Why is it that when things seem to be going smoothly, worry and anxiety start creeping up? It never fails. It’s starts as a twinge. You’re reminded of a bill that’s due and you’re not sure how you’re going to pay it. Or you have a deadline to meet and you start doubting that you can make it. You watch or read the news and your heartbreaks. That’s the devil getting a foothold in your life. It doesn’t take much. Satan is like the splinter in your hand. If you don’t deal with it and pull it out, it will get infected and fester and become a bigger problem that just a little splinter.
This last chapter in Peter’s first letter is one that gets quoted a lot. Kind of like Philippians 4. Let’s dig in section by section…
1 Peter 5
And now, a word to you who are elders in the churches. I, too, am an elder and a witness to the sufferings of Christ. And I, too, will share in his glory when he is revealed to the whole world. As a fellow elder, I appeal to you: 2 Care for the flock that God has entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly—not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God. 3 Don’t lord it over the people assigned to your care, but lead them by your own good example. 4 And when the Great Shepherd appears, you will receive a crown of never-ending glory and honor.1 Peter 5:1-4 NLT
Here Peter is addressing fellow church leaders. However, note that Peter doesn’t refer to himself as “pope” or “bishop”. No, he is a “fellow elder”. Church leaders are to serve God “willingly, not grudgingly”. As servants of the Great Shepherd, Jesus Christ, we will get a “crown of never-ending glory and honor” after His Glorious Appearing!
Leaders have a responsibility to lead honestly, humbly, and by example. They are accountable to Jesus Christ and will be given a reward for their service upon His return.https://lovegodgreatly.com/
5 In the same way, you who are younger must accept the authority of the elders. And all of you, dress yourselves in humility as you relate to one another, for
“God opposes the proud
but gives grace to the humble.”[Proverbs 3:34]
6 So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. 7 Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.1 Peter 5:5-7 NLT
God hates pride. Pride for the wrong reasons. It’s OK to be proud of your child for doing well. It’s also OK to be proud to be an American. When it’s your own achievements, you have to learn to give the glory to God. Everything you have is because God allowed you to have it. God gave you the talent, led you to obtain the skill, knowledge or experience. He allows you to work for a living.
An important phrase in verse 6 is “at the right time”. We usually want things to happen in our time table. More often than not, God has us waiting in HIS time-table. That was my experience when I was unemployed for 2 years in 2008-2010. That was a humbling experience.
Moreover, if you don’t humble yourself, God will eventually humble you. Read the book of Proverbs regularly and you’ll see how God feels about pride and humility.
Verse 7 is also important. Remember we started out talking about worries. They start small, then grow and grow until they consume your life. You can’t function. That’s when verse 7 comes in. It’s not easy, though. Giving everything to God means that you admit that you can’t do it all yourself. You need His help. What’s great is that God wants to help you. Furthermore, He’ll help you A LOT, once you submit to Him.
Watch Out for Satan!
8 Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. 9 Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are.1 Peter 5:8-9 NLT
In this passage, Peter describes the enemy of God, Satan. Our ability to recognize and discern counterfeits can only come when we have been saturated with the authentic Truth. When we roam outside of the safety and care of the Lord’s hand, we risk becoming prey to the enemy’s lies, accusations, deceptions, and temptations. This passage instructs believers to be clear-minded and attentive, because the enemy’s sole goal is to kill, steal, and destroy. He opposes God’s agenda. He works against God’s plan. He violates God’s character. He assaults God’s people. But…the enemy uses crafty, subtle, attractive methods to convince believers of his lies. He will whisper that God’s way is just a little too hard, that God is just a little too far from us, that God is just a little too busy for us, that we have to be the only ones struggling in our situation, that we have to be good to receive God’s blessing, that the Bible is mostly almost always true, that life was meant to be easy, comfortable, and personally fulfilling.https://lovegodgreatly.com/
- The Lies Satan Speaks – How to Overcome Temptations
- Combating the Strategies of the Devil
- Discerning False Teachers
10 In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation. 11 All power to him forever! Amen.
12 I have written and sent this short letter to you with the help of Silas, whom I commend to you as a faithful brother. My purpose in writing is to encourage you and assure you that what you are experiencing is truly part of God’s grace for you. Stand firm in this grace.
13 Your sister church here in Babylon sends you greetings, and so does my son Mark. 14 Greet each other with a kiss of love.
Peace be with all of you who are in Christ.1 Peter 5:10-14 NLT
Was Peter in Babylon or Rome? Some say that Babylon was probably symbolic for Rome. But, you know what, it doesn’t matter! What matters is obeying what Peter is telling us to do in this letter…
- Lead willingly.
- Be humble.
- Acknowledge that God is way more powerful than you.
- Give your problems to God. Throw them on His shoulders, in His hands, at His feet.
- Watch out for the workings of the devil!
- Stand firm and be strong in your faith.
- Be patient. Wait on God. Stand on His firm foundation.
The only way to obey all this is to be solid in your salvation. Unshakable faith can withstand anything that Satan throws at you. You can have it only if you have invited Jesus into your heart. If you don’t know how to do that, click here…
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