Christmas Gifts!

…but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23

Hello, ladies! I know many of you are still looking for that perfect gift for a friend or family member or sister in Christ. If you’re seeking a gift with eternal significance that encourages ladies to read God’s Word, I have 3 My TEA CUPP ideas for you!

 

Good Morning, Jesus, Prayer Journal ($20 suggested gift)

This journal is designed to be a companion to my books, My TEA CUPP Prayers and Mom’s TEA CUPP Prayers.  In these devotional books, I invite you to sit down each morning with your Bible, a cup of tea, and Jesus.  As you drink from His Word and sip from your favorite morning mug, you will draw near to your Savior and be filled with God’s blessings.  You underline your favorite verses and use those verses as conversation starters as you pour your heart out to God in prayer.  I pray you will be in God’s Word each day, reading your Bible and blessed by this journal as a way to get you started.  

My TEA CUPP Prayers ($15 suggested gift)

YOU are invited to TEA with Jesus TODAY!!!  “Come to Me,” Jesus calls in Matthew 11:28.  Please accept!  Allow God to draw you into a daily TEA time with Jesus through this 77-day devotional. My TEA CUPP Prayers is an invitation to women everywhere to sit down daily with Jesus for a cup of tea.  The TEA CUPP acronym provides the parts of prayers, as we use the BIBLE to talk with our Lord.  Here new Christians discover a way to draw nearer to Jesus and old Christians taste a fresh flavor for their prayers. Women will dig deeper into God’s Word, come closer to Jesus by meeting with Him each day, and unleash the power of the Holy Spirit through their prayers.

 

Mom’s TEA CUPP Prayers ($16 suggested gift)

What will you find when you open the pages of Mom’s TEA CUPP Prayers?  You will discover a 77-day devotional that takes moms gracefully into a daily TEA time with Jesus.  Every Sunday you will meet a new Bible mom who will introduce you to another part of prayer.  And during the week you will again be encouraged to read your Bible and pray for your family, as I share stories God has given me, including our miracle baby. The book also has a week of Christmas devotions which I hope will bless your Christmas season this year and in years to come.  They might be just the thing to read to your small group or family this Advent season. Mom’s TEA CUPP Prayers is an invitation to moms everywhere to sit down each day with Jesus, a Bible, and your favorite morning mug.

You can order one item or bundle them together to make an extra special gift. Each one comes with a My TEA CUPP Prayers bookmark, and to those who request it, you can even receive a M’Cheyne Bible Reading Plan. Because I hope to get these into the hands of many ladies, I’m offering free shipping for the rest of December.

We aren’t set up for credit cards, so if you could please snail-mail a check to My TEA CUPP Prayers, PO Box 1003, Big Timber, MT 59011, that will work well. You can also text me here. Please include a short note with your mailing address, phone number in case I have questions, and what items you would like sent.

Thank you for considering these My TEA CUPP items for your Christmas gift-giving. Here are some Christmas devotions to bless your day until your books arrive. He Comes with Presents is a good one :-). Thank you for stopping by My TEA CUPP Prayers! Merry Christmas! Jesus is coming soon!!!

If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! Matthew 7:11 (NKJV)

But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way. 1 Corinthians 12:31 (NKJV)

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

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. James 1:17 (NKJV)

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

The Well of Bethlehem

And David said with longing, “Oh, that someone would give me a drink of water from the well of Bethlehem, which is by the gate!”  1 Chronicles 11:17 (NKJV)

1 Chronicles is an unusual place to begin the Christmas story, yet here we are for that “Little Town of Bethlehem” of which the carolers sing is found in this Scripture.  David and his army had just conquered and reclaimed Jerusalem, but the Philistines still occupied Bethlehem.  David was yearning with a wistful longing for a drink from the well by the gate of Bethlehem.  How did David know such a well was there? He lived there! His family, all the way back to his great-great-grandfather Boaz lived there (Ruth 2:4).  When David was young, he watched his father’s sheep in Bethlehem and it was there that Samuel had anointed David as king (1 Samuel 16:1).  No wonder David was sentimental about the well. Some of his men overheard his desire, risked their lives, broke into the enemy camp, and returned with the water.  Now we think David would have taken a big drink and passed it around to share with his warriors. But what he did instead surprises us… he poured it out on the ground!  

So the three broke through the camp of the Philistines, drew water from the well of Bethlehem that was by the gate, and took it and brought it to David. Nevertheless David would not drink it, but poured it out to the Lord. 1 Chronicles 11:18 (NKJV)

This well was located by the same Bethlehem of which the prophet Micah foretold (Micah 5:2) and of which Luke spoke in the famous Christmas story (Luke 2:4-5), the birthplace of our Savior. This year, when you hear and read these passages, do more than nod the head, enjoying the familiar words washing over you in a sentimental way. Put yourself in that time in history and experience this real place called Bethlehem, a real town first mentioned in our Bibles in Genesis 35:19. There, Jacob’s beloved wife Rachel was buried after dying from the birth of Benjamin. Do you think Mary, in her very pregnant state, thought of Rachel while enduring the trip to Bethlehem, perhaps wondering if the same fate was in store for her?  

Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. Luke 2:4-5 (NKJV) 

Ponder that poor young couple, Joseph and pregnant Mary, on their journey to Bethlehem, awaiting the arrival of Jesus, the Savior of the all who will believe in His name. Think of that long, tedious trek (have you ever ridden a horse or bicycle when very pregnant and the baby’s head already wants to push its way out? Very painful indeed! Even walking can bring on labor).  Mary’s distress and extended belly foretell of our pregnant world, swollen with plagues and sin and despair, painfully riding our donkeys from day to day, waiting, watching, longing, desiring, yearning, hastening, welcoming the triumphant return of our Blessed Lord, Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the seed of David and from the town of Bethlehem, where David was?”  John 7:42 (NKJV)

Now, Jesus is that Well of Bethlehem and His water is sweeter than that for which David longed.  His water is purer, cleaner and greater than anything this world can offer. Come ye, O come ye, my dear TEA CUPP ladies, to Bethlehem.  Drink of Jesus’ water and pour it out for others. Like the shepherds, Come to Bethlehem and see, Him whose birth the angels sing. Come adore on bended knee, Christ the Lord, the new born King*. 

Oh, holy Child of Bethlehem! Descend to us, we pray; Cast out our sin, and enter in; Be born in us today. We hear the Christmas angels the great glad tidings tell; O come to us, abide with us, Our Lord Emmanuel. (Phillips Brooks, 1868)

Looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. Titus 2:13 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: Read Luke 1-2 this week. We who have tasted the Well of Bethlehem, the Living Water, are called to pour it out for others before the Lord.  Pour out your heart to Him in prayer for the lost. Pour out your testimony and love of Jesus to those you see each day. And, if God is calling you, answer His call to missions, pouring out your life for Jesus, hearing the cries of the thirsty around the world who are calling, “Oh, that someone would give me a drink of water from the well of Bethlehem.” 

…“Give us water, that we may drink.”… Exodus 17:2 (NKJV)

…Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.” John 4:7 (NKJV)

And all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.  1 Corinthians 10:4 (NKJV)

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
For they shall be filled. Matthew 5:6 (NKJV)

O God, You are my God;
Early will I seek You;
My soul thirsts for You;
My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land
Where there is no water.
So I have looked for You in the sanctuary,
To see Your power and Your glory.  Psalm 63:1-2 (NKJV)

He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water. John 7:38 (NKJV)

“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Though you are little among the thousands of Judah,
Yet out of you shall come forth to Me
The One to be Ruler in Israel,
Whose goings forth are from of old,
From everlasting.” Micah 5:2 (NKJV)

 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.”  Luke 2:15 (NKJV)

Thank you for stopping by My TEA CUPP Prayers. If you enjoyed today’s devotion, please check out To You and The Best Water.  God bless your Advent and Christmas season, dear one!

O come ye to Bethlehem**

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

*Hymn: Angels We Have Heard on High, verse 3, traditional French carol.  

**Latin hymn O Come, All Ye Faithful, sung by Hillsong, John F. Wade, 1751

Christmas Must Be Pro-Life

With prayers for the December 1, 2021 hearing at the U.S. Supreme Court, which could overturn Roe vs. Wade, I prayerfully share this Christmas devotion with you again.  Remember, every baby is a miracle from God deserving life.  These two special Christmas babies are examples of such precious ones.

And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins. Matthew 1:21 (NKJV)

If anyone doubts that life begins at conception, she must read the Christmas story. For in Luke 1, two incredible ladies learn they are miraculously pregnant. First Elizabeth in her old age conceives the baby John the Baptist.  Half a year later, through the power of the Holy Spirit, the Virgin Mary conceives the baby Jesus, the Christ, the Savior of the world.

Soon after Mary hears of her calling, she goes with haste to visit her cousin Elizabeth who is already six months pregnant. As Mary enters Elizabeth’s house, the baby John inside of Elizabeth leaps for joy!  He is so excited that His Savior, the baby Jesus inside of Mary, has entered the room.  Both babies are very much alive, yet still inside their mothers, growing and waiting to be born.  Life does not begin at birth, it begins at conception when God starts knitting this precious person.

