Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith… 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 13:7, 17

Who are those leaders “spoke the Word of God to you?” Have you considered the outcome of their faith? Do you know how faith has impacted their life? Do you know about their relationship with Jesus? How they speak? How they act? How they serve? Do you know what motivates them? Do you really know your leaders? What are you imitating about their faith? Are you imitating anything about their faith? Are they really your leaders? Do you have confidence in them? Do you submit to their authority?

There are those who do not want anything to do with the church. They submit to their own selves as authority. I was sharing Jesus with a man yesterday and one of his responses was that he gave up on “organized religion” a long time ago. I always find this interesting because we were talking about Jesus and not about “organized religion.” But what happens is unsaved people lump everything together called “Christian” and there is no wonder they find fault with such ungodly behavior among organized religious groups that call themselves Christian. As a follower of Jesus this does not surprise us. Jesus told us this would happen— there would be tares among the wheat (Matthew 13:24-30). Having tares among the wheat does not give an excuse not to be wheat!

Leaders have a responsible place in the Body of Christ, the church. Leaders are commanded to “Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears” (Acts 20:28-31). Yes, leaders have a great responsibility and they will give account to the Lord Jesus as to how they led.

If a local church is truly living for the Lord then the leaders will experience joy in their leading and it won’t feel like a burden. When leading feels like a burden because of difficulties in the local church then that is not a benefit to those who are part of that local church. When leaders are focused on dealing with problems in a local church they are taken away from that which they are to be focused on which benefits the church. Are you helping your leaders experience joy as they are serving? If so, that will be a benefit for you!

Dear Father, may we listen to what You have to say in Your Word and lovingly obey. May this be so in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus.

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