Tea Time for Your Soul by Dr. Debi Newman
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A Severe Mercy for a Severe Judgment

In the season of Lent, I reflect on the suffering of Jesus. Maybe I should say that I try to reflect on the suffering of Jesus. It is not easy for me. I don’t like to think of His suffering. I hate to see what my sin and the sins of the world drove God to suffer. I only have moments of truly entering into the cross of Christ. I get as close as possible, for me, to feel the severity of the cost of my personal sin and the sins of the world were to Jesus. I really focus on His suffering in a specific way on Good Friday. I don’t eat food with blood (meat), and I take time to reflect on His time on the cross. I’m deeply grateful to Jesus as I reflect on His severe suffering during Lent.

This year, as I am in the middle of reading Revelation in my personal devotions, I am struck by the severe judgment that will happen when all hope of salvation has ended for the earth. It is deeply disturbing. The suffering of those who die without Christ is almost unimaginable. I don’t like to reflect on their suffering either. The book of Revelation is written in such a way that I dare not create hard and fast understanding, rather that I grasp how severe the judgment of God is. I’ve got to confess; I do not like it. I do not like it for any human being. Yet, I believe it is the only way, just as the suffering of Christ was the only way to salvation, the suffering of the unredeemed is the only way to end the effects  of sin on those who are willing to be redeemed through Christ. There seems to be no other way. It leads me to understand the severe suffering that God purposed for Jesus. As I reflect on Jesus’ suffering in the context of the severe judgment that is coming for all who do not receive Jesus’ gift of salvation, Jesus’ suffering makes more sense. It feels that it had to be that way.

Jesus has victoriously passed through His suffering.  His personal suffering is over when it comes to making it possible for every single human being who has ever been born to receive His suffering as the payment for their personal sin.  I can’t help but think that the severe judgment that is to come on all those who do not accept God’s offer of salvation through Jesus will cause suffering to God and Jesus.  We get a glimpse of that when Jesus cries over Jerusalem and says: “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing (Matthew 23:37). At the last judgment when the promises of Revelation are carried out, how will He cry? How will He suffer?

Revelation is a book that describes the wrath of God. This is especially true in Revelation 14 & 15 where I have been reading lately. This judgement is severe. It is definitely deserved, but it is so hard to grasp what we were all doomed to face if Jesus had not been sent through God’s love for us. It was Jesus’ love for God that enabled Him to face His severe suffering. It is our love for God and Jesus that exempts us from this severe judgment that is described by John in Revelation. I need to keep in mind the severity of suffering those without Christ will face as I meet with them day by day. I want to prayerfully find a way to live out the beauty of receiving Christ’s salvation so they might consider it a choice they will make for themselves.  I hate to think of the severe suffering they may face.

Dr. Deborah Newman

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The holiness of the season of Lent has long stunned and amazed me. I love to take the Lenten season as a time to reflect on the last week of Jesus' life. It is a time of repentance in preparation of celebrating the day that reversed the death that sin had set in motion for all humans. After the climax of Easter, I'm not ready to stop reflecting on the cross, so I've included 50 days of devotions during Eastertide—the season of Easter until Pentecost. I hope this devotion for lead you to a holy lent for your soul.


About Dr. Deborah Newman
Dr. Deborah Newman is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and a graduate of Bryan College, Grace Theological Seminary and Oxford Graduate School. She is the minister to Women and Congregational Care at Park Cities Baptist Church in Dallas. She is the author of many books including “Comfortable in Your Own Skin: Making Peace With Your Body Image,” “Beauty Secret: Tips for Teens from the Ultimate Makeup Artist,” “How to Really Love God as Your Father”, “Loving Your Body”,“Passion on Purpose”, “A Woman's Search for Worth,”‘And Then God Created Woman”, and co-author of “Passages of Marriage, “Love is a Choice Workbook,” “Day by Day Love is a Choice,” and “The Thin Disguise”.

She writes regularly on teatimeforyoursoul.com. She has contributed to numerous magazines and book projects. She has been guests on television and radio, including New Life Live, and Focus on the Family. She leads seminars and retreats across the country and internationally.

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Spiritual Progress Journal 2017

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The Forgetful Princess: The Story of a Princess Who Didn’t Know Who She Was

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