Sans Jesus’ Blood, Sans Life

One of American Red Cross’ mission is to get blood donors and they often promote their blood donation drives by banners that read – Give the gift of life; Give blood. So in a sense, life is in the blood. Medically, blood in one’s system is made up of four components – the red blood cells, the white blood cells, the platelets and plasma. The red blood cells are responsible for the transport of Oxygen, an element essential for life. The white blood cells help in fighting against pathogens and harmful threat agents. The platelets help with the prevention of excessive blood loss by aiding in the healing process and the plasma is used to transport nutrients, proteins and hormones to the cells for them to function as they should. So in essence, medically, one can say that life is in the blood. In other words, sans blood, sans life.

Interestingly, and not surprisingly, the Bible actually prescribes to this same notion as Genesis 9:4 forbids man from eating meat with blood still in it, for it states that life is in the blood. The Bible also teaches us that without the shedding of blood, their is no remission – remission of sins (Hebrews 9:22), and, only in the blood of Jesus Christ, through faith in it, is one declared righteous, through the forbearance of God (Romans 3:25).

Points to ponder:
Life is in the blood – the blood of Jesus Christ. Jesus’ blood carries the life giving Spirit like oxygen into our life (John 6:56), when we believe in him. By his blood are we victorious against the harmful viles of the evil one (Revelation 12:11). It was the shedding of Jesus’ blood that brought us healing (Isaiah 53:5), and it is the blood of Jesus Christ, that gives us the power which is needed to grow in his grace and makes us complete for every good work (Hebrews 13:20-21) – to function as we should. Jesus donated his blood, and the Cross on which he was nailed was stained red by his blood. He donated his blood so that you and I may have life. Have you believed in Jesus, for without the blood of Jesus Christ, there is no life – no eternal life? Sans Jesus’ blood, sans life.

Genesis 9:4 (KJV)
But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.

Hebrews 9:22 (KJV)
22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

Romans 3:23-26 (KJV)
23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

Man becomes a carnivore, which means …

In the article, “All the world’s a herbivore, until …“, I focused on the seed bearing aspect of herbs and trees so that they could propagate themselves and highlighted the providing nature of God to sustain life. Now as we go through the Bible, we come to Genesis 9:3 and learn that man becomes a carnivore as God includes in man’s diet, everything that moves as meat for him.

There are a few things that we can learn from this.
First, it is in fact, this verse that gives meaning to the verse preceding it, for Genesis 9:2 establishes that all the animals (beasts of the field), all the birds (fowls of the air), all sea creatures (fishes of the sea), and all moving things, shall have have fear of man. Until they came on the menu, they had no reason to fear man, but now they do. So God first made sure that the very nature of his creation changed, for their own safety, against their new predator – man. Hidden in this account is the treasure of knowing that God loves and cares for his creation, but even greater love does he have for man, for after the flood, it is plausible that with the green herbs and trees being scarce, God allows man to include meat in his diet.

Second, Genesis 1:27 establishes that God made man in his own image, and Ecclesiastes 7:29 proves that man was made upright (or perfect), meaning that there is no need for man to evolve, from, or to any other form, spiritually or physically, as evolutionists prescribe and promote vainly. Even some Christians subscribe to the idea, that the physical attributes, characteristics and capabilities of man, changed after his fall and in a sense evolved to adapt to their surroundings, but this is neither scripturally explicit nor supported. I believe that since man was made perfect, there is no necessity for such evolutionary gimmicks to make man who he/she is today.

Just take a look into your own mouth and you will notice that the relative number of crushing and grinding teeth (pre-molars and molars), which are more suited for a herbivorous diet, is more, when compared to the shredding or tearing teeth (canines), which is more suited for a carnivorous diet. But if man was to be a herbivore, then why would God fashion man with canines (even if less pronounced). This gives hint to us about the omniscience of God, who from the foundation of the world, knew of the propensity of man to fall away from grace. God, in his infinite wisdom, had made provisions in advance, for man to be able to survive pre- and post-flood; in the old world and the next.

