1. In Proverbs 4:23 we are given a very important responsibility -- "keep [guard, protect] thy heart." 2. We are also told HOW to approach this responsibility -- "with all diligence." 3. Furthermore, we are shown WHY we must keep our hearts -- "out of it are the issues of life." 4. In our lesson we are consulting with 4 great teachers [David, Solomon, Jesus, and Paul] who provide instruction that will help us in keeping our hearts.
I. FIRST, LET US CONSULT WITH DAVID IN THE PSALMS
A. One of the requirements for being in good standing with God is having a pure heart (Psalm 24:3-5). B. We should certainly want to have pure hearts because God knows our hearts (Psalm 44:21). C. Even though God knows our hearts we must allow Him to search them for our benefit (Psalm 26:2; 139:23-24). D. David shows us that God can cleanse our hearts (Psalm 51:10).
II. SECOND, LET US CONSULT WITH SOLOMON IN THE PROVERBS
A. Several verses indicate that the condition of our hearts affects our physical and spiritual wellbeing. 1. (Proverbs 14:30) "A sound heart" is healthy, but a heart that suffers from a disease, such as envy, is unhealthy. 2. "A merry heart" will have a positive effect upon the countenance as well as the disposition (Proverbs 15:13a, 15b; 17:22a). B. Several other verses indicate that the way we think in our hearts will determine what we are (Proverbs 16:9a; 23:7a).
III. THIRD, LET US CONSULT WITH JESUS IN MATTHEW
A. Those who have pure hearts will be blessed (Matthew 5:8). B. A person's treasure will be where his heart is (Matthew 6:21). C. A person's words come forth from his heart (Matthew 12:34-37). D. All sins originate in the heart (Matthew 15:19).
IV. FOURTH, LET US CONSULT WITH PAUL IN HIS EPISTLES
A. We must allow Christ to dwell in our hearts (Ephesians 3:17). B. We must allow the peace of God to keep our hearts (Philippians 4:6-8). C. We must allow God's peace to rule in our hearts (Colossians 3:15). D. We must not allow our hearts to become hardened (Hebrews 3:12-13).
1. Let us "keep [guard, protect] our hearts." 2. Let us fulfill this responsibility "with all diligence." 3. Let us remember that "the issues of life" proceed from the heart. 4. Let us practice the instructions that we covered from David, Solomon, Jesus, and Paul.