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Summary: Fourth in a series on the Wisdom found in Proverbs. The idea for this Series came from "Everyday Light" a daily devotional by Selwyn Hughes. Pillar #4 - Diligence.

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2, November 2003

Dakota Community Church

The Seven Pillars of Wisdom

Week Four: Diligence

Proverbs 9:1-6

Wisdom has built her house; she has hewn out its seven pillars.

2 She has prepared her meat and mixed her wine; she has also set her table.

3 She has sent out her maids, and she calls from the highest point of the city.

4 "Let all who are simple come in here!" she says to those who lack judgment.

5 "Come, eat my food and drink the wine I have mixed.

6 Leave your simple ways and you will live; walk in the way of understanding.

- We are not told what the seven pillars are.

- I believe they are themes of truth that will lead to life.

The fourth “pillar” upon which I believe wisdom is built is Diligence.

Dictionary definition:

1. Earnest and persistent application to an undertaking; steady effort; assiduity.

2. Attentive care; heedfulness.

I believe that this is a lost quality for many of my generation, myself included. When my grandfather tells the stories of his life I am always aware of the great amount of work that they did, that we no longer have to do, and would likely be unable or unwilling to do.

Illustration:

Do you ever feel overworked, over-regulated, under-leisured, under-benefited? Take heart. This notice was found in the ruins of a London office building. It was dated 1852.

1. This firm has reduced the hours of work, and the clerical staff will now only have to be present between the hours of 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. weekdays.

2. Clothing must be of a sober nature. The clerical staff will not disport themselves in raiment of bright colors, nor will they wear hose unless in good repair.

3. Overshoes and topcoats may not be worn in the office, but neck scarves and headwear may be worn in inclement weather.

4. A stove is provided for the benefit of the clerical staff. Coal and wood must be kept in the locker. It is recommended that each member of the clerical staff bring four pounds of coal each day during the cold weather.

5. No member of the clerical staff may leave the room without permission from the supervisor.

6. No talking is allowed during business hours.

7. The craving for tobacco, wine, or spirits is a human weakness, and as such is forbidden to all members of the clerical staff.

8. Now that the hours of business have been drastically reduced, the partaking of food is allowed between 11:30 and noon, but work will not on any account cease.

9. Members of the clerical staff will provide their own pens. A new sharpener is available on application to the supervisor.

10. The supervisor will nominate a senior clerk to be responsible for the cleanliness of the main office and the private office. All boys and juniors will report to him 40 minutes before prayers and will remain after closing hours for similar work. The owners provide brushes, brooms, scrubber, and soap.

11. The owners recognize the generosity of the new labor laws, but will expect a great rise in output of work to compensate for these near Utopian conditions. - Bits & Pieces, May 26, 1994, Page 13-15.

Four areas of life that God is calling me/us to be more diligent:

1. Seeking Him.

1Timothy 4: 7-16

7Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. 8For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.

9This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance 10(and for this we labor and strive) that we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe.

11Command and teach these things. 12Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. 13Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. 14Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you.

15Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. 16Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.

- We are not to turn seeking Him into a chore, but we must not be lazy about it either.

- Labor and strive

- Devote yourself

- Do not neglect

- Be diligent

- Give yourself wholly

- Persevere

These are not the words of a slacker; God wants to be pursued like a lover.

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