The Attitude of Diligence

Things That Accompany Salvation  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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From the series “Things That Accompany Salvation”

I. God expected us to keep his commandments diligently!

* When it comes to serving God my friend it is all or nothing!
* God will not ever except half-hearted service!
* The Bible is full of men of God standing up before the people of God, and calling them out, like the old west gunslinger would call out his opponent and settle matters once and for all!
* Listen to the words of Joshua:
Joshua 24:14–15 (AV)
14 Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD.
15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
* And then again listen to the words of Elijah!
1 Kings 18:21 (AV)
21 And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.
Psalm 119:1–4 (AV)
1 ALEPH. Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD. 2 Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart. 3 They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways.
4 Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently.
James 1:6–8 (AV)
6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. 7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
James 4:7–9 (AV)
7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. 9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.
* Joshua had his mind made up! He said “As for me and my house, we shall serve the Lord!”
* Listen to the how serious God is about being diligent when we follow Him:
Deuteronomy 4:8–15 (AV)
8 And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day? 9 Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life:
but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons; 10 Specially the day that thou stoodest before the LORD thy God in Horeb, when the LORD said unto me, Gather me the people together, and I will make them hear my words, that they may learn to fear me all the days that they shall live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children.
11 And ye came near and stood under the mountain; and the mountain burned with fire unto the midst of heaven, with darkness, clouds, and thick darkness. 12 And the LORD spake unto you out of the midst of the fire: ye heard the voice of the words, but saw no similitude; only ye heard a voice.
13 And he declared unto you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, even ten commandments; and he wrote them upon two tables of stone.
14 And the LORD commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and judgments, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go over to possess it. 15 Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves; for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that the LORD spake unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire:

II. God expects us to train our children to be diligent!

Proverbs 10:5 (AV)
5 He that gathereth in summer is a wise son: but he that sleepeth in harvest is a son that causeth shame.

III. God expects us to serve him diligently!

* In the Bible we have a compression of two men, David and Saul. One, with the attitude of prudence, and another without the attitude of prudence.

A. David served the Lord with an attitude of diligence. He refused to offer to the Lord unworthy service!

2 Samuel 24:21–25 (AV)
21 And Araunah said, Wherefore is my lord the king come to his servant? And David said, To buy the threshingfloor of thee, to build an altar unto the LORD, that the plague may be stayed from the people. 22 And Araunah said unto David, Let my lord the king take and offer up what seemeth good unto him: behold, here be oxen for burnt sacrifice, and threshing instruments and other instruments of the oxen for wood.
23 All these things did Araunah, as a king, give unto the king. And Araunah said unto the king, The LORD thy God accept thee. 24 And the king said unto Araunah, Nay; but I will surely buy it of thee at a price: neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the LORD my God of that which doth cost me nothing.
So David bought the threshingfloor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. 25 And David built there an altar unto the LORD, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. So the LORD was intreated for the land, and the plague was stayed from Israel.

B. Saul half-heartedly obeyed the Lord.

1 Samuel 15:2–3 (AV)
2 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt. 3 Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.
1 Samuel 15:8–15 (AV)
8 And he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword. 9 But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them: but every thing that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly.
10 Then came the word of the LORD unto Samuel, saying, 11 It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments.
And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto the LORD all night. 12 And when Samuel rose early to meet Saul in the morning, it was told Samuel, saying, Saul came to Carmel, and, behold, he set him up a place, and is gone about, and passed on, and gone down to Gilgal.
13 And Samuel came to Saul: and Saul said unto him, Blessed be thou of the LORD: I have performed the commandment of the LORD. 14 And Samuel said, What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?
15 And Saul said, They have brought them from the Amalekites: for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed.
1 Samuel 15:22–23 (AV)
22 And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. 23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.
1 Samuel 15:32–35 (AV)
32 Then said Samuel, Bring ye hither to me Agag the king of the Amalekites. And Agag came unto him delicately. And Agag said, Surely the bitterness of death is past. 33 And Samuel said, As thy sword hath made women childless, so shall thy mother be childless among women. And Samuel hewed Agag in pieces before the LORD in Gilgal. 34 Then Samuel went to Ramah; and Saul went up to his house to Gibeah of Saul. 35 And Samuel came no more to see Saul until the day of his death: nevertheless Samuel mourned for Saul: and the LORD repented that he had made Saul king over Israel.

