Your Eyes and Your Heart. Proverbs- Week 4- Day 4

My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings.  (21)  Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart.  (22)  For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh. 

Proverbs 4:20-22 

Explanation:

Let’s remember the context of these verses.  The father continues to speak to the son, pleading with him to stay on the right paths and to avoid the evil paths of evil men. 

In these verses I want to point out three categories of terms that will help us make a right interpretation and application.

1.  Ownership words- “my” and “thine”The father uses the term “my” two times. These are possessive nouns talking about the fathers words and the fathers sayings.  He also uses the word “thine” two different times.  This term he uses in regards to his sons eyes and his sons heart.  The matter at hand is the complete ownership of the way of wisdom by the son.  The father states his ownership of the way of wisdom.  He calls them “my words” and “my sayings”.  Ownership means hearing and attending to these words. In other words, the wisdom is to be heard and to be obeyed.

2. Body Words- “eyes” and “heart”.  He points to the eyes and the heart of his son.  For the son to own his father’s words he has to take responsibility for his own eyes and his own heart.  Our eyes will see something.  Something will be in the midst of our hearts.  The father is pleading for his words and his sayings to be the object of that kind of visual, intellectual and emotional ownership.

3. Result Words- “life” and “health”.    The ownership of the way of wisdom is passed on from the Father to the son by the words and sayings kept before the son and valued internally.  When this happens the probability is “life” and “health”. Notice that the words are “life to those that find them”.  I love the idea of the picture of finding here.  The imagery is that these wise words are like treasure that has been found.  It is like the father has found a treasure that he is trying to give to his son.  He is pleading with his son to steward this treasure well because of the life and the health that the treasure can give.

Application:

To pass along the way of wisdom it takes three proactive values:

1.  It takes ownership.  If we want our kids and those we influence to follow us, we must own the direction we are taking them ourselves.  From a development perspective, you cannot truly take someone to a place that you have never been.  We must treasure the Word and the wisdom of God if we want the next generation to treasure and steward it well.

2.  It takes effort.  The hymnwriter wrote, “Prone to wander, Lord I feel it.  Prone to leave the God I love.  Here’s my heart, Lord. Take and seal it.  Seal it for thy courts above.”  The father says similarly to the son “keep them in the midst of thy heart.”  We’ll read tomorrow that the out of the heart flow  the issues of life.  So many things demand attention of our eyes and affection from our hearts.  We must guard it diligently.

3.  It takes vision.  We must keep before ourselves and those we influence a vision of the results (life and health) of the way of wisdom.  We must also envision and avoid the potential consequences of the way of evil.  We get distracted and we forget.  So much is at stake.

Response:

What can you do to keep wisdom in front of your eyes and in the middle of your heart today?

Romans- Week 9- Day 5- Romans 10:14-15

How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?  (15)  And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

Rom 10:14-15 

Explanation:

The best way to understand this particular passage is to take each question and just answer it.  Let’s try it:

“How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed?”

They won’t call on someone that they don’t believe in. 

“and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard?” 

They can’t.  If they don’t know about Jesus Christ and the gospel message they won’t call, and will not be saved.

“and how shall they hear without a preacher?  

The only way that they will hear about this saving message is if someone goes and proclaims the good news to them.

“(15)  And how shall they preach, except they be sent?”

Sending does not just include supporting vocational missionaries to go to places where they can share the gospel.  Of course, that is necessary and a necessary part of sending to foreign fields.  But in this context, sending involves everything involved in the discipleship process to get someone from being a babe in Christ to becoming a spirtual mature, reproducing disciple.  It doesn’t just involve financial preparation.  It also includes the spiritual, educational, and philosophical equipping that it takes to help someone grow in Christ.

Application:

Sharing the Gospel is necessary for evangelism to happen.  This may sound silly and fairly obvious.  Yet there is a “lifestyle evangelism” philosophy that taken to its extreme isn’t really evangelism.  The old addage, “preach the gospel, and if necessary use words” tries to make the point that our life should match our message.  Our lives should be a witness in our behavoir and reputation, but preaching the gospel always includes words.  It is a message that must be heard, and therefore must be proclaimed.

All evangelism should point people to life-long discipleship.  All discipleship should send people out for more evangelism and discipleship making.  The goal of disciple making is sending!

