Today’s selected reading continues in the second New Testament epistle of the apostle Paul which he wrote unto his spiritual son Timothy. More specifically, today’s passage is found in verses fifteen through twenty-six of the second chapter. When you read the words which the apostle Paul wrote unto Timothy in this particular passage of Scripture you will find the apostle providing some incredible wisdom and instruction to young Timothy—not only concerning public ministry, but also his personal and private life. If you read the fifteenth verse of this particular chapter you will find the apostle Paul declaring unto and instruction Timothy to “study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). As I sit here and meditate upon these words I am very much convinced that these words don’t just touch the realm of public ministry, but they also touch the private and personal realm of one’s individual life. I am convinced that there would be many who would read these words and consider how they might only have application for public ministry, as one endeavors to fulfill the call of God on their life for public ministry in the spotlight. I am convinced there are countless men and women who would read this verse and are incredibly naïve to think that such a verse only touches the realm of public ministry and has absolutely no affect on one’s personal and private life. There would be those who would read these words written by the hand of the apostle Paul, and they would immediately think that there is no application for them, and yet this couldn’t be further from the truth. We do ourselves a great disservice when we read words such like what we have here and consider for a moment that such words have absolutely no practical application to our personal and private devotional time with the Lord. In all reality, I am convinced that these words have direct application, as well as a direct connection with the words which our Lord spoke in His famous Sermon on the Mount when speaking of prayer. Consider if you will the words which Jesus spoke in this sermon concerning prayer:
“And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when tho prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. But when ye pray, use not vain reputations, as the heathen do: for they think t hat they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen” (Matthew 6:5-13).
In this particular passage of Scripture, and in this famous Sermon on the Mount we find Jesus not only speaking of prayer, but also of prayer in two different realms. There is prayer which touches the corporate and public realm and which takes place in the sight and hearing of men within the house of the Lord. An example of this is found in the parable which Jesus told of the Pharisee and the publican. Consider if you will the parable which Jesus told concerning the Pharisee and the publican, which is found in the eighteenth chapter of the New Testament gospel of Luke beginning with the ninth verse:
“And He spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extorioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breath, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted” (Luke 18:9-14).
This passage of Scripture found within the New Testament gospel according to Luke presents us with the parable which Jesus told concerning two men who went up to the Temple to pray. It’s worth noting that within this passage both men made their way to the Temple in order that they might pray unto the Lord God in heaven. Both of these men went up to the Temple to pray unto the Lord, and they did so in a corporate and public setting. Jesus’ parable seems to indicate that each of these men might very well have gone up to the Temple of the Lord to pray, and prayed out loud before those who were around them. We don’t know for sure whether or not these men prayed internally within themselves, or whether they prayed audibly in order for those around them to hear them. What we do know, is that these men felt the need to go up to the house of the Lord to pray unto the Lord. In all reality, this is what the Temple was designed to be—a house of worship where men and women could bring their offerings, and where they could offer up prayers unto the Lord. Consider if you will the Lord’s response to Solomon at the dedication of the Temple which was built in Jerusalem:
“And the Lord appeared to Solomon by night, and said unto him, I have heard thy prayer, and have chosen this place to myself for an house of sacrifice. If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent unto the prayer that is made in this place. For now have I chosen and sanctified this house, that my name may be there for ever: and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually. And as for thee, if thou wilt walk before me, as David thy father walked, and do according to all that I have commanded thee, and shalt observe my statutes and my judgments; then will I stablish the throne of thy kingdom, according as I have covenanted with David thy father, saying, There shall not fail thee a man to be ruler in Israel. But if ye turn away, and forsake my statutes and my commandments, which I have set before you, and shall go and serve other gods, and worship them; then will I pluck them up by the roots out of my land which I have given them; and this house, which I have sanctified for my name, will I cast out of my sight, and will make it to be a proverb and a byword among all nations. And this house, which is high, shall be an astonishment to every one that passeth by it; so that he shall say, Why hath the Lord done thus unto this land, and unto this house? And it shall be answered, Because they forsook the Lord God of their fathers, which brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, and laid hold on other gods, and worshipped them, and served them: therefore hath he brought all this evil upon them” (2 Chronicles 7:5-22).
