4:7 Petitions . . . For Whatever Reason

. . . for whatever reason we may call upon Him . . . Deuteronomy 4:7 (NKJV)

I love the New King James Version of Deuteronomy 4:7. It says that for whatever reason we may call upon the Lord. For whatever reason! You lost your car keys? Call upon the Lord; He knows where they are. You received a concerning report from the doctor? Call upon the Lord; He is Yehovah Rapha, our Healing God. Your children aren’t following Him? Call upon the Lord; He is their Creator who knit them together in your womb, the Author of their faith who wrote their stories. You are homeless? Call upon the Lord; He is Yehovah Jireh our Provider, the Lord Jesus who is going to prepare a place for us. Trouble with a friend? Call upon the Lord Jesus who knows what it’s like to be rejected. You lost a loved one? Call upon the Lord, our great Comforter. You don’t know where to turn? Call upon the Lord and He will make straight your path.

“For what great nation is there that has God so near to it, as the Lord our God is to us, for whatever reason we may call upon Him?” Deuteronomy 4:7 (NKJV)

Those who have been following My TEA CUPP Prayers for awhile now know how much I love to use God’s Word in my prayers. To avoid vain repetitions, I will often take a verse from my daily Bible reading to use in prayer. The last P of the TEA CUPP is for Petitions where we pour our hearts out to Jesus. As you call upon the Lord for whatever reason, today I’d like to show you the many ways you might present those petitions to the Father using His Word. Though “please bless” and “I pray for” are wonderful ways to share your heart with the Lord, here are a sampling of other ways you might begin your prayers:

  • Arise for . . . (Psalm 10:12, 68:1)

  • Awake to . . . (Psalm 59:4; Isaiah 51:9)
  • Carry . . . (Exodus 19:4; Deuteronomy 32:11)
  • Come to . . . (Psalm 101:2, 119:77)
  • Deal with . . . (Psalm 109:21, 119:124)
  • Defend . . . (Psalm 20:1, 59:1)

  • Deliver . . . (Psalm 59:1, 60:5; 2 Peter 2:9)

  • Do not forsake . . . (Psalm 38:21, 71:9)

  • Do not pass on by . . . (Genesis 18:3)
  • Forgive . . . (Matthew 6:12-15; Luke 23:34)
  • Give . . . (Numbers 27:4; Psalm 2:8)

  • Give ear . . . (Psalm 5:1, 80:1)
  • Grace be with . . . (Acts 4:33; Revelation 22:21)
  • Guide . . . (Psalm 32:8, 48:14)
  • Have mercy on . . .  (Matthew 15:22, 20:31)
  • Hear and see . . . (Isaiah 37:17; Luke 10:24)
  • Help . . . (Psalm 60:11, 109:26)
  • Hold . . . 
(Psalm 73:23, 94:18, 119:117, 139:10)
  • How long . . . (Psalm 80:4, 89:46)
  • I ask . . . (Matthew 7:7; 1 John 3:22; 1 John 5:14-15)
  • I beg You earnestly for . . . (Mark 5:23; Luke 7:4)
  • I call for . . . (Genesis 4:26; Psalm 91:15)
  • I cast . . . (Psalm 55:22; 1 Peter 5:7)

  • I come to You for . . . (Matthew 11:28, 24:3)
  • I cry for . . . (Psalm 61:1, 77:1, 88:1-2, 88:13, 107:28) 

  • I implore You to . . . (Psalm 116:4; Luke 9:38)
  • I petition for . . . (Esther 7:3; Psalm 20:5)
  • I pour . . . (Psalm 62:8; Isaiah 26:16)
  • I pray for . . . (Exodus 33:13; James 5:13)

  • I request for . . . (Romans 1:10; Philippians 4:6)
  • I want You to . . . (Psalm 23:1; Matthew 20:32)
  • I will not let You go unless you bless . . . (Genesis 32:26; Psalm 67:1)
  • It is time for . . . (Psalm 119:126, Revelation 1:3)
  • Look upon . . . (2 Samuel 16:12, Psalm 119:132)
  • Make haste to . . . (Psalm 38:22, 40:13, 70:1)

  • Preserve . . . (Psalm 16:1, 64:1)

  • Remember . . . (Nehemiah 13:14; Psalm 106:4; Luke 23:42)
  • Restore . . . (Psalm 60:1, 80:3, 85:4)

  • Return to . . . (Psalm 6:4, 90:13)
  • Save . . . (Psalm 106:47, 108:6; Matthew 8:25)
  • Shelter . . . (Psalm 61:3-4, 143:9) 

  • Shine on . . . (Psalm 67:1, 80:1, 94:1, 119:135)

