Hebrews 13:20-21 May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
This chapter has so much good stuff in it I was at first at a loss as to what to write on. Verse 15 was fundamental in my introduction to the Charismatic Movement back in the ’70s, and the section at the very first about how to live is totally appropriate for the present day. However, these two verses speak to the foundation of it all. In the first place, there is the reminder that Jesus is the Great Shepherd. That is such an important thing for everyone in ministry to have in their mind and heart at all times. Peter also speaks of Jesus as the Chief Shepherd, specifically talking to those in Church leadership. (1 Peter 5:4) Not even the Pope is the Big Cheese! Those in Church leadership MUST remember that they are simply part of a chain of command, and serve only at the pleasure of our Lord. The other thing these verses say to me is that God will provide everything necessary for us to do whatever He asks of us. When God gives us a vision of something He wants done, we tend either to think, “Oh I’ve got this,” or else panic because we know we don’t have the ability or resources necessary for the task. Neither response is accurate. We do need to be clear that the vision is from God and not just our own imagination or ambition, but with that settled, we should know definitively that on our own we couldn’t possibly do it, (John 15:5) but God can and will do it through us, if we will trust and obey. That’s what God’s provision is all about! As He told Paul, His strength is made perfect in our weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9) We are to trust that, and give Him glory by our loving obedience.
This is certainly applicable to me! At 70 I can look back at quite a few things the Lord has enabled me to do with absolute certainty that I couldn’t have done them on my own. At the same time, I can look forward with assurance that the Lord isn’t through with me yet, and He has quite a few more things He wants to do through me. I’m not to try to dream those up, but I am to be active in seeking His will on a daily, even moment-by-moment basis. If God says it, that settles it! I am not to hold back from anything for any reason, but press on even as Paul wrote to the Philippians. (Philippians 3:12-14) I have no idea what God has planned, but I know that it is good, even if the road might be steep. (Jeremiah 29:11)
Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You that my voice continues to be OK. Help me take proper care of it! Thank You for the various opportunities You’re giving me to share some of what You’ve poured into me, yesterday and again tomorrow. Help me not come across as “the guru,” but rather come alongside people as Your agent, so that the Body of Christ may be built up for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!