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
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)
“Praise Yah! I will give thanks to Yahweh with my whole heart, in the council of the upright, and in the congregation. Yahweh’s works are great, pondered by all those who delight in them. His work is honor and majesty. His righteousness endures forever. He has caused his wonderful works to be remembered. Yahweh is gracious and merciful. He has given food to those who fear him. He always remembers his covenant. He has shown his people the power of his works, in giving them the heritage of the nations. The works of his hands are truth and justice. All his precepts are sure. They are established forever and ever. They are done in truth and uprightness. He has sent redemption to his people. He has ordained his covenant forever. His name is holy and awesome! The fear of Yahweh is the beginning of wisdom. All those who do his work have a good understanding. His praise endures forever!” Psalm 111, WEB
My husband was stationed in England for four years. It was a wonderful experience, but difficult in some ways. Worst of all, my mother was not well, and I was too far from home to be with her in her final days. I did visit a couple months before she died. My father was having surgery, and she wanted me to be home with her to help care for her during his absence. I was surprised at how well she seemed and even more surprised how quickly she was moved into a assisted living after I flew back to England. My mom didn’t want me to worry, so she rallied during the time I was there.
I worried anyway, especially when I realized how sick she really was. I wondered if I should go home, to see her before she died. It was a hard decision. She could linger if I went too early. I could not stay home for an unlimited amount of time. The decision was made for me when my sister called to tell me my mother had died. The people in my husband’s squadron and in the Red Cross were extremely helpful. They helped us get home to mourn her death and celebrate her life. I was so grateful for the visit two months earlier. And I was grateful that she rallied; though I knew she was sick, my final memory is from those days.
One of the things I loved most about my mom is how she was like a mom to all my friends. I was involved in an organization where the mothers were very important, and they were all like moms to us. My friends from the old neighborhood called her Mom. My mom and dad owned a bar in the final years of her life; many of the staff and the guests called her mom. She did kind things for many who crossed her path. She lent people money. She wasn’t perfect, of course, but who is? It has been more than twenty years, and I miss her, especially at this time of year. She was born at the end of April. She married my father at the end of May. And we celebrate Mother’s Day in between.
Have you ever wondered at the relationship between Mary and the disciples? I think it is fascinating that the last time we saw Mary, the mother of Jesus, was at the cross. She is not found in the resurrection accounts, but she was part of that community of believers. The book of Acts tells us that Mary was in the Upper Room after the ascension of Jesus (Acts 1:14.) Tradition says that she died in 41 A.D., and since John was given guardianship, I imagine that she spent lots of time with the disciples until they began to go out into the world. Was she like a mother to those boys, caring for them as she’d cared for Jesus? Did they look to her for motherly love and encouragement? Did they use the familiar name “Mom” as they used “Abba” for God our Father? So much of the scriptural accounts focus on the work of the twelve disciples that we forget that others were part of that early community. They all lived and worked together for the sake of the Gospel, men and woman, apostles and disciples caring for one another and devoting themselves to prayer.
We often lift up Mary and put her on a pedestal, but she was as imperfect as all our own mothers. Yet, she is a wonderful example for us to look to for motherhood. She was given a most unusual life, a most unusual child, and she accepted it all with grace. Mary treasured every word and sign; she pondered them, and she trusted God’s faithfulness even through any uncertainty. Mary must have been overwhelmed with the responsibility of being the mother of our Lord, but she praised God for His faithfulness that He kept His promises for His people.
We can do the same. We delight in God because He has done great things in our lives. He has given us life and so much through a woman we call “Mom.” Our mothers are all different. Some are good and some not so good, but we can be thankful to God for our mothers. As we remember our mothers this weekend, whether they still live or have passed into life eternal, let us join with Mary and praise God for His goodness.
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“Who then is Apollos, and who is Paul, but servants through whom you believed, and each as the Lord gave to him? I planted. Apollos watered. But God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. Now he who plants and he who waters are the same, but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s farming, God’s building. According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another builds on it. But let each man be careful how he builds on it. For no one can lay any other foundation than that which has been laid, which is Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 3:5-11, WEB
William Carey got off to a bad start in life. He was born in the mid-eighteenth century England. He was a sick child in a poor family with little education. He was a troublemaker as a youth, hanging out with the wrong crowd. Eventually he was made an apprentice to a shoemaker. John Warr was one of his coworkers and was a faithful Christian who witnessed to him daily, but William didn’t care. John convinced him to go to a church service for a national day of prayer instituted by King George III hoping for God’s help for the war against the rebellion in the New World. William agreed to go.
