The following definitions might help you understand this verse a little better:
- keep: guard; protect; preserve
- heart: the center; the totality of man’s inner nature; the place where wisdom and understanding reside
There is so much going on in the world today – good and evil. With all the many choices of things to see and do, things to take our time, we are to be very careful of what we allow into our hearts and lives. We should not only protect our hearts, but be aware of the kind of wisdom that we allow into our hearts. Why? That is the source for the kind of life we live; the kind of person we become.
The first and most important thing a person should have in their heart is Jesus. How can Jesus be in one’s heart? Remember the time we can read of in Mark where people brought their young children to Jesus. “13. And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them. 14. But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. 15. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. 16. And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them” (Mark 10:13-16). Rebuked means to rebuke without bringing any conviction of any fault. When the disciples kept the children from Jesus, they did not mean anything, except to keep the children away from Jesus. But, Jesus was displeased. Suffer means allow to pass. Jesus told people to bring the children to Him. He then wanted the people to receive (receive means to accept an offer deliberately and readily) the kingdom of God.
Understand the kingdom of God by the following: When the Pharisees asked Jesus when it should come, “And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation” (Luke 17:20). The words not with observation means you cannot see it with human eyes. Jesus went on to say, “Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:21). Within you means it is located in your heart and affections; not external. That is one reason we refer to being saved as “asking Jesus into your heart.” You cannot see it with your eyes. The gospel message is very simple – one must just believe – just as a child. To children, things are simpler, less convoluted. In other words, simply believe and receive without question – just like a child. Remember also what Paul later wrote. “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith …” (Ephesians 3:17a).
Remember how simple it is to become a Christian. “9. 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. 10. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. 12. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. 13. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:9-13).
Be encouraged to consider your heart as the place a special treasure is kept – a place to be well guarded. Once Jesus is there, it would also be good to understand the importance of placing God’s Word into your heart (see Psalm 119:11: “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee”). It would be so much easier to make wise decisions if we would only take time to hide God’s Word in our hearts.
“… whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” (Philippians 4:8).
Have you considered what you have allowed into your heart?