Summary: Godliness is maintained by persistent attention and protection of our attitude toward the truth.
Title: Guard Your Heart
Text: Proverbs 4:20-27
Truth: Godliness is maintained by persistent attention and protection of our attitude toward familiar truth.
Aim: To help them maintain consistent Christian living.
Life ?: How do we maintain consistent Christian living?
Despite the advances in medical science, heart disease has historically been the number one killer in America. I did hear on a news broadcast that this past year more people died of cancer related causes than heart disease. In any given year three quarters to one million Americans die. One-third to one-half of those deaths is heart related.
Every hour this little muscle, the size of the fist, pumps 250 lbs of blood. In one day it will beat 103,000 times and 168,000 miles are traveled through the bloodstream. The heart is the central focus of our physical life. When it fails, we fail. When it hurts, we are in serious trouble.
God is equally concerned about the central focus of our spiritual life. We often refer to that area by calling it our heart. In the Bible the word “heart” is often interchanged with the word “soul” which takes its root from a word that means “to breathe.” So the heart is the part of a man that gives him life—that propels him and supplies him with his get-up-and-go.
Sometimes the heart refers to our emotions, what we feel. Sometimes it refers to our will, the ability to choose. Sometimes it refers to our conscience, the ability to know right from wrong. Sometimes the heart refers to our awareness, that ability that tunes us into reality. And sometimes the heart refers to our mind, our ability to think. When we speak of the heart we often times are referring to our emotions or will or morality or consciousness or thinking. In other words, the person that is looking at me through your eyes, that’s your heart. It is your inner person. Your thoughts, your desires, all that goes in to making you, you. To study the heart is to go to the deepest level where you live. God has many things to say about our heart. In this text, God says guard your heart.
All of us know Christians who at one time were active in the church, but now they have fallen away. Maybe that describes your past and you have returned to active Christian service. What happened to those who fell away? They know better. The answer is in this text. They failed to guard their heart. For you see godliness is maintained by persistent attention and protection of our attitude toward the truth.
How do we maintain consistent Christian living?
I. PERSISTENT ATTENTION TO TRUTH (PROVERBS 4:20-22)
Repeatedly, Solomon calls his son to be mindful of the truths he taught him. He wants his son to be thoughtful and attentive to these truths. Notice 4:1, 10, 20; 5:1, 7.
Success in any endeavor is the result of paying attention to the details and following through. Do you think Bob Stoop’s success, as football coach at OU, is the result of just drawing up a few plays on Saturday morning and rehearsing with his team before they take the field? The reason some Christians fall by the wayside is they stop being attentive to their heart.