Word of God TEA

Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away. Luke 21:13 (NKJV)

Dear TEA friends,  My TEA CUPP Prayers is all about using God’s Word to start a conversation with the Lord.  One verse at a time, you can pray…one verse for giving thanks, one for exalting our great God, one for admitting our sins…and so on. Today all the verses are about God’s Word.  Use these verses this week to pour out your heart to Jesus. 

T for Thanksgiving:

For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe. 1 Thessalonians 2:13 (NKJV)

E for Exalting:

The words of the Lord are pure words,
Like silver tried in a furnace of earth,
Purified seven times. Psalm 12:6 (NKJV)

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1 (NKJV)

Your word is truth. John 17:17 (NKJV)

He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. Revelation 19:13 (NKJV)

A for Admitting:

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. Hebrews 4:12-13 (NKJV)

 C for Calling:

Your word I have hidden in my heart,
That I might not sin against You. Psalm 119:11 (NKJV)

 But He said, “More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” Luke 11:28 (NKJV)

 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.  2 Timothy 3:16 (NKJV)

U is for Understanding our story:

…man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.  Deuteronomy 8:3 (NKJV)

 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17 (NKJV)

…I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Hebrews 8:10 (NKJV)

P is for Promises:

The grass withers,
And its flower falls away,
But the word of the Lord endures forever. 1 Peter 1:24-25 (NKJV)

So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;
It shall not return to Me empty,
But it shall accomplish what I please,
And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:11 (NKJV)

For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Matthew 5:18 (NKJV)

Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death.” John 8:51 (NKJV)

P is for Petitioning:

Remember the word to Your servant,
Upon which You have caused me to hope. Psalm 119:49 (NKJV)

If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. John 15:7 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: My friend, God’s Word is the Holy Bible.  You are invited to a daily TEA time with the King of kings.  Get your Bible, a pen, and your favorite beverage.  Sit down in your quiet spot, open your Bible, and invite Jesus to join you.  Read His Word, underline your favorite verses or the ones listed above.  Use these verses to help you pray to the Lord.

Scripture from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.

How Priceless!

How priceless is Your unfailing love, O God!
    People take refuge in the shadow of Your wings. Psalm 36:7 (NIV)

Our little kindergartner Joel is into money now.  One of his favorite games is The Allowance Game where players try to be the first person to earn $20.  Sometimes when you roll the die, you are sent to spend $2.25 on school supplies, when you’d rather wash the car to earn $1.30.  But eventually, with enough odd jobs, birthdays, and swinging past home for your $3 allowance, you can earn the $20 needed to win the game.

Joel also has his oldest brother’s savings bank.  This bank has three compartments, one for the church, one for the bank, and one for the store. We paid Joel a nickel for every nail he found in our yard after the house we rent was resided.  Joel takes great pride in dividing up his earnings and taking an offering to Sunday school each week.  Money is lots of fun.

But there are some things on which you just can’t put a price.  Number One is Jesus’ love.  Psalm 36:7 proclaims, “How priceless is Your unfailing love.”  Isn’t that so true!  God stepped out of heaven as Jesus the Son, just to live and die and live again for us.  His disciple Judas Iscariot thought he could put a price on Jesus, giving away Jesus’ location for thirty pieces of silver.  But even that was the wrong price, as Judas regretfully learned.  No price can be put on the love God has for us.  You can’t buy His love.  It’s a free gift.  He offers it to you, My TEA CUPP friend.  Hold out your heart and let God fill it with His priceless love.

But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved).  Ephesians 2:4-5 (NKJV)

This reminds me of an old camp song we used to sing, “Lord, You are more precious than silver, Lord, You are more costly than gold, Lord, You are more beautiful than diamonds, and nothing I desire compares with You!”

Today’s TEA CUPP: Today, tell Jesus how priceless He is to you…O Jesus, how priceless is Your unfailing love!  I love You, but Your love is so much greater.  You died for us.  You care about every detail of our lives.  You are preparing a place for us in heaven.  O Jesus, I love and praise You!

For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. 1 Corinthians 6:20 (NKJV)

The law of Your mouth is better to me
Than thousands of coins of gold and silver. Psalm 119:72 (NKJV)

(NIV) Scripture from Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011

(NKJV) Scripture from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.

My Peter TEA

Awhile back I wrote a devotion entitled, “Jesus loves Peter, Jesus loves me.” Peter was one of Jesus’ best friends, one of His favorite disciples, and one most likely to deny Jesus three times the night Jesus was arrested.  Yet Jesus chose Peter as His Rock on whom He would build His church. Following Jesus’ resurrection, Peter was one of the most outspoken of the disciples, declaring the salvation message to over 3000 people on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2).  So, with great joy we may drink TEA with Jesus, using God’s Word penned by Peter.  Today’s verses come from 1 Peter in the New Testament…

T for Thanksgiving:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. 1 Peter 1:3 (NKJV)

E for Exalting:

…that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 4:11 (NKJV)

 To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 5:11 (NKJV)

A for Admitting:

Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed. 1 Peter 2:24 (NKJV)

And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8 (NKJV)

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time. 1 Peter 5:6 (NKJV)

 C for Calling:

But as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:15-16 (NKJV)

 Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart.  1 Peter 1:22 (NKJV)

Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king. 1 Peter 2:17 (NKJV)

 For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps. 1 Peter 2:21 (NKJV)

Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives. 1 Peter 3:1 (NKJV)

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear. 1 Peter 3:15 (NKJV)

 Be hospitable to one another without grumbling. As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 1 Peter 4:9-10 (NKJV)

U is for Understanding our story:

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.  1 Peter 1:6-7 (NKJV)

 Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.1 Peter 1:18-19 (NKJV)

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. 1 Peter 2:9 (NKJV)

For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. 1 Peter 2:25 (NKJV)

Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. 1 Peter 4:12-13 (NKJV)

P is for Promises:

The grass withers,
And its flower falls away,
But the word of the Lord endures forever. 1 Peter 1:24-25 (NKJV)

Behold, I lay in Zion
A chief cornerstone, elect, precious,
And he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame. 1 Peter 2:6 (NKJV)

For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
And His ears are open to their prayers… 1 Peter 3:12 (NKJV)

And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away. 1 Peter 5:4 (NKJV)

P is for Petitioning:

 But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers. 1 Peter 4:7 (NKJV)

Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: 1 Peter may be a short book in the Bible, but it is sure packed full of delicious verses!  Pour your favorite 1 Peter verses in your TEA CUPP today. Write them on note cards and put them in your kitchen or on your bathroom mirror.  Savor all 1 Peter has for you, praying these verses back to Jesus.

Scripture from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson

Thank You Psalms

Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness,
And for His wonderful works to the children of men! Psalm 107:8 (NKJV)

When spring finally comes to Montana after a very long winter, our hearts overflow in thanksgiving to Jesus. The bright blue skies promise an end to snow storms. Drifts melt into puddles, making way for green fields.  The daffodils and tulips raise colors in praise to their Creator.  And my heart sings for joy that winter is over!

This is the perfect time to read a Psalm of thanks, remembering all the blessings Jesus has sent us.  Psalms 107 or 136 are great places to begin.  I love the rhythm of these Psalms, how they repeat and we may add our own lines of thanks…

Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
    For His mercy endures forever.
Oh, give thanks to the God of gods!
    For His mercy endures forever.
Oh, give thanks to the Lord of lords!
    For His mercy endures forever:

To Him who alone does great wonders,
    For His mercy endures forever;
To Him who by wisdom made the heavens,
    For His mercy endures forever;
To Him who laid out the earth above the waters,
    For His mercy endures forever;
To Him who made great lights,
    For His mercy endures forever— Psalm 136:1-7 (NKJV)

When I go running on a beautiful spring morning, my heart is bursting with thanks for the mountains, the blue skies, the green fields, the bright sunshine…I like to sing a song in my head as my feet pound out the rhythm…

