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The Mighty Hand of God
1 Peter 5:5-11
The Mighty Hand of God
1 Peter 5:5-11
5 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."
Intro: Peter now turns to the younger members of his audience and proceeds to instruct them. Having told the Elders to shepherd the flock that God has given to them, he now tells the flock to submit to their leadership. Not everyone is under my care, God has given certain individuals to me to teach, admonish and care for. This is interesting to note that God determines the size of the congregation. Not everyone who comes into the church is going to respond to my ministry. That has been clear over the years. People come and go, but the ones that are my flock stay until God moves them on. Satan would have the pastor spend most of his time trying to convince people to stay when he should be concentrating on the ones that have responded to his ministry. We try to build interest, enthusiasm, and a desire to be a part of the church. What we should do is look for those who show some interest and pour our heart and soul into those people. It is foolish to try and raise the death and ignore those who have an interest and want to grow and learn.
One generation passes and another one takes their place, but some things never change. The issues of life remain year after year. It seems the human race never really learns how to move forward to make real progress, instead each generation has to deal with the same issues the previous one dealt with. Because the sin nature is inherited from our parents, we just keep passing on the same old problems, rebellion, hatred, pride, foolishness. While each new generation must deal with the same issues some do better than others, but none ever really resolve the struggles. As I study history, I see the same issues the same heart ache, the same results. In the sixties I saw the rebellion, the riots, the marches, nothing has changed. The preacher of Ecclesiastes is correct, there is nothing new under the Sun when it comes to people. The only way to make a difference is to respond to God and His Word if we are ever going to see any relief from the oppression the world throws at us. Peter is now laying out for those who will listen how to have the good life, enjoy life, find meaning and purpose.
5:6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time
A. To be humble is to understand we are what we are by the grace of God. Someone who has humility is not proud and does not believe they are better than other people....a deep sense of humility. The world sees humility as low self esteem, low self worth, but that is not what Biblical humility is.
The opposite of humility is pride. There is perhaps no one of our natural passions so hard to subdue as pride. Beat it down, stifle it, mortify it as much as one pleases, it is still alive. Even if I could conceive that I had completely overcome it, I should probably be proud of my humility.
Benjamin Franklin, from his autobiography.
Pride is the only disease that makes everyone sick but the one who has it.
That's a critical view of life. One of the great responsibilities of parenting is helping our children understand they are special without being convinced they are superior. There is a difference between positive self-esteem and arrogance. All children begin life self-centered. When you are a baby it's all about me — my needs, my wants, my desires. It's all about ‘me' when you are a child. Some of you are discovering that it's somewhat the same with teens. So the task of every parent is to help our sons and daughters embrace “being a part of God's creation without thinking they are the center of it. That is an important lesson. How we fit into the world around us, primarily with our family and friends.
Teddy Roosevelt's love for the outdoors is well documented. He is responsible for many of our nation's parks and monuments. The story I like most about President Roosevelt is how he often took diplomatic guests out on the back lawn of the White House at the end of the day to sit and watch the stars. After sitting there for a while, Mr. Roosevelt would say “Gentlemen, I believe we are small enough now. Let us go to bed." Too bad world leaders can no longer see the stars from the White House. To be humble is to know that we are the created, not the Creator of the universe.
B. Humility sees others as important
1. What do you expect when you enter a room? To have all eyes notice you or do you seek to blend into the group?
2. Our conversation will give away our heart. Do we seek to encourage others, offer advice to help them, or simply dominate the conversation by talking about ourself, your accomplishments, your opinions, etc.
3. One key factor is seen in how we handle other people's accomplishments. Do we rejoice with them or seek to outdo them?
4. Do you find ways to criticize, find fault, tear down the people around you?
5. Is your daily routine involved with helping others or finding ways for others to serve you.
5:7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you
A. Our greatest resource is God
1. We all need help and there is nothing more arrogant than thinking "I don't need anyone or anything, I can handle it."
2. For many Christians they follow the principle “Why pray when you can worry?" A Greek proverb states, “The bow that is always bent will soon break!"
3. The National Mental Health Association released some startling statistics a few years ago. Twenty-five percent of all Americans suffer from mild to moderate depression, anxiety, loneliness and other symptoms related primarily to stress.
