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But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel.” Acts 9:15 (NKJV)

With the “C” part of My TEA CUPP Prayers being about God’s CALL, I’m always on the look-out for examples of God calling people. From Moses being called by God at the burning bush to Mary being called by God’s angel as the Mother of Jesus, there are many stories of God’s callings.

Today we read a Bible story with TWO callings. If one of the people hadn’t obeyed, the other wouldn’t have fulfilled his call either.  In Acts 9:1-19 is the famous story of Saul’s call on the Road to Damascus. Saul was a persecutor of the early Christians.  He was headed to Damascus to arrest more Christians.  But on the way, a bright light came from heaven. Saul was blinded and fell to the ground as he heard Jesus say, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?’

Jesus told Saul to go into town and wait at a certain house.  Saul’s friends led their blind companion into Damascus.  At the same time, God told a man named Ananias to go to Saul.  Ananias didn’t want to go because Saul might hurt him, but God assured Ananias of His call with the words, “Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine.”  So Ananias followed God’s call and went to see Saul. There Ananias healed Saul’s eyes and told him the Good News of Jesus. Saul was baptized and became Paul.  From there Paul went on to share Jesus with uncountable others, writing much of the New Testament of our Bible.

What if Ananias hadn’t listened to God’s call?  Paul would not have heard the Good News!  What if Saul hadn’t obeyed and gone into town?  He’d still be blind on the road and many of us would never hear about Jesus!  One story, two calls.  It is so important that we listen and obey when God calls us.  What is God calling you to do today?

Today’s TEA CUPP: Read this amazing story in Acts 9:1-19.  Ask as Paul did, “Lord, what do You want me to do?”  Say as Ananias did, “Here I am, Lord.” You are God’s chosen vessel.  Pray for the courage and strength and resources to carry out God’s call. Then GO!

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


…Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. And he was called the friend of God.  James 2:23 (NKJV)

How can it be that the Creator of the universe would want to meet with me each morning for TEA?  Every once in a while I ponder this while gazing out my morning window at His creation, the flowers blooming in our garden and the snow-capped mountains on the horizon.  Yet then I resolve to simply believe, to believe that a mortal human can be friends with the one true God.

But this isn’t just for me, it is true for you, too, my TEA CUPP friend.  Jesus has invited us to a banquet and wants you there (Song of Solomon 2:4)!  He is knocking at the door of your heart and longs for you to open and let Him in (Revelation 3:20).  The Lord doesn’t want anyone left out to perish (2 Peter 3:9). He is patiently waiting while beckoning, “Come.” (Isaiah 55:1)

Let’s look at a Bible character as an example.  Abraham was a friend of God.  When the Lord came by in Genesis 18, Abraham insisted on inviting the Lord and His companions to stay for tea (a real English tea with dinner!).  Following Abraham’s hospitality, the Lord gave him a blessing, the promise of a baby.  But it didn’t stop there.  The Lord stayed to visit with Abraham and tell him His plans to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah.  Since Abraham’s nephew Lot lived there, Abraham didn’t just accept this information, he asked questions so that Lot could be spared from destruction.

Can we do the same as Abraham?

  • Invite Jesus to TEA
  • Let the Lord give us a blessing
  • Ask God questions

But that was in the Old Testament and Abraham was an old man, you say?  How about a New Testament lady having TEA with Jesus?!  Let’s look at just one more Bible character, the Samaritan Woman at the Well.  This story is recorded in John 4.  Once again we see the Lord showing up at tea time.  Jesus asked the woman for some water to drink and she peppered Him with questions.  Jesus gave her the blessing of His Living Water and proceeded to tell her story, everything she’d ever done.  And the woman went and told all the people in town!

Today’s TEA CUPP: These were everyday people having TEA with Jesus. If they can meet with Jesus, so can we. Read Genesis 18 and John 4 the next few days.  Claim the Lord as your TEA time friend.  Let God give you a blessing and ask Him lots of questions!

