Many see the Word of God. . .few look closely!
Proverbs 4:23 (ESV)
23 Keep your heart with all vigilance, for ofrom it flow pthe springs of life.
This scripture is a foundational truth for a follower of Christ. The most critical component of our daily life is our heart. How do you pay attention to it? Consider the following thoughts.
4:21–23 heart. The “heart” commonly refers to the mind as the center of thinking and reason (3:3; 6:21; 7:3), but also includes the emotions (15:15, 30), the will (11:20; 14:14), and thus, the whole inner being (3:5). The heart is the depository of all wisdom and the source of whatever affects speech (v. 24), sight (v. 25), and conduct (vv. 26, 27).
If you want to make a change in your life it begins with your heart. But what kind of heart must we preserve?
5341 נְצוּרִים, נָצַר, נִצְּרָה [natsar /naw·tsar/] v. A primitive root; TWOT 1407; GK 5903 and 5915 and 5917; 63 occurrences; AV translates as “keep” 38 times, “preserve” 13 times, “watchmen” three times, “besieged” twice, “keeper” once, “monuments” once, “observe + 7521” once, “preserver” once, “subtil” once, “hidden things” once, and “watchers” once. 1 to guard, watch, watch over, keep. 1A (Qal). 1A1 to watch, guard, keep. 1A2 to preserve, guard from dangers. 1A3 to keep, observe, guard with fidelity. 1A4 to guard, keep secret. 1A5 to be kept close, be blockaded. 1A6 watchman (participle).
This Hebrew word has a direct derivative that gives a small clue.
5342 נֵצֶר [netser /nay·tser/] n m. From 5341 in the sense of greenness as a striking colour; TWOT 1408a; GK 5916; Four occurrences; AV translates as “branch” four times. 1 sprout, shoot, branch (always fig.).
Pay attention to the tenderness, freshness and guard it from becoming hard. Life is difficult at best. So keeping your heart tender in the midst of that difficulty is no small task.
How tender is your heart? Has it become hard and scarred by life? God's Word can help make it tender again.
Cathy and Danny Sartin
Strong, J. (1995). Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon. Woodside Bible Fellowship.
MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Pr 4:21–23). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.
o [Matt. 12:35]
p [Ps. 16:11]
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Pr 4:23). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.Copyright © Danny Sartin. All Rights Reserved.
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Four decade veteran of youth ministry in churches, Youth For Christ and now is the Founder and Executive Director of Deeper Still Missions. Danny and his wife Cathy spend most of their time mentoring missionaries in Africa, Europe, Central America and North America. Future opportunities include South America and the Asia Pacific area.