Spiritual shepherds

“Then [in the final time] I will give you [spiritual] shepherds after My own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and [true] understanding. “It will be in those days when you have [repented and] multiplied and increased in the land,” says the Lord, “they will no longer say, ‘The ark of the covenant of the Lord.’ It will not come to mind, nor will they [seriously] remember it, nor will they miss it, nor will it be made again [for instead of the ark, which symbolized My presence, I will be present].  At that time they will call Jerusalem ‘The Throne of the Lord,’ and all the nations will be gathered to it, to Jerusalem, for the name (renown) of the Lord; and they will not walk anymore after the stubbornness of their [own] evil heart.  In those days the house of Judah will walk with the house of Israel, and [d]they will come together from the land of the north to the land that I gave your fathers as an inheritance. – Jeremiah 3:15-18

 How can we be good shepherds who care for and lead well those in our charge? First and foremost, we must be shepherds after God’s own heart. The phrase translated as “after my heart” means, literally, “like my heart” (kelibbi). If we want to lead people in God’s ways, then our hearts, which include our thinking and choosing, not just our emotions, must be like God’s own heart. Truly effective and godly leaders, no matter the setting, will be people whose inner lives have been shaped by God through his Word, Spirit, and community. – Mark Roberts

A pastor, an elder, or a deacon must not be a wolf with sheep’s clothing upon him, but must be a man who has experienced the washing of regeneration and the renewal of the Holy Spirit, a man who is sanctified in Christ Jesus with the Holy Spirit dwelling within him, purged daily from the vicious appetite of his own flesh, purged daily from his own pride, his self-importance, his self-esteem, and now a man with a single eye to the divine glory and the building up of the precious body of Christ. He must be a man with a gracious sincerity, not ruled with a selfish spirit, but one who will naturally care for the church of the Lord Jesus Christ. That means that you, as a pastor, an elder, or a deacon are to care for the faith, for the repentance, for the souls of the people of God. How can a person do that without first experiencing the reality of that life within his own heart? The aim of his work, the single aim, is the honor of the redeemer and the life of the people entrusted to his care. – Carl Haak

There is spiritual wisdom in understanding the mysteries of the Gospel, that we may be able to declare the whole counsel of God, and the riches and treasures of the grace of Christ unto the souls of men – John Owen

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