No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. John 15:15 (NKJV)

And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13 (NKJV)

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

 


j0155If you’ve been following My TEA CUPP Prayers for awhile, you know I enjoy finding a theme for Bible verses. In my first book, My TEA CUPP Prayers, I gave a week of verses to use as conversation starters when praying with Jesus.  I hope to include these themed collections in my next book, More TEA CUPP Prayers. And what better theme for our TEA CUPP prayers, than a group of verses about cups!  Please enjoy these verses as you have tea with Jesus today!

T for Thanksgiving: 

Then He took the cup, and when He had given thanks He gave it to them, and they all drank from it. Mark 14:23 (NKJV)

E for Exalting:

O Lord, You are the portion of my inheritance and my cup;
You maintain my lot.
Psalm 16:5 (NKJV)

A for Admitting:

first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also. Matthew 23:26 (NKJV)

C for Calling:

I will take up the cup of salvation,
And call upon the name of the Lord.
Psalm 116:13 (NKJV)

U is for Understanding our story:

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
Psalm 23:5 (NKJV)

P is for Promises:

For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink in My name, because you belong to Christ, assuredly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward. Mark 9:42 (NKJV)

P is for Petitioning:

“O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” Matthew 26:39 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Pull out your favorite cup for this special cup TEA CUPP Prayer time!  Let these verses about cups be conversation starters as you pour our your heart to Jesus.  You can use one verse each day of the week, or pray them all every day.  Be blessed in your CUPP time with Jesus, my friend!

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


mary and marthaBut one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her. Luke 10:42 (NKJV)

Do you remember the time Mary had TEA with Jesus? Mary, Martha and Lazarus were all siblings and good friends of Jesus.  One day Jesus came to their house for a visit.  Mary was content to sit at Jesus’ feet and listen to all He had to say, soaking up His every Word.  But Martha was busy trying to get their tea, distracted by much serving.  In fact, though Martha had a dear servant’s heart, she was grumpy that Mary wasn’t helping her.  I know how she felt, because that’s happened to me before.

Let’s look at the whole story:

Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.”

And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-42 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: We can learn from both sisters. Mary was sipping the very Word of the Lord, while Martha was preparing their earthly tea.  We spend time with Jesus so we are ready to serve. Let’s be Mary early every morning, so we can be Martha the rest of the day. Choose the good part that won’t be taken away from you!

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


musicMake a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands!
Serve the Lord with gladness;
Come before His presence with singing. Psalm 100:1-2 (NKJV)

The other day I was driving a half hour to a doctor appointment for my son. Finding myself a little overwhelmed and not sure how to pray, I started singing songs in the order of My TEA CUPP Prayers. As I poured out my heart to Jesus in song, He comforted my soul, and my son’s doctor appointment went well. Did you know even Jesus and His disciples sang a hymn before He was betrayed and sent to the cross? God uses music to touch our souls. Here are a few of my favorites:

T is for Thanksgiving
Once Again I Thank You

E is for Exalting
Every Knee will Bow before the Lion and the Lamb

A is for Admitting
Amazing Love

C is for Calling
Here I Am, Lord

U is for Understanding
In Christ Alone

P is for Promises
On Eagles Wings

P is for Petitions
The Lord’s Prayer

Today’s TEA CUPP: You can do this, too! Collect your favorite praise songs and put them in order for your own TEA CUPP time in song. Load them on your iPod or smartphone to play at such times as driving in the car, exercising, or doing household chores. Come before His presence with singing!

And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. Mark 14:26 (NKJV)

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


joy Even them I will bring to My holy mountain,
And make them JOYful in My house of prayer… Isaiah 56:7 (NKJV)

Dear TEA CUPP friend, What we need today is a CUPP of JOY! Perhaps you have a happiness to celebrate with Jesus, or you have a sadness you need Him to carry. Go to the kitchen, fill your kettle with water and turn on the stove. While the water heats, look in the cupboard for your favorite mug and TEA bags. Find the TEA that’s labeled, “JOY.” That’s the one you want today! Hmmm, you don’t have that exact flavor in your cupboard? Well, just pour the hot water and let Jesus bring the TEA. Here are some JOY verses to use as conversation starters for your prayer time together today:

T for Thanksgiving: 

Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving;
Let us shout JOYfully to Him with psalms.
Psalm 95:2 (NKJV)

E for Exalting:

