Hello everybody and welcome in to episode #285 of the Bible 2021 podcast. We are reading 1 Peter 5 today and our focus is on The Power of Humility. + How Should I Pastor God’s Church? We are a daily 10ish minute podcast, where we will dig in to the truth of the Word of God by reading one Bible chapter a day and discussing it. Welcome to new listeners in the Czech Republic, Osaka, Japan, One night in Bangkok, Thailand, Chattisgarh, India, parts unknown Russia and Finland, Ogun, Nigeria, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom, Alberta, Canada, Detroit, Michigan, Kansas City, Missouri, Miami, Florida, Sacramento, California, Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina, Tallahassee, Florida, and Burlington, Vermont. Our goal is to encourage DAILY Bible reading, so you can jump in at any time and join with us. We want to invite as many people as possible to join us in daily Bible reading, so help spread the word and share the podcast! Don’t forget about our web-page, Bible2021.com – contact page, show notes, transcript and more– Click here for our Bible 2021 reading plan\
Let’s begin with a word to pastors, elders and church leaders from Peter:
2 Shepherd God’s flock among you, not overseeing out of compulsion but willingly, as God would have you; not out of greed for money but eagerly; 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 unfading crown of glory. 1 Peter 5:2-3
Let’s call this seminary in about 50 words. (It’s 52, if you’re being pedantic) prospective pastors and church leaders who walk in these commands and truths in these 50ish words will do better than if they had five degrees from seminary and ignored these commands. (I say this as a fan of seminary) Here’s what Peter says to pastors and leaders:
- Shepherd/pastor God’s flock – that means take care of people like a shepherd takes care of sheep. Feed them God’s Word, protect them, care for them, help them when they are hurting, and -as best as you can – rescue them when they are straying. Don’t do this because you are forced, but do it willingly AND EAGERLY. With passion. There’s not a lot of room for complaining about the people you are shepherding here.
- Don’t pastor for money. This means you should not get rich off of the church. This further means that it is absolutely shameful to be a pastor or church leader and ask people to donate for your personal jet or some other thing like that.
- Do not lead by force and dominance and bullying and harshness. That may be the way of leadership in the world, but it is most certainly not the way of the Kingdom. Instead, lead with HUMILITY, not only acting humble, but being absolutely CLOTHED with humility, says Peter.
- Leading in this way, says Peter, will grant you a crown of glory. Not sure what that means, exactly, but since Peter says it is unfading, I take that to mean an eternal reward from God for shepherding His people with humility, love, care, eagerness, and compassion.
- Remember that you are NOT the chief shepherd or pastor. You are an under-shepherd at best – Jesus is the head of the church, He is the Chief Shepherd of the people, and you report to Him, and woe unto you (and me) if we wound the sheep of the Chief Shepherd!
Now, let’s talk a moment about humility.
Imagine if I gave you a choice. You could A. run a marathon on a 100 degree day, with no shoes and a 500 pound weight strapped to your back and attack dogs nipping at you the whole way, OR B. It’s a 75 degree day, but instead of running the marathon, you could be in one of those fancy horse drawn carriages with a roof and served a cool beverage for the whole ride. Which do you think would be easier? If you can get this question right, and I hope you can, then you can understand the power of humility, which is an expression that seems kind of like nonsense when you first hear it, but think about it in the context of 1 Peter 5:5
God resists the proud
but gives grace to the humble. 1 Peter 5:5
Which is easier – to have God actively resisting you, or to run a race with a 500 pound weight on your back? I would rather face off against that weight, the heat and those attack dogs than against the infinite God of the universe who created everything with a word. That is the power of humility. God’s Word says, multiple times, that He resists or opposes the proud. How awesome would it be to have God as your enemy? Not awesome at all, really. Not only does God resist/oppose the proud, but He actually HELPS the humble – this one tiny little verse should give us all of the incentive we should ever need to walk in humility. I certainly don’t want to be found struggling against God, and I doubt you do, either!
But wait, THERE’S MORE! Walk in humility now, and we’ll send you TWO SHARP STEAK KNIVES THAT NEVER NEED SHARPENING again…oh, wait – I got carried away…but there is more. Not only does God oppose the proud and gives grace to the humble, but Peter keeps going and writes:
6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you at the proper time, 7 casting all your cares on him, because he cares about you.
Those who walk in humility will not only receive more grace, but they will walk in the promise that, at the right and appointed time, God will exalt us. Which is so much better than we exalting ourselves, right? Let’s close with a call to humility and a call to run away from pride from John “Amazing Grace” Newton:
Spiritual pride and self-complacence will likewise infallibly cause a declension in the divine life, though the mind may be preserved from the infection of doctrinal errors, and though the power of gospel truth may for a time have been really experienced. If our attainments in knowledge and gifts, and even in grace, seduce us into a good opinion of ourselves, as if we were wise and good, we are already ensnared, in danger of falling every step we take, of mistaking the right path, and proceeding from bad to worse, without a power of correcting or even of discovering our deviations, unless and until the Lord mercifully interposes, by restoring us to a spirit of humility and dependence. For God, who giveth more grace to the humble, resisteth the proud; he beholds them with abhorrence, in proportion to the degree in which they admire themselves. It is the invariable law of his kingdom, that everyone who exalteth himself shall be abased.
John Newton and Richard Cecil, The Works of John Newton, vol. 6 (London: Hamilton, Adams & Co., 1824), 407.
Amen and let’s read our passage.
Bible Memory passage for the month of October: 7 Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1 John 4:7-8
Happy by Mike Leite https://soundcloud.com/mikeleite
Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0
Free Download / Stream: https://bit.ly/al_happ