Summary: A sermon reminding listeners to remain alert against the devil's schemes to overthrow our confidence and joy.
And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous he was afraid. And Peter remembered the Word of the Lord how He had said to him, “Before the cock crows today, you will deny me three times.” You have been born again. This new life did not come from something that dies but from something that cannot die.
The title of today’s talk is called Don’t Feed the Lions. Don’t feed the lions. And everybody knows if you read first Peter five, most people camp out in verse nine, eight or nine there where it says be self controlled and alert. Your enemy, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion. I believe that this entire chapter leads up to verse eight. That verse two through seven, set the table for that scripture in verse eight.
So we’re going to take a look at that today. So let’s start reading now in first Peter five verse one. To the elders among you I appeal as a fellow elder, a witness of Christ’s sufferings and one who will also share in the glory to be revealed. Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers, not because you must, but because you’re willing, as God wants you to be.
Now listen, notice this right here, of all the vices, moral failures that you could have pointed out to church leaders, notice what Peter especially warns church leaders about. He didn’t say lust. He didn’t say anger. He didn’t say anything else. What he said was this, not greedy for money. Of all the things, all the warnings he could’ve given leaders of the church, he says, “Listen, watch out for this thing. Don’t be greedy. Don’t be greedy for money and stuff.” He says, “But eager to serve not lording it over those entrusted to you but being examples to the flock.”
Let me stop here for a minute, I didn’t plan to say this but I thought of it, so I think it’s brilliant. All right, every time I get to speak from time to time in front of pastors. And I tell them I said, “Listen, do you know who the worship leader of the church is?” The Senior Pastor, the guy who’s leading. And that’s why I sit here, and that’s why I worship because I’m leading by example. And I tell Senior Pastors this, I said, “When I find a Senior Pastor who does not worship, who does not lead the congregation in worship, most of the time it’s because he is accustomed to being worshipped.” And that’s exactly the response I get back from the pastors.
Listen, we’re here to point our attention toward Christ and Christ alone. And if it ever becomes about something else, then we’ve missed it, haven’t we? And this is what Peter’s saying, listen. “Don’t lord it over them. Don’t be eager for money but be an example to the flock.” Eager, eager, eager to serve.
All right verse three; “Not lording it over those entrusted to you but being examples to the flock.” I just read that. Verse four; “And when the chief shepherd appears you’ll receive the crown of glory that will never fade away. Young men in the same way, be submissive to those who are older. All of you, men, women, young, old, all of you clothe yourselves with humility toward one another because God opposes the proud that gives grace to the humble.”
In other words, if you’re living a prideful life, God literally is in opposition to you and not working for you. He’s opposing you. Isn’t that an amazing scripture? God opposes the proud. I don’t want God to be opposing me. I want God to be for me. It says, verse six; “Humble yourselves therefore under God’s mighty hand that He may lift you up in due time and cast all your anxiety on Him because he cares for you.”
Now here’s verse eight. Here’s the key; “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” Verse nine is amazing: “Resist him; standing firm in the faith because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing this same kind of sufferings.”
You know Pastor Mathews, our pastor of local outreach. He’s also connected to our global ministries and I’m telling you, I wish every Sunday I could stand here and tell you the amazing stories of what’s going on around in the world. And we need to do a better job of that I know, but right now as we speak, there are men and women who literally, especially in countries like Iran, and Afghanistan, and throughout Asia, where Muslim countries, where they’re doing a tremendous work.