HAVE I GOT A DEAL FOR YOU: It can often be hard to find men to eagerly serve as elders in our churches today. Excuses range from being way too busy to not feeling knowledgeable enough to do the job well, and unfortunately, both of those excuses are often true. Jesus wants men to be elders not just because it's their turn to fill a term, but "because you are willing, as God wants you to be (v2)." Even if the prospect of serving at the Lord's command isn't enough incentive, look at the prize laid out for shepherds of the church: "a crown of glory that will never fade away (v4)." How many of the other activities that you're so busy with can make that sort of promise?
THIS DEAL IS NOT JUST FOR THE ELDERS: Not everyone can be the shepherd; the church is comprised mostly of sheep who need to submit to the shepherds. Being a submissive sheep does not in any keep you from winning the same sort of prize set out for the elders, however, because "God opposes the proud and shows favor to the humble (v5 / Proverbs 3:34)."
Humble yourself under God's mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you (v6-7).
THIRD OF THREE: Peter uses this awesome phrase three times in his first letter:
"Be alert and prepare your mind for action (v8)"
Here's the context it's been used in:
1:13 - so that you can set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at His coming.
4:7 - The end of all things is near, so be alert and mentally prepared for action so that you may pray.
5:8 (today) - because your enemy the devil is prowling around looking for someone to devour. You need to be ready at all times to resist him by standing firm in your faith.
What kind of things are you doing to keep yourself spiritually alert and to prepare your mind?
PETER'S PROTEGE: Peter and Mark had a very close relationship (v13). Mark's gospel, which we've been hearing from on Sunday mornings, was one of the first books of the New Testament which was written, and is quite likely a collection of Peter's memories from his time with Jesus which Mark wrote down.
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: