May 21, 2020

The book of Proverbs is a collection of short sayings in the Old Testament meant to instill wisdom in God’s people. As we read, it is important to remember that a proverb is a statement which is generally true in principle, not a universally true promise. Let’s dig into the Word together and allow the Lord to shape our hearts, our minds, and our lives in his wisdom over the next month!

In chapter 4 of Proverbs the author continues giving instruction to his sons in the way of wisdom. He implores his children to seek diligently after wisdom and embrace it, to walk in the way of wisdom rather than the path of the wicked, and to turn from evil ways and remain on the path of life. 

In the midst of this fatherly instruction on following the path of wisdom is this command: “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life” (Proverbs 4:23). The rest of the instructions that Solomon gives thereafter are dependent on this one being kept; the idea he is trying to convey is that the influences we allow into our hearts will end up determining the course of our lives! 

To keep a close guard on one’s heart is an integral aspect of wise living, because without it we will inevitably end up where we never intended to go in the first place. If we are not keeping our hearts with all vigilance, allowing worldly or wicked things in without a second thought, we shouldn’t be surprised when out feet end up wandering where our hearts have already gone.

Proverbs 4

A Father’s Wise Instruction

Hear, O sons, a father’s instruction,
    and be attentive, that you may gain insight,
for I give you good precepts;
    do not forsake my teaching.
When I was a son with my father,
    tender, the only one in the sight of my mother,
he taught me and said to me,
“Let your heart hold fast my words;
    keep my commandments, and live.
Get wisdom; get insight;
    do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth.
Do not forsake her, and she will keep you;
    love her, and she will guard you.
The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom,
    and whatever you get, get insight.
Prize her highly, and she will exalt you;
    she will honor you if you embrace her.
She will place on your head a graceful garland;
    she will bestow on you a beautiful crown.”

10 Hear, my son, and accept my words,
    that the years of your life may be many.
11 I have taught you the way of wisdom;
    I have led you in the paths of uprightness.
12 When you walk, your step will not be hampered,
    and if you run, you will not stumble.
13 Keep hold of instruction; do not let go;
    guard her, for she is your life.
14 Do not enter the path of the wicked,
    and do not walk in the way of the evil.
15 Avoid it; do not go on it;
    turn away from it and pass on.
16 For they cannot sleep unless they have done wrong;
    they are robbed of sleep unless they have made someone stumble.
17 For they eat the bread of wickedness
    and drink the wine of violence.
18 But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn,
    which shines brighter and brighter until full day.
19 The way of the wicked is like deep darkness;
    they do not know over what they stumble.

20 My son, be attentive to my words;
    incline your ear to my sayings.
21 Let them not escape from your sight;
    keep them within your heart.
22 For they are life to those who find them,
    and healing to all their flesh.
23 Keep your heart with all vigilance,
    for from it flow the springs of life.
24 Put away from you crooked speech,
    and put devious talk far from you.
25 Let your eyes look directly forward,
    and your gaze be straight before you.
26 Ponder the path of your feet;
    then all your ways will be sure.
27 Do not swerve to the right or to the left;
    turn your foot away from evil.

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

  • How have you heard the phrase “guard your heart” used before? Was it an appropriate use of the phrase based on its usage in this passage?
  • What are some ways in which we are tempted to let the guard over our hearts down to the voices of the world and of the Devil? What are some ways we can make sure to guard our hearts with renewed vigilance?

Family Discussion Question:

  • Why is it so important to make sure the things we are consuming (TV/movies, games, books, music, etc.) are honoring to God? How does this passage say it affects us when we don’t?