The words we find in the seventh chapter of the Old Testament book fo Second Chronicles bring us face to face with the tremendous reality that the Temple of the Lord which Solomon built was to be a house of worship—a place which the Lord not only sanctified, but also a place where He put His very name. The Temple of the Lord was to be a place where men and women could bring their offerings and gifts unto the Lord, but it was also to be a place where men and women could pray unto and before the true and living God. Lest you think for one moment that this is somehow incorrect, or that the Temple wasn’t indeed meant to be a place where men and women could come to seek the face of the Lord, I would present you with specific passages within the New Testament which confirm and reveal this fact. Consider if you will the most noted and notable account of the Temple as a house of prayer, which is found in the second chapter of the New Testament gospel according to John:
“After this He went down to Capernaum, he, and his mother, and his brethren, and his disciples: and they continued there not many days. And the Jews’ Passover was at hand, a nd Jesus went up to Jerusalem, and found in the Temple those that sold oxen and sheep and divers, and the changers of money sitting: and when He had made a scourage of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables; and said unto them that sold Dover’s, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise. And His disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up” (John 2:12-17).
In order to truly understand Jesus’ actions in the Temple of the Lord, we must also consider the account of Jesus in the Temple as was recorded by Matthew. If you turn your attention to the twenty-second chapter of the New Testament gospel according to Matthew, you will find the following words: “And Jesus went into the Temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the money changers, and the seats of them that sold doves, and said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves” (Matthew 22:12-13). This particular account is also found in the New Testament gospel of Mark, and more specifically in the eleventh chapter. Consider if you will the words which are found in this particular chapter beginning with the fifteenth verse: “And they came to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew they ables of the money changers, and the seats of them that sold doves; and would not suffer than any man should carry any vessel through the temple. And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of nations the house of prayer? But ye have made it a den of thieves?” (Mark 11:15-19). Both of these passages present us with the tremendous reality that the Temple and house of the Lord was to be a place which not only was called “a house of prayer,” but was to also be a house of prayer. The Temple was to be a place where men and women would faithfully come to offer their prayers, petitions, requests, and intercessions before the living God. I can’t help but be reminded of Anna, whom the beloved physician Luke wrote of in the second chapter of his gospel account of Jesus’ life and ministry. Beginning with the thirty-sixth verse of the second chapter we find the following words: “And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribes of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity; and she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and speak of Him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem” (Luke 2:36-38). Even in the third chapter of the New Testament book of Acts we find yet another reference to the Temple as the house of prayer. Consider if you will the following words beginning with the first verse:
“Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour. And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple; who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple ask an alms. And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them. Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and praising God: and they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him” (Acts 3:1-10).
It is quite obvious from each of the above mentioned references that the Temple of the Lord was and is to be a house of prayer—a place where men and women can come and not only bring their gifts unto the Lord, but also their prayers as well. The Temple is a place where prayer touches the corporate and public realm, as men and women come to the house of the Lord to entreat the face of the living God—perhaps on a daily basis, or perhaps on an every other day, or weekly basis. When speaking of Anna we discover that she departed not from the Temple night or day, but remained at the temple offering up prayers and fastings unto the Lord. While it is true that prayer touches the corporate and public realm when speaking of the house of the Lord, we must understand and recognize that prayer also touches the personal and private realm. It is true that as the apostle Paul wrote concerning prayer when writing unto Timothy the first time: “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of theGentiles in faith and verity. I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting” (1 Timothy 2:1-8). We must also remember the words which the apostle Paul prayed when writing unto the saints which were at Philippi in the fourth chapter of that epistle: “Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:4-7). We must recognize that prayer does in fact touch the corporate and public realm, but just as surely as prayer touches this particular realm, it also touches the personal and private realm. We would be incredibly naïve to think and consider for one moment that prayer is only for the house of the Lord, and that prayer has no place within our personal and private quarters.
The words which Jesus speaks concerning prayer reveals the tremendous reality and concept that there is a closet wherein we can enter to entreat the face of the living God. Within the Sermon on the Mount Jesus directly implies that there is and there must be that secret and personal place where we can go in, shut the door behind us, close ourselves in, and simply seek the face of our Father. In fact, Jesus taught us that when we pray, we ought to enter into our closet, and when we have shut the door behind us, we are to pray to our Father who is in secret. Thus, there is a powerful and very real sense that prayer touches the secret and unseen realm within our lives—a realm that is unseen and unnoticed by those which are around us. As I have already mentioned, I am convinced that the words which the apostle Paul writes unto Timothy touches both the public and corporate realm, but it also touches the personal and private realm. When the apostle Paul writes unto Timothy within this second letter, he emphatically instructs him to study to show himself approved unto God, a workman who needs not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. It is absolutely necessary and imperative that we understand this concept, for I do not believe for one minute the apostle Paul was instructing Timothy to study to show himself approved only in the public and corporate realm. I am absolutely and completely convinced that when the apostle Paul instructed Timothy to study in order that he might shew himself approved unto God, he was very much referencing the personal and private realm which is unseen to those which are around us. What’s more, is that I am convinced the words of the apostle touch the personal and private realm, for the apostle Paul distinctly writes concerning shewing ourselves approved unto God. One thing we must recognize and understand when reading the words which the apostle Paul wrote is that we do not study to show ourselves approved unto men, so as to please them. On this point we must be absolutely clear and certain, for we should never and must never study in order to shew ourselves approved unto men in order that we might somehow please and appease them. When we speak of studying to shew ourselves approved, we speak of shewing ourselves approved unto the Lord, for it is the Lord whom we seek to please, and it is the Lord whom we seek to honor. We should never and must never seek to study in order that we might somehow appeal to men, or that we might somehow be approved of and approved by men. Perhaps one of the most powerful statements concerning this reality of not seeking to please men is found in the first chapter of the epistle which the apostle Paul wrote unto the Galatian churches. Consider if you will the words which the apostle Paul writes unto them beginning with the sixth verse of the first chapter:
“I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ” (Galatians 1:6-10).