  • Strengthen . . . (Psalm 27:14, 68:28)

  • Take this cup from . . . (Matthew 26:39; Mark 14:36; Luke 22:42)
  • Turn to . . . (Psalm 25:16, 86:16)
  • Whistle for . . . (Isaiah 5:26; Zechariah 10:8)

Today’s TEA CUPP: I know you will find many more ways to share your heart with the Lord Jesus in prayer.  Try one of these petition-starters in your prayer journal today. We can conclude this list of petition prayer starters with another 4:7 verse:

But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers. 1Peter 4:7 (NKJV)

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

Yes, Mandy, there really is a Hell

 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.  Matthew 10:28

Our first summer in camping ministry, we had a potpourri of counselors from various church backgrounds.  One tall slim girl named Mandy grew up Lutheran and knew her Bible well.  As Mandy spoke with her campers during Bible study one week, the topic of hell came up. Mandy shared what she had learned from God’s Word.  When one of the campers went home, she told her parents, who told their pastor, who told the superintendent of camps at the head office, who called my husband to say our “counselors were not allowed to talk about hell since some churches don’t believe in it!” 

whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire.  Matthew 5:22 (NKJV)

We were astounded!  Yet being new to camping ministry and young Christians ourselves, we encouraged the counselors to just keep the focus on Jesus in their Bible studies.  But if there is no hell, why does anyone need Jesus who came to save us from our sins so that we won’t go to hell?!!  Well, I can tell you, if we were in that situation again, we would pull out our Bibles and march down to the head office to show the leaders God’s Word.  And so, to paraphrase the famous line from the 1897 New York Sun editorial by the aptly named Francis Church, I reply, “Yes, Mandy, there really is a hell!  You were right all along!  Here is the proof I’ve found in God’s Word which does not lie.” Oh head office, know the truth and the truth will set you free!

The wicked shall be turned into hell,
And all the nations that forget GodPsalm 9:17 (NKJV)

Perhaps the best Bible story depicting hell is found in Luke 16:19-31. Here we meet a very poor man named Lazarus (a different Lazarus than the one Jesus’ raised from the dead). This Lazarus suffered throughout his life.  When he died, he went to Abraham’s bosom (a picture of being held in heaven in the arms of God).  At the same time, a wicked wealthy man died and was sent to hell.  From hell, this rich man could see across a large chasm into heaven, where Lazarus was being comforted on Abraham’s bosom.  The rich man begged for Lazarus to bring him some water, but Abraham said, “No, you had the good things during your lifetime, and besides there is this big chasm that separates us.”  The rich man begged for Abraham to send Lazarus to warn his family about hell, but Abraham replied, If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.” And so the rich man was left in hell to suffer for all eternity (Luke 16:19-31). It is interesting that Jesus raises another Lazarus from the dead in John 11! And were any persuaded by this miracle to repent?  

If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.  Psalm 139:8 (NKJV)

Oh, dear one, we don’t want this eternal torture for anyone, not our friends nor our family nor our worst enemies.  We want to bring them the Good News of God’s salvation through His only Son Yeshua Messiah (Jesus Christ)!  We want to show them through the scriptures how Moses pointed to a Savior.  Jesus is the Seed to crush satan’s head Whom God promised Adam and Eve in Genesis. He is the Passover Lamb who died for our sins in Exodus.  He is our High Priest and the Law fulfilled in Leviticus.  He is the Prophet foretold in Deuteronomy.  He is the Captan of our salvation in Joshua. He is the One the psalmist declared is poured out like water for all the world. He is the One wounded for our transgressions in Isaiah. He is the 4th person walking in the fire in Daniel. He is the ruler from Bethlehem as told by Micah.  He is Jesus Christ, the baby born to the Virgin Mary, wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger.  He is Yeshua Messiah, who bore our sins on the cross that all who believe in Him will escape hell, have our sins washed into the depths of the sea, and live eternally in heaven, with Lazarus on Abraham’s bosom!  (Genesis 3:15, Exodus 12:21, Leviticus 21:10, Deuteronomy 18:15, Psalm 22, Isaiah 53:5, Daniel 3:25, Micah 5:2,Micah 7:19,  Luke 2:7, Luke 2:12, 1Peter 2:24,  Pastor Tim Sheets, “Knowing Him,” Oasis Church, November 26, 2023).

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Read Job 33:23-30  and Jude 24-25 and see there is HOPE! Jesus is our Mediator, the One who keeps us from the pit!  Jesus’ blood He shed for us on the cross washes us clean so that we can be in heaven with Him for all eternity. Our citizenship is in heaven!  Make your salvation certain today by calling on Jesus and confessing your sins. Rejoice in our great hope, dear one!

