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.
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Our lesson today is titled “How to Overcome Temptation, Part 78”
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 13:4. (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 soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.
Our focus verse for today highlights another of the opposing outcomes of those who are sluggards, those who won’t work, and those who are diligent, or hard-workers. The Bible says, “the soul of the sluggard desireth.” Now, we all know what it means to desire in life. All people have desires of some kind. The passage here is talking about the desire for material things that are essential for life as well as for those things that are not necessarily needed, but that are nice to have.
“The sluggard desireth, and hath nothing.” In other words, the lazy or slothful person does not get what he wants because he is not willing to work for it. In most cases, it is not that he is less able or at more of a disadvantage than other people, rather it is his unwillingness to work that causes him not to have the things he desires. Paul Kretzmann wrote in his commentary, “The sluggard is always ready to discourse on what he wants and ought to have, and yet has nothing. He is without success because he is too lazy to work for it.”
The diligent person, on the other hand, the Bible says, “shall be made fat.” Now, fat, in this context, does not mean physically fat, but prosperous or having plenty. The word translated as “fat” means simply to become prosperous. (The prosperity gospel will not make you rich, but hard work can make you prosperous.) A diligent person typically has all that they need and much of what they desire within reason. The result of hard work is money to take care of the basic needs of life — food, shelter, and clothing. As Kretzmann continues in his commentary, “The diligent, as a result of their industry, possess in abundance what they need.”
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!