The first few verses of 1 Peter 5 are addressed to elders, but as Peter draws some application from his instructions, he shifts his focus to all of his readers. Take a look at what he says in 1 Peter 5:5-7.
These three verses of 1 Peter 5 may be some of the most well known, and most often memorized. They are very encouraging, but they are also very much to the point, and contain some instructions that we need to make sure we follow closely. They deal with the topic of humility.
First of all, Peter gives a parallel to his instructions concerning elders to the younger men of the church community. There is some debate among commentators as to whether this is in direct contrast to his remarks to elders, or just a linguistic mechanism to shift gears. Based on what he states here, I feel that he is offering some instructions for both men and women, and especially as it relates to submitting to the authority of the elders’ leadership, who have the responsibility of overseeing, or shepherding, the flock under their care.
Those instructions are a close parallel to what he has already given to the elders. The elders are not to “lord it over” those in their care; and in the same way, those younger are to submit to the authority of the elders and leadership. Both sides of this relationship are to be characterized by humility, much like Peter stated back in chapter 3, verse 8. To reinforce this, Peter quotes Proverbs 3:34, where we are told that God opposed arrogance, and seeks an attitude of humility in our hearts.
All too often, we look at what the other guy has, and compare that to what we have. And we find ourselves longing for something more.
It’s tough to be content. We do not live in a world where this comes naturally. Rather, it seems like it is normal to want more, to desire something beyond whatever we have, to long for something new.
And sometimes, that isn’t necessarily wrong. It isn’t necessarily wrong to desire to better ourselves. It isn’t necessarily wrong to seek out more and better things and experiences.
But sometimes it is wrong.
Paul, in Philippians 4:11, states:
I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.
And again, in 1 Timothy 6, he says:
But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment. For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content.
Here we are, in the second month of the new year. January is over, and February is under way. And things are hopping around here!
It has been a very busy month for the Randlemans. We celebrated our 22nd anniversary and two birthdays in January, with two more coming up in February. Our church kicked off 2016 with a study in Colossians and Financial Peace University, led by our youth minister and another leader.
As a result, we have been making some significant changes in the life of our family. That has given us a lot of new things to learn, and many to unlearn, both in our spiritual lives and our finances. But we are experiencing some growth challenges as we do so, and we will be better for having experienced them.
With that going on, the month of January has been crazy and awesome all rolled into one! I am excited to review the month, and to look ahead to next month as well.
So, in case you missed them, here are the top seven posts from JeffRandleman.com for the month of January.
The Philippians had some experience with people who preach the gospel with wrong motives. In this week’s passage, Paul addresses this, and clarifies the difference between such people and himself.
Take a look at this passage in Philippians 1:15-16:
In Paul’s experience, and apparently the Philippian believers had experienced it as well, people preached the gospel from two motives. Some preached out of envy and rivalry, while others preached the message out of goodwill and love. In Paul’s opinion, either motive resulted in Christ being preached, and thus brought joy to him.
Remember, Paul is in prison, and word has reached him that many others are preaching the message, but Paul senses that the Philippian believers are troubled by those with wrong motives. The preaching he is referring to is that mentioned in the previous verse, but not all of them are doing so appropriately.
The main concern here is the motive, and not the message. Paul doesn’t indicate that those preaching with the wrong motives are preaching the wrong message, or a heretical one. It seems that the message was correct, but the motives were not.
I’m not really all that excited about graphic novels. The right story can make one great, and I’ve read a few that I enjoy, but I would much rather sit down with a good comic book instead, preferably Superman or other members of the Justice League, although I have been known to read a few Marvel comics from time to time.
So when I received a copy of Noah, which is subtitled “A Wordless Picture Book,” I wasn’t expecting to be overly impressed. I expected either a collection of drawings loosely connected, or a graphic novel without words, of which I really didn’t get the point.
However, I was surprised. In reality, Noah is both of those things: a graphic novel without the words, and a collection of art, but it is well designed and the art is exceptional.
On the positive side, the illustrations are well done, and evocative. Although they are slightly graphic novel-ish, they communicate the scenarios depicted quite well. And the sequence of the illustrations follows closely along with the biblical narrative of Noah and the Flood. In fact, there are a couple of illustrations that my kids may find a bit disturbing, including one man who is drowning. It’s a touch too graphic.
As a photographer by hobby, this was just too good to pass up. Enjoy!