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.  1Peter 1:3 (NKJV)

That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.  Romans 10:9 (NKJV)

Hell and Destruction are before the Lord;
So how much more the hearts of the sons of men. Proverbs 15:11 (NKJV)

I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.  Revelation 1:18 (NKJV)

If you’d like to learn more, you might enjoy reading We still need the Key and It is Finished and Leave no Doubt and My Dear Loved One. 

 …and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. Matthew 16:18 (NKJV)

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 20:28-29 (NKJV)

(See also Deuteronomy 32:22, Job 21:30, Job 26:6, Psalm 11:6, Psalm 21:9, Psalm 73:18-19, Psalm 140:10, Proverbs 1:12, Proverbs 5:5, Proverbs 7:27, Proverbs 9:18, Proverbs 23:14, Proverbs 27:20, Proverbs 15:24,  Proverbs 20:26, Isaiah 14:15, Isaiah 14:19, Daniel 12:2, Matthew 5:29-30, Matthew 13:24-49,  Matthew 18:8-9, Matthew 23:33, Matthew 24:29-51, Matthew 25:30-46, Mark 9:42-48,  Luke 3:17, Luke 12:5, John 5:22-30, John 5:46-47, John 8:32, 2Thessalonians 1:8-9, 2Peter 2:4-11, 2Peter 2:17, James 3:6, Jude 23, Revelation 20:15)

“Thus says the Lord God: ‘In the day when it went down to hell, I caused mourning. I covered the deep because of it. I restrained its rivers, and the great waters were held back. I caused Lebanon to mourn for it, and all the trees of the field wilted because of it. I made the nations shake at the sound of its fall, when I cast it down to hell together with those who descend into the Pit; and all the trees of Eden, the choice and best of Lebanon, all that drink water, were comforted in the depths of the earth. They also went down to hell with it, with those slain by the sword; and those who were its strong arm dwelt in its shadows among the nations.  Ezekiel 31:15-17 (NKJV)

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

Listening for His Voice

He who has ears to hear, let him hear!  Matthew 11:15 (NKJV)

It’s been a long time since I wrote a post.  Dear sisters in Christ, I haven’t forgotten you! I’ve been praying for you, working on the edits of my third book, More Tea Cupp Prayers, moving into our temporary winter home, cooking for my hungry boys, homeschooling our youngest son, visiting my mom and grandchildren, reading God’s Word and listening for His voice.  LISTENING is what I want to share with you today.  

He who has ears to hear, let him hear! Matthew 13:9 (NKJV)

When we sit down for TEA with Jesus, the first thing we should do is open His Word, our Bibles, letting our Lord speak while we LISTEN.  Hebrews 4:12 tells us, “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”  And so, we pick up our Bibles, open and read, letting that two-edged sword slice through our thoughts as we LISTEN.

Do you remember what happened in Genesis when Adam and Eve did not listen to God’s instructions, eating the forbidden fruit?  They were kicked out of God’s beautiful garden forever.  Do you remember what happened when King Saul did not listen, performing the sacrifices before Samuel arrived?  He was removed as king of Israel.  Do you remember what happened to the rich young ruler who did not listen to Jesus? He went away sorrowfully (see Genesis 3, 1 Samuel 13, Matthew 19:16-22).

Our attitude for listening should be like that of the boy Samuel in 1 Samuel 3.  Four times God called to Samuel as he was falling asleep.  The first three times, Samuel thought it was Eli the priest calling him.  But finally, Eli realized it was the Lord, instructing Samuel what to do.  Read this beautiful children’s story and come to Yeshua like a child, saying, “Speak, for Your servant hearsd” (See 1 Samuel 3:10).  

Another Old Testament Bible story comes to mind about listening. In Kings 19, the prophet Elijah was in crisis.  He had just triumphed over the prophets of Baal at Mount Carmel, but now Jezebel was seeking to kill him.  While Elijah hid in a cave on a mountain, the voice of the Lord came to him.  As Elijah looked out, a great windstorm blew past the cave entrance, but God was not in the wind.  Next, an earthquake shook the mountain, but God was not in the earthquake.  Lastly, a fire like the forest fires of Montana roared past the cave, but God was not in the fire.   Finally, there was a still small voice.  Knowing this was the Lord God, Elijah wrapped himself in his mantle and went out to listen for God’s directions.  

Who else was a good listener?  Esther listened to Mordecai and spoke up for her nation. Naaman listened to Elisha and his assistants, washing seven times in the Jordan to be healed. Peter listened to his brother Andrew and came to meet Jesus. And who can forget Martha’s sister Mary who sat at Jesus feet listening and listening and listening (2 Kings 5, Esther 7, John 1:40-41, Luke 10:38-42).

