The Blessed Easter Tree

 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)

God planted a tree for you, my friend.  This Blessed Easter Tree, this Old Rugged Cross, is truly the Tree of Life for all humanity.  For no one can enter into the presence of God in heaven, unless she goes through the door of this Blessed Easter Tree.

“On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross, the emblem of suffering and shame; and I love that old cross where the dearest and best for a world of lost sinners was slain” (George Bennard, 1913).

Who would think that we could find this favorite old hymn and the Easter story in the Old Testament book of Ezekiel? Yet we shouldn’t be surprised, for the entire Bible, God’s Word, points to our Savior Jesus Christ, telling His story from creation to eternity.  In Ezekiel we find not only God breathing life into dead bones, making them new creations like we are when we believe in Jesus. He also paints the picture of a tree planted on a hill to save a nation.  Could this be our “Old Rugged Cross?”

Set aside time today to read Ezekiel 16 and 17, chapters which outline the sins of Israel.  As we think of our world today, you might even think Ezekiel is talking about the USA, while at the end of each chapter, God sagaciously gives us hope!  In Ezekiel 16:63, He promises us, “…when I provide you an atonement for all you have done…” And in Ezekiel 17:23 He says, “On the mountain height of Israel I will plant it; and it will bring forth boughs, and bear fruit, and be a majestic cedar…” So first comes the promise of atonement in Ezekiel 16:63, followed by how God will do it in Ezekiel 17:23 — by planting a tree on the mountain.  That tree is the cross of Christ, a fruit-bearing tree. The fruit is you and me and all those who believe in Jesus’ death and resurrection, spreading the Good News to others.

And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left.  Luke 23:33 (NKJV)

On Calvary’s mountain a wooden cross was planted in the ground. On that same cross, the Son of God was willingly nailed to pay the price of the world’s sins (that means yours and mine!).  His Name is Jesus, perfect, without sin, our precious Lord. After He died, His followers laid Him in a tomb. Roman soldiers stood guard before the stone, but they had no power over the Son of God. For on the third day, angels came and rolled the stone away and Jesus rose from the grave, appearing first to Mary Magdalene (Mark 16:9), saying, “Mary” (John 20:16). And He still calls our names today.  God’s Church has brought forth many branches and has been bearing fruit ever since that day, bringing glory to our majestic Savior.  

And we declare to you glad tidings—that promise which was made to the fathers. God has fulfilled this for us their children, in that He has raised up Jesus. As it is also written in the second Psalm: ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.’  Acts 13:32-33 (NKJV)

“So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross, till my trophies at last I lay down; I will cling to the old rugged cross, and exchange it some day for a crown” (George Bennard,1913).

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Read Ezekiel 16-17 and other Easter verses. Confess your sins and the sins of our nation.  Claim Jesus’ promises of atonement (Ezekiel 16:63) and salvation (Ezekiel 17:23).  Rejoice in the good news of His resurrection. Hear your risen Savior call your name, “_______.”

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

Why Jesus Came: ...I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. John 10:10 (NKJV)

Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are You a king then?” Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”  John 18:37 (NKJV) – Oh, how we need His truth today!

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.  John 3:16-17 (NKJV)

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. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.  Philippians 2:8-11 (NKJV) – Oh Father, be glorified this Easter!

How Jesus saved us:  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)

An Easter prayer:  That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.  Philippians 3:10 (NKJV) – Amen.

Happy, Blessed Easter from My TEA CUPP Prayers to you!  If you enjoyed today’s devotion, you also might like to read My Glory All the Cross and Remember the Cross and The Witness of the Stone.

After two days He will revive us;
On the third day He will raise us up,
That we may live in His sight.  Hosea 6:2 (NKJV)

But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.”  Matthew 28:5-6 (NKJV)

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV)

I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.  John 15:5 (NKJV)

For I know that my Redeemer lives,
And He shall stand at last on the earth;
And after my skin is destroyed, this I know,
That in my flesh I shall see God,
Whom I shall see for myself,
And my eyes shall behold, and not another.
How my heart yearns within me!  Job 19:25-27 (NKJV)

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

Sheep to the Slaughter

…We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.  Psalm 44:22 (NKJV)

The headline in our local paper disturbed me greatly, “Covid-19 Vaccine Open to all Montanans on April 1.”  What seems to be the first bipartisan event in ages, the promotion of Covid-19 vaccines, is breaking my heart.  

