Bible Mom: Exalting with Mary

And Mary said: “My soul magnifies the Lord,
And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.
Luke 1:46-67

We all love Mary.  You know, Mary and Joseph and the baby Jesus from your Christmas nativity scene?  Yes, there are many Marys in the Bible, but none is as special as this young lady whom God chose to be the mother of His Son Jesus.  Mary was so obedient when the angel came with the news, that she replied, “Let it be to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38)

After receiving the angel’s announcement, Mary went to visit her cousin Elizabeth who was also miraculously pregnant in her old age with the special baby John the Baptist.  When Mary walked in the door, the baby John leapt inside Elizabeth’s womb for joy that his Savior had come.  What better story is there than this for life beginning in the womb! 

And it was there in Elizabeth’s house that Mary shared her praise to God.  Known as Mary’s song, she sang…

“My soul magnifies the Lord,
And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.
For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant;
For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed.
For He who is mighty has done great things for me,
And holy is His name.
And His mercy is on those who fear Him
From generation to generation.
He has shown strength with His arm;
He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He has put down the mighty from their thrones,
And exalted the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
And the rich He has sent away empty.
He has helped His servant Israel,
In remembrance of His mercy,
As He spoke to our fathers,
To Abraham and to his seed forever.”
Luke 1:46-55

Mary’s Song inspires me to pray…

O Jesus, Your dear mother Mary had words to praise You when You were just a tiny baby in her womb.

She magnified You and rejoiced in You. 

She knew You were God and Savior.

She Knew You were the One who does great things and sends us all blessings.

She knew You are holy and merciful and we should come to You in fear and respect.

And she knew You are forever, from generation to generation.

Mary proclaimed all this and EXALTED You with her cousin Elizabeth as they were both expecting miraculous babies. 

May all the world magnify You, Jesus, as did Mary! 

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Read the wonderful story of Mary in Luke 1:26-56. Isn’t it amazing how she praised the Lord so beautifully with this little life inside of her?  Can we do the same? Can we lift up and EXALT the name of Jesus each day as moms?  That’s what the “E” part of the TEA CUPP is all about, EXALTING the Lord.  This week as you read your Bible, be on the lookout for verses to praise Jesus.  Another Bible mom, Hannah, the mother of Samuel prayed this one…

My heart rejoices in the Lord;
My horn is exalted in the Lord.
I smile at my enemies,
Because I rejoice in Your salvation. No one is holy like the Lord,
For there is none besides You,
Nor is there any rock like our God.
1 Samuel 2:1-2

Bible Mom: If Sarah gave Thanks…

And Sarah said, “God has made me laugh, and all who hear will laugh with me.” Genesis 21:6

Sarah laughed. She didn’t cry. She didn’t say, “That’s crazy!” She didn’t immediately rejoice in thanks and praise to God. Sarah laughed.

Do you remember the story of Sarah?  We meet her early on in our Bibles, right in the book of Genesis.  Her name really began as Sarai, meaning “my princess,” and Abraham’s name was Abrahm. Sarai was a very beautiful lady, so beautiful that Abraham told kings she was his sister to protect himself.  She actually was his sister, but only a half-sister. 

Sarai had an interesting life as God called Abrahm to move.  She became accustomed to living in tents and honored Abrahm’s wishes when he requested her silence.  Sarai did have one fault: She didn’t trust God to provide her with a child, so she gave her servant Hagar to Abraham.  Hagar conceived and bore a son name Ishmael, but He wasn’t God’s chosen heir.  Sarai then abused Hagar and Ishmael because she wanted a child (Genesis 16).

Finally, God looked with favor on the elderly couple, sending an angel to announce a baby.  Abrahm was given the new name Abraham, and Sarai was given the name Sarah, meaning “princess.”  She would no longer be just Abraham’s princess, but the mother of many!  When the baby announcement came, Sarah was hiding in the tent.  Since she was 90 years old (Genesis 17:17) and thought she’d never have a baby, she laughed at the news (Genesis 18:12).  And so her baby was given the name Isaac which means laughter. 

By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised. Hebrews 11:11 (NKJV)

Can you imagine Sarah’s THANKS to God after the birth of Isaac?  What would she say?

 THANK You, Lord, for this son you have given me in my old age. 

THANK You for hearing my prayers from so long ago. 

THANK You for forgiving me for my sin in sharing Hagar and then abusing her.

THANK You for taking away my shame and blessing me. 

THANK You for watching over us all our lives as we moved from here to there, protecting me from those kings who might have touched me. 

THANK You for being the One who formed the stars and Your promise that our children will be as many as the stars (Genesis 15:5).

THANK You again and again for this baby.

THANK You, Oh, Lord, my God. Amen.

