Life is in the Blood

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By: Tanya Staton, Prophetess

For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement.’ (Leviticus 17:11)

On January 9th, my husband had a heart attack. We were told the next day that he needed five by-passes. I felt at peace about the surgery, yet I had mixed emotions. He came through the surgery with flying colors. All seemed to be well, but under the surface an enemy was brewing. Within two days they were putting my husband on life support. His lungs were shutting down. The very breath that he breathed was now being force in an out by a machine. He was put into a coma so he would not fight the tubes running down his nose and throat. His blood gases were low which meant oxygen was not getting to his organs. “CRITICAL” that’s what the doctors said. For 14 days he was unconscious. On the 15th day they put a trach in and hooked life support to the trach. This would help prevent infection and give him a better chance of coming off the vent.

After 3 months of being in the hospital, he is now home.  Only because of a loving and merciful God.  To tell his whole story would take too long. But what happened to my husband made me think about some things.  First of all, I realized just how helpless I was. I could not save him. I could not heal him. I could not cause his lungs to oxidate the oxygen in his blood. It was not by my might or strength, but by Gods power only that my husband is alive today.

Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts. (Zechariah 4:6)

God has put the breath of life in us and he alone sustains it. Even a ventilator is a temporary fix. But God is our permanent fix. Oxygen must be carried in our blood to keep our vital organs functioning. The Bible say” Life is in the blood”, without oxygen flowing in the blood then we will die.  Without the blood of Jesus being poured out for us, we would of died in our sin. There is nothing we could have ever done that would of released this abundant life He has given us. The shedding of His blood redeemed us once and for all and it is by His stripes we are healed. The doctors always seemed to be giving us a bad report. But there was one doctor who never spoke negative. That doctor never changed his diagnosis or His opinion. Every time we would inquire of Him, He would always say “by my stripes he is healed”

But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,  and by His stripes we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5)

Who’s report will we believe. The word says “Let God be true and every man a liar” (Romans 3:4) so if I believe the wrong report, then the enemy is just under the surface waiting to bring about death in our life. Satan came to steal, kill and destroy. Christ came to give us life, and life more abundantly (John 10:10).  So no matter what we face in life. No matter what storm is raging. REMEMBER ” If God is for you, then who can be against you (Romans 8:31)  Remember when David faced Goliath? David said ” Who does this Philistine think he is that he should rise against God. It took 3 stones to destroy the enemy in the Old Testament. In the New Testament it took 3 words to let the enemy know he is defeated forever. What are those 3 words? Well I’m glad you asked. Jesus himself said them. He said “IT IS FINISHED ” Now who can argue with that.

Choose Joy in all Things

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By: Tina Coble

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. (James 1:2-4)

Some days, when life is beating us up left and right, it seems impossible to be joyful.  Yet God tells us we should consider these trials we face, pure joy!   Why? It develops perseverance!   Christianity should not be about happiness. The Bible never promises happiness, rather it speaks of “joy”.  While happiness is temporary and is based upon circumstances, joy is from the Lord and is eternal . You can still experience joy during trials, suffering, and testing.  Joy is permanent but happiness comes and goes.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)

For the Joy of the Lord is my Strength (Nehemiah 8:10)

The world can’t give us joy, which means my friends, the world also can’t take it away!   When we face trials, and we will face trials, let’s remember our joy cannot be taken away from us.

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31)

The knowing of this scripture deep in our soul will allow us to keep the perspective needed in the trials and the perseverance in us will be developed.  After all, knowing God Almighty is for us should well up joy to overflow in us.

God is so good.  He offers us His complete and abundant joy and through his Word encourages us and shows us how to walk in it.  Instead of allowing the trials of life to get the best of us and take what it does not have the power to take – our joy, let’s get a hold of our emotions and choose joy!

I will be honest, this is sometimes a struggle for me.  It is hard to watch life hit people, people I love dearly struggling with hard issues, taking care of a sick husband, a cancer diagnosis, picking up the pieces from a broken family, and the list goes on.  I wonder where is the good in this life and why is it so hard?  Or how about having a tough day on my end and then I talk to someone who just lost a family member, of their family is going through a devastating time and here I am complaining about the demands of home schooling two children.  Ouch..perspective.  Can anyone else relate? Sometimes life is just hard in the big things and the little things.

When these moments hit I want to challenge us. When life is hard for us or someone we love let’s  hold on to God’s promises; hold on to his joy He gave us joy, let’s walk in it and share it with others.  Let’s let the joy of the Lord truly be our strength.  Let’s face each day with a knowing deep within us that our God is for us, who can be against us?  Friends, let’s  rejoice in the Lord always despite our circumstances, because our circumstances may change but our God does not and his  mercy is new every day.

