The Only Mark for Me

Do you have any distinguishing marks on your body?  Many people have birth marks of one sort or another.  Both my daughter and I have “stork bite” marks, red marks at the napes of our necks and hairlines, visible when we were newborns.  When we grew hair, no one could see these marks, but they are still there.  Even Jesus knows these marks are hiding under the hair He has counted.

Did you know God marks His children? The first person He marked was a murderer!  Do you remember the story of Cain and Abel, Adam and Eve’s first two sons?  Cain and Abel both brought offerings to the Lord, but God only accepted Abel’s pure offering. Cain became jealous of Abel, killing him in the field.  The Lord sentenced Cain to be a wanderer, yet did not want anyone to kill Cain, so He put a mark on him…

And the Lord said to him, “Therefore, whoever kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.” And the Lord set a mark on Cain, lest anyone finding him should kill him. Genesis 4:15 (NKJV)

God used marks again when the Israelites were preparing to flee Egypt. Moses and Aaron had brought the Pharaoh and Egyptians through nine plagues, the tenth was yet to come. The tenth plague would have the angel of death killing the first born of all the Egyptians. In order to protect His people, God instructed Moses to have them mark the two doorposts and lintel of their homes with the blood of a lamb. When the Lord passed through Egypt that night, the destroyer left all the houses alone with the mark of blood on the doorposts and lintels, the angel of death “passed over” these homes. It wasn’t long until the Israelites heard the wailing and grief of the Egyptians as they realized they had lost their firstborn children. The Israelites were finally able to leave Egypt after 430 years because of the mark on their door frames.

And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses where they eat it. Exodus 12:17 (NKJV)

For the Lord will pass through to strike the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the Lord will pass over the door and not allow the destroyer to come into your houses to strike you. Exodus 12:23 (NKJV)

It seems that God wants to be the only One to put marks upon us. When we read the laws in Leviticus, we learn that He didn’t even want people to get tatoos. Can you imagine it, tatoo parlors in Bible times?! This might be a surprise to the many tatoo-bearing folks today…

You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor tattoo any marks on you: I am the Lord. Leviticus 19:28 (NKJV)

In Ezekiel we read where marks were and will be used once again. Ezekiel’s marks indicate a remnant saved when Jerusalem was raided and people were carried off to Babylon. It also points to the end times, just before Jesus returns to reign, finally locking up Satan for 1000 years. Read the following verse to see how marks will be used again to protect God’s people, just as they did during the Exodus…

And the Lord said to him, “Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry over all the abominations that are done within it.” Ezekiel 9:4 (NKJV)

But, dear ladies, there is one mark. you do NOT want to take, that is the mark of the beast. On a recent Above Rubies podcast, Nancy Campbell remembered that when she was growing up, she always heard, “Don’t take the mark of the beast!” Over and over, it was drilled into their heads from the pulpit and at home, “Don’t take the mark!” As a young girl, Nancy knew she did not want that mark, all she wanted was Jesus. Nancy wonders, why aren’t the churches preaching this today?

Most likely, the enemy got ahold of the pastors and told them not to talk about end times. If people don’t know about it, the devil will be more likely to catch them in his “mark-trap.” But he can’t fool us, we know the end of the story, it is already written for us! It’s a happy, happy ending for all believers! Read Revelation and you will see how Jesus comes to reign in victory and all His children who do not receive the mark of the beast will reign with Him. HalleluYAH! Let’s take a look into the future with the Disciple John who saw the vision he recorded in Revelation…

First, God promises to write on all Believers our new names…

I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name. Revelation 3:12 (NKJV)

Then, the Lord promises to seal all His servants on our foreheads…

Then I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God. And he cried with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, saying, “Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.” Revelation 7:2-3 (NKJV)

When the destroyers come, they will be instructed not to harm us or any plant or animal…

They were commanded not to harm the grass of the earth, or any green thing, or any tree, but only those men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. Revelation 9:4 (NKJV)

AND, God warns us NOT to take the mark of the beast! He explains how you won’t be able to buy or sell without this mark (doesn’t this sound a lot like what is starting to happen with vaccine passports?)…

He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Revelation 13:16-17 (NKJV)

Did you know that in Sweden they have the technology to make the mark of the beast a reality, inserting microchips into people’s hands so they can buy and sell? Pray hard for this not to come to America! Lord Jesus, give us more time to reach the lost with Your salvation before You come to take us home!

Those who take the mark of the beast will experience unspeakable torment…

Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.” Revelation 14:9-11 (NKJV)

Those of us who do not give in to the mark of the beast will have a victory party in heaven…

And I saw something like a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those who have the victory over the beast, over his image and over his mark and over the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, having harps of God. Revelation 15:2 (NKJV)

Those still on earth who have taken the mark will receive God’s bowls of wrath…

So the first went and poured out his bowl upon the earth, and a foul and loathsome sore came upon the men who had the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. Revelation 16:2 (NKJV)

And all who did not take the mark of the beast on their foreheads or hands will reign with Christ for a thousand years…

And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. Revelation 20:4 (NKJV)

Don’t take the mark of the beast, dear one! Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, be His child, accept only the mark of His Holy Spirit. Christ Jesus, Messiah Yeshua, is the only Mark for me. Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord (1 Corinthians 15:58).

Today’s TEA CUPP: Read Malachi 3:16-18 and Revelation 3:7-12 and be encouraged. Stand strong for Jesus. Keep God’s Word. Persevere through every trial. Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. And God will write on YOU His new name.

