Category Archives: Thoroughness

Make Sure Your Lantern Is Lit!

railroad-lantern-lamp“Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin” (James 4:17).
A night watchman was a defendant in a court case. He had been on duty at a railway crossing on the night of an accident in which a train had struck a car resulting in some serious injuries. No one else had witnessed the crash. The watchman testified that he had swung his lantern to warn the driver of the approaching train. The court found the watchman blameless and placed the responsibility for the accident on the motorist. Greatly relieved by the verdict, he whispered to a friend, “And all the time I was afraid they would ask me if the lantern was lit.”
The problem is not in what the watchman did, but in what he didn't do.
Sin can be divided into two distinct categories. There are sins of commission and sins of omission. Sins of commission are the things we do that we shouldn't do. Sins of omission are the things we omit to do that we should do!
Think of all the commands and exhortations you’ve ever read in the Bible. For example:
  • Judge not, that ye be not judged (Matthew 7:1).
  • Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not (Romans 12:14).
  • Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you (Ephesians 4:31-32).
  • Speak not evil one of another, brethren… (James 4:11).
Think of the all the sermons and Sunday school lessons you’ve listened to over the years. Think of all the practical application of Biblical Truth that you have been exposed to during your lifetime. We know what is right. We know what is expected of us. Someone once said to me, “Most Christians have the right aim in life; we just never get around to pulling the trigger.”
Our greatest problem today might not be so much the things that we do, but the things that are left undone. There are words or encouragement and kindness that your children, your spouse and others need to hear from you today. There will be those that need your understanding and forgiveness. There may be others that the Lord will providentially bring into your life today with whom you will have the opportunity to share the Gospel.
Make sure your lantern is lit!
Morris Hull
Home Life Ministries

The Conditional Promises of Scripture

“The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me” (Psalms 18:20).

God’s blessings are not automatic. It’s as we begin to develop Godly character that we begin to see the rewards of God’s blessing upon our lives. As we’re truthful, we get the blessings of truthfulness. As we’re diligent and respectful to authority, we get the blessings that accompany these qualities.

Scripture is full of promises; but have you ever considered that many of these promises are conditional?

Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” God has promised to give us the desires of our heart but they’re conditional upon our delighting ourselves in Him and in His character. Our desires will then be a reflection of Who He is and God will then delight in giving us those desires.

Ephesians 6:2 says, “Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise) that it may be well with thee…” Do you know any young people today and things aren’t going well for them? Many times it can be traced back to a violation of this conditional promise.

Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.” God has certainly promised to guide and direct us, but that guidance is conditional upon us acknowledging Him in all our ways.

Isaiah 26:3 says, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee…” Peace is the birthright of every child of God. Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27). But that peace is contingent upon structuring our lives around Him. If we are dwelling upon the lies of the enemy rather than upon the truth of God’s Word there will be no peace – only discouragement and distress.

As you find promises in the Word of God, stop and consider the condition that may be attached. God’s promises and blessings are not ours to enjoy regardless of how we live the Christian life; but it’s as we die to self and learn the character of Christ that we begin to see the rewards of God’s blessing upon our lives.

Morris Hull
Home Life Ministries

The Price of a Comma

A woman touring Europe cabled her husband the following message: “Have found wonderful bracelet. Price seventy-five thousand dollars. May I buy it?”

Her husband immediately responded with the message: “No, price too high.” However, the telegraph operator missed one small detail in his transmission – the signal for a comma after the word “No.”

The wife in Europe received the reply: “No price too high.” Elated by the good news, she bought the bracelet. When she returned to the united states and showed the new bracelet to her shocked husband, he filed a lawsuit against the telegraph company…and won!

From that point on, telegraph rules required operators to spell out punctuation rather than use symbols. No price was too high to avoid the same mistake.

Character First! Series 4

George Washington Carver

As a young boy, George Washington Carver learned the importance of not neglecting work and study to enjoy his love of nature and painting. This thoroughness in keeping his priorities straight later paid off when he became a botanist and chemist.

