My God’s Word TEA

Every word of God is pure;
He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him. Proverbs 30:5 (NKJV)

A few years ago, before there were Covid and shutdowns, I was invited to speak at a lovely June Tea Party, hosted by a large Baptist church. The ladies all dressed in their beautiful spring dresses, the tables were decorated with towers of treats, and we were taught and served tea in the most elegant English manner. In honor of that party, and all tea parties we long to have again, this month I give you June TEAs to have with Jesus.

Today I give you God’s Word TEA.  Long time readers know all my TEAs are from God’s Word.  In this updated prayer TEA, I share more verses you can use to start a conversation with the Lord. Today’s TEA has special Bible verses that speak specifically about His Word. Choose a verse to give Him THANKS, a verse to EXALT His name, a verse to ADMIT your sins, and so on…  I hope you will find these verses in your Bible and underline, study, memorize, and pray them!

T is for Thanksgiving

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1 (NKJV)

For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.  1 Thessalonians 2:13 (NKJV)

E is for Exalting

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.  John 1:14 (NKJV)

He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.  Revelation 19:13 (NKJV)

Forever, O Lord,
Your word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 (NKJV)

How sweet are Your words to my taste,
Sweeter than honey to my mouth!
Psalm 119:103 (NKJV)

The entirety of Your word is truth,
And every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever. Psalm 119:160 (NKJV)

By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,
And all the host of them by the breath of His mouth.  Psalm 33:6 (NKJV)

A is for Admitting

Your word I have hidden in my heart,
That I might not sin against You.  Psalm 119:11 (NKJV)

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4:12(NKJV)

He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him—the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.  John 12:38 (NKJV)

And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him.  Deuteronomy 18:19 (NKJV)

C is for Calling

But He said, “More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”  Luke 11:28 (NKJV)

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.  Colossians 3:16 (NKJV)

As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby.  1 Peter 2:2 (NKJV)

Bind them continually upon your heart;
Tie them around your neck. 
Proverbs 6:21 (NKJV)

Bind them on your fingers;
Write them on the tablet of your heart. Proverbs 7:3 (NKJV)

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.  2 Timothy 3:16 (NKJV)

U is for Understanding

…man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LordDeuteronomy 8:3 (NKJV)

For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. Romans 15:4 (NKJV)

The entrance of Your words gives light;
It gives understanding to the simple.
Psalm 119:130 (NKJV)

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 not departed from the commandment of His lips;
I have treasured the words of His mouth
More than my necessary food.
Job 23:12 (NKJV)

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.  Romans 10:17 (NKJV)

P is for Promises

Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.
Psalm 119:105 (NKJV)

So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;
It shall not return to Me void,
But it shall accomplish what I please,
And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:11(NKJV)

The grass withers, the flower fades,
But the word of our God stands forever. Isaiah 40:8 (NKJV)

...The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart… Romans 10:8 (NKJV)

Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.  Luke 21:33 (NKJV)

For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.  Matthew 5:18 (NKJV)

P is for Petitioning

If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. John 15:7 (NKJV)

Remember the word to Your servant,
Upon which You have caused me to hope.  Psalm 119:49 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: Read Luke 8:4-15 for a parable about God’s Word. Pray, “Lord let my heart be good soil!”  Use these verses as conversation starters for your prayers today. Pour out your heart to the Word made flesh, Jesus!

…the seed is the word of God.  Luke 8:11 (NKJV)

…but the word of God is not chained.  2 Timothy 2:9 (NKJV)

“Is not My word like a fire?” says the Lord,
“And like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?  Jeremiah 23:29 (NKJV)

Thank you for stopping by My TEA CUPP Prayers! If you enjoyed today’s devotion, you may also like to read Praying God’s Word Again, How to Get Started with Your Jesus Tea, and My Treasure Tea.  

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

My Treasure TEA

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. 2 Corinthians 4:7 (NKJV)

A few years ago, before there were Covid and shutdowns, I was invited to speak at a lovely June Tea Party, hosted by a large Baptist church. The ladies all dressed in their beautiful spring dresses, the tables were decorated with towers of treats, and we were taught and served tea in the most elegant English manner. In honor of that party, and all tea parties we long to have again, this month I give you June TEAs to have with Jesus.

