The Persistent Widow Petitions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.  Revelation 3:10 (NKJV)

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

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

 

The Blessed Easter Tree

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.  Philippians 2:8-11 (NKJV) – Oh Father, be glorified this Easter!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Promises from Under the Table

 

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

Then Jesus answered and said to her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour. Matthew 15:28 (NKJV)

If you’ve been doubting if you can talk with Jesus and if He will hear your prayers, today’s devotion is for you!  If you’re at the end of your rope and are coming to Jesus in one last desperate plea, you are like the Canaanite woman.  If you’re ready to humble yourself and even crawl under the table for Jesus, you are the one He wants to give His promises.  

Dear Sister, the first “P” in the TEA CUPP is all about claiming God’s PROMISES and Jesus wants to give these promises to YOU!  Now this lady to whom I’m about to introduce you could have been a great one for the “U” section, as she had quite a story.  She’s also a marvelous example of our last section (P for Petitions which we’ll get to next week).  But today we will see how she claimed God’s PROMISES.

The Canaanite woman’s story begins in Matthew 15:21. If you are familiar with Old Testament history, you may remember how Joshua lead the Israelites into the Promised Land. The people living there were the Canaanites, and in the book of Joshua we read how God’s people were instructed to drive them all out. (The story goes even farther back to Genesis 9:25, where Noah said, “Cursed be Canaan,” because Canaan’s father Ham, Noah’s second son, had seen Noah’s nakedness).  And so, as they entered the Promised Land, each tribe was supposed to help remove this enemy, but they never finished the job.  Thus, many Canaanites remained in the land of Israel with God’s people, bringing us to this story with Jesus. 

Jesus and His disciples were passing through the region where the Canaanite woman lived. News of Jesus’ miracles must have preceded His arrival, for the woman hurried right up to Jesus and begged, Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed.”  

Can you imagine this lady’s anguish? Her daughter was possessed by demons. Perhaps many of you have experienced the same thing, having a child who is rebellious, or depressed, or with an eating disorder or any other illness.  You have tried everything, but Jesus is the only one who can help your child and you.  

So, she cried out, “O Lord, Son of David!”  How does she know He is Lord? How does she know Jesus is The Son of David?  Because she has heard of His miracles and God has put this in her heart.  For Jesus is the Promised One, the Messiah, who was descended from David.  He has so many names: Son of David, Son of Man, Son of God.  Yet, she chose the name which showed He belonged to David, Israel’s great king.

And you’ll never guess what Jesus said in reply: NOTHING.  He said nothing!  Has God ever been silent with you?  Many Bible people cried out to God about this…

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

Lord, how long shall I cry,
And You will not hear?… Habakkuk 2:1 (NKJV)

Even the disciples were unsympathetic, encouraging Jesus to send the woman away.  That would have been the end of me.  I would have left in tears.  But SUDDENLY, the disciples’ comments woke up Jesus.  Perhaps He had been waiting to see if they had learned anything from His parables to help her.  Or, perhaps He was waiting to see if the woman was sincere in her request. Whatever the reason, the waiting was over!  Jesus then explained to the woman that He had been sent to save the people of Israel.  Did this stop the Canaanite woman? NO! 

Once again, I would have left in tears, but this brave lady truly knew who she was addressing, for at this point in her story she came and worshiped Jesus!  She worshiped the Son of David, the Son of Man, the Son of God, the Savior, the Messiah, Jesus Christ!  And she begged Him again, “Lord, help me!”  

Jesus, still teaching the disciples and testing her faith, and though I would think wanted to help her at that very moment, delayed again, saying, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs,” meaning He was only to give His bread, His body, to the children of Israel.  

A third time, I would have been crushed and left in tears, but the Canaanite woman, with courage and boldness for which I long, answered Jesus, the Son of God, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.”  Oh, dear one, if this Canaanite woman could speak up to Jesus, don’t you think you can, as well?

