by Julia Bruce
I have never been to a haunted house (except for the one at Disney, but does that really count?). I really have no desire to go. I don’t find it fun to be scared out of your living mind. Nope! Not for me! AT ALL. I’d much rather enjoy walking along the beach with the peaceful sound of the ocean rolling in and out. However, I’ve heard people talk about their experiences in a haunted house. Most of the time, it’s very dark so that you can’t see or expect what comes next or how they rigged stuff to jump out and spook you. They can be so dark that you can’t even see your hand in front of your face. That by it self can be a frightening feeling, much less all the stuff jumping out at you. I for one do not want my tombstone to say “Here lies Julie who died of a heart attack in a haunted house.”
So much of wrongdoing, or evil, is committed in the darkness of night or in a dimly lit room. Why? Partly because people don’t want to be identified and caught, but the real reason is because the devil is the ruler of darkness. It is his domain. (Click to tweet) John 3:19 says, “This, then, is the judgement: The light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil.” In Ephesians 6:12, Paul wrote, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” In Matthew 25:30, Jesus describes Hell as being a place of outer darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
In contrast, Jesus is the Light of the World (John 8:12) and Heaven is described in Revelation 22:5 as not needing any light from a lamp or sun, because God is the light. His perfect righteousness and glory is all that is needed to light up all of heaven.
At the end of Isaiah 59, the righteous among God’s people expressed their desire for light because they were currently living in the darkness that was caused by pervasive sin. In response, God says, “Arise! Shine! For your light has come!” As children of God, we find three commands we are to follow.
- Arise! God doesn’t want us sitting around in darkness. If you hang around in the darkness, you become comfortable with it. Your eyes adjust and it doesn’t seems quite as dark any more. There has been no more light added to the room – your pupils just adjusted and allowed more light in so that you can see better – but it’s still dark. Where moments before, you weren’t sure if you should take that next step or not without stubbing your toe or stepping on a dreaded Lego left in the floor, now you can see enough to maneuver around. The same is true if you hang out the darkness of sin. Before long the sin that once seemed like a huge sin you’d never have to worry about committing now doesn’t seem as bad and you get trapped in its grip. Romans 12:2 says, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of the God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” So as Children of the Light of World, we need to arise and not hang out in the darkness.
- Shine! Because Jesus is the Light of the World, we ought to be like lightning bugs wherever we go, lighting up the darkness of the world. Not only did Jesus say He was the light of the world, but in Matthew 5:14-16, he said, “You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.” We need to shine! Jesus knew how difficult this would be in a world full of darkness. This is why He prayed for us in John 17:14-15. He said, “I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.” We need to understand that Jesus is the source of the light. We are not like lightning bugs that produce their own light. We only shine when we are connected to our light source. If your light has been a little dim lately – or not shining at all – you need to get plugged back into the source. We do this through worship, Bible study, prayer, and praise music. We need to be daily plugging into the source of our light. Have you ever noticed that a brand new cell phone only needs to be charged up every couple of days? But over time, we add more apps and we use the phone more and the battery slowly begins to lose its ability to hold its charge. As a new Christian, we have a zeal and passion for serving God. We want to be a light and we stay connected to the light source. But over time, excitement wears off and Satan will do all he can to keep us too busy to take time to recharge and before you know it, our light is dim. If you are not shining, get plugged back into the source. The world needs us to shine – brightly!
- Your light has come! Yes! The world needs us to shine. Whenever we walk into a dark room, we automatically reach for the light switch and turn on the light. Those walking around in the darkness of sin have no idea how to get to the light, if we do not shine and show them the way. Our light says to the world, “Your light has come! It’s this way! Let me lead you to it.” (Click to tweet) This is why Jesus prayed not to take us out of the world but that we would be protected from the evil one. He wants His light that is inside of us to shine into the darkness of the world to illuminate the way to Him. This is why we need protecting from the evil one. Satan does not want our light to shine. He wants to keep the lost stumbling around in the dark. So he will do all he can to put out our light. Isaiah 9:2 says, “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; a light has dawned on those living in the land of darkness.” The great light is Christ and because he lives in us, he shines through each and everyone of us so that through us, the light comes to those living in darkness.
It’s time we showed our lights and reveal the devil for who he really is. The prince of darkness who would keep everyone trapped in darkness. So go shine wherever you are today! Yup! I see you over there….shine on! (Click to tweet)
#verseoftheday #lightoftheworld #Arise #Shine #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