In The Word
Read: 1 Peter 5
Serve God Willingly
5 Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed,2 shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness; 3 nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock. 4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. 5 You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.
6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, 7 casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. 8 Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. 10 After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. 11 To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen.
12 Through Silvanus, our faithful brother (for so I regard him), I have written to you briefly, exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it!13 She who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you greetings, and so does my son, Mark. 14 Greet one another with a kiss of love.
Peace be to you all who are in Christ.
New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
Walking In The Word
Leadership is the ability to influence others. All of us influence someone in one way or another. Pastors influence congregations, parents influence children and other parents, friends influence friends, coaches influence players, older brothers and sisters influence younger ones, and so on.
Peter is writing to the leadership of the Church during a time when Christians were being persecuted for their faith. Peter is instructing you and me how to lead others in the midst of suffering because we are not exempt from attacks or struggles. He wants you to:
- Realize that those you influence belong to God and therefore you need to lead them according to the bible.
- Influence them voluntarily out of your love for Christ, with eagerness, and not expecting something in return.
- Influence by example not control, manipulation, or force.
- Act in humility. You, who are younger, follow the leadership of the older ones and respect them at all times. You, who are older, lead by godly example, and with willingness, listen to those younger than you.
It also takes humility to give God your problems, and trust Him in your circumstances. Those that you influence need to see that you trust God in struggles as well. Remember, the enemy is prowling around looking for a victim, and know that you are more vulnerable in suffering. So, stay alert and connected with other believers. Ask God to help you apply these truths in the relationships you influence or the groups that you lead.