Still Aiming High

Recently, I was saddened to receive from my mom an obituary for a high school classmate who was one year ahead of me. We shared the same first name, ran on the same track and cross country team, and both lived in the north part of town. She had the sweetest smile and was so kind to me, the slower underclassman. Her obituary told of running for a small college in Iowa after high school and setting many records there. Then she went on to serve in the political arena. I wept because there was no mention of church or faith in Jesus Christ. That could have been my story (except for the running records).

We attended high school in a budding midwestern college town called Ames, Iowa. Long run days led us into the countryside where we were surrounded by cornstalks, while easy workout days took us by the local ice cream shop.  At every every pep rally and home game, we proudly sang the school fight song, “Students of Ames Senior High, proud of our school are we, cheering the orange and the black, on to a victory (go-fight-win!), comrades in work and in play, loyal and true are we, doing our best for our high school, Ames High aims high! Ames High aims high! Ames High aims high!

After high school, I walked-on as a cross country runner at Iowa State University where I was the slowest one on the team. Often, as I cried at the end of the line as we ran our 1000 meter repeats, I wished I had gone to a small college where I might have been on the varsity squad. But if I had not been at Iowa State University in 1985, when I lost my beloved cross country team and coaches in a plane crash as they flew home from a second place finish at nationals, I may never have come to a saving faith in Jesus. It was that ISU tragedy that made me run away from God for two years, before the prayers of dear friends brought me back to the feet of my Savior (who washed away all my sins and messes).

It hasn’t been an easy road since the day I gave my life to Jesus, but it is a blessed path and the only highway I want to follow. His straight path leads me to the narrow gate at heaven’s door. He has been beside me each day to encourage me, above me to watch over me, and within me to give me His peace. As I wept for my dear old running friend, I thought of my other classmates who might not have found Jesus after high school, and I long to tell them, there is still time to turn to Him. He is patiently waiting for all His children to come to Him before He returns to this earth. And the signs of the times are pointing to His imminent arrival, with wars and rumors of wars, good being called evil and evil being called good, and a lawlessness the likes of which America has never seen. Jesus is coming soon and I want you to be ready.

Dear one, I invite you TODAY to be one of Jesus’ comrades in work and in play, in service and in prayer. I invite you to live up to our fight song motto of loyalty and truth, for Jesus is our greatest example of this, loyal in giving His life for us on the cross to pay for our sins, loyal in rising again as the first-fruit from the grave, claiming victory over death so that all who believe in His name will have eternal life with Him. And He promises that you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free (John 8:32).

Dear classmates, keep aiming high. God tells us in His Word,  Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory (Colossians 3:2-4). And so I follow His path, and I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14). Please, aim high with me!

And it shall come to pass
That whoever calls on the name of the Lord
Shall be saved… 
Joel 2:32 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: I implore you to keep aiming high by putting your faith in Jesus Christ, He is the way and the truth and the life and no one comes to the Father but through Him (John 14:6). Jesus came for the Jews first and also for the Gentiles (everyone else!). If you’ve been putting it off, please don’t delay any longer, for none of us knows when we will have our last day on earth. Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2).

…The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel. Mark 1:15 (NKJV)

If you haven’t prayed the sinner’s prayer, please pray with me right now…Dear Jesus, I want to be in your family.  I want to be Your child and be washed clean from all the bad things I’ve done in my life, all the times I didn’t listen to You, all the times I went my own way.  Please scrub away all my selfishness and pride and_______ and everything else I’ve done that is not of You. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit and be with me each day.  Help me walk on Your straight and narrow path.  I believe You are my Savior who died for my sins. I believe You rose again and are preparing a place for me in heaven. I believe You are the only Way, the only Lord, the only God.  Please help me live as Your child from this moment forward.  Thank you for loving me and dying for me and letting me be in Your family.  In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

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. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. John 3:16-17 (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)

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 (NKJV)

Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. Acts 4:12 (NKJV)

…choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve… But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15 (NKJV)

Thank you for reading my devotion. If you liked today’s message, you may enjoy reading what I’ve been doing since high school, and my Dear Loved One and Get on the Ark posts. I also encourage you to explore my blog, My TEA CUPP Prayers. My mission is to invite ladies everywhere to TEA with the King of kings, bringing them and all their families into the kingdom of God. I’m still aiming high!

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

Let Freedom Ring!

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

Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices;
My flesh also will rest in hope.
Psalm 16:9 (NKJV)

In June 2022, God answered the cries of my heart, taking me back to Wisconsin to be with my grandchildren. As I played with the kids in their backyard, I heard the bells of St. Mary’s Church chiming over the rooftops. Those same bells had been my companions in the early days of our granddaughter’s cancer, as we came to help for weeks at a time.

On a 100 degree June Tuesday, we had the joy of witnessing our granddaughter Kennedy ringing the cancer survivors’ bell at Milwaukee Children’s Hospital. After almost two and one half years of chemo, Kennedy is finally finished with all her treatments and pronounced, “cancer free!” We praise the Mighty Name of Jesus for this miracle and glorify His Name!

I want to thank everyone who prayed for our granddaughter these past three years. Your prayers rocked the throne room of heaven and the Lord heard your every cry. Your prayers gave healing to Kennedy, strength to her parents, comfort to her grandparents, and hope to so many. You are a blessing, and I thank Jesus for you!

I want to thank the doctors and nurses and physical therapists who cared for Kennedy all this time. God has put His kindness and compassion into your hearts. You poured it out on our granddaughter when she was so very sick. You encouraged her parents when the nights were dark, assuring them there was a light at the end of the tunnel. You were the hands and feet of Jesus, reaching out to heal the sick and lame.

I want to thank Kennedy’s Mom and Dad, Nana, Papa, and Auntie who were on the ground, doing the hard work each day, taking Kennedy to appointments and babysitting the little ones. You were there during the worst of times. The love you poured out on our grandkids is unmeasurable. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks.  Luke 17:15-16 (NKJV)

And, most of all, I thank Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior, who heard the cries of Kennedy’s grandmas’ hearts. You were there when the “tea first spilled,” as we cried “Abba, Father, take this cup!” When we didn’t feel able to bear this load, You were able and bore it for us. You promised to send healing when I anointed Kennedy with oil (even anointing her hospital room and house). And when our little girl could no longer walk and we cried out, “Talitha Cumi,” You helped her to walk and leap again! You taught this precious girl to pray and blessed her with not one, but two younger siblings, first a Robin in spring and then a Princess in summer. You carried our granddaughter through every sick day and night, every treatment, every set back… You were there. Thank you, dearest Jesus.

And now, we celebrate this great and awesome victory over cancer. It was on a Tuesday that Kennedy rang the cancer victory bell, and Tuesday’s child is full of grace. The Grace of God healed our Kennedy Grace. This girl who was born on her paternal grandma’s birthday, rang the cancer freedom bell on her maternal grandma’s birthday. How awesome is that! He who died for our sins, healed the sick, made the lame walk, and raised the dead has now set our granddaughter free from cancer! My TEA CUPP overflows!

Today’s TEA CUPP: This 4th of July we have so much to celebrate… freedom for babies who will be given life instead of death, freedom from cancer for our granddaughter and others, and freedom from sin because of Jesus’ work on the cross. Our nation, the USA, was founded as one nation under God that we may also live in freedom. Let us glorify the Lord and celebrate all this freedom today! Let Freedom Ring!

Grandma and Kennedy in 2020

Kennedy and Grandma in 2022

Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. Galatians 5:1 (NKJV)

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

Who executes justice for the oppressed,
Who gives food to the hungry.
The Lord gives freedom to the prisoners.
Psalm 146:7 (NKJV)

For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:2 (NKJV)

A few “Ring the Bell” Hymns for you to enjoy…

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

Prayer Journal Snippet for the USA

Why do the nations rage,
And the people plot a vain thing? Psalm 2:1 (NKJV)

Very often I pray for our nation. My next book, More TEA CUPP Prayers, has a whole section on praying for the USA. As I work to complete this book, you may have noticed I have less time to share posts. But, never fear, I’m still praying and writing! I hope to announce More TEA CUPP Prayers is published before the end of summer. So this week, I share a snippet from today’s ADMIT section of my prayer journal. I used verses that are in the M’Cheyne Daily Bible Reading Plan.

Today’s TEA CUPP: Won’t you please join me in praying for our nation again and confessing its sins? Thank you, dear one…

Deuteronomy 21:8 ...do not lay innocent blood to the charge of Your people Israel. O Jesus, so many babies have died from abortion, so much innocent blood. Forgive the USA, O Lord, for this horrid sin. Reverse Roe Vs. Wade. May the Supreme Court release their final statement on the Dobbs case and may it be for LIFE! Do this miracle! Keep the pro-life justices steadfast. Guard and protect them. Have mercy on the USA, dear Jesus. Heal our land.

Psalm 108:11 ...and You, O God, who did not go out with our armies? Of course not, they aren’t inviting You! They are doing abominations and gay pride. O Jesus, end this pride month! You said right in Genesis that you created us male and female, marriage is for one man and one woman. End this great evil! Forgive the USA and set it back on Your straight and narrow path with Your Laws and leaders and justices. Send a revival across this land and pour out Your Holy Spirit, even upon Zoo Montana in Billings, Montana. Don’t let them host a drag queen story hour on June 22. O Jesus, stop all the evil, forgive our nation for all its sins. Have mercy on Your children, O Lord.

And when we are forgiven and back in Your good favor, all people will know that this was done by Your hand, that You, O Lord, have done it! (Psalm 109:27).

In the name of Jesus I pray, Thy Kingdom Come. Thy Will be done.

Amen

Thank you for stopping by My TEA CUPP Prayers. If you enjoyed today’s post, you might also like to read Wars and Rumors, Consecrate a Fast, and Every Age Needs Jesus.


Celebration Cake

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

…And what is set on your table would be full of richness. Job 36:16

It’s time for a celebration… whether you are celebrating Pentecost and God’s outpouring of Holy Spirit, the birthday of a loved one, or victory over cancer, there is always a reason to celebrate and praise Jesus! Today, I share with you a melts-in-your-mouth, healthy, chocolate zucchini cake (gluten-free, dairy-free, low sweetener). …let us eat and be merry. Luke 15:23

Ingredients

1- 16 oz. jar organic almond butter

2/3 cup organic honey or maple syrup

1 cup organic cocoa powder

1 teaspoon pink salt

2 teaspoons baking soda (see recipe below)

2 large organic, free-range eggs

4 cups grated organic zucchini (from 4 small zucchini, or 2 large)

1 cup dairy-free chocolate chips (omit if avoiding sugar)

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use organic coconut oil to grease a bundt pan or 9×13 glass baking dish. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl in the order listed. Pour into prepared pan. Bake 60 to 75 minutes, until the inside seems done. Cool on cooling rack before removing from pan. Enjoy, it disappears quickly!

Many thanks to www.today.com/recipes for the original recipe!

Safe Baking Soda: 1/3 cup arrowroot powder, 1/3 cup cream of tarter, 1-1/2 Tablespoons baking soda. Mix well and store in a glass jar.

