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Did you remember to read your Bible?

One Year Bible Reading Plan and Devotional

Today’s Bible Reading: January 21

Download the full one-year Bible reading plan here:

[Download not found]

Genesis 49-50

Matthew 15:1-20

God can use Chaos for Good

Who created the chaos?

A surgeon, an engineer, and a politician were debating which of their professions was the oldest. The surgeon said, “Eve was made from Adam’s rib, and that, of course, was a surgical procedure. Obviously, surgery is the oldest profession.” The engineer countered with, “Yes, but before that, order was created out of chaos, and that most certainly was an engineering job.” The politician smiled and said triumphantly, “Aha! And just who do you think created the chaos?”

Certainly over the last few years there has been political chaos in this nation! Add COVID on top, and most of us have chaos in our lives! But we are not alone in our chaos – Joseph’s entire life was a picture of chaos and it was not of his own making. But Joseph’s story is important for us today because we find that God is always in the middle of the chaos and He is working all things out for our good.

Joseph’s life was chaos

Joseph’s brothers sure did create chaos for Joseph! They threw him in a pit – a dried up water hole used for watering sheep. Then they sold him as a slave. Placed on an auction block, the favored son of Jacob was inspected like a animal, bartered over, and sold to the captain of Pharaoh’s guard. However, the Bible tells us, “But the Lord was with Joseph” and everything Joseph did God caused him to prosper so that Potiphar made Joseph over his entire household.

But chaos wasn’t finished in Joseph’s life. Potiphar’s wife takes a “liking” to Joseph and when Joseph refuses her invitation and flees he leaves behind his cloak which she then uses it to falsely cry “Rape” and the cloak becomes her “proof” to her claim. Joseph is then thrown into prison. Again, the Bible tells us that God was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and He gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph’s hand all the prisoners who were in the prison; whatever they did there, it was his doing. (Genesis 39: 21-22).

Joseph was never alone in the chaos

No matter what chaos the people in Joseph’s life created, Joseph was never alone. Our Omnipresent God was working behind every human evil intent to bring about a plan to save many people from an extensive famine. God gives Pharaoh two dreams that trouble him and no one in the land of Egypt was able to interpret the dreams. However, from the prison days, Joseph had interpreted the dreams of Pharaoh’s cup bearer and baker. The Butler remembered Joseph and told Pharaoh about the man that had interpreted his dream. Pharaoh summons Joseph and Joseph provides the meaning of Pharaoh’s dream while also giving him a game plan for preparing for the famine that God was warning Pharaoh would come. As a result, Pharaoh places Joseph  2nd in command of all of Egypt with only Pharaoh in more power than Joseph.

Joseph recognized God’s plan in the chaos

When the famine is severe, Jacob (Joseph’s father) sends his sons off to Egypt to buy grain so they don’t starve to death. Joseph recognized his brothers, but they did not recognize him. He accuses them of being spies and begins testing them. He gives them grain and sends them home but tells them they can’t have more grain if they do not return with the youngest brother (Benjamin – Joseph’s only full-blooded brother). Eventually, when the brother’s return for more grain, Joseph reveals who he is and the brothers become afraid that Joseph will seek revenge. However, Joseph reveals his wisdom and shows that he recognizes how God has been at work in his life all along.

Chaos can put us where God can use us

If it were not for the pit, sold as a slave, accused of rape, and thrown in prison, Joseph would not have been placed in a position to save not only his own family of thousands of people from the famine. God used each of these adversities that brought chaos to Joseph’s life so that Joseph would be in the position God needed him. If anyone had the right to sit in corner and have a pity-party – it would be Joseph. Instead, Joseph recognized God at work in his life. He recognized that God made him prosper even in the chaos.

In fact, when you look through the Bible, you will find God recruited from the pit more often than from the palace. God found Gideon in a hole, Joseph in a prison, Daniel in a lion’s den, and David on a shepherd’s hill. Andrew, Peter, James and John (four of the 12 disciples of Jesus) were found in a dirty fishing boat. What pit is God calling you from today?

When chaos comes knocking at your door, do you run and hide from it or look to see where God is at work? Joseph told his brothers that what they had intended as evil against him, God meant for good. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Trust God in the chaos and look for where He is at work to make the chaos work together for good.

