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John 3:30. Is Christ on the Increase in Your Life?

May 11 John 3 30

John the Baptist’s assigned calling, the purpose for his life, was to be the “forerunner” of Jesus. John was six months older than Jesus and he was Jesus’ cousin. Before Jesus began his public ministry, John’s job was to point the people to the coming Messiah. He had been preparing them and baptizing them, calling them to repent of their sins. Once Jesus stepped on the scene, John’s job would decrease while Jesus’ job was increase. However, for a time, their ministries overlapped. Then some of John’s disciples came to him and said that people were going to Jesus to get baptized. John was quick to respond that he was not the Christ and to point people to Jesus as the Christ. Because Jesus is Christ – the Messiah – the people should be going to Him to be baptized. John then said that he must decrease so that Christ would increase.

This same statement is true for us today. As we surrender more and more of our lives to Christ, growing spiritually, we should be decreasing and Christ should increasing. AsMay 11 Ctt Christ increases in our lives, the result should be our lives reflecting more and more of Him and less and less of us. If Christ is increasing in our lives, then our old sinful nature should become less noticeable as Christ transforms us into a new person. This means that old habits (such as cursing, lying, drinking, abusing drugs, stealing, adultery, etc.) are put away while new habits (such as attending church, worshiping, singing praise songs, Bible study and prayer) replace the old. As Jesus increases in our lives then our lives should take more and more shape from Him. His characteristics will become evident in our lives. We will begin to forgive like He forgives and love unconditionally like He loves. We would enjoy spending time in His Word, studying it and applying it to our lives. We would spend time in prayer, not as a requirement, but as the opportunity to talk to our Savior.

Take a moment to reflect on your own life. Would you say that you are decreasing and Christ is increasing in your life? How has your life changed since you became a Christian so that Jesus is reflected in your life? What areas still need work? Would you confess those to God now and surrender them to Him?

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Download the full 52-Day prayer guide by clicking here.

As of May 11, there have been 80,029 deaths in the U.S. and 284,849 have died world-wide. For the most current data regarding the virus, visit the John Hopkins University website.

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Don’t forget to learn this week’s memory verse:

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Memorize and hide in your heart one memory verse each week in 2020. If you didn’t start the challenge at the beginning of the year, just jump in now and be sure to sign up to get our weekly Memory verse in your email so you don’t miss a week.


This week’s memory verse:

Hosea 14:1-2

Israel, return to Yahweh your God,
for you have stumbled in your sin.
 Take words of repentance with you
and return to the Lord.
Say to Him: “Forgive all our sin
and accept what is good,
so that we may repay You
with praise from our lips.

 #unfailing love #repentance #COVID19 #revival #WCM

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This week’s featured design:

Remember those who sacrificed all so that we could live with the freedoms we so richly enjoy. This week’s design features a patriotic them for Memorial Day.

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Available in tees for women and girls, mugs, bags, and other products. Here’s a sample of a few of the products you can choose with this design. Check out all the available products in the Spreadshirt shop. Also available in the Teespring shop


All proceeds go to the advancement of Wellspring Christian Ministries.

Thank you for helping us grow!

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Christian book logoThis week’s featured items from Christian Book Distributors will help you get ready for the Memorial Day weekend. Order early as shipping times are taking a little longer than normal.

Memorial Day Weekend 2020: Event at the Fredericksburg ...

Memorial Day is May 25th: ORDER NOW

At Christian Book Distributors you will find Bible Studies, books, gifts, and more to help you grow your faith and often at discounted prices from other places.
Our organization receives an 8% commission on any item you purchase through these links. However, the product price is the same for you. There is no increase in your cost for us to receive the commission. All commissions received support the work and ministry of Wellspring Christian Ministries. Enter the site through any of the links below and browse the online store. Any item you purchase through ones of our links will qualify for us to receive the commission.
385361: God Bless the USA Heart Plaque God Bless the USA Heart Plaque

By Barbara Lloyd / Blossom Bucket Inc

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46467X: One Nation Under God, Land of the Free, Canvas Framed Art One Nation Under God, Land of the Free, Canvas Framed Art

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Vintage Patriotic Collection of fine wall art, with frayed natural canvas above a striped art backdrop.13″ x 19″ clean and contemporary dark frameVintage style in trend, patriotic look. Textured appeal. Star-printed shape of the United States of America; God bless AmericaPowerful patriotic wall accent.