Now, please hear me out.  I was never an anti-vaxxer before covid.  I dutifully took all four of our children for their vaccines, even though tears streamed down my face with every shot.  From what I’ve recently learned, I should have listened to my maternal instincts and the shrieks of one six-year-old son getting his kindergarten shots.  When it came time for mission trips, we were thankful for our health nurse Jenn at the County Annex, researching and providing the vaccines necessary for particular countries. But now, after much prayer, I would like to wash my hands of the vaccine industry and ask God’s forgiveness for any we shouldn’t have taken.  

Did you know that some of the vaccines contain aborted babies or were tested on aborted babies? It’s no wonder our youngest son now suffers from chronic digestion issues and our granddaughter has cancer.  Data shows there were very few instances of childhood cancer before the onset of vaccines.  You can view a chart of vaccine abortive ingredients at https://rtl.org/educational-materials/vaccines-abortion/. Another chart shows which Covid-19 shots are dependent on aborted baby cells, whether for ingredients or testing: https://lozierinstitute.org/what-you-need-to-know-about-the-covid-19-vaccine/.

...do not kill the innocent and righteous… Exodus 23:7 (NKJV)

Our nation has cast the tablets of God, the commandments written with His own hand, and shattered them on the ground (Exodus 31:18, 32:16,19). When God said, “You shall have no other gods before Me…you shall not murder…you shall now commit adultery” (Exodus 20), He meant it! When we got tired of the virus and the lockdowns, instead of turning to God for healing, we cried out like the Israelites, “Come, make us (vaccines) that will go before us”  (Exodus 32:1). And the church leaders remained silent, giving us the golden calf vaccine.  While the enemy put a lying tongue in the mouths of most doctors and politicians (1 Kings 2:22-23). 

Why do you think God allowed the plague to happen in the first place?  A few reasons may be…

  1. Death of innocent babies:  The Lord hates hands that shed innocent blood (Proverbs 6:17) And yet we continue to kill babies, funding abortion more and more, even using these aborted babies for our vaccines!  
  2. Census:  Did you know 2020 was not only the year of the virus but also the year of the census?  Exodus 30:11-16 says we are supposed to pay a ransom when we are counted to the house of God, and yet we are still counting cases, deaths, vaccines, etc.
  3. Each has turned to his own way: We haven’t turned to God and a saving faith in Jesus Christ, instead we are turning to vaccines and many deplorable mandates.

All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.  Isaiah 56:3 (NKJV)

It makes me wonder what our world is coming to when even the Pope approves such tainted medicine. My cross-country coach in college had several sayings, one being, “Don’t follow the herd!”  We would run through town, one behind the other, sometimes on forest trails, sometimes on city sidewalks, often crossing busy streets.  When we reached those traffic intersections, we were not to blindly cross like a herd of cattle as we followed the runners ahead of us, we were to look both ways in case more cars were approaching.  My friends, we need to look both ways and not just follow the herd.  If you are watching mainstream media, you also need to check out the other side.  Visit LifeSiteNews.com and Children’s Health Defense and the American Frontline Doctors

God calls us to be separate from the world (Exodus 33:16).  He calls us not to be conformed to this world (Romans 12:2).  Jesus tells us to enter through the narrow gate (Luke 13:24).  If everyone is getting the vaccine, it is the wrong thing to do.  Heartbreakingly, many of the elect have already been deceived (Matthew 24:24) and received their shots, when it is truly unnecessary, with a 99% survival rate for covid. Though many say they are loving their neighbor by getting the vaccine, I say I’m loving babies by not getting it. Many eyes have been blinded to the truth.  It was Jesus all along who could heal this land, if only people would turn to Him in repentance and prayer.

He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts,
Lest they should see with their eyes,
Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn,
So that I should heal them.  John 12:40 (NKJV)

The vaccine is the Sheep Thief of John 10:10. It comes to steal, kill and destroy, as many have died and many more will die from these experimental vaccines (see vaccinedeaths.com). The vaccine is the Seducing Woman of Proverbs 7, promising health and a return to normal life.  “For she has cast down many wounded, And all who were slain by her were strong men” (Proverbs 7:26). The vaccine is a liar, like the devil himself, and he will flee as soon as there is trouble for he does not care about the sheep (John 10:13).

Yet there is hope, for Jesus laid down His life for the sheep (John 10:15), a precious gift we remember this coming week with Good Friday services. Jesus loves you, my friends. Because of His atoning death on the cross and resurrection Easter morning, all who truly believe will have life in His Name. I exhort you to, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household” (Acts 16:31). God promises us, “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Acts 2:21).

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”  John 11:25-26 (NKJV)

And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. John 10:28 (NKJV)

With so many running to get the abortion-tainted, unnecessary, experimental vaccine, I can only pray as Jesus did, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do” (Luke 23:34). If you already got the vaccine, I implore you to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17), give your heart to Jesus (Mark 1:15), and rest in His promises (Job 19:25-27).  If you haven’t gotten the vaccine (praise the Lord!), pray without ceasing for others, keep your eyes on Jesus and His Word, “stand fast in the Lord, beloved” (Philippians 4:1), and rest in His promises.

He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.  John 12:25 (NKJV)

So you shall serve the Lord your God, and He will bless your bread and your water. And I will take sickness away from the midst of you. No one shall suffer miscarriage or be barren in your land; I will fulfill the number of your days.  Exodus 23:25-26 (NKJV)

I do not write this lightly, knowing the backlash that may come from even friends and neighbors.  Yet God promises me in His Word: “Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent; for I am with you, and no one will attack you to hurt you; for I have many people in this city” (Acts 18:9-10).  I believe there are many others who agree with me, and perhaps by sharing this, we will save a few more lives.

I claim God’s promises for all who believe and give their lives to Jesus, whether vaccinated or unvaccinated, whether Jew or Gentile, whether circumcised or uncircumcised, whether slave or free, whether Grizz or Bobcat fan…

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

He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.  John 3:36 (NKJV)

If you diligently heed the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the Lord who heals you. Exodus 15:26 (NKJV)

See with what large letters I have written to you with my own hand! As many as desire to make a good showing in the flesh, these would compel you to be (vaccinated), only that they may not suffer persecution for the cross of Christ. For not even those who are (vaccinated) keep the law, but they desire to have you (vaccinated) that they may boast in your flesh. But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For in Christ Jesus neither (vaccination) nor (unvaccination) avails anything, but a new creation.  Galatians 6:11-15

With love from Jennifer Grace, a child of God, saved by the blood of Jesus Christ, called by the Holy Spirit, To all the saints.  Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:2).

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

 

God Bless the USA

We interrupt our regularly-scheduled devotion to bring you this important update from the heart of My TEA CUPP Prayers blogger, Jennifer Grace…

...I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven.  Nehemiah 1:4 (NKJV)

Hello, dear TEA friends,  Instead of my usual devotion today, I decided to write what is on my heart because I’m guessing it’s on many of yours, as well.  If it’s not what you want to hear, that’s okay, you can switch to another website. What’s on my heart today? Our country, The United States of America.

Like many of you, I’ve lifted up so many prayers this past year for our country and its leaders.  When I read Bible verses about plagues in Exodus, I asked God to heal our land from the coronavirus.  When I read verses about fasting in Esther, I fasted and prayed for our nation.  When I read verses about Rachel weeping for her children,  I confessed the sins of our nation and pleaded with God for His mercy and forgiveness.  

When the election came in November, I continued my prayers for our nation as I cast my vote.  And for whom did I vote?  I voted for the one who will work to save those precious babies.  I voted for the one who cares for the people of this country and wants to the protect them in every way. I voted for the one who will keep our nation open so I can travel and invite ladies everywhere to tea with Jesus. I voted for the one who still believes the founding fathers’ edict for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, in all honesty and integrity.

