Proverbs 4:23 - What You Plant And Grow In Your Mind Determines Your Destiny.

Proverbs 4:23: What You Plant And Grow In Your Mind Determines 
Your Destiny. 

CONTENT; What's in the verse; Translations; Paraphrase; Word 

Prov 4:23 (KJV)  Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of 
it are the issues of life. 

Prov 4:23 (NIV)  Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the 
wellspring of life. 

Prov 4:23 (TEV)  Be careful how you think; your life is shaped 
by your thoughts. 

Proverbs 4:23 (NLT) Above all else, guard your heart, for it 
affects everything you do. 

Proverbs 4:23 (AMP) Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance 
and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of 

Prov 4:23 (CWR)  Above everything else, guard the affections of 
your heart; the emotional attachments you make determine the course 
of your life. 

Heart. i.e., mind or inner being. [Ryrie SB]

Issues of Life, Wellspring of Life or Springs of life. Lit., 
outgoings of life; i.e., spiritual vitality. [Ryrie SB] 

CONTEXT; What's around the verse; Overview; Topic:

A Father's Wise Instruction  (4:1-27)
Stay Focused on Wisdom
Admonition to Keep to the Right Path
Learn It by Heart  (4:20-27)

CROSS REFERENCES; What's in verses elsewhere.

Jeremiah 17:9 (KJV)  The heart is deceitful above all things, 
and desperately wicked: who can know it?  

Mark 7:21-23 (KJV)  For from within, out of the heart of men, 
proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, [22] Thefts, 
covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, 
pride, foolishness: [23] All these evil things come from within, and 
defile the man.  

James 1:14-15 (KJV)  But every man is tempted, when he is drawn 
away of his own lust, and enticed. [15] Then when lust hath 
conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth 
forth death.  

Proverbs 28:26 (KJV)  He that trusteth in his own heart is a 
fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.  

Proverbs 4:7 (KJV)  Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get 
wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.  

Mark 14:38 (KJV)  Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into 
temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.  

Hebrews 12:15 (KJV)  Looking diligently lest any man fail of the 
grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, 
and thereby many be defiled;  

COMMENTARY / APPLICATION: Moving From The Head To The Heart
What is God teaching here? What does it teach about Jesus?

The heart is so much more that just our affections, as some 
think.  The heart is regarded as being the seat of the intellect, the 
feelings, and the will.   The heart is often spoken of in God's Word as 
our innermost being. [In His Time; Walk With Wisdom] 

The heart is the starting point of the activities of life; it 
determines the course of life. [Expositors Bible Commentary] 

"Guard your heart above anything else you have, because it 
determines the kind of life you will live." The heart is the 
"master-control" of the life; a wrong heart always produces a wrong life. To 
allow sin into the heart is to pollute the entire life. [Wiersbe 
Expository Outlines] 

Drops Of Character
Have you ever watched an icicle form' Did you notice how the 
dripping water froze, one drop at a time, until the icicle was a foot 
long or more? If the water was clean, the icicle remained clear and 
sparkled brightly in the sun; but if the water was slightly muddy, the 
icicle looked cloudy, its beauty spoiled. Our character is formed in 
like manner. Each thought or feeling adds its influence. Each 
decision we make - both great and small - contributes its part. 
Everything we take into our minds and souls - impressions, experiences, 
images, or words - helps create our character. At all times, we must be 
aware of the "droplets" we allow to drip into our lives. Acts that 
develop habits of hate, falsehood, and evil intent mar and eventually 
destroy us--but habits born of love, truth, and goodness silently mold 
and fashion us into the image of God. [God's Little Devotional 

Purity of mind is the first requisite for a sinless life.... Sin 
is the indulging of the desires of the sinful, deceitful human 
heart (Jer. 17:9), hence the need for diligence in keeping the mind 
surrendered to God, who alone can keep it pure (see Eph. 4:17, 23). [SDA 