254977: Soldier"s Prayer Figure Soldier’s Prayer Figure

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Beautifully detailed figurine, kneeling soldier in prayer on realistic wood-look base, features a plaque with engraved prayer by Alda Maria. Resin figure; 4.5″ x 5.75″; packaged in colored gift box. Hear Our Prayer Collection.A Soldier’s Prayer
When I put on my uniform Lord, please help me be a soldier who’s commited to life and liberty. As I pray for this great nation, and for every soul’s salvation, please equip me, Lord, I pray to fight the good fight every day. Give our leaders wisdom, Lord, if war becomes a must, may they only choose to fight for a cause that’s just. When the day is over, Lord, most of all I pray, that You will keep in perfect peace Your servants in harm’s way. Amen.

035431: John 8:36, Liberty Cross with American Flag John 8:36, Liberty Cross with American Flag

By Carpentree, Inc

Printers’ Block Collection of fine inspirational gifts; wall decor with the raised, dimensional detail of lettering in artisan styles, combined creatively for display in your home.

  • Wall cross with patriotic American flag
  • John 8:36 Liberty
  • 10″ tall
461418: God Bless America, Small Flag God Bless America, Small Flag

By Tina Wenke / Carson Home Accents

  • Art flag God Bless America
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553412: God Bless America, Small Applique Flag God Bless America, Small Applique Flag

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  • Durasoft fabric is extremely durable; Indoor or outdoor use
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  • American pride colorsPlease note: We have displayed this flag on a pole so our customers can see how it will look. Please order a flag pole separately since it is not included with the flag.
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Proudly show-off your love for God and country with this beautiful patriotic tie! Features God Bless America on a stars and stripes background; 100% silk; dry clean only.

9115250: God Bless America, Photo Frame God Bless America, Photo Frame

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Photo frame in patriotic stars and stripes design

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Serve up Americana at your summer table. Glossy blue 10″ fluted ceramic pie plate with red, white and blue inspirational design. God Bless America…”Bless is the nation whose God is the Lord. Psalm 33:12. Microwave, dishwasher, and oven safe.American as apple pie, or whatever your favorite is; rustic farmhouse charm for the kitchen.

Patriotic pie plate

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Decorative mason jar with vintage wire hanger handle, trimmed in rustic red white and blue with stars; patriotic quote God Bless America. Glass jar is 6″ x 3″; may be used as a tealight holder, snacks, or home decorNot for microwave or dishwasher, but a country accent for your counter, shelf, or desktop

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Garden-size flag design, readable from both sides

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  • By Russ Cannizzaro
  • 12.5″ x 18″ garden size art flag
  • Flag stand shown is for display purposes only.

And of course we’ve included our CEO’s book:


God, Love, and Marshmallow Wars: 365 Daily Challenges to Grow Your Marriage
By Julia M. Bruce / WestBow Press
There’s no doubt that marriage is hard work. Yet it can also be one of the most fulfilling relationships you can experience, outside of your relationship with God. However, many marriages leave God outside of the relationship. Godly marriages do not happen without cultivating it, investing in it, and putting God first in your individual lives and in your marriage.
This book includes 365 daily activities and takes you on a journey through Biblical principles about Godly marriage that you can then apply to your marriage, as well as helping you talk through concepts that can help you develop a solid relationship. Inside you will find simple, quick activities that include:

• Scripture to memorize and meditate on
• Conversation Starters
• Concepts from the Bible on Godly marriages
• Romance Builders
• Relationship Builders
• Personal reflections
• Date ideas
• Group date ideas for you and other Christian couples

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We’re booking for church and ministry events. (Due to COVID-19, we are only tentatively booking for events after September 2020 based on the recommendations as issued by the CDC and our government officials.)


