“The joy of the LORD is your strength”, is how Nehemia 8:10 ends. The events that led to that verse were the completion of the walls being built by Nehemia and Ezra the priest just finishing reading out of the Book of the Law. Earlier in the chapter (v6), it read, “they bowed their heads, and worshiped the LORD with their faces to the ground” !!!
That had to be an awesome site!! For a long time prior, Israel was held captive and was unable to read out of the Book of the Law and worship the true God on their own soil. Often times, when we as Christians are not in church we are somewhat held captive to the demands of the world and the flesh. It isn’t until we return to our own place of worship (i.e. the local church) that we get exposed to the Book of the Law and experience true worship to the TRUE GOD, hence the fruit of it: the Joy of the Lord!
“My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.” Psalms 73:26
Below is a hymn story involving the Hymn, “My Jesus I Love Thee“. The Hymn was written by William R. Featherston. Not much is known of Mr. Featherston other than that he started attending The Wesleyan Methodist Church in Montreal. The story is an account of how the Hymn was used in the life of a young actress who was affected by the testimony of a devout young Christian girl (who was rather sickly). Enjoy…
“A young, talented and tender-hearted actress was passing along the street of a large city. Seeing a pale, sick girl lying upon a couch just within the half-open door of a beautiful dwelling, she entered, with the thought that by her vivacity and pleasant conversation she might cheer the young invalid. The sick girl was a devoted Christian, and her words, her patience, her submission and heaven-lit countenance, so demonstrated the spirit of her religion that the actress was led to give some earnest thought to the claims of Christianity, and became a true follower of Christ. She told her father, the leader of the theater troupe, of her conversion, and of her desire to abandon the stage, stating that she could not live a consistent Christian life and follow the life of an actress. Her father was astonished beyond measure, and told his daughter that their living would be lost and their business ruined, if she persisted in her resolution. Loving her father dearly, she was shaken somewhat in her purpose, and partially consented to fill the published engagement to be met in a few days. She was the star of the troupe and a general favorite. Every preparation was made for the play in which she was to appear. The evening came and the father rejoiced that he had won back his daughter, and that their living was not to be lost. The hour arrived; a large audience had assembled. The curtain rose, and the young actress stepped forward firmly amid the applause of the multitude. But an unwonted light beamed from her beautiful face. Amid the breathless silence of the audience, she repeated:
‘My Jesus, I love Thee, I know Thou art mine;
For Thee all the follies of sin I resign;
My gracious Redeemer, my Saviour art Thou;
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.’
This was all. Through Christ she had conquered and, leaving the audience in tears, she retired from the stage, never to appear upon it again. Through her influence her father was converted, and through their united evangelistic labors many were led to God.”