Thank You, God, for this beautiful day.
Thank You, God, for this beautiful day.
Thank You, Father, for sending Your Son.
Thank You, Father, for sending Your Son.
Thank You, Jesus, for dying for us.
Thank You, Jesus, for dying for us.
Thank You, Spirit, for living in me.
Thank You, Spirit, for living in me.
Thank You, Father, for loving us so much.
Thank You, Father, for loving us so much.
Thank You, Jesus, You are my King.
Thank You, Jesus, You are my Lord.
Thank You, Spirit, for delivering our prayers.
Thank You, Spirit, for delivering our prayers.
Thank You, God, for this beautiful day.
Thank You, God, for this beautiful day.

Today’s TEA CUPP:  What song of thanksgiving has God put in your heart? Begin today by reading Psalm 107, 136 or another Psalm.  Select a favorite verse to write in your prayer journal and pray to Jesus.  Let this verse be your conversation starter as you thank the Lord for the many blessings He has given you.  Perhaps you’d like to write your own “Thank You Psalm” to God.

Scripture from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson

Put Your Friends on the Mat!

Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7 (NKJV)

One of my favorite Bible stories to act out with preschoolers is the one in Mark 2.  In this amazing story we read how four friends put their friend on a mat and brought him to Jesus.  However, this was not a simple task! The house was so crowded they could not get inside.  Not to be turned away, the four friends carried their paralyzed friend on the mat up to the roof, dug a hole in the roof, and lowered their friend right down before Jesus! 

And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying. Mark 2:4 (NKJV)

The first time we read this with our children, we acted it out with a blanket and a large rag doll.  We climbed up a slide, holding the four blanket corners, and lowered the rag doll down to “Jesus.”  Then we repeated Jesus’ words, “Your sins are forgiven.  Arise, take up your bed and walk.” What a powerful picture this leaves us as we think of bringing friends to Jesus!

And so, one day during my TEA with Jesus, I decided to use the mat to carry family and friends to Him.  I drew a mat in my prayer journal and wrote their names, some with a longer request nearby.  I “lowered them all through the roof” to Jesus

Today’s TEA CUPP: Read the healing story in Mark 2:1-12.  Draw a rectangle in your prayer journal or on a piece of paper.  Write the names of those you want to bring to Jesus today.  Sometimes you might be the one who needs to be brought to Jesus (like when you are sick or have lost a loved one). At these times, allow your friends to put you on the mat and carry you to Jesus.

Lord, I have called daily upon You;
I have stretched out my hands to You.  Psalm 88:9 (NKJV)

Scripture from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.

Bold Ladies

In whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him.  Ephesians 3:12 (NKJV)

They were  bold ladies.  Their names were Achsah and Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tizrah.  In a time where men led and fought and had their names recorded in God’s Word, it is a pleasant surprise for us to see women mentioned and rewarded for their efforts.  In just a few chapters of Joshua (which might lose the reader with the descriptions of property division in the Promised Land), we see ladies being bold and asking for their family property.

Give me a blessing

First, in Joshua 15:16-19, we read about Caleb’s daughter Achsah dismounting her donkey and saying to her father, “Give me a blessing,” asking for springs of water to go with her land.  And Caleb granted her request. This story is told again in Judges 1:15.  Of course, her father had just given her away in marriage as a prize for the soldier who conquered Kirjath Sepher, Caleb’s land.  Seems like his daughter had it in her favor to ask for a blessing!

Give us a possession

Then in Joshua 17:3-6, we read the story already told in Numbers 27 about the daughters of Zelophehad of the tribe of Manasseh.  Zelophehad had no sons, so his daughters felt he was still entitled to land.  The five sisters boldly came forward and asked Moses, Eleazar the Priest, and Joshua for land.  Moses took their request before the Lord, and God said, “You shall surely give them a possession of inheritance among their father’s brothers” (Numbers 27:7). These ladies received their request, all because they came forward boldly.

