Wednesday, February 20, 2013

1 Peter 5

Peter in chapter five exhorts the elders among the people he is writing to shepherd the flock of God that is among them, exercising oversight, and to do it willingly, as God would have them, not for shameful gain, but eagerly not domineering over those in their charge, and that they should be examples to the flock.

We always need to evaluate our own conditions by the Word of God. One of the most striking things I see in this passage in comparison with many who claim to be Shepherds of the flock of God, today who have ministries worth millions. Who live lavish lifestyles. This passages states that a Elder should oversee the flock of God not for shameful gain. There is something wrong.

Pastor's are to be examples for the flock to follow, Paul expressed it like this "follow me as I follow Christ." Pastors and all Church leaders are not to be domineering, the people in the pews are not your employees are your customers, they belong to Jesus Christ, they are His property, bought by His blood and filled with His Spirit. His is the chief Shepherd. He has gifted Elders and Church leaders to lead His people primarily by teaching/preaching the whole counsel of God - all of His Word.

There is no question that there are wolves in sheep clothing, that there are false teachers. The Spirit of God through the Word of God helps us to see the false from the truth, it is usually determined by the fruit that is produced, millionaire preachers have a congregation that is pursuing their million, that is what is preached, yet many still flock to it. Why? God also says He will give them preachers according to their own heart. Salvation is of the Lord, all of it.

Peter tells the Elders to clothe themselves in humility, to be humble toward each other. Peter always reminds us to be sober-minded, to be watchful because we have an enemy who is like a lion seeking someone to devour. Peter was sifted like wheat by the devil and Peter denied Christ three times, so his warning certainty has merit. The devil wants to sift each one of us just like he did Peter and his power and cunning craftiness will gain the same result in our life as it did in Peter's. Our only recourse is the same recourse of Peter's - Christ prayed for Peter. (Luke 22) See the prayer that Christ prayed for us in John 17.  Also, take strength from the fact that Christ and the Holy Spirit are always interceding for us. Christ prayed that when Peter returned - and Christ knew that he would return because He decreed it so. Peter belonged to Christ - Christ's Spirit was in him, he was sealed by the Holy Spirit - and nothing in creation could separate Peter from the love of Christ. The kind of love that saves you from hell, the kind of love that seals you with the Holy Spirit so that all the demons of hell can know that you belong to Christ - and absolutely none can take you out of the hand of the Father. Satan will win some battles with each one of us, but the war has been won by Christ. We already know the end of the story, so we are required to produce fruits of obedience and the character of the fruits of the Spirit - until the end - we are required to persevere - and the Spirit is keeping us.

Peter tells us to resist the devil firm in our faith, and know that we are not alone all God's people are experiencing the attacks of Satan, but it will only last a short while - and the Bible states elsewhere that the sufferings we experience here on this side of the veil will seems of no significance when we experience the eternal glory in Christ. But today Christ will restore, confirm and establish us - for He has the dominion - the rule - now and forever and ever.

Pastors and Elders are vital in the kingdom of God here on earth for God has chosen to save people by the foolishness of preaching - not by angels coming down and testifying to the wonder and awe of God, or by writing the gospel in the sky - but by men called by God to preach the life transforming Word of the Eternal Living God. We need to pray for those who faithfully preach the Word of God to us, for they are under attack also. They are assigned by God to help us become more like Christ. Share in the life of your Church, help in ways that assist in carrying the burdens of the flock of God.

Instead of continuing with 2 Peter, I want to turn our study to the book of Deuteronomy. It will not be a chapter by chapter study but the focus will be on certain portion that highlight the attributes of God.


                                                          The Great Shepherd

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