Our God and King is good, transcendently good and all-good (it is best to begin with God in writing to the servants of God). Of the rational beings created by Him and honoured with the dignity of free-will, some are His friends, others are His true servants, some are worthless, some are completely estranged from god, and others, though feeble creatures, are His opponents. By friends of God, dear and holy father, we simple people mean, properly speaking, those noetic and incorporeal beings which surround God. By true servants of God we mean all those who tirelessly and unremittingly do and have done His will. By worthless servants we mean those who think of themselves as having been granted baptism, but have not faithfully kept the vows they made to God. By those estranged from God and alienated from Him, we mean those who are unbelievers or heretics. Finally, the enemies of God are those who have not only evaded and rejected the Lord’s commandment themselves, but who also wage bitter war on those who are fulfilling it. (Step 1:1)*

We begin with a meditation on our all-holy and magnificent God. Today, St. John reminds us that all living persons, all created beings, are in some sort of relationship with God. Nothing exists outside of its relationship to God; His presence allows all created things to exist. Our concern is: what type of relationship do I have with my Creator and God? Am I a true servant – do I seek at all times, in all places, in all things, to serve my Lord? Am I a worthless servant – being a Christian, but not diligently striving to follow Christ’s commandments? Or am I among those who are alienated from God and His enemies?

Every day we will sin; we will fail in our walk with Christ. But every day we’re also called to repent and return to the narrow path. This is the nature of the Christian life: falling and repenting, falling and getting up again. As you travel through your day today, try to watch your thoughts and your actions – pray that our Lord enables you to see yourself as He sees you. Being able to see ourselves as we truly are is an important step in the Christian life. It enables us to fight against our temptations and to make the corrections to our lives that will number us among those who are the true servants of Jesus Christ.

Scripture verse for thought today – “If ye love me, keep My commandments.” (John 14:15)

*All quotes are taken from The Ladder of Divine Ascent by Saint John Climacus, Holy Transfiguration Monastery, Boston: 2001.

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