In the Geneva Study Bible, we read in 2 Peter 1:5 “But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge.” Some of the newer translations use the phrase “make every effort.” It also means to act with urgency, zeal, and earnestness. Webster’s dictionary says that diligence is ‘steady, earnest, and energetic effort.”
Charles Haddon Spurgeon was known as the prince of preachers. He accepted Christ in his mid-teens and started preaching the very next year. At age 19 he became pastor of Park Street Chapel in London. God blessed his ministry in a phenomenal way. BUT he was diligent in his passion for God’s word and in serving the Lord Jesus Christ. He had a personal library of 12,000 volumes. He usually read six books a week. Many times, he preached teen times a week. They said he only had two speeds: full throttle and sleep.”
Spurgeon himself said “A man cannot be idle and yet have Christ’s sweet company. Christ is a quick walker and when His people would talk with Him, they must travel too, or else they will lose His company.” One time he exclaimed, “The sin of doing nothing is about the biggest of all sins, for it involves most of the others … Horrible idleness! God save us from it!”
As you read what Peter wrote in his second letter, you can tell that he believed diligence is an essential ingredient in withstanding the pressures of the world and grasping everything you need for life and godliness.
In his book “Everything You Need,” David Jeremiah wrote this about 2 Peter 1:5, “If you are going to experience the true transformation of character and have the personal capacity to follow Christ, you have to understand diligence.”
Noah Webster was the original author of the dictionary. He was known for his diligence, working day and night for many years to produce his world-famous work. His original definition for diligence was “steady in application to business; constant in effort or exertion to accomplish what is undertaken; assiduous; attentive; industrious; not idle or negligent.” Does this describe our passion to become more and more like Christ? Does it describe our hunger and thirst for God’s word?
In Proverbs 12:24 we read “The hand of the diligent will rule, but the lazy man will be put into forced labor.” In Proverbs 13:4, we read “The soul of a lazy man desires and has nothing; but the soul of the diligent shall be made rich.”
Please note that Peter uses the words “giving all diligence.” Not just diligence but “all diligence.” Again, quoting from David Jeremiah – “I don’t want you to mistake diligence for workaholism. Diligent people do tend to work hard of course, but Peter wasn’t talking about obsessively working. He was exhorting us to diligently follow Christ, going full throttle in our pursuit of the godly life and working harder to be better — to be more like Christ.”
Listen to this — earlier in 2 Peter 1:3-4 we read, “By His divine power, God has to give n us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know Him, the One who called us to Himself by means of His marvelous glory and excellence. And because of His glory and excellence, He has given us great and precious promises. These promises enable you to share His divine nature and escape the world’s corruption by human desires.” How diligent are we in embracing God’s great and precious promises that build our faith and equip us to become more like Christ and escape the world’s corruption?
For many years we used to sing a wonderful chorus that went like this —
“My desire to be like Jesus,
My desire to be like Him.
His Spirit fill me,
His love o’erwhelm me,
In word and deed to be like Him.”
Do you and I really desire to become more and more like Jesus? When Peter in 2 Peter 1:4 says “That through these (God’s great and precious promises) you may be partakers of the divine nature” he is not suggesting that believers are absorbed into a deity. We do not become divine. Rather, he is saying that because the Holy Spirit has come into our lives and made us sons and daughters of God, we should be diligently seeking to grow into that relationship.
In John 1:12 we read “But to all who believed Him and accepted Him, He gave the right to become children of God.” As His children, there should be a deep desire to be conformed to the likeness of Christ. Paul, in Romans 8:29, wrote, “For God knew His people in advance, and He chose them to become like His Son so that His Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.” Folks, we should be diligent in our seeking to grow and become more and more like Christ.
Dear ones, in light of all that Christ has done for us, let us commit to building ourselves up in our faith and knowledge of Him. In 2 Peter 1:10 the Apostle wrote “Therefore brothers, be even more t to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things, you will never stumble.”
Let’s be very intentional in our desire to grow and become more and more like Him.
God bless you,