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Podcast Episode 8 | 13 min

Preaching to the Heart

Sermons challenge and change what people put their trust in.

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Average Rating:  [see ratings/reviews]Preaching to the Heart

Matt Woodley: This is Matt Woodley, editor of PreachingToday.com on Monday Morning Preacher, where we take a look at tools to improve our preaching by listening to examples from master preachers. I'm here today with my guest host, Kevin Miller, one of our featured preachers.

Kevin Miller: Hey, Matt, great to be back.

MW: Great to have you here again, Kevin.

KM: Yeah, I know you gave me a couple episodes off.

MW: We had some other territory to cover.

KM: I assume your ratings plummeted in that time.

MW: They actually went up. It's great to have you back though.

KM: Thank you.

MW: So Kevin, I stumbled onto this very interesting internet article titled "148 Beautiful Songs with the Word ‘Heart’ in the Title."

KM: 148? They couldn't have rounded up, found two more and gotten to 150?

MW: Apparently not. So they left it at 148.

KM: So what was on the list?

MW: Well, some of my favorites on that list include … (music: "Achy Breaky Heart"). Yep, the list also included "Bad Liver and a Broken Heart" by Tom Waits, and "Two Hearts" by the boss himself, Bruce Springsteen. Then there's this one from Elvis … (music: "Heartbreak Hotel"). And let us not forget this Oscar winner … (music: "My Heart Will God on").

KM: Okay, so wow, that's a lot of heart songs. What does that say about American culture?

MW: We are into the heart, man. We love the heart. Which is one of the reasons why we're focusing this podcast on preaching to the heart. But of course, more importantly the Bible has a lot to say about the heart, so I did a quick word count on the number of times the word heart appears in the Bible. Any guesses?

KM: 300.

MW: You're close. 862.

KM: Like not even close.

MW: I was just trying to be nice. So you know it's an important theme. But of course in the Bible the word heart is much more than just feelings, it's basically your whole person. It's where Jesus says where your treasure is there will your heart be also. So it's what you treasure.

KM: So as we talk about preaching to the heart, can you tighten up that definition. What exactly are we going to be talking about today?

MW: Yeah, it could sound a little abstract, but it's really crucial for us as preachers. I think it means basically that our preaching doesn't only provide good information or solid exegesis of a biblical text, or even nice outlines. Not even that it's clear and simple. It also means that ultimately it challenges and changes what people put their trust in, what their treasure is. It gets to the core of their being, so Jesus becomes their ultimate treasure, even when it's hard to follow him.

KM: Yeah. It's like where it says when Peter preached on Pentecost that people were cut to the heart. So what does it take to preach sermons like that?

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Bryan Chapell is the senior pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church in Peoria, Illinois.

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