Julia Bruce is an engaging speaker, CEO of Wellspring Christian Ministries, and author of God, Love, and Marshmallow Wars. Julia’s book is for Christian couples who seek a closer relationship with each other and with God. The book contains 365 activities for couples to work through together for a year of intentionally growing their relationship. The activities include scripture memory, conversation starters, personal reflections, guided Bible studies, romance builders, relationship builders and date night ideas. The book started out as daily posts on Wellspring’s website to encourage couples to develop Godly marriages and they quickly became the most viewed pages of the site. Julia feels God led her to organize the collection of posts into a book format that couples would be able to work through year after year. She enjoys going to churches and ministry events to talk about how the activities in the book will develop stronger marriages that are centered in Christ, which will then create stronger families.

Currently, Julia is finishing her second book, entitled: Help! No one said ministry was about spiritual battles and difficult people! In this book Julia uses her studies in psychology and professional counseling to take a Biblical approach to self-care to help people serving in the ministry not burn-out, give-up, and walk away from the call God placed on their lives. Whether your ministry position is volunteer or the senior pastor, this book will help you recognize the areas in your life that are depleted and need a little TLC so you can keep doing what God has called you to. You’re assignment in the Kingdom of God is vitally important! Keep an eye out for this book when it is released and see how Biblical self-care can keep you serving God. Julia can bring these concepts to your next ministry staff retreat to help your ministry team refill, recharge, and renew their heart for their area of ministry.

After years of envisioning the idea and concept of Wellspring Christian Ministries, Julia decided to take a leap of faith and merge her vocational, collegiate, and life experiences and make the dream God put on her heart a reality.  Today we reach people world-wide through blog posts, speaking events, and devotionals. With a strong burden for our nation, Julia has a passion to see a revival sweep across our land and many of her writings and speaking events have a theme of calling God’s people to humble themselves and pray, and seek God’s face as they repent of sin and tune their hearts to following God’s will and His commandments.

Her message will engage individuals, inspire teams and transform the heart that is prayerfully seeking to live a God-first life. As the Holy Spirit speaks through her messages, He will work in every willing heart to create a life that is wholly sold out to God.

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5 Questions to ask to be “Quick to Hear, Slow to Speak and Slow to Anger”

My dearly loved brothers, understand this: Everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger, for man’s anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness. — James 1:19-20

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regretDoesn’t this verse just punch right in the gut? I mean, my natural tendency is if it pops in my brain, it’s out of my mouth in the same second! I can remember in my late teens my mom saying that she never knew what was going to come out of my mouth when I opened it….and more often than not, I ended up regretting what was said.  The Message Bible puts it this way: “Lead with your ears, follow up with your tongue, and let anger straggle along in the rear. God’s righteousness doesn’t grow from human anger.”[1]

There are many reasons that we get angry. Lack of patience, being under a lots of stress, worry about paying the bills, marriage problems, rebellious children….and THAT driver that cut us off this morning. Sometimes it’s as simple as we didn’t get our way about something.

One important thing to point out is that not all anger is bad. Anger is an emotion that God gave us. Jesus even displayed a righteous anger in the temple when the money changers were cheating the people. James understood that there will be times where we get angry, but his words of caution to be “slow to anger” are wise words to follow.

Angry-manThis doesn’t mean that we allow anger to build and fester, letting it slowly rise up. That will only lead to an uncontrollable explosion later on. I believe that James’ words of wisdom are meant for us to stop, step back, evaluate the situation and form a proper response before we let our words and actions cause us sin.

Proverbs 10:19 teaches, When there are many words, sin is unavoidable, but the one who controls his lips is wise.”[2] Ecclesiastes 5:2 says, “Do not be hasty to speak, and do not be impulsive to make a speech before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few.”[3] Most of us have heard the saying, “God gave us two ears and one mouth so that we could listen twice as much as we speak.” In studying these verses, the Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible took this a little further and said, “the ears are open and exposed, whereas the tongue is walled in behind the teeth.”[4] Our teeth and lips are like two gates to our words and there are times when those gates should be locked.

