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Keeping the Heart (Puritan Classics)

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"The greatest difficulty in conversion, is to win the heart to God; and the greatest difficulty after conversion, is to keep the heart with God."On Keeping the Heart is a discourse upon Proverbs 4:23, "Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life." Flavel intended this treatise for the specific purpose of illuminating, healing, and guarding the h "The greatest difficulty in conversion, is to win the heart to God; and the greatest difficulty after conversion, is to keep the heart with God."On Keeping the Heart is a discourse upon Proverbs 4:23, "Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life." Flavel intended this treatise for the specific purpose of illuminating, healing, and guarding the heart. He had the strong conviction, that saints should be marked by their holiness, therefore matters of the heart were of the utmost importance in the Christian life.


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"The greatest difficulty in conversion, is to win the heart to God; and the greatest difficulty after conversion, is to keep the heart with God."On Keeping the Heart is a discourse upon Proverbs 4:23, "Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life." Flavel intended this treatise for the specific purpose of illuminating, healing, and guarding the h "The greatest difficulty in conversion, is to win the heart to God; and the greatest difficulty after conversion, is to keep the heart with God."On Keeping the Heart is a discourse upon Proverbs 4:23, "Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life." Flavel intended this treatise for the specific purpose of illuminating, healing, and guarding the heart. He had the strong conviction, that saints should be marked by their holiness, therefore matters of the heart were of the utmost importance in the Christian life.

30 review for Keeping the Heart (Puritan Classics)

  1. 4 out of 5

    John

    This book rocked my world. It showed me how distracted my heart is, and how prone I am to wander. Flavel shows how at the center of everything we do, is our heart. Not the bodily artery, but the seat of all our emotions, desires, affections, words and actions. We are commanded in Proverbs 4:23 to keep it with all diligence. I need the Holy Spirit's help for this! "O for a better heart! O for a heart to love God more; to hate sin more; to walk more evenly with God. Lord! deny not to me such a hear This book rocked my world. It showed me how distracted my heart is, and how prone I am to wander. Flavel shows how at the center of everything we do, is our heart. Not the bodily artery, but the seat of all our emotions, desires, affections, words and actions. We are commanded in Proverbs 4:23 to keep it with all diligence. I need the Holy Spirit's help for this! "O for a better heart! O for a heart to love God more; to hate sin more; to walk more evenly with God. Lord! deny not to me such a heart; whatever thou deny me: give me a heart to fear thee, to love and delight in thee, if I beg my bread in desolate places." - John Flavel

  2. 4 out of 5

    Danette

    This little book begs to be read slowly. It would be a great discipleship tool as well. There are many nuggets of truth within its pages. I plan to read it again. 2019 - A book written by a Puritan

  3. 5 out of 5

    Abigail Lewis

    I really enjoyed this book. I was convicted in regards to continuing growth and sanctification by the whole book and found some chapters very pointed. All the book is very centered and seeped with Christ and His word. I highly recommend! I can see myself returning to chapters when I am in need of help combating certain areas the chapters address.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Hannah Brown

    Really, really good. This is the kind of book to have on hand for dark times or just "dry" spells in your faith. Short, convicting, encouraging, and easy to read. Really, really good. This is the kind of book to have on hand for dark times or just "dry" spells in your faith. Short, convicting, encouraging, and easy to read.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jeanie

    I love reading the insight of those long ago. Those who do not have the distractions we have today. Survival and the main needs of the day were at the forefront but today, we think about what we will wear, what restraunt we will eat, go on vacation. No wonder our hearts can be far from God. This book is a detailed look at the heart. By understanding the diligent and constant use of all holy means to preseve the soul from sin...the motive...and the fears of our heart. The comfort of our our souls I love reading the insight of those long ago. Those who do not have the distractions we have today. Survival and the main needs of the day were at the forefront but today, we think about what we will wear, what restraunt we will eat, go on vacation. No wonder our hearts can be far from God. This book is a detailed look at the heart. By understanding the diligent and constant use of all holy means to preseve the soul from sin...the motive...and the fears of our heart. The comfort of our our souls much depends on the keeping of our hearts. How we understand grace comes from keeping our heart unto the Lord. We can be very careless. I saw that reading this. How careless I have been. Prayer and the heart are meant to be together. I thought it was very insightful of Flavel ..."Satan is angry and discontented spirit. He finds no rest but in restless hearts." This read is a reflection of the heart, that we would find peace and the knowledge of who God is.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sean McGowan

    Great.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Greg Helms

    This is one of the greatest books I’ve read. It is one of the most helpful resources; I needed to read it thoughtfully, slowly. This is probably the most enjoyable Puritan work I have yet read—though I’ve read few, more are certainly in the pipeline. I am indebted to John Flavel. The Lord hs used his words in ink to help my heart. May I be zealous for “the greatest work that ever a creature was employed about.” #letmeintroduceyou #JESUSisLORD

