Devotion on Hymns of the Church (Blessed Assurance) 30 July 2018 Anno Domini
And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.
(Isaiah 32:17; all scripture quoted is from the King James Version)
That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. (Colossians 2:2-3)
Blessed are all who enter into the fruitful Arbors of the Lord, and blessed is the assurance that attends our faith in Christ! This thrilling hymn is the most popular of all of those written by the dearly beloved Fanny Crosby out of her more than 9,000 hymns written. It is noteworthy that Fanny was the most prolific hymn writer ever to put pen to paper, yet she did not begin to write hymns until above fifty years of age. It is true that God saved Fanny Crosby’s best wine for last. It is a disappointment that this great hymn is not included in the 1940 Hymnal.
Text: Fanny J. Crosby, 1820-1915
Music: Phoebe P. Knapp, 1839-1908
Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
O what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
born of his Spirit, washed in his blood.
This is my story, this is my song,
praising my Savior all the day long;
this is my story, this is my song,
praising my Savior all the day long.
Perfect submission, perfect delight,
visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
angels descending bring from above
echoes of mercy, whispers of love.
Perfect submission, all is at rest;
I in my Savior am happy and blest,
watching and waiting, looking above,
filled with his goodness, lost in his love.
Perhaps the most comforting aspect of being a disciple of Christ is the fact that we have no need to doubt our salvation and His provision to keep us in His loving Hands. We have full assurance of our state of grace in Christ. Everyone who reads this devotion will know that his/her father or mother would never lift a finger to harm him. They mean only good to their children. How do we know this? It is because we KNOW our father and mother well enough to never doubt their love for us. If we have a saving faith in Christ, we, too, will not doubt His love and intentions toward us. We must KNOW Him because we have our being IN Him!
“Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine! O what a foretaste of glory divine! Heir of salvation, purchase of
God, born of his Spirit, washed in his blood.” Just as the Shulamite maiden said of her beloved, so must we say of Christ. “My beloved is mine, and I am his…..” (Song of Solomon 2:16) He is OURS, and we are HIS! We love our Lord because He first loved us. Did you first love your own mother, or did she first love you long before you were capable of loving? We were conceived in the heart of God long before we were conceived in our mother’s womb. Living in the abundant grace of our Lord, we do, indeed, have a foretaste of that glory which is to come. We are heirs of the Kingdom and joint-heirs with Christ by the purchase of God at Calvary. Of course, flesh and blood cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven, and we were ONLY flesh and blood sinners before the new birth when a new Spirit entered into our hearts and gave us a new and eternal life. Being washed by the blood of Christ, we are clean altogether in the eyes of the Father. We are first made clean in the inner man by the Holy Spirit of God; and then we are made altogether clean (inside and out) and justified by the washing of the blood of Christ. This is true to the Psalm: “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.” (Psalms 51:7) If the heart is clean and pure, the outer man will also appear so.
“Perfect submission, perfect delight, visions of rapture now burst on my sight; angels descending bring from above echoes of mercy, whispers of love.” You will observe that the perfect delight follows that perfect submission to the will of God. The shining angels of our souls are constant in their utterings of mercy and love to us as we follow the Narrow Way that leads up to God. Even in this mortal flesh, we are pleased to have glimpses of the Immortal.
“Perfect submission, all is at rest; I in my Savior am happy and blest, watching and waiting, looking above, filled with his goodness, lost in his love.” Our eternal Sabbath (rest) follows, again, upon the heels of our perfect submission to the will of God. Our hearts must be unconditionally surrendered before the Armistice of Heaven can bring a silence on the battlefield. With our eyes fixed on our Lord, they are necessarily focused away from the rags and false gems of the world. As Peter walked upon the briny sea as long as his focus was on Christ, so may we walk upon the glassy sea of the world as long as our gaze is above and not upon the turbid waters of the world. We are literally lost in the vastness and infinity of the Love of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We have no goodness in and of ourselves, but being filled with His goodness, we are accounted righteous before God.
We discover that the refrain to Blessed Assurance is a double one which emphasis (twice) the same lines. “This is my story, this is my song, praising my Savior all the day long; this is my story, this is my song, praising my Savior all the day long.” May our song always be of praise to our Lord both in the heat of the day, and during the silent night watch. “I call to remembrance my song in the night: I commune with mine own heart: and my spirit made diligent search.” (Psalms 77:6) Our story must be His Story, and that story must be one of Living Praise. We do not reserve our songs of praise for the daylight sun, but also during the dark night of sorrows. Remember: a day consists of 24 hours!
It seems a burning truth that the Holy Spirit laid claim to the heart of Fanny Crosby in her darkness and blindness. Though she could not see the world, she could see Heaven with uncommon clarity. May we likewise possess that single eye toward God and a blind eye to the corruptible things of the world around us.
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. AMEN.
“Prenez en Gré”
In Christ Alone
in TRINITY SEASON
† Jerry L. Ogles , D.D.
Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide & Chancellor, Faith Theological Seminary
“Metus improbo compescit, non clementia.” – Syrus, MAXIMS: Fear, not kindness, restrains the wicked!
Archbishop Thomas Cranmer – HOLY SCRIPTURE:
“If there were any word of God beside the Scripture, we could never be certain of God’s Word; and if we be uncertain of God’s Word, the devil might bring in among us a new word, a new doctrine, a new faith, a new church, a new god, yea himself to be a god. If the Church and the Christian faith did not stay itself upon the Word of God certain, as upon a sure and strong foundation, no man could know whether he had a right faith, and whether he were in the true Church of Christ, or a synagogue of Satan.”