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)
“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and don’t do the things which I say? Everyone who comes to me, and hears my words, and does them, I will show you who he is like. He is like a man building a house, who dug and went deep, and laid a foundation on the rock. When a flood arose, the stream broke against that house, and could not shake it, because it was founded on the rock. But he who hears, and doesn’t do, is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation, against which the stream broke, and immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.” Luke 6:46-49, WEB
Today’s question comes from the book of Psalms: “If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (11:3)
We spent a few days last week visiting the coastal city of Galveston, Texas. The island sits on the Gulf of Mexico and has repeatedly experienced devastating hurricanes, being brushed or hit by one every few years. The most recent to do significant damage was Hurricane Ike in 2008. We were supposed to go visit the island that year, that week, but the threat of the storm canceled our trip. Our hotel was destroyed along with much of the island. It isn’t just the wind that does the damage; hurricanes come with a storm surge that can put much of the island under water.
The worst recorded hurricane was in 1900. The Great Galveston Hurricane killed thousands of people and destroyed half the buildings on the island. The winds were 145 miles per hour at landfall and the storm surge was 15 feet during low tide. It is said that a one inch steel hull of an ocean going freighter was pierced through with a piece of lumber. It is known as the worst natural catastrophe in the history of the United States. It was not the first and it certainly was not the last, but the city learned an important lesson from that hurricane. Within a few years, they began the construction of a seawall that was designed to provide some protection from the water, especially during heavy storms. The seawall runs 10.3 miles along the shoreline facing the gulf at the densest part of the city of Galveston. You can see a few feet of the all above ground, but it was built deep into land, providing a firm foundation.
Bruce and I enjoyed our vacation, but we both agreed that we did not think we’d want to live there. Every place has its own risks, of course. Earthquakes, tornadoes, deep freeze or oppressive heat can cause damage and death. I just can’t imagine having to repair my home every few years because it has been flooded or torn apart by heavy wind. Yet, many people have made that choice. The western end of the island, which is less than a mile wide and barely a few feet above sea level, is mostly residential. Many homes in this area sell for millions of dollars. You’ll note, though, these houses are all built on stilts, a practice that began after the great hurricane of 1900. I am sure they still suffer damage, but I am amazed when I see footage of coastal damage after a hurricane how many buildings remain intact despite the heavy wind, rain, and storm surge from these storms.
They stand because they are built on a good foundation. Just as you can’t see most of the seventeen feet of seawall under the sand, you can’t see the cement that holds those stilts solidly to the beach. The water can come and the wind can blow, but the foundation doesn’t move.
The writer of the book where I’m getting these questions (“The Jesus Code” by O.S. Hawkins) answered this question from the perspective of our national identity, with its crumbling pillars of dignity, devotion, duty, and decency. I am want to focus in a different direction, however. This is a more personal lament, written by David who was facing enemies without and within. He was constantly pursued by enemies, but in this instance his advisors told him that he should flee from the danger. David knew that he was secure in God, who is His foundation. What can the righteous do when the wicked seem to have gained the upper hand? We can pray in the midst of our persecution. Some may suggest we flee, but we can calmly face our trouble trusting in God to help us through.
God is our foundation. He is the cement holding the stilts or the pillars in place even when we face the roughest storms. We might be hurt or rejected. We might even die. David asked what would happen if the foundations were destroyed, but he knew that God was there, watching and protecting His people. God can never be defeated. If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do? We know that the foundation that is Jesus Christ can never be destroyed, but when things look bad we can trust that God will help us in this life or to the next, according to His good and perfect will.
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“Praise Yah! I will give thanks to Yahweh with my whole heart, in the council of the upright, and in the congregation. Yahweh’s works are great, pondered by all those who delight in them. His work is honor and majesty. His righteousness endures forever. He has caused his wonderful works to be remembered. Yahweh is gracious and merciful. He has given food to those who fear him. He always remembers his covenant. He has shown his people the power of his works, in giving them the heritage of the nations. The works of his hands are truth and justice. All his precepts are sure. They are established forever and ever. They are done in truth and uprightness. He has sent redemption to his people. He has ordained his covenant forever. His name is holy and awesome! The fear of Yahweh is the beginning of wisdom. All those who do his work have a good understanding. His praise endures forever!” Psalm 111, WEB
My husband was stationed in England for four years. It was a wonderful experience, but difficult in some ways. Worst of all, my mother was not well, and I was too far from home to be with her in her final days. I did visit a couple months before she died. My father was having surgery, and she wanted me to be home with her to help care for her during his absence. I was surprised at how well she seemed and even more surprised how quickly she was moved into a assisted living after I flew back to England. My mom didn’t want me to worry, so she rallied during the time I was there.
I worried anyway, especially when I realized how sick she really was. I wondered if I should go home, to see her before she died. It was a hard decision. She could linger if I went too early. I could not stay home for an unlimited amount of time. The decision was made for me when my sister called to tell me my mother had died. The people in my husband’s squadron and in the Red Cross were extremely helpful. They helped us get home to mourn her death and celebrate her life. I was so grateful for the visit two months earlier. And I was grateful that she rallied; though I knew she was sick, my final memory is from those days.
One of the things I loved most about my mom is how she was like a mom to all my friends. I was involved in an organization where the mothers were very important, and they were all like moms to us. My friends from the old neighborhood called her Mom. My mom and dad owned a bar in the final years of her life; many of the staff and the guests called her mom. She did kind things for many who crossed her path. She lent people money. She wasn’t perfect, of course, but who is? It has been more than twenty years, and I miss her, especially at this time of year. She was born at the end of April. She married my father at the end of May. And we celebrate Mother’s Day in between.
Have you ever wondered at the relationship between Mary and the disciples? I think it is fascinating that the last time we saw Mary, the mother of Jesus, was at the cross. She is not found in the resurrection accounts, but she was part of that community of believers. The book of Acts tells us that Mary was in the Upper Room after the ascension of Jesus (Acts 1:14.) Tradition says that she died in 41 A.D., and since John was given guardianship, I imagine that she spent lots of time with the disciples until they began to go out into the world. Was she like a mother to those boys, caring for them as she’d cared for Jesus? Did they look to her for motherly love and encouragement? Did they use the familiar name “Mom” as they used “Abba” for God our Father? So much of the scriptural accounts focus on the work of the twelve disciples that we forget that others were part of that early community. They all lived and worked together for the sake of the Gospel, men and woman, apostles and disciples caring for one another and devoting themselves to prayer.
We often lift up Mary and put her on a pedestal, but she was as imperfect as all our own mothers. Yet, she is a wonderful example for us to look to for motherhood. She was given a most unusual life, a most unusual child, and she accepted it all with grace. Mary treasured every word and sign; she pondered them, and she trusted God’s faithfulness even through any uncertainty. Mary must have been overwhelmed with the responsibility of being the mother of our Lord, but she praised God for His faithfulness that He kept His promises for His people.
We can do the same. We delight in God because He has done great things in our lives. He has given us life and so much through a woman we call “Mom.” Our mothers are all different. Some are good and some not so good, but we can be thankful to God for our mothers. As we remember our mothers this weekend, whether they still live or have passed into life eternal, let us join with Mary and praise God for His goodness.
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