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THE SEASONS OF LIFE (3)

Fall

Middle Age:  Diligence

Victor M. Eskew

 

INTRODUCTION

 

A.    In this series of lessons, we are looking at “The Seasons of Life.”

1.      Spring:  Childhood (0-12)

2.      Summer:  Youth (13-27)

3.      Fall:  Middle Age (28-65)

4.      Winter:  Old Age (66+)

 

B.      In this lesson, we move into Fall.  This is what we refer to as Middle Age.  It includes the years from 28 to 65.

 

C.     How many want to be faithful Christians?

How many want to have a good Christian home?

How many want good jobs?

How many want to rise to high position in life?

How many want to have a good income?

How many want to have good health?

 

D.    The greatest milestone that we can accomplish in this phase of life is Diligence.

 

I.                   WHAT IS DILIGENCE?

 

A.    Definition (25 different verses, 13 Hebrew and Greek words)  (NOTE:  The numbers noted in the definitions of the terms are the Strong’s Concordance numbers).

1.      Old Testament:

a.      The word “diligent”

1)      Found 11 times.

2)      Six different Hebrew words are translated “diligent.”

a)      3190:  Deut. 19:18

 

And the judges shall make diligent inquisition:  and, behold, if the witness be a false witness, and hath testified falsely against his brother.

 

-          Strong:  to be well, sound, beautiful, happy, successful, right

-          BDB:  to be good, to be pleasing, be well, be glad, to do well, to do thoroughly

b)      3966:  Josh. 22:5

 

But take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law, which Moses the servant of the Lord charged you…

 

-          Strong:  vehemence, vehemently, wholly, speedily

-          BDB:  exceedingly, much, might, force, abundance, muchness, exceedingly, greatly, to an abundance, to a great degree, muchness

 

 

 

 

c)      2664:  Psalm 64:6; 77:6

 

 They search out iniquities; they accomplish a diligent search:  both the inward thought of every one of them, and the heart, is deep.

 

-          Strong:  to seek

-          BDB:  search, search for, search out

d)     2742:  Prov. 10:4, 12:24; 12:27; 13:4; 21:25

 

He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand:  but the hand of the diligent maketh rich.

 

-          Strong:  determination, also eager

-          BDB:  strict decision, decision

e)      4106:  Prov. 22:29

 

Seest thou a man diligent in his business?  He shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men.

 

-          Strong:  quick, skillful

-          BDB:  quick, prompt, skilled, ready

f)       3045:  Prov. 27:23

 

Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds.

 

-          Strong:  to know, observation, care, recognition

-          BDB:  to know, to perceive, to see, to find out and discern

 

b.      The word “diligence” is used 1 time (Prov. 4:23)

 

Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

 

1)      Strong (4929):  a guard, the man at the post at a prison

2)      BDB:  guard, jail, guard post, observe, watch, act of guarding

2.      New Testament

a.      The word “diligent”

1)      Used 4 times

2)      Three different Greek words are translated “diligent.”

a)      4705:  II Cor. 8:22

 

And we have sent with them our brother, whom we have oftentimes proved diligent in many things, but now much more diligent, upon the great confidence which I have in you.

 

-          Strong:  prompt, energetic, earnest

-          Thayer:  active, diligent, zealous, earnest, very diligent

 

b)      4706:  II Cor. 8:22

 

And we have sent with them our brother, whom we have oftentimes proved diligent in many things, but now much more diligent, upon the great confidence which I have in you.

 

-          Strong:  more earnestly than others, more promptly

-          Thayer:  very diligently

c)      4704:  Tit. 3:12; II Pet. 3:14

 

When I shall send Artemas unto thee, or Tychicus, be diligent to come unto me to Nicopolis:  for I have determined there to winter.

 

-          Strong:  to use speed, to make effort, be prompt or earnest

-          Thayer:  to hasten, make haste, to exert oneself, endeavor, give diligence

 

b.      The word “diligence”

1)      Used 9 times

2)      Three different Greek words are translated “diligent.”

a)      2039:  Luke 12:58

 

When thou goest with thine adversary to the magistrate, as thou art in the way, give diligence that thou mayest be delivered from him; lest he hate thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and the officer cast thee into prison.

