Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 July 2021 2 Corinthians 5:7.

2 Corinthians 5:7.       For we walk by faith and not by sight.

And another summer Sunday is upon us, my dear friends in Christ! And you know that calls for praise and worship and thanksgiving to Almighty God, our Creator and Provider; the One who LOVES us unconditionally, LOVED us so much that He sent His Son to die on our behalf, that our sins could be forgiven and we could be adjudged righteous in His holy and glorious name. That’s why we praise and give Him thanks every Sunday. 

And today we’ll open with a very popular traditional gospel song titled ‘Just a Closer Walk with Thee.’ The precise author of the song is unknown, but obviously there are various theories. One holds that it goes right back to the days of slavery, sung by slaves as they laboured in the fields of the plantations in the Southern States of the U.S. of A. 

Another angle claims that Kenneth Morris an American composer, on a trip from Kansas City to Chicago, heard a porter singing the song at one of the train stops where he got off to get some fresh air. At that time, he did not pay much attention to it, but as he continued his trip the song just flooded his mind, and at the next stop, he got off the train and took another one back to the earlier station. He had the porter sing the song for him, and he wrote down the words and music. Then in 1940, after adding some of his own lyrics to add more breadth, he published the song. 

Now it does seem that Morris did arrange and publish the song for the first time, but another theory says that happened only after a group of musicians heard a live version in Kansas City and then brought it to Morris’ attention. The long and short of the story though is that it soon became a gospel standard, a Jazz standard and a part of American folk music. However, it is agreed that the first recording was done by the Selah Jubilee singers on October 8, 1941, in New York city. 

And now that we have some idea of its history, (smile) let’s sing an up-tempo version, a la Anne Murray, not like the traditional dirge renditions in new Orleans jazz funerals. In full, sweet, harmonious voice, with the appropriate background vocals, let’s offer up our sacrifice of praise to heaven. ‘I am weak but Thou art strong; Jesus, keep me from all wrong; I’ll be satisfied as long As I walk, let me walk close to Thee. 

(Refrain: Just a closer walk with Thee, Grant it, Jesus, is my plea, Daily walking close to Thee, Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.) Thro’ this world of toil and snares, If I falter, Lord, who cares? Who with me my burden shares? None but Thee, dear Lord, none but Thee. [Refrain] When my feeble life is o’er, Time for me will be no more; Guide me gently, safely o’er To Thy kingdom shore, to Thy shore. [Refrain].’ 

That’s oh so refreshing my people! There’s nothing better in this life than a steady walk with Jesus. And that all started right at the very beginning when the Lord told the 99-year-old Abram: ‘I am the Almighty God (El Shaddai); walk before me, and be thou perfect (blameless).’ (Gen. 17:1) One translation says: ‘Walk before the Lord in a way that is pleasing to Him.’ And that’s the God awesome truth! We ought to walk before our God and Creator and heavenly Father in a manner that pleases Him, not the lewd, lustful and ungodly way that so many of us walk nowadays. 

And the scholars tell us that the title of the song and the lyrics allude to these two verses of scripture. The first one is this popular verse: ‘For we walk by faith and not by sight.’ (2 Cor. 5:7) And that’s a foundational scripture friends, since in the Lord’s economy seeing is not believing, walking by faith and trust in His promises and power is what He expects of us. That’s the realization of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 

And the second scripture verse is another popular one: ‘Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you.’ (James 4:8a) And I want to add this other verse that seems ever so appropriate. ‘Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.’ James 4:10) Yes friends, if we don’t humble ourselves before the Lord, He certainly won’t lift us up, neither down here on earth, nor to heaven. (smile) 

Now here is this interesting commentary from the website Hymnary.org. ‘In this song, we acknowledge our human inability to live righteously, but we also express awareness of the grace and strength that God gives us in our daily walk. Even such an esteemed saint as the apostle Paul acknowledged his need for this grace after he asked the Lord three times to remove the thorn from his flesh: “But he [God] said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 

And Paul’s response to that was brilliant: ‘Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities (weaknesses), that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake, for when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Cor. 12:9-10) 

Oh my people, regardless of how mature we are in Christ, it is impossible for us to walk righteously, properly, blamelessly or in a pleasing manner before the Lord without His anointing, His grace supporting us. Please, let’s always remember that. It’s His amazing grace that keeps us walking this earth, and without it, we are done like dinner! That means every day we must give God thanks and ask for His grace to do His will, to walk worthy of Him. Much LOVE!

…only as we walk in faith…will we be anointed with grace…                                                                                               

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8               

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