Today is My Treasure TEA, treasure verses you can use as conversation starters for each part of the TEA CUPP. May your TEA time with Jesus be rich with His blessings, dear ladies…

T is for Thanksgiving

Giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. Colossians 1:12 (NKJV)

E is for Exalting

…The fear of the Lord is His treasure. Isaiah 33:6 (NKJV)

In whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Colossians 2:3 (NKJV)

In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.  Ephesians 1:7 (NKJV)

The law of Your mouth is better to me
Than thousands of coins of gold and silver.  Psalm 119:72 (NKJV)

A is for Admitting

Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have heaped up treasure in the last days. James 5:3 (NKJV)

A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.  Luke 6:45 (NKJV)

Getting treasures by a lying tongue
Is the fleeting fantasy of those who seek death.  Proverbs 21:6 (NKJV)

C is for Calling

Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. Exodus 19:5 (NKJV)

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:19-21 (NKJV)

Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”  Matthew 19:21 (NKJV)

I have treasured the words of His mouth
More than my necessary food.  Job 23:12 (NKJV)

My son, keep my words,
And treasure my commands within you.  Proverbs 7:1 (NKJV)

U is for Understanding

For you are a holy people to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth.  Deuteronomy 7:6 (NKJV)

If you seek her as silver,
And search for her as for hidden treasures;
Then you will understand the fear of the Lord,
And find the knowledge of God.
Proverbs 2:4-5 (NKJV)

To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Colossians 1:27 (NKJV)

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich. 2 Corinthians 8:9 (NKJV)

P is for Promises

The Lord knows the days of the upright,
And their inheritance shall be forever. 
Psalm 37:18 (NKJV)

Ask of Me, and I will give You
The nations for Your inheritance,
And the ends of the earth for Your possessionPsalm 2:8 (NKJV)

P is for Petitioning

Save Your people,
And bless Your inheritance;
Shepherd them also,
And bear them up forever.  Psalm 28:9 (NKJV)

Remember Your congregation, which You have purchased of old,
The tribe of Your inheritance, which You have redeemed—Psalm 74:2 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: Read Matthew 13:44-45 for more verses about treasure and the Kingdom of God. Give all you have to obtain this Treasure. Dear one, you are a jewel in the crown of God! Use these verses as conversation starters for your prayers today. Pour out your heart to the our Great Treasure, Jesus!

P.S. Thank you for stopping by My TEA CUPP Prayers.  I’m excited to tell you that my next book, More TEA CUPP Prayers has a treasure theme woven through it.  It will be published later this year. Thank you for praying it through to completion and may it point ladies everywhere to Jesus.  

For those of you who read last week’s post, My Sheep TEA, I want to share the good news that a precious little lamb was safely delivered! All praise and glory to God for His newest princess!  

Here’s an old treasure song by Gary Chapman to bless your day:

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

Taking Care of the Temple

 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. Romans 12:1 (NKJV)

Ever since last summer when I wrote a series of devotions for runners, I’ve wanted to add another devotion called “Taking Care of the Temple.” This devotion is so needed today, with everyone’s mind on health and staying healthy through the pandemic. I join you in seeking to take care of this temple God has given me to use for this short time we have on earth…

Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NKJV)

Did you know you are running around inside a temple? God’s Word calls our bodies temples of the Holy Spirit. Other verses refer to our bodies as “tents” or “earthly shells.” These bodies of flesh are really just temporary homes for our spirits and the Holy Spirit. Some of us who are getting old are thankful that God is making new bodies for us in heaven! Our aching backs tell us that this model is wearing out!

Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. 2 Corinthians 4:16 (NKJV)

When I was a cross-country runner in college, my coach was really big on “no sugar.” That was one of his main rules for taking care of our bodies. He also told us to get plenty of sleep. If we had a bad night sleep, he said we could expect to get sick or injured three days later. More often than not, he was right on this point.

I followed my coach’s guidelines religiously, not eating sugar the whole time he was my coach. Even after my teammates and coaches died in a plane crash the fall of my sophomore year, I continued the “no sugar” diet. But by the following spring, still wallowing in grief, I gave in and ate some Easter M & Ms. Those M & Ms led to more M & Ms which led to an eating disorder called bulimia. I was not taking care of the temple any more. I understand completely when I hear of others who have turned to alcohol or substances to hide their hurts, only harming themselves more, for that’s what I did with food.

