Greater Than >

Yet I say to you that in this place there is One greater than the temple. Matthew 12:6 (NKJV)

With a new year, I started reading my Bible again in Genesis and Matthew. The other day I was reading Matthew 12.    I’ve been reading my Bible for several years now, so many verses are already underlined, but I still find more to underline each day. 

This day I found verses in Matthew 12 for praising Jesus.  I found out that He is greater than the temple (Matt. 12:6), greater than Jonah (Matthew 12:41), and greater than Solomon (Matthew 12:42). This caused me to write in my prayer journal an exalting prayer to Him.   My prayer went something like this…

O Jesus, You are greater than all!  You are greater than the temple,  greater than Adam, greater than Noah, greater than Enoch, greater than Methuselah, greater than Abraham (John 8:53), greater than Isaac, greater than Jacob (John 4:12),  greater than Joseph, greater than Moses, greater than David, greater than Solomon,  greater than Elijah, greater than Isaiah, greater than Jeremiah, greater than Daniel, greater than Jonah, greater than John, greater than Peter, greater than Paul, greater than…all!

You are greater than my heart (1 John 3:20), greater than my troubles, greater than my worries, greater than my health, greater than my family, greater than my job, greater than my hobbies, greater than my ministry, greater than sports and movies and social media and everything this world says is great, only You are GREAT, my precious Jesus, and the greatest of all is Your Father in heaven (John 14:28)!

Be exalted and glorified today, my precious Jesus! Amen.

Today’s TEA CUPP: You can do this, too! Read Matthew 12.  List the things Jesus is greater than. Use your list as a conversation starter to tell Jesus what a Great God He is today!

Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised
In the city of our God,
In His holy mountain.  Psalm 48:1 (NKJV)

For the Lord is great and greatly to be praised;
He is to be feared above all gods. Psalm 96:4 (NKJV)

For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. 1 John 3:20 (NKJV)

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

The Lost Hymnals

Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
1 Timothy 1:17 (NKJV)

When I read this scripture passage from 1 Timothy, immediately my heart begins to sing and my mouth hums the great hymn by Walter Chalmers Smith (1824-1908). The old Welsch melody fills my thoughts as I sing…

Immortal, invisible, God only wise,
In light inaccessible hid from our eyes,
Most blessed, most glorious, the Ancient of Days,
Almighty, victorious, Thy great name we praise. (Whalmers)

A wonderful way to exalt Jesus is to sing old hymns to Him each morning.  You can do this!  Ask your pastor if there is a closet full of old hymnals at your church and if you may please have one.  The answer is most likely, “Yes,” as many churches display the songs on screens now.  Take your “new” borrowed hymnal home and use it as part of your morning Bible TEA time.  Thumb through the pages until you find a familiar hymn to praise Jesus.

Some favorite old hymns for exalting Jesus include How Great Thou Art; To God be the Glory; Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty; O Worship the King, All Glorious Above; Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee; Praise to the Lord, the Almighty; and All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name and many more!

You may also find a new-to-you hymn with powerful words. Even if you don’t know the tune, you can pray it to Jesus. I found one like this in our old hymnal entitled, Teach Me to Pray, Lord by Albert Simpson Reitz.  The first stanza cries…

Teach me to pray, Lord, teach me to pray;
This is my heart-cry day unto day;
I long to know Thy will and Thy way;
Teach me to pray, Lord, teach me to pray. (Reitz)

Today’s TEA CUPP: The old hymns praise Jesus with His Word.  Ask to borrow an old hymnal from church for your quiet time. Put it in your Jesus spot.  Hum, sing, and exalt Jesus with glorious old hymns filled with His Word! You will be so blessed!

But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Acts 16:25 (NKJV)

The Lord lives!
Blessed be my Rock!
Let the God of my salvation be exalted.
Psalm 18:46 (NKJV)

Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
To receive power and riches and wisdom,
And strength and honor and glory and blessing!
Revelation 5:12 (NKJV)

To God our Savior,
Who alone is wise,
Be glory and majesty,
Dominion and power,
Both now and forever.
Jude 1:25 (NKJV)

Yours, O Lord, is the greatness,
The power and the glory,
The victory and the majesty;
For all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours;
Yours is the kingdom, O Lord,
And You are exalted as head over all.
1 Chronicles 29:11(NKJV)

