God is Near, Dear One

The Lord is near to all who call upon Him,
To all who call upon Him in truth.
Psalm 145:18 (NKJV)

Dear One, Perhaps you have seen a theme in my trilogy of devotions. A few weeks ago I shared, “God Hears, Dear One” for some might wonder if God is hearing our prayers as our country crumbles. Last week I wrote, “Fear Not, Dear One” to encourage you in the face of scary news. Today I share “God is Near, Dear One” to remind you He is right here with us in the battle.

Do you remember the good old Christmas hymns? Many of them ask Jesus to come… “Come Thou long expected Jesus, born to set Thy people free“… and “Oh, Come, Oh, Come Immanuel…” What does Immanuel mean? It means God with us! And He came as a Baby and grew to be a Man and walked this earth and shed His blood and died for our sins on the cross and rose again. When Jesus went to heaven He sent His Holy Spirit to be our Helper. God is really with us!

Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” Matthew 1:23 (NKJV)

How can we know God is with us? Open our Bibles and read His Word. With a daily Bible time we read God’s amazing story and promises. We are so blessed when we fill up on God’s Word each day. We know the Lord will meet us in our Bible time for He promises us in James…

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you…. James 4:8 (NKJV)

Isn’t that a wonderful promise? If we draw near to God by reading HIs Word, He will meet us there. When we open our Bibles, it’s like opening the door and inviting Jesus in for tea. But we must do this TODAY and every day! Tomorrow might be too late. Isaiah tells us to seek the Lord while He may be found…

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

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. Revelation 3:20 (NKJV)

Perhaps one way to assure ourselves God is near, is to invite Him into our quiet tea and Bible time. We might begin by praying “Thy Kingdom come” from the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:10, or “Amen, even so, come Lord Jesus” from the end of Revelation 22. We could sing one of the Christmas hymns, “Oh, Come, Oh, Come Immanuel” or the third verse from Away in a Manger, “Be near me Lord Jesus, I ask Thee to stay, close by me forever and love me, I pray..”

We should also claim the promises found in God’s Word that reassure us He is here…

Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go… Genesis 28:15 (NKJV)

Yet You, O Lord, are in our midst,
And we are called by Your name;
Do not leave us!
Jeremiah 14:9 (NKJV)

The Lord your God in your midst,
The Mighty One, will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.
Zephaniah 3:17 (NKJV)

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

During this time of plagues and losing loved ones, we especially need God’s Word to comfort us and reassure us He is near…

The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart,
And saves such as have a contrite spirit.
Psalm 34:18 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: God is near, dear one! He really truly is! Underline these promises in your Bible and write them in your prayer journal. Be assured that Jesus is with you always and will never leave you nor forsake you!

lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Matthew 28: 20 (NKJV)

For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5 (NKJV)

I hope you will enjoy this lovely rendition of Fanny Cosby’s “I Am Thine O Lord” where the chorus repeats, “Draw me nearer, nearer blessed Lord…” That’s what we want, to draw near to our Savior Jesus….

O, the pure delight of a single hours that before Thy throne I spend, When I kneel in prayer, and with Thee, my God, I commune as friend with friend. Draw me nearer, nearer blessed Lord to the cross where Thou has died, Draw me nearer, nearer blessed Lord to Thy precious bleeding side. (I am thine, O Lord verse 3, by Fanny Crosby, 1875)

The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying:
“Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love;
Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.”
Jeremiah 31:3 (NKJV)

No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. John 6:44 (NKJV)

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

Fear Not, Dear One

Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:10 (NKJV)

Hello, Dear One! I’m writing this for myself, as well as for you. Perhaps you’ve heard disturbing news recently that has you fearful? I know I have! Earlier this year a friend mentioned there are 365 Bible verses that tell us not to fear, one for each day of the year. When I have my quiet time with Jesus, I’ve been writing down the “fear not” verses He shows me in His Word.

Before I share those with you, let’s remember there is One we should fear — God. Joshua 4:24 says, “That you may fear the Lord your God forever.” That means we fear the Lord more than any person. We would rather please God than man, and so we obey all His commandments.

