Who is God?

Who is God?

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I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. 
Philippians 4:13
 
Good morning Prayer Team!
 
Today we conclude our short unit on Philippians 4:4-13, with a short devotional based on the words of Philippians 4:13:
 
I
Who am I?  I am created in the image and likeness of God. I have the Light of Christ in me. I have gifts and talents that will allow me to make a positive contribution to Society as well as to make a positive witness for Christ I am unique and special because God made me that way. I was not created with flaws but I have flaws because I live in a flawed world My flaws contribute to my being a sinful person. I am not a lost cause.  I can find my way to Paradise through faith, works, repentance and God’s grace.
Can
 Can is a positive word.  It focuses on what is possible, not impossible.  With God all things are possible. (Matthew 19:26)  Every good and perfect gift is from Above. (James 1: 17)  Apart from God we can do nothing.  (John 15:5)  Christ, faith, hope, salvation-these are all positive things, All things that we CAN have.  This is a mindset we must create-a positive mindset that sees the good in things, sees the glass half-full, finds Joy and Christ in all things.
Do
There is a difference between “hearing” and “doing”.  Being a Christian, having faith is not only a state of “being”, and is not only based on what we “hear” but on what we do. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. James 1:22 
All
The Holy Spirit is everywhere and fills all things.  There isn’t a good work that we undertake where Christ can’t be involved.  Nor is Christianity something that we should compartmentalize-it is something that should be ever-present in our lives.
Things
What are the things that Christ helps us do?  He helps us achieve the positive things that St. Paul speaks about-the things that are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, the praiseworthy things that glorify God. He helps us overcome things that challenge-being abased, being hungry, being in need.
Through
With the assistance of, in tandem with, in union with, with Christ as the head of Our lives.  Christ is with us, in us, and we should allow Him to lead us.
Christ
 Our Lord, God, Savior, our Hope, our Rock, our Salvation.
Who
Christ is fully God and became fully man. He is at the same time our Creator and our redeemer.  He has the strength of God but understands the weakness of man.  He experienced also the need for God.
Strengthens
Christ gives the strength to overcome challenges that can be overcome, He gives Strength to be patient with the challenges that cannot be overcome, He gives us wisdom to know when surrender and when to fight. He is the Comforting Father who consoles His children when they are sad.  He is the encouraging Father who directs His children when they have lost their way.
 
Me
I am in the middle of God’s grand plan.  I have already been born.  I have yet to die. I’m working my way through life, in the hope of everlasting life.  I have constant challenges and obstacles in my path.  I can’t make it by myself.  I need His help, which comes both directly from Him, and through other people.  This is why I am part of the church-to be around other people who can help me through life, to commune with Christ while on my journey.  My relationship with Christ is at the same time communal- I belong to a community of people, enjoined with the saints and angels.  But at the same time, faith is personal to me.  I have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Prayer of Protection from the Coronavirus 
(Prayer by Grace Bishop Alexis (Trader) of Bethesda) 
O God Almighty, Lord of heaven and earth, and of all creation visible and invisible, in Your ineffable goodness, look down upon Your people gathered in Your name. Be our helper and defender in this day of affliction. You know our weakness. You hear our cry in repentance and contrition of heart. O Lord who loves mankind deliver us from the impending threat of the corona virus. Send Your Angel to watch over us and protect us. Grant health and recovery to those suffering from this virus. Guide the hands of physicians, and preserve those who are healthy that we may continue to serve You in peace and glorify Your most honorable and majestic Name, of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, now and forever and to the ages of ages. Amen.
I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me!  We all can!

The Prayer Team now has its own dedicated website! There you may find a database for past prayer team messages as well as books by Fr. Stavros and other information about his work and St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church in Tampa, FL.

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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Fr. Stavros Akrotirianakis

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