John MacArthur on Proverbs (Part 3) “Guard your mind and obey your parents!!” John MacArthur: Chapter 4, would you notice verse 23? “Watch over your heart with all diligence,” the father says to his son, “for from it flow the springs of life.” Guard your mind diligently because everything in life comes out of it. Out of it comes your conduct

Over and over in Proverbs you hear the words “fear the Lord.” In fact, some of he references are Proverbs 1:7, 29; 2:5; 8:13; 9:10;14:26,27; 15:16 and many more. Below is a sermon by John MacArthur from the Book of Luke on 3 reasons we should fear the Lord.

It is tough to guard your mind with all the distractions in the world today. Think about how much the world has changed in the last few years. I remember sitting on the couch in my grandparents house in 1980 talking to my grandfather Hatcher about the changes that had occurred in his lifetime. (The same could be said about my Grandfather Murphey too.) My Grandfather Hather was  born in 1903 and he remembers riding on horses and his father was a postal delivery man and he  had a route he did with his horse and buggy near Franklin, Tennessee. (My grandfather actually remembered seeing  Halley’s Comet coming in 1911.)

Then in 1980 we had computers coming on strong and not to mention that we had been to the moon in 1969 and it seemed that many families in the USA had several cars. What a dramatic change from 1903. However, there is another big change now with FaceBook, cell phones, and other social media. Guarding your mind can be very difficult these days.

John MacArthur

I remember hearing Dr. Adrian Rogers say that if he had to do it over again he would read from Proverbs every day to his kids. They turned out to be great kids and they were raised right. Nevertheless, if he had to do it over again he thought a more emphasis on Proverbs is the way to go. That is why I am spending so much time in Proverbs with my kids today.

John MacArthur does a great job on Proverbs and here is a portion of his sermon on Proverbs.

Lesson number two. Son, not only fear your God but guard your mind…guard your mind. Chapter 3 verse 3, among many, introduces the heart here. And the writer mentions kindness, chesed(?), that beautiful word that means love, loyalty, faithfulness, fidelity, kindness. And then the word met(?) which means truth or accuracy, reliability or dependability. Take that, those two marvelous things, loyalty, faithfulness, fidelity and all of that, along with reliable, dependable, accurate truth and bind them around your neck and write them on the tablet of your heart, chisel, as it would be in the stone of your mind. Heart has reference to mind, the seat of thought and emotion and will.

In other words, teach your son to guard his mind. You are responsible as a father for the mind of your child. Boy, what a tremendous responsibility today. When the assault on the human mind is at such a level as it is today through the media, the job of guarding the mind of your young person and teaching him how to guard it is indeed a formidable task. Chapter 4, would you notice verse 23? “Watch over your heart with all diligence,” the father says to his son, “for from it flow the springs of life.” Guard your mind diligently because everything in life comes out of it. Out of it comes your conduct. It’s not what goes into a man, Jesus said in Matthew, it’s what comes out of a man that defiles him. And so what goes in is not the issue. What starts in and comes out is. And so the heart must be right. The father then has the task of assuring the son’s mind is programmed with truth with virtue, with faithfulness, with honesty, with integrity, with loyalty, with love, with all that those two words in chapter 3 can sum up. Father, you have a responsibility to teach your son to guard his mind.

All the way through this passage and I wish we had time to just kind of wander through the ten chapters, you see this. Back in verse 9 of chapter 1 he talks about the fact that good instruction is a graceful wreath to your head, and ornaments around your neck. They…when a son wears the truth in his heart, it graces him. In chapter 2 and verse 10 He wants wisdom to enter your heart and knowledge be pleasant to your soul so that discretion will guard you and understanding will watch over you to deliver you from the way of evil. In chapter 3 verse 1, “Let your heart keep My commandments.” Chapter 4 verse 4, “Let your heart hold fast My words, keep My commandments and live.” And that is the issue that the mind, or the heart as it’s called, be guarded carefully. Father, you are the guardian of your child’s mind. You must keep the right stuff going in and the wrong stuff out, that is your duty before God to guard your son’s mind, your children as well. What a tremendous responsibility we have. That means we have to protect our children from what they are exposed to. That’s the negative. The positive, we must make sure that they exposed to what we want to fill their mind, therein lies the benefit of a godly education, of Christian training, of exposure to the teaching of the Word of God. That is the duty of the father. Teach your son…fear your God, son, and guard your mind for out of it comes your conduct.

Third great lesson, a father must teach his son…obey your parents…obey your parents. All through this entire section these statements about “hear, my son, your father’s instruction,” are repeated…chapter 1 verse 8, chapter 2 verse 1, 3 verse 1, 4 verse 1 and then again in chapter 4 it’s repeated again and again. Look at verse 10, “Hear, my son, accept my sayings.” Verse 11, “I have directed you in the way of wisdom, I have led you in upright paths.” Do what I say, is what he’s saying. Verse 20, “My son, give attention to my words, incline your ear to my sayings, do not let them depart from your sight, keep them in the midst of your heart, or your mind.” We’re reinforcing here the first commandment with promise which is, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord.” That’s the first commandment with promise. Teach your sons to obey what you say.

Now that means discipline. Go back to chapter 3 verse 11. “My son, do not reject the discipline of the Lord, nor loathe His reproof, for whom the Lord loves He reproves, even as a father the son in whom he delights.” If you love your son you discipline him, you reprove him, you rebuke him. Here is discipline. And if we are to have dutiful faithful sons who carry on a righteous pattern, they must learn to obey their parents and discipline is part of that. Chapter 10 verse 13, “A rod is for the back of him who lacks understanding.” When your son doesn’t do what you want him to do, you use a rod. Later on in Proverbs it says he has rebellion in his heart, drive it far from him with a rod. This is discipline not done in anger but done in love. Whom the Father loves He disciplines. And this discipline is done for the purpose of conforming your son to wisdom, for the purpose of breaking self‑will, for the purpose of removing foolishness, for the purpose of delivering the child from spiritual death and for the purpose of making him a delight to his parents. All of those things are taught in Proverbs. Teach your children to obey and use a rod to reinforce because God says physical punishment done in love is a strong corrective. That way your children learn to obey their parents. And if they learn to obey their parents and their parents are advocating the law of God, they will learn to obey the law of God. And if they learn to obey their parents, they will learn to submit to the parents’ authority and later on when they’re living in society they will learn to submit to societal authority in any form. A disobedient child, you see, makes not only a spiritual disaster but an anti‑social personality and very often a criminal adult.

You have a task, father, to say to your son you must learn to fear your God, guard your mind and obey your parents. You must learn how to submit to authority and since we represent the authority of God and are teaching you the wisdom of God, you must obey…you must obey. I do not believe there’s any excuse for a rebellious child. I believe that children can be under control if they’re properly taught by their fathers to obey.



Keep vigilant watch over your heart;
that’s where life starts.
Don’t talk out of both sides of your mouth;
avoid careless banter, white lies, and gossip.
Keep your eyes straight ahead;
ignore all sideshow distractions.
Watch your step,
and the road will stretch out smooth before you.
Look neither right nor left;
leave evil in the dust.

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