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 God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16, WEB
Human beings have a tendency to seek the reason or purpose for everything that happens in life. Every child goes through that phase when they ask a million questions. Why is the sky blue? Why do the leaves fall to the ground in autumn? Why do lions roar but cats meow? Why do snowflakes melt when they land on my hand? These questions are not always easy, but we can usually find an answer and teach a lesson in science or biology with our children by sharing our knowledge.
The questions are not always so easy. If they’ve had a fight with their best friend they ask, “Why does my friend hate me?” They often want to understand why the world is as it is, with evil and suffering. “Why are children hungry in Africa?” “Why are they at war in the streets of America?” We shouldn’t kid ourselves by thinking they are not aware of these events that affect our lives. They are afraid, hurt or curious about the same things we watch as adults. They want an answer to their problems because it is the only way they can stop being afraid, hurt or curious. As we grow older, we begin to realize that there are simply some things that do have acceptable answers. Some things happen in our world because of sin. The consequence of sin is suffering and pain. It ultimately leads to death.
When someone we know dies, we want an answer to the question, “Why?” Sometimes it seems easy to answer, “She was old and lived a long life.” “He did not take care of his body and it finally gave out.” Other times it is more tragic, such as when a mother is killed in an accident or a young child dies in his sleep. Yet, death was never part of God’s plan. In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve disobeyed God and broke the intimate bond that He intended to be eternal. They were put out of the garden so that they could never eat of the tree of life or else they would live forever in that state. We cannot and should not live forever separated from God.
The world and those in it accept death as final, and they live to satisfy their present desires. They do everything they can to continue and enjoy life in the flesh because there is no reason to look beyond it. It seems as though some in the world are even trying to do everything they can to stop death, even though it is an impossible task. It is not new, people of every generation sought immortality. They were just looking for it in the wrong places.
More people than I can count have asked me, “Why are you a Christian?” Also, “Why do you bother going to church?” To them, I am wasting my time praying, worshiping and praising God. I have looked back over my own life and the times I’ve asked so many of the same questions that have caused them to doubt and reject God. “Why is there suffering?” “Why did my mother die?” I come back to the same answer, over and over again.
Why am I a Christian? Because in the end, when there are no more questions to be asked and I have to face the final enemy, death, I know that I have eternal life waiting for me beyond that moment. Thanks to the work of my Savior Jesus Christ, death is not final; it is a passing from this separation from God we have experienced since the Garden of Eden back into the permanent intimate relationship I was created to have with Him.
I sometimes think turning to John 3:16 is almost a cop-out because it is the one everyone knows and quotes. It seems almost too simple when you think about the entire book of scriptures. I usually try to quote whole sections of scripture rather than just one verse. Yet, sometimes we need simply to hear this incredible truth, that God loved us so much He did what was necessary to heal our brokenness and restore us to Him. Why do I go to church? Because I am so thankful for the promise of God in Christ Jesus that I desire to join in heart, spirit and voice with others as we worship and praise God for His most amazing love.
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“But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up, so that he did corruptly, and he trespassed against Yahweh his God; for he went into Yahweh’s temple to burn incense on the altar of incense. Azariah the priest went in after him, and with him eighty priests of Yahweh, who were valiant men. They resisted Uzziah the king, and said to him, ‘It isn’t for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to Yahweh, but for the priests the sons of Aaron, who are consecrated to burn incense. Go out of the sanctuary, for you have trespassed. It will not be for your honor from Yahweh God.’ Then Uzziah was angry. He had a censer in his hand to burn incense, and while he was angry with the priests, the leprosy broke out on his forehead before the priests in Yahweh’s house, beside the altar of incense. Azariah the chief priest, and all the priests, looked at him, and behold, he was leprous in his forehead, and they thrust him out quickly from there. Yes, he himself also hurried to go out, because Yahweh had struck him. Uzziah the king was a leper to the day of his death, and lived in a separate house, being a leper; for he was cut off from Yahweh’s house. Jotham his son was over the king’s house, judging the people of the land.” 2 Chronicles 26:16-21, WEB
When people talk about the Air Force, they automatically think about pilots. After all, without them the planes would never leave the ground. But when you live and work around an air force base, going about your daily routine, you become more aware of the fact that it takes far more than just a pilot to do the work. There is a saying that goes, “Without maintainers, pilots are just pedestrians with sunglasses and a cool jacket.” It takes hundreds of people to get an airplane off the ground: the airman with a wrench tightening the bolts, the one who loads the fuel, the foodservice and cleaning crews, those who maintain the runway, the control tower operators and the airmen who schedule flights and maintenance. Outside the flight line it takes security police, finance workers, doctors, people to maintain the living areas, run the stores, raise the flags and pick up trash. Some of those jobs may seem unimportant and completely unrelated to the actual flying of a plane, but they are all part of the overall mission of the Air Force. Without the garbage collectors and the pilots, we could not do our job.
Winston Churchill was well aware of the need for those beyond the front lines in times of war. During World War II, there was a great need for coal miners. He spoke to labor leaders to get their support, telling them to imagine what it would be like when the war was over. “A parade will be held in Piccadilly Circus. Sailors, soldiers and pilots would lead the march to cheers from the thankful people. Last of all would come a long line of sweat-stained, soot-streaked men in miner’s caps. Someone will cry out from the crowd, ‘And where were you during the critical days of our struggle?’ And from ten thousand throats would come the answer, ‘We were deep in the earth with our faces to the coal.’”
Imagine what it would have been like if all those ten thousand men thought they should all be sailors, soldiers or pilots? The homes of England would have been cold and dark, and the servicemen could never have done their jobs. Every task is important.
Uzziah was king of Judah, appointed by the people when he was just sixteen years old. He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, following in the ways of his father Amaziah. He accomplished great things, rebuilt towns and defeated his enemies. The prophet Zechariah taught him that as long as he sought the LORD, God would give him success. But he became very powerful and filled with pride.
Uzziah had a job to do; he was called to lead Judah faithfully according to God’s Word. When he became powerful, however he decided he could do whatever he wanted. Just as we need both the pilots and the garbage collectors, we need both the rulers and the priests, each ministering to God’s people as they are gifted and sent by God.
For Uzziah, the consequence of his pride was leprosy. The consequence of our own pride might not be a skin disease, but when we try to take upon ourselves the tasks that are not given by God, we affect our lives and the lives of those around us. God has a good and perfect plan, He knows who is gifted to rule and who is gifted to minister. He gives the pilot and the garbage collector all they need to do their work, and He sees every one with the same heart. There are none in the kingdom of God who are more important than another, all are chosen by God to glorify Him in the world as they are called and gifted to do. Find your gifts, hear your calling, and follow God’s will for your life. Lift up those who have other tasks to do, encouraging them in their own calling, because without each person called by God the Kingdom will not be able to accomplish His work in the world.
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