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)
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves. By their fruits you will know them. Do you gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree produces good fruit; but the corrupt tree produces evil fruit. A good tree can’t produce evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree produce good fruit. Every tree that doesn’t grow good fruit is cut down, and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.” Matthew 7:16-20, WEB
Dr. Charles McCoy had been a preacher for many years at a congregation in Oyster Bay, New York when he retired at 72. He spent most of his life pursuing an education, collecting seven college degrees over the years. In the end it all seemed futile to him. “I just lie on my bed thinking that my life’s over, and I haven’t really done anything yet. I’ve been pastor of this church for so many years, but nobody really wants me much - and what have I done for Christ? I’ve spent an awful lot of time working for degrees, but I haven’t won very many people to the Lord.” I have learned over my lifetime that when we live for the Lord, He makes amazing things happen, many of which we never see. Yet, a life of faith is expected to bear the fruit of that faith.
While Dr. McCoy probably should not have felt that his life was futile, his concern led him to do become a missionary to India. He sold everything he had and went with nothing but a billfold, his Bible and his passport, all of which was stolen as soon as he arrived in Bombay. He made his way to the home of some missionaries who did not know what to do with him. After all, he was an old man. They took him in and after a day or so he announced that he was going to go to the mayor. The other missionaries told him it was fruitless; they’d tried many times and could not even get through the door. Dr. McCoy when and gave his card to the receptionist who told him to return later that day. When he arrived, he was welcomed with a grand reception. His multiple degrees, listed on his card, and his distinguished appearance gave them the impression that he was a powerful and important man. They thought he might even be from the President of the United States. He preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ and they listened politely. Though it seemed to have no impact on the gathered leaders, he was approached by a military leader who asked him to speak at his school. He eventually received many invitations to speak in many countries. He started churches in Calcutta and Hong Kong, and he traveled to Egypt and the Middle East. He served as an evangelist for sixteen years before he died.
As we look at his life we can see that God had a greater plan. He thought that his degrees were useless, futile, but they were the doorway to a great ministry in the East. The fruit of his parish ministry was not as visible as that from his later years, but there must have been fruit. A good tree can’t bear bad fruit.
We are often like Dr. McCoy, wondering about the purpose of our life. Have we done the work He has called us to do? Have we done enough? What more can we do? Did we make the right choices? Dr. McCoy was afraid in what he thought were the final moments of his life that he had wasted God’s blessings. However, those were not wasted moments. For sixteen years after he retired, Dr. McCoy continued to serve the Lord. His fruit was more visible, but not more important. He bore good fruit his whole life because he trusted God and shared his grace wherever he went.
Do you feel like your life and ministry has been fruitless? Do you feel like you haven’t accomplished what God has called you to do? Go forth in faith because in Christ you are bearing fruit you do not even know you are bearing. Perhaps one day you too will see the great work of God manifested in a way that touches many people. Perhaps you will not know the good works He has done through you until the day you meet Him face to face. Just remember, faith in Christ will bear good fruit for the sake of His Kingdom. He will make sure of it.
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“Blessed is the man who endures temptation, for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life, which the Lord promised to those who love him. Let no man say when he is tempted, ‘I am tempted by God,’ for God can’t be tempted by evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own lust, and enticed. Then the lust, when it has conceived, bears sin; and the sin, when it is full grown, produces death. Don’t be deceived, my beloved brothers. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom can be no variation, nor turning shadow. Of his own will he gave birth to us by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures. So, then, my beloved brothers, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger; for the anger of man doesn’t produce the righteousness of God. Therefore, putting away all filthiness and overflowing of wickedness, receive with humility the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not only hearers, deluding your own selves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man looking at his natural face in a mirror; for he sees himself, and goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of freedom, and continues, not being a hearer who forgets, but a doer of the work, this man will be blessed in what he does. If anyone among you thinks himself to be religious while he doesn’t bridle his tongue, but deceives his heart, this man’s religion is worthless. Pure religion and undefiled before our God and Father is this: to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” James 1:12-27, WEB
I like to take my photos and add cute or inspirational sayings to post onto my Facebook page to encourage my friends. Sometimes they are funny, sometimes they are spiritual, and sometimes they are timely. I have even found myself purposely taking pictures off center or monochrome so that they will make good backgrounds for these posts.
It isn’t always easy coming up with the words to add, though. I often pick scripture passages or quotes from poems, but I sometimes just use something out of my heart. I was working on one for Valentine’s Day using a photo I took once while wildflower hunting. I purposely used a picture of a prickly pear with a pad shaped like a heart because I wanted to focus on how hard love can be sometimes but that it is worthwhile. I typed in one thing that sounded good as I meant it to be interpreted.
However, as I looked at this cute saying I realized it was completely inappropriate. It would have definitely been taken the wrong way by most people who would have read it. It was funny, for sure, but I knew that I could not possibly post that on my page. I didn’t. I reworked the words and found a better way to say what I wanted to say. It was not as funny, but it was more wholesome and inspiring. I was tempted, but I decided to reject the inappropriate action and go with something that would uplift those who would read it. The new saying made for a better Christian witness in the world.
I read a story by Henry Ward Beecher about an encounter he had with a very ugly fellow. The man’s wife and daughter became Christians during a revival and Henry went to visit them after the event. The man became irate, threatened Henry and warned him never to enter his home again. Henry promised that he would only do so at his request. It was a small town and they two encountered one another over and over again. Despite having been so maliciously attacked, Henry treated the man with grace and compassion. He even worked to get him elected to the city council. The man didn’t understand, but eventually approached Henry for friendship. He invited Henry into his life and into his house. Henry said, “Now I might have thrown stones at him from the topmost cliffs of Mount Sinai, and hit him every time, but that would not have done him any good. Kindness killed him. I won his confidence.”
We struggle with temptation and sin every day. It is part of our human character. However, just because we are tempted does not mean we need to sin. We can stop ourselves, think twice and act in a different way. We are His witnesses, and as such we need to try to do everything in a way that will draw the world to Him. Satan doesn’t always tempt us with things that are obviously bad, but it is not enough to just avoid those things. We are called to live like Christ, to live in a way that glorifies God.
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