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)
“Don’t let your heart be troubled. Believe in God. Believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many homes. If it weren’t so, I would have told you. I am going to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and will receive you to myself; that where I am, you may be there also. You know where I go, and you know the way.” John 14:1-3, WEB
A friend posted this on Facebook this morning: “The first Black Friday, sad as it was, was the best deal of all.” I have a confession to make: I like the secular aspects of Christmas. I like to shop for Christmas presents, even on Black Friday. I like to have the biggest, brightest Christmas tree. I like to bake cookies and make ornaments for my family. I enjoy the brightness, the joy, and the love of the season. But even though I like these things, as so many others I am troubled by the pervasiveness of the worldly and greedy aspects of the holidays.
Death is not a good thing. It was never God’s intent for His people. He created Adam and Eve to dwell with Him in the Garden of Eden forever. But once their eyes were open by eating the fruit from the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they could not partake of the fruit from the Tree of Life. So, death is a reality for every person in this world. I talked to an elderly aunt a few weeks ago. She is ready to go home, but is being very careful because she does not want to get this disease. I said, “That’s good. I know you want to go home, but that’s not the way to get there.”
Unfortunately, for many in this world, the pandemic has revealed an intense fear of death. Oh, we’ve always tried to cheat it. We go on diets and exercise to keep our bodies healthy. We avoid things that might kill us. We try not to get run over by busses. These are good practices. It is right that we should live in a way that will keep us alive for as long as possible. Yet, there are some who seem to think that we can find a way to live forever. No matter how far science and medicine progresses, no matter how healthy we eat and live, no matter how many safety rules are put in place, people will die. And quite frankly, until the day Jesus comes again, that’s the only way we’ll find peace and true life. Too often the attitude of the Christmas season shows us that most people are more interested in living in the ways of the world. Perhaps this Christmas season can focus our attention on the reason Jesus was born. He was born to die.
Advent has become a time of preparation, but often not in the way it is meant to be. Advent in ancient times was a mini Lent, a time for repentance and preparation to enter the Church at Christmas through baptism. Perhaps this year, more than ever, we should be encouraged to clear our minds, repent and meditate, do good works for others. Most of all, we should look forward to the promise that is found in Jesus Christ. All our preparations both secular and spiritual are good things, they have good purpose for bringing light and faith to the world. As we go about our days through Advent, let’s remember that it all leads to death so that we do not fear what is natural and inevitable but rather live for today glorifying God because He has prepared a place for us. Death is just the beginning of life through Jesus Christ, the Lord for whom we wait.
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“I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving. It will please Yahweh better than an ox, or a bull that has horns and hoofs. The humble have seen it, and are glad. You who seek after God, let your heart live. For Yahweh hears the needy, and doesn’t despise his captive people. Let heaven and earth praise him; the seas, and everything that moves therein! For God will save Zion, and build the cities of Judah. They shall settle there, and own it. The children also of his servants shall inherit it. Those who love his name shall dwell therein.” Psalm 69:30-36, WEB
Hans Seyle, a prominent researcher in the field of stress claims that two attitudes more than any other affect human lives: revenge and thankfulness. These two emotions influence our state of mind, our health and our feelings of security and success. Revenge is an unhelpful, negative emotion that causes frustration and unhappiness. It is dangerous and unhealthy. On the other hand, a grateful heart knows peace and joy. Hans writes, “Among all the emotions, there is one which more than any other, accounts for the absence or presence of stress in human relations: that is the feeling of gratitude.””
A man named Mike’s wife was in the intensive care until of the hospital. When asked about her condition, he answered that though things were not great, she did recognize him and they prayed together. He added that they sought comfort in the scriptures, particularly the passage from James encouraging believers to find joy even in the trials of life. God is able to make good things happen out of the most horrible circumstances. It does little good to worry and fret when we can look toward God in thanksgiving and praise, knowing that He is able to do the most extraordinary things in our lives. Mike finished by saying, “It is impossible to be anxious and thankful at the same time.””
It may not always seem possible to find joy in the midst of our suffering or thanksgiving in the midst of our pain. Yet, when we focus on the negative, when we worry and fret or even go so far as seeking some sort of revenge for our misery, we will suffer in our physical, emotional and spiritual health. Stress can cause so many problems in our bodies, hearts and minds, but we can live in a way that will reduce the level of stress in our lives. With thanksgiving and praise, we see God in even the hard times and trust that He will do good things.
Here in America, today is the day we all join together to be thankful for our many blessings. Yet, one day is never enough to really live a life of gratefulness. For good health it should be a daily attitude, an emotion that accompanies every aspect of our lives. Thanksgiving is not just one day a year when we go overboard with the love and food, but it is a way of life that brings joy and peace to the lives of all who live it. It helps us see the goodness of God even in the midst of suffering. He does not desire that we sacrifice anything, except to offer Him sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving. There we will know His salvation and His presence.
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