Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Saturday after Misericordias Domini

Posted on April 24, 2021 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: Hebrews 13:7-21 (NKJV)
13:7 Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct. 8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. 9 Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines. For it is good that the heart be established by grace, not with foods which have not profited those who have been occupied with them.
10 We have an altar from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat. 11 For the bodies of those animals, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned outside the camp. 12 Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate. 13 Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach. 14 For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come. 15 Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. 16 But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.
17 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.
18 Pray for us; for we are confident that we have a good conscience, in all things desiring to live honorably. 19 But I especially urge you to do this, that I may be restored to you the sooner.
20 Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 21 make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
“Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your soul, as those who must give account.”
Jesus Christ is the Great Shepherd of the sheep, but He also establishes the others who lead, rule, and tend His flocks. The Word of God makes it clear that husbands are to be obeyed “just as the Church is subject to Christ” (Eph. 5:22-24). Governing authorities are “appointed by God” (Rom. 13:1-2). For those who lead and those who obey, there is a serious responsibility in these roles because our faith is reflected in how we act. Leaders do not have the right to abuse this power from the Lord. But those under authority do not have the right to disobey because they don’t like how the leader is doing things. Everyone is accountable to Almighty God.
We need the blood of Christ to forgive us because we are all wayward sheep. The order and authorities He establishes are not our salvation or perfection, they are means through which He continues to teach us about our need for repentance and forgiveness from Him! Leaders will fail, and followers will be negligent, but our Lord still calls us to observe all that He commands through them because it is truly profitable for our faith in Him!
Prayer: God, who by the humiliation of Thy Son didst raise up the fallen world, grant unto Thy faithful ones perpetual gladness, and those whom Thou hast delivered from the danger of everlasting death do Thou make partakers of eternal joys; through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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