In regions of Mexico, hot springs and cold springs are found side by side, and because of the convenience of this natural phenomenon the women often bring their laundry to the springs. They boil their clothes in hot springs, and then rinse them in the cold springs. A tourist watching this procedure commented to his Mexican guide: “They must thing Mother Nature is generous to freely supply such ample, clean hot and cold water.” The guide replied, “No, senor, there is much grumbling because she supplies no soap.”
Isn’t that the way of life? We constantly are blessed by God for what he provides but all we see is what He doesn’t supply – and we grumble and complain – and who like being around people that complain all the time about everything? And yet complaining is so common that for many it is a way of life. Right now you can probably think about someone you avoid being around because of how much they complain. We complain about teachers, minimum wage rates, bosses, traffic, taxes, people in government offices, our pastors and church leaders, spouses, children, home repairs, health, and troubles of all kinds. No matter how common complaining has become in our world, doesn’t make it right.
The Bible makes it clear that complaining is a sin in the life of His people. In Numbers 11, we find the nation of Israel complaining and the tragic consequences that follow. But does this apply to Christians today? 1 Corinthians 10:11 tells us that these things happened to them as an example and they were written down for our instruction. Philippians 2:14 tell us that we are to “Do all things without murmurings and disputings.” So let’s look at Numbers 11 and find out what Israel had to complain about.
The nation of Israel was on their journey through the wilderness after God brought them out of slavery in Egypt. They had already had the stop at Mt Sinai where God gave them the Ten Commandments. They are now moving towards the land of Canaan, the land God had promised to them. All along the way they grumbled and complained. They complained as soon as the Egyptian army began to catch up with them, so God parted the Red Sea and they travel across to the other side on dry land. They complain because there was no meat, so God sent them quails and manna. They complained about the lack of water and God miraculously provided water out of a rock. By the time we get to Numbers 11, the people were just complaining about the general problems of the journey. There wasn’t any big problem going on here. It was more like the child in the back seat who asks every five minutes on the family vacation, “Are we there yet?” Perhaps they were complaining about having to lug around their tents, or the same scenery day in and day out – sand, sand, sand. Maybe they complained about how hot it was out there in the wilderness. Or maybe it was the sand getting in their sandals. But in Numbers 11:1, God (and probably Moses too!) is just sick and tired of their complaining. As a result God disciplines them severely with some of them actually losing their life. The very first verse of Numbers 11 makes it very clear about how God feels about complaining – it angers Him. Their complaints would be no different than the things we complain about today – the teacher who grades unfairly, the boss who scored unfairly on the annual review, the amount of work dumped on us at work, the irritating habits of your spouse, or not having anything to wear when you gaze into a closet full of clothes. Even if our complaints are due to a true hardship, we shouldn’t complain. Instead, we should trust God.
As we read Numbers 11, we find that God directs his anger to “some in the outskirts of the camp.” Why those people? If you think about where the complainers hang out, it’s rarely in the midst. Instead they hang out at the copier or water cooler. Or maybe the supply room or behind the office building. But if we remember from the first few chapters of Numbers, God gave very precise instructions on the order the people of Israel were to camp and march. It is very likely that the complainers were out of formation and hanging out in the outskirts together and feeding of each others’ complaints. The loudest complainers are usually hanging out together on the sidelines refusing to be compliant and mouth-off at every opportunity.
So what is it about our complaining that angers God? Complaining demonstrates our unthankfulness for the gifts God gives us as well as our inability to trust Him. So when we find ourselves complaining, we need to stop and ask ourselves, “Am I content with what God has provided for me?”
God had provided for the nation of Israel manna to help sustain them in the journey through the wilderness. It had all the nutrients they would need. But anyone would agree that manna flakes for breakfast, manna sandwiches for lunch and manna burgers for dinner can get old really quick. It would be like have scrambled eggs for breakfast, egg salad sandwich for lunch, and omelets for dinner – every day. How long would it take before you never wanted to see another egg again? But if eggs is what God has provided, then we should be thankful that God has provided food for us to eat and we are not starving.
Not only is there a physical application to learn from, but there is also a spiritual application. In John 6 , Jesus said that He is the true Bread of Life. Manna provided the physical and life-sustaining nourishment they needed, but Jesus provides the spiritual and eternal life we need. So when we find ourselves complaining, we need to also ask ourselves, “Am I satisfied with Christ?” Often our complaints are evidence that we are not. The Bible teaches us that our joy is full in Christ. However, many times, we long for the things of the world and fall for Satan’s lie that money, relationships, careers, becoming a parent, or having name-brand possessions will make us happy. Any time, we begin to long for things of this world, then we’ve taken our eyes of Christ and are looking back to the life Christ rescued us from and all that we have in Him. Where are your eyes focused – things of this world, or on Christ and things that are spiritual?