  8. 4 out of 5

    Caleb Stober

    This is a book I think I will probably re-read on a somewhat regular basis going forward. Flavel wrote this as instructions for following Proverbs 4:23, "Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life." Each chapter centers around doing so in different seasons and against different assailants such as prosperity, doubt, wrongful accusation, sickness, etc. I found even this modernized version (the original was written in the 1600's) to be well-written and engaging. I've a This is a book I think I will probably re-read on a somewhat regular basis going forward. Flavel wrote this as instructions for following Proverbs 4:23, "Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life." Each chapter centers around doing so in different seasons and against different assailants such as prosperity, doubt, wrongful accusation, sickness, etc. I found even this modernized version (the original was written in the 1600's) to be well-written and engaging. I've already recommended this to several people, and can definitely see using it in the future for discipleship purposes.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Elora

    "O that I might see the time when professors shall not walk in a vain show; when they shall please themselves no more with a vain name to live, while they are spiritually dead; when they shall be no more the company of frothy, vain persons; but when holiness shall shine in their conversation, and awe the world, and command reverence from all that are around them; when they shall warm the heart of those who come near them, and cause it to be said, God is in these men of a truth." pg 114 Heart work "O that I might see the time when professors shall not walk in a vain show; when they shall please themselves no more with a vain name to live, while they are spiritually dead; when they shall be no more the company of frothy, vain persons; but when holiness shall shine in their conversation, and awe the world, and command reverence from all that are around them; when they shall warm the heart of those who come near them, and cause it to be said, God is in these men of a truth." pg 114 Heart work is one of the most difficult tasks the Lord has brought me to set about dealing with. Oh Lord, Grant me Your fervor and mercy; make me vigorous and strengthened by Your Spirit to such a great task as keeping my heart aligned to You. Let me taste and see that to be in Your presence with a heart that is stayed upon You is the greatest delight I can ever imagine or experience in this life. And O, what raptures of eternity, where at last this long and difficult road of heart work, I shall at once lay upon Your bosom and be at rest.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Cole Wright

    So so good. Will read again. “A guilty conscience is more terrified of imagined dangers, than a pure conscience is by real ones.”

  11. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    Now I see how Spurgeon was greatly influenced by the Puritans. Excellent teaching, although sometimes it’s hard to understand because of the old style of writing. Nonetheless I will return to this one again in the future. And I plan to read more of the Puritans.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Aisha Noble-Clarke

    Characteristically Puritan: theologically dense, immensely practical

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Perteet

    I started this book as our pastor is discussing it on Wednesday nights as part of his spiritual disciplines series. I really enjoyed reading it but I wish he spent more time discussing how to keep the heart rather than spending the entire book talking about why we need to keep the heart.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Alexandra

    Ravishing

  15. 5 out of 5

    Josh Miller

    Outstanding thorough read! Have not read many Puritan authors before. Was pleasantly surprised and challenged in this short read! Infused with Scripture and presented in a direct, straight-forward manner, Flavel zeroes in on what should be one of the key focuses of a Christian - that of keeping one's heart with all diligence. I highlighted and marked many a statement from this book. The author lists and expounds upon special times in life when one ought to give special attention to the keeping of Outstanding thorough read! Have not read many Puritan authors before. Was pleasantly surprised and challenged in this short read! Infused with Scripture and presented in a direct, straight-forward manner, Flavel zeroes in on what should be one of the key focuses of a Christian - that of keeping one's heart with all diligence. I highlighted and marked many a statement from this book. The author lists and expounds upon special times in life when one ought to give special attention to the keeping of his/her heart: 1. The time of prosperity 2. The time of adversity 3. The time of Zion's troubles 4. The time of danger and public distraction 5. The time of outward wants 6. The season of duty 7. When receiving injuries and abuses from men 8. When we meet with great trials 9. The hour of temptation 10. The time of doubting and of spiritual darkness 11. When sufferings for religion are laid upon us 12. When we are warned by sickness that our dissolution is at hand

  16. 4 out of 5

    Nathan White

    One of my all-time favorites - I’ve read it several times and make a practice of reading it every few years. Deep, soul-searching breakdown of Proverbs 4:23 - “Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it flow the issues of life.” The most valuable aspect of Flavel’s treatment is how he considers many different circumstances of life that we commonly experience, and the necessity of living by faith rather than by sight. It gets at true heart religion. Not formality, but true devotion and love One of my all-time favorites - I’ve read it several times and make a practice of reading it every few years. Deep, soul-searching breakdown of Proverbs 4:23 - “Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it flow the issues of life.” The most valuable aspect of Flavel’s treatment is how he considers many different circumstances of life that we commonly experience, and the necessity of living by faith rather than by sight. It gets at true heart religion. Not formality, but true devotion and love for Christ. I highly recommend this as one of my favorites from the English puritans.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Benjamin Phillips