The Heart Of The Matter
When I go to my physician to have an operation on my leg, the 
first thing my doctor does is to check my heart. After all, if my 
heart is not right, there is no use getting my leg fixed up. Without a 
healthy heart, the best leg in the world will do me no good. 
In the physical realm the heart is at the center of life. It is 
the pumping of that muscle that spreads life to the rest of the 
It is the same in the realm of the spirit. Thus the biblical 
emphasis on the importance of having our hearts right with God. 
Jesus pronounces His blessing on those who are "pure in heart." 
It is significant that He does not commend those who are 
intellectual. He does not say "Blessed are those who understand correct 
doctrine, for they shall see God." His focus is on the heart. 
Now, don't get me wrong. Correct doctrine is important, but it 
is not at the center of the matter. You can have a correct 
doctrinal understanding and be meaner than the devil. A person can be 
"straight" on doctrine, yet be a curse to the church and a false 
representative of his or her Lord. 
As in the physical life, the core of Christian existence is the 
heart. A heart right with both God and other people sets the stage for 
both a correct understanding of doctrine and a correct expression of 
one's faith in daily living. Without a healthy spiritual heart you are 
spiritually dead, no matter how well you understand theology or how much of 
the Bible you have committed to memory. 
It is the pure in heart who shall see God.
Lord, help me today to get my priorities right. Help me today to 
surrender my heart to You. Help me today to start seeing You better. 
[Walking With Jesus By Knight] 

Tuned In: Following God
One beautiful spring morning, an experienced hiker was walking 
with a friend down Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. The streets rumbled 
with the sounds of weekday rush-hour traffic. Suddenly the hiker 
stopped. "Listen," he said. "I hear a cricket." 
"That's nonsense!" his friend scoffed. "Why do you think you 
hear a lowly cricket in all this downtown uproar?" 
"I'm sure I do," the hiker said. "Watch this." He pulled a dime 
from his pocket and dropped it on the pavement. Almost all of the 
people nearby stopped at the sound of the coin hitting the concrete. 
"All of us are tuned to certain things," the hiker said to his 
friend. "Our ears hear what they are tuned to. Mine happen to be tuned 
to crickets." 
In a similar way we need to be open to God's word. Jesus said we 
need "eyes to see" and "ears to hear" before we can tune in to the 
gospel. Listen today to those things that will make you wise. Heed those 
things that prepare you for eternity. [Youth SB mod re Mat.13:10-15] 

Diligent heart-keeping is essential to a healthy growth in 
grace. The heart in its natural state is a habitation for unholy 
thoughts and sinful passions. When brought into subjection to Christ, it 
must be cleansed by the Spirit from all defilement....... In the work of 
heart-keeping we must be instant in prayer, unwearied in petitioning the 
throne of grace for assistance..... The Saviour has told us to pray 
without ceasing. The Christian can not always be in the position of 
prayer, but his thoughts and desires can always be upward. They should 
cultivate a love for meditation, and cherish a spirit of 

The heart must be renewed by divine grace, or it will be in vain 
to seek for purity of life. He who attempts to build up a noble, 
virtuous character independent of the grace of Christ is building his 
house upon the shifting sand. In the fierce storms of temptation it 
will surely be overthrown.... Those who would not fall a prey to 
Satan's devices must guard well the avenues of the soul; they must avoid 
reading, seeing, or hearing that which will suggest impure thoughts. The 
mind should not be left to wander at random upon every subject that 
the adversary of souls may suggest... This will require earnest prayer 
and unceasing watchfulness. We must be aided by the abiding 
influence of the Holy Spirit, which will attract the mind upward, and 
habituate it to dwell on pure and holy things. And we must give diligent 
study to the word of God.  PP460 

Attentive hearing the word of God, is a good sign of a work of 
grace begun in the heart, and a good means of carrying it on. There is 
in the word of God a proper remedy for all diseases of the soul. 
[Matthew Henry Commentary] 

Live in God's Word and He will protect your path, direct your 
path, and perfect your path, for the glory of Jesus Christ. [Wiersbe 
Expository Outlines] 

To keep your heart in heaven, will give vigor to all your 
graces, and put life into all your duties. To discipline the mind to 
dwell upon heavenly things, will put life and earnestness into all our 
endeavors... As exercise increases the appetite, and gives strength and 
healthy vigor to the body, so will devotional exercises bring an 
increase of grace and spiritual vigor. The affections should center upon 
God. Contemplate His greatness, His mercy and excellences. Let His 
goodness and love and perfection of character captivate your heart. 

As God works upon the heart by His Holy Spirit, man must 
cooperate with Him. The thoughts must be bound about, restricted, 
withdrawn from branching out and contemplating things that will only 
weaken and defile the soul..... By beholding we are to become changed, 
and as we meditate upon the perfections of our divine Model, we 
shall desire to become wholly transformed and renewed in the image of 
His purity. There will be a hungering and thirsting of soul to be 
made like Him whom we adore. The more our thoughts are upon Christ, 
the more we shall speak of Him to others, and represent Him to the 
world. 3BC1145 

By constantly contemplating heavenly themes, our faith and love 
will grow stronger..... 3BC1145 

We may close every door to impure imaginings and unholy thoughts 
by lifting the soul into the presence of God through sincere 
prayer. SC99