Updated: May 9
1 Peter 5 1-11 is one of the greatest passages of the New Testament for me. Every word just gives the best advice for success and comfort in such a way, well in a special way like no other in the bible. As we dig into these verses, I hope you find the same success I did.
The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed. Feed the flock of God, which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly, not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind. Neither as being lords over God's heritage but being ensamples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away. 1 Peter 1 1-4
Right at the top of this passage, we learn that we are to respect our elders and to feed the flock of God.
Service to the Lord is one of the most rewarding acts of love to God we can give.
However, we are also to be careful that we are not giving our service in the hopes of gaining control or charge over the flock but to be a servant to God's people as his hands and feet.
We must serve with a ready mind and be the best examples that we can possibly be, and we will be rewarded greatly. The trust from the Lord to be placed in this position is extraordinary.
God is not without understanding of our frailties, but he knows our hearts, and a heart that leans on him for direction and understanding is the heart he searches for.
Abraham was considered a friend of God (James 2:23) and He put him over all of His kingdom and said "You will be the Father of nations".
God knew Abraham was NOT perfect nor did he ever claim to be, but what he WAS was faithful to God and to His will and that is what attracted God to him. He was willing to serve God His way regardless of what was in it for him.
Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you
be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility; for God resisteth the proud and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time. Casting all your care
upon him; for he careth for you.
1 Peter 5 5-7
Our charge is clear.
We are to submit ourselves to our elders, and then be subject to one another. Learn humility, resist the proud and give grace. So that in God's time he will exalt us, and that we should cast all of our worries upon him, because he cares for us.
Wow, I mean just wow.
God cares about what happens to us. I am the first to admit that I worry, all the time, but I am reassured in this passage that God cares and will take care of my worry for me.
It's not easy for us to let that control go, and let someone else care for us. I have cared for many people, mostly the elderly as they struggle to cope with day-to-day tasks. One thing I have observed over and over again is the frustration of them needing someone to help.
Giving up their independence over small things like eating when it becomes too much to achieve, is astounding. Having someone bathe you, has to be one of the most humiliating emotions an elderly person can experience.
I learned quickly to put it all on me.
I don't want them to feel any of the shortcomings of their situation, and I always ask their permission to help, even when I want to just forge in to help. I know that that can make them feel threatened and helpless.
If I allow them to be a part of the process it goes so much smoother. From that also comes the appreciation that I can pass onto God the father for his insight means more to me that the act itself. I am but his hands and feet as He cares for His saints.
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Who resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. 1 Peter 5 8-9
Being Sober is interpreted as being serious. Not as in drunk.
Pay attention, our enemy the devil is walking around seeking those who are not paying attention, those that are giving into temptations.
My favorite part is the second half, knowing that I am not alone. How often do we feel alone in our walk with the Lord and others? But God made it clear here that the same struggles were accomplished by our brethren that are in the world. He did not say of the world, but in the world.
How comforting it is to know that others have accomplished that which I am being faced with today. History tends to repeat itself. I often observe individuals having the idea that this is the first time ever that their particular battle has been fought, but that's not the case.
I can't imagine living through the depression or the Holocaust. These were very difficult times in nations' past, and people really suffered. I am sure keeping one's eyes on what the Lord was doing or asking was not only difficult but agonizing.
The battles we fight today, the sufferings that we endure today, are not nearly as hard as those suffered in decades past. Not that these times will not be difficult in our lives, but we have been blessed through this age of grace to not endure what many of our ancestors have.
But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. A'men. 1 Peter 5:10-11
As God closed this passage, he clearly stated that he is the God of all grace, and he clearly states that we will suffer, but then he will make us perfect, establish strengthen, and settle us.
That's right, we will suffer. Expect it! Suffering is a part of life, and we need to just accept it. However, he promises that after we have suffered a while, he will make us perfect, establish us, strengthen us and settle us.
It's interesting that suffering came first. Without suffering we won't know how well we have it or had it. We don't begin to appreciate that which we have until we have to go without it.
I am so thankful that the suffering gives way. Suffering is for but a season, and then come perfection, strength, and a settled way of life or eternity. To Him be glory and dominion Forever and ever Amen!!!
I think it's great that this passage ends this way. It gives us time to stand and pause on all that it says. It demands thought and process to make it a part of our very souls and to make sure that we are spending time with the Lord on what it is commanding of us.
What a beautiful guide that God gave us to help us navigate through 2022 and the decades to come. This text can answer just about any question we may have for the Lord as to what our response should be when these difficulties come.
I have this passage committed to memory as I want to have it written on my heart so I am able to recall it at a moment's notice. I pray that you too will dig into this verse and write it on your heart as God calls you to serve him in all things.