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Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!

Oh what a foretaste of glory divine!

Heir of salvation - purchase of God.

Born of His goodness - 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.

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, all is at rest,

In in my Savior am happy and blest,

Watching and waiting, looking above,

filled with His goodness - lost in His love.

The song, Blessed Assurance, was written by Fanny Crosby. Crosby, a woman who was blinded at 6 weeks old by the ignorance of a doctor and whose father passed away when she was not even a year old, was raised by her grandmother as her mother worked hard to make ends meet. Despite the natural disadvantages of being blind in the time she lived, God used her mightily. By the end of her life, at age 94 (quite a long life in 1915!), she had written over 8,000 hymns to the glory of the Lord.

The lyrics of Blessed Assurance speak strongly of the amazing assurance we have of the salvation of God, far beyond what we could comprehend, through submission and rest, praise and watchfulness, as we wait for what our faith and confidence in Jesus promises us - a blessed assurance.

It's a beautiful thing, as even a blind woman can write of "visions of rapture" and mighty angels decending.

When your walk with God is truly based off of faith, not sight and by our hearts and minds, not by our circumstances or by the faultiness of this world, we can see light in the darkest moments, feel peace in the storm, and uncover hope in the pit of despair.

*for a little deeper digging, please click on the links I have attached to the words above

Yet, our salvation wasn't free. It wasn't free on the cross and it isn't free to us today - in as far as what is expected of us once we understand repentence, what it is to live for Christ - patterning ourselves after the example laid before us in His divine Word, and being accountable for our lives and witness.

We are "without excuse" as we come to see the evidence of God working His miracles day by day and as we learn the testimony shared with us in the Word.

Romans 1:20, "For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities - His eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse."

As we advance in our lives as Christ-followers, we should increase in our yearning for the assurances of the Kingdom. We should be longing more and more each day for His coming or our leaving (without compromising our lives here in the present!)

If we are comfortable here, then something is wrong. We should growingly be becoming so disgusted with this world as our vision adjusts to the light, that we are squirming in our seats and hopping to our feet to give people hope and tell people of this blessed assurance.

Our God doesn't just save - He liberates.

He doesn't just liberate - He provides.

He doesn't just provide - He promises.

2 Peter 3:9 says, "The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. Instead He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance."

2 Peter 3 continues on to say, "But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming."

So, YES, we have this BLESSED ASSURANCE of salvation but we also have an issuance to repentence and an obligation of diligence to be ones that live daily for Christ and not ourselves.

Matthew 16 tells us very pointedly, "What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with His angels, and then He will reward each person according to what they have done."

We have these assurances ahead of us:

We our heirs of His Kingdom - Romans 8:15-17, "The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by Him we cry, 'Abba, Father.' The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs - heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in His sufferings in order that we may also share in His glory."

We have the gift of eternal life through Jesus - Romans 6:23, "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

His power gives us all we need - 2 Peter 1:3-4, "His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires."

Earthly death is not the end - 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, "For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever."

Jesus will return - Acts 1:10-11, "They were looking intently up into the sky as He was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 'Men of Galilee, they said, 'why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen Him go into heaven.'”

We get to experience LIFE and salvation - 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10, "For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with Him."

We have a place prepared for us in heaven - John 14:2-3, "My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am."

Christ was a sin offering for us - Romans 8:3 , "What the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering."

We recieve the crown of life - James 1:12, "Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love Him."

We have a better, eternal house in heaven - 2 Corinthians 5:1, "For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands."

We are predestined, called, justified and glorified - Romans 8:29-30, "For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those He predestined, He also called; those He called, He also justified; those He justified, He also glorified."

The components to being saved is to repent (and live a life of repentence) and to have faith in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.

It is going beyond being religious to having a relationship with God. Going through the motions doesn't assure you heaven. It is a relationship with God and a determination to live a life WORTHY of the calling of Christ.

We have these instructions:

Keep God's commands - 1 John 5:1-3, "Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves His child as well. This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out His commands. In fact, this is love for God: to keep His commands. And His commands are not burdensome"

Do what the Word says - James 1:22-24 instructs us, "Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like."

LOVE God; love your neighbor - Mark 12:29-31 , "'The most important commandment,' answered Jesus, 'is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these.'"

Don't conform - be transformed - Romans 12:2, "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is - His good, pleasing and perfect will."

Stop flaunting yourself. Your '5 minutes of fame in Jesus' Name' won't get you to heaven - Matthew 6:1 , "Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven."

Forgive. Matthew 6:14-15 , "If you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins."

Do the will of the Lord - Matthew 7:21-23, "Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’"

While we aren't saved by works,

there should be fresh evidence of your faith.

"Adversity is not simply a tool. It is God's most effective tool for the advancement of our spiritual lives. The circumstances and events that we see as setbacks are oftentimes the very things that launch us into periods of intense spiritual growth. Once we begin to understand this, and accept it as a spiritual fact of life, adversity becomes easier to bear." ~ Charles Stanley

Life is hard and challenges arise. Some challenges will thin the faith of the most fervent of believers. There is no denying that the enemy lingers around, prowling on our vunerablities and insecurities. The determination of whether he wins or not, though, is whether you are able to get a grasp of your trust and faith and determination once again. When you aren't being attacked, grow your faith. When you are being attacked, hold on, because the fight is worth enduring.

Those blessed assurances are right ahead of you.

Do you think you are going to heaven

or do you know you are going to heaven?

Do you know that you have a firm grasp of that assurance? Or are you uncertain?

If you have any doubts, please pray this prayer of salvation with me:

"God, I am coming to You in my doubt and uncertainty. I want to know that I am coming home to You. I want to continue to learn and grow in You each day that You give me breath. I love You, Lord, and I am sorry for putting other things ahead of You. I repent for the sin in my life and I choose to turn around and make a change. I need You and Your forgiveness. Thank You for forgiving me. Thank You for loving me. Give me strength as I put a foot forward to walk on Your path and not my own. I know that by following You, I can confidently embrace that blessed assurance that You so readily offer. I want to do what is right. I want to live for You and not be pulled around by this world. Help me to stand firm. Let me always be humble before You but confident before this world, so that I can be a bright light for You. I believe and accept the gift of the death of Jesus for my sins and I am thankful. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen."

Live well.


Sarah Jane

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