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.  

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!  

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

Open Our Eyes, Lord

They said to Him, “Lord, that our eyes may be opened.”  Matthew 20:33 (NKJV)

“Have mercy on us, O Lord, Son of David!” the blind men cried outside the gates of Jericho.  Jesus had just ended a long day of teaching and healing in the city.  Now as he left with His disciples, two more people wanted the Lord’s attention. “Have mercy on us, O Lord, Son of David!” they cried out again.  Jesus turned, asking, “What do you want me to do for you?”  The men replied, “Lord, that our eyes may be opened.” So Jesus had compassion and touched their eyes. And immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed Him (Matthew 20:29-34).

I’m always so amazed when I read the Gospels. Countless times Jesus heals people, especially their eyes.  Such a spiritual significance is apparent with healing the eyes — the dear person can see, yet also a veil has been torn away from their eyes, and they really can SEE and UNDERSTAND.  Doesn’t that sound like something many in this world need today?  Let this be our battle cry today, “Lord, that our eyes may be opened.”  Pray for this kind of eye-opening revival to sweep America and Israel and the world! We can use more eye-opening Bible stories to help us pray…

Do you remember when Sarah sent Hagar away with her son Ishmael the second time? Last week we talked about the first time Hagar left and she met the Lord, naming Him The-God-Who-Sees-Me.  More than a decade later, after the birth of the promised son Isaac to Sarah and Abraham, Sarah sent her maid Hagar away forever.  While in the wilderness, Hagar cried out in thirst and despair.  Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water that had been there all along (Genesis 21:14-21).  We can pray, open the eyes of the USA and Israel and the world to Your Living Water, O Lord!  

Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water… Genesis 21:19 (NKJV)

Remember the story of Moses and the burning bush?  Moses was tending his flock in Midian, near Mt. Horeb, when suddenly he came upon a bush that was on fire but did not burn up. Just think what would have happened if Moses hadn’t turned to look at the burning bush!  What if he had just passed by and didn’t even notice? What if Moses had gotten a glimpse of the burning bush, but did not pay attention? What if Moses hauled earthen jugs of water to put out the burning bush so he wouldn’t have to look at it?  Thankfully, Moses DID turn aside and looked and the Lord spoke to him out of that burning bush, calling Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt.  May we be like Moses, with eyes wide open, keeping our eyes fixed on the Lord, ready always to respond to His call.

So when the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!”  Exodus 3:4 (NKJV)

Mark tells the story of a man being healed from blindness near Bethsaida.  Jesus spat on the man’s eyes and put His hands on him. At first the man exclaimed that he could see people who looked like trees, so Jesus put His hands on the man again.  The second time, the man’s eyes were completely healed, he could clearly see the people! O Jesus, heal America, too!  Open our eyes, not just a little, but all the way, so we can see clearly!

And he looked up and said, “I see men like trees, walking.” Mark 8:24 (NKJV)

Do you remember the Mount of Transfiguration?  Jesus took his three closest friends, Peter, James and John, up a mountain. While they were up there, Jesus was transfigured into glowing white, the glorious Son of God He truly is.  And Moses and Elijah appeared next to Jesus.  The disciples were so weary, they were half asleep (think: no tea or coffee), but finally they were stirred and fully awake. Their eyes were opened and they saw the glory of the Lord!  May our eyes be open to all the miracles the Lord is doing in our world and may we glorify His Name!

But Peter and those with him were heavy with sleep; and when they were fully awake, they saw His glory and the two men who stood with Him.  Luke 9:32 (NKJV)

We decree this for the USA!  Lord Jesus, open the eyes of America that people may see the Truth and come to You in repentance and faith.  Pour out Your Holy Spirit on this land, and may revival spread like wildfire around the world, saving souls for Your kingdom! Amen! 

Today’s TEA CUPP:  One thing I like to do is sing an old hymn “Open my eyes that I may see” before I read my Bible each morning.  I ask the Lord to open my eyes that I might see wondrous things in His Word and Law (Psalm 119:18). We want to keep our eyes open to the truth always.  If we keep praying for God to open eyes across our nation, we will be able to sing as our forefathers did, “My eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord…”

Open my eyes, that I may see
Wondrous things from Your law.  Psalm 119:18 (NKJV)

 The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore, when your eye is good, your whole body also is full of light.  Luke 11:34 (NKJV)

And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.  John 8:32 (NKJV)

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

Then He turned to His disciples and said privately, “Blessed are the eyes which see the things you see; for I tell you that many prophets and kings have desired to see what you see, and have not seen it, and to hear what you hear, and have not heard it.”  Luke 10:23-24 (NKJV)

…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)

Thank you for stopping by My TEA CUPP Prayers. If you were blessed by today’s devotion, you may also enjoy reading Looking Up at the Big Blue Sky.

