by Julia Bruce
Have you ever said, “I have good new and bad news.” Well, there was one young man who picked up his wife from the airport. They had been trying for a while to get pregnant. As they drove away from the airport, the wife said, “Good news! I’m pregnant!” Delighted, the young father-to-be looked at the sonogram and said, “Wait, what’s that?” The expectant mom smiled and said, “That’s the other one…” After pulling over to prevent a wreck the young couple decided to name them Alexis and Zoe, A-Z.
Everyone loves good news and we all dread bad news. This was even true back in the day of Solomon who wrote in Proverbs 15:30, “A cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones.”
The Bible is full of good news – from cover to cover. And it is full of news that isn’t so good.
- There is good news that God created the heavens and the earth; but there is bad news of Adam and Eve’s first sin.
- There is good news of how to build a boat; but bad news that God is going to destroy the earth with a flood.
- There is the good news to Abraham that God will give him a son; but bad news that God wants him to sacrifice his only son – followed by the good news of “WAIT! Here is a ram to sacrifice instead.”
- There is the good news for Joseph who was promoted to head of house only to then get the bad news that he was on his way to prison even though he was innocent.
- Joseph gave the king of Egypt the good news of 7 years of plenty, which was followed by the bad news of 7 years of famine, which resulted in the good news of Joseph becoming 2nd in command of all of Egypt.
- There is the good news of the walls of Jericho that fall (seemingly) by themselves but before that came the bad news from the spies about giants too big, which then was followed by the bad news from God to turn around and wonder in the wilderness for 40 years.
- There is the good news about how fire fell from heaven and consumed a drenched sacrifice, but then the bad news from Queen Jezebel that she would hunt down and kill Elijah.
- There is the good news of Queen Esther saving her people from annihilation followed by the bad news of Haman being hung on his own gallows he had built for Esther’s uncle.
- There is the good news of Ruth meeting and marrying Boaz; but first came the bad news of becoming a widow.
- There is the good news of the city of Nineveh repenting of their sins and God changing his mind about destroying them; but before that was the bad news of Jonah being swallowed by a great fish and then barfed up. (EEWW!)
- There is the good news of an angel telling Mary she was highly favored and chosen to be the mother of God’s son, followed by Mary having to explain to Joseph she was pregnant.
- There is the good news given to the shepherds about the birth of Jesus which was followed by a decree from King Herod to kill on the male children 2 years and younger.
- There is the good news of all the miracles and wonders that Jesus did, followed by the bad news of Him being betrayed by one of his own, crucified and died. But then there is the glorious news of his resurrection.
- There is the good news of eternal life for those who believe by faith and accept Jesus as Savior and there is bad news for those who reject Him.
- There is the good news of Jesus coming and again and the bad news for those who are left behind.
Today, we can turn on the TV, open an app, or browse the internet for all the news from around the world – some more reliable than others. But in Bible days, news traveled by word of mouth – which is only reliable as the mouth that is speaking and the brain that remembers what the mouth was supposed to say. As early as a few centuries before Jesus, the Romans began to release something similar to what we call a newspaper. They had the Acta Diurna that reported on what the Roman army was doing. The Acta Senatus reported on the Roman Senate. The Acta Publica reported on trials, sacrifices, obits, and the like. However, without the printing press, there was no Roman youth who went door to door every morning to toss the paper in a subscriber’s driveway. Instead they were posted in public places periodically. From there news-hungry humans and developed and grown the concept of the newspaper all the way up to today’s 24-hour continuous coverage on CNN and Fox News. Yet still, even today the reliability of the news depends only on the integrity of the reporter. And it seems that there is much more bad news reported than good news.
Perhaps the best news we could ever hear comes from one who says, “Repent, and believe the good news!” In the midst of world full of bad news, how refreshing it is to hear good news. John the Baptist and Jesus proclaimed the good news that the Kingdom of God was near. God’s message of the New Testament is “Good News.” The first four books of the Bible are called the Gospels. The word gospel means “Good news.” Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines “gospel” as “a good or joyful message.”
We all find a birth announcement as good news. The birth of Jesus was such good news that an angel told the shepherds about it and then a multitude of angels sang from a heavenly choir. Obituaries, on the other hand, are not often seen as good news (unless you are just a cold-hearted person of an extremely rich relative). When Jesus died, his mother, friends and disciples grieved like anyone would. But then three days later Jesus rose from the dead and the news was the best news ever. This is the good news that is available to all of us today – salvation and everlasting life simply by having faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Romans 10:9-10 says, “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.” To the church at Corinth, Paul wrote, “I told the Good News to you….For I delivered to you first of all that which also I received: that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried; and that he has been raised on the third day according to the scriptures. (1 Corinthians 15:2-4).
