ENCOUNTER – read God’s word to put yourself in touch with him.
20 My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. 21 Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; 22 for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body. 23 Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. 24 Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. 25 Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. 26 Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. 27 Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.
EXAMINE – what the passage says before you decide what it means.
* Circle “them” and “they” in vv. 21, 22. * Bracket “turn” in v. 20 and “keep” in v. 21. * Underline v. 21a. * Highlight “heart” in vv. 21, 23. * Circle “health” in v. 22. * Box “for” indicating reason in vv. 22, 23. * Circle “guard” in v. 23. * Double underline the various body parts mentioned in vv. 24-27.
EXPLORE – the answer to these questions to better 2 understand what the passage means.
1. Identify the implied “father” and “son” in this lecture.
2. To what do the pronouns “them” (v. 21) and “they” (v. 22) refer?
3. What makes the father’s claim in verse 22 true? (Cf., verse 11.)
4. Why should the son “listen closely” to his father?
5. Verse 23 serves as the hinge linking verses 20-22 to verses 24-27. How so?
6. The term “heart” is used figuratively in verses 21 and 23. To what does it refer?
7. Put what “guard your heart” means in your own words.
8. The son should guard his heart because it is the “wellspring of life.” Put what that means in your own words.
9. Explain the relationship of verses 24-27 to verse 23.
EMBRACE – how God spoke to you through his word.
Journal your answers to the following living questions:
–How is God making himself known to you?
–How does God want to change you?
–How is God calling you to change your world?