1 So, the elders in the various places where you live, are to receive the following exhortation. (I too, am an elder and have witnessed the sufferings of Christ, and am also assured of partaking of the glorious [salvation, 1:5] that will someday be revealed). 2 You should serve as shepherds of God's flock [i.e., the church], among whom you minister, providing careful oversight [of the people], not because you feel forced to, but because you want to, as this is in accordance with the way God wants it to be. Do not [serve as elders] simply out of a desire for the income you receive, but because your heart is in it. 3 Do not act as dictators over the people you are assigned to care for, but [rather] serve as examples of how they ought to live. 4 And when the Supreme Shepherd [i.e., Jesus] comes back, you will receive [for your effort] a glorious crown [of reward] that will never fade away [Note: The idea of "fading away" is suggested by the laurel wreath bestowed on the winner of an athletic contest].
5 And in the same way, you younger [Christians] should be [respectfully] submissive to the older ones. And all of you should [be willing to] humbly serve one another, for God stands opposed to [the efforts of] proud people, but extends His unearned favor to those [who serve] with humility.
6 Therefore, be humble [in your actions] before God's powerful authority, so that you may be exalted [by Him] at the proper time. 7 Place all your anxious cares upon God [in prayer], because He genuinely cares about you.
8 Be sensible and alert; your enemy the devil is prowling around like a roaring [i.e., hungry] lion looking for someone to [kill and] eat. 9 You should withstand his efforts by maintaining a strong faith [in God], remembering that your [Christian] brothers in [the rest of] the world are experiencing [and enduring] suffering similar to yours.
10 And the God who bestows every unearned favor [upon His people], who invited you to partake of His eternal splendor through Christ Jesus, will restore, confirm, strengthen and stabilize you people [in the faith], after you have gone through a brief time of suffering. 11 May God have total authority over everything [including your circumstances] forever. May it be so.
12 This brief message is being inscribed [or delivered] by Silvanus, whom I consider to be a faithful brother. [In it] I am exhorting you and giving testimony that it is a message about God's genuine unearned favor upon you. So, continue to follow [and obey] what it says. 13 Your sister [church] here in Babylon, [also] chosen [by God], as you have been, sends her greetings along with my [spiritual] son Mark. 14 Greet one another lovingly, [expressing it] with a kiss [of brotherly affection]. May there be peace [of heart] to all those [there] who are in [the fellowship of] Christ.