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

Remember the Cross

Today I rerun another favorite Christmas devotion for you from December 2017.  Merry Christmas, dear TEA CUPP ladies!

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1:18 (NKJV)

In his autobiography, Just As I Am, Billy Graham tells the story of a crusade at the Dallas Cotton Bowl in 1953.  After a night of preaching, his friend John Bolton took a walk with Billy and commented, “Billy, you didn’t speak about the Cross.”

Rev. Graham’s friend went on to say, “How can anyone be converted without having at least one single view of the Cross where the Lord died for us?  You must preach about the Cross, Billy. You must preach about the blood that was shed for us there.  There is no other power than when we talk or preach about the Cross.” (Graham, 1997)

And so, as we celebrate Christmas, I exhort you to remember the Cross!  When you look at your tree, decorated with tinsel and lights, remember the tree that held our Savior Jesus, as He gave His precious life for us.

And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Philippians 2:8 (NKJV)

As you give presents to family and friends, remember the Greatest Gift ever given, when God gave His only Son to us:

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

As you toss out the wrapping paper and scrub the holiday dishes, remember how Jesus shed His blood for us on the Cross of Calvary, washing away the sins of all who believe in Him.

Having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. Colossians 2:14 (NKJV)

And as you look upon the lights of Christmas, ooh-ing and awwh-ing at the displays in your town, remember to look to Jesus, the Light of the world, the author and finisher of our faith.

Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” John 8:12 (NKJV)

Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: Read Luke 2 and Luke 23. Remember today the Baby who came in a manger, God in the flesh,  born to a virgin, to save the whole world.  Remember that He didn’t stay in the manger.  He grew to be a Man, fully perfect, without blemish, the only perfect sacrifice for our sins.  And so He gave His life for ours on the Cross. When you look at the Cradle, remember the Cross of Christ this Christmas, my friend.

Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.1 Peter 2:24 (NKJV)

An uncommon Christmas carol…

In the cross of Christ I glory,

Towering o’er the wrecks of time;

All the light of sacred story

Gathers round its head sublime.

(John Bowring, 1825)

Graham, B. (1997). Just As I Am. San Francisco: Harper Collins/Zondervan (p.243)

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

News Flash: Hypocrisy Update!

Blessed are those who keep justice,
And he who does righteousness at all times!  Psalm 106:3 (NKJV)

Dear Ones, If you read my post last week entitled Without Hypocrisy, please click on the link below to visit Life Site News and watch the John Henry Weston’s video or read his article.  Life Site News did an awesome job of researching all those medicines and learned that many of them were made before 1973 so they were not tested on aborted babies in their origin.  I think you will be very glad to hear this news and I thank Life Site News for their excellent investigative reporting.  I’m so sorry to have worried you, though perhaps you enjoyed cleaning out your cupboards (such a feeling of accomplishment when the world is spinning out of our control, but not out of God’s!).

https://www.lifesitenews.com/blogs/ivermectin-hcq-abortion-covid-vaccine/

I encourage you to sign up to receive the daily news from Lifesitenews.com.  They bring you up-to-date information on many life issues, as well as current world events, all from a Christian perspective.  God bless you, dear ladies. Be strong and steadfast! Jesus is coming soon!

…so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.  1 Thessalonians 3:13 (NKJV)

Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and BODY be PRESERVED BLAMELESS at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it. Thessalonians 5:23-24

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

Without Hypocrisy

Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Romans 12:9 (NKJV)

For those of us who have been boycotting the covid vaccine, we now have a much longer list to boycott. For many, including me, one problem with the vaccine is its connection to aborted babies. My daughter did me the favor of sending a link to dozens of products that also use aborted fetal tissue in testing, some even for artificial flavorings, she is helping me to not be a hypocrite. And so I want to pass these lists on to you, dear sisters, who strive for holiness and righteousness.

Check out these links for abortion-tainted products. One article, while providing some very useful lists, defends the use of vaccines and all products, because if we give up one, we would have to quit them all.  I say, “Amen, let’s give them all up for the sake of Christ and His Kingdom and His righteousness!”  My dad always use to say, “Two wrongs don’t make a right.” Therefore, one hundred wrongs do not make a right either! You’ll be surprised to find many common products from Tylenol to Gatorade (which I am now removing from my house) listed here…

http://HEK 293: what are you eating?