My friend, God still calls us to listen today. Listening comes in many ways.  We listen as we read God’s Word. We listen for the voice of the Holy Spirit to guide us. We listen to trusted pastors and friends to point us to the Scriptures.  All the while, we are praying for discernment, we test the spirits, comparing the message to other Bible verses to see if this message is truly from God (2 Timothy 3:16, , 2 Peter 1:19, 1 John 4:1-3). Listening for God’s voice is so important today with all sorts of false prophecies and fake news going around.  Compare everything you hear to God’s Word and make certain it is from the Lord.  

What has God been teaching me recently as I seek Him in His Word and listen to His voice?  He tells me to honor the Sabbath Day and keep it holy. He’s saying to live by faith and not by sight as we wait for healing and a home. He’s called me to finish what I began over a year ago and press on toward the goal of the upward cause of God in Christ Jesus (Acts 20:24, 2 Corinthians 8:11, Philippians 3:14).  And, He’s shown me how to pray the names of God and rebuke the enemy in His name! (i.e. “In the Name of Yehovah Rapha, I rebuke the pain in my tummy, and claim Jesus’ healing, none of the diseases that were upon the Egyptians shall fall upon me or my family.  We are covered by the blood of Yeshua Messiah!  In the Name of Yehovah Jireh, I rebuke the destroyer who took our home and belongings a year ago!  I claim our inheritance in heaven, and also, God shall supply all our needs according to His riches in glory in Yeshua Messiah!!! (See Exodus 15:26, Romans 5:9, Philippians 4:19, 1 Peter 1:4).

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Read 1 Kings 19 for Elijah’s listening story.  Choose three more listening verses to look up in your Bible.  As you go through your week, reading God’s Word and praying, write what the Lord is telling you in your prayer journal.  Perhaps He is calling you to a task. Perhaps He has a promise for you to claim.  Keep listening for that still small voice of Jesus, dear one!  

And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!”  Luke 9:35 (NKJV)

Then it shall come to pass, because you listen to these judgments, and keep and do them, that the Lord your God will keep with you the covenant and the mercy which He swore to your fathers.  Deuteronomy 7:12 (NKJV)

Give ear, O my people, to my law;
Incline your ears to the words of my mouth.  Psalm 78:1 (NKJV)

For who has stood in the counsel of the Lord,
And has perceived and heard His word?
Who has marked His word and heard itJeremiah 23:18 (NKJV)

Hear, all you peoples!
Listen, O earth, and all that is in it!
Let the Lord God be a witness against you,
The Lord from His holy temple.  Micah 1:2 (NKJV)

But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.  Matthew 13:16-17 (NKJV)

Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!  Matthew 13:43 (NKJV)

But He said, “More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” Luke 11:28 (NKJV)

…And many of the Corinthians, hearing, believed and were baptized. Acts 18:8 (NKJV)

Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, In the day of trial in the wilderness.”  Hebrews 3:7-8 (NKJV)

So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath. James 1:19 (NKJV)

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.  Revelation 2:7 (NKJV)

 (See also Numbers 9:8, Deuteronomy 4:1, Deuteronomy 5:1,  Deuteronomy 6:3-4,  Deuteronomy 9:1,  Deuteronomy 18:15, Deuteronomy 18:18-19,  1 Samuel 3:10,  Psalm 45:10,  Psalm 49:1,  Psalm 50:7,  Psalm 81:8,  Psalm 81:13 ,  Psalm 85:8 ,  Isaiah 1:10, Isaiah 32:3,  Isaiah 33:13,   Isaiah 34:1,  Isaiah 46:3,  Isaiah 48:12,  Isaiah 48:16,  Isaiah 51:1, Isaiah 51:4,  Isaiah 51:7, Isaiah 55:2-3,  Isaiah 66:5,  Jeremiah 6:17-19, Jeremiah 10:1, Jeremiah 19:3, Jeremiah 19:15,  Jeremiah 25:8,  Jeremiah 26:3,  Jeremiah 29:20, Ezekiel 2:8, Ezekiel 3:7, Ezekiel 3:10, Ezekiel 3:27, Ezekiel 12:2, Matthew 7:24, Matthew 17:5, Mark 4:3, 4:9, 4:12, 4:23, 4:33, 4:24, Mark 7:14-16, Mark 7:37, Mark 9:7, Mark 12:29, Luke 8:8, Luke 8:21, Luke 9:44, Luke 14:35,   Acts 3:22-23, Hebrews 5:11, Hebrews 12:25, James 1:22,  Revelation 2:11,  Revelation 2:17, Revelation 2:29, Revelation 3:6, Revelation 3:13, Revelation 3:22)

💝From Jenny’s Journal: Luke 19:48… for all the people were very attentive to hear Him.
O let all Your children truly hear you NOW, Lord Jesus, all Israel and the USA and all the world, not killing you a week later, but instead, dying to sin, welcoming you as Savior, Messiah, Christ, Lord, and King! In the Name of Yeshua Messiah, we say to all ears, Ephphatha! Be opened!!! Mark 7:34 Then, looking up to heaven, He sighed, and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.”

