My Love Letter from God

“I have loved you,” says the Lord…. Malachi 1:2

Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!… 1 John 3:1 (NKJV)

Dear Jenny Grace,

I love you.  You are My child, a jewel in My crown (Zephaniah 9:16). Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.  Before you were born, I sanctified you (Jeremiah 1:5).  When I look down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there are any who understand, who seek God (Psalm 14:2), I see you reading My Word and praying every day, and I love you.

When you were a little girl, you always looked up at the big blue sky, smiling at Me.  Even if you were inside, you would run to a window to smile up at Me in the heavens.  I had the neighbor girl tell you about Me when you were just three years old, as she helped you with your sweatshirt zipper.  I gave you a good family; when you saw your grandma kneeling by her bed praying one night, you wanted to do the same.  We had some good conversations until the cares of junior and senior high stole you away.  But I wouldn’t let anyone snatch you from My hands (John 10:28-29), because I love you.  

I let you follow your own path for a while, because I love you.  It was bumpy and you stumbled often, but I would never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5).  I gave you a persevering spirit, knowing you would need it down the road.  With that perseverance, you ran thousands of miles, often smiling up at the big blue sky and Me, but sometimes forgetting Me.  When you ran at crazy times in the dark, I gave my angels charge over you to keep you in all your ways (Psalm 91:11). I let you walk-on to the Iowa State University cross country team to show you some real runners and Someone even greater, because I love you.

At ISU, you had to press on toward the goal to win the prize (Philippians 3:14), but it wasn’t the prize you thought.  It broke My heart to break your heart and the hearts of so many others your sophomore year. But I did it, because I love you.  For one moment, I looked away and let that airplane fall out of the sky, taking your beloved coaches and teammates home to be with Me.  I know it hurt you so much.  You couldn’t even run for years.  You were so mad at Me that you ran away, burying your sorrows in food and poor relationships that broke your heart even more. You really made a mess of things.  Yet, this was all part of My plan to bring you back to Me. I heard your cries and brought you out of your horrible pit (Psalm 40:2). I had some of your remaining teammates pray for you.  I had others befriend you.  And finally, I invited you to the Baptist Student Union, where You learned how much I love you. 

I taught you how I sent My only Son Jesus to die for your sins and for the sins of all the world.  You learned that by the blood Jesus shed on the cross, all your sins and sorrows and stumbling are scrubbed clean away (1 John 1:7).  I showed You how to read My Love Story in the Bible and we had dates every day as You read My Word and prayed to Me.  I, the Father Myself love you, because you have loved My Son Jesus, and have believed that He came forth from God (John 16:27).  Now you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s (1 Corinthians 1:23). You are Mine, I bought you with a price (1 Corinthians 6:20) because I love you.

I put dear people in your life to teach you about Me. I blessed you with a husband to share your journey on earth and then two sweet children.  I put My love in your heart for your kids so that you wanted to stay home and homeschool them, even asking Me for more children.  But I loved you so much, I wanted to teach you to pray harder, making you pray seven years for your third child.  I was smiling in heaven when I saw your joy at his birth, because I love you.

But I wasn’t done teaching you, you had so much to learn.  I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name; You are Mine.
Those years in camping ministry were hard, weren’t they? But when you passed through the Iowa flood waters, I was with you; And through the rivers, they did not overflow you. When you walked through the Montana forest fires, you were not be burned, nor did the flames scorch you (Isaiah 43:1-2), because I love you.

I let you conceive three babies that I took to heaven before you could even see them.  I know that broke your heart, but aren’t you stronger now? Aren’t you more able to comfort others in their sorrow? Don’t you see how much I love you?  And then, wasn’t that an awesome thing I did when you were 45 years old, giving you your fourth living child, a son, born exactly nine months after you followed My example in baptism (And 11 ½ years after his older brother!).  I gave him to you because I love you.

