Everyone, Peter declares, should be clothed in humility within Christian fellowships and this will be demonstrated through their language and behaviour; otherwise we set ourselves against the Almighty, who opposes the proud. We all are to be humble with each other and humble before God, even at times when we have no idea what He is doing and we are tempted to rail against the injustice of God's actions. At those times, Peter implores, put yourselves more fully into the hands of God. He uses the same principle as Mother Teresa: 'Love until it hurts and then keeping on loving!'. Are you going through troubled times? Do you feel that you have been pushed to breaking point? Cast yourself even more deeply into the arms of the Almighty, all-loving God. Assume that God wants to know about all your concerns, down to the most trivial. He is the God who turns His searching eyes on to us, focusses on us-gives us all His attention-as we cry out to Him. Remember Jesus' parable about the Pharisee and the tax-collector? One prayed to make himself feel better and to show off and the other cried out in wholehearted need: he was the one whom God heard (Luke 18 v 9-14). Peter speaks wise words to the leaders of the churches he is writing to, urging them to respect his authority-not principally for what he has done or said, but because of what he has suffered. Wisdom so often comes because of suffering: C S Lewis stated that it was God's megaphone to the world. Now, I am an elder, a leader, in Bearfield and I am challenged by these words: do I care assiduously for those in this fellowship, especially the young lambs-either physically young or spiritual babies? I have sought to be a servant leader amongst you instead of lording it over you and I feel the great privilege of being called by God to watch over you.
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