Message for September 23, 2018 from Pastor Shirley

  Proverbs 4:23-27 says, “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it springs the issues of life. Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee. Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. 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”.

     What we’re to do with the “heart” – we’re to “keep” it or “protect” it. Our action is to be that of “watching” “guarding”, or “keeping” it. The Hebrew word for “heart” can have the symbolic meaning of such things as the spiritual aspect of man, the mind, the will, the conscience, the moral character of a man, the seat of his desires and passion, the seat of his sense of courage, even for the whole man himself.  It is the whole “inner-life” that we’re to be concerned about – the “heart” in the sense of that part of us at which our thought-life, our values, our drives, our choices, and our sense of right and wrong.

     How do we protect our heart?  By doing what the Scriptures tells us in Proverbs 4:24-27?  The definition of froward is, “not easily controlled; stubbornly willful; contrary.”  We can insert this into the text to see what wisdom with my mouth is all about. We keep our heart by putting away a mouth that is uncontrollable, a mouth that is stubbornly willful, or contrary to what is righteous.  Perverse lips is that which twists, distorts, perverts, or misrepresents what is true. Let your eyes look right on and your eyelids look straight before you. To look right on” and “to look straight before one” is to fix the eyes steadily and unswervingly upon an object before them, not to allow the gaze to deflect either to the right hand or to the left.

We are to protect our heart by pondering the path of our feet and letting all our ways be established.  The word “ponder” means to make level, balance, or weigh out. The word established means be “set up or fixed”. Am I doing the things that I am doing because I know they will take me where I am intending to go. Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil”.  “In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths”. Proverbs 3:6

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