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

For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? Matthew 16:25-27 (NKJV)

For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. John 3:17 (NKJV)

I’ve Got My Passport

For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. Philippians 3:20 (NKJV)

I’ve got my passport, how about you? I remember when I got my first passport. I was so excited because my high school German class was taking a trip to Germany. When we traveled there in June of 1984, the Cold War was still going strong, the Berlin Wall standing sentinel between East and West. One day our tour group had the opportunity to travel into East Berlin for a few hours. We all nervously waited as we went through Check-point Charlie and exchanged money to purchase lunch. The contrast between the free West and Communist East Berlin were so extreme. The West was full of lights and music and life and people in the streets, the East was very somber and stony and empty. After a lunch (which I did not enjoy) in the basement of one of the stony buildings, we were all thankful to head back to West Berlin. I wonder if the eyes of the East Germans (whose flinty faces matched the buildings) would have lit up to head out with us through Check-point Charlie?

Another somber stop on our Germany tour was Dachau Concentration Camp near Munich, Germany. This was the the first of the many horrific camps where Jews and political dissenters were tragically killed by Nazis before and during WW II. Outside the camp was a sign that has stuck with me forever, “Never Again” it proclaimed. Never Again would people be put in camps and given medical injections against their will. Never Again would a government be allowed to exterminate groups of people they didn’t like. Never Again would others stand by and do nothing as euthanasia was carried out in their backyards. Never Again.

These three things…passports, communism, and Never Again… have been swirling through my thoughts of late. There is much talk of requiring a vaccine passport, a document that would allow you to travel and make purchases if you have received the experimental injection. Unlike my first passport to travel to another country, I won’t welcome this one. The more governments push such mandates, the more we are like communist nations, no longer living happy free lives, but living somber stony lives under tyrants. And now there is talk of having “camps” where people will be relocated if they do not comply with the mandates. This time, instead of trying to exterminate God’s chosen nation of Israel, the target will be His Bride, the Church. Camps much like Dachau in Germany, are already being constructed in Australia and even in Washington State, USA. Have people forgotten: Never Again?

Well, I have not forgotten. I remember trembling as I read that sign, “NIE WIEDER,” as a teenager. I remember the horror of seeing the photos and learning what really went on in those rooms full of ovens. I remember being there with my best friend from grade school who had even invited me to her Bat Mitzvah. I remember reading Diary of Anne Frank and Corrie Ten Boom’s The Hiding Place. I have not forgotten, and I pray that I can be brave like Anne Frank and Corrie Ten Boom.  In my heart of hearts, I cry out to the Lord, “Never Again.”  

I already have my passport to the place where I am going. I have no need of a vaccine passport because my citizenship is in heaven.  The only passport I want or need is salvation in Jesus Christ. The only mark I want or need is the seal of His Holy Spirit. Where I am going will be more beautiful than the castles we visited on the happier days of our German tour.  My Savior is preparing a mansion for me in heaven.  That is my true home and the home of all who call on the name of the Lord Jesus. We are strangers and aliens on earth, for ever since God told Abram to get out of his country (Genesis 12:1), we, His children, have been anticipating the Promised Land. We belong in heaven, that glorious place where we will pass through “Check-point Peter” to see Jesus face to face, bowing before His throne, casting crowns at His feet, and worshipping the Father and the Son in all majesty. Our passports are ready and our trip to our beautiful forever is soon.

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. Hebrews 12:28 (NKJV)

 For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.  Philippians 1:21 (NKJV)

…rejoice because your names are written in heaven.  Luke 10:20 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: Prepare your passport, dear ladies… your passport to heaven. How do you get it ready? By making your heart right with Jesus, confessing your sins, repenting, and seeking Him with all your heart. You can even share a cup of tea with Him each day as you read His Word and pour your heart out to Him in prayer. Read Revelation 4 for a beautiful picture of heaven. Then you will be ready for that great “Hallelujah Day” when He calls His children home. Your passport will be signed, sealed and delivered by the blood of the Lamb.

And it shall come to pass
That whoever calls on the name of the Lord
Shall be saved.
Acts 2:21 (NKJV)

For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come. Hebrews 13:14 (NKJV)

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.  1 Peter 1:3 (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)

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

…We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.  Acts 14:22 (NKJV)

For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven. 2 Corinthians 5:1-2 (NKJV)

Thank you for stopping by My TEA CUPP Prayers. If you enjoyed today’s devotion, you may also like to read Come to the Wedding and Steadfast and Stouthearted and Get on the Ark and Fear Not, Dear One.

These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them. Hebrews 11:13-16 (NKJV) 

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.” John 14:1-4 (NKJV)

Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name. Revelation 3:10-12 (NKJV)

Thank you to Trip Advisor for the Never Again photo.

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

Looking Up at the Big Blue Sky

Today’s post first ran ten years ago, on February 22, 2011. As I started to write about “Looking Up” in this New Year of 2022, the Lord reminded me I had written about this before. So today, I share an updated devotion with a surprise ending for you.  Little did I know that 9 months after writing this post, I would hold in my arms the desire of my heart — a brand new baby boy, be living in a different house, and my husband would have a new job! That little boy is now 10 years old!  Since that time we’ve had many joys and many sorrows, but through it all we continue to LOOK Up to Jesus, our Messiah.  As our world crumbles under covid, mandates, and immorality, may we all pray continuously to the Father and keep LOOKING UP to Him, our only hope!  Alleluia, Jesus is coming! His children win!

Then I turned and raised my eyes and LOOKED…  Zechariah 6:1 (NKJV)

LOOKING unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith… Hebrews 12:2 (NKJV) 

Do you LOOK UP?  When I was little, I always wanted to be near a window to catch a glimpse of the blue sky.  If I could just see the sky, I could smile up at God.  On my walks home from school I would smile at the puffy clouds and talk to God about my day.  When I was a teenager and started running, it was that blue sky that kept me going.  When my college cross country team died in a plane crash, I LOOKED UP at the dreary November atmosphere and questioned the God in charge of the universe, and decided I didn’t trust Him anymore.  After two years without God or my blue sky, the sun finally shone for me when dear friends introduced me to Jesus Christ. Jesus took my broken soul and washed away my sins, making my sky blue again.

