God wants us to do everything heartily, like we’re doing it for him. That means 24 hours a day. The bottom line is diligence. Diligence: with an attitude of excellence and enthusiasm, persistence, perseverance, hard work.

Colossians 3:23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;

We should have an attitude of “I really want to please God.” During Paul’s last years in jail, he said he learned to be content in whatever situation he was in (Philippians 4:11). Daniel learned to be content. It was said that he had an excellent spirit and his enemies could find no fault in him (Daniel 6:3-4). God doesn’t want his people to be slothful but to choose to serve him heartily. If you have a reputation of always being late, will God be pleased? It takes diligence. The Lord also wants us to serve him with gladness and come to him with singing (Psalm 100:2). Diligence is a command.

I Corinthians 4:2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.

You have to be diligent to be faithful. Can God count on you to be faithful? Daniel had a set time to pray and others knew he was praying then. If you don’t feel like having devotions, you need to do it anyway. Whatever you sow, you will reap a harvest. If you don’t sow diligently, you won’t be faithful. If you go by your feelings, you will not be faithful. Diligence is a spirit. The disciples were in one place praying together and were willing to speak God’s word with boldness. If we don’t have a diligent spirit, we won’t be trying to speak the word with boldness or to testify whenever we can.

Acts 4:31-33 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness. And…them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said…the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.

The Spirit drove Jesus into the wilderness. He had to have some diligence to go. He fasted and prayed for 40 days and nights. He wasn’t “ho hum” about what he was doing. His whole purpose was to do the Father’s will and to serve him.

Mark 1:9-12…Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan. And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw…the Spirit like a dove descending upon him: And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And immediately the Spirit driveth him into the wilderness.

Diligence will drive away laziness. Some children were never taught to work or to be diligent, so they have to learn it when they get saved. Diligence affects your thoughts, your words, and your actions. Mary was willing to do whatever the Lord showed her and she got up to go with haste (Greek word is diligence). She didn’t rest on every rock along the way but she was diligent to get there. When God tells us to testify, it is fear of what others will think that sometimes keeps us from speaking. We have to be diligent to do what the Lord asks, like Mary went with haste (Greek: diligence).

Luke 1:34-39…And the angel…said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible. And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word…And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda;

Herodias’ daughter went with haste (diligence) to tell Herod that she wanted to have John the Baptist’s head because her mother wanted him dead. The devil is diligent about his business and makes haste to get things done, too.

Mark 6:17-28 For Herod himself had sent forth and laid hold upon John, and bound him in prison for Herodias’ sake, his brother Philip’s wife: for he had married her. For John had said unto Herod, It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother’s wife. Therefore Herodias had a quarrel against him, and would have killed him; but she could not: For Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just man and an holy…and when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly. And when a convenient day was come, that Herod on his birthday made a supper to his lords…And when the daughter of the said Herodias came in, and danced, and pleased Herod…the king said unto the damsel, Ask of me whatsoever thou wilt, and I will give it thee. And he sware unto her, Whatsoever thou shalt ask of me, I will give it thee, unto the half of my kingdom. And she…said unto her mother, What shall I ask? And she said, The head of John the Baptist. And she came in straightway with haste unto the king, and asked, saying, I will that thou give me by and by in a charger the head of John the Baptist. And the king was exceeding sorry; yet for his oath’s sake, and for their sakes which sat with him, he would not reject her. And immediately the king sent an executioner…and beheaded him in the prison, And brought his head in a charger, and gave it to the damsel: and the damsel gave it to her mother.

In the month of December, Nehemiah heard the wall of Jerusalem was broken down so he fasted, prayed, and wore sackcloth. In April as he was serving and before the king and queen Esther, the king asked why he was sad. God had the king send Nehemiah with an army and supplies to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem and the city.

Nehemiah 2:2-5 Wherefore the king said unto me, Why is thy countenance sad, seeing thou art not sick? this is nothing else but sorrow of heart. Then I was very sore afraid, And said…Let the king live for ever: why should not my countenance be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers’ sepulchres, lieth waste, and the gates thereof are consumed with fire? Then the king said unto me, For what dost thou make request? So I prayed to the God of heaven. And I said…If it please the king, and if thy servant have found favour in thy sight, that thou wouldest send me unto Judah…that I may build it.

The people rose us to build right away and the enemy came to hinder, but the enemy had no part in building the wall.

Nehemiah 2:18-20 Then I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me; as also the king’s words…And they said, Let us rise up and build. So they strengthened their hands for this good work. But when Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, and Geshem the Arabian, heard it, they laughed us to scorn, and despised us, and said, What is this thing that ye do? will ye rebel against the king? Then answered I them, and said unto them, The God of heaven, he will prosper us; therefore we his servants will arise and build: but ye have no portion…in Jerusalem.

The nobles of the Tekoites wouldn’t work. Apparently they thought that kind of work was below them.

Nehemiah 3:5 And next unto them the Tekoites repaired; but their nobles put not their necks to the work of their Lord.

The common people of the Tekoites wanted to work so they were still able to work and complete part in of the wall.

Nehemiah 3:27 After them the Tekoites repaired another piece, over against the great tower…unto the wall of Ophel.

The people built the wall because they had a mind to work.

Nehemiah 4:6 So built we the wall; and all…was joined together unto the half thereof: for the people had a mind to work.

Some worked and others held weapons to defend the work from the enemy. The people worked all day until the stars came out. When the enemy came to attack one place on the wall, they blew the trumpet for everyone to come fight. They helped each other and worked diligently to finish the wall (about 2.5 mile long, 39 feet high and 8 feet wide) in 52 days.

Nehemiah 4:16-20…from that time forth, that the half of my servants wrought in the work, and the other half of them held both the spears, the shields, and the bows, and the habergeons; and the rulers were behind all the house of Judah. They which builded on the wall, and they that bare burdens, with those that laded, every one with one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other hand held a weapon. For the builders, every one had his sword girded by his side, and so builded. And he that sounded the trumpet was by me. And I said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, The work is great and large, and we are separated upon the wall, one far from another. In what place therefore ye hear the sound of the trumpet, resort ye thither unto us: our God shall fight for us. So we laboured in the work: and half of them held the spears from the rising of the morning till the stars appeared.

 

(Notes from the Mature Class Bible Study, teacher Edith Tolbert)