Stripped

August 23, 2019

“Death is the great leveler. People who have beauty, riches (Psalms 49:16–17), and power in this world will lose them all at death. They will be stripped of everything except their character or soul. This is why the Scriptures exhort us to pursue character development—God’s law, holiness, wisdom, and knowledge—more than anything else.” (Foundation Study Bible, Psalms 49:14)

 

“The Book of Job deals with our relationship with God. It puts life into a perspective that is of paramount importance…When Job had been stripped of his family, his position, and his possessions, he did not choose to blame God, but said: "Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return; the Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord" (Job 1:21)… Job is the icon of patience and perseverance. We learn to deal with life’s many pressures by contemplating the experiences of Job. We recognize a man who stays focused on God rather than on his own suffering. He does not turn away in moments of weakness but endures the struggles of life. Job’s integrity as a faithful steward of God remains intact. The Fathers of the Church call Job "a true man" who was "patient" with God. They speak of the sufferings of Job as being illogical according to human reasoning but comprehend this in the respect and faith given to God’s wisdom.” (Greek Orthodox Archdiocese)

 

 But observing the form of religion is not enough! It doesn’t make it! It’s like taking a bath with your clothes on! It’s not until you are stripped naked before God and confess your sins and commit yourself to Him totally and completely and reiterate that commitment every day of your life, giving Him thanks for every blessing and for every tribulation by which you are burnished that you observe not only the form of religion but its substance as well.” (Father Vladimir Berzonsky, Fr. James C. Meena)

 

“Stripped of God’s purpose our work is vain. Stripped of God’s love, our service is futile. We must put God first over all we do and in all we do because without Him we have nothing. Knowing that life is futile without God motivates the wise person to seek God first.” (Life Application Study Bible, Ecclesiastes 12:7,8)

 

"Stripped of everything we recognize as vital to life the human heart has a capacity to still receive the blessing of God’s touch. It is we who are rich who build material fortresses around our hearts and shut out the possibility of union with Him." (Father Spyridon Baily)

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