Today’s Scrip-Bit   1 January 2023   2 Corinthians 5:21.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

2 Corinthians 5:21.        For he (God) hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

And then it was New Year’s Day! Wow! Christmas of 2022 is in the books and the new year of 2023 has begun with the same rush as the old one went out in! (smile) Anyway, we’re wishing a Happy New Year of 2023 to all our Scrip-Bit friends and families all over God’s great earth! And we hope and pray that this year will be better than the last, but let’s remember that any improvement must begin with each of us first improving our individual selves, then getting together in sincere fellowship and building Christ’s body, His church! 

Now let’s also hope that we did not party too much in the New Year’s Eve celebrations last night, to remember that today is Sunday, the Lord’s Day, and we needs must get up and go to His sanctuary and praise and worship Him with other believers for His wonderful deeds to the children of men. And as always, we’ll begin with a song of praise, but for this New Year’s Day I wanted something special, a song that would give us some encouragement and hope for this upcoming year, which won’t be an easy one. 

Let’s not fool ourselves into thinking that 2023 will be a banner year for peace and LOVE. Much as I desire it to be so, the current worldwide situation doesn’t promise it. Yes friends, with all the anger, strife, greed, selfishness, hunger for power and jealousy currently permeating our world, it only portends, is a sign of tougher times. But then again, we have Jesus, so there’s no need to be overly concerned. If we do our best, He’s promised to do the rest. And He is a faithful keeper of His promises. 

Anyhow, getting back to today’s song, I believe it’s a perfect fit for all that we’re going through on this first day of 2023. It’s one of our favourites, aptly titled Blessed Assurance; one of the many beautiful hymns written by blind American hymn-writer Fanny Crosby. The story goes that ‘One evening in 1873, Fanny’s friend and composer Phoebe Palmer Knapp was visiting and played a tune on the piano, asking Fanny what it sounded like. Fanny responded, “Blessed Assurance, Jesus is mine!” Phoebe and Fanny then continued to sing the melody and write the lyrics together.’ 

Isn’t ‘it awesome how songs of worship come together so quickly and unexpectedly. The hand of God is definitely involved in the writing of each one. But enough talk, (smile) it’s time to offer up our sacrificial praises to God and heaven, this New year’s day of 2023. So, in loud, but sweet harmony, in an up tempo beat, because we’re joyful in the Lord’s strength and promises, let’s offer up a rousing, heartfelt rendition of Blessed Assurance. 

Singing: ‘Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine! Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine! Heir of salvation, purchase of God, Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood (Chorus: This is my story, this is my song, Praising my Saviour all the day long; This is my story, this is my song, Praising my Saviour 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. 

(Chorus…) Perfect submission, all is at rest, I in my Saviour am happy and blest, Watching and waiting, looking above, Filled with His goodness, lost in His LOVE. (Chorus: 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…. Yes, This is my story, this is my song, Praising my Savior all the day long )’ 

Oh friends, that was a marvellous rendition! And heaven just LOVED it! (smile) And does the song ever ring out with truth, for every day we sing praises to Jesus, thankful for all the undeserved blessings He so generously and mercifully bestows on us. And all we can say is ’Thank You Jesus! Thank You for coming to earth to save us as the baby born in the manger, then dying for us on that old wooden cross of Calvary on Good Friday, taking all of our sins upon you and giving us your righteousness!’ 

Like Bruh Paul says: ‘For he (God) hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.’ (2 Cor. 5:21) And Peter reiterated it thus: ‘(Jesus) Who in his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes (wounds) ye were healed.’ (1 Pet. 2:24) 

Oh my fellow believers, that is the ultimate in selflessness! Christ died so that our sins could be forgiven! What more can we ask eh? NOTHING! What greater gift could He have bestowed eh? NONE! And all He asks of us is to be appropriately grateful and live in the righteousness that He died for us to have! 

But that’s exactly where we are falling down in our Christian walk; we’re not living in sufficient righteousness. We still have too much of the old sinful, worldly man in us. We’re still too intimidated and persuaded by the secular and unrighteous ways of the world. And understandably, since we’re only humans, it’s not easy to overlook the beautiful baubles and bangles that the world dangles in front of us, but with Christ living within us through His Holy Spirit, ostensibly to lead and guide us in righteous ways, we should be doing much better than we are. 

And any true believer who is worth his salt, on self-examination, will tell you that! The negativity that’s currently flooding our world is largely because we supposed Christians have not done the job we were given; we have not fulfilled the Great Commission enough, so that Christ’s church could have the upper hand. We have sat on our laurels way too much, enjoying the good and easy material life the world promotes, foolishly and fearfully forsaking the righteousness of Christ’s kingdom. 

Oh friends, in this year of 2023, let’s promise ourselves to do much better nuh. For our children’s sake, so much better that we will reverse some of the negativity in our world by promoting the righteousness of Christ. This year, please let our motto be truthfully the words of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness;’ so that all the things we truly need will be added to us by our heavenly Father. That’s the ONLY way to turn things around! Much LOVE!

…if you can’t accept and believe Jesus’ words and promises…then whose can you accept eh… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZ        

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