Who would not fear You, O King of the nations?
For this is Your rightful due.
For among all the wise men of the nations,
And in all their kingdoms,
There is none like You.
Jeremiah 10:7 (NKJV)

We must be like Daniel and his friends. Daniel did not fear the lions, he only wanted to please God with his prayers. Shadrack, Meshach, and Abed-Nego did not fear the fiery furnace, they feared God and would not bow down to any idol. Dear One, we too must follow their examples and say…

If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up. Daniel 3:17-18 (NKJV)

May we have such courage when we face fearful situations! From Genesis to Revelation, God tells us to FEAR NOT!

Now therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones…. Genesis 50:21 (NKJV)

And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.” Exodus 14:13-14 (NKJV)

You must not fear them, for the Lord your God Himself fights for you. Deuteronomy 3:22 (NKJV)

You shall not be afraid of them, but you shall remember well what the Lord your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt. Deuteronomy 7:18 (NKJV)

Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6 (NKJV)

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9 (NKJV)

Be strong and courageous; do not be afraid nor dismayed before the king of Assyria, nor before all the multitude that is with him; for there are more with us than with him. 2 Chronicles 32:7 (NKJV)

You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
Nor of the arrow that flies by day.
Psalm 91:5 (NKJV)

The Lord is on my side;
I will not fear.
What can man do to me?
Psalm 118:6 (NKJV)

Do not be afraid of sudden terror,
Nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes;
For the Lord will be your confidence,
And will keep your foot from being caught.
Proverbs 3:25-26 (NKJV)

For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand,
Saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.’
Isaiah 41:13 (NKJV)

But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob,
And He who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name;
You are Mine.
Isaiah 43:1 (NKJV)

Listen to Me, you who know righteousness,
You people in whose heart is My law:
Do not fear the reproach of men,
Nor be afraid of their insults.
Isaiah 51:7 (NKJV)

Do not be afraid of their faces,
For I am with you to deliver you,” says the Lord.
Jeremiah 1:8 (NKJV)

But Jesus came and touched them and said, “Arise, and do not be afraid.” Matthew 17:7 (NKJV)

But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. Matthew 28:5 (NKJV)

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

...Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid. Mark 6:50 (NKJV)

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)

,,,Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. Revelation 1:17 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: Read Daniel 3 and be encouraged by the story of Daniel’s courageous friends. Perhaps you’d like to begin your own treasure hunt to find all 365 “fear not” verses. Underline them in your Bible, write them on notecards, put them where you will see them each day, and share them with your friends. Reading the Psalms may also quiet your fears, Psalm 140 is appropriate to pray at this time. Oh, Dear One, God has a plan, fear not!

Say to those who are fearful-hearted,
“Be strong, do not fear!
Behold, your God will come with vengeance,
With the recompense of God;
He will come and save you.”
Isaiah 35:4 (NKJV)

You will keep him in perfect peace,
Whose mind is stayed on You,
Because he trusts in You.
Trust in the Lord forever,
For in Yah, the Lord, is everlasting strength.
Isaiah 26:3-4 (NKJV)

Thank you for stopping by My TEA CUPP Prayers. If you enjoyed today’s devotion, you might also like to read God Hears, Dear One.

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

God Hears, Dear One

It shall come to pass
That before they call, I will answer;
And while they are still speaking, I will hear Isaiah 65:24 (NKJV)

Dear Sister in Christ,    Have you been meeting with Jesus each morning for a TEA CUPP and wondering if He’s really been there listening?  Have you been reading His Word, listening for His Voice, wondering if He is hearing as you pour out your heart to Him?  Does a family member still have cancer? Is a marriage still breaking? Is a couple still waiting for children?  Is a prodigal child still lost?  We might feel like Job and Habakkuk who cried out…

I cry out to You, but You do not answer me… Job 30:20 (NKJV)

Lord, how long shall I cry,
And You will not hear?
Even cry out to You, “Violence!”
And You will not save.  Habakkuk 1:2 (NKJV)

I was wondering this same thing myself as my health declined and our country continued a downward spiral.  Was the Lord really hearing my prayers? How could I know for sure? By searching His Word! And so, each morning, I jot down any verses that promise me God hears my prayers.  I share a selection of these with you today to encourage you!

