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“If you are a scholar, a student in any educational establishment, or an official in some ministry, an officer in any of the branches of the military service, or a technologist, a painter, a sculptor, a manufacturer, a mechanic - remember that the first science for each one of you is to be a true Christian, to believe sincerely in the Holy Trinity, to converse daily with God in prayer, to take part in the Divine service, to observe the rules and regulations of the Church, and to bear in your heart, before your work, during your work, and after your work, the name of Jesus, for He is our light, our strength, our holiness, and our help.” (St. John of Kronstadt)

“Everything we value in life – our other relationships, achievements, heritage, education, conduct –– pales before our commitment to Christ Jesus. He exceeds every desire and goal of this world.” (Dynamis 10/13/2018)

“There are some who will state that it is difficult to put God ahead of our spouse, or our parents, or even our children. Why does God need to be first anyway? Why is He making us question our priorities? The answer to these questions are simple and quite unique. Christ reminds us that if we love Him first, if we place God first in order of priority – that our experience on this world will be intensified. Christ reminds us that our love for God will be overshadowed by God’s Love for us and it is through God’s over-whelming Love and Forgiveness that we have the ability to be His Children and follow His Example.” (Father Peter Orfanakos)

“Practice doesn’t make perfect, practice makes permanent.” That bit of wisdom resonated within my heart and is an important model for our spiritual lives. Practice makes permanent! Indeed, our patterns and behavior will set into motion the direction of our lives. The way we pray and prioritize our spiritual life, the way we speak, the way we love, the way we respond to conflict; all have been consciously or unconsciously practiced over the years and have become a permanent part of our life.” (Fr. Tom Tsagalakis)

“The blameless one rises each day with an eye toward living in accordance with the revelation offered by God. All other things find their proper order after this priority.” (Gordon MacDonald)

"Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her. (Luke 10:41-42) Martha is not rebuked for serving, but for complaining and for being distracted, worried, and troubled. In following Christ, we serve in order to facilitate the spread of the gospel." (Orthodox Study Bible, Luke 10:38-42)

“Martha’s shift in priorities became evident by the manner in which she appealed to the Lord Jesus. She scolds: “Don’t You care?…tell her to help me!” (Lk. 10:40). The pressure of ‘the urgent’ transformed Martha’s service into self-service. Was she most concerned about the Lord and His teaching or her needs as a hostess? What motivated Martha? Was it the chance to be ‘a slave to all,’ or her own concerns with the tasks of providing hospitality singlehandedly? Saint Theophan the Recluse points out how easily we can succumb to pleasing ourselves: the self “…seeks its own comfort and pleasure in all its doing, even the most righteous and spiritual, and secretly and lustfully feeds on it as though it were food.” (OCPM 8/15/2017)

“We succumb to the Martha Spirit all of the time which is a twin spirit of distraction and self-service. We delude ourselves in our busyness that we are doing something for others when in fact we really doing it for ourselves, driven by our own perfectionism, a sense of the urgent, perceived social pressures, what we think people will think of us, and the like. The busyness then serves as a major distraction and our life becomes a hamster wheel. Luke 10:42 reminds us that only one thing ever needed and that is Christ.” (Sacramental Living Blog)

“Service to Christ can degenerate into mere busywork that is totally devoid of devotion to God.” (Life Application Study Bible, Luke 10:38-42)

“I find that, like Martha, I spend much of my time being worried and troubled over so many things. As I struggle to resolve these many concerns, I oftentimes find myself wishing that there were more hours in the day. In his answer to Martha, however, Jesus reminds me that the problem is not so much that the day is short, as it is that my own priorities need to be re-ordered. The pressures that I feel, and the endless concerns that keep me constantly on the run, are an indication that I am trying to accomplish too much, or that I am expending my energies on goals that are wrong and misguided….When we seek after God's priorities rather than after what we imagine to be important, the days He gives us are always long enough. We need to keep these truths before us as we live each day. We need to ponder what is truly important and separate it from what is superficial and trivial. To do so we need to stop striving for the temporary at the expense of the lasting, and for the worthless rather than for that which is truly valuable. When we discover that we don't need to do more than what God requires, we do not burden our lives, we liberate them.” (Rev. Andrew Demotses)

“When you rise from sleep, your first thought should be of God, your first word should be a prayer to God--your Father and Creator.” (Elder Anthony of Optina)

