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. 

 

 

 

 

The Door of Hope

…O my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles…  Judges 6:13 (NKJV)

Do you feel like you’ve been walking through the Valley of Achor, the Valley of Trouble?  With coronavirus all over the world, cancer in young children, including my granddaughter, and so many uncertainties (like can a person buy toilet paper and will there be a job tomorrow?), people everywhere have been walking through a dark valley.

Did you know there is really such a valley in our Bibles?  We read in Joshua 7 how the children of Israel were defeated in one of their early battles as they tried to claim the Promised Land.  What happened? Why wasn’t God helping them?  Well, it turned out one of the Israelites had taken some of the accursed treasures at the first battle and hidden them in his tent.  Because of his sin, God was withholding His blessings.  Joshua found out and the Israelites stoned the man.  That place was given the name, the Valley of Achor (Trouble).  

What sins are we hiding in our tents today? We need to look at our own hearts and the heart of our country and confess these sins to the Lord.  We need to run through our towns with our prayers as incense to stop the plague (Num. 17:46-50, Psalm 141:2, Rev. 5:8).  We need to turn to God in prayer, every one of us, seeking His forgiveness and blessings, and He will see us safely through even this storm and restore our nation.

My friends, we have a great hope. With every punishment, God gives us a promise.  When God kicked Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden, even then He gave a promise that someday His Seed would bruise the head of Satan, a Savior would be coming. And today, even now, God promises the Valley of Achor will become a door of hope.

I will give her …the Valley of Achor as a door of hope… Hosea 2:15 (NKJV)

He will not leave us in this valley.  Even those who are on their deathbeds can receive God’s promise as did the thief on the cross…

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)

Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me;
You will stretch out Your hand
Against the wrath of my enemies,
And Your right hand will save me.  Psalm 138:7 (NKJV)

What is this Door of Hope?  Who can save us from this valley?  Where can we find these promises? It is Jesus, the Son of God who died for the sins of all the world, tearing the veil in the temple, over 2000 years ago. But He didn’t stay dead, on the third day He rose again opening for all who believe the door of heaven.  And there we find eternal forgiveness, peace and joy.

Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. 1 Peter 4:12-13 (NKJV)

God is still on the throne.  Jesus is still risen from the tomb. The Holy Spirit is still here to help and encourage us.  And, we have our Bibles – God’s Word, God’s great love story.  Open your Bible and open the Door of Hope.  

Today’s TEA CUPP:  What hope have you seen in your valley of trouble? A kindness from a friend or stranger?  Good Samaritans helping neighbors?  I pray that most of all you see Jesus! Who can you be a door of hope to today?

I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. John 10:9 (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)

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.  James 1:2-4 (NKJV)

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

Claiming Christmas Promises

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)

Merry Christmas, dear TEA friends!  Today I have the gift of promises from God’s Word for you.  These promises all come from the Christmas story in our Bibles.  Consider each promise a present for you to unwrap today and always. No matter what your circumstances, you can claim these as your very own…

For with God nothing will be impossible. Luke 1:37 (NKJV)

…your prayer is heard Luke 1:13 (NKJV)

He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God.  Luke 1:15-16 (NKJV)

He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,’ and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. Luke 1:17 (NKJV)

Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.” Luke 1:30 (NKJV)

And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end. Luke 1:33 (NKJV)

Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord. Luke 1:45 (NKJV)

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

And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. Luke 1:14 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Pour a pot of these precious Christmas promises today.  Pick your favorite and write it in your prayer journal, on a note card on your bathroom mirror, or in a Christmas card to a friend.  Claim this promise to carry you into the new year.  Tell Jesus all about it in your quiet time with Him today. Merry Christmas, dear TEA friend!

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

Bible Mom: Elisha’s Promise to the Shunammite

Then he said, “About this time next year you shall embrace a son.” 2 Kings 4:16

Our Bibles are full of promises.  According to Bibleinfo.com there are 3573 promises!  That’s a lot of promises!  When we read God’s Word each day we can discover these promises, underline them, pray about them, and claim them for our own.  That’s what the first “P” of the TEA CUPP is all about: Claiming God’s Promises.