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

My Love Letter from God

“I have loved you,” says the Lord…. Malachi 1:2

Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!… 1 John 3:1 (NKJV)

Dear Jenny Grace,

I love you.  You are My child, a jewel in My crown (Zephaniah 9:16). Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.  Before you were born, I sanctified you (Jeremiah 1:5).  When I look down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there are any who understand, who seek God (Psalm 14:2), I see you reading My Word and praying every day, and I love you.

When you were a little girl, you always looked up at the big blue sky, smiling at Me.  Even if you were inside, you would run to a window to smile up at Me in the heavens.  I had the neighbor girl tell you about Me when you were just three years old, as she helped you with your sweatshirt zipper.  I gave you a good family; when you saw your grandma kneeling by her bed praying one night, you wanted to do the same.  We had some good conversations until the cares of junior and senior high stole you away.  But I wouldn’t let anyone snatch you from My hands (John 10:28-29), because I love you.  

I let you follow your own path for a while, because I love you.  It was bumpy and you stumbled often, but I would never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5).  I gave you a persevering spirit, knowing you would need it down the road.  With that perseverance, you ran thousands of miles, often smiling up at the big blue sky and Me, but sometimes forgetting Me.  When you ran at crazy times in the dark, I gave my angels charge over you to keep you in all your ways (Psalm 91:11). I let you walk-on to the Iowa State University cross country team to show you some real runners and Someone even greater, because I love you.

At ISU, you had to press on toward the goal to win the prize (Philippians 3:14), but it wasn’t the prize you thought.  It broke My heart to break your heart and the hearts of so many others your sophomore year. But I did it, because I love you.  For one moment, I looked away and let that airplane fall out of the sky, taking your beloved coaches and teammates home to be with Me.  I know it hurt you so much.  You couldn’t even run for years.  You were so mad at Me that you ran away, burying your sorrows in food and poor relationships that broke your heart even more. You really made a mess of things.  Yet, this was all part of My plan to bring you back to Me. I heard your cries and brought you out of your horrible pit (Psalm 40:2). I had some of your remaining teammates pray for you.  I had others befriend you.  And finally, I invited you to the Baptist Student Union, where You learned how much I love you. 

I taught you how I sent My only Son Jesus to die for your sins and for the sins of all the world.  You learned that by the blood Jesus shed on the cross, all your sins and sorrows and stumbling are scrubbed clean away (1 John 1:7).  I showed You how to read My Love Story in the Bible and we had dates every day as You read My Word and prayed to Me.  I, the Father Myself love you, because you have loved My Son Jesus, and have believed that He came forth from God (John 16:27).  Now you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s (1 Corinthians 1:23). You are Mine, I bought you with a price (1 Corinthians 6:20) because I love you.

I put dear people in your life to teach you about Me. I blessed you with a husband to share your journey on earth and then two sweet children.  I put My love in your heart for your kids so that you wanted to stay home and homeschool them, even asking Me for more children.  But I loved you so much, I wanted to teach you to pray harder, making you pray seven years for your third child.  I was smiling in heaven when I saw your joy at his birth, because I love you.

But I wasn’t done teaching you, you had so much to learn.  I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name; You are Mine.
Those years in camping ministry were hard, weren’t they? But when you passed through the Iowa flood waters, I was with you; And through the rivers, they did not overflow you. When you walked through the Montana forest fires, you were not be burned, nor did the flames scorch you (Isaiah 43:1-2), because I love you.

I let you conceive three babies that I took to heaven before you could even see them.  I know that broke your heart, but aren’t you stronger now? Aren’t you more able to comfort others in their sorrow? Don’t you see how much I love you?  And then, wasn’t that an awesome thing I did when you were 45 years old, giving you your fourth living child, a son, born exactly nine months after you followed My example in baptism (And 11 ½ years after his older brother!).  I gave him to you because I love you.

I even let you fulfill your life dream you had since before the plane crash, letting you run a marathon when you were 53 years old.  You prayed to Me every mile and I carried you to the finish line. You wanted to run it in under 4 hours, but I had you complete it in exactly 4 hours and 7 minutes, just like 4:7 in the verse from 2 Timothy 4:7, I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.  I love how you dedicated the race to babies, raising money for a crisis pregnancy center. You love the precious innocents, like I do; your heart breaks for them as does Mine. Yes, Jenny, I love you.

But, I’m not finished teaching you.  Even as you dedicate your life to Me.  Oh no, I will not let you go soft.  I’m making sure you lean into Me and are ready for the battle (even though the battle is Mine). As I did for Job, I allowed more heart break, your granddaughter’s cancer, your chronic pains and even this time of waiting, because I love you.  Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is trying 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). I even put you in a pain group so you could share your journey together, because I love you.

I see you rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer for your nation and world.(Romans 12:12). I see you obediently following My commandments, even on My Sabbath Day you are resting with the angels.  I see you trusting in Me for complete healing; I am Yehovah Rapha, Your healing God.  Even when the pains are so bad and you have a grumpy evening, you get up the next morning, ready to try again. I declare that by My Son Jesus’ stripes you will be healed (Isaiah 53:5).  And I, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, will perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you (1 Peter 5:10). I promise you this as I see you praying, fasting, persevering through it all, and I love you.

I love you so much that I’m preparing a place for you in heaven, a mansion for you and your loved ones and for all who believe I am the way, the truth, and the life (John 14). I will wipe every tear from your eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain (Revelation 21:4).  Oh, Jenny, I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). And you will be with Me always, because I love you. 