When the new year came, we still did not know who won the election, and our pastor invited us to begin the M’Cheyne Daily Bible Reading Plan.  Ready for a fresh challenge, I signed up.  Now, instead of reading just two Bible readings a day, we are reading four different places in Scripture.  One of these selections is Nehemiah, where I find myself right before the Presidential inauguration.  

What does Nehemiah offer us?  I have found many parallels to our 45th President.  Nehemiah 2:8 says, “the good hand of my God upon me.”  I believe the good hand of God has been upon our President since day one, how else could he have endured so much persecution and mudslinging? Nehemiah 2:18 says of the wall around Jerusalem, “‘Let us rise up and build.’  Then they set their hands to this good work.”  As one of his hundreds of accomplishments, our President has been building a wall which is now over 400 miles long to protect our citizens.  While Nehemiah 3:5 tells of some who “did not put their shoulder to the work of their Lord.” I’m afraid that could apply to many others who hold public office.  

Nehemiah 5:14 tells how neither he nor his brothers “ate the governor’s provisions.”  Our President never took a salary the entire time he’s served at the White House.  And up until last week, he “continued the work on this wall…”  (Nehemiah 5:16, NKJV).

I pray that as our President prepares for the morrow, He is praying Nehemiah 5:19 and 6:3,9…“Remember me, my God, for good, according to all that I have done for this people…I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down…O God, strengthen my hands.”  

Oh, dear President, God is doing a great work and He is coming down soon to help you. And one day He will say to you, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Stand strong and to God be the glory!

…Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, great and awesome… Nehemiah 4:14 (NKJV)

And when the 11th or 13th hour miracle happens on the morrow, when President Donald “Nehemiah” Trump is anointed President once again, may all Americans perceive that this work was done by our God (Nehemiah 6:16, NKJV) and turn to Him with all their hearts!

…Our God will fight for us.  Nehemiah 4:20 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: I pray, Lord God of heaven, O great and awesome God, You who keep Your covenant and mercy with those who love You and observe Your commandments, please let Your ear be attentive and Your eyes open, that You may hear the prayer of Your servant which I pray before You now, day and night… (Nehemiah 1:5-6, NKJV)

God bless America, land that I love, Stand beside her and guide her, Through the night with the light from above, From the mountains to the prairies, To the oceans white with foam, God bless America, my home sweet home (Irving Berlin, 1918)

America, America!  God shed His grace on thee, And crown they good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea! (Katharine Bates, 1893)

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

 

Standing in the Breach with Psalm 106

…Had not Moses His chosen one stood before Him in the breach… Psalm 106:23 (NKJV)

When I was a little girl, my parents took my siblings and me to the Grand Canyon.  I remember my mom holding our shirt collars as we looked over the edge into the great abyss. Then I grew up to be a mom and did the same thing for our children. Any time we went to a National Park with deep gorges, I held shirt collars to prevent my children from plummeting into the canyon depths. 

Friends, our country needs moms to hold shirt collars again! We need you to pray like never before for your children and for this great nation. Don’t let go! Don’t let us fall into the depths! Don’t lose the faith!  Believe with all your heart that God will save this great land.  Hold those shirt collars!

Did you know Moses did the same thing for God’s children, the Israelites?  While Moses was on the mountain receiving the Ten Commandments from God, the people were down below making a golden calf.  God wanted to wipe them all out and make a new people from Moses.  But Moses stood in the breach and pleaded with the Lord on their behalf.  And God heard their prayers!  God will hear your prayers, too, dear friend.  Here are some verses you can pray from Psalm 106 today…  

T for Thanksgiving:

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

…To give thanks to Your holy name,
To triumph in Your praise. Psalm 106:47 (NKJV)

E for Exalting:

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

A for Admitting:

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

Because they rebelled against His Spirit,
So that he spoke rashly with his lips.  Psalm 106:33 (NKJV)

They even sacrificed their sons
And their daughters to demons,
And shed innocent blood…  Psalm 106:37-38 (NKJV)

C for Calling:

Blessed are those who keep justice,
And he who does righteousness at all times!  Psalm 106:3 (NKJV)

U for Understanding:

