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Remember... Those Who Spoke to You the Word of God

11 March • Monday of the Fourth Week in Lent


Hebrews 13:7-21

7 Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. 8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. 9 Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings, for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, which have not benefited those devoted to them. 10 We have an altar from which those who serve the tent have no right to eat. 11 For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the holy places by the high priest as a sacrifice for sin are burned outside the camp. 12 So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood. 13 Therefore let us go to him outside the camp and bear the reproach he endured. 14 For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come. 15 Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. 16 Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.


17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.


18 Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a clear conscience, desiring to act honorably in all things. 19 I urge you the more earnestly to do this in order that I may be restored to you the sooner.


20 Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, 21 equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

Meditation

 

This passage reminds us of the important role that leaders play in the life of the Church, especially those who teach God’s Word (13:7). They are appointed by God for the building up of the Body of Christ (Ephesians 4:11-14).


The writer of Hebrews enjoins his readers to allow the lives of exemplary leaders to impact their own, and encourages them to emulate their leaders’ faith (13:7; Cf. 1 Corinthians 11:1).


The author also gently admonishes his readers to ‘obey your leaders and submit to them’, while at the same time stressing the importance of accountability on the part of the leaders (13:17).

Most significantly, the writer exhorts his readers to pray for their leaders (13:18).


This exhortation stresses that Christian leadership is spiritual ministry, which can only be exercised with the Lord’s enabling grace (John 15:5). Although the leader’s education, qualifications and experiences are important (for God can and does use them to shape him), they are not enough.


But this instruction also underscores the important fact that leaders are feeble human beings, who are vulnerable to making mistakes and falling into sin.


The people of God must constantly uphold their leaders in prayer so that they may receive the grace to walk the long and difficult road of obedience, even as they exercise their ministry of leadership.


This is especially true for the leaders who have been called by God to preach and teach the Scriptures. It is a great privilege and awesome responsibility for a mere human being to proclaim God’s word to God’s people in God’s name!


Prayer

 

Gracious God and Father, we thank You for the leaders whom You have appointed in our churches. We pray that You will enable them to be faithful to Your Word. Grant them wisdom and courage as they lead Your people in these uncertain times. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.


Action

 

Send an encouraging message or email to your pastor and church leader today.


Dr Roland Chia

Chew Hock Hin Professor of Christian Doctrine

Trinity Theological College Theological and Research Advisor

Ethos Institute for Public Christianity

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