His Hand is Outstretched Still

…But His hand is stretched out still.Isaiah 5:25 (NKJV)

51 Years ago on this day, January 22, 1973, just eight days before my youngest brother was born, the supreme court of the United States of America made the tragic decision to allow abortions, the murder of babies, in the case of Roe vs. Wade.  On June 24, 2022, after decades of prayer and hard work on behalf of believers, the supreme court reversed that decision, giving the decision back to each state. And so the work continues in each state to protect babies and the prayer warriors pray on.  With sadness I heard this past year how one state where I used to live, Ohio, had enshrined abortion in its constitution.  Oh, Ohio, reverse this curse in the Name of Jesus!  Let us all continue to pray for precious babies everywhere.  

 I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live.  Deuteronomy 30:19 (NKJV)

January 22 is also recognized by many as Sanctity of Human Life Day, praying God will use for good a day that the enemy intended for evil. I declare that every day is a sanctity of human life day, For God says in His Word, choose life (Deuteronomy 30:19)!  He proclaims that every life is so precious that He sent His One and Only Son Jesus Christ, Yeshua Messiah, to die for each of our sins (including the tragic sin of abortion) so that we can have eternal life with Him (and those babies) in heaven (John 3:16). And that little baby hand that rocked the world over 2000 years ago is outstretched still to help you with your babies, to forgive your sins, and to hold you in the palm of His hand.

He has shown strength with His arm;
He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.  Luke 1:51 (NKJV)

It has been less than a month since much of the world marked the birth of our Savior Jesus with the celebration of Christmas. A few years ago, I wrote a devotion entitled “Christmas Must Be Pro-Life.” Now my thoughts turn more to the Old Testament and our Jewish heritage for we have been grafted into Abraham’s tree.  I think of the babies born to Judah and Tamar in Genesis 28.  As Tamar was giving birth to her twins, a midwife tied a red string onto the baby who reached out his hand (Zerah), but then the other baby broke through and was actually born first (Perez) (Genesis 38: 27-30).  This Perez was in the lineage of Christ (one of Jesus’ ancestors). I imagine that when Jesus was born to Mary, His hand could have reached out first, then popped back in so He could be delivered headfirst. Because Jesus is both our scarlet thread baby and our breakthrough baby, making a way for us all to get to Abba Father in heaven.  Jesus provides His scarlet blood to wash away our sins and He is making breakthrough miracles even today (like the Supreme Court reversal of Roe vs. Wade!). Those baby hands that first reached out to Mary and Joseph, then reached out to heal the sick and lame, then reached out on a cross to die. Those blessed hands are outstretched still! 

Those mighty hands created the world and everything in it in six days and rested on the seventh.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.   John 1:1-3 (NKJV)

Those mighty hands delivered the Israelites from slavery in Egypt with signs and wonders to Pharaoh and the Egyptians.

So the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and with an outstretched arm, with great terror and with signs and wonders.  Deuteronomy 26:8 (NJKV)

Those mighty hands knocked down the walls of Jericho and used Joshua’s outstretched arm to defeat the people of Ai, conquering the Promised Land. 

Then the Lord said to Joshua, “Stretch out the spear that is in your hand toward Ai, for I will give it into your hand.” And Joshua stretched out the spear that was in his hand toward the city… Joshua did not draw back his hand, with which he stretched out the spear, until he had utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai.  Joshua 8:18 & 26 (NKJV)

Those mighty hands heard the prayers of King Solomon when he dedicated the temple to our awesome God.

For they will hear of Your great name and Your strong hand and Your outstretched arm, when he comes and prays toward this temple.  1 Kings 8:42 (NKJV)

Those mighty hands gave Isaiah this prophecy, we often hear at Christmas time:

For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Isaiah 9:6 (NKJV)

Have you read Isaiah 9 all the way to the end?  Over and over, Isaiah tells us …But His hand is stretched out still (Isaiah 9:12) …But His hand is stretched out still (Isaiah 9:17) …But His hand is stretched out still (Isaiah 9:21) …But His hand is stretched out still (Isaiah 10:4). And before he concludes, Isaiah has many more promises for that Arm and Hand:

Behold, the Lord God shall come with a strong hand,
And His arm shall rule for Him;
Behold, His reward is with Him,
And His work before Him.  Isaiah 40:10 (NKJV)

The Lord has made bare His holy arm
In the eyes of all the nations;
And all the ends of the earth shall see
The salvation of our God.  Isaiah 52:10 (NKJV)

Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened,
That it cannot save;
Nor His ear heavy,
That it cannot hear.  Isaiah 59:1 (NKJV)

And the Psalmists loved those blessed Arms and Hands…

That Your beloved may be delivered,
Save with Your right hand, and hear me.  Psalm 60:5 (NKJV)

Nevertheless I am continually with You;
You hold me by my right hand.  Psalm 73:23 (NKJV)

You have a mighty arm;
Strong is Your hand, and high is Your right hand.  Psalm 89:13 (NKJV)

The right hand of the Lord is exalted;
The right hand of the Lord does valiantly.  Psalm 118:16 (NKJV)

Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me;
You will stretch out Your hand
Against the wrath of my enemies,
And Your right hand will save mePsalm 138:7 (NKJV)

His Hand is Outstretched Still for the babies. My youngest brother will turn 51 next week, but 63 million people will not be having birthdays this year, those babies whose lives were taken because of Roe vs. Wade.  If you are a mom of one of those babies, His hands are stretched out for you, dear one!  Those nail-scarred hands that hung on the cross for all the world are stretched out for you!  Be like Thomas and feel the holes in Jesus’ hands, claim the promise that His scarlet blood washes away all your sins, and let those hands carry you through today and all your tomorrows.

But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” And He laid His hands on them and departed from there.  Matthew 19:14-15 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: Our Joshua, our Yeshua, our Jesus, has His hand outstretched still… reaching for us, fighting our battles, stretching out His hands and giving His life for us on the cross. Reach out and take hold of that everlasting hand, dear sister. There is a verse in Nehemiah 12:43 when they are dedicating the wall of Jerusalem that says, “…God had made them rejoice with great joy; the women and the children also rejoiced…”  This is my prayer: May God make us all rejoice with great joy, all the women and children, mammas and babies, grandmas and grandchildren.  HalleluYAH!  Jesus is our salvation! His hands are outstretched still!  

There is no one like the God of Jeshurun,
Who rides the heavens to help you,
And in His excellency on the clouds.
The eternal God is your refuge,
And underneath are the everlasting arms;
He will thrust out the enemy from before you,
And will say, ‘Destroy!’  Deuteronomy 33:26-27 (NKJV)

That all the peoples of the earth may know the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty, that you may fear the Lord your God forever. Joshua 4:24 (NKJV)

Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.” And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!”  John 20:27-28 (NKJV)

(See also Genesis 50:20, Exodus 13:3, Exodus 13:9, Exodus 13:14, Exodus 13:16, Deuteronomy 9:29. Psalm 20:6, Psalm 63:8, Psalm 74:11, Psalm 77:15, Psalm 136:12, Psalm 139:10, Psalm 144:7, Isaiah 14:27, Isaiah 51:5, Isaiah 53:1, Isaiah 62:8, Isaiah 63:5, Isaiah 65:2, Jeremiah 1:9, Matthew 14:31, Acts 13:11, Romans 8:28, Romans 10:21)

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

Waiting and Waiting Again


This time of year, my heart turns to my Daddy who passed from this life to heaven 6 years ago on this very day. And so, in honor of my Daddy, I re-run this Christmas devotion from a few years ago. This devotion and many others will be coming out Spring 2024 (God-willing!) in my next book, More Tea Cupp Prayers

But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength. Isaiah 40:31 (NKJV)

Waiting. Waiting. Waiting can be hard. Families wait for Daddy (and sometimes Mommy) to come home from work. Children wait for birthdays and Christmas. Grandparents wait for grandchildren to visit. All of us wait for our prayers to be answered. We wonder what the delay could be. Why aren’t we getting our answers right NOW?!

