“Our weekly article in the Northport Gazette and the West Alabama Gazette”.

Watering the Tulips


“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” - 2 Timothy 2:15

Diligence!! This should be a characteristic of every believer in Jesus. God has called us to be servants. The Lord did not save us just to keep us out of Hell. He drew us to Christ that we would serve Him. Our text verse says that we ought to be characterized as “a worker who does not need to be ashamed”. Ephesians 2:10 goes so far as to say that “we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them”. So, God’s purpose in saving us is that we are workers for Him…diligent workers.
Our outstanding English translation, the King James Version, translates the Greek word here rendered “diligent” (in the NKJV) as “study”. Certainly, if a child of God is to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, it must begin through studying God’s Word (2 Peter 3:18). Without doubt, if a person is ever to be “diligent”, he must study. However, this Greek word says much more than merely studying God’s Word. In fact, in the other 10 New Testament occurrences of this Greek word, the King James translators translated it in some form of “labour” or “be diligent”. This is the lone place where the word was rendered “study” or anything like that. Certainly, we should be hearers of the Word. But, being a hearer only is not enough (James 1:23).
Diligence in the life of a child of God will bring joy in a world where there is little to rejoice about (Philippians 4:4). If a person desires a closer walk with Jesus, he must put forth some effort. Certainly, this begins with daily prayer and study. A child of God must rid himself of the sins of the flesh. A believer must constantly starve the carnal man and feed the spiritual man. We must put forth some effort to exhibit the fruits of the spirit rather than the fruits of the flesh.
Weekly, a believer needs to be in one of the Lord’s churches fellowshipping with His children around His Holy Word. A believer cannot forsake assembling with the Lord and His people and expect to grow (Hebrews 10:25). Though many believe they can successfully follow the Lord without church attendance, they cannot. God’s way is always the right way. And, He has commanded that we attend one of His churches as a means to worship Him, learn of Him and draw closer to Him. Certainly, if we draw near to the Lord, He will draw near to us (James 4:8).
Child of God, be certain that you will stand at the Judgment Seat of Christ one day (2 Corinthians 5:10). Will you be ashamed at that judgment? Or, is your desire to serve the Lord faithfully in this life and hear “well done my good and faithful servant” at the judgment? If so, you must be diligent in your service to God. You need to learn what His Word says and do it! You must put forth some effort. Certainly, we are not saved by works – but we are called to serve.

Watering the Tulips is brought to you by Sovereign Grace Baptist Church in Northport, AL. For more information, please visit www.sovereigngrace.net. “Your app to the Gospel” is available for download in the iTunes app store and the Android market. Download it today.

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