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 74”
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 Genesis 2:15. (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.)
6 Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:
7 Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler,
8 Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.
Colin Powell said, “A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.”
Have you ever seen a lazy ant? No, you haven’t. Whenever you see ants, they are always working, usually together, scurrying about, gathering food, building their ant hills. Sometimes, they march into your house to pick up crumbs of bread and jelly that you have discarded, and you can’t get rid of them. A line of ants at work is a fascinating thing to watch. They don’t get distracted; they are focused on what they have to do. Ants can carry between 10 and 50 times their own body weight, and they can run at a speed of 800 times their own body length per minute. If ants were men, they would be able to carry 2,000 to 9,000 pounds, and run at speeds of 52 miles an hour. No wonder Solomon tells us to “go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise.”
What can we learn from this tiny creature? Solomon notes that she has “no guide, overseer, or ruler.” There are no kings and queens among the ants, no employers or bosses. This tells us that we ought to be self-starters when it comes to work. The ants work together for themselves. They depend on no one to tell them what to do. They are self-employed. Too many people sit around waiting to be hired, but being unemployed is no excuse for not working. God wants us to be productive with our time and to endeavour to supply for our needs through work. Even if you are looking for a job, there is always work that you can do in the meantime. And, in today’s world, with app-based jobs and freelancing opportunities, you would be hard-pressed to find a person who has a legitimate excuse for being slothful.
What else can we learn from the ways of the ant? The ant is consistent in her work and looks ahead to the future. She “provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.” Why the seasons of summer and harvest? Because she knows the winter is coming when the ground is frozen and nothing grows. You don’t see ants scurrying around in the snow because they worked hard to stock up on food all summer and fall, and during the winter, they are snug and well-fed in their little hills. In a similar manner, we ought to work hard now with an eye to the future. If you want to buy a house or a car in five years, you have to work hard now and save the money. Consistent hard work today is the key to a productive and enjoyable tomorrow.
If you struggle with sloth or laziness, take this passage to heart and begin to use it the next time you face that temptation.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
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!
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.