What Does it Mean to Shepherd Our Hearts? –excerpt from Scott Maxwell

(I was listening to this sermon today and was reminded of what the expression “shepherding my heart” actually means. When talking from 1 Timothy 1 about how men, likely at the elder level in the church of Ephesians, have strayed from sound teaching and how they got there…)

“…As a church, we have put heavy emphasis on the spiritual discipline that we call shepherding your hearts to the word of God. If you haven’t heard it or don’t know what I’m talking about it, it goes something like this:

We must shepherd our hearts to the Word of God in order to meet with the God of the Word.  You see, because it’s really easy to come to the Word of God and miss God…

A mark of spiritual maturity in a man or a woman is coming to the Word of God for the purpose of drawing near to God.  Because He revealed Himself most clearly there.

So, we come to the word of God to meet with God, to worship Him, to express dependence on Him, to express humility before Him, to express our love for Him, to express and confess our sin to Him, to revel in Him, to revel in His promises to us.

You see, our coming to the Word of God is mostly about Him! It’s about Him. That’s why we come to the word of God. Our hearts have to be full of Him. The word of God is the only place to go to do that because it best reveals God in Christ.

That’s the man you want to have open his mouth to anybody who will listen; the man who has been meeting with God  in His word and is full of what he has found of God there. That man, you want him to spill out anything that comes out of his mouth because he is going to proclaim God to people;  he’s going to proclaim the gospel to people…

Let me give you the contrast to that:

A mark of spiritual immaturity is coming to the word of God for the purpose of checking off your Bible reading plan…Or, it’s coming to the word of God for the purpose of winning a theological argument that you know you’re going to have at work the next day.

You see, because the Bible can be open on both of those types of things and yet God be completely missed by the one who has his Bible open. It’s possible to be a man or a woman who turns to the word of God, but then have our hearts be far from Him…

…that Christian who does that, you don’t want him opening his mouth to anybody because they won’t hear about God.

They’ll hear an arrogant man trying to win an argument. Or, someone boasting in a reading plan. So, we want to shepherd our hearts to the word of God in order to meet with the God of the word. That Christian who does that is a blessing to anyone who comes into contact with him or her.”

 

from a sermon delivered by Scott Maxwell from 1 Timothy 1:3-7 on February 28, 2010

 

 

 

 

 

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