Wait on your God continually. Hosea 12:6 (NKJV)

I remember how as a child I met my Daddy at the bus stop almost every afternoon. I would trudge up Fillmore Avenue a quarter of a mile and sit myself on a big rock, watching the traffic along 24th Street. Many cars, trucks, and buses would go by but not stop. Finally, the bus would come with my Daddy and I would hold his hand all the way home. One day, I looked at the clock wrong and went an hour early, waiting and waiting until I tearfully trudged home alone. When my Daddy finally arrived home, he wondered where I was that day, I told him the tearful story of my waiting. Sadly, I didn’t meet him so often after that.

I wonder, do we do the same thing with our prayers? Are we at the bus stop expecting answers too soon? Then, when the answers don’t come in our timing, we don’t meet with Jesus so often anymore?

I have waited for your salvation, O Lord! Genesis 49:18 (NKJV)

 Truly my soul silently waits for God;
From Him comes my salvation. Psalm 62:1 (NKJV)

In the book of Daniel, we get a glimpse into what is happening while we are waiting on God. We might think the prayer-mail delivery service is slow this time of year, that FedEx is having a tough time keeping up with the prayer packages delivered to Heaven’s Throne room, often out late at night delivering prayers. 

But we can be assured that our prayers are not delayed! For the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings which cannot be uttered (Romans 8:26). And God hears our every prayer (John 9:31). So, what is the delay? In Daniel 10 we read how angels were dispatched to help Daniel the moment he started praying. But the enemy’s angels prevented help from arriving for three weeks! Up in the heavens, where we can’t even see, angels are fighting battles for us that we don’t even know, all because of our prayers (Ephesians 6:12).

Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me. Daniel 10:12–13 (NKJV)

What are you waiting for today? Our family is currently waiting for healing and a home. It’s been over a year since mold was discovered in my body and in our rental house. I’ve cried out to the Lord every day for healing and a home (I wait for You, YHVH Rapha, YHVH Jireh). And I keep pressing on to fulfill His calling, even in my tears and pains.

I am weary with my crying;
My throat is dry;
My eyes fail while I wait for my God.
Psalm 69:3 (NKJV)

Today, I also wait for healing for our nation and an end to plagues and cancer, for healing for church friends, for dear ones to give their hearts to Jesus, and especially for Jesus to come again!

 Looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. Titus 2:13 (NKJV)

You know who else is waiting? God! You remember the story of the prodigal son? Just as the father waited expectantly for the prodigal son to return, God waits expectantly for us. Jesus can’t come until the last person written in His Book of Life believes in Him. Perhaps you are the one to tell that person!

Therefore the Lord will wait, that He may be gracious to you;
And therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you.
For the Lord is a God of justice;
Blessed are all those who wait for Him.  Isaiah 30:18 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: Read the amazing story of Daniel’s prayers in Daniel 10. Keep praying and waiting, my friends. God is sending answers! Especially remember the Answer He sent to a stable in Bethlehem over 2000 years ago.

 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14 (NKJV)

 Wait on the Lord;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord!  
Psalm 27:14 (NKJV)

 And to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.  1Thessalonians 1:10 (NKJV)

(See also Psalm 25:5, 33:20–21, 37:7, 37:34, 39:7, 40:1, 59:9, 62:5, 130:5–6; Isaiah 25:9, 26:8; Lamentations 3:25–26; Micah 7:7; Luke 2:25, 12:40; 1Corinthians 1:7; Hebrews 11:10; James 5:7–8; Revelation 10:6)

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



Homeschool Mold Mom

You, who have shown me great and severe troubles, Shall revive me again, And bring me up again from the depths of the earth.  Psalm 71:20 (NKJV)

What does a homeschool mom do when mold hits? She carries on.  Much like when a family has a new baby, taking time-off to celebrate and welcome this precious gift from God. Much like when a parent gets cancer and has to lead lessons from the bedroom.  Much like when any disaster hits, the tragedy becomes the lesson.   

