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)
“His mother and his brothers came, and standing outside, they sent to him, calling him. A multitude was sitting around him, and they told him, ‘Behold, your mother, your brothers, and your sisters are outside looking for you.’ He answered them, ‘Who are my mother and my brothers?’ Looking around at those who sat around him, he said, ‘Behold, my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of God is my brother, my sister, and mother.’” Mark 3:31-35, WEB
Mary was a young girl living in a very strict society facing an incredible blessing from God. But was it a blessing? When she was found to be pregnant, her fiancée wanted to cancel the marriage. The community looked down on her as a fallen woman, perhaps even as a prostitute. Her people were praying for the Messiah but they did not believe her story. The news from the angel was not good news. Yet, Mary did not complain. As a matter of fact, she humbled herself before the Lord, and sang for joy from the very depths of her soul.
Mary will always be remembered as the woman who gave birth to the Savior. She was His mother, she fed Him when He was hungry, cleaned his tiny body. She taught Him to walk, to laugh, to sing and to pray. She taught Him the scriptures, as she knew them from her own heart. The mother of our Lord was not an extraordinary woman in any sense of the word. But she loved the Lord with her heart, soul, strength and mind, and she served him in a very extraordinary way. She humbled herself before Him, sang His praises, and did according to His will and purpose for her life. She was not perfect, however. We often place Mary on a pedestal, forgetting that she was a normal woman and mother. And though Jesus was the Son of God, He was also her son and she worried about Him. The holy family was something extraordinary, but as ordinary as you and I.
Mary did not need be perfect to be blessed of God. Her life certainly was not pain free. She was just a child when she became pregnant and mistreated as a whore. She gave birth in a cold stable, and then went on the run with her husband and young child to save his life. She was widowed early since Joseph was much older, so her position in society was quite low. She deeply loved her son, but at times he seemed to disregard and disrespect her. Think about the stories: the day he went to the temple and they could not find him, the wedding at Cana where He told her that it wasn’t time, the time she and Jesus’ brothers went to talk to Him and He told her that those listening were His mother and brothers. And then, after all this, Mary watched her son die a horrible death, execution on the cross.
Mary’s story is not one of a goddess or a woman of sinless perfection. She was a woman, chosen of God to bring the good news of salvation into the world. She had the rare, single, honor of being the one to bear His body, but this is not why she is called blessed. She is called blessed because through all these trials, Mary remained humble and faithful to the God she loved.
Mary deserves our respect, not because she is greater than you and I, but because she is just like you and I. She was specially chosen to bring the Gospel to the world in a very unique way, but her story as a sinner and saint is just like ours. There were times her actions as the mother of Jesus put her as an obstacle to His ministry, but she persisted in a life of faithfulness loving the Lord in a way as only a mother can. We are called to be like Mary, to be humble and faithful to the God who has given us this great gift of Jesus. We are sinners and saints, never perfect but it is our imperfection that we need Him most. He calls us to listen to Him, to be His disciples, to do His will in this world.
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“Mary said, ‘My soul magnifies the Lord. My spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior, for he has looked at the humble state of his servant. For behold, from now on, all generations will call me blessed. For he who is mighty has done great things for me. Holy is his name. His mercy is for generations and generations on those who fear him. He has shown strength with his arm. He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He has put down princes from their thrones, and has exalted the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things. He has sent the rich away empty. He has given help to Israel, his servant, that he might remember mercy, as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and his offspring forever.” Luke 1:46-55, WEB
One of my favorite scriptures is from the book of Revelation. It is the passage from chapter four that shows what worship is like in heaven. John describes the throne room of God, a description of something so wonderful that we cannot even imagine the beauty and splendor. John’s words give us a taste of the glory we will see one day, the glory of the One who deserves our worship and praise. “Behold, there was a throne set in heaven, and one sitting on the throne that looked like a jasper stone and a sardius. There was a rainbow around the throne, like an emerald to look at.”
We think of God’s glory as something like a bright light, something so shiny and magnificent that we cannot even look at it with our own eyes. The scriptures often tell us that death comes to those who see God face to face, for His glory is too much for us to see. When Moses asked to see God’s glory, God put him in the cleft of a rock and covered him with His hand until He passed by, then Moses could see God’s back, but His face could not be seen. Martin Luther said, “We only see the glory of God from behind, in hindsight, for what He has done.”
God’s glory is not just found in this incredible scene of what it will be like in heaven; it is not only a bright light like rainbows or jewels. That vision is something that we look forward to, but will have to wait until we finish this journey of faith in this life. Still, we are able to see God’s glory today. We see it like Moses did, we see His back as He passes by, catching just a glimpse of the glory through what He has done. We see God’s glory in the life, death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus. We see God’s glory in the testimony of the witnesses provided through the scriptures and the Christian community throughout all the ages.
Mary glorified the Lord with this song of praise and thanksgiving. She sang this when she had learned she was to be the mother of her Savior. This young girl saw God’s glory in His faithfulness, mercy and grace. She saw it in the way He lifted the humble and put the mighty in their place. She saw it in the way He kept His promises. Though she had not seen an incredible vision of heaven, she was chosen to play a role and be a witness to the incarnation of God! Her soul glorified God by bearing witness to His works.
How I long for the day when I will see heaven as John saw and recorded it in Revelation. Yet, I am amazed at what God has shown to His people in this age: His love that we can see in the life of our Lord Jesus. We can look forward to the day when we will live in His presence and will stand face to face with the Lord God Almighty, but for today we can worship God as Mary did, by living lives of thanksgiving and praising Him for His marvelous works!
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