God is Near, Dear One

The Lord is near to all who call upon Him,
To all who call upon Him in truth.
Psalm 145:18 (NKJV)

Dear One, Perhaps you have seen a theme in my trilogy of devotions. A few weeks ago I shared, “God Hears, Dear One” for some might wonder if God is hearing our prayers as our country crumbles. Last week I wrote, “Fear Not, Dear One” to encourage you in the face of scary news. Today I share “God is Near, Dear One” to remind you He is right here with us in the battle.

Do you remember the good old Christmas hymns? Many of them ask Jesus to come… “Come Thou long expected Jesus, born to set Thy people free“… and “Oh, Come, Oh, Come Immanuel…” What does Immanuel mean? It means God with us! And He came as a Baby and grew to be a Man and walked this earth and shed His blood and died for our sins on the cross and rose again. When Jesus went to heaven He sent His Holy Spirit to be our Helper. God is really with us!

Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” Matthew 1:23 (NKJV)

How can we know God is with us? Open our Bibles and read His Word. With a daily Bible time we read God’s amazing story and promises. We are so blessed when we fill up on God’s Word each day. We know the Lord will meet us in our Bible time for He promises us in James…

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you…. James 4:8 (NKJV)

Isn’t that a wonderful promise? If we draw near to God by reading HIs Word, He will meet us there. When we open our Bibles, it’s like opening the door and inviting Jesus in for tea. But we must do this TODAY and every day! Tomorrow might be too late. Isaiah tells us to seek the Lord while He may be found…

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

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. Revelation 3:20 (NKJV)

Perhaps one way to assure ourselves God is near, is to invite Him into our quiet tea and Bible time. We might begin by praying “Thy Kingdom come” from the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:10, or “Amen, even so, come Lord Jesus” from the end of Revelation 22. We could sing one of the Christmas hymns, “Oh, Come, Oh, Come Immanuel” or the third verse from Away in a Manger, “Be near me Lord Jesus, I ask Thee to stay, close by me forever and love me, I pray..”

We should also claim the promises found in God’s Word that reassure us He is here…

Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go… Genesis 28:15 (NKJV)

Yet You, O Lord, are in our midst,
And we are called by Your name;
Do not leave us!
Jeremiah 14:9 (NKJV)

The Lord your God in your midst,
The Mighty One, will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.
Zephaniah 3:17 (NKJV)

“Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion! For behold, I am coming and I will dwell in your midst,” says the Lord. Zechariah 2:10 (NKJV)

During this time of plagues and losing loved ones, we especially need God’s Word to comfort us and reassure us He is near…

The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart,
And saves such as have a contrite spirit.
Psalm 34:18 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: God is near, dear one! He really truly is! Underline these promises in your Bible and write them in your prayer journal. Be assured that Jesus is with you always and will never leave you nor forsake you!

lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Matthew 28: 20 (NKJV)

For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5 (NKJV)

I hope you will enjoy this lovely rendition of Fanny Cosby’s “I Am Thine O Lord” where the chorus repeats, “Draw me nearer, nearer blessed Lord…” That’s what we want, to draw near to our Savior Jesus….

O, the pure delight of a single hours that before Thy throne I spend, When I kneel in prayer, and with Thee, my God, I commune as friend with friend. Draw me nearer, nearer blessed Lord to the cross where Thou has died, Draw me nearer, nearer blessed Lord to Thy precious bleeding side. (I am thine, O Lord verse 3, by Fanny Crosby, 1875)

The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying:
“Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love;
Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.”
Jeremiah 31:3 (NKJV)

No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. John 6:44 (NKJV)

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

God Hears, Dear One

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

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

Promises from Under the Table

 

This week, I continue sharing keynote chapters from my next book, More TEA CUPP Prayers (Thank you for your prayers for me to finish it!). Each weekly devotion is focused on a Bible lady to draw you into your prayer time with Jesus.  I pray these are a blessing for you!

Then Jesus answered and said to her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour. Matthew 15:28 (NKJV)

If you’ve been doubting if you can talk with Jesus and if He will hear your prayers, today’s devotion is for you!  If you’re at the end of your rope and are coming to Jesus in one last desperate plea, you are like the Canaanite woman.  If you’re ready to humble yourself and even crawl under the table for Jesus, you are the one He wants to give His promises.  

Dear Sister, the first “P” in the TEA CUPP is all about claiming God’s PROMISES and Jesus wants to give these promises to YOU!  Now this lady to whom I’m about to introduce you could have been a great one for the “U” section, as she had quite a story.  She’s also a marvelous example of our last section (P for Petitions which we’ll get to next week).  But today we will see how she claimed God’s PROMISES.

