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)
“Again, the next day, John was standing with two of his disciples, 36 and he looked at Jesus as he walked, and said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God!’ The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. Jesus turned, and saw them following, and said to them, ‘What are you looking for?’ They said to him, ‘Rabbi’ (which is to say, being interpreted, Teacher), ‘where are you staying?’ He said to them, ‘Come, and see.’ They came and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day. It was about the tenth hour. One of the two who heard John, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first found his own brother, Simon, and said to him, ‘We have found the Messiah!’ (which is, being interpreted, Christ.) He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him, and said, ‘You are Simon the son of Jonah. You shall be called Cephas’ (which is by interpretation, Peter)” John 1:35-42, WEB
Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Raphael paints wisdom, Handel sings it, Phidias carves it, Shakespeare writes it, Wren builds it, Columbus sails it, Luther preaches it, Washington arms it, Watt mechanizes it.” In this quote, Emerson names some of the greatest men in their fields. These are men who accomplished great things and are remembered long after their deaths for what they did. If he would speak those words today, he might add some other people like sports figures, politicians and entertainers that are important figures in the world. Great people have an effect on others by their words and by their deeds.
These great people came from somewhere. There is always someone - a parent, teacher, grandparent, pastor, Sunday school teacher, neighbor, friend - who had an impact on their life. Their words and wisdom help guide them into the right path for their lives. While each of these men also have incredible God-given gifts, it took someone to encourage their growth and learning in their field so that they might become great. These forerunners are often unknown; they never reach greatness or fame for the contribution they have made.
Peter was a great man of faith. He is known for his willingness to follow Jesus and for his leadership in the Church after Jesus ascended to heaven. He wasn’t perfect, but he was willing. Peter is always close to Jesus in the Gospel stories, one of the inner circle of Jesus’ disciples. His confession of faith was the foundation on which Christ built the Church. He was given the keys to the Kingdom of God. He stood in the forefront of the activities of the disciples and he preached Christ to the crowds at Pentecost. He did amazing things in his ministry, just like Jesus, like healing the sick and raising the dead. We remember Peter as being the greatest of the disciples, and yet he was not the first. He was not the first one called, nor even the first one to show faith in Christ. He was not the first of the Apostles to be an evangelist.
Andrew was the one who took Peter to the Lord. Andrew was the one who had faith enough to give Jesus five loaves and two fish to feed five thousand men. Peter may never have become a follower if Andrew had not gone to his brother and said, “Come and see. We have found the Messiah.” That is a most important confession of faith, because Andrew, even before Jesus had really taught them all about Himself, knew that Jesus was the Christ. There were many who claimed to be messiahs in those days, men who tried to defeat Rome by military power. But Andrew, the guy behind the guy, knew by faith that Jesus was the Messiah, the One promised by God.
We can identify Jesus as many things. He is friend. He is teacher. He is a merciful healer. He is Lord. He is the High Priest. He is the Lamb. He is the Light. He is the Word. He is the Baby in the manger. He is the Coming King. He is all these things, but there is one identity on which our eternal life rests: He is the Messiah. He is the Coming One who saved His people who will come again. Andrew somehow saw that; he knew that Jesus was the one for whom they were waiting, and he took that message to Peter. “Come and see!” We are reminded that have been chosen to continue this work of telling the world that the Messiah has come, to invite them to “Come and see!”
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“He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives him who sent me. He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward. He who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man will receive a righteous man’s reward. Whoever gives one of these little ones just a cup of cold water to drink in the name of a disciple, most certainly I tell you he will in no way lose his reward.” Matthew 10:40-42, WEB
I attended a party long before we had GPS on our phones. I had never been at the house in a development with which I was unfamiliar, so I was given detailed instructions. The notes explained the directions and ended with, “You have to drive by Jesus to get to our house.” Their house was a few blocks into the development and a beautiful decorated house stood as a landmark. Once I passed that display I would see their house on the left.
It was a fun way to lead me to their home, but it made me think. How often do we pass by Jesus to get to our destination? During this hectic holiday season, what things are we forgetting to do while we rush around in the hustle bustle of the season. We don’t think there is time to do anything else as we struggle to finish all our preparation for the big day. We complain about time, but are reminded that there are many families who won’t have a Christmas because they don’t have the resources to create the perfect holiday. There are organizations in every city providing help to those families.
I’m scheduled to volunteer at an emergency Christmas store tomorrow for families who would have a sad Christmas without it. I got an email from the organization last week begging for more items. They did not have enough to meet all the needs. They were especially desperate for gifts that would suit teenage boys. I stopped at a dollar type store last week and bought as much as I could afford, feeling guilty that I was buying cheap. As I paid $10 each for a few watches, I wondered if I would buy the same for my family. Yet, I know that five watches will give gifts to five young men who would otherwise get nothing, besides, a $10 watch tells the same time as one worth much more. It wasn’t much, but it was something.
I passed by Jesus as I went to that party. In this case, it was just a beautiful yard display, which I enjoyed seeing. Every day we pass by people who need something from us: our love, a smile, a message of hope or a reminder of God’s grace. Others need more tangible help, such as a present to give to their child or some meat for Christmas dinner. There are plenty of opportunities to share of our wealth during this time of year, through organizations like food banks and Toys for Tots. We should never think that giving something is not enough, because it is sometimes the small things that make the biggest impact. Most importantly, let’s remember to see Jesus in the opportunities to share our gifts, time and resources. We should be watching for those small things we can do for the people who cross our paths. If we don’t, we might be passing right by Jesus. It is in living the life that Christ has given to you, by sharing Him with others, that you’ll find the true blessings of this season.
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