And God heard the voice of the lad… Genesis 21:17 (NKJV)

So God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. Exodus 2:14 (NKJV)

...And it will be that when he cries to Me, I will hear, for I am gracious.  Exodus 22:27 (NKJV)

You will make your prayer to Him,
He will hear you,
And you will pay your vows.  Job 22:27 (NKJV)

…For He hears the cry of the afflicted. Job 34:28 (NKJV)

I cried to the Lord with my voice,
And He heard me from His holy hill.  Psalm 3:4 (NKJV)

…The Lord will hear when I call to Him.  Psalm 4:3 (NKJV)

Lord, You have heard the desire of the humble;
You will prepare their heart;
You will cause Your ear to hear. Psalm 10:17 (NKJV)

I have called upon You, for You will hear me, O God;
Incline Your ear to me, and hear my speech.  Psalm 17:6 (NKJV)

The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
And His ears are open to their cry.  Psalm 34:15 (NKJV)

The Lord is far from the wicked,
But He hears the prayer of the righteous.  Proverbs 15:29 (NKJV)

He will be very gracious to you at the sound of your cry;
When He hears it, He will answer you.  Isaiah 30:19 (NKJV)

…I, the Lord, will hear them;
I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.  Isaiah 41:17 (NKJV)

...And in the time of their trouble,
When they cried to You,
You heard from heaven… Nehemiah 9:27 (NKJV)

Now we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him.  John 9:31 (NKJV)

…your prayer has been heard, and your alms are remembered in the sight of God.  Acts 10:31 (NKJV)

For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
And His ears are open to their prayers;
But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil… 1 Peter 3:12 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Today I want to assure you, God hears you, dear one! He knows your pleas for healing.  He catches every tear for your prodigal children and broken marriages. He hears our petitions for the lost. He welcomes your cries for our nation and world. Look up these verses in your Bible and underline your favorites. Mark them with a “P” for Promises.  Claim them as promises Jesus has made to you.  Then pour out your heart again for He hears you!!!

Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;
You shall cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’…
Isaiah 58:9 (NKJV)

O Lord, I pray, please let Your ear be attentive to the prayer of Your servant, and to the prayer of Your servants who desire to fear Your name... Nehemiah 1:11 (NKJV)

Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.  And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.  1 John 5:14-15 (NKJV)

 

 

 

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

Count the Stars

He counts the number of the stars;
He calls them all by name. 
Psalm 147:4 (NKJV)

Remember the story of Abraham, how God told him to count the stars?  This is one of my favorite Sunday school stories for preschoolers.  Children have no trouble believing God’s promise that Abraham will have many kids.  They love to sing, “Father Abraham, had several sons…” with arms and legs going in every direction. And there are so many fun star crafts we can make to remind us of God’s promise.  But as the years go by, I realize how much more there is to this story.  This is not just for preschoolers, this is the HISTORY of God’s people, His chosen nation, the Israelites.  We who are Christians are counted as having come from Abraham’s seed, because we have faith like Abraham. And the best news is we get to share in God’s promise to Abraham!

Many, O Lord my God, are Your wonderful works
Which You have done;
And Your thoughts toward us
Cannot be recounted to You in order;
If I would declare and speak of them,
They are more than can be numbered. Psalm 40:5 (NKJV)

We first meet Abraham (who was originally called Abrahm) in Genesis 11 with Noah’s family tree.  Abraham is listed as a descendent of Noah’s son Shem (Gen. 11:27).  In Genesis 12 we get the first glimpse of God’s promise to Abraham, when God commanded…

…”Get out of your country,
From your family
And from your father’s house,
To a land that I will show you.
I will make you a great nation;
I will bless you
And make your name great;
And you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you,
And I will curse him who curses you;
And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
 Genesis 12:1-2 (NKJV)

In Genesis 15, God gave Abraham the Promise again…

Then He brought him outside and said, “Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” Genesis 15:5 (NKJV)

We must remember that this promise came when Abraham had no children!  How could God make him have so many descendants?  Abraham didn’t question God, he only believed. And so did his wife, Sarah. For we read in Hebrews 11…

By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised. Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born as many as the stars of the sky in multitude—innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore.  Hebrews 11:11-12 (NKJV)

Abraham couldn’t count all the stars for it would be like counting all the grains of sand on the seashore.  If we continue reading in our Bibles, we learn how Abraham and Sarah begot Isaac (one son) in their old age (Gen. 21). Isaac and Rebekah begot two sons, Jacob and Esau (Genesis 25:24-33).  Jacob and his wives begot twelves sons (Gen. 35:22-26). And by the time Jacob was an old man, there were over 70 family members who went with him to Egypt (Gen. 45:27).  430 years later, the Israelites had become over 2,000,000 people.  That’s 603,500 men age 20 and older, plus their wives, children, and the Levites (Exodus 12:40, Numbers 1:46).  Just as Abraham could not imagine or count this when he had no children, neither can we count all the blessings God gives to us. 