As the professor of agriculture at the Tuskegee Institute, he was approached by farmers asking him to help them restore their depleted fields to productivity. After careful research, he found that peanuts would be the best crop to plant. However, when the peanuts were harvested, the farmers found there was no market for their abundant crop. Feeling responsible, Professor Carver determined to create a market and go all the way in helping the farmers. After only two days, he found twenty new uses for the peanut. Not satisfied with this, he continued researching throughout his lifetime, discovering over three hundred uses for the peanut, including peanut butter!

Achieving True Success

Personal Evaluation in Thoroughness

  • Are you committed to thoroughness in all you do?
  • Would God be impressed with your thoroughness in hygiene: brushing teeth, washing hands, etc.?
  • Do you picture God inspecting the jobs you do?
  • Do you thoroughly examine your life before taking communion?
  • Do you clean around items and also under them?
  • When you paint, do you make sure there is adequate preparation, including drop cloths to protect floors and carpets?
  • Do you complete all the necessary details of a job, or do you leave things for others to do, such as cleanup?

The Power for True Success

Family Activities to Practice Thoroughness

1. With your child, make a written plan for the day. Include information about where, when, and how. At the end of your day see how well you were able to follow the plan. Discuss how you might have done better. Point out the things that went smoothly because of your planning.

2. When giving your child a task to complete, discuss the importance of thoroughness. Talk about the importance of doing a job well. Talk about how they feel when the task is completed accurately and completely.

3. To help your child develop a skill for paying attention to detail play the following game. Use picture flash cards, pictures taken from a magazine, or other resources. Let your child look at the picture for about five seconds. Turn the picture over, so they can no longer look at the picture. Ask them to describe the picture to you, giving as much detail as they can. Check to see how much they did remember.

How to Demonstrate Thoroughness

at Home

  • Avoiding leaving appliances partially fixed or tools broken.
  • Cleaning under furniture and behind shelves.
  • Sons and daughters calling home when they are out too late.
  • Family members having a system of receiving phone messages and passing them on accurately.

at Work/School

  • Sons and daughters completing their homework using legible handwriting.
  • Making a daily “to do” list of projects that need to be done.

at Church

  • Using concordances and other study tools to assist in personal Bible study or lesson preparation.
  • Making sure you have adequate time to thoroughly prepare your Sunday School lessons.
  • Tithing regularly on your gross income.

Character Definitions of Thoroughness

  • Learning what details are important to the success of a project. Taking time and effort to validate facts before discussing a matter (Character Clues Game)
  • Carrying out each task in preparation for God’s personal approval and inspection (The Power for True Success)
  • Knowing what factors will diminish the effectiveness of my work or words, if neglected (Character First!)

Bible Stories Related to Thoroughness

  • How the Jews thoroughly cleansed their home of leaven (Exodus 13:7) in preparation for the feast of unleavened bread
  • The story of the good shepherd who did not give up until the lost sheep was found (Luke 15:4)
  • The story of Nehemiah who made thorough preparations to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem
  • Jesus’ teaching of “Counting the Cost” in Luke chapter 14

Bible Verses Related to Thoroughness

07235 hbr rabah raw-baw’

a primitive root; TWOT-2103,2104; v

AV-multiply 74, increase 40, much 29, many 28, more 12, great 8, long 3, store 2, exceedingly 2, greater 2, abundance 2, misc 24; 226

1) be or become great, be or become many, be or become much, be or become numerous

1a) (Qal)

1a1) to become many, become numerous, multiply (of people, animals, things)

1a2) to be or grow great

1b) (Piel) to make large, enlarge, increase, become many

1c) (Hiphil)

