The Daily Fountain Devotional of the Church Of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) 11 May 2022 ~ Exemplary Christian Living
TOPIC: Exemplary Christian Living
READ: 1 PETER 5:1-14 (NKJV)
- The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed:
- Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly;
- nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock;
- and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.
- Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to [your] elders. Yes, all of [you] be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”
- Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time,
- casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
- Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
- Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.
- But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle [you.]
- To Him [be] the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
- By Silvanus, our faithful brother as I consider him, I have written to you briefly, exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God in which you stand.
- She who is in Babylon, elect together with [you,] greets you; and [so does] Mark my son.
- Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace to you all who are in Christ Jesus. Amen.
Patterns of exemplary Christian living for elders, youths and others, are set forth in this passage. An elder, such as a priest, pastor, parent, teacher or mentor, should care for those placed under him by God. This should not be done grudgingly, or because of possible material benefits but because of Christ who is the Great Shepherd and ultimate rewarder (verses 1- 4). Elders should not lord it over the flock, exploit them or take undue advantage of them.
As the Good Shepherd, Christ ensured that none of those given to Him was lost (John 17:12). Paul followed this example (Acts 20:18-21, 27-28, 32-35). Be an exemplary elder, not a hireling (John 10:11-13). In verse 5, youths, and indeed all of us, are encouraged to submit to our elders and to one another. This should be done in humility and out of reverence for Christ (Ephesians 5:21). Since God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble, we should be models of humility. Verses 8-10 emphasise the need for vigilance against the devil’s efforts to “devour” the Christian. The key to victory is to “resist the devil” and stand firm in the faith (verse 9; James 4:7).
PRAYER: O God, help me to be a good example to believers in my faith and conduct in Jesus’ name. Amen. (1 Timothy 4:12)