You are welcome to use the writings on these pages or pass them on to others who might find a touch from God in the words. Our purpose is always to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the world. Please remember to give credit to the Author who has given you everything, and keep in remembrance the vessel which He used to bring these words to you. We pray that this site may be a blessing to you and anyone with whom its been shared. All rights reserved. Peggy Hoppes
Christian Bible Study Pages
Travel PagesSalisbury Plain
Our Lord is so good, He grants us many blessings. We can see Him in the daily course of events, in our homes, our jobs, our lives. I pray that these words help you to grow in your faith and recognize His hand in even the most mundane circumstances.
The picture to the right is of a Celtic Chapel located in Cornwall England. This building is approximately 1700 years old, and contains a holy well known for its healing powers.
(Click for enlarged)
“For we were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But when the kindness of God our Savior and his love toward mankind appeared, not by works of righteousness which we did ourselves, but according to his mercy, he saved us through the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly, through Jesus Christ our Savior; that being justified by his grace, we might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This saying is faithful, and concerning these things I desire that you affirm confidently, so that those who have believed God may be careful to maintain good works.” Titus 3:3-8, WEB
I read this story this morning, “I was at the grocery store this morning and heard a loud crash and something shattering. Being nosy, I walked towards the sound and saw some people whispering and looking back to the end of the next aisle. When I walked down that aisle, I saw an older lady had hit a shelf and many things had fallen to the ground and broke. She was kneeling on the floor embarrassed, frantically trying to clean up. I felt so bad for her, and everyone was just standing there staring at her. So I went and knelt beside her and told her not to worry and started helping her pick up the broken pieces. After about a minute, the store manager came and knelt beside us and said, ‘Leave it, we will clean this up.’ The lady, totally embarrassed said, ‘I need to pay for all this first.’ The manager smiled, helped her to her feet and said, ‘No ma’am, we have insurance for this, you do not have to pay anything!’”
I worked in retail for several years. We called any kind of financial loss like this “shrinkage.” We were covered for damage and theft; I had a least a few conversations like this when I was a manager. There are some stores that would demand payment, especially those with expensive, easily breakable merchandise. You really don’t want to let a bull into a china shop because it would be a very expensive disaster. Some stores put up signs warning parents to keep their children from touching; they have probably had a problem with young fingers causing too much shrinkage. The threat of financial penalty is meant to encourage parents to keep their children under control.
That’s how many people view sin. They believe that sin requires some sort of payment. If I did something wrong, then I need to pay the price. I need to make reparations. I need to buy the broken jars in the grocery store. While there are often consequences for our sin, this perspective blames all suffering on sin. The Apostle John wrote about an encounter with a man born blind. They asked Jesus, “Who sinned, the man or his parents?” Jesus had a much different answer than they expected: none of the above. The man was chosen by God to be an example of God’s grace.
The point of the story in the grocery store is grace. The post I read invited us to close our eyes and imagine God doing the same for us. The photo accompanying the story showed spaghetti sauce all over the floor, a stark image that reminds us of the blood shed for us on the cross of Jesus Christ. He is our insurance. He pays the price for our sin. He cleans up our mess, picking up the broken pieces of our lives. He will lift us to our feet and send us on our way to live the life He has created and redeemed us to live. This means turning from the wrong path, walking in His ways. This means rejecting sin and growing in discipleship. We will still fail; it is impossible for us to be perfect in our flesh, but the closer we come to God through worship, study, prayer, and Christian fellowship, the more Christ-like we will become.
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“The proverbs of Solomon, the son of David, king of Israel: to know wisdom and instruction; to discern the words of understanding; to receive instruction in wise dealing, in righteousness, justice, and equity; to give prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the young man: that the wise man may hear, and increase in learning; that the man of understanding may attain to sound counsel: to understand a proverb, and parables, the words and riddles of the wise. The fear of Yahweh is the beginning of knowledge; but the foolish despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:1-7, WEB
The Transfiguration is celebrated at different times during the year, although the Revised Common Lectionary devotes the last Sunday of Epiphany to remembering the event. It makes sense because the Transfiguration is a story of Light and from that mountain top experience Jesus returns to the valley to begin His final journey to the cross. Ash Wednesday comes after Transfiguration Sunday and on that day we begin the season of Lent during which we recall Jesus’ forty days of temptation in the wilderness as we consider our need for a Savior before Jesus finally arrives at the cross on Good Friday.
The universal date for the Feast of the Transfiguration is on August 6th. There is no certain explanation for the choosing of this date, but it seems appropriate in the middle of the season of Pentecost to be reminded that Jesus has been glorified, to worship Him and to listen to Him as God has commanded.
Peter, James and John received a glimpse of heaven that day on the top of a mountain. They witnessed a miraculous event as Jesus was transfigured into a divinely shining being, the Light shined with glorious light. He was standing among the great men of their faith. Moses was the father of the Law and Elijah was the father of the prophets. They stood for everything on which their faith was built. Peter wanted to capture the moment, to build a temple on the spot to honor Jesus and hold on to the glory. While Peter was speaking, a cloud came over the scene and a voice commanded the disciples to listen to Jesus. Peter’s sense of assurance was overpowered by a sense of fear. All three fell on their faces when they heard the voice.
Peter reacted to the transfiguration as we all might have done. Peter was trying to seat Jesus as king over an earthly kingdom. God interrupted, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Listen to him.” God commanded them to listen to Jesus, the Word incarnate. He is the Word made real and sent to dwell among God’s people. Jesus is the place where heaven and earth meet.
Later in his second letter, Peter writes, “For we did not follow cunningly devised fables, when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.” Peter was there with Jesus as He ministered to the world, on the mountaintop when Jesus was transfigured, at the cross when Jesus died, and then he saw the risen Lord. He heard Jesus speak. He listened to Him. He learned firsthand that Jesus was who He said He was. Jesus is the Light. Jesus is the Truth. Jesus is the Word incarnate. Jesus is Wisdom. On this day when we celebrate the Feast of the Transfiguration, we are reminded to listen to Jesus, to hear what He has to say and to believe His words. It is there we will gain wisdom and understanding; it is there we will discover what it truly means to be righteous in God’s eyes.
The following links provide some specially chosen scripture that tell the stories of the Birth and Passion of our Lord as Saviour Jesus Christ, as well as a fictional perspective of the Crucifixion. Spend time in God's Word, read about His life and learn of the wonderful gifts He has for you. Know Jesus Christ and honour Him today. Thanks be to God.
When researching, I use several versions of the bible, including the New International Version and English Standard Version. Due to copyright restrictions, I have not included quotes for the scriptures on some of the archives, but highly encourage you to open your own bibles to read the scripture passages for yourselves. Where scripture is quoted, it is usually the American Standard Version or World English Bible which belong to the public domain. Any other versions used in quotes are identified.
The devotion posted on Wednesday is based on the Lectionary texts used by millions of Christians each Sunday. The Lectionary consists of four texts: an Old Testament passage, a Psalm, a passage from one of the Epistles and a Gospel text and follows the church calendar. Archives for these writings are found at Midweek Oasis.
You are welcome to use these words to share the Gospel of our Lord Jesus. Please remember to give credit to the Author who has given you these gifts, and keep in remembrance the vessel which He used to bring them to you. We pray that this site may be a blessing to you and anyone with whom you've shared it. Peggy Hoppes