Since we have raised the question of the reliability of news – how reliable is the news of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection? The Bible gives us several eyewitnesses who saw Jesus alive after he was dead and buried:
- Mary Magdalene (John 20:14-16)
- Mary, the mother of James along with Salome and Joanna (Matthew 28:9)
- Peter (Luke 24:34)
- Two Disciples on the Emmaus Road (Luke 24:13-16)
- The Disciples with Thomas Absent. (John 20:19-24)
- All of the Disciples (with Thomas this time) eight days later (John 20:26-28)
- Seven of the Disciples at the Sea of Galilee (John 21:1-2)
- The Eleven disciples on a mountain in Galilee (Matthew 28:16-17)
- Over 500 people at once (1 Corinthians 15:6)
- James, Jesus’ half-brother followed by all the apostles (1 Corinthians 15:7)
- Saul after Jesus’ ascension (Acts 9:3-5)
Additionally, Luke, who wrote the book of Acts wrote in Acts 1:3, “To these he also presented himself alive after his suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God.
Jesus also spoke of his own resurrection in Luke 24:39 and Revelation 1:18.
In Lee Strobel’s book The Case for Christ (which is also now a movie), he writes his own story of coming to faith. Strobel, a former editor at the Chicago Tribune and confirmed atheist begins to try to prove that Jesus of Nazareth was really the Son of God following his wife’s salvation. Using his reporter skills, he interviews biblical scholars seeking historical evidence (“Can the Biographies of Jesus be Trusted?”), scientific evidence (“Does archaeology confirm or contradict Jesus’ biographies?”), and psychiatric evidence (“Was Jesus crazy when He claimed to be the Son of God?”). Instead of proving the non-existence of Jesus, Lee becomes thoroughly convinced that Jesus is truly the Son of God and that everything the Bible records is true and accurate. If you struggle with believing that Jesus is the Son of God, I encourage you to read the book and watch the movie, then reach a verdict of your own. (see links at the bottom of the page)
#verseoftheday #goodnews #Gosepl #WCM
If you would like to be a part of the God-sized dream we call Wellspring Christian Ministries, you can help with your one-time or monthly tax-deductible contribution. Now, with two ways to give, you can help us grow and expand our ministry. To donate to our general ministries, you can now make a contribution through our website. We are also seeking the perfect 200 (or more) acres of land on which we will build and do the various ministries God is leading us in. To make a donation towards Phase 1 of our Land and Building campaign, you can give at buymeacoffe.com. We like to think of ourselves as “Distributors of Living Water” …and for just the cost of a copy of coffee, you can be one too through your contribution that will have an eternal impact as we lead others to Christ, help Christians develop passionate relationships with God, and help couples connect and reignite their marriages. Who knew the cost of a cup of coffee could do so much? Donate today to become a Living Water Distributor
You can also make a contribution to our general ministries as we grow and expand our ministry as God leads through our website. To donate to our ministry expansion, click here.
- Every gift will be acknowledged on our “Donor Wall” on our website. Just leave your name the way you wish it to appear in the message box as you make your gift.
- Every $50 will receive a free signed copy of Julia’s book, “God, Love & Marshmallow Wars”
- Every $500 or more gift will receive the “God, Love & Marshmallow Wars” Couple Event for their church with Julia’s speaker fees waived (host site is still responsible for travel expense and other costs of the event).
Wellspring Christian Ministries is a 501(3)(c) non-profit organization.
Thank you for helping us grow!
#growingintoourfuture #fundraiser #buymeacoffee #WCM
BOOKING NOW to be a host site for the NEW God, Love & Marshmallow Wars Book Tour & Couples Conference:
This event helps couples understand why the daily activities found in the book will equip them to build a stronger marriage and the book provides them with 365 intentional activities to take what they learn at the event and apply it on a daily basis. Through the event, couples will discover the Biblical “why” behind the categories of activities found in the book and the “how” these activities are important to building a stronger marriage. Focus points of the event includes :
- How memorizing scripture together and studying God’s Word together as they study, meditate and apply scriptures related to marriage and life issues will help them develop marriages that honor God.
- Why utilizing fun conversation starters that spark meaningful conversations will keep interest alive as they continually learn new things about each other.
- Why keeping romance alive is essential to intimacy and connectivity.
- How making memories and working together builds relationship investment bonds and how these investment bonds can become the knots that keeps them together through the tough times.
- How they can understand what they are or are not contributing to the marriage as well as how they might be contributing to problems or potential problems within the relationship through the use of targeted, intentional personal reflections
- Why it is important that couples never stop dating and how group dates with Christian friends can be both an encouragement and accountability to their own relationship.
