Welcome to the Onward Christian Soldiers Discipleship Class. I am Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society and pastor of Gospel Light House of Prayer International. The purpose of this time together is to teach young believers everything they need to know about their faith in Jesus Christ and provide them with the knowledge they need to live victorious Christian lives.
Our key Bible verse is 1 Corinthians 10:13:
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
— PRAYER —
Our lesson today is titled “How to Overcome Temptation, Part 77”
In this section of our Onward Christian Soldiers discipleship class, we are looking at specific temptations that are, as the Bible says, “common to man.” We are looking at what the Bible says about these sins so we can be aware of its dangers and so that we can hide Scripture in our hearts to use when we are tempted.
The sin that we are looking at today is the sin of “sloth.” This is the fourth sin in a list of 12 temptations that comes from two sources — one ancient and one modern. The first source is a list that was developed by monks in the early church called “the seven deadly sins” or the “cardinal sins.” The second source is a Barna survey from 2011 which tracked the top temptations Americans admitted to struggling with.
Today, we will be looking at Proverbs 12:24. (Remember, the text of this lesson is made available online after each class, so you can go to our website GLHOPI.com, click the “Onward Christian Soldiers” banner on the home page, and begin to learn these verses by heart throughout the week.)
The hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the slothful shall be under tribute.
In our focus verse for today, we once again find a contrast between those who work hard and those who are lazy or slothful. This time, the contrast is not between success and failure or riches and poverty, but between authority and subservience.
The definition of the English word diligent means “constant in effort to accomplish something; attentive and persistent in doing anything; done or pursued with persevering attention.” A diligent person is not one who simply works, but one who works with a mind that is sharply focuses on his duties. The Bible says that these kinds of people will “bear rule” or have authority over others. For the most part, people who obtain high positions of leadership, responsibility, or authority in life are those who have worked hard for many years. Too many people make the mistake of seeing someone at the top and thinking that they just popped up there one day. Well, in most cases, it was years of hard, diligent work beforehand that got them there.
Joseph Benson writes in his commentary, “Men that take pains in an honest employment, and especially those that labour to be useful to others, will gain such an interest and reputation, as will give them a superiority over all about them. Thus many have risen up; and he that has been faithful in a few things has been made ruler over many things. And those who are diligent while they are young frequently procure that wealth and power which enable them to rule — and so to rest when they are old.”
In contrast, those who are slothful will “be under tribute.” In other words, someone will have authority over them, will make demands of them, and will have expectations for them. Those who are slothful, when they do work, will always have to report to someone else because they are not interested in working on their own or for their own. They will never rise up to positions of authority and leadership, not only because they don’t work hard, but because they do not want the responsibility that comes with being in charge — for themselves or for others.
If you struggle with sloth or laziness, take this passage to heart and begin to use it the next time you face that temptation.
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If you do not know Jesus Christ as your Saviour, John 3:16 states, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
The Bible also says in Romans 10:9 and 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved…. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and I want to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! I want to congratulate you on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
Until next time, May the Lord Bless You!