Now I’m blessed to live in the Big Sky State of Montana, where the sky really is bluer than anywhere in the world (according to friends from Rhode Island).  Even though I live in a narrow valley, I can see a big blue strip up above each day.  As I sit by my “Daniel” window for my morning TEA CUPP, I LOOK UP at the still dark, star-speckled sky and whisper, “Good morning, Jesus.” While I pray, the sky lightens, the day dawns, and I’m having TEA with Jesus under the big blue heavens.

You know, when we choose to LOOK UP to Jesus, no matter what our circumstances, life tends to LOOK UP after all.  In recent years we’ve lost 3 babies, 3 cats, a job, and other great sadnesses.  I could look away from God as I did as a college student, but you know what that means?  If we aren’t looking up to Jesus, where are we looking?  We are looking down to Satan, and I don’t want to look there!  So, I keep LOOKING UP…I want to encourage you to do the same through God’s Word.

In the book of Acts we read about a deacon named Stephen.  For his preaching of God’s Word, Stephen became the first martyr of the Christian faith.  Just before he was stoned to death, Stephen called to the crowd…

…LOOK! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!. Acts 7:56 (NKJV)

But their hearts were too hard and their eyes closed, so they could not see Jesus.  And they killed Stephen. Jesus, help us to not be like those men.  Let our hearts be softened and our eyes opened as we LOOK UP at the sky for Your coming.

Are you having trouble LOOKING UP?  It might be because of your sins. When this happens, we must ADMIT our sins to Jesus…

For innumerable evils have surrounded me;
My iniquities have overtaken me, so that I am not able to LOOK UP;
They are more than the hairs of my head;
Therefore my heart fails me.
Psalm 40:12 (NKJV)

Did you know Jesus CALLS us to LOOK UP?

Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, LOOK UP and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near. Luke 21:27-28 (NKJV)

LOOKING for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. Titus 2:13-14 (NKJV)

Then He brought him outside and said, “Look now toward heaven… Genesis 15:5 (NKJV)

While we are waiting for Jesus to return, He CALLS us to LOOK UP to Him as an example of how to live our lives…

If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are ABOVE, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. Colossians 3:1-2 (NKJV)

But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, LOOKING for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. Jude 20-22 (NKJV)

…LOOKING for and hastening the coming of the day of God, 2 Peter 3:11-12 (NKJV)

…and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples… Matthew 14:19 (NKJV)

I UNDERSTAND in my story how God has helped me to LOOK UP to Him each day…

I will LIFT UP MY EYES to the hills—
From whence comes my help?
My help comes from the LORD,
Who made heaven and earth.
Psalm 121:1-2 (NKJV)

Unto You I LIFT UP MY EYES,
O You who dwell in the heavens.
Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their masters,
As the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress,
So our eyes LOOK to the Lord our God,
Until He has mercy on us.  Psalm 123:1-2 (NKJV)

But we SEE JESUS, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone. Hebrews 2:9 (NKJV)

And He PROMISES that one day while we are LOOKING UP He will come again…

And He said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall SEE HEAVEN open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.” John 1:52 (NKJV)

“Men of Galilee, why do you stand GAZING UP into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.” Acts 1:11 (NKJV)

Behold, He is coming with clouds, and EVERY EYE WILL SEE HIM, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen. Revelation 1:7 (NKJV)

LIFT UP YOUR EYES to the heavens,
And look on the earth beneath.
For the heavens will vanish away like smoke,
The earth will grow old like a garment,
And those who dwell in it will die in like manner;
But My salvation will be forever,
And My righteousness will not be abolished.
Isaiah 51:6 (NKJV)

And we can petition our Father in heaven as we LOOK UP to Him!

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)

O our God, will You not judge them? For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our EYES are upon YOU. 2 Chronicles 20:12 (NKJV)

But my EYES are upon YOU, O God the Lord;
In You I take refuge;
Do not leave my soul destitute.
Psalm 141:8 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: Here’s a unique story to complete our devotion today: Will you consider that perhaps Jesus first miracle will also be His last? Read John 2:1-11, The Wedding at Cana.  In this account, the wedding party ran out of water, so Jesus performed the miracle of turning water into wine, better than any wine they had ever tasted. The master of the banquet was so amazed that the good wine came last.  Dear ones, the same is true for us today. The peace and joy and comfort we receive from the Lord now are just a foretaste of the wedding feast in heaven.  Prepare your heart! Keep LOOKING UP! The good wine is yet to come!

“…You have kept the good wine until now!”  John 2:10 (NKJV)

…all the people shall keep the WATCH of the Lord. 2 Chronicles 23:6 (NKJV)

Therefore I will LOOK to the Lord;
I will wait for the God of my salvation;
My God will hear me. Micah 7:7 (NKJV)

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your King is coming to you… Zechariah 9:9 (NKJV)

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

Remember the Cross

Today I rerun another favorite Christmas devotion for you from December 2017.  Merry Christmas, dear TEA CUPP ladies!

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1:18 (NKJV)

In his autobiography, Just As I Am, Billy Graham tells the story of a crusade at the Dallas Cotton Bowl in 1953.  After a night of preaching, his friend John Bolton took a walk with Billy and commented, “Billy, you didn’t speak about the Cross.”

