SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- Peter gives specific advice to different age groups in the church. He begins by instructing the elder, or, the older Christian. He encourages them to be overseers and shepherd's of the younger men, good examples of the Christian faith, and eager to serve others. Peter encourages young men to be careful of pride and to be submissive to the elders so that they can learn and grow from someone wiser. Submission is a way to show God's love and grace.
- Finally, his advice to all ages is to live in humility and self-control. Humility is simply having a clear enough perspective of life to be able to put God first and care more about the needs of others than your own.
- We are reminded in verses 8-11 that the devil is real and wants to destroy our lives.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
- We should all learn to live in humility and self-control, whether we are a young or old believer. These attitudes will keep us from stumbling in our faith.
- We need to give all our fear and anxiety to God. That's right, not some of our anxiety, all of it. We may think we can handle it on our own, but we can't. God is bigger than our worst fear.
- The devil is out to destroy us. We need to be alert and ready to stand firm against him.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
- If you have been a believer for quite some time, are you helping any newer Christians on their journey? Are you serving in a large enough capacity at church? Could you help serve the children or youth at church? How could you be a better example?
- If you're a new Christian, or a young person, is there someone you look up to at church? Maybe you could ask them to mentor you. Are you in a micro group? Do you have an accountability partner? Are you willing to learn and grow from someone else's experiences?
- What have you been anxious about lately? Are you bringing that worry to God? And, more important, are you leaving it with God? When you pray about it, are you trusting God to take care of it so you can stop worrying about it? And, if that's hard for you, take that to God!
- Let's assume the devil has a specific plan to destroy your faith and life. Based on the knowledge of your weaknesses, do you have a specific plan to resist him? If not, maybe develop one and deepen your dependence on God.