Why should the name of our father be removed from among his family because he had no son? Give us a possession among our father’s brothers.”  Numbers 27:4 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: Is God calling you to be bold in anything?  So often I focus on verses like Philippians 4:6 to be gentle, that I forget there are other virtues to attain.  So, I go boldly to the throne of grace, asking Jesus to help me be gentle, yet bold for Him. Dear TEA CUPP friend, I encourage you to be bold for Jesus, too!

Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16 (NKJV)

Scripture from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.

Shoes of Promise

And having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace. Ephesians 6:15 (NKJV)

Does your front entryway look like ours with a big pile of shoes?  Shoes that are coming, shoes that are going, work shoes, play boots, running shoes for the motivated, old Crocs for taking out the trash, and slippers for relaxing.  But most importantly, shoes to keep us on God’s path. How can shoes keep our feet on the straight and narrow?  The best way is to start the day reading your Bible before you even put on your shoes!

1994 was the first year I read my Bible from start to finish, from Genesis to Revelation.  I remember, because that was the year our little Jacob turned one.  And every year since then, I continued to read God’s Word, some years reading a One Year Bible, broken up into daily readings.  Other years, I’d read a regular Bible, while using a reading guide to mark off what I’d read.  It was always easy starting out, for Genesis has the exciting stories of Creation, Adam and Eve, Noah and the Flood, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph’s dreams.  The momentum of those stories can carry your feet through Exodus where Moses leads God’s people out of Egypt.  But when you reach Leviticus, things can slow down as you tip toe through the many laws laid out for the Israelites.  That’s why I’m delighted when I find verses in Leviticus that God uses to inspire me.  It’s a reward for the long pages of reading.

But you have to read all the way to Leviticus 26 for today’s special promises!  In My TEA CUPP Prayers (pp.98-99) I mention how God gives us calls with promises.  If we do this call, God promises this promise.  Here in Leviticus 26:3 we read a seemingly straight-forward call with amazing promises.

If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments, and perform them...Leviticus 26:3 (NKJV)

God’s call is this: If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments, and perform them.  That’s it.  We have to walk in His Word.  Obey His commandments.  And do what God tells us. Doesn’t sound too complicated, but as we all know, we can’t do it.  For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Even our best efforts, fall short of God’s glory.  But because we have Jesus’ forgiveness, we are made righteous and can claim the promises that follow in Leviticus 26.

These 10 promises include:

  1. Rain
  2. Produce and fruit
  3. Threshing and vintage shall last until next season
  4. Eat until you are full
  5. Dwell in safety
  6. Peace
  7. No evil beasts or swords
  8. Enemies will fall
  9. God’s favor
  10. God will dwell with us

Aren’t those promises you want to hold on to?  In the rural community where we live, such promises for rain and harvest are truly appreciated.  Even a person in the city is glad to have food to eat and to be able to dwell in safety.  And we are all thankful for God’s favor and dwelling with us. As the Psalmist said,

He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake. Psalm 23:3 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: Read Levitcus 26:1-13 and claim God’s wonderful promises as you have TEA with Jesus today. Then, when you put on your shoes, ask Jesus for His help in keeping on His path, and for His forgiveness when you fall short.  Pray Psalm 25:4, Show me Your ways, O LordTeach me Your paths.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him, 
And He shall direct your paths.
 Proverbs 3:5-6 (NKJV)

Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path. Psalm 119:105 (NKJV)

Scripture from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.

How Big is Your Tea Tin?

That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.  Ephesians 3:17-19 (NKJV)

On a sunny March morning, the wind blew me through the door of this charming tea company in Big Timber, Montana.  Smiling faces and an inviting tea showroom beckoned me inside.  My goal was to find the largest tea container for my upcoming article, but I was treated to even more.

Tumblewood Teas founder, Riza Gilpin, graciously ushered me from one tea room to the next. Huge tea bundles from around the world were carefully organized on pallets from floor to ceiling.  Separate storage rooms contained organic teas, with another room for potential allergens such as coconut and almonds.  In the backroom, individual bags of the latest blend were carefully sealed and labeled.  And a bucket of Montana honey was delivered to the back door.

