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.
Go-To Verses of the Bible
For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39
Good morning Prayer Team!
As we greet a new work/school week, there are many among us who are excited. This week holds a lot of promise. And sadly, there are some of us who are dreading this week. It holds a lot of challenge. Some of us have difficult bosses, or difficult co-workers, or unsatisfying jobs. Some have challenging children, unfulfilling marriages, or lack a good group of friends. Some are zipping along in life. Others are really struggling. Everyone of us is destined for a different kind of week, a unique experience in the days to come.
Regardless of your circumstance, and regardless of what kind of week this is going to be for anyone, there is one thing we all have in common. God loves us all. And His love is accessible to all. Everything can be going wrong in life and we are still welcome to God’s love. We can mess us and come back to God and we are guaranteed He will still love us.
Today’s verses of scripture are not pragmatic. They don’t give direction. They give us confidence. We may lose a job, or a friend, or a marriage, or a family member, even our reputation and our freedom, but no one can take God’s love from us. Nothing can separate us from His love. Saint Paul makes that very dramatically clear in his letter to the Romans when he writes that nothing can separate us from the love of God—not death, not life, no ruler or political party, nothing that is happening in the present or in the future, no height or depth or any kind of challenge, indeed nothing in all of creation. What a statement! Nothing in all of creation can separate us from the love of God. The greatest tragedy cannot do it. The greatest sin cannot do it. Nothing can separate us from the love of God.
The only thing that can separate us from God is us. If you had a bad week last week, work to have a better one this week. If you didn’t put in honest work last week, put in an honest work week. If you weren’t efficient, be efficient. Thankfully, our time is divided into new days and weeks and months, constant “new” time intervals to love God as we should, and to accept His love as we should.
When you have your back to the wall and it seems like the whole world is against you, when you are at a low point and you wonder if it will ever get any better, read Romans 8:38-39. Go to a place by yourself and say it out loud. Go to a place where no one can hear you and scream it out—NOTHING CAN SEPARATE ME FROM THE LOVE OF GOD!
Lord, as I begin a new week, I am thankful to You for the opportunity to start anew in life. Help me to radiate Your love in whatever I am doing this week. Help me to feel Your love and to accept Your love. Give me the confidence to know that You love me at all times and in all circumstances. Strengthen me when I feel alone. Comfort me when I feel down. And inspire me to strengthen and comfort others, shining Your Light and love on them, just as You shine Light and love on me. Amen.
Nothing can separate you from the love of God!
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: Motivated by Jesus
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