We had our school year all organized. My son wanted to learn about mammals, so we ordered the Apologia science book about the Land Animals of the Sixth Day.  We bought a zoo membership in hopes of making several trips to zoos.  I organized his weekly lessons using the file system, where you have 36 folders, one for each week of the school year.  I tore his hand-writing and spelling workbooks apart, dividing them amongst the folders.  I included notes for what math lessons should be done, along with corresponding math warm-up sheets and tests.  I listed the science chapters and assigned mammal reports.  His Abeka State Book was also distributed between all the folders.  But then mold struck!

From his older siblings, we had a wonderful collection of all the Saxon Math books and Pathway Readers.  I love the stories in these Mennonite readers, though now I suggest they add one about mold.  When Joel’s older brother left for Bible college, he pointed at the math books which had given him so many late nights of grief, and declared, “Jesus can’t return until Joel completes all these math books!” Joel was on track for completing them, and might have even been the first of his siblings to do the still-wrapped-in-plastic Calculus book!  But then mold struck!

We were also digging into God’s Word. Several year ago, a traveling college student had sold us a wonderful set of seven Bible story books for older students.  Our other boys were past the age of reading them and I had saved them for Joel; we were finally reading them together.  The Bible came alive with the Spirit-filled writing in these books and we had almost completed Genesis. Daddy was reading A Closer Look at the Evidence for our morning devotions.  The proofs from God’s Creation were always thought-provoking.  But then mold struck!

We tried to continue. We didn’t know we would have to throw out all paper and books because of mold spores, so we brought his school work to the first evacuation house in town.  Joel dutifully did his lessons. Together we walked to a nearby church so he could practice his piano lessons.  After a few weeks we moved to the little cabin near our house to be closer to our animals for farm chores.  There, Joel practiced piano on his sister’s old keyboard, while still trying to do a few lessons.  When we found out we had to move out completely, the mold would not be repaired, we had to toss all the books (even those math books!), all the schoolwork and folders, all the crayons and markers and pencils and maps and Bibles and puzzles and games collected over 28 years of homeschooling our children. And the piano the church gave us 20 years ago was left behind.  All because mold struck!  

But the Lord has provided… first a guest house in which to stay until He shows us our next home, then a homeschool mom delivering new markers, colored pencils and a pencil box, then a church friend with notebooks and folders, a neighbor with a math book, Thriftbooks.com with used readers and a devotion book, a dear man from our fellowship with new Bibles, a love gift to buy missing workbooks, another keyboard on loan from a dear friend… and slowly, slowly we got back into a routine of schoolwork.  Handwriting became writing thank-you notes, devotions became the book of Job, reading became library books. We waited a month to begin math, skipping 40 lessons and finding out it was still easy for Joel (maybe he will need that Calculus book after all, but who will teach it?!).  At times we don’t feel well, so cozying-up with stories on the sofa is the best thing. I’ll probably never do the folder method again, too much work to have it all thrown away! We may continue our mammals and zoo theme into next school year when perhaps there will be time for those field trips.  Someday, when we are in a new home, we will put up a fresh world map to chart the missionary journeys of his big brothers again and dream of Jesus sending us out, too.  And there won’t be any mold! 

 

You shall know that your tent is in peace;
You shall visit your dwelling and find nothing amiss. Job 5:24 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: Dear one, are you in the middle of a family crisis? Perhaps mold? Seek the Lord and His strength; Seek His face evermore! Remember His marvelous works which He has done, His wonders, and the judgments of His mouth (1 Chronicles 16:11-12). Find your trial in God’s Word (mold is in Leviticus 14:33-57 and 2 Chronicles 6:28-30).  Let your children learn from your faith as you pour your heart out to God in prayer.  And together you will see His marvelous works and wonders!  