I even let you fulfill your life dream you had since before the plane crash, letting you run a marathon when you were 53 years old.  You prayed to Me every mile and I carried you to the finish line. You wanted to run it in under 4 hours, but I had you complete it in exactly 4 hours and 7 minutes, just like 4:7 in the verse from 2 Timothy 4:7, I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.  I love how you dedicated the race to babies, raising money for a crisis pregnancy center. You love the precious innocents, like I do; your heart breaks for them as does Mine. Yes, Jenny, I love you.

But, I’m not finished teaching you.  Even as you dedicate your life to Me.  Oh no, I will not let you go soft.  I’m making sure you lean into Me and are ready for the battle (even though the battle is Mine). As I did for Job, I allowed more heart break, your granddaughter’s cancer, your chronic pains and even this time of waiting, because I love you.  Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is trying you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy (1 Peter 4:12-13). I even put you in a pain group so you could share your journey together, because I love you.

I see you rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer for your nation and world.(Romans 12:12). I see you obediently following My commandments, even on My Sabbath Day you are resting with the angels.  I see you trusting in Me for complete healing; I am Yehovah Rapha, Your healing God.  Even when the pains are so bad and you have a grumpy evening, you get up the next morning, ready to try again. I declare that by My Son Jesus’ stripes you will be healed (Isaiah 53:5).  And I, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, will perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you (1 Peter 5:10). I promise you this as I see you praying, fasting, persevering through it all, and I love you.

I love you so much that I’m preparing a place for you in heaven, a mansion for you and your loved ones and for all who believe I am the way, the truth, and the life (John 14). I will wipe every tear from your eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain (Revelation 21:4).  Oh, Jenny, I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). And you will be with Me always, because I love you. 

And now dear one, I want you to take this love I’ve poured out on you to ladies everywhere. You have an anointing from the Holy One (1 John 2:20).  I want you to share your story, open my Word to them, and tell them about My Son Jesus, Your Savior. You must teach them to observe all things that I have commanded you (Matthew 28:20). Invite ladies to TEA with Me, the King of kings, bringing more ladies into My kingdom, and they will bring their husbands and children.  Together, we will change this world, one TEA CUPP at a time. 

Go forth, O daughter of Zion, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, pressing toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Song of Solomon 3:11, Philippians 3:13-14). And lo, I AM with you always, even to the end of the age (Matthew 28:20).

My eternal love always,

Your Heavenly Father

I AM the Lord your God,
The Holy One of Israel, your Savior
(Isaiah 43:3)

Today’s TEA CUPP: Dear one, YOU are dear to God’s heart, too. He loves you so much that He gave His only Son that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life (John 3:16). You have a love story, too. How about writing your own Love Letter from God in your prayer journal today? Add your favorite Bible verses and share it with others. And will you also please pray for me, for Jesus to open doors for me to take My TEA CUPP Prayers to ladies everywhere? Invite me to speak at your ladies’ group or next retreat. Thank you, dear daughter of the King. God loves you!

…I have come to tell you, for you are greatly beloved… Daniel 9:23 (NKJV)

We love Him because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19 (NKJV)

…God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 1 John 4:8-10 (NKJV)

Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving; meanwhile praying also for us, that God would open to us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in chains, that I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak. Colossians 4:2-4 (NKJV)

Let them shout for joy and be glad,
Who favor my righteous cause;
And let them say continually,
“Let the Lord be magnified,
Who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant.”
Psalm 35:27 (NKJV)

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

Walking in the Garden

And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Genesis 3:8 (NKJV)

I will walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people. Leviticus 26:23 (NKJV)

God still walks in the garden. Remember how in the beginning God planted a garden in Eden, putting Adam and Eve there to tend the fruits. Then one day, a serpent tempted Eve to eat the one fruit God said not to eat, and she gave some to Adam who ate also. When they realized what they had done, they hid from God as He came walking through the garden. God was very sad to make Adam and Eve leave their beautiful garden home because of their sin, but He had a good, good plan.

God promised that one day, a Seed from the woman would bruise the serpent’s head (Genesis 3:15). That Seed arrived thousands of years later, when Immanuel, God with us, Jesus the Son, arrived as a baby in Bethlehem. When Jesus lived on earth, He often went to the garden to pray to His Father God in heaven. In fact, He was praying in the Garden of Gethsemane when Judas Iscariot led the soldiers there to arrest Jesus (John 17). Jesus was led away from His prayer garden to die for the sins of all humanity, those very sins which first began in that Garden of Eden.