27 thoughts on “Daily Devotional-May 21

  1. Gracias padre amado por tu bondad, nos muestras día a día como seguir tus pasos sabiamente para no desviarnos de la verdad, tú nos hablas trámite tú palabra que es que es el camino y la vida eterna, ayúdanos a no desviarnos a ser hacedor de tu palabra y no desviarnos por las cosas de este mundo padre no dejes que mi mirada vaya hacia otra parte no dejes que mis pies resbalen tú eres mi salvación mi única esperanza tú eres mi todo padre amado en ti confiamos y no nos dejes caer en tentación apártanos del mal y que tú misericordia que es grande buena y abundante nos acompañen todos los días en nombre y por amor de tu hijo amado amén 🙏

  2. Dear Heavenly Father,
    Thank you for this day and for loving us. Thank you for Your word and for the wise words of Solomon. He speaks such wisdom. He touches my heart by his giving of such loving instruction to his son. Just like You do, Lord. You want us to walk in the paths of righteousness as we all should. It is so important for parents to teach their children these things at such an early age and keep on guiding them. I wish I had been more diligent in the raising of my children. Now, I can see in the lives of my grandchildren even more strongly that they have got to guard their hearts and incline their ears to You. Otherwise. the things of this world will swallow them up. Please help me be a greater influence on my grandchildren and other youth that I may encounter. I am so thankful that I am a preschool teacher and I can encourage them at such an early age. So much of the music and movies and the “stuff” they are exposed to is just trash. Help us parents and teachers to find ways such as VBS and youth camps to enrich their precious lives with You and Your teachings. Oh Lord, You are so precious to me. Help us all be better instruments for Your Glory and Love. Please put before me people and ways that I can teach that God is Love even more than ever. We must not let up, for the fields are ripe and the labourers are few. Help us all Christian Soldiers march on to victory. In Jesus’
    most Precious and Holy name. Amen.

    1. Amen. Lord bless the plans for our Vacation Bible School this coming summer. Give the organizers wisdom as they put the spiritual and physical wellbeing of our next generation before your throne.

      1. I think what Solomon is sayingis to protect your heart from the ways of the world. Keep Satan away from you. Do not make the mistake of walking away from what is good and not evil.

    2. Jan Grezaffi and Diane Ward, I haven’t read all the comments, but those I have read were outstanding. I especially agree with you two ladies. Guarding our hearts are truly important so that we are not drawn in by the world and the evil one. Like keeping our mind stayed on Jesus through the Word. We guard our hearts by the word of God. And another thing about guarding the heart that was said is often because we don’t want to get hurt; therefore not letting others in. When we keep our eyes on Jesus, most of the time we don’t even realize that it is God who works in us to will and to do for His good pleasure. (Philippians 2:13). Amen

  3. Lord Jesus help me in guarding my heart. Send Your Holy Spirit to fill me each morning and O thank you for Your grace and mercy each morning. How we need You. Point us in the right direction as the body of Christ. This World is against the church but I shall not fear for You are our rock and salvation. In Your Name I Pray Lord Jesus Amen.

  4. The late Dr. Charles Jarvis (dentist, dental professor, WW II pilot, humorist, after dinner speaker) said, “People have a lot of common sense because they have never used any of it.” Couple that with, “Common sense is wisdom with work clothes on.” Whatever you choose to call it, “Seek and ye shall find.”

  5. How have you heard the phrase “guard your heart” used before? Was it an appropriate use of the phrase based on its usage in this passage? I’ve heard “guard your heart” used when people talk about relationships with other people. We don’t want to get hurt by others so we guard our hearts and don’t let others in.

    I believe “guard your heart” being described in Proverbs is talking about protecting our hearts from the things that can take us away from the most precious relationship we have — our relationship with Jesus. We want to allow Him full access to our hearts; therefore we must protect it from the things that would lure us away from Him.

    Our physical hearts beat and bring life. May our spiritual hearts beat for the One who loves us and gave His life for us.

    Dear Lord,

    I pray for wisdom and understanding as I read Your word today and help to turn from the things that would lead my heart astray.

    In Jesus’s name.

    1. Amen – well said. Yes I teach interpersonal communication courses in our colleges. Part of the power of disclosure is building our connections. May be continue to disclose in prayer to our heavenly father our concerns. May we continue to look to Him for guidance – this truly is guarding our heart. Building our relationship with our Lord and King.

  6. I believe God expects us to guard our heart through all aspects of our lives. Seek his guidance through prayer in all we do.

