Speaking of heart-warming moments (last two blogs), I invited Dr. Rusty Hoffman as guest writer this week. He shares memorable moments shortly before his father-in-law’s death. Rev. Gerald McNeely served as a missionary in Spain for many years. Hear Rusty’s thoughts…
We sat beside the bedside as he slept deeply. His wife told him again and again how much she loved him.
Suddenly, he overcame previous confusion and agitation by speaking boldly with phrases that sounded like a sermon. Then he began singing, Blessed Assurance, Jesus Is Mine. We joined him on the chorus, This is my story, this is my song, praising my Savior all the day long!
When we finished, he said, “That wasn’t too bad.”
What a precious moment for me and the hospital staff in the room.
Later, while meditating on that moment, I was struck by how profoundly the lyrics capture the essence of our faith and how appropriate that Gerald wanted to proclaim this message as he had done all his life. It came from the very core of his being with an urgency and force that amazed me.
The assurance comes from knowing Jesus in a relational way: Jesus is mine!
Once one knows and submits, then God reveals more to the believer. From perfect submission comes perfect delight.
These revelations are experienced with many senses:
Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine!
Visions of rapture now burst on my sight:
Angels descending bring from above echoes of mercy, whispers of love.
Knowing, owning, committing, and submitting to Jesus brings an overall understanding of the salvation message of the Bible in these four marvelous phrases:
Heir of salvation,
Purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit,
Washed in His blood.
Heir of salvation: We are sons and daughters of our Creator, brothers and sisters in Christ. We receive the promises given to Abraham and his descendants, including the promise of salvation. (Galatians 3:14, 29, Ephesians 3:6)
Purchase of God: As a slave is purchased and redeemed or set free by a generous master, Christ’s sacrifice purchased our salvation. He paid the ransom for our bondage to sin and all can share in this freedom. (l Peter 1:18-19, l Timothy 2:5-6, Revelation 5:9)
Born of His Spirit: All people were created by His Spirit with Jesus present at that moment. Although we are spiritually dead, through God’s grace we are raised through Christ when we choose to believe in Him. (Genesis 2:7, John 3:6)
Washed in His blood: Being raised with Him involves accepting the sacrificial love He offers us. This loving Spirit indwells and cleans or sanctifies the effects of sin from our lives. (Luke 22:20, l Peter 1:18-19)
As we trust in Him and depend on Him, we submit ourselves to God’s will as Christ did. Then we find perfect delight, happiness and peace. All is at rest. We are lost in His love. Our attitude is one of praise and gratitude: Praising my Savior all the day long.
Like Gerald, this is my story. This is my song.