Chaos prompts us to pray

Yes, we’ve seen plenty of chaos lately – and it can be scary. But like Joseph, we are never in the chaos alone. We can know that God is at work and His perfect plan is being worked out. Through the chaos, God is growing our faith as we turn to Him and learn to trust Him. Whenever there is chaos, it should prompt us to fall on our knees in prayer, to seek God’s face and determine how He can use us in the middle of the chaos to bring revival to our nation. How does God want to use you in the chaos?

#ReadYourBible #Genesis #Matthew

Now you can enhance your Bible Reading with the Verse Mapping Template

Our Verse Mapping download is FREE and includes 6 pages: 3 pages of instructions for using the template and the 2 page template, plus the cover page. If you’re looking to go deeper into God’s Word, learn more about God and develop a stronger spiritual life, Verse Mapping will help you dig into the scriptures. As you apply God’s Word to your life, you will develop a more intimate knowledge and relationship with God.

Click here to listen to our devotions on Spotify be sure to follow us.

Visit our three retail experiences:

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Christian Tees, Bags, Mugs & More
We are an affiliate of CBD. We earn a commission on any purchase you make when you enter the store through this link. However, your CBD price is the same. Visit CBD for Bibles, Bible studies, gifts & more

Tee of the Week: The Greatest Valentine’s Day

Be Still

On Valentine’s Day, we celebrate love and there’s no greater love than Christ who laid down His life so that we can have eternal life. From John 3:16, this design is on t-shirts, long-sleeved tees, kids tees, mugs, bags, tumblers and more. Click the link to see all the available products in this design.


Do you have an event on the calendar and need a speaker?

We’re offering 30% off our speaker fees as our gift to you if you book any 2022 event with us by December 31, 2021. Call today and use the discount code: CHRISTMAS2021.

We’re excited to be a part of your ministry and can’t wait to see you – no matter what size your event.

904.239.8937


Visit our YouTube Channels for Christian playlists and our short animated devotionals.

Animated Devotionals

Contemporary Christian Music Playlist

Southern Gospel Playlist

Just Hymns


God, Love, and Marshmallow Wars

by Julia M. Bruce

What’s Inside God, Love, and Marshmallow Wars?

This book includes 365 daily activities and takes you on a guided 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

Available in hardback, paperback and ebook from Westbow Press Bookstore, Christian Book Distributors, Amazon, and Barnes & Nobel. Click the icons below to purchase from your preferred bookstore. Now also available at WalMart online.

Westbow logo
Christian book logo
amazon logo
Barnes and Nobel logo
walmart logo


 Join the community of couples on Facebook who are committed to intentionally growing their marriage and learning how to have a marriage that honors God. Here you can post photos of the different activities as you do them, ask questions of other couples, share how God is using this book to strengthen your marriage, and grow with other Christian couples. We’ll see you in the community.


Bible Studies, Bibles, Books & More

Christianbook Distributors logo
Everything Christian for less!

Looking for a Bible Study, Bible, book or Christian gift? We are an affiliate with Christianbook Distributors and receive an 8% commission on any item purchased through one of our links. However, the commission never increases your cost of any item. View some of our favorite items by clicking on the logo and thank you for supporting our ministry.

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Wellspring Christian Ministries receives an 8% commission on any purchased made from Christian Book Distributors through any affiliate link on this site. Your price for any item is the same as purchasing from CBD directly.


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God can use Chaos for Good

One Year Bible Reading Plan and Devotional

Today’s Bible Reading: January 21

Download the full one-year Bible reading plan here:

[Download not found]

Genesis 49-50

Matthew 15:1-20

God can use Chaos for Good

Who created the chaos?

A surgeon, an engineer, and a politician were debating which of their professions was the oldest. The surgeon said, “Eve was made from Adam’s rib, and that, of course, was a surgical procedure. Obviously, surgery is the oldest profession.” The engineer countered with, “Yes, but before that, order was created out of chaos, and that most certainly was an engineering job.” The politician smiled and said triumphantly, “Aha! And just who do you think created the chaos?”

Certainly over the last few years there has been political chaos in this nation! Add COVID on top, and most of us have chaos in our lives! But we are not alone in our chaos – Joseph’s entire life was a picture of chaos and it was not of his own making. But Joseph’s story is important for us today because we find that God is always in the middle of the chaos and He is working all things out for our good.