IV. Knowing God’s Will is a matter of diligence.

* When Paul wrote to the church at Ephesus in Ephesians chapter 5, he tells them to “see that they walk circumspectly”- or in other words – “walk with common sense.”
Ephesians 5:15–17 (AV)
15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, 16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
* Paul goes on to tell the people of the church at Ephesus “not to walk as fools.”
Ephesians 5:15–17 (AV)
15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, 16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
* How does a fool walk? Listen to what the Bible says about how a fool walks.
Ecclesiastes 2:13–14 (AV)
13 Then I saw that wisdom excelleth folly, as far as light excelleth darkness. 14 The wise man’s eyes are in his head; but the fool walketh in darkness: and I myself perceived also that one event happeneth to them all.
*A fool walks as if he doesn’t have any eyes in his head! Like someone walking around in the dark!
* The book of Proverbs echoes Paul’s exhortation to walk circumspectly, or prudently.
Proverbs 4:25–27 (AV)
25 Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. 26 Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. 27 Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.
* Paul goes on to give a reason that we should serve God with an attitude of diligence:
Ephesians 5:15–17 (AV)
15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, 16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
* Every Christian should be living their life like they are running out of time! We should “redeem “or “by back” time!
* Paul concludes his description of how a believer should walk in this world by telling us that God EXPECTS us to know what God’s will is!
Ephesians 5:15–17 (AV)
15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, 16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
* You say Brother Woody; how can I know what God’s will is for me? Listen to what the Bible says:
Ephesians 1:8–9 (AV)
8 Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; 9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:
* God has revealed everything we need to know about His will for your life in the Bible, the very word of God.
* If there is something God intends for you to be doing, it’s between the covers of this book!
* The Apostle Paul exhorts the people of the church at Ephesus to wake up and get their head out of the sand, and look around!
* He tells them to look around soberly and be diligent and pay attention where they are going in life!
* When it comes to today’s church members, the ones that aren’t drunk with a sleepy lazy attitude, have got their head in the ground like an old ostrich!
* They are not serving the Lord diligently!
* I am afraid that too many Churches and individual Christians this morning are walking around sleepy headed!
* We live in a day when Christians have become drunk on the world! We have been lulled to sleep by the devil!
* The Devil has dangled the shinny cheap trinkets of this world in the faces of believers and has caused them to be hypnotized!
* By trickery and subtlety the devil has lulled us into a sleepy headed state of hypnosis that has paralyzed the church!
Ephesians 5:15–19 (AV)
15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, 16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. 18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
1 Peter 1:13 (AV)
13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
1 Thessalonians 5:6–8 (AV)
6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. 7 For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.
8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.
* Paul says this morning to wake up and open your eyes this morning!

V. God expects you to be diligent about your salvation.

2 Peter 1:9–10 (AV)
9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
V. Be diligent to find out what God wants you to do with your life.
Ephesians 5:15–17 (AV)
15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, 16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.

VI. Winning Souls is a matter of diligence.

*Jesus said the same thing to his disciples in John Chapter 4-
John 4:34–39 (AV)
34 Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work. 35 Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. 36 And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together. 37 And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth.
38 I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour: other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours. 39 And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did.
* You see folks; the matter of winning souls is a matter of prudence!
This is what Jude had in mind when he wrote:
Jude 22–23 (AV)
22 And of some have compassion, making a difference: 23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.
* If Christians and churches would only put their eyes back in their head they could see that people are dropping off into Hell all around us!
* Listen to what Jesus said to the church at Laodicea:
Revelation 3:14–19 (AV)
14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; 15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: 18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and
anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten:
be zealous therefore, and repent!

VII. Prayer is a matter of diligence.

Hebrews 11:6 (AV)
6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
James 5:16–20 (AV)
16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
17 Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.
18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit. 19 Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; 20 Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.

VIII. Loving the brethren is a matter of diligence.

1 Peter 4:7–10 (AV)
7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. 8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. 9 Use hospitality one to another without grudging. 10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

IX. Ministry is a matter of diligence.

1 Peter 4:11 (AV)
11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Conclusion:

* Do you have the Attitude of prudence this morning?
* Are you doing everything within your power to serve the Lord that saved you diligence this morning?
* Have you, like Saul, disobeyed God by not walking soberly in this world, half heartedly serving the Lord you God?
* Are you actively see to know what God wants’ you do to with your life?
Matthew 16:24–26 (AV)
24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. 26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
* How do you think things are going to go for you at the judgment seat of Christ?
* Will you be like David who served the Lord with an attitude of diligence, or will you be like Saul who half-heartedly served God and was judged harshly for it?
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