And now dear one, I want you to take this love I’ve poured out on you to ladies everywhere. You have an anointing from the Holy One (1 John 2:20).  I want you to share your story, open my Word to them, and tell them about My Son Jesus, Your Savior. You must teach them to observe all things that I have commanded you (Matthew 28:20). Invite ladies to TEA with Me, the King of kings, bringing more ladies into My kingdom, and they will bring their husbands and children.  Together, we will change this world, one TEA CUPP at a time. 

Go forth, O daughter of Zion, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, pressing toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Song of Solomon 3:11, Philippians 3:13-14). And lo, I AM with you always, even to the end of the age (Matthew 28:20).

My eternal love always,

Your Heavenly Father

I AM the Lord your God,
The Holy One of Israel, your Savior
(Isaiah 43:3)

Today’s TEA CUPP: Dear one, YOU are dear to God’s heart, too. He loves you so much that He gave His only Son that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life (John 3:16). You have a love story, too. How about writing your own Love Letter from God in your prayer journal today? Add your favorite Bible verses and share it with others. And will you also please pray for me, for Jesus to open doors for me to take My TEA CUPP Prayers to ladies everywhere? Invite me to speak at your ladies’ group or next retreat. Thank you, dear daughter of the King. God loves you!

…I have come to tell you, for you are greatly beloved… Daniel 9:23 (NKJV)

We love Him because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19 (NKJV)

…God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 1 John 4:8-10 (NKJV)

Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving; meanwhile praying also for us, that God would open to us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in chains, that I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak. Colossians 4:2-4 (NKJV)

Let them shout for joy and be glad,
Who favor my righteous cause;
And let them say continually,
“Let the Lord be magnified,
Who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant.”
Psalm 35:27 (NKJV)

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

Enter the Promised Land

In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.  John 14:2 (NKJV)

Growing up in Iowa, I was quite proud of the quote from the famous baseball movie Field of Dreams, “Is this heaven? No, this is Iowa.”  Now I live in Montana, which I find even more beautiful with its majestic mountains and wide open spaces.  Yet I know even this is not heaven. For in the true heaven there awaits me my Savior Jesus and a Promised Land more wonderful than I could ever imagine. It is a good land which the Lord our God is giving us (Deut. 1:25).

So many of us know the Old Testament account of Moses leading God’s people out of Egypt and parting the Red Sea. But instead of heading straight to the Promised Land, they wandered around in the wilderness for 40 years because of their disobedience and unbelief.  God’s pillar of cloud led them by day and fire led them by night until all the older generation died. 

And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief. Hebrews 3:18-19 (NKJV)

So I swore in My wrath,
‘They shall not enter My rest.’  Psalm 95:11

Why couldn’t the older generation enter the Promised Land?  Because they didn’t believe!  In Numbers 13 we read how Moses sent a scouting party to check out the Promised Land.  Two men, Joshua and Caleb, said it was perfect and they should go. Ten men said there were awful giants and the land could not be captured.  The Israelites believed the ten men instead of believing and trusting God.  So they couldn’t enter the Promised Land. Even Moses was not allowed to enter the Promised Land, because he did not hallow the Lord when he struck a rock to get water at Kadesh (Numbers 20:12, 27:12-14, Deut.1:36-38, 3:25, 4:22, 32:48-52)).  

Only Joshua and Caleb and all the younger generation were allowed to enter the Promised Land.  Joshua was the anointed leader and Caleb was given special lands.  WE must also BELIEVE to enter the Promised Land of heaven.  Don’t side with the ten men who don’t trust God. Go with Jesus and the Holy Spirit who tell us He is preparing a place for us in heaven. Be like Caleb who said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it”  (Number 14:8). Believe!

…Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household. Acts 16:31 (NKJV)

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)

God’s Word is full of promises about our Promised Land. Let’s look at a few of these heavenly promises…

…an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you.  1 Peter 1:4 (NKJV)

Your eyes will see the King in His beauty;
They will see the land that is very far off.  Isaiah 33:17 (NKJV)

For so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 1:11 (NKJV)

The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb,
The leopard shall lie down with the young goat,
The calf and the young lion and the fatling together;
And a little child shall lead them.  Isaiah 11:6 (NKJV)

The streets of the city
Shall be full of boys and girls
Playing in its streets. Zechariah 8:5 (NKJV)

a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne. And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald. Revelation 4:2-3 (NKJV)

And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away. Revelation 21:4 (NKJV)

 But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.  Revelation 21:27 (NKJV)

Dear One, there remains a rest for the people of God, for YOU!  For as yet you have not come to the rest and the inheritance which the Lord your God is giving you. How can we be certain to enter this rest in the Promised Land?  By holding fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end, by exhorting one another daily while it is called Today lest any of us be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin, by holding steadfast to the end, by remembering the Sabbath Day of rest now, by being diligent to enter our rest, by hiding God’s Word in our hearts, by coming boldly to the throne of grace, that we may find mercy and grace to help in time of need. but most of all, believe on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.  (Deuteronomy 12:9, Hebrews 3-4, Acts 16:31). 

Three years ago my Daddy went to heaven. Three miscarried babies and two grandbabies are in heaven.  I can’t wait to see Jesus and all my loved ones and those streets of gold and no more tears or hurt or sin or sadness or pain or cancer or COVID19 or bad politics. Let us wait for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God (Hebrews 11:10) where Jesus reigns forever and ever!!!

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Read Numbers 13,  Hebrews 4 and Revelation 4 for a picture of the Promised Land and heaven. Dear One, I want you to be in heaven someday with Jesus and all God’s children.  Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ TODAY and you will be saved.  Claim all the promises of heaven, looking forward to the day when Jesus calls us home.