Joseph’s life was chaos

Joseph’s brothers sure did create chaos for Joseph! They threw him in a pit – a dried up water hole used for watering sheep. Then they sold him as a slave. Placed on an auction block, the favored son of Jacob was inspected like a animal, bartered over, and sold to the captain of Pharaoh’s guard. However, the Bible tells us, “But the Lord was with Joseph” and everything Joseph did God caused him to prosper so that Potiphar made Joseph over his entire household.

But chaos wasn’t finished in Joseph’s life. Potiphar’s wife takes a “liking” to Joseph and when Joseph refuses her invitation and flees he leaves behind his cloak which she then uses it to falsely cry “Rape” and the cloak becomes her “proof” to her claim. Joseph is then thrown into prison. Again, the Bible tells us that God was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and He gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph’s hand all the prisoners who were in the prison; whatever they did there, it was his doing. (Genesis 39: 21-22).

Joseph was never alone in the chaos

No matter what chaos the people in Joseph’s life created, Joseph was never alone. Our Omnipresent God was working behind every human evil intent to bring about a plan to save many people from an extensive famine. God gives Pharaoh two dreams that trouble him and no one in the land of Egypt was able to interpret the dreams. However, from the prison days, Joseph had interpreted the dreams of Pharaoh’s cup bearer and baker. The Butler remembered Joseph and told Pharaoh about the man that had interpreted his dream. Pharaoh summons Joseph and Joseph provides the meaning of Pharaoh’s dream while also giving him a game plan for preparing for the famine that God was warning Pharaoh would come. As a result, Pharaoh places Joseph  2nd in command of all of Egypt with only Pharaoh in more power than Joseph.

Joseph recognized God’s plan in the chaos

When the famine is severe, Jacob (Joseph’s father) sends his sons off to Egypt to buy grain so they don’t starve to death. Joseph recognized his brothers, but they did not recognize him. He accuses them of being spies and begins testing them. He gives them grain and sends them home but tells them they can’t have more grain if they do not return with the youngest brother (Benjamin – Joseph’s only full-blooded brother). Eventually, when the brother’s return for more grain, Joseph reveals who he is and the brothers become afraid that Joseph will seek revenge. However, Joseph reveals his wisdom and shows that he recognizes how God has been at work in his life all along.

Chaos can put us where God can use us

If it were not for the pit, sold as a slave, accused of rape, and thrown in prison, Joseph would not have been placed in a position to save not only his own family of thousands of people from the famine. God used each of these adversities that brought chaos to Joseph’s life so that Joseph would be in the position God needed him. If anyone had the right to sit in corner and have a pity-party – it would be Joseph. Instead, Joseph recognized God at work in his life. He recognized that God made him prosper even in the chaos.

In fact, when you look through the Bible, you will find God recruited from the pit more often than from the palace. God found Gideon in a hole, Joseph in a prison, Daniel in a lion’s den, and David on a shepherd’s hill. Andrew, Peter, James and John (four of the 12 disciples of Jesus) were found in a dirty fishing boat. What pit is God calling you from today?

When chaos comes knocking at your door, do you run and hide from it or look to see where God is at work? Joseph told his brothers that what they had intended as evil against him, God meant for good. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Trust God in the chaos and look for where He is at work to make the chaos work together for good.

Chaos prompts us to pray

Yes, we’ve seen plenty of chaos lately – and it can be scary. But like Joseph, we are never in the chaos alone. We can know that God is at work and His perfect plan is being worked out. Through the chaos, God is growing our faith as we turn to Him and learn to trust Him. Whenever there is chaos, it should prompt us to fall on our knees in prayer, to seek God’s face and determine how He can use us in the middle of the chaos to bring revival to our nation. How does God want to use you in the chaos?

#ReadYourBible #Genesis #Matthew

Now you can enhance your Bible Reading with the Verse Mapping Template

Our Verse Mapping download is FREE and includes 6 pages: 3 pages of instructions for using the template and the 2 page template, plus the cover page. If you’re looking to go deeper into God’s Word, learn more about God and develop a stronger spiritual life, Verse Mapping will help you dig into the scriptures. As you apply God’s Word to your life, you will develop a more intimate knowledge and relationship with God.

Click here to listen to our devotions on Spotify be sure to follow us.