For You created my inmost being;
    You knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    Your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well. Psalm 139:13-14 (NIV)

Even the great Bible prophets and teachers knew this.  Jeremiah from the Old Testament proclaimed…

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;
Before you were born I sanctified you;
I ordained you a prophet to the nations. Jeremiah 1:5 (NKJV)

And the Apostle Paul from the New Testament related…

But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace. Galatians 1:15 (NKJV)

So why is there all this confusion about when life begins? Because the enemy aims to confuse us and to make us doubt and even to kill.  Like the Herods of Jesus’ day, there are still Herods today who want to destroy babies while Rachel still weeps for her children (Matthew 2:16-18). But we have a Savior who makes it clear in His word.  He tells us to choose LIFE (Deut. 30:19).  And for those who have made wrong choices, and for all of us sinners, Jesus offers His forgiveness and promise of eternal life.

The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. John 10:10 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Read the Christmas story in Matthew 1:18-2:23 and Luke 1-2.  See how God blessed the whole world through these babies.  None of us knows the amazing plans God has for our little ones.  Choose life! 

But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. Galatians 4:4-5 (NKJV)

Please join me in praying for babies in America and around the world to be saved.  Also, pray for special blessings on foster parents and adoptive parents.  Do something special for one of these families this Christmas.

This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live. Deuteronomy 30:19 (NIV)

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
The fruit of the womb is a reward. Psalm 127:3 (NKJV)

My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.  Psalm 139:15-16 (NKJV)

“Whoever receives this little child in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me. For he who is least among you all will be great.” Luke 9:48 (NKJV)

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

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

 

 

Get on the Ark! (The Storm is Here!)

So you also, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near.  Luke 21:31 (NKJV)

Can you hear the thunder?  A storm is coming! First, a far away rumble, next, a closer thunder, finally, a very-close Ka-boom and the rain drops start falling. It began years ago with distant rumblings… wars, abortion, immorality, gay marriages, transgenderism… all sins that break the heart of God. Yet Jesus can wash away and extend forgiveness to repentant believers because of His saving work on the cross.  But people don’t want His forgiveness, they don’t want His salvation, their pride gets in the way, they say, “We don’t need Your Cross or cleansing Blood.” So every day the thunder gets nearer and louder, until finally, the storm clouds burst open and God’s wrath rains down.   

Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.  Genesis 6:5-6 (NKJV)

In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.  Genesis 7:11 (NKJV)

“Now, wait a minute,” you say?  “You seem to have combined today with the Genesis story from our Bibles, and didn’t that story end with God promising never to flood the whole earth again? Don’t you remember the rainbow?”  You are right, God set a rainbow in the sky, but He has other ways of pouring out His wrath in the latter days.  The book of Revelation gives us a clear picture of what is to come, as God warns His church, rescues His children, pours out His wrath on the earth, and reigns victoriously. Oh, dear ones, if our Lord God Almighty destroyed Sodom, Gomorrah, Jericho, and Nineveh (long after Jonah’s visit) for their sins, what hope does America and the world have today?  I’ll tell you… that hope is Jesus!

By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith. Hebrews 11:7 (NKJV)

And did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly.  2 Peter 2:5 (NKJV)

Think of faithful Noah who spent close to 100 years building the ark (Genesis 6-9).  He used countless boards of gopherwood, numerous nails, and sealed it with pitch, saving eight people and all of creation.  Jesus’ Ark was just two boards connected in a cross, three nails for His Body, and He sealed it with His Blood, saving all humanity. Noah’s ark and the flood are part of Biblical history, but Jesus’ Ark is still accepting passengers until the doors close, and no pounding on the door will open it then (Genesis 7:16).  I want to urge you to GET ON THE ARK and bring your family, too!

For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.  Romans 8:22 (NKJV)

In Matthew 24 and Luke 21 we read about the signs that must take place before Jesus returns.  These are the rumbling thunders, the birthpangs, that signal His return is imminent.  Whereas in the past these rumblings were few and far between, now it seems that daily we are bombarded with all these things:  Immorality, persecutions, abortion, riots, gender issues, wars and commotions, nation rising against nation, earthquakes, pestilences, fearful sights, betrayal by family and friends, Jerusalem surround by armies, hearts failing… and many more signs!  Some are happening now before Jesus takes His bride the Church (all who believe in Him) to heaven.  More signs will continue before He returns to judge and reign on earth.  

But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark. Matthew 24:36-38 (NKJV)

You must board this ark NOW and urge your friends and family, too!  This ship sets sail soon.  (There are some helpful links below for putting your faith in Christ). Get on board before Jesus comes to rescue His Church from the tribulation, before He pours out all His divine wrath. If you are a split second too late, the doors will be closed, and Jesus will call through the keyhole, “I do not know you.” (Matthew 7:21-23, and the foolish maidens in Matthew 25, and the man who snuck in without the wedding garment in Matthew 22). 

