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Happy New Year, Dear Friends!

 As you move into 2018, why not make your goal to prioritize spending time in God's Word?

The psalmist wrote that the person who "mediates" on God's Word day and night is like a "tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season; its leaf will not wither, and whatever he does will prosper" (Ps. 1:2-3). Spending time in God's Word daily not only helps you to become more rooted in your faith, but also gives you wisdom for everyday challenges in your life. I know it can be challenging to find the time—especially when you have little ones—but it is worth the effort. The promise tucked in these verses is that those who meditate on God's Word and choose to obey it will live fruitful lives.

So how do you get started? Here are a few suggestions:

  • Start small. Start by just reading a few verses or even one verse per day. One great place to start is in the Gospels. The stories about Jesus are easy to read, and as you meditate on them, you'll find truth for your life. Another great place to start is the book of Proverbs. It's loaded with wisdom on relationships, work and purposeful living. Right now on the front page of my website, I have a new free gift for you called 31 Days of Wisdom. This small e-book focuses on one verse per day from the book of Proverbs, offering insight on that verse and a prayer to pray to internalize the truth found in that verse. Download it and enjoy a month of focusing on God's wisdom.
  • Join a Bible study. It can be very encouraging to join a Bible study with a few friends where you dig into God's Word and discuss the truths you discover there. A local church in your area probably offers a Bible study. Why not take advantage of one and explore God's Word in depth? There are lots of great Bible studies out there. I have one that will release February 6—it's called Who Do You Say That I Am? The study considers some of the tough questions Jesus asked and studies His answers through His "I Am" statements. Considering the questions and claims of Christ will strengthen your faith, even in the toughest of life's challenges.
  • Try memorizing a passage that speaks to you. The Hebrew word for "meditate" used in Psalm 1:2 is the word hagah in the Hebrew language. In Israel, when you meditated, you quietly repeated the Scriptures, rehearsing them in your mind. As you rehearsed, those Scriptures became more cemented in your heart. Cynthia Heald used to say that when you memorize Scripture, you give the Holy Spirit more to work with for life transformation.

Lord, as I enter 2018, awaken in my heart a deeper love for your Word and for meditating on it daily. Show me sustainable habits of spending time with you every day. I pray that 2018 would be a year in which I grow more firmly rooted in my faith so that when the storms of life come—I hold steady.  

Becky Harling, an author, certified speaker, leadership coach and trainer with the John Maxwell Team, is an energetic and motivational international speaker inspiring audiences to overcome their greatest life challenges and reach their full God-given potential. Her most recent book is How to Listen So People Will Talk. Her husband, Steve Harling, is the president of Reach Beyond, a nonprofit organization seeking to be the voice and hands of Jesus around the world. Connect with Becky at beckyharling.comFacebook or Twitter.

This article originally appeared at beckyharling.com.

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