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)
“Now therefore let Pharaoh look for a discreet and wise man, and set him over the land of Egypt. Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint overseers over the land, and take up the fifth part of the land of Egypt’s produce in the seven plenteous years. Let them gather all the food of these good years that come, and store grain under the hand of Pharaoh for food in the cities, and let them keep it. The food will be to supply the land against the seven years of famine, which will be in the land of Egypt; so that the land will not perish through the famine.” Genesis 41:33-36, WEB
September is National Preparedness Month. You may have seen reports on the news about how to survive a disaster. A disaster can happen at any time during the year, but September seems to be a dangerous month for many places across our country. Coastal states deal with the threat of hurricanes and wildfires are more likely after a hot dry summer. Tornadoes occur mostly in spring and summer, but happen any time during the year with the right conditions. Winter is coming and a blizzard or freeze can be disastrous. Earthquakes and floods can happen anywhere at any time. There isn’t a place or a time that is completely safe from disaster, so everyone should be prepared.
The experts recommend that everyone should have a disaster preparedness kit. Lists are available all over the internet, or you can buy kits premade. The first item on the list is water, at least one gallon a day per person for at least three days. Next is a three day supply of non-perishable food. A battery powered or hand cranked radio is helpful to get vital updates. The lists include flashlights, batteries, a first aid kit, a whistle to signal for help, dust masks to help filter contaminated air, moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation, a wrench or pliers to turn off utilities, local maps, cell phone with charger. We probably have all those things around our houses, but could you find it quickly if needed? Can you find your flashlight if the lights go out and will the batteries be good when you do?
Most recommendations include items specific to people and families like prescription medications, glasses, infant formula, diapers, pet food and water for your pet, copies of important documents such as insurance policies, identification, and bank records, warm blankets for each person, a complete change of clothing, personal hygiene items and items to entertain children and adults who may spend a lot of time waiting. There are many other practical items that are helpful, too, like a fire extinguisher and bleach. The items necessary to have on hand depend on your location and the possible disasters you might experience.
This kind of kit is a huge investment. They can cost hundreds of dollars and can take a lot of space a home. Have you tried to store twelve gallons of water? Who can invest so much and leave it unused? We need to constantly check the kit because even non-perishable food and bottled water have expiration dates. Those who are living day to day and paycheck to paycheck do not have the money to keep extra food in the pantry. They are the ones least likely to get through a disaster unscathed because they probably don’t even have those things available in their homes on a good day and they certainly can’t afford to have duplicates packed away in a kit.
Thankfully, most of us are generous and compassionate; we are quick with aid when disaster strikes. Whenever something happens like a hurricane, flood, tornado, fire, earthquake or blizzard happens, we send donations of food, water, clothes, blankets and other things that are needed. We open our wallets with incredible generosity. But I like the suggestion found on the bottom of one Preparedness list. “Once you have prepared your kit, consider putting a second one together for a household that might not be able to afford to purchase the supplies. Or, have a drive at your church or in your neighborhood.” Perhaps think about those who suffer before disaster strikes so that they will be able to meet anything with peace of mind.
Joseph was given an incredible gift: he was given a vision of the future through Pharaoh’s dream that allowed Egypt to prepare for a drought that would affect the entire world. Joseph was assigned the task of gathering the food that would eventually be used to save lives. We don’t have the warning that Joseph had when disaster strikes, but we live in a world full of surprises so we should always be prepared for what might happen. Joseph always trusted God and God proved to be faithful; he had peace even when he was in bad situations. Joseph was able to be generous to his own family who were suffering along with the rest of the world. In the end, he credited God everything in his life, good and bad. It is impossible to have something for every possibility, but let us always remember that trusting God will give us peace to get through everything, because His kit is filled with faithful Christians able to do whatever is necessary to get us through our suffering.
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.
“Don’t think that I came to send peace on the earth. I didn’t come to send peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man at odds against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. A man’s foes will be those of his own household. He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he who loves son or daughter more than me isn’t worthy of me. He who doesn’t take his cross and follow after me isn’t worthy of me. He who seeks his life will lose it; and he who loses his life for my sake will find it.” Matthew 10:34-39, WEB
Free? What's the catch? We get mail in our post box almost every day advertising a “FREE GIFT.” We see the same advertisements in the newspaper. Our first impulse is to read the small print. After all, there is no such thing as a free lunch. What do we have to do to get the free gift? What 900 number must be called? Do we need to buy $1000 worth of garbage? Will we have to commit to a two-year lease at a condo in South Florida?
A dear friend came to our house one day with something she purchased. She saw it in the store, thought of me and wanted me to have it. “Why?” I asked. “I thought you would enjoy having it,” she answered. “How much do I owe you?” I asked. “Nothing, it is a gift,” she said. “Thank you,” I said, but then I tried to think of something nice I could do to “pay her back.” After all, if she gave me something she must want something in return, right?
I’m not so sure that everyone feels that way anymore. As a matter of fact, many people expect the free lunch, the free gift, the free anything. They are so sure they deserve it that they are boldly demanding it from others. There is a whole category of “workers” who call themselves “influencers.” These people have taken to social media with a confidence that is stunning. They send out messages to businesses and seek collaboration. That means that the business sends product or offers services for free and in exchange the social media influencer will post pictures and glowing reviews so that the business will get “likes” and possibly business from their recommendation.
One particularly audacious influencer sent a request to a top hotel in a foreign country with their offer. This influencer had a few thousand followers over multiple platforms. The hotel’s social media reach far exceeded the influencer’s. What good would a few clicks on some relatively unknown person on the internet do for the most popular hotel in a region? Would it be worth thousands of dollars of freebees? The hotel owner asked the influencer about all the people who serve them during their free vacation. “What will the maid who cleans your room gain from this? What about the farmer whose food you will eat in our restaurant? The receptionist who checks you in? The bellhop who carries your luggage? Will they feed their family with the ‘likes’ you promise?”
These influencers think their promises deserve whatever they want from everyone they ask. They expect the free gift. When they are rejected, they get angry and threaten that their negative reviews will destroy their business. The businesses they target are rarely uncharitable. As a matter of fact, I suspect most of them would give free items to the right people. Most businesses are generous to donate to charities. They give discounts to help people in need. We can’t demand or expect it from them, especially when the request is not coming from someone with wrong motives.
God is looking for influencers. He is looking for people who will share His grace on social media and in their daily lives. He wants witnesses and He has given the greatest gift to those who are willing to shout His Good News from the mountain tops. His salvation is free. I thought my friend would expect something in exchange for her gift, but God has no expectation. Yet, His salvation is not cheap. We are reminded by the Cross that Jesus died to win our forgiveness and restore our relationship with our Father. That is the greatest cost of all.
We are also reminded, however, that though the gift is free it isn’t cheap in another way. Jesus calls us to follow Him, to take up our cross and follow Him. Life in Christ is not easy. It is not perfect. It is filled with unexpected difficulties, costs. We might be persecuted, even by our family. We might lose our jobs. We might lose our friends. We will still experience sickness and death. The price we pay for this free gift could be martyrdom. The blood of many Christians over the past two thousand years, including today, testifies to this truth. But the gift of Jesus’ sacrifice is greater than anything we can do or will experience through our faith in Him. His grace is reason to become an influencer for Him, even if it means nothing good will come of it in this life because we will find true life in Him forever.
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