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This blog is simply meant to bring God the glory; no more and no less. I'd love to hear from you! Comments, questions, conversation. rebecca.labriola@gmail.com

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Hebrews 2:18. Wednesday, January 21. 2015.

“Because He Himself was tested through what He suffered,
He is able to help those who are being tested.”
Hebrews 2:18

Experience is one of the best teachers.

we can comfort a friend who has lost a parent,
but unless we walked through that same dark valley,
we won’t truly know what they are experiencing.

I often forget that Jesus was both human and divine.
Jesus’ coming and death was not simply a breeze for the divine
but a test of suffering for humanity.

In order to save us,
He became like us.

He was willing to suffer
so that we could relate to Him and learn from Him.

When someone tells you to talk to Jesus 
and tells you that He understands,
that is the truth.
He truly does understand.

He is able to help.
Not just because He is Jesus
but rather,
because He Himself was tested.
He suffered.

What a sweet comfort!
In the midst of trial and suffering,
our weakest point,
He understands because He suffered too.

I have come to realize that suffering is a gift.
A strange gift,
but a gift nonetheless.

Christ’s sufferings and trials opens for us a path.
A path to relationship with Him,
a path to true understanding,
a path of comfort in our darkest times.

Christ has given us this gift.
We can in turn give this gift to others.

What struggles have you overcome?
What experience did you suffer through?
What trials did you think you would never get through?

How can you help others going through the same things that you went through?
Just as Christ did for us?

Sometimes God permits us to struggle through an area of life
so that we can be there for someone else later down the road.

If we can learn to view suffering as a gift,
we can continue to lead a life just like Christ did.

Remember during time of trial and suffering,
turn to Christ.
He suffered too.

There is redemption in your suffering.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

1 John 5:3-4. Wednesday, January 14. 2015.

“And His commandments are not burdensome, for whoever is begotten by God conquers the world. And the victory that conquers the world is our faith.”
1 John 5:3-4

It continues to amaze me how directly opposed sacred scripture is to the world.
And vice versa.
These verses are no exception.

Often His commandments stop me in my tracks.
I can’t say that.
I shouldn’t do that.
I best not see that movie.
I definitely can’t go there.
I better watch my language.
I need to stop spending time with them.

His commands are a moral compass.
They help guide us in discerning what is right and what is wrong.
They might even make a decision for us.

Often, following His commands is pure joy.
There is nothing else I would rather be doing.
There is certainly no one else that I would rather follow.

And then there are times
when His commands seem to butt heads with my measly plans.
That moral compass just gets in the way.

I know I shouldn’t but I reeeeeally want to.

Even for the most devout and most faithful servants,
there comes a time when His commands inconvenience our human nature.

But John tells us otherwise.

No, His commands are far from burdensome.

We are begotten by God.
We are brought up by God.
Those who are brought up by Him conquer the world.

Since when does following a strict moral regimen equate conquering the world?
Once again, not in the world’s eyes.
But in God’s eyes.

God is saying,
“That right there,
following my commands over the world’s,
that is victory over the world. 
You have conquered!”

But where on earth do we obtain the strength,
and desire to conquer the world?

That comes from faith.
Faith in the things unseen.
In a far better world than this that we shall leave behind.

That is the victory. 

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Perfect Love. Wednesday, January 7. 2015.

“There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear.”
1 John 4:18
Be not afraid.
A call to fear not.
But also a continuous call
to prepare our hearts for the gift of perfect love.

With so much to worry about,
fear takes the front seat.

We worry about our
and jobs.

we are a world filled with worry.
Fear lives within our hearts.

We are told to be not afraid
but it isn’t such a simple task.
We can’t just stop worrying.

Perfect love casts out all fear.
Fear and perfect love cannot live together.
We have one or the other.

The secret to worrying less
is knowing the Father more.
Perfect love.

In today’s Gospel,
the Apostles did not understand the miracle of the loaves and fishes.
Instead of diving into perfect love,
they turned to fear.
They hardened their hearts.
They doubted.
They were afraid.
They resorted to fear,
even with Perfect Love standing right there in from of them.

We have a bit more of a challenge.
Christ is not present in human form to us.
But blessed are those who have not seen yet have believed!

We have to make a concerted effort to choose Perfect Love.
To cast out the fear that lives within our hearts.

Perfect love casts out all fear.
All fear banished.
And replaced.

With Perfect Love.