I love this. Thank you Brother Givens. This echoes a journal entry I wrote when we were studying the Old Testament a couple years ago in CFM:

Using Come Follow Me, the Old Testament has blossomed before me even more so than it had in my previous studies. One message, or principle has begun to open itself up to me: God can save us, sanctify us, purify us and work in and through us despite the dysfunction, messiness and even sinfulness of our lives. Not only that, but He is with us; He journeys with us, guides, nurtures and protects us all along our way as we strive to know Him and keep His commandments and keep our covenants. I feel the great love, mercy and comfort in His choice of what to include in His holy canon: the deeply personal lives of the family of Israel. No mistake is hidden, no embarrassment is cloaked in secrecy. The horrific sins of these chosen people are displayed for all to see- revealed to generations upon generations. Why? I believe it is in part for the tender encouragement that there is hope for us all. If God’s chosen people can still stay chosen; if they are still eligible for His blessings despite their blunderings, then so can we also be.

God knew we would face feelings of hopelessness regarding our families, our own flawed past, and our current, own brokenness. Each time I am tempted to despair in all these things, I remember the people of Israel persisting in faith despite the brokenness in their own lives. I remember Jacob with his persistent faith though dreams he endlessly worked for and gave his life for never really came to fruition in the ways he had hoped; I remember Judah and his breathtaking forgiveness of his father’s negligence to love him, his repentance from horrible sin, and his stunning self-sacrifice; I remember Joseph and his unmatched patience, faith and trust despite time and again being rewarded evil for his goodness. If willing vulnerability is a characteristic of the most pure kind of love, then the scriptures are one of the most pure and beautiful expressions of love because they are indeed so vulnerable. I feel God’s gentleness, encouragement and kindness that surpasses any other as he gives us examples of His love, forgiveness and power in these vulnerable stories. I receive them with a joyful humbleness and awe for the love He offers me through these priceless texts.

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This was beautiful, thank you

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