HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE REALIZING POSITIVE LONG-TERM RESULTS
If there are no positive results from reading God's Word, no real benefit has been realized. A "positive benefit" is one that is productive. It is the fruit that grows for you to eat. God-blessed activities always yield God-blessed results! It is never pointless to willingly subject your mind to God's Word in faith. It is never fruitful to handle God's Word in a state of general disinterest, or out of a sense of obligation. The results that are realized must be "long-term." You are being readied to spend eternity with God, and the Word of God is designed to work in you to that end.
Receiving the love of the truth
The Lord places a high premium on loving the truth. This is having an unquenchable thirst for the Word of the Lord. It is an appetite that cannot be assuaged. A casual familiarity with the religious community will confirm the extreme rarity of such a spiritual appetite. Multitudes of "church folk" cannot sustain an appetite for God's truth from Sunday morning to Sunday evening. Why does this condition exist? It is because they have not "received a love for the truth!" Here is the Word of the Lord on the subject. "And then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved" (2 Thess 2:10).
See the principle
Without going into the details of this passage, I want you to see the following. Satan is aggressive to turn people from the Lord. He has been given certain liberties to work among the sons of men, and to do so in a powerful way. "Signs and false wonders," together with "the deception of wickedness" are in his arsenal. If you want to be impressed, the devil can impress you! If you wonder if you can be fooled, or deceived, our adversary can do it. These are areas of specialty for him, and he is good at what he does.
Why is Satan so successful?
Why is Satan so successful in his diabolical war? It is because men have not "received the love of the truth." They do not have an appetite for it. They do not desire it more than silver and gold (Psa 19:10). God is sensitive about this condition. If a person does not love the truth, God will not stop them from being deceived! That is an awesome consideration, and there are no exceptions to it!
You can be protected
The love of the truth, however, protects you from delusion, and becomes a channel through which understanding will come. If you want positive, long-term results from reading the Scripture, learn to love it. Do whatever is necessary to love the Word of God. Ask the Lord to help you love it. Expose your mind to it frequently and in large quantities. The secret here is this: your love for the truth will bring the Lord Jesus and the Father to your heart. They will open things to you that could not otherwise be seen in Scripture.
Not left to conjecture
We are not left to conjecture on this point. The Lord Jesus Himself has spoken. "He who has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me; and he who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I will love him, and will disclose Myself to him." . . . "Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and make Our abode with him" (John 14:21,23). Do not think for one moment that these precious words were spoken only to the Apostles! YOU can be the one who "has" Christ's commandments, and keeps them! That is simply another way of saying you love the truth. YOU can be the one that loves Christ and keeps holding on to His Word! That is another way of saying you love the truth! And, what will be done for people like that--people that love the truth? Jesus said His Father would "LOVE" such a person! He said He would "love" the one that loved Him. He said He would "disclose" Himself to that individual. He said the Father and He would make their abode with that person! I will tell you that such blessings will result in spiritual stability and untold blessings! Wherever Jesus and the Father is found, no curse will be found! Benefit will be realized! The devil will be overcome.
Make it your objective
Make it your objective to "love the truth." Do not miss that this is something you "receive!" You cannot work this up in the energy of your flesh! It is not something that is learned, like mathematical tables. It comes from God, and you "receive" it. If that contradicts your thoughts about truth, abandon your thoughts, for they are wrong--seriously wrong. If God condemns those that "receive not the love of the truth," it is because He is forward to give it to them. They have rejected and spurned the gift of God! God wants you to love the truth. He will enable you to love the truth. However, He must have your consent to do it!
Expressions in Psalms
There are numerous expressions of the love of the truth in the book of Psalms. A few of them will serve to give expression to your own feelings. "O how I love Thy law! It is my meditation all the day." . . . "I hate those who are double-minded, But I love Thy law." . . . "I hate and despise falsehood, But I love Thy law." . . . "Those who love Thy law have great peace, And nothing causes them to stumble" (Psa 119:97, 113, 163, 165). You can judge whether you love the truth or not by your response to the opponents of the truth, as well as things that conflict with the truth. The love of the truth is honored in heaven, and recognized by the our adversary, the devil. If you maintain that love, allowing nothing to mitigate or diminish it, you will realize positive, long-term results--results that will please both God and you! Truth has remedial qualities that enable the soul to recover. It also sharpens the mind and spirit, enabling the individual to avoid snares and obtain blessings.