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PGA Chaplain Bible Studies

Weekly Bible Study - Study 55 - Hebrews Chapter 13: verse 17

 “Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.” (Hebrews Ch 13: verse 17)(New Revised Standard Version)

Support our Leaders

In a very free and open society where we are encouraged to question everything, respect for leaders has taken a battering. Teachers, politicians, ministers and police to name a few have been respected far more in the past than today. We have also seen a sad development of many in these professions abusing their positions of responsibility for personal gain. It doesn’t matter where we are whether at home or playing sport or at work or at church leadership is an important part of every community.

So I think today people are working through getting the balance right between our own rights and safety on the one hand and on the other respecting the leaders of our community. Many these leaders enter their profession because they want to serve and strengthen the community in which they live. If some abuse this ideal, we should not tarnish the others for this. Balance I believe is the key to avoiding the extremes of a free for all attitude in not giving respect where it is due and a blind trust of leaders on the other which I have experienced.

It would seem that there existed a strained relationship between the members and leaders of the church that our author is referring to in our reading this week. He has already referred to a situation where strange teachings have been introduced to the church and members have been tempted to embrace them. It is a leader’s role to ensure that the heart of the faith is preserved, in this case the all sufficient work of Jesus on the cross and not to be led astray by teachings that isolate people and promote division.

In our reading there is a strong respect for leaders in that the church members are to obey and submit to them since they are working for their good.

When it comes to leadership with God and the church we need to recognise that God has clearly established leaders for the benefit of members of the church. The 12 disciples became leaders of the church along with others and were entrusted with sharing the good news of Jesus. To be called by God into leadership is something we take seriously and as our reading suggests all leaders will give an account to God of how they have represented God to the community and world at large.
Our short reading this week concludes by emphasising how important it is for both leaders and members of the church to work hard to help and support each other.  Pray for your leaders and support them as people with needs as you have.

Prayer. Mighty God, Thank you for those who have led us in the ways of Jesus. Help us to respect them and follow in their steps in helping others to find new life through Jesus. Amen.


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