Tend the Flock of God
5 1 I have a special concern for you church leaders. I know what it's like to be a leader, in on Christ's sufferings as well as the coming glory. 2 Here's my concern: that you care for God's flock with all the diligence of a shepherd. Not because you have to, but because you want to please God. Not calculating what you can get out of it, but acting spontaneously.[ 3 Not bossily telling others what to do, but tenderly showing them the way. 4 When God, who is the best shepherd of all, comes out in the open with his rule, he'll see that you've done it right and commend you lavishly.
5 And you who are younger must follow your leaders. But all of you, leaders and followers alike, are to be down to earth with each other, for - God has had it with the proud, But takes delight in just plain people. 6 So be content with who you are, and don't put on airs. God's strong hand is on you; he'll promote you at the right time. 7 Live carefree before God; he is most careful with you.
8 Keep a cool head. Stay alert. The Devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping. 9 Keep your guard up. You're not the only ones plunged into these hard times. It's the same with Christians all over the world. So keep a firm grip on the faith.
10 The suffering won't last forever. It won't be long before this generous God who has great plans for us in Christ - eternal and glorious plans they are! - will have you put together and on your feet for good. 11 He gets the last word; yes, he does.
12 I'm sending this brief letter to you by Silas, a most dependable brother. I have the highest regard for him. I've written as urgently and accurately as I know how. This is God's generous truth; embrace it with both arms! 13 The church in exile here with me - but not for a moment forgotten by God - wants to be remembered to you. Mark, who is like a son to me, says hello. 14 Give holy embraces all around! Peace to you - to all who walk in Christ's ways.