Introduction: 1. This morning we studied Solomon's wise instructions in Ecclesiastes 9:10. 2. This evening we are basing our lesson on a similar admonition given to Christians in Hebrews 6:11 -- we are to "show diligence." 3. It is important that we do this so we can receive the reward that God has promised. 4. The first thing we must do as we study "diligence" is to define it. a. Diligence: endeavoring to do something, being earnest, doing something with zeal b. The opposite of diligence is "slothfulness" -- vs.12 tells us to avoid being slothful. c. Illustrations of diligence: 1) (Deuteronomy 6:4-7) Jewish fathers were to diligently teach their children the Law of Moses. 2) (Luke 15:8) A woman who loses a piece of silver will seek it diligently. 3) (2 Timothy 4:9, 21a) Paul wanted Timothy to be diligent in visiting him. 5. Diligence ought to characterize everything that we do, including our worship, our service, our work, meeting our family responsibilities, etc. 6. In our lesson we are examining 3 specific activities in which we are to be diligent.
I. PROVERBS 4:23 TEACHES US TO KEEP OUR HEARTS WITH ALL DILIGENCE
A. Keeping the heart involves guarding and protecting that inner part of our being. B. The heart must be kept because "out of it are the issues of life." 1. The things we do and say come forth from the heart (Mark 7:20-23). 2. The key to doing and saying the right things is keeping the heart -- this is something we are to do diligently. C. To keep the heart, we must think properly (Proverbs 23:7). D. A list of things to think on is given in Philippians 4:8.
II. HEBREWS 11:6 TEACHES US TO DILIGENTLY SEEK GOD
A. Believing in God is essential, and it is commendable. B. However, believing in God alone will not save anyone (James 2:19). C. In addition to believing in God, He wants us to diligently seek Him and His will. D. Faith which pleases God is obedient (James 2:17). E. God will reward those who diligently seek Him. F. In connection with seeking God, see 2 Timothy 2:15. 1. "Study" in this passage does not have the same meaning we associate with it. 2. "Study" in this passage means to "give diligence." 3. God wants us to give diligence in showing ourselves approved unto Him -- we do this by seeking Him and His will. III. WE LEARN FROM 2 PETER 1:5-11 THAT GOD WANTS US TO GIVE DILIGENCE IN MAKING OUR CALLING AND ELECTION SURE A. Despite what many people believe, the Bible teaches that a child of God can fall away (2 Peter 2:20-21). B. However, there is something we can do to avoid falling away. 1. We are to diligently develop and grow in the Christian graces listed in vs.5-7. 2. Vs. 9 points out the condition of those who lack these graces. 3. We will certainly be blessed if we possess these graces (vs.8, 10-11).
1. The Bible teaches Christians to show diligence so we can receive the reward God has promised. 2. Are you: a. keeping your heart with all diligence? b. diligently seeking God and His will? c. giving diligence to make your calling and election sure?