  7. Good morning Lord! You are my friend and my God. You are the strength in my weakness. I am powerless on my own so please help me to keep my heart vigilant so that I might journey on the road to life. Restore my soul and, for your name’s sake, guide me in the paths of righteousness. Psalm 23: 3

  8. My heart will hold fast to Your words. I will keep Your commandments and live. I will watch the path of my feet, and my ways will be established.

  9. I am always telling my boys to guard their eyes and ears because that guards their hearts. While being quarantined at home, we don’t have the tv on because I am guarding my heart from fear and anxiety and even anger that can come from the news. I choose to not allow my mind to be infiltrated by it. My focus is on the Lord and in order for my heart to be still, I have to step away from the tv.

    26 “Ponder the path of your feet;
    then all your ways will be sure”

    Thank you Father for being faithful. Thank you for your wisdom and your truths. Help me Lord to continue to walk in your paths.

  10. There is so much good to do with you Lord. Thank you for inviting me to be a part of your kingdom work. That is why you created me. I ask your spirit to fill me now, to help move me to find where you are working so that I can join you. When I get distracted or tempted, give me strength to focus on you and not on my desires or worries.

  11. A message all ages desperately need to hear. You can’t change the past, so be diligently guarded with your future.

  12. Thank you Lord for always guarding my heart for when I mess up you are there to give me your wisdom to know what I must do to correct it.

  13. Father, you are worthy of all praise and honor. Help me to avert my eyes from evil. Help me to avoid areas where evil lurks. Help me to run away from evil that chases me. Help me to always search your word for true wisdom and knowledge that only comes from you. Guide me this day, protect me and provide for me. Amen

  14. Gaurd your heart with wisdom of the holy word. Reading the Bible not only gives you knowledge from doing things that will harm you and are against Gods will but it also brings you into a closer relationship with Jesus Christ.
    “Let my passion for life be restored, tasting joy in every breakthrough you bring to me. Hold me close to you with a willing spirit that obeys whatever you say. “ Psalm 51:12

  15. Thank you Lord Our Father, who art in heaven, for your words of wisdom that show us your way and how to live, so that we can stand firm on your word and truth.
    Protect us from the evil one, lead us not into temptation but deliver us from all evil in your Holy name we pray!!
    And also, Thank you for your Holy Spirit that guides us and intercedes for us. How magnificent you are Lord. You thought of every thing. Thank you for your mercy when we go astray, and for your constant love and faithfulness. We love you Lord.
    You give us everything!!!😍😍😍😂😄

  16. I have always loved the Psalms and Proverbs because of the life experiences and instructions that they gives us. In this world today, we should all be seeking wisdom as the enemy is definitely doing his job in causing anxiety, fear, loneliness, depression which none of these comes from Christ. Christ tells us just the opposite and as Christians we need to hold onto his word because we know during this pandemic we don’t lose. In Jesus we know how the playbook ends and we should be excited about the outcome regardless how difficult things may appear. We are not to fear man and God allows things to happen for a reason. It is easy for me to look at this pandemic as Jesus is in total control and if he knows the number of hairs on my head, he got this. When this all ends and no matter the outcome we win. So therefore, I will continue to pray for wisdom and continue to seek his direction for my life. Also, praying that all Christians will stand up and speak up for Jesus so that others can join the winning team.

  17. Heavenly Father, Please protect my children, grandchildren, & me from making choices that do not honor you. Help us to seek your wisdom & run from evil. Guide us every day. In Jesus name, Amen

  18. There is so much information flying at us. We must take action to protect our heart and mind from the inundation and saturation of worldly overstimulation. This is one of many reasons that it is important to prioritize prayer and time in God’s word, so we can be sure that we are ingesting and connecting with the Lord. We must seek Him diligently…❤🙏

  19. People say they need to learn by making mistakes, but God calls us to stay focused on Him so that we can avoid temptations and disasters. Yes, when we make mistakes it’s good to learn from them and not repeat them, but God’s way is even better (of course!)…avoid the traps to begin with…like this proverb tells us, stay on the path – don’t swerve right or left!

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