But the day I gave my life to Jesus, He washed away that eating disorder! Not all my bad habits were washed away that day, but the eating disorder was. Jesus took the grief of losing my cross country team and gave me His peace and comfort. And He helped me eat right again. I pray He will do this for any of you who are struggling today, too.

An even more urgent need in our country right now is for God’s wisdom with the current Covid “vaccine.” This is something you do NOT want to put into God’s temple, your body. Being a pro-life advocate, I researched this treatment heavily and found out shocking news. Some of the shots are made from aborted babies and some are tested on aborted babies. They aren’t just using an old baby from the 1970’s. Each new batch of shots has to be tested again. There is no way God can bless a treatment with such horrible origins. That was enough for me to say “No” to these “vaccines.”

If that is not bad enough, there is an even more evil agenda out there to use these abortion-tainted drugs to euthanize people. I fear only a remnant will remain when this dreadful deed is done. That is why the shots were offered first to the elderly, handicapped and people of color. And now they are trying to get everyone else, especially people who will bear children. The shots contain spike proteins that cause blood clots, leading to seizures, strokes, and many other deadly ailments. You do not want this in your temple!

Dear One, trust me on this. Trust God’s Word on this. When He said “Thou Shalt Not Murder” in the Ten Commandments, He meant it. He never said it would be okay to kill a baby to make a “vaccine” to de-populate the planet! But He did say, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth” (Genesis 1:28).

If you have already gotten the vaccine, or if you feel like your temple is nearing its final miles, remember this most precious promise…

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)

Today’s TEA CUPP: Dear Runner, please study the verses in this devotion and pray hard for God to help you take care of this temple, your body. Eat right, drink lots of water, get your rest, read your Bible, and please don’t get the vaccine. We need you to carry the baton to the finish line! Hold fast to Jesus until the end.

In whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit. Ephesians 2:21-22 (NKJV)

And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” 2 Corinthians 6:16 (NKJV)

But Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end. Hebrews 3:6 (NKJV)

You also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 2:5 (NKJV)

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

Thank you for stopping by My TEA CUPP Prayers. If you enjoyed today’s devotion, you might also like to read Sheep to the Slaughter which has links to even more articles about the “vaccine.”

More “vaccine” info is coming forth every day. Here’s a recent video on why to keep them away from children (and all of us): Vaccines & The Law.

My 2021 Motto: Know Jesus. NO vaccine.

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

The Double Search

…To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God… Mark 4:11 (NKJV)

I grew up in a family that loved mystery stories, from reading Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys, to playing the game of Clue, to sitting around the living room as my daddy read Sherlock Holmes. There is something about a mystery that enthralls us…the problem, the bad guys, and the search for clues.  More exciting perhaps than the conclusion is the actual search.  My friends, every time we open our Bibles, we are detectives on the path of a mystery.  Each day as we open God’s Word and pray, He shows us another clue.  And the neat thing is, it’s really a double search, for God searches our hearts as we search His Word.

Every morning, I rise early, pour myself a cup of tea, and sit down in the corner of my sofa with my Bible and Jesus. I pray Psalm 119:18 Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from Your law.” And I let Jesus speak first as I sip my tea and search His Word.  And, do you know what He shows me in His law?  He often shows me where I fall short, how I have erred, where there is sin in my life.  These sins are the “bad guys” in our life stories.

One of the first verses I learned to pray for admitting my sins was Psalm 139:23-24…

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;
And see if there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting.
Psalm 139:23-24. (NKJV)

I would pray that verse every day, asking forgiveness for anything amiss that He showed me in my heart.  Since those early prayers, I’ve prayed many other verses, too, but “Search me, O God, and know my heart” remains a favorite. After He shows me my sins and I confess them, I pray, “Create in me a clean heart, O God” (Psalm 51:10), and I claim Jesus’ promise in Luke 7:48, “Then He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”

But who can discern their own errors?
    Forgive my hidden faults.  Psalm 19:12 (NKJV)

Examine me, O Lord, and prove me;
Try my mind and my heart.  Psalm 26:2 (NKJV)

I continue to read and search God’s Word for more wonderful verses about our Lord, about what He’s calling me to do, and about the promises He has for us.  Of course, there is a treasure at the end of every search.

