October 31, 2005

A Guarded Heart

Scripture Reading — Proverbs 4:20-27

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

The proverb writer is deeply concerned about helping his children build a wise and discerning life. “Listen,” he pleads, “pay attention to what I’m saying.”
Throughout the early chapters of the book of Proverbs we find one plea after another like this. And in Proverbs 4:23 the writer points out the central issue in all this teaching. “Above all else,” the writer says, “guard your heart.” In other words, “Look inside. Be concerned about your inner life before you build your external life. After all, your heart, your inner life, ‘is the wellspring of life.’ Your heart shapes who you are.”

Jesus taught this truth also. He said that a person produces good things when that person has a good heart— that is, a heart focused on living for God. But if a person has an evil heart, that will show up in the evil things that person does. (See Luke 6:45.) In our devotions for this month we’ll be focusing on our “inner life”—the focus and direction of our heart.And before we start talking about how we ought to behave and what we ought to do, let’s simply talk about what’s inside. After all, it would be a wasted effort to try building a way of life (on the outside) if the heart wasn’t healthy (on the inside).

So let’s reach way inside this month to check out our inner life. Let’s also ask for God’s help in guarding it.


Lord, give us the ability to look inside ourselves. Help us to see ourselves as you do. Then help us to guard these precious hearts you've given us. For Jesus' sake, Amen.


Devotion topics: Christianity, Discipleship