So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.  Hebrews 3:19 (NKJV)

So you also, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near.  Luke 21:31 (NKJV)

Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.  Luke 21:36 (NKJV)

Alas for the day!
For the day of the Lord is at hand;
It shall come as destruction from the Almighty.  Joel 1:15 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Read Psalm 29 and Matthew 24. Know that the Lord, He is God, and glorify His Name.  Get onto Jesus’ Ark, accepting His saving work on the cross.  Plead with your family and friends to get on Jesus’ Ark, too!  

“Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”  Acts 16:30-31 (NKJV)

The voice of the Lord is over the waters; The God of glory thunders; The Lord is over many waters. …The Lord sat enthroned at the Flood, And the Lord sits as King forever. The Lord will give strength to His people. The Lord will bless His people with peace. Psalm 29:3, 10-11 (NKJV)

Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord,
At the presence of the God of Jacob,
Who turned the rock into a pool of water,
The flint into a fountain of waters. 
Psalm 114:7-8 (NKJV)

Having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck. 1 Timothy 1:19 (NKJV)

Then they cry out to the Lord in their trouble,
And He brings them out of their distresses.
He calms the storm,
So that its waves are still.  Psalm 107:28-29 (NKJV)

At this also my heart trembles,
And leaps from its place.
Hear attentively the thunder of His voice,
And the rumbling that comes from His mouth.
He sends it forth under the whole heaven,
His lightning to the ends of the earth.
After it a voice roars;
He thunders with His majestic voice,
And He does not restrain them when His voice is heard.
God thunders marvelously with His voice;
He does great things which we cannot comprehend.  Job 37:1-5 (NKJV)

He has made the earth by His power;
He has established the world by His wisdom,
And stretched out the heaven by His understanding.
When He utters His voice—
There is a multitude of waters in the heavens:
“He causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth;
He makes lightnings for the rain;
He brings the wind out of His treasuries. Jeremiah 51:15-16 (NKJV)

And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed. Luke 17:26-30 (NKJV)

Thank you for stopping by My TEA CUPP Prayers. If you enjoyed today’s devotion, you might also like to read Come to the Wedding and Jesus, Calm the Storm and TEA in the Storm.  And here’s a great reference to share with others: The ABCs of Salvation.  You will also be blessed to add Olive Tree Ministries and Prophecy Pros to your podcast listening. God bless you, dear sister in Christ!

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

So Many Calls

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

The “C” Part of My TEA CUPP Prayers is all about what God is calling us to do with our lives. As we read our Bibles, we come across verses where the Holy Spirit nudges us, “this is something I want you to do.” So, we underline that verse and ask the Lord to help us carry out His calling.

Some selections of scripture have so many calls for us, it is almost overwhelming. Romans 12 is such a passage. If you read this today and try to do it all at once, you could collapse on your own strength. But if we read it prayerfully and ask God where He wants us to begin, He will show us, and each day or week or month or year, we can work on another part of what He is calling us to be. And someday, when He takes us home to be with Him, we will have attained them all.

Let’s look at the many callings from God in Romans 12:

 *Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God

*Do not be conformed to this world

*Be transformed by the renewing of your mind

*Not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly

*Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them

*Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good

*Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another

*Not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord 

* Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer

*Distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality

*Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse

*Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep 

*Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble

*Do not be wise in your own opinion

*Repay no one evil for evil

*Have regard for good things in the sight of all men

*If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men

*Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord 

*Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink;
For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head”

*Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good Romans 12 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: Dear one, what is God calling you to do today? Sit down for TEA with your Bible and Jesus and ask Him about your calling. Read His word, perhaps starting with Romans 12. Underline verses He shows you. Pray for His strength to carry out this calling. Let Him pick you up when you stumble and set you back on your feet. Keep pressing on toward the goal! God’s got this, dear sister in Christ!

God is my strength and power,
And He makes my way perfect.
2 Samuel 22:33 (NKJV)

My flesh and my heart fail;
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Psalm 73:26 (NKJV)

If I say, “My foot slips,”
Your mercy, O Lord, will hold me up.
Psalm 94:18 (NKJV)

I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:14 (NKJV)

p.s. Could you please pray for me and my calling? God has given me a vision to take Jesus and My TEA CUPP Prayers invitation to ladies across the USA, traveling in an RV with my family. So many things must come together for this to happen, but with God all things are possible. Thank you for praying for my calling. I pray right now that God will strengthen you to carry out His calling, too! Jesus loves you, dear sister!

