“But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.”
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”
This is the 11th session on the Keys to Studying Well.
In the last session, we talked about the core principles of keys to studying well.
Namely, it is that we have to study with our hearts rather than with our heads.
Let me continue with this in this session because it is very important.
I mentioned that those who are faithful in their Christian life can study well even though their IQ is not so high.
Even though the seed is a little weak, you can still gain a great harvest if the field is fertile and the farmer is diligent.
Similarly, although your IQ may not be so high, if you cultivate your heart into good soil and study faithfully you can get good results.
How is it that you can study well if you cultivate your heart into good soil?
Let us talk about it in three aspects.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, and students, what does it mean by studying with the heart?
Simply stated, it is to follow the instructions of your heart when you study.
Namely, while studying your heart controls your thoughts.
Of course, this heart is the heart that is cultivated with truth.
The heart of truth, namely the heart of good soil will urge you to have only thoughts of truth and actions of truth.
It’s the same when you study.
Those who have the heart of good soil, first of all, will see everything with the eyes of faith.
Some students have negative and passive attitudes thinking, “Studying is meaningless. I cannot study well because I am not smart.”
They don’t have much eagerness to study either.
But those who have heart of good soil will have positive and active attitudes when they study.
They make professions of faith saying, “I can do it with the strength that the Lord gives to me. I can give glory to God and make my dream come true by studying hard.”
It will be done as they believe after all.
Joshua and Caleb are good examples.
The people of the Canaan Land looked very big and strong.
But even after seeing them, Joshua and Caleb said, “They will be our prey.” (Numbers 14:9)
It was not that they were being reckless.
It was an expression of the confidence coming from their faith, which was, “If the LORD is pleased with us, then He will bring us into this land”
It was their hope and dream about the land that they were to take, saying it was a land flowing with milk and honey.
Studying might not be an easy thing to do for you.
But with faith, it can be conquered any time.
Why don’t you say that you will make studying your prey?
Not just in studying, but in everything, I hope you will see it with the eyes of faith and make confessions of faith.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, students, those who have the heart of good soil, secondly, will not stop until they achieve the goal.
For example, you make a goal to study a certain amount every day.
Then, temptations might come your way.
You might feel like you are tired, you should go to bed, or you want to do something fun. Or, your friends might tempt you to play with them saying that you can study tomorrow.
If you have heart of good soil, you will never compromise thinking you will study hard starting from tomorrow.
You will drive away all temptations and achieve the daily goal.
You will not be swayed, not only when you have temptations, but also when you have difficulties.
In your race towards your goal, you might face with problems, hardships in your circumstances, conflicts with others or even failure.
Even at those moments, your heart will not be shaken to the extent that you have good heart soil.
As explained in the previous session, those who have good heart soil also have a high Emotional Quotient.
They can control their feelings and overcome hardships.
Namely, they do not lose peace of mind.
They don’t get disheartened or give up but just keep on running towards the goal.
In the Bible, who does this remind you of?
Philippians says, “3:13-14  Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,  I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” He inspired many Christians generation after generation.
It is the apostle Paul.
Let us think about what kind of attitude the apostle Paul had as he was trying to achieve his goals, in regard to the five categories of EQ.
First category is the ability to understand, respect, and accept one’s own feelings.
Of course, those who have good soil do not even have to understand their own feelings.
They just have the best condition all the time.
They don’t have any ups and downs. They don’t get confused thinking what kind of feelings they have.
Of course, they sometimes mourn for the kingdom of God, but that is different from having the blues, being depressed, or becoming confused about your feelings.
The apostle Paul always rejoiced although he lived a difficult life while he was spreading the gospel.
He rather comforted the believers as said in Philippians 4:4, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!”
In 2 Corinthians 13:11 he advised the believers.
It says, “Finally, brethren, rejoice, be made complete, be comforted, be like-minded, live in peace.” Paul could encourage and comfort the believers because his mind was joyful and peaceful first.
The second category of EQ is the ability to control one’s impulses and such feelings as nervousness or anger that cause stress.
In physical sense, the apostle Paul lived under such great pressure and stress.
There were so many situations that could make him feel nervousness or anger.
Paul always felt his life was threatened.
He was imprisoned or beaten many times without having committed any sin.
Men of flesh could have become diseased or even died due to such excessive stress.
But Paul’s heart was always overflowing with joy.
He praised God even when he was severely beaten and jailed.
The evil in your heart disappears to the extent that you cultivate your heart into good soil. Then, you won’t have the upwelling of sentiments that bring nervous breakdowns or anger.
You can also control your desires.
Your heart will always be at peace like surface of a big smooth lake.
I hope all you believers and students will cultivate the good soil of heart quickly and become happy regardless of your circumstances.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, the third category of EQ is the ability to encourage yourself without being discouraged even in a failure.
Not getting disheartened is the most outstanding character of good soil of the heart.
Even if you fail you still rejoice and give thanks because you believe in God.
The apostle Paul’s ministry was, in physical sense, a continuum of failures.
Wherever he preached the gospel the jealous Jews were following him and disturbing him.
He even underwent the following kind of event in Lystra.
Acts 14:19-20 says, “But Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having won over the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing him to be dead.  But while the disciples stood around him, he got up and entered the city. The next day he went away with Barnabas to Derbe.”
Namely, he was thrown out of the city almost dead.
But he got up right away and went to another city to spread the gospel.
Aren’t you reminded of a self-righting roly poly toy?
