Word of the day: diligence. Wikipedia (yes, I am a Wiki-ophile) defines it as: Diligence is a zealous and careful nature in one’s actions and work, exemplified by a decisive work ethic, budgeting of one’s time, monitoring one’s own activities to guard against laziness, and putting forth full concentration in one’s work.
While this word is not often the word found in the Bible, the idea still lies there.
Duet 11:13-15 “If you carefully obey all the commands I am giving you today, and if you love the Lord your God and serve him with all your heart and soul, 14 then he will send the rains in their proper seasons—the early and late rains—so you can bring in your harvests of grain, new wine, and olive oil. 15 He will give you lush pastureland for your livestock, and you yourselves will have all you want to eat.”
2 Peter 1:10-11: “So, dear brothers and sisters, work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. Do these things, and you will never fall away. 11 Then God will give you a grand entrance into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
These verses imply that God sees our diligence and rewards us. If we continue to obey His commands, we will be rewarded. The Deuteronomy passage implies material blessings, which for the Israelite people was important. The material blessing of God was an important witness to God’s glory for the ancients – it gave Him a better the whole “my God is better than your God” status. But, the 1 Peter passage says our diligence will be rewarded with the most important thing of all: with a grand entrance into His Kingdom. And, time and time again, we are reminded in the New Testament that we work for His Kingdom in this world. That’s what I should be working for.
So then, I ask myself, because I want to be diligent for the Kingdom, where am I lacking in diligence? I know that diligence is not my strongest character trait – I get bored, or the work seems insurmountable. Is it in getting down to work? Is it in strategy? I’m diligent in the lists I make everyday, but maybe those lists can be longer, or maybe I can organize my time better.
So, my prayer for today is that God would grant me greater concentration so I can better complete my daily tasks. I need to remember that I am working for Him, and the grand entrance into His kingdom, rather than simply for a paycheck. Deuteronomy reminds me that if I am diligent, the Lord will provide for me in the material world.
God, I cannot see this in the physical realm around me, but I know that I work for Your Kingdom. God, please see this and bless my work in a way that best displays Your glory. I am reminded by the Deuteronomy passage that you do not always provide instant gratification, but that everything comes in seasons. Lord, I pray that harvest would come soon, and if it does not, give me the grace and the provision to make it through, so that I may always proclaim you as my Lord and Savior.
What do you need to be diligent for?