Saturday, August 13, 2011

Proverbs 23:19 commentary: guide your heart in the way

19 ¶ Hear thou, my son, and be wise, and guide thine heart in the way.

When hear is said in this Proverb, as before, it carries with it the desire to obey and the ability to understand. For the Christian, it’s not the world’s wisdom that is called for here. God’s wisdom is Christ. The way in which you are to guide your heart is in the way of Christ. You can find the doctrine you need to have carved into your brain in the books of the Bible that start with the name “Paul”. If you don’t know the New Testament doctrine for the Christian you’re going to miss some very important things God has for you.

The way of Christ the young man or woman must guide their heart in includes things like this in 1 Thessalonians;

1 Thessalonians 5:14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men. 15 See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.

16 ¶ Rejoice evermore. 17 Pray without ceasing. 18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 19 Quench not the Spirit. 20 Despise not prophesying (my note-preaching). 21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. 22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.

This, rather than going back to the Law and desiring to call down lightning on your enemies or demanding that other people live in a way that’s pleasing to you is what’s called for. These verses are but one example of many. Benjamin Franklin, in a letter to George Whitefield, the great revivalist, complained that if Christians spent more time living like they were commanded, what they were to do, rather than constantly complaining about what they and others were not to do, they’d attract more converts by the example they set. I must say, that for me, I agree as I was drawn to Christ by the overpowering and spiritually victorious lives of Christians in my sight rather than by arguments, screaming, gospel tracts, or magnetic signs on cars. He also complained that long, flattering prayers probably no more impress God than a long, flattering speech would a rational human being if your works didn’t match your speech.

Again, for review, here is the fruit of or the proof of having the Holy Spirit of God dwelling inside of you.

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

The son here is being instructed to guide his heart in the way;

Psalm 119:9 BETH (my note- a Hebrew letter). Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.

Psalm 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

This can’t be accomplished without knowing God’s word and reading His Bible. I was astonished the other day when I met two fundamentalists, both avid churchgoers, both praising Christ, both believing the King James Bible was THE Bible, but neither one of them having read it cover to cover even once. There is no excuse for a Christian not to have read or heard it at least once for every year they’ve been a Christian. If you’re behind God doesn’t mind if you catch up starting now.

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