Church leaders, I am writing to encourage you. I too am a leader, as well as a witness to Christ's suffering, and I will share in his glory when it is shown to us. 2
Just as shepherds watch over their sheep, you must watch over everyone God has placed in your care. Do it willingly in order to please God, and not simply because you think you must. Let it be something you want to do, instead of something you do merely to make money. 3
Don't be bossy to those people who are in your care, but set an example for them. 4
Then when Christ the Chief Shepherd returns, you will be given a crown that will never lose its glory. 5
All of you young people should obey your elders. In fact, everyone should be humble toward everyone else. The Scriptures say, “God opposes proud people, but he helps everyone who is humble.” 6
Be humble in the presence of God's mighty power, and he will honor you when the time comes. 7
God cares for you, so turn all your worries over to him. 8
Be on your guard and stay awake. Your enemy, the devil, is like a roaring lion, sneaking around to find someone to attack. 9
But you must resist the devil and stay strong in your faith. You know that all over the world the Lord's followers are suffering just as you are. 10
But God shows undeserved kindness to everyone. That's why he appointed Christ Jesus to choose you to share in his eternal glory. You will suffer for a while, but God will make you complete, steady, strong, and firm. 11
God will be in control forever! Amen.
Scripture taken from the Contemporary English Version ®. Copyright © 1995 American Bible Society. Used by permission.