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 this cause I also, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which is among you, and the love which you have toward all the saints, don’t cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him; having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope of his calling, and what are the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to that working of the strength of his might which he worked in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and made him to sit at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule, and authority, and power, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in that which is to come. He put all things in subjection under his feet, and gave him to be head over all things for the assembly, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.” Ephesians 1:15-23, WEB
“Follow your heart.” This is the advice that many people will give someone who is struggling with a decision. This counsel has some validity. “Should I marry this man?” a woman ponders, and it is good for her to search her heart to decide whether or not she should spend the rest of her life with him. “Should I take this job?” a man considers, and he thinks about whether the work will make him happy and if it will satisfy all his needs. “Follow your heart” recommends a person to consider their emotions as they make these life changing decisions.
We are warned repeatedly in scripture, however, to beware of our hearts. Jesus said, “So be careful, or your hearts will be loaded down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that day will come on you suddenly.” And Peter in Acts, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit, and to keep back part of the price of the land?” Satan has this ability of being able to play with our hearts as in the story of Jesus’ passion: “During supper, the devil having already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him...” Our hearts are fickle, “The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings out that which is good, and the evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings out that which is evil, for out of the abundance of the heart, his mouth speaks.” Our hearts can make us choose the wrong way, “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it has not been so.” There are many more examples of hearts that lead us down the wrong path.
Paul uses the word “heart” about fifteen times in the letter to the Romans. He begins by talking of our hardened and unrepentant hearts (1:21, 24) and how we should know how they are expected to live according to God’s Word (2:15, 29.) Then in chapter five, Paul writes, “God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit.” He goes on to tell us that we have become obedient from the heart because of God’s grace (6:17.) God knows our hearts (8:27.) Paul grieves over those who are lost because they have not yet come to believe (9:2) and his heart’s desire is that they might be saved (10:1.) He warns us to beware of the questions of our hearts, but to trust in God’s Word that has been poured into our hearts and to trust in Him, speaking by the power of the Holy Spirit that is in our hearts (10.) We are warned again to be careful, for we can go wrong by thinking our feelings will set us on a good path and thus deceive the hearts of the innocent (16:18.)
The key here is that we should not follow our hearts when we are making the life changing decisions that we face, but that we should seek God’s Word that is near us, in our hearts. Our emotions can, and will, lead us astray, but God will never do so. Trust in Him. Jesus said, “Don’t lay up treasures for yourselves on the earth, where moth and rust consume, and where thieves break through and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consume, and where thieves don’t break through and steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Follow your heart, but not your emotions. Follow the Spirit that God has put into your heart.
In today’s passage, Paul was thankful when he heard of the faith of the believers in Ephesus. The heart, as understood in the bible, is not the place of emotions but of thought and will. Paul prays that God will give the Ephesians, and those of us who have faith today, wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. He prays that we will see the blessings we have through Christ and that we will live accordingly, for all good things come from having a relationship with Him. He is our King, He has power, authority, and dominion over everything, including the lives of those who trust in Him. Believe in Him and look to Him as you make your choices. Seek help from the Holy Spirit rather than your emotions. Follow faith, always remembering that our hearts are fickle, but God is faithful to lead us in the right path.
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“Now Moses used to take the tent and to pitch it outside the camp, far away from the camp, and he called it “The Tent of Meeting.” Everyone who sought Yahweh went out to the Tent of Meeting, which was outside the camp. When Moses went out to the Tent, that all the people rose up, and stood, everyone at their tent door, and watched Moses, until he had gone into the Tent. When Moses entered into the Tent, the pillar of cloud descended, stood at the door of the Tent, and spoke with Moses. All the people saw the pillar of cloud stand at the door of the Tent, and all the people rose up and worshiped, everyone at their tent door. Yahweh spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. He turned again into the camp, but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, didn’t depart from the Tent.” Exodus 33:7-11, WEB
God was angry with His people. Moses was on the mountain receiving the tablets of the commandments for a very long time and the people began to lose hope of his return. They lost trust in the God who delivered them because they were afraid. They didn’t know what they would do without the one who talked with God. They turned to Aaron and begged him to build a golden calf so they could pray and worship as they had in Egypt. Our God is a jealous God. As Moses was receiving the Law that said, “You shall have no other gods,” the people were turning to a false and powerless god.
He was angry and told the people to go on their way without Him. He remained faithful, reminding them that He would give them the land He promised to their forefathers; He would send an angel to lead the way but He said “I will not go up among you, for you are a stiff-necked people, lest I consume you on the way.” His absence, in this case, was the merciful thing for God to do because He was protecting His people from His wrath. He was still among them, but they would suffer the consequences of their sin; they would not experience the blessings granted to God’s faithful people.
The people mourned their sin and loss and sought to better understand how to dwell in a relationship with their God. Whenever the pillar of cloud descended in front of the door of the Tent, the people turned toward it from the doors of their own tents, worshiping their God. They knew God had not abandoned them because He continued to have a relationship with Moses. He spoke to Moses face to face as a man speaks to a friend; they learned to trust that God was willing to listen to Moses. He interceded for them and because Moses found favor in God’s sight, He answered their prayers.
The people of Israel were afraid to have such an intimate relationship with God; they were happy to let Moses be the one who spoke to God face to face. We, however, do not need an intercessor. There are times, perhaps, when we feel that our God is far from us. We think that God is so angry at our sin that He must stay away to keep us from suffering from His wrath. However, Jesus Christ bridged the gap that caused us to be separated from our God; He received the wrath of God on the cross and now we can speak with Him as a man speaks with a friend. We can trust that He is faithful; He will listen to our prayers and will answer.
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