1To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings who also will share in the glory to be revealed: 2 Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; 3 not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. 4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away. 5 In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” 6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. 10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11 To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen. (1 Peter 5:1–11, New International Version)
Theme: The Local Church
Thank you very much for considering the questions about Spiritual Warfare posed yesterday, and as always, we are grateful to those who posted comments. As we continue our focus on Spiritual Warfare, we will consider a Bible passage that reminds us, we have a prowling enemy. If you have ever watched programs like National Geographic, you will certainly know that predators love to kill animals who stray from the herd.
Please prayerfully read 1 Peter 5:1 – 11 (presented above). Importantly, the passage is targeted at the church (“All of you”) and presents an ominous warning about our enemy and an encouraging reminder of who has ultimate power.
Based on the passage, what are some of the practical ways that local churches can respond to the warning and the assurance?