Thursday, February 04, 2010

Wisdom Project 2/4

Proverbs 4 - NIV
Proverbs 4 - ESV

Proverbs 4:23 … Above all else, guard your heart,
for it is the wellspring of life.


Above all else, guard your heart … it is to be kept by all manner of means that can be thought of, by prayer, hearing, reading, meditation; and, above all, by applying to Christ for his grace and Spirit to sanctify, preserve, and keep it. Or, "above all keeping, keep thine heart"; though other things are to be kept, and care taken of them, as kingdoms and cities, and towns and families, and treasures and riches; yet the heart above all:

for it is the wellspring [are the issues] of life; as is a man's heart, such is his state now, and will be hereafter; if the heart is quickened and sanctified by the grace of God, the man will live a life of faith and holiness here, and enjoy everlasting life hereafter: and if the heart is right, so will the actions of men be; they are regulated and denominated by it; they will then spring from right principles, and be directed to right ends, and performed with right views; great care therefore should be taken of the heart, since so much depends upon it, and it is so well known to God the searcher of it.

From: John Gill at StudyLight.Org

3 John 8
Bill H.


WISDOM PROJECT: For this month, I will supply links to both the NIV and ESV versions of the chapter each day (Feb. 1 = Proverbs 1, etc.) in the post—both of which contain the audio.

And in the month of February a unique feature for the WP will be Commentaries on selected passages/verses from within the chapter for the day. And for the most part, these comments will be from links in the Online Bible Study Resources feature here on the 3 John 8 blog (scroll down in the column to the right to find the links).

Note to Proverbs class participants: this is the place where you should post your application comments for the day.


Shawna said...

"25 Let your eyes look straight ahead,fix your gaze directly before you." This verse gives me a reminder not only to look straight ahead and not let my past bother me but to learn from but to keep my focus on Christ and the kingdom to come. If this remains my focus my decision will be not from the flesh but along the path of righteousness.

Jillian F. said...

This chapter emphasizes the importance of receiving instruction correctly. "Be attentive, that you may gain insight" (v.1). "Let your heart hold fast my words; keep my commandments, and live." (v.4) "Keep hold of instruction; do not let go; guard her, for she is your life" (v.13). The last part of the chapter is an exhortation to guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. These verses remind me that the information I choose to store away in my mind/heart is valuable, and will affect the way I live my life. I must be careful to store the things that are beneficial, and guard my heart from things that will tear me down.

Carrie L. said...

Throughout this chapter Solomon urges his son to pusue wisdom and to not let it out of his sight. He tells him to get wisdom and understanding at all costs.
I don't know if I could pursue wisdom at all costs. This is important though because when we have wisdom we are able to guard our hearts above all else for it is the wellspring of life.

Jeremy said...

"Make level paths for your feet
and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil." Verses 26 and 27 emphasizes the path principal that leads to wisdom. I think of Jesus when He talks about the narrow pathway that leads to life, and only few find it. The path is not one that branches out in different directions, therefore confusing us. No, it's a single path and I'm warned not to swerve to the left or right, but keep my eyes fixed on Christ.

julee said...

I was struck by all the commands in this chapter and the intentionality of the commands. Acquire, love, embrace, prize, accept, take hold, give attention.. They are all action words. I need to search and be intentional.

mdungan said...

23 "Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life."
This caught my eye pertaining to gaurding your heart. It is so important for us to do that and not just throw ourselves out there constantly.

Then verses 20 through 27 are just great. Just really got a sense of not so much commandments but guidance and wisdom solomon is really stressing to his son to take hold of his words and for us we need to take these words also and treasure them and "keep them in the midst of our heart" as verse 21 says.

TheErbentrauts said...

2/4/2010 10:07 AM
Proverbs 4:23 … Above all else, guard your heart,
for it is the wellspring of life
First, the words above all else bring certain urgency to the matter. Keeping our hearts pure is no small or easy task to maintain in the kind of world that we are in. But with God’s gracious help it can be done. The book of James says,[“Jas 3:11 Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet [water] and bitter?”]
What comes out of our mouths reflects what is in our hearts. We need to be diligent in guarding the purity of our hearts.
John Erbentraut

Danielle Cummings said...

I feel like Proverbs is very repetitive in the sense that i am constantly reading that we are to incline our ears and keep wisdom close to our hearts. Verses 25 and 27 resemble eachother in a way because verse 25 talks about keeping our eyes forward, dont get distracted. That can be a struggle for me at times. Its hard to always and only focus on what you should be focusing on. Verse 27 follows up with telling us to also walk straight meaning dont let distractions lead us anywhere we're not suppose to be going.

Chris Howard said...

This passage is encouraging me to stay focused in everything I do, the descisions I make, how I deal with people. The devil is just waiting for the one time that I screw up to jump on me and break me down. Those on the dark path are waiting for me to trip so they can satisfy their perverse desires. I need to keep my mind focused on the things of above and hold strong to His teachings.

Tim K. said...