Open our eyes, Lord, we want to see Jesus (Robert Cull, 1976)

The Battle Hymn of the Republic (Julie Ward Howe, 1862)

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

 

My Jesus Name Book

Then Jacob asked, saying, “Tell me Your name, I pray.”… Genesis 32:29 (NKJV)

I love names. I keep a list of Bible names as I read His word… Asher, Crispus, Joanna, Namoi… When I was little, my parents had a name book which we looked at often, picking out names for our latest stuffed animals and plants.

When I got older, I picked out names for our children. I even chose angel names for the three babies we miscarried. I have yet to use all the names I have chosen over the years.

God likes names, too. He knows us all by name (2 Timothy 2:19). He calls us by name (John 10:3). When we get to heaven we will have a new name (Revelation 2:17). He will say to us, as He said to Mary Magdalene in the garden, “Mary.” And we will turn and look and embrace Him!

Did you know Jesus has numerous names, too? Foremost, His real name is Yeshua the Messiah, Son of Yehovah God. Somehow in the translation from Hebrew to Greek to English, His name became Jesus. I know I prefer when people call me Jenny, I wonder if our Jesus prefers to be called Yeshua?

Though they knew Him as Yeshua, after a stormy night at sea, even the disciples asked the very question upon many hearts…

…“Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!”  Mark 4:41 (NKJV)

And Job queried a similar question…

Who is the Almighty, that we should serve Him?… Job 21:15 (NKJV)

Jesus taught His disciples that He and the Father are One.  To know Him is to know the Father.  And so their names are One.  We can include all the Father’s Names for our Lord as we pray. Let’s look at a few today…

…Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.  Mark 12:29 (NKJV)

El Elohe Israel:  In Genesis there is a story of two brothers, Jacob and Esau.  Esau was the elder, but Jacob stole his birthright and blessing.  Esau was so angry that Jacob ran away for 20 years.  You can imagine how worried Jacob must have been when he returned home. Yet the Lord had already put peace into Esau’s heart, and their reunion was one of reconciliation.  With joy and relief flooding his heart, Jacob went to Shechem, setting up an altar there and calling it El Elhohe Israel, which means, “God, the God of Israel, the Mighty One.”   (Read Genesis 33)

Then he erected an altar there and called it El Elohe Israel.  Genesis 33:20 (NKJV). 

The-God-Who-Sees-Me: Going further back in time, do you remember when Abraham and Sarah hadn’t had a baby yet? Sarah gave her made Hagar to Abraham. Hagar bore Abraham a son named Ishmael. Then Hagar showed contempt toward Sarah, so Sarah sent Hagar far away. The Lord found Hagar out in the wilderness and comforted her. He told her to return to Sarah and everything would be okay. He would bless Ishmael, too. Hagar called the Lord, “The-God-Who-Sees-Me.” (Read Genesis 16)

Then she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, You-Are-the-God-Who-Sees; for she said, “Have I also here seen Him who sees me?”  Genesis 16:13 (NKJV)

Yehovah Yirah, The-Lord-Will-Provide: Just a few chapters after Hagar in Genesis, we find Abraham taking his promised son Isaac up on a mountain to sacrifice.  Isaac, wise beyond his years, asked his father, “Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” And Abraham replied, “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.”  And God did provide the lamb, a foretelling of the day He would provide His Only begotten Son Jesus, the spotless Lamb, as the sacrifice for our sins.  (Read Genesis 22)

And Abraham called the name of the place, The-Lord-Will-Provide; as it is said to this day, “In the Mount of the Lord it shall be provided.”  Genesis 22:14 (NKJV)

The Great I AM:  The Israelites had been in Egypt for over 400 years, enduring great hardships and slavery.  They cried out to the God of their fathers and He heard their cries. The Lord prepared His servant Moses and called to him from a burning bush.  Moses had quite the discussion, sure that he was not the one for the job.  Finally, Moses asked God, “If I go to the Israelites, Whom should I say sent me?”  The Lord’s replied, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ ” (Read Exodus 3).     

And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ ”  Exodus 3:14 (NKJV)

Yehovah Rapha, Our Healing God: The Israelites had just escaped from Egypt, the Lord had parted the Red Sea and they walked through on dry ground.  Moses was leading them on through the desert, but there was a problem — no water!  Finally, after three days, they found water, but it was bitter. What could they do?  The Lord showed Moses a tree and he cast it into the waters to make them sweet, proving that the Lord could heal waters as well as His people.  Yehovah Rapha, Our Healing God, leads us to our final Name for today.  (Read Exodus 15:22-27).

If you diligently heed the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the Lord who heals you.”  Exodus 15:26 (NKJV)

Savior, Messiah:  It’s so interesting that when Jesus, our healing God, healed people in the New Testament, He often said to them first, “Daughter, your sins are forgiven you.”  The gift of forgiveness and healing often went hand in hand.  Just as Jesus saves us from our sins, He heals our diseases.  And just as Moses lifted up a serpent in the wilderness, so those who had snake bites could look up at it and be healed, Jesus was lifted up on a cross, so that whoever looks to Him will be saved, too.  (Read Numbers 21:4-9 and John 3:14-17).

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. John 3:14-15 (NKJV)

Dear Ladies, Worship the King of kings in all holiness.  He is the Lion and the Lamb, the Fire and the Water, the Locust and the Honey, the Beginning and the End, our Judge and our Redeemer.  Jesus is our Everything!  As you face the battles ahead, march forth, victoriously exalting The GREAT I AM, trusting in His goodness. For someday soon, Jesus is coming on the clouds in glory to claim His own.

Jesus said, “I am. And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.” Mark 14:62

Today’s TEACUPP:  Select one of the Bible stories above to read for further study. When you exalt our Lord today, try using some of these other names to praise Him.  Perhaps there is one name that is especially important to you at this time in your life (i.e. Yehovah Rapha for healing). Look for other names for our Lord when you read your Bible. God bless you, dear one, as you exalt His Name.  The Father is waiting to hear from you!

P.S. For another wonderful NAME, read Exodus 17:8-16.

…I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob… Mark 12:26 (NKJV)

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits:
Who forgives all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases.  Psalm 103:2-3 (NKJV)

Lift up your heads, O you gates!
And be lifted up, you everlasting doors!
And the King of glory shall come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The Lord strong and mighty,
The Lord mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads, O you gates!
Lift up, you everlasting doors!
And the King of glory shall come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The Lord of hosts,
He is the King of glory. 
Psalm 24:7-10 (NKJV)

 Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You;
Let such as love Your salvation say continually,
“The Lord be magnified!
Psalm 40:16 (NKJV)

 The God who reigns on high, the great archangels sing, and “Holy, holy, holy,” cry, “Almighty King!” Who was and is the same, and ever more shall be, Yehovah, Father, Great I AM, we worship Thee.

(The God of Abraham Praise by Thomas Olivers, 1770, verse 3, based on Jewish Doxology)

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

 

My God Grocery Store

He has filled the hungry with good things,
And the rich He has sent away empty. 
Luke 1:53 (NKJV)

Today’s topic is GROCERIES, something we all need every day!  But a little note before I get to that: There were three current event topics the Lord put on my heart as the new year began… vaccine passports, the mark of the beast, and grocery shortages.  Recently, I received a message from a reader who did not want to hear about these things for they brought her fear and anxiety.  I’m so sorry that all the news is not good news, just like God’s Word is a mixture of wonderful promises for believers and terrible wrath for the unbelieving.  Sometimes we must talk about these hard subjects which ultimately push us closer to Jesus for His love and comfort.  If you are fearful, I encourage you to read Fear Not, Dear One.  If you need comfort, remember that God is Near, Dear One. If you are discouraged, Look up to Jesus and keep reading His Word, using your favorite verses to pray back to Him. If you are still undecided about Jesus, I urge you with all my heart to Get on the Ark and Come to the Wedding. May Jesus bless your tea time, dear one.  And thank you for understanding that I must say what the Lord has put on my heart,  for if I remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for God’s children from another place, and I and my house will perish, for the Lord has called me (and you!) for such a time as this (Esther 4:14).  Now, let’s talk about those groceries…

“Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord God,
“That I will send a famine on the land,
Not a famine of bread,
Nor a thirst for water,
But of hearing the words of the Lord.
They shall wander from sea to sea,
And from north to east;
They shall run to and fro, seeking the word of the Lord, but shall not find it.  Amos 8:11-2 (NKJV)

For over a year now, we’ve been hearing about the possibility of grocery shortages.  At first few believed it, but now, especially in highly-populated areas, people are beginning to notice empty store shelves.  Like most predictions, if it doesn’t happen right way, people quit believing.  “Didn’t Jesus say He is coming soon?” some scoffers may taunt us.  Yes, He did, and I still believe Him!  For with the Lord a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years is like a day (2 Peter 3:8). 

As I was reading the book of Revelation last year, I noticed it also prophesies a time of grocery shortages.  This comes with the third seal in Revelation 6.  Now some say the Church will be raptured (taken to heaven) between Revelation 3 and 4.  Yet others see the rapture occurring between seals five and six. No matter your thoughts on when the rapture could occur, it seems best to prepare as if we stay until the end of the tribulation, yet pray for Jesus to spare us from this time of trial and take us sooner.  

...and there will be famines and troubles. These are the beginnings of sorrows. Mark 13:8

When I was a little girl, I saw my first example of storing up for a grocery shortage, while playing at the neighbor’s house across the street.  This family happened to be Mormon. In their basement were extra shelves stocked with canned goods, much like a grocery store.  I asked my friend about it, who kindly explained that their group required all families to keep a storeroom in case there was ever a grocery shortage.  That was 50 years ago, what a good idea!  

As I began to hear of shortages and supply-chain issues last year, I kept my eyes open for what God’s Word says about groceries, jotting down His promises.  We should not be surprised that our Lord has MUCH to say about food!  For Jesus, the Bread of Life, who provided for the Israelites in the wilderness with His special Manna – “Bread from Heaven,” knows how to care for His children.  Be sure to read all the way to the end of this devotion for many encouraging Bible food stories. I do not want you to be anxious, for He has so many promises for us about groceries!  

Write these promises on notecards and post them in your kitchen cupboards this week:

And Abraham called the name of the place, The-Lord-Will-Provide; as it is said to this day, “In the Mount of the Lord it shall be provided.”  Genesis 22:14 (NKJV)

And he blessed Joseph, and said: “God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, The God who has fed me all my life long to this day.  Genesis 48:15 (NKJV)

So when they measured it by omers, he who gathered much had nothing left over, and he who gathered little had no lack. Every man had gathered according to each one’s need.  Exodus 16:18 (NKJV)

For thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘The bin of flour shall not be used up, nor shall the jar of oil run dry, until the day the Lord sends rain on the earth.’ ” 1 Kings 17:14 (NKJV)

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies… Psalm 23:5 (NKJV)

The young lions lack and suffer hunger;
But those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing.  Psalm 34:10 (NKJV)

They shall not be ashamed in the evil time,
And in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.  Psalm 37:19 (NKJV)

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

For He satisfies the longing soul,
And fills the hungry soul with goodness.  Psalm 107:9 (NKJV)

He has given food to those who fear Him;
He will ever be mindful of His covenant.  Psalm 111:5 (NKJV)

The eyes of all look expectantly to You,
And You give them their food in due season.
You open Your hand
And satisfy the desire of every living thing.  Psalm 145:15-16 (NKJV)

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

The Lord will not allow the righteous soul to famish,
But He casts away the desire of the wickedProverbs 10:3 (NKJV)

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

Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?  Matthew 6:26 (NKJV)

Blessed are you who hunger now,
For you shall be filled.
Blessed are you who weep now,
For you shall laugh. Luke 6:21 (NKJV)

Then He said to His disciples, “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on.  Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing. Luke 12:22-23 (NKJV)

And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind. For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things. But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you. Luke 12:29-31 (NKJV)

And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19 (NKJV)

They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat.  Revelation 7:16 (NKJV)

Now that your cupboards are full of God’s food promises, guess what He wants you to do? The Lord calls us to share our food:

But He answered and said to them, “You give them something to eat.”…  Mark 6:37 (NKJV)

Trust in the Lord, and do good;
Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.  Psalm 37:3 (NKJV)

He who has a generous eye will be blessed,
For he gives of his bread to the poor.  Proverbs 22:9

And Elijah said to her, “Do not fear; go and do as you have said, but make me a small cake from it first, and bring it to me; and afterward make some for yourself and your son.”  1 Kings 17:13 (NKJV)

For I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in.  Matthew 25:35 (NKJV)

He answered and said to them, “He who has two tunics, let him give to him who has none; and he who has food, let him do likewise.”  Luke 3:11 (NKJV)

But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.  Hebrews 13:16 (NKJV)

What else does He call us to do? He calls us to work hard and stock up for the hard times…

Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, which, having no captain, overseer or ruler, provides her supplies in the summer, And gathers her food in the harvest.  Proverbs 6:6-8 (NKJV)

He calls us to plant gardens:

The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed.  Genesis 2:6 (NKJV)

This shall be a sign to you: You shall eat this year such as grows of itself, And in the second year what springs from the same; Also in the third year sow and reap, Plant vineyards and eat the fruit of them. 2 Kings 19:29 (NKJV)

God also gives us petitions to pray for food:

Give us this day our daily bread.  Matthew 6:11 (NKJV)

…Give me neither poverty nor riches—
Feed me with the food allotted to me;
Lest I be full and deny You,
And say, “Who is the Lord?”
Or lest I be poor and steal,
And profane the name of my God.  Proverbs 30:8-9 (NKJV)

Arise, cry out in the night,
At the beginning of the watches;
Pour out your heart like water before the face of the Lord.
Lift your hands toward Him
For the life of your young children,
Who faint from hunger at the head of every street.  Lamentations 2:19 (NKJV)

And, dear one, He calls us to be encouraged by His many food miracles. How about reading one of these stories each day this week. Take comfort in God’s Word.  Go to God’s Grocery Store and eat His Words today.  Here are a few stories to encourage you:

  • Bread from Heaven, Exodus 16
  • Elijah and the Widow, 1 Kings 17; 
  • Three Food Miracles, 2 Kings 4.
  • Prices Drop Overnight, 2 Kings 7; 
  • Feeding the 5000, Matthew 14:13-21;
  • Don’t Worry, Luke 12:22-28; 
  • Finally, Remember what brought the Prodigal Son home — food! Luke 15:11-32.  We decree right now, in the name of Jesus Christ and the blood He shed on the cross that the coming grocery shortages will bring all repentant prodigals home.  HalleluYAH!

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Now, dear one, I want you to be especially careful.  Remember how Esau sold his birthright for just one bowl of lentil stew (Genesis 25:34, Hebrews 12:15-16)?  Do not sell your birthright to heaven for a trip to the grocery store! Do not take the mark of the beast to buy groceries! Trust in the Lord, claim these promises, read the miraculous stories, keep feeding on God’s Word and He will provide all you need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. 

Your words were found, and I ate them,
And Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart;
For I am called by Your name,
Lord God of hosts.  Jeremiah 15:16 (NKJV)

I have been young, and now am old;
Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken,
Nor his descendants begging bread.  Psalm 37:15 (NKJV)

Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness.  2 Corinthians 9:10 (NKJV)

Moreover those who were near to them, from as far away as Issachar and Zebulun and Naphtali, were bringing food on donkeys and camels, on mules and oxen—provisions of flour and cakes of figs and cakes of raisins, wine and oil and oxen and sheep abundantly, for there was joy in Israel.  1 Chronicles 12:40 (NKJV)

And He shall stand and feed His flock
In the strength of the Lord,
In the majesty of the name of the Lord His God;
And they shall abide,
For now He shall be great
To the ends of the earth.  Micah 5:4 (NKJV)

And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.  Romans 5:3-5 (NKJV)

 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. Philippians 4:12 (NKJV)

Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”  Hebrews 13:5 (NKJV)

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

I’ve Got My Passport

For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. Philippians 3:20 (NKJV)

I’ve got my passport, how about you? I remember when I got my first passport. I was so excited because my high school German class was taking a trip to Germany. When we traveled there in June of 1984, the Cold War was still going strong, the Berlin Wall standing sentinel between East and West. One day our tour group had the opportunity to travel into East Berlin for a few hours. We all nervously waited as we went through Check-point Charlie and exchanged money to purchase lunch. The contrast between the free West and Communist East Berlin were so extreme. The West was full of lights and music and life and people in the streets, the East was very somber and stony and empty. After a lunch (which I did not enjoy) in the basement of one of the stony buildings, we were all thankful to head back to West Berlin. I wonder if the eyes of the East Germans (whose flinty faces matched the buildings) would have lit up to head out with us through Check-point Charlie?

Another somber stop on our Germany tour was Dachau Concentration Camp near Munich, Germany. This was the the first of the many horrific camps where Jews and political dissenters were tragically killed by Nazis before and during WW II. Outside the camp was a sign that has stuck with me forever, “Never Again” it proclaimed. Never Again would people be put in camps and given medical injections against their will. Never Again would a government be allowed to exterminate groups of people they didn’t like. Never Again would others stand by and do nothing as euthanasia was carried out in their backyards. Never Again.

These three things…passports, communism, and Never Again… have been swirling through my thoughts of late. There is much talk of requiring a vaccine passport, a document that would allow you to travel and make purchases if you have received the experimental injection. Unlike my first passport to travel to another country, I won’t welcome this one. The more governments push such mandates, the more we are like communist nations, no longer living happy free lives, but living somber stony lives under tyrants. And now there is talk of having “camps” where people will be relocated if they do not comply with the mandates. This time, instead of trying to exterminate God’s chosen nation of Israel, the target will be His Bride, the Church. Camps much like Dachau in Germany, are already being constructed in Australia and even in Washington State, USA. Have people forgotten: Never Again?

Well, I have not forgotten. I remember trembling as I read that sign, “NIE WIEDER,” as a teenager. I remember the horror of seeing the photos and learning what really went on in those rooms full of ovens. I remember being there with my best friend from grade school who had even invited me to her Bat Mitzvah. I remember reading Diary of Anne Frank and Corrie Ten Boom’s The Hiding Place. I have not forgotten, and I pray that I can be brave like Anne Frank and Corrie Ten Boom.  In my heart of hearts, I cry out to the Lord, “Never Again.”  

I already have my passport to the place where I am going. I have no need of a vaccine passport because my citizenship is in heaven.  The only passport I want or need is salvation in Jesus Christ. The only mark I want or need is the seal of His Holy Spirit. Where I am going will be more beautiful than the castles we visited on the happier days of our German tour.  My Savior is preparing a mansion for me in heaven.  That is my true home and the home of all who call on the name of the Lord Jesus. We are strangers and aliens on earth, for ever since God told Abram to get out of his country (Genesis 12:1), we, His children, have been anticipating the Promised Land. We belong in heaven, that glorious place where we will pass through “Check-point Peter” to see Jesus face to face, bowing before His throne, casting crowns at His feet, and worshipping the Father and the Son in all majesty. Our passports are ready and our trip to our beautiful forever is soon.

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. Hebrews 12:28 (NKJV)

 For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.  Philippians 1:21 (NKJV)

…rejoice because your names are written in heaven.  Luke 10:20 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: Prepare your passport, dear ladies… your passport to heaven. How do you get it ready? By making your heart right with Jesus, confessing your sins, repenting, and seeking Him with all your heart. You can even share a cup of tea with Him each day as you read His Word and pour your heart out to Him in prayer. Read Revelation 4 for a beautiful picture of heaven. Then you will be ready for that great “Hallelujah Day” when He calls His children home. Your passport will be signed, sealed and delivered by the blood of the Lamb.

And it shall come to pass
That whoever calls on the name of the Lord
Shall be saved.
Acts 2:21 (NKJV)

For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come. Hebrews 13:14 (NKJV)

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

Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear! Matthew 13:43 (NKJV)

Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.  Luke 12:32 (NKJV)

…We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.  Acts 14:22 (NKJV)

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. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven. 2 Corinthians 5:1-2 (NKJV)

…Who will deliver me from this body of death?  I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! Romans 7:24-25 (NKJV)

Thank you for stopping by My TEA CUPP Prayers. If you enjoyed today’s devotion, you may also like to read Come to the Wedding and Steadfast and Stouthearted and Get on the Ark and Fear Not, Dear One.

These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them. Hebrews 11:13-16 (NKJV) 

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 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. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.” John 14:1-4 (NKJV)

Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name. Revelation 3:10-12 (NKJV)

Thank you to Trip Advisor for the Never Again photo.

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

Looking Up at the Big Blue Sky

Today’s post first ran ten years ago, on February 22, 2011. As I started to write about “Looking Up” in this New Year of 2022, the Lord reminded me I had written about this before. So today, I share an updated devotion with a surprise ending for you.  Little did I know that 9 months after writing this post, I would hold in my arms the desire of my heart — a brand new baby boy, be living in a different house, and my husband would have a new job! That little boy is now 10 years old!  Since that time we’ve had many joys and many sorrows, but through it all we continue to LOOK Up to Jesus, our Messiah.  As our world crumbles under covid, mandates, and immorality, may we all pray continuously to the Father and keep LOOKING UP to Him, our only hope!  Alleluia, Jesus is coming! His children win!

Then I turned and raised my eyes and LOOKED…  Zechariah 6:1 (NKJV)

LOOKING unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith… Hebrews 12:2 (NKJV) 

Do you LOOK UP?  When I was little, I always wanted to be near a window to catch a glimpse of the blue sky.  If I could just see the sky, I could smile up at God.  On my walks home from school I would smile at the puffy clouds and talk to God about my day.  When I was a teenager and started running, it was that blue sky that kept me going.  When my college cross country team died in a plane crash, I LOOKED UP at the dreary November atmosphere and questioned the God in charge of the universe, and decided I didn’t trust Him anymore.  After two years without God or my blue sky, the sun finally shone for me when dear friends introduced me to Jesus Christ. Jesus took my broken soul and washed away my sins, making my sky blue again.

Now I’m blessed to live in the Big Sky State of Montana, where the sky really is bluer than anywhere in the world (according to friends from Rhode Island).  Even though I live in a narrow valley, I can see a big blue strip up above each day.  As I sit by my “Daniel” window for my morning TEA CUPP, I LOOK UP at the still dark, star-speckled sky and whisper, “Good morning, Jesus.” While I pray, the sky lightens, the day dawns, and I’m having TEA with Jesus under the big blue heavens.

You know, when we choose to LOOK UP to Jesus, no matter what our circumstances, life tends to LOOK UP after all.  In recent years we’ve lost 3 babies, 3 cats, a job, and other great sadnesses.  I could look away from God as I did as a college student, but you know what that means?  If we aren’t looking up to Jesus, where are we looking?  We are looking down to Satan, and I don’t want to look there!  So, I keep LOOKING UP…I want to encourage you to do the same through God’s Word.

In the book of Acts we read about a deacon named Stephen.  For his preaching of God’s Word, Stephen became the first martyr of the Christian faith.  Just before he was stoned to death, Stephen called to the crowd…

…LOOK! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!. Acts 7:56 (NKJV)

But their hearts were too hard and their eyes closed, so they could not see Jesus.  And they killed Stephen. Jesus, help us to not be like those men.  Let our hearts be softened and our eyes opened as we LOOK UP at the sky for Your coming.

Are you having trouble LOOKING UP?  It might be because of your sins. When this happens, we must ADMIT our sins to Jesus…

For innumerable evils have surrounded me;
My iniquities have overtaken me, so that I am not able to LOOK UP;
They are more than the hairs of my head;
Therefore my heart fails me.
Psalm 40:12 (NKJV)

Did you know Jesus CALLS us to LOOK UP?

Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, LOOK UP and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near. Luke 21:27-28 (NKJV)

LOOKING for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. Titus 2:13-14 (NKJV)

Then He brought him outside and said, “Look now toward heaven… Genesis 15:5 (NKJV)

While we are waiting for Jesus to return, He CALLS us to LOOK UP to Him as an example of how to live our lives…

If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are ABOVE, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. Colossians 3:1-2 (NKJV)

But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, LOOKING for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. Jude 20-22 (NKJV)

…LOOKING for and hastening the coming of the day of God, 2 Peter 3:11-12 (NKJV)

…and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples… Matthew 14:19 (NKJV)

I UNDERSTAND in my story how God has helped me to LOOK UP to Him each day…

I will LIFT UP MY EYES to the hills—
From whence comes my help?
My help comes from the LORD,
Who made heaven and earth.
Psalm 121:1-2 (NKJV)

Unto You I LIFT UP MY EYES,
O You who dwell in the heavens.
Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their masters,
As the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress,
So our eyes LOOK to the Lord our God,
Until He has mercy on us.  Psalm 123:1-2 (NKJV)