My final stop on the impromptu tour was the showroom where all the latest tea blends can be purchased.  I selected four to give as hostess gifts on an Easter trip to family:  Chico Cherry, Montana Almond Joy, Petticoat Peppermint, and Custer’s Nutty Rooibos. I’m hoping my family will give me a taste, but if not, I can always stop back and see Riza and Laurie and the Tumblewood Tea gals for more.

Beside the front door as I headed out, stood a rack of tea tins from around the world.  Awesome! What a beautiful collection, fitting so well with my devotion, “How big is your tea tin?”  But none was as big as the bundles I witnessed in the storerooms that day.

The wind blew me back to my car.  While I took a sip from my well-loved Tumblewood Teas tumbler, I pondered all I had learned on my short visit.  Did you know green tea’s water should only be 175 degrees, not 212 degrees that comes out of my boiling tea kettle?  If the water is too hot, the leaves wilt, giving you a bitter flavor.

Our lives can be like that, too, bitter because we fall into hot water.  Sometimes it’s our own doing, and other times it comes from outside sources. Regardless of its origin, the bitterness is a result of our fallen world.  Ever since Eve and Adam ate the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden, we’ve needed a Savior to make life sweet again.

I have Good News for you!  There is a God who loves you, who created you, who knows you, who sent His only Son Jesus to die for your sins.  All who believe in Him enjoy the sweet blessing of His forgiveness and comfort for life’s bitter moments.  And there is no tea tin in all the world that can contain His love for you!

Today’s TEA CUPP:  My friend, I invite you today to sit down with Jesus for TEA.  Find a BIBLE and a quiet spot, sip your TEA and read God’s Word, savoring the sweetness.  Then as you pour yourself a second cup, pour out your heart to Jesus in prayer.  He will give you more than all you ask or imagine.

How sweet are Your words to my taste,
Sweeter than honey to my mouth!
Psalm 119:103 (NKJV)

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21 (NKJV)

Jennifer Grace lives in Big Timber, Montana, home to the esteemed Tumblewood Teas company.  Her mission is to invite ladies to TEA with the King of kings.  Jennifer Grace’s new book, My TEA CUPP Prayers, is now available in Big Timber at Tumblewood Teas, The Fort, Touch of Sunshine Flowers, and the Coffee Stop.  It’s also available on Amazon.

Scripture from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.

How Jesus Grieved

Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you. John 16:22 (NKJV)

After my Daddy died, I wondered how to deal with my grief.  The Bible promises us in Matthew 5:4, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”

So, claiming this promise, I searched the Gospels to discover how Jesus handled His grief.  What He did was really quite simple, Jesus spent time with His Father in prayer and kept serving others through His ministry.  Let’s take a look.

In Matthew 14:12-13 we read how Jesus learned his cousin, John the Baptist, had been beheaded.  Jesus went to a deserted place to be by Himself and talk to God.  How did God comfort Him?  He sent 5000 people for Jesus to heal and feed!  That must have taken Jesus’ mind off His sorrows for a little bit.  And in comforting others, Jesus also was comforted.

We can also look at John 11 for the story of Jesus’ friend Lazarus.  Lazarus was the brother of Jesus’ friends Mary and Martha.  Word was sent for Jesus to hurry and come, for Lazarus was very sick. But Jesus waited and Lazarus died.  When Jesus finally arrived four days late,  both Martha and Mary said, “If you had been here, my brother would not have died!”  And what did Jesus do?  Jesus wept. Then He ministered to Mary and Martha and raised Lazarus from the grave to the glory of God the Father.

What can we learn about grieving from Jesus?

  • Cry, it’s okay.
  • Spend time with the Father in prayer.
  • Keep on serving.

