How Many Have We Broken?

Then the Lord delivered to me two tablets of stone written with the finger of God, and on them were all the words which the Lord had spoken to you on the mountain from the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly.  Deuteronomy 9:10 (NKJV)

If God had given the Ten Commandments to Adam and Eve, how many did they break?  You know the story… Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden and God told them not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  Adam and Eve are found in Genesis in our Bibles, while the Ten Commandments first appear in the second book, Exodus, so Adam and Eve actually didn’t have these ten rules from God.  Besides God telling them to be fruitful and multiply and to watch over all the living things (Genesis 1:28), His only other command to Adam and Eve was this:

But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die. Genesis 2:17 (NKJV)

When the serpent came and told Eve to eat the fruit, she ate it and gave some to Adam to eat, as well.  But, I wonder, if they had been given the Ten Commandments, which ones would they have broken?

Here are the Ten Commandments as listed in Exodus 20…

  1. You shall have no other gods before Me. Did Adam and Eve make the serpent their God?
  2. You shall not make for yourself a carved image.
  3. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
  4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
  5. Honor your father and your mother. Did Adam and Eve bring dishonor to their Father in heaven when they disobeyed?
  6. You shall not murder. (Their son Cain took care of this one)
  7. You shall not commit adultery.
  8. You shall not steal. Did Adam and Eve steal the forbidden fruit?
  9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. Did Adam and Eve try to hide what they had done?
  10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s belongings. Did Adam and Eve covet the fruit?

Looks like Adam and Eve broke at least five of the Ten Commandments. Now let’s look at the track record for the USA…

  1. You shall have no other gods before Me. Sports, Hollywood, money…the list goes on.
  2. You shall not make for yourself a carved image.Seems like there are statues everywhere.
  3. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain. Even conservative talk shows take God’s name in vain.  Lord help us!
  4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. How many stores and people don’t keep a Sabbath any more?
  5. Honor your father and your mother. How many kids even live with their fathers and mothers?
  6. You shall not murder. Countless babies are murdered every day by abortion.
  7. You shall not commit adultery. Don’t even want to go there. 
  8. You shall not steal. Crime is rampant.
  9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. Even the politicians and judges tell lies.
  10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s belongings. Think we could do this one?

If Adam and Eve were kicked out of the garden for breaking only five out of Ten Commandments, how much more the USA for breaking all Ten Commandments?? No wonder we are hurting!  No wonder every day brings more bad news.  But there is Good News, dear sister in Christ.  For God not only punished Adam and Eve, but He also promised a Savior.  At the very time God gave Adam and Eve their punishment, He gave a promise that from Eve’s Seed would come a Savior to bruise the head of Satan (Genesis 3:15).  That Savior is Jesus Christ who died on the cross for our sins and rose again to eternal life in heaven.  Believe this Good News for yourself and for our country, dear one!

Every day in my Bible readings I find more verses to pray for our nation.  Just think how God could see the future and know that His Word would not only cover Adam and Eve and the Israelites,  but even us today, and also for the end of time.  For our National Day of Prayer, I prayed a prayer based on Isaiah 1.  I invite you to pray this prayer today…

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Dear Father in Heaven, …Our country is desolate, our cities are burned with fire; Strangers devour our land in our presence; and it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers. …Unless the Lord of hosts had left to us a very small remnant, we would have become like Sodom, We would have been made like Gomorrah. O help us hear Your Word, O Lord, you rulers of the USA. Give ear to the law of our God, you people of America. Our hands are full of the blood of unborn babies. Wash us clean, O Lord. We repent and put away all evil, we seek justice, We claim Your promise to make our sins white as snow. May we eat the good of the land again; Protect us from the sword of the enemy, Restore our judges as at the first. May we be called once again the city of righteousness, the faithful city. May we be a beacon of hope to the world. Send a revival across this land, O Jesus, put Your law in the hearts of Your people and be our God, the God of the United States of America. May the dark night be over!  We claim Your promise to help us at the break of dawn. In the name of Jesus Christ we pray.  Amen.

For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.  Hebrews 8:10 (NKJV)

If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NKJV)

Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You;
And let those who love Your salvation say continually,
“Let God be magnified!  Psalm 70:4 (NKJV)

Thank you for stopping by My TEA. CUPP Prayers!  If you enjoyed today’s devotion, you might also like to read Admitting with Eve and USA, Arise, Come Forth!

