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. 

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Prepare! 

​Prepare! 

On a Sunday like this, 2nd of April 1995, my father went to be with the Lord. That’s 22 years ago today. They say Christians don’t die, that they only sleep; that is very comforting, I must say. To think of a resurrection morning when those who have died — slept — in Christ will rise with an immortal body and be eternally reunited with their loved ones, oh what a blissful thought! 

I like the way the Gaither Vocal Band captures that thought in the refrain of their song, ‘Knowing You’ll Be There’: 

“Knowing we could spend a lifetime reminiscing on the past, 
Knowing I would see your face again where tender moments last, 
It makes me want to go there, knowing I won’t be alone; 
Knowing you’ll be there makes it easy to go home.” 

Do you ever wonder, like I do, if the saints in heaven see what’s going on on earth? If they do, as the writer of Hebrews 12:1 suggests when he speaks of “a cloud of witnesses,” I like to think that they are watching us, cheering us up to continue the race, and to finish strong like they have done. 

If you’ve ever lost any one to the chilly hands of death, be comforted in the knowledge that there is a resurrection morning. If you are persuaded that they have gone to be with the Lord, weep not for them, for they are in a far better place. Rather, prepare yourself to join that happy throng above, and to be counted worthy to sing with the angels over there. 

We may not understand why some things happen on this side of eternity. We will never be able to explain some of the heartbreaks we experience here. There are answers that time will never tell, that only heaven holds. But we should comfort ourselves with the lyrics of this timeless hymn: 

“When death has come and taken our loved ones, 
Leaving our homes so lonely and drear, 
Then do we wonder why others prosper, 
Living so wicked year after year. 
Father along we’ll know all about it, 
Father along we’ll understand why; 
Cheer up my brother, live in the sunshine, 
We’ll understand it all by and by.” 

One day, it will be your turn to leave this sinful world for the great beyond. Be wise and prepare for that day by having your name in the Book of Life. There is no salvation after death. There is no repentance in the grave. As you lay your bed here in time, so you will lie on it in eternity. If you have not become born again, don’t put off your salvation again until a later time. Heed the entreaty of this songwriter: 

“How many times has the Saviour called before, 
And each time you turn away from His door? 
You said, ‘Not this time, but someday I’ll get in,’ 
Though your little world may crumble before He calls again. 
Before the Saviour calls again, you may cry a million tears. 

Before He calls again, you may waste precious years. 
He’s calling now, the door is open, come inside while you can; 
You may suffer needless heartaches before He calls again.” 

How I Want to Die. 

How I Want to Die 

There’s a rechargeable lamp in our house. To put it mildly, I dislike this lamp. With passion. And, I’m not even talking about its colour yet; it has a yellow colour which I consider too loud for my temperament. 

Although, I consider yellow–shiny, glistening yellow–to be a good colour for a lamp because it should make it easily findable in the dark, but that doesn’t in any way make me like this lamp. 

Electricity supply is fairly stable in our area, so, on good days, we have an aggregate of about 15 to 20 hours of power supply per day. This lamp would be plugged in and allowed to charge full. Apart from that, it has a solar panel with which you can charge it. 

Unfortunately, whenever you need to use this lamp at night, it would glow brightly for the first 5 minutes or so, and then dim to an annoying shade. It even has an output port through which you can charge your phone, but if you dare use it at this time, your phone begins to discharge. 

On a particular occasion, I thought of disposing the thing off. It’s better to know we don’t have it, than to bank on this disappointing stuff. 

Then, I felt something in my spirit. Are some Christians not like that? I have had to examine my life in the light of that revelation. 

I have access to the word of God from time to time. I am blessed with anointed teachers of the word. I am like that lamp that has a constant supply of spiritual manna. But, when the time comes to bear fruit, am I fruit-bearing? Am I giving to my world? 

Are there times that I disappoint God? How faithful have I been in times when God expects me to discharge, out of the abundance He has invested in me, to those around me? 

“For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.” (Luke 12:48). What is my reaction when God requires more of me? 

In another dimension, if we consider the myth that overcharging spoils batteries (though nothing I know in electrochemistry supports that), is it possible that we caused this by overcharging the lamp? If true, then that leads me to scarier thoughts–the dead sea, the children of Israel in eating manna in the wilderness. 

When someone is always getting but never giving, the over-concentration of what they receive soon becomes a disadvantage to them. 

I don’t want to disappoint God when He looks up to my tree expecting fruits. I don’t want to selfishly conceal his abundant investment in me. I don’t want to end up like the tree that Jesus cursed for being fruitless. 

I want to swallow all that God provides for me, and discharge as much of it as possible for this world before I leave. I want to be always available to give whatever I have to whoever needs it. 
When my turn comes to die, I don’t want to leave this world with untapped potentials, undelivered messages, unexploited talents, un-expressed gifts, unfinished works, unaccomplished mission, or an unfulfilled life. I want to die empty. 

So help me God.

[Inspiration] Different Rules

​Different Rules 

When I started learning Spanish, one of the things that quickly caught my attention was its verb conjugation and the difference from that of the English language. 

In one of the lessons, I learnt that verb conjugation in Spanish is more complicated than in English. In Spanish, the verb endings change in order to describe who is doing the action and when. For example, for “comer,” “I eat” is “yo como” and “you eat” is “tú comes.” 

Because the conjugations indicate who is doing the action, it is usually possible to omit the pronoun. For instance, instead of saying, “Yo como arroz,” (I eat rice), you can say, “Como arroz.” And, instead of saying, “Yo soy un niño,” (I am a boy), you can say, “Soy un niño.” 

Now, imagine a native Spanish speaker who is learning English and has to write an exam in English. He would fail woefully if he applied the rules in Spanish to English, and begins a sentence with “Am” instead of “I am.” If he wants to succeed in the new language, he has to work by the new rules. 

The same thing applies in the Christian faith. When a person becomes born again, they are translated from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of God. They are expected to begin to live and operate by the rules of the new kingdom. 

And, yes! there are rules in the kingdom of God. The Bible is our rulebook. Those who practise ‘lawless-Christianity’ (if there’s anything like that) are alien to the truth. Paul wrote, “Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, LET US WALK BY THE SAME RULE, let us mind the same thing.” (Philippians 3:16 KJV) 

You can’t claim to be in the kingdom of God but be living like you’re still in the world. The rules are different. 

By default, the broad way accommodates a person with their pride, lusts, immorality, profanity, and all shades of sinfulness. The rules of that kingdom allow it. 

But, when you come into the kingdom of God — into the narrow way — there’s room for just one, YOU. In this kingdom, there’s an expected change of life. Old things must pass away. All things should become new. 

The rules of God’s kingdom demand abstinence from all appearances of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:22). The rule demands following peace with all men (Hebrews 12:14), walking in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16), watching and praying (Matthew 26:41), overcoming sin by the Spirit’s power (1 Corinthians 10:13), and whatever else the ‘rulebook’ says. 

I like the way a songwriter puts it: 

“If you say you love the the Saviour, 
In His word you’ll always live; 
If you say your sins are forgiven and gone then, 
Prove it by the life you live.” 
🎶

[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.