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)
ďIn all things I gave you an example, that so laboring you ought to help the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that he himself said, ĎIt is more blessed to give than to receive.íĒ Acts 20:35, WEB
I spent the better part of last evening and a part of this morning working on our Christmas cards. Yes, despite being connected to most of our family and friends online, we still send Christmas cards. I donít know about you, but I am thrilled at this time of year that there is mail in our box that isnít an advertisement or a bill. I love to receive the pretty cards, read the newsletters, and see the family photos. Sadly, those Christmas cards are the only connection we have to some of our friends, but it is nice to know they still think of us.
I usually find the task a bit tedious; writing the same greeting and signature dozens of times is not very exciting. However, I really enjoyed addressing the envelopes. It was an opportunity to think about those friends. I made a list of people for whom I am going to write a personal note in the next few weeks or in the new year. I wondered about their health and thought about their struggles. I remembered their kids, knowing that they are grown adults now, just like mine, but I still see them as children. Iím connecting with them via the cards, but the task made me connect with them in prayer.
We donít get as many Christmas cards as we used to get. I found myself wondering if I should or should not send cards to the people who have not send any over the past few years. There are many reasons why. Our older family and friends find it more difficult to do the work. Others do not have the money to spend on the cards or the stamps. Others struggle at this time of year with illness or depression and they canít deal with the task. Most of us, however, simply donít have the time to sit down and do the work. I decided to send the cards anyway; sometimes it is important to give when there is no chance for return. The card you send might just help someone who is struggling experience a brief moment of the love and joy of Christmas. It may make them happy to know that they are remembered.
This Advent season is filled with opportunities to bless others with gifts and contact. Weíll go to parties, gather with family, share presents with co-workers and friends. Some places with do Secret Santa. It is fun to pick names and find something that will make others happy, although not everyone is as enthusiastic. I recently read that someone got a can of creamed corn! While we enjoy receiving gifts throughout the season, let us remember that our Christian calling is to give according to Godís will and purpose for our lives. We cannot expect others to give as we give, but we should give with our whole hearts knowing we are blessed for being generous and full of grace.
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ďYou are the salt of the earth, but if the salt has lost its flavor, with what will it be salted? It is then good for nothing, but to be cast out and trodden under the feet of men.Ē Matthew 5:13, WEB
We are indeed sinners in need of a Savior, and we do not always realize the impact even the smallest transgressions can have on others. Advent is a time for confessing our sins as we wait and prepare for the coming of Jesus Christ. Yet, we donít just make a negative impact on the world. We can have a positive influence on our neighbors. As Christians, we are called and gifted to do what we can to glorify God by making the world a better place.
You have been bought at great price, by the blood of the Lamb of God. You have been given the gift of true life because of His love for you. He has also given you many gifts, which are to be used to His glory. By His power you are called to speak His Word into the world, to share His love and His truth with all those who you meet along the way. What good are you if you do nothing with the gifts of God? He has wonderful plans for you. You have been blessed to be a blessing. You are salt.
Salt is a very stable chemical, and it is only by a chemical reaction that it can lose its saltiness. However, it has been discovered that some salt, especially that which is harvested from marshes along the seashore, can lose its saltiness when it is in contact with the ground or is exposed to rain and sun. It isnít that the salt itself loses its saltiness, but that the salt is contaminated with impurities collected with it. It is likely that this is what happened to the salt that they ate in Jesusí day, as their salt generally came from the shore of the Dead Sea.
The disciples knew the importance of salt, its rarity, its significance, its value. They also knew that if salt were left drying too long on the side of the sea, it became useless. They could not keep impure salt in the house, and they could not throw it into the fields or gardens because it would wreak havoc on the growth of the plants. It was not just tasteless; it was dangerous, and good only to be trampled underfoot, so it was thrown into the streets.
Jesus warned the disciples that they have a purpose and that they should not wait around too long before they go out to do His work. See, we are tempted to wait too long. We want to be ready. We think we need to be smarter, to know the scriptures better, and to overcome our sins. We think we need to be perfect to go out into the world to share the Gospel message, but Jesus warned the disciples that if they wait too long they will no longer be of value. While they are trying to make things right in their own lives, they succumb to cares and worries of the world. Or they fall for the temptations that abound. Or they conform to the ways of the world around them. These are the impurities that make us, like salt, worthless.
We are reminded during Advent to confess our sins and we are made new by His forgiveness. In our new life we have a calling to take Godís grace to the world. This is a great time to glorify God with our words and our actions. We donít need to make grand gestures; there are a million little things we can do during this season to share Godís grace and make a difference. We donít put a pound of salt on our food; just a sprinkling makes a difference. But, God calls us to salt the world with kindness and grace, and Jesus warns us not to wait. Today is the day to be a blessing.
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