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)
“Give thanks to Yahweh, for he is good... give thanks to the God of gods... give thanks to the Lord of lords... to him who alone does great wonders... to him who by understanding made the heavens... to him who spread out the earth above the waters... to him who made the great lights... the sun to rule by day... the moon and stars to rule by night... to him who struck down the Egyptian firstborn... and brought out Israel from among them... with a strong hand, and with an outstretched arm... to him who divided the Red Sea apart... and made Israel to pass through the middle of it... but overthrew Pharaoh and his army in the Red Sea... to him who led his people through the wilderness... to him who struck great kings... and killed mighty kings... Sihon king of the Amorites... Og king of Bashan... and gave their land as an inheritance... even a heritage to Israel his servant... who remembered us in our low estate... and has delivered us from our adversaries... who gives food to every creature... Oh give thanks to the God of heaven...” Psalm 136, WEB
I have taken artistic license in the text of today’s scripture passage. I removed the refrain from each verse and replaced it with ellipses. Despite being the most important statement in the whole psalm, vital even in its repetition, I decided that we should look at the reason why it is so true. See, the ellipses replace the line “...for his loving kindness endures forever,” which is the very reason that we should give thanks to God who is good, who is the God of gods and the Lord of lords.
We are called to give thanks because He alone does great wonders. He made the heavens. He created the earth. He made the sun and moon which do what He has created them to do. He saved His people from Egypt then guided, protected and provided for them through the wilderness to the Promised Land. He has the power to control nature and to overcome the kings of the earth. He does all this for the people He loves. But His love did not end at the Promised Land; it continued for God’s people even as they failed to be faithful. It continued for His people when He saved them from the greatest adversaries: sin, death and the devil. His love endures for us today.
Give thanks to God because His loving kindness endures forever. (WEB) Give thanks to God because God’s faithful love lasts forever! (Common English Bible) Give thanks to God because His love endures forever. (NIV) Give thanks to God because His faithful love endures forever. (New Living Translation) Give thanks to God because his mercy endureth for ever. (KJV) Give thanks to God because His steadfast love endures forever. (English Standard Version) Give thanks to God because His love never quits. (The Message) Give thanks to God because His lovingkindness (graciousness, mercy, compassion) endures forever. (Amplified Bible) So many different ways to say that God’s love is eternal.
God has done great things and shown His faithfulness to His people throughout the generations. I left out the key phrase in today’s passage above, but they are words that we should utter every moment of every day to remind us of the great and good things that He has done. His love endures, His mercy endures, His compassion endures forever. By His grace His people were saved from Egypt, but that was just a foretaste of the salvation that He would offer to the world through Jesus Christ. By His willing sacrifice which overcame sin, death and the devil, we will experience His love forever, dwelling eternally in His presence. We will sing these words with the great chorus of saints one day, but let us join them in singing the words today. “Give thanks to Yahweh, for he is good; for his loving kindness endures forever!”
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“What does it matter? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed. I rejoice in this, yes, and will rejoice. For I know that this will turn out to my salvation, through your supplication and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, according to my earnest expectation and hope, that I will in no way be disappointed, but with all boldness, as always, now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life, or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live on in the flesh, this will bring fruit from my work; yet I don’t know what I will choose. But I am in a dilemma between the two, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. Yet, to remain in the flesh is more needful for your sake. Having this confidence, I know that I will remain, yes, and remain with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, that your rejoicing may abound in Christ Jesus in me through my presence with you again.” Philippians 1:18-26, WEB
I was on a retreat with fellow youth a very long time ago. I can’t even remember the details of the retreat like where we were or our theme. I vaguely remember doing dishes. I remember a few of the people who were there. Most of all, I remember taking a walk.
There was a cemetery along the path and we went in to check out the old tombstones. It is fascinating to see what has been written, although many of the tombstones were so old that the letters were worn down so much they were barely readable. The cemetery had graves that were there for more than a hundred years. Many were ignored and unkempt as the families of the deceased were long gone.
I wandered to a distant corner, a very quiet section of the cemetery. It suffered from neglect with high grasses and fallen markers. Some of the graves were sinking. It is always sad to enter a cemetery, but it is even worse when the people buried there have long been forgotten. Physical death is dismal, but the finality of being forgotten is heartbreaking. It is a death worse than death; it is tragic to see a place where there is no life and seemingly no hope. Yet, it was worth walking to that sad corner because nestled into the hollow created by a sinking grave I found a most beautiful sight: a baby deer was resting, hidden from view by the overgrowth. There it was: the hope found in new life.
We are surrounded by death. We all know someone who had died or is dying. We will all die. But physical death is not the greatest tragedy. The greatest tragedy is not even that we are all eventually forgotten, left buried and ignored in an unkempt cemetery. The greatest tragedy is that too many face a death that is eternal because they do not know where to find hope and life. We have been given the greatest gift: the Gospel which gives us life. We are forgiven of our sin which leads to death and we are made alive with Christ. Those of us with faith are like that baby deer; we have life in the midst of death. We are witnesses to the hope that does not disappoint because by God’s grace we have been reconciled to Him through the blood and mercy of Jesus Christ.
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