Last week we remembered Jesus’ death on the cross for our sins and His glorious resurrection on Sunday morning. And where did someone first witness Jesus after He rose from the tomb? In a garden! It was the garden near the tomb where the stone had been rolled away. In this tomb garden, Jesus met Mary Magdalene who became the first witness of our risen Lord.

Dear One, Jesus still walks in the garden! As I type this, daffodils are standing bravely in my early spring garden, thawing out from the latest spring snow storm. The mulch has been catapulted in every direction by our free-range chickens whose quest is to rid our garden of every insect. Soon other perennials will be raising their heads, promising new garden life for another year.

Recently I counted the number of years we have had our garden and realized that this is the seventh or Sabbath year of rest for the garden (Leviticus 25:5-6). This is the year we are to eat what grows on its own. Too bad this is the same year there could be grocery shortages, but the Lord has a good, good plan and will bless all who follow His commandments. Perhaps we can do a few patio planters with veggies, we are praying about what to do.

Today’s TEA CUPP: For most of you ladies, it’s time to start planning your garden! Those in the north can start seeds inside. Those in the warmer south can begin planting outside. As you work in your garden this year, remember that God still walks in the garden. Jesus is there with you. He walks with you through every joy and sorrow. May all your seeds be planted in good soil and may you produce a bountiful crop for His glory!

The Lord will guide you continually,
And satisfy your soul in drought,
And strengthen your bones;
You shall be like a watered garden,
And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. Isaiah 58:11 (NKJV)

For as the earth brings forth its bud,
As the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth,
So the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations. Isaiah 61:11 (NKJV)

Those who sow in tears
Shall reap in joy.
He who continually goes forth weeping,
Bearing seed for sowing,
Shall doubtless come again with rejoicing,
Bringing his sheaves with him.
Psalm 126:5-6

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

The Ladies at the Cross

And a great multitude of the people followed Him, and women who also mourned and lamented Him. Luke 23:27 (NKJV)

This week, people from around the world remember the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Two of the most Holy celebrations come together in one, as the Jewish people celebrate the Feast of Passover and Unleavened Bread, recalling when our Yehovah God set them free from Egypt.  And Christians remember the death of the Passover Lamb, Yeshua Messiah, who died on the cross for all the world.  In my previous devotion, I encouraged you to get together with other ladies to pray for our world.  Will you consider there was also such a ladies’ gathering around the cross?  It was a group of broken-hearted ladies, just like you and me. Let’s meet these dear ladies:

   And many women who followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to Him, were there looking on from afar, among whom were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.  Matthew 27:55-56 (NKJV)

Mary Magdalene

And certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities—Mary called Magdalene, out of whom had come seven demons.  Luke 8:2

Mary Magdalene was at the cross. Mary Magdalene was one of the devoted ladies who followed Jesus during His earthly ministry.  She had great love for Jesus since He had cast out the seven demons from her.  Mary followed Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus when they laid Jesus in the tomb and rolled the stone to cover the entrance. Then she went home for the Sabbath.  But early Sunday morning, she came again to the tomb, hoping to anoint Jesus’ body with oil, only to find the stone rolled away and the tomb empty.  Mary cried out to the “gardener,” “Where have you put Him?”  And the “gardener” replied, “Mary.”  Then she knew that Jesus is alive and ran to tell the disciples!  Mary Magdalene was the first witness of our Risen Lord! (Mark 16:9).

Mary the mother of James the Less and Joses

There were also women looking on from afar, among whom were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the Less and of Joses, and Salome.  Mark 15:40 (NKJV)

Mary, the mother of the disciple Little James, was also known as “The Other Mary” and “Wife of Clopas.” After witnessing Jesus’ crucifixion, she was found again at the tomb with Mary Magdalene where Joseph of Aramathea and Nicodemus buried Jesus’ body (Matthew 27:61, Mark 15:47).  These devoted ladies came again on the first day of the week to visit the tomb and anoint Jesus’ body (Matthew 28:1), only to find the stone rolled away and the tomb was empty! Jesus is alive! 