The Canaanite woman’s story begins in Matthew 15:21. If you are familiar with Old Testament history, you may remember how Joshua lead the Israelites into the Promised Land. The people living there were the Canaanites, and in the book of Joshua we read how God’s people were instructed to drive them all out. (The story goes even farther back to Genesis 9:25, where Noah said, “Cursed be Canaan,” because Canaan’s father Ham, Noah’s second son, had seen Noah’s nakedness).  And so, as they entered the Promised Land, each tribe was supposed to help remove this enemy, but they never finished the job.  Thus, many Canaanites remained in the land of Israel with God’s people, bringing us to this story with Jesus. 

Jesus and His disciples were passing through the region where the Canaanite woman lived. News of Jesus’ miracles must have preceded His arrival, for the woman hurried right up to Jesus and begged, Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed.”  

Can you imagine this lady’s anguish? Her daughter was possessed by demons. Perhaps many of you have experienced the same thing, having a child who is rebellious, or depressed, or with an eating disorder or any other illness.  You have tried everything, but Jesus is the only one who can help your child and you.  

So, she cried out, “O Lord, Son of David!”  How does she know He is Lord? How does she know Jesus is The Son of David?  Because she has heard of His miracles and God has put this in her heart.  For Jesus is the Promised One, the Messiah, who was descended from David.  He has so many names: Son of David, Son of Man, Son of God.  Yet, she chose the name which showed He belonged to David, Israel’s great king.

And you’ll never guess what Jesus said in reply: NOTHING.  He said nothing!  Has God ever been silent with you?  Many Bible people cried out to God about this…

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

Lord, how long shall I cry,
And You will not hear?… Habakkuk 2:1 (NKJV)

Even the disciples were unsympathetic, encouraging Jesus to send the woman away.  That would have been the end of me.  I would have left in tears.  But SUDDENLY, the disciples’ comments woke up Jesus.  Perhaps He had been waiting to see if they had learned anything from His parables to help her.  Or, perhaps He was waiting to see if the woman was sincere in her request. Whatever the reason, the waiting was over!  Jesus then explained to the woman that He had been sent to save the people of Israel.  Did this stop the Canaanite woman? NO! 

Once again, I would have left in tears, but this brave lady truly knew who she was addressing, for at this point in her story she came and worshiped Jesus!  She worshiped the Son of David, the Son of Man, the Son of God, the Savior, the Messiah, Jesus Christ!  And she begged Him again, “Lord, help me!”  

Jesus, still teaching the disciples and testing her faith, and though I would think wanted to help her at that very moment, delayed again, saying, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs,” meaning He was only to give His bread, His body, to the children of Israel.  

A third time, I would have been crushed and left in tears, but the Canaanite woman, with courage and boldness for which I long, answered Jesus, the Son of God, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.”  Oh, dear one, if this Canaanite woman could speak up to Jesus, don’t you think you can, as well?

And this is where we get the happy ending, for Jesus answered this desperate lady, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.”  And her daughter was healed from that very hour. (Matthew 15:21-28)

My friend, let the Canaanite woman’s story inspire you to talk to Jesus!  Yes, YOU can talk to Jesus.  He came first to the children of Israel, but then for all the children of the world, and that means YOU!  And YOU can claim the promise He gave to the Canaanite woman…”O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.”  

All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. John 6:37 (NKJV)

Dearest Jesus, I come and worship You.  You are the God known from eternity past to eternity future by all Your awesome works. You created the whole earth and the cattle on a thousand hills are Yours, yet You seek after me, the one lost sheep. You are the God-Who-Sees me.  I will be glad to sit under Your table and be fed the scraps of Your love and wisdom. But no, You invite me to sit AT Your table and dine with You!  Oh, Jesus, I claim Your promises!  Amen 

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

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Read the entire story of the Canaanite woman in Matthew 15:21-28.  Claim Jesus’ promises. Whatever you are praying, whatever it may be, claim God’s promise, Let it be to you as you desire! And claim these promises below that He really, truly hears your prayers.

For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
And His ears are open to their prayers… 1 Peter 3:12 (NKJV)

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

You will make your prayer to Him,
He will hear you… Job 22:27 (NKJV)

Thank you for stopping by My TEA CUPP Prayers.  If you enjoyed today’s devotion, you might also like to read other excepts from my next book:  Esther’s Great Calling, The Red Cord: Rahab’s Story, Washed Clean like Mary Magdalene, and Exalting Like the Alabaster Lady.

Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.  Hebrews 4:16 (NKJV)

I cried out to God with my voice—
To God with my voice;
And He gave ear to me.  Psalm 77:1 (NKJV)

Then she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, You-Are-the-God-Who-Sees; for she said, “Have I also here seen Him who sees me?”  Genesis 16:13 (NKJV)

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.  Revelation 3:20 (NKJV)

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