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)
“Now I desire to have you know, brothers, that the things which happened to me have turned out rather to the progress of the Good News; so that it became evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my bonds are in Christ; and that most of the brothers in the Lord, being confident through my bonds, are more abundantly bold to speak the word of God without fear. Some indeed preach Christ even out of envy and strife, and some also out of good will. The former insincerely preach Christ from selfish ambition, thinking that they add affliction to my chains; but the latter out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the Good News. What does it matter? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed. I rejoice in this, yes, and will rejoice.” Philippians 1:12-15, WEB
I was reading an article today about how people are using the crowd funding source “GoFundMe” for ridiculous reasons, and some of the reasons are truly ridiculous and self-centered. Some want others to fund their vacations or pay for their booze. Yet others are seeking help to get along in a career in movies or music or sports, even though they’ve been unable to succeed thus far. I saw a story in another source about a man who was given a free trip to Japan, all expenses included, but he wanted more money in case he found something to buy or do that wasn’t part of the package. He had months to prepare for the trip, and could have easily gotten a summer job, but didn’t want to waste his time in menial labor. He wasn’t very successful on GoFundMe, although he did get a $25 donation from his aunt.
Sadly, many of these ridiculous accounts get at least some funding, although I’ll never understand how. I have responded to several campaigns, ones to help families with sick children or to buy a vehicle for use in a family with someone who is handicapped. There are good campaigns, well worth the time and money. Crowdfunding is truly making a difference in some lives. While there may be some using it for all the wrong reasons, and succeeding at it, we should not let it stop us from doing what is good. We don’t know how God might just use those ridiculous campaigns to accomplish something great.
Paul understood the need to trust God. See, he was in prison for sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but even while He was in prison, he found ways to glorify God. Meanwhile, out in the world, there were people who were taking advantage of his imprisonment. They preached Christ, but did so in a way that humiliated Paul, using the opportunity to get ahead, perhaps even hoping to make things worse for Paul. Paul might have fought and complained, but instead he rejoiced because Jesus Christ was preached even by those who did so for all the wrong reasons. He trusted that God would make things right. For him, the best outcome would always be the furthering of the Gospel message in the world.
Those ridiculous campaigns will probably never accomplish anything of value, but it is possible that those self-centered requests can end in some sort of transformation that will do some good in the world. We don’t need to wait for that to happen; we can make a difference in the lives of many by supporting the ones that have value. We can help a grieving family or support a sick child. We can trust that God will be glorified when we do what we do in response to God’s grace.
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“When their hearts were merry, they said, ‘Call for Samson, that he may entertain us.’ They called for Samson out of the prison; and he performed before them. They set him between the pillars; and Samson said to the boy who held him by the hand, ‘Allow me to feel the pillars whereupon the house rests, that I may lean on them.’ Now the house was full of men and women; and all the lords of the Philistines were there; and there were on the roof about three thousand men and women, who saw while Samson performed. Samson called to Yahweh, and said, ‘Lord Yahweh, remember me, please, and strengthen me, please, only this once, God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes.’ Samson took hold of the two middle pillars on which the house rested, and leaned on them, the one with his right hand, and the other with his left. Samson said, ‘Let me die with the Philistines!’ He bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell on the lords, and on all the people who were therein. So the dead that he killed at his death were more than those who he killed in his life.” Judges 16:25-30, WEB
The characters on “The Big Bang Theory” love to talk about superheroes. They spend much of their time in the comic book store buying the latest books or arguing about which one is best. They buy memorabilia with every spare dollar and attend every comic convention possible. They have costumes in their closets and make-up kits that would make a Broadway star jealous. There was an episode that revolved around a visit with Stan Lee of Marvel Comics.
The scriptures have a many characters that have extraordinary experiences and abilities. David overcame much stronger enemies, Solomon had amazing wisdom, Elijah performed miraculous deeds and Paul survived horrendous persecution, imprisonment and beating. Yet, none of these men would have enjoyed these blessings without the Lord. He gave them their power and they did amazing things. In the midst of it all, however, they continued to exhibit signs of weakness.
Of all the superheroes in the Bible, the most amazing must be Samson. He had such incredible strength that he could kill a lion with his bare hands and defeat an army of a thousand single-handedly. However, his power was not his own, it came from God. Samson was blessed by God to be a vessel of His vengeance against the Philistines. Unfortunately, Samson had his own weakness and it was his downfall. He fell under the spell of Delilah who nagged him until he gave away his secrets. She cut his hair and he lost his strength. Ultimately, though, he lost his power because God had left him. Instead of doing the work of God, he was abusing his power. In the end, Samson humbled himself before God and accomplished His work.
The enemies of the superheroes always tried using their weakness against them. Somehow, in the end, it was the downfall of the villain because the hero turned to their source of their strength and won the victory. Samson knew that God was the source of his strength and in the end turned to Him. God accomplished His work through Samson and though his greatest feat brought his own death, Samson will be remembered forever as an amazing superhero that served God to the end.
In more than one episode of “The Big Bang Theory,” the guys find themselves in a position to be superheroes, but they have trouble finding the courage. They surely all have incredible weaknesses and no particularly special abilities. Yet somehow, despite all their failures, they manage to make things right in the end. I don’t think any of us will ever be a superhero, and I doubt we’ll ever be in the position of defeating our enemies in the dramatic ways of Samson or the comic books, but we can make good things happen when we trust in God. We’ll fail because we are imperfect human beings, but God can use our weaknesses to accomplish His work. Let us repent and trust in Him, for He has great plans even for the most ordinary believer willing to give everything in obedience to God’s purpose for their lives.
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.
Scripture on this page taken from the American Standard Version of the Holy Bible which belongs to the public domain. Some scripture on this site taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.
As you may be aware, I also write a weekly devotional on Wednesday called "MIDWEEK OASIS." For those of you who are familiar with lectionary scripture sources, MIDWEEK OASIS is based on the 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. We are now using the lectionary for our A WORD FOR TODAY texts. This devotional is posted on Wednesday, at both A WORD FOR TODAY and 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