Nothing......But The Blood

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

This week's post comes from STARLA ESPINOZA at Keepin It Real 

 The human body has about 5 liters of blood continually traveling through it.  Our blood is composed of plasma, blood cells, and platelets and our blood is one thing that cannot be manufactured.  More than 38,000 donations are needed every day but less than 38% of the U.S. population is eligible to give blood. 

 I used to donate blood several times a year.  When I was diagnosed with MS in 2007, I was no longer qualified to donate blood.  I found this out on a day when I was actually planning to donate blood.  I was answering all the screening questions and when they asked if I was taking medication I told them about the meds I was taking for MS.  That put the brakes on my ability to donate blood that day and any other day in the future.  I never thought about it but it makes perfect sense now.  They must do their best to make sure that people receive safe blood.  Blood obviously plays a vital role in our lives.  Without blood, we would not have life.

But there is life giving blood that is always qualified to for us to receive. That's the blood of Jesus.  His blood is more powerful than mine and yours.

22 In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. Hebrews 9:22

Jesus shed His blood to atone for our sins.  His blood is the only acceptable payment for our sins.  He was wounded for our transgressions and by His stripes, I am healed.  That's what I like to say when I think about having Multiple Sclerosis.  By His stripes, I am healed.  If he had not shed His blood, I don't know where I would be.  I was purchased with His blood.

Who can wash away my sins?  Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
Who can make me whole again?  Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

No matter how successful we consider ourselves to be in this world, our success cannot save us from hell. Without the blood of Jesus, it is all futile.

Our blood must rely on other systems & organs to be effective but the blood of Jesus cleanses, heals and purifies.  Our blood can become infected with bacteria and other organisms.  His blood cannot be infected with sins.  Our blood can become tainted by viruses.  His blood cannot become tainted with evil.

There is power in His blood.

How important do you consider the blood of Jesus to be?  

"Lord, I lift up the person reading this.  I pray for the power of Jesus' blood over their health, finances, and family.  I pray that they have accepted the gift and understand the power of His blood.  In Jesus name, Amen."

And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.  Luke 22:20

Before We Need

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

This week's post comes from Kassie at Guiding Light From His Word

Then the LORD spoke this word to Elijah:
“Leave this place and go east and hide near Kerith Ravine east of the Jordan River.
You may drink from the stream, and I have commanded ravens to bring you food there.”
So Elijah did what the LORD said; he went to Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan,
 and lived there. The birds brought Elijah bread and meat every morning and evening,
and he drank water from the stream."
(First Kings 17:2-5)

The interesting thing about this passage is that God said He had “commanded”,  notice that God did not tell Elijah “Go, and I will command…” or “Go, and this is what I am planning to do…”or even “Go, and this is what I am thinking to do…” God said He had commanded. This means that God had already taken care of  the need for food. He had already made provisions. Before Elijah had arrived there, gotten hungry or needed the food, God had already supplied it. Before the need was ever actually a “need”, God had already taken care of this for Elijah. All Elijah had to do was trust that God would be faithful to His word and provide what He Himself had promised. Elijah had to take God at His word and trust that the provisions God had already promised, would in fact be there.

This is an awesome reminder that God is all knowing. He already knew what Elijah would need before he ever got to this Kerith Ravine. Before God had even commanded Elijah to “GO”, God knew what was already there- the stream- but He also knew what would be missing- the food- so God provided.

This also teaches us that if God tells us to “GO” then we can trust that He has already scouted out the area, knows what is there and what we will need and will make provisions for us. The place God is sending us to may be “unknown territory” for us, but God has already gone ahead of us.

I will provide for their needs before they ask,
and I will help them while they are still asking for help.
Isa 65:24 (NCV)

Have you ever been in a situation, possibly you're praying “God please…” and then that very day, or even the day after, you read a devotional or hear a sermon, and it is exactly what you needed? That the very thing you had been thinking about, praying about, or asking about-- even the words that you used-- there it is, the answer you were seeking. Just think, in order for the answer to be given to you at the exact time you needed, weeks possibly even months before, God was working in an individual to write or prepare their thoughts to create a sermon, lesson or devotional that would eventually be placed before you at just the right time to be the answer God had for you.