Visit our three retail experiences:

Bible study and Self Care Resources
Christian Tees, Bags, Mugs & More
We are an affiliate of CBD. We earn a commission on any purchase you make when you enter the store through this link. However, your CBD price is the same. Visit CBD for Bibles, Bible studies, gifts & more

Tee of the Week: The Greatest Valentine’s Day

Be Still

On Valentine’s Day, we celebrate love and there’s no greater love than Christ who laid down His life so that we can have eternal life. From John 3:16, this design is on t-shirts, long-sleeved tees, kids tees, mugs, bags, tumblers and more. Click the link to see all the available products in this design.


Do you have an event on the calendar and need a speaker?

We’re offering 30% off our speaker fees as our gift to you if you book any 2022 event with us by December 31, 2021. Call today and use the discount code: CHRISTMAS2021.

We’re excited to be a part of your ministry and can’t wait to see you – no matter what size your event.

904.239.8937


Visit our YouTube Channels for Christian playlists and our short animated devotionals.

Animated Devotionals

Contemporary Christian Music Playlist

Southern Gospel Playlist

Just Hymns


God, Love, and Marshmallow Wars

by Julia M. Bruce

What’s Inside God, Love, and Marshmallow Wars?

This book includes 365 daily activities and takes you on a guided 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

Available in hardback, paperback and ebook from Westbow Press Bookstore, Christian Book Distributors, Amazon, and Barnes & Nobel. Click the icons below to purchase from your preferred bookstore. Now also available at WalMart online.

Westbow logo
Christian book logo
amazon logo
Barnes and Nobel logo
walmart logo


 Join the community of couples on Facebook who are committed to intentionally growing their marriage and learning how to have a marriage that honors God. Here you can post photos of the different activities as you do them, ask questions of other couples, share how God is using this book to strengthen your marriage, and grow with other Christian couples. We’ll see you in the community.


Bible Studies, Bibles, Books & More

Christianbook Distributors logo
Everything Christian for less!

Looking for a Bible Study, Bible, book or Christian gift? We are an affiliate with Christianbook Distributors and receive an 8% commission on any item purchased through one of our links. However, the commission never increases your cost of any item. View some of our favorite items by clicking on the logo and thank you for supporting our ministry.

Christianbook Distributors Search:
Christianbook.com

Wellspring Christian Ministries receives an 8% commission on any purchased made from Christian Book Distributors through any affiliate link on this site. Your price for any item is the same as purchasing from CBD directly.


See our other recent posts:

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Follow us on:

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Peace in the Midst of Chaos

by Julia M. Bruce, MSPC, Mental Health Coach,
Keynote Speaker, CEO, Wellspring Christian Ministries

It’s a cray-cray world full of chaos

It seems to me that each day that goes by, the world gets a little crazier and a little crazier. We long for world peace, but it really shouldn’t be a surprise to any of us that our world is full of chaos since God warned us this would happen in 2 Timothy 3:1-5. Paul wrote to Timothy under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit: “But know this: Difficult times will come in the last days. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, without love for what is good, traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to the form of godliness but denying its power.

It’s a problem of complacency

I think this is a pretty accurate description of our world today — regardless of who is in the White House, Congress, House of Representatives, Supreme Court, or any other political office. While we know that Satan roams the earth bring destruction wherever he goes, I believe that Christians have — at least in part — a level of responsibility for the state we are in. We have been comfortably complacent within the walls of our churches and as long as the “way of the world” doesn’t upset the bubble we live in, we shake our heads and say, “Well, bless their hearts!”

We have not stood up for the cause of Christ like we should. How does Jesus feel about complacent Christians? Hear his words to the church in Laodicea found in Revelation 3:15-16: “I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.” And to the church at Ephesus, we find in Revelation 2:4 that Jesus said, “But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.

Paul wrote in Ephesians 4:17-19, “Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity.” When we become complacent, we become callous to what is going on in the world and we are in danger of joining the world in its sin.

As the Days of Noah…

It is both sad and scary to see the moral decline of this world. Yet this isn’t the first time the world has reached this point. In the days of Noah, the world was so full of sin that God destroyed the world with a flood. For 120 years Noah built and prepared the ark as God instructed, all while the people mocked him. In fact, Jesus said “But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying, and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” (Matthew 24:37-29).

