(II Peter 1:10) …”Give diligence to make your calling and election sure”
Diligence defined: Energetic application to a task; perseveringly attentive; Industrious and painstaking. (Christianity Magazine, and Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary)
As disciples of Christ, our lives must be characterized by diligence in our service to God: …”He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6). We cannot be pleasing to God, and enter heaven unless we are diligent. In Hebrews 4:11, we read: “Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest.” Therefore, we must put forth the necessary effort required in order to have the hope of heaven.
In Hebrews 6:12, we read: “That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” The word slothful denotes laziness, and idleness, and is the very opposite of diligence. In Proverbs 6:6-8, we read of the sluggard, or lazy person, who is told to “Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.” The ant is a small creature, and certainly not slothful, but rather very industrious.
In Proverbs 4:23, the writer states, “Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life.” We must guard our heart against things that may enter in and corrupt our thoughts .Resisting the devil, and overcoming temptations requires us to put forth earnest effort.
Diligence is necessary in striving for perfection. The apostle Paul said, “Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded:” (Philippians 3:15). We must work at cultivating the Christian graces which are set forth in II Peter 1:5-8: “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” We must, therefore, “give all diligence” as we add the Christian graces in our lives. We must put forth effort to add these graces in our lives, as they will not come automatically, or through a half-hearted effort.
Diligence is necessary in teaching. “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” (Acts 5:42).
Diligence is needed in preaching the Word, also: “Preach the Word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.” (II Timothy 4:2). Also, we see the good teaching of Apollos, as he “spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord,”…(Acts 18:25). In teaching our children also, a diligent effort must be made: “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4).
In keeping unity and peace among brethren, diligence is essential. In Ephesians 4:3, we read that we must endeavor “to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Our very best efforts need to be put forth in getting along with our brethren.
Some Biblical examples of persons who manifested diligence in their lives are: Moses, as he confronted Pharaoh, and obeyed God’s every command in the signs and wonders from God in Egypt. (Exodus 7:16,17).”And thou shalt say unto him, The Lord God of the Hebrews hath sent me unto thee, saying, Let my people go, that they may serve me in the wilderness: and, behold, hitherto thou wouldest not hear. Thus saith the Lord, In this thou shalt know that I am the Lord: behold, I will smite with the rod that is in mine hand upon the waters which are in the river, and they shall be turned to blood.” Also, we see Moses’ stedfastness as he received the Ten Commandments in the mount: “And Moses went into the midst of the cloud, and gat him up into the mount: and Moses was in the mount forty days and forty nights.” (Exodus 24:18). In Hebrews 3:5, we see Moses’ faithfulness: “And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after.”
Ruth, the daughter in law of Naomi, showed her stedfast character, and diligence when she answered Naomi, who told her she should follow her sister and return to her own country: “ And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: The Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.” (Ruth 1:16,17). Also, she manifested diligence as she gleaned in the fields from the morning hour, and found favor with Boaz: “And she said, I pray you, let me glean and gather after the reapers among the sheaves: so she came, and hath continued even from the morning until now, that she tarried a little in the house.” (Ruth 2:7).
Ezra, the priest, and scribe of the law of God, showed his diligence : “For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments.” (Ezra 7:10). He was then strengthened as the hand of God was upon him.
Also, Nehemiah’s perseverance is shown as he prepares to build the wall in Jerusalem with his countrymen, and to repair the gates and other things broken: “Then I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me; as also the king’s words that he had spoken unto me. And they said, Let us rise up and build. So they strengthened their hands for this good work.” (Nehemiah 2:18). Thus, they repaired the things of Jerusalem which were broken down, and builded the wall in the face of the enemy, and with their weapons handy.
David, the sweet psalmist of Israel, and king, manifested diligence and earnestness toward God as he penned many psalms of praise and devotion, and as he petitioned God for deliverance from his enemies. He also prophesied of the coming Messiah. In Psalm 89:1, we see his devotion to God: “I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations.” Although he had sinned grievously on one occasion, he repented, and God forgave him. Thus, God commended him saying, “I have found David, the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.” (Acts 13:22).
The prophet, Daniel, also showed diligence and perseverance toward God, as we see in Daniel 6:10, when King Darius signed a decree that any person who asked a petition of any God or man for thirty days, except of the king, he would be cast into the den of lions: “Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.” Although he was cast into the lion’s den, God sent His angel who shut the lion’s mouths, and delivered Daniel from any harm.
These are just some of many persons we read of in the Scriptures who manifested diligence toward God in their lives. We may ask ourselves the question: Are we following their good example in our lives? If not, then we must begin to: “give diligence to make our calling and election sure.” (II Peter 1:10).
Patrick Chaddick October 26, 2009
Return to the General Articles page
Home / Bible studies / Bible Survey / Special Studies / General Articles / Non-Bible Articles / Sermons / Sermon Outlines / Links / Questions and Answers / What Saith The Scriptures /Daily Devotional / Correspondence Courses / What is the Church of Christ / Book: Christian Growth / Website Policy / E-mail / About Me /