Scripture: Pr 4:20-27
20 My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear 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 one’s whole body. 23 Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. 24 Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. 25 Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. 26 Give careful thought to the[a] paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. 27 Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.
Sin will seize every opportunity to lure and entice us.
Pay careful attention to guarding our hearts from the INSIDE OUT.
The Inward Conditions of our Hearts Affect our Outward Behaviours.
I. THE INWARD HEART
A. Our Heart Determines The Course Of Our Life
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. (v.23)
- Heart (Heb): seat of our mind (thoughts), emotions (feelings), will (intentions)
“The place of conscious and decisive spiritual activity, a person as a whole — his feelings, desires, passions, thought, understanding and will.” - D.L. Moody
What we allow to enter into our heart will control the state of it and impact our lives.
B. Our Heart Is Guarded With The Word of God
My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body. (vv.20-22)
- Pay attention: continual giving of attention
- Keep: a guard watching over a prisoner so that he doesn’t break free from the prison
Only fools say in their heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, their actions are evil; not one of them does good. (Ps 14:1)
Keep God’s word within our heart: Continually protecting His Word in our heart, neither to lose it nor let godless ideas in.
“If your ears were bored to the doors of the sanctuary, if the Word were never let out of your sight, your religion would still just be an idea and not principles, unless you keep them within your heart.” - Charles Bridges
For (Because) they (Word of God) are life those who find them, and health to one’s whole body. (v.22)
The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. (Jn 6:63)
If we guard our hearts, we will also guard our actions.
II. THE OUTWARD BEHAVIOUR
A. Guard Our Tongue
Put away from you a deceitful mouth and put devious speech far from you. (v.24)
Guard our mouth as they can lead us into sin.
We are God’s mouthpiece to bring healing and encouragement to others.
Exercise discernment and discipline to guard our mouths from lying and misleading others.
Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech. (1 Pe 3:10)
B. Guard Our Eyes
Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. (v.25)
Fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith. (Heb 12:2a)
Turn my eyes away from worthless things and give me life through your word. (Ps 119:37)
I will set no wicked thing before my eyes ... (Ps 101:3a)
The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! (Mt 6:22-23)
Eyes are a most dangerous inlet to sin.
Stay determined to keep our eyes on Jesus and His Words.
C. Guard Our Feet
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. (vv.26-27)
Each of us must weigh our own actions.
Turn down wrong way, Follow the Right Way.
Do not lose sight of Eternity and forget the significance of making Good Daily Choices.
"O be careful little feet where you go,
O be careful little feet where you go,
For the Father up above
Is looking down in love
So, be careful little feet where you go"
For when Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and he was not wholeheartedly devoted to the LORD his God, as his father David had been…So Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD; unlike his father David, he did not follow the LORD completely. (1 Kg 11:4, 6)