James H. Cagle
The Bible (KJV) says, “Keep the heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life” (Pro. 4: 23).
To put it simply, this verse teaches that what is spiritual become physical. Anything in the heart, the spiritual part of man, the innermost part of man, will determine the life that is lived in public.
The word “issue” means to exit, to depart, to go out. As a child is dressed inside the home and then sent outside, so we in our inner man dress up the man we send out into public. The life is a reflection of the heart. (Mt. 7: 15-20, 15: 17-20).
The word “issue” also carries’ the meaning of consequence. The life that issues forth from the heart is the result or consequence of the choices we make in the heart of what kind of man we want to be. We make our choices and our choices make us.
The keeping or guarding of the heart is our personal responsibility. The fact that we’re held accountable at the Judgment for the life we live upholds the fact that the keeping of our heart is a personal responsibility. The moral content we allow into our hearts through the eye and ear gates will be the same material used to build our lives. The morality of the life we plan on building is decided by the moral building material we’ve stored in the heart. The more serious we are about living a holy life for Jesus, in an ungodly world, the stricter we’ll be about what we let in our hearts.
If we look at our life and see that it is not Christ like, then we naturally know that we have something in our heart that is not Christ like. We must then believe the evidence and examine our hearts and repent of any sin we see there. (Ps. 119: 59, 60). The heart is the laboratory of life, and everything must be examined in the light of God’s Word before it’s passed off as material for building our life. We live an “authorized” life because everything we do is authorized by God’s Word, and it receives its stamp of approval.
Keeping our hearts means keeping them pure for Jesus so He can live His life through us.