Have you ever turned on the radio, or picked up a book and in the quietness of your heart, between you and God, all the sudden He is answering you. Think of all the steps, all the pieces having to be put into place just to be ready for when you needed it. Or a job that is suddenly available. You start working, and find out that the preparation or the events leading up to it’s opening for you, actually started weeks before.

Then think about the magnitude of what God would do and the lengths He will go, just for you. Before you needed it, before it was your concern or a thought, before you asked, God in heaven was already preparing to answer you.

  • Today, before you go any further, remember God has already been there for you. He has already scouted out the terrain; He has already inquired, and made provisions for you. Thank God that wherever it is that He is sending you, He has already provided for you.
  • Today, before you go any further, just think, the LORD our God, has already been at work and has answered you.
  • Today, before you go any further, Thank God, that he cares for you.

Praying in Faith:
Father God, thank You that You go before us and know all of our needs. Thank You Lord, for providing for us before we even realize what our needs are. We praise You Father God for all that You are to us, and all that You do for us. We praise You and thank You for this day that You have created and that You are watching over us."
In Christ Jesus name, Amen

My friend, have a wonderful and blessed day, and know that you are thought about.
May God shine upon you.

A Forgiven Heart

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

This week's post comes from Salina at State of the Heart

Psalm 103:12
As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. NASB

“They all know,” she thought for the thousandth time as she pressed her hands tightly to her forehead and bowed her head in shame.

Hannah was mortified.  She would never be able to show her face again in that Sunday school class.  Seeing Alison today for the first time in years brought back so many painful memories.  She was flashing back to all of the things she and Alison used to do together: the parties, the boys, the time they had gotten so drunk they had to hitchhike back to their dorm, or that horrible night when she made the choice to end the life of a baby she would never know.  These were just a few of the many images she had being trying to suppress for years; now they were streaming through her brain as though a video recorder had been turned on with the repeat button stuck.

For Kasey who was a new Christian, just thinking someone would find out about her former life, was a fear she just couldn’t face.  She had done everything to keep her past a secret from her closest friends, but this morning, at the church she had grown to love so much she had walked into Sunday class to find Alison sitting there.  Horrified to see this friend who knew all of her deep, darkest secrets, Kasey had fled the room and was now sitting in her car feeling so alone.  She couldn't help but worry that even now Alison was telling everyone all about who she used to be.

Kasey is like so many of us.  We know the forgiving grace God’s love pours out, but we refuse to allow that same grace to wash away not only our sins but the memory we have of them.  Sharon Jaynes says in her book Your Scars are Beautiful to God, “Receiving grace and forgiveness for the wrongs we have committed is an act of faith.  It is difficult to fathom such extravagant, unconditional love, yet so many of us leave His gift unopened.  We admire its wrappings or marvel at its enormity, but avoid getting too close.”  (Jaynes, 2006)

It’s very easy to get caught up in the things we have done in our past.  Some of them may not be that pretty, they may shame us to the point of never wanting anyone else to know, but we need to realize that when we become God’s child, He wipes our slate clean.  “We are a new creature, the old things have passed away” and He gives us a brand new starting point.  (2 Corinthians 5:27) Although we may never completely forget our past, God will remove the shame associated with it; so hold your head high today.  Give God the glory that your sins are forgiven as far as the east is from the west.

Please pray with me:
Many times we allow the sins of our past to take such control of our mind that we become afraid someone will discover the real us.  Lord, help us to realize that You do know the real us and still love unconditionally.  Give us the knowledge and the courage to see that we are made anew in Your eyes and that nothing: not lying, stealing, cheating, sexual promiscuity, drug abuse, abortion, murder, or any other sin can remove us from Your heart.
For it’s in Your name I pray, Amen
Works Cited:
Jaynes, S. (2006). Your Scars are Beautiful to God. Harvest House Publishers

There Is Power in the Name

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

This week's post comes from Dawn at The Most Perfect Gift

Shortly after the New Year began I made a promise to myself. The promise was to intentionally recognize when I begin to feel overwhelmed and to “nip it in the bud”.

I know all too well how the busyness of my daily life can consume me. Before I know it I am being swallowed up into the belly of the beast. I don’t even recognize myself anymore just trying to stay afloat, one busy day running into the next with no time to breathe or rest. I get frustrated, easily annoyed and lack any kind of patience trying to balance work, taking care of the kids, paying the bills, grocery shopping, cooking dinner, cleaning the house, laundry, church, the list becomes endless. Then finally I get enough sense to realize this isn’t right!?! Where is the joy, the peace, the fun?