And this is where we get the happy ending, for Jesus answered this desperate lady, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.”  And her daughter was healed from that very hour. (Matthew 15:21-28)

My friend, let the Canaanite woman’s story inspire you to talk to Jesus!  Yes, YOU can talk to Jesus.  He came first to the children of Israel, but then for all the children of the world, and that means YOU!  And YOU can claim the promise He gave to the Canaanite woman…”O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.”  

All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. John 6:37 (NKJV)

Dearest Jesus, I come and worship You.  You are the God known from eternity past to eternity future by all Your awesome works. You created the whole earth and the cattle on a thousand hills are Yours, yet You seek after me, the one lost sheep. You are the God-Who-Sees me.  I will be glad to sit under Your table and be fed the scraps of Your love and wisdom. But no, You invite me to sit AT Your table and dine with You!  Oh, Jesus, I claim Your promises!  Amen 

They will come from the east and the west, from the north and the south, and sit down in the kingdom of God.  Luke 13:29 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Read the entire story of the Canaanite woman in Matthew 15:21-28.  Claim Jesus’ promises. Whatever you are praying, whatever it may be, claim God’s promise, Let it be to you as you desire! And claim these promises below that He really, truly hears your prayers.

For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
And His ears are open to their prayers… 1 Peter 3:12 (NKJV)

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

You will make your prayer to Him,
He will hear you… Job 22:27 (NKJV)

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

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

I cried out to God with my voice—
To God with my voice;
And He gave ear to me.  Psalm 77:1 (NKJV)

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

Bible Reading Bookmarks

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

We’ve been talking a lot about treasure, how God opened the treasure chest of heaven and poured out His love for us through His Son Jesus; how Jesus is our treasure, giving us the treasure of salvation and eternal life; and how He gave us the gift of His Holy Spirit when He returned to heaven. Yet there is a great Treasure Chest that includes all of these, our Bibles! 

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

Our Bibles are a treasure we do not want to keep locked up. We want to open its pages every single day and seek God in His Word.  It’s in our Bibles that Jesus speaks to us during our daily quiet times. But where should we begin reading?  Please let me share some Bible Reading Plans with you today:

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

If you are a brand-new Christian and Bible-reader, you may like to begin by reading the Gospel of John and one Psalm each day.  John’s Gospel will tell you the story of Jesus and His salvation, while the Psalms give you words to pray for every situation.

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

Once you have a taste of God’s Word and are hungry for more, you may benefit from reading a One Year Bible in an easy translation. These give you an Old Testament reading, a New Testament reading, a Psalm and a Proverb for each day.  The first Bible I read from cover to cover was a One Year New Living Translation Bible.  I read it for several years before wearing it out.  

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly… Colossians 3:16 (NKJV)

Though the One Year Bibles are perfect for daily reading, they are challenging to use in a Bible study situation where you have to look up verses.  Next you will want to get a regular study Bible, my favorite is the MacArthur Study Bible in the New King James Version.  For several years I used the Our Daily Bread devotion book Bible reading plan with my study Bible.  This plan has you read from the Old Testament and New Testament each day, completing Malachi and Revelation by the end of the year.

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

This year, our pastor invited us to try a new Bible reading plan, the M’Cheyne Daily Bible Reading Plan. This plan has you read four chapters a day from four different parts of your Bible.  You can read two sections in the morning and two at night, or two sections with your family and two in private, or just read all four in the morning during your TEA time, as I like to do.  If you follow the complete M’Cheyne plan, you will have read through the Old Testament once and the New Testament and Psalms twice by the end of the year.  

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

I have found the M’Cheyne reading plan so interesting this year, being in four stories at once, which often connect to current events and to each other.  There are always Bible verses to pray and words to encourage me each day.  I am such a paper and pencil and bookmark person, that I made four M’Cheyne bookmarks to put in my Bible and use each day. If you would like to have your own set of bookmarks please contact me and I will be happy to send you some!  

