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)
“Blessed is the man who endures temptation, for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life, which the Lord promised to those who love him. Let no man say when he is tempted, ‘I am tempted by God,’ for God can’t be tempted by evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own lust, and enticed. Then the lust, when it has conceived, bears sin; and the sin, when it is full grown, produces death. Don’t be deceived, my beloved brothers. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom can be no variation, nor turning shadow. Of his own will he gave birth to us by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures. So, then, my beloved brothers, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger; for the anger of man doesn’t produce the righteousness of God. Therefore, putting away all filthiness and overflowing of wickedness, receive with humility the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not only hearers, deluding your own selves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man looking at his natural face in a mirror; for he sees himself, and goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of freedom, and continues, not being a hearer who forgets, but a doer of the work, this man will be blessed in what he does. If anyone among you thinks himself to be religious while he doesn’t bridle his tongue, but deceives his heart, this man’s religion is worthless. Pure religion and undefiled before our God and Father is this: to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” James 1:12-27, WEB
I like to take my photos and add cute or inspirational sayings to post onto my Facebook page to encourage my friends. Sometimes they are funny, sometimes they are spiritual, and sometimes they are timely. I have even found myself purposely taking pictures off center or monochrome so that they will make good backgrounds for these posts.
It isn’t always easy coming up with the words to add, though. I often pick scripture passages or quotes from poems, but I sometimes just use something out of my heart. I was working on one for Valentine’s Day using a photo I took once while wildflower hunting. I purposely used a picture of a prickly pear with a pad shaped like a heart because I wanted to focus on how hard love can be sometimes but that it is worthwhile. I typed in one thing that sounded good as I meant it to be interpreted.
However, as I looked at this cute saying I realized it was completely inappropriate. It would have definitely been taken the wrong way by most people who would have read it. It was funny, for sure, but I knew that I could not possibly post that on my page. I didn’t. I reworked the words and found a better way to say what I wanted to say. It was not as funny, but it was more wholesome and inspiring. I was tempted, but I decided to reject the inappropriate action and go with something that would uplift those who would read it. The new saying made for a better Christian witness in the world.
I read a story by Henry Ward Beecher about an encounter he had with a very ugly fellow. The man’s wife and daughter became Christians during a revival and Henry went to visit them after the event. The man became irate, threatened Henry and warned him never to enter his home again. Henry promised that he would only do so at his request. It was a small town and they two encountered one another over and over again. Despite having been so maliciously attacked, Henry treated the man with grace and compassion. He even worked to get him elected to the city council. The man didn’t understand, but eventually approached Henry for friendship. He invited Henry into his life and into his house. Henry said, “Now I might have thrown stones at him from the topmost cliffs of Mount Sinai, and hit him every time, but that would not have done him any good. Kindness killed him. I won his confidence.”
We struggle with temptation and sin every day. It is part of our human character. However, just because we are tempted does not mean we need to sin. We can stop ourselves, think twice and act in a different way. We are His witnesses, and as such we need to try to do everything in a way that will draw the world to Him. Satan doesn’t always tempt us with things that are obviously bad, but it is not enough to just avoid those things. We are called to live like Christ, to live in a way that glorifies God.
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“Love is patient and is kind; love doesn’t envy. Love doesn’t brag, is not proud, doesn’t behave itself inappropriately, doesn’t seek its own way, is not provoked, takes no account of evil; doesn’t rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, WEB
There are hearts everywhere. The sale ads for the stores are red and filled with items that would make perfect gifts for your sweetie. The stores have displays made up to be one-stop shopping havens for the person that does not know what to get for their loved one. There are racks filled with stuffed animals, carts filled with plants and cut flowers. The TV and radio are filled with stories of romantic fairytale love stories. It is a mushy, gushy sort of day. Unfortunately, Valentine’s Day is not a joy for everyone. Since the world has focused on the romantic atmosphere, those who are single find it a difficult day. It is difficult for those who have lost the love of their lives. Others are more interested in the gifts they receive than in the people who give it. Many of the gifts given on this day are out of a sense of duty or because it is expected rather than for love. Other gifts are given with the expectation of something in return.
Someone usually asks at this time of year whether Valentine’s Day is for Christians, after all it doesn’t seem very Christ-like, does it? It was once a feast day for a saint named Valentine, but the church dropped that celebration from the calendar decades ago. Now the day is focused solely on romance. It is a huge day for florists who are selling roses by the dozens. Lovers try to find time together. Restaurants will be packed full of men and women holding hands and enjoying each other. It has become a day about making the right impression, certainly not a Christian concern. There is too much pressure on everyone to prove their love.
Who was Valentine? There were actually three men named Valentine in the early years of the church. The legends surrounding St. Valentine are probably a combination of the three, though the most likely candidate was a Roman priest who died in the third century. Emperor Claudius II Gothicus had a mighty army and he decided it would stay mighty if he made marriage illegal. Valentine was beheaded when it was discovered that he and other priests continued to perform marriages. We love the happily ever after that we see in the movies, but in real life we are reminded that the relationship we seek is more than a physical bond. It is also a spiritual bond. When God created Eve for Adam in the garden, her presence made him complete, and through marriage, the two became one. The scriptures compare marriage to the union of Christ to His Church.
The Bible speaks repeatedly about the kind of love we are to give one another, a sacrificial love that is not concerned with “stuff” but rather loves despite the stuff. Jesus says, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13, WEB) Jesus loved His disciples and the people who followed Him. He even loved those who would try to destroy Him. He fed them, gave them God’s Word and led them in the ways of righteousness. He showed the greatest love when He laid down His life for us, even though we were enemies who sinned against God. Though we will never be called upon to die on a cross for the sake of the world, we are called to lay down our lives. Loving someone sacrificially means putting them first, not caring for our own concerns but doing whatever we can to meet their needs. Jesus loved us so that we will love others. It is His love in, with and through our lives that we can celebrate this day, to make Valentine’s Day a day for Christians.
On this Valentine’s Day, enjoy those you love, even give them flowers, candy or stuffed animals. Chase after the romance for the sake of your most important earthly relationship, but remember that there is so much more to love than we can find on the store shelves. The text from Paul for today is almost stereotypical these days as it is used in so many wedding ceremonies, but it shows us the way to live in all our relationships with love that is pure and filled with joy. The gifts and dinners on Valentine’s Day can be fun, but we need not pressure ourselves to prove our love in those ways. True love is found in the love of Christ and manifests in the way we live and love every day.
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