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)
"And they come to Jericho: and as he went out from Jericho, with his disciples and a great multitude, the son of Timaeus, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the way side. And when he heard that it was Jesus the Nazarene, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me. And many rebuked him, that he should hold his peace: but he cried out the more a great deal, Thou son of David, have mercy on me. And Jesus stood still, and said, Call ye him. And they call the blind man, saying unto him, Be of good cheer: rise, he calleth thee. And he, casting away his garment, sprang up, and came to Jesus. And Jesus answered him, and said, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? And the blind man said unto him, Rabboni, that I may receive my sight. And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And straightway he received his sight, and followed him in the way." Mark 10:46-52, ASV
I don't want to die. I don't think any of us want to. I have too much to look forward to in the coming years. I want to experience grandbabies. I would love to sell one of my larger paintings or see something hanging in a gallery. I have a couple books started that I should finish writing. There are places I would still like to visit and people I would love to see. And while my family could survive just fine without me, I don't want them to do so. I want to continue loving them and serving them in this world.
That said, I have to admit that I got a little teary eyed in church yesterday. We sang the hymn "Softly and Tenderly," which is based on today's scripture passage in which Jesus calls to the blind man to come to Him. He does the same for us. He calls us to a life in His Kingdom, a life of salvation and a life of wholeness. The life we gain when we go to Jesus is eternal. We are forgiven and transformed. We are made saints even while we are sinners. We are promised a life that will never end even though we will one day die. Jesus calls us home to Him.
It was this longing for home that made me teary eyed in church yesterday. While I don't want to die, I have to admit that I often think about how wonderful it would be to be where God has promised we will be; it would be wonderful to go home, not to my old hometown, but to the dwelling place of God. While I don't want to die, I wouldn't mind doing so because it is only through death that I will see the final promise fulfilled. Every time we sang the refrain, I could hear Jesus calling from that home where we will live forever and it made me long to be there with Him.
Of course, the passage and the hymn calls sinners to life in the here and now, not just that future home that we are promised. Jesus is not calling us to our eternal home; eternal life is in the here and now. Though our bodies will perish, we will never die. He called the blind man over and He healed him. He gave Him sight not just spiritually but also physically.
We can long for the day when we will dwell in the presence of God forever, but we are called to live in the here and now. We have so much reason to live. There are people who have not yet heard or believed the Word of God. There are people who need to be comforted and others who need us to fight for justice. There are neighbors that need us to share God's grace in ways that will show them they are forgiven and will be transformed. There are stories to tell, people to feed, pain to heal. God calls us to a great and wonderful home, but for today that home is here, in this world, doing His work until that day. I do truly long for that day with tears, but I can live in this day with joy because I know that He is always faithful.
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"[The Son] who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in him were all things created, in the heavens and upon the earth, things visible and things invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things have been created through him, and unto him; and he is before all things, and in him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. For it was the good pleasure of the Father that in him should all the fulness dwell; and through him to reconcile all things unto himself, having made peace through the blood of his cross; through him, I say, whether things upon the earth, or things in the heavens." Colossians 1:15-20, ASV
We have an inheritance that was given to us by our Father in heaven by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. He delivered us out of darkness and into the Light. He saved us and through Him we have the assurance that our sins are forgiven now and forever. Who is this One who can do such incredible things? After all, we are unworthy of any grace, selfish, self-centered sinners beyond rescue. Who could accomplish the impossible task of saving our sorry souls?
Jesus Christ is the only one who could ever accomplish such a thing. Today's text continues Paul's letter to the Colossians from yesterday. He talked about his prayers for the Christians and encouraged them to live joyfully and thankfully in the Kingdom that they have received through Jesus Christ. Today Paul goes on to tell us about this Jesus Christ. It is suggested that this passage is a quote of an early Christian hymn declaring the supremacy of Christ. Hymns are a great way to teach lessons, two write the truth on our hearts. Paul would have referenced this hymn for the sake of those hearing the letter because they could identify with it and remember what they had learned about Jesus.
See, there was a problem is Colosse. Colosse was not a large town; it was actually a town in decline. It had no great importance in the days of the Apostles, but it became important in the Old Testament because it was one of the places where Paul and his helpers established a church. The letter to the Colossians was written while Paul was in prison the first time, unable to visit the church and help them understand the truth of Christ and faith. Unfortunately, it was easy for heresy to creep into this small congregation because they did not have strong, faithful leaders to keep the people firmly grounded in the truth. The Colossians were being led into several errors. False teachers were enforcing strict ceremonial rules, severe forms of self-discipline and abstinence, angel worship. They devalued Christ and uplifted human wisdom and tradition. They followed a belief in secret knowledge as was developed by the gnostics.
The hymn counters the devaluing of Jesus Christ. Sadly, there are those today who would do the same, making Him less than He is. The supremacy of Christ in both creation and redemption establishes Him as exactly what He claimed to be: Lord and God. He was before the beginning, the image of the invisible God, the Word He spoke, the love He had for all He created. By Him all things were created and in Him all things are held together. He is the head of the Church and through Him we have been saved. The fullness of God dwelt in Jesus Christ and by His sacrifice and the shedding of His blood the world was reconciled to the Father. We can live as Paul commends us to live through his prayers because the One who has called us into His Kingdom is the One who has done the impossible.
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.
Scripture on this page taken from the American Standard Version of the Holy Bible which belongs to the public domain. Some scripture on this site taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.
As you may be aware, I also write a weekly devotional on Wednesday called "MIDWEEK OASIS." For those of you who are familiar with lectionary scripture sources, MIDWEEK OASIS is based on the 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. We are now using the lectionary for our A WORD FOR TODAY texts. This devotional is posted on Wednesday, at both A WORD FOR TODAY and 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