Fear Not, Dear One

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
Psalm 23:4 (NKJV)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Luke 12:32 (NKJV)

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

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

Today’s TEA CUPP: Read Daniel 3 and be encouraged by the story of Daniel’s courageous friends. Read Psalm 27 and be comforted by God’s Word. Perhaps you’d like to begin your own treasure hunt to find all 365 “fear not” verses. Underline them in your Bible, write them on notecards, put them where you will see them each day, and share them with your friends. Reading the Psalms may also quiet your fears, Psalm 140 is appropriate to pray at this time. Oh, Dear One, God has a plan, fear not!

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

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

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

Christmas Must Be Pro-Life

With prayers for the December 1, 2021 hearing at the U.S. Supreme Court, which could overturn Roe vs. Wade, I prayerfully share this Christmas devotion with you again.  Remember, every baby is a miracle from God deserving life.  These two special Christmas babies are examples of such precious ones.

And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins. Matthew 1:21 (NKJV)

If anyone doubts that life begins at conception, she must read the Christmas story. For in Luke 1, two incredible ladies learn they are miraculously pregnant. First Elizabeth in her old age conceives the baby John the Baptist.  Half a year later, through the power of the Holy Spirit, the Virgin Mary conceives the baby Jesus, the Christ, the Savior of the world.

Soon after Mary hears of her calling, she goes with haste to visit her cousin Elizabeth who is already six months pregnant. As Mary enters Elizabeth’s house, the baby John inside of Elizabeth leaps for joy!  He is so excited that His Savior, the baby Jesus inside of Mary, has entered the room.  Both babies are very much alive, yet still inside their mothers, growing and waiting to be born.  Life does not begin at birth, it begins at conception when God starts knitting this precious person.

For You created my inmost being;
    You knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    Your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well. Psalm 139:13-14 (NIV)

Even the great Bible prophets and teachers knew this.  Jeremiah from the Old Testament proclaimed…

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;
Before you were born I sanctified you;
I ordained you a prophet to the nations. Jeremiah 1:5 (NKJV)

And the Apostle Paul from the New Testament related…

But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace. Galatians 1:15 (NKJV)

So why is there all this confusion about when life begins? Because the enemy aims to confuse us and to make us doubt and even to kill.  Like the Herods of Jesus’ day, there are still Herods today who want to destroy babies while Rachel still weeps for her children (Matthew 2:16-18). But we have a Savior who makes it clear in His word.  He tells us to choose LIFE (Deut. 30:19).  And for those who have made wrong choices, and for all of us sinners, Jesus offers His forgiveness and promise of eternal life.

The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. John 10:10 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Read the Christmas story in Matthew 1:18-2:23 and Luke 1-2.  See how God blessed the whole world through these babies.  None of us knows the amazing plans God has for our little ones.  Choose life! 

But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. Galatians 4:4-5 (NKJV)

Please join me in praying for babies in America and around the world to be saved.  Also, pray for special blessings on foster parents and adoptive parents.  Do something special for one of these families this Christmas.

This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live. Deuteronomy 30:19 (NIV)

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
The fruit of the womb is a reward. Psalm 127:3 (NKJV)

My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.  Psalm 139:15-16 (NKJV)

“Whoever receives this little child in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me. For he who is least among you all will be great.” Luke 9:48 (NKJV)

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

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

 

 

Get on the Ark! (The Storm is Here!)

So you also, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near.  Luke 21:31 (NKJV)

Can you hear the thunder?  A storm is coming! First, a far away rumble, next, a closer thunder, finally, a very-close Ka-boom and the rain drops start falling. It began years ago with distant rumblings… wars, abortion, immorality, gay marriages, transgenderism… all sins that break the heart of God. Yet Jesus can wash away and extend forgiveness to repentant believers because of His saving work on the cross.  But people don’t want His forgiveness, they don’t want His salvation, their pride gets in the way, they say, “We don’t need Your Cross or cleansing Blood.” So every day the thunder gets nearer and louder, until finally, the storm clouds burst open and God’s wrath rains down.   

Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.  Genesis 6:5-6 (NKJV)

In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.  Genesis 7:11 (NKJV)

“Now, wait a minute,” you say?  “You seem to have combined today with the Genesis story from our Bibles, and didn’t that story end with God promising never to flood the whole earth again? Don’t you remember the rainbow?”  You are right, God set a rainbow in the sky, but He has other ways of pouring out His wrath in the latter days.  The book of Revelation gives us a clear picture of what is to come, as God warns His church, rescues His children, pours out His wrath on the earth, and reigns victoriously. Oh, dear ones, if our Lord God Almighty destroyed Sodom, Gomorrah, Jericho, and Nineveh (long after Jonah’s visit) for their sins, what hope does America and the world have today?  I’ll tell you… that hope is Jesus!

