Are you hard-working? This time of year there’s a lot of hard work in making sure the decorations are perfect, gifts are what the receiver would want, and faultlessly wrapped boxes are placed neatly around the tree. It can be said the degree of diligence and care a person gives to an activity directly correlates to the person’s heart attitude about the activity.
We are commanded in scripture to be hard-working. We are taught to be diligent about one thing in particular. The instruction is found in Psalm 119:4. It says, “Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently.” We can understand it to mean the ways of God were given so that we would be instructed to work hard to hear and do all of them.
The author of Psalm 119 is thought to be David who was known as a man after God’s own heart. David’s own heart prayerfully lamented in verse 5, “O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!” He recognized his own tendency to steer away from working hard to know God’s ways and preferences. He knew well, “we all like sheep have gone astray.” If David, such a well-known and used instrument of God, had a hard time being diligent with God’s ways, is there hope for us?
Yes, my friend, there is hope! We can learn from David how to diligently keep God’s ways. Verses 5 through 8 of Psalm 119 provide us the instruction.
O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes! Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments. I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments. I will keep thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly.
These verses can be understood or summarized as follows:
- Put God’s commands as High Priority. Make them first and most important.
- Learn God’s commands. Know them front to back, side to side, upside down, and back to front. Be fully acquainted with them.
- Keep them. Do them. Follow them. Change to conform to them.
It is necessary to take note David did not depend upon himself and his own efforts to accomplish this instruction. David began his diligence with prayer and ended with prayer. He prayed asking God to change him to make his ways directed to keep all God’s ways. Then, he prayed again in verse 8 asking God not to forsake him.
Let us be hard-working this December and in the New Year to pray, depend on God, and diligently keep all God’s ways. It can be done when we take the following actions:
- Esteem God’s ways as perfect.
- Learn God’s ways through Bible Study, Memorization, and Prayer.
- Do all God’s commands.
Then, we are assured we will be blessed. Psalm 119:1-2 says “Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord. Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.”
May God enable us to Decide Diligence to keep all the precepts of God!
The great esteem and affection David had for the word of God is the more admirable considering how little he had of it, in comparison with what we have, no more perhaps in writing than the first books of Moses, which were but the dawning of this day, which may shame us who enjoy the full discoveries of divine revelation and yet are so cold towards it. ~Matthew Henry
Only one life, yes only one, Now let me say, ”Thy will be done”; And when at last I’ll hear the call, I know I’ll say ‘twas worth it all”; Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last. ~ C.T. Studd