In this series on the book of Proverbs, we are looking at godly wisdom. Last week, we learned that one measure of success is not the quantity but the quality of relationships we have been able to nurture.
This week, we look within to examine our hearts. Proverbs 4:23 is an often-quoted verse, asking us to “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” Yet, we seldom stop to ponder what is inside of our hearts that is worth protecting. We should first look at how to train our hearts before guarding our hearts.
We delve into what the Bible says about training and overseeing our hearts, and practising what we have trained for. What is in us controls the course of what is ahead of us.
Our “hearts” here also includes our thoughts, rationality, morality and decision-making ability. Just as the heart organ is at the centre of our physical beings, our metaphorical hearts are the centre of our inner-being.
Read the following verses and identify features of the “heart” described in the Bible:
a. Jeremiah 17:9-10
b. Psalm 20:4
c. Psalm 119:10-11
d. Proverbs 27:19
e. Proverbs 28:14
f. Mark 7:20-23
Proverbs 4:20-21 reads, “My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Let them not escape from your sight; keep them within your heart.”
i. Read also Proverbs 2:1-11 and Proverbs 30:5-6.
• What image do the proverbs use to describe the function of the Word of God? What does this mean if we do not have the Word?
ii. What are your favourite Bible verses that you have taken to heart? Why are they special to you?
• Does memorising Bible verses mean that you know God’s Word? Why or why not?
i. Read Isaiah 29:13 and John 4:23-24.
• What is true worship What is false worship?
• How do we ensure that our worship is true?
ii. Read Colossians 3:12-17, paying close attention to verse 16.
• Which two audiences does Paul want us to sing to in church? For what purpose?
• What then should be the relation between the songs that we sing and the Word of God?
iii. Consider the lyrics of your favourite psalm, hymn or praise and worship song. Lookout in the lyrics for promises of God from the Bible, truths about who God is, or truths about who the Bible says we are.
• As a group, choose a song to sing – in true worship, and with attention to the right audiences.
a. See also Luke 6:44-45. What is the relationship between our mouth and our heart? What, then, should we watch first?
b. Read Proverbs 5:11-14, 23; Proverbs 23:12; and Galatians 6:1-2. How might we oversee our hearts better as a group?
What tempts you to walk away from “what you know in your heart”? How will you react from now on?
WHAT WOULD YOU DO
What is inside your heart today?
Take a Clarity Break, set up a meeting with yourself to honestly answer these questions:
“Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” – Proverbs 4:23