    So. So good. Flavel, as usual, shines in his excellent exposition of what it means to "keep the heart with all diligence." The book is in a fairly standard Puritan format, showing the meaning and necessity of the duty in a deeply biblical and affectionate manner while also providing the means and motives for carrying it out. An interesting feature of this book is the middle section, which contains 11 seasons in which it is most needful to keep the heart. So. So good. Flavel, as usual, shines in his excellent exposition of what it means to "keep the heart with all diligence." The book is in a fairly standard Puritan format, showing the meaning and necessity of the duty in a deeply biblical and affectionate manner while also providing the means and motives for carrying it out. An interesting feature of this book is the middle section, which contains 11 seasons in which it is most needful to keep the heart.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Michael Schmid

    Finished reading this book on Valentine's Day. :-) In this book, John Flavel writes about the importance of keeping the heart. He lists various circumstances in which the condition of the heart is in danger and then does very well to provide biblical truths and practical adivice to apply to each of those circumstances. Finished reading this book on Valentine's Day. :-) In this book, John Flavel writes about the importance of keeping the heart. He lists various circumstances in which the condition of the heart is in danger and then does very well to provide biblical truths and practical adivice to apply to each of those circumstances.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jesse

    This is quite like a smaller version of Ryle's "Holiness". It's very practical, and addresses as many facets as you can think of. However, while they are communicated in a way which is easy to understand, that does not mean it is easy work. I was convicted throughout the whole book. Definitely read this short book, but prepare for the knife. This is quite like a smaller version of Ryle's "Holiness". It's very practical, and addresses as many facets as you can think of. However, while they are communicated in a way which is easy to understand, that does not mean it is easy work. I was convicted throughout the whole book. Definitely read this short book, but prepare for the knife.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    This is a book to read yearly, carefully, and prayerfully, if you want to do the necessary heart-work of a Christian. Subtitled, How to maintain your love for God.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kari

    Great short book of deep thought. Practical application and so many good things that I practically underlined the whole book. Will definitely read and re-read!

  22. 5 out of 5

    John Yelverton

    This is a nice study by John Flavel about prayer and keeping one's heart devoted to God regardless of what life throws at you. This is a nice study by John Flavel about prayer and keeping one's heart devoted to God regardless of what life throws at you.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ronnie Nichols

    My goal in 2019 is to read some of the timeless "Christian Classics" that have made an impact on the body of Christ and are heralded as the best works in Christian literature. John Flavel's book Keeping The Heart did not disappoint. This book is not for the name it claim it crowd of modern evangelicalism but for the true child of God who needs to be reminded to "check thyself before ye wreck thyself". Steeped in Scripture, doctrine, reproof, correction, exhortation, this devotional has it all. I My goal in 2019 is to read some of the timeless "Christian Classics" that have made an impact on the body of Christ and are heralded as the best works in Christian literature. John Flavel's book Keeping The Heart did not disappoint. This book is not for the name it claim it crowd of modern evangelicalism but for the true child of God who needs to be reminded to "check thyself before ye wreck thyself". Steeped in Scripture, doctrine, reproof, correction, exhortation, this devotional has it all. I'll leave you with an excerpt that rang my bell. "Hence, to the consternation of hypocrites and formal professors, I infer: 1. That the pains and labours which many persons have undergone in religion are of no value, and will turn to no good account. Many splendid services have been performed by men, which God will utterly reject: they will not stand on record in order to an eternal acceptance, because the performers took no heed to keep their hearts with God. This is that fatal rock on which thousands of vain professors dash and ruin themselves eternally; they are exact about the externals of religion, but regardless of their hearts. O how many hours have some professors spent in hearing, praying, reading and conferring! And yet, as to the main end of religion, they might as well have sat still and done nothing, the great work, I mean heart-work, being all the while neglected. Tell me, vain professor, when did you shed a tear for the deadness, hardness, unbelief or earthliness of your heart? And do you think your easy religion can save you? If so, you must invert Christ's words, and say, Wide is the gate and broad is the way that leadeth to life, and many there be that go in thereat. Hear me, ye self-deluding hypocrite; you who have put off God with heartless duties; you who have acted in religion as if you had been blessing an idol; you who could not search your heart, and regulate it, and exercise it in your performances; how will you abide the coming of the Lord? how will you hold up your head before him, when he shall say. 'O you dissembling. false-hearted man! How could you profess religion? With what face could you so often tell me that you loved me, when you knew in your conscience that your heart was not with me? O tremble to think what a fearful judgment it is to be given over to a heedless and careless heart, and then to have religions duties instead of a rattle to quiet and still the conscience!" Flavel, John. Keeping the Heart . Fig. Kindle Edition.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Ian