Thus they provoked Him to anger with their deeds,
And the plague broke out among them.
Then Phinehas stood up and intervened,
And the plague was stopped.  Psalm 106:29-30 (NKJV)

P for Promises:

Nevertheless He regarded their affliction,
When He heard their cry;
And for their sake He remembered His covenant,
And relented according to the multitude of His mercies.  Psalm 106:44-45 (NKJV)

P for Petitions:

Remember me, O Lord, with the favor You have toward Your people.
Oh, visit me with Your salvation. Psalm 106:4 (NKJV)

Save us, O Lord our God,
And gather us from among the Gentiles… Psalm 106:47 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Dear TEA Friend, You have such an important job to do! Just as Moses stood in the breach to save the children of Israel, we must stand in the breach to save the United States of America.  Keep praying for our nation, dear prayer warriors. Keep interceding on behalf of babies, our President, and anything else the Holy Spirit puts upon your heart.  

And an extra prayer for the USA:

That I may see the benefit of Your chosen ones,
That I may rejoice in the gladness of Your nation,
That I may glory with Your inheritance.  Psalm 106:5 (NKJV)

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

My Lamentations TEA

You have covered Yourself with a cloud,
That prayer should not pass through. Lamentations 3:44 (NKJV)

Some of us are sad today.  Some of us are weeping for the babies who will not get to live if abortion continues across our land.  Some of us are not happy with the media’s report of the outcome of the recent election.  If you are one of those “someones,” I invite you to share a CUPP of Lamentations TEA with me.

Today we lift up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Jesus who is able to save babies everywhere from death.  Did you know that TEN times more babies have been aborted since Roe vs. Wade than Jews died during the Holocaust of WW II?  61 million babies who could have blessed this world in some way, were taken straight to the arms of Jesus.  When a pastor shared these statistics on the radio, I wept with vehement cries and tears to Jesus. Please join me in raising prayers to the throne of heaven for those babies, that the election will be recounted and the USA can continue on the path to saving babies’ lives (as well as freedom to worship God and hundreds of other things!).

The prophet Jeremiah shared similar woes.  He prophesied the destruction of Jerusalem and then saw it happen with his own eyes.  What he penned in Lamentations are his heart cries to the Lord as he witnessed the destruction and wept for the daughters of his people.  Let us join Jeremiah and cry out to God with these same verses…

T for Thanksgiving:

Let us lift our hearts and hands
To God in heaven. Lamentations 3:41 (NKJV)

E for Exalting:

You, O Lord, remain forever;
Your throne from generation to generation.  Lamentations 5:19 (NKJV)

A for Admitting:

Even when I cry and shout,
He shuts out my prayer. Lamentations 3:8 (NKJV)

Let us search out and examine our ways,
And turn back to the Lord.  Lamentations 3:40 (NKJV)

We have transgressed and rebelled;
You have not pardoned. Lamentations 3:42 (NKJV)

C for Calling:

It is good that one should hope and wait quietly
For the salvation of the Lord.  Lamentations 3:26 (NKJV)

U for Understanding:

“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I hope in Him!”  Lamentations 3:24 (NKJV)

My eyes overflow with rivers of water
For the destruction of the daughter of my people. Lamentations 3:48 (NKJV)

You drew near on the day I called on You, and said, “Do not fear!” O Lord, You have pleaded the case for my soul;You have redeemed my life. Lamentations 3:57-58 (NKJV)

P for Promises:

Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.  Lamentations 3:22-23 (NKJV)

The Lord is good to those who wait for Him,
To the soul who seeks Him.  Lamentations 3:25 (NKJV)

P for Petitions:

I called on Your name, O Lord,
From the lowest pit.
You have heard my voice:
“Do not hide Your ear
From my sighing, from my cry for help.” Lamentations 3:55-56 (NKJV)

Why do You forget us forever,
And forsake us for so long a time?
Turn us back to You, O Lord, and we will be restored;
Renew our days as of old. Lamentations 5:20-21 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: Read and pray Lamentations today. Pray especially Lamentations 3:59-66 for our President and the USA elections.  If we all search out and examine our ways, and turn back to the Lord, we will break through the cloud and reach the throne room of heaven where Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father.  Keep praying for miracles and all those babies, dear prayer friends!

