The Blood

The Blood. 

The year was 2010, I think, when the National Blood Transfusion Service came to our campus with a ‘Donate Blood and Save a Life’ Campaign. 

I remember walking up to them that morning for a voluntary blood donation. Some preliminary tests were done to confirm if I was eligible to donate. Seemed it was positive. 

Afterwards, they asked me to lie on a the stretcher under the tent. But I didn’t want to lie down like I was sick, so I refused; I told them I’d be fine sitting in a chair. 

Well, they agreed, set up and inserted the needle in a vein in my right arm. I watched as my blood flowed out into the collector. All they wanted was a pint of blood. When the collector was filled, they disconnected the needle and requested that I sit still for some minutes so I would not go into shock. All these ceremonies for just one pint. 

Among others who had come to the tent to donate and was lying on a stretcher, someone almost went into shock. They had to elevate the legs of the donor with a pillow or so to keep the person stable. 

One day, we were made to understand, someone somewhere would be needing that blood — someone the donors have never met, and may never ever meet. Someone’s life was going to be saved when they agree to accept the blood someone donated to them. 

As I think about that, I remember Jesus, the Ultimate Blood Donor. Over two thousand years ago, He came to this sin-sick world and gave His blood. He didn’t give just one pint as most donors are required to do, He gave all. Some dripped off as the Roman soldiers flogged him with their razor-edged whips at Pilate’s command. More blood flowed when the crucifiers put a crown of thorns on his brow. Then, when a soldier came and pierced His side with a sword, blood and water gushed out, and He bled till the last drop. All for us. 😭 

He did it voluntarily, you know. He said it himself: “Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.” (John 10:17-18, KJV) 

But, why does salvation have to involve bloodshed? 

Follow me closely, please. 

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

God had stated it from the very beginning that life is in the blood. (Genesis 9:4). Divine justice required that life be taken so that blood could be available to atone for the sinner’s sins. To this effect, blood of thousands of animals were shed in the Old Testament to atone for sins. 

However, this wasn’t sufficient as it wasn’t a permanent solution to the problem of sin. Hebrews 10:4 (KJV) says “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.” This is why Jesus had to shed His own blood. 

Look at this: Hebrews 9:11-14 (KJV) explains that, “Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”  

Do you see the superiority of the blood of Christ? “How much more!” He doesn’t just purge us from outward sins, He purges even our conscience FROM works that lead to death. Because of His blood, there is no need to offer any yearly sacrifice of any other animal, anymore. Jesus gave His blood to save us FROM (not in) sin. He has borne the consequence of our sins on the cross. 

The word of God says in Isaiah 53:5 (KJV): “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” His blood brings salvation from sins, deliverance from Satan, healing of all diseases, and lots more. 

Dear friend, don’t let the blood of Christ be in vain over your life. All you need to be saved is to trust in His eternal sacrifice on the cross. Your good works will never be good enough to save you from sin. Praying through or to any saint, dead or alive, cannot bring salvation. Merely religious activities without the righteousness that Christ imparts cannot bring salvation either. Only the blood of Jesus offers salvation — full and free. 

Do you want to be saved? Do you want to receive eternal life? Do you want to appropriate this blood into your life? Then, let the words of this hymn be your prayer today: 

“Not the labours of my hand 
Can fulfil thy law’s demand; 
Could my zeal no respite know, 
Could my tears forever flow, 
All for sin cannot atone; 
Thou must save, and Thou alone. 

Nothing in my hand I bring, 
Simply to the cross I cling; 
Naked, come to Thee for dress; 
Helpless, look to Thee for grace; 
Foul, I to the fountain fly; 
Wash me Saviour or I die.” 

When you pray, believe, then receive the grace to go and sin no more. 

The word of God says “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:9-11,13, KJV). 

God bless you. 

[Inspiration] What’s in a Name? 

​What’s in a name? 

The longest surviving dream I have nursed since I was a child is to become a pastor. Beyond being called a pastor, however, I wanted to be a preacher of the word. I still want to be a pastor when I grow up. Maybe a missionary too. 

Perhaps, this is partly responsible for my not having had any permanent nickname since childhood, except pastor. In fact, whenever I get to a new place, even without actually doing any verbal preaching, I begin to hear people call me pastor, behind my back and even to my face. 

Names. But, what’s in a name? 

While giving an Organic Chemistry lecture today, I told my students about the difference between IUPAC names and common names of compounds. 

I gave example of a chemical compound called ‘churchane‘ having a rather complex IUPAC name I don’t want to write. This compound is called chruchane, not because it goes to church, or because it is born again, or because an apostle-scientist isolated it, but simply because of its structure which LOOKS LIKE a church. 

Chemical structure of Churchane

Churchane. | Source: Internet

As I give that a deeper thought, I realize that it would be a wise decision for me not to get carried away with what people call me. 

Wouldn’t it be wise for me to constantly remind myself that without a genuine personal experience of the salvation that comes by grace through faith, regardless of what title people give me, I would remain a stranger to the kingdom of God? 

My friend, I hope you know that you may dress up like churchane; looking like a church-boy or church-girl, wearing your well-ironed pleated skirt, your turtle-neck blouse, long-sleeved shirt, straight trouser, nice tie to match, and still not be born again? 

Are you aware that salvation does not come just by having godly parents, being born and/or raised in a gospel church, regular attendance in church services or any merely religious activity? 

Would you know, dear reader, that being named John, Grace, Peter, Mary, Paul, Esther or even Jesus, doesn’t book you a space in God’s book of life? 

They may call you pastor, preacher, evangelist, prophet, apostle, Father Abraham or mother-in-Israel, but until you have a personal encounter with the Saviour, heaven knows you as a sinner. 