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/throughcatholiclenses/2021/01/if-any-drug-tested-on-hek-293-is-immoral-goodbye-modern-medicine/

https://cogforlife.org/wp-content/uploads/fetalproductsall.pdf

https://killuminatisoldiersoftruth.wordpress.com/2021/03/29/abortedbabies/

I equate this issue to the meat sacrificed to idols in the New Testament. The “weaker” believers did not want to eat meat sacrificed to idols, because they knew from whence it came. The “stronger” believers did not feel it was a problem, since the idols were not really gods. But for the sake of the weak or sensitive believers, everyone was to avoid the idol meat. And so it should be with these products, for the sake of all of us who are greatly troubled by these abortion-tainted foods, medicines, and cosmetics, we should avoid them all!

But if anyone says to you, “This was offered to idols,” do not eat it for the sake of the one who told you, and for conscience’ sake… 1 Corinthians 10:28 (NKJV)

If your pastor is not speaking out about this issue, dear sister, you can be the one to spread the word in your Bible study and prayer group. Ezekiel tells us that the job of the priests is to “teach My people the difference between the holy and the unholy, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean” (Ezekiel 44:23). Refuse to participate in the abortion industry and its products. May God be the glory and victory!

How do we get that victory, through Jesus Christ our Lord (1 Corinthians 15:57). As you read over the lists and are appalled and filled with sorrow as I am, wondering how people could even think of using aborted babies for their products, and how we have enabled them with the use of these products, give it all to Jesus. Let us ask His forgiveness, tell Him how sorry we are, ask Him to wash us clean and help us not to ever bring shame to His Name. Then accept His forgiveness, for there is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1).

Dear Sisters, God calls us to love without hypocrisy, to abhor what is evil. I abhor abortion and the evil practice of killing babies and using their little bodies for research. I cling to all that is good: Jesus, life, and babies.

Blessed are the undefiled in the way,
Who walk in the law of the Lord!
Blessed are those who keep His testimonies,
Who seek Him with the whole heart!
Psalm 119:1-2 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: Keep His commandments, dear sister. Now that we know the list, we can ask for Jesus’ forgiveness, share it with others, and strive to live holy lives in Christ Jesus without these products. Let us not be deceived. Here are more verses to encourage you today…

A voice was heard in Ramah,
Lamentation, weeping, and great mourning,
Rachel weeping for her children,
Refusing to be comforted,
Because they are no more.
Matthew 2:18 (NKJV)

For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. 1 John 5:3 (NKJV)

… it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:16 (NKJV)

In You, O Lord, I put my trust;
Let me never be put to shame.
Deliver me in Your righteousness, and cause me to escape;
Incline Your ear to me, and save me.
Be my strong refuge,
To which I may resort continually;
You have given the commandment to save me,
For You are my rock and my fortress.
Psalm 71:1-3 (NKJV)

These things I have spoken to you, that you should not be made to stumble. They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service. And these things they will do to you because they have not known the Father nor Me. But these things I have told you, that when the time comes, you may remember that I told you of them. John 16:1-4 (NKJV)

This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.  Ephesians 4:17-19 (NKJV)

You who love the Lord, hate evil!
He preserves the souls of His saints;
He delivers them out of the hand of the wicked.  Psalm 97:10 (NKJV)

If anyone of the common people sins unintentionally by doing something against any of the commandments of the Lord in anything which ought not to be done, and is guilty,  Leviticus 4:27 (NKJV)

Who can understand his errors?
Cleanse me from secret faults.  Psalm 19:12 (NKJV)

 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.  Colossians 2:13-15 (NKJV)

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

You answered them, O Lord our God;
You were to them God-Who-Forgives,
Though You took vengeance on their deeds.  Psalm 99:8 (NKJV)

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.  Romans 8:1 (NKJV)

Thank you for stopping by My TEA CUPP Prayers. If you enjoyed today’s devotion, you might also like to check out Steadfast and Stout-hearted and The Only Antidote.