Salome, the wife of Zebedee, and mother of James and John

Now when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, that they might come and anoint Him.  Mark 16:1 (NKJV)

Salome, mother of James and John, also known as Jesus’ aunt, was at the cross.  When I think of Salome, the story that comes to mind is when she brought James and John to Jesus and asked that they sit on His right and left sides in His Kingdom (Matthew 20:21).  Imagine how James and John felt when the other disciples were upset about this request.  Yet Salome asked because she believed in Jesus and His Kingdom.  And someday she will receive her petition, for her sons James and John will be sitting on two of the twenty-four thrones around God the Father and Jesus the Son, where we all will be worshipping the Lord (Revelation 4:4,10).  

Mary, the mother of Jesus

Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. John 19:25 (NKJV)

Of all the Mary(s) at the cross, perhaps this one is most memorable, Mary, the mother of Jesus.  Oh, what a journey this dear lady had, from trusting God with His divine conception and birth, to fleeing to Egypt, to searching for 12-year-old Jesus in Jerusalem, to bringing up a perfect Son in an imperfect world, to seeing His miracles and knowing He was fulfilling God’s plan, and yet, now, to witnessing His willing sacrifice on the cross, dying for the sins of all the world (John 3:16-17).  Oh, what a life this blessed Mary lived, being mother of our Savior.  

When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold your son!” Then He said to the disciple, “Behold your mother!” And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.  John 19:26-27(NKJV)

Other Women

But all His acquaintances, and the women who followed Him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things. Luke 23:49 (NKJV)

And there were many other women, too. Perhaps Joanna was there and Susanna (Luke 8:3, 24:10) .  They ministered to Him in Galilee and came up with Him to Jerusalem, observing the tomb and how His body was laid (Luke 23:55, Mark 15:41).  Other women were there, too, just like YOU and me. 

“I have loved you,” says the Lord Malachi 1:2 (NKJV)

Yes, YOU were at the cross! As Jesus hung on the cross, shedding His blood for the sins of all humankind, He thought of YOU! He planned to die on the cross for YOU since before time began (Ephesians 1:4-5, 2 Timothy 1:9, Titus 1:2). With eyes that could look down the halls of eternity, He saw YOU and He died for YOU! He saw your broken heart, He saw your sick body, He saw your hurting soul, He saw your fractured family and your dashed dreams, and He bore it all on the cross. He took the nails for your sins. He was bruised for your iniquities. And by His stripes YOU are healed. He poured out His life and blood and water for YOU (John 19:34), because He loves YOU and wants to be your Savior. But He didn’t stay dead, on the third day, Jesus rose again, conquering sin, death, and the devil forever, giving all who believe the promise of eternal life with Him.

…Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures… 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: Dear One, say as the centurions guarding the cross, “Truly this was the Son of God!” (Matthew 27:54). Find these Bible verses and read them again today. Choose one of the Gospel crucifixions to read each day this coming week: Matthew 27-28, Mark 15-16, Luke 23-24, John 19-20. Imagine standing with all these women before the cross. When Jesus said, “It is finished,” He looked right at YOU with love in His eyes, waiting for you to accept His sacrificial death. Say as the thief did beside Jesus on the cross, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom” (Luke 23:42)

Thank you for stopping by My Tea Cupp Prayers! If you enjoyed today’s devotion, you might also like to read The Blessed Easter Tree and Every Knee Shall Bow and The Torn Curtain. I pray you and your family have a blessed Passover and Resurrection Sunday this weekend. HalleluYAH! Christ is Risen indeed!

