Shepherd Leaders are Willing to Lead (1 Peter 5:1-4)

1 Peter 5:1-4

In out last blog we compared the leadership style of a shepherd to that of a wolf. A shepherd puts the interest of the flock before his or her own. The wolf ravages the flock and leads for their own advantage rather than the care of the flock. If the leadership style of a wolf can be marked by vices such as sloth, greed, and power, the leadership style of a shepherd offers a cure for each of these maladies in the form of a virtue. Let us first look at sloth.

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Lead as a shepherd not as a wolf (1 Peter 5:1-4)

1 Peter 5:1-4

There has never been a greater need for upright leaders in our country than now. It ought not surprise us that the greatest lessons in leadership come not from the latest leadership books but from the Bible. Harvard, Princeton, and Yale were originally founded as training centers to produce godly, Christian leaders. They took their lead from the Good Book.

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Suffering for Heaven’s Sake (1 Peter 4:12-19)

1 Peter 4:12-19

No one likes to suffer. When given a choice between suffering or maintaining a sense of peace and tranquility, almost all will want to choose the latter. This makes sense. We were never meant to be at home with pain and suffering. Pain and suffering did not exist in Eden (Genesis 2:4-25). Nor will it exist in the New Heaven and New Earth, where there will be no more death, mourning, crying, or pain (Revelation 24:4). Our hearts naturally desire to be in a state of peace, harmony, and tranquility, where suffering and pain are eliminated.

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Our View of the Future Shapes How We Live (1 Peter 4:7-11)

1 Peter 4:7-11

How you view the future dramatically impacts how you live. If you view the future as bleak and hopeless, you will live as if nothing really matters. You will have no motivation to do good, because your dismal efforts carry no lasting weight. On the other hand, if you believe the future depends solely on your actions, you will become frustrated – even violent – if things do not go your way.

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Sex, Party, and the Christian (1 Peter 4:1-7)

1 Peter 4:1-7

There are many behaviors that Christians adhere to that society at best views as peculiar and at worst as worthy of ridicule. Times have not changed much since Peter wrote his First Letter nearly two thousand years ago. Roman society viewed such things as unbridled sexual behavior, drunkenness, and disorderly party culture as undesirable. However, most of the people back then, like people today, felt such ideals out of touch, or at least out of reach. Peter called his fellow brothers and sisters in Christ to resist such urges to follow the culture, “They are surprised that you do not join them in their reckless, wild living, and they heap abuse on you (1 Peter 4:4).”

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What are you craving? (1 Peter 2:1-3)

1 Peter 2:1-3

What do you crave? Success in life? Popularity? Good health? Wealth? Power? Most of the things we crave leave us hungry and wanting more, even after we get them. There is a story of a pastor visiting a couple’s home. Atop the mantle of their fireplace was the painting of a beautiful home large in stature. The pastor inquired about the paining. “Oh,” the couple replied, “that is our dream home.” A few years later, the couple had that very home built. The pastor went back to visit them in their new home, after some time passed. Atop the mantle of their new fireplace was a new painting of an even more beautiful and larger house. The pastor again inquired. “That’s our dream home,” the couple explained. Will our appetites ever be satisfied? Will we always want more?

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Practice Your Independence with Dependence (1 Peter 2:13-17)

1 Peter 2:13-17

At a time when governmental interference into our personal lives is at an all time high, the Bible’s command to submit to our governing authorities may sound like more intrusion than help (1 Peter 2:13-17). However, this command may be the healing balm Christians can offer our fragmenting nation.

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Being Oddly Good When Violence is the Norm (1 Peter 2:11-12)

1 Peter 2:11-12

For those of us living in modern Western civilization, it is hard to imagine a time when Christians were a minority group. Nevertheless, at the time Peter wrote his First Letter, Christians were verbally berated and sometimes hunted down and killed. They would not give in to all the values and customs of the culture around them and were scorned for doing so. Tacitus, a Roman historian and a near contemporary of Peter, said of Christians, “…an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted […]. Mockery of every sort was added to their deaths. Covered with skins of beasts, they were torn by dogs and perished, or were nailed to crosses, or were doomed to the flames and burnt, to serve as a nightly illumination, when daylight expired.”

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When Trials Come (Exodus 14:10-31)

red sea

Exodus 14:10-31

When troubles and hardships come, our first reaction is often to panic. As the late Irish biblical scholar Alec Motyer said, “hardships breed a swarm of ‘Why.’” Why me? Why us? Why her? Why them? Why this way? Why this job? Why this relationship? Why does it hurt so much?

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The Lamb of God (Exodus 12:3-7, 12-13)

Jesus in the Exodus Journey

Exodus 12:3-7, 12-13

Many of us are familiar with the Passover story. Pharaoh of Egypt forced Israel into cruel slavery. The Lord God sent Moses to rescue his people. After nine plagues, Pharaoh still refused to let them go. Finally, the Lord God deals a final blow. The plague of affliction passes through Egypt, killing every firstborn, forcing Pharaoh to let Israel go (Exodus 12:29).

We often fail to notice that the Egyptian households were not the only ones with someone dead during the Passover. Someone died in the Israelite households too. Prior to that night, the Lord God gave Israel specific instructions. They were to take a lamb several days prior. It was to be a male, which made sense because males were often used for meat and females saved for milking and breeding. It was to be a year old, which would have made it virtually an adult animal. They were to calculate the need for one meal for each household. If a household was too small for a lamb, they were to share it with their neighbor. This was to be their last supper in Egypt, and it was to be a feast.

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