SERIES: Ancient Wisdom in a Modern World: Proverbs

TEXT: Proverbs 4:14-27

MESSAGE: “The Heart of Wisdom”


“Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” — Proverbs 4:23

“This tells us that life doesn’t flow from the outside in, it flows from the inside out. We need our hearts continuously filled with the ever fresh life of Christ, by faith in the gospel.” — Ray Ortlund Jr

“There is a great market for religious experience in our world; there is little enthusiasm for the patient acquisition of virtue, little inclination to sign up for a long apprenticeship in what earlier generations of Christians called holiness.”― Eugene H. Peterson

“But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day. The way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know over what they stumble.” — Proverbs 4:18-19

“It is a serious thing…to remember that the dullest most uninteresting person you can talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship…or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree helping each other to one or the other of these destinations.” — C.S. Lewis

TEXT: Proverbs 4:20-27

Q: How do we walk on God’s path for life?

There are three truths that we must understand. It’s understanding…(1. The Struggle 2. The Source 3. The Solution)

1. The Struggle (v. 20-22)

“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.”

“Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evilunbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. 13 But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. — Hebrews 3:12-13

“Sin will keep you from this Book, or this Book will keep you from sin.” — John Bunyan (Pastor/Author of Pilgrim’s Progress)

2. The Source (v. 23)

“Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.”

“The heart is the source of the river of your life; it’s the command center. Everything you do flows from your heart. The way you think, talk, and act flows from your heart. The heart is the agent governing all your body’s actions.” — Daniel & Jonathan Akin

And, here’s what the Bible tells us about the natural disposition of the human heart…“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” — Jeremiah 17:9

“Whatever your heart has decided is its ultimate love determines all of the ways in which you make choices in your life. Whatever is the ultimate love of your heart spins out a whole way of making choices and decisions in life.” — Timothy Keller

“The truth is, no one lies to us more than our own hearts. No one. If our hearts are compasses, they are Jack Sparrow compasses. They don’t tell us the truth; they just tell us what we want. If our hearts are guides…They are not benevolent; they are pathologically selfish. In fact, if we do what our hearts tell us to do, we will pervert and impoverish every desire, every beauty, every person, every wonder, and every joy. Our hearts want to consume these things for our own self-glory and self-indulgence. No, our hearts will not save us. We need to be saved from our hearts…Jesus is your shepherd (Psalm 23:1; John 10:11). Listen to his voice in his word and follow him (John 10:27)…He is the truth, he is the way, and he will lead you to life (John 14:6).” — Jon Bloom

3. The Solution (v. 24-27)

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.

“If you use your speech to hurt others, deceive others, gossip about others, or falsely flatter others, then it’s the overflow of a sinful heart. Again, Jesus told us this clearly in Matthew 12:34 — “The mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart.” Jesus says that our words will justify or condemn us on judgement day. That’s not because good works — or good speech in this case — gets us to heaven. It is because your speech reveals whether or not Jesus has changed your heart!” — Daniel & Jonathan Akin

v. 25 — “Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you.”

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider (ponder) him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” — Hebrews 12:1-3

TAKEAWAYS: How can I live wisely? By remembering…

* Life is a journey

“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” — Psalm 119:105

* There’s only two paths

“We face only two alternatives—the wise way or the evil way. In our hobbit-like timidity we might prefer a compromise. We might prefer three ways to choose from — a rotten life of follow over at one extreme, a super—duper life of wisdom over at the other extreme, but in the middle a half—decent life of mediocrity that we don’t mind settling for. But God is saying there are only two ways: a gloomy disaster of a life without wisdom and a bright success of a life with his wisdom. Therefore, God’s wisdom in not an optional extra: ‘she is your life’ v. 13.” — Ray Ortlund Jr.

The Gospel keeps us moving forward

“Our worst days are never so bad that you are beyond the reach of God’s grace. And your best days are never so good that you are beyond the need of God’s grace.” ― Jerry Bridges

“Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” 6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” — John 14:5-6

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