Were You There (Traditional Spiritual)
Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross (Fanny J. Crosby, 1869)

And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.  John 3:14-17 (NKJV)❤️

Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
Isaiah 53:4-5 (NKJV)

And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh,
Justified in the Spirit,
Seen by angels,
Preached among the Gentiles,
Believed on in the world,
Received up in glory.
1 Timothy 3:16 (NKJV)

To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Revelation 1:5-6 (NKJV)

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

Bearing Burdens

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2 (NKJV)

I am not able to bear all these people alone, because the burden is too heavy for me. Numbers 11:14 (NKJV)

Do you have the weight of the world on your shoulders today?  The war in Ukraine and Russia is upon the hearts of many.  Coming food shortages are also a concern.  And there are the deaths of loved ones due to vaccines and other ailments.  It really is too much to carry, isn’t it? My friend, today let us lighten your load.  

 How can I alone bear your problems and your burdens and your complaints?  Deuteronomy 1:12 (NKJV)

Let’s begin by looking in Exodus 28 for help. I know that may seem a funny place to begin. Sometimes the Old Testament books bog us down with genealogies and rules, and we aren’t sure what’s in it for us. But with every year of reading my Bible, God shows me more neat things in the Old Testament and I love it as much as the New Testament. 

And you shall put the two stones on the shoulders of the ephod as memorial stones for the sons of Israel. So Aaron shall bear their names before the Lord on his two shoulders as a memorial. Exodus 28:12 (NKJV)

In this second book of the Bible, Moses shares the plans God showed him on the mountain for the children of Israel.  Exodus 28 contains the guidelines for outfitting the priests.  Moses’ brother Aaron and Aaron’s sons were to be the priests.   Their garments were to be holy for glory and for beauty, made by gifted artisans.  Surely today we have never seen such craftsmanship of gold, blue, purple, and scarlet thread.  On Aaron’s shoulders he was to wear two stones set in gold, each with the names of six of the tribes of Israel, listed in order of birth.  On Aaron’s breastplate he wore an even more beautiful arrangement of twelve precious jewels, one for each of the tribes of Israel.  Aaron wore this over his heart, bearing the judgment of the children of Israel.  

So Aaron shall bear the names of the sons of Israel on the breastplate of judgment over his heart, when he goes into the holy place, as a memorial before the Lord continually.  Exodus 28:29 (NKJV)

Aaron was to wear this continually, bearing up the tribes of Israel to the Lord always.   In the same way, we are called to pray without ceasing, continually bearing up family, friends, loved ones, enemies, the sick, the hurting, leaders and nations… carrying them to Jesus without rest.  No wonder you feel like you have the world is on your shoulders!  But here’s the good news: You don’t have to carry it alone!  

Pray without ceasing. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 (NKJV)

As Christians we are all called to carry one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2).  If your load is too heavy, how about getting together with some praying friends for an hour or two of prayer each week.  You can pray for your families and the country and everything else on your hearts.  Suddenly your load has become much lighter!

Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.  1 Peter 5:7 (NKJV)

Jesus also helps us carry the heavy load.  As we bring our prayers to the Father, He lifts them from us and gives us His light load instead.  Instead of sleepless nights, He gives us rest. Instead of anxiety, He gives us peace.  Instead of regrets, He gives us forgiveness. Instead of thirst, He gives us His Living Water.  Instead of hunger, He gives us Bread from heaven. Instead of pain, He gives us healing. Instead of tears, He gives us comfort. Instead of sorrow, He gives us joy. Instead of the heavy load, we carry only what He allows. He promises us this in His Word…

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”  Matthew 11:28-20 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Read about Aaron’s garments in Exodus 28 today.  Draw a breastplate in your prayer journal with spaces for 12 “jewels.”  Write the names of 12 family members or friends or concerns that you want to bear up to the Lord Jesus.  How about calling a few friends to pray with you each week, too. Help each other carry your crosses daily.  Keep holding on, Jesus is coming soon!  

I removed his shoulder from the burden;
His hands were freed from the baskets.  Psalm 81:6 (NKJV)

And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. Luke 14:27 (NKJV)

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7 (NKJV)

You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness. Psalm 30:11 (NKJV)

Cast your burden on the Lord,
And He shall sustain you;
He shall never permit the righteous to be [moved.  Psalm 55:22 (NKJV)

Here are three lovely versions of Kelly Willard’s 1978 hymn, “I Will Cast All My Cares Upon You.”



