1. The words "diligence," "diligent," and "diligently" are used many times in both the Old and New Testaments. 2. These words are basically used to describe how God's people: a. in the Old Testament were to pursue certain activities (Deuteronomy 6:17) b. under the New Covenant are to fulfill our responsibilities, including being found of God "in peace, without spot, and blameless" (2 Peter 3:14). 3. Looking forward to the blessings that the Lord will provide when He returns should motivate us to be diligent as we serve Him. 4. In our lesson we are examining 3 important "activities that require diligence."
I. ACCORDING TO PROVERBS 4:23, WE ARE TO BE DILIGENT IN KEEPING OUR HEARTS
A. What is Solomon teaching us to do? 1. The "heart" is the inner part of our being. 2. To "keep" the heart is to guard it and protect it. 3. We are to put forth "all diligence" in guarding and protecting our hearts. B. Why must we follow Solomon's instruction? 1. Each child of God must keep his heart because "out of it are the issues of life." 2. The things we do and say originate in the heart (Matthew 12:35). 3. Keeping the heart with all diligence is the key to doing and saying the right things. C. How do we keep our hearts as Solomon wrote? 1. To keep our hearts we must think properly (Proverbs 23:7). 2. A list of things to think on is given in Philippians 4:8.
II. WE LEARN FROM HEBREWS 11:6 THAT WE ARE TO BE DILIGENT IN SEEKING GOD
A. Through faith we can please God, as Enoch did (vs.5). B. However, faith includes believing that: 1. God exists 2. God rewards those who diligently seek Him, as Abraham did (vs.17-19; James 2:21-24). C. God will abundantly bless those who diligently seek Him and His will (Deuteronomy 28:1-2).
III. WE ARE TAUGHT IN 2 PETER 1:5-11 TO BE DILIGENT IN MAKING OUR CALLING AND ELECTION SURE
A. To accomplish this we must develop the graces listed in vs.5-7 with "all diligence." B. Vs.10 assures us that we will never fall if we do these things. C. Vs.12 shows that we need to be constantly reminded of these instructions.
1. We began by reading 2 Peter 3:14 that teaches us to be diligent to be found of the Lord "in peace, without spot, and blameless." 2. Peter gave this admonition based on the information he presented on the Lord's return. a. He gave some important details about the Lord's return in vs.10. b. He continued by showing how the Lord's return should affect the way we live (vs.11-13). c. His concluding statement is given in vs.14. 3. Are you keeping your heart with all diligence? 4. Are you diligently seeking God and His will? 5. Are you giving diligence to make your calling and election sure?