Hebrews 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

Introductory Thoughts

No matter where we look we see order and authority. Even God’s acts of creation reveal this order. The Bible says that the sun was given to rule the day and the moon to rule the night (Genesis 1:16). The Lord gave priests and prophets to the children of Israel in the Old Testament to lead them and show them His truths. Faithful to His nature, God has also given a level of authority within the church. According to our passage, we are to “obey them that have the rule” over us. On a couple of different occasions, the word rule is used in the job description of a pastor or elder (1 Timothy 3:5; 1 Timothy 5:17). Today’s passage also reveals that the man of God watches for the souls of the people and must give an account to God for his watch care. No true God-called leader takes his position lightly.

Devotional Thoughts

· (For children): As children, we are to obey the preacher and teachers at church. Do you listen quietly and intently during the story or sermon? Do you stop running in church or pick up your own trash when asked to do so? Do you bring toys from home and pout when they are taken away? 

· (For everyone): The man of God is responsible to God for how he leads the people of God within the congregation. We should follow him as he follows the Lord.

· The Lord warns the man of God not to lord over His heritage (1 Peter 5:3); but at the same time, God has given the preacher authority within the body of believers. How seriously do you take the warnings given to you by the preacher? Do you apply the messages heard at church to your life and situation?

Prayer Thoughts

· Ask God to help you listen as the preacher preaches God’s word.

· Ask God to give your preacher wisdom to lead the people.

Song: I Have Decided to Follow Jesus