It shall come to pass in that day
That his burden will be taken away from your shoulder,
And his yoke from your neck,
And the yoke will be destroyed because of the anointing oil. Isaiah 10:27

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

Fear Not, Dear One

Hello, Dear One!  It seems like a good time to re-run this devotion because of the war breaking out in eastern Europe.  God comforts us and says, “FEAR NOT” in His word.  Today I run this post from July 2021 with a few updates:

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)

Fear not, daughter of Zion;
Behold, your King is coming… John 12:5 (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)

But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him! Luke 12:5 (NKJV)

Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints!
There is no want to those who fear Him. Psalm 34:9 (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)

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)

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)

Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Luke 12:32 (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. Read Psalm 27 and be comforted by God’s Word. 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)

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

Open Our Eyes, Lord

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Every Knee Shall Bow

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 2:9-11(NKJV)

One of my favorite Bible stories is Joseph and his brothers found in Genesis 37-50. Many of you know this story by heart… how Joseph was the 11th and beloved son of his father Jacob, so Jacob gave Joseph a fancy-colored robe to show his favoritism. Joseph had two dreams, one had eleven sheaves of wheat bowing down to his sheaf. The second dream showed the sun, moon, and stars bowing down to Joseph. His brothers scoffed at his dreams and his father rebuked him. Yet one day, after his brothers had sold him into slavery in Egypt, God used even more dreams to bring Joseph to be the second ruler in Egypt, with only Pharaoh above him. Pharaoh commanded everyone to bow the knee when Joseph rode by on his chariot, collecting grain during the years of plenty. When the famine arrived, people came from all over the region to buy grain in Egypt. Even Joseph’s brothers came from the land of Canaan to bow down before this great ruler who would sell them food. And when they bowed down, they fulfilled the prophesy in Joseph’s dreams.

And he had him ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried out before him, “Bow the knee!” So he set him over all the land of Egypt. Genesis 41:43 (NKJV)

Someday soon, Jesus, the Son of God, will be returning, fulfilling all prophesy, as the second highest ruler in the land with only God the Father above Him. Those who love Him will immediately bow in worship and praise and adoration. Yet those who would mock and disdain Him, will also be forced to bow and acknowledge Jesus as Lord of heaven and earth. For God’s Word says EVERY KNEE shall bow on heaven and earth and under the earth and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Amen! (Philippians 2:9-11).

We can find wise ones in the scriptures who knew when and to whom to bow. The pagan captain knew to fall on his knees before Elijah and pleaded for his life (2 Kings 1:13). Mordecai knew not to bow the knee to the evil Haman (Esther 3:2). Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego knew not to bow down to the golden idol King Nebuchadnezzar had set up (Daniel 3:16-18). And seven thousand in Israel were reserved by God who knees had not bowed to baal (1 Kings 19:18). We must be discerning in knowing when and to whom to bow. We must fall on our knees in worship ONLY to the ONE True God, His Son Jesus Christ.

When Jesus comes again, there won’t be any of the mocking that occurred on His way to the cross, where they struck Him and spat on Him and pretended to bow in worship (Mark 15:19). No! Those who would mock Jesus will be thrown to the ground at His Word, just as the soldiers who came to arrest Jesus fell to the ground at His breath (John 18:6). Jesus will not be coming lowly riding on a donkey this time. He will come in great glory on the clouds of heaven!

Blow the trumpet in Zion,
And sound an alarm in My holy mountain!
Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble;
For the day of the Lord is coming,
For it is at hand.
Joel 2:1 (NKJV)

…For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels… Matthew 16:27 (NKJV)

The scriptures caution us in the last days not to be deceived. Don’t go here or there if someone says, “Look, here’s the Christ.” or “Look, there’s the Christ,” (Mark 13:21). Don’t even click the link on your phone or computer to see the latest sightings of Jesus. When He comes in glory, we will know it, just like we see the lightning when it fills the sky. And when that Day comes, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. HalleluYAH!