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

All Things Work for Good

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.  Romans 8:28 (NKJV)

All things, All things, All things! Not just some things or most things or things that are especially important, but ALL things work together for good!  That’s what God’s Word promises us in this well-known verse from Romans 8:28… And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.  

I love God. I love His Son Jesus.  I am called according to His purpose and so I claim this promise. That’s what the first “P” in the TEA CUPP is for, claiming God’s PROMISES. Dear sister, you can claim it, too!  You are called to be His daughter and He has great plans for you!  

As I was reading the book of Joshua in my Bible this month, I saw a beautiful example of this promise.  After their amazing victory in conquering Jericho in Joshua 6, the Israelites suffered a crushing defeat in Joshua 7 because one man Achan had kept the enemy’s accursed booty.  The Lord was angry at Achan’s disobedience, so He did not go with Israel’s army to defeat Ai that first time. Once Achan confessed his sin (Joshua 7:20) and received his punishment (Joshua 7:26), the Lord God was no longer angry and could once again go with Israel’s army to fight the battles. 

In the first battle, Joshua sent about three thousand men who were quickly chased away by the people of Ai.  This is where Romans 8:28 came in!  God used even the failed first battle at Ai to trick the enemy. In the second battle, He had Joshua station ambushes on the far side of Ai, unbeknownst to the people of Ai.  Then Joshua himself lead the group that marched up as at the first.

Then I and all the people who are with me will approach the city; and it will come about, when they come out against us as at the first, that we shall flee before them. For they will come out after us till we have drawn them from the city, for they will say, ‘They are fleeing before us as at the first.’ Therefore we will flee before them.  Joshua 8:5-6 (NKJV)

The Israelite’s followed the plan.  When the people of Ai chased Joshua’s army they fled as in the first battle, then the ambush attacked the city and set it on fire! When the enemy looked back at their city, their hearts melted and Joshua’s army turned back and pursued them all.  Read Joshua 8 for all of this exciting story!  It’s so neat how God let their first failure trick the enemy and they won the second battle! HalleluYAH! Praise Yehovah!

Yet, that is not the only Biblical example of Yehovah God working all things for good… what about God turning Sarah’s barrenness into the miraculous conception and birth of Isaac. What about David’s sin with Bathsheba producing the wisest king Solomon and the continuation of the genealogy of our Messiah, Jesus?  What about the prophet Daniel returning with the remnant to Jerusalem?  What about Paul’s shipwreck bringing salvation to the sailors and island people? And most of all, what about God turning the sin of Adam and Eve eating the forbidden fruit into a Seed that would one day be our Savior, Jesus Christ?

And so, I claim Romans 8:28 as a promise for my life. Nine months ago, I had to flee my home due to mold.  The enemy has been pursuing me in all kinds of ways… health issues, homelessness, pains, tears, despair, loss of pets… but like Joshua, I seek the Lord and keep pressing on and claiming His promise to work even this for good.  We are more than conquerers through Him who loves us!  

Just look how God has blessed us this summer… my old Bible study leader invited our animals and us to stay on her property.  A friend from our fellowship loaned us their beautiful camper.  With food and clothing we are content, yet still we pray for that new home Jesus is preparing.  Yes, we still have tears. Yes, we still have dark nights.  But we are confident that, yes, God will work all things together for good because we love Him and we are called according to His purposes!

Dear one, how can you claim this promise in your life today? If you are in a difficult relationship, God will use it for good.  If your children are prodigals, God will use it for good. If you are broke, God will use it for good. If you are hungry, God will use it for good. If you are hurting, God will use it for good.  If you are sick, God will use it for good.  If you are mourning for a loved one, God will use it for good. If you made a big mistake, God will use it for good. If you are homeless, God will use it for good.  if you are lonely, God will use it for good. If you are brokenhearted, God will use it for good.  In ALL things God works together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purposes!  

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Read the amazing miracle in Joshua 8 today!  Use the enemy’s strategy against him in your own battles, claiming victory through our Lord and Savior Yeshua Messiah!  

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.  Jeremiah 29:11 (NKJV)

For thus says the Lord: ‘Just as I have brought all this great calamity on this people, so I will bring on them all the good that I have promised them.’  Jeremiah 34:42 (NKJV)

For You, Lord, have made me glad through Your work;
I will triumph in the works of Your hands. 
Psalm 92:4 (NKJV)

You are good, and do good;
Teach me Your statutes. 
Psalm 119:68 (NKJV)

He heals the brokenhearted
And binds up their wounds.  Psalm 147:3 (NKJV)

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

But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.  1 Corinthians 15:57 (NKJV)

 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.  2 Corinthians 9:8 (NKJV)

Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6 (NKJV)

For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.  1 John 5:4 (NKJV)

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

Who Can This Be?

So the men marveled, saying, “Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?”  Matthew 8:27 (NKJV)…So the people bowed their heads and worshiped. Exodus 12:27 (NKJV)

O Father, O Jesus, I come before Your throne, sitting at Your footstool with my usual tummy ache, thankful for Your care yesterday, sad that I still hurt, sorry I complain, still hopeful You will answer my cries, yet even if You don’t, I still bow and worship You for You are the Lord God, Creator of heaven and earth. You are the Word made flesh. You sent Your Son to be my Savior. You died and rose again for me and all the world. I believe and worship and glorify You! Just as the Israelites bowed and worshiped before Your great deliverance from Egypt, I bow and worship You before Your healing and new home come. I love You! I believe in you! I exalt You with all my heart! Be glorified today, my Lord and Savior, Yeshua Messiah, my healing Father, Yehovah Rapha, my Victory, Yehovah Nissi! I love You!!

But He is unique, and who can make Him change?
And whatever His soul desires, that He does. Job 23:13 (NKJV)

Who are You, Father God? Who are You, Yeshua Messiah?  You are God Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. You are the King of kings and Lord of lords and my KING and my LORD. You are the Great I AM who called Moses and still calls us today. You are Unique and Unchanging — no One is like You, LORD, You are the same yesterday, today, and forever! All Your plans succeed. You do what You desire. You are the Christ, the Only Son of the Father, who came to save us, dying for the sins of all the world on the cross, rising again so we have eternal life.  All I can do is bow and worship at Your footstool, love and praise and glorify You, now and forever and all eternity!  

Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven. Luke 11:2 (NKJV)

O Father, O Yeshua, I love and praise You! You are in heaven, sitting on Your thrones, covered in a cloud, hallowed is Your Name.  Like a halo above an angel’s head – You are above all!  Your kingdom is coming! It came at the Asbury Revival and revivals of times past.  It came when You walked this earth. It came with each person who receives Your Holy Spirit. Yet it is coming for all eternity when You come again and reign and create Your new heaven and new earth with Your children who love You. And you will hang the earth again on nothing! O Father, O Jesus, let Your will be done and Your Name be exalted above all! We glorify Your Name this day!  

The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is blessed forever… 2 Corinthians 11:31 (NKJV)

O Father, O Jesus, my God and Lord, blessed are You forever and ever and ever. None can stand against You, not even Leviathan, the dinosaur of old. No one preceded You. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. Everything in heaven and earth is Yours. You own it all! You even own me, I’m Your daughter bought with Your precious blood. You paid my debt. Forever and ever and ever I love You and praise You and glorify You! With your brother Jude I proclaim, Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, To God our Savior, Who alone is wise, Be glory and majesty, Dominion and power, Both now and forever. Amen (Jude 24-25).

Who is like You, O Lord, among the gods?
Who is like You, glorious in holiness,
Fearful in praises, doing wonders?  Exodus 15:11 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP:  As we move into Palm Sunday, The Passover, and Resurrection Sunday, how can you praise our Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ?  Why not write one of these verses in your prayer journal today and write your own song of praise.  Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord! Hosanna! HalleluYAH! Amen!

Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!  Philippians 4:4 (NKJV)

(See also Exodus 6:2-3, Exodus 8:10, Exodus 20:2, Job 26:5-14, Job 38:25, Job 38:36-37, Job 38:41, Job 41:10-11, Psalm 24:8, Proverbs 30:4, Luke 9:9, Luke 9:18-20, Luke 9:35, Luke 9:56, Luke 17:15, John 1:1-5, Hebrews 13:8)

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

In His Courtroom

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. Psalm 100:4 (NKJV)

…Like a prince I would approach Him. Job 31:37 (NKJV)

We can enter because He has torn the curtain.  We can enter because we are His children, bought with His blood on the cross. We can enter because He has made us pure and righteous by His same blood.  We can enter because He wants to hear from us. And so, I enter to tell Him my troubles…