Then I will go to the altar of God,
To God my exceeding JOY;
And on the harp I will praise You,
O God, my God.
Psalm 43:4 (NKJV)

Shout JOYfully to the Lord, all the earth;
Break forth in song, rejoice, and sing praises. Psalm 98:4 (NKJV)

Admitting:

I say to you that likewise there will be more JOY in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance. Luke 15:7 (NKJV)

Restore to me the JOY of Your salvation,
And uphold me by Your generous Spirit. Psalm 51:12 (NKJV)

C for Calling:

Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous;
And shout for JOY, all you upright in heart! Psalm 32:11 (NKJV)

Let the saints be JOYful in glory;
Let them sing aloud on their beds. Psalm 149:5 (NKJV)

Be JOYful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12 (NIV)

U is for Understanding our story:

Weeping may endure for a night,
But JOY comes in the morning. Psalm 30:5 (NKJV)

To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of JOY for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified. Isaiah 61:3 (NKJV)

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)

P is for Promises:

You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of JOY;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11 (NKJV)

Those who sow in tears
Shall reap in JOY. Psalm 126:5 (NKJV)

For you shall go out with JOY,
And be led out with peace;
The mountains and the hills
Shall break forth into singing before you,
And all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
Isaiah 55:12 (NKJV)

P is for Petitioning:

Satisfy us in the morning with Your unfailing love,
    that we may sing for JOY and be glad all our days. Psalm 90:14 (NIV)

Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your JOY may be full. John 16:24 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Enjoy your CUPP of JOY TEA with Jesus, today!

These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. John 15:11 (NKJV)

 

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

And Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011


WebTherefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect. Mathew 5:48 (NKJV)

There it is in my Bible, God’s Word, the book of Matthew, the fifth chapter, the 48th verse… Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.  I underlined it.  I wrote the letter “C” for Call next to it.  I prayed about it.  And then I asked God, “How?!”

From writing to cleaning to even fixing my hair, I just can’t ever be perfect.  When the first copies of my book, My TEA CUPP Prayers, were released, I was dismayed to find typos, including a missing word on the very first page!  This was after several rounds of corrections before printing.  Truly just wanting to cry at falling short, I realized God was keeping me humble with my imperfect book.

Another day I was cleaning a Montana guest cabin for guests soon to arrive.  There wasn’t much time between groups, so I had to hurry to clean the guest house.  I noticed there were crumbs under the sofa cushions, so I propped them up as a reminder to myself to vacuum there.  Before I had put the finishing touches on the kitchen, the new people arrived with groceries to unpack to the fridge.  I hurried to get out of their way, laying out dish towels just so and loading my rag bag to go home.  As I drove away, suddenly the picture of those sofa cushions with exposed crumbs came to my mind.  Argh!  Once again, I wasn’t perfect.

And then there is the matter of my hair.  No amount of combing, fixing, or pulling back with clips can keep my auburn tresses in place in the blustery Montana winds.  I have a feeling that my hair won’t stay in place in any state, but I like blaming it on our mountainous gales. Whatever the cause, it is true, I’m not perfect.

If you could take a look under those messy red locks at the person inside,  you would find yet more imperfection.  As I struggle to obey all God’s commands:

Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. Colossians 3:12-14 (NKJV)

So daily, I come before Jesus for TEA and prayer, asking His forgiveness and help with His call.  And I know that one day I will finally fulfill His call to be perfect. That is the day He calls me home.

Today’s TEA CUPP: Dear Jesus, I’m having trouble with Your call to be perfect. Every day I fall short in one way or another.  Please forgive me and wash me clean and fill me with Your Holy Spirit and help me to be like You.  Thank you, Jesus.  I claim your promise to make me new.  Amen.

“With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26 (NKJV)

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV)

Because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy. 1 Peter 1:16  (NKJV)

Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6 (NKJV)

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

 


My TEA CUPP PrayersAll 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)

Today I invite you to tea with Jesus, using words from the books of 1 & 2 Timothy in the New Testament.  These verses are the inspired words of God given to the Apostle Paul.  Paul wrote these to his beloved son in the faith, Timothy.  Paul’s letters are also for us and we may pray them as we spend time with Jesus today.