The most interesting thing about this proverb to me is that Solomon says that this wisdom was handed down to him by his father (David). This is significant because both men struggled with following wisdom. This gives me hope as I try to persuade my son to also follow God's wisdom. I too am less than perfect when it comes to following God's wisdom, but I like David and Solomon agree that God is right and I have been wrong. So our example in the past is less important than recognizing that it is God's wisdom that we should pass on to those younger, so they may avoid the consequences we have faced in our own lives.

Kate said...

The last 3 verses that talk about fixing your gaze straight ahead and not turning from the path to me are very motivational. They show me where my focus is and the importance of having that focus.

Josh said...

verse 21 got ahold of me when i read "keep them (father's instruction) within your heart". Too often have i kept what my father (heavenly and earthly) has taught me in my head as just knowledge istead of placing what i have learner through Gods word into my heart/my daily life

Gabe Vanderstel said...

23 Above all else, guard your heart,
for it is the wellspring of life.
I feel as though our culture has blinded us in such a way that we have no gate to our heart. We let so much garbage in through media, evil talk, and relationships that do not please God. This verse reminds us that we must guard our hearts because it belongs to God.

Michael said...

I recently received an email that – as indicated by the header, came with it the potential to lead me down a bad path. In the past I may have opened it, read it, and then tried to decide if I should react, respond, delete, etc.
However, by applying the thrice-mentioned admonition from Proverbs 4 to “listen” to the instruction of right-decision making, I choose to delete the email without opening it. This removed the possibility of succumbing to the temptation that may – or may not, have been contained therein; I’ll never know; quite frankly I don’t even need to know. “The best way to avoid sin is to avoid the temptation to sin (Higley, Lecture 7).” By keeping my eyes “straight ahead (v25) I was able to claim yet another victory for Christ and His work: for He alone is worthy.
Mike T.

Renee said...

"Get wisdom, get understanding", "don't forget", "hold on to instruction", "keep them (wise words) in your heart." All of these phrases bring out the idea that wisdom is something that needs to be obtained, searched for, hunted. It doesn't just show up at your door one day and say "Hi, I'm wisdom. It looks like you could use some of my influence on your life." From other chapters, we know that wisdom calls to us, but it doesn't come to us. We must go to it, search it out.

Sarah said...

I like how Solomon is telling his sons what his father told him about women. I think it is a good idea to tell your children warnings, even when you were a kid, because it shows them that you went through the same thing.

SarahK said...

Interestingly enough, Provers 4:23 was the verse that really caught my attention. I have a close friend who, for the past four years, has shared her passion for and even encouraged me to "guard your hear". This may not be what the author meant, but it is almost scary how easily we give away our emotions.

Renee K said...

I think something that sticks out to me in this passage are the verbs in the first section of it. It's not about what wisdom can do for you when you just sit around and hope that you have it. Wisdom is something that one must actively pursue. Unless one does what is required of having wisdom, it will not be attained.

Mandi said...

Verse 21 is the one that hit home to me today. 21 Do not let them out of your sight,keep them within your heart;
I need to keep the word of God in my mind at all times! That needs to fill my heart because whats on the inside is what will come out! His word needs to fill my mind and mouth and heart!

Ashlie said...

I really like how this Proverb is the father give the son warnings. I think this is really important for any parent to do with their children. Something I also caught was the fact that the father said seek insight and wisdom. To me is was like see guidance and instruction from those all around you.

Jessica said...

"Let your eyes look directly forward,and your gaze be straight before you." "Do not swerve to the right or to the left;
turn your foot away from evil."

Verses 25 and 27 drew my attention tonight. We need to keep our eyes directed forward, our gaze straight and our we need to turn our feet away from evil. I need to keep these in mind as I go through my daily life

Danyelle Steckiel said...

There are three verses dedicated to the warning to listen closely to what the father is about to say to his son. He warns him in three different ways to pay close attention. "Above all else, guard your heart." He talks about wisdom and following her ways and then conludes with this. This is the most important thing. I think we forget how important our hearts are sometimes. We so freely give it away and allow bad things to happen and to come into it. But it is so precious and if we forget how special it is, then we will give it over to undeserving, awful things.

Rachel said...

Verse 24 struck me, in particular, as I read this chapter.
"Put away from you crooked speech and put devious talk far from you."
With an obvious connection to the preceding verse (Keep your heart with vigilance), I was considering how quickly and easily I allow slander and vile speech to come from my mouth...ultimately my heart. It is not difficult to be boastful, deceitful, or hurtful with our tongues yet with these same tongues we praise and honor our great God? Keeping our soul pure and nourished (vs 23) will keep our tongues from slander (vs 24).

TheErbentrauts said...

Proverbs 5:1-2 …
My son, pay attention to my wisdom,
listen well to my words of insight,
that you may maintain discretion
and your lips may preserve knowledge.
The father passes his life’s experience and wisdom to his son with the ultimate hope that it will be preserved and passed from his son’s lips to the third and forth generation.

John Erbentraut