Thoughts on Service. Thoughts on Spiritual Sensitivity and Discernment
By Michael Haldas
Thoughts on Service, May 30, 2016
“God values self-control, a spirit of generosity, and a commitment to humble service…The trials and hurts we experience for Christ’s sake build our character, demonstrate our faith, and prepare us for further service to the Lord.” (Life Application Study Bible, 1 John 2:15,16, 2 Corinthians 11:23-29)
“Whatever struggles we have on our plate will seem like nothing once we’ve given ourselves over in service to others. Even when we are struggling to make ends meet, the power of giving can change our lives for the better.” (Abbot Tryphon)
“Personal contact with God’s people always is a challenge…We have to maintain love for others…Personal relationships require considering others’ needs, problems, moods, and life-concerns. In order to love, we are forced to step outside ourselves, consider the life-circumstances of others, and deliberately choose kind and thoughtful ways we may tender service to them. Personal movement from self to other is a commitment to loving “in Christ.” It demands struggle to move toward the Lord’s standard of self-giving, in hope of refreshing others in their hearts, recognizing that it may entail death to our own needs and desires.” (Dynamis 9/1/2012)
“We would not have a happy life if we spent it entirely on ourselves. Instead, God places us in this time and place to succor particular people. Such service is the path He has prepared for us all, and we must walk upon it as faithfully as possible.” (Anne Marie Gazzolo)
“One foot is advanced towards service, while the other stays firmly planted in prayer…This is the life of obedience: prayer and action. We do not remain idle, expecting God to do everything for us. Rather, we act while entrusting everything to Him and His judgment, seeking His aid and guidance, knowing that we can do no good without Him.” (St. John Climacus, Archimandrite Vassilios Papavassiliou)
Thoughts on Spiritual Sensitivity and Discernment, May 31, 2016
“God reveals His will to those who are sensitive to His leading…Discernment is a gift from God.” (Foundation Study Bible, Acts 13:2-4, Dynamis 8/30/2012)
“If we live sacramentally, our discernment will grow greater over time and we will know God’s continual presence despite how we may feel. When we have a consistent and continual prayer life with God, He illuminates us at His pleasure and for our own good at appropriate times.” (Sacramental Living)
“The fruit of the Spirit was never intended to be a demonstration of our dedication and resolve. It is the evidence of our dependency on and sensitivity to the promptings of the Spirit.” (Charles Stanley)
“Above all, we [should] avoid the dark inner tendency toward self-importance and conceit by immediately acknowledging that our every capacity and insight comes to us from God (1 Corinthians 4:7). Only the Lord, through the Holy Spirit, equips the saints [believers] for ministry (Eph 4:12).” (Dynamis 7/10/2015)
“In order to grow from infant Christians to mature Christians, we must learn discernment. We must train our consciences, our senses, our minds, and our bodies to distinguish good from evil.” (Life Application Study Bible, Hebrews 5:12-14)
~Michael Haldas, https://www.ancientfaith.com/contributors/michael_haldas.
Michael Haldas is an author, a religious educator and a speaker. He wrote Sacramental Living: Understanding Christianity as a Way of Life (published by Eastern Christian Publications), a book which he presented special editions of as gifts to Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in private audiences. Michael is also published monthly in Theosis Magazine and he has authored several Orthodox Christian themed articles for various publications. Additionally, he has recorded and contributed to multiple YouTube, DVD and CD educational projects. He teaches adult religious education and high school Sunday school at the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George in Bethesda, Maryland and has worked with the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Religious Education Department to create educational lessons and materials.