I absolutely love the words which the apostle Paul writes unto Timothy in this particular portion of Scripture, for if you break this verse apart it comes alive in a truly powerful way. Consider if you will the fifteenth verse of this second epistle broken apart piece by piece: STUDY! STUDY TO SHEW THYSELF! STUDY TO SHEW THYSELF APPROVED! STUDY TO SHEW THYSELF APPROVED UNTO GOD! STUDY TO SHEW THYSELF APPROVED UNTO GOD, A WORKMAN! STUDY TO SHEW THYSELF APPROVED UNTO GOD, A WORKMAN THAT NEEDETH NOT TO BE ASHAMED! STUDY TO SHEW THYSELF APPROVED UNTO GOD, A WORKMAN THAT NEEDETH NOT TO BE ASHAMED, RIGHTLY DIVIDING THE WORD OF TRUTH! If you break this verse apart as I have just done, the very first thing you will notice is the word study. When writing unto Timothy, the apostle Paul instructed him to simply do one thing, which would set the course—both of his public ministry, as well as his personal and private life. That which the apostle Paul instructed Timothy to do was to study—and not simply to study, but to study the divine word of God. I am reminded of the words which the author of the epistle unto the Hebrews wrote concerning the word of God: “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). I am also reminded of that which the apostle Paul writes in the third chapter of the second epistle which he wrote unto Timothy beginning with the fifteenth verse: “And that from a child thou hast known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:15-17). The apostle Paul made it perfectly clear that all Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. The apostle Paul makes it perfectly clear that Scripture is given by inspiration of God in order that the man of God might be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. In all reality, this is perhaps the single greatest reason and purpose for the divine word of God—that the man of God might be perfect, and might be fully and completely furnished unto all good works, in order that he might please the Lord.
While it is true that all Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and while it is true that the word of God is quick and powerful, and is sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and discerns the thoughts and intents of the hearts, it is of such a nature that it must carefully and continually be studied. When the apostle Paul wrote unto Timothy in this second epistle to study, that which he was referring to was studying the divine word of God, which is quick and powerful, and which is sharper than any two-edged sword. When the apostle Paul instructed Timothy to study, he was instructing him to study Scripture which was given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. It is this latter part—instruction in righteousness—which we must carefully consider and understand, for the only way we can truly be approved unto God is to be instructed in righteousness. I am convinced that being perfect, and being throughly furnished unto all good works directly linked to being approved unto God, and being a workman who needs not be ashamed. Can I be honest about something else? Study of the word of God is not simply and merely to develop sermons, or to target other people with the words and revelation you have apparently received. Studying the word of God has absolutely nothing to do with obtaining a head knowledge of Scripture that absolutely does not touch or penetrate the heart, soul and spirit. Perhaps one of the single greatest problems surrounding study of the word of God is that too many men and women seek to study it thinking that by it they might obtain some great wisdom, yet not even realizing that while wisdom is good, it is not the ultimate end game or end result. We study the word of God in order that by the word of God we might be made perfect, and in order that we might throughly be furnished unto all good works. When we study the word of God we study it in order that we might be changed and transformed from the inside out, for the ultimate goal is transformation into the character, into the image, and into the likeness of Jesus who is both Christ and Lord. When we study the word of God we must study it with all diligence and allow it to study us in order that it might reveal and expose each and every area within our lives which needs to be challenged, changed, convicted and conformed. I am firmly convinced that the only way we can truly shew ourselves approved unto God is by giving ourselves to the word of God and to Scripture in order that we might be made perfect, and throughly furnished unto all good works.
The more I read and consider the words which the apostle Paul writes unto Timothy in this second epistle, the more I can’t help but be struck with and struck by the fact that the only way we can and will truly study the way we were designed and intended on doing is to have such a deep love and affection for the divine word of God. I am utterly and completely convinced that while we are instructed and commanded to love the Lord our God with all our heart, with all our soul and with all our strength, we are to love His Word with the same intensity and zeal. I can’t help but be reminded of the words which the Old Testament prophet Isaiah proclaimed and declared unto the southern kingdom of Judah in the prophetic book which bears his name. Consider if you will the words which Isaiah proclaims and declares concerning the word of God:
“Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, Call ye upon Him while He is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sword, and bread to the eater: so shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it” (Isaiah 55:6-11).
