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. The Prayer Team now has its own dedicated website! Fr. Stavros has produced two books, “Let All Creation Rejoice: Reflections on Advent, the Nativity and Epiphany”: “https://amzn.to/2t1rXwh and “The Road Back to Christ: Reflections on Lent, Holy Week and the Resurrection.” https://amzn.to/2WAcfG0
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
Setting the Holy Spirit Free
More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, which has been given to us. Romans 5: 3-5
Good morning Prayer Team!
If we have access to the Holy Spirit through prayer and the sacraments, it is up to us then to set the Spirit free in us. For the Holy Spirit is not poured onto us, but poured into us. The Holy Spirit is not poured on me but poured into me. The Spirit dwells in me. He is alive in me.
Until we encounter Christ, really encounter Him, really surrender to Him, it’s as if we keep the Holy Spirit hostage. We don’t allow Him to do what He could do for us. We don’t let Him work in us. Unless, I have the encounter with Christ, the Holy Spirit is bound—I’m not allowing Him to do anything. Do we have the Spirit? Absolutely, we do. He has been poured into us at our baptism, in our Chrismation, through the grace of the sacraments. It is up to use to let Him work in us.
One we set the Holy Spirit free in us, to move in us, then things happen. First, we see God as Lord, Father, Savior and friend. He is no longer the enemy. We understand that God is always faithful.
Secondly, the Holy Spirit unmasks the lie of Satan—“You will be like God.” The devil told Adam and Eve that they needed to be like God because God was the enemy. God is not the enemy—The Holy Spirit unmasks this lie.
Third, the Holy Spirit gives us power to change. The Holy Spirit shows the devil for who he is—the great deceiver. He shows us who God really is—Our Father. And the Holy Spirit shows us who we really are—chosen children who are worthy of God. The Holy Spirit allows me to see who I really am—a chosen child who is worthy of God. It is the Holy Spirit and His grace that gives us the strength to surrender, and the wisdom to understand why we are surrendering.
Today’s quote from Romans tells us that difficulties and challenges are necessarily bad things. Because the Holy Spirit, poured into our hearts, gives us the means to meet every challenge we face, and that our sufferings are not pointless.
The Holy Spirit provides the means, grace, why which we surrender. Setting Him free in us is what sets us free from the lie of Satan. Setting Him free is what builds up our identity as children of God. Pray then, for the grace of the Holy Spirit to be set free in you, and for the courage to take down the barriers that keep Him hostage in your life.
When Thou sendest forth Thy Spirit, they are created; and Thou renewest the face of the ground. May the glory of the Lord endure forever, may the Lord rejoice in His works, who looks on the earth and it trembles, who touches the mountains and they smoke! I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have being. May my meditation be pleasing to Him, for I rejoice in the Lord. Let sinners be consumed from the earth, and let the wicked be no more! Bless the Lord, O my soul! Praise the Lord! Psalm 104: 30-35
We all have the grace of the Holy Spirit. It has been poured into each of us. Work to set this grace free, so it can work for us, and lead us to true freedom in 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.
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