 

-          Strong:  pains

-          Thayer:  endeavor, pains

b)      4710:  Rom. 12:8; II Cor. 8:7; Heb. 6:11; II Pet. 1:5

 

Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation:  he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.

 

-          Strong:  speed, dispatch, eagerness, earnestness

-          Thayer:  haste, with haste, earnestness, diligence, earnestness in accomplishing, promoting, or striving after anything, to give all diligence, interest one’s self most earnestly

c)      4704:  II Tim. 4:9; II Tim. 4:21; II Pet. 1:10; Jude 3

 

Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me.

 

-          Strong:  to use speed, to make effort, be prompt or earnest

-          Thayer:  to hasten, make haste, to exert oneself, endeavor, give diligence

 

B.      Summary of the definition:

1.      To do well

2.      To do thoroughly

3.      To an abundance, to a great degree

4.      To search out

5.      Determination

6.      Eager

7.      Strict decision

8.      Quick

9.      Skillful

10.  Prompt

11.  Ready

12.  Energetic, active, earnest

13.  More earnestly than others

14.  Speedily

15.  To exert oneself

16.  Pain, endeavor

17.  Earnestness in accomplishing

18.  Interest one’s self most earnestly

 

C.     Illustrations

1.      Solomon was a diligent builder and diligent in his experiment with life. (Read about this great king and learn of all the things he built during his reign).

2.      The ten and five talent men (Matt 25:16-17).

3.      Jesus:  “I must work that works of him that sent me” (John 9:4).

4.      Paul (II Cor. 15:10)

 

But by the grace of God I am what I am:  and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all:  yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

 

D.    The opposite is sloth.  See the contrast between diligence and sloth in Proverbs.

1.      Proverbs 10:4

 

He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand:  but the hand of the diligent maketh rich.

 

2.      Proverbs 12:24

 

The hand of the diligent shall bear rule:  but the slothful shall be under tribute.

 

3.      Proverbs 12:27

 

The slothful man roasteth not that which he took in hunting;  but the substance of a diligent man is precious.

 

4.      Proverbs 13:4

 

The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing:  but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.

 

5.      Proverbs 21:5

 

The thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenteousness; but of every one that is hasty only to want.

 

II.                WHY DILIGENCE IS SO IMPORTANT AT THIS POINT IN LIFE?

 

A.    We have strength

 

B.      We have clarity of mind

 

C.     We are open and willing to risk

 

D.    We have time (the Bell Curve)

 

E.      We only have one life

 

 

 

III.             AREAS OF DILIGENCE

 

A.    Spiritual life (Heb. 6:11; II Pet. 1:5, 10; II Pet. 3:14)

1.      Acquiring knowledge (II Pet. 3:18)

2.      Obedience (Josh. 22:5)

3.      Growth (Heb. 5:12-14)

4.      Laboring for the kingdom (Heb. 4:11)

5.      Ridding life of sin (Prov. 4:23).

6.      Position in the church (Rom. 12:8)

7.      Contending for the faith (Jude 3)

 

B.      Marriage and the Home

 

C.     Work

 

D.    Finances (Prov. 27:23)

 

E.      Accomplishing goals

 

F.      Gathering experience

 

IV.             THE REWARDS OF DILIGENCE

 

A.    Faithfulness to God (II Pet. 3:14)

 

B.      Solid home and faithful children

 

C.     Dependable income (Prov. 13:4; 21:5)

 

D.    Finances:  comfort, retirement, independence (Prov. 10:24)

 

E.      No regrets

1.      No “I should haves.”

2.      No “I wish I would haves.”

 

F.      Wisdom

 

G.     Rise to prominent positions (Prov. 22:29)

 

CONCLUSION

 

A.    The later we implement diligence the less success we have.

 

B.      This is the longest portion of our lives. 

1.      There will be obstacles and hard times to overcome.

2.      There will be those who will distract you along the way.

3.      There will be sins that can cause us to lose our way.

4.      You can get caught up in the immediate and lose track of the long haul.

5.      You think you have plenty of time, but before you know it, it is nearing its end.