By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith. Hebrews 11:7 (NKJV)

And did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly.  2 Peter 2:5 (NKJV)

Think of faithful Noah who spent close to 100 years building the ark (Genesis 6-9).  He used countless boards of gopherwood, numerous nails, and sealed it with pitch, saving eight people and all of creation.  Jesus’ Ark was just two boards connected in a cross, three nails for His Body, and He sealed it with His Blood, saving all humanity. Noah’s ark and the flood are part of Biblical history, but Jesus’ Ark is still accepting passengers until the doors close, and no pounding on the door will open it then (Genesis 7:16).  I want to urge you to GET ON THE ARK and bring your family, too!

For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.  Romans 8:22 (NKJV)

In Matthew 24 and Luke 21 we read about the signs that must take place before Jesus returns.  These are the rumbling thunders, the birthpangs, that signal His return is imminent.  Whereas in the past these rumblings were few and far between, now it seems that daily we are bombarded with all these things:  Immorality, persecutions, abortion, riots, gender issues, wars and commotions, nation rising against nation, earthquakes, pestilences, fearful sights, betrayal by family and friends, Jerusalem surround by armies, hearts failing… and many more signs!  Some are happening now before Jesus takes His bride the Church (all who believe in Him) to heaven.  More signs will continue before He returns to judge and reign on earth.  

But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark. Matthew 24:36-38 (NKJV)

You must board this ark NOW and urge your friends and family, too!  This ship sets sail soon.  (There are some helpful links below for putting your faith in Christ). Get on board before Jesus comes to rescue His Church from the tribulation, before He pours out all His divine wrath. If you are a split second too late, the doors will be closed, and Jesus will call through the keyhole, “I do not know you.” (Matthew 7:21-23, and the foolish maidens in Matthew 25, and the man who snuck in without the wedding garment in Matthew 22). 

So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.  Hebrews 3:19 (NKJV)

So you also, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near.  Luke 21:31 (NKJV)

Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.  Luke 21:36 (NKJV)

Alas for the day!
For the day of the Lord is at hand;
It shall come as destruction from the Almighty.  Joel 1:15 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Read Psalm 29 and Matthew 24. Know that the Lord, He is God, and glorify His Name.  Get onto Jesus’ Ark, accepting His saving work on the cross.  Plead with your family and friends to get on Jesus’ Ark, too!  

“Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”  Acts 16:30-31 (NKJV)

The voice of the Lord is over the waters; The God of glory thunders; The Lord is over many waters. …The Lord sat enthroned at the Flood, And the Lord sits as King forever. The Lord will give strength to His people. The Lord will bless His people with peace. Psalm 29:3, 10-11 (NKJV)

Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord,
At the presence of the God of Jacob,
Who turned the rock into a pool of water,
The flint into a fountain of waters. 
Psalm 114:7-8 (NKJV)

Having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck. 1 Timothy 1:19 (NKJV)

Then they cry out to the Lord in their trouble,
And He brings them out of their distresses.
He calms the storm,
So that its waves are still.  Psalm 107:28-29 (NKJV)

At this also my heart trembles,
And leaps from its place.
Hear attentively the thunder of His voice,
And the rumbling that comes from His mouth.
He sends it forth under the whole heaven,
His lightning to the ends of the earth.
After it a voice roars;
He thunders with His majestic voice,
And He does not restrain them when His voice is heard.
God thunders marvelously with His voice;
He does great things which we cannot comprehend.  Job 37:1-5 (NKJV)

He has made the earth by His power;
He has established the world by His wisdom,
And stretched out the heaven by His understanding.
When He utters His voice—
There is a multitude of waters in the heavens:
“He causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth;
He makes lightnings for the rain;
He brings the wind out of His treasuries. Jeremiah 51:15-16 (NKJV)

And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed. Luke 17:26-30 (NKJV)

Thank you for stopping by My TEA CUPP Prayers. If you enjoyed today’s devotion, you might also like to read Come to the Wedding and Jesus, Calm the Storm and TEA in the Storm.  And here’s a great reference to share with others: The ABCs of Salvation.  You will also be blessed to add Olive Tree Ministries and Prophecy Pros to your podcast listening. God bless you, dear sister in Christ!