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

The Double Search

…To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God… Mark 4:11 (NKJV)

I grew up in a family that loved mystery stories, from reading Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys, to playing the game of Clue, to sitting around the living room as my daddy read Sherlock Holmes. There is something about a mystery that enthralls us…the problem, the bad guys, and the search for clues.  More exciting perhaps than the conclusion is the actual search.  My friends, every time we open our Bibles, we are detectives on the path of a mystery.  Each day as we open God’s Word and pray, He shows us another clue.  And the neat thing is, it’s really a double search, for God searches our hearts as we search His Word.

Every morning, I rise early, pour myself a cup of tea, and sit down in the corner of my sofa with my Bible and Jesus. I pray Psalm 119:18 Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from Your law.” And I let Jesus speak first as I sip my tea and search His Word.  And, do you know what He shows me in His law?  He often shows me where I fall short, how I have erred, where there is sin in my life.  These sins are the “bad guys” in our life stories.

One of the first verses I learned to pray for admitting my sins was Psalm 139:23-24…

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;
And see if there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting.
Psalm 139:23-24. (NKJV)

I would pray that verse every day, asking forgiveness for anything amiss that He showed me in my heart.  Since those early prayers, I’ve prayed many other verses, too, but “Search me, O God, and know my heart” remains a favorite. After He shows me my sins and I confess them, I pray, “Create in me a clean heart, O God” (Psalm 51:10), and I claim Jesus’ promise in Luke 7:48, “Then He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”

But who can discern their own errors?
    Forgive my hidden faults.  Psalm 19:12 (NKJV)

Examine me, O Lord, and prove me;
Try my mind and my heart.  Psalm 26:2 (NKJV)

I continue to read and search God’s Word for more wonderful verses about our Lord, about what He’s calling me to do, and about the promises He has for us.  Of course, there is a treasure at the end of every search.

When You said, “Seek My face,”
My heart said to You, “Your face, Lord, I will seek.”  Psalm 27:8 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: Dear Ones, I encourage YOU to join in this Double Search with Jesus each day! “Seek the Lord while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near” (Isaiah 55:6). For, “The Lord looks down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there are any who understand, who seek God” (Psalm 14:2).

O Lord, You have searched me and known me.
You know my sitting down and my rising up;
You understand my thought afar off.
Psalm 139:1-2 (NKJV)

Would not God search this out?
For He knows the secrets of the heart.  Psalm 44:21 (NKJV)

…for the Lord searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever. 1 Chronicles 28:9 (NKJV)

The spirit of a man is the lamp of the Lord,
Searching all the inner depths of his heart.
Proverbs 20:27 (NKJV)

If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. Colossians 3:1-3 (NKJV)

It is the glory of God to conceal a matter,
But the glory of kings is to search out a matter.
Proverbs 25:2 (NKJV)

And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh,
Justified in the Spirit,
Seen by angels,
Preached among the Gentiles,
Believed on in the world,
Received up in glory.
1 Timothy 3:16 (NKJV)

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

Washed Clean Like Mary Magdalene

 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!

And certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities—Mary called Magdalene, out of whom had come seven demons. Luke 8:2 (NKJV)

Seven.  Can you imagine it? Seven demons inside you? That’s how many Mary Magdalene had.  Perhaps you have had a rough life and a taste of Mary Magdalene’s demons.  Or, maybe there is just one demon that keeps coming back to visit, like a bad habit that won’t go away… anger, lust, greed, pride, selfishness, unforgiveness… there are so many.   

For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.  2 Timothy 3:2-4 (NKJV)

We all struggle with sin, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).  Whether it’s pride or anger or bitterness or a loose tongue or any of the ones listed in these verses… we all have a “demon” we need Jesus to wash away.  My friends, this is what the “A” part of My TEA CUPP is all about, ADMITTING those sins to Jesus and asking Him to wash us clean.

Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience. Colossians 3:5-6 (NKJV)

The Bible doesn’t tell us exactly how and when Jesus sent the demons packing from Mary, it just tells us He did.  Jesus loved Mary Magdalene so much before she even knew Him. After her cleansing, she was with the disciples, following Jesus, weeping at the cross and tomb, and welcoming the Risen Lord Jesus from the grave first! (Matt. 27:56, 27:61, Mark 15:40, 15:47, Luke 8:1-2, John 19:25)

If you’ve been watching the popular new Christian show, The Chosen, you have met Mary Magdalene and love her and her story.  In The Chosen, the healing of Mary is one of Jesus’ first miracles. She continued to follow Jesus with the disciples each day.  Our Bibles pick up her story at the cross where Mary looked on from afar with other ladies. 