Another prayer for our President:

Lord, You have seen how I am wronged;
Judge my case.
You have seen all their vengeance,
All their schemes against me.

You have heard their reproach, O Lord,
All their schemes against me,
The lips of my enemies
And their whispering against me all the day.
Look at their sitting down and their rising up;
I am their taunting song.

Repay them, O Lord,
According to the work of their hands.
Give them a veiled heart;
Your curse be upon them!
In Your anger,
Pursue and destroy them
From under the heavens of the Lord. Lamentations 3:59-66 (NKJV)

Thank you for stopping by My TEA CUPP Prayers.  If you enjoyed today’s devotion, you might also like to read Praying for Babies Again, Stripes Across Our Nation, and USA, Arise, Come Forth!

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

Abounding in Hope

Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart,
All you who hope in the Lord
Psalm 31:24 (NKJV)

Yesterday was the presidential election in the USA.  As I write this, we don’t know the outcome of the voting.  2020 was the year of COVID19 around the world.  As I write this, we don’t know the outcome of the virus.  Our four-year-old granddaughter is in her tenth month of cancer treatment for T-cell lymphoma.  Chemo will continue another two years, so as I as I write this, we don’t know the outcome of her health.  

But there is an outcome I know!  I know that JESUS IS ALIVE (Luke 24:6) and sits on the throne of heaven (Heb. 12:2).  He has conquered sin and death (Heb. 2:14) and is alive forevermore and He is coming again to put the devil in his place.  The exciting conclusion has already been written for us by God in Revelation in our Bibles.  We can all rest in the Amazing Hope that Jesus is coming back to set everything right!  He is coming back to reign (Rev. 1:7, 11:15), so we won’t need elections. He is coming back to heal, so we won’t have viruses or cancers (Rev. 21:4).  Jesus is coming back so we can abound in hope!

Behold, the Lord God shall come with a strong hand,
And His arm shall rule for Him;
Behold, His reward is with Him,
And His work before Him.  Isaiah 40:10 (NKJV)

So, what can we do until then, as we go through so many trials?  We can glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us (Rom. 5:3-5). 

We can also glory in the Lord for…Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable (Is. 40:28).

And, we can trust God who has great plans for us! For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart (Jer. 29:11-13).

 

Today’s TEA CUPP: Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 15:13). I hope in God for the USA.  I hope in Jesus for healing our world from COVID (not with a vaccine).  I hope in the Lord for healing from cancer.  What are you hoping for today? 

This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil. Hebrews 6:19 (NKJV)

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
And in His word I do hope.  Psalm 130:5 (NKJV)

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

Phil Wickham – Living Hope (2018)

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

USA, Arise! Come Forth!

For the Lord is our Judge,
The Lord is our Lawgiver,
The Lord is our King;
He will save us. Isaiah 33:22 (NKJV)

Calling all prayer warriors to pray John 11 over the USA today!  In John 11 we read the amazing account of Jesus raising His friend Lazarus from the grave.  As you read this passage today, replace Lazarus’ name with the USA.  We can say to the Lord with John 11:3, “Lord, behold, the USA who You love is sick.” 

We have been very sick this year, haven’t we?  First there were impeachment trials, then COVID19 and shut-downs hit our land, followed by rioting, wildfires, and each month brought some new shame.  The truth is we are sick like Lazarus and dead in our sins.  We are lost in a dark cave with only Jesus to save us.  But God shines His light in the dark places of our hearts (Prov. 20:27) and nation, showing us our sins and providing a way out (Isaiah 35:8, John 14:6). 

Jesus reassures us with John 11:4 that the USA’s sickness is not unto death, “but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”  And we can claim Jesus’ promise in John 11:23, the USA “will rise again.”

When Jesus speaks to Martha in John 11:25-26, “…I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” we can answer with a resounding, “YES, JESUS! WE BELIEVE IN YOU!”

Those of us who have been praying all year for our nation, probably feel like Martha and Mary do in John 11:21 & 32, “Lord, if you had been here, the USA would not have died.”

