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Friday, December 27, 2013

Context Two

Yesterday I shared that the context of verses I had previously memorized has made a difference in how I understand the passage.  We looked at 1 Peter 5:7 yesterday.  I want to focus on verse 8 today.
The context of our favorite verses can add a great deal to our understanding and application.  Thoughts at DTTB.
You probably know this verse well.  It is quoted often when we talk about spiritual warfare.  We share about the reality of an enemy that is continually coming against us in our faith.  Like you I have had this verse memorized for several years.  I have used this passage in presentations for years both in groups and one on one.  I missed some things.

Like verse 7 yesterday, verse 8 follows hard on the heels of Peter’s exhortation to leaders to shepherd, submit, and behave humbly with one another.  Reading through that yesterday what struck me is that the immediate context of Peter’s warning about the destructive intent of the enemy was in the context of his exhortation to those leaders.

It seems that the enemy comes after leaders in the way that Peter describes:
  • Discouraging them from shepherding the flock
  • Financial pressure
  • Serving out of duty rather than a desire to serve Christ’s Body
  • Becoming dictatorial
  • Becoming proud of what one has accomplished
  • Becoming anxious about the impact one is making in one’s ministry
I have seen and experienced all of these in the last 35 years both personally and in observing other leaders.  But by focusing on the verse, which is really good, and not linking it to the context, I missed the clear warning.  So I was not able to resist as well as I could have.

Context matters.

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