FERVENT: CHURCH LEADERSHIP
Heb 13:17-19 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. Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a clear conscience, desiring to act honorably in all things. I urge you the more earnestly to do this in order that I may be restored to you the sooner. Whenever the Bible gives an instruction it’s because the instruction is needed. The people in this church were groaning about their leaders. It says here about those men who were leading, “for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give account.” So whether or not the people appreciated them, these leaders were going to stand watch. The instruction to the people here is to bless the leaders by not grumbling and groaning. The writer asks for prayer too. Prayer for what? That he, the leader, would be restored to them again! So here we have a people who are groaning about their leader and yet the leader’s desire is to be with them. This make me think about Jesus and His desire to be with me. Look what the next verses say! Heb 13:20-21 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, 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. Jesus desired to be with me so He spilled His own blood as a sacrifice for everything that was and is wrong with me, my sin. My God is seeking my good which is to do His will in which I’ll be pleasing to Him. You see, these leaders were men who understood the gospel of grace that is in the person and work of Jesus Christ. Just a few verses previous the writer of Hebrews wrote about how the people should consider the lives of their church leaders. Heb 13:7-9 Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings, for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, The leaders at this church wanted the people to understand and know the grace of God towards them. The writer suggested the people watch the lives of their leaders to see their faith and way of life they had following Jesus. They taught the Word simply without complexity of weird doctrine; but instead taught about the grace that is Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ really is the same yesterday and today and forever full of grace towards us the great Shepherd of our souls…our souls…what did that first text say, “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls.” That is the heart of Jesus and so that is the heart leaders have had worked into them by Him to be His “watchman” in His church.