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)
ďFor we donít desire to have you uninformed, brothers, concerning our affliction which happened to us in Asia, that we were weighed down exceedingly, beyond our power, so much that we despaired even of life. Yes, we ourselves have had the sentence of death within ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead, who delivered us out of so great a death, and does deliver; on whom we have set our hope that he will also still deliver us; you also helping together on our behalf by your supplication; that, for the gift given to us by means of many, thanks may be given by many persons on your behalf.Ē 2 Corinthians 1:8-11, WEB
Paul had an incredible ministry. His travels took him all over the ancient world and his preaching founded churches in many cities. He had a passion for the Gospel, and he wanted the world to know the love and mercy of God found in Christ Jesus. He wanted the world saved by Godís grace. So, he traveled extensively and during his travels he faced persecution, hardship, hunger, and even a shipwreck. He was beaten and imprisoned many times. It would not be surprising if he felt doubt, uncertainty, hurt, anger, pain, all sorts of negative feelings about his ministry.
What is a feeling? This word can be defined in so many different ways that it is often difficult to understand the meaning of a sentence. One day a friend told me, ďTrust your feelings.Ē We hear the old saying, ďFollow your heartĒ so often, especially in romantic rom coms. So often, though, emotions can stand in the way of a proper understanding. If we love someone, it is difficult to see his or her faults. If we are hurt or angry, it is difficult to see goodness. Emotions block truth.
However, feeling can also be defined as awareness. A mother knows when her child is sick. Physical signs often bring about the feeling; the mother sees the child acting different, feels a fever, or hears a difference in voice, but thereís also something about the connection between the mother and child. A farmer is aware of an impending storm; he feels the difference in the air pressure, or the temperature. When a mother is aware of sickness or a farmer aware of the storm, they are able to make decisions that will make everything alright. There are times when this awareness is unexplainable. Sometimes a mother just knows.
The term ďgut reactionĒ can be used to describe this type of feeling. There are times I feel as though I should be someplace or do something. When I follow this gut feeling, I find that there is someone there who needs my help or even just a kind word. There have been times when I could tell that the feeling came from the Holy Spirit, leading me into a situation where He is able to use me as His vessel for change. Intercessors often have a feeling they should pray for someone, so they do. They later find that the person they were praying for needed that prayer at that moment.
They say you canít judge a book by its cover, but at times we have a gut reaction to someone we meet. We have a feeling about him or her, yet often do not know why. How often do those heroines in the rom coms follow their heart chasing the wrong guy, only to discover that their true love is the best friend theyíve known forever? In time, events and actions unfold to show our reaction to be good or bad, true or untrue. Sometimes that gut reaction comes from the Holy Spirit, so it is important to always seek Godís will in every situation and be obedient to what He is calling us to do. Too often our reaction is based on our emotions, which are often based on our flawed nature, so it is important that we rely on the Holy Spirit whenever we make a decision.
Paul not only dealt with the troubles of travel and persecution from those outside the faith, he suffered at the hands of people claiming to be Christian leaders. They disparaged Paul and tried to turn the churches against him. We donít know what happened in Asia to make Paul feel so devastated, perhaps it has something to do with this criticism, but Paul didnít let his feelings rule his actions. He wrote to the Corinthians to tell them that he was trusting in God to make all things right.
My friendís advice about trusting my feelings happened to be about a situation when I had a gut reaction to something. She wanted me to seek the guidance of Godís Holy Spirit, to see that God was leading me in a certain direction. As events unfolded, I found that the gut reaction proved correct. The next time you have a gut reaction to a person or event, test it to be sure it is not from your own emotions. Then trust in God and know that He is leading you in the right direction by the power of His Holy Spirit.
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ďI love you, Yahweh, my strength. Yahweh is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower. I call on Yahweh, who is worthy to be praised; and I am saved from my enemies. The cords of death surrounded me. The floods of ungodliness made me afraid. The cords of Sheol were around me. The snares of death came on me. In my distress I called on Yahweh, and cried to my God. He heard my voice out of his temple. My cry before him came into his ears.Ē Psalm 18:1-6, WEB
We can do a lot of things to protect ourselves. We can install security systems in our homes. We can make sure we have fire detectors in our home and test them regularly. We can stay home when the weather is bad. We can pay attention to the world around us and watch out for danger. We can avoid doing things that might cause an accident. We can avoid eating, drinking, and smoking things that can make us sick. Though we canít guarantee our life will be without trouble, all these things might help to protect us.
There are dangers in this world that we canít avoid by our own strength and power. I was once hit by a drunk driver. I was driving my car through a green arrow when the car came from the other direction and ran the red light. The driver was cited with multiple infractions, including driving with a suspended license, no insurance, and several different types of drugs in his system. When he hit my car, it spun around several times, although I couldnít really tell you how many because it all happened in the blink of an eye. It was a good thing I was wearing my seatbelt because it saved my life. I am certain about this because I had an unopened can of soda on the seat which exploded when it flew forward and hit the dashboard; that could have been me.
I avoided death with the seatbelt, but there was no way for me to know that on that corner on that night I might be in an accident. We canít hide in our homes; we have to go out into the world. Oh, I like to avoid going out, especially when the weather is bad. I am not worried about how I will handle the roads, but I worry about how others will. Yet, there are things that need to be done. I need to go grocery shopping. I need to meet with fellow Christians in worship, study, and prayer. I need to get out of the house and interact with other people. I canít do much for Godís kingdom hiding behind the safety of my walls, can I?
There are other dangers that we canít even see. The spiritual warfare that goes on all around is really unavoidable. We will constantly be tempted to do things we shouldnít do and to avoid things we should. We even face the temptation to hide in our homes when we are afraid of what might happen in the world. We ignore the call of God to protect ourselves from the dangers that can harm us. However, we canít avoid the spiritual dangers by hiding. We canít protect ourselves; we canít trust that weíll be safe by our own power and might.
The psalmist describes God in many ways, as rock, fortress, deliverer, refuge, shield, horn, and tower. Trust in God will not guarantee that we will be safe from drunk drivers, but He is our salvation. We are strong only because He is strong. We might not be unharmed by our enemies, but God will save us, especially in terms of the spiritual war that is being waged. The devil may tempt us, trying to lead us away from God, but God will be there beside us, calling us toward Himself. And when we fall and cry out to God for His help, He will be there to pick us up, to forgive us, and to help us onto the right path.
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