When You said, “Seek My face,”
My heart said to You, “Your face, Lord, I will seek.”  Psalm 27:8 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: Dear Ones, I encourage YOU to join in this Double Search with Jesus each day! “Seek the Lord while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near” (Isaiah 55:6). For, “The Lord looks down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there are any who understand, who seek God” (Psalm 14:2).

O Lord, You have searched me and known me.
You know my sitting down and my rising up;
You understand my thought afar off.
Psalm 139:1-2 (NKJV)

Would not God search this out?
For He knows the secrets of the heart.  Psalm 44:21 (NKJV)

…for the Lord searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever. 1 Chronicles 28:9 (NKJV)

The spirit of a man is the lamp of the Lord,
Searching all the inner depths of his heart.
Proverbs 20:27 (NKJV)

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. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. Colossians 3:1-3 (NKJV)

It is the glory of God to conceal a matter,
But the glory of kings is to search out a matter.
Proverbs 25:2 (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)

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

The Persistent Widow Petitions

This week, I continue sharing keynote chapters from my next book, More TEA CUPP Prayers (Thank you for your prayers for me to finish it!). Each weekly devotion is focused on a Bible lady to draw you into your prayer time with Jesus.  I pray these are a blessing for you!

Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart. Luke 18:1 (NKJV)

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  Matthew 7:7 (NKJV)

She asked and she kept on asking. She sought and she kept on seeking.  She knocked and she kept on knocking.  Our final letter of the TEA CUPP, “P” for Petitions, is illustrated most aptly by this Bible lady, the Persistent Widow of Luke 18.

To learn about this part of prayer, we visit Jesus teaching His disciples through another parable. This time He was teaching them to pray and not to give up.  His story was about a dear widow who was desperate for help. Perhaps you can sympathize with this lady, either being a widow or in need, you know the panicky feeling.

Here was a lady in a hopeless situation. She had lost her husband and needed assistance.  This lady did not let her circumstances define her. She took her case to the only one she knew, a judge who was dreadfully evil. She boldly went to the judge and pleaded over and over for help against her adversary.  When at first he wouldn’t help her, the widow continued to knock at his door and ask. Finally, to get her to leave him in peace, the judge granted this woman’s request. That judge did not respond because he was kind and caring, but because he wanted her to stop bothering him.  If an evil judge can help a poor lady, how much more will our heavenly Father who loves and cherishes us. 

Jesus tells us, “How much more will your Father in heaven” help us when we call upon Him (Matthew 7:11). For He is not a wicked judge, but a loving Father. James tells us, “You do not have because you do not ask” (James 4:2). Let’s ask God for all that is on our hearts and persevere and not give up, following the example of the persistent widow.

Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said. And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” Luke 18:6-8 (NKJV)

What am I petitioning the Lord Jesus, our righteous Judge, for right now?  For so many things…an end to abortion, healing for dear ones, healing for our nation and world, an end to covid and vaccines and masks and fear, salvation for loved ones and our nation…  What has God shown me in His Word?  One day in Exodus 28 I read about the priestly garments the gifted artisans made for Aaron and his sons.  On their shoulders and breast plates they carried the names of the twelve tribes of Israel, bearing their names before the Lord; and so I bear up the names of my family and loved ones to Jesus continually.

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Read the entire parable of the Persistent Widow in Luke 18:1-8 today.  Dear One, be like this brave lady! Cry out day and night to God with your PETITIONS.  We know He wants to hear our prayers because Jesus told this parable, encouraging us to pray.  Pour your heart out to Him in prayer, and may Jesus find you faithful when He comes. 

Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.  Hebrews 4:16 (NKJV)

Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints. Ephesians 6:18 (NKJV)

In whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him.  Ephesians 3:12 (NKJV)

Lord my God, in You I put my trust;
Save me from all those who persecute me;
And deliver me.  Psalm 7:1 (NKJV)

Hear a just cause, O Lord,
Attend to my cry;
Give ear to my prayer which is not from deceitful lips.  Psalm 17:1 (NKJV)

Let Your mercy, O Lord, be upon us,
Just as we hope in You.  Psalm 33:22 (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.  Revelation 3:10 (NKJV)

Thank you for stopping by My TEA CUPP Prayers.  If you enjoyed today’s devotion, you might also like to read other excepts from my next book:  Esther’s Great CallingThe Red Cord: Rahab’s StoryWashed Clean like Mary Magdalene, and Exalting Like the Alabaster Lady and Promises from Under the Table.