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Read Sarah’s story in Genesis 18:1-15. Ponder what Sarah might have prayed in THANKSGIVING. What blessings do you have for which to THANK God?  This is what the first “T” of the TEA CUPP is all about, giving Him THANKS. 

This week underline THANKSGIVING verses in your BIBLE. Put a “T” next to the verses, choosing one to write in your prayer journal. Use this as a conversation starter for your THANKSGIVING prayers.  Here are some verses to get you started…

We give thanks to You, O God, we give thanks!
For Your wondrous works declare that Your name is near. Psalm 75:1

Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving;
Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.
Psalm 95:2

Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever. Psalm 106:1

But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:57

Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift! 2 Corinthians 9:15

Giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Ephesians 5:20

Thank you to Sweet Publishing / FreeBibleimages.org for the great clip art!

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

TEA with the Romans

RomansYou just received an invitation to TEA with the Romans!  

Who: You

When: Tomorrow morning

Where: Your house

What:  TEA with Jesus and the Romans

Come as you are!

But you just aren’t sure, do you really want to have TEA with these ancient dudes in white sheets?  The Romans are the ones the Apostle Paul was writing to when he penned the New Testament Book of Romans.  All the words in this book are God’s Word, read first by the Roman Christians.  What a blessing for us to share in these inspired verses, using them as conversation starters as we have TEA and prayer with Jesus.  Won’t you join in?

T is for Thanksgiving
First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world. Romans 1:8 (NKJV)

I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! Romans 7:25 (NKJV)


E is for Exalting
Oh, the depth of the riches both of  the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! Romans 11:33 (NKJV)

 For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen. Romans 11:36 (NKJV)

To God, alone wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen. Romans 16:27 (NKJV)

A is for Admitting
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23(NKJV)

For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace. Romans 6:14(NKJV)

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. Romans 8:1 (NKJV)

 That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9 (NKJV)

C is for Call
For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. Romans 11:29 (NKJV)

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:2 (NKJV)

Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer. Romans 12:12 (NKJV)

If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Romans 12:18 (NKJV)

U is for Understanding
For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of His Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers, Romans 1:9 (NKJV)

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. Romans 1:16 (NKJV)

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8 (NKJV)

P is for Promises
But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. Romans 8:11 (NKJV)

Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Romans 8:26 (NKJV)

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28 (NKJV)

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:37-39 (NKJV)

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

P is for Petitions
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13 (NKJV)

…The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen. Romans 16:20 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Wrap up in a white sheet if you like!  Sit down with Jesus and the Romans for TEA today!

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

Mark up your Bible with Psalm 103

Psalm 103Who redeems your life from destruction,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies.
Psalm 103:4 (NKJV)

Dear Friends,

Today I want to encourage you to mark up your Bible!  I know, it’s hard to write in books if you’ve been taught all your life not to.  Ever get in trouble for coloring in a library book with a crayon?  Well, this isn’t a library book, it’s YOUR Bible!  It’s God’s Word to teach and instruct you (2 Timothy 3:16).  And, if you took classes in college, you likely marked up your textbook with a highlighter.

Sometimes I’ll write in my Bible when a pastor is giving a sermon.  I’ll underline key verses and write notes in the margin, reminding me of the message.  Other times I’ll underline verses during my TEA time with Jesus, those that really speak to me that day.  I’ve been reading the same Bible for years, and there are still new verses that jump out at me for underlining almost every day.

When I underline verses, I like to code them with the letters of My TEA CUPP Prayers acronym, so I can use them in prayer later.  I’ll label them T for Thanks, E for Exalt, A for Admit, C for Call, U for Understand, P for Promises, and Pet for Petitions.  Often there will be several verses all on the same page.  Psalm 103 is one of those places where I found my whole TEA CUPP.  I’d like to share it with you today:

T is for Thanksgiving
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits.
Psalm 103:2 (NKJV)


E is for Exalting
Bless the Lord, all His works,
In all places of His dominion. Bless the Lord, O my soul! Psalm 103:22 (NKJV)

A is for Admitting
 Who forgives all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases.
Psalm 103:3 (NKJV)

As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us. Psalm 103:12 (NKJV)

C is for Call
Bless the Lord, O my soul;
And all that is within me, bless His holy name! Psalm 103:1 (NKJV)

U is for Understanding
But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting
On those who fear Him,
And His righteousness to children’s children.
Psalm 103:17 (NKJV)

P is for Promises
Who satisfies your mouth with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
Psalm 103:5 (NKJV)

P is for Petitions
Bless the Lord, you His angels,
Who excel in strength, who do His word,
Heeding the voice of His word.
Psalm 103:20 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Pick a Psalm today, perhaps Psalm 103.  With pen in hand, underline your favorite verses.  Label the verses how you might use them in prayer with Jesus.  Then, pray your underlined verses as conversation starters when you meet with the Lord.

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