Points to ponder:
God loves his creation, but he values you and me, much more.  Jesus himself said, that God gives more importance to us than the sparrows of the air, not implying that he cares any less for these fowls of the air, but that he cares for us, more than he does for anything else (Luke 12:6-8).
God knows of our propensity to fall away from grace, for though man was made upright/perfect, man has sought many inventions (Ecclesiastes 7:29), with every inclination of his heart being evil from his youth (Genesis 8:21). So God has made provisions for the sustenance of life, in this world and the one to come, in advance. Even from the foundation of this world, Jesus Christ, the lamb of God was slain (Revelation 13:8), and only those who take him in (as in communion) will have life – eternal and abundant life, on earth (this world) as it is in heaven (the one to come). God told man, “Take, eat”. Jesus said, “Take, eat” (1 Corinthians 11:24). Have you?

Genesis 9:3 (KJV)
Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.

Ecclesiastes 7:29 (KJV)
29 Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.

Dominion and Dread (belongs to God)

Upon creation, to Adam and Eve, who were made in the likeness of God, God commanded them to be fruitful and to multiply and to replenish the earth and subdue it. He gave them dominion over the other creatures – the fish of the sea, the fowl of the air, and every living land animal. (Genesis 1:26, 28).

After the flood, to Noah and his sons, God re-issued his command. God commanded them to be fruitful and to multiply and to replenish the earth, but this time, not only would man have dominion over the other creatures, but he would be deemed dreaded as well, for God told them that every animal (beast of the earth), and every bird (fowl of the air), all land animals (all that move upon the earth), and all the sea animals (fishes of the sea), shall be in fear and dread of him (man). Into man’s hands were all these creatures delivered.

To have dominion is to have the power to rule with authority. The word ‘dominion’ is derived from the stem of the word ‘dominio‘ which in medieval Latin means lordship.
To be dreaded is to be ‘in fear of ‘, according to modern definition, however, the archaic usage of the word ‘dread’ implied ‘reverence and awe’.

Points to ponder:
Man was commanded to lord (rule) over God’s creation, so that they had a reverential fear of him in awe. However, we must be careful to recognize that such dominion and dread is not given to man, so that he can misuse it, as we often see in others and ourselves.

We must also recognize that true dominion and dread belongs to God (Job 25:2). It is only God who is the Lord over all and the ruler of all creation (Psalm 22:28; Psalm 103:19). Only him must we (all creatures) be in fear and reverential awe (Psalm 119:120). Does God have dominion and dread over you and me?

Genesis 1:26-28 (KJV)
26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

Genesis 9:2 (KJV) 
And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered.

Job 25:2 (HCSB)
Dominion and dread belong to Himthe One who establishes harmony in the heavens.

God’s command is re-given

God gave Adam and Eve, the command to be fruitful, and multiply, and to replenish the earth. However, Adam and Eve disobeyed God and brought about death into the world they lived in. Subsequently, wickedness and violence became rampant in the world, so much so, that God had to destroy it in a flood, during the time of Noah. After the flood waters receded, it was a new world and interestingly God gives Noah and his sons, the same command that he gave Adam and Eve. God’s command is re-given.

Points to ponder:
When we are believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, we become a new creature (2 Corinthians 5:17) and our citizenship is of a new world; of heaven (Philippians 3:20). God’s command (along with his blessing), is given, for us to be fruitful, and to multiply God’s kingdom by replenishing it others who believe in Jesus Christ. God’s command is re-given to us. How do we fare in regards to being fruitful and multiplying God’s kingdom, for God’s command to do so is re-given?

Genesis 1:28 (KJV)
28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

Genesis 9:1 
1. And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.

Revolution and Rotation

Year after year, comes summer and winter, cyclically, and seldom does one think about these seasons from a deeper perspective, than how it affects ones comfort, during those months. In like manner, the day and night, comes and goes in a period of 24 hours, cyclically, and most just view this in the motif of “life goes on”. However, Genesis 8:22 establishes that these seasons of summer and winter, and the day and night were promised by God for man, while the earth remains.

What causes these seasons? What causes the day and night cycle? The revolution of the earth around the sun causes the seasons and the rotation of the earth arounds its axis causes the day and night cycle. It is also interesting to note that the earth’s axis is inclined at an angle (23.5 degrees), causing the variations in the seasons and the length of the day and night.