…But the word of the Lord endures forever. 1 Peter 1:15 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP:  My friend, having a Bible reading plan is a very important part of your daily TEA time with Jesus.  Just like eating a healthy diet from all the food groups, reading from all parts of the Bible (not just your favorites) keeps you well fed.  Ask God to show you which Bible reading plan to use this year.  Keep His Treasure Chest open every day!

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

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

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

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

 

The Red Cord: Rahab’s Story

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

So they went, and came to the house of a harlot named Rahab, and lodged there. Joshua 2:1 (NKJV)

She was the concealer of Israel’s spies, the savior of her family, the great-great-grandmother of King David, the great-grandmother of Jesse, the grandmother of Obed, and the mother of Boaz. Who was this great lady?  Rahab the Harlot!

If you read Mom’s TEA CUPP Prayers, you might think you are reading the same devotion again, for in that book I shared about Ruth, the wife of Boaz and great-grandmother of King David. Going back one more generation we have another amazing woman, Rahab. I wonder if Rahab was still living when Boaz married Ruth? These two Bible ladies certainly had some stories to tell! That’s what the U part of the TEA CUPP is all about, UNDERSTANDING our stories.

Rahab’s story begins in the book of Joshua. God’s people, the Israelites, had completed their forty years of wandering in the desert. God was finally leading them into the Promised Land. Joshua sent two spies to check out the first city, Jericho. When the spies arrived at Jericho, they hid in the house of a prostitute named Rahab. It was a good cover for two traveling men, but the king found out about them anyway.

God, always providing, prepared Rahab’s heart to hide the spies. When the king sent his men to find the spies, Rahab cleverly hid them under some flax she was drying on the roof. She told the king’s men that the spies had gone on and to go look for them. Then Rahab let the spies down through the window, as her home was in the city wall. She instructed them to hide in the mountains for three days until the search was ended.

Before letting the spies depart, Rahab begged for mercy for her family. She had heard of the Israelites’ great victories and how their God had fought for them. Rahab proclaimed “for the Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath” (Joshua 2:11). She knew they would take Jericho next and asked for her family to be spared. The spies agreed if Rahab would leave a red cord hanging from her window. That red cord was the symbol of her salvation.

After three days in the mountains, the spies returned to Joshua with the good news that the “inhabitants of the country are faint-hearted because of us” (Joshua 2:24). So Joshua and the Israelites prepared to cross the Jordan River and conquer Jericho (now that’s another great story!). On the seventh day of marching around Jericho, Joshua instructed the two spies to rescue Rahab and her family, adopting them into the Jewish nation.

And Joshua spared Rahab the harlot, her father’s household, and all that she had. So she dwells in Israel to this day, because she hid the messengers whom Joshua sent to spy out Jericho. Joshua 6:25 (NKJV)

I wonder if one of the spies was a handsome fellow named Salmon. For in Matthew 1:5 we read, “Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab.” Rahab settled down with the Israelites and became part of the lineage of Christ. I imagine she told her children and grandchildren the story again and again of how the red cord saved her family.

Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab, Boaz begot Obed by Ruth, Obed begot Jesse, and Jesse begot David the king. Matthew 1:5-6 (NKJV)

Dear Sister, we have a red cord of salvation, too! Our Red Cord is the blood of Jesus Christ. For on the cross at Calvary, He shed His blood for us, dying for all our sins. As Rahab believed in the God of the Israelites and trusted the spies and red cord, we too can believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and trust in His Son Jesus and the blood He shed for us. Grab onto Jesus’ “red cord,” telling your salvation story to to your children and grandchildren and neighbors.

But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. Ephesians 2:13 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: Read Rahab’s incredible story in Joshua 2 and 6. Where do you find yourself in her story? Are you Rahab, deeply in need of forgiveness and longing to be included in God’s family? Are you one of the Israelites, crossing the Jordan River, hoping for a fresh start on the other side? Wherever you are in life, I pray you will make Jesus a big part of your story, and tell about Him to others, saving your family, as did Rahab.

Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way? James 2:25 (NKJV)

Thank you for stopping by My TEA CUPP Prayers. If you enjoyed today’s devotion, you might also like Bible Mom: Understanding with Ruth and Mom’s TEA CUPP Prayers which includes this devotion.

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

Esther’s Great Calling

For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14 (NKJV)

“Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”  Have those words been ringing in your ears, as they have in mine, while watching history unfold this year?  As I hear the news that more babies are marked for abortion, while our elderly are being “vaccinated” with cells derived from or tested on such babies, my heart breaks, for I know that the Author of Life can in no way bless such an atrocious endeavor (Romans 1:18). Our cradles and homes for the elderly will be empty (see links below). Perhaps you’ve prayed the prayer, “May my heart be broken by what breaks the heart of God.” That’s what is happening to me right now…my heart is broken by the imminent deaths of innocents.  There should be great mourning, fasting, weeping and wailing at such tragic news (Esther 4:3).

There was a lady back in Old Testament times with the same crisis.  Her people, the Jews, were marked for extermination.  She was the one God called to save them.  What can we learn from Esther that will help us through this time in history?  Let us walk through Esther’s story today.  The book of Esther began with King Ahasuerus having a big party.  When his wife, Queen Vashti, refused to come when he called her, she was dethroned, as an example to all ladies to honor their husbands, both great and small (Esther 1:20).

After his anger cooled, the king wished to have a queen again.  A questionable beauty pageant was arranged where he chose his next queen.  Esther pleased the king and won the contest, not telling anyone that she was a Jew.  At the same time, the second leader in the nation, Haman, was miffed with a fellow named Mordecai (who happened to be Esther’s uncle), because Mordecai wouldn’t bow down to him as he passed by.  Haman tricked the king into signing a destructive decree saying, 

“There is a certain people scattered and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of your kingdom; their laws are different from all other people’s, and they do not keep the king’s laws. Therefore it is not fitting for the king to let them remain.” (Esther 3:8, NKJV)

When Mordecai heard the decrees, he tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and ashes.  Esther sent him new clothes to wear, but he refused, sending Esther a message of the impending destruction.  This is when Mordecai cried his famous line, “Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Esther and her maids fasted and prayed for three days before Esther went to the king (Esther 4:16).  That’s when the miracle happened…

While Esther and her maids were fasting, the king couldn’t sleep. King Ahasuerus commanded the history books to be read before him. And what happened? Past information was brought to the spotlight, how Mordecai had saved the king’s life.  The next day Haman was forced to honor Mordecai for his service to the king. You must read the entire book of Esther to hear its exciting conclusion of how Esther saved her people, the Jews. 

My friends, this same happy ending is what I want for babies, the elderly, and all Christians today. We are the Jews, for our hearts have been circumcised with the Holy Spirit (Romans 2:29).   It is our children and grandparents whose lives have been considered disposable.  We must be like Esther and cry out for these beloved.  Protect those near and dear to you.  And I pray that the true history of this present time will also be brought to the spotlight.

Dear Sister in Christ, we have been called for such a time as this: 1) To be godly wives for our husbands, 2) To raise up godly children who love the Lord Jesus, 3) To pray for our grandchildren and point them to Jesus, 4) To love our neighbors and shine His light on them, 5) To care for the sick, the widow, the orphan, 6) To pray for our leaders and for God to raise up leaders after His own heart, 7) and to stand in the gap, praying and speaking for those who have no voice… You will find even more callings as you read God’s Word.  

Let us write the history book for 2021 with courageous acts.  Let the truth be revealed. May God send a revival across this land such has never been seen before.  Hearts everywhere will be open to Him. Knees will bow, mouths will confess, souls will repent.  You won’t have to say “know the Lord,” for everyone will will know Him (Hebrews 8:11).  There will be celebrating, giving of gifts, feasting, fasting, and praying before the Lord (Esther 9:19, 22). The Prince of Peace and Truth shall reign (Esther 9:30).  And we will tell the story of God’s miraculous salvation to our children’s chidren’s chidren forever (Esther 9:28).