For He bruises, but He binds up;
He wounds, but His hands make whole.
He shall deliver you in six troubles,
Yes, in seven no evil shall touch you. Job 5:18-19 (NKJV)

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

 

Lifting Hands in Praise

And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God. Then all the people answered, “Amen, Amen!” while lifting up their hands. And they bowed their heads and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground. Nehemiah 8:6 (NKJV)

Today I want to share with you my “Lifting Hands” story. I grew up in a Presbyterian Church where beautiful organ music, a talented choir, and often a university orchestra accompanied every hymn. The congregation stood solemnly, singing the traditional songs from the hymnal. You could sing as loudly as you wanted because the organ would drown-out any wrong words or off-key notes. But you would never think of moving as you stoically clasped your hymnal like the rest of the congregation.

When I met Jesus in college, I attended a group called the Baptist Student Union. A few of the students there would lead us in singing, one playing the guitar and others leading the choruses. I realize now that all the songs we sang were Bible verses, for when I read those verses today, the BSU songs immediately come to mind and I hum them the rest of the day. The words were cast on the wall with an overhead projector and we were free to sit or stand and bump arms with our friends.

From there I went to work at a Lutheran summer camp where God’s Word and songs became more alive for me. I learned songs with actions that kept the campers and counselors active. We sang tunes like “Pharaoh, Pharaoh, Oh, baby, let my people go!” while doing the actions of an Egyptian hieroglyphic. We sang “Jesus is real, He’ll never fail,” while casting an imaginary fishing rod into the lake and reeling it in. And, of course, we learned to “march in the infantry” and “ride in the Calvary” and “shoot the artillery” and “soar over the enemy” because we were in the Lord’s army! Singing to Jesus became a fun time of laughing and movement.

My first job after graduation was teaching sixth grade at a Lutheran Day School where I was also required to join the Lutheran Church. There we learned and enjoyed the singing liturgy of the Lutherans, the good old hymns, and the joy of being in a congregation filled with children. The Day School held a service every Thursday morning. Once a month they recognized the children who had been baptized during that month with a song that runs through my head yet today… we are baptized, I am baptized, we have passed through the waters and that’s all that matters, I have passed through the waters, oh thanks be to God! Yet still we sang traditional hymns as we stood in the pews.

When we moved to a new town, we joined a Methodist Church because my husband had grown-up Methodist. It was also a traditional church, but without the singing liturgy. A dedicated choir marched up the center aisle every Sunday in their red robes, inspiring us all to join them in praising the Father. As I juggled young children and a hymn book, I tried to join them in singing. It was truly a Spirit-filled congregation, for there we often sang, “Here I am, Lord, is it I Lord,? I have heard You calling in the night, I will go, Lord, if You lead me, I will hold Your people in my heart.” We received our calling into church camp ministry and they laid hands on us, praying and sending us forth.

From there, our family moved to a United Methodist Church camp. Our first summer, we had only a handful of counselors and none of them were song leaders. Over and over we sang a favorite one young man remembered, “He’s my Rock, my Sword, my Shield, He’s the Wheel in the middle of the Wheel, He’s the Lily of the Valley, He’s the brightest Morning Star, doesn’t matter what you say, I’m gonna get on my knees and pray, I’m going to praise Him till the day that Jesus comes – Hee, haw!” This was accompanied by appropriate hand motions, of course! We prayed for a guitar player the next year, and soon our campers were enjoying a variety of new and old songs at the morning outdoor chapel with fun arm movements lead by the counselors.

God called us to a new church camp in Montana in the year 2000. One summer, a group of volunteers created an outdoor chapel on the hillside where we could hold Sunday evening worship services. One week, a volunteer, a retired Methodist, told me about his call to lift his hands in worship. Why did he tell me? The Lord must have put it upon his heart. As a Methodist, he had never lifted his hands at church, but one day he was reading Psalm 134:2. and the Lord spoke to him, telling him this is what he should do. And so he did! And God put the desire in my heart to do the same.

