Epistle to the Hebrews (13:7)   Leave a comment

Epistle to the Hebrews

Epistle to the Hebrews

Remember your leaders who taught you the word of God. Think of all the good that has come from their lives, and follow the example of their faith.” Hebrews 13:7

  • Admonition to the followers

Take some time and consider the life of those godly christian leaders. Observe their faith, character, fruits, love and commitment. See how many lives have been blessed through their ministry. Imitate the example of these servants of Christ.

The Amplified Bible puts it as such:

Remember your leaders and superiors in authority [for it was they] who brought to you the Word of God. Observe attentively and consider their manner of living (the outcome of their well-spent lives) and imitate their faith (their conviction that God exists and is the Creator and Ruler of all things, the Provider and Bestower of eternal salvation through Christ, and their leaning of the entire human personality on God in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness).”

Paul said: “Dear brothers and sisters, pattern your lives after mine, and learn from those who follow our example.” Phil 3:17

And you should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ” 1 Cor 11:1, 4:16

There’re unfortunately few of these godly leaders whom we can pattern our lives after. Such people emanate Christ’s fragrance and are living proofs of Christ’s character. We know who they are.

Still in Hebrews 13, our author tells us: “Obey your spiritual leaders, and do what they say. Their work is to watch over your souls, and they are accountable to God. Give them reason to do this with joy and not with sorrow. That would certainly not be for your benefit.” Hebrews 13:17

Do you understand your responsibility to support these leaders and not add loads to their burden?

Paul said in 1 Thes. 5:12 “Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work.”

A little word of encouragement can lift up the head of a leader. You do not know their tears and pains. Acknowledge the hard work done by those who care for God’s flock. Show them consideration and love. This could also be in term of financial support. For example we read this admonition in Timothy:

Elders who do their work well should be respected and paid well,especially those who work hard at both preaching and teaching.For the Scripture says, “You must not muzzle an ox to keep it from eating as it treads out the grain.” And in another place, “Those who work deserve their pay!” 1 Tim 5:17

It is a recurrent exhortation to the church to show recognition to those who toil hard :

Those who are taught the word of God should provide for their teachers, sharing all good things with them.” Gal 6:6

I will not follow a leader who does not have Christ’s attitude or is lazy.  We know that there’re no perfect spiritual leaders. But by God’s Spirit, we can discern those who have godly motives and it is our responsibility to support them. Human nature is to rebel against authority. Here the author is telling us that it is for our own soul that these spiritual leaders have been appointed to lead us. They are accountable to God for what they do and we should not make their tasks harder. They are humans like us and can get discouraged without the support of those they care for. Our author is telling us to submit to the authority of these godly leaders.  They are overseers of our soul. Leaders and followers must have mutual consideration. The leaders tasks are to bring out spiritual maturity in the followers and the followers are to allow the leaders to do it. It is noteworthy to say that depending on the circumstance , we can be a leader who is a blessing to others and at the same time a follower who is blessed by the leadership of others. We all need each other.

  • Admonition to the leaders

And to the leaders, Peter said:  “ Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over themnot because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.” 1 Peter 5:2

Shepherds of God’s flock should willingly care for God’s sheep. Grumbles and murmurs are unhealthy attitudes. No one forced me to do what I’m called to do. I do it willingly without expectation because it is simply what I am called to do. I’m unfulfilled if I do not do what God called me to do. Those serving in leadership position should not be money minded or abuse their position of authority. Basically, they should have Christ’s attitude, not be lovers of money but be generous. They should be eager to serve others with all their heart and not with reticence.

Paul said in Romans 12:8 “If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.”

If God has appointed you to do something, do it well. Do it at it’s best because He equipped you for that. If you find yourself barren in a spiritual position, it is either because you’re no longer remaining in the Vine or you’re in the wrong leadership position. If it is not your responsibility to operate in a particular leadership position, you’re probably doing it grudgingly and not being fulfilled in your soul. The body of Christ is not blessed if you’re in a position you should not and not where you should be. We will be accountable to how we used the gifts God entrusted us.

If you’re called to serve others, serve them well. If you’re a teacher, diligently prepare your teachings. If you’re giving, give wholeheartedly and generously. If you’re appointed to administrate the church, do not take it lightly but have a godly vision. If you’re in this leadership position, it is because you’ve been given the ability to make things move and not to remain idle. Whatever you do, do it gladly. There’re different leaders who are called to lead different ministries. There’s no such thing as a “multi-ministry” leader. A leader who thinks he should lead all ministries is neglecting what God has called him to do, is disobedient, prideful and hindering other leaders from doing their tasks. It is clearly portrayed in 1 Cor 12 that a hand cannot do the task of a foot. There should be unity in the body through diversity of functionality of its members.

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Posted September 14, 2013 by Cedric in Theology

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