Why is it important for us to be “slow to speak” and “slow to anger”?

christ in mirrorAs a Christian, every word we say is a reflection of Christ. If we speak as a reaction to things and circumstances, do those words honor and glorify our Savior? We know this concept as a head-knowledge, but do we practice it? A few verses down (verse 22) James says, “Be doers of the word, and not hearers only.” So if it’s important enough that God put this teaching throughout the Bible from several different authors, how can we be sure that we are putting it into practice? So often the words that come out of our mouth will either put out an argument or give if fuel to burn hotter. Here are five questions you can ask in any situation to help you decide if you need to unlock the gates to your words or just be “quick to hear.”

S – Does it glorify my Savior?
P – Does it lead me to Pray for others or circumstance?
E – Does it Edify and Encourage others?
A – Does it Affirm the truth?
K – Does it advance the Kingdom of God?

Does it glorify my Savior? In Ephesians, Paul writes, “You took off your former way ofJesus life, the old self that is corrupted by deceitful desires; you are being renewed in the spirit of your minds; you put on the new self, the one created according to God’s likeness in righteousness and purity of the truth.”[5] Because we put off the old way of life and put on the new self of God’s likeness, when the world looks at us as Christian, they should see God through our lives – every word we say, every action, every facial expression. They should see God in our work ethics and habits, in our home life, in our recreational activities, and every other aspect of our lives. They should see God in how we treat other people and they should see us love all people as Christ loves them. But let’s get real…we are not always going to agree and there are going to be times that we get angry. Anger is one of the emotions that God gave us. So when these times come, how do we then glorify Christ? We can find the answer in 1 Peter 3:15-16 – “but honor the Messiah as Lord in your hearts. Always be ready to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you. However, do this with gentleness and respect, keeping your conscience clear, so that when you are accused, those who denounce your Christian life will be put to shame.”[6] (Emphasis added) Even in our anger, we need to approach people with both gentleness and respect. Sometimes that might mean we take some time and separate ourselves from the circumstance or person and seek wisdom and guidance from God…which leads us to the P in SPEAK.

Does it lead me to Pray for others or circumstance? Every day people all around uspraying-man need for us to be intercessors and go to God on their behalf in prayer. It’s what being a prayer warrior is all about. As we are “quick to hear,” we can take the concerns and problems other people are facing and pray for them and their circumstances. Mountains are moved and God does amazing things when we come before him and lay our concerns for ourselves and others at His feet.

Being “slow to anger” also means that we are taking time to pray about why we are angry. We can ask God to show us if there is justification to our anger or is pride the underlying motivation to why we are angry? We can ask God to forgive us if He shows us that in that circumstance, anger is not justifiable. If there is just cause for anger, than we can ask him for wisdom on how we should handle the situation and ask Him to help us be forgiving towards the person that caused it.

Does it Edify and Encourage others? 1 Thessalonians 5:11 says, “Therefore encourageencourage one another and build each other up as you are already doing[7] Over in Proverbs (15:1), we read, “A gentle answer turns away anger, but a harsh word stirs up wrath.”[8] Kindness, gentleness, and a soft answer often lowers the intenseness of a situation while responding with your own hot words of anger will make the whole situation worse. Look for ways that you can build the other person up and encourage them. Let them know you understand their side and be sure your words are calm, gentle and not accusing. Be sure your words also edify Christ.

Does it Affirm the truth? When we are angry, we often see things skewed or slanted thespeak truth in love way we want to see them. Evaluate the situation honestly and trying to see things from both viewpoints will help us make sure that the words we say truly reflect the whole situation…the whole truth and nothing but the truth. But even in speaking truth, we need to do so in gentleness and love. (Ephesians 4:15)

Does it advance the Kingdom of God? Jesus with couple
In any situation we find ourselves in, we need to be sure that the words we say lead people to Christ and not away from Him. This also includes HOW we say the words. Our tone of voice and body language are even more important than the words we say.

Why is anger such a big deal?

whats-the-big-dealWeather our anger is justified or not, there are many consequences to anger. Often anger leads to thoughts and actions that are not in line with God’s expectations….which then become sin. Anger is an emotion that triggers our “fight or flight” response which floods the adrenal glands with stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. As a result, our heart rate and blood pressure rises, our respirations increase, and body temperatures rise. When there is a constant flood of these stress chemicals and anger goes unmanaged, both short and long-term health problems appear, including headache, digestion issues and abdominal pain, insomnia, increased anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, skin problems, heart attack, and/or stroke.9 Other consequences to anger can also include: hurting our relationships with others, guilt, physically hurting others or property, and legal problems. Benjamin Franklin once said, “Whatever is begun in anger ends in shame.”