Lift up your hands in the sanctuary,
And bless the Lord.
Psalm 134:2 (NKJV)

At the time we were attending a Methodist Church and a closer Lutheran Church, both with choirs and traditional hymns. As the desire to raise my hands increased, I would grasp the pew in front of me, keeping my hands down during the hymns, not wanting to be different or cause a stir. When I would go home to my parents’ church, I would again grasp the pew ahead of me, knuckles turning white as I resisted the urge. For 10 years I did this, even after we started attending an Evangelical Church so our kids could partake in the youth group.

Finally, one Sunday, I let the Holy Spirit take over and I raised my hands as we stood in the back of this Evangelical Church, noticing a few others scattered around the sanctuary were also raising their hands. Finally, I followed the example in God’s Word, the desire of my heart, and the call of the Holy Spirit, reaching my hands up to our Father in heaven as I magnified His Name in song. And now we attend our Sabbath home church and a fellowship group where most hands are raised. And for me, as the good old hymn “I have decided to follow Jesus” says, there’s “no turning back, no turning back.”

…“Stand up and bless the Lord your God
Forever and ever! Blessed be Your glorious name,
Which is exalted above all blessing and praise!
You alone are the Lord;
You have made heaven,
The heaven of heavens, with all their host,
The earth and everything on it,
The seas and all that is in them,
And You preserve them all.
The host of heaven worships You. “You are the Lord God…
Nehemiah 9:5-7 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: What is your posture when you are praising the Father? Are you standing in the pew, singing with the congregation? Are you curled up on the sofa with pen in hand, writing in your prayer journal words of adoration? Are you sitting with head down, hands clasped, heart beating for the Lord? Are you prostrate on the ground, bowing in honor? Are you standing with hands up high, exalting, lifting the Name of Jesus, reaching toward His throne in heaven? However you position yourself, Our Father God sees you, knows you, loves you and is so blessed by your love and praise. Keep exalting Christ our Lord, dear sister!!!

If you would prepare your heart,
And stretch out your hands toward Him…
Job 11:13 (NKJV)

Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name. Psalm 63:4 (NKJV)

Let my prayer be set before You as incense,
The lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.
Psalm 141:2 (NKJV)

My hands also I will lift up to Your commandments,
Which I love,
And I will meditate on Your statutes.
Psalm 119:48 (NKJV)

Hear the voice of my supplications
When I cry to You,
When I lift up my hands toward Your holy sanctuary.
Psalm 28:2 (NKJV)

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

A favorite hand-lifting song from church camp

Jesus, Our Greatest Example

In celebration of Thanksgiving this year, I’m re-running this post from June 2021. This devotion and many others will be in my new book, More TEA CUPP Prayers, coming out in spring 2023. Thank you for praying for me and the publication process! Happy Blessed Thanksgiving to one and all! Thank you, dearest Jesus, for so many blessings!

…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 Jesus the Son 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

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

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. You can turn to one of the last sections of this book to read how this Grandma’s heart was broken and cried desperate pleas to God the Father for over a 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 witness her graduation 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

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: Read one of the selections of Jesus giving thanks, noticing the miracles that came after His thanksgiving. 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!

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

Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! 
For His mercy endures forever. Psalm 107:1


Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.
Oh, give thanks to the God of gods!
For His mercy endures forever.
Oh, give thanks to the Lord of lords!
For His mercy endures forever.
  Psalm 136:1-3

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

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

Let Freedom Ring!

Praise the Lord! Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. Psalm 106:1 (NKJV)

Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices;
My flesh also will rest in hope.
Psalm 16:9 (NKJV)

In June 2022, God answered the cries of my heart, taking me back to Wisconsin to be with my grandchildren. As I played with the kids in their backyard, I heard the bells of St. Mary’s Church chiming over the rooftops. Those same bells had been my companions in the early days of our granddaughter’s cancer, as we came to help for weeks at a time.

On a 100 degree June Tuesday, we had the joy of witnessing our granddaughter Kennedy ringing the cancer survivors’ bell at Milwaukee Children’s Hospital. After almost two and one half years of chemo, Kennedy is finally finished with all her treatments and pronounced, “cancer free!” We praise the Mighty Name of Jesus for this miracle and glorify His Name!