Rev. Graham’s friend went on to say, “How can anyone be converted without having at least one single view of the Cross where the Lord died for us?  You must preach about the Cross, Billy. You must preach about the blood that was shed for us there.  There is no other power than when we talk or preach about the Cross.” (Graham, 1997)

And so, as we celebrate Christmas, I exhort you to remember the Cross!  When you look at your tree, decorated with tinsel and lights, remember the tree that held our Savior Jesus, as He gave His precious life for us.

And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Philippians 2:8 (NKJV)

As you give presents to family and friends, remember the Greatest Gift ever given, when God gave His only Son to us:

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16 (NKJV)

As you toss out the wrapping paper and scrub the holiday dishes, remember how Jesus shed His blood for us on the Cross of Calvary, washing away the sins of all who believe in Him.

Having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. Colossians 2:14 (NKJV)

And as you look upon the lights of Christmas, ooh-ing and awwh-ing at the displays in your town, remember to look to Jesus, the Light of the world, the author and finisher of our faith.

Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” John 8:12 (NKJV)

Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: Read Luke 2 and Luke 23. Remember today the Baby who came in a manger, God in the flesh,  born to a virgin, to save the whole world.  Remember that He didn’t stay in the manger.  He grew to be a Man, fully perfect, without blemish, the only perfect sacrifice for our sins.  And so He gave His life for ours on the Cross. When you look at the Cradle, remember the Cross of Christ this Christmas, my friend.

Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.1 Peter 2:24 (NKJV)

An uncommon Christmas carol…

In the cross of Christ I glory,

Towering o’er the wrecks of time;

All the light of sacred story

Gathers round its head sublime.

(John Bowring, 1825)

Graham, B. (1997). Just As I Am. San Francisco: Harper Collins/Zondervan (p.243)

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

Christmas Gifts!

…but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23

Hello, ladies! I know many of you are still looking for that perfect gift for a friend or family member or sister in Christ. If you’re seeking a gift with eternal significance that encourages ladies to read God’s Word, I have 3 My TEA CUPP ideas for you!

 

Good Morning, Jesus, Prayer Journal ($20 suggested gift)

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.  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.  

My TEA CUPP Prayers ($15 suggested gift)

YOU are invited to TEA with Jesus TODAY!!!  “Come to Me,” Jesus calls in Matthew 11:28.  Please accept!  Allow God to draw you into a daily TEA time with Jesus through this 77-day devotional. My TEA CUPP Prayers is an invitation to women everywhere to sit down daily with Jesus for a cup of tea.  The TEA CUPP acronym provides the parts of prayers, as we use the BIBLE to talk with our Lord.  Here new Christians discover a way to draw nearer to Jesus and old Christians taste a fresh flavor for their prayers. Women will dig deeper into God’s Word, come closer to Jesus by meeting with Him each day, and unleash the power of the Holy Spirit through their prayers.

 

Mom’s TEA CUPP Prayers ($16 suggested gift)

What will you find when you open the pages of Mom’s TEA CUPP Prayers?  You will discover a 77-day devotional that takes moms gracefully into a daily TEA time with Jesus.  Every Sunday you will meet a new Bible mom who will introduce you to another part of prayer.  And during the week you will again be encouraged to read your Bible and pray for your family, as I share stories God has given me, including our miracle baby. The book also has a week of Christmas devotions which I hope will bless your Christmas season this year and in years to come.  They might be just the thing to read to your small group or family this Advent season. Mom’s TEA CUPP Prayers is an invitation to moms everywhere to sit down each day with Jesus, a Bible, and your favorite morning mug.

You can order one item or bundle them together to make an extra special gift. Each one comes with a My TEA CUPP Prayers bookmark, and to those who request it, you can even receive a M’Cheyne Bible Reading Plan. Because I hope to get these into the hands of many ladies, I’m offering free shipping for the rest of December.

We aren’t set up for credit cards, so if you could please snail-mail a check to My TEA CUPP Prayers, PO Box 1003, Big Timber, MT 59011, that will work well. You can also text me here. Please include a short note with your mailing address, phone number in case I have questions, and what items you would like sent.

Thank you for considering these My TEA CUPP items for your Christmas gift-giving. Here are some Christmas devotions to bless your day until your books arrive. He Comes with Presents is a good one :-). Thank you for stopping by My TEA CUPP Prayers! Merry Christmas! Jesus is coming soon!!!

If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! Matthew 7:11 (NKJV)

But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way. 1 Corinthians 12:31 (NKJV)

Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift! 2 Corinthians 9:15 (NKJV)

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. James 1:17 (NKJV)

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

Where is He?

Blessed Advent to you, dear TEA ladies. Today I share a post from three years ago, which seems so appropriate for the present time.  This devotion will also be included in my new book, More TEA CUPP Prayers, coming Spring 2022, God-willing. Thank you for your prayers!

…“Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.” Matthew 2:2 (NKJV)

“Where is He who has been born King of the Jews?” the wise men queried. “Where is He?”  The wise men weren’t call wise for nothing!  They asked the very question we should all ask ourselves every day, “Where is He who was born King of the Jews?”  (Matthew 2:2). Have we searched for Him with all our hearts? Have we followed His star to the ends of the earth to find Him? Have we worshiped the One who is worthy of all glory, honor, and praise? Or, have we tried to snuff Him out like the evil King Herod?

Where is Jesus in our lives?  Is He lost under the wrapping paper and tinsel?  Stuffed behind the Christmas tree?  Buried under smart phones and social media and busyness?  Hidden behind a flurry of holiday activities, and activities all year long, for that matter? Is Jesus lost beneath some long-held bitterness that we won’t let go?

