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)
“My son, attend to my words. Turn your ear to my sayings. Let them not depart from your eyes. Keep them in the center of your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and health to their whole body. Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it is the wellspring of life. Put away from yourself a perverse mouth. Put corrupt lips far from you. Fix your gaze directly before you. Make the path of your feet level. Let all of your ways be established. Don’t turn to the right hand nor to the left. Remove your foot from evil.” Proverbs 4:20-27, WEB
In the old days, chain letters were sent through the post office and though generally harmless, they could be annoying. I remember receiving recipe chain letters. They letter included a list of people and you were instructed to send a recipe to the person on the top, remove their name and add yours to the bottom, then send the letter to a certain number of your friends. In the end you were supposed to end up with a bunch of new recipes. The letters often included the threat of something bad if you didn’t do it. Snail mail chain letters were sent as early as 1888.
Before the computer, preparing the letters to send to friends meant copying by hand. Eventually the letters could be copied on a photocopier, but that wasn’t always an option. Some of these chain letters were actually illegal because they were asking for money. The promise was that in the end you would end up with lots of dollars, all for an investment of a few stamps and a dollar to the name at the top. I never got the promised amount returned whether recipe or money.
Email didn’t stop the chain letters. They were easier because they were send via the Internet, but they were just as annoying. These email letters couldn’t promise financial gain, but they promised that some blessing will come to the send if sent within a few minutes. They still threatened bad things would happen to those who ignored the message. The latest incarnation is on social media, with chain letters popping up on Facebook and in Messenger.
Some of these are lovely, and they have messages that we want to share. Yet, the internet, whether email or on social media, offers a greater problem. The messages can have viruses attached that can affect your computer. Sending the nice message to bunch of friends will cause problems on their computers, too.
There is a virtual war between hackers all over the world. Viruses have caused problems on major networks, even with excellent security features. One of the characteristics of these viruses is to automatically open the receiver’s address book and forward the mail on to those people. This creates a snowball affect, first affecting one person, but then affecting all their friends, and all their friends’ friends, and all their friends’ friends’ friends. Social media messages can also give access to the hackers of friend’s lists. It is amazing how quickly these things can grow. One chain letter can become thousands in just hours as the people send it to their friends.
The same can be said of sin. For example, a little white lie can grow into a series of deeper lies and other sins. One angry word can lead to an argument and even physical violence. One moment of lust in our hearts can lead to adultery and even divorce.
Jesus told us to avoid the things that would lead to greater sin. He said that it wasn’t enough to not murder, He told us to not be angry. One small sin can lead us down the wrong road, and cause us to be unable to do our work as a servant of God. Solomon writes in today’s text from Proverbs that we should guard our heart. When we allow things like lust, anger and dishonesty to affect our lives, sin creeps into our heart and builds. Thanks to the work of our Lord Jesus Christ, we are forgiven for our failure, but we must guard every thought, word and deed and fix our eyes on our Savior. In this way, we stay on track and can do His work.
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“Philip said to him, ‘Lord, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you such a long time, and do you not know me, Philip? He who has seen me has seen the Father. How do you say, “Show us the Father?” Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words that I tell you, I speak not from myself; but the Father who lives in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me; or else believe me for the very works’ sake. Most certainly I tell you, he who believes in me, the works that I do, he will do also; and he will do greater works than these, because I am going to my Father. Whatever you will ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you will ask anything in my name, I will do it.” John 14:8-14, WEB
The water cycle is made up of four stages: evaporation, condensation, precipitation and collection. This is elementary school science knowledge and many classrooms include a cute little poster that shows the cycle in a way that young students will understand. There is generally a little smiley-face raindrop that goes through each stage. He is pulled up in the sky, gathers his buddies in the clouds, falls to the ground as rain and then ends up in a river flowing into the sea. This helps us to see that the water just keeps going around and around. Today’s water is the same water that was here when the earth was first formed, it just keeps getting recycled through the system.
It is cute that they use the little smiley-face raindrop as an example, but would it really be possible to follow a single drop of water through the entire cycle? It seems to me that as it goes from one stage to another, the drop itself changes in substance as it move from river to cloud to river.
As I sit and watch the water of a river or the crashing surf at the seashore, I ponder what it might be like to follow the path of a single drop of water. Even if you took a drop of red food coloring, it would not take very long before the color would dissipate. As it is swept away, it would mingle with the other water, making it impossible to retrieve exactly the same drop. That drop becomes part of the whole and can’t be removed as it was.
I know that the example of a water drop is not a perfect analogy for our relationship with one another in Christ Jesus. Though we are part of the Church, we remain individuals and can be distinguished from our brothers and sisters. However, we can’t become part of the fellowship of believers without being changed in some way. We become part of the whole. We are bound together by the Holy Spirit with the Lord living in our hearts. We can’t remove ourselves from that fellowship without being changed. Oh, we can reject God completely, but even though we might appear to be the same to the world (same hair, same smile, same personality) we lose our heart and soul.
It would do us well to remember that when we believed in Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we became part of something much greater, like a raindrop that joins a raging river. We can’t go it alone and though we are still individuals we are one in Christ. A single raindrop will not change the path of a river, but the millions that flow by every second are constantly changing the landscape through which it moves. We, as part of the fellowship of believers, can do incredible things; sharing the love and mercy of Jesus Christ together through our gifts so that many will come to know Him and be saved.
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