But we SEE JESUS, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone. Hebrews 2:9 (NKJV)

And He PROMISES that one day while we are LOOKING UP He will come again…

And He said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall SEE HEAVEN open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.” John 1:52 (NKJV)

“Men of Galilee, why do you stand GAZING UP into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.” Acts 1:11 (NKJV)

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)

Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching… Luke 12:37 (NKJV)

LIFT UP YOUR EYES to the heavens,
And look on the earth beneath.
For the heavens will vanish away like smoke,
The earth will grow old like a garment,
And those who dwell in it will die in like manner;
But My salvation will be forever,
And My righteousness will not be abolished.
Isaiah 51:6 (NKJV)

And we can petition our Father in heaven as we LOOK UP to Him!

My voice You shall hear in the morning, O LORD;
In the morning I will direct it to You,
And I will LOOK UP.
Psalm 5:3 (NKJV)

O our God, will You not judge them? For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our EYES are upon YOU. 2 Chronicles 20:12 (NKJV)

But my EYES are upon YOU, O God the Lord;
In You I take refuge;
Do not leave my soul destitute.
Psalm 141:8 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: Here’s a unique story to complete our devotion today: Will you consider that perhaps Jesus first miracle will also be His last? Read John 2:1-11, The Wedding at Cana.  In this account, the wedding party ran out of water, so Jesus performed the miracle of turning water into wine, better than any wine they had ever tasted. The master of the banquet was so amazed that the good wine came last.  Dear ones, the same is true for us today. The peace and joy and comfort we receive from the Lord now are just a foretaste of the wedding feast in heaven.  Prepare your heart! Keep LOOKING UP! The good wine is yet to come!

“…You have kept the good wine until now!”  John 2:10 (NKJV)

…all the people shall keep the WATCH of the Lord. 2 Chronicles 23:6 (NKJV)

Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked… Genesis 22:13 (NKJV)

And Isaac… lifted his eyes and looked… Genesis 24:63 (NKJV)

For then you will have your delight in the Almighty,
And lift up your face to God. Job 22:26 (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)

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your King is coming to you… Zechariah 9:9 (NKJV)

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

Remember the Cross

Today I rerun another favorite Christmas devotion for you from December 2017.  Merry Christmas, dear TEA CUPP ladies!

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1:18 (NKJV)

In his autobiography, Just As I Am, Billy Graham tells the story of a crusade at the Dallas Cotton Bowl in 1953.  After a night of preaching, his friend John Bolton took a walk with Billy and commented, “Billy, you didn’t speak about the Cross.”

Rev. Graham’s friend went on to say, “How can anyone be converted without having at least one single view of the Cross where the Lord died for us?  You must preach about the Cross, Billy. You must preach about the blood that was shed for us there.  There is no other power than when we talk or preach about the Cross.” (Graham, 1997)

And so, as we celebrate Christmas, I exhort you to remember the Cross!  When you look at your tree, decorated with tinsel and lights, remember the tree that held our Savior Jesus, as He gave His precious life for us.

And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Philippians 2:8 (NKJV)

As you give presents to family and friends, remember the Greatest Gift ever given, when God gave His only Son to us:

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)

As you toss out the wrapping paper and scrub the holiday dishes, remember how Jesus shed His blood for us on the Cross of Calvary, washing away the sins of all who believe in Him.

Having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. Colossians 2:14 (NKJV)

And as you look upon the lights of Christmas, ooh-ing and awwh-ing at the displays in your town, remember to look to Jesus, the Light of the world, the author and finisher of our faith.

Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” John 8:12 (NKJV)

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

Today’s TEA CUPP: Read Luke 2 and Luke 23. Remember today the Baby who came in a manger, God in the flesh,  born to a virgin, to save the whole world.  Remember that He didn’t stay in the manger.  He grew to be a Man, fully perfect, without blemish, the only perfect sacrifice for our sins.  And so He gave His life for ours on the Cross. When you look at the Cradle, remember the Cross of Christ this Christmas, my friend.

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

An uncommon Christmas carol…

In the cross of Christ I glory,

Towering o’er the wrecks of time;

All the light of sacred story

Gathers round its head sublime.

(John Bowring, 1825)

Graham, B. (1997). Just As I Am. San Francisco: Harper Collins/Zondervan (p.243)

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