What’s in a name, my friend? Nothing! Really, nothing! 

You are not what people call you. You don’t just become what people call you. Your parents may wake up every morning and call you Governor, but that alone doesn’t make you one. 

You are who you are. God knows who you are; you do too. Interestingly, the devil also does. 

Why not stop the charade, take off the façade, and get a real relationship with Jesus today. He knows you have been pretending all along. He knows your hypocrisy. He knows your struggles with sin and the flesh. He knows it all. 

But, He’s not judging you yet. He wants to save you. He wants to forgive your sins. He wants you to really know him. He wants you to become a Christian — not just the religion-section-form-filling kind of Christian, but a Christian in heart and life. 

What’s in a name, I ask? Something, maybe, but only when the name and the named correlate. 

John Ogunjimi welcomes you to the month of March. God’s abundant blessings are yours this month.
Image credit: Internet. 

[Inspiration] Would it help? 

​Would it help? 

By John Ogunjimi 

1957 

The height of the cold war. 

The United States and the Soviet Union fear each other’s nuclear capabilities — and intentions. 

Both sides deploy spies — and hunt for them. 

Inspired by true events. 

***
That’s the text on screen at the beginning of the movie, Bridge of Spies. I’m not a big fan of history, and my laziness in reading history books makes me sometimes resort to watching historical movies when I’m less busy. 

I’m not a movie reviewer — and I don’t intend to sound like one now. I’m just going to pick out a lesson form this historical drama I watched. 

There’s this Russian spy, Rudolf Abel, that was caught in the US. James Donovan, an insurance lawyer, was charged with the responsibility of defending Rudolf, like Atticus Finch was appointed to defend Tom Robinson in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. Okay, maybe not exactly, but something close, you know? 

James Donovan presents himself to his client and tell him his mission. After Rudolf accepted that Donovan should represent him, this conversation ensues between them: 

Donovan: Then do not talk to anyone about your case inside of government or out, except to me to the extent that you trust me. I have a mandate to serve you; nobody else does. Quite frankly, everybody else has an interest in sending you to the electric chair. 

Rudolf: Alright. 
Donovan: You don’t seem alarmed. 
Rudolf: (Shrugs) Well, would it help? 

When the case got to trial, there’s another scene where this happened after Donovan and the prosecuting counsel returned from the Judge’s office: 

Rudolf: How did we do? 
Donovan: In there? Uhm… Not too good. Apparently, you’re not an American citizen. 
Rudolf: That’s true. 
Donovan: And, according to your boss, you’re not a Soviet citizen either. 
Rudolf: Well, the boss isn’t always right. But, he’s always the boss. 
Donovan: Do you never worry? 
Rudolf: Would it help? 

Then, after the trial and conviction, Rudolf was sentenced to 30 years. The defense counsel had earlier advised that Rudolf should not be killed as he could still be useful for them. As it turned out, they eventually had to trade Rudolf for Gary Powers, an American Pilot was who was shot down from the CIA’s top secret U-2 spy plane over the USSR. 

This conversation takes place between Rudolf and Donovan on the bridge where the exchange was to take place: 

Donovan: What do you think will happen when you get home?
Rudolf: I think I’ll have a vodka. 
Donovan: (Chuckles) Yeah. But, Rudolf, is there no possibility–
Rudolf: … that my people are going to shoot me.
Donovan: Yeah. You are not worried. 
Rudolf: Would it help? 

***

I haven’t been able to shake of the thought of Rudolf’s calmness in the midst of it all. The way he never worried is quite impressive. 

Perhaps, you have been worrying for so long that if worrying were a university course, you’d have a PhD by now, but how has it helped? 

I mean, all the years you have invested in worrying about things you can control, how has it helped? 

How has worrying helped you become a better person? In what minutest way has it proffered any solution to the problems you’ve been facing? How does worrying put food on your table, or money in your pocket? How does it boost your health? How has it helped? 

This is what Jesus has to say about worrying: 

“So do not worry or be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have worries and anxieties of its own. Sufficient for each day is its own trouble.” Matthew 6:34 (NIV). 

A song writer puts it this way: 

“One day at a time, sweet Jesus, 

That’s all I’m asking from you. 

Just give me the strength 

To do everyday what I have to do. 

Yesterday’s gone, sweet Jesus, 

And tomorrow may never be mine. 

Lord, help me today, show me the way, 

One day at a time.” 

I pray that God will cure us from the worrying spirit. Amen. 

[Inspiration] When You Follow Someone…

When You Follow Someone…

By John Ogunjimi

Of all the books I read last year, 5 were books by A.W. Tozer. One common thing I found written about the author was that he was a “self-taught theologian.”

That is something too significant to overlook, particularly in this our generation where people idolize their denominations, the founders, and the traditions of those denominations.

“Self-taught” is relative. Aside reading Tozer’s books, I listen to his sermons too. There is a fire that kindles in me when I do. I get the same effect from books and sermons of Leonard Ravenhill. When you listen to Tozer preach, you’d hear him reference great authors and preachers. That would put a question mark on him being self-taught, wouldn’t it?  Continue reading

[Inspiration] When You Decide to Run

When You Decide to Run…

By John Ogunjimi

Some years ago, during my one-year compulsory national service, I wanted to lose some weight so I decided to start early morning jogs. I shared the idea with my roommates but none of them showed any interest. After days of waiting for them without receiving any positive response, I decided to start the race on my own.

After my first run, Vivian, one of our lodge mates, asked to join me. She said she had been wanting to jog for some time, but she needed a running mate. I agreed, and we became partners.

After my quiet time in the morning, I would lie in the bed and wait for Vivian to knock and say, “Hey, John. Are you ready?” Then I would slip into my tennis and we would start running. Continue reading