4. Four out of five adult family members see a need for less stress in their daily lives. One-half of all diseases including ulcers, high blood pressure, and cancer can have stress related origins.
Unmanaged stress is a major factor in homicides, suicides, child abuse, spouse abuse, and aggravated assaults. Americans are spending 64.9 billion dollars a year trying to deal with the stress in their lives.
5. We just talked about pride and pride is the one thing that would keep you from seeking help. All of us need help at some time in our lives. When that time times God is there, and He has provided others to come alone side and help in times of stress.
6. The problem is this, men will not seek God, so they struggle with no relief.
7. Jesus said, Matthew 11:28. Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me for I am humble and gentle in heart and you will find rest for your souls.
Bring your burdens to the Lord and leave them here. Or as the writer of Proverbs said, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge God and God will direct your paths." (Proverbs 3:5).
8. God will direct your path if you will let Him.
5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world (I Peter 5:8).
1. Our battle is not merely against our own moral lapses, or the woes of ecological hazards, or world-wide economic shifts or any of the “isms" of church or state. Our struggle is not just against flesh and blood but with principalities and powers and the spiritual forces of evil in heavenly places. Be alert. It's tough out there. It's not going to be easy.
2. We need to have our eyes open wide as we travel through this world.
3. Satan is constantly putting things in front of us to get our attention off what we should be doing.
4. While on a trip to the zoo one day, a boy and his father saw a huge lion. The lion was prowling around his enclosure and letting out chilling roars. The boy became very frightened and screamed in terror, but his father remained calm and unafraid. Why? The boy was frightened because he saw only the lion, while the father was unafraid because he saw the cage enclosing the lion.
The Christian’s view of Satan should be like that of the father rather than that of the boy, for our fierce enemy is like a caged lion. We make a big mistake when we think we can let the Lion out of the cage without repercussions.
5: 9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. 10 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. 11 To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
1. Stand firm in the faith because you know that your brothers and sisters in all the world are undergoing the same kind of suffering (I Peter 5:9).
2. Andrew Jackson said, “One person with courage makes a majority."
3. Courage is the power to endure in unchangeable situations of life. Courage is the ability to give a reason for the hope that lies within us. Courage is seeing a wrong and trying to right it. Courage is standing up for liberty and justice for all. Stand firm.
4. To stand firm is Jesus not fainting in the face of a cross. To stand firm is early Christians not recanting under threats from Rome. To stand firm is the Church today recovering its real purpose for being. To stand firm is Christianity not becoming a pawn of modern-day politics. Stand firm in the faith regardless of the circumstances of life.
ChristianGlobe Networks, Inc., Faith Breaks, by J. Howard Olds
Strategies of Satan with unbelievers:
1) blinding the minds of the unregenerate (2 Cor. 4:4).
2) snatching away the good seed of the word (Matthew 13:19).
3) lulling the unbeliever into a false sense of security (Luke 11:21).
4) laying snares for the unwary (2 Timothy 2:25-26).
5) masquerading as an angel of light (2 Cor 11:13-14).
6) deceiving those whose minds are not subject to the Word of truth (Rev 12:9).
7) mixing truth with error (Matthew 13:25-8).
Strategies of Satan with believers:
1) annihilate the church or neutralize its witness from within (Acts 5:1-6).
2) virulent persecution from without.
3) smother its witness by according it great popularity.
4) disturb the unity of the church by creating discord and division
5) subversion of the church through apostasy and heresy (2 Peter 2:1-2).
J.O. Sanders, Satan is No Myth, Moody, 1975, p. 72ff
Conclusion - One of the few creatures on earth that has an unbelievable ability to jump is the Impala. This is an African deer with a supercharged spring. It has a vertical leap of over 10 feet and can broad jump over 30 feet. You would think that the zoos of the world would find it impossible to keep such an animal enclosed. Not so! It's rather easy. Because the experts discovered something about the Impala. It will not jump unless it can see where it is going to land. Therefore, a solid wall even 6 feet tall is a sufficient enclosure. Lots of Christians have the Impala problem. They won't take a leap in faith unless they have all the answers in advance about where the leap will take them. But God is looking for some bold believers who, even in the face of the unknown, will leap when the Spirit says leap, will fly when the Spirit says fly, will launch when the Spirit says launch, all to the glory of the Lord. 5:11 To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen
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