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2 Peter 3:14 - Homilies By J.r. Thomson

Diligence.

Where our versions say, "Be diligent! ' or "Give diligence!" the original says, "Hasten!" Yet our word, implying choice, value, love, seems appropriate as a rendering of the Greek. Let the traveler speed him with diligence on his journey; let the ploughman hasten to furrow all the acres of his field; let the sailor diligently take advantage of every favourable wind, and beat to windward when need be, that he may reach the haven where he fain would be. And let the Christian, in like manner, be diligent in his Christian calling, ministry, and life.

I. THE SPHERE OF CHRISTIAN DILIGENCE .

1 . Properly considered, this includes the whole life. There is no department of our lawful activity where negligence, remissness, indolence, are allowable. The boy in his school-work, the woman in her household, the man in his profession,—all are called to diligence.

2 . Diligence is especially important in the achievement of Christian character. E.g., in the study of God's Word, in meditation upon Christ's gospel, in imitating Christ's example, in the use of all the means of grace. It is thus that we hope to realize the noble aim before us, to reach the stature of the perfect man in Christ. Such an aim can only be achieved by assiduity and perseverance.

3 . Diligence should distinguish the efforts put forth to promote the welfare of our fellow-men. In all walks of Christian philanthropy and usefulness there is a loud call for something better than a languid interest or a fitful zeal.

II. THE METHODS OF CHRISTIAN DILIGENCE . Good things are worth seeking, and for the most part are not to be had without seeking. The following may be acted upon as rules justified by practical experience.

1 . Study the biographies of zealous, successful, useful servants of God.

2 . Ponder the searching and stirring maxims of the wise—especially those recorded in the Book of Proverbs.

3 . Form seriously and deliberately, good resolutions for the conduct of life.

4 . Pray, especially against the besetting sin (if such it be) of sloth.

5 . And with prayer conjoin watchfulness, lest constantly recurring temptation to indolence prevail.

III. THE MOTIVES TO CHRISTIAN DILIGENCE .

1 . Foremost among these must be placed the influence of Christ's love. What can be a stronger impulse in the mind of a true friend of Jesus than a clear understanding of the Saviour's sacrifice, and a warm response of affection and gratitude evoked by the love, pity, and self-denial of Immanuel? How can a friend of Jesus stand beneath his Master's cross, listen to his Master's dying groan, and then be indifferent and remiss in doing that Master's will?

2 . The wish to resemble Christ will lead to diligence in the service of God. When we remember those words which revealed our Saviour's consecration, "I must work the works of him that sent me;" "How am I straitened until it [the baptism] be accomplished?" when we remember that it is recorded of him that he "had no leisure so much as to eat;"—how can we remain or become supine in the fulfillment of our life-mission?

"Our Master all the work hath done

He asks of us to-day;

Sharing his service, every one

Share too his Sonship may."

3. Be diligent in preparation for Christ's return. He will require an account from every one of his servants—the trustees of his precious gifts. Then shall the diligent, the faithful, be rewarded, and have praise of God. "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might."—J.R.T.

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