Summary: Sermon 15 in Hebrews Series
Follow the Leader
Everything rises and Falls on leadership – John Maxwell
You may not believe that saying, but we see a lot of truth of that statement throughout the whole Bible.
Consider the history of Israel or the church,
We find good leaders who followed the Lord and bad leaders who didn’t.
And through those leaders we find that
if the people of God are going to accomplish the will of God then godly leadership that the people follow is essential.
Well, you may say, God can do whatever He wants to do to accomplish His purpose.
That is true, but, when we look at His word, we see that God always used leaders to fulfill His purposes.
Not because the leader was anything great, but because God is great and he shows his greatness by using flawed humans to accomplish great things.
Go back through the Bible and you will find
Moses – a reluctant leader if there ever was one.
We see Moses continually trying to not be used by God.
He tried to help God think through what He wants Moses to do.
"Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?" (Exodus 3:11)
"What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ’The LORD did not appear to you’?" (Exodus 4:1)
"O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue." (Exodus 4:10)
"O Lord, please send someone else to do it." (Exodus 4:13)
But God used him anyway, because God is great.
Going on we see
David - the youngest of Jesse’s sons
Joseph – a slave, a prisoner
The Apostles – ordinary and often faithless, God used them in powerful ways.
Paul – a persecuter of Christians used of God to spread the gospel like no other missionary ever.
God used all of these flawed men to lead His people in godly ways.
And when there were no leaders, what happened?
In the book of Judges we see how God would raise up a leader but listen to what would happen when a leader would die and there was no one to lead the people.
19 But when the judge died, the people returned to ways even more corrupt than those of their fathers, following other gods and serving and worshiping them. They refused to give up their evil practices and stubborn ways.
And a phrase repeated several times in judges is
25 In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit.
And what they saw fit to do was to worship false gods and do evil and because they did not pursue God because they had no leader to follow, they suffered.
So leadership is essential and it is important that we follow the leaders that God has placed in our lives, not because the men are necessarily anything great, but because the God whom they serve is great.
The author of Hebrews recognizes how important it is for God’s people to be following the leaders that God has placed in their lives, so much so that he makes this his final point of his letter so that it will be fresh with them.
Turn to Hebrews 13:7-25
Throughout the whole book of Hebrews, he has talked about Christianity being the Superior life over everything else.
Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus.
To do that effectively though, you need to follow the leaders God has placed in your life.
So how do we do that?
What does that look like in real life?
How should we respond to the leadership God has placed in our lives so that it will benefit us?
Well, let’s read this last section of the book of Hebrews and study and apply this to ourselves so we can glorify God.
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 ceremonial foods, which are of no value to those who eat them. 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.