There were also women looking on from afar, among whom were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the Less and of Joses, and Salome.  Mark 15:40 (NKJV)

Mary followed Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus when they laid Jesus in the tomb and rolled the stone to cover the entrance. Then she went home for the Sabbath.  But early Sunday morning, she came again to the tomb, hoping to anoint Jesus’ body with oil, only to find the stone rolled away and the tomb empty.  Mary cried out to the “gardener,” “Where have you put him?”  And the “gardener” replied, “Mary.”  Then she knew that Jesus was alive and ran to tell the disciples!  Mary Magdalene was the first witness of our Risen Lord!  (Matt. 28:1, Mark 16:1, 16:9, Luke 24:10, John 20:1, 20:11, 20:18)

Now when He rose early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven demons.  Mark 16:9 (NKJV)

My friend, there is help for us when the demons come knocking.  I know, for they try to visit me, too. They have names like “doubt” and “worry” and “eating disorder” and “accuser” — “You did the wrong thing, You said the wrong thing, You ate too much, Nothing will work out for you.”  And I cry out to Jesus, and He reminds me not to doubt, not to worry and that there is therefore NO condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1).  He washes away our sins and doubts and worries and throws them into the depths of the sea (Micah 7:19).  He says, “Daughter, Your sins are forgiven (Luke 7:48).” And He fills us with HIs Holy Spirit so there is no room for the enemy.  For some there are very scary demons that cause dear ladies to hurt themselves.  In the name of Jesus Christ, I hereby proclaim, come out!  Be healed, dear daughter of the King! 

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Read Mark 5:1-20 for another person who had 2000 demons! Read Romans 1:28-32 for another list of sins that hurt us. Oh, sister in Christ, I want for you what Jesus did for Mary Magdalene.  JESUS LOVES YOU, TOO! We cannot have too many sins for Jesus to save us. Give Him your “demons” by confessing your sins.  Jesus died for those sins on the cross and rose again for you. Let Him wash you clean and fill you with His Holy Spirit. Then follow Him all your days as did Mary Magdalene. 

Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that He had spoken these things to her.  John 20:18 (NKJV)

For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. Mark 7:21-22 (NKJV)

Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.  Psalm 51:10 (NKJV)

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 (NKJV)

…The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel. Mark 1:15 (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)

My dear ones, the time is NOW to confess the sins of our nation, too.  Things are getting worse by the minute with more directives to kill innocent babies.  Other horrors are being done, as well.  Cry out to the God of heaven to have mercy on this land, to open hearts, to forgive our sins, to save the lost, to heal our land, to pour out His Holy Spirit, and to send a revival.  Come Lord Jesus, come! Amen.

…O Lord, great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and mercy with those who love Him, and with those who keep His commandments, we have sinned and committed iniquity, we have done wickedly and rebelled, even by departing from Your precepts and Your judgments. Daniel 9:4-5 (NKJV)

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

Return to Jesus

Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Corinthians 5:20-21 (NKJV)

Dear Friends, God has put something heavy upon my heart to share with you.  As Christians, we are called to be His ambassadors, taking the Good News of His salvation to the lost.  I plead with you, I implore you, be reconciled to God through the saving work of His Son Jesus who died for your sins.  

We live in a broken world, the evidence is all around us…aborting babies, riots, evil being called good, good being called evil, plagues, hurricanes, forest fires… the list goes on.  When God first created the world it was good, but then satan the snake tempted Eve to eat the forbidden fruit.  Eve shared it with Adam and our world hasn’t been the same since. God had to kick Adam and Eve out of His perfect garden and lock the gate because of their sin.

But God made a way to make things right again.  As the prophets foretold, He sent His only Son Jesus, who never sinned, to take on the sin of all the world.  Jesus died a very painful death, bearing all those sins because He loves us.  But that’s not the end of the story.  On the third day, Jesus rose from the grave, conquering sin and death forever and opening to all who believe in Him the gates of heaven and eternal life.  My friends, this is a free gift that we must accept NOW.  Now is the acceptable time, today is the day of salvation (2 Cor. 6:2).

Return to Jesus with all your heart and soul and might.  Ask for His forgiveness. Accept His free gift of salvation.  Fill your heart with His Holy Spirit and Word by reading your Bible every day.  Tell others about Jesus, being an ambassador for Him.

There is a movement called The Return which I want you to check out.  Dedicated Christians have been planning this event for months. Though it may be smaller because of the COVID19 restrictions, our prayers can be BIGGER because we serve an awesome God who can do amazingly more than all we ask or imagine (Eph. 3:20).  The event runs September 18-28, with September 26 being the big day, but our prayers can continue 40 days to the election and even beyond.  Please check out the link above and invite others to join us in prayer for our nation.