“What is your petition? It shall be granted you. What is your request… Esther 5:6 (NKJV)

Dear Jesus, If I have found favor in Your sight, and if it pleases the King, let my life be given me at my petition, and my people at my request. For we have been sold, our babies and grandparents, to be destroyed, to be killed, and to be annihilated… (Esther 7:3-4). We pray for our nation to repent and turn to You.  We pray for hearts everywhere to cry out to You in confession. We claim the forgiveness You bought us on the Cross. We pray for hearts to be opened across our nation and world, and for You to pour out Your Holy Spirit upon us. We pray for precious lives…innocent babies….the elderly…and all those in between.  Do Your miracles, Jesus!  May Your Name be magnified! May the Word of the Lord grow mightily and prevail. In the powerful name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Read the entire book of Esther and be inspired by this riveting piece of history.  Read Romans 8:31-39 for encouragement as you follow God’s calling in such a time as this. Be in God’s Word, for He always has just what you need.   Ask the Lord how He wants you to serve your family and neighbors and nation.  Dear One, God has brought you to the kingdom for such a time as this!  

Then he said, ‘The God of our fathers has chosen you that you should know His will, and see the Just One, and hear the voice of His mouth.’  Acts 22:14 (NKJV)

When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. Mark 8:34-35 (NKJV)

Now the Lord spoke to Paul in the night by a vision, “Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent; for I am with you, and no one will attack you to hurt you; for I have many people in this city.”  Acts 18:9-10 (NKJV)

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Roman 8:18 (NKJV)

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.  Romans 8:37 (NKJV)

Thank you for stopping by My TEA CUPP Prayers! If you enjoyed today’s devotion, you might also like to read Let’s Talk about Calling and My Mission and One Life to Spend.

p.s.  Don’t get the vaccine.  For you are the temple of the Living God (2 Cor. 6:16).  Jesus is the cure for America. He tells us in 2 Corinthians 6:17, “Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you.” If you would like to research the current shots being offered to the public and other life news, here are a few links…

https://www.lifesitenews.com/tags/tag/coronavirus+vaccine

https://www.brighteon.com/4071ef0b-1c11-44d2-9a5b-6496baf00d0a

https://childrenshealthdefense.org/defender/vaers-covid-vaccine-injury-reports-increase/?itm_term=home

https://lozierinstitute.org/what-you-need-to-know-about-the-covid-19-vaccine/

https://rtl.org/educational-materials/vaccines-abortion/

https://thetruthaboutvaccines.com/deaths-reported-following-covid-vaccine/

https://vaccinedeaths.com/

https://vaccinedeaths.com/2021-02-02-aborted-fetal-tissue-coronavirus-vaccines-spike-proteins.html

https://cogforlife.org/guidance/

https://www.40daysforlife.com/

https://aclj.org/pro-life/president-biden-starting-plan-to-reverse-trump-administrations-title-x-defunding-of-planned-parenthood

https://aclj.org/pro-life/president-biden-will-force-you-to-pay-for-international-abortions

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

10 Years Under The Water

When all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also was baptized; and while He prayed, the heaven was opened. And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.” Luke 3:21-22

We’ve been under The Water for 10 years now. This weekend marks ten years since our believer’s baptism in Christ Jesus.  Ten years under His cover and forgiveness.  Ten years under His mercy and grace. Ten years under His unfailing love.

What a joy that was to be baptized with my family, just like Lydia in Acts 16:15.  Our son Jacob took his faith to college, serving in Campus Crusade for Christ as a missionary.  Our son Kevin is now studying at Bible College. My husband Kent and I are raising up our gift from God who came exactly nine months after our baptism.  We still pray for how we can be bright lights for Jesus in this world that needs Him so much.