Thank you for stopping by My TEA CUPP Prayers.  If you enjoyed today’s devotion, you might also like to read My Dear Loved One and  Remember the Sabbath and The Only Antidote. 

I will abide in Your tabernacle forever;
I will trust in the shelter of Your wings. Psalm 61:4

He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. John 3:18 (NKJV)

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)

Blessed is the man You choose,
And cause to approach You,
That he may dwell in Your courts.
We shall be satisfied with the goodness of Your house,
Of Your holy temple.  Psalm 65:4 (NKJV)

Nevertheless I am continually with You; You hold me by my right hand. You will guide me with Your counsel, And afterward receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:23-26 (NKJV)

I cried out to You, O Lord:
I said, “You are my refuge,
My portion in the land of the living.” Psalm 142:5 (NKJV)

Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. James 5:7-8 (NKJV)

And the ransomed of the Lord shall return,
And come to Zion with singing,
With everlasting joy on their heads.
They shall obtain joy and gladness,
And sorrow and sighing shall flee away.Isaiah 35:10 (NKJV)

 

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

 

 

Heal Me, O Lord

…“Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.” John 11:3 (NKJV)

…“Do you want to be made well?”  John 5:6 (NKJV)

“Yes, Lord Jesus, I want to be made well!” I cried out as I read John 5:6. Then I prayed for the thousandth time, “Heal me, O Lord, and I will be healed, save me and I will be saved, for You are my praise” (Jeremiah 17:14).  And He replied, yet again, Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord! (Psalm 27:14).

When our granddaughter got cancer, over two years ago, I immediately cried out to the Lord to heal her, calling our church prayer chain, asking friends to pray, and making refrigerator magnets to remind them.  But even with all those prayers for her going up to the throne room of God, I must have carried the burden within me as my health started failing…first my back, then my gut, then my liver, then chronic pain… then, too many things to name.  

I was a mystery to doctors who couldn’t seem to hit on the exact diagnosis and treatment.  I tried every remedy, prayed every prayer, believed with all my heart for Jesus’ healing, was anointed with oil and prayed over by dear friends, and spent all my livelihood on physicians yet was healed by none (Luke 8:43).  Some doctors were very kind, yet others were awful.  I was blessed to join a group for those in chronic pain called Take Courage Coaching. It felt like the Lord was making “the captain of my salvation perfect through sufferings” (Hebrews 2:10), while saying, “Wait.”  

“And now, Lord, what do I wait for?
My hope is in You.  Psalm 39:7 (NKJV)

Then came the day when I wasn’t allowed to see my grandchildren anymore because of my views on the experimental “vaccine” being used for the coronavirus.  And my heart broke,  yet I esteemed the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for I looked to the reward (Hebrews 11:26).  And I continued to cry out for healing for my granddaughter and myself.  

One morning, I was in so much pain as I sat down for my tea time with Jesus.  What an ordeal it was to get settled… Bible, teacup, water bottle, ice pack on my back, heating pad on my tummy, wrapped up in my prayer shawl… and then the restroom called, causing me to unwrap, take off heating pad, say, “be right back, Jesus,”… and then return to get settled again.  Each morning I begin my quiet time by singing or reading an old hymn.  While in so much pain I said to the Lord, “I don’t suppose you have a hymn for someone in pain.”  And, this is the truth, He had me open my hymnal exactly to a hymn entitled, “Does Jesus Care” by Frank E. Graeff (1901).  The first verse sings…

“Does Jesus care when my heart is pained too deeply for mirth and song; As the burdens press and the cares distress, and the way grows weary and long? O yes, He cares; I know He cares, His heart is touched with my grief; When the days are weary, the long nights dreary, I know my Savior cares. He cares.” (Frank E. Graeff,1901)

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

Isn’t that a delight to know that Jesus cares? One of my favorite ways to pray for healing is while reading the Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.  When Jesus heals someone in my reading, I underline the verses and pray those for the people I know who need healing.  There are other healing verses throughout our Bibles that I like to pray, too.  I shared some of these verses when our granddaughter first got cancer and now I repost them with more verses included.  I hope they are a blessing to you, too.  

As our planet is turned upside down by plagues and adverse reactions to the experimental “vaccine,” what our world needs, what our nation needs, what our granddaughter needs, what I need…is a CUPP of Healing TEA.  Today I share with you verses you can pray as you pour out your heart to Yehovah Rapha, the Great Physician, our Healing God for our nation and world, your family and friends.  Prayer and Jesus are the answers to all we need. 

Read all the way to the end for a bonus devotion and the Does Jesus Care hymn.  Enjoy!

T is for Thanksgiving

And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan. Luke 17:15-16 (NKJV)

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

E is for Exalting

Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed;
Save me, and I shall be saved,
For You are my praise. Jeremiah 17:14 (NKJV)

…For I am the Lord who heals you.  Exodus 15:26 (NKJV)

A is for Admitting

Look on my affliction and my pain,
And forgive all my sins.
Psalm 25:18 (NKJV)

My wounds are foul and festering
Because of my foolishness.  Psalm 38:5 (NKJV)

And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.  John 9:2-3 (NKJV)

Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, “See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you.”  John 5:14 (NKJV)

C is for Calling

Do not be afraid; only believe.  Mark 5:36 (NKJV)

And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease.  Matthew 10:1 (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)

U is for Understanding

My heart is severely pained within me,
And the terrors of death have fallen upon me.
Psalm 55:4 (NKJV)

The people who walked in darkness
Have seen a great light;
Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death,
Upon them a light has shined.
Isaiah 9:2 (NKJV)

Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. Matthew 9:35 (NKJV)