1c1) to make much, make many, have many

1c1a) to multiply, increase

1c1b) to make much to do, do much in respect of, transgress greatly

1c1c) to increase greatly or exceedingly

1c2) to make great, enlarge, do much

2) (Qal) to shoot

  • Genesis 1:22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply <07235>, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply <07235> in the earth.
  • 2 Kings 10:18 And Jehu gathered all the people together, and said unto them, Ahab served Baal a little; but Jehu shall serve him much <07235>.
  • 2 Kings 21:6 And he made his son pass through the fire, and observed times, and used enchantments, and dealt with familiar spirits and wizards: he wrought much <07235> wickedness in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.
  • Psalms 16:4 Their sorrows shall be multiplied <07235> that hasten after another god: their drink offerings of blood will I not offer, nor take up their names into my lips.
  • Psalms 18:35 Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great <07235>.
  • Psalms 44:12 Thou sellest thy people for nought, and dost not increase <07235> thy wealth by their price.
  • Psalms 49:16 Be not thou afraid when one is made rich, when the glory of his house is increased <07235>;
  • Psalms 51:2 Wash me throughly <07235> from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
  • Psalms 71:21 Thou shalt increase <07235> my greatness, and comfort me on every side.
  • Psalms 78:38 But he, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and destroyed them not: yea, many a time <07235> turned he his anger away, and did not stir up all his wrath.
  • Psalms 107:38 He blesseth them also, so that they are multiplied <07235> greatly; and suffereth not their cattle to decrease.
  • Psalms 130:7 Let Israel hope in the LORD: for with the LORD there is mercy, and with him is plenteous <07235> redemption.
  • Psalms 139:18 If I should count them, they are more in number <07235> than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.
  • Proverbs 4:10 Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of thy life shall be many <07235>.
  • Proverbs 6:35 He will not regard any ransom; neither will he rest content, though thou givest many <07235> gifts.
  • Proverbs 9:11 For by me thy days shall be multiplied <07235>, and the years of thy life shall be increased.
  • Proverbs 13:11 Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labour shall increase <07235>.
  • Proverbs 22:16 He that oppresseth the poor to increase <07235> his riches, and he that giveth to the rich, shall surely come to want.
  • Proverbs 25:27 It is not good to eat much <07235> honey: so for men to search their own glory is not glory.
  • Proverbs 28:8 He that by usury and unjust gain increaseth <07235> his substance, he shall gather it for him that will pity the poor.
  • Proverbs 28:28 When the wicked rise, men hide themselves: but when they perish, the righteous increase <07235>.
  • Proverbs 29:2 When the righteous are in authority <07235>, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.
  • Proverbs 29:16 When the wicked are multiplied <07235>, transgression increaseth <07235>: but the righteous shall see their fall. 

08316 hprs s@rephah ser-ay-faw’

from 08313; TWOT-2292c; n f

AV-burning 9, burn 3, throughly 1; 13

1) burning

  • Genesis 11:3 And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them throughly <08316>. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter.
  • Deuteronomy 29:23 And that the whole land thereof is brimstone, and salt, and burning <08316>, that it is not sown, nor beareth, nor any grass groweth therein, like the overthrow of Sodom, and Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboim, which the LORD overthrew in his anger, and in his wrath:
  • 2 Chronicles 16:14 And they buried him in his own sepulchres, which he had made for himself in the city of David, and laid him in the bed which was filled with sweet odours and divers kinds of spices prepared by the apothecaries’ art: and they made a very great burning <08316> for him. 

08254 lqv shaqal shaw-kal’

a primitive root; TWOT-2454; v

AV-weigh 14, pay 4, throughly 1, receive 1, receiver 1, spend 1; 22

1) to weigh, weigh out, pay out

1a) (Qal)

1a1) to weigh

1a2) to weigh out (a price)

1a3) of grief (fig)

1b) (Niphal)

1b1) to be weighed

1b2) to be weighed out

  • Genesis 23:16 And Abraham hearkened unto Ephron; and Abraham weighed <08254> to Ephron the silver, which he had named in the audience of the sons of Heth, four hundred shekels of silver, current money with the merchant.
  • Exodus 22:17 If her father utterly refuse to give her unto him, he shall pay <08254> money according to the dowry of virgins.
  • 2 Samuel 18:12 And the man said unto Joab, Though I should receive <08254> a thousand shekels of silver in mine hand, yet would I not put forth mine hand against the king’s son: for in our hearing the king charged thee and Abishai and Ittai, saying, Beware that none touch the young man Absalom.
  • Job 6:2 Oh that my grief were throughly <08254> weighed <08254>, and my calamity laid in the balances together! 

