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)
“By this we know love, because he laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But whoever has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, then closes his heart of compassion against him, how does God’s love remain in him? My little children, let’s not love in word only, or with the tongue only, but in deed and truth. And by this we know that we are of the truth, and persuade our hearts before him, because if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.” 1 John 3:16-20, WEB
What sort of witness are you? We have so many opportunities to share the love of Christ in word and deed. We can serve our neighbor, share the Gospel, and be respectful to strangers. Over the past few weeks, we’ve heard the expectations of Jesus, that we will be just and merciful, righteous and faithful. We have now entered into the Advent season, the time of waiting and watching for the coming of Christ, so now is a good time to think about how we live out those expectations in our daily life.
I was once talking to a non-believer who wanted to know why he should believe in Jesus. He told me stories of his experiences with Christians, stories of hypocrites who did not act as if they were changed. “They are just like everyone else.” He told of a time when he was driving on a highway. There was a speeding car, weaving in and out of the traffic, which nearly caused several accidents. He told me he was shocked to see an “I love Jesus” bumper sticker on the car. “Is that Christian love, to be in such a rush that the driver risked the lives of others?” He didn’t want anything to do with it. I have at least one friend who won’t put such stickers on her car because she doesn’t want to be a bad witness when she makes a mistake on the road. We are just like everyone else, but we have been transformed by God’s grace to glorify Him in the world.
I once read a story about a trend among some Christians. We all love to go out to lunch after church, but unfortunately, we don’t always do right by the people who are serving us or sharing our space. We are often rude, loud, and do not tip well for our demanding patronage. Sometimes we do even worse. The photo accompanying the article showed an empty dinner plate with a ten-dollar bill peeking out from beneath. The waitress was excited about such a good tip, but then she realized the truth: the bill was fake and it gave an even better ‘tip.’ It read: “Some things are even better than money, like your eternal salvation that was paid for by Jesus going to the cross.” The paper quotes John 3:16 and then gives the reader a prayer to say to accept Jesus as their Savior. The waiter who posted pictures of this ‘tip’ on a blog and said, “P.S. I have never been more atheist.”
I have shared my faith with waiters and waitresses. I have even left my card with my website address for the server. I’ve left cute gifts like an origami butterfly, tiny hearts, or Christmas ornaments. Around Christmas I like to leave a piece of candy or a candy cane. I have never left any of those things in the place of a tip; they have always been in addition to a tip. Waiters do not make a living wage; they depend on tips to live. Should this be changed? Perhaps, but if we choose to use a system, then we should abide by the system. If we go out to eat, then we should give the waiters and waitresses the tips that will make their work worthwhile. The wait staff were often thrilled with their little gifts, but I’m sure they also appreciated the generous tip.
It is especially true to do what is right if we make a point of being a witness of Jesus Christ. How much better would it have been for that diner if he or she had given the waiter a ten-dollar bill along with the encouraging message of salvation? The atheist might not believe in Jesus based on one piece of paper, but they will see that Christian is generous and compassionate, rather than as greedy and inconsiderate.
So, during this advent season, what sort of witness will we be? Will we insist that we be greeted with a “Merry Christmas” but push other shoppers out of the way to get that blue light special? Will we regift the things we didn’t like from a previous Christmas but demand that we get the hottest new products under the tree? Will we go to church on Sunday but act like Scrooge the rest of the week? Imagine if you were the only Christian in the world and it was up to you to be a witness for Jesus. Would others even know that you are different by the way you act and the words you say? Do you glorify God with all your actions, sharing God’s grace in word and deed?
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“But God’s love has most certainly been perfected in whoever keeps his word. This is how we know that we are in him: he who says he remains in him ought himself also to walk just like he walked. Brothers, I write no new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which you heard from the beginning. Again, I write a new commandment to you, which is true in him and in you; because the darkness is passing away and the true light already shines. He who says he is in the light and hates his brother is in the darkness even until now. He who loves his brother remains in the light, and there is no occasion for stumbling in him. But he who hates his brother is in the darkness, and walks in the darkness, and doesn’t know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes. I write to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake. I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I write to you, little children, because you know the Father. I have written to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God remains in you, and you have overcome the evil one.” 1 John 2:5-14, WEB
We put up our outdoor Christmas lights this past weekend. It is nice to see the bright lights popping up all over the neighborhood, particularly since it is dark so early and it has been dreary these past few days. I am still working on the inside, decorating one little corner at a time. Each display has some form of light, whether they are village houses lit from the inside or Christmas trees with twinkle lights. We also have candles, including our Advent wreath. Light is a big part of the Advent season, after all it is the season of light. Christmas decorations have been springing up all over the neighborhood as our friends are decorating their own houses. Those lights, inside and outside, are more difficult to see during the day or when we have normal lights lit; they shine more brightly in the dark.
Advent is the season of light because it is the time during which we wait for the coming of the True Light, which is Christ Jesus. He often gets lost amongst the hustle and bustle of the season. Though He is the True Light, He is not necessarily the brightest light. When our focus is solely on the other aspects of Christmas - the food, shopping, and decorating we do for the holidays - we often lose sight of the true purpose of Christmas. Advent is a time to prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ, to live expectantly not only for His coming as a child, but for His coming in glory. The secular aspects of the season are not bad, we just need to remember to keep our focus on Jesus.
When Christ is our light and our life, He shines into the world so that others might see and believe. Unfortunately, at this time of year we often get so caught up in the stresses of preparation and partying that we forget that Advent is a period of waiting and watching for the True Light. He is like those special lights we set up to decorate our homes but that are useless when the sun is shining, or the bright lights are blocking their twinkle. When our focus is solely on the food, shopping, and decorating, we miss out on seeing Christ in the midst of it all and our actions are selfish, not Christ-like. Yet we are called to live in the light of Christ even as we are walking in this crazy world. We do this by living in the love of Christ, sharing it with others while we watch and wait patiently for His coming in glory.
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