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Day Seven
Pastor Jeff Schlemmer
“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.” Hebrews 13:17 (KJV)

Have you ever been out in the summertime when all of a sudden, out of nowhere, came a downpour! I mean a full-on gusher, and sadly you left your umbrella at home! You know what happens next – right, you’re going to get drenched. 

Covering during a rainstorm is very important! Covering your spiritual life is even more important! The Roman centurion, when speaking to Jesus, made this statement in Matthew 8:9 “I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” 

You will always have somebody over you in authority and somebody under you in life. How are you treat each is vitally important! Do you receive and respond to those over you in authority or do you refuse and reject them. Because just like the umbrella, the pastors of your church are your spiritual covering. They are here to protect you, lead you, and guide you. Ephesians 4:11-12 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.” Your pastors are given as a gift by Jesus Christ to you! Pastors are here to prepare and equip you for ministry so that all of us together can build up Christ’s body (the Church!)

So how you and I respond to the spiritual leaders God has placed over us matters! Especially when you consider 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.” Do you want to profit from your spiritual leaders? Understand they carry the responsibility of watching “giving vigilant attention” to you and your spiritual health! And they will give an account to almighty God for how they do so! The more you get in step with and follow the lead of those in spiritual authority, the more joy it will bring for both you and them!

Please understand that pastors aren’t perfect, God knows, but they have a few things going for them. Because they deal with people and their challenges in life on a regular basis, odds are whatever you’re dealing with, they’ve already seen or experienced it. They have a basis of experience combined with the wisdom that comes from the Word of God. They also know how to grow because they’ve already had practice at it. They know that growth occurs by spending time with God in “The Word,” worship, prayer, regular church attendance, and being involved in the lives of others. It is through these that you personally experience God, find community, and fulfill your purpose. So I want to encourage you today to take your “Next Step with God.” Think about how you respond and receive the spiritual authorities in your life. Do you embrace them? Because how you receive and respond to your spiritual leaders determines how successful you’ll be in life!

PRAYER:  Father God, open the eyes of my heart to see the value of my pastors and intentionally place myself under their care; so that I might grow in my relationship with you and lead others to be closer to you too! In Jesus’ name, Amen!