October 28, 2022 – Friday
Hebrews 13:17 CJB
17 Obey your leaders and do what they say. They are watching over you, and they must answer to God. So don’t make them sad as they do their work. Make them happy. Otherwise, they won’t be able to help you at all.
Hebrews 13:17 NIV
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.
Hebrews 13:17 RGT
17 Obey your leaders and submit. For they watch over your souls, as those who must give an account. So that they may do so with joy and not with grief. For that is unprofitable for you.
In Hebrews in the above verse the assumption is that this assembly of believers have legitimate honest faithful pastors or shepherds and they need to be followed (quoting John MacArthur).
Nonetheless, as an adult American male, I found it difficult to consider obeying my leaders or submitting to their authority. Still, as a Christian, I realized it was my duty to do so – like it or not. I can do my best to help them in their work watching over the assembly or I can do my best to be a nit-picking critic every chance I get. Clearly, I should be doing the former and not the latter.
I remember talking with the Pastor of the church before I became the Pastor due to his death. He was always ready to listen, but seldom if ever changed his stance on what he taught as he went through the scriptures. For a period of time this bothered me, until I came to full realization, he was the Pastor, and I was not. It is my hope and prayer that I helped his work become much more of a joy and not a burden especially as it related to me.
It did not matter how much I knew or learned, he was my mentor, my beloved mentor. I learned continuously from him. He motivated me to return to school and get a master’s degree in Christian Studies. Afterwards, he asked me if I now knew more than him or thought I knew more than him? I think my answer both surprised and pleased him as I replied, “No, but now I know just how much more you know than me.”
You might think such a person would lord it over those who knew less, but that would have been an abomination to him. Instead, he constantly taught me about grace and forgiveness. There were times he would permit me to preach on a Saturday evening. His praise would show up in a positive comment during his Sunday message about something I said or how I said it. Then came the time he permitted me to preach and teach on a Sunday morning. I covered a paltry three verses on Roman flogging. He told how surprised he was and pleased I covered it so well. For a day or two I had a difficult time fitting my head through doorways.
As time went on, due to his influence, Mark 11:25 became my life verse, And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins. I came to know a lot about his childhood and the family he grew up in … he had plenty of reasons to be angry and unforgiving, but because he was forgiven, he too would forgive. In many ways our family backgrounds were similar, and I thought I had plenty of reasons to be angry and unforgiving. That too had to go away, and it did. I am so glad I submitted to his authority and leadership.
Bottom Line: There is good reason we are to submit to the leadership of legitimate honest faithful pastors or shepherds. And there is much to be gained from their leadership as well.
Prayer: Almighty God, Thank You for giving me such a Pastor and Mentor as David Elkins, who poured so much of himself into me even though I was eleven years his senior and as bull-headed as they come. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton