Remember the Sabbath

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

Sealed with a Kiss

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Come to the Wedding Feast

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Come and see.”  John 1:46

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

Fear Not, Dear One

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)

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)

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)

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)

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. 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)

Thank you for stopping by My TEA CUPP Prayers. If you enjoyed today’s devotion, you might also like to read God Hears, Dear One.

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

God Hears, Dear One

It shall come to pass
That before they call, I will answer;
And while they are still speaking, I will hear Isaiah 65:24 (NKJV)

Dear Sister in Christ,    Have you been meeting with Jesus each morning for a TEA CUPP and wondering if He’s really been there listening?  Have you been reading His Word, listening for His Voice, wondering if He is hearing as you pour out your heart to Him?  Does a family member still have cancer? Is a marriage still breaking? Is a couple still waiting for children?  Is a prodigal child still lost?  We might feel like Job and Habakkuk and the Psalmist who cried out…

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

Lord, how long shall I cry,
And You will not hear?
Even cry out to You, “Violence!”
And You will not save.  Habakkuk 1:2 (NKJV)

O My God, I cry in the daytime, but You do not hear;
And in the night season, and am not silent.  Psalm 22:2 (NKJV)

I was wondering this same thing myself as my health declined and our country continued a downward spiral.  Was the Lord really hearing my prayers? How could I know for sure? By searching His Word! And so, each morning, I jot down any verses that promise me God hears my prayers.  I share a selection of these with you today to encourage you!

And God heard the voice of the lad… Genesis 21:17 (NKJV)

So God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. Exodus 2:14 (NKJV)

...And it will be that when he cries to Me, I will hear, for I am gracious.  Exodus 22:27 (NKJV)

You will make your prayer to Him,
He will hear you,
And you will pay your vows.  Job 22:27 (NKJV)

…For He hears the cry of the afflicted. Job 34:28 (NKJV)

I cried to the Lord with my voice,
And He heard me from His holy hill.  Psalm 3:4 (NKJV)

…The Lord will hear when I call to Him.  Psalm 4:3 (NKJV)

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

I have called upon You, for You will hear me, O God;
Incline Your ear to me, and hear my speech.  Psalm 17:6 (NKJV)

The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
And His ears are open to their cry.  Psalm 34:15 (NKJV)

The Lord is far from the wicked,
But He hears the prayer of the righteous.  Proverbs 15:29 (NKJV)

He will be very gracious to you at the sound of your cry;
When He hears it, He will answer you.  Isaiah 30:19 (NKJV)

…I, the Lord, will hear them;
I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.  Isaiah 41:17 (NKJV)

Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.  Jeremiah 29:12 (NKJV)

...And in the time of their trouble,
When they cried to You,
You heard from heaven… Nehemiah 9:27 (NKJV)

Now we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him.  John 9:31 (NKJV)

…your prayer has been heard, and your alms are remembered in the sight of God.  Acts 10:31 (NKJV)

For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
And His ears are open to their prayers;
But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil… 1 Peter 3:12 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Today I want to assure you, God hears you, dear one! He knows your pleas for healing.  He catches every tear for your prodigal children and broken marriages. He hears our petitions for the lost. He welcomes your cries for our nation and world. Look up these verses in your Bible and underline your favorites. Mark them with a “P” for Promises.  Claim them as promises Jesus has made to you.  Then pour out your heart again for He hears you!!!

Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;
You shall cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’…
Isaiah 58:9 (NKJV)

O Lord, I pray, please let Your ear be attentive to the prayer of Your servant, and to the prayer of Your servants who desire to fear Your name... Nehemiah 1:11 (NKJV)

Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.  And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.  1 John 5:14-15 (NKJV)

 

 

 

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

Count the Stars

He counts the number of the stars;
He calls them all by name. 
Psalm 147:4 (NKJV)

Remember the story of Abraham, how God told him to count the stars?  This is one of my favorite Sunday school stories for preschoolers.  Children have no trouble believing God’s promise that Abraham will have many kids.  They love to sing, “Father Abraham, had several sons…” with arms and legs going in every direction. And there are so many fun star crafts we can make to remind us of God’s promise.  But as the years go by, I realize how much more there is to this story.  This is not just for preschoolers, this is the HISTORY of God’s people, His chosen nation, the Israelites.  We who are Christians are counted as having come from Abraham’s seed, because we have faith like Abraham. And the best news is we get to share in God’s promise to Abraham!

Many, O Lord my God, are Your wonderful works
Which You have done;
And Your thoughts toward us
Cannot be recounted to You in order;
If I would declare and speak of them,
They are more than can be numbered. Psalm 40:5 (NKJV)

We first meet Abraham (who was originally called Abrahm) in Genesis 11 with Noah’s family tree.  Abraham is listed as a descendent of Noah’s son Shem (Gen. 11:27).  In Genesis 12 we get the first glimpse of God’s promise to Abraham, when God commanded…

…”Get out of your country,
From your family
And from your father’s house,
To a land that I will show you.
I will make you a great nation;
I will bless you
And make your name great;
And you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you,
And I will curse him who curses you;
And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
 Genesis 12:1-2 (NKJV)

In Genesis 15, God gave Abraham the Promise again…

Then He brought him outside and said, “Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” Genesis 15:5 (NKJV)

We must remember that this promise came when Abraham had no children!  How could God make him have so many descendants?  Abraham didn’t question God, he only believed. And so did his wife, Sarah. For we read in Hebrews 11…

By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised. Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born as many as the stars of the sky in multitude—innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore.  Hebrews 11:11-12 (NKJV)

Abraham couldn’t count all the stars for it would be like counting all the grains of sand on the seashore.  If we continue reading in our Bibles, we learn how Abraham and Sarah begot Isaac (one son) in their old age (Gen. 21). Isaac and Rebekah begot two sons, Jacob and Esau (Genesis 25:24-33).  Jacob and his wives begot twelves sons (Gen. 35:22-26). And by the time Jacob was an old man, there were over 70 family members who went with him to Egypt (Gen. 45:27).  430 years later, the Israelites had become over 2,000,000 people.  That’s 603,500 men age 20 and older, plus their wives, children, and the Levites (Exodus 12:40, Numbers 1:46).  Just as Abraham could not imagine or count this when he had no children, neither can we count all the blessings God gives to us. 

The Lord your God has multiplied you, and here you are today, as the stars of heaven in multitude. Deuteronomy 1:10 (NKJV)

How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How great is the sum of them!
If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand. Psalm 139:17-18 (NKJV)


Today’s TEA CUPP: Read about the day God promised Abraham many children in Genesis 15. If you’d like to read even more, Stephen gave a stunning recap of Abraham’s story and Israel’s history in Acts 7, and Psalm 105 is also a beautiful recount. With the promise, Abraham also received a vision of the dark days in Egypt and the rescue of God’s people.  We are part of that promise!  God has rescued us from our dark days of sin and is bringing us to the Promised Land.  Hallelujah!  Oh, dear one, our blessings, like Abraham’s, are as many as the stars!  How many can you count and thank Jesus for today?

For He who is mighty has done great things for me,
And holy is His name.  Luke 1:49 (NKJV)

Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, Your servants, to whom You swore by Your own self, and said to them, ‘I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven; and all this land that I have spoken of I give to your descendants, and they shall inherit it forever.’ Exodus 32:13 (NKJV)

You who were as numerous as the stars in the sky will be left but few in number, because you did not obey the Lord your God. Deuteronomy 28:62 (NKJV)

For He remembered His holy promise,
And Abraham His servant.
He brought out His people with joy,
His chosen ones with gladness.
He gave them the lands of the Gentiles,
And they inherited the labor of the nations,
That they might observe His statutes
And keep His laws.  Praise the Lord!  Psalm 105:42-45 (NKJV)

You have dealt well with Your servant,
O Lord, according to Your word. Psalm 119:65 (NKJV)

As the host of heaven cannot be numbered, nor the sand of the sea measured, so will I multiply the descendants of David My servant and the Levites who minister to Me. Jeremiah 33:22 (NKJV)

P.S.  I didn’t plan for this devotion to run right before the 4th of July weekend, but God must have planned it!  As you see the stars in our flag, remember God’s promise to Abraham and thank Him for the blessings of living in the USA.  As you go camping, look up at the summer night sky and see if you can count the stars. Thank God for every star and blessing.

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

 

 

 

My God’s Word TEA

Every word of God is pure;
He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him. Proverbs 30:5 (NKJV)

A few years ago, before there were Covid and shutdowns, I was invited to speak at a lovely June Tea Party, hosted by a large Baptist church. The ladies all dressed in their beautiful spring dresses, the tables were decorated with towers of treats, and we were taught and served tea in the most elegant English manner. In honor of that party, and all tea parties we long to have again, this month I give you June TEAs to have with Jesus.

Today I give you God’s Word TEA.  Long time readers know all my TEAs are from God’s Word.  In this updated prayer TEA, I share more verses you can use to start a conversation with the Lord. Today’s TEA has special Bible verses that speak specifically about His Word. Choose a verse to give Him THANKS, a verse to EXALT His name, a verse to ADMIT your sins, and so on…  I hope you will find these verses in your Bible and underline, study, memorize, and pray them!

T is for Thanksgiving

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1 (NKJV)

For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.  1 Thessalonians 2:13 (NKJV)

E is for Exalting

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.  John 1:14 (NKJV)

He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.  Revelation 19:13 (NKJV)

Forever, O Lord,
Your word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 (NKJV)

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

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

By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,
And all the host of them by the breath of His mouth.  Psalm 33:6 (NKJV)

…and His name is called The Word of God.  Revelation 19:13 (NKJV)

A is for Admitting

Your word I have hidden in my heart,
That I might not sin against You.  Psalm 119:11 (NKJV)

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. Hebrews 4:12(NKJV)

He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him—the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.  John 12:38 (NKJV)

And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him.  Deuteronomy 18:19 (NKJV)

C is for Calling

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

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.  Colossians 3:16 (NKJV)

As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby.  1 Peter 2:2 (NKJV)

Bind them continually upon your heart;
Tie them around your neck. 
Proverbs 6:21 (NKJV)

Bind them on your fingers;
Write them on the tablet of your heart. Proverbs 7:3 (NKJV)

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

U is for Understanding

…man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LordDeuteronomy 8:3 (NKJV)

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

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

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

But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it.  Deuteronomy 30:14 (NKJV)

I have not departed from the commandment of His lips;
I have treasured the words of His mouth
More than my necessary food.
Job 23:12 (NKJV)

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.  Romans 10:17 (NKJV)

P is for Promises

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

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

The grass withers, the flower fades,
But the word of our God stands forever. Isaiah 40:8 (NKJV)

...The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart… Romans 10:8 (NKJV)

Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.  Luke 21:33 (NKJV)

For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.  Matthew 5:18 (NKJV)

P is for Petitioning

If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. John 15:7 (NKJV)

Remember the word to Your servant,
Upon which You have caused me to hope.  Psalm 119:49 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: Read Luke 8:4-15 for a parable about God’s Word. Pray, “Lord let my heart be good soil!”  Use these verses as conversation starters for your prayers today. Pour out your heart to the Word made flesh, Jesus!

…the seed is the word of God.  Luke 8:11 (NKJV)

…but the word of God is not chained.  2 Timothy 2:9 (NKJV)

“Is not My word like a fire?” says the Lord,
“And like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?  Jeremiah 23:29 (NKJV)

Thank you for stopping by My TEA CUPP Prayers! If you enjoyed today’s devotion, you may also like to read Praying God’s Word Again, How to Get Started with Your Jesus Tea, and My Treasure Tea.  

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

My Treasure TEA

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. 2 Corinthians 4:7 (NKJV)

A few years ago, before there were Covid and shutdowns, I was invited to speak at a lovely June Tea Party, hosted by a large Baptist church. The ladies all dressed in their beautiful spring dresses, the tables were decorated with towers of treats, and we were taught and served tea in the most elegant English manner. In honor of that party, and all tea parties we long to have again, this month I give you June TEAs to have with Jesus.

Today is My Treasure TEA, treasure verses you can use as conversation starters for each part of the TEA CUPP. May your TEA time with Jesus be rich with His blessings, dear ladies…

T is for Thanksgiving

Giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. Colossians 1:12 (NKJV)

E is for Exalting

…The fear of the Lord is His treasure. Isaiah 33:6 (NKJV)

In whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Colossians 2:3 (NKJV)

In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.  Ephesians 1:7 (NKJV)

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

A is for Admitting

Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have heaped up treasure in the last days. James 5:3 (NKJV)

A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.  Luke 6:45 (NKJV)

Getting treasures by a lying tongue
Is the fleeting fantasy of those who seek death.  Proverbs 21:6 (NKJV)