The Lord your God has multiplied you, and here you are today, as the stars of heaven in multitude. Deuteronomy 1:10 (NKJV)

How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How great is the sum of them!
If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand. Psalm 139:17-18 (NKJV)


Today’s TEA CUPP: Read about the day God promised Abraham many children in Genesis 15. If you’d like to read even more, Stephen gave a stunning recap of Abraham’s story and Israel’s history in Acts 7, and Psalm 105 is also a beautiful recount. With the promise, Abraham also received a vision of the dark days in Egypt and the rescue of God’s people.  We are part of that promise!  God has rescued us from our dark days of sin and is bringing us to the Promised Land.  Hallelujah!  Oh, dear one, our blessings, like Abraham’s, are as many as the stars!  How many can you count and thank Jesus for today?

For He who is mighty has done great things for me,
And holy is His name.  Luke 1:49 (NKJV)

Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, Your servants, to whom You swore by Your own self, and said to them, ‘I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven; and all this land that I have spoken of I give to your descendants, and they shall inherit it forever.’ Exodus 32:13 (NKJV)

You who were as numerous as the stars in the sky will be left but few in number, because you did not obey the Lord your God. Deuteronomy 28:62 (NKJV)

For He remembered His holy promise,
And Abraham His servant.
He brought out His people with joy,
His chosen ones with gladness.
He gave them the lands of the Gentiles,
And they inherited the labor of the nations,
That they might observe His statutes
And keep His laws.  Praise the Lord!  Psalm 105:42-45 (NKJV)

You have dealt well with Your servant,
O Lord, according to Your word. Psalm 119:65 (NKJV)

P.S.  I didn’t plan for this devotion to run right before the 4th of July weekend, but God must have planned it!  As you see the stars in our flag, remember God’s promise to Abraham and thank Him for the blessings of living in the USA.  As you go camping, look up at the summer night sky and see if you can count the stars. Thank God for every star and blessing.

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

 

 

 

Jesus, Our Greatest Example

 …Give thanks to the Lord Almighty,
    for the Lord is good;
    His love endures forever…
Jeremiah 33:11 (NIV)

Whether you are new to prayer, or this is a regular routine for you, it is always a blessing to be reminded how our Lord Jesus prayed when He walked this earth. Jesus is our example in all things, including THANKSGIVING to the Lord. Isn’t it a wonder that our Lord gave thanks to the Father, showing us how to give thanks to the Father, when He and the Father are One?

We find so many times in the Gospels when Jesus gave thanks…

When the 70 disciples returned from their first mission trip (Luke 10:17-24):

In that hour Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit and said, “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight. Luke 10:21 (NKJV)

When Jesus fed the 5000 with five loaves and two fish (John 6:1-14):

And Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks He distributed them to the disciples, and the disciples to those sitting down; and likewise of the fish, as much as they wanted. John 6:11 (NKJV)

When praying to the Father to raise His friend Lazarus (John 11:1-44):

Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me.” John 11:41 (NKJV)

At the Last Supper with His disciples (Luke 22:7-20):

Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, “Take this and divide it among yourselves.” Luke 22:17 (NKJV)

And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” Luke 22:19 (NKJV)

With these true stories in mind, I follow Jesus’ example, beginning my prayers with THANKSGIVING. Whether I’m welcoming my sons home from a mission trip, feeding my family, praying for healing for loved ones, or just having TEA with Jesus, I begin with thanks. Perhaps my biggest THANKS recently was attending my granddaughter Kennedy’s preschool graduation one year after she was diagnosed with cancer. If you are a follower of my blog, you know how this Grandma’s heart was broken and cried desperate pleas to God the Father last year for healing for our granddaughter. She had no hair and couldn’t walk after the first rounds of chemo. I prayed and prayed, “Talitha, Cumi, Little One, arise,” and God raised her from her sofa bed to attend preschool and gymnastics! And Jesus let me attend her graduations while her new baby sister was being born. Oh, what double blessings all in one day! I thank you Lord Jesus, for you have heard my prayers and seen my tears and sent life to this family!