Response:

Where are you right now in the disciplemaking process?

  • Are you a believer?
  • Are you growing in your walk with the Lord as a disciple of Jesus Christ?
  • Are you someone who proclaims the gospel?
  • Are you helping others grow so that they can be sent to do the same thing?
  • Who do you need to share the Gospel with today?

Romans: Week 1- Day 3- Romans 1:13-15

13  Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you, (but was let hitherto,) that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles. 14  I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise. 15  So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.

Rom 1:13-15

Explanation:

I purposed to come to you…

Paul wanted the Romans to know how much he desired to come to Rome.  Paul desired to get to them and meet them face to face.

But was let hitherto

Why was he prevented from coming?  Was it a move of the Holy Spirit in his life preventing him from coming?  Was it some circumstancial problem that kept him away?  Was it the demands of ministry that he had been performing that made it difficult to leave?  He did not want the Romans to think that His absence had anything to do with his desire to come.  He had purposed and planned to come to Rome but had been prevented.

That I have some fruit among you

Why did he want to go?  So that he would have some kind of fruit among them.  What did he mean by fruit?  The Bible sometimes refers to fruit as good works, growth in character or at times evangelistic impact.  Because he speaks of preaching the gospel in Rome I believe He is referring primarily to the fruit of evangelistic impact.  He wants to see people in Rome trust in Christ, just as he had seen “among other gentiles”.

I am a debtor…

Paul felt obligated to the Greeks and barbarians, to the wise and the unwise.  The Greeks were as a society more formally educated.  They were sophisticated in comparison to the barbarians.  The barbarians were those gentiles not part of the educated, upper class.  Why did he feel a debt to them?  Because He had been give both grace (salvation) and apostleship.  He was saved and called to them by the Lord.

So..ready to preach…at Rome also.

Paul had purposed to preach to them.  He had a message to preach to them.  He had an obligation to preach to them.  He was ready!

Application:

Those of us who know Christ as Savior have been given God’s grace through salvation.  Because we know Christ and are living on this earth we have an obligation as well.  A call to follow Jesus is a call to discipleship and disciplemaking.  Jesus called his disciples by saying follow me and I will make you fishers of men.  We ought to be ready to proclaim the gospel to those who don’t know.

Response:

  • Are you ready to share the gospel?
  • Are you actually sharing the gospel?
  • Do you feel a debt to those who don’t know?

Week 10: Day 3- Deuteronomy 6:6-9

(6) And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:
(7) And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
(8) And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.
(9) And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.

Deuteronomy 6:6-9

Explanation:

After talking about being obedient to the law, and loving the one and only true God, Moses commands the people about extending these values to the next generation. We can see how to pass along God’s law to future generations by noticing three responses He commands an older generation to model for the younger generation.

First, He commanded them to own God’s Word for themselves. He told them that the law should “be in thine heart.” That means they know it, value it, and live it out. You can’t give what you don’t have. Often younger generations don’t love God and His Word because they were lead by people that didn’t own God’s Word themselves.

Second, He told them to talk about God’s Word with their kids. It’s not enough to believe it ourselves, we must talk about God’s Word with the next generation. How? We ought to do it in the every day course of life. Notice the four postures of when it is to be done:

  • Sitting
  • Walking
  • Lying Down
  • Rising Up

In the mundane, everyday course of life we teach the next generation the Word of God. There are formal times of teaching at church and in the home, and informal times of teaching with the church and int he home.

Third, He told them to display God’s Word for their kids. He told them to bind it on their hands and foreheads, and to post it on their gates and doorposts. The idea is to keep the truths of the Word of God in front of their kids all the time.

Application:

Parents, Grandparents, Sunday School Teachers, Pastors, Youth Pastors, Uncles, Aunts, Neighbors, Friends…disciple the next generation! How? Not being hypocritical and living a genuinely godly life in front of them, telling them about God’s Word, and displaying God’s Word for them to see constantly. Ultimately teaching them to open God’s Word for themselves and teaching them to teach the next generation as well is the aim. What’s at stake? The eternity of future generations!

Response:

  1. Do you own God’s Word yourself?
  2. Who are you teaching? How are you doing at teaching?
  3. How can you display God’s Word to the next generation?