C is for Calling

Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. Exodus 19:5 (NKJV)

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:19-21 (NKJV)

Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”  Matthew 19:21 (NKJV)

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

My son, keep my words,
And treasure my commands within you.  Proverbs 7:1 (NKJV)

U is for Understanding

For you are a holy people to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth.  Deuteronomy 7:6 (NKJV)

If you seek her as silver,
And search for her as for hidden treasures;
Then you will understand the fear of the Lord,
And find the knowledge of God.
Proverbs 2:4-5 (NKJV)

To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Colossians 1:27 (NKJV)

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich. 2 Corinthians 8:9 (NKJV)

P is for Promises

The Lord will open to you His good treasure, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season, and to bless all the work of your hand.   Deuteronomy 28:12 (NKJV)

The Lord knows the days of the upright,
And their inheritance shall be forever. 
Psalm 37:18 (NKJV)

Ask of Me, and I will give You
The nations for Your inheritance,
And the ends of the earth for Your possessionPsalm 2:8 (NKJV)

P is for Petitioning

Save Your people,
And bless Your inheritance;
Shepherd them also,
And bear them up forever.  Psalm 28:9 (NKJV)

Remember Your congregation, which You have purchased of old,
The tribe of Your inheritance, which You have redeemed—Psalm 74:2 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: Read Matthew 13:44-45 for more verses about treasure and the Kingdom of God. Give all you have to obtain this Treasure. Dear one, you are a jewel in the crown of God! Use these verses as conversation starters for your prayers today. Pour out your heart to the our Great Treasure, Jesus!

P.S. Thank you for stopping by My TEA CUPP Prayers.  I’m excited to tell you that my next book, More TEA CUPP Prayers has a treasure theme woven through it.  It will be published later this year. Thank you for praying it through to completion and may it point ladies everywhere to Jesus.  

For those of you who read last week’s post, My Sheep TEA, I want to share the good news that a precious little lamb was safely delivered! All praise and glory to God for His newest princess!  

Here’s an old treasure song by Gary Chapman to bless your day:

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

Good Morning, Jesus Journals

But to You I have cried out, O Lord,
And in the morning my prayer comes before You.  Psalm 88:13 (NKJV)

Dear TEA Friend,

Hello!  I’m so excited to announce my Good Morning, Jesus Prayer Journals are here! Praise Jesus! Whether you would like one for yourself, or as a gift for a friend, I just know you will be blessed by spending time with Jesus each morning. 

This journal is designed to be a companion to my books, My TEA CUPP Prayers and Mom’s TEA CUPP Prayers.  In these devotional books, I invite you to sit down each morning with your Bible, a cup of tea, and Jesus.  As you drink from His Word and sip from your favorite morning mug, you will draw near to your Savior and be filled with God’s blessings.  You underline your favorite verses and use those verses as conversation starters as you pour your heart out to God in prayer. 

Besides being an invitation to have TEA with Jesus, the TEA CUPP is also an acronym for things you can talk about during your prayer time.  T is for Thanksgiving, E is for Exalting, A is for Admitting, C is for Calling, U is for Understanding, P is for Promises, and the last P is for Petitions.  You may choose which parts you want to pray about each day.  Just circle the letter and write your verse and start praying.  I’ve included some sample pages so you get the idea.  Though I like to pray all seven parts each day, I know that isn’t realistic for busy moms, when traveling, or when you just don’t have a verse or anything you want to pray about in that area.  There is no right way to pray, this is just one way Jesus showed me so I could stay in His Word and keep lifting my voice and pen and heart to Him each day.

I pray you will be in God’s Word each day, reading your Bible and blessed by this journal as a way to get you started.  When you finish this journal, you can just pick up a school notebook from the dollar store and keep praying!  Thank you for accepting God’s invitation to come, praying for your family and nation!  May the Holy Spirit fill your heart and these prayer pages and intercede to the Father on your behalf with sighs too deep for words. Together, by God’s grace and mercy, we will change this world with Jesus, one TEA CUPP at a time.

God’s blessings,

Jennifer Grace

P.S.  For information on how to receive your Good Morning, Jesus Prayer Journal, please contact me here.

My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord;
In the morning I will direct it to You,
And I will look up.  Psalm 5:3 (NKJV)

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

Bible Reading Bookmarks

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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