Just as they did in Noah’s day, people today go on with their everyday lives ignoring the signs that God gave us in the Bible and they will continue to do so until it is too late. They mock God and choose to live their own way.

Finding hope and peace

Even though our world is fulfilling the words of Paul, as a Christian we can find hope and peace…even in the midst of the chaos around us. Isaiah 46:10 tells us God is in control, from the very moment He created the world until it’s very last second of existence. “I declare the end from the beginning, and from long ago what is not yet done, saying: My plan will take place, and I will do all My will.” Satan may have a grand time making the world run amuck, but God will see that His will wins in the end.

In Psalm 37:18, the Bible says, “The Lord watches over the blameless all their days, and their inheritance will last forever.” In John 14:27, Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world give do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” Peace, as defined by the world is the “freedom from disturbance; quiet and tranquility, freedom from or the cessation of war or violence.” If that’s the definition of peace, then we can pretty much bet on never experiencing it in this life.

A different kind of peace

Jesus offers a different kind of peace, one that quiets our hearts no matter what the circumstances. It’s the peace in the midst of a storm that lets us know that God is with us and He will never leave us. This kind of peace is a gift from God and one aspect of who He is. In 1 Thessalonians 5:23, Paul writes, “Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Since God is peace, we can experience the peace that Jesus spoke of only when we take time to quiet our hearts, bask in His presence, and draw close to Him. The more time we spend with Him, developing a relationship with Him, the more we know of His deep love for us and we are able to trust Him even in the midst of the chaos around us. Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.

Peace is found in the perfect love of Jesus

As children of God, we do not need to cower in fear. 1 John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.” Perfect love is only found in Jesus. So if we are going to find peace, the opposite of fear, we need to continue to worship God, to seek His face, to humbly repent, and to pray for ourselves and our world.

My friends, Jesus gives peace and He is our only hope for peace. The Lord is our refuge and no matter what happens, we can run to the arms of God and draw on that peace, receive His strength, and trust Him even when it makes no sense to us. Psalm 91:1 says, “He that dwells in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.

Without a change in the current moral trajectory of this world, many more difficult days lie ahead. We, as Christians, should feel an overwhelming burden for the moral decay and the eagerness to stamp God out of the world He created. Our hearts should be broken for the lost and the sin that runs rampant around us. It should cause us to fall on our knees, weeping before our God with broken and repentant hearts. Will you join me in praying for a revival to sweep across our nation and our world…we desperately need it!

Click here to listen to our daily devotions on Spotify – and be sure to follow us on Spotify

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Psalm 100:4

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  • Revive Us Again, Lord

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Canvas art and posters are available in the Teespring store. Many of our Christian Tees are also available at Teespring.

Do you have an event on the calendar and need a speaker?

We’re offering 30% discount on our speaker fees if booked by October 31, 2021. Call today and use the discount code: FALL2021.

We’re excited to be a part of your ministry and can’t wait to see you – no matter what size your event.

904.239.8937


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7 FREE Downloadable Resources

Now you can enhance your Bible Reading with the Verse Mapping Template

Our Verse Mapping download is FREE and includes 6 pages: 3 pages of instructions for using the template and the 2 page template, plus the cover page. If you’re looking to go deeper into God’s Word, learn more about God and develop a stronger spiritual life, Verse Mapping will help you dig into the scriptures. As you apply God’s Word to your life, you will develop a more intimate knowledge and relationship with God.

[Download not found]

What Satan Does Not Want You To know

This trifold document includes Scripture verses that Satan does not want you to know about. As you hide these verses in your heart, you’ll be able to defeat the lies of Satan when he tries his wiles and schemes on you.

[Download not found]

Stress Journal

We all face stress. How we handle stress, however, has many variables. Learning how to recognize stress, coping with stress, and creating a self-care plan during times of stress can begin by journaling. Taken from our series on Biblical self-care for people in ministry, we’ve created this free download to help you through the things that cause you stress.

[Download not found]

2021 Bible Memory Verse Plan

We’ve put together 52 memory verses for you to hide God’s Word in your heart! You can download the full document for free and then print a new verse each week and as many copies as you’d like. Each verse prints four times on a page so that you can then cut them into index size cards and place them in prominent places where you will see them frequently throughout the day to help you remember to memorize them. Just because you visited our site, they’re yours for free! Download today.

