No Safer Place

Photo by Ramiro Pianarosa on Unsplash

What do you think of as a safe place? It may be described as a child runs to the comfort of his mother or father and the protection of their arms. It could be a shelter in the midst of a storm. Maybe it is having security during a violent uprising. As those serve as a sort of safe place there is no other safe place than being under the mighty hand of God.

Peter writes to the Christians in Asia Minor, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:6-7).

He is pointing out that the safest place to be is under the mighty hand. Here are few points to reflect on.

1) Humble Yourselves

The mighty hand of God can seem like a burden or a shelter. For example take the Exodus event into account. To the Egyptians, God’s mighty hand was one of power and might. They rebelled against God and his mighty hand was heavier. But for the Israelites, the mighty hand of God was safety and a shelter. He protected them and guided them. The psalmist says, “For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock” (Psalm 27:5).

The Egyptians rebelled and his hand was heavy towards them. The Israelites needed to walk in humility and it was a shelter. The same is true for you and I.

2) Access to God

The one who walks humbly (because God opposes the proud) receives grace and can approach his throne of grace boldly because of Jesus, the humble servant, who paved the way for us.

We then can cast our anxieties on him. The word cast means to throw off or like a fisherman casting his lure we cast our anxieties, worries, and stresses and give them to God. This passage doesn’t tell us what God does with them, but all I know is that we can give them to him and he will handle them a lot better than I can.

3) He Cares For You

Notice Peter points out why we can cast our cares and worries to God. He does not just say because he is God and he can handle it which is true. Or, we can cast our cares because God is sovereign and is in charge of it all. No, we can cast our cares on him because he cares for us.

This is amazing that the sovereign God who knows you cares for you. His care is deep and wide. His care was demonstrated as Jesus suffered and died on our behalf on the cross. God’s care was confirmed through his resurrection from the dead three days later. God is the God who cares for you!

The safest place is to be under the mighty hand of God!

Look to Jesus the Chief Shepherd

It has been somewhat of a whirlwind since our arriving to our new home on Sept. 13. God has called us to Bellingham, Washington to lead his church, Rome Community Bible Church.

This is our second week being here and we are enjoying the Washington rain! I wanted to take a moment and reflect on the points from 1 Peter 5:1-5 that I shared from the first message as it pertains to my position as an under shepherd and a biblical expectation of that role. 

1) The elder’s task is to shepherd the flock (vs 2).
This means pointing you, the congregation, in the direction as you go through the daily difficulties of life, feeding you God’s word, caring for you and your spiritual condition, and protecting you from the predators of the world and even within the church.

Feeding the flock is the importance of teaching the whole counsel of the Word of God. This is presenting it wholly and as holly!

Caring is not just making visits, phone calls, or having gospel conversations. It is having the burden of the congregations spiritual well being on my mind.

Protecting is from presenting God’s Word as truth and directing the congregation to be on guard. This also means spotting the wolves in sheep’s clothing to protect the flock.

2) The elder’s motivation (verses 2-3).
It is one which is motivated by looking to Jesus, the chief shepherd. It is not under compulsion or obligation but out of love for Jesus and others. It is not for shameful gain but eagerly knowing that there are the riches found in Jesus alone. Not domineering and abusing power but looking at the example of Jesus who leads willingly and humbly. 

This is the proper motivation which is Jesus, the true reward. His riches are vast, his love is great, and he is worth it.

3) The elder’s reward (verses 4-5)
The true reward is Jesus! The crown of unfading glory is being in the presence of the Lord knowing that the things of this world pass away but what matters is looking to Jesus who is the founder and perfecter of our faith (Heb. 12:2). I desire to look to Jesus who is the Chief Shepherd of RCBC and that is my prayer for you too! He loves this church more than you are I could ever.