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

 

The Blessed Easter Tree

 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)

God planted a tree for you, my friend.  This Blessed Easter Tree, this Old Rugged Cross, is truly the Tree of Life for all humanity.  For no one can enter into the presence of God in heaven, unless she goes through the door of this Blessed Easter Tree.

“On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross, the emblem of suffering and shame; and I love that old cross where the dearest and best for a world of lost sinners was slain” (George Bennard, 1913).

Who would think that we could find this favorite old hymn and the Easter story in the Old Testament book of Ezekiel? Yet we shouldn’t be surprised, for the entire Bible, God’s Word, points to our Savior Jesus Christ, telling His story from creation to eternity.  In Ezekiel we find not only God breathing life into dead bones, making them new creations like we are when we believe in Jesus. He also paints the picture of a tree planted on a hill to save a nation.  Could this be our “Old Rugged Cross?”

Set aside time today to read Ezekiel 16 and 17, chapters which outline the sins of Israel.  As we think of our world today, you might even think Ezekiel is talking about the USA, while at the end of each chapter, God sagaciously gives us hope!  In Ezekiel 16:63, He promises us, “…when I provide you an atonement for all you have done…” And in Ezekiel 17:23 He says, “On the mountain height of Israel I will plant it; and it will bring forth boughs, and bear fruit, and be a majestic cedar…” So first comes the promise of atonement in Ezekiel 16:63, followed by how God will do it in Ezekiel 17:23 — by planting a tree on the mountain.  That tree is the cross of Christ, a fruit-bearing tree. The fruit is you and me and all those who believe in Jesus’ death and resurrection, spreading the Good News to others.

And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left.  Luke 23:33 (NKJV)

On Calvary’s mountain a wooden cross was planted in the ground. On that same cross, the Son of God was willingly nailed to pay the price of the world’s sins (that means yours and mine!).  His Name is Jesus, perfect, without sin, our precious Lord. After He died, His followers laid Him in a tomb. Roman soldiers stood guard before the stone, but they had no power over the Son of God. For on the third day, angels came and rolled the stone away and Jesus rose from the grave, appearing first to Mary Magdalene (Mark 16:9), saying, “Mary” (John 20:16). And He still calls our names today.  God’s Church has brought forth many branches and has been bearing fruit ever since that day, bringing glory to our majestic Savior.  

And we declare to you glad tidings—that promise which was made to the fathers. God has fulfilled this for us their children, in that He has raised up Jesus. As it is also written in the second Psalm: ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.’  Acts 13:32-33 (NKJV)

“So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross, till my trophies at last I lay down; I will cling to the old rugged cross, and exchange it some day for a crown” (George Bennard,1913).

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Read Ezekiel 16-17 and other Easter verses. Confess your sins and the sins of our nation.  Claim Jesus’ promises of atonement (Ezekiel 16:63) and salvation (Ezekiel 17:23).  Rejoice in the good news of His resurrection. Hear your risen Savior call your name, “_______.”

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

Why Jesus Came: ...I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. John 10:10 (NKJV)

Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are You a king then?” Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”  John 18:37 (NKJV) – Oh, how we need His truth today!

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.  John 3:16-17 (NKJV)

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. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.  Philippians 2:8-11 (NKJV) – Oh Father, be glorified this Easter!

How Jesus saved us:  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)

An Easter prayer:  That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.  Philippians 3:10 (NKJV) – Amen.

Happy, Blessed Easter from My TEA CUPP Prayers to you!  If you enjoyed today’s devotion, you also might like to read My Glory All the Cross and Remember the Cross and The Witness of the Stone.

After two days He will revive us;
On the third day He will raise us up,
That we may live in His sight.  Hosea 6:2 (NKJV)

But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.”  Matthew 28:5-6 (NKJV)

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV)

I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.  John 15:5 (NKJV)

For I know that my Redeemer lives,
And He shall stand at last on the earth;
And after my skin is destroyed, this I know,
That in my flesh I shall see God,
Whom I shall see for myself,
And my eyes shall behold, and not another.
How my heart yearns within me!  Job 19:25-27 (NKJV)

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

Walking Through the Valley

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

Our pastor gave a great sermon the other Sunday.  He explained how we have to go through the valley of the shadow of death to reach pure obedience.  We have to die to disobedience, die to corrupt hearts, die to sin, die to self, die to the flesh…give it all to Jesus and be raised to new life with Him. 

