Each New Year you have a chance to start over, to examine your life and see what changes you need to make. Many desire to lose weight, get their finances in order, spend more time with family and friends. All of these are worthy goals, but the most important thing is missing — reading and studying God's Word. How was your personal Bible study last year?

Were you in the Word of God on a daily basis?

Do you think because you're not the preacher, the teacher — what difference does it make?

You read the Word of God a little. You're here and there in the Bible, but you don't get much out of it — what difference does it make?

It makes a critical difference! A bigger difference than you think. Once you're in the Word consistently, once you've learned how to dig out its treasures of truth for yourself, you'll experience the incredible, revolutionary difference.

It's the difference between a "Hi! How are You? By the way, I've been meaning to tell You..." relationship with God and a deep intimacy with your Father.

It's the difference between a panic attack in the unexpected jolts of life and a supernatural peace in the midst of the storm.

It's the difference between confusion and a quiet confidence.

It's the difference between a restless I-don't-know-what's-missing-but-something-is kind of feeling and a surety that all is well with my soul.

It's the difference between running off in a thousand different directions and a knowing that this is what you are to do.

Spending time with God in His Word — knowing Him, His ways, and understanding what He has said, gives you a sense of stability.

Those who know God through His Word and through daily intimacy with Him retain the healthy fear (respect and trust) of Him that God says we are to have. Yet at the same time, that unhealthy dread of what God might do if they submit to Him disappears, for they know His character and comprehend the depth of His love. And perfect love casts out fear because fear has torment (1 John 4:18)

When you know God and His Word, you know where to run for refuge, you know where to rest your care, you know Who has all the facts. And this knowledge eases all the tension as you enter the rest of faith.

When you spend time daily with God in His Word, your faith grows; for faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17).

Do you desire change? All the resolutions in the world will not change you like His Word. Are you wondering where to even start? Begin in prayer, asking God to give you a passion to know Him and His Word. Read and pray these wonderful verses in the Psalms.

My soul cleaves to the dust; revive me according to Your word. I have told of my ways, and You have answered me; teach me Your statutes. Make me understand the way of Your precepts, so I will meditate on Your wonders. My soul weeps because of grief; strengthen me according to Your word. Remove the false way from me, and graciously grant me Your law. I have chosen the faithful way; I have placed Your ordinances before me. I cling to Your testimonies; O LORD, do not put me to shame! I shall run the way of Your commandments, for You will enlarge my heart. Teach me, O LORD, the way of Your statutes, And I shall observe it to the end. Give me understanding, that I may observe Your law and keep it with all my heart. Make me walk in the path of Your commandments, for I delight in it (Psalm 119:25-35).

O my friend, my prayer for you this New Year is that your delight will be in His Word. Your delight in Him will grow as you continue to have a fresh encounter with a true and living God as you seek Him with all your heart.

"Seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul" (Deuteronomy 4:29).

The Bible is the best place to start your search. If you're looking for a Bible Study visit www.precept.org.

Kay Arthur
Host, Precepts For Life
Co-CEO, Precept Ministries International