2. Chapter One – The Source of All Life

By Vincent C. Finnegan

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

The very issues of life come out of the heart. The New English Bible gives this translation, “Guard your heart more than any treasure for it is the source of all life.” The New Interlinear Bible says, “Above all else guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” The Companion Bible reads, “Guard the heart as the great citadel (a fortress that commands a city), for out of it are the source and outgoings of life.” The heart is the source of all life, the wellspring of life, the great citadel from which are the source and outgoings of life. The heart is the control center of your life.

That which is in your heart is that which is in your life. What is in the heart of your mind, the seat of your personal life, determines the issues of your life. When you plant tomato seeds in the ground, the end result will be tomatoes. No one expects to plant tomato seeds and then reap cucumbers. If one wants cucumbers as the final result, one must plant cucumber seeds. In like manner, the issues of your life are determined by the “seeds” planted in your heart. If you had a tomato plant and wanted cucumbers, would you cut the tomatoes off the plant and try to glue cucumbers onto the plant? Certainly not! How silly this would be. Yet, people try to do exactly this with the issues of their lives. When they have an undesirable issue of life, they strive to change the outside, when all the time the changing that is needed is in their hearts. If you want to change to cucumbers, you must plant cucumber seeds. If you want to change issues of your life, change that which is being planted in your heart.

The deception we face is thinking that by changing circumstances, situations, or associations, we can change our lives. The truth is the heart is that which must be altered to change our lives.

As we study the heart, we will see why it is the source of all life.

Hebrews 4:12:
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Your thoughts (from the Greek enthumesis – motives) and intents are housed in your heart. They help to determine the issues of your life.

Romans 10:9 and 10:
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Believing is in the heart. The actions taken in your life result from the believing in your heart.

Mark 12:30:
And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.

Love is housed in the heart. The love in your life is the progeny of the love in your heart.

Matthew 12:34 and 35:
O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.

Good and evil are in the heart. To turn from the evil in your life to good, you must replace the evil in your heart with good. The good or evil in your life is the offspring of the good or evil in your heart.

Matthew 5:27 and 28:
Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

Sin is a matter of heart. Sin’s outcome or manifestation in our lives should not be mistaken for the cause. That which is seen is a result of the sin in the heart.

The examination of these few scriptures shows us clearly why the heart is the citadel of our lives. The motives, intents, believing, love, good, evil, and sin are all housed in the heart of our personal life. No wonder Proverbs 4:23 tells us to guard our hearts with all diligence!

A reality about our hearts that is not easy to bear, but must be accepted as true, and action taken to change. This truth is communicated clearly in Jeremiah 17:9.

Jeremiah 17:9
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

The nature of each person’s heart is deceitful above all and desperately wicked. No one is born with a “good heart.” Even a Christian who has the spiritual heart of Christ (received when born from above) still has to contend with his own personal heart which by nature is wicked. With the new birth the personal heart is not automatically changed. To change the personal heart to line up with the spiritual heart of Christ takes a deliberate decision of will and a faithful application of the Word of God.

Jeremiah 17:10:
I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.

Another truth to realize is that God looks on the heart and deals with us accordingly. Therefore, again we are confronted with the clear, stark reality that the heart is that which governs our lives. We must concentrate on the heart to live a godly life. It is imperative to keep this truth clear and not to allow ourselves to be deceived into thinking “outside-in” rather than “inside-out.” No person other than you determines your life. Do not allow yourself to think others are the cause of the issues of your life. Circumstances, such as where you live or where you work are not the root cause of the issues of your life. Situations or the way in which you are placed in relationship to your surroundings are not the cause of who you are. THE HEART OF YOUR PERSONAL LIFE IS THE SOURCE OF ALL YOUR LIFE’S ISSUES

Chapter Two — Not Always Visible