There is always something for which to be thankful, dear sisters. Even when the whole world is falling apart, we can thank Jesus that our names are written in heaven and that we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken. Hold onto these precious verses of THANKSGIVING this coming year…

Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven. Luke 10:20 (NKJV)

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe. Hebrews 12:28 (NIV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: Choose one of the Bible stories above to read today and see the miracles that came after Jesus gave thanks. Select one THANKSGIVING verse to write in your prayer journal, pouring out your thanks to the Lord. The Father will be so happy to hear from you!

We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty,
The One who is and who was and who is to come,
Because You have taken Your great power and reigned.
Revelation 11:17 (NKJV)

As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving. Colossians 2:6-7 (NKJV)

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

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

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)

…and His name is called The Word of God.  Revelation 19:13 (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)

But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it.  Deuteronomy 30:14 (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.

How Many Have We Broken?

Then the Lord delivered to me two tablets of stone written with the finger of God, and on them were all the words which the Lord had spoken to you on the mountain from the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly.  Deuteronomy 9:10 (NKJV)

If God had given the Ten Commandments to Adam and Eve, how many did they break?  You know the story… Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden and God told them not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  Adam and Eve are found in Genesis in our Bibles, while the Ten Commandments first appear in the second book, Exodus, so Adam and Eve actually didn’t have these ten rules from God.  Besides God telling them to be fruitful and multiply and to watch over all the living things (Genesis 1:28), His only other command to Adam and Eve was this:

But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die. Genesis 2:17 (NKJV)

When the serpent came and told Eve to eat the fruit, she ate it and gave some to Adam to eat, as well.  But, I wonder, if they had been given the Ten Commandments, which ones would they have broken?

Here are the Ten Commandments as listed in Exodus 20…

  1. You shall have no other gods before Me. Did Adam and Eve make the serpent their God?
  2. You shall not make for yourself a carved image.
  3. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
  4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
  5. Honor your father and your mother. Did Adam and Eve bring dishonor to their Father in heaven when they disobeyed?
  6. You shall not murder. (Their son Cain took care of this one)
  7. You shall not commit adultery.
  8. You shall not steal. Did Adam and Eve steal the forbidden fruit?
  9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. Did Adam and Eve try to hide what they had done?
  10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s belongings. Did Adam and Eve covet the fruit?

Looks like Adam and Eve broke at least five of the Ten Commandments. Now let’s look at the track record for the USA…

  1. You shall have no other gods before Me. Sports, Hollywood, money…the list goes on.
  2. You shall not make for yourself a carved image.Seems like there are statues everywhere.
  3. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain. Even conservative talk shows take God’s name in vain.  Lord help us!
  4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. How many stores and people don’t keep a Sabbath any more?
  5. Honor your father and your mother. How many kids even live with their fathers and mothers?
  6. You shall not murder. Countless babies are murdered every day by abortion.
  7. You shall not commit adultery. Don’t even want to go there. 
  8. You shall not steal. Crime is rampant.
  9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. Even the politicians and judges tell lies.
  10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s belongings. Think we could do this one?

If Adam and Eve were kicked out of the garden for breaking only five out of Ten Commandments, how much more the USA for breaking all Ten Commandments?? No wonder we are hurting!  No wonder every day brings more bad news.  But there is Good News, dear sister in Christ.  For God not only punished Adam and Eve, but He also promised a Savior.  At the very time God gave Adam and Eve their punishment, He gave a promise that from Eve’s Seed would come a Savior to bruise the head of Satan (Genesis 3:15).  That Savior is Jesus Christ who died on the cross for our sins and rose again to eternal life in heaven.  Believe this Good News for yourself and for our country, dear one!

Every day in my Bible readings I find more verses to pray for our nation.  Just think how God could see the future and know that His Word would not only cover Adam and Eve and the Israelites,  but even us today, and also for the end of time.  For our National Day of Prayer, I prayed a prayer based on Isaiah 1.  I invite you to pray this prayer today…

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Dear Father in Heaven, …Our country is desolate, our cities are burned with fire; Strangers devour our land in our presence; and it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers. …Unless the Lord of hosts had left to us a very small remnant, we would have become like Sodom, We would have been made like Gomorrah. O help us hear Your Word, O Lord, you rulers of the USA. Give ear to the law of our God, you people of America. Our hands are full of the blood of unborn babies. Wash us clean, O Lord. We repent and put away all evil, we seek justice, We claim Your promise to make our sins white as snow. May we eat the good of the land again; Protect us from the sword of the enemy, Restore our judges as at the first. May we be called once again the city of righteousness, the faithful city. May we be a beacon of hope to the world. Send a revival across this land, O Jesus, put Your law in the hearts of Your people and be our God, the God of the United States of America. May the dark night be over!  We claim Your promise to help us at the break of dawn. In the name of Jesus Christ we pray.  Amen.