    I think for many of us this Proverb means a lot: "Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it." The Puritan writer, John Flavel, attempts to dissect what this means and how to actually live it. The contents page indicates there are 4 chapters but the 3rd one is the bulk of this short book, taking up 84 of the 118 pages. I throughly enjoyed the other 34 pages but found Chapter 3 hard going. Using story to illustrate concepts didn't seem to matter much to the Puritans and I think for many of us this Proverb means a lot: "Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it." The Puritan writer, John Flavel, attempts to dissect what this means and how to actually live it. The contents page indicates there are 4 chapters but the 3rd one is the bulk of this short book, taking up 84 of the 118 pages. I throughly enjoyed the other 34 pages but found Chapter 3 hard going. Using story to illustrate concepts didn't seem to matter much to the Puritans and so the going was dense and overly wordy. I found a lot of it just washed over me. In this chapter, Flavel explores different seasons in life and one can guard one's heart during each particular one. However, I found plenty in those other 34 pages and am pleased I read it as it definitely helped me better understand the intent of the verse and also how to go about living it. I did find it frustrating that in this version there were no references for the many Bible verses quoted.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Zach Brandt

    A really great book. I haven’t read Flavel before, but I found his writing memorable, compelling, and profound. He has an intellectual subtlety when dealing with the heart coupled with a strong, rousing spirit. The book is about how to keep your heart soft and receptive to God. He explains how to do this in different seasons of life (ex. prosperity, temptation, persecution, etc.). Even when I read about the seasons of life that I am not in, Flavel was able to wake me up and make me desire a clos A really great book. I haven’t read Flavel before, but I found his writing memorable, compelling, and profound. He has an intellectual subtlety when dealing with the heart coupled with a strong, rousing spirit. The book is about how to keep your heart soft and receptive to God. He explains how to do this in different seasons of life (ex. prosperity, temptation, persecution, etc.). Even when I read about the seasons of life that I am not in, Flavel was able to wake me up and make me desire a closer walk with God. This is a great example of Puritan spirituality and devotional living and is exactly the kind of book modern Christians need to be reading.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Steve Hazell

    4.5. The only reason I withheld a 5, is due to the monotony of the situations when the heart needs to be guarded. It seemed to go on and on. And yet, perhaps the monotony is aimed at causing the reader to realize, that there never seems to be a moment in life when the heart does not need to be kept. I think most would be hard-pressed to identify a moment in life when they couldn't identify with one of the issues that Flavel unpacked. Very helpful. Very insightful. 4.5. The only reason I withheld a 5, is due to the monotony of the situations when the heart needs to be guarded. It seemed to go on and on. And yet, perhaps the monotony is aimed at causing the reader to realize, that there never seems to be a moment in life when the heart does not need to be kept. I think most would be hard-pressed to identify a moment in life when they couldn't identify with one of the issues that Flavel unpacked. Very helpful. Very insightful.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jason Herrington

    Wasn’t crazy about this one. Partly due to listening instead of reading I think. Also, he started with the statement that the most important thing for the Christian to study is his own heart. I disagree. Much better to look to Christ & His Word than merely at our own heart. Despite that statement, the book was filled with helpful truths & constant references to scripture. I think actually reading this book would have made it much easier to follow & benefit from.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Joshua Horn

    This is a helpful little book for self examination and a call to a deeper relationship with God. He goes through a lot of different life situations (great success, grief, persecution, etc) and gives the challenges you can expect to find with each, and how you ought to keep your heart right with God. It's a beneficial book, though it is a little bit of a difficult read. This is a helpful little book for self examination and a call to a deeper relationship with God. He goes through a lot of different life situations (great success, grief, persecution, etc) and gives the challenges you can expect to find with each, and how you ought to keep your heart right with God. It's a beneficial book, though it is a little bit of a difficult read.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Matthew Prydden

    Flavel's work on guarding the heart is as thorough as you would expect from the writings of a Puritan. Very practical and realistic in its application, this is a very challenging call to a greater Christianity which can only be possible when purity and strength of heart is emphasized and sincerely worked upon. Flavel's work on guarding the heart is as thorough as you would expect from the writings of a Puritan. Very practical and realistic in its application, this is a very challenging call to a greater Christianity which can only be possible when purity and strength of heart is emphasized and sincerely worked upon.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Patty

    Proverbs 4:23 English Standard Version 23 Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life Keeping your heart through all seasons of life. Outstanding encouragement especially for those who tend to have melancholic temperaments.

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