During the event, couples will be given an activity from each focus point to do together, making this event an interactive, fun, and engaging event with practical, hands-on learning. Unlike other couple events that are over when the event ends, couples who attend the GLMW event will be able to apply what they learn when utilizing the book on a daily basis for a year. Since the book is not dated, couples are able to reuse the activities year after year to continue being intentional in strengthening their relationship with each other and with God as they strive to live out God’s design for marriage every day.
Learn more about hosting this event at your church or conference site by clicking here.
About the book: The GLMW book contains 365 daily challenges for couples to strengthen their relationships to each other and with God. Couples will complete activities such as Scripture memory, conversation starters, relationship builders, learning about Biblical marriage, romance builders, personal reflections, and date ideas. Click here to purchase your copy. (This link will open a new widow and take you to Westbow Press’ bookstore.) It is also available at Christian Book Distributors, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble
#GLMWcouplesevent #GLMWbook #intentionalmarriage #Godlymarriage
T-shirt Fundraiser: We have a new product line of Christian apparel and accessories available in our Teespring Store and our new Spreadshop Store. You’ll find tee shirts, hoodies, tanks, socks, leggings, tote bags, mugs, iphone cases and more.
All proceeds go to the advancement of Wellspring Christian Ministries.
Thank you for helping us grow!
#fundraiser #tshirt #teespring #spreadshop
Looking for a speaker for your next ministry event? Julia is now booking for 2019 and 2020 Christian events for women’s and couples’ ministries for both small and large events.
Book with us now.
Julia is CEO of Wellspring Christian Ministries, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people and couples develop a passionate relationship with God. A public speaker, conference trainer, event planner, and blog writer, Julia is a two-time graduate from Grand Canyon University with a bachelor in Psychology and a masters in Professional Counseling. Saved as a child and raised in church and in a Christian home and private Christian School as a Pastor’s kid, Julia has taught Sunday school, led music, played the piano, served as Children’s Director, and engaged her gifts in many other areas of church life. Previously employed with the Florida Baptist Convention, Julia organized events and led conferences for church ministry assistants.
Julia enjoys sharing her journey as a growing Christian with others looking for a deeper connection with God. Through Bible study and her own life experiences, God has given Julia a passion to help couples understand God’s design for marriage while they learn to place God first in their marriage, cultivate meaningful relationships, build intimacy, and address the tougher issues that come in every marriage so that they can experience a marriage that honors and glorifies God. Julia also loves mentoring, teaching, and working with women to help them learn to live as Godly women.
With her history and experience growing up in both small and large churches, Julia enjoys bringing top level quality events to churches of all sizes. Her father largely pastored small churches and therefore she understands that these vital parts of the believing community need to be good stewards of the resources God provides them with. This knowledge inspires her passion for being available with a fresh perspective for those who want to provide their congregations with meaningful spiritual growth opportunities, regardless of size.
Or call us at 904.524.8073
#JuliaBruce #speaker #keynote #author
Affiliate links for The Case for Christ by Lee Stroble:
|The Case for Christ, Updated and Expanded, Mass Market
By Lee Strobel / Zondervan
If you were a journalist, how would you investigate the top story in human history? Join the award-winning former legal editor of the Chicago Tribune as he cross-examines scholars to uncover incontestable evidence supporting Jesus’ claims. Includes updated archaeological material, an interview with Strobel, and more. A powerful defense of the Christian faith! 464 pages, softcover from Zondervan.
By Pure Flix Entertainment, LLC
A hard-driving journalist, Lee Strobel was exactly where he expected to be at work: on top. His award-winning investigative reporting recently earned him a promotion to legal editor at the Chicago Tribune. But things weren’t going nearly as well at home where his wife Leslie’s newfound faith in Christ went against everything Lee believed—or didn’t believe—as an avowed atheist.
Utilizing his journalistic and legal training, Lee begins a quest to debunk the claims of Christianity in order to save his crumbling marriage. Chasing down the biggest story of his career, Lee comes face-to-face with unexpected results that could change everything he knows to be true.
Starring Mike Vogel (The Help, Cloverfield), Erika Christensen (Parenthood, Flightplan), Faye Dunaway (The Thomas Crown Affair, Chinatown), and Robert Forster (The Descendents, Jackie Brown). Rated PG. Approx. 113 minutes.
Includes Blu-ray, DVD and CD
- “The Heart of The Case for Christ” Featurette
- Intro to the Museum of the Bible, Washington, DC
- 11 Music Videos from “The Case for Christ” Album
- Interviews with Lee & Leslie Strobel, Cast, and Crew
- Deleted Scenes
- English and Spanish subtitles
Bonus CD included:
- The Case for Christ – Songs Inspired by the Original Motion Picture