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

So Many Calls

Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer. Romans 12:12 (NKJV)

The “C” Part of My TEA CUPP Prayers is all about what God is calling us to do with our lives. As we read our Bibles, we come across verses where the Holy Spirit nudges us, “this is something I want you to do.” So, we underline that verse and ask the Lord to help us carry out His calling.

Some selections of scripture have so many calls for us, it is almost overwhelming. Romans 12 is such a passage. If you read this today and try to do it all at once, you could collapse on your own strength. But if we read it prayerfully and ask God where He wants us to begin, He will show us, and each day or week or month or year, we can work on another part of what He is calling us to be. And someday, when He takes us home to be with Him, we will have attained them all.

Let’s look at the many callings from God in Romans 12:

 *Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God

*Do not be conformed to this world

*Be transformed by the renewing of your mind

*Not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly

*Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them

*Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good

*Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another

*Not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord 

* Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer

*Distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality

*Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse

*Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep 

*Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble

*Do not be wise in your own opinion

*Repay no one evil for evil

*Have regard for good things in the sight of all men

*If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men

*Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord 

*Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink;
For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head”

*Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good Romans 12 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: Dear one, what is God calling you to do today? Sit down for TEA with your Bible and Jesus and ask Him about your calling. Read His word, perhaps starting with Romans 12. Underline verses He shows you. Pray for His strength to carry out this calling. Let Him pick you up when you stumble and set you back on your feet. Keep pressing on toward the goal! God’s got this, dear sister in Christ!

God is my strength and power,
And He makes my way perfect.
2 Samuel 22:33 (NKJV)

My flesh and my heart fail;
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Psalm 73:26 (NKJV)

If I say, “My foot slips,”
Your mercy, O Lord, will hold me up.
Psalm 94:18 (NKJV)

I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:14 (NKJV)

p.s. Could you please pray for me and my calling? God has given me a vision to take Jesus and My TEA CUPP Prayers invitation to ladies across the USA, traveling in an RV with my family. So many things must come together for this to happen, but with God all things are possible. Thank you for praying for my calling. I pray right now that God will strengthen you to carry out His calling, too! Jesus loves you, dear sister!

And for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel.  Ephesians 6:19 (NKJV)

That they may know that You, whose name alone is the Lord,
Are the Most High over all the earth.
Psalm 83:18 (NKJV)

And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us,
And establish the work of our hands for us;
Yes, establish the work of our hands.
Psalm 90:17(NKJV)

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

Always Remember

Then they remembered that God was their rock,
And the Most High God their Redeemer. Psalm 78:35 (NKJV)

When all seems hopeless, Remember the works of the LORD!

Remember how He created heaven and earth from nothing by His Word.

Remember how He gave Abraham and Sarah a baby in their old age.

Remember how He rescued the Israelites from Egypt with severe plagues and mighty signs and His outstretched arm.

Remember how He fed His children in the desert with bread from heaven and water from the Rock.

Remember how He parted the Red Sea and washed away the enemy.

Remember how He knocked down the walls of Jericho with a mighty trumpet blast.

Remember how He heard the prayer of barren Hannah and blessed her with baby Samuel.

Remember how He heard Esther’s fasting and prayers and rescued His people from destruction.

Remember how He closed the lions’ mouths for Daniel and walked in the fire with Shadrack, Meshach and Abed-Nego.

Remember how God sent His Only Son Jesus, born of a virgin, to be our Savior,

Remember how Jesus healed the sick, fed the 5000 and called Lazarus out of the grave.

Remember how Jesus willingly shed His blood and died on the cross for our sins.

Remember how He rose from the grave and beat death and the devil forever.

Remember how He has carried you through every trial and heartache.

Remember how He promised to prepare a place for you in heaven.

Remember how He ascended to the clouds and promised He is coming again in the same way to take us to Himself.

Remember.

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Dear sister, read Psalms 78 and 105 to remember how faithful God is to His children.  Remember how faithful He has been to you.  Thank and praise Jesus for His faithfulness today. Tell a friend what you remember.

And I said, “This is my anguish;
But I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High.”
 I will remember the works of the Lord;
Surely I will remember Your wonders of old.
I will also meditate on all Your work,
And talk of Your deeds.  Psalm 77:10-12 (NKJV)

Remember your Creator before the silver cord is loosed,
Or the golden bowl is broken,
Or the pitcher shattered at the fountain,
Or the wheel broken at the well. Ecclesiastes 12:6 (NKJV)

Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.  Luke 21:28 (NKJV)

Thank you for stopping by My TEA CUPP Prayers.  If you enjoyed today’s devotion, you might also like to read The Door of Hope and Count the Stars and God is Near, Dear One.

