Proverbs 4: 2020 Bible Challenge

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Devotional Text and Mediation for the Day

Pastor Matt

Proverbs 4:23

Our devotional text for today is unique in that chapter four can be clearly outlined into three blocks all starting with the exhortation by Solomon to his sons to hear and be attentive to his instruction (4:1-9; 4:10-19; 4:20-27). While there are many great verses to meditate on in this chapter, I want to point you today to verse 23, and its simplicity in words and profundity in life. Notice how the text does not suggest but commands that the heart be guarded with all diligence. Solomon is saying proactively and tenaciously build a fortress around your heart with the wisdom of the word of God (Prov 2:1-8 cf. Mt 4:4). But notice why this is commanded because the heart is the control center of your life meaning where your heart longs your life will go (Prov 27:19). Solomon says so succinctly that the desires of your heart will be the direction of your life, and you must keep those desires in step with the Scriptures (Prov 4:1-9 cf. Dt 6:1-9).

Sadly, the Bible is clear that natural man is born with a depraved and deceitful heart that must never be trusted (Jer 17:9; Mt 15:19). But praise the Lord through the gospel of Christ, believers are given a new heart to love and follow God (Ezek 36:26 cf. 2 Cor 5:17). Yet, the believer must constantly deal with the muscle memory and old desires of this body of flesh (Gal 5:16-17; Rom 6:12-14). Therefore, our hearts must always be guarded and guided by the word of God lest we fall prey to the perversions of our old heart (Prov 3:5-8; Js 1:14)! Stop and consider today how the surrounding verses give specific steps for guarding your heart. According to this chapter, how important is God’s word in protecting your heart? As you meditate on this passage and the surrounding verses today give at least three specific ways you are proactively seeking to guard your heart with the Scriptures.     

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