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)
ďTwo are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow; but woe to him who is alone when he falls, and doesnít have another to lift him up. Again, if two lie together, then they have warmth; but how can one keep warm alone? If a man prevails against one who is alone, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.Ē Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, WEB
I was a retail manager in my younger years. I believe in hands on management; there was not a task in the store that I had not done. If there was something to do and no one else available to do it, I made sure it was complete. I did everything from scrubbing the bathrooms to counting the registers, ordering the merchandise and dealing with employment issues. However my job, as the manager, was to ensure that there were employees to do the work so that I could focus my attention on making sure that the entire store was running as it should. I could not do my job I was busy unloading trucks or stocking shelves. I could not accomplish my job without the help of good, trustworthy employees.
A good leader does not know everything and does not do everything themselves. A good leader is one who surrounds himself with competent, trustworthy people who can be consulted so that the best decision is made for the sake of the store. In retail, a store manager relies on others to know the details of their sections. In business, a CEO relies on department heads to know their aspect of the business. One Christmas movie about a cookie factory showed that each employee knew only their part of the cookie recipe and this dependence on every employee saved the factory.
Strong Biblical leaders never stood on their own, they consulted advisors. In 1 Chronicles 13, David consulted with the captains. Exodus 17 tells the story of how Aaron and Hur held up Mosesí arms during a battle. These great men of God needed people to stand with them to help them accomplish their tasks as leader. Jesus mentored the disciples so that they would continue His work. Paul relied on Luke to be his scribe.
Most importantly, though, is that the greatest leaders relied on God and sought His help with their work. We can compare Saul and David and see how differently they led the people. Saul spent his time pursuing his enemy, constantly trying to be rid of the threat of David rather than serving the Lord. David, however, spent his time seeking the will of God. David had opportunities to kill Saul which would make him king. However David waited for Godís plan to play out, always keeping close to the Lord in prayer and worship. He surrounded himself with good military leaders and listened to the counsel of Nathan the prophet. He did not stand alone, but rather trusted people to help him do the job. In the end, Saulís misfocus was his undoing and David was blessed for trusting in God.
A good leader is not someone who does it all; they are not the most powerful, the most intelligent or the most traveled. A good leader is one who has the discernment to surround himself with capable counselors to help him make the right decisions. Sometimes the powerful, intelligent and highly visible men tend to be the ones people remember, but real prosperity, unity and peace are brought on by good leadership. And the best leaders have God on their team.
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ďLord Almighty, God of our ancestors, God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and their righteous children, you made heaven and earth with all their beauty. You set limits for the sea by speaking your command. You closed the bottomless pit and sealed it by your powerful and glorious name. All things fear you and tremble in your presence, because no one can endure the brightness of your glory. No one can resist the fury of your threat against sinners. But your promised mercies are beyond measure and imagination, because you are the highest, Lord, kind, patient, and merciful and you feel sorry over human troubles. You, Lord, according to your gentle grace, promised forgiveness to those who are sorry for their sins. In your great mercy, you allowed sinners to turn from their sins and find salvation. Therefore, Lord, God of those who do what is right, you didnít offer Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who didnít sin against you, a chance to change their hearts and lives. But you offer me, the sinner, the chance to change my heart and life, because my sins outnumbered the grains of sand by the sea. My sins are many, Lord; they are many. I am not worthy to look up, to gaze into heaven because of my many sins. Now, Lord, I suffer justly. I deserve the troubles I encounter. Already Iím caught in a trap. Iím held down by iron chains so that I canít lift up my head because of my sins. Thereís no relief for me, because I made you angry, doing wrong in front of your face, setting up false gods and committing offenses. Now I bow down before you from deep within my heart, begging for your kindness. I have sinned, Lord, I have sinned, and I know the laws Iíve broken. Iím praying, begging you: Forgive me, Lord, forgive me. Donít destroy me along with my sins. Donít keep my bad deeds in your memory forever. Donít sentence me to the earthís depths, for you, Lord, are the God of those who turn from their sins. In me youíll show how kind you are. Although Iím not worthy, youíll save me according to your great mercy. I will praise you continuously all the days of my life, because all of heavenís forces praise you, and the glory is yours forever and always. Amen.Ē Prayer of Manasseh, CEV
Manasseh was one of the many kings of Judah, the son of Hezekiah. Hezekiah was a good king, but his son did not follow in his footsteps. The writer of Kings describes Manasseh as the worst king of all, reporting that Judahís fall would be on the shoulders of Manasseh. He was only twelve years old when he became king and was the longest reigning king in the history of Judah. He reigned for fifty-five years. He did what was evil in the eyes of the Lord, rebuilding the high places, erecting altars to the Baals and made Asherah poles. He even built altars to the false gods in the house of the Lord. It is no wonder that God sent foreigners to bring Manasseh and Judah to their knees.
The writer of the Chronicles tells more of Manassehís story. God warned Manasseh and He sent foreigners into Judah. Manasseh was humbled and he turned to the Lord his God in prayer and God was moved by his entreaty. Though Manasseh had been led away in chains of bronze to Babylon, the Lord God restored him to his kingdom. ďThen Manasseh knew that the Lord was the true God.Ē (CEV) Godís plan worked, at least for a season.
Manasseh truly repented. He rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem and placed commanders in all the cities. He took down the worship spaces for the false gods and restored the altar of the Lord. He commanded Judah to serve the LORD, the God of Israel. His reforms centered around Jerusalem, so it had little impact on the people of Judah who continued to worship at the high places. Though Manasseh removed the idols, it seems that he didnít destroy them. Unfortunately, his son Amon would put those idols back to use, continuing the rebellion of Godís people.
You will have noticed that todayís passage is not in typical Bible, but it is accepted as one of the deuterocanonical books by many Christians around the world. It is found in some copies of the Septuagint, and is used as a canticle in some churches. Even the writer of Chronicles references this prayer, ďManassehís prayer and its answer, all his sin and unfaithfulness, and the locations of the shrines, sacred poles, and idols he set up before he submitted are written in the records of Hozai.Ē
Manassehís prayer is worth our reading because it shows us that even the worst people in the world can see the Light of Godís grace and turn to Him. We can, even when we have done the worst possible things, repent and God will listen. He will respond with mercy and grace, restore us to the lives He intends for us. The stories of the kings show us how Godís people repeatedly turn from Him, but Manasseh is a reminder that if we listen to His Word and pray for His forgiveness, He will make all things right.
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