DAILY DEVOTION, 3/19/21, Submit to leaders
Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you. (Heb. 13:17).
This is an interesting verse for pastors. One way to describe my task is to say I am watching out for the souls of the members. I have to make sure I am feeding you with the truth of God’s word. I will have to give God an account concerning how well I have carried out my leadership role. This is why I make every effort to preach Christ according to the Scriptures. I cannot do your soul any good if I depart from this foundation. The command here is not “Obey your pastor regardless of what he preaches.” The command is to obey and submit to the pastor as he preaches the truth.
The laity are also commanded to work to make sure the pastor is able to carry out his task with joy, not grief. In other words, don’t go out of your way to give the pastor a hard time! I know of several churches that have a reputation for being hard on the pastor. Their pastors only last for a short time, and then along comes another one, and then another, and another . . . As I thought of this passage, I also thought, “Thank you, Warsaw Christian Church, for making my experience here a pleasant one.” I can’t think of any serious grief this church has given me over my 18 or so years serving as your pastor. As an octogenarian pastor, I am not sure concerning how long I can go on. I can assure you of this. As long as you put up with me, I promise to preach Jesus Christ and Him crucified to the best of my ability.
Father in heaven, I do thank You for allowing me to serve in this church. Help me to preach Christ with grace and power so that the church will be drawn closer to Him. Help us all to be submissive to Jesus, seeking to serve Him as faithful disciples. In His name, Amen.