Today we are even closer to Jesus’s return than we were a decade ago (Romans 13:11). Oh, how I pray that all you dear ladies may be under His Water and care, too. I share again the devotion I wrote ten years ago (many of you have read this in my first book, My TEA CUPP Prayers).

God CALLS us to do many things.  Reading my Bible each morning, I slowly hear what He’s telling me to do.  Every year I read the story of Jesus’ baptism, I’d wonder, “Why did Jesus need to be baptized?  He was perfect and without sin?” Then God showed me that Jesus did this to be a model for us and to fulfill all righteousness (Matthew 3:15).

And so we followed Jesus’ example… on a very cold January Sunday in Montana, I was blessed to be baptized with my family.  This was a CALL a long time coming.  We had all been baptized as infants and grew up in church.  But this day we proclaimed, “We believe in YOU Jesus, we belong to YOU, please wash away our old selves and make us new creations.”

I claimed John 12:24 as my baptism verse…Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. We were the wheat being buried in the ground in baptism.  I prayed that I could be like that grain of wheat and produce much fruit for Jesus.

On this day God’s baptismal CALL for me was fulfilled. I was dunked in my TEA CUPP.  All my thanking, exalting, admitting, calling, understanding, promising, petitioning…all my prayers were there that day.  He washed me in His Word, as I gave my life again to JESUS, because He first gave His life for me.  Oh Jesus, help us bear fruit for you!

Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. Romans 6:4

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.Acts 2:38 (NKJV)

And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord. Acts 22:16 (NKJV)

He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. Mark 16:16 (NKJV)

Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. Revelation 22:14 (NKJV)

Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. Romans 6:4 (NKJV)

...for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. Romans 13:11 (NKJV)

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

The BEST New Year’s Resolution

…Let us continue to go and pray before the Lord,
And seek the Lord of hosts…
Zechariah 8:21 (NKJV)

Ok, ladies, the new year is almost upon us! Many of you have new year’s goals. Some of you are determined not to have any goals. Others aren’t sure. I’m here today to give you the BEST New Year’s Resolution that will cover all the other resolutions and goals. Here it is:

Meet with Jesus each morning for TEA!

When you start your day with Jesus, reading your Bible, He will guide you with His Word, showing you what should be your goal for that day or week. He will unfold His plan for you day by day, provide for all your needs, be your strength and carry you through whatever the new year brings.

If you’re like me, you began 2020 with a list of goals and hopes, only to have them dashed to pieces with Covid19, closures, and quarantines. My world was actually shattered even sooner when our granddaughter was diagnosed with cancer at the end of January. Only my first month’s list was completed. And yet, perhaps that’s all God wanted me to do this past year, as I prayed and wrote and loved and cried and shared…maybe those were the things He really wanted me to do, as I met with Him each morning for TEA.

If you’re wondering how to make this new year resolution work, please read, “How to Get Started with your Jesus TEA.”  Pick a Bible reading plan that works best for you. My favorite is the one found in Our Daily Bread (click “Read Now” by Today’s Devotional to see the Bible reading), but there are many other good ones, like on the YouVersion Bible App. 

Then, on January 1, get up, pour yourself a hot mug, and sit down with your Bible and Jesus. Let Him speak first through His Word, then use a favorite verse as a conversation starter, as you pour your heart out to God in prayer.  You can do this even if you are a young mom, for I began daily Bible reading and prayer when my boys were babies. I let them be my alarm clocks. 

Be blessed, dear prayer friend, you are jewels in Jesus’ crown!

…For they shall be like the jewels of a crown… Zechariah 9:16 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: As my pastor says, “Give the first cup of coffee to God.” Let’s give our first mug of the day to Jesus! Sit down with Jesus for TEA and Bible reading and prayer each morning. This will be your best new year ever!