Points to ponder:
Seasons in our life are only possible if our lives revolve around the Son of God, not standing erect on our own, but inclined (leaning) on Jesus Christ. When our lives are exposed to the Son of God, his light illuminates our as does the Sun at daytime and when it is not, our lives are like the dark of the night. How does your revolution and rotation look? While the earth, remains, summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.

Genesis 8:22 (KJV)
22 While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.

The Lord is with me (and I with the Lord)

Our beloved second born son, Ittai Aidan Paul, turns two on March 20, 2014 (today) and as I pondered over God’s goodness in our lives, here are a few words that came to mind, which was penned …

Ittai_SuitedUpIttai Aidan, our beloved second born son, turns two
and we praise God, for his  faithfulness and mercies, afresh, anew
Named after the Gittite who epitomized loyalty
We pray that you shall be always be the son of the Almighty Royalty.

As a son and a brother, you are loaned from above,
and we pray for heavenly wisdom to raise you in faith, hope and love.
In Hebrew, your first name means, ‘The Lord is with me’
And ‘you with the Lord’ we pray that you will always be.

Named secondly after the Apostle of the English, a missionary of Lindisfarne
We pray that like a little fire, you will be God’s light, his alarm
And be kept from all evil and all harm,
As you grow in God’s favor and man’s, in wisdom and in charm.

Ittai Aidan, our beloved second born son, you turn two
and for you, a gift from above, we praise God, who is Faithful and True
Be a follower of Christ, always, imputing solely his piety
So that you will not just be known as our son, but as one of the Almighty.

Happy Birthday, Ittai
We love you dearly.

Points to ponder:
Ittai in Hebrew means, “The Lord is with me” and Jeremiah 20:11 states the the Lord is with us as a mighty warrior.
Jesus promised to be with us, even unto the end of the world.
The question that remains then is “Are you with the Lord?” (John 15:4-5)

2 Samuel 15:19-21 (KJV)
19 Then said the king to Ittai the Gittite, Wherefore goest thou also with us? return to thy place, and abide with the king: for thou art a stranger, and also an exile.
20 Whereas thou camest but yesterday, should I this day make thee go up and down with us? seeing I go whither I may, return thou, and take back thy brethren: mercy and truth be with thee.
21 And Ittai answered the king, and said, As the Lord liveth, and as my lord the king liveth, surely in what place my lord the king shall be, whether in death or life, even there also will thy servant be.

Jeremiah 20:11 (NIV)
11 But the Lord is with me like a mighty warrior; so my persecutors will stumble and not prevail. They will fail and be thoroughly disgraced; their dishonor will never be forgotten.

John 15:4-5 (KJV)
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

Are you Cold and Hot (for God)?

A part of Genesis 8:22 states that “While the earth remains, cold and heat, shall not cease.” Cold and heat go hand in hand and one usually thinks of cold as the absence of heat. Here we see that these thermal states are infact a part of God’s promise to mankind, while we inhabit this earth. So if cold and heat are divine provisions, do they have any significance?

Cold preserves. At absolute zero (0 kelvin or -273.15 degrees Celsius), there is minimal molecular motion and at low temperatures, harmful agents cannot survive thus preserving items that are subject to the cold. Think of how the coolness in the refrigerator preserves the food items that we store in it. It is not the refrigerator itself, but the coolness within, that is the preservative. On the other hand, heat purges. Think of the dross that is purged by the heat of the fire when refining precious metals such as gold and silver (Malachi 3:2-3). It is the heat that purges.

Points to ponder:
Cold and heat are God’s promise to mankind. When we are cold in our Spirit to sin – the harmful and destructive elements of sin cannot survive in our lives, and we are preserved in God’s hands. When we are hot in our Spirit, he purges the sinful nature in us and makes us conform more toward the likeness of God’s only Son, Jesus Christ. Cold preserves and Heat purges. We need to be both, but not in between i.e., lukewarm (Revelation 3:15), for if we are neither cold nor hot, we are distasteful to God and he will spit (vomit) us out. Are your Cold and Hot (for God)?

