Continued from yesterday . . .
Puritan, Richard Baxter (1615-1691), wrote the following practical advice to his congregation in Kidderminster, England.
A holy life is inclined to be made easier when we know the usual sequence and method of our duties - with everything falling into its proper place. Therefore, I shall give some brief directions for spending the day in a holy manner.
Diligence in Your CallingFollow the tasks of your calling carefully and diligently. Thus:(a) You will show that you are not sluggish and servants to your flesh (as those that cannot deny it ease), and you will further the putting to death of all the fleshly lusts and desires that are fed by ease and idleness.(b) Will keep out idle thoughts from your mind, that swarm in the minds of idle persons.(c) You will not lose precious time, something that idle persons are daily guilty of.(d) You will be in a way of obedience to God when the slothful are in constant sins of omission.(e) You may have more time to spend in holy duties if you follow your occupation diligently. Idle persons have no time for praying and reading because they lose time by loitering at their work.(f) You may expect God's blessing and comfortable provision for both yourself and your families.(g) It may also encourage the health of your body which will increase its competence for the service of your soul.
Temptations and Things That CorruptBe thoroughly acquainted with your temptations and the things that may corrupt you - and watch against them all day long. You should watch especially the most dangerous of the things that corrupt, and those temptations that either your company or business will unavoidably lay before you.
Watch against the master sins of unbelief: hypocrisy, selfishness, pride, flesh pleasing and the excessive love of earthly things. Take care against being drawn into earthly mindedness and excessive cares, or covetous designs for rising in the world, under the pretence of diligence in your calling.
If you are to trade or deal with others, be vigilant against selfishness and all that smacks of injustice or uncharitableness. In all your dealings with others, watch against the temptation of empty and idle talking. Watch also against those persons who would tempt you to anger. Maintain that modesty and cleanness of speech that the laws of purity require. If you converse with flatterers, be on your guard against swelling pride.
If you converse with those that despise and injure you, strengthen yourself against impatient, revengeful pride.
At first these things will be very difficult, while sin has any strength in you, but once you have grasped a continual awareness of the poisonous danger of any one of these sins, your heart will readily and easily avoid them.
MeditationWhen alone in your occupations, improve the time in practical and beneficial meditations. Meditate upon the infinite goodness and perfections of God; Christ and redemption; Heaven and how unworthy you are of going there and how you deserve eternal misery in Hell.
The Only Motive
Whatever you are doing, in company or alone, do it all to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31). Otherwise, it is unacceptable to God.
Part 3 (Final) - tomorrow