Proverbs 4:23

Keep Thy Heart with All Diligence

1.) Heart: inner man, mind, will, heart, understanding; reflection; emotions;
• Heart = as seat of thought life; our appetites; seat of emotions and passions; as seat of courage.
• It is the seat of either sin or holiness. (Luke 6:45)
• Renald Showers refers to the heart as the “inner control center of the human being.”
• I Sam.16:7 – no wonder it is the part of man that God is most concerned about! God looks at the heart.
» How has your heart been lately?
» Has it been a source of that which is good, lovely, pure, holy, joyous… OR has it been a source of malice, bitterness, resentment, subtle, evil intentions?
» Do you want to know what kind of person you really are? Very often we put up a “front” that is not a good reflection of what is really going on inside. (hypocrisy)
» Prov. 23:7 – for as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.
» Examine your heart. THAT is the kind of person we really are!
• I Thess. 2:4 – God tries the heart…

2.) Issues: outgoing, border, a going out, extremity, end, source, escape.

a.) Every issue of life is SOURCED in the heart.
• Issues – that which flows out of a source…
• NIV = for it is the wellspring of life.
• NASV = For from it flow the springs of life.

b.) Matt. 12:34b-35 – Everything that flows out of our mouth originated in our heart.

c.) Everything our hands do; our feet go; our mind thinks; everything we plan, desire, determine, and chose—all of these originate in the heart.


3.) Keep: to guard, watch, watch over, to preserve, guard from dangers; observe, guard with fidelity.

a.) Since our heart is like the well spring of our life—doesn’t it make sense to protect the well?

b.) You wouldn’t want any poison in your well or in the town water supply. If there was poison in it, it would affect everything that came out of that well!

c.) So too with our heart. If there is poison there—it will affect every other aspect of our life—our words, deeds, direction of life!

d.) Heb. 3:12-13 – we need to exhort one another lest one of us develop an evil heart of unbelief—not trusting in the Lord, and ends up walking away from the Lord! It could happen to me, or you, or anyone in our church!

e.) We need to be confessing our sins daily… hourly… moment by moment… to keep our hearts clean and pure… undefiled. If our heart is defiled, it will manifest itself in countless ugly ways!

4.) Diligence: place of confinement, prison, guard, jail, guard post, watch, observance; jail, prison, guard-house; guard, guard post, act of guarding

a.) Keep with all diligence = to guard with great care… keep it in confinement… like a prison house.

b.) Gesenius: “Guard your heart above all things that are to be guarded.”

c.) We have a lot of areas in life to pay close attention to and to guard with great care. (spouse; children; job; money; church ministry; mouth; actions; property; time; etc…) They all require care, protection, and watching over… guarding.

d.) But above them ALL, we are to give the greatest diligence in guarding and protecting our heart.

e.) One writer said that the heart is the citadel of man. If the citadel is taken, the whole town must surrender to the enemy!

5.) But can WE really keep our hearts? Isn’t that God’s job? How can I keep or guard my heart?

a.) In one sense it IS our responsibility to keep our own hearts. (Deut. 4:9)

b.) This is not a self-help program that Moses and Solomon are proposing. Of course we are not able to “keep” our own heart by ourselves.

c.) Rather, we are to commit the keeping of our soul (our whole life, including our outward circumstances and inner heart) to God for safekeeping. (I Pet. 4:19)

d.) Ps. 25:20 – God keeps our heart as we commit it to Him by faith.

e.) Our responsibility
Confess and forsake sin… when God illuminates sin in our heart… an evil motive… selfishness… covetousness… bitterness… unbelief… rebellion…
We are to “watch unto prayer.”
Bathe our mind and heart in the Word of God daily.
Make no provision for the flesh.
Refuse to allow anger, wrath, malice, bitterness, grudges, etc. to fester in your heart.
Love not the world… neither the things in the world.
Keep a pure conscience, void of offence.
Fill your mind and heart with good thoughts… pure, lovely, of good report… full of virtue and praise…
We are to keep constant vigilance over our heart… guard it with a holy jealousy…

Matthew Henry: “Our lives will be regular or irregular, comfortable or uncomfortable, according as our hearts are kept or neglected.”

Life can get so complicated. Don’t complicate the Christian life. Keep your heart—and the whole course of your life will flow in sync with God’s will.