Very little in this life is accomplished without effort. Those willing to invest the effort required are those who succeed at any given task. Those who are diligent prove to be productive and successful in life. Diligence may be defined as constant, attentive and persistent effort. The Proverb writer pointed to the lowly ant as an illustration of this level of industry. Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, Which, having no captain, Overseer or ruler, Provides her supplies in the summer, And gathers her food in the harvest. How long will you slumber, O sluggard? When will you rise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to sleep- So shall your poverty come on you like a prowler, And your need like an armed man. (Proverbs 6:6-11 NKJV) The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, But those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty. – Proverbs 21:5
The same diligence is expected in our spiritual endeavors. Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality. (Romans 12:9-13 NKJV)
We have been given divine promises and allowed to share in divine nature. This creates an obligation to diligently grow in faith. But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 1:5-8 NKJV)
Diligence is required to know, understand, teach and defend the gospel. Timothy was instructed to be diligent in order to maintain God’s approval. Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15 NKJV) Jude recognized the necessity of constant effort to defend the gospel. Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. (Jude 1:3 NKJV)
The value of our salvation demands that our relapses into sin be addressed with zeal. The Corinthian brethren took Paul’s reproof to heart. For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter. (2 Corinthians 7:11 NKJV)
Commitment is necessary to see our faith through to receipt of God’s promises. Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience. (Hebrews 4:11 NKJV) And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, (Hebrews 6:11 NKJV) But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6 NKJV) Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; (2 Peter 1:10 NKJV) Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; (2 Peter 3:14 NKJV)
Be faithful. Be diligent.