And for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel.  Ephesians 6:19 (NKJV)

That they may know that You, whose name alone is the Lord,
Are the Most High over all the earth.
Psalm 83:18 (NKJV)

And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us,
And establish the work of our hands for us;
Yes, establish the work of our hands.
Psalm 90:17(NKJV)

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

My Tea Time Tutor

Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. Galatians 3:24 (NKJV)

It’s back to school time for many youth across our country. As they bring lessons home, some students may find they are struggling in one subject area and need a tutor. I was a tutor for a few years, welcoming students into my home after school to help with math and reading homework. Much like a piano teacher who gives lessons, I only saw my pupils for 30-45 minutes each week. We got through a good chunk of homework that was due the next day, but I never felt we were making big progress in our brief time together. I pray my students saw Jesus in me and my family, and that is the lesson they remember the most!

These pupils needed the daily care of a tutor or parent to help them press on in their studies, much like we need Jesus daily to guide us. Just as 45 minutes of tutoring a week might not make a difference to a math student, an hour in church each week may not grow a believer. We need to be in God’s Word and praying EVERY DAY, listening to His Voice through the Holy Spirit, submitting to His will, fighting the good fight of faith.

Paul shows us in Galatians how that’s what God was doing through the Law — constantly tutoring us, showing us the right way, guiding us forward. And since none of us can follow the Law perfectly (For all have sinned, Romans 3:23), God sent His Only Son Jesus to save us and fulfill the Law. Now we live not under Law but under His grace!

…for by the law is the knowledge of sin. Romans 3:20 (NKJV)

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

What is this Law? It is the Ten Commandments God gave to Moses after he led God’s people out of Egypt, 430 years after God rewarded Abraham with a promise because of his faith. Abraham’s faith led to the Law, which led to the Law showing us our sin, which led to our need for a Savior, which led to Jesus coming, which leads to our faith in Him!

We need the Law to show us our sins and to lead us to Jesus. John MacArthur, in his study Bible, provides additional insight into the Law as our tutor. In MacArthur’s notes for Romans 3:31, he explains how our salvation through faith does not nullify the Law, but rather shows its true importance. Our faith in Christ provides the payment for the penalty of death required by the Law. And our faith in Christ fulfills the original purpose of the Law, to serve as a tutor. In his notes for Galatians 3:24, MacArthur tells how the Greek word for tutor denotes a slave whose duty it was to take care of a child until adulthood. They took children to school and watched over their behavior constantly, making children long for the day they would no longer have a tutor. I love John MacArthur’s quote, “The Law was our tutor which by showing us our sins, was escorting us to Christ.”

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. Galatians 2:20 (NKJV)

Isn’t it interesting that Jesus taught His disciples so many truths, but the one thing they specifically asked Him was, “teach us to pray.” Perhaps prayer, most of all, is where Jesus tutors us the most.

Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.” Luke 11:1 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: A new school year is upon us. Read Romans 3 with a heart open to tutoring. Let us commit to pray daily for children, grandchildren, neighbor children, and teachers in our towns. May they all be guided and tutored by the Word of God and His Holy Spirit. And may Jesus return to schools in the USA! May God also bless the homeschool families. And may we all continue to be tutored by Jesus until He returns!

Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statutes,
And I shall keep it to the end.
Psalm 119:33 (NKJV)

Teach me good judgment and knowledge,
For I believe Your commandments.
Psalm 119:66 (NKJV)

But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen. 2 Peter 3:18 (NKJV)

Receive, please, instruction from His mouth,
And lay up His words in your heart.
Job 22:22 (NKJV)

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge… Proverbs 1:7 (NKJV)

Teach me Your way, O Lord;
I will walk in Your truth;
Unite my heart to fear Your name.
Psalm 86:11

Thank you to David Kim  and Carrie from Discovery Church for this beautiful song!

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

He Comes with Presents!

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

For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works. Matthew 16:27 (NKJV)

What is the same about Christmas and when Jesus takes us home?  They both involve presents!  Every year, people around the world celebrate Christ’s birth by giving each other gifts.  When Jesus was born, wise men came from the East bearing gold, frankincense and mrryh (Matthew 2:11).  And did you know, that when Jesus comes for us, He will also have presents?

Last summer I was writing a running series but stopped just short of the best part of the race…when we finish!  Some day we will all cross that finish line, whether runners, walkers, or coach potatoes!  And when we who believe in Jesus cross that line, Jesus will have gifts for us!

I love the races where everyone gets a prize.  I first saw this when helping with Special Olympics.  Every runner was given a hug and a medal when he or she crossed the finish line.  Then a local fun run, the Cowpoke Stampede, awarded us all with cow ear tags!  And when I finished my first and only marathon last year, I was delighted to have the volunteers place a “finisher” medal around my neck before I collapsed into the arms of my family.

Immensely far better than those earthly rewards will be the presents Jesus brings when He comes for us, whether now or at His second return.  What kind of gifts will He give us? Some I found in God’s Word include… crowns, a new body with a white robe, white stones with our names, hidden manna, an inheritance, a mansion,  and eternal life!  Wow!  All this in addition to the forgiveness, salvation (saving us from our sins), redemption (dying in our place on the cross), grace, mercy, peace, joy and hope He already has showered upon us here. No gift on earth, no tinsel, no lights can ever compare with what God has prepared for those who love Him!

Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.  1 Corinthians 2:9 (NKJV)

Just like every finisher at the marathon gets a medal, all believers get a crown.  And what will we do with our crowns? Cast them at the feet of Jesus in praise and glory to Him, our Savior and King! We will kneel before Him, just like the wise men did beside His little bed so long ago, and present our gifts which He provides for us, for we owe Him our eternal thanks and praise.  Wow!

The twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne… Revelation 4:10 (NKJV)

Let’s look at those seven gifts again:

  1. Crowns: 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)
  2. A new body with a white robe: For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.  2 Corinthians 5:1 (NKJV) Then a white robe was given to each of them… Revelation 6:11 (NKJV)
  3. A white stone with your name:And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it. Revelation 2:17 (NKJV)
  4. Hidden manna: He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat…Revelation 2:17 (NKJV)
  5. An inheritance: To an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you.1 Peter 1:4 (NKJV)
  6. A mansion: 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)
  7. Eternal life: For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23 (NKJV)

Some dear church friends have recently gone to heaven to receive these final rewards.  I see Randy, Orlando, Gale, Wally, Chuck, Kari, Don and others, wearing their white robes, and laying their crowns at the feet of Jesus.  They are sitting around the fellowship halls in their mansions, with white name stones to mark their places, enjoying the hidden manna and chatting like old friends do, waiting for the rest of us to show up. 

And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. Revelation 22:12 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: Dear friend, I want YOU at that fellowship time in heaven.  Please ask Jesus into your heart today and welcome all the gifts He has for you!  Two weeks ago, I wrote that Jesus is coming soon.  One week ago, I shared about waiting and waiting.  In just a few days we will celebrate Christmas, and for many children the waiting will be over.  But for those of us who are longing for Jesus’ second return, we may still be waiting awhile longer. So be faithful, my friend. Jesus is coming with presents!

Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. Revelation 2:10 (NKJV)

Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. 1 Corinthians 9:24-25 (NKJV)

…I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.  Genesis 15:1 (NKJV)

…each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor. 1 Corinthians 3:8 (NKJV)

We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty,
The One who is and who was and who is to come,
Because You have taken Your great power and reigned…
And the time of the dead, that they should be judged,
And that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints,
And those who fear Your name, small and great…
Revelation 11:17-18 (NKJV)

P.S. Thank you for stopping by My TEA CUPP Prayers.  If you enjoyed today’s devotion, you might also like to check out my other Christmas devotions and my most favorite one, My Heart Inn.

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

Waiting and Waiting

But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength… Isaiah 40:31 (NKJV)

…wait on your God continually. Hosea 12:6 (NKJV)

Waiting.  Waiting. Waiting can be hard.  Families wait for Daddy (and sometimes Mommy) to come home from work.  Children wait for Christmas and Santa. Grandparents wait for grandchildren to visit. All of us wait for our prayers to be answered.  We wonder what the delay could be. Why aren’t we getting our answers right NOW?!

I remember how as a child I met my Daddy at the bus stop every afternoon.  I would trudge up Fillmore Avenue a quarter of a mile and sit myself on a big rock, watching the traffic along 24th Street.  Many cars, trucks, and buses would go by but not stop. Finally, the bus would come with my Daddy and I would hold his hand all the way home.  One day, I looked at the clock wrong and went an hour early, waiting and waiting until I tearfully trudged home alone.  When my Daddy finally arrived home, he wondered where I was that day, and I told him the sad story of my waiting. I didn’t meet him so often after that.  

I wonder, do we do the same thing with our prayers?  Are we at the bus stop expecting answers too soon? Then, when the answers don’t come in our timing, we don’t meet with Jesus so often anymore?  

In the book of Daniel, we get a glimpse into what is happening while we are waiting on God.  We might think the prayer-mail delivery service is slow this time of year, that FedEx is having a tough time keeping up with the prayer packages delivered to Heaven’s Throne room, often out late at night delivering prayers. 