I want to thank everyone who prayed for our granddaughter these past three years. Your prayers rocked the throne room of heaven and the Lord heard your every cry. Your prayers gave healing to Kennedy, strength to her parents, comfort to her grandparents, and hope to so many. You are a blessing, and I thank Jesus for you!

I want to thank the doctors and nurses and physical therapists who cared for Kennedy all this time. God has put His kindness and compassion into your hearts. You poured it out on our granddaughter when she was so very sick. You encouraged her parents when the nights were dark, assuring them there was a light at the end of the tunnel. You were the hands and feet of Jesus, reaching out to heal the sick and lame.

I want to thank Kennedy’s Mom and Dad, Nana, Papa, and Auntie who were on the ground, doing the hard work each day, taking Kennedy to appointments and babysitting the little ones. You were there during the worst of times. The love you poured out on our grandkids is unmeasurable. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks.  Luke 17:15-16 (NKJV)

And, most of all, I thank Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior, who heard the cries of Kennedy’s grandmas’ hearts. You were there when the “tea first spilled,” as we cried “Abba, Father, take this cup!” When we didn’t feel able to bear this load, You were able and bore it for us. You promised to send healing when I anointed Kennedy with oil (even anointing her hospital room and house). And when our little girl could no longer walk and we cried out, “Talitha Cumi,” You helped her to walk and leap again! You taught this precious girl to pray and blessed her with not one, but two younger siblings, first a Robin in spring and then a Princess in summer. You carried our granddaughter through every sick day and night, every treatment, every set back… You were there. Thank you, dearest Jesus.

And now, we celebrate this great and awesome victory over cancer. It was on a Tuesday that Kennedy rang the cancer victory bell, and Tuesday’s child is full of grace. The Grace of God healed our Kennedy Grace. This girl who was born on her paternal grandma’s birthday, rang the cancer freedom bell on her maternal grandma’s birthday. How awesome is that! He who died for our sins, healed the sick, made the lame walk, and raised the dead has now set our granddaughter free from cancer! My TEA CUPP overflows!

Today’s TEA CUPP: This 4th of July we have so much to celebrate… freedom for babies who will be given life instead of death, freedom from cancer for our granddaughter and others, and freedom from sin because of Jesus’ work on the cross. Our nation, the USA, was founded as one nation under God that we may also live in freedom. Let us glorify the Lord and celebrate all this freedom today! Let Freedom Ring!

Grandma and Kennedy in 2020

Kennedy and Grandma in 2022

Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. Galatians 5:1 (NKJV)

Who forgives all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases.
Psalm 103:3 (NKJV)

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

For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:2 (NKJV)

A few “Ring the Bell” Hymns for you to enjoy…

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

Enter the Promised Land

In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.  John 14:2 (NKJV)

Growing up in Iowa, I was quite proud of the quote from the famous baseball movie Field of Dreams, “Is this heaven? No, this is Iowa.”  Now I live in Montana, which I find even more beautiful with its majestic mountains and wide open spaces.  Yet I know even this is not heaven. For in the true heaven there awaits me my Savior Jesus and a Promised Land more wonderful than I could ever imagine. It is a good land which the Lord our God is giving us (Deut. 1:25).

So many of us know the Old Testament account of Moses leading God’s people out of Egypt and parting the Red Sea. But instead of heading straight to the Promised Land, they wandered around in the wilderness for 40 years because of their disobedience and unbelief.  God’s pillar of cloud led them by day and fire led them by night until all the older generation died. 

