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
All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness. II Timothy 3:16
Good morning Prayer Team!
Writing again from summer camp, our theme for this year is reading the Holy Bible. A quick survey reveals that most of our young people, and probably the majority of our older people do not read the Bible on a regular basis. In fact, most people’s experience of Scripture is what is read in the church. A number of reasons are given for this, including that it is difficult to understand, or they do not know where to begin. So, I will address some of these concerns because if these are shared by young people, they are probably shared by all of our people.
There is a Roman Catholic priest named Fr. Larry Richards, who I listen to from time to time. He is always encouraging people to read the Bible. In fact, his motto is “No Bible, no breakfast; no Bible, no bed.” He argues that the Bible is more important than food or sleep. If we wouldn’t leave home without eating breakfast, why wouldn’t we leave home without having spent a few minutes in God’s Word? If we are going to watch TV, have a drink, or read a book before bed in order to wind down, why wouldn’t we spend another few minutes in God’s Word as we end the day?
As we read in II Timothy 3:16, scripture was written by people who were inspired by God. The purpose of scripture is to teach us, to correct us and to train us in righteousness. How can one learn anything if he does not read? After all, the first academic discipline one learns is how to read. Take reading out, and all the other academic disciplines fail. Thus, it is critical that we read and study scripture.
The next question is, where do we start? If you’ve never read the Bible, I suggest you start with the four Gospels—Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Read about the life of Christ, His teachings, His message of salvation, His Passion and Resurrection. After the Gospels, read the Epistles, which are letters to the early churches. These letters are as relevant today as they were two thousand years ago, whether we are talking about love (I Corinthians 13) or the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5), these issues which St. Paul wrote about to the early churches as just as important to the church today. If you’ve made it through the Gospels and Epistles, hopefully your appetite has been whetted to read some of the Old Testament to get some foundational background. Again, it doesn’t matter if you read the Bible book by book, or just pick a page at random, you will find nuggets of spiritual inspiration and direction on almost every page.
Lord, thank You for the sacred scriptures which You inspired people to write. Thank you for the inspiration and direction I receive from their reading. Help me to get in the habit of reading Scripture and to seek counsel and comfort in reading daily. Please help me to understand what I read and apply it to my life. Amen.
“No Bible, no breakfast; no Bible, no bed!”
Visit our site each day to read the daily devotion!
ABOUT THE ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN NETWORK
The Orthodox Christian Network (OCN) is an official agency of the Assembly of Canonical Bishops of the United States of America, originally commissioned by SCOBA to create a national, sustainable, and effective media witness for Orthodox Christianity and seekers around the world through media ministry. CLICK HERE to download our brochure.
This 501(c)3 is recognized as a leader in the Orthodox Media field and has sustained consistent growth over twenty years. OCN shares the timeless faith of Orthodoxy with the contemporary world through modern media. We are on a mission to inspire Orthodox Christians Worldwide. We have reached 5.7 Million People in One Week. Much like public radio, the Orthodox Christian Network relies on the support of our listeners, readers, and fans. If you are interested in supporting our work, you can send your gift by direct mail, over the phone, or on our website. Your gift will ensure that OCN may continue to offer free, high-quality, Orthodox media.
Do you find it hard to keep focused on Christ when you’re on the go? OCN makes it easy! Give today to help you and your Orthodox community stay connected no matter the location.
Spark OCN app is an Orthodox Christian News portal that allows you to take action. Spark provides daily devotions, live Bible study, and you can read and learn about events going on in the Orthodox Christian world, especially those concerning persecuted Christians. In addition to making it easy to share news and articles with friends, Spark allows you make prayer requests for those who are suffering.
Orthodox Prayer Book is the ultimate prayer assistant for Orthodox Christians. Not only does it allow you to carry your prayers around, it was designed from the ground-up for the iPhone to allow you to pray in the least distracting manner possible. Carry all the prayers, information about daily saints and fasting schedules with you throughout your day. Keep a list of people you want to pray for and have them automatically embedded into the prayers.
Click here to download the Spark OCN and Orthodox Prayer Book.
Posted by the Orthodox Christian Network. OCN is on Social Media! Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube,