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Lessons From the Wisest Man Who Ever Lived - #3 - Diligence

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Lesson #3 – Diligence


I.      Introduction

A.    We are in week 3 of a 6 week series entitled; " Lessons from the Richest Man That Ever Live"

1.    We have been looking at the wisdom of Solomon (the richest man that ever lived) and the lessons he gave us in the book of Proverbs

2.    The first week we talked about the importance of wisdom in our lives.  How we should search for it.

3.    That the beginning of wisdom is "Fearing God"

a.    Not trembling before an angry God, but understanding that we will all give an account of our lives.

4.    Last week we talked about Vision

a.    True vision begins with a word from God

b.   There is a difference between imagination and vision

(1)   Vision comes form God, Imagination comes from our own thoughts.

(2)   To be wise we must live with an ear turned to heaven.

(3)   God gives the vision and we line our lives up with that vision

B.   Today we want to look at the most important key to success.  Both financially, relationally, and spiritually.

1.    If you put this quality in our life, you will be successful.

2.    It' not dependent on your IQ, or you training, or you social status.

C.   The success Formula.

1.    More Information than I ever realized

2.    Promises throught the Bible and Proverbs that If you will follow this path you will be successful.

3.    There are references to this quality thoughout the Old and New Testaments.

4.    Stories illustrating this quality are found in the lives of Joseph, Nehemiah, Moses, Joshua, Abraham, Paul, Peter and on and on.

5.    In fact every godly leader in the Bible has this quality in his life

6.    If you are going to be successful at your job, in your career, in your home and in your walk with God you have to put this quality in your life

D.   Before I share that quality with you, "What is your attitude about work?"

1.    There seem to be two opposing views in our world today.

2.    On the one hand, we have a nation of workaholics. People working 60, 70, 80 hours a week out of a driving compulsion to “get ahead.” People who get in to work early, stay late, and bring their work home with them. One father kept bringing his work home with him and his 1st grade son asked him why. Daddy explained that he couldn’t finish it all during the day. The boy thought for a moment and asked, “Then why don’t they just put you in a slower group?”

3.    On the other hand, we have a nation that worships pleasure and entertainment. We work our jobs only to get a paycheck. We live from the time we punch out till the time we punch back in again. Work is only an evil necessity that allows us to do the things we really want to do.

a.    We can't wait to get to the weekend.

b.   Post Office guy in Bedford - marked the calendar with an X

4.    We live in a mixed view of work.

E.    The Secret to Success

1.    So what is this secret to sucess that every one of us need in our lives.

2.    I have to admit, as I began to study this quality, there was far more in the word of God about this quality than I had ever realized.

F.    The secret is found in Proverbs 22:29

Proverbs 22:29 - Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men.  

1.    The quality that will guarantee your success is DILIGENCE

2.    Diligence is the mother of good luck - Benjamin Franklin

3.    If your determination is fixed, I do not counsel you to despair. Few things are impossible to diligence and skill. Great works are performed not by strength, but perseverance.

Samuel Johnson

II.     Intant Gratification

A.    Determination is born out of purpose...knowing that you are gifted for something and this something must be attained. It is never enough to rely on luck or natural talent. You must, above all, believe in yourself, face your goals, and then fight as if your life                                 depended on it." Successories

Most of us are like this picture:

       Hard work often pays off over time, but laziness pays off now.

B.   Most of us take the path of least resistence.

1.    We all want to take the short cut.

2.    They're called get rich quick schemes, not get rich with hard work over the next 20 years.

3.    Professor Harold Hill - The slick talking brass band salesman in the Music Man said; "Never put off til tomorrow, what you can put off indefinately."

C.   If there was ever a time to learn Diligence, it is now, we live in a "I want it now, I want it cheap, and I want it free" world.

1.    We exepect success without a price. 

2.    Our children expect to start life where their parents are now, but "wall Street journal recently stated that men in their 30's make 30% less than there counterparts 30 years ago. However their lifestyle is higher based on a greater use of credit.

III.    What is Diligence?

A.    Solomon's definition may be different that what you think.

B.   The dictionary says: a Persistent and hard-working effort in doing something.

1.    Persistence is not diligence

2.    Doing the same thing over and over again is just plain ol' stupid

3.    You can be very persistent in using a hammer to cut down a tree, but you won't have much success. Usinig a chain saw would be much smarter.

C.   Solomon's diligence is working hard and working smart.

1.    Stephen Scott - Diligence is a learnable skill that conbines: creative persistence, a smart-working effort rightly planned and rightly performed in a timely, efficient, and effective manner to attain an result that is pure and of the highest quality of excellence.