Perhaps you yourself are crying out to God this very moment because a loved one has died or there is great turmoil in your life.  You are asking, “Where is He who is born King of the Jews?” (Matthew 2:2).  And, “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?” (Psalm 22:1). And, “Jesus, if you had been here, my loved one would not have died.” (John 11:21)

Dear Friend, I assure you, God is here.  The King of the Jews is with you.  Jesus is weeping with you (John 11:25). He wants to hold you in His everlasting arms (Deuteronomy 33:27) and to dry all your tears (Revelations 7:17) and comfort you.

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)

People have been searching for Jesus since before He was born to the day He died, when Mary Magdalene cried to the Man she supposed to be the gardener, “Sir, if You have carried Him away, tell me where You have laid Him, and I will take Him away.” (John 20:15). And for those who seek Him, there is always Someone to point the way.  For the angel answered Mary Magdalene…

He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. Matthew 28:6 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: Read the Christmas story in Matthew 1:18-2:12. Answer this question in your life today, “Where is He who was born King of the Jews?” Is He hiding behind past hurts and busyness? Bring Jesus to the front.  Seek Him with all your heart.  Read your Bible each day and talk to Him in prayer.  Let Him be your peace and comfort. Worship Him with all your heart. Be one of the wise ladies!

And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13 (NKJV)

Seek the Lord while He may be found,
Call upon Him while He is near. Isaiah 55:6 (NKJV)

Blessed are those who keep His testimonies,
Who seek Him with the whole heart! 
Psalm 119:2 (NKJV)

With my whole heart I have sought You;
Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments!  Psalm 119:10 (NKJV)

Wise men and ladies still seek Him!

Thank you for stopping by My TEA CUPP Prayers.  If you enjoyed today’s devotion, please check out some of my other Christmas writingsMy Christmas Revelation Tea, and My Heart Inn.

This devotion first ran on my website on December 23, 2018…before Covid, before mandates, before vaccines… may it bless you today, December 10, 2021. 

The Well of Bethlehem

And David said with longing, “Oh, that someone would give me a drink of water from the well of Bethlehem, which is by the gate!”  1 Chronicles 11:17 (NKJV)

1 Chronicles is an unusual place to begin the Christmas story, yet here we are for that “Little Town of Bethlehem” of which the carolers sing is found in this Scripture.  David and his army had just conquered and reclaimed Jerusalem, but the Philistines still occupied Bethlehem.  David was yearning with a wistful longing for a drink from the well by the gate of Bethlehem.  How did David know such a well was there? He lived there! His family, all the way back to his great-great-grandfather Boaz lived there (Ruth 2:4).  When David was young, he watched his father’s sheep in Bethlehem and it was there that Samuel had anointed David as king (1 Samuel 16:1).  No wonder David was sentimental about the well. Some of his men overheard his desire, risked their lives, broke into the enemy camp, and returned with the water.  Now we think David would have taken a big drink and passed it around to share with his warriors. But what he did instead surprises us… he poured it out on the ground!  

So the three broke through the camp of the Philistines, drew water from the well of Bethlehem that was by the gate, and took it and brought it to David. Nevertheless David would not drink it, but poured it out to the Lord. 1 Chronicles 11:18 (NKJV)

This well was located by the same Bethlehem of which the prophet Micah foretold (Micah 5:2) and of which Luke spoke in the famous Christmas story (Luke 2:4-5), the birthplace of our Savior. This year, when you hear and read these passages, do more than nod the head, enjoying the familiar words washing over you in a sentimental way. Put yourself in that time in history and experience this real place called Bethlehem, a real town first mentioned in our Bibles in Genesis 35:19. There, Jacob’s beloved wife Rachel was buried after dying from the birth of Benjamin. Do you think Mary, in her very pregnant state, thought of Rachel while enduring the trip to Bethlehem, perhaps wondering if the same fate was in store for her?  

Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. Luke 2:4-5 (NKJV) 

Ponder that poor young couple, Joseph and pregnant Mary, on their journey to Bethlehem, awaiting the arrival of Jesus, the Savior of the all who will believe in His name. Think of that long, tedious trek (have you ever ridden a horse or bicycle when very pregnant and the baby’s head already wants to push its way out? Very painful indeed! Even walking can bring on labor).  Mary’s distress and extended belly foretell of our pregnant world, swollen with plagues and sin and despair, painfully riding our donkeys from day to day, waiting, watching, longing, desiring, yearning, hastening, welcoming the triumphant return of our Blessed Lord, Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the seed of David and from the town of Bethlehem, where David was?”  John 7:42 (NKJV)

Now, Jesus is that Well of Bethlehem and His water is sweeter than that for which David longed.  His water is purer, cleaner and greater than anything this world can offer. Come ye, O come ye, my dear TEA CUPP ladies, to Bethlehem.  Drink of Jesus’ water and pour it out for others. Like the shepherds, Come to Bethlehem and see, Him whose birth the angels sing. Come adore on bended knee, Christ the Lord, the new born King*. 

Oh, holy Child of Bethlehem! Descend to us, we pray; Cast out our sin, and enter in; Be born in us today. We hear the Christmas angels the great glad tidings tell; O come to us, abide with us, Our Lord Emmanuel. (Phillips Brooks, 1868)

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

Today’s TEA CUPP: Read Luke 1-2 this week. We who have tasted the Well of Bethlehem, the Living Water, are called to pour it out for others before the Lord.  Pour out your heart to Him in prayer for the lost. Pour out your testimony and love of Jesus to those you see each day. And, if God is calling you, answer His call to missions, pouring out your life for Jesus, hearing the cries of the thirsty around the world who are calling, “Oh, that someone would give me a drink of water from the well of Bethlehem.” 

…Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.” John 4:7 (NKJV)

And all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.  1 Corinthians 10:4 (NKJV)

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
For they shall be filled. Matthew 5:6 (NKJV)

O God, You are my God;
Early will I seek You;
My soul thirsts for You;
My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land
Where there is no water.
So I have looked for You in the sanctuary,
To see Your power and Your glory.  Psalm 63:1-2 (NKJV)

He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water. John 7:38 (NKJV)

“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Though you are little among the thousands of Judah,
Yet out of you shall come forth to Me
The One to be Ruler in Israel,
Whose goings forth are from of old,
From everlasting.” Micah 5:2 (NKJV)

 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.”  Luke 2:15 (NKJV)

Thank you for stopping by My TEA CUPP Prayers. If you enjoyed today’s devotion, please check out To You and The Best Water.  God bless your Advent and Christmas season, dear one!

O come ye to Bethlehem**

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

*Hymn: Angels We Have Heard on High, verse 3, traditional French carol.  

**Latin hymn O Come, All Ye Faithful, sung by Hillsong, John F. Wade, 1751

Consecrate a Fast

Blow the trumpet in Zion,
Consecrate a fast,
Call a sacred assembly.  Joel 2:15 (NKJV)

Dear Ones, Can you hear the trumpet blowing? God is calling us to fast!* Our nation has been in an uproar this past year with mandate after mandate, vile law after vile law, immorality after immorality… we cannot deny that we are on the course for a train wreck unless something changes immediately.  Some very hard-working people spent the past year researching evidence to prove that the 2020 election was stolen (God bless these courageous souls!).

On Tuesday, November 23, they will be taking this case to the Supreme Court of the United States of America.  Dear ladies, if the election can be overturned and Christian leaders put in office, we will have more time to bring people to Christ before He returns (which is imminent).  If the election is not overturned, if the justices close their ears to the evidence, the judgement of America will be just days away with Jesus standing at the door!  Either way, we want to get our hearts and houses in order!  

...then they will fast in those days.  Luke 5:35 (NKJV)

God has held out a plumb line (Amos 7:8) to our nation and we are not plumb, in fact, we are very crooked!  The handwriting is on the wall. We’ve been measured in the balance and found wanting.  Our days are numbered (Daniel 5:25-28).  We are not prepared to meet our God (Amos 4:12).

A few weeks ago I was at a prayer meeting where the November 23rd court date was mentioned. When I arrived home, I read an email from our old church in Ohio, calling everyone to fast on that day.  Then I started reading many fasting verses in my Bible and I knew this is God’s calling. I invite and exhort you to join us in fasting that day, not just for one meal, but for the entire day.  Rend your hearts, not your garments.  Feed on God’s Word, not your fridge.  Consider it not a pre-holiday diet, but a fast so that we may continue to celebrate those Holy days!  

As these brave men and women take their evidence to the gates of our nation’s highest court with this crucial case, let us storm the gates of heaven with our prayers and fasting, begging the Lord for His favor and and mercy for this great nation that was started in His name.

No one is too old or too young to fast.  When Baby Jesus was brought by Mary and Joseph to the Temple to be dedicated, an 84-year-old lady named Anna, who had been fasting and praying, greeted and blessed them (Luke 2:37).  In the book of Jonah (3:5-7), the entire city of Nineveh, from the king to his youngest servant to even the animals, gave up food and water. When King Saul died, valiant men fasted for seven days before asking David to be their new king (1 Chronicles 10:12).  Even wicked King Ahab fasted and God heard his prayers (1 Kings 21:27). And King Darius fasted for Daniel when he was forced to throw him in the lions’ den (Daniel 6:18). Esther, Ezra, Isaiah, Nehemiah, Moses, Jehoshaphat, Paul and many others… even Jesus all fasted and prayed, and we must follow their example.

Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river of Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from Him the right way for us and our little ones and all our possessions… So we fasted and entreated our God for this, and He answered our prayer.  Ezra 8:21,23

Now, therefore,” says the Lord,
“Turn to Me with all your heart,
With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning. Joel 2:12 (NKJV)

And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. 2 Chronicles 20:3 (NKJV)

Our Father who art in heaven, we boldly come before Your throne this day, pleading with you for mercy for our nation, the United States of America.  We know we don’t deserve Your forgiveness, but ask that You show Your grace and mercy yet again.  Help us lay aside all filthiness and receive with meekness Your salvation and the implanted Word of God. Help us return to You, Lord.  For You have torn, but You will heal us. You have stricken, but You will bind us up.  We set up kings, but not by You, we made princes, but You did not acknowledge them. Bring the ark of God, Your Word, the Bible, back to America, our schools, our courthouses, and our government.  I claim Your promise for Mike Lindell and all his helpers who asked You, “Shall I go up against the Philistines?”  And You replied, “Go up, for I shall deliver them into your hands.” Help our judges and leaders to do as You command and overturn the 2020 election, reinstating the rightful president. And You, O God, will break through our enemies like a breakthrough of water!  May justice run down like water, and righteousness like a mighty stream. May You use President Trump and all the new Christian leaders to cleanse this land of all the evil doers and wickedness.  Like David, his fame will go into all lands, and the Lord will bring the fear of him on all nations. Most of all, people will know Jehovah God, the Great I Am, has done this!  Send a last Great Awakening before Jesus Christ’s return, where missionaries can travel without fear nor vaccine mandates, and are welcome to bring the Good News of God’s salvation through Jesus Christ to open hearts.  Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to Thy Name be the Glory! We pray all this in the precious Name of Your Only begotten Son Jesus whose blood was shed even for us and even for such a time as this. Amen.

