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.

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 

Where is He?

Blessed Advent to you, dear TEA ladies. Today I share a post from three years ago, which seems so appropriate for the present time.  This devotion will also be included in my new book, More TEA CUPP Prayers, coming Spring 2022, God-willing. Thank you for your prayers!

…“Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.” Matthew 2:2 (NKJV)

“Where is He who has been born King of the Jews?” the wise men queried. “Where is He?”  The wise men weren’t call wise for nothing!  They asked the very question we should all ask ourselves every day, “Where is He who was born King of the Jews?”  (Matthew 2:2). Have we searched for Him with all our hearts? Have we followed His star to the ends of the earth to find Him? Have we worshiped the One who is worthy of all glory, honor, and praise? Or, have we tried to snuff Him out like the evil King Herod?

Where is Jesus in our lives?  Is He lost under the wrapping paper and tinsel?  Stuffed behind the Christmas tree?  Buried under smart phones and social media and busyness?  Hidden behind a flurry of holiday activities, and activities all year long, for that matter? Is Jesus lost beneath some long-held bitterness that we won’t let go?

Perhaps you yourself are crying out to God this very moment because a loved one has died or there is great turmoil in your life.  You are asking, “Where is He who is born King of the Jews?” (Matthew 2:2).  And, “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?” (Psalm 22:1). And, “Jesus, if you had been here, my loved one would not have died.” (John 11:21)

Dear Friend, I assure you, God is here.  The King of the Jews is with you.  Jesus is weeping with you (John 11:25). He wants to hold you in His everlasting arms (Deuteronomy 33:27) and to dry all your tears (Revelations 7:17) and comfort you.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23:4 (NKJV)

People have been searching for Jesus since before He was born to this day. Remember when Jesus was twelve years old and His parents frantically searched for Him in Jerusalem, relieved to find Jesus after three days at the Temple teaching? (Luke 2:41-50). And after He died, how three days later, Mary Magdalene cried to the Man she supposed to be the gardener“Sir, if You have carried Him away, tell me where You have laid Him, and I will take Him away” (John 20:15)Even now, for those who still seek Him, there is always Someone to point the way, just as the angel answered Mary Magdalene…

He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. Matthew 28:6 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: Read the Christmas story in Matthew 1:18-2:12. Answer this question in your life today, “Where is He who was born King of the Jews?” Is He hiding behind past hurts and busyness? Bring Jesus to the front.  Seek Him with all your heart.  Read your Bible each day and talk to Him in prayer.  Let Him be your peace and comfort. Worship Him with all your heart. Be one of the wise ladies!

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

Seek the Lord while He may be found,
Call upon Him while He is near. Isaiah 55:6 (NKJV)

Blessed are those who keep His testimonies,
Who seek Him with the whole heart! 
Psalm 119:2 (NKJV)

With my whole heart I have sought You;
Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments!  Psalm 119:10 (NKJV)

Wise men and ladies still seek Him!

Thank you for stopping by My TEA CUPP Prayers.  If you enjoyed today’s devotion, please check out some of my other Christmas writingsMy Christmas Revelation Tea, and My Heart Inn.

This devotion first ran on my website on December 23, 2018…before Covid, before mandates, before vaccines… may it bless you today, December 10, 2021. 

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