Study and Affections

This is the seventh message in our Long-Form series called “Learn to Study.” It asks us to consider how study might be successful in changing what we want.

The entire manuscript of this 40-minute lesson can be found below. Learn more about this podcast here.

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Can study change what I want?

  • We’ve already learned that we can study the Bible and it will be a joy and a delight to do so
  • But how does a person discover that this is the case
  • Well, if we have a hobby we enjoy, we only know because we have done it
  • No one can say they delight in an activity they never do
  • There are hundreds of reasons we may delight in something, but we have to do it to know the reasons
  • I’ve compiled a few verses to get us started today
  • That speak about the desire we ought to have, to learn and obey God’s word
  • Some we may have mentioned previously
  • All from Psalm 119…

Psalm 119:14

14 I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, as much as in all riches.

Psalm 119:111

111 Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage for ever: for they are the rejoicing of my heart.

Psalm 119:127

127 Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold.

Psalm 119:162

162 I rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth great spoil.

  • There is something happening within this person that examines and understands God’s word
  • Something within the emotions, within the center of their being, that is started by a recognition of value
  • The affections are engaged
  • That means the attitudes and actions of life will also be changed
  • Happiness will be a result
  • Proverbs 3 says so…

Proverbs 3:13-15

13 Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.

14 For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold.

15 She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her.

  • Now, we know that wisdom only comes from God and He has dispensed it in scripture
  • The only right we ever find in the world comes from Him
  • As we have read in Psalm 19…

Psalm 19:9-10

9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.

10 More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.

  • We observe so much wrong in the world
  • It surrounds us
  • And often overtakes us
  • But in that which comes directly from God – is God-breathed – we find righteousness
  • That which is not polluted by anything
  • This is not lost on people who know Christ
  • We can see the great value of it
  • If we go back to Proverbs 3 and look closer, I think we will find help understanding this
  • Remember the first three verses we read there…

Proverbs 3:13-15

13 Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.

14 For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold.

15 She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her.

  • The explanation seems to follow…

Proverbs 3:16

16 Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour.

  • Wisdom offers the keys to long life
  • There is spiritual and practical application to this
  • It is the key to eternal life and long life on this earth
  • The riches and honor we are blessed with by wisdom can’t compare to the riches and honor anything else can provide
  • There’s more…

Proverbs 3:17

17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.

  • Men search for pleasantness in this world
  • And it is rarely found
  • That word means beauty, delightfulness
  • These things come from God
  • And as we walk in His ways, we find them
  • Peace is also the desire of man’s heart
  • But is in such short supply
  • The paths that God’s people are lead on, by His word, are peaceful
  • They experience completeness, soundness, contentment
  • The realization of this changes man
  • More about wisdom in the next verse…

Proverbs 3:18

18 She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her.

  • To lay hold upon wisdom is something we need to understand
  • It doesn’t come across as well in English
  • It really means when wisdom prevails upon us
  • It is like a life-giving tree
  • One that springs forth with abundance
  • And if we can grasp hold of wisdom
  • And keep hold of it
  • It will make us happy
  • And that word literally means “to go straight” “to walk” “to advance” “to make progress”
  • Those who lay hold on that which He teaches make progress in life
  • Now we have some background…

Proverbs 3:19

19 The LORD by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens.

  • That which He communicates to us, is that which He embodies
  • He founded the earth based on what He knows
  • He established the heavens based on what He understands
  • His character and knowledge and understanding were engaged
  • This Creator of All is provider of the wisdom
  • There is more…

Proverbs 3:20

20 By his knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew.

  • The ERV phrases verse 20 this way “With his knowledge, he made the oceans and the clouds that produce rain.”
  • The wonders of the earth were produced by His knowledge and creativity
  • Again, we follow the words of the One who knows and can do all this
  • This is how His words should be treated…

Proverbs 3:21-22

21 My son, let not them depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion:

22 So shall they be life unto thy soul, and grace to thy neck.

  • Don’t ever let wisdom out of your sight
  • It should be ever-before our eyes
  • Such is the value of the words and thoughts of our God
  • They will be life to us
  • And adorn us with grace in a way nothing else can
  • They have a usefulness that is recognizable throughout life…

Proverbs 3:23-24

23 Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble.

24 When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet.

  • Embracing that which God says will bring actual safety
  • It will keep us from stumbling through life
  • And in the night watches wisdom will keep us from being afraid
  • We can lie on our beds and sleep sweetly, knowing Him based on what He says
  • These verses are revealing to us insight that, for the believer, should have a dramatic influence
  • Our appetite for His word should be growing based on this knowledge
  • For where else can we go for the things mentioned?
  • Long life, wealth and honor, pleasantness and peace
  • Happiness and abundant life, access to the knowledge that founded earth and heaven
  • Personal safety, peace in the night, and true rest
  • Among other things…
  • We could go on in this passage and learn even more
  • Suffice it to say this
  • If you are a believer in Christ and you lack hope in these things
  • Look to His word
  • If your appetite for it is slight, consume it more
  • Believe it, obey it, place it ever before your eyes
  • If you can come to grips with just this list of wonderful things that it provides
  • You will begin to say, just as these scriptures say, that it is more precious than silver or gold or anything else
  • You will rejoice in it
  • It will be your heritage or your inheritance
  • You will love it
  • And value it above worldly things
  • Holding it closely to you
  • No matter what is happening in life
  • Or what anyone else is saying
  • Your appetites can be changed
  • But they will not be changed by hoping they will change
  • Only by consuming the wisdom God intends for you to consume
  • In this book
  • Let’s look at one more passage in Ephesians 4…

Ephesians 4:21-24

21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:

22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;

23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;

24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

  • Truth is in Jesus
  • And as He told us Himself, in His word
  • Therefore transformation, the kind He requires, is found in it
  • We can be new people
  • Living in righteousness and true holiness