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

 

Remember the Sabbath

For the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath. Matthew 12:8 (NKJV)

How are you doing on your Jesus journey, my friend?  How has your year been going?  As I look around at our world and hear the news, I pray for a revival and for God to heal our land. But the only way for a revival is for hearts to turn to Him in repentance. And so, instead of pointing fingers, I look into my own heart for places I need to repent.  One place sure hit me be surprise!

I loved Sundays, I loved church, I loved worshiping Jesus and singing there and seeing friends, and coming home for an afternoon nap.  I thought I was keeping the Sabbath.  And then suddenly, after all those years, God showed me and others that no, I wasn’t celebrating HIS Sabbath, for His Sabbath is on the 7th day of the week.  It’s right there in the Genesis story…and on the seventh day He rested.  It’s right there in the Ten Commandments…remember the Sabbath Day and keep it holy.  It’s right there in the prophets Jeremiah and Ezekiel…nor carry a burden out of your houses on the Sabbath Day (Jeremiah 17:21-22).  It is right there in the Gospels, when Jesus asked, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good?” (Mark 3:4). It is right in the book of Acts, when they started worshiping on the first day of the week, the day Jesus rose from the grave…it says, they went a Sabbath’s Day journey (Acts. 1:12).  How could I miss that after reading my Bible daily for over a quarter of a century?

For He has spoken in a certain place of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all His works”. Hebrews 4:4 (NKJV)

Now we know we are not saved by following the Law (Galatians 5:4), yet it is our guide to live a holy life in Christ Jesus. And so I come before the throne of grace and ask Jesus’ forgiveness for messing with His Sabbaths all these years.  We’re still trying to figure out just what it means, how best to worship Him on this day.  Our family started a home church on Saturday mornings. The country lane where we live is called Dry Creek Road, so we call our home church, Dry Creek Bible Fellowship, where Jesus’ Living Water is poured out freely to quench the thirsty.  Our youngest son plays piano while we sing a few hymns.  We confess our sins and read a Psalm.  We pray for others God has put upon our hearts.  We read God’s Word, an Old Testament and a New Testament chapter each week.  And we share what God has taught us in His Word that week. Lastly, we give each other the Bread and Cup, remembering Jesus’ Body and Blood and sacrificial death on the cross, His resurrection and ascension until He comes to take us home.  We welcome others to join us.

Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience. Hebrews 4:11 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Dear One, we must all search God’s Word and search our hearts for where we fall short. What is it that God is calling you to do?  What area of your life doesn’t match up completely with His Word? Turn to Jesus in repentance and ask His help to walk His straight and narrow path.  Read Nehemiah 13:15-22 for more about the Sabbath.  

And He said to them, “The Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath.” Luke 6:5 (NKJV)

 For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? 1 Peter 4:17 (NKJV)

And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.  Hebrews 4:13 (NKJV)

Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. 1 John 2:3 (NKJV)

That He may incline our hearts to Himself, to walk in all His ways, and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments, which He commanded our fathers. 1 Kings 8:58 (NKJV)

…What evil thing is this that you do, by which you profane the Sabbath day?   Nehemiah 13:17 (NKJV)

…guard the gates, to sanctify the Sabbath day. Nehemiah 13:22 (NKJV)

…They have hidden their eyes from My Sabbaths… Ezekiel 22:26 (NKJV)

Moreover I also gave them My Sabbaths, to be a sign between them and Me, that they might know that I am the Lord who sanctifies them. Yet the house of Israel rebelled against Me in the wilderness; they did not walk in My statutes; they despised My judgments, ‘which, if a man does, he shall live by them’; and they greatly defiled My Sabbaths. Then I said I would pour out My fury on them in the wilderness, to consume them.  Ezekiel 20:12-13 (NKJV)

Because they had not executed My judgments, but had despised My statutes, profaned My Sabbaths, and their eyes were fixed on their fathers’ idols.  Ezekiel 20:24 (NKJV)

If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath,
From doing your pleasure on My holy day,
And call the Sabbath a delight,
The holy day of the Lord honorable,
And shall honor Him, not doing your own ways,
Nor finding your own pleasure,
Nor speaking your own words,
Then you shall delight yourself in the Lord;
And I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth,
And feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father.
The mouth of the Lord has spoken. Isaiah 58:13-14 (NKJV)

…For He who has mercy on them will lead them,
Even by the springs of water He will guide them. Isaiah 40:10 (NKJV)