D.   Solomon's picture of diligence is doing what it takes to accomplish the vision God has placed in your heart.


IV.    Lazy Vs Diligence

A.    I grew up where laziness waw a sin

B.   Little did I know that God has alot to say about laziness

Proverbs 21:5 - The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, But those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty.

Proverbs 12:24 - The hand of the diligent will rule, But the lazy man will be put to forced labor.  

Proverbs 13:4 - The soul of a lazy man desires, and has nothing; But the soul of the diligent shall be made rich.  

Proverbs 28:19 - He who tills his land will have plenty of bread, But he who follows frivolity will have poverty enough! 

Proverbs 13:11 - Wealth gained by dishonesty will be diminished, But he who gathers by labor will increase.  

Proverbs 14:23 - In all labor there is profit, But idle chatter leads only to poverty.  

C.   Three Causes of Laziness

1.    Self-Centeredness

Proverbs 21:2 -  Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, But the Lord weighs the hearts.  

2.    Arrogance

Proverbs 26:16 - The lazy man is wiser in his own eyes Than seven men who can answer sensibly.  

b.   I can't tell you how many people I have talked to that needed help, but were too good to work

c.    A man told me he wasn't Psycologically capable of doing menial work

d.   The sure path to failure is thinking you are too good to work

3.    Irresponcibility

Proverbs 24:30-31 - I went by the field of the lazy man, And by the vineyard of the man devoid of understanding; And there it was, all overgrown with thorns; Its surface was covered with nettles; Its stone wall was broken down.  

b.   Irresponcibility is knowing what you are to do, and refusing to do it.

D.   The Results of Laziness

Proverbs 20:4 - The lazy man will not plow because of winter; He will beg during harvest and have nothing.  

Proverbs 15:19 - The way of the lazy man is like a hedge of thorns, But the way of the upright is a highway.  

3.    Bottom line - a lazy person's life with be characterized by failure.

a.    A lazy person's life will be characterized by failure

b.   The diligent person will find success.

(1)   Diligent people are "Lucky." - they get the job, they grow personally, they find a way.

(2)   Dave Ramsey says isn't is amazing how much bad luck you have when you are broke.

V.     Spiritual Diligence

A.    When I turned 40 I had a spiritual mid-life crisis.

1.    God literally turned my world on it's ear

2.    If there is one thing I learned through the experience, it is there Faith and Patience receives the reward.

B.   Faith and Patience

Hebrews 6:12 - so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.     

Hebrews 6:15 - And so, having patiently waited, he obtained the promise.  

C.   Don't lose heart in well doing

Galatians 6:9 - Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.  

2.    I am holding onto the promise that what we are doing today is not in vain.

3.    I am expecting God to do great things through me, and through this church.

4.    Are You?

D.   Don't confuse laziness with Faith

1.    Jesus worked as a carpenter

2.    Paul worked as a tentmaker

2 Thessalonians 3:10 - For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either.  

4.    Diligence does whatever it takes to accomplish the vision God has placed in the heart.

VI.    Developing a Diligent Life

A.    Wake up to Reality

1.    You are not going to win the lottery, your boat is not coming in, (it just sailed with the people who bought a ticket)

Proverbs 6:9-11 - How long will you slumber, O sluggard? When will you rise from your sleep?  A little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to sleep-- So shall your poverty come on you like a prowler, And your need like an armed man.  

B.   Clarify Your Vision

1.    As we said last week, "What is God want to do in your life?

2.    Without a vision, you wander aimlessly.

3.    What does God want to do through you?

Ephesians 3:20 - Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,  

C.   Recruit Partners

Proverbs 15:22 - Without counsel, plans go awry, But in the multitude of counselors they are established.  

Ecclesiastes 4:12 - Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.  

D.   Stand in Faith

1 Corinthians 16:13 - Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.  

Ephesians 6:11 - Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.  

·        When you have done all you know to do, keep standing. Keep holing onto the promise.

"He failed in business in '31. He was defeated for state legislator in '32.He tried another business in '33. It failed. His fiancee died in '35. He had a nervous breakdown in '36. In '43 he ran for congress and was defeated. He tried again in '48 and was defeated again. He tried running for the Senate in '55. He lost.The next year he ran for Vice President and lost. In '59 he ran for the Senate again and was defeated. In 1860, the man who signed his name A. Lincoln, was elected the 16th President of the United States. The difference between history's boldest accomplishments and its most staggering failures is often, simply, the diligent will to persevere."

VII.   Conclusion

A.    The diligent gains his vision from God, then works hard and smart, with faith and patience until it comes to pass.

B.   Want to be successful - become diligent.

·        In our life, in our relationships, in our prayer life and in our walk with God.

C.   I don't know where you are today, but are you being faithful to what God has called you to?

D.   Are you holding onto a promise, keep it up

E.    Are praying for god to do something, don't give up.

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