But we can be assured that our prayers are not delayed! For the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings which cannot be uttered (Romans 8:26).  And God hears our every prayer (John 9:31).  So what is the delay?  In Daniel 10 we read how angels were dispatched to help Daniel the moment he started praying. But the enemy’s angels prevented help from arriving for three weeks! Up in the heavens, where we can’t even see, angels are fighting battles for us that we don’t even know, all because of our prayers (Ephesians 6:12).  

…“Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me… Daniel 10:12-13 (NKJV)

What are you waiting for today? Today, I wait for healing for our nation and an end to Covid19 and cancer, for healing for church friends, for dear ones to give their hearts to Jesus,  and especially for Jesus to come again!

You know who else is waiting? God!  You remember the story of the prodigal son?  Just as the father waited expectantly for the prodigal son to return, God waits expectantly for us.  Jesus can’t come until the last person written in His Book of Life believes in Him.  Perhaps you are the one to tell that person!

Therefore the Lord will wait, that He may be gracious to you;
And therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you.
For the Lord is a God of justice;
Blessed are all those who wait for Him. Isaiah 30:18 (NKJV)

Looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.  Titus 2:13 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Read the amazing story of Daniel’s prayers in Daniel 10.  Keep praying and waiting, my friends.  God is sending answers!  And as Christmas approaches, remember the Answer He sent to a stable in Bethlehem over 2000 years ago.  

And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world.  1 John 4:14 (NKJV)

And it will be said in that day:
“Behold, this is our God;
We have waited for Him, and He will save us.
This is the Lord;
We have waited for Him;
We will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.”  Isaiah 25:9 (NKJV)

Therefore I will look to the Lord;
I will wait for the God of my salvation;
My God will hear me. Micah 7:7 (NKJV)

 Wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
And in His word I do hope.
My soul waits for the Lord
More than those who watch for the morning—
Yes, more than those who watch for the morning.  Psalm 130:5-6 (NKJV)

Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”  Luke 12:40 (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)

Then the trees of the woods shall rejoice before the Lord,
For He is coming to judge the earth.  1 Chronicles 16:33 (NKJV)

...that there should be delay no longer… Revelation 10:6 (NKJV)

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

Jesus is Coming Soon!

…“Where is the promise of His coming? 2 Peter 3:4 (NKJV)

“Christmas is coming! Christmas is coming!”  the children cry!

“Are you ready for Christmas?” the friendly neighbors inquire.

“Only 16 more shopping days!” the store windows (and Facebook ads) proclaim.

Everywhere we see reminders that Christmas is just around the corner and we must hurry to be ready. But even more important than the arrival of Christmas is the return of this holiday’s namesake, Jesus the Christ is coming back to earth! 

For over 400 years, God’s people waited for the first arrival of their promised Savior, Jesus Christ. When He came as a baby in a manger bed, only a few special people recognized Him for who He was, after waiting so long…Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, the wisemen, Simeon, and Anna.  Will we recognize Jesus when He comes the second time?  

You probably know the story very well…A Baby was born that first Christmas to a virgin whose name was Mary.  He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, coming humbly, not to a palace but to a stable.  This same Baby Jesus grew up without sin, helping His earthly dad Joseph as a carpenter.  But when He turned 30, His ministry began…healing the sick, casting out demons, feeding the hungry, teaching the people about His Father, God.  Then just three years later, this same Jesus gave His life for us on the cross.  He could have called down legions of angels to rescue Him, but He did not, because He loved us and wanted to die for our sins.  Then on the third day, He arose from the grave, conquering sin and death forever for all who believe in His Name.  Forty days later He ascended to heaven where He sits at the right hand of the Father and will come again to judge the living and the dead.  When He comes the second time, it won’t be as a baby in a manger seen only by a few, it will be as a Mighty King on a white horse, coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him and every knee will bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord, to the glory of God the Father!  (Isaiah 7:14, Luke 1:31-35, Luke 2:7, Matthew 13:55, Luke 3:23, Luke 7:22-23, Matthew 26:53, John 3:16-17, Luke 24:1-7, Luke 24:50-53, Philippians 2:9-11, Revelation 19:11).  

Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen. Revelation 1:7 (NKJV)

So, this time of year and all year round, instead of children crying, “Christmas is coming,” we should be hearing…

“Jesus is coming!  Jesus is coming!  Hosanna!” the children cry!

“Is your heart ready for Jesus?” the caring neighbors inquire.

“We don’t know the day nor the hour, so be ready!” the church windows proclaim.