But I have to tell you a story, a story about me claiming a promise that was for someone else, one that is probably not included in the 3573 Bible promises that are for everyone. 

When our second child was born, God put the desire in my heart for more children while I was still in the hospital holding our new born baby boy!  But this was a problem because my husband and I had talked about only having two children.  I wasn’t a prayer warrior then, but before our son turned one, I was reading a One Year Bible and learning how to pray.  Six years later I was still reading the One Year Bible when I came across this story of the Shunammite woman.

Though she doesn’t have a name, this lady lived in the town of Shunem.  She was a notable woman who was able to provide food and lodging for the prophet Elisha.  Every time Elisha came to town he would stay with her.  So Elisha wanted to bless the Shunammite woman and her husband in a special way. 

Now you must understand, I’d been reading my One Year Bible every day for six years.  I had read this story several times before. But this year a particular verse jumped out at me.  When Elisha told the Shunammite woman, “About this time next year you shall embrace a son.”  I underlined the verse and claimed it as a promise for me.  And guess what, exactly nine months later God gave us our son Kevin Jon.  All praise be to God!

In the following years when I was reading my Bible, I would come to that promise and wonder if I could claim it again, wish I could claim it again, not sure if it would be greedy to claim the Shunammite’s promise more than once…but eventually I did claim it, over and over, and finally, after 11-1/2 years,  God gave us another son.  I’m sure the Shunammite mom had no idea someone would be borrowing her promise thousands of years later!

Today’s TEA CUPP: God’s Word is packed with promises for us to discover and claim…promises of peace and perfection and provision, promises of hope and help and heaven.  As you read your Bible today, look for God’s promises, underline them, put a letter “P” next to them, and claim them for your own.  Tell Jesus, “I claim this promise!” Here are a few to get you started…

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. John 14:2 (NKJV)

And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  John 14:13 (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)

p.s.  And next week, our Kevin Jon, who is now 19 years old, leaves on his second international mission trip, this time to the Philippines.  And so I claim this promise for Kevin and his team…

For He shall give His angels charge over you,
To keep you in all your ways. Psalm 91:11 (NKJV)

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Coat

We all need coats, especially this time of year in the northern United States.  Each day as we don our coats to head outside, we might contemplate the coats in the Bible.  Did you know there are so many Bible coats?

The first coats: It all began when Adam and Eve listened to Satan the snake, ate the forbidden fruit, and realized they were naked. Because they had disobeyed God, Adam and Eve could no longer stay in God’s perfect garden.  But before He kicked them out of Eden, God made clothing for Adam and Eve out of animal skins.  When God killed his dear animal friends, that was the first time blood was shed for sins, pointing to the day when Jesus would shed His blood for our sins on the Cross.  Adam’s and Eve’s animal skin coats were the first coats in the Bible.

Also for Adam and his wife the Lord God made tunics of skin, and clothed them.
Genesis 3:21 (NKJV)

More coats: Flip forward a few pages in Genesis to the story of Joseph.  In this passage, Joseph’s father Jacob gave him a beautiful coat, making his brothers very jealous and leading to his slavery in Egypt.  A second coat in Potiphar’s house got him thrown in prison (Genesis 39). John MacArthur in his Study Bible tells us that Joseph was a type of Christ, pointing us to Jesus. Both had their coats taken from them and were falsely accused. Both Joseph and Jesus were shepherds of their Father’s sheep. Both were dearly loved by their Fathers, but hated by their brothers.    Both were placed with two other criminals, one who was saved and one who was lost.  And both Joseph and Jesus forgave those who wronged them and saved their nations.  What men had intended for evil, God turned to good.  And their coats played a big part of the story.

Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age. Also he made him a tunic of many colors.
Genesis 37:3 (NKJV)

A Spirit-filled coat:: Next jump ahead to Elijah in 2 Kings 2:13.  Here Elijah’s protegee Elisha waited to see Elijah go to heaven.  Finally, after following Elijah everywhere, Elisha watched as God took Elijah up in a whirlwind.  When he was gone, Elisha found Elijah’s cloak on the ground.  He picked it up and took it with him and God gave Elisha double the Spirit of Elijah!

