Giving All Diligence
Today I sat down around 12 noon with my Bible and journal to have my personal devotions. I normally like to have devotions first thing, but……..for various reasons, this morning I had to jump right and start the day’s work. And then one task led to the next and to the next and so on. I love to work. Or, is it that I love to get things done? Or, maybe a combination of both? Working feels good, and sometimes we don’t really get that until we are not able to work for some reason or the other. God made us to work (remember the garden?) and it is a blessing to be able to do so. Anyway, this morning, as I have done a few times in the past, before I actually started reading the Scriptures, I wrote in my journal a list of everything I had gotten done this a.m. I don’t journal about tasks accomplished to tout myself to myself (well, maybe a little bit – true confessions here, but also because it is fun to see what I actually did and to give myself perspective regarding where my heart and life are.)
Following the list-making this morning, I turned to where I am in my Bible reading and read another list that God providentially scheduled for me to see:
4Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
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:
11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
II Peter 1:4-11
By the time I got to the end of this inspired list, several thoughts were coming to me.
1) How important it is for us to pray, pray, pray that God would give us the grace to add to our hearts and lives the Godly characteristics listed here
2) How important it is for us to actively and with purpose seek to live from this list (See the word “diligence” used twice.)
3) The only reason we CAN expect to live in this blessed way is because God has made us to be “partakers of His divine nature” – see verse 4 (Now, THAT is something to wonder and ponder!).
4) That we can, by lack of diligence, forget our own salvation and thus be lacking in the above characteristics.
5) That if we do these things (the doing of which does NOT save us as only the blood of Christ does), it is evidence to ourselves that we have salvation wrought by Jesus Christ.
6) And finally, I was strongly reminded of the Mary and Martha incident in this sense: We are list makers. We like to make lists of things we want to get done. And, as I said earlier, we are made to work – so there is nothing really wrong with making lists and working toward the accomplishment of our goals – as Martha was doing. I was just personally convicted (as if I was Martha and Jesus was talking to me) re: whether or not I, with diligence, seek to, (through prayer – see 1. above), be aware of God’s lists for my soul (as Mary sought to be).