[Download not found]

The Path to Sin

Satan is constantly trying to trip us up and he doesn’t even play fair because he uses our own desires as bait to get us to sin. James tells us the five steps that lead us down the path to sin in James 1:14-15, “But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” This download helps you identify your desires so that you can better recognize when Satan is baiting you and you can avoid falling into sin. When used along with prayer, asking the Holy Spirit to identify the desires that Satan baits you with, you can then ask the Holy Spirit to help you not become a victim to the bait of your desires. Download the worksheet today.

[Download not found]
Bible Reading Plan Download

One Year Bible Reading Plan

With just 30-40 minutes per day, you can read the entire Bible in one year. The One-Year Bible Reading Plan consists of both Old Testament and New Testament readings for each day of the year. The Bible is God’s personal Word to you. What is He saying to you today? Open your Bible and find out!

[Download not found]

Self-Care Wheel

The Self-Care Wheel provides ideas for practicing self-care in six dimensions of yourself: Spiritual, Physical, Emotional, Intellectual, Sensory, and Social. NOTE: You will need 11X14 paper to print the wheel.

Want to know more about self-care? Our Self-Care blog series targets people who serve in any ministry position (paid staff or volunteer) and takes a Biblical approach to self-care.

[Download not found]

Need some music to get you through the day? Check out one of our Playlists on YouTube

Click here for the Contemporary Christian Playlist
Click here for the Southern Gospel Playlist
Or Click here for the Hymns Playlist

You can also watch our animated devotionals on the YouTube Channel


God, Love and Marshmallow Wars by Julia M. Bruce

What’s Inside God, Love and Marshmallow Wars?

God, Love and Marshmallow Wars is a book that includes 365 daily activities and takes you on a guided 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.

Available in hardback, paperback and ebook from Westbow Press Bookstore, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble. Click the icons below to purchase from your preferred bookstore. Now also available at WalMart online.

WestBow Press logo

Bible Studies, Bibles, Books & More

Christianbook Distributors logo
Everything Christian for less!

Looking for a Bible Study, Bible, book or Christian gift? We are an affiliate with Christianbook Distributors and receive an 8% commission on any item purchased through one of our links. However, the commission never increases your cost of any item. View some of our favorite items by clicking on the logo and thank you for supporting our ministry.

Christianbook Distributors Search:
Christianbook.com

Wellspring Christian Ministries receives an 8% commission on any purchased made from Christian Book Distributors through any affiliate link on this site. Your price for any item is the same as purchasing from CBD directly.


Here’s some of our recent posts.

904.239.8937
A non-profit ministry located in Jacksonville, FL 

Follow us on:

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Is this trial a test from God or an attack from Satan?

by Julia M. Bruce, MSPC, Mental Health Coach,
CEO, Wellspring Christian Ministries

Satan is not God’s opposite. God is sovereign in every way and is in complete control over everything, including Satan and any trial that we go through in life. Anything Satan does, God allows. God is eternal; Satan is a created being and will be thrown into the lake of fire for eternity at the appointed time (Revelations 20:10). God and Satan are not in a cosmic battle for power. God is already the winner. However, God in his sovereignty has ordained that Satan have some control over the earth to tempt people. As 1 John 5:19 states, “We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.”

As we learned in Chapter 1, Jesus is the Vine and we are the branches. It is from the Vine that the branches receive life, but at the same time the branches need pruning in order to be more fruitful and sometimes the method of pruning that God uses is through a trial. However, during the trial, we feel the effects just as much as if Satan is attacking us. So how do we know if the battlefield we are on is a test or an attack?

To answer this question, we must understand the character of God and the character of Satan. John 10:10 will help shed some light. Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” God will use a trial in our life to test our faith and bring about spiritual growth and life. Satan is the thief that comes only to steal, kill, and destroy. Satan uses a trial in an attempt to remove God from our lives.

Let’s look at 4 questions we can ask ourselves when faced with a trial so we can determine if we are being tested by God or attacked by Satan.

Question 1: Is this trial a test or temptation?

Whether tested or tempted, in both situations, we will experience feelings and thoughts that are similar. So, we must go back to the truth of God’s Word. If we have hidden it in our hearts, it will be there to guide us and help us discern if God is testing us or Satan is attacking us.

