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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, February 25, 2015

Jonah. Wednesday, February 25. 2015. Lent.

Veggie Tales had a lovely catchy song about Jonah…
‘Jonah was a prophet…oooh…oooh!’

The story of Jonah is one of the more popular stories in the Bible.
The giant fish swallowing him and all…it’s a fascinating story!

Jonah was an unlikely prophet.
He wasn’t really interested in sharing the message
that the Lord asked him to share to the people of Nineveh.

And then after he fiiiiiiinally does do what the Lord asks,
he lets his anger and jealously get the best of him.

Jonah didn’t really fit the bill of prophet.
But God still used him to do some amazing things.

The Ninevites were living their lives in a way that did not please the Lord.
They were living lives of wickedness.
They were not leading lives that glorified the Lord.

When Jonah finally agreed to preach the Lord's message,
he went to Nineveh and proclaimed that,
in 40 days Nineveh would be destroyed if the people did not change their ways.

The king of Nineveh heard of Jonah’s message and humbled himself.
He got down from his throne.
Prayed and fasted.
He repented.
He asked his city to do the same.

The Lord saw them turning from their wicked ways.
He was pleased.
He decided to not destroy Nineveh.

This story makes me wonder,
how are we displeasing to the Lord?

We sin.
We are wicked.
Have we been given a warning?
Have we been given a sign?
Is there someone or something trying to lead us to repentance?
What unlikely modern day prophet is pointing us back to the Lord?

It does seem that history repeats itself.

We have been given the problem to solve.
But we have also been given the answer key.

We know how to solve the problem.
Humble yourselves.
Turn to the Lord.

It would be a shame to get an incorrect answer to this problem.

Let us heed Jonah's warning. 
Let us pray that we as individuals and as a nation turn back to the Lord
and repent of our evil ways.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

A Muddy Soul. Wednesday, February 11. 2015.

Right now at work we are in our soccer unit.
I am fairly certain my whole school thinks they are Brazilian
because, across the board, they are obsessed with soccer.

We have these awesome pop-up goals.
One of those awesome inventions that takes a master mind to figure out how to close it.

Yesterday we had brought out one too many goals so a kid brought me the extra one.
He gave it to me and I grabbed the two handles so that I could close the net.

What the student failed to tell me was that prior to this,
he had dragged the goal through the mud.
So I now had red clay all over my hands.

Instead of closing the net, I set it aside until the mud dried.
I was not interested more mud than necessary on my hands.

Once the mud was dry and my hands were clean,
I closed the net.

As this is going on,
I am praising God that He does not do to us as I did with the net.

We get ourselves into so much trouble.
So much muck.
So much mud.

Sometimes we are able to pull ourselves out.
Sometimes not.
Sometimes it takes a God bigger than ourselves to drag us out of the mud.

But regardless of how we get out of the mud of sin,
the Lord is there ready to clean us off.

He doesn’t wait for us to dry so as to keep His hands clean.
He gets right in the middle of our gross attachment to sin.

He cleans off that mud.
He gets dirty too.
He takes care of that mud.
He offers forgiveness.

We are about to begin the sacred season of Lent.
Many churches are offering Penance services.
Your church is setting up a time for Jesus to clean that mud off of you.
Take advantage of it.

Jesus doesn’t treat you the way that I treated the goal.
He does not want you to remain in sin.
He wants you to be free of the sins chaining you down.

There is nothing that you can confess to the priest,
in persona Christi,
in the person of Christ,
that he has not heard.

There is no sin that you have committed that Jesus cannot forgive you for. 
We just have to seek that forgiveness. 

Go ahead.
Let Him get that mud off your soul. 
He is waiting for you. 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Mark 6:4-6. Wednesday, February 4. 2015.

“So He was not able to perform any mighty deed there, apart from curing a few sick people by laying His hands on them. He was amazed at their lack of faith.”
Mark 6:5-6

In the chapter prior, Jesus had just healed the woman with the hemorrhage
and brought Jairus’ daughter back to life.

Both of these miracles occurred as a result of faith.

Jesus said to the woman with the hemorrhage,
“Your faith as saved you. Go in peace and be cured of your affliction.”

Jesus said to Jairus’ weeping family,
“Do not be afraid, just have faith.”
Following these instructions,
the little girl, presumed dead, arose.

After these two miracles,
Jesus went to His native land.
All knew who He was.
But they were offended by Jesus
because Jesus was teaching in the synagogue on the Sabbath.  

Instead of Jesus going back to His homeland and being welcomed,
He was rejected.

Some were so eager to see Jesus,
talk to Him,
touch His clothes.
But not those in His homeland.
They quickly rejected Him.

“Jesus said to them, ‘A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and among his own kin and in his own house’.”
Mark 6:4

Due to His homeland’s rejection and lack of faith,
Jesus was not able to perform any mighty deed there.

My heart aches for the people of Nazareth
and in the same breath,
my heart is convicted.

How often does Jesus seek to enter my heart
and I reject Him?

How often does He desire for me to just have faith
and I choose doubt instead?

In the previous town,
Jesus brought a little girl back to life and healed a woman of her hemorrhage.
Nazareth decided to be “offended” by Jesus’ actions
and as a result,
did not get to experience the miracles that the town before them experienced.

What I am missing out on when I lack faith?

I don’t want to be like the Nazarenes.
I want to be like Jairus.

I don’t want Jesus to be astounded at my lack of faith.
I pray that Jesus might be astounded at my abundance of faith!

It is not easy to have faith.
In fact, it is a challenge.
A daily choice.

I pray that we are blessed with faith like Jairus’.

I pray that we have faith enough to be blessed by miracles.

Let’s astound Jesus with our faith.