Today’s devotion is from the last chapter in Hebrews. The author reminds us of the importance of the leaders of the church, and we are encouraged to live a life that is growing in faith by Truth, and Truth alone. We read within the passage that the leaders of faith much imitate the life of Christ, and thus their teachings must be of sound biblical doctrine, because the Gospel message of Truth is never changing as “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (v. 8)
In today’s passage we see the comparison of the Old Testament animal sacrifice, to the New Testament sacrifice of Jesus, through His death which reconciled us back to God. This connection needs to be one that we hold firmly to, because it’s a reminder of our eternal promise in Christ Jesus. But, as He was persecuted, so will we for our faith, so never let go of Jesus!
Question: When was the last time you prayed for Pastor Mary? Not, when was the last time you prayed with Pastor Mary because you asked her to pray, but when was the last time you actually prayed for her as the shepherd of our spiritual family or as the shepherd of your own soul?
If you go to 1 Peter 5 you will see that the word “pastor” isn’t merely a title, it’s a very serious calling on one’s life to be a shepherd of God’s flock that is placed under their care. Shepherds guide the flock (or spiritual family), they provide biblical nourishment, they seek after the ones who stray, and they guard the flock from wolves. This is why we should all be in prayer regularly for Pastor Mary. She is not only responsible for caring for our spiritual family, but she also knows that those who teach will be judged more strictly (James 3:1).
Hebrews 13:7-17 NLT
7 Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. 8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
9 Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings. It is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace, not by eating ceremonial foods, which is of no benefit to those who do so. 10 We have an altar from which those who minister at the tabernacle have no right to eat.
11 The high priest carries the blood of animals into the Most Holy Place as a sin offering, but the bodies are burned outside the camp. 12 And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood. 13 Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore. 14 For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come.
15 Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. 16 And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.
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.
Prayer: Jesus, Thank You for Pastor Mary, the shepherd of our spiritual family. We are blessed to be nourished with Your Truth through her. Please allow each of us to be continually growing in Your Truth. Help us to be drawn to You in prayer for Pastor Mary each day. May You give her the wisdom and strength she needs to guide, to feed, to seek, and to guard the spiritual family. I ask all of this in Your Name, Jesus. Amen.