Hello Everyone! I don't have any excuses other than "school" for why I haven't posted in so long, so I'll just say I'm sorry :)
Anyway, in my devotions this morning I read this selection from Morning and Evening:
"His bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob."
-- Genesis 49:24
"That strength which God gives to his Josephs is real strength; it isnot a boasted valour, a fiction, a thing of which men talk, but whichends in smoke; it is true-divine strength. Why does Joseph standagainst temptation? Because God gives him aid. There is nought that wecan do without the power of God. All true strength comes from "themighty God of Jacob." Notice in what a blessedly familiar way God givesthis strength to Joseph-"The arms of his hands were made strong by thehands of the mighty God of Jacob." Thus God is represented as puttinghis hands on Joseph's hands, placing his arms on Joseph's arms. Like asa father teaches his children, so the Lord teaches them that fear him.He puts his arms upon them. Marvellous condescension! God Almighty,Eternal, Omnipotent, stoops from his throne and lays his hand upon thechild's hand, stretching his arm upon the arm of Joseph, that he may bemade strong! This strength was also covenant strength, for it isascribed to "the mighty God of Jacob." Now, wherever you read of theGod of Jacob in the Bible, you should remember the covenant with Jacob.Christians love to think of God's covenant. All the power, all thegrace, all the blessings, all the mercies, all the comforts, all thethings we have, flow to us from the well-head, through the covenant. Ifthere were no covenant, then we should fail indeed; for all grace proceeds from it, as light and heat from the sun. No angels ascend or descend, save upon that ladder which Jacob saw, at the top of which stood a covenant God. Christian, it may be that the archers have sorely grieved you, and shot at you, and wounded you, but still your bow abides in strength; be sure, then, to ascribe all the glory to Jacob's God. "
Oops, some of the words are smooshed together. Sorry about that! Hopefully you can still make it out, because it is powerful and encouraging! I don't know about you, but I frequently feel my lack of strength spiritually. Not that I question my salvation, but sometimes I just don't feel strong in my faith. Like the ever-so-popular children's (and adult's) worship song, Jesus Loves Me says: "They (we) are weak but he is strong!" (now just picture a room full of 4-5 year olds singing that with only a handful of adults in the room, with heavy emphasis on the "strong". That's what I get to see almost every Sunday:) Anyway, to picture the Lord laying his arms and hands on mine and restoring my strength is a thing of great beauty to my soul. I'm falling deeper in love, people!
Okay, I have two more awesome tidbits to share with you. I received an ESV Study Bible for Christmas this year! And I've been using it nearly everyday (I'm trying to read through the New Testament this year). Just this morning, however, I decided to register my "online code" in order to view my Bible online. IT IS SO COOL! You are able to add notes, listen to a person read it (enthusiastically, I might add!), read the notes from the Study Bible, go directly to a linked verse, see a verse just by hovering over the bold type, and more! If you have a Study Bible, but, like me, you never registered your code, DO IT! You won't regret it. And if you don't have a Study Bible, I highly recommend one! It has been very helpful to me in understanding what was really going on in Bible times, and it has also helped me with theological questions that I've had.
Now for my last item: Faith Like Potatoes. I watched this movie with our small group on Friday night and it blew me away! It is a Christian film that is both encouraging and faith-building. There is one part in the movie that I had to close my eyes, and for families with younger kids, I would recommend fast-forwarding through, since it is a scene that involves an extremely traumatic circumstance. However, it really added a whole other dimension to the movie, and although it was hard to watch/hear, it was good for me. I hope to do a more full review on this movie later, but for now I'll leave it at that and add it to the "Favorite Movies" section of my profile ;)
Off to start my day!