The preacher gave a rousing sermon urging all to give their lives to Christ. The message spoke into William’s heart and he was converted to the Christian faith. He was baptized and became active in a local Baptist church. He eventually began preaching and pastoring in nearby Baptist churches. He married, had a daughter, and worked as a cobbler for a number of years, but became increasingly interested in world travel and missionary work.
Unfortunately, William lived in an age when most Christians saw no need for missionary work. He continually brought up the subject at religious meetings, but the other pastors ignored him. The pastor that baptized William even said, “When God pleases to convert the heaven, he’ll do it without consulting you or me.” He became dismayed, but wrote a book and continued to teach the importance of Gospel evangelism. Eventually he was given the opportunity to present his ideas and he convinced the meeting to support missionary work. On October 2, 1792, the first collection of pledges for organized, home-supported Protestant missions was collected. William made plans to go to India. He ran into many difficulties, but eventually did get to India and accomplished some amazing things. He translated the Bible into six languages, wrote dictionaries and grammar books in five, founded many schools in rural India and founded a college to train ministers, which is still in operation. He introduced the idea of a savings bank, published the first Indian newspaper. His work made such a difference in the country that the ancient practice of burning widows was stopped.
Mary Drewery, who wrote a biography about William Carey, said, “The number of actual conversions attributed to him is pathetically small; the number indirectly attributable to him must be legion.” William’s work began an era of missionary work in the church, as many Christians went to foreign lands to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Many of those missionaries impacted the world in which they went to live, bringing hope to the people in both spiritual and temporal ways. He may not have converted many people, but through his life God changed the world as he built on the foundation of Jesus Christ. We, too, are called to go out into all the world to share the Gospel with those who need to know His love and forgiveness.
It is interesting that William Carey came to faith in Jesus Christ because of a National Day of Prayer. Of course, George the III was praying for obedience from his wayward subjects here in the colonies, and those wayward subjects were praying for their own idea of peace. But whatever God’s intent was for those prayers, one man truly heard the Gospel and his faith impacted the world. The same thing could be true during any days of prayer in any nation.
I sometimes think that we are in a similar time as William Carey. His faith eventually led him to India, but our own faith doesn’t have to take us so far afield. Our neighbors need to hear the Gospel, too, though too many Christians think like William’s baptismal pastor. “If God wants them to be a Christian, He’ll make it happen without us.” That might be true, but we are called and gifted to share the Gospel with the world. When the Gospel is shared, God does incredible things in people’s hearts. They need to hear the Word to believe, and once they believe they may feel called to do incredible things. The thing we must remember, however, is that it all begins with prayer.
Today is the National Day of Prayer and people all over America will join together in prayer for our nation, its leaders and each other. Unfortunately, I haven’t heard about many opportunities for prayer together. As a matter of fact, I wouldn’t have even remembered it was today without someone asking if our church was doing something. Our pastor joined others from the small town where we are located and are doing prayers regularly on the radio. There are probably gatherings in some places, but nothing so big as to make the news. We need prayer right now, not only for health and peace, but for a sense of normalcy, whatever that means.
Find time today to join with your brothers and sisters in Christ to ask God for His blessings on His creation.That prayer might lead someone into a relationship with Jesus Christ. That prayer might lead someone into a life of evangelism. That prayer might lead someone toward a vocation that will make a very real difference in our world today, doing something to make the world right side up again. Even as you are praying for the usual things on the Day of Prayer, remember to pray for those who do not yet know Jesus. Invite them into your life. Missionary work is not just overseas, it is in our own backyard.
I don’t know what will happen at the end of this day of prayer, especially since so few even know it is happening, but perhaps today might just be the beginning of a long outpouring of prayer to our Lord God Almighty in Jesus’ name. And perhaps that prayer will be the beginning of the changes in individual lives, in our national life, and around the globe that are necessary to make all things right in our world. It will only be right when it is built on the foundation that is Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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