Fr. Stavros N. Akrotirianakis is the Proistamenos of St. John Greek Orthodox Church in Tampa, FL. Fr. contributes the Prayer Team Ministry, a daily reflection, which began in February 2015, has produced two books, “Let All Creation Rejoice: Reflections on Advent, the Nativity and Epiphany” and “The Road Back to Christ: Reflections on Lent, Holy Week and the Resurrection.”
Listen Now. We will now be including the daily reading of Epistle and Gospel with The Prayer Team.
ENGAGED: The Call to Be Disciples
Go, therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. Matthew 28:19-20
The Benefits of Being a Disciple—Rewards You Can Reap Today—Part Twenty-One
They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of your words that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.” John 4:42
Good morning Prayer Team!
Christ is Risen!
Today’s Scripture verse is taken from the end of the Gospel account of Jesus and the Samaritan Woman in John 4. We know that Jesus had this incredible dialogue with the Samaritan Woman, an encounter that led her to proclaim to the people of her town, “Come see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” (John 4: 29) We know that the result of her testimony led many people to Jesus. We read in John 4:39, “Many Samaritans from that city believed in Him because of the woman’s testimony, ‘He told me all that I ever did.’” Her encouragement led them to Christ, and “many more believed because of His word.” (4:41)
Ultimately a decision to follow Christ is the result of a personal encounter with Him. Encouragement from others helps that encounter happen, maybe even facilitates the encounter happening. However, the choice to be a disciple is a deeply personal choice. As we read in John 4:42, the people said to the Samaritan Woman “It is no longer because of your words that we believe, for we have heard ourselves and WE know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.”
For the past twenty reflections, we have discussed the benefits of being a disciple. We have listed fifteen specific rewards one can experience by being a disciple of Christ.
They are: Intimacy with God, wisdom, mercy, peace, grace, fulfilment, purpose, joy, hope, order, encouragement, direction, comfort, confidence, and most of all, Christ.
This list is not an exhaustive list by any means. With today’s reflection wrapping up this sub-unit of our discussion on discipleship, a unit which has discussed fifteen specific benefits of being a disciple, it is my hope that you’ll sit down today or in the next couple of days, and add to this list of fifteen, with the benefits that YOU receive from following Jesus. I know what motivates me. I know these fifteen reasons well. And I could add other personal benefits to the list as well. I know what Christ does for people in general, and I know what He does for me specifically. Look over this list of fifteen benefits and reflect on which ones you are enjoying, and which ones you wish to develop further. Then reflect on additional benefits that YOU derive from your relationship with Christ.
Christ is risen from the dead, by death trampling down upon death, and to those in the tombs, He has granted life! (Hymn of Pascha)
Reflect on the rewards that you have personally found in following Christ!
With Roger Hunt providing today’s Daily Reading: Listen Now.
These readings are under copyright and is used by permission. All rights reserved. These works may not be further reproduced, in print or on other websites or in any other form, without the prior written authorization of the copyright holder: Reading © Holy Transfiguration Monastery – Brookline, MA, Apolytikion of Abbot Marcellus © Narthex Press, Kontakion of Abbot Marcellus © Holy Transfiguration Monastery – Brookline, MA.
The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyrighted 1946, 1952, 1971, and 1973 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. and used by permission. From the Online Chapel of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.
Photo Credit: desiringGod
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