What to do when anger rolls in

man-breathing-controlling-angerWhenever you find yourself with anger boiling up inside, reflect on James 1:19-20 and take the time to stop, step back, evaluate the situation and form a proper response before you let your words and actions cause you to sin.

Stop and ask: “Is this anger helping or hurting?” Almost always the answer will be loud and clear…HURTING. However, to be able to answer honestly, we also need to step back and evaluate the situation. In the heat of the moment, all we can see is the reason making us angry. So it’s helpful if we can remove ourselves for even just a few moments. In those moments, take a deep breath and hold to the count of three. Slowly let the breath out and repeat a few times. At the same time, silently pray for God to give you wisdom for the situation and to help you not say anything that would bring further harm to the situation or escalate feelings. Ask him to reveal to you any way you may have contributed to the situation and then ask His forgiveness. When other people are involved, you will also need to be able to return to them and ask their forgiveness for any part you played in the situation.

Once you have stopped, stepped back and evaluated the situation, we need to work on a proper response. This is where the “quick to hear” becomes valuable. Hearing how other people are feeling is important. Their side of the story is just as justified as our own. So commit to setting aside your own feelings and take the time to be “quick to hear.” Listening….true listening…takes skill and is a learning process. To be a good listener, start by facing the person you are talking to and make eye contact with them. Be attentive, but take on a relaxed stance. Your tone of voice and body language speaks much louder than your words and even if what you are saying is true your tone of voice and body language can still cause the argument to escalate. Listen to the words the person is saying and try to picture in your mind what the person is conveying to you. See their side. Stand in their shoes. Avoid interrupting them and throwing out solutions. Wait for the other person to pause or end what they are saying and then ask clarifying questions so that you are sure you understand them. Begin by saying something like, “What I think you are trying to say is….” Once you have a clear understanding of their side, calmly and with gentleness explain what made you angry. Then work together towards a solution, forgiveness and reconciliation.

Overcoming the urge to blurt out words the moment they pop in our brain takes effort and when our natural tendency or habit is to blurt out our thoughts, we can often end up regretting what we say or we can start an argument that breaks down our relationships and leads to anger. When we take James’ advice to be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger, we are able to keep our words behind the gates of our teeth and lips until we have a moment to think about what we say and how we say it. If you are ever unsure if you should say something, remember this: Above all, put on love—the perfect bond of unity (Colossian 3:14) because hatred stirs up conflicts, but love covers all offenses (Proverbs 10:12) and we should maintain an intense love for each other, since love covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8).

If you would like to know more about how to manage your anger, the book entitled, Anger: Taming a Powerful Emotion by Dr. Gary Chapman is an excellent resource available for purchase from Christian Book Distributors by clicking the link in the book title.


[1] Peterson, E. H. (2005). The Message: the Bible in contemporary language (Jas 1:19–20). Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress.
[2] The Holy Bible: Holman Christian standard version. (2009). (Pr 10:19). Nashville: Holman Bible Publishers.
[3] The Holy Bible: Holman Christian standard version. (2009). (Ec 5:2). Nashville: Holman Bible Publishers.
[4] Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Vol. 2, p. 485). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
[5] The Holy Bible: Holman Christian standard version. (2009). (Eph 4:22–24). Nashville: Holman Bible Publishers.
[6] The Holy Bible: Holman Christian standard version. (2009). (1 Pe 3:15–16). Nashville: Holman Bible Publishers.
[7] The Holy Bible: Holman Christian standard version. (2009). (1 Th 5:11). Nashville: Holman Bible Publishers.
[8] The Holy Bible: Holman Christian standard version. (2009). (Pr 15:1). Nashville: Holman Bible Publishers.
[9] Better Health Channel (2017). Anger – how it affects people. Online article.


written by Julie Bruce, CEO
Wellspring Christian Ministries

© Julie Bruce and Wellspring Christian Ministries, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Julie Bruce and Wellspring Christian Ministries with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.