T is for Thanksgiving
And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry. 1 Timothy 1:12 (NKJV)

I thank God, whom I serve with a pure conscience, as my forefathers did, as without ceasing I remember you in my prayers night and day.  2 Timothy 1:3 (NKJV)


E is for Exalting
Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. 1 Timothy 1:17 (NKJV)

 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness:
God was manifested in the flesh,

Justified in the Spirit,
Seen by angels,
Preached among the Gentiles,
Believed on in the world,
Received up in glory. 1 Timothy 3:16 (NKJV)

…He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen. 1 Timothy 6:15-16 (NKJV)

A is for Admitting
This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. 1 Timothy 1:15 (NKJV)

Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work. 2 Timothy 2:21 (NKJV)

 But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife. And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient. 2 Timothy 2:23-24 (NKJV)

C is for Calling
Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share. 1 Timothy 6:18 (NKJV)

But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.  1 Timothy 6:11-12(NKJV)

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.  2 Timothy 2:15 (NKJV)

U is for Understanding
This is a faithful saying:
For if we died with Him,
We shall also live with Him.
If we endure,
We shall also reign with Him.
If we deny Him,
He also will deny us.
If we are faithless,
He remains faithful;
He cannot deny Himself.
2 Timothy 2:11-13 (NKJV)

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.  2 Timothy 4:7 (NKJV)

P is for Promises (claiming God’s)
Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. 2 Timothy 3:12 (NKJV)

Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing. 2 Timothy 4:8(NKJV)

And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen! 2 Timothy 4:18 (NKJV)

P is for Petitions (Pouring out my heart)
  …Grace, mercy, and peace from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord. 1 Timothy 1:2 (NKJV)

The Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Grace be with you. Amen. 2 Timothy 4:22 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP:  As you spend time in prayer today, let God have the first Word as you read passages from 1 & 2 Timothy.  Then use these verses as conversation starters as you pour out your heart to Jesus in prayer. Join Jesus with Timothy for TEA!

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


Good FridayBlessed 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)

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


jesus-overturn-tablesSo they came to Jerusalem. Then Jesus went into the temple and began to drive out those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold doves. Mark 11:15 (NKJV)

Our Pastor was focusing on Holy Week, the week between Palm Sunday and Easter. The lesson came from Mark 11.   In this passage, Jesus was just welcomed into Jerusalem by cheering crowds crying out, “Hosanna, blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!”

Jesus then went to the temple and, for the first time, appeared angry. Since we know Jesus is the spotless Lamb of God who never sinned, His anger surprises us.  Why was He angry? Because people have turned His Father’s House from a house of prayer into a den of thieves!  Instead of people coming with humble hearts to pray, money-changers were getting rich, selling offerings to the people.

And so Jesus turned over their tables! Can you imagine the chaos?  Doves, coins, and random trinkets crashing to the floor, wings flapping and birds escaping into the sky.  Venders hollering, “Hey, Man, what are you doing?!”  Jesus boldly cleared them from the temple, proclaiming, “My house shall be a house of prayer for all the nations.”

Then our pastor asked the key question that would apply this to our own lives, “What tables in your life do you need Jesus to overturn?” Oh, no, this story was getting personal.  It was much easier when we pointed fingers at the money-changers.  Our smug looks are turned to sorrow like children whose siblings have just gotten into trouble, and now we realize it’s our turn.

We all have tables in our lives where we put idols of pride, jealousy, grumbling, gossiping, greed, anger…and the list goes on.  Our pastor was asking us to turn these over to Jesus.  Let Him cleanse the temple of our souls, so His Holy Spirit can live inside of us.  And His house will be a house of prayer once again.

Today’s TEA CUPP:  What tables in your life do you need Jesus to overturn?  Give them to Jesus.  Ask Him to forgive you and help you make a new start. Claim His promise of salvation today.

 Then He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” Luke 7:48 (NKJV)

 For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. Romans 10:13 (NKJV)

…My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations…  Mark 11:17 (NKJV)

Thank you to ChristArt.com for the beautiful clip art!

Thank you to Pastor Michael Stambaugh for his awesome sermon on February 14, 2016!

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