Most of all, let Jesus carry you and wipe away your tears.  I know, for I’ve lost my Daddy, three unborn babies, and my college cross country team. When I see pictures of Daddy now, I think, “Daddy, you should be here.”  When the pastor spoke of Mary meeting Jesus in the garden on the first Easter morning, I wished Daddy could be at the cemetery to greet us when we visited after the service. When I see a little girl born around 2009, I think that’s how big my Gloria Anne would be. And, when I saw a space station movie which told of the Challenger explosion in 1986 (32 years ago!), tears gushed from my eyes as I recalled the time in my life when I also lost my cross country team.  Only Jesus can carry us through all this. We must hold all Jesus’ promises and remember, this earthly life is not the end…we have eternity in heaven with Jesus.

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Are you grieving for a loved one?  Perhaps you know someone who is grieving who you can help.  Follow Jesus’ example: Cry, Pray, Keep serving, all the while remembering God’s promise of heaven. Let Jesus carry you.

He will swallow up death forever,
And the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces… Isaiah 25:8 (NKJV)

The eternal God is your refuge,
And underneath are the everlasting arms… Deuteronomy 33:27 (NKJV)

 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.   2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NKJV)

 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you. 1 Peter 1:3-4 (NKJV)

Scripture from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.

The Highest Tree

Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed. 1 Peter 2:24 (NKJV)

The tallest tree in the world is said to be Hyperion, a 379.7-foot-tall (115.7 m) redwood tree located in California, USA.  If you’d like to experience such tall trees, you might enjoy a visit to Sequoia National Park where you can see 18 of the 30 largest trees in the world. Though there are many cool facts about redwood and sequoia trees, perhaps the most intriguing is their life span.  Giant redwoods may live up to 2000 years, while giant sequoias may live up to 3000 years!  Imagine that! Some of the very trees you may visit were growing when Jesus walked on this earth!

What is it that attracts us to such tall trees?  Do we always like the biggest and best, the oldest and toughest? Perhaps it is another way of Jesus calling us to Him, through His awesome creation (Romans 1:20). Perhaps it’s because these trees point us to heaven and bring us closer to God.  Or, maybe it’s that our Savior Jesus died on such a tree, the cross of Calvary.

 Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Hebrews 12:2 (NKJV)

Why did Jesus do it? Why did He allow Himself to be beaten and bruised, then nailed to a cross between two thieves?  Why did the Son of the Living God not call a Legion of angels to rescue Him and denounce His tormentors?  Because He loves us. He was the only perfect sacrifice that could die for our sins.  And while on that tree, He still had compassion, saying, “Father, forgive them. They don’t know what they are doing.”  (Luke 23:34)

Because of Jesus’ love and sacrifice on that tree, we have God’s forgiveness and promise of eternal life in heaven. Jesus is the only door through which we can enter heaven.  All we have to do is believe. When the sky was dark and the earth quaked and the temple curtain was torn in two from top to bottom, the centurion proclaimed, “Truly this Man was the Son of God!” (Mark 15:39)  Let us do the same.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: As you prepare to celebrate Good Friday and Easter, why not take a walk in a nearby forest or park.  There one can look up at the trees and find the tallest one that points you to heaven, while remembering the highest tree of all, our Savior Jesus’ cross.  Thank you, Jesus, for all You have done, dying for our sins on that tall tree, and making a way for us to be with You in heaven. I believe in You, Jesus!  I love You, Jesus!

Thus says the Lord God: “I will take also one of the highest branches of the high cedar and set it out. I will crop off from the topmost of its young twigs a tender one, and will plant it on a high and prominent mountain. On the mountain height of Israel I will plant it; and it will bring forth boughs, and bear fruit, and be a majestic cedar. Under it will dwell birds of every sort; in the shadow of its branches they will dwell. And all the trees of the field shall know that I, the Lord, have brought down the high tree and exalted the low tree, dried up the green tree and made the dry tree flourish; I, the Lord, have spoken and have done it.” Ezekiel 17:22-24 (NKJV)

Scripture from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.

https://www.livescience.com/29144-worlds-largest-tree.html

https://www.tripsavvy.com/redwood-forests-in-california-1478739

http://www.visitsequoia.com/redwoods-and-sequoias.aspx