What doctors are doing to our granddaughter to take away her cancer is much like this sermon. They are hitting her hard with chemo and steroids, making her weak and weary. The drugs knock her out, tearfully bringing her again through the valley of the shadow of death.  But when the treatments end and Jesus has healed her, she will be raised to new life, running and playing like other little girls again. 

 

And then there is our country, trying to get well from the COVID19 of 2020.  We can’t do this on our own. We need God’s help and healing and intervention.  But in order to raise our country to new life, He must first take us through the valley of the shadow of death…death of loved ones, death of our sins, death of riots, death of killing babies, death of corrupt politics, death of selfishness and every other sin that surrounds us.  

I feared that the coronavirus would disappear before there was a revival. But now it looks like it is spiking again. Friends, God is giving us another chance.  He is calling to us: Repent! Turn to Jesus! Follow the Lord!   

If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.  2 Chronicles 7:14 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Let’s all humbly examine our own hearts today.  Read God’s Word and seek His face.  Turn from every sin He shows us and pray to Jesus who gave His life for us on the cross.  Then He will hear, forgive and heal us.  Pray everyday for a revival across this land!

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

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV)

Arise, O God, judge the earth;
For You shall inherit all nations. Psalm 82:8 (NKJV)

The instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, to pull down, and to destroy it, if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it. And the instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it, if it does evil in My sight so that it does not obey My voice, then I will relent concerning the good with which I said I would benefit it.  Jeremiah 18:7-10 (NKJV)

P.S. If you are inspired by today’s devotion, you might also enjoy reading Stripes Across our Nation.

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

Shining in the Darkness

Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.
Psalm 119:105 (NKJV)

As the days grew shorter in the latter part of summer, I had a more difficult time squeezing in my running workouts before breakfast on the long-run days.  One Sunday my workout said to run 24 miles, as I was training for my first marathon.  In order to get in such a long run and still make it to the second church service, I needed to leave at 5 a.m. Setting my alarm for 3 a.m. I got up to have my TEA time with Jesus.  But by 5 a.m. it was still dark out, so I took a flashlight and put bear bells on my ponytail.  The big flashlight was a little cumbersome as I made my way down the highway in the last hour before dawn, but I was thankful for the light, pushing aside the darkness, pointing out any stumbling blocks, and shining into the distance to alert possible travelers. 

And I started to think, “Hmm…this would make a good devotion,” as I often do when I’m running and praying.  My flashlight was lighting the highway just as God’s Word lights the path we should take.  We have to get into His Word and read our Bibles every day so we can have this light.  Jesus is the light who came into the world and now His Spirit lives inside us. 

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

Now as the autumn days grow even shorter, I have the same trouble I had in August, trying to squeeze in just a short run before breakfast.  It is still dark at 7:30 a.m. So once again, I pull out my flashlight and shine it into the darkness.  But soon I will have to give up the outside runs to darkness and snow, visiting the gym where I hope I can shine for Jesus, too. 

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.  Matthew 5:16 (NKJV)

Another day I was having my quiet time and God showed me this verse…

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)

The funny thing was that when I was reading this verse, our power was out and I had only a little flashlight to illuminate my Bible.  I think of how one single candle and many mirrors could light up a room.  Help me be that candle or mirror and reflect your light to a world in darkness.  Thank you for shining Your light into my darkness.  Keep shining Jesus!  Keep me shining!

He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love. Colossians 1:13 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: Dear TEA friend, use your quiet time this morning to recharge your batteries.  Read your Bible. Let God’s Word kindle that spark in your heart, shining out through your eyes and smile and hands and actions to a world that so desperately needs the light of Jesus.

The entrance of Your words gives light;
It gives understanding to the simple. Psalm 119:130 (NKJV)

For You will light my lamp;
The Lord my God will enlighten my darkness. Psalm 18:28 (NKJV)

If you enjoyed today’s devotion, you might also like A Runner’s TEA CUPP and My Light TEA, Or today’s devotion from Our Daily Bread which I just noticed is on the same theme with another powerful story.

 Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain. Philippians 2:14-16 (NKJV)

The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Romans 13:12 (NKJV)

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