Live in Grace

We need it if we are to persevere.

Hebrews 13 (3)

At all times, we need grace. Grace enables us to live decently and in order as communities of believers. Grace keeps us in the faith and gives us the ability to discern true teaching from false. And grace can help us to overcome the temptations of the world, so that we remain firmly established in the path of the Lord. By His grace, the Lord gives us shepherds to tend to the needs of our soul and enables us to follow as they lead.

Read Jeremiah 23.1-6.

Read Hebrews 13.7-9.

Think it through.

1.  We are the Lord’s sheep, and sheep need leaders. God has appointed pastors and teachers as shepherds in His Church, for the building-up of the Body of Christ (Eph. 4.11, 12). Here we note three defining marks of true shepherds. How would you explain each of the following?

  - speaking the Word of God:

  - men of true faith:

  - men whose lives the Lord’s sheep should follow:

The word rule here (NKJV) is more accurately lead. Where should the Lord’s shepherds lead His people?

2.  Why do you suppose the writer inserted verse 8 right here, right after he called his readers to “remember” (“pay careful attention to”) their leaders? What does this suggest about what a leader’s conduct ought to be, and where leaders should be leading us? What kind of “food” is the writer warning against in verse 9 (compare the last part of that verse with the first part)? Where would we expect to encounter such “food”? When our hearts are “established by grace,” we will not desire the food of the world but the food of sound teaching. Explain.

“Who … can preserve grace by prideful conduct? How then will grace, that is, good pleasure or the energy of the spirit, be with you, unless you embrace it by good deeds? Indeed, the very cause of all good things is our constant abiding in the grace of the Spirit, for he guides us to everything.” John Chrysostom (344-407 AD)

…that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ… Ephesians 4.14, 15

Give me grace to hear Your Word, O Lord, and to live in Your grace in all my ways. And I pray for the shepherds of our church, that they, too, might…

Pray Psalm 125.
Pray for the leaders of your church. God “surrounds” His people and watches over them in part by the shepherds He appoints over them. Pray that your leaders will be true shepherds, and not hirelings. 

Psalm 125.1-5 (St. Gertrude: Onward, Christian Soldiers)
All who trust in Jesus, strong as Zion stand!
Naught shall ever move them from their promised land!
Like the hills surrounding safe Jerusalem, 
Christ surrounds His Church and holds her in His mighty Hand!
Refrain, v. 1
All who trust in Jesus, strong as Zion stand!
Naught shall ever move them from their promised land!

Wickedness shall rest not on this holy land; 
Sinfulness shall never come forth from their hand.  
Trusting in the Savior, firm in His caress, 
Ever shall His favor on this holy city rest. 

Lord, do good and care for those upright in heart. 
All who turn to evil shall from You depart. 
Sinful men may increase; send them, Lord, to hell!
Save Your people, let your peace abound in Israel!

T. M Moore

Do you receive our twice-weekly teaching letter Crosfigell? Here the wisdom of God’s Word and that of our Celtic Christian forebears speaks to us of how to follow Him in our day. Begin reading Crosfigell by clicking here, then use the pop-up on the home page to subscribe. Crosfigellcomes out on Tuesday and Thursday.

For a better understanding of the book of Hebrews, and all the books of the Bible, order a copy of the workbook, God’s Covenant, from our online store. The studies in this workbook will show you how the parts of the Bible connect with one another to tell the story of God’s redemption and glory (click here). To learn more about Christ in His exaltation, order the book, The Kingship of Jesus (click here).

Please prayerfully consider sharing with The Fellowship of Ailbe through your giving. You can contribute to The Fellowship by clicking the Contribute button at the website or by sending your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452.

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All psalms for singing adapted from The Ailbe Psalter. All quotations from Church Fathers from Ancient Christian Commentary Series, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT. 

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