Welcome to the April 2007 Archive. You are welcome to read the entire archive, or find a topic on the list below that is of interest to you. Just click the link, and you will be taken directly to the day it was written. Enjoy, and may you know God's peace as you read His Word.
    You are welcome to use these writings or pass them on. All we ask is that in all things you remember the Author and give Him the glory, and remember this vessel which He has used to bring them to you. Peggy Hoppes
























Scripture on this page taken from the American Standard Version of the Holy Bible which belongs to the public domain.

A WORD FOR TODAY, April 2007

April 2, 2007

Scriptures for April 8, 2007: Acts 10:34-43 or Isaiah 65:17-25; Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24; 1 Corinthians 15:19-26 or Acts 10:34-43; Luke 24:1-12 or John 20:1-18

1 Corinthians 15:19-26 If we have only hoped in Christ in this life, we are of all men most pitiable. But now hath Christ been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of them that are asleep. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; then they that are Christ's, at his coming. Then cometh the end, when he shall deliver up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have abolished all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be abolished is death.

It is interesting that Paul uses the word "pitiable" in this passage because for many non-Christians we are to be pitied. However, they think we should be pitied because we believe in these myths or fairy tales about Jesus of Nazareth being raised from the dead. They think that we should be pitied because we believe in heaven, in eternal life with our Lord Jesus Christ. For many people, faith is about how we live today and that should be a part of our life in this world. Our faith brings a very real, tangible response to God's love. That response includes good deeds and right living. And yet, it does not take faith in God, or in Jesus, to bring about good deeds and right living. Many people who are not followers of Jesus Christ do good deeds and live rightly in this world.

But Christianity is unique in that we do believe in something more, something beyond this life. It seems odd that Paul would call us the most pitiable, but then think about the world in which the Corinthians lived and the world in which we live. It was a pagan world, a world where there were dozens of gods available for human consumption. You could take a pilgrimage to any of the larger cities and find massive temples in honor of those gods as well as all the tourist trappings to help make your trip more enjoyable. You could enjoy the physical pleasures of that religion the food, the wine and the prostitutes. Christianity has always set a different standard, a standard of moderation and of self-control. Based on the moral code established by God through the Hebrews, Christianity has a moral code that defines the actions of the believer both behavior that they should not do and behavior that they should.

For many people, Christianity is to be pitied because they prefer to live for the satisfaction of their hedonistic desires, which the religions of Paul's world satisfied. Unfortunately many today have the same expectations within their belief system even some Christians. Faith, to them, is about feeling good, about self-satisfaction, to be better. And though the Christian response to God's grace often brings about good feelings, satisfaction and a transformation into something new and better, Christ never promised that our life with Him would be easy. As a matter of fact, Christian faith is hard. The Christians in Paul's day were persecuted because they did not live according to the societal expectations. Even though they had faith, Christians got sick and they died. Though there were those in the community of faith who had wealth, many of the Christians were less wealthy because they had been outcast from both the Jewish community and the pagan for their unusual beliefs. Christians truly are to be pitied, if you expect faith to be rewarded in this life.

If there is no heaven, if there is no eternal life, then we are indeed to be pitied. But in Christ we are not to be pitied, because we have a hope that goes beyond today. The non-Christian who pities a Christian for faith in some heaven or afterlife sees no purpose of living beyond the here and now. They want their reward immediately. We know that Jesus Christ was the first of many, the first born of the dead. He rose and through faith we will rise with Him. Those without faith in Christ can't see the point of it. A person recently told me that Jesus is dead, get over it. But we know that Christ lives and in Him we live also. This is our hope and the foundation of our faith.


April 3, 2007

Scriptures for April 8, 2007: Acts 10:34-43 or Isaiah 65:17-25; Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24; 1 Corinthians 15:19-26 or Acts 10:34-43; Luke 24:1-12 or John 20:1-18

Luke 24:1-12 But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came unto the tomb, bringing the spices which they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus. And it came to pass, while they were perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel: and as they were affrighted and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, saying that the Son of man must be delivered up into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again. And they remembered his words, and returned from the tomb, and told all these things to the eleven, and to all the rest. Now they were Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James: and the other women with them told these things unto the apostles. And these words appeared in their sight as idle talk; and they disbelieved them. But Peter arose, and ran unto the tomb; and stooping and looking in, he seeth the linen cloths by themselves; and he departed to his home, wondering at that which was come to pass.

Easter is about life. Certainly, the raising of Jesus is about new life for Him, but it is also about new life for all of us. The empty tomb means that we will receive the eternal life that is promised by God to those who believe. In baptism we die with Christ, in faith we are raised again. Life is the end of all we face in Christ. That is completely upside down from what we experience in the world. No matter what we do, our flesh will perish and decay. Belie