As Jesus weeps with us over the USA in John 11:35, we weep, too.  

We stand amazed as Jesus tells us in John 11:40, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?” and we await the miracles He will do for our country.

Let us give thanks even before the miracles, following Jesus’ example in John 11:41, Father, we thank You that You have heard us.”

Then, with a commanding cry, and loud voice, we proclaim along with Jesus in John 11:43, “USA, Come forth!” And the USA will come out of it’s grave to new life in Jesus!  Halleluja!

Until the Spirit is poured upon us from on high,
And the wilderness becomes a fruitful field,
And the fruitful field is counted as a forest.  Isaiah 32:15 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: Oh Jesus, You did this! You sent Your Holy Spirit at Pentecost. You turned the wilderness of the USA into a fruitful field, “the bread basket of the world.”  Oh Jesus, the true Bread of Life, the Living Water, the Savior of humankind, I claim Your promise to do it again.  Call us out of that grave! Pour out Your Holy Spirit on the USA! Send a revival!  Turn every heart to You! USA, arise! Come forth! Come, Holy Spirit, flood this land with Your presence.  Come, Lord Jesus, Come! Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done. In Your Holy and Mighty Name we pray, Jesus. Amen.

You called my name
And I ran out of that grave
Out of the darkness
Into Your glorious day. (Glorious Day by Passion)

 

Songwriters: Jonathan Smith / Jason Ingram / Kristian Stanfill / Sean Curran
Glorious Day lyrics © Worshiptogether.com Songs, Sixsteps Music, Worship Together Music, Sixsteps Songs, Sounds Of Jericho
 

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

Thank you for stopping by My TEA CUPP Prayers. If you enjoyed today’s devotion, you might also like to read Battling the enemy with the Word of God,  and Of Course, There’s a Plague, and My Lazarus TEA.

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

 

 

Battling the enemy with the Word of God

But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ Matthew 4:4 (NKJV)

Much fighting has been stirring our country lately, and I’m not referring to riots in the big cities.  This fighting has been taking place behind closed doors in war rooms across our nation.  Battles are being fought by prayer warriors who are taking COVID19, riots, racism, babies’ lives and the election to the foot of the cross, to Jesus.  These dedicated soldiers have put on the whole armor of God, that (they) may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil (Eph. 6:11).  For they know 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 (Eph. 6:12).

These prayer warriors are following the example of Jesus who often went by Himself to pray. In Matthew 4, we read how Jesus fought Satan in the desert with the Word of God.  Jesus had just fasted for 40 days and nights.  His earthly body was hungry, so the devil came to tempt Him (the enemy finds us at our weakest moments, but when we are weak, Jesus is strong! 2 Cor. 12:10).  Even the enemy knew how to use God’s Word, quoting Psalm 91:11, “He shall give His angels charge over you.”  Jesus could see the devil’s plot, so Jesus countered with Deuteronomy 6:16, “You shall not tempt the Lord your God.”  And with the final temptation, Jesus declared…

“Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’   Matthew 4:10 (NKJV)

Because Jesus fought with the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, the Satan fled from Him.  The Bible promises us in James 4:7, “Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”

When Jesus went to the cross, the devil thought he had finally won, but Jesus could have called legions of angels to rescue Him (Matt. 26:53).  Jesus went to the cross because it was God’s plan all along to rescue His children from sin.  After He died and was buried, on the third day, Jesus rose again in victory!  Jesus conquered sin, death and the devil!  

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

My friends, when you hold your Bible, you have in your hands the most powerful weapon. 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 (Heb. 4:12).  Don’t neglect this mighty gift God has given us — use His Word to fight the enemy.

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)

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Dear TEA Friends, our country needs your prayers!  Read Matthew 4:1-11 to see how Jesus fought Satan. Can you follow His example, putting on the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spirit, which is the Word of God (Eph. 6:17)? 

