v1-5 - Peter addresses men called to serve as elders, which he describes as shepherds of God's flock which are under their care (v2). Peter gives three negative imperatives for how elders are to watch over the church:
NOT because they have to or just because it's their turn;
but because they're willing.
NOT doing it to dishonestly enrich themselves;
but because they're eager to serve.
NOT lording it over the church to get their own way;
but by being examples - servant leaders - to the church.
Serving as an elder is not without reward, however. When the Chief Shepherd appears they will receive a crown of glory that will never fade away.
v6-11 - This is one of my favorite benedictions in the Bible. Here's my paraphrase of it. Notice how many aspects of this blessing begins with something you must do in order to receive it:
Be humbled under the hand of God almighty,
so that He might lift you up in His own time.
Throw all of your worries on Him,
because He is concerned about you and cares for you.
Prepare your mind for action;
Be aware the devil is prowling about looking to devour you.
Resist him by standing firm in your faith,
and be reminded that the church throughout the world is undergoing this same suffering.
Be assured this God of all grace,
who called you to His eternal glory in Christ before the creation of the world,
complete His image in you;
and will establish and strengthen you.
Give all the glory to God forever.
Amen = Make it so.
OLD TESTAMENT REFERENCE:
Psalm 55:22 (NIV)
Cast your cares on the Lord
and he will sustain you;
he will never let
the righteous be shaken.
Use the comment box below to discuss one or more of these questions:
EYE FOR DETAIL—From what you recall seeing in this chapter, try answering the following question without looking at your Bible: What kind of crown does Peter mention in this chapter? (See verse 4.)
If everyone in your church thoroughly understood this chapter, and had a passion for living out its truth, what kind of practical changes do you think would result?
Questions taken from The Complete Bible Discussion Guide: New Testament
Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: The God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ (v10)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that God will enable you to humble yourself under His mighty hand (v6)
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: