Friday, December 2, 2011

O The Blood

A Devotional by Margot Cioccio

Here's the link to the video of the recording O The Blood
that I recorded to go along with this post

Hebrews 10:19-23
Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleans us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.

I started this morning thinking I would write about verse 24 about inspiring one another on towards love and good deeds but realized that 19-23 were so rich that I did not want you to miss them.
I talk a lot about pressing in to Jesus and I want you to understand it is not a pressing in of a sacrificial religious acts. It is more of pressing in to be secure in what Jesus has done for you. Really we can't even get to the part about inspiring one another towards love and good deeds with out taking care of the chains of guilt and shame and accepting what the blood of Christ has done for us.
In the verses above we start off with confidence in the blood of Christ.
So lets look at some other places to try and understand what the blood of Christ does for us.

Ephesians 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.  His blood is what allows us to draw near or press in to the Father.  The blood of Jesus covers all those places of sin that would other wise separate us from God.  When we accept what Jesus has done for us it allows us to stop trying to be good enough. It completely changes our motivation for doing good things. We do them out of thankfulness and a sense of calling and purpose rather than as a means to some how atone for our own sins. Jesus paid it all. We stand before the father covered by the blood of Jesus. He is the sacrifice who's blood was shed on our behalf.
Hebrew 9:14  How much more, then, will the
blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!
It cleanses our conscience - I know that there are some of you reading who continually carry around a load of regrets. I ask you - Have you gone before God and asked him to forgive you specifically of the things that have led up to you having those regrets. Have you forgiven others who hurt, disappointed, betrayed or let you down who's choices have led up to you having those regrets? Allow the blood of Christ to cleanse your guilty conscience. Why? So you can serve the living God. He's got stuff he has prepared for you to do in his kingdom. While you wallow in your guilt and self pity you are missing those opportunities to walk before him by faith. Keep it up you will end up with even more regrets. Its time to do some house cleaning. Let Jesus into the closets, let him see the stuff you have swept under the rug.
1 Peter 1:2 who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance. It makes it possible for you to walk obediently before Christ. By your own strength you will not overcome your addictive tendencies, or the depression or the guilt and things that keep tripping you up. It is the power of Christ and the Holy Spirit that causes us to be strong where we were once weak. Kingdom living is not about you pulling yourself up by your boot straps and trying to beat yourself into being a good person. Jesus makes you good by the power of His blood. He begins a transforming work in your life and asks you to allow the Holy Spirit to lead and guide you day by day, step by step. It is He who works in you the desire to please and honor the Lord with your life. Philippians 2:13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.

Revelation 1:5 and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood,
It frees us from our sins. Here you are carrying around that load of guilt and shame and you think if you can some how pay for it or make up for it. There is a scene in the movie The Mission that illustrates in a visual way how we often try to atone for our failure through acts of penance. Here's the clip You are trying to go through life carrying that load of  un-necessary shame and guilt when Jesus has paid for it all on the Cross by the shedding of His blood. Do you some how think his sacrifice was not enough? Its time to cut that rope and that loaded pack and let it fall off your life. Accept what Jesus has done for you and begin to walk in the freedom of His amazing forgiveness. Your right you don't deserve it - none of us do. It is time to cut that thing off and to begin to live for Him a life of thankfulness.

 1 Peter 1:18-20 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 20 He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. It is time to let go of that empty way of life and embrase life in the Kingdom. If you need some help with that I suggest reading the stories that Jesus told. In them He is trying to help us see what life in the Kingdom is like.

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.
Time to stop just giving lip service and time to begin living like you believe what you say.
Are calling yourself a Christian but continuing to walk around with a load of guilt and shame as if the sacrifice of Christ was some how not good enough for your sins... its time to stop. Accept what He has done for you and begin to walk in the life He has called you to. Time to get off the bench and into the game.  A couple of days ago I recorded the song The Well at the end it says "leave it all behind...your pursuit of of perfection. "Leave it all behind...your fear of rejection. Leave it all behind...your temporary pleasures. Leave it all behind...all your earthly treasures. Leave it all behind... the costly chains of addiction. Leave it all behind... all the guilt that weighs you down."  Really its time to quit punishing yourself  - give it all to Jesus and get on with the life He is calling for you to by accepting what he has done for you.

I've been pondering the following question and so I pass it along to you to ponder as well.
"If all things were possible what would you be doing with your life?" 
Dear Lord,
Help us to move beyond the baby steps of repentance and forgiveness and to begin to walk in your Kingdom purposes and calling for our lives. Its time to leave it all behind - time to move on. Lord move us from wallowing in the pig sty of sin, regret, failure, shame, and fear. Hose us off and help us to begin to walk by faith into the things you are calling us to do and to be for your glory.

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