I know we have all been there. Yet, we think we get a plan in place and things run smoothly for a while, but then life happens. Before we know it, we are caught up in the vicious turmoil once again rolling and rolling more unbalanced and out of control. Just maybe we can grab onto something that may help us stop, hopefully not hurting ourselves or knocking down the ones we love along the way.

So, I began to think, I need a plan. Perhaps a word or a phrase to calm me when life gets overwhelming, but it must be something powerful.

I don’t know about you, the most powerful word I know is in fact, a name. JESUS!

The song “Jesus, Lover of My Soul” by Lindell Cooley comes to mind.

You don't have to know how to pray

All you have to know how to say is Jesus, Jesus

In a shouted voice or a whispered tone

In a crowded room or when you're all alone

Just say Jesus, Jesus

Jesus, how I love the name of Jesus

Every day is the same

Jesus, He's the lover of my soul

Jesus, there's power in the name of Jesus

My life is forever changed because of Jesus,

He's my Savior and my Lord

You can listen to the song on YouTube, Jesus Lover of My Soul.

Call on the name of the Lord! Give Him Praise! Hallelujah! Immediately, joy and peace will enter your soul. You will be filled and refreshed. There is power in the name of Jesus! Are you feeling depressed, lonely, overwhelmed, stressed, hurt? Call on Him today to fill you up and refresh your spirit!

Believe me, it does work! When I begin to feel a little bit overwhelmed I start praising Him. Have you ever just yelled out “Hallelujah” as loud as you can?!!? The stress and worry leaves, bad moods are turned around. You will walk around smiling because you won’t be able to contain the joy, the song that sings within. Isn’t this how we were meant to live? Praising God and being joyful in good times and in bad. All because of the power in the name of Jesus!

Thank you, Jesus. Hallelujah! We praise you Lord for your faithfulness and unfailing love. Thank you for keeping your promise to never leave us nor forsake us. We will praise you and shout out your name. JESUS!
In your wonderful holy name,


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

This week's post comes from STARLA ESPINOZA at Keepin It Real

Sometimes it doesn't seem to take much to make me mad.  People who can't drive, (or drive worse than I do).  When things don't go my way, (am I spoiled?).  Having to repeat myself, (by the 3rd time that is). Etc.....and the list goes on.  Thankfully, the Holy Spirit always intervenes within seconds.  Yeah it may take me a minute or 2 (hours that is), to actually listen.  When life throws darts at me, it's time I put up my shield of faith and take some of my own "godly" advice.

STOP (time out, blow the whistle) and ask myself,  "Self, what is really going on? Is it really that serious?  Will it matter in the next 10 years?"  That question is a great way to put things in perspective. I should also put on my helmet of salvation (guard my mind and my hard head) and my breastplate of righteousness (basically act like I have some sense).

DROP it and give it to God ASAP.  I say that I trust Him with every second of my life (at least that's what I tell people). And I really do trust Him so why do I feel the need to be a backseat driver?  He has already proven time and time again that His way is much, much better than mine.  And please whatever I do, don't speak while I'm upset, (nothing good typically comes out).  Keep my mouth shut. I must let it go and keep it movin!

PRAY and then pray again, then pray some more til I get it right.  If I can't seem to utter anything at the time, I could always ask someone to pray for me.  Now Starla that does NOT mean call someone and start complaining about someone else, (girlfriend you know that is gossip).

Oh, and one more thing.  Get my PRAISE on and give God glory for giving me the grace to be able to do all things through Him.

I am a strong woman with thin skin aka sensitive.  Is that an oxymoron?  I don't know but it could be a dangerous combination.  I act like I don't care what people think about me but honestly, what person doesn't care what people think?  I mean we have to care a little if we want to keep our job, and our friends, and--well you get my drift.

Wow.  Have I really told people to do all these things at one time or another?  It was most likely God telling me what to say.  It's great advice and I need to put it to use.

Ya'll pray for me cause you know life is not always a box of chocolates and a bowl of cherries but that sure sounds good to me.