And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief. Hebrews 3:18-19 (NKJV)

So I swore in My wrath,
‘They shall not enter My rest.’  Psalm 95:11

Why couldn’t the older generation enter the Promised Land?  Because they didn’t believe!  In Numbers 13 we read how Moses sent a scouting party to check out the Promised Land.  Two men, Joshua and Caleb, said it was perfect and they should go. Ten men said there were awful giants and the land could not be captured.  The Israelites believed the ten men instead of believing and trusting God.  So they couldn’t enter the Promised Land. Even Moses was not allowed to enter the Promised Land, because he did not hallow the Lord when he struck a rock to get water at Kadesh (Numbers 20:12, 27:12-14, Deut.1:36-38, 3:25, 4:22, 32:48-52)).  

Only Joshua and Caleb and all the younger generation were allowed to enter the Promised Land.  Joshua was the anointed leader and Caleb was given special lands.  WE must also BELIEVE to enter the Promised Land of heaven.  Don’t side with the ten men who don’t trust God. Go with Jesus and the Holy Spirit who tell us He is preparing a place for us in heaven. Be like Caleb who said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it”  (Number 14:8). Believe!

…Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household. Acts 16:31 (NKJV)

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16 (NKJV)

God’s Word is full of promises about our Promised Land. Let’s look at a few of these heavenly promises…

…an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you.  1 Peter 1:4 (NKJV)

Your eyes will see the King in His beauty;
They will see the land that is very far off.  Isaiah 33:17 (NKJV)

For so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 1:11 (NKJV)

The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb,
The leopard shall lie down with the young goat,
The calf and the young lion and the fatling together;
And a little child shall lead them.  Isaiah 11:6 (NKJV)

The streets of the city
Shall be full of boys and girls
Playing in its streets. Zechariah 8:5 (NKJV)

a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne. And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald. Revelation 4:2-3 (NKJV)

And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away. Revelation 21:4 (NKJV)

 But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.  Revelation 21:27 (NKJV)

Dear One, there remains a rest for the people of God, for YOU!  For as yet you have not come to the rest and the inheritance which the Lord your God is giving you. How can we be certain to enter this rest in the Promised Land?  By holding fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end, by exhorting one another daily while it is called Today lest any of us be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin, by holding steadfast to the end, by remembering the Sabbath Day of rest now, by being diligent to enter our rest, by hiding God’s Word in our hearts, by coming boldly to the throne of grace, that we may find mercy and grace to help in time of need. but most of all, believe on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.  (Deuteronomy 12:9, Hebrews 3-4, Acts 16:31). 

Three years ago my Daddy went to heaven. Three miscarried babies and two grandbabies are in heaven.  I can’t wait to see Jesus and all my loved ones and those streets of gold and no more tears or hurt or sin or sadness or pain or cancer or COVID19 or bad politics. Let us wait for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God (Hebrews 11:10) where Jesus reigns forever and ever!!!

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Read Numbers 13,  Hebrews 4 and Revelation 4 for a picture of the Promised Land and heaven. Dear One, I want you to be in heaven someday with Jesus and all God’s children.  Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ TODAY and you will be saved.  Claim all the promises of heaven, looking forward to the day when Jesus calls us home.

Thank you for stopping by My TEA CUPP Prayers.  If you enjoyed today’s devotion, you might also like to read My Dear Loved One and  Remember the Sabbath and The Only Antidote. 

I will abide in Your tabernacle forever;
I will trust in the shelter of Your wings. Psalm 61:4

He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. John 3:18 (NKJV)

You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11 (NKJV)

Blessed is the man You choose,
And cause to approach You,
That he may dwell in Your courts.
We shall be satisfied with the goodness of Your house,
Of Your holy temple.  Psalm 65:4 (NKJV)

Nevertheless I am continually with You; You hold me by my right hand. You will guide me with Your counsel, And afterward receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:23-26 (NKJV)

I cried out to You, O Lord:
I said, “You are my refuge,
My portion in the land of the living.” Psalm 142:5 (NKJV)

Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. James 5:7-8 (NKJV)

And the ransomed of the Lord shall return,
And come to Zion with singing,
With everlasting joy on their heads.
They shall obtain joy and gladness,
And sorrow and sighing shall flee away.Isaiah 35:10 (NKJV)

 

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

 

 

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

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