Summary: Guard your heart, for from it come the issues of life
20 My son, pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words. 21 Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; 22 for they are life to those who find them and health to a man’s whole body. 23 Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. 24 Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. 25 Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. 26 Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. 27 Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.
· John Flavel very wisely observed that, "The greatest difficulty in conversion is to win the heart to God; and the greatest difficulty after conversion is to keep the heart with God." Christianity affects the heart. It is not a system of moral conduct. It is the life of Christ in a person’s soul. Salvation is the work of God in a person’s heart. The conviction of sin, repentance, faith, and, worship are all works of the heart. The kingdom of God is not in meat and drink, things of the body; but in righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. These are things of the heart.
* The state of a person’s natural life depends upon the soundness and vigour of his heart. And the state of a person’s spiritual life depends on the good or evil condition of his heart. Inasmuch as the heart of a person is the most important part of his being, "for out of it are the issues of life", it is only reasonable that it should be guarded "with all diligence". Therefore, I want to say to you today— Keep Your Heart.
· J. Stowell, Fan The Flame: “Heart is used in Scripture as the most comprehensive term for the authentic person. It is the part of our being where we desire, deliberate, and decide. It has been described as "the place of conscious and decisive spiritual activity," "the comprehensive term for a person as a whole; his feelings, desires, passions, thought, understanding and will," and "the centre of a person. The place to which God turns."
* There is no responsibility placed upon the shoulders of a believer of greater importance than the keeping and proper government of his heart in all conditions, by faith in Christ the Lord.
1 Reconstruction of the Heart
* Before anyone can keep his heart in a manner that will please God – There Must Be A Complete Reconstruction of the Heart
20 My son, pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words. 21 Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; 22 for they are life to those who find them and health to a man’s whole body.
* The heart must be made new – by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit:
Ezekiel 36 24 ”‘For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land. 25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. 28 You will live in the land I gave your forefathers; you will be my people, and I will be your God.
* The human heart is ruined by the plague of sin. But that has not always been the case. God created Adam with a pure and holy heart. In the original creation, our father Adam had a heart that loved God. He enjoyed the sweet fellowship and communion of God. His life was governed by the will of God. It was his pleasure to serve God. Adam was made a holy and happy creature, with no bias to evil. But Adam fell by the temptation of Satan. He sinned against God; and, immediately, his heart was corrupted. And now every child of Adam inherits that corrupt heart; so that all people’s hearts are by nature plagued with sin.
· How does a worm get inside an apple? Perhaps you think the worm burrows in from the outside. No, scientists have discovered that the worm comes from inside. But how does he get in there? Simple! An insect lays an egg in the apple blossom. Sometime later, the worm hatches in the heart of the apple, then eats his way out. Sin, like the worn, begins in the heart and works out through a person’s thoughts, words, and actions.