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A Precious Gift

I thought I would take a week off from our study of God’s work in changing Peter’s heart and changing the history of the church, so I can give you an update on our blood drive yesterday (Thurs.). I’m very thankful for those that supported the blood drive by donating their time and their blood. Once again, I believe it was a very successful and meaningful outreach into our community. I had desired for some time to make a blood donation myself but was not willing to go to New Brunswick to do so. So, when the suggestion came up that we host a blood drive I was one of the first to get on board with the idea. We hosted our first blood drive in a number of years back in June, right at the height of the pandemic fears. As Christians, we hold a very high view of blood that has been given for the benefit of others. In the Old Testament, it was the blood of the sacrificial lambs that symbolize the covering of the people’s sin. In the book of Exodus (Ex.12) it was the blood of the sacrificial lambs that were applied to the doorpost so that the Death Angel would pass over the Israelite families who applied the blood to the doorpost of their homes. This started the great tradition of Passover, which is still celebrated today in Judaism some 35 centuries later. When Jesus first appeared in John 1 it was John the Baptist who declared, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world”, (John 1:29). Both organizations that we partnered with for our blood drives inform us that by donating our blood we are saving people’s lives (perhaps up to three people a donation). As Christians, we believe Jesus shed His blood to save humanity, so truly we see the giving of blood as a precious gift.

In the book of Romans Paul informs us, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this; while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!” (Rom.5:8,9 NIV). The book of Revelation is introduced with this important statement where John writes, “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; and has made us be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father – to him be glory and power forever and ever! Amen,” (Rev.1:5,6 NIV). So once again we see how important the shed blood of the Lamb of God is to our lives and to eternal life. From the beginning of the Bible to the end of the Bible we see blood is a very important factor in our salvation. If Jesus was willing to shed his blood for us, should we not also be willing to donate our blood so that others may have a chance at physical life? Of course, Jesus’s sacrifice purchased our spiritual salvation, which is truly a greater gift, but the longer people live the greater chance they may have of coming to place their faith in Jesus Christ. So even the gift of donating blood could ultimately lead to a person having another chance to give their heart to Jesus Christ.

I am very thankful for those who willingly donated their blood to the Vitalant blood drive, and I hope our endeavors will help to save lives in our community, as all the blood that was donated will stay in New Jersey. We will continue to look for opportunities to host other blood drives, as the Lord gives us an opportunity in the future. In the meantime, let us continue to seek to serve and love one another and follow Jesus’s instruction when He tells us, “A new commandment I give you; Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples if you love one another”, (John 13:34 NIV). For those who donated once again let me say thank you for your kindness, as it is truly a demonstration of your care and concern for our neighbors and our community.

All for God’s Glory,

Pastor Rich Sivo

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