Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. ~Proverbs 4:23
Do you exercise? If you do, you most likely include some type of a cardio workout in your regimen. Cardio workouts are necessary for keeping your heart fit and healthy. It increases your stamina and energy, and enables you to have more endurance in physical activities. This morning, we are looking at the importance of a spiritual cardio workout. Solomon said, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”
We see the ESSENCE of the heart.
The heart is the center of our life. The heart is the seat of our emotions, will, and spirit. The heart is where our passion, desire, and drive are found. Prov. 14:30 tells us that a sound heart is the life of the flesh. Someone overcome with sadness can die of a broken heart. Prov. 17:22 tells us a merry heart doeth good like a medicine. A bitter heart is poisonous and makes a person hateful and wrathful. The heart is the place where our decisions are made. Rom. 10:10 tells us that with the heart a man believeth unto righteousness. What happens inside our heart determines what we do. The heart is the essence of our life.
We see the EXTREME of the heart.
Jer. 17:9 tells us, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Matt. 15:18-19 tells us, “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:” Solomon told us that foolishness is bound in the heart of a child. David said, “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.” The heart is the centerpiece of extreme wickedness. The vilest crimes ever committed all began with a thought within the heart. On the other hand, there is a premium for having a pure heart. Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.”
We see the EXHORTATION for the heart.
Solomon is speaking as a father to his son. He wants his son to live his life right and for the glory of God. He is preparing his son to face the challenges and temptations in life. He exhorts us to keep our heart with all diligence. Make the protection and safekeeping of your heart your utmost priority. Guard what goes in and what comes out. Be careful of what you meditate upon. Be cautious as to your advisors in life. Make sure your heart is tender and receptive. A broken heart God will not despise.
We see the EXERCISE of the heart.
Solomon gives us four solid exercises to keep our hearts fit. First, there is the adoption of our values. This refers to our doctrine. “My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart.” Second, there is the articulation of our voice. This refers to our delivery. “Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee.” Third, there is the angle of our vision. This refers to our desires. “Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.” Fourth, there is the avenue of our voyage. This refers to our direction. “Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.” These four practices are critical to keeping our hearts with all diligence.
Your heart is too important to ignore. Give heed this morning to Solomon’s counsel, and make sure you spend time strengthening your heart!
Have a heart-healthy God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Judges 1-2