05953 lle ‘alal aw-lal’

a primitive root; TWOT-1627, 1627b, 1628; v

AV-glean 4, done 3, abuse 3, mock 2, affecteth 1, children 1, do 1, defiled 1, practise 1, throughly 1, wrought wonderfully 1, wrought 1; 20

1) to act severely, deal with severely, make a fool of someone

1a) (Poel) to act severely

1b) (Poal) to be severely dealt with

1c) (Hithpael) to busy oneself, divert oneself, deal wantonly, deal ruthlessly, abuse (by thrusting through)

1d) (Hithpoel) to practise practices, thrust forth (in wickedness)

2) (Poel) to glean

3) (Poel) to act or play the child

4) (Poel) to insert, thrust, thrust in, thrust upon

  • Exodus 10:2 And that thou mayest tell in the ears of thy son, and of thy son’s son, what things I have wrought <05953> in Egypt, and my signs which I have done among them; that ye may know how that I am the LORD.
  • Leviticus 19:10 And thou shalt not glean <05953> thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and stranger: I am the LORD your God.
  • Numbers 22:29 And Balaam said unto the ass, Because thou hast mocked <05953> me: I would there were a sword in mine hand, for now would I kill thee.
  • Jeremiah 6:9 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, They shall throughly <05953> glean <05953> the remnant of Israel as a vine: turn back thine hand as a grapegatherer into the baskets. 

03190 bjy yatab yaw-tab’

a primitive root; TWOT-863; v

AV-well 35, good 21, please 14, merry 5, amend 4, better 4, accepted 2, diligently 2, misc 20; 107

1) to be good, be pleasing, be well, be glad

1a) (Qal)

1a1) to be glad, be joyful

1a2) to be well placed

1a3) to be well for, be well with, go well with

1a4) to be pleasing, be pleasing to

1b) (Hiphil)

1b1) to make glad, rejoice

1b2) to do good to, deal well with

1b3) to do well, do thoroughly

1b4) to make a thing good or right or beautiful

1b5) to do well, do right

  • Genesis 4:7 If thou doest well <03190>, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well <03190>, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.
  • Genesis 12:13 Say, I pray thee, thou art my sister: that it may be well <03190> with me for thy sake; and my soul shall live because of thee.
  • Genesis 12:16 And he entreated <03190> Abram well <03190> for her sake: and he had sheep, and oxen, and he asses, and menservants, and maidservants, and she asses, and camels.
  • Jeremiah 7:5 For if ye throughly <03190> amend <03190> your ways and your doings; if ye throughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbour; 

1245 diakayarizw diakatharizo dee-ak-ath-ar-id’-zo

from 1223 and 2511; ; v

AV-throughly purged 2; 2

1) to cleanse thoroughly

  • Matthew 3:12 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge <1245> his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.
  • Luke 3:17 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge <1245> his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable. 

1822 exartizw exartizo ex-ar-tid’-zo

from 1537 and a derivative of 739; TDNT-1:475,80; v

AV-accomplish + 1096 1, thoroughly furnish 1; 2

1) to complete, finish

1a) to furnish perfectly

1b) to finish, accomplish, (as it were, to render the days complete)

  • Acts 21:5 And when we had accomplished <1822> those days, we departed and went our way; and they all brought us on our way, with wives and children, till we were out of the city: and we kneeled down on the shore, and prayed.
  • 2 Timothy 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished <1822> unto all good works.

Other Bible Verses Related to the Quality of Thoroughness

  • Colossians 3:22 Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God: 23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; 24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.
  • 2 Corinthians 7:1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
  • 1 Corinthians 11:28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of [that] bread, and drink of [that] cup.
  • 2 Timothy 2:21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, [and] prepared unto every good work.
  • Psalm 139:23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: 24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
  • Malachi 3:10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
  • Matthew 5:18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