With these words the prophet Isaiah paints an incredibly powerful picture of the word which proceeds forth from the mouth of the Lord, and we must recognize and understand this same reality to be true of the written word of God which was written over a period of nearly 1,600 years and was written by more than forty authors. When I read the words which the apostle Paul writes unto Timothy concerning studying to shew himself approved unto God, I am absolutely and completely convinced that the only way we can and will truly study [the Word of God] [Scripture] the way we were instructed and commanded to is if we truly love the Word of God. Tell me dear brother, tell me dear sister—do you love the word of God? I mean, Do you truly love the word of God? Are you zealous and passionate about the Word of God? Is Scripture truly precious unto you and within your heart? The more I consider this reality, the more I am reminded of the words which the psalmist(s) recorded in the one-hundred and nineteenth chapter of the Old Testament book of the Psalms. In the longest book of the Bible we also find the longest chapter in the Bible, for the one-hundred and nineteenth chapter of the book of Psalms is broken up into different segments based on the Hebrew alphabet. What’s more, is that when you read this particular chapter contained within the divine Word of God, you are met time and time again with a powerful affection and affinity toward the Word of God—to His statutes, to His commands, to His precepts, to His laws, and the like. Before going any further, we must consider very carefully the words which the psalmist wrote in the ninth verse of this chapter, for in the ninth verse the psalmist asks a very pointed and powerful question. The question which the psalmist asks is simply: Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? Simply put: How can I seek and how can I hope to cleanse my way? The answer to this question is found within the same verse, for the psalmist declares that we can cleanse our way by taking heed thereto according to the word of God. The only hope for us cleansing our way is by taking heed unto the divine Word of God, and all that is contained therein. What’s more, is that in the eleventh verse of this chapter the psalmist writes and declares “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee” (Psalm 119:11). Thus, not only can we cleanse our way by taking heed according to the word of God, but we must also hide the word within our hearts in order that we might not sin against the Lord. When we study to shew ourselves approved unto God, we study in order that we might cleanse our way, and in order that we might not sin against the Lord, thus being and becoming a workman who needs to be ashamed. Not only are we to shew ourselves approved unto God, but we must also be a workman who needs not be ashamed, for we rightly divide the word of truth.
APPROVED UNTO GOD & UNASHAMED BEFORE MEN! If you consider the reality of studying to shew ourselves approved unto God, it is absolutely imperative that we truly recognize and understand that we cannot and will not truly study that which we do not love, and that which we are not zealous and affectionate for. The entire one-hundred and nineteenth chapter of the Old Testament book of Psalms perfectly and powerfully describes a tremendous affection and love toward and for the word of God, and for His statues, laws, precepts, commandments, and the like. There are a number of references within this particular passage concerning this love and affection for and toward the word of God. Consider the words which are found in verses fourteen through sixteen: “I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, as much as in all riches. I will mediate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways. I will delight myself in thy statues: I will not forget thy word” (Psalm 119:14-16). In the twenty-fourth verse we find the following words: “Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counsellers” (Psalm 119:24). In verses thirty-five and thirty-six we find the following words: “Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight. Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness” (Psalm 119:35-36). If you continue reading in this passage of Scripture you will find the following words: “And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth; For I have hoped in thy judgments. So shall I keep thy law continually for ever and ever. And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts. I will speak of thy testimonies also before kings, and will not be ashamed. And I will delight myself in thy commandments, which I have loved. My hands also will I left up unto thy commandments, which I have loved; and I will mediate in thy statues” (Psalm 119:43-48). Notice in verses forty-seven and forty-eight that twice the psalmist refers to the commandments of the Lord as that which they love, thus indicating a tremendous affection for the commandments of the Lord. We dare not lose sight of and miss the significance of these words, for if we would truly study to shew ourselves approved unto God, we must love His word and His commandments as much as we love Him. What’s more, is that even in Scripture we find that God honors His word above His name. Consider if you will the words which David writes in the one-hundred and thirty-eighth chapter of this same Old Testament book of Psalms: “I will praise thee with my whole heart: Before the gods will I sing praise unto thee. I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name” (Psalm 138:1-2). If we say we love the Lord our God, we must also love His Word with all our heart. I am convinced that when we read the words which the apostle Paul wrote unto Timothy concerning studying to shew himself approved unto God, we must recognize and understand it in direct connection with what we find in the one-hundred and nineteenth chapter of the book of Psalms, for with studying the Word of God also comes a deep-rooted love and affection for the Word.