"Let me put my daily growth in Christ first, and other matters second, that I may be truly, uniquely useful to Him and others close to me…When God is my focus, and I put Him first, I see things differently, by His grace, and feelings of insufficiency, neediness, disappointment, and unfulfilment are removed." (Sr. Dr. Vassa Larin)

“…we must first acquire Christ as our great personal treasure, prizing the Lord above all else. Love for the Lord is a precondition for ministry because His service is unlike any other pursuit in this life. The life in Christ entails the choice to set aside all earthly cares in order to go as we are sent, leading as Christ requires.” (Dynamis 8/26/15)

“When we put today’s idols (wealth, material possessions, success) first in our lives, we cannot expect God’s Spirit to guide us…If you are waiting for God to provide, consider this: He may be waiting for you to take the first step to demonstrate just how important your need is.” (Life Application Study Bible, Psalms 31:6, Ruth 2:2-3)

“A person first must grasp the ways in which God works among mankind before he can even begin to understand things that pertain to God Himself.” (Orthodox Study Bible, John 3:12)

“Turning to God shouldn’t be a last resort; we should look to Him for help each day. This isn’t to say life will always be easy. There will be struggles, but God will give us the strength to live through them. Don’t wait until you’re at the end of your rope. Call on God first in every situation.” (Life Application Study Bible, Judges 6:6)

“Some people see prayer as a last resort to be tried when all else fails. This approach is backward. Prayer should come first.” (Life Application Study Bible, James 5:16-18)

“Prayer is our way of communicating with God on a daily basis…If you want to stay on track with God and keep a good attitude, you have to make communication with Him a daily priority.” (Abbot Tryphon, Women Of Christ)

“It may be possible to appear to have the grace of Christ in one’s spirit while only making “a good showing”; but God instantly discerns what is behind our appearances…The truth is that it comes down to where we invest our hearts, to what we make top priority day-in-and-day-out, to what really counts for us in our hearts.” (Dynamis 11/5/2012)

“We regard God as an airman regards his parachute; it's there for emergencies but he hopes he'll never have to use it.” (C. S. Lewis)

“Our world today is steeped in confusion, primarily because we, its inhabitants, sometimes confuse our priorities…When material satisfactions consume our thoughts, we are to recognize such cravings as a dangerous state of the heart. Such thoughts creep in like cancer until we reach the verge of no longer trusting in our Father…Anxious cares may haunt the faithless mind, but when God’s kingdom becomes our priority, we align ourselves to that one goal.” (Marianne Sailus, Dynamis 6/16/2014)

"Often the desire for more or better possessions is really a longing to fill an empty place in a person’s life. To what are you drawn when you feel empty inside? How can you find true contentment? The answer lies in your perspective, your priorities, and your source of power.” (Life Application Study Bible, Philippians 4:12-13)

“But let’s ask ourselves this: what do we really consider important in our lives? The world presents us with much that it sees as important (money, power, work, prestige, etc.). It make all these things look very attractive. Keep in mind; these things are not necessarily bad unless they take the place of what should be our highest priority—living a Christ-centered life.” (Melissa K. Tsongranis)

"The Book of Ecclesiastes tells us emphatically that"to everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven." (3:1). In doing so, it is suggesting to us that there is always enough time to do what He requires of us each day. When we seek after God's priorities rather than after what we imagine to be important, the days He gives us are always long enough.” (Rev. Andrew Demotses)

“Many people want to worry less, feel less anxious, and have more peace. They may try to do this in myriad ways – more vacations, more exercise, relaxation techniques, etc. Sometimes, however, these things end up becoming new compulsions or sources of angst. The answer to more inner peace is amazingly simple – focus on Christ. If you sincerely make God your first priority, you will begin to know and feel a more genuine peace that only increases as you deepen your relationship with Him.” (Sacramental Living II)

#MarianneSailus #MelissaKTsongranis #RevAndrewDemotses #SacramentalLivingII #CSLewis #ElderAnthonyofOptina #SrDrVassaLarin #OrthodoxStudyBible #OCPM #SacramentalLivingBlog #LifeApplicationStudyBible #StJohnofKrondstat #Dynamis #FatherPeterOrfanakos #FrTomTsagalakis #GordonMacDonald

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