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)
ďTo you, Yahweh, I lift up my soul. My God, I have trusted in you. Donít let me be shamed. Donít let my enemies triumph over me. Yes, no one who waits for you will be shamed. They will be shamed who deal treacherously without cause. Show me your ways, Yahweh. Teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth, and teach me, For you are the God of my salvation, I wait for you all day long. Yahweh, remember your tender mercies and your loving kindness, for they are from old times. Donít remember the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions. Remember me according to your loving kindness, for your goodnessí sake, Yahweh. Good and upright is Yahweh, therefore he will instruct sinners in the way. He will guide the humble in justice. He will teach the humble his way. All the paths of Yahweh are loving kindness and truth to such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.Ē Psalm 25:1-10, WEB
In the beginning, Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of Eden with God. They walked together and talked. They had a personal, intimate relationship with one another and with their Creator. They were naked and it did not matter. Things changed dramatically when the serpent deceived them and they ate of the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The Bible tells us that their eyes were opened and they knew they were naked so they covered themselves with fig leaves and hid in the garden. They were afraid to be seen by God.
Their response to their newfound knowledge shows that they were ashamed of their physical nakedness, but that was just a symptom of the greater problem. When their eyes were opened, they could see that their disobedience was disrespectful to their Creator and that they were not worthy to be in His presence. Their shame was not only about their naked bodies, but also about their fear to be in the presence of God. What would He do in response to their disobedience? He had warned them that eating from the tree would mean death and they did not believe His words. It is no wonder that they were afraid and hid from His presence.
Thatís what shame does to us. We fear what will happen when the deep secrets of our souls are exposed, so we hide. We hide behind emotions such as arrogance or pride. We hide behind blame by passing the fault to others. We hide physically by breaking relationships or separating from society. We cover ourselves with clothes like the fig leaves - self-righteousness and excuses - clothes that donít last or really cover the reason for our shame.
The truth that is hidden in our hearts and our souls is often revealed and we are exposed to the world. It is easy for our enemies to use our imperfection against us. They take our sin and put it on display in order to attack our credibility. I did a web search on the word ďshameĒ and I came up with a number of ďHall of ShameĒ listings. These are websites where people have taken the stupidity, arrogance, or sin of others and revealed it for all to see. This has become particularly intrusive in our society with cancel culture. They hope that it will cause the recipient of such an ďawardĒ to go away, to stop doing their work, to slink away in shame never to be seen again. But, we in Christ know a better way to deal with our shame. We face it, repent of our sin, ask forgiveness, and trust that God will be faithful to His promises.
Life in Christ does not mean that the hidden things of our hearts and souls will never be revealed. As a matter of fact, in Christ is it especially important that they are exposed and dealt with through mercy and grace. Though our sins are exposed, we will not be put to shame because we know that through Jesus Christ our imperfection is forgiven and our infirmity is healed. We do not have to go into hiding as they did in the Garden of Eden, we need only speak the truth of our hearts before God and ask Him to be gracious and pardon our sin. In this way our enemies will never be able to use our faults to bring us down, for in them we see the mercy of God and turn to Him for salvation.
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ďLet no man say when he is tempted, ĎI am tempted by God,í for God canít be tempted by evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own lust and enticed. Then the lust, when it has conceived, bears sin. The sin, when it is full grown, produces death. Donít be deceived, my beloved brothers. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom can be no variation, nor turning shadow. Of his own will he gave birth to us by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creaturesĒ James 1:13-18, WEB
I have been a stay-at-home wife and mother for most of the past three decades. I was very busy when the children were small and my husband was still active duty. Besides chasing kids and keeping the house, I spent many hours volunteering. There wasnít a day I didnít have something to do or somewhere to be. If my schedule was clear, I had errands to run. I spent a lot of time in my car. As the children grew, my schedule cleared a little, though I still found ways to use my time. Iíve noticed in the past few years, now that they are grown and my husbandís situation has changed, I have fewer things taking my time. I still had errands to run; I usually ended up at the arts and crafts stores at least once a week and at the grocery store several times. I occasionally had lunch with friends, attended a movie, or went on some fun adventure.
That is, until a few months ago. Like everyone else, Iíve spent much, much more time at home. It hasnít been that different for me. I had become such a homebody that I was thinking about something to do like a regular volunteer schedule or a job. There would be advantages to that, but it would also make it more difficult to keep up with this writing and my other Bible studies. So, I settled for my simple, very quiet life; some days the only reason I left the house was to get the mail. And then the pandemic hit and everyone started living my life. Even my husband was home all the time. We began taking our daily walks just to get out of the house.
One of the affects of this lock-down has been the wear and tear on our house. I have a carpet cleaner coming today because I noticed that the heavy traffic areas are worse than they have ever been. Thereís a path from the front door to the place I keep my shoes, probably darker because I carried the dirt from the street into my room every day after my walk. The couches in our formal living room have gotten more use in the past six months than in the previous seven years. I need to clean the pillows and replace the pillow forms.
We didnít realize the impact we were having on these things until recently. It isnít that suddenly the carpets became dirty or the couch cushions scrunched. It happened a little at a time. Thatís the way it is with sin, too. Oh, there are some sins that have an immediate impact on our world. Murder affects a person, a family, a city and sometimes even the nation and the world. On the other hand, little white lies donít seem to have any impact at all. Yet, those lies build; they create distrust and eventually broken relationships. You donít see it happening until one day the problem becomes obvious. Unfortunately, unlike my carpet, it is sometimes too late. The hurt is too deep, the lives too shattered.
We do not always know the effect of the small sins that seem so harmless. Lies lead to greater lies. This is not only true of the actions that can be seen, but also with the thoughts that are known only in our minds and by God. They can lead to greater sins, building ever greater until it is too late to stop the harm that is caused. Though we donít have the strength on our own to overcome these things, we do have One who gives us the strength to reject that which leads us astray. Our Lord Jesus overcame all temptations so that His Word might bring us forth into new life.
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