Genesis 8:22 (KJV)
22 While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.

Revelation 3:15-16 (KJV)
15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

Seedtime and Harvest

Genesis 8:22 states that while the earth remains, there shall be seedtime and harvest. While this indicates, God’s provisions unto man assuring mankind that there will be harvest, it is important to recognize also that these two, seedtime and harvest, go hand in hand. We live in a time that is result driven and many a times, some even seek to have results without any investment of efforts. God in his infinite wisdom has made it evidently clear that while the earth remains, the reaping (harvest) will succeed the sowing (seedtime).

Without sowing there is no reaping, but we must be careful to recognize that it is not our efforts that brings in the harvest. One can sow/plant, while the other can water, but it is God who gives the increase (harvest) (1 Corinthians 3:6). While the earth remains, we are to sow – sow the gospel of Jesus Christ (Matthew 13), so that when God’s appointed time comes, he can harvest. It is seedtime now, but as the Lord has promised in his word, there will be a harvest (Revelation 14).

Points to ponder:
Are you seeking a harvest without spending any time seeding (seedtime) or are you a worker in the field, sowing during this seedtime, while the earth remains?

Genesis 8:22 (KJV)
22 While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.

While the earth remains

Genesis 8:22 reads as “While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.” This is a promise that God proclaims after he accepted the sacrifice of Noah. What is interesting to note is that while this verse speaks of the provisions of God in seedtime and harvest and the patterns of God in temperature (cold and heat) fluctuations, seasons (summer and winter) and a perpetual rotation of the earth on its axis making the diurnal (day) and nocturnal (night) cycle, it also speaks of a definite period of time that the earth will remain.

In other words, the earth as we know it will have an end, as we know it. It was destroyed once by flood (during the time of Noah), but it will be destroyed once and for all. by fire, when the Lord Jesus Christ returns, as the Scripture indicates in 2 Peter 3:10-12).

Points to ponder:
Unfortunately many live today, while the earth remains, as if the present would be the model of the future, seeking and hoarding the ephemeral and earthly things, that will one day be burnt up. The present would pass for there is a definite time period for this earth to remain and no one else knows when the end shall be, except God the Father, who is in heaven, but there will be an end … so as the Scripture advises, let us not be ignorant (2 Peter 3:5) walking after our own lusts (2 Peter 3:3), but instead let us diligently look forward to the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ; to the new heaven and new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness (2 Peter 3:13), while the earth remains!

Genesis 8:22 (KJV)
22 While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.

2 Peter 3:4-14 (KJV)
4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:
6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:
7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.

God’s testimony – What is in man?

Sandwiched between the acceptance of Noah’s offerings and God’s vow to not curse the ground again or smite any living creatures of his, is what would seem like an unfitting statement. This reads “for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth.” While this directly speaks to the just nature of God, meaning, that he would not punish the ground with a curse as he had done, on account of man, deeper scrutiny of the scripture reveals a hidden treasure about the very omniscience of God. God the creator, knew his creation (man). God knew the propensity of man to be continuously evil which was a result of the first Adam’s disobedience.

In the gospel according to John in chapter 2 verses 24 and 25, it is written that Jesus knew all men and he did not have the need for anyone to testify to him about men, for he knew what was in man. In man, is a heart that is inclined to wickedness for in sin are all humans conceived (Psalm 51:5). God knows that the source from which springs the issues of life (Proverbs 4:23), out of that very source proceeds things that define a man, such as evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness and blasphemies (Matthew 15:19-20). This is why we all ought to ask God to create in us a clean heart and to renew a steadfast Sprit within us (Psalm 51:10) so that we would have a heart that is after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22).

Points to ponder:
God knows what is in man – in you and me. If God was to see into our heart today, what would he say – what would be God’s testimony of you and me? Will he find a heart that is prone to perpetual evil or will he find a pardoned heart that is after his very own?

Genesis 8:21 (KJV)
21 And the Lord smelled a sweet savour; and the Lord said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.

Matthew 15:19-20 (KJV)
19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:
20 These are the things which defile a man: …

Acts 13:22 (KJV)
22 And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave their testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.