In responding to Israel’s complaints, God gave them exactly what they had complained about not having. In fact, He gave it in such an over-abundant amount that it would “come out of their noses” and become “loathsome” to them. So be careful about complaining because you may just get your wish and more than you can stand. Psalm 106 14-15 tells us, “They lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tested God in the desert. And He gave them their request, but sent leanness into their souls.”
So the next time you find yourself complaining, remember that our complaints are merely a surface symptom of a much deeper problem: the sin of discontent. Whenever we complain, we provide the verbal evidence of our dissatisfaction with God’s provision and our lack of trust in Him. As soon as you realize you are complaining, stop right then and confess your sin to God. Acknowledge that He always knows what’s best for us and accept that fact that He has given everything we need. Ask him to help you be content and look for how He is providing for your every need. Turn your complaining into thankfulness.
Don’t forget to learn this week’s memory verse:
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
Meditate and apply:
Will you commit to praying with us in 2020 that God will revive His people, renew our faith, and redeem our land? We feel such an urgency and desperation for revival. If God is moving your heart for revival, write your revival prayer in the comments along with your state or country.
#heartofstone #heartofflesh #revivalinAmerica #revivalin2020 #WCM
This week’s featured design is taken from our memory verse – Ezekiel 36:26.
You’ll find the design in tees for men, women, kids, mugs, bags, and other products. The design is also available in white print or black. Check them out in the Spreadshirt shop.
Thank you for helping us grow!
#heartofstone #heartofflesh #WCM #teespring #spreadshop
BOOKING NOW! 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
#GLMW #couplesevent #GLMWbook #intentionalmarriage #Godlymarriage
Looking for a keynote 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. Today, 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
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|Living By The Book, Book & Workbook
By Moody Publishers
How would you describe your personal Bible study? Mundane or motivational? Lackluster or lively? Redundant or reviving? In their bestselling book and workbook, Howard and Bill Hendricks offer a practical 3-step process that will help you master simple yet effective inductive methods of observation, interpretation, and application that will make all the difference in your time with God’s Word!Please note that the workbook contained in this set is intended to be used with the book Living by the Book, not the DVD Study.
|Living By the Book 7-Part Condensed Series DVD
By Howard G. Hendricks / Giftedness Center
Join Howard G. Hendricks live as he shows you how to understand and apply God’s Word for yourself. Millions around the world have been captivated by this brilliant teacher’s highly energetic style, friendly manner, unforgettable illustrations, and laugh-out-loud humor. In these series of 25-minutes sessions, Dr. Hendricks will walk you step-by-step through his signature model for self-study: Observation, Interpretation, Application. Your experience in Scripture will never be the same. And your life will be transformed as you begin Living by the Book!
|Living By the Book 20-Part Extended Series
By Howard G. Hendricks / Giftedness Center
Join Howard G. Hendricks live as he shows you how to understand and apply God’s Word for yourself. Millions around the world have been captivated by this brilliant teacher’s highly energetic style, friendly manner, unforgettable illustrations, and laugh-out-loud humor.
In these series of 25-minutes sessions, Dr. Hendricks will walk you step-by-step through his signature model for self-study: Observation, Interpretation, Application. Your experience in Scripture will never be the same.
|Names of Jesus Boxed Mug
By Faithfully Yours
Ceramic bistro mug with the wonderful names of Jesus in vibrant color detail. A fantastic gift for anyone to celebrate their faith. 10 ounce capacity; microwave and dishwasher safe. Packaged in beautiful matching gift box.
|Coffee and Jesus Jumbo Mug
By Glory Haus
Upscale jumbo mug with scripted sentiment
|I Love That You’re My Mom, Mug with Bow
By Lighthouse Christian Products
Gifty mug with handtied grosgrain bow as the finishing touch, and a sweet and simple sentiment in black script on white.Ceramic bistro mug holds 12 ounces; heart shaped I love you tag. I love that you’re my mom with Scripture quote from Ephesians 1:16. Pink ribbon.
12 ounce size; safe for mw/dw. Boxed
|Heart Stone, 1 Peter 5:7
By Lighthouse Christian Products
Heart stone with the natural rustic feel of cement, for shelf, desk, or table display
|A Heart of Flesh
By Grace Patterson / Xulon Press
|Jesus Calling for Easter
By Sarah Young / Thomas Nelson
Exquisite photography alongside the heartwarming, meaningful devotions you’ve come to expect from Young make this a stunning keepsake for family and friends or an inspirational gift to yourself! Fifty themed selections for Lent and Easter with accompanying Scriptures keep the focus on the deep significance of this most blessed time of the year. Features include a padded hardcover binding, color printing throughout, a presentation page, and a ribbon bookmark.
|Leave it all… Prayer Journal
By B&H Books
Prayer journal with elastic band closure
|Last Supper Tabletop Figure
By Roman, Inc.