…For He is coming to judge the earth.
With righteousness He shall judge the world,
And the peoples with equity.
Psalm 98:9 (NKJV)

Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. Matthew 24:42 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Oh, precious one, beloved of God, prepare your heart for His coming, for He is coming soon.  Ask Jesus to be your Savior today. And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.  1 John 2:28 (NKJV) He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.” Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus! Revelation 22:20 (NKJV)

Looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.  Titus 2:13 (NKJV)

“Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion! For behold, I am coming and I will dwell in your midst,” says the Lord Zechariah 2:10 (NKJV)

I was watching in the night visions,
And behold, One like the Son of Man,
Coming with the clouds of heaven!
He came to the Ancient of Days,
And they brought Him near before Him.
Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom,
That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion,
Which shall not pass away,
And His kingdom the one
Which shall not be destroyed.  Daniel 7:13-14 (NKJV)

And it will be said in that day:
“Behold, this is our God;
We have waited for Him, and He will save us.
This is the Lord;
We have waited for Him;
We will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.”  Isaiah 25:9 (NKJV)

One day the trumpet will sound for His coming,

One day the skies with His glory will shine;

Wonderful day, my beloved ones bringing;

Glorious Savor, this Jesus is mine!  

Living, He loved me;

Dying, He saved me;

Buried, He carried my sins far away;

Rising, He justified freely forever:

One day He’s coming — O, glorious day!

(J. Wilber Chapman, 1910). 

Glorious Day (Living He loved me) ~Casting Crowns

He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.” Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!  Revelation 22:20 (NKJV)

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

 

On our Knees

Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.  Psalm 95:6 (NKJV)

Eighteen years ago today, September 11, 2001, the lives of Americans, as well as citizens of the world, were changed forever.  For on this day terrorists chose to take innocent lives, countless courageous citizens gave of themselves, and our nation was brought to its knees for a time. 

What happened?  Why aren’t we still on our knees?  Some articles say church attendance increased for only a few weeks after 9/11, continuing a trend for decades of declining participation.  Yet other articles say at the very heart of the tragedy, Evangelical churches sprouted and have flourished.  Why aren’t we all still on our knees?

Why aren’t we still on our knees over the threat of the enemy?

Why aren’t we still on our knees over babies dying?

Why aren’t we still on our knees for unsaved family and friends?

Why aren’t we still on our knees for lost youth?

Why aren’t we still on our knees for our pastors and missionaries who give of themselves every day and need protection from the enemy?

Why aren’t we still on our knees?

I remember the first time I saw someone on their knees in prayer.  It was my Grandma Margaret Applequist.  Grandma was visiting us for a few weeks and was sleeping in the bedroom belonging to my sister and me.  We were sleeping in the basement to give Grandma some peace and privacy.  But I caught a cold, so they put me back upstairs in the extra bed in my own room.  A few hours after going to sleep I awoke.  A small crack of light coming from the hallway shone on my Grandma, kneeling by her bed in prayer.  What an impact that picture made on a sick, young girl’s heart.  I wanted to be like Grandma!

And yet, when I have My TEA CUPP Prayers, I sit curled on the sofa; when we pray at meals, I’m sitting at the table; when I say good-night prayers with my kids, I’m sitting on the edge of their beds, or standing by their bunks…when am I on my knees?  Though I know He hears all those prayers, God really started impressing these kneeling prayers upon my heart, so I asked Him to show me in Scripture where it says I should be on my knees, and guess what, He did!

he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God… Daniel 6:10 (NKJV)

...that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow... Philippians 2:10 (NKJV)

But Peter put them all out, and knelt down and prayed…. Acts 9:40 (NKJV)

And when he had said these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all. Acts 20:36 (NKJV)

…And we knelt down on the shore and prayed.  Acts 21:5 (NKJV)

and fell down and worshiped Him. Matthew 2:11 (NKJV)

And so, now, every evening, when my husband and I say our goodnight prayers, instead of lying in bed with one of us dozing off, we are on our knees beside the bed, pouring our hearts out to the Lord.

We hear of faithful Christians like Reverend Billy Graham wearing out the toes of their shoes or the knees of their pants because they knelt so often in prayer.  My friends, we need to do the same!  Wear out your knees for your family! Wear out your toes for your neighbors. Wear out the rug next to your bed for your country.  Let’s get on our knees and pray!

Today’s TEA CUPP:  While researching this devotion I came across another great devotion you might enjoy by Dr. David Jeremiah.  And also this one about Reverend Billy Graham.  Let’s follow their godly examples. “Do it again, Lord, do it again!”

For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ Ephesians 3:14 (NKJV)

And so it was, when Solomon had finished praying all this prayer and supplication to the Lord, that he arose from before the altar of the Lord, from kneeling on his knees with his hands spread up to heaven.  1 Kings 8:54 (NKJV)

O the pure delight of a single hour
That before Thy throne I spend,
When I kneel in prayer, and with Thee, my God
I commune as friend with friend!  Fanny Crosby, 1875

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