Hymns and Choruses Related to Thoroughness

  • Great Is Thy Faithfulness (Thomas O. Chisholm, 1866-1960)
  • Jesus Paid It All (Elvina M. Hall, 1820-1889)
  • Cleanse Me (J. Edwin Orr, 1912-19??)
  • The Bible Stands (Haldor Lillenas, 1885-1959)
  • More Like the Master (Charles H. Gabriel, 1856-1932)
  • Wonderful Grace of Jesus (Haldor Lillenas, 1885-1959)
  • Give of Your Best to the Master (Howard B. Grose, 1851-1939)
  • Is Your All on the Altar? (Elisha A. Hoffman, 1839-1929)
  • Trust, Try, and Prove Me (Lida S. Leech, 1873-1962)
  • All for Jesus (Mary D. James, 19th century)
  • I Surrender All (Judson W. Van de Venter, 1855-1939)

The Next Step

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, [which is] your reasonable service.” (Romans 12:1)

Right at this point, Paul separates Christians into two distinct categories: There are those who have dedicated their lives totally to God, and there are those who haven’t.

Scripture makes it very clear that God does not group all Christians together in one large bunch; but there are different categories of Christians in Scripture that the Lord is very careful to distinguish.

In Revelation chapter three, there are Hot Christians, there are cold Christians, and there are also lukewarm Christians. In 1 Corinthians chapter 3, there are Spiritual Christians and there are carnal Christians. There are those who are spiritually mature and those who have never matured and are spiritual babes. There are those who are going the whole way with God and those who are going their own way. There are those whose life’s work will amount to gold, silver and precious stones and others whose life will amount to wood, hay and stubble. There are Christians who are overcomers and there are those who are overcome by the world, the flesh and the devil. There are those who will be great in the Kingdom of heaven and those who will be the least. There are those who will be greeted with the words, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant,” and others who will be ashamed when they stand before Him at the Judgement Seat of Christ (1 John 2:28).

What are you doing with your life that is going to make a difference in eternity? When you stand before the judgment seat of Christ, what will you be able to look back on and say this is what, by God’s grace, I’ve accomplished for the kingdom of God?

Morris Hull

“Little Things” by Elisabeth Elliot

When we were growing up our parents taught us, by both word and example, to pay attention to little things. If you do a thing at all, do it thoroughly: make the sheets really smooth on the bed, sweep all the corners and move all the chairs when you sweep the kitchen, roll the toothpaste tube neatly and put the cap back on, clean the hair out of your brush each time you use it, hang your towels straight on the rod, fold your napkin and put it into the silver ring before you leave the table, never wet your finger when you turn pages. They kept promises made to us as faithfully as they kept those made to adults. They taught us to do the same. You didn’t accept an invitation to a party and then not turn up, or agree to help with a Vacation Bible School and back out because a more interesting activity presented itself…

When I went to boarding school the same principles I had been taught at home were emphasized. There was a hallway with small oriental rugs which we called “Character Hall” because the headmistress, Mrs. DuBose, could look down that hall from the armchair where she sat in the lobby and spot any student who kicked up a corner of the rug and did not replace it. She would call out to correct him, “It’s those tiny little things in your life which will crack you up when you get out of this school!” In the little things our character was revealed. Our response would make our break us. “Don’t go around with a Bible under your arm if you didn’t sweep under the bed,” she said, for she would have no pious talk coming out of a messy room.

“Great thoughts go best with common duties. Whatever therefore may be your office regard it as a fragment in an immeasurable ministry of love” (Bishop Brooke Foss Westcott, b. 1825).

It is not easy to find children or adults who are dependable, careful, thorough, and faithful. So many lives seem honeycombed with small failures, neglectful of the little things that make the difference between order and chaos. Perhaps it is because they are so seldom taught that visible things are signs of an invisible reality; that common duties may be “an immeasurable ministry of love.” The spiritual training of souls must be inseparable from practical disciplines, as Jesus so plainly taught; “the man who can be trusted in little things can be trusted in great; the man who is dishonest in little things will be dishonest in great. If then you cannot be trusted with money, that tainted thing, who will trust you with genuine riches! And if you cannot be trusted with what is not yours, who will give you what is your very own?” (Luke 16:10-12 JB).

From Keep a Quiet Heart by Elisabeth Elliot, p.p. 83-84, OM Publishing, Carlisle, England, 1996.