Plead my cause, O Lord, with those who strive with me;
Fight against those who fight against me. Psalm 35:1 (NKJV)

Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.  Ephesians 6:13 (NKJV)

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

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

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

Of Course, There’s a Plague!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Plague Upon Plague, Hope Upon Hope

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

Our country and world have been besieged by the Coronavirus and quarantines this spring, disrupting the lives of many and causing grief and depression to those who have lost loved ones and jobs. As I read my Bible, I see how plagues such as COVID-19 are not a new thing.

You are probably tired of hearing about plagues.  You would rather read about summer time and beaches and picnics and healthy children.  Yet here I am writing about plagues again, because God showed me some cool truths in His Word. And because He gives us HOPE.

Do you remember what God used to rescue His people from Egypt? PLAGUES!  Ten Plagues! (Blood, frogs, lice, flies, death of livestock, boils, hail, locusts, darkness, death of firstborn son, Ex. 7-10).  Could God be using plagues to rescue His people again? After they escaped Pharaoh, the Israelites refused to enter the Promised Land because of the giant people, so God sent another plague upon them. During this plague, Moses prayed…

“Pardon the iniquity of this people, I pray, according to the greatness of Your mercy, just as You have forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now.” Then the LORD said: “I have pardoned, according to your word; but truly, as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord.” Numbers 14:19-21 (NKJV)

Moses prayed for their forgiveness which ended the plague. We should be praying for forgiveness, too! During another plague when the people were grumbling against the two leaders…


Moses said to Aaron, “Take a censer and put fire in it from the altar, put incense on it, and take it quickly to the congregation and make atonement for them; for wrath has gone out from the LORD. The plague has begun.” Then Aaron took it as Moses commanded, and ran into the midst of the assembly; and already the plague had begun among the people. So he put in the incense and made atonement for the people. And he stood between the dead and the living; so the plague was stopped. Now those who died in the plague were fourteen thousand seven hundred, besides those who died in the Korah incident. So Aaron returned to Moses at the door of the tabernacle of meeting, for the plague had stopped.Numbers 16:46-50 (NKJV)

The incense stopped the plagues. Our prayers are like that INCENSE! In both the Psalms and Revelation, our prayers are described as incense…

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

Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. Revelation 5:8 (NKJV)

God sent another plague when David took an unnecessary census of the people…

So the LORD sent a plague upon Israel from the morning till the appointed time. From Dan to Beersheba seventy thousand men of the people died. And when the angel stretched out His hand over Jerusalem to destroy it, the LORD relented from the destruction, and said to the angel who was destroying the people, “It is enough; now restrain your hand.” And the angel of the LORD was by the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. 2 Samuel 24:15-16 (NKJV)

And do you know what was built at the place where the plague stopped, on that threshing floor? The Temple of the Lord! And when King Solomon dedicated the Temple he prayed,

Whatever prayer, whatever supplication is made by anyone, or by all Your people Israel, when each one knows the plague of his own heart, and spreads out his hands toward this temple: then hear in heaven Your dwelling place, and forgive, and act, and give to everyone according to all his ways, whose heart You know (for You alone know the hearts of all the sons of men).1 Kings 8:38-39 (NKJV)

As King Solomon proclaimed, we all have a plague in our own hearts. We need to turn to the Temple and pray and He will forgive! Where is that Temple? Jesus is the Temple! (Rev. 21:22) Therefore…let us lay aside every weight and sin that so easily ensares us (Heb. 12:1). For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23).

Jesus is the cure, friends!  Jesus is the One to forgive our sins, end the plague, and heal our land.  He is the One who will put our lives back together.  Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29). Because of His saving work on the cross, we are washed clean by His blood.  Jesus is our Hope upon Hope! He gives us hope to make it through each day, and hope of eternal life in heaven. Turn to Jesus in prayer today!  

Today’s TEA CUPP: Prayer is the first step in stopping the plague across our land, first confessing our own sins to the Lord, and then confessing the sins of our nation. Our prayers are the incense that will end the plague. To God be the glory and may He heal our land!

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,
A broken and a contrite heart—
These, O God, You will not despise. Psalm 51:17 (NKJV)

Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer. Romans 12:12

If you enjoyed today’s devotion, you might also like Tea by the Temple and The Door of Hope. Thank you for stopping by My TEA CUPP Prayers!

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