Then Jesus answered and said to her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour. Matthew 15:28 (NKJV)

Then great multitudes came to Him, having with them the lame, blind, mute, maimed, and many others; and they laid them down at Jesus’ feet, and He healed them.  Matthew 15:30 (NKJV)

Jesus answered and said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Luke 5:31 (NKJV)

Let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. Acts 4:10 (NKJV)

P is for Promises

And the Lord will take away from you all sickness… Deuteronomy 7:15 (NKJV)

The Lord will strengthen him on his bed of illness;
You will sustain him on his sickbed.  Psalm 41:3 (NKJV)

But to you who fear My name
The Sun of Righteousness shall arise
With healing in His wings… Malachi 4:2 (NKJV)

…And by His stripes we are healed. Isaiah 53:5 (NKJV)

“For I will restore health to you
And heal you of your wounds,’”says the Lord… Jeremiah 30:17 (NKJV)

And Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.”  Matthew 8:7 (NKJV)

…Be of good cheer, daughter; your faith has made you well…   Matthew 9:22 (NKJV)

And as many as touched Him were made well. Mark 6:56 (NKJV)

When the sun was setting, all those who had any that were sick with various diseases brought them to Him; and He laid His hands on every one of them and healed them. Luke 4:40 (NKJV)

And He said to him, “Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well.” Luke 17:19 (NKJV)

P is for Petitions

Lord, heal me, for my bones are troubled. Psalm 6:2 (NKJV)

Remove Your plague from me…Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear to my cry; do not be silent at my tears…  Psalm 39:10-12 (NKJV)

Make me hear joy and gladness,
That the bones You have broken may rejoice. Psalm 51:8 (NKJV)

Give ear to my prayer, O God,
And do not hide Yourself from my supplication.
Attend to me, and hear me;
I am restless in my complaint, and moan noisily. Psalm 55:1-2 (NKJV)

Is there no balm in Gilead,
Is there no physician there?
Why then is there no recovery
For the health of the daughter of my people?
Jeremiah 8:22 (NKJV)

Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed;
Save me, and I shall be saved,
For You are my praise. Jeremiah 17:14 (NKJV)

…Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed. Matthew 8:8 (NKJV)

And it happened when He was in a certain city, that behold, a man who was full of leprosy saw Jesus; and he fell on his face and implored Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.”  Luke 5:12 (NKJV)

The nobleman said to Him, “Sir, come down before my child dies!” Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your son lives.” So the man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him, and he went his way. John 4:49-50 (NKJV)

Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.  3 John 2 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP:  I’ve been needing this Healing TEA a lot lately. Perhaps you would like a CUPP, too? Pour your favorite morning mug, open your Bible and prayer journal, use these verses to pour your heart out to Jesus in prayer. Pick a favorite verse to write in your prayer journal and use as a conversation starter today.  The name for our Healing God is Yehovah Rapha, you might try praying, “Dear Yehovah Rapha, my Healing God, my Savior Jesus, I call on You today…”

p.s. You can use these verses to write in a get-well card to a friend, too!  

A devotion I like to hear each week is called “Give Him 15” with Dutch Sheets.  A few weeks ago Pastor Dutch encouraged us all to pray again for healing, even if we have prayed before without results, pray again, pray several times each day, keep praying!  You might enjoy Pastor Dutch’s devotions, too. You can read it, or scroll to the end of his post and he will read it to you!

…Peace, peace to him who is far off and to him who is near,”
Says the Lord,
“And I will heal him.” Isaiah 57:19 (NKJV)

Then your light shall break forth like the morning,
Your healing shall spring forth speedily,
And your righteousness shall go before you;
The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. Isaiah 58:8 (NKJV)

Do not be afraid; only believe.  Mark 5:36 (NKJV)

…I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; surely I will heal you… 2 Kings 20:5 (NKJV)

Does Jesus Care with Glenda Rae & The Essentials AND HOPE CHANNEL SOUTH PHILIPPINES STUDIO

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

 

Walking in the Garden

And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Genesis 3:8 (NKJV)

I will walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people. Leviticus 26:23 (NKJV)

God still walks in the garden. Remember how in the beginning God planted a garden in Eden, putting Adam and Eve there to tend the fruits. Then one day, a serpent tempted Eve to eat the one fruit God said not to eat, and she gave some to Adam who ate also. When they realized what they had done, they hid from God as He came walking through the garden. God was very sad to make Adam and Eve leave their beautiful garden home because of their sin, but He had a good, good plan.

God promised that one day, a Seed from the woman would bruise the serpent’s head (Genesis 3:15). That Seed arrived thousands of years later, when Immanuel, God with us, Jesus the Son, arrived as a baby in Bethlehem. When Jesus lived on earth, He often went to the garden to pray to His Father God in heaven. In fact, He was praying in the Garden of Gethsemane when Judas Iscariot led the soldiers there to arrest Jesus (John 17). Jesus was led away from His prayer garden to die for the sins of all humanity, those very sins which first began in that Garden of Eden.

Last week we remembered Jesus’ death on the cross for our sins and His glorious resurrection on Sunday morning. And where did someone first witness Jesus after He rose from the tomb? In a garden! It was the garden near the tomb where the stone had been rolled away. In this tomb garden, Jesus met Mary Magdalene who became the first witness of our risen Lord.

Dear One, Jesus still walks in the garden! As I type this, daffodils are standing bravely in my early spring garden, thawing out from the latest spring snow storm. The mulch has been catapulted in every direction by our free-range chickens whose quest is to rid our garden of every insect. Soon other perennials will be raising their heads, promising new garden life for another year.