For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.  Hebrews 8:10 (NKJV)

And I will delight myself in Your commandments,
Which I love.  Psalm 119:47 (NKJV)

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)

Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You;
And let those who love Your salvation say continually,
“Let God be magnified!  Psalm 70:4 (NKJV)

Thank you for stopping by My TEA. CUPP Prayers!  If you enjoyed today’s devotion, you might also like to read Admitting with Eve and USA, Arise, Come Forth!

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

Oh, America, Why Do You Sleep?

Then He said to them, “Why do you sleep? Rise and pray, lest you enter into temptation.”  Luke 22:46 (NKJV)

While you are asleep, America, someone is killing your children and grandchildren.  

While you are asleep, America, someone is letting evil across your borders.

While you are asleep, America, someone is eroding the Biblical values upon which this nation was built.  Oh, America, Why do you sleep?  

Dear Ladies, this week I exhort you to pray for this nation more than ever.  Abortion and baby-killing are being funded by our government.  Our borders have been opened for the horrors of human-trafficking and drug cartels.  And the Biblical laws that were the basis for our country are being eroded with every swipe of Washington’s pen.  

God’s Word to the prophet Jeremiah proclaims, 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). Oh, America, how can you sleep?

Did you know that before Jesus went to the cross, He exhorted His disciples in the same way? Our dear Savior was pouring His heart out to His Heavenly Father in the Garden of Gethsamene.  He took His close friends Peter, James, and John, asking them to stay and watch with Him.  Jesus was only a stone’s throw away from them as He petitioned the Father to remove this cup of crucifixion.  Three times He prayed and then found the disciples sleeping.  Our precious Lord was alone in His prayers.  

Then He came to His disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going. See, My betrayer is at hand.”  Matthew 26:45-46 (NKJV)

Oh, America, Rise and pray!

Jesus still comes to us today, saying, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand, and (America) is being betrayed into the hands of sinners.” The Lord is calling us today, “Rise and pray!”  He looks down from heaven upon His children to see if any seek after Him.  Are we reading our Bibles? Are we praying? Are we lifting up this country and leaders? Are we praying for the babies and children and peace and safety for all?  Are we praying for God to raise up Christian leaders who will reclaim this nation with laws based on God’s Word?  Oh, dear ones, there is so much for which we must pray, we could pray all night like Jesus.

Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. Luke 6:12 (NKJV)

Oh, America, God will hear your cries!

Ladies, our prayers for America are not in vain.  Over and over in His Word, God promises that He hears our cries and will be gracious to us…

You will make your prayer to Him,
He will hear you,
And you will pay your vows.  Job 22:7 (NKJV)

Lord, You have heard the desire of the humble;
You will prepare their heart;
You will cause Your ear to hear. Psalm 10:17 (NKJV)

…He will be very gracious to you at the sound of your cry;
When He hears it, He will answer you.  Isaiah 30:19 (NKJV)

For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
And His ears are open to their prayers;
But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.  1 Peter 3:12 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Oh ladies across America, why do you sleep? Rise and pray!  God will hear your cries!  Read and pray Daniel 9:1-19. Join in the National Day of Prayer on May 6th and pray for our country and leaders more than ever. Then continue to pray every day for your family and neighbors. May God sweep this land with a revival, turning hearts to Him, and pouring out His Holy Spirit before His return.

O Lord, I pray, please let Your ear be attentive to the prayer of Your servant, and to the prayer of Your servants who desire to fear Your name… Nehemiah 1:11 (NKJV)

Arise, O Lord,
Do not let man prevail;
Let the nations be judged in Your sight.
Put them in fear, O Lord,
That the nations may know themselves to be but men. Psalm 9:19-20 (NKJV)

Help us, O God of our salvation,
For the glory of Your name;
And deliver us, and provide atonement for our sins,
For Your name’s sake!
Why should the nations say,
“Where is their God?”
Let there be known among the nations in our sight
The avenging of the blood of Your servants which has been shed.  Psalm 27:9-10 (NKJV)

Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,
The people He has chosen as His own inheritance.  Psalm 33:12 (NKJV)

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