While God does not tempt us, He does actively cause or allow tests to occur in the believer’s life. When God is working to strengthen our faith, His end goal is to allow questions, feelings, and thoughts that will lead to our ultimate trust in Him. In Genesis 22:1-24 God tested Abraham. In John 6:5-7 Jesus tested Philip. And in 1 Peter 1 we are told that God has called us to be born again to a living hope, but during our time on earth we will experience trials, “so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:7).

On the other hand, Satan certainly does tempt people, including Jesus. Luke 4:1-2 says, “And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil.” A temptation will lead a believer to a place of loneliness, despair, and ultimately leave all responsibility in your own hands.

Counting the trial as joy

James 1:2-5 says, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” Then in verse 13, James writes, “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am being tempted by God,’ for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one.”

You can determine if a trial is a test from God or a temptation from Satan by the pull it is having on you. If you are being tempted to indulge in sinful, unbiblical behavior, this is Satan trying to attack you. But if you are being encouraged to remain faithful to God through a test in your life that is resulting in more praise, glory, and honor given to Jesus Christ, this is a test from the Lord. Remember testing equals: waiting, watching, and surrendering all to Him. Attacks equal: leaving Him and relying on your methods to remedy the situation.

Questions 2: Does the trial make me feel conviction or condemnation?

The feelings evoked when we sin can also be a clue as to whether the trial, we are going through is a test form God or an attack of Satan. When Satan is successful in getting us to fall to temptation and sin, he then works to make us feel condemned. He not only wants you to sin, but he also wants you to feel that God now hates you because of your sin. He wants you to feel like you have failed God, the ministry in which you serve, and the people that you serve. But remember that this is one of his “identity crisis wiles” and recognize it for what it is. Such thoughts are lies straight from the mouth of Satan. The only person condemned, is the one who remains lost in his sins.

As a child or God, He loves you no matter what you do. He 1 John 4:8 states, “God is love.” His love is unconditional because his love is based who He is. Love is His nature and character. Therefore, it is impossible for His love to be based on our choices and actions. However, we must not mistake God’s unconditional love for us with a freedom to unconditionally sin. God will not ignore our sins because he loves us. Rather, he will convict us of our sin because he loves us and wants us to receive the grace offered through the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Christians are no longer condemned

If you are a Christian, you will never be condemned for your sin ever again. Romans 8:1 explains, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Condemnation is when you are sentenced to death for your wrongs. But, in love, God does convict his people, which is when the Holy Spirit points out a sin in your life so that you will be motivated to turn back to God in repentance. As 2 Corinthians 7:9-10 says, “As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us. For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.”

Question 3: Is this trial bringing order into my life or creating chaos?

Let’s face it: Sometimes we need something to motivate us so we can move from where we are now to where God wants us to be. No one likes to experiences pressures and troubles, but when we go through a trial, it often serves as a means to overcome barriers that prevent us from growing. As we wrestle through doubts, searching for answers in God’s Word, we grow in faith and we learn new facets about who God is. When a problem becomes urgent enough that we can no longer ignore it, God will use it to illuminate the disorganized areas of our lives and then bring them into order.

The Corinthian church is a good example of God using a trial to bring order. Paul tells us the church was experiencing problems because they did not know how to properly use their spiritual gifts of prophecy and tongues. Paul then provides explanations of the gifts in 1 Corinthians 14. And in verse 33, Paul writes, “For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.” Since that time, God has used the confusion of the Corinthian church for clarity throughout the body of Christ.

However, when a trial is being used for Satan’s purposes, order falls by the wayside and chaos develops. James 3:14-16 says, “But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.”

Questions 4: Is your trial drawing you to God or pulling you away from God?

God will always use the trails we face as instruments in drawing us into a deeper, more intimate relationship with Him. But Satan wants nothing more than to steal your joy and destroy your relationship with God. Because God is always in control, He can use the trials that Satan brings in our lives to cause use to seek to know God more and how God will use the trial for our good and His glory.

Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 how God used Satan’s attack on Paul to draw Paul closer to God. Paul writes, “So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Is this trial a test or an attack?

So, if the pressure and trouble you are facing tests your faith, convicts of sin, brings order into your life, or draws you to God, then God is testing you. But if your circumstances look more like a temptation to sin, makes you feel condemned, stirs up chaos, or pulls you away from God, then it is Satan who at work in your life.

