I Peter 5 today. It has several powerful teachings for us all.
- For me and all who are elders/spiritual leaders/overseers in the church. In vss 1-4 we are exhorted to care for God's flock, the people of God in the church. We're to do it willingly. It is a grand call. We are not to work in the church for what we can get out of it but because it's our most fervent desire to serve God in his church. We look forward to the return of our Great Shepherd, Jesus, who will reward our work.
- Vs 5: Younger men submit to the authority of the elders. So many younger men think they know it all. Yet they are called to submit to the older elders. By the way, this is a great argument supporting the idea of church membership. How can you submit to elders, who oversee the church of Jesus Christ, if you are not committed to this local body as a "member"?
- Indeed, in vs 5, is a teaching for us all: God opposes, sets himself against, the proud. Who are the proud? Those who won't submit to authority! But he shows "favor" (preference, special treatment) to the humble, those who willingly submit. Notice here, like in James 4, humility is a choice. We choose to be humble. We may not feel like being humble. But we choose to do so anyway. That is the way of the Cross.
- Vs 6: When we do humble ourselves under God's mighty hand, in due season, at the appropriate time, he will lift us up! It's a great and mighty promise.
- Vs 7: Cast all our worries upon his shoulders. He DOES care for us. His yoke is easy. His burden is light. He is carrying them!
- Vss 8,9: Look out for the enemy of our souls. He hates us. He wants to destroy us. His name is the Devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion looking for areas of vulnerability and weakness. Don't underestimate his wiles. He knows when and how to attack you. Stand against him. Be firm in your faith. And remember that all Christians everywhere are going thru similar attacks. You are not alone in his evil attacks!
- Vss 10,11: Remember that God has called us. He initiated the love relationship. Therefore, after we've suffered a little while, he will restore, support and strengthen us and place us on his firm foundation! All power is his. He is able to do this. Keep believing in and praying for God's complete restoration for all the difficulties thru which you've walked!
- Vss 12-14: Peter tells us why he has written this "short" letter to us: to encourage us and assure us that the grace of God is with us no matter what is going on in our lives. His readers were suffering extreme persecution. I don't know what you're going thru but it was written to you too to let you know God cares, he has not forgotten you and his grace is sufficient for you today and forever.
"Peace be to all of you who are in Christ." These are the words that end this letter.
I pray this peace for all of us today…and forever.