Tabletop figurine of the Last Supper created by Joseph Studio in fine detail, portraying Christ and his disciples all gathered around the table.Freestanding figurine is 11.25′ long x 4.5″ tall; realistic facial and garment detail. Crafted of resin with smooth finish; stone pattern rectangular base. Renaissance Collection.
|The Case for Easter
By Lee Strobel / Zondervan
Priced to give away, this “investigation” into Christ’s death answers three crucial questions seekers ask: Was Jesus’ death a sham? Was his tomb really empty? Was he seen alive after his death on the cross? Strobel’s award-winning skills as a legal journalist will persuade even the most hard-boiled skeptics to reconsider Jesus’ death and resurrection. 95 pages, softcover from Zondervan.
|He Chose the Nails: What God Did to Win Your Heart
By Max Lucado / Thomas Nelson
Max Lucado invites you to examine the cross, contemplate its purpose, and celebrate its significance in He Chose the Nails. Go ahead and linger on the hill of Calvary and see just how much God did to win your heart. Paperback.
|He Chose the Nails, Study Guide
By Max Lucado / Thomas Nelson
Every gift from God reveals his love, but no gift reveals his love more than the gifts of the cross. Have we taken time to open these? As we do, we find that Jesus did it all just for us. The He Chose Study Guide includes video discussion questions, Bible exploration, personal study and reflection materials for in-between sessions, and an additional session for churches and small groups using this study as part of Lent.
Note: Designed for use with the Because of Bethlehem/He Chose the Nails: A DVD Study (SKU: 687849) which is packaged together. It has two DVDS, one for each study.
|24 Hours That Changed the World, DVD with on-line Leader’s Guide
By Abingdon Press
One of the most innovative teaching pastors in the country, Adam Hamilton unpacks Jesus’ last days on earth and how they turn upside down the conventional ideas about good and evil, justice and history, life and death. Filmed on location in the Holy Land, it portrays the Last Supper to Christ’s victory over the grave.Segments include:
|The Risen Christ: LifeGuide Bible Studies, Jesus’ Final Words on Earth
By Bill Weimer / IVP Connect
Jesus, while dying on the cross, uttered several statements that are often called “The Last Words of Jesus,” but his words on the cross were not the last words he uttered while on earth. After his resurrection, he spoke many words of encouragement to his disciples and followers. His conversations with these men and women truly are Jesus’ last words.
In this eight-session LifeGuide Bible study, The Risen Christ, you will meet the risen Jesus Christ and hear his words. Each of the 8 sessions focuses on a specific dialogue and passage of Scripture from the books of John and Acts. Discussion Questions follow the teaching and a “Now or Later” section helps you integrate the teachings into your personal life. Leader’s Notes included.
|40 Days Living the Jesus Creed
By Scot McKnight / Paraclete Press
This bestselling 40-day devotional, based on The Jesus Creed (Jesus’ double commandment to love God and to love others), now comes with a Lenten study in the back of the book. Author Scot McKnight recites it throughout the day every day and challenges you to do the same. You may find that, if you do, you will learn to love God more creatively and passionately, and find new ways to love those around you.
|Hard to Dance with the Devil on Your Back: A Lenten Study for Adults
By Ray Buckley / Abingdon Press
Known for his stories, poetry, and art, Buckley—interim director of the Center for Native American Spirituality and Christian Study—delineates the crescendo of events leading to the crucifixion so that all can learn how to cope with the stresses and strains of a crumbling world where light is dying out. 64 pages, softcover. Abingdon.
|Jesus the King, Study Guide
By Timothy Keller / Zondervan
This powerful 9-session study from author Tim Keller focuses on the meaning and significance of Jesus’ life, based on the gospel of Mark. Is he the promised Messiah? Keller highlights the cosmic, historical, and personal dimensions of the story, encouraging everybody to re-examine their relationship with God.
|Our Family Will Love Wall Plaque
By Lighthouse Christian Products
Rustic look wall plaque 16.5″ x 8.5″; distressed finish Family Scriptures. Our family will… live and accept one another, pray for one another, tell the truth to each other, be kind to one another, bring joy to each other, serve one another, be patient with each other, comfort one another, forgive one another, be generous with each other, honor each other. In a variety of artful typography styles, with Scripture references under each; mounted paper on laser cut MDF wood product. Faux distressed finish.
By Julia M. Bruce / WestBow Press