Thus says the Lord:

“Stand in the ways and see,
And ask for the old paths, where the good way is,
And walk in it;
Then you will find rest for your souls… Jeremiah 6:16 (NKJV)

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

 

 

 

My Tea Time Tutor

Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. Galatians 3:24 (NKJV)

It’s back to school time for many youth across our country. As they bring lessons home, some students may find they are struggling in one subject area and need a tutor. I was a tutor for a few years, welcoming students into my home after school to help with math and reading homework. Much like a piano teacher who gives lessons, I only saw my pupils for 30-45 minutes each week. We got through a good chunk of homework that was due the next day, but I never felt we were making big progress in our brief time together. I pray my students saw Jesus in me and my family, and that is the lesson they remember the most!

These pupils needed the daily care of a tutor or parent to help them press on in their studies, much like we need Jesus daily to guide us. Just as 45 minutes of tutoring a week might not make a difference to a math student, an hour in church each week may not grow a believer. We need to be in God’s Word and praying EVERY DAY, listening to His Voice through the Holy Spirit, submitting to His will, fighting the good fight of faith.

Paul shows us in Galatians how that’s what God was doing through the Law — constantly tutoring us, showing us the right way, guiding us forward. And since none of us can follow the Law perfectly (For all have sinned, Romans 3:23), God sent His Only Son Jesus to save us and fulfill the Law. Now we live not under Law but under His grace!

…for by the law is the knowledge of sin. Romans 3:20 (NKJV)

For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace. Romans 6:14 (NKJV)

What is this Law? It is the Ten Commandments God gave to Moses after he led God’s people out of Egypt, 430 years after God rewarded Abraham with a promise because of his faith. Abraham’s faith led to the Law, which led to the Law showing us our sin, which led to our need for a Savior, which led to Jesus coming, which leads to our faith in Him!

We need the Law to show us our sins and to lead us to Jesus. John MacArthur, in his study Bible, provides additional insight into the Law as our tutor. In MacArthur’s notes for Romans 3:31, he explains how our salvation through faith does not nullify the Law, but rather shows its true importance. Our faith in Christ provides the payment for the penalty of death required by the Law. And our faith in Christ fulfills the original purpose of the Law, to serve as a tutor. In his notes for Galatians 3:24, MacArthur tells how the Greek word for tutor denotes a slave whose duty it was to take care of a child until adulthood. They took children to school and watched over their behavior constantly, making children long for the day they would no longer have a tutor. I love John MacArthur’s quote, “The Law was our tutor which by showing us our sins, was escorting us to Christ.”

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. Galatians 2:20 (NKJV)

Isn’t it interesting that Jesus taught His disciples so many truths, but the one thing they specifically asked Him was, “teach us to pray.” Perhaps prayer, most of all, is where Jesus tutors us the most.

Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.” Luke 11:1 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: A new school year is upon us. Read Romans 3 with a heart open to tutoring. Let us commit to pray daily for children, grandchildren, neighbor children, and teachers in our towns. May they all be guided and tutored by the Word of God and His Holy Spirit. And may Jesus return to schools in the USA! May God also bless the homeschool families. And may we all continue to be tutored by Jesus until He returns!

Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statutes,
And I shall keep it to the end.
Psalm 119:33 (NKJV)

Teach me good judgment and knowledge,
For I believe Your commandments.
Psalm 119:66 (NKJV)

But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen. 2 Peter 3:18 (NKJV)

Receive, please, instruction from His mouth,
And lay up His words in your heart.
Job 22:22 (NKJV)

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge… Proverbs 1:7 (NKJV)

Teach me Your way, O Lord;
I will walk in Your truth;
Unite my heart to fear Your name.
Psalm 86:11

Thank you to David Kim  and Carrie from Discovery Church for this beautiful song!

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

His Marvelous Lovingkindness


Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning,

For in You do I trust;
Cause me to know the way in which I should walk,
For I lift up my soul to You.
Psalm 143:8 (NKJV)

I awoke early at our campsite to have my tea time with Jesus before the day began. We had arrived a bit later than expected the night before. After setting up the pop-up camper and preparing supper, we realized the propane stove was not working.  So, just before 9 p.m., the family ate our anniversary dinner of taco salad with cold beans and then tumbled into sleeping bags.  We prayed that Daddy could fix the stove in the morning when there was daylight. And guess what, he did and we had hot French toast for breakfast! Isn’t the Lord kind?

