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
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,  Thefts,
covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy,
pride, foolishness:  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.  Then when lust hath
conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth
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
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
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
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
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