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

Every Age Needs Jesus

God is a just judge,
And God is angry with the wicked every dayPsalm 7:11 (NKJV)

Every age needs Jesus.  Every age needs Jesus, not just every age of person, from babies to grandparents, but also EVERY AGE as in every time in history.  Recently I was reading the book of Judges where people did “what was right in their own eyes” (Judges 21:25).  In this Bible book, God’s people continually strayed away from Him, so God sent prophets to call them back.  Reading the book of Judges is much like reading a newspaper today, so many heart-breaking stories.

A long time ago, I made a list of Bible Stories I don’t like and Judges 19-21 was at the top of the list.  If you want to ready the bizarre, you should read these passages.  This story brings up so many questions, like why didn’t the man protect his wife?  Why did he cut her up into 12 pieces?  Why did the Israelites think it was okay to steal wives for the Benjaminites?  These questions might spark your curiosity enough to read this Bible selection!  Yet the answer for every question is the same, the people did “what was right in their own eyes.”

Oh, let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end,
But establish the just;
For the righteous God tests the hearts and minds.
Psalm 7:9 (NKJV)

Hundreds of years after Judges, Acts 25:13 shows us more wickedness.  In this passage, the Apostle Paul was brought before King Agrippa and Bernice. This royal couple was another example of people doing “what was right in their own eyes” for Bernice was King Agrippa’s sister. Their marriage was against God’s law.  Paul, like the prophets before him, took full advantage of his time before the king, giving his testimony and declaring, “…repent, turn to God, do works befitting repentance”  (Acts 26:20).  

Many times in the Bible we see where God honors the faithful and the wicked are punished.  Jeremiah 35 is such a place.  The Rechabites had been told by their father Jonadab to live in tents and not drink wine.  They were obeying their earthly father.  Jeremiah told them, Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: ‘Because you have obeyed the commandment of Jonadab your father, and kept all his precepts and done according to all that he commanded you, therefore thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: “Jonadab the son of Rechab shall not lack a man to stand before Me forever” ’ ”  (Jeremiah 35:16-19). What a blessing for this family because of their faithfulness!  

Dear One, Let God’s Word reassure you. When Jesus was born, the Romans ruled that part of the world.  Joseph and Mary had to travel miles to be counted by those Romans.  And just at that time, the Father had His Son be born to a virgin, in a stable, because there was no room in the Inn.  God sent GREAT HOPE at a time when it was needed most, to a poor couple, in a barn with animals,  all living under Roman rule.  That precious Baby grew to be the Savior of the world, our Lord Jesus Christ who gave His life for us on the cross and rose again on Easter morning, opening the door of heaven for all who believe in His Name.  

Dear One, don’t you think He can do the same today? This certainly is another time in history when people are doing “what is right in their own eyes.”  Ungodly marriages, abortion, murders, rioting, sinful leaders… As we look at the tragedy in Afghanistan, the damage of hurricane Ida, the fires and smoke in the West (shrouding our beautiful mountains daily), the continuation of vaccines and Covid, we might lose hope, but we won’t!  We hold onto God’s promise to send His Son Jesus to right the wrongs and reign on high eternally! For every age needs Jesus!!!

Today’s TEA CUPP: Please pray with me…Hear my cry, O God; attend to my prayer.  From the end of the earth we cry to You. Our hearts are overwhelmed for the mighty have fallen, and the weapons of war have perished! We claim Your promise that the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning, for You are coming on the clouds.  You are with us in every trial and tribulation, through every fire and storm. You are our Great Hope and Healer and Savior. Come, Lord Jesus, come. (Psalm 61:1-2, 2 Samuel 1:27, Psalm 49:14, Matthew 24:30, Revelation 22:20)

...We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God. Acts 14:22 (NKJV)

He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.” Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus! The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.  Revelation 22:20-21 (NKJV)

Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty,
God will shine forth. Our God shall come, and shall not keep silent;
A fire shall devour before Him,
And it shall be very tempestuous all around Him.  Psalm 50:2-3 (NKJV)

My prayer friend Shannon shared this inspiring devotion from Dutch Sheets!  Please check it out and find great hope for America.   As we remember the 20th Anniversary of 9/11 this Saturday, there are many opportunities to join others in prayer. Check out these sites… Behold He Comes, The Return: Africa, American King Foundation, and others.

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