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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Brooksyne playing street piano in Lancaster city 6/6/14
An old fashioned campmeeting song that answers six of life's major questions. We came across this hymnal in our church where each hymn that had been sung was dated. Perhaps it was a music director's book, back when mostly hymns were selected for worship, and the songleader didn't want to sing the same songs too often. Or perhaps it was a church member who keeps lists and likes to know how often a particular hymn is sung. The chronicling period spanned nearly 20 years based on this record and includes 2 times we would have been a part of the church which we began attending in February of 2001!

"What The Blood Is For"

Message Summary:
Let us all come to the Father and confess our sins before Him today. Through the atoning blood of His Son Jesus He will be faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  That's what the blood is for!

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"The blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin" (1 John 1:7). "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9).

That's what the blood is for
It cleans a dirty man I am
Makes it possible to stand before you, Lord
Yes, that's what the blood is for.

DialysisAbout 30 years ago Brooksyne had an interesting volunteer role with the American Red Cross. She transported kidney dialysis patients from the small town where we lived in northern Pennsylvania to the nearest dialysis center some 32 miles away. However at that time we really didn't understand much about dialysis, particularly how the process works to help those with poorly functioning kidneys.

But that changed when my dad was placed on kidney dialysis the last year of his life.  I recall going with him to the dialysis center in Independence, Missouri and found it interesting to observe the procedure. I asked the technician questions as he was dialyzed. At that time the procedure took about four hours and even with all the high tech machinery it does a rather primitive job compared to the two small, self-contained kidneys that I doubt many of us ever pause to thank God for.

The procedure, which is repeated every two to three days replaces a process that our kidneys do constantly
twenty-four hours a day, every day, without any conscious input on our part. Our blood not only carries oxygen and nutrients but poisons and waste. The kidneys not only remove the waste products from our blood, but also maintain a constant balance of the various chemicals in our bloodstream. This is vital to our well-being. A bit too much or too little of a certain chemical can wreak havoc. Accumulated poisons rapidly weaken and destroy.

Sin, like poisons in our blood, has the very same effect in our lives. The first daily verse offers God's remedy,
"The blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin" (1 John 1:7). Bible teacher John Phillips contends that this has to be one of the most comforting verses in the whole Bible. "It is a truth taught from Genesis to Revelation—blood cleanses sin. A skeptic challenged a believer: 'How does blood cleanse sin?' he demanded. The believer replied with a counter question: 'How does water quench thirst?'. The skeptic replied, 'I don't know, but I know that it does.' 'Just so,' said the believer, 'I don't know how blood cleanses sin, but I know that it does—God says so.'"

The truth of Christ's cleansing, atoning blood is taught all through the Bible, foreshadowed in the Old Testament with the animal blood sacrifices. In the New Testament it is taught in the Gospels (Luke 22:20), Acts, (20:28) Paul's epistles (Romans 3:25), General epistles (Hebrews 9:12) and Revelation (1:5). The current notion of many is to minimize the atoning blood sacrifice of Christ to make the message more palatable to modern man. This is a grave error and a clear departure from "the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints" (see Jude 3.)

Our second daily verse is one of the great promises in the Bible. We both memorized it very early on. In fact it's probably among the top ten most memorized Bible verses. "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9).

1 John 1:9"If we confess our sins." Confess means to come to agreement and acknowledgment concerning our sin problem, both generally and specifically. I like an old definition of sin from the Westminster Catechism that states, "Sin is any want of conformity to, or transgression of the holy law of God." This standard clearly reveals the reality that "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23).

"He is faithful and just." This is a promise based on God's immutable character; His attributes of faithfulness and justice.

"To forgive us our sins." Our greatest need in spiritual restoration is forgiveness of sins. God faithfully and justly forgives!

"And to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."  An old hymn has a stanza that describes the effects of sin and the results of Christ's atonement: "Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow." Rejoice today at the totality of this cleansing in the phrase, "all unrighteousness."

Our confession of sin is like a spiritual dialysis. Even as in a healthy body the kidneys function constantly to cleanse, so spiritually our regular confession of sin cleanses us of all unrighteousness.  I like that little word "all."  It speaks of the complete efficacy of the spiritual dialysis ordained by God.

Let us all come to the Father and confess our sins before Him today. Through the atoning blood of His Son Jesus He will be faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  That's what the blood is for!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, in exchange for our filthy rags You clothe us with a garment of praise. Our sins of crimson are lifted and we are washed white as snow. While we were yet sinners and powerless Jesus died for us, the Godly for the ungodly, and we are now covered by His cleansing, atoning blood, destined to reign with Him forever in heaven. Words are totally inadequate to express our thanks but we dedicate our lives to that purpose. Ours is a deep, eternal gratitude to You for Your matchless mercy and grace lavished upon us. Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"That's What the Blood Is For"  Video  Jason Crabb

"There Is Power In The Blood"  Video  Fernando Ortega

"O The Blood"  Video  Selah

"Nothing But The Blood"  Video  Matt Redman

"The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power"  Video  Oslo Gospel Choir and Evie Tornquist-Karlson

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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