You crown the year with Your goodness,
And Your paths drip with abundance.
Psalm 65:11 (NKJV)

P.S. Thank you for stopping by My TEA CUPP Prayers! If you enjoyed today’s devotion, you might also like to read my books, My TEA CUPP Prayers and Mom’s TEA CUPP Prayers. God bless you, dear sister in Christ!

     

Another year is dawning, dear Father, let it be
In working or in waiting, another year with Thee;
Another year of progress, another year of praise,
Another year of proving Thy presence all the days.

Another year of mercies, of faithfulness and grace,
Another year of gladness in the shining of Thy face;
Another year of leaning upon Thy loving breast;
Another year of trusting, of quiet, happy rest.

Another year of service, of witness for Thy love,
Another year of training for holier work above;
Another year is dawning, dear Father, let it be
On earth, or else in Heaven, another year for Thee.

(Francis R. Havergal, 1874)

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

He Comes with Presents!

 Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!  2 Corinthians 9:15 (NKJV)

For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works. Matthew 16:27 (NKJV)

What is the same about Christmas and when Jesus takes us home?  They both involve presents!  Every year, people around the world celebrate Christ’s birth by giving each other gifts.  When Jesus was born, wise men came from the East bearing gold, frankincense and mrryh (Matthew 2:11).  And did you know, that when Jesus comes for us, He will also have presents?

Last summer I was writing a running series but stopped just short of the best part of the race…when we finish!  Some day we will all cross that finish line, whether runners, walkers, or coach potatoes!  And when we who believe in Jesus cross that line, Jesus will have gifts for us!

I love the races where everyone gets a prize.  I first saw this when helping with Special Olympics.  Every runner was given a hug and a medal when he or she crossed the finish line.  Then a local fun run, the Cowpoke Stampede, awarded us all with cow ear tags!  And when I finished my first and only marathon last year, I was delighted to have the volunteers place a “finisher” medal around my neck before I collapsed into the arms of my family.

Immensely far better than those earthly rewards will be the presents Jesus brings when He comes for us, whether now or at His second return.  What kind of gifts will He give us? Some I found in God’s Word include… crowns, a new body with a white robe, white stones with our names, hidden manna, an inheritance, a mansion,  and eternal life!  Wow!  All this in addition to the forgiveness, salvation (saving us from our sins), redemption (dying in our place on the cross), grace, mercy, peace, joy and hope He already has showered upon us here. No gift on earth, no tinsel, no lights can ever compare with what God has prepared for those who love Him!

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)

Just like every finisher at the marathon gets a medal, all believers get a crown.  And what will we do with our crowns? Cast them at the feet of Jesus in praise and glory to Him, our Savior and King! We will kneel before Him, just like the wise men did beside His little bed so long ago, and present our gifts which He provides for us, for we owe Him our eternal thanks and praise.  Wow!

The twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne… Revelation 4:10 (NKJV)

Let’s look at those seven gifts again:

  1. Crowns: Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing. 2 Timothy 4:8 (NKJV)
  2. A new body with a white robe: For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.  2 Corinthians 5:1 (NKJV) Then a white robe was given to each of them… Revelation 6:11 (NKJV)
  3. A white stone with your name:And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it. Revelation 2:17 (NKJV)
  4. Hidden manna: He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat…Revelation 2:17 (NKJV)
  5. An inheritance: To an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you.1 Peter 1:4 (NKJV)
  6. A mansion: 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)
  7. Eternal life: For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23 (NKJV)

Some dear church friends have recently gone to heaven to receive these final rewards.  I see Randy, Orlando, Gale, Wally, Chuck, Kari, Don and others, wearing their white robes, and laying their crowns at the feet of Jesus.  They are sitting around the fellowship halls in their mansions, with white name stones to mark their places, enjoying the hidden manna and chatting like old friends do, waiting for the rest of us to show up. 

