OceanSide church of Christ
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Victor M. Eskew
A. If I were to ask: “What are some Christian qualities we need to possess?” The answers would be varied, but there would be some overlap: love, kindness, compassion, honesty, forgiveness, and humility.
B. Would any of you have said diligence?
1. It would not have crossed the minds of very many Christians.
2. It is not a subject upon which we speak except in passing.
C. Tonight, I want us to consider the quality of “Diligence.” Paul tells us that the Corinthians abounded in it (II Cor. 8:7).
Therefore, as ye about in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also.
I. USEAGE IN THE BIBLE
A. The English word “diligent” is used in both the Old and New Testaments.
1. OT: eleven (11) times (Deut. 19:18; Josh. 22:5; Ps. 64:6; 77:6; Prov. 10:4; 12:24, 27; 13:4; 21:5; 22:29; 27:23)
2. NT: four (4) times (II Cor. 8:22 (2times); Tit. 3:12; II Pet. 3:14)
B. The English “diligence” is used in both Testaments also.
1. OT: one (1) time (Prov. 4:23)
2. NT: nine (9) times (Luke 12:58; Rom. 12:8; II Cor. 8:7; II Tim. 4:9, 21; Heb. 6:11; II Pet. 1:5, 10; Jude 3)
C. The English word diligently is used in both the Old Law and the New Law.
1. OT: twenty-four (24) times
2. NT: eleven (11) times
II. DEFINITION OF THE WORD
A. In the Old Testament, the words “diligent” and “diligence” are defined in interesting ways.
1. Diligent is defined as “sharp pointed.”
2. It is also defined as “watch, observe, the act of guarding, a guard at a prison.”
B. In the New Testament, the words are defined in the same way: pains, speed, eagerness, haste, earnestness, striving after anything, to make effort, be prompt, exert one’s self.
C. In the New Testament, the Greek word is also translated as business, haste, endeavor, labour, and study.”
D. Diligence is the quality of putting eager, prompt, painstaking effort in all that a person does.
III. NUMEROUS APPLICATIONS
A. Be diligent in teaching your children God’s Word (Deut. 6:6-7)
And these words which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children…
1. Parents are supposed to be providers and protectors of their children.
2. But, they are more than provider and protectors. They are supposed to be professors.
a. They are the ones who are supposed to be instilling the truths of God’s word into the hearts and lives of their children.
b. Moses told the parents of Israel that this was to be done with diligence, with earnestness, with much painstaking effort.
3. We diligently train them in their schoolwork, in their sports, and in their music.
a. We spend hundreds of dollars.
b. We take them near and far for their activities.
c. We will not allow them to have any excuse to miss.
4. This same diligence needs to be given to the instruction of children in the ways of God.
5. NOTE: It really needs to start in the home. Regular, intense Bible study is what is needed.
a. They get 30 minutes to an hour per day of reading.
b. They get 30 minutes to an hour per day of math.
c. They get 30 minutes to an hour per day of history.
d. They get 30 minutes to an hour per day of science.
e. Why not give them 30 minutes to an hour per day of Bible?
B. Be diligent in keeping the commands of God (Josh. 22:5)
But take diligent heed to do the command and the law, which Moses the servant of the Lord charged you…
1. In the context, Joshua is speaking to the children of Israel.
2. He exhorted them to be diligent in keeping the Law of Moses.
3. The law needed to be kept with eagerness, with promptness and with painstaking effort.
4. In the book of Hebrews, we find that Jesus is superior to Moses (Heb. 3:1-6) and the new covenant is superior to the old covenant (Heb. 8:6-13). Question: Shouldn’t we keep the New Law with as much or more diligence than the Jew kept the Old Law?
C. Be diligent to keep you heart (Prov. 4:23)
Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
1. This is the only time the word “diligence” is found in the Old Testament.
2. It carries the idea of putting a guard upon the door of your heart.
3. All types of information are trying to get into our minds.
a. Much of it is in opposition to the Word of God.
b. Much of it is extremely sinful in nature.
4. Therefore, we must be on guard at all times.
a. We make certain we keep the evil out
1) Judas allowed Satan to enter in (John 13:27).
2) Ananias allowed Satan to fill his heart with lies (Acts 5:3).
b. We must allow only good things to enter into our hearts (Phil. 4:8).
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
D. Be diligent to seek good (Prov. 11:27)
He that diligently seeketh good procureth favor: but he that seeketh mischief, it shall come unto him.
1. The wise man exhorts us to diligently seek good.
a. We do not let things just come to us.
b. We are individuals who are actively seeking ways to do good.
2. Sometimes instead of seeking good, we hope that somebody else will do the good that we should be doing.
3. These things are time consuming.
These things get little, or, no recognition.
These things are often menial in nature.
These things require that we give up other things, selfish things.
4. The writer tells us that he that diligently seeks good procures favor.
a. He procures the favor of man. Others commend us.
b. He procures the favor of God. God shines upon us.
c. He procures the favor of self. We feel better about ourselves.
E. Be diligent to know the state of your flocks (Prov. 27:23)
Be diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds.
1. Flocks and herds in Bible times was the measure of a man’s wealth.
2. The inspired writer exhorts his readers to give diligence to the things that bring him wealth and prosperity.
3. It is imperative that Christians learn how to handle their finances well. (NOTE: There are financial laws that exist. God put them here. If used correctly, they will benefit us throughout our lives. If ignored, we will suffer the consequences).
a. How to make money
b. How to spend money
c. How to save money
d. How to give away money
e. How to return God’s money to Him
4. The Bible never condemns great riches. It only warns us about what those riches can do it we allow them to (See I Tim. 6:17-19).
Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who give us richly all things to enjoy; that they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; laying up in store for themselves a good founda-tion against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.
A. In the book of Proverbs, Solomon often refers to “the diligent” (Prov. 10:4; 12:24; 13:4).
1. He uses the word as a noun that reveals who someone is.
2. We can be diligent. We can also be “the diligent.”
a. We are “the diligent” when diligence is part of who we are.
b. Remember, the word means “sharp-pointed.”
3. Some seem to be born with this trait. Others must work diligently to acquire it.
B. May each of us work to be diligent:
1. Diligent in training our children
2. Diligent in keeping the commands of God
3. Diligent in keeping our hearts
4. Diligent in seeking good
5. Diligent in knowing the state of our flocks
C. In our next lesson, we will look at the admonitions the New Testament gives us about being diligent people.
D. Tonight, we exhort you to be diligent in keeping the commands of God relative to the plan of salvation.