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The Merit of Blood

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"Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends. John 15:13

George Washington created the Badge for Military Merit on this day in 1782, an awarded for “any singularly meritorious action” in battle. It was known as the Purple Heart. Soldiers have received it for being killed or wounded in action and for suffering as a prisoner of war. One recipient, Private First Class David Kenyon Webster, wrote, “Those things which are precious are saved only by sacrifice.”

Blood as the ultimate coast required to conquer the effects of evil goes all the way back to Eden, when God replaced Adam and Eve’s fig-leaf garments with animal skins. Later, Jesus fulfilled the requirements of Moses’ Law, that “nearly everything was purified with blood. For without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness” (Hebrews 9:22).

True giving carries the idea of cost—giving not only when you’re prosperous, but when you lack. David wouldn’t build an altar on gifted ground, purchasing Araunah’s threshing floor in an act of sacrifice that had been presaged by Abraham’s offering Isaac and fulfilled by Christ’s crucifixion, both of which also transpired on the mountains of Moriah.

When you give from your time, talents, and treasure, you honor a gift you can’t repay. As a soldier in God’s army, you can share in Christ’s suffering by praying for peace, and giving all you can to see as many partake of it as possible.

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