Good Morning, Lord Jesus…I peek around the gate and see You and Your Father on thrones… at first, I take timid steps, knowing I’m welcome because of Your work and blood You shed for me on the cross… but still I’m a little shy, perhaps You might be busy… like when my earthly Daddy was in his study preparing a lecture for his biophysics students… yet he was always glad to see me, and even more so are You… and so, I run boldly across the glimmering floor to Your throne of grace and jump into Your lap and say, “Father, I love You!… Thank You for sending Your Son to die for my sins and all the world’s… thank you for Your free gift of salvation… thank You for hope.. thank You my name is written in heaven thank You for taking care of us each day… thank you for praying friends… thank you for food and clothing and a place to sleep this month… and we trust You beyond that… thank You, dearest Father/Jesus for all Your blessings… thank You for the home You are preparing for us and the healing You will do in our bodies… thank You for the little things, like a text from a friend who cares, a smile from our son, a prayer from my husband… thank You for Your Word… O Father, O Jesus, I  praise and exalt You for You are the Most High over all the earth, God Almighty, Creator of the Universe… You are my Savior… You are YHVH Rapha, our Healer… You are YHVH Yireh, our Provider.. You are YHVH Nissi, our Victory… How can I complain to One so Awesome?…  Forgive me, O Father, I’m not worthy…  I don’t deserve Your death and resurrection… I don’t deserve Your grace and mercy… I don’t deserve Your love and life, yet You graciously give it all to me…  Forgive me again for always falling short of Your glory…  Wash me clean by Your precious blood… I admit my sins to You and ask Your forgiveness, make me new… Thank you, dearest Jesus, Yeshua, my Messiah…  And now, please, may I pour out my troubles?… No? Wait? You have a calling for me? You want me to do something for You first?  Is this just to distract me from my complaint?… What can I do for You, Father?… How can I glorify You and Your Son?…  Who needs our help?…  May I bear fruit for You, too?…  Thank You for giving me this assignment… I will press on, I will persevere, I will do it with the strength You provide… please keep helping and guiding me…  So, about my troubles… Oh, You want to tell me a story?  I know, You always like parables, but this isn’t a parable? Oh! It’s about me? You want to teach me a little more about my story and why you are letting these trials come through my life?…  You have a verse for me that describes it perfectly?…  Thank You, Father, that’s just what I needed, to know… You understand and You have a plan and others have gone through this same trial before… You will see me through this, too… And You have promises for me?…  Oh, thank You, what are they?…  You are the God who sees me and knows me and loves me… You will work all things together for good… You who have begun a good work in me will be faithful to complete it until the day of Jesus Christ…  And, You ARE coming again!  Those are wonderful promises! I’ll write them in my journal… Thank You, Lord Jesus…  Now, what did I come in here to ask You about?…  I wrote down this verse, I wanted to petition You and complain in Your courtroom and argue my case, but it doesn’t seem so important anymore…  Perhaps someone else will need this verse and You will hear their complaint and I’ll encourage them for You…

See now, I have prepared my case,
I know that I shall be vindicated.  Job 13:18 (NKJV)

Then Job answered and said: “Even today my complaint is bitter; My hand is listless because of my groaning. Oh, that I knew where I might find Him, that I might come to His seat! I would present my case before Him, and fill my mouth with arguments.” Job 23:1-4 (NKJV)

Present your case,” says the Lord.
“Bring forth your strong reasons,” says the King of Jacob.  Isaiah 41:21 (NKJV)

Put Me in remembrance;
Let us contend together;
State your case, that you may be acquitted.  Isaiah 43:26 (NKJV)

Therefore thus says the Lord: “Behold, I will plead your case and take vengeance for you…”  Jeremiah 51:36 (NKJV)

Lord, You have seen how I am wronged;
Judge my case.  Lamentations 3:59 (NKJV)

 

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

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.

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?  As I look around 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 (Matthew 7:5).  One place sure hit me be surprise!

I loved Sundays, I loved going to church, I loved worshiping Jesus there and singing and seeing friends, and coming home for a Sunday afternoon nap or scrapbooking.  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 (Genesis 2:2).  It’s right there in the Ten Commandments…remember the Sabbath Day and keep it holy (Exodus 20:8).  It’s right there in the prophets Jeremiah …nor carry a burden out of your houses on the Sabbath Day (Jeremiah 17:21-22) and Ezekiel… Moreover I also gave them My Sabbaths, to be a sign between them and Me… (Ezekiel 20:12-13).  It is right there in the Gospels, when Jesus asked, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good?” and when the women waited until the Sabbath was ended to buy spices to anoint Jesus’ body (Mark 3:4, Mark 16:1). It is right in the book of Acts alongside 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, Acts 16:13, Acts 17:2).  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)