Show Your marvelous lovingkindness by Your right hand,
O You who save those who trust in You.  Psalm 17:7 (NKJV)

We were camping in a pristine mountain forest at a place called Crystal Lake Campground.  There was only one problem, the lake was missing!  It had dried up!  A lovely nature trail went around the “lake” that was no longer there.  Thankfully, the campground host had maps, and the boys hiked to this beautiful Crystal Cascade waterfall.  Isn’t that another example of the kindness of the Lord, to pour out His Living Water upon us when our souls are thirsty (Psalm 63:1)? In my quiet time I read this verse from Psalm 17:7 and thought of all the times God had shown us His Marvelous Lovingkindness when traveling…

  1. Twice, before reservations were allowed, we arrived late to the Many Glacier Campground in Glacier National Park, only to find it already full. We walked and drove around, looking for a spot. We sat at a picnic table and prayed. And guess what, both times we got a spot!  A Park ranger came by and said a family didn’t show up, we could have their spot.
  2. So many times when we were out of money or groceries and I needed to fix dinner when the kids were little, God helped me come up with a recipe with the few ingredients we had left.
  3. And every time we had a vehicle break down, God sent someone to rescue us. Our first minivan broke down in the middle of Nebraska on a trip from Colorado to Iowa, right next to a KOA campground where the kids enjoyed swimming.  A tow truck driver was available to tow us the next day all the way to our folks in Iowa. Isn’t God so good!

It reminds me of the song, “All my life You have been faithful, all my life you have been so, so good, with every breath that I am able, I will sing of the goodness of God.”(Bethel Music)

And yet those bits of Lovingkindness are just a tiny taste of the Marvelous Lovingkindness our Lord Jesus did for us on the Cross.  While we were yet sinners, God looked down from heaven and saw us and loved us (Romans 5:8). He saw how we were lost in our sin and could never obey all His law.  Yet He loved us and carried out the plan He had since before time began, sending His Only Son Jesus to die for our sins.  Jesus shed His blood for us and endured the pain of the cross (Hebrews 12:2) for you, and for me and for all who believe in Him.  On the third day He rose from the grave, defeating sin, satan, and death, once and for all, opening the door of heaven for all believers. Now that is Marvelous Lovingkindness!  Let’s rejoice in these blessings…

  1. He has prepared a campsite for us in heaven (John 14).
  2. He has a hot meal ready, Jesus, the Bread of Life (Psalm 22:26, John 6:35).
  3. And our vehicle won’t break down on the way, for He Himself will come to carry us home!   (Psalm 17:15, Psalm 23:6, 1 Thessalonians 4:17) Hallelujah! God be praised forever and ever and ever!

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Read these verses about our Lord’s Lovingkindness.  Take time today to write a verse in Your prayer journal and thank the Lord for all the times He’s showered You with His Marvelous Lovingkindness.  

Because Your lovingkindness is better than life,
My lips shall praise You. 
Psalm 63:3 (NKJV)

You show lovingkindness to thousands, and repay the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom of their children after them—the Great, the Mighty God, whose name is the Lord of hosts.  Jeremiah 32:18 (NKJV)

Remember, O Lord, Your tender mercies and Your lovingkindnesses,
For they are from of old.  Psalm 25:6 (NKJV)

Oh, continue Your lovingkindness to those who know You,
And Your righteousness to the upright in heart.  Psalm 36:10 (NKJV)

Do not withhold Your tender mercies from me, O Lord;
Let Your lovingkindness and Your truth continually preserve me.  Psalm 40:11 (NKJV)

Have mercy upon me, O God,
According to Your lovingkindness;
According to the multitude of Your tender mercies,
Blot out my transgressions. Psalm 51:1 (NKJV)

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

 

Sealed with a Kiss

Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.  2 Corinthians 1:21-22 (NKJV)

Every day I kiss Jesus. I finish the first part of my morning TEA time, reading God’s Word.  I always try to let Him speak before me, opening my Bible to read as I take a sip from my steaming mug.  My readings include Old Testament, New Testament and Psalms, providing many verses that speak to my current needs.  Right now, I’m following the M’Cheyne Bible Reading plan, which actually has me reading in four places.  By the time I finish reading, my cup of tea is either cold or long gone.  I write down the verses God shows me in my prayer journal and close my Bible, giving it a kiss before setting it down, much as I always kissed our babies before laying them in the crib.  

Why did I start kissing my Bible?  Is it because it is as precious to me as those long-grown babies?  Is it because it is the Word of God, Jesus who gave His life for me?  Is it because it is the only Hope we have in the crazy world?  There are probably many reasons.  And yet, as I kiss His Word, I realize Jesus first kissed me.  