(Hebrews 4:16, James 1:21, Amos 5:24, Hosea 6:1, Hosea 8:4, 1 Chronicles 13:3, 1 Chronicles 14:10,11,16, 17, Psalm 115:1)

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Please fast on Tuesday, November 23 for God’s justice to prevail at the Supreme Court hearing.  Please also consider fasting again the following Tuesday, November 30th to pray for the December 1 Supreme Court hearing to overturn Roe vs. Wade and turn back God’s wrath on America for the deaths of all the innocent babies.  Thank you and God bless you!

* Fasting is when you give up food for a time, that’s why the first meal of a new day is called “breakfast” because you are breaking your nightly fast. When we fast and pray, we give more power to our prayers, and with each hunger pain, we are reminded to pray yet again).  For someone who has a lot of trouble with food, fasting can be hard for me, but when God calls me to do it, I do it with all my heart and steadfastness and by His strength. This is one of those times!

P.S. Please share this with others, God hears our prayers!

“Save us, O God of our salvation;
Gather us together, and deliver us from the Gentiles,
To give thanks to Your holy name,
To triumph in Your praise.”
1 Chronicles 16:35 (NKJV)

But let justice run down like water,
And righteousness like a mighty stream.  Amos 5:24 (NKJV)

Blessed are you who hunger now,
For you shall be filled.
Blessed are you who weep now,
For you shall laugh.  Luke 6:21 (NKJV)

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  Philippians 4:13 (NKJ)

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)

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
For they shall be filled.  Matthew 5:6 (NKJV)

He has put down the mighty from their thrones,
And exalted the lowly.  Luke 1:52 (NKJV)

To grant us that we,
Being delivered from the hand of our enemies,
Might serve Him without fear,
 In holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of our life.  Luke 1:74-75 (NKJV)

Thank you for stopping by My TEA CUPP Prayers.  If you enjoyed today’s post, you might also like to read My Fasting TEA CUPP and Prayers for Our Nation.

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

Wrestling with Abba Father

And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” Galatians 4:6 (NKJV)

It was the match of all time.  In one corner was Jacob, the supplanter, the deceiver, the polygamist.  In the other corner was the Angel of God, the pre-incarnate Son Himself, the Mighty, all-powerful One, Creator and King of the Universe.  They met on the open plain.  Jacob had sent his wives and children ahead.  He was alone, much the same as his first journey when he saw the ladder going up to heaven (Genesis 18:10-22). Yet this time, he had to wrestle for a blessing.  The odds were stacked against him.  The angels placed their bets on God the Father, and in the end, guess who won? (Genesis 32:22-32).  

Then Jacob was left alone; and a Man wrestled with him until the breaking of day. Now when He saw that He did not prevail against him, He touched the socket of his hip; and the socket of Jacob’s hip was out of joint as He wrestled with him. 

God: “Let Me go, for the day breaks.”

Jacob: “I will not let You go unless You bless me!”

God: “What is your name?”

Jacob: “Jacob.”

God:Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed.”  Genesis 32:24-28 (NKJV)

If ever there was a time in history where we need to wrestle with God and prevail, ’tis now. If ever there was a time for people to cry out, “Abba, Father!” ’tis now! With every page of the newspaper, with every change of the channel or website, with every inspection of our cell phones, we come across bad news… heart-breaking stories, immorality, deaths, mandates, lies, deception, tyranny… It is often so much, we don’t even want to look at it! But God the Father already knows all about it and He is waiting for us to call Him. So, let’s not keep Him waiting any longer, let’s call on the Lord today!

Hear my cry, O God;
Attend to my prayer.
From the end of the earth I will cry to You,
When my heart is overwhelmed;
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
Psalm 61:1-2 (NKJV)

What should we pray for, and what should we cry about? God says we can ask anything in His Name, and He will do it (John 14:14). Dear One, you may cry out to God with whatever He puts upon your heart, whatever the Holy Spirit leads you to pray. When King Hezekiah received bad news in 2 Kings 19, he took it to the temple and spread it before the Lord. We can do that, too, spread your newspaper or cell phone before the Lord and pray King Hezekiah’s prayer in 2 Kings 19:16,19:

“Incline Your ear, O Lord, and hear; open Your eyes, O Lord, and see; and hear the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to reproach the living God…  O Lord our God, I pray, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You are the Lord God, You alone.” 2 Kings 19:16, 19 (NKJV)

What am I wrestle for right now? Our children and grandchildren, our country, healing for loved ones, salvation for so many, for My TEA CUPP mission, for the USA, for Israel, for healing for the nations… If you need ideas for your wrestling prayers, Scripture tells us many things about which we can pray,,,

Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— Ephesians 6:18 (NKJV)

And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath.  Matthew 24:20 (NKJV)

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
May they prosper who love you.  Psalm 122:6 (NKJV)

…Therefore lift up your prayer for the remnant that is left. 2 Kings 19:4, Isaiah 37:4 (NKJV)

Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. Romans 10:1(NKJV)

…pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you. Matthew 5:44 (NKJV)

…pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. Matthew 9:38 (NKJV)

Ask the Lord for rain in the time of the latter rain. The Lord will make lashing clouds… Zechariah 10:1 (NKJV)

I was asked recently if my prayers bring me peace and I had to stop and think for a minute.  I come to Him everyday with a heart heavy-laden with the concerns of this world, and He promises He will give me rest and carry my burden for me (Matthew 11:28-30).  When I’ve prayed every prayer and unloaded my concerns, I should walk away with the peace that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7). 