Let It Go

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By: Roslyn Maglione

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:21)

Being human makes us so imperfect, it actually hurts your heart to know how much sin is there lurking in the shadows when you examine yourself closely.  One of the most evident places this comes to light is how we deal with our treasures.  It starts so young, as child where we don’t want to share and say, “MINE!”  Although as we mature we learn the importance of sharing, there is always that little gnawing in the back of our minds counting every item, dollar, and thing we think we possess hoping we can attain more and more to show our worth.  Unfortunately, as part of our culture we are constantly bombarded with images, ideas, and norms that say the only way to be happy is to have particular possessions and the more the better.  But it is a balancing act of remembering that we actually own nothing because it is all a gift from God.  He has given us the ability to earn a living, possess belongings, and enjoy a comfortable life by blessing us with the gifts we need to attain those things.  But our minds and hearts should not be focusing on the things we own, but on the blessings we are given every day. When we concentrate on getting or keeping more “stuff”, we cannot focus on God and His path for us.   God gave us His only Son on the cross so we could have eternal life; what a win-win for us!  But there is a requirement to the salvation, believing in Jesus Christ and following his lead and turning your attention and praise to God.

Let go and let God take over…

Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.  Then come, follow me.”     (Matthew 19:21)

God the Gardener

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By: Hannah Schelling

How many of you can say you hate those wild onions that grow in your yard, even in your own garden? I don’t like them either, but I’m not the one who deals with the landscaping work around my house. Although I don’t have to deal with them, I do see them, literally everywhere.  Many of them are classified as weeds.  A lot of times they blend in though, when you look at a yard from a distance it can be hard to pin point grass from weed. When you take time however, and look up close you can see clearly which are the weeds. Then identifying them, you’re able to remove them and allow the garden and lawn to look more beautiful than ever.

As I was thinking about this God began to speak to my heart about another place these weeds live – our very own hearts. Each and every one of us has our own personal garden, located in our heart. When we get saved and ask the Holy Spirit to fill us, God Almighty becomes  our gardener. Now,  let me just say that my garden has not been tended to over the past few months. I went away to college in January, to find myself back home within a couple weeks because it just didn’t seem like it was where God wanted me and I was miserable. I came back home and applied to another college.  While waiting to hear back, I found my heart becoming overgrown with weeds, for me these weeds were  anxiety, worry, stress, fear, and doubt.   I actually had planned to let  someone else open the letter from the school when it came because I was so scared of failure and rejection. Throughout those couple of weeks  something remarkable happened. I sensed God tell me to change how I was  praying. I stopped asking God continuously to give me what I wanted so badly. Instead, I bowed low before Him and humbled myself. I discovered more than what I wanted, I wanted what God wanted for me.  I was reminded of this scripture:

My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ says the Lord.  ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9)

I began to pray more like this, “God I want to do whatever you want me to do. I want you Lord to change my heart to align with yours.   Lord  give me your peace. I trust you with my whole heart. I am okay  if I don’t get accepted to the college I want to go to, because  I trusted in your plan for me”.

In praying this way the Holy Spirit plucked out by the root those lies, those weeds, and the truth of who I was in Christ and the hope I had in Him was able to grow and bear fruit again.  I began to walk in faith and trust God. I had a peace and a knowing that God had this.   Let’s face the hard truth, when we hold tight to our plans we also hold tight to one of the most deadly weeds –  pride and unbelief.   But there is hope,  our God is the Master Gardener and He will tend to your garden if you let him just as He did mine.

Sometimes God has us wait for reason. It builds our trust in Him. It gives Him time to work things out in us. He made me wait and I am so glad He did. If God has you waiting, ask Him what He wants you to do as you wait on Him?

There is an app called Sprinkle of Jesus. It’s an app that enables you to read the Bible, devotions, and get daily notifications. The day I was expecting my decision letter, I received a notification from this app that read like this:

“If you knew how close you were to getting your deepest prayer answered, you’d probably be shouting by now.”

Wow. I thought to myself, how great is our Lord. Later that evening, I checked my email, and there it was. My deepest prayer answered with an acceptance letter!  God is so good and so faithful!  I encourage you with Psalm 37:

Psalm 37:4 Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

We can’t delight ourselves in the Lord until we align our hearts with His and allow those weeds to be plucked.

Sarah Young says in her devotion book, Jesus Calling, “When you trust me in the midst of trouble, peace flourishes and weeds die away”.   I encourage you to spend some time with your Master Gardner, and get your garden looking beautiful again.  Our God is a magnificent gardener, and our heart is a magnificent garden to grow filled with his blessings.