Every believer has the kiss of Jesus upon her forehead.  He has given you His Holy Spirit in your heart as a guarantee.  After He writes “My Beloved daughter” on us and seals us with the kiss of His Holy Spirit, we become a letter to all the world of God’s great love. That’s why when you are at the grocery store or park or anywhere and see another believer, Jesus shines from her eyes, and you know and she knows that you are both children of the Heavenly Father, you both have been sealed with His kiss.

You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men. 2 Corinthians 3:2 (NKJV)

Do you know when Jesus was kissed by the Father?  I imagine that’s what the dove was doing at His baptism.  When John the Baptist was baptizing people in the Jordan River for repentance of sins, along came Jesus who had never sinned.  John didn’t think he should baptize his perfect cousin, but Jesus insisted, setting the example for all believers.  God had already told John that the One on whom His Spirit rests would be the Savior of the world (John 1:33).  And that is just what happened when Jesus came up out of the water, the Holy Spirit came down in the form of a dove and a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son.”

In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise. Ephesians 1:13 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: Read about Jesus’ baptism in Mark 1:9-11. Oh, Jesus, this is our story, too.  You established us, anointed us, and sealed us with Your Holy Spirit like an envelope. We have a seal on our hearts declaring, “Beloved of God,” “God’s Child,” “Saved by Jesus,” “Redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb.”  And no one, no one, can remove the seal and snatch us from Your hands.  Yet people can still read the letter inside. We are Your letter to the world, proclaiming the Good News of Your salvation, Jesus. Hallelujah! This is my story! Amen.

Kiss the Son, lest He be angry,
And you perish in the way,
When His wrath is kindled but a little.
Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.  Psalm 2:12 (NKJV)

O Jesus, I love You! I kiss Your feet and wash them with my tears. I hug and kiss You with my prayers.  I run to You like a little girl to her Daddy, climbing on Your lap. Oh, I want to stay in this safe place.  You love me and all Your children.  You are gentle with us, but to the wicked You are a terror.  You are Great, Mighty, all-seeing, Savior God!  Nothing is too hard for You.  I love You, Jesus. Amen.

…Greet one another with a holy kiss.  1 Corinthians 16:20 (NKJV)

 Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.  2 Corinthians 5:5. (NKJV)

Mercy and truth have met together;
Righteousness and peace have kissed. Psalm 85:10

And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.  John 10:28-29 (NKJV)

Thank you for stopping by My TEA CUPP Prayers.  If you enjoyed today’s devotion, you might also like to read last week’s Come to the Wedding Feast and God Loves You. And speaking of weddings and kisses, this week my husband and I celebrate our 32nd anniversary.  All glory be to God!

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

Come to the Wedding Feast

 

Again, he sent out other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and fatted cattle are killed, and all things are ready. Come to the wedding.”’  Matthew 22:4 (NKJV)

“Come to the wedding!”  Dear Sister, the wedding of all eternity is coming soon and YOU are invited!  Jesus is making the crowning preparations right now, putting the finishing touches on His mansions, watering His garden of fruit trees, sending out the final invitations, praying for us as He anticipates the Day He will come to marry His bride, the Church.  

Perhaps you missed a few weddings this past year. With plagues and shutdowns, many weddings were postponed or abbreviated.  My son and his beautiful bride pared their wedding down from 200 friends and family to 25 close family members to celebrate within the guidelines of their town.  I was very thankful to attend this lovely event, even with the smaller numbers, because we had missed his sister’s wedding when she eloped.  I was sad about this for a long time until Jesus comforted me with these words:

Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’” Revelation 19:9 (NKJV)

Dear One, even if we miss every wedding this year, we can rejoice, for we are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!  Hallelujah! What a glorious Day that will be! Let us all be ready for that great and eternal Day!  Let us prepare right now so that we are ready.  Let us be forgiven and washed in the blood of Jesus and put on His pure white dresses (Revelation 19:8).  Let us fill our lamps with the oil of His word (Matthew 25:1).  Let us watch and pray for we don’t know when the time will come (Mark 13:33).

Until now, the Lord has been very gracious to us in waiting for more people to turn to Him (Isaiah 30:18).  Yet we can see the Day of His coming approaching, as evil is called good and good is called evil, and our world heads in a downward spiral of moral decay, even within the Church.  Listen to God’s Word from Saint Matthew…

Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. Matthew 24:30 (NKJV)

Saint Luke also describes many of these signs that the Wedding is almost at hand.  From wars to earthquakes to pestilences to persecutions and more… God’s Word says, “So you also, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near” (Luke 21:31). Oh, Sister, the time is certainly near, won’t you please come to the Wedding?

