. On the first page of the Bible, right behind the title page and the copyright information, Isaiah 40:8 was listed as the Scriptural Promise. Though I did not fully grasp the significance of those words then, I certainly have over the last 41 years of being a follower of Jesus. There are lots of things that we could invest ourselves in during 2023. Isaiah’s straightforward words suggest that investing in God’s Word will have the longest-lasting impact. To be precise, it can make an eternal difference in our lives and the lives of people with whom we share God’s Word. That discipleship/mission reality compels me to encourage, and even urge you to invest time and effort in reading through the Bible in 2023. I believer that may be the most important thing you could do this next year. Reading the Bible will fuel you to pray and serve. It will challenge, correct, and shape how to function in your relationships, your marriage and parenting, and your work life. It will also move you to find hope, forgiveness, and God’s transforming work in your soul.