Today’s TEA CUPP: If you haven’t prayed the sinners prayer, please pray with me right now…Dear Jesus, I want to be in your family.  I want to be Your child and be washed clean from all the bad things I’ve done in my life, all the times I didn’t listen to You, all the times I went my own way.  Please scrub away all my selfishness and pride and everything else I’ve done that is not of You. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit and be with me each day.  Help me walk on Your straight and narrow path.  I believe You are my Savior who died for my sins. I believe You rose again and are preparing a place for me in heaven. I believe You are the only Way, the only Lord, the only God.  Please help me live as Your daughter from this moment forward.  Thank you for loving me and dying for me and letting me be in Your family.  In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

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

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

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.  Ephesians 3:20-21 (NKJV)

P.S. Please keep praying for THE GREAT REVIVAL, the last great revival before Jesus’ return, where many new hearts are brought into His Kingdom to welcome His coming.  Will you join me in fasting every Tuesday, though the USA election on November 3, 2020?  Our country needs our prayers now as much as ever. 

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

Of Course, There’s a Plague!

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

Oh, what a year!  People will always remember 2020 as the year of COVID19, the coronavirus, quarantines, masks, closures… although we won’t want to remember it because of all the deaths, fear, loneliness, rules, and missed events.  We all wonder why this had to happen.  Yet, when we search God’s Word we find so many relevant verses. 

Psalm 106 is one that speaks to our current situation, summing up our nation and world’s troubles, “We have sinned…we have committed iniquity…” (Ps. 106:6). Psalm 106 goes on to list all those sins from so long ago.  Can we see all these in our country today?…

  • We did not understand God’s wonders (Ps. 106:7)
  • We did not remember the multitude of God’s mercies (Ps. 106:7)
  • We rebelled (Ps. 106:7)
  • We forgot His works (Ps. 106:13)
  • We did not wait for His counsel (Ps. 106:13)
  • We lusted (Ps. 106:14)
  • We tested God (Ps. 106:14)
  • We envied our leaders (Ps. 106:16)
  • We made idols and worshiped them (Ps. 106:19)
  • We forgot God our Savior (Ps. 106:21)
  • We despised the pleasant land (Ps. 106:24)
  • We did not believe God’s Word (Ps. 106:24)
  • We joined ourselves to the devil (Ps. 106:28)
  • We rebelled against His Spirit (Ps. 106:33)
  • We did not destroy God’s enemies (Ps. 106:34)
  • We followed the way of unbelievers (Ps. 106:35)
  • We served our idols (Ps. 106:36)
  • We sacrificed our children (Ps. 106:37)
  • We shed innocent blood (Ps. 106:38)
  • We defiled ourselves and played the harlot (Ps. 106:39)

Is it no wonder the plague broke out among us?  (Ps. 106:29). What can we do?  We can intervene like Phinehas (Ps. 106:30) and stand in the breach like Moses (Ps. 106:23) so God’s wrath is turned away.  We must pray for our country, for our neighbors, for our families. Pray for God to send a revival across this land.  

Righteousness exalts a nation,
But sin is a reproach to any people. Proverbs 14:34 (NKJV)

There is HOPE, my dear friends.  We have the HOPE found in Jesus Christ.  Because of His saving work on the cross, all who believe in Him are rescued from this crazy world (John 3:16).  Jesus died for every sin listed above and for all the others, too.  Let’s pray for our nation to turn to Jesus! And God will hear our cries (Ps. 106:44)

Today’s TEA CUPP: Read and pray Psalm 106. Repent, turn to God. Ask His forgiveness through Jesus Christ for yourself and for our country. Turn over a new leaf this fall. Let’s give everyone something NEW to remember about 2020…the year of REVIVAL! Pray for our nation daily. Forgive us, O Lord.  

For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. 2 Corinthians 7:10 (NKJV)

May this be THE GREAT REVIVAL, the last great revival before Jesus’ return, where many new hearts are brought into His Kingdom to welcome His coming.  Will you join me in fasting for the next 7 Tuesdays, though the USA election on November 3, 2020?  Our country needs our prayers now as much as ever.  Check out this event happening in the coming days… https://thereturn.org/

Save us, O Lord our God,
And gather us from among the Gentiles,
To give thanks to Your holy name,
To triumph in Your praise.

Blessed be the Lord God of Israel
From everlasting to everlasting!
And let all the people say, “Amen!” Psalm 106:47-48 (NKJV)

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

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