Summary: PROPOSITION: To motivate the hearer to be proactive in what they allow to enter their heart through their eyes and ears.
TEXT: (NKJV) Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.
INTRODUCTION: To help us better understand what the writer is tell us, let us look at the definitions of some of the key words in this passage.
KEEP [HB naòtsar naw-tsar’]
A primitive root; to guard, in a good sense to protect, maintain, preserve
HEART [HB leòb, labe]
The heart; the feelings, the will, and even the intellect; likewise for the center of anything.
WITH ALL [HB koòl kole]
Properly the whole; hence all, any or every thing
DILIGENCE [HB mishmaòr mish-mawr’
A guard (the man, the post, or the prison); diligence, guard, office, prison, ward, watch.
ISSUES [HB toòtsaò to-tsaw-aw’] issues, outgoings.
LIFE [HB chay khah’ee] life
With these definitions in mind Proverbs 4:23 could read like this:
"Above all else, guard (protect, preserve) your heart (feelings, will, intellect), for our of it spring the issues of life (it af-fects everything you do)."
I. WHY IS IT IMPORTANT FOR YOU TO GUARD YOUR HEART?
Keep your heart ...
Application: It is important to guard what is in your heart because the things that are in your heart will become the controlling factors in your day to day living:
Luke 6:45 (NKJV) A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
Application: Note that Jesus used the word “treasure”
TREASURE [GR theôsauros thay-sow-ros’ ]: a deposit
Application: As with any bank, what you put on deposit in your heart will eventually be drawn out and spent in your daily living.
Mark 7:20-23 (NKJV) And He said, “What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man.”
Application: Adultery doesn’t begin from outside – it begins from within the heart. Theft, lies, pride, murder, hatred, etc. all come from the heart -- the only way they can get into your heart is if they are put there on deposit by you.
II. HOW DOES ONE PREPARE A GUARD FOR HIS/HER HEART?
Application: The gates to your heart are your eyes and your ears. Therefore, the way to guard your hear is to control what you allow to pass through these entryways.
A. You Guard Your Heart By Controlling What You Allow Your Eyes To See
Luke 11:34-36 (NLT) Your eye is a lamp for your body. A pure eye lets sunshine into your soul. But an evil eye shuts out the light and plunges you into darkness. Make sure that the light you think you have is not really darkness. If you are filled with light, with no dark corners, then your whole life will be radiant, as though a floodlight is shining on you.”
B. You Guard Your Heart By Controlling What You Allow Your Ears To Hear
Proverbs 4:20-27 (NKJV) My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes; Keep them in the midst of your heart; For they are life to those who find them, And health to all their flesh. Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life. Put away from you a deceitful mouth, And put perverse lips far from you. Let your eyes look straight ahead, And your eyelids look right before you. Ponder the path of your feet, And let all your ways be established. Do not turn to the right or the left; Remove your foot from evil.
C. You Guard Your Heart By Controlling The Things You Put On Deposit There
Philippians 4:8 (NKJV) Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.