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)
“Consider the lilies, how they grow. They don’t toil, neither do they spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if this is how God clothes the grass in the field, which today exists, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith? Don’t seek what you will eat or what you will drink; neither be anxious. For the nations of the world seek after all of these things, but your Father knows that you need these things. But seek God’s Kingdom, and all these things will be added to you. Don’t be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom. Sell that which you have, and give gifts to the needy. Make for yourselves purses which don’t grow old, a treasure in the heavens that doesn’t fail, where no thief approaches, neither moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Luke 12:27-34, WEB
Everyone who has ever had a pet has seen trust in action. The depend on us for food and other care, and they form their habits around their expectations of us. We feed them, and they soon rely on that food at a specific time of day. Our current cat is very vocal when that hour draws near, constantly meowing until we respond by getting out of bed. Unfortunately, he is used to very early morning meals because Bruce is out of bed very early during the week. He doesn’t understand that we can sleep in a little on weekends, so he meows until we give him his breakfast.
We had another cat named Felix who demanded his breakfast in a different way. He wanted his breakfast at a certain hour, but he usually waited for the alarm to go off to start doing whatever was necessary to get us out of bed. First he purred in our ear. If that didn’t work, he put his head under our hand to get us to pet him. He climbed all over our bodies and sat on our chests with his nose in our face. He showed us love to get our attention. He was persistent and anxious to get his food, but his actions showed his love and trust. He could be quite annoying, particularly on those days when we were able to sleep a little later. Yet even when we refused to respond, he remained patient, knowing he would be fed.
What does it mean to trust? Trust is defined as having total confidence in the integrity, ability, and good character of another. Though pets are unable to discern and define such character traits, they certainly can recognize those who will feed and care for them. They don’t reason the way people do, but they learn to trust based on action.
Sometimes we human beings reason too much. We think about our needs and worry about where we will get the money to do everything we need and want to do. We look at our budgets, often cutting our charitable giving first. We know we need to eat and pay for shelter to keep safe and dry. We don’t realize how much of our money goes to things that simply are not necessary, like the bigger car, the house in the best neighborhood, or the newest technology. Human beings trust in the wrong things. We turn to our jobs, our credit cards, and our desires for worldly objects for happiness and contentment.
Yet, we should never put our trust in worldly things. God our Father has promised to provide everything we need to live day to day.
If only we could live our lives like our pets. They need nothing but a warm place to sleep, food and water, and the companionship of people who love them. They trust that we will continue to provide them with all those things. Some pets like Felix will respond with patience if left to wait, coming to us with a love that speaks of thankfulness for that which he knows to be true, that we will be faithful to our promise to care for him. This is contentment.
Too often, we human beings trust in the things of this world rather than One who gives us all we need. We worry about bills and where our next meal will come from, but we fill our homes with stuff that is just not necessary. We think contentment comes from our material wealth, yet it will perish. Jesus tells us that we should trust God our Father, because He is faithful to His promises. He has promised that He will provide everything we need, and as we live our life of faith we will gain a treasure that can never be destroyed: eternal life in the Kingdom of God. Do you feel like God is slow in answering your call? Seek His kingdom; enter into His presence with love and thanksgiving. When you trust Him, He will provide for your every need.
If you would like to contact me, please use the following address, replacing the bracketed words with the symbol. Thank you for your continued interest, prayers and messages of encouragement.
A WORD FOR TODAY is available daily through a mailing list at yahoo.groups. Visit the link below and you will receive the WORD in your box Monday through Friday.
