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Sunday, July 2, 2017

HEBREWS 13:17

"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 not be unprofitable for you."



At first glance it may be taken for looking to government, which would be a strange exhortation to a displaced people, but rather it is an encouragement to follow their spiritual leaders.





The leaders are charged to keep watch over their souls,


to keep it pure and white.



To fail to do so would be to invite in wolves!




I've often thought of pastors as the sheep dogs,
while we follow the Good Shepherd.
If you've ever watch sheepdogs as I have
in the high country of Colorado,
they work incredibly hard.


My man worked bi-vocationally for  many, many years until he was beyond exhaustion.  Why?  Because he loved watching over sheep, you know, the new lambs, the old ewes, even the ones who often wandered off.  It's why, even though he recently went on volunteer status at Teen Challenge, he worked 40+hrs a week, because he loved it.  He took seriously the charge to look over their souls as someone would give an account.  But God said, enough is enough.  Even shepherds, or sheepdogs, need rest.  Right now we are in a rest period of our lives waiting to follow our Good Shepherd, not wanting to stray from His will.


Not all sheep are willing to obey and submit.
They never know how much their shepherd groans over them.

John Wesley says, as a man who preached several times a day, and rode his horse all over England in order to do so leaving newborn "lambs" wherever he went, "'Obey them that have the rule over you'--The word implies, also, that head or guide you: namely, in truth and holiness: 'and submit yourselves'--Give up (not conscience or judgment, but) your own will, in all things purely indifferent: 'for they watch over your souls'--With all zeal and diligence, they guard and caution you against all danger, 'as they that must give an account.'--To the great Shepherd for every part of their behavior toward you.  How vigilant then ought every pastor to be!  How careful of every soul committed to his charge!  'That they may do this'--Watch over you, with joy, and not with groans'--He is not a good shepherd ho does not either rejoice over them, or groan for them.  The groans of other creatures are heard: how much more shall these come up in the ears of God!  Whoever answers this character of  a Christian pastor, may undoubtedly demand this obedience."



Adam Clarke says concerning giving this account, "If this conduct were improper, they must give in their report before the great tribunal with grief but in it must be given: if holy and pure, they give it with joy.  It is an awful consideration that many pastors, who had oved their flocks as their own souls, shall be obliged to accuse them before God for either having rejected or neglected the great salvation."


Andrew Murray says, "In the New Testament we have no longer a priestly caste, to intervene between God and men...But we have a God-ordained ministry with the gifts and the setting apart, and the duties and the authority, of which Acts and Epistles teach us so fully....Such rulers are no lords over God's heritage, and yet have a claim to the honor due to them."


The first worship leaders?


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