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)
ďHe who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives him who sent me. He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophetís reward. He who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man will receive a righteous manís reward. Whoever gives one of these little ones just a cup of cold water to drink in the name of a disciple, most certainly I tell you, he will in no way lose his reward.Ē Matthew 10:40-42, WEB
When we look at the world, the troubles we face are overwhelming. How can we solve the big issues when we are just one small cog in a very big machine? We want to do something, but donít even know where to start. How do we feed the world? How do we stop violence? How do we deal with hatred? We want the big answer and when we canít come up with it, we stop trying. However, we live in a world with many people who can make a little difference, and with every little difference we get closer to the big solution.
If you have ever been to Germany, you know that they love their flowers. The beautiful hand painted or half-timbered homes are decorated with flower boxes. The gardens are filled with bright blossoms. Even the cities have beautifully designed beds of flowers in the squares and near the important tourist sites. You might expect that since they are trying to put on the prettiest face for their visitors. But thereís more to it than just window dressing. Those flowers serve a purpose, and they have taken that purpose one step further.
As we have all heard, the bees are disappearing. Now, bees might be pesty sometimes, but they are vital to the world in which we live. Without bees, weíd have no plants. Without plants, there would be no food for the mammals, including us. Without food for our cattle and other animals, we would struggle to feed the billions of people in the world. It may be hard to believe that bees keep us alive, but they do. This is the way that God designed the world: tiny creatures are as important as the bigger ones. Some might suggest that they are even more important.
There are those who think we have to do something big to solve the problem of the disappearing bees, but in Germany I saw how the small thing can make a big difference. I saw beehives in a church yard that was allowed to go wild. Along side the beautifully designed flower beds were others that were filled with a hodge podge of wildflowers, which are much better for the bees. One lawn was well groomed except for a few patches they let go wild. These may seem insignificant, but those little things are the very things that will truly make a difference. We can do the same. Instead of keeping our yards perfectly manicured, perhaps we should consider allowing one section to be overrun by weeds. After all, weeds are just wildflowers in the wrong place. And wildflowers are the very thing that gives life and purpose to the bees who help us to live.
We stopped for a drink while we were waiting for our next activity to begin and a been flew into my glass of cola. We have all had that happen at some point or another. I confess that in the past I have simply allowed those bees to drown in the liquid. What else was I to do? This time, however, I poured the cola into a nearby potted plant. I didnít know if it would help, but I hoped it would give the bee a chance. A few minutes later, I noticed it was gone. One more bee was saved for another day.
There might be big solutions that will help with the big problems we face in our world today, but we have to remember that even Jesus pointed us to the small acts we can do to make a difference. Even a cup of water to a man who is thirsty can change his world.
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ďBut now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it - the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.Ē Romans 3:21-26, WEB
My husband and I just returned from a whirlwind tour of Germany. Our tour focused on the life and times of Martin Luther, but we also visited sites connected to figures like Bach, Guttenburg, and King Ludwig II. We attended a performance of the Passion Play in Oberammergau and took brief cruises on the Rhine and the Danube. We saw historic sites that went back thousands of years as well as sites from the twentieth century. We ate too much food and climbed more stairs than I can count. It was a wonderful trip.
My mind is still spinning from all the information we heard over those fourteen days. I learned new things, but it was also exciting to see places which Iíve heard about in my studies of Luther. I stood where he was born and where he died. I visited a house where he lived as a boy and worshipped in a building where his vision of school for all children was first established. I walked hallways where he walked and visited the room where he hid as an outlaw and translated the New Testament. I saw the very first publication of his translation of the German Bible, as well as more than a thousand of his publications that still exist. I took pictures of several pulpits where he preached and the doorway where he nailed the 95 Theses. I saw the homes where his friends lived and paintings (very many paintings) that were made of him.
Love him or hate him, Martin Luther was a figure that we canít ignore. He is considered one of the most influential figures in history, and much that he did changed the world. Did you know that our daily newspaper is still patterned after the broadsheets he published to teach the people about faith? He promoted social improvement by encouraging the children, all children no matter their social status or gender, to attend school. He offered hospitality to many, even during the plague. He made terrible mistakes, of course, and was not the kindest adversary. But he loved the LORD and wanted all people to love Him with servant hearts and willful obedience.
We donít follow the footsteps of a man like Martin Luther because we revere him, but because we want to learn from him. We learn from both his successes and his failures. We learn about good ways to deal with the world in which we live, and we learn some ways that should be avoided. We learn about courage and boldness, but also humility and submission. He changed the world and showed us what could be accomplished if we just sought Godís grace and walked in obedience to His Word. He had so much to say, but the most important thing was that Martin Luther wanted every Christian to hear Godís voice and experience Godís grace for themselves.
He was as loved and hated by those in his day as he is today. We are reminded by his story, though, that we arenít meant to be loved by the world. We are loved by God and when we live according to His Word, we have nothing to fear. Martin Luther was never free from the threat to his life, but he lived a full life of service to God and his people, never afraid of what might happen, but always working for the Kingdom of God. We live at a different time and place, but the world has not changed. There are people who love us, but there are also many who hate us for our faith. As we look to the life of those like Martin Luther, we can walk in faith, knowing God can and will use us, even though we are imperfect. He will forgive our mistakes and make good things happen through our lives despite the bad things we do. We will never be as influential as Martin Luther, but we can influence the people in our little corner of the world, sharing our faith in ways that can make a difference in every aspect of their lives.
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