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

Bible Mom: Exalting with Mary

And Mary said: “My soul magnifies the Lord,
And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.
Luke 1:46-67

We all love Mary.  You know, Mary and Joseph and the baby Jesus from your Christmas nativity scene?  Yes, there are many Marys in the Bible, but none is as special as this young lady whom God chose to be the mother of His Son Jesus.  Mary was so obedient when the angel came with the news, that she replied, “Let it be to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38)

After receiving the angel’s announcement, Mary went to visit her cousin Elizabeth who was also miraculously pregnant in her old age with the special baby John the Baptist.  When Mary walked in the door, the baby John leapt inside Elizabeth’s womb for joy that his Savior had come.  What better story is there than this for life beginning in the womb! 

And it was there in Elizabeth’s house that Mary shared her praise to God.  Known as Mary’s song, she sang…

“My soul magnifies the Lord,
And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.
For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant;
For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed.
For He who is mighty has done great things for me,
And holy is His name.
And His mercy is on those who fear Him
From generation to generation.
He has shown strength with His arm;
He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He has put down the mighty from their thrones,
And exalted the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
And the rich He has sent away empty.
He has helped His servant Israel,
In remembrance of His mercy,
As He spoke to our fathers,
To Abraham and to his seed forever.”
Luke 1:46-55

Mary’s Song inspires me to pray…

O Jesus, Your dear mother Mary had words to praise You when You were just a tiny baby in her womb.

She magnified You and rejoiced in You. 

She knew You were God and Savior.

She Knew You were the One who does great things and sends us all blessings.

She knew You are holy and merciful and we should come to You in fear and respect.

And she knew You are forever, from generation to generation.

Mary proclaimed all this and EXALTED You with her cousin Elizabeth as they were both expecting miraculous babies. 

May all the world magnify You, Jesus, as did Mary! 

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Read the wonderful story of Mary in Luke 1:26-56. Isn’t it amazing how she praised the Lord so beautifully with this little life inside of her?  Can we do the same? Can we lift up and EXALT the name of Jesus each day as moms?  That’s what the “E” part of the TEA CUPP is all about, EXALTING the Lord.  This week as you read your Bible, be on the lookout for verses to praise Jesus.  Another Bible mom, Hannah, the mother of Samuel prayed this one…

My heart rejoices in the Lord;
My horn is exalted in the Lord.
I smile at my enemies,
Because I rejoice in Your salvation. No one is holy like the Lord,
For there is none besides You,
Nor is there any rock like our God.
1 Samuel 2:1-2

Rock Tower

rock tower2Take for yourselves twelve stones from here, out of the midst of the Jordan Joshua 4:3 (NKJV)

Finding new ways to praise Jesus always brings me joy, and I hope it brings Him joy, too.  Since I like to journal my prayers, I write my verses for exalting and praising the Lord right in my journal. One day I read the story of God parting the Jordan River so Joshua could lead the Israelites into the Promised Land. Before the waters returned to the Jordan, Joshua had the leaders of each of the twelve tribes bring a rock from the river bed to create a tower as a reminder of their miraculous crossing.  So, I drew a simple rock tower in my prayer journal with twelve rocks.

Then I chose these prayer verses from the Psalms, underlining the words that describe God:

I will love You, O Lord, my strength.
The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;
My God, my strength, in whom I will trust;
My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised;
So shall I be saved from my enemies. Psalm 18:1-3 (NKJV)

Each of the underlined verses I wrote on the twelve rocks in my prayer journal sketch, raising my own Ebenezer of praise and remembrance to Jesus.  We don’t worship the rocks, but we worship the One who is the Rock, who has brought us thus far. We can trust Him to guard and guide us forever.   Rock Tower

As I exalted my Jesus, He also showed me I had nothing to fear as I faced the tasks of the day. With such a Rock tower as my Friend, I could hide in Him and be safe.  He would be my shield and fortress and strength through another busy day. My praise to Him became a promise from God for me.

For who is God, except the Lord?
And who is a rock, except our God?  Psalm 18:31 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: Try drawing your own rock tower in your prayer journal today.  Draw 12 stones in a pile.  On each stone write a word describing God or giving Him praise.  Claim God’s promise to be your Rock throughout the day.

No one is holy like the Lord,
For there is none besides You,
Nor is there any rock like our God.  1 Samuel 2:2 (NKJV)

 Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen, and called its name Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.” 1 Samuel 7:12 (NKJV)

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