He also took up the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and went back and stood by the bank of the Jordan.
2 Kings 2:13 (NKJV)

 A clean coat: Then in the book of Isaiah, long before Jesus even brought us salvation, Isaiah proclaimed we will have a garment of praise! We are clothed in garments of salvation and covered in robes of righteousness!  Oh, what joy!  Oh, what a promise!!! And again the prophet Zechariah promises that God gives us a clean robe.

I will greatly rejoice in the Lord,
My soul shall be joyful in my God;
For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation,
He has covered me with the robe of righteousness,
As a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments,
And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
Isaiah 61:10 (NKJV)

Then He answered and spoke to those who stood before Him, saying, “Take away the filthy garments from him.” And to him He said, “See, I have removed your iniquity from you, and I will clothe you with rich robes.”
Zechariah 3:4 (NKJV)

The wrong coat: The prophet Zephaniah cautions us to beware of wearing foreign apparel. We must be wearing the robe Jesus gives us. This warning is echoed again in Matthew when Jesus tells the story of a king having a wedding party…

And it shall be,
In the day of the Lord’s sacrifice,
That I will punish the princes and the king’s children,
And all such as are clothed with foreign apparel.
Zephaniah 1:8 (NKJV)

But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment. So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Matthew 22:11-13 (NKJV)

The healing coat: Also in the New Testament, time after time Jesus heals and heals and heals.  The people who follow Him long to just touch His coat for healing. So I pray for all on my prayer list who are need of Jesus healing, to just touch the robe of Jesus and be healed like the people in Matthew 14…

And begged Him that they might only touch the hem of His garment. And as many as touched it were made perfectly well.
Matthew 14:36 (NKJV)

A royal coat: And finally, flip to Revelations where Jesus returns to marry His bride the church.  And just like He clothed Adam and Eve, Jesus provides the wedding garments for His bride. He gives us the whitest most beautiful robe of all, washed clean by His precious blood.

And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.
Revelation 19:8 (NKJV)

So he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”
Revelation 7:14 (NKJV)

Oh, Jesus, I don’t deserve it, but You gave it to me anyway — Your beautiful coat, pure and white and every color of the rainbow all at once!  Oh, Jesus, what a miracle!  You take our filthy rags and make us beautiful!

Today’s TEA CUPP:  My dear friend, put on the righteous robe which Jesus has given you.  Thank Him for His forgiveness and healing.  Stay away from the wrong coats.  Look up these fantastic coat verses in your Bible today. And welcome the day when Jesus comes again to clothe us all in white robes and take us home!

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh, may I then in Him be found;
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.
(The Solid Rock by Edward Mote,1834)

Lay aside the garments that are stained with sin
And be washed in the blood of the lamb
There’s a fountain flowing for the soul unclean
O, be washed in the blood of the lamb.
( Are you Washed in the Blood? Elisha A. Hoffman, 1878)

Thank you for stopping by My TEA CUPP Prayers!

If you enjoyed today’s devotion, you might also enjoy A Tale of Two Coats and Filthy Rags.

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

The Day After

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)

Imagine the day after Jesus was born how Mary felt.  She had just endured this long journey on an uncomfortable donkey, Joseph searched for a place for them to stay, they ended up in a stable for animals, she gave birth to her first child which no doubt hurt a lot, she may have wished for a hot shower or bath, she had a hungry baby to care for and she was hungry herself, the animals were noisy, the straw floor was scratchy and dirty, she couldn’t send Joseph to Family Dollar for diapers, the shepherds had been there in the night, telling of the amazing angelic choir, and Joseph and Mary had stayed up late in awe of what the shepherds proclaimed. Now Mary was ever-so-tired…but in her arms she held the most precious Baby of all, the Savior of the world…Jesus was with her!

The day after Christmas there are wrapping paper remains and travels and returns and leftovers and more family and celebrations, or perhaps there are sickness and tummy aches. And after a month of anticipation and counting down days on the advent http://barefootpuppets.com/xanax/ calendar, http://barefootpuppets.com/xanax/ there are children with Christmas blahs, wondering what to look forward to next…but Jesus is with us.

The day after any event may have all sorts of emotions…the day after a speech or term paper is due, there is relief for the student. The day after graduation has great excitement and anticipation. The day after a wedding, there are tears and relief for the parents, joy and struggles for the newlyweds. The day after a loved one dies, we endure heart-wrenching weeping and what-ifs…but Jesus is with us.

Whatever your day after is like, remember this verse from Lamentations…

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)

Today’s TEA CUPP: Jesus is with you in all your “days after,” my friend.  His mercy and compassions never fail.  They are new every morning.  God is faithful and will help you through  your day after.  Claim His promise of faithfulness today!

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

The Lord is righteous in her midst,
He will do no unrighteousness.
Every morning He brings His justice to light;
He never fails… Zephaniah 3:5 (NKJV)

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

No Shadows in Heaven

And this is the promise that He has promised us—eternal life.
1 John 2:25 (NKJV)

I often think about heaven, don’t you?  I think of all the people waiting there for me.  At the top of my list are God and Jesus, of course! There is my Daddy, who passed into the arms of Jesus exactly one year ago, and the countless relatives who went before him. Then there are my college cross country coaches and teammates who died in a plane crash. There are our three miscarried babies, Gloria Anne, Angelica May, and Gabriella Hope and our dear grandchild.  There are all the Bible heroes like Abraham and Sarah, Joseph, David, Esther, Ruth, Daniel, all the Marys and Martha, Peter, John, Paul…And there are a number of people Facebook still tells me are having birthdays, but they are now with Jesus.  It’s comforting to think about all those dear people waiting for me in heaven.

The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light.
Revelation 21:23 (NKJV)

One day while reading my Bible and contemplating heaven, I realized there won’t be any shadows in heaven.  Isn’t that interesting?!  Think about it…we have shadows on earth because a light or the sun shines on one side casting a shadow to the other side.  But in heaven, Jesus is the light and He is everywhere!  With light coming from all directions, you can’t have shadows!

This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.
1 John 1:5 (NKJV)

I imagine my Daddy, who studied light as a professor, asking Jesus, “Wow!  How do you do that?”  God drives out the darkness and there is only light!  Isn’t that a comforting thought? …no shadows, no darkness, no sighing, no tears, no death, no sickness, no pain, no evil…only the light of our precious Savior Jesus.  Wow!

And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.
Revelation 21:14 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: Turn on your light and turn your thoughts heavenward today.  Look up the Bible verses in this devotion and underline your favorite verses.  Write them in your prayer journal. Thank Jesus for His promise of heaven and imagine what it will be like. Keep shining for Jesus!

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)

If you enjoyed today’s devotion, you might also like to read My Two Daddies in Heaven, and Leave No Doubt, and Glimpses of Heaven with My TEA CUPP Prayers.  Thank you for stopping by My TEA CUPP Prayers!  Jesus loves you!

For with You is the fountain of life;
In Your light we see light.
Psalm 36:9  (NKJV)

For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
The Lord will give grace and glory;
No good thing will He withhold
From those who walk uprightly.
Psalm 84:11 (NKJV)

There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.
Revelation 22:5 (NKJV)

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

Rivers of Living Water

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

My feet pounded the paved highway as the gentle May rain misted down upon my face.  Determined to get my run in for the day regardless of the weather, I plodded along, thankful for little traffic.  But every once in awhile a vehicle would zoom past, forcing me into the drenched tall grass at the shoulder.  Instantly my new running shoes were soaked; with each step I could feel the squeeze of extreme moisture in my socks.  My feet were overflowing with water.

This entire rainy day metaphor made me smile for I had just read John 7 where Jesus promises us that out of our hearts will flow rivers of living water if we believe in Him.  Every time I sit down to write My TEA CUPP Prayers, I pray that God’s Spirit will overflow from my pen and computer to my community and world.  And here is a promise right from Jesus that He will make it happen!  Instead of water squishing out the soles of my shoes, Living Water will be bursting forth from my soul because of God’s Holy Spirit.

Today’s TEA CUPP: This promise is for YOU, my TEA CUPP friend!  If you believe in Jesus, out of your heart will flow rivers of living water.  Wherever you go, you will spread the love of Jesus and be a blessing, on the road running, at the races, in the gym, while worshiping at church…out of your heart will flow rivers of living water!

Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”  John 4:10 (NKJV)

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