“I said, ‘I will watch my ways, so that I don’t sin with my tongue. I will keep my mouth with a bridle while the wicked is before me.’ I was mute with silence. I held my peace, even from good. My sorrow was stirred. My heart was hot within me. While I meditated, the fire burned. I spoke with my tongue: ‘Yahweh, show me my end, what is the measure of my days. Let me know how frail I am. Behold, you have made my days hand widths. My lifetime is as nothing before you. Surely every man stands as a breath.’ Selah. ‘Surely every man walks like a shadow. Surely they busy themselves in vain. He heaps up, and doesn’t know who shall gather. Now, Lord, what do I wait for? My hope is in you. Deliver me from all my transgressions. Don’t make me the reproach of the foolish. I was mute. I didn’t open my mouth, because you did it. Remove your scourge away from me. I am overcome by the blow of your hand. When you rebuke and correct man for iniquity, you consume his wealth like a moth. Surely every man is but a breath.’ Selah. ‘Hear my prayer, Yahweh, and give ear to my cry. Don’t be silent at my tears. For I am a stranger with you, a foreigner, as all my fathers were. Oh spare me, that I may recover strength, before I go away and exist no more.’” Psalm 39, WEB
I confess that I’m not always very good at keeping my tongue, and it is usually at the most inappropriate moments when I do so. I can get angry or frustrated, and I take it out on the person in my way. Sometimes the person needs to hear that they are not doing what they should do, but too often I do it in a way that is unsuitable, sometimes even humiliating for the person who is being chastised. We’ve all heard the term “Karen” referring to middle aged women who “want to talk to the manager.” While I’m not really that type of woman, I have to admit that sometimes after I’ve had a confrontation in public that I probably appeared to be one. Who knows, one day I may find a story I recognize on one of those articles.
Unfortunately, we tend to be worse when it comes to our own family. We were at a picnic when my son copped an attitude. It turned out that his sister was sitting on the chair we specifically brought for him. There were other chairs, but for some reason it was his favorite. I didn’t know we had special chairs and it was not a good time for him to complain, so I snapped to threaten him into submission.
It was a bad time to snap. There were many people around, including his friends. Public humiliation is never a good discipline technique, but instead of taking him to private spot to explain when his actions were not appropriate and to ask him to cooperate, I embarrassed him at that place and time. Kids love to use moments like that to rag on their friends. “Man, your mom got you good!” Adults are not much better. Even the briefest instant showing a lack of control can be used against a person and the gossip spreads quickly.
We can also lose our cool in private at inappropriate times, like when we get angry with our spouse. We should always be sure that our children are not listening when we argue. A mother and father may not always agree about things, but it is best not to snap at each other in front of the children. Unfortunately, couples in the midst of an ugly divorce will often try to use the children as weapons in their battles; they tell the children things they should never know. This type of information can ruin the relationships and only exasperate the situation.
We get mad at our kids and our spouses, but we also get mad at God. Things do not always go as we expect. We face the consequences of our disobedience, and we are persecuted for our obedience. Sometimes it seems as though God is a million miles away, having abandoned us for some unknown reason. We respond in pain and cry out “Why me?”; we shake our fists at God in anger. We are not alone in this. Even King David, who was a man after God’s own heart, wondered why he had to suffer. It is normal in the course of human emotion and experience to have times when we blame God for our difficulties. Yet, David understood the consequences of a public proclamation of God’s guilt.
To reprimand a child in front of his friends does little to solve the situation and it tends to make things worse. The child, in response to the kidding he will get, may act out in a worse manner and rebel in ways that are even more difficult to handle. When parents reprimand one another in front of the children, they lose the integrity of their unity as one unit raising children. These experiences will not affect only one side of the equation. The children and the parents will suffer when the relationships are broken, even if it is for a short period of time.
When a Christian rages about God in front of strangers, they not only disrespect their Lord, but they also set themselves up for suffering from their enemies. Who would want to worship a God that is so horrible? Who would respect the will of a God that seems to have so little control of His believers? Yet, when David tried to stay silent, out of respect for his God, the sorrow burned within his heart. He had to speak out against the pain. We can do so, for God is indeed strong enough to handle our anger. We are His people and He loves us even in our inappropriateness. It is important, however, to remember that is a good time to take our pain to God and a good way to do so. We can take it to Him in our prayers, or seek help from other Christians who can remind us of His grace. We need to be careful that we don’t dishonor Him in the eyes of those whom He seeks to welcome into His kingdom but will reject Him because of our disrespect. God will hear our complaints but let us always remember that He has not gone far from us, no matter how things seem. He hears us and answers. His grace is greater than our suffering, and His love will always see us through.
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