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Now you can enhance your Bible Reading with the Verse Mapping Template

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Satan is constantly trying to trip us up and he doesn’t even play fair because he uses our own desires as bait to get us to sin. James tells us the five steps that lead us down the path to sin in James 1:14-15, “But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” This download helps you identify your desires so that you can better recognize when Satan is baiting you and you can avoid falling into sin. When used along with prayer, asking the Holy Spirit to identify the desires that Satan baits you with, you can then ask the Holy Spirit to help you not become a victim to the bait of your desires. Download the worksheet today.

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God can use Chaos for Good

Who created the chaos?

A surgeon, an engineer, and a politician were debating which of their professions was the oldest. The surgeon said, “Eve was made from Adam’s rib, and that, of course, was a surgical procedure. Obviously, surgery is the oldest profession.” The engineer countered with, “Yes, but before that, order was created out of chaos, and that most certainly was an engineering job.” The politician smiled and said triumphantly, “Aha! And just who do you think created the chaos?” Certainly over the last few months there has been political chaos in this nation!

Joseph’s life was chaos

Joseph’s brothers sure did create chaos for Joseph! They threw him in a pit – a dried up water hole used for watering sheep. Then they sold him as a slave. Placed on an auction block, the favored son of Jacob was inspected like a animal, bartered over, and sold to the captain of Pharaoh’s guard. However, the Bible tells us, “But the Lord was with Joseph” and everything Joseph did God caused him to prosper so that Potiphar made Joseph over his entire household.

But chaos wasn’t finished in Joseph’s life. Potiphar’s wife takes a “liking” to Joseph and when Joseph refuses her invitation and flees he leaves behind his cloak when she then uses it to falsely cry “Rape” and the cloak becomes her “proof” to her claim. Joseph is then thrown into prison. Again the Bible tells us that God was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and He gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph’s hand all the prisoners who were in the prison; whatever they did there, it was his doing. (Genesis 39: 21-22).

Joseph was never alone in the chaos

No matter what chaos the people in Joseph’s life created, Joseph was never alone. Our Omnipresent God was working behind every human evil intent to bring about a plan to save many people from an extensive famine. God give Pharaoh two dreams that trouble him and no one in the land of Egypt was able to interpret the dreams. However, from the prison days, Joseph had interpreted the dreams of Pharaoh’s cup bearer and baker. The Butler remembered Joseph and told Pharaoh about the man that had interpreted his dream. Pharaoh summons Joseph and Joseph provides the meaning of Pharaoh’s dream while also giving him a game plan for preparing for the famine that God was warning Pharaoh would come. As a result, Pharaoh places Joseph  2nd in command of all of Egypt with only Pharaoh in more power than Joseph.

Joseph recognized God’s plan in the chaos

When the famine is severe, Jacob (Joseph’s father) sends his sons off to Egypt to buy grain so they don’t starve to death. Joseph recognized his brothers, but they did not recognize him. He accuses the of being spies and begins testing them. He gives them grain and sends them home but tells them they can’t have more grain if they do not return with the youngest brother (Benjamin – Joseph’s only full-blooded brother). Eventually, when the brother’s return for more grain, Joseph reveals who he is and the brothers become afraid that Joseph will seek revenge. However, Joseph reveals his wisdom and shows that he recognizes how God has been at work in his life all along.

Chaos can put us where God can use us

If it were not for the pit, sold as a slave, accused of rape, and thrown in prison, Joseph would not have been placed in a position to save not only his own family of thousands of people from the famine. God used each of these adversities that brought chaos to Joseph so that Joseph would be in the position God needed him. If anyone had the right to sit in corner and have a pity-party – it would be Joseph. Instead, Joseph recognized God at work in his life. He recognized that God made him prosper even in the chaos.

When chaos comes knocking at your door, do you run and hide from it or look to see where God is at work? Joseph told his brothers that what they had intended as evil against him, God meant for good. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Trust God in the chaos and look for where He is at work to make the chaos work together for good.

Yes, we’ve seen plenty of chaos lately – and it can be scary. But we can allow the chaos to catapult us to our knees, to seek God’s face and determine how He can use us to bring revival to our nation. How does God want to use you in the chaos?


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God’s Starting Point

What’s the impossible in your life? In Matthew 19:26, Jesus said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” When you reach the point of impossible – that’s where God starts.

Impossible is God’s starting point

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