Recently I counted the number of years we have had our garden and realized that this is the seventh or Sabbath year of rest for the garden (Leviticus 25:5-6). This is the year we are to eat what grows on its own. Too bad this is the same year there could be grocery shortages, but the Lord has a good, good plan and will bless all who follow His commandments. Perhaps we can do a few patio planters with veggies, we are praying about what to do.

Today’s TEA CUPP: For most of you ladies, it’s time to start planning your garden! Those in the north can start seeds inside. Those in the warmer south can begin planting outside. As you work in your garden this year, remember that God still walks in the garden. Jesus is there with you. He walks with you through every joy and sorrow. May all your seeds be planted in good soil and may you produce a bountiful crop for His glory!

The Lord will guide you continually,
And satisfy your soul in drought,
And strengthen your bones;
You shall be like a watered garden,
And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. Isaiah 58:11 (NKJV)

For as the earth brings forth its bud,
As the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth,
So the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations. Isaiah 61:11 (NKJV)

Those who sow in tears
Shall reap in joy.
He who continually goes forth weeping,
Bearing seed for sowing,
Shall doubtless come again with rejoicing,
Bringing his sheaves with him.
Psalm 126:5-6

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

The Ladies at the Cross

And a great multitude of the people followed Him, and women who also mourned and lamented Him. Luke 23:27 (NKJV)

This week, people from around the world remember the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Two of the most Holy celebrations come together in one, as the Jewish people celebrate the Feast of Passover and Unleavened Bread, recalling when our Yehovah God set them free from Egypt.  And Christians remember the death of the Passover Lamb, Yeshua Messiah, who died on the cross for all the world.  In my previous devotion, I encouraged you to get together with other ladies to pray for our world.  Will you consider there was also such a ladies’ gathering around the cross?  It was a group of broken-hearted ladies, just like you and me. Let’s meet these dear ladies:

   And many women who followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to Him, were there looking on from afar, among whom were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.  Matthew 27:55-56 (NKJV)

Mary Magdalene

And certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities—Mary called Magdalene, out of whom had come seven demons.  Luke 8:2

Mary Magdalene was at the cross. Mary Magdalene was one of the devoted ladies who followed Jesus during His earthly ministry.  She had great love for Jesus since He had cast out the seven demons from her.  Mary followed Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus when they laid Jesus in the tomb and rolled the stone to cover the entrance. Then she went home for the Sabbath.  But early Sunday morning, she came again to the tomb, hoping to anoint Jesus’ body with oil, only to find the stone rolled away and the tomb empty.  Mary cried out to the “gardener,” “Where have you put Him?”  And the “gardener” replied, “Mary.”  Then she knew that Jesus is alive and ran to tell the disciples!  Mary Magdalene was the first witness of our Risen Lord! (Mark 16:9).

Mary the mother of James the Less and Joses

There were also women looking on from afar, among whom were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the Less and of Joses, and Salome.  Mark 15:40 (NKJV)

Mary, the mother of the disciple Little James, was also known as “The Other Mary” and “Wife of Clopas.” After witnessing Jesus’ crucifixion, she was found again at the tomb with Mary Magdalene where Joseph of Aramathea and Nicodemus buried Jesus’ body (Matthew 27:61, Mark 15:47).  These devoted ladies came again on the first day of the week to visit the tomb and anoint Jesus’ body (Matthew 28:1), only to find the stone rolled away and the tomb was empty! Jesus is alive! 

Salome, the wife of Zebedee, and mother of James and John

Now when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, that they might come and anoint Him.  Mark 16:1 (NKJV)

Salome, mother of James and John, also known as Jesus’ aunt, was at the cross.  When I think of Salome, the story that comes to mind is when she brought James and John to Jesus and asked that they sit on His right and left sides in His Kingdom (Matthew 20:21).  Imagine how James and John felt when the other disciples were upset about this request.  Yet Salome asked because she believed in Jesus and His Kingdom.  And someday she will receive her petition, for her sons James and John will be sitting on two of the twenty-four thrones around God the Father and Jesus the Son, where we all will be worshipping the Lord (Revelation 4:4,10).  

Mary, the mother of Jesus

Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. John 19:25 (NKJV)

Of all the Mary(s) at the cross, perhaps this one is most memorable, Mary, the mother of Jesus.  Oh, what a journey this dear lady had, from trusting God with His divine conception and birth, to fleeing to Egypt, to searching for 12-year-old Jesus in Jerusalem, to bringing up a perfect Son in an imperfect world, to seeing His miracles and knowing He was fulfilling God’s plan, and yet, now, to witnessing His willing sacrifice on the cross, dying for the sins of all the world (John 3:16-17).  Oh, what a life this blessed Mary lived, being mother of our Savior.  

When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold your son!” Then He said to the disciple, “Behold your mother!” And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.  John 19:26-27(NKJV)

Other Women

But all His acquaintances, and the women who followed Him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things. Luke 23:49 (NKJV)

And there were many other women, too. Perhaps Joanna was there and Susanna (Luke 8:3, 24:10) .  They ministered to Him in Galilee and came up with Him to Jerusalem, observing the tomb and how His body was laid (Luke 23:55, Mark 15:41).  Other women were there, too, just like YOU and me. 

“I have loved you,” says the Lord Malachi 1:2 (NKJV)

Yes, YOU were at the cross! As Jesus hung on the cross, shedding His blood for the sins of all humankind, He thought of YOU! He planned to die on the cross for YOU since before time began (Ephesians 1:4-5, 2 Timothy 1:9, Titus 1:2). With eyes that could look down the halls of eternity, He saw YOU and He died for YOU! He saw your broken heart, He saw your sick body, He saw your hurting soul, He saw your fractured family and your dashed dreams, and He bore it all on the cross. He took the nails for your sins. He was bruised for your iniquities. And by His stripes YOU are healed. He poured out His life and blood and water for YOU (John 19:34), because He loves YOU and wants to be your Savior. But He didn’t stay dead, on the third day, Jesus rose again, conquering sin, death, and the devil forever, giving all who believe the promise of eternal life with Him.

…Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures… 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: Dear One, say as the centurions guarding the cross, “Truly this was the Son of God!” (Matthew 27:54). Find these Bible verses and read them again today. Choose one of the Gospel crucifixions to read each day this coming week: Matthew 27-28, Mark 15-16, Luke 23-24, John 19-20. Imagine standing with all these women before the cross. When Jesus said, “It is finished,” He looked right at YOU with love in His eyes, waiting for you to accept His sacrificial death. Say as the thief did beside Jesus on the cross, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom” (Luke 23:42)

Thank you for stopping by My Tea Cupp Prayers! If you enjoyed today’s devotion, you might also like to read The Blessed Easter Tree and Every Knee Shall Bow and The Torn Curtain. I pray you and your family have a blessed Passover and Resurrection Sunday this weekend. HalleluYAH! Christ is Risen indeed!

Were You There (Traditional Spiritual)
Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross (Fanny J. Crosby, 1869)

And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. 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. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.  John 3:14-17 (NKJV)❤️

Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
Isaiah 53:4-5 (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)

To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Revelation 1:5-6 (NKJV)

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

Bearing Burdens

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2 (NKJV)

I am not able to bear all these people alone, because the burden is too heavy for me. Numbers 11:14 (NKJV)

Do you have the weight of the world on your shoulders today?  The war in Ukraine and Russia is upon the hearts of many.  Coming food shortages are also a concern.  And there are the deaths of loved ones due to vaccines and other ailments.  It really is too much to carry, isn’t it? My friend, today let us lighten your load.  

 How can I alone bear your problems and your burdens and your complaints?  Deuteronomy 1:12 (NKJV)

Let’s begin by looking in Exodus 28 for help. I know that may seem a funny place to begin. Sometimes the Old Testament books bog us down with genealogies and rules, and we aren’t sure what’s in it for us. But with every year of reading my Bible, God shows me more neat things in the Old Testament and I love it as much as the New Testament. 

And you shall put the two stones on the shoulders of the ephod as memorial stones for the sons of Israel. So Aaron shall bear their names before the Lord on his two shoulders as a memorial. Exodus 28:12 (NKJV)

In this second book of the Bible, Moses shares the plans God showed him on the mountain for the children of Israel.  Exodus 28 contains the guidelines for outfitting the priests.  Moses’ brother Aaron and Aaron’s sons were to be the priests.   Their garments were to be holy for glory and for beauty, made by gifted artisans.  Surely today we have never seen such craftsmanship of gold, blue, purple, and scarlet thread.  On Aaron’s shoulders he was to wear two stones set in gold, each with the names of six of the tribes of Israel, listed in order of birth.  On Aaron’s breastplate he wore an even more beautiful arrangement of twelve precious jewels, one for each of the tribes of Israel.  Aaron wore this over his heart, bearing the judgment of the children of Israel.  

So Aaron shall bear the names of the sons of Israel on the breastplate of judgment over his heart, when he goes into the holy place, as a memorial before the Lord continually.  Exodus 28:29 (NKJV)

Aaron was to wear this continually, bearing up the tribes of Israel to the Lord always.   In the same way, we are called to pray without ceasing, continually bearing up family, friends, loved ones, enemies, the sick, the hurting, leaders and nations… carrying them to Jesus without rest.  No wonder you feel like you have the world is on your shoulders!  But here’s the good news: You don’t have to carry it alone!  

Pray without ceasing. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 (NKJV)

As Christians we are all called to carry one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2).  If your load is too heavy, how about getting together with some praying friends for an hour or two of prayer each week.  You can pray for your families and the country and everything else on your hearts.  Suddenly your load has become much lighter!

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

Jesus also helps us carry the heavy load.  As we bring our prayers to the Father, He lifts them from us and gives us His light load instead.  Instead of sleepless nights, He gives us rest. Instead of anxiety, He gives us peace.  Instead of regrets, He gives us forgiveness. Instead of thirst, He gives us His Living Water.  Instead of hunger, He gives us Bread from heaven. Instead of pain, He gives us healing. Instead of tears, He gives us comfort. Instead of sorrow, He gives us joy. Instead of the heavy load, we carry only what He allows. He promises us this in His Word…

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”  Matthew 11:28-20 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Read about Aaron’s garments in Exodus 28 today.  Draw a breastplate in your prayer journal with spaces for 12 “jewels.”  Write the names of 12 family members or friends or concerns that you want to bear up to the Lord Jesus.  How about calling a few friends to pray with you each week, too. Help each other carry your crosses daily.  Keep holding on, Jesus is coming soon!  

I removed his shoulder from the burden;
His hands were freed from the baskets.  Psalm 81:6 (NKJV)

And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. Luke 14:27 (NKJV)

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7 (NKJV)

You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness. Psalm 30:11 (NKJV)

Cast your burden on the Lord,
And He shall sustain you;
He shall never permit the righteous to be [moved.  Psalm 55:22 (NKJV)

Here are three lovely versions of Kelly Willard’s 1978 hymn, “I Will Cast All My Cares Upon You.”



It shall come to pass in that day
That his burden will be taken away from your shoulder,
And his yoke from your neck,
And the yoke will be destroyed because of the anointing oil. Isaiah 10:27

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