I have sworn by Myself;
The word has gone out of My mouth in righteousness,
And shall not return,
That to Me every knee shall bow,
Every tongue shall take an oath.
Isaiah 45:23 (NKJV)

For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named. Ephesians 3:14-15 (NKJV)

Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.
For He is our God,
And we are the people of His pasture,
And the sheep of His hand.
Psalm 95:6-7 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: Read the story of Joseph again in Genesis 37-50. Exalt our Lord TODAY as Lord of heaven and earth. When Jesus returns, which He most certainly will do soon, you will be prepared to fall on your knees and He will claim you as His own. Jesus will forgive you, as Joseph forgave his brothers, Jesus will prepare a place for you, as Joseph prepared the land of Goshen for his family. And Jesus, Yeshua Messiah, shall reign forever and ever!

Oh, Jesus, I love and praise You!  I look forward to the day when every knee will bow in heaven and earth and under the earth and every tongue confess that You are Lord, to the glory of God the Father! O Jesus, find us faithful when You come! I love You because You created us, You came to this earth to save and teach us, conquering sin and death and the devil forever, and You live so we can live and have eternal life with You!  O Jesus, O Father, be glorified today and always!  

Those who dwell in the wilderness will bow before Him,
And His enemies will lick the dust.
The kings of Tarshish and of the isles
Will bring presents;
The kings of Sheba and Seba
Will offer gifts.
Yes, all kings shall fall down before Him;
All nations shall serve Him.
Psalm 72:9-11 (NKJV)

All the kings of the earth shall praise You, O Lord,
When they hear the words of Your mouth.
Psalm 138:4 (NKJV)

Judah, you are he whom your brothers shall praise;
Your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies;
Your father’s children shall bow down before you.
Genesis 49:8 (NKJV)

At the name of Jesus every knee shall bow,
every tongue confess him King of glory now;
’tis the Father’s pleasure we should call him Lord,
who from the beginning was the mighty Word.
(Caroline M. Noel, 1870)

Crown him with many crowns,
the Lamb upon his throne.
Hark! how the heavenly anthem drowns
all music but its own.
Awake, my soul, and sing
of him who died for thee,
and hail him as thy matchless king
through all eternity.
(Matthew Bridges, 1851)

For it is written: As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, And every tongue shall confess to God.”  Romans 14:11 (NKJV)

Thank you for stopping by My Tea Cupp Prayers! If you enjoyed today’s devotion, you might also like to read On Our Knees.

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

My Jesus Name Book

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And Job queried a similar question…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:14-15 (NKJV)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

My God Grocery Store

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He calls us to plant gardens:

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

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

God also gives us petitions to pray for food:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Only Mark for Me

Do you have any distinguishing marks on your body?  Many people have birth marks of one sort or another.  Both my daughter and I have “stork bite” marks, red marks at the napes of our necks and hairlines, visible when we were newborns.  When we grew hair, no one could see these marks, but they are still there.  Even Jesus knows these marks are hiding under the hair He has counted.

Did you know God marks His children? The first person He marked was a murderer!  Do you remember the story of Cain and Abel, Adam and Eve’s first two sons?  Cain and Abel both brought offerings to the Lord, but God only accepted Abel’s pure offering. Cain became jealous of Abel, killing him in the field.  The Lord sentenced Cain to be a wanderer, yet did not want anyone to kill Cain, so He put a mark on him…

And the Lord said to him, “Therefore, whoever kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.” And the Lord set a mark on Cain, lest anyone finding him should kill him. Genesis 4:15 (NKJV)

God used marks again when the Israelites were preparing to flee Egypt. Moses and Aaron had brought the Pharaoh and Egyptians through nine plagues, the tenth was yet to come. The tenth plague would have the angel of death killing the first born of all the Egyptians. In order to protect His people, God instructed Moses to have them mark the two doorposts and lintel of their homes with the blood of a lamb. When the Lord passed through Egypt that night, the destroyer left all the houses alone with the mark of blood on the doorposts and lintels, the angel of death “passed over” these homes. It wasn’t long until the Israelites heard the wailing and grief of the Egyptians as they realized they had lost their firstborn children. The Israelites were finally able to leave Egypt after 430 years because of the mark on their door frames.

