Guard your heart

by the Rev. Dr. Kenneth C. Kemble of Capac Bible Church

“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”  Proverbs 4:23

This thought is directed mainly toward the youth, but it is useful for all Christians, whether they be young or old.

I have noticed that much of the church today — especially the young people — is remarkably worldly.  Only a very small portion of their lives is set apart for the Lord, if any.  They don’t give God a thought throughout the course of a normal day, and rarely give Him much consideration even when in church.  Their world view is not that of their parents or grandparents, but is foreign.  It is, in the opinion of this humble preacher, a matter that is truly troubling and one which must be addressed.

There is emphatically no room in the life of a Christian — young or old — for worldliness, and it is high time for every Christian to remember who they are, and Whose they are, and to act accordingly.

There was a time — before television, radio, movies, internet — when the greater part of a Christian’s life was set apart for the Lord.  There was Bible study, prayer and private devotion in the Christian home, and it was what was considered normal.  It was common for there to be discussion about the things of God around the dinner table, as well as private devotion upon rising and just before settling into bed in the evenings.  Many prayed upon their beds as they awaited sleep.

My own grandmother wrote of their home life in the early 1900s, and recalled with great affection that her father would gather the family together each evening and would read the Bible to them.  They were in Sunday school and church every week, and often had the preacher over to their house for lunch, and would visit and sing hymns all afternoon.

May this — or anything even remotely similar — be said of the reader and his own home?

Good or bad, you are the creation of all that you allow to be a part of your life.  So you must be careful what you expose yourself to.

If you allow trash into your life, you will perhaps be offended at first but upon exposure to the mire for only a short time, you will become quite comfortable with it — comfortable to the point that what should be anathema to you becomes sweet and warm and comforting.  Your thoughts no longer reside with your Lord and His Word, but with the world and its darkness.  Before you know it, you are wallowing side by side with the devil’s crowd, and are quite happy to be right there beside them in the mire.  Your Christian witness is ruined and you find it difficult to even pick up your Bible.

Oh!  That God’s people would awake from their slumber!

Our text exhorts us to keep our heart with all diligence.  The meaning is that we are to be careful to guard our heart, and protect ourselves and our families from all that would tend to lead to worldliness in our lives.  You are indeed the creation of everything that you allow into your life, so it behooves you — yea, it is imperative that you guard your heart with all diligence.

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”  Philippians 4:8

Amen!  God help us so to do!