Good morning to all. I hope everybody is home safe and enjoying the snow. I am stuck at the hotel so I write this post from my work computer. This is taken from an article on http://www.churchnewssite.com that I was reading. Hebrews 13:15-25
15 Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise-the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. 16 And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.
17 Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.
18 Pray for us. We are sure that we have a clear conscience and desire to live honorably in every way. 19 I particularly urge you to pray so that I may be restored to you soon. Benediction and Final Greetings
20 Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, 21 equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
22 Brothers and sisters, I urge you to bear with my word of exhortation, for in fact I have written to you quite briefly.
23 I want you to know that our brother Timothy has been released. If he arrives soon, I will come with him to see you.
24 Greet all your leaders and all the Lord’s people. Those from Italy send you their greetings. 25 Grace be with you all.
Look at the words in verse 17. “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.” The words “obey” and “submit” Let’s consider what it says and see the responsibility that God has given to each of us in the church. (1) We can obey and submit to them or (2) we can stiffen and rebel against them. If we see the value of spiritual leadership and we recognize that God has placed that leadership in the church for our benefit, then the only response is to obey and submit to them. “Obey,” carries the idea of obediently following someone because you trust him. “Submit” recognizes the God-ordained authority established in the church for order and direction. Our lives are best regulated and governed when we walk in submission to the authority that God has placed in our lives. Not all of us are equal in authority. The Lord has given us elders who have the spiritual responsibility to answer to God on behalf of the congregation. Their purpose is to do their best to encourage us to walk with the Lord.
Verse 17 ends with an earnest plea, “Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.” The responsibilities and demands upon spiritual leaders are weighty. They are to teach and exhort the congregation God’s Word. They are to live exemplary lives. It is to be a joy to lead, teach, give example, and watch over souls. “Joy” and “grief” are two very different terms that characterize the emotional response to the demands upon leaders. Leaders cannot find joy or grief unless they take seriously their responsibilities. So the writer says we ought to obey so that that task of giving an account for us will be a joy for them and not a grief.
In verse 18 the author asks to pray for him. “Pray for us,” he implores a note of urgency. “And I urge you all the more to do this, so that I may be restored to you the sooner.” Not only does the church need spiritual leaders, but also spiritual leaders need the church and its prayers. The Hebrews writer asks us to respect and submit to our elders and he asks us to pray for our leaders.
During your time of prayer and fasting give thanks for our leaders, they are a gift from God. Pray that the leaders will follow the vision God has for Hope Fellowship. Encourage and support the leaders and their families. Ask the Lord what you can do for the leaders to encourage them and support them, then DO IT!
I also ask for prayer that I get home safely sometime today and that Karen is safe.