Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;
"Business" means everything which occupies our attention, but more particularly our temporal pursuits.
I. SLOTH IS INFAMOUS. It draws after it a multitude of vices and a load of sorrows. Man's nature proves that he is made for action. Without being employed, his faculties are spoilt like metals eaten by rust, but polished by use. No condition is exempt from labour. The mind is a fertile soil, and if not cultivated will bring forth weeds. God brings men into judgment for neglecting to cultivate mind, body, talents, and conveniences of life which He has bestowed.
II. LABOUR IS PROFITABLE. It restrains from sin, keeps from temptation, and satisfies cravings which could only otherwise be gratified by dissipation.
III. PIETY IS COMPATIBLE WITH INDUSTRY.
1. The fervent spirit is one that desires to please God. It is the same disposition directed to higher objects as actuate those who are in love with any earthly object.
2. Serving the Lord means doing good. Earthly affairs must not employ all our time.
IV. ARGUMENTS TO URGE THIS.
1. The character of Him we serve.
2. The nature of the service.
3. The reward which ensues.
(J. J. S. Bird, B.A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;