And now, a word to you who are elders in the churches. I, too, am an elder and a witness to the sufferings of Christ. And I, too, will share his glory and his honor when he returns. As a fellow elder, this is my appeal to you:
Care for the flock of God entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly -- not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God.
Don't lord it over the people assigned to your care, but lead them by your good example.
And when the head Shepherd comes, your reward will be a never-ending share in his glory and honor.
You younger men, accept the authority of the elders. And all of you, serve each other in humility, for "God sets himself against the proud, but he shows favor to the humble." a6
So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and in his good time he will honor you.
Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about what happens to you.
Be careful! Watch out for attacks from the Devil, your great enemy. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for some victim to devour.
Take a firm stand against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters b all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are.
In his kindness God called you to his eternal glory by means of Jesus Christ. After you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation.
All power is his forever and ever. Amen.
I have written this short letter to you with the help of Silas, c whom I consider a faithful brother. My purpose in writing is to encourage you and assure you that the grace of God is with you no matter what happens.
Your sister church here in Rome d sends you greetings, and so does my son Mark.
Greet each other in Christian love. e Peace be to all of you who are in Christ.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)