How have we helped someone belong and be real in Christ this week?

WHAT DID GOD SAY IN HIS WORD?

So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: 2 shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; 3 not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. 4 And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. 5 Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 11 To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

12 By Silvanus, a faithful brother as I regard him, I have written briefly to you, exhorting and declaring that this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it. 13 She who is at Babylon, who is likewise chosen, sends you greetings, and so does Mark, my son. 14 Greet one another with the kiss of love. Peace to all of you who are in Christ.

Recall from Sunday:

God’s grace flows through people (5:1-5), prayer (5:6-7), and perseverance (5:8-11)

Reflect:

What are the most significant notes you took during the sermon?

What did you learn about God and his plans for us from the Bible passage?

WHAT DID GOD SAY TO ME THROUGH HIS WORD?

Peter calls us to shepherd well and relate to each other in humility in order to give and receive God’s grace to each other (5:1-5). Is there someone God is bringing to mind that you could lead more considerately, looking out for their good instead of your benefit? Is there someone God is bringing to mind that you’ve been dismissive towards instead of prayerfully listening to them in humility?

Prayer is how we humble ourselves before God and cast our anxieties on him to receive his grace and help (5:6-7). How often do you rely on your own strength and cleverness first before bringing your anxieties to God? How do you think God feels about you coming to him with requests?

The graces coming from community and prayer should result in perseverance in our battle with our enemy the devil (5:8-11). How successful are you in resisting the temptations that come your way? What does that say about your access to God’s grace? What could you do this week to connect more deeply with God and receive his strength?

WHAT DOES GOD WANT ME TO DO ABOUT IT?

If God’s grace to us through Christian community is only available as we clothe ourselves in humility towards each other (5:5), then we had better make a practice of growing in humility. Learning to listen considerately is a great place to start. Share with each other about what makes you feel most heard or listened to, and consider how you could listen more considerately to someone else this week. Beyond helping us receive God’s grace from others, this kind of listening will be a blessing that will help others feel they belong.

Spend some time in prayer, asking God to help in your anxieties and troubles.