And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses where they eat it. Exodus 12:17 (NKJV)

For the Lord will pass through to strike the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the Lord will pass over the door and not allow the destroyer to come into your houses to strike you. Exodus 12:23 (NKJV)

It seems that God wants to be the only One to put marks upon us. When we read the laws in Leviticus, we learn that He didn’t even want people to get tatoos. Can you imagine it, tatoo parlors in Bible times?! This might be a surprise to the many tatoo-bearing folks today…

You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor tattoo any marks on you: I am the Lord. Leviticus 19:28 (NKJV)

In Ezekiel we read where marks were and will be used once again. Ezekiel’s marks indicate a remnant saved when Jerusalem was raided and people were carried off to Babylon. It also points to the end times, just before Jesus returns to reign, finally locking up Satan for 1000 years. Read the following verse to see how marks will be used again to protect God’s people, just as they did during the Exodus…

And the Lord said to him, “Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry over all the abominations that are done within it.” Ezekiel 9:4 (NKJV)

But, dear ladies, there is one mark. you do NOT want to take, that is the mark of the beast. On a recent Above Rubies podcast, Nancy Campbell remembered that when she was growing up, she always heard, “Don’t take the mark of the beast!” Over and over, it was drilled into their heads from the pulpit and at home, “Don’t take the mark!” As a young girl, Nancy knew she did not want that mark, all she wanted was Jesus. Nancy wonders, why aren’t the churches preaching this today?

Most likely, the enemy got ahold of the pastors and told them not to talk about end times. If people don’t know about it, the devil will be more likely to catch them in his “mark-trap.” But he can’t fool us, we know the end of the story, it is already written for us! It’s a happy, happy ending for all believers! Read Revelation and you will see how Jesus comes to reign in victory and all His children who do not receive the mark of the beast will reign with Him. HalleluYAH! Let’s take a look into the future with the Disciple John who saw the vision he recorded in Revelation…

First, God promises to write on all Believers our new names…

I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name. Revelation 3:12 (NKJV)

Then, the Lord promises to seal all His servants on our foreheads…

Then I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God. And he cried with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, saying, “Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.” Revelation 7:2-3 (NKJV)

When the destroyers come, they will be instructed not to harm us or any plant or animal…

They were commanded not to harm the grass of the earth, or any green thing, or any tree, but only those men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. Revelation 9:4 (NKJV)

AND, God warns us NOT to take the mark of the beast! He explains how you won’t be able to buy or sell without this mark (doesn’t this sound a lot like what is starting to happen with vaccine passports?)…

He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Revelation 13:16-17 (NKJV)

Did you know that in Sweden they have the technology to make the mark of the beast a reality, inserting microchips into people’s hands so they can buy and sell? Pray hard for this not to come to America! Lord Jesus, give us more time to reach the lost with Your salvation before You come to take us home!

Those who take the mark of the beast will experience unspeakable torment…

Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.” Revelation 14:9-11 (NKJV)

Those of us who do not give in to the mark of the beast will have a victory party in heaven…

And I saw something like a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those who have the victory over the beast, over his image and over his mark and over the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, having harps of God. Revelation 15:2 (NKJV)

Those still on earth who have taken the mark will receive God’s bowls of wrath…

So the first went and poured out his bowl upon the earth, and a foul and loathsome sore came upon the men who had the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. Revelation 16:2 (NKJV)

And all who did not take the mark of the beast on their foreheads or hands will reign with Christ for a thousand years…

And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. Revelation 20:4 (NKJV)

Don’t take the mark of the beast, dear one! Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, be His child, accept only the mark of His Holy Spirit. Christ Jesus, Messiah Yeshua, is the only Mark for me. Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord (1 Corinthians 15:58).

Today’s TEA CUPP: Read Malachi 3:16-18 and Revelation 3:7-12 and be encouraged. Stand strong for Jesus. Keep God’s Word. Persevere through every trial. Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. And God will write on YOU His new name.

So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.  Romans 8:8 (NKJV)

They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. Revelation 22:4 (NKJV)

For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? Matthew 16:25-27 (NKJV)

For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. John 3:17 (NKJV)