And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. Revelation 22:12 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: Dear friend, I want YOU at that fellowship time in heaven.  Please ask Jesus into your heart today and welcome all the gifts He has for you!  Two weeks ago, I wrote that Jesus is coming soon.  One week ago, I shared about waiting and waiting.  In just a few days we will celebrate Christmas, and for many children the waiting will be over.  But for those of us who are longing for Jesus’ second return, we may still be waiting awhile longer. So be faithful, my friend. Jesus is coming with presents!

Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. Revelation 2:10 (NKJV)

Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. 1 Corinthians 9:24-25 (NKJV)

…I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.  Genesis 15:1 (NKJV)

…each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor. 1 Corinthians 3:8 (NKJV)

We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty,
The One who is and who was and who is to come,
Because You have taken Your great power and reigned…
And the time of the dead, that they should be judged,
And that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints,
And those who fear Your name, small and great…
Revelation 11:17-18 (NKJV)

P.S. Thank you for stopping by My TEA CUPP Prayers.  If you enjoyed today’s devotion, you might also like to check out my other Christmas devotions and my most favorite one, My Heart Inn.

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

Standing in the Breach with Psalm 106

…Had not Moses His chosen one stood before Him in the breach… Psalm 106:23 (NKJV)

When I was a little girl, my parents took my siblings and me to the Grand Canyon.  I remember my mom holding our shirt collars as we looked over the edge into the great abyss. Then I grew up to be a mom and did the same thing for our children. Any time we went to a National Park with deep gorges, I held shirt collars to prevent my children from plummeting into the canyon depths. 

Friends, our country needs moms to hold shirt collars again! We need you to pray like never before for your children and for this great nation. Don’t let go! Don’t let us fall into the depths! Don’t lose the faith!  Believe with all your heart that God will save this great land.  Hold those shirt collars!

Did you know Moses did the same thing for God’s children, the Israelites?  While Moses was on the mountain receiving the Ten Commandments from God, the people were down below making a golden calf.  God wanted to wipe them all out and make a new people from Moses.  But Moses stood in the breach and pleaded with the Lord on their behalf.  And God heard their prayers!  God will hear your prayers, too, dear friend.  Here are some verses you can pray from Psalm 106 today…  

T for Thanksgiving:

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

…To give thanks to Your holy name,
To triumph in Your praise. Psalm 106:47 (NKJV)

E for Exalting:

Blessed be the Lord God of Israel
From everlasting to everlasting!
And let all the people say, “Amen!” Praise the Lord! Psalm 106:48 (NKJV)

A for Admitting:

We have sinned with our fathers,
We have committed iniquity,
We have done wickedly.  Psalm 106:6 (NKJV)

Because they rebelled against His Spirit,
So that he spoke rashly with his lips.  Psalm 106:33 (NKJV)

They even sacrificed their sons
And their daughters to demons,
And shed innocent blood…  Psalm 106:37-38 (NKJV)

C for Calling:

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

U for Understanding:

Thus they provoked Him to anger with their deeds,
And the plague broke out among them.
Then Phinehas stood up and intervened,
And the plague was stopped.  Psalm 106:29-30 (NKJV)

P for Promises:

Nevertheless He regarded their affliction,
When He heard their cry;
And for their sake He remembered His covenant,
And relented according to the multitude of His mercies.  Psalm 106:44-45 (NKJV)

P for Petitions:

Remember me, O Lord, with the favor You have toward Your people.
Oh, visit me with Your salvation. Psalm 106:4 (NKJV)

Save us, O Lord our God,
And gather us from among the Gentiles… Psalm 106:47 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Dear TEA Friend, You have such an important job to do! Just as Moses stood in the breach to save the children of Israel, we must stand in the breach to save the United States of America.  Keep praying for our nation, dear prayer warriors. Keep interceding on behalf of babies, our President, and anything else the Holy Spirit puts upon your heart.  

And an extra prayer for the USA:

That I may see the benefit of Your chosen ones,
That I may rejoice in the gladness of Your nation,
That I may glory with Your inheritance.  Psalm 106:5 (NKJV)

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