The following is from a message preached by Thomas Watson, The Godly Man's Picture Drawn with a Scripture Pencil
Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it. Psalms 119:140
"Do we love the holiness of the Word? The Word is preached--to beat down sin, and advance holiness. Do we love it for its spirituality and purity? Many love the Preached Word only for its eloquence and notion. They come to a sermon as to a performance or as to a garden to pick flowers; but not to have their lusts subdued or their hearts purified. These are like a foolish woman who paints her face--but neglects her health!
Do we love the convictions of the Word? Do we love the Word when it comes home to our conscience and shoots its arrows of reproof at our sins? It is the minister's duty sometimes to reprove. He who can speak smooth words in the pulpit--but does not know how to reprove, is like a sword with a fine handle, but without an edge! "Rebuke them sharply!" Dip the nail in oil--reprove in love--but strike the nail home!
Now Christian, when the Word touches on your sin and says, "You are the man!" do you love the reproof? Can you bless God that "the sword of the Spirit" has divided between you and your lusts? This is indeed a sign of grace, and shows that you are a lover of the Word.
A corrupt heart loves the comforts of the Word--but not the reproofs: Amos 5:10 - They hate him that rebuketh in the gate, and they abhor him that speaketh uprightly. Their eyes flash with fire! Like venomous creatures that at the least touch, spit poison! Acts 7:54 - When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth. When Stephen touched their sins, they were furious and could not endure it.
How shall we know that we love the reproofs of the Word?
When we desire to sit under a heart-searching ministry. Who cares for medicines that will not work? A godly man does not choose to sit under a ministry that will not work upon his conscience. When we pray that the Word may meet with our sins. If there is any traitorous lust in our heart--we would have it found out, and executed. We do not want sin covered;but cured! We can open our heart to the sword of the Word and say, "Lord, smite this sin!" When we are thankful for a reproof. Psalm 141:5 - Let the righteous smite me; it shall be a kindness: and let him reprove me; it shall be an excellent oil, . . . . David was glad for a reproof.
Suppose a man were in the mouth of a lion, and another should shoot the lion and save the man; would he not be thankful? So, when we are in the mouth of sin, as of a lion, and the minister by a reproof shoots this sin to death--shall we not be thankful? A gracious soul rejoices, when the sharp lance of the Word has pierced his abscess of sin! He wears a reproof like a jewel on his ear: Proverbs 25:11 - As an earring of gold, and an ornament of fine gold, so is a wise reprover upon an obedient ear.
To conclude, it is convincing preaching which must do the soul good. A nipping reproof prepares for comfort--as a nipping frost prepares for the sweet flowers of spring."