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.  Matthew 11:28-30 (NKJV)

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:6-7 (NKJV)

Why don’t we always feel that peace?  Perhaps it’s because we’ve been wrestling in prayer. Perhaps we are taking all the cares of the world upon ourselves.  Our prayers are more like those of Jesus before He went to the Cross. In the Garden of Gethsemane, He was praying so hard, His sweat was like drops of blood (Luke 22:44).  Or perhaps, for all our wrestling, we are hurt like Jacob, who wrestled the Angel, receiving a life-long injury, yet at the same time, he was given the blessing of the Father for all eternity. Why does prayer often hurt so much?  Because we are not wrestling with our brother or sister or neighbor or even the government, our battle is against principalities (Ephesians 6:12), powers, rulers of the darkness, and spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavens whom we can’t even see, but God sees and knows all about them. 

When we wrestle for the Lord here on earth, we are joining in the battles already in progress up above.  Do you remember when Daniel started praying for his people in Daniel 9 and 10?  It took almost three weeks for an answer to come. When the angel Gabriel arrived, he declared that he had left the moment Daniel had started praying three weeks before, but had been detained by evil angels and the angel Michael had to assist him (Daniel 10: 12-14).  It seems those evil angels have been busy detaining the answers to our prayers, and so we must keep praying, just as Daniel did, and hold onto to God until He gives us a blessing, just as Jacob did, and keep sweating those drops of blood in prayer, just as our dear Savior Jesus did before He went to the Cross on our behalf, trusting that peace and rest is coming on the other side.

Then he said to me, “Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words.  Daniel 12:10 (NKJV) 

And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.  Luke 22:44 (NKJV)

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.  Ephesians 6:12 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: Oswald Chambers said, “Prayer is not preparation for the battle, prayer is the battle.” Dear Ladies, thank you for joining Jesus on the battlefield every morning in prayer for your loved ones, our nation, and our world. Keep your armor on! Keep wrestling!  Always looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13). Jesus is coming soon (Joel 2:1)! God bless you always!  

But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ1 Corinthians 15:57 (NKJV)

He took his brother by the heel in the womb,
And in his strength he struggled with God.
Yes, he struggled with the Angel and prevailed;
He wept, and sought favor from Him… Hosea 12:3-4 (NKJV)

And He said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.” Mark 14:36 (NKJV)

For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”  Romans 8:15 (NKJV)

Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel,
You who lead Joseph like a flock;
You who dwell between the cherubim, shine forth!  Psalm 80:1 (NKJV)

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

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982
 
To my faithful readers: I’m so sorry to keep you waiting on this devotion, I’ve been busy wrestling with God :-).  

Be a TEA Diffuser

Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.  2 Corinthians 2:14 (NKJV)

My friend Riza owns a tea company in the mountain West.  On the wall of her office, a collection of tea infusers is artfully displayed.  From America to the Far East, from present day to decades ago, and all shapes and sizes, her collection captures the hearts of all who enjoy an aromatic cup of tea.  

Being new to the art of loose-leaf tea drinking, I checked out Riza’s company website to discover what makes using these tea infusers so precious.  Some important tips I learned include:

  • Allow your tea leaves enough room to fully open and the water to infuse through them properly. They should not be “stuffed” into a small confining holder.
  • The only time you would use something such as a “teaball” or closed teaspoon is when you are brewing a small particle tea such a rooibos or herbals.
  • The openings of the infuser should be small enough to keep pieces from getting into your cup.

…a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God.  Philippians 4:18 (NKJV)

As I read my Bible while sipping my loose-leaf tea each morning, I come across words like “diffuse” and “fragrance” and “sweet-smelling” and “aroma,” and I know there must be a lesson in all of this for us.  Just as the tea is infused into the hot water, so God’s Word is infused in me, as I drink from His fountain of Living Water.  And just as the leaves should be given room too open, we too must allow our hearts to be fully open to God’s word and guidance.  And just as the tea’s aroma brings me joy, my prayers bring joy to the heart of God.  If a friend or family member were to walk by while I sipped my tea, they might say, “Mmm, that smells delicious, what flavor are you having today?”  And as I go out into the world to run errands and do all God calls me to do, perhaps others will smell the sweet fragrance of His Word shining out of me, asking, “What makes your life such a pleasant aroma?” 

May my meditation be sweet to Him;
I will be glad in the Lord Psalm 104:34 (NKJV)

For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. 2 Corinthians 2:15 (NKJV)

Most of all, we must look to Jesus, our example for all we do.  Ephesians 5:2 tells us to walk in love like Jesus.  For when He gave His life for our sins on the Cross, it was the sweetest fragrant offering God the Father would ever receive.  Remember, in the Old Testament, God’s children were required to bring animal sacrifices to the temple to atone for their sins (Leviticus 1).  Even before that, Noah offered animal sacrifices to the Lord as soon as they got off the ark, and it was a soothing aroma to Him (Genesis 8:21).  Yet we, the Church, children of the New Testament, do not offer the animal sacrifices, because Jesus already paid the price for our sins on the Cross. All we have to do is accept His sweet offering, and we also will have His beautiful fragrance.

And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. Ephesians 5:2 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Be a TEA Infuser! Start your day with Jesus by reading His Word, your Bible.  Let your prayers come before Him as a sweet incense.  Then go out and infuse the world with His love!!! Tell them, Jesus is coming soon!  (If you missed last week’s post, you will want to exhort them to Get on the Ark!).  

Let my prayer be set before You as incense,
The lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.  Psalm 141:2 (NKJV)

…and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.  Revelation 5:8 (NKJV)

I will accept you as a sweet aroma when I bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the countries where you have been scattered; and I will be hallowed in you before the Gentiles.  Ezekiel 20:41 (NKJV)

Thank you for stopping by My TEA CUPP Prayers! If you enjoyed today’s devotion, you might also like to read A Sweet Aroma and Filling the Bowls.

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