He had continuous hardships but he said as follows:
2 Corinthians 4:8 says, “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing.” And Romans 8:37 says, “But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.”
When you study for the glory of God or when you try to achieve something, you might face failures or you might seem to be failing at it.
But those who have the love of God in their heart can conquer overwhelmingly.
Even if you fall down, you should stand right up and look up to God. Then God will cause all the hardships to work for the good.
Isaiah 40:30-31 says, “ Though youths grow weary and tired, And vigorous young men stumble badly,  Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.”
No matter what kind of hardships you face, do not be discouraged or get tired, but receive new strength by taking the love of God like it were some nutrient supplement and vitamins.
The fourth category of the EQ is the ability to sympathize with the feelings of others, and the fifth is the social ability to have harmony in a group and cooperate with others.
Those who have good soil of heart will pursue peace with everybody.
They will understand other people’s hearts and respect them.
They care for others and they seek the benefit of other people before seeking their own.
Where there is contention, they play the role of the mediators and make peace.
So, they are on good terms with classmates or colleagues at work.
The apostle Paul understood very well how important peace is in everything.
He was persecuted very much, but he never stood against evil men with evil.
Hebrews 12:14 says, “Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord.” He emphasized that peace is the essential qualification for the believers to be able to see the Lord.
Do you students have peace with everybody at home and school?
If you fight easily with your friends and have conflicts with teachers, it will be difficult to concentrate on your studies.
It’s the same for the company employees. If they have conflicts with others at their workplace, it is not easy to concentrate on their work.
You might have a great deal of knowledge and many skills by studying a lot, but without peace it is not easy to work at your full capacity.
It is because we cannot accomplish anything without cooperation with others.
This ability to have peace is an essential part not only when you study but also when you apply your knowledge to your work.
Even though you have vast knowledge, it is useless unless you use it.
More important thing is wisdom, which is the ability to utilize your knowledge.
Today’s reading passage James 3:17 also says, “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable.”
The excellent wisdom given by God comes down upon the holy hearts that pursue peace.
Pursue peace with everybody and receive the wisdom from above.
By doing so, I hope you will give glory to God greatly through your studying and your work, and later in Heaven you will see the Lord’s face which is the Light itself.
Those who have good soil of heart will not change their mind when they achieve their goal.
They can control their thoughts and emotions with the heart of truth, so they can concentrate on their studies and work without idle thoughts and regardless of external environment.
Even when there is a temptation or trial, they never give up.
This is the kind of attitude that we need in every aspect of our lives.
Brothers and sisters, those who have good soil of heart, thirdly, can accomplish more than their capability would allow for them by the help of God.
Just think about the disciples of Jesus.
Most of them were fishermen who didn’t receive much education.
But these disciples learned the gospel and as apostles, they taught many other disciples and believers.
They preached the gospel quoting from the Bible even before the high priests, elders, and officials, who were the most highly educated in the knowledge of the Bible at the time.
Acts 4:13 says, “Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed.”
This was possible by the help of the Holy Spirit.
The disciples of Jesus learned many things of the spiritual realm.
After the Holy Spirit came upon them, they understood such things by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
Anybody can work beyond their abilities if they receive the help of the Holy Spirit.
For example, those who have good heart-soil can remember very well even if their memory power is not good.
It’s because they keep the things in their hearts.
What is it to keep something in heart? It is to engrave it on the heart.
If you engrave what you have to remember on your heart, the Holy Spirit will remind you of it when it’s necessary.
Before I met God, when I was a student, I had taken many stimulant pills to stay awake while studying.
Because of that I lost most of my memory power.
I don’t have good memory power, but I still have many schedules to keep, but I don’t make any memos or notes.
The Holy Spirit reminds me of what I have to do at each moment.
If I make an appointment, the Holy Spirit will remind me of it when the date approaches.
Once when I was in theological seminary, I got a very good grade by the help of God, and not by relying on my memory at all.
I was a freshman in the college, and we had the final exam during my 20-night vowed prayer.
So I began to pray to God.
When I prayed for the test for an hour, God let me know the test questions.
After the prayer, I studied what God taught me for about an hour and then began my nightly prayer.
The questions that God taught me were exactly the same questions on the exam, so I could finish both the vowed prayer and the final exam successfully.
When I asked God without any selfish motive but only for the glory of God, He helped me with limitless and mysterious power.
It is not only about memory power. It’s the same with the power of understanding.
You can understand the class much better with the help of the Holy Spirit.
You can also develop your own way of studying.
Once, I carefully kept an eye on one area in economics.
It was needed to have conversations with the church members, and the Holy Spirit moved my heart to do so.
I had no time, so I studied the subject bit by bit.
Nevertheless, the Holy Spirit gave me insight, and I could master it in a very short period of time.
Of course, you can receive the help of God when you ask with faith while God finds you trustworthy.
Therefore, I hope you students and believers will become trustworthy before God.
I pray in the name of the Lord that, in doing so, you will receive the strength of the Lord and the help of the Holy Spirit so that you will do things beyond your own ability.
Dear wise students of Manmin and other members, have a great dream to give glory to God by studying hard.
Then, cultivate your heart into good soil and study faithfully.
God will give you passion and wisdom.
God will let you glorify Him in your school, home, workplace, and business fields and also use you for saving the souls.
Daniel 12:3 says, “Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.”
With your knowledge and wisdom, I hope you will lead countless souls who have lost their way in this corrupt age and lead them to God.
I pray in the name of the Lord that you will shine brightly forever in heavenly kingdom.