The longer we practice keeping the Sabbath, the more I realize what a gift it is from the Father. Just as He sent us His only Son to give us eternal life, He sent us the Sabbath to give us rest for our weary souls. It is a blessing for us and a sign to others that we love the Father so much we want to please Him. Consider this: Sabbath = Gift = Rest. The Sabbath is most certainly a delight! (Psalm 23:3, John 3:16, Romans 8:32, Ezekiel 20:12, Isaiah 58:13)

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

The prophet Jeremiah declared, 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. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’” Let us instead say, “We will walk in the old paths!”  We aren’t putting new wine into old wine skins, but rather, we are new wine skins full of His Holy Spirit, walking the old paths with faith in Jesus Christ! Peter tells us, “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?”  I believe that in His forbearance God had passed over the sins of the saints until now, allowing Christians to be different from His chosen people Israel. Yet now He is calling us to return to His ways. Paul also tells us we are without excuse for all creation points to our Creator God who rested on the seventh day.  Our old pastor used to say, Christians don’t look any different from the rest of the world.  Today, let’s be different and be a sign to all as we celebrate His Sabbaths. I’m praying for the Holy Spirit to give widespread revelation of this calling across our land! (Jeremiah 6:16, 2Corinthians 5:17, Mark 2:22, 1Peter 4:17, Acts 17:30, Romans 3:25-26, Romans 1:20, Ezekiel 20:12, 1Samuel3:1)

Now we know we are not saved by following the Law (Romans 3:20, Galatians 5:4), yet it is our guide to live a holy life in Christ Jesus (Romans 7:12). And so, I come before the throne of grace and ask Jesus’ forgiveness for messing with His Sabbaths all these years. Our family started a home church on Saturday mornings. The country lane where we lived was called Dry Creek Road, so we called our home church, Dry Creek Bible Fellowship, where Jesus’ Living Water was poured out freely to quench the thirsty.  Our youngest son played piano while we sang a few hymns.  We confessed our sins and read a Psalm.  We prayed for others God put upon our hearts. We read God’s Word, an Old Testament and a New Testament chapter each week.  And we shared what God had taught us in His Word that week. Lastly, we gave 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 have continued our home church as we’ve moved from our Dry Creek home to guest houses to campers, pouring out His Living Water and Holy Spirit in new places.

Here is the patience of the saints; Here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.  Revelation 14:12 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Read Nehemiah 13:15-22 for more about the Sabbath. Dear one, we must all search the Scriptures to see if this is so (Psalm 1:2, Acts 17:11).  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.

But He said, “More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”  Luke 11:28 (NKJV)

And they rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment. Luke 23:56 (NKJV)

 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man’s all. Ecclesiastes 12:13

(See also Exodus 16:23-30, Exodus 23:10-12, Exodus 31:12-18, Exodus 34:21, Exodus 35:1-3, Leviticus 19:3, Leviticus 19:30, Leviticus 20:8, Leviticus 23:3, Leviticus 26:2, Numbers 15:40, Deuteronomy 10:12, Deuteronomy 13:14, Joshua 23:6, Nehemiah 9:14, Nehemiah 10:31, Nehemiah 13:17, Nehemiah 13:22, Psalm 19:7-11, Psalm 111:10, Psalm 119:35, Psalm 119:47, Proverbs 6:23, Proverbs 7:2, Isaiah 48:18, Isaiah 49:10, Isaiah 56:1-8, Isaiah 58:13-14, Jeremiah 6:19, Jeremiah 17:19-27, Jeremiah 31:33-34, Jeremiah 44:10, Ezekiel 20:12-13, Ezekiel 20:24, Ezekiel 22:26, Malachi 4:4, Matthew 5:17-20, Matthew 19:17, Mark 2:27-28, Mark 7:6-13, Mark 10:3, Mark 12:29-31, Luke 6:5, Luke 6:9, Luke 13:24, John 13:34, John 15:10, Acts 13:14-15, Acts 18:4, Acts 28:23, Romans 14:5-6, Colossians 2:16-17, Hebrews 4:3, 1Peter 4:17, 1John 2:3, 1John 5:2-3, Revelation 22:14)

 I delight to do Your will, O my God,
And Your law is within my heart.
Psalm 40:8 (NKJV)

 The law of Your mouth is better to me
Than thousands of coins of gold and silver. 
Psalm 119:72 (NKJV)

 Therefore I love Your commandments
More than gold, yes, than fine gold! 
Psalm 119:127 (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)

They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads.  Revelation 22:4 (NKJV)

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

. . . and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil. Luke 7:28 (NKJV)

And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him.  Luke 15:20 (NKJV)

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.