Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Saturday after Misericordias Domini

Posted on May 7, 2022 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: Hebrew 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.
The theme this week has been the role of the faithful shepherd and the indispensable nature of his work. We have already seen that such men are few and far between. Even the best of them fall short, for all men are sinners. But whoever is your called servant, you should respect and support him. The writer to the Hebrews states it clearly and succinctly: “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.”
It is easy to follow the shepherd when things are going well and people are in agreement. But there would be no need for admonition if that were always the case. The difficulty arises when the pastor must adhere to God’s Word when he knows the reception will not be welcome. That is when the congregation must support him all the more, when his task becomes difficult. It is important to remember they are keeping watch over our souls–and must give God an account of their actions. At stake for all of us is eternal life, and therefore the faithful shepherd is one of the most precious gifts a flock can have. Let us pray that God would continue to provide such pastors in His Church, and that the sheep would treasure and support them.
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, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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