Over and over, as we read our Bibles, Jesus invites us to “Come!”  When you have TEA with Jesus each day and believe in His Name, you are accepting His call, and He quenches your thirst with His Living Water (Rev. 21:6, John 4:14). From the Old Testament to Revelation, the invitation is always there:

Ho! Everyone who thirsts,
Come to the waters;
And you who have no money,
Come, buy and eat… Isaiah 55:1 (NKJV)

Come, you children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the Lord.  Psalm 34:11 (NKJV)

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28 (NKJV)

And He said to them, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.  Mark 6:31 (NKJV)

“Come and see.”  John 1:46

Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?  John 4:29 (NKJV)

Oh, dear friend, won’t you please accept His invitation? Jesus so fervently desires you to be there, as He desired to eat the Last Supper with His disciples (Luke 22:15). RSVP “Yes” today!  In recent years we have online wedding registries, where you can meet the bride and groom, view engagement photos, see the bridal party, RSVP you are coming, find a motel, look at the guest list and gift ideas, etc.  Imagine if there were such a website for Jesus’ wedding!  We could view photos of Jesus in heaven, see His Church, meet the Saints who will return with Him, say “YES!” we are coming, check out the mansion arrangements, see who else is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, and admire the crowns we will bring to cast at the feet of our Groom, Jesus Christ.  Fun as that sounds, our Bible, God’s Word, is the best place for us to get a glimpse of our Lord’s wedding.

Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.  Revelation 19:7 (NKJV)

Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. Revelation 21:2 (NKJV)

As we read Revelation 21, I think of the old movies where the bride is married in her own home.  At just the right moment, when all the guests are in place, she appears at the top of a long stairway, gracefully descending to take the arm of her groom.  Saint John paints a picture for us, “Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband” (Revelation 21:2).  Imagine that Glorious Day when Jesus takes the Church to be His bride, will you be there?

Jesus tells the story of a Great Supper in Luke 14:15-24:

Then He said to him, “A certain man gave a great supper and invited many, and sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, ‘Come, for all things are now ready.’ But they all with one accord began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it. I ask you to have me excused.’ And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them. I ask you to have me excused.’ Still another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’ So that servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house, being angry, said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in here the poor and the maimed and the lame and the blind.’ And the servant said, ‘Master, it is done as you commanded, and still there is room.’ Then the master said to the servant, ‘Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. For I say to you that none of those men who were invited shall taste my supper.’”  Luke 14:16-24 (NKJV)

Don’t make excuses, the time to say YES is TODAY! Accept Jesus! Come to the Wedding, my friend.  Let us hasten the day of His Wedding by praying with John in Revelation 22:20, “Amen. Even so, come Lord Jesus.”  

…Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. 2 Corinthians 6:2 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Dear Sister, there are so many beautiful wedding stories in the Bible. Spend time this week reading each of these:  Matthew 22:1-14, Matthew 25:1-13, John 2:1-11, Revelation 21, and Genesis 24.  Your daily TEA time with Jesus is preparing you for this Glorious Wedding Day. Rejoice that YOU are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb!

Thus says the Lord: ‘Again there shall be heard in this place…the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the voice of those who will say: “Praise the Lord of hosts, For the Lord is good, For His mercy endures forever”… Jeremiah 33:10-11 (NKJV)

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

The great day of the Lord is near;
It is near and hastens quickly… Zephaniah 1:14 (NKJV)

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)

Blessed is he who shall eat bread in the kingdom of God! Luke 14:15 (NKJV)

Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”  John 4:13-14 (NKJV)

I have two beautiful songs for you today, ladies! While looking up the second hymn, I came across this beautiful Catholic hymn based on Isaiah 55:1.  I can just see all the faithful coming forward to receive the Bread and Cup, the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus, while hearing this song.  The invitation is for all who hunger and thirst for righteousness and put their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. And someday we will share the Cup anew with Jesus in the Kingdom of Heaven!

O let all who thirst
Let them come to the water
And let all who have nothing
Let them come to the Lord
Without money, without price
Why should you pay the price
Except for the Lord? (John Foley, 1978)

 

 

And Jesus said, “Come to the water, stand by My side,
I know you are thirsty, you won’t be denied;
I felt every teardrop when in darkness you cried,
And I strove to remind you that for those tears I died.” (Hymn, author unknown)

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