A bride brought her new husband up to meet her grandmother at a family picnic. The old woman looked the young fellow over carefully and then said to him, “Young man, do you desire to have children?” He was a bit startled by her candid approach but finally replied, “Well, yes, as a matter of fact, I do.” She looked at him scornfully and then surveyed the very large clan of children gathered around half a dozen picnic tables and said, “Well, try to control it!”
Jacob had two wives and two concubines who together gave him thirteen children – twelve sons and a daughter. One wife and the two concubines were forced on him. But his heart belonged to Rachel. Joseph was Rachel’s son. His other wife, Leah (Rachel’s sister) gave him six sons and a daughter. The concubines gave him four sons (two each). Rachel would then go on to have the last son, Benjamin, but she died in childbirth.
Sometimes we look at the patriarchs of the Bible and put them up on a pedestal and forget that they are also humans…just like us. Jacob’s family was dysfunctional. As a result, jealousy between the two wives bred jealousy between the 12 sons. But yet, playing favorites is not new to Jacob. The Bible tells us that Issac loved Esau (Jacob’s brother) while Rebecca love Jacob. More often than not, we tend to parent how we were parented…and instead of learning what favoritism cost him and his brother, Jacob too chooses a favorite … the son of his old age…and the son of his beloved Rachel. When the sons of the four concubines got into trouble (Dan, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher), Jacob treated them differently and unequally which stirred up hatred, resentment and jealousy. Reuben, the first born, was the natural heir, but was disqualified because of an illicit relationship with one of his father’s concubines (Gen. 35:22). Simeon and Levi were passed over because of their crime at Shechem (34:25-30). Judah was the fourth son in line to be heir and one might expect that he would be chosen, but Jacob chooses Joseph. The coat of many colors that Jacob made for Joseph, signified Joseph as Jacob’s chosen successor for clan leadership, especially since he was the first born of Rachel, the only woman Jacob had ever intended to marry. This might explain Judah’s active role in the selling of Joseph into slavery. As time goes by, the rivalry is passed down through their descendants and the two clans of Judah and Ephraim (Joseph’s son) struggle for supremacy and eventually ten of the tribes under the leadership of Ephraim would secede from the nation and create their own nation.
As parents we need to make sure that we treat all our children the same and refrain from choosing “favorites.” Every child needs to know the love of his/her parent and never feels compared to or unequal to a sibling. The consequences of favoritism not only breeds discontent in the home but is passed down from generation to generation.
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Don’t forget to memorize this week’s memory verse:
In 2020 our emphasis is on revival for America with three key words: revive, renew, and redeem. You will begin to see the elements of our website and posts reflect this emphasis. We hope you’ll join us in praying for God to pour out the Holy Spirit with a mighty rushing wind of revival for our nation and around the world.
Our key verse for revival is 2 Chronicles 7:14. “If my people who are called by my name shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land. Our verse last week focused on humbling ourselves. This week, we’ll focus on praying.
This week’s memory verse:
Then you will call upon me and come and
pray to me, and I will hear you.
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.
T-shirt Fundraiser Event:
In Jesus’s parable of the persistent widow, Jesus tells us to never stop praying and don’t lose heart. As we focus on Revival for America, 2 Chronicles 7:14 says, “If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sins, and heal their land.” This design was created as we focus this week on praying for revival. You’ll find the design in tees for men, women, kids, and babies, mugs, bags, and other products. Check them out on in the Spreadshirtand Teesprings shops.
All proceeds go to the advancement of Wellspring Christian Ministries.
Thank you for helping us grow!
#dontquit #praywithoutceasing #nevergiveup #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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We are praying and seeking God for Revival in America in 2020. The path to revival can be found in 2 Chronicles 7:14. Watch the video on this verse created by our CEO.
2 Chronicles 7:14 says, “If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves….” This week we have featured several resources on prayer. We hope you’ll choose one for your own personal Bible study and join us in seeking God with a heart of humility and pray with us for God to send a revival to America in 2020.
Check out the Christian Book Distributor resources below.
Our organization receives an 8% commission on any item you purchase through these links. However, the product price is the same for you. There is no increase in your cost for us to receive the commission. All commissions receive support the work and ministry of Wellspring Christian Ministries.
|Seek: 28 Days to Extraordinary Prayer
By Jennifer Kennedy Dean / New Hope Publishers
Experience the peace that comes from yielding to God and the intimacy of worship and adoration! In daily and weekly entries, Dean encourages you to Surrender, Exalt, Expose, and Knock. Written to be used individually, as a family, or corporately, her brief 4-week guide will help you make prayer a life-altering habit. 156 pages, 5″ x 7″ softcover from New Hope.
|When God’s People Pray – Participant’s Guide: Six Sessions on the Transforming Power of Prayer
When God’s People Pray, Participant’s Guide is the companion book for group members. The DVD curriculum is sold separately and by Jim Cymbala, best-selling author of Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire. You and your church will learn transforming prayer through the Holy Spirit. Discover the power of God to restore hope, ignite faith, work miracles, and change lives…through prayer.
|Prayer: Forty Days of Practice
By Justin McRoberts & Scott Erickson / WaterBrook
Something in us searches for communion and communication with God. Although connection with the Creator is an innate desire, the effective practice of that connection can feel contrived or unnatural.
Prayer: Forty Days of Practice invites you to pray in more authentic and untethered ways. These prayers and images, along with contemplative reflections and suggested practices, are designed to stir and clarify what God is doing in you, which is the heart of prayer.
|Pray Big: Learn to Pray Like an Apostle
By Alistair Begg / Good Book Company
So many of us struggle with prayer. Many books have been written on the subject and there’s a reason for that. Prayer comes hard to most of us, in most seasons. And when we do pray, we often don’t know what to say. What is it that my Father loves to hear about? What are the best things I could pray for my family, my church, and myself?
This short book by renowned Bible teacher Alistair Begg combines warmth, clarity, humor, and practicality as he examines Paul’s prayers for his friends in the church in Ephesus. Paul clearly enjoyed prayer, and was excited about it. He expected his Father in heaven to hear what he said, and to act in other people’s lives accordingly. The truths that underpin and shape his prayers will motivate us to pray and set us an example.
So be inspired by the Apostle Paul to pray bigger and better prayers as we look to our heavenly Father to do more than all we ask or imagine!
|Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference? Participant’s Guide
By Philip Yancey / Zondervan
If God knows everything, why pray? Why do answers seem inconsistent and unpredictable? How can I make prayer more satisfying? Explore the most mysterious aspect of our relationship with God! Based on Yancey’s best-selling Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference? this 6-session study illuminates a sometimes confusing yet infinitely rewarding activity. Companion DVD sold separately (SKU: 275251).
|Pray About Everything, Tapestry Word Pillow
By Manual Woodworkers & Weavers
Encouraging words are displayed on our woven tapestry prayer pillow Don’t worry about anything, instead pray about everything, and thank Him for His answers. Philippians 4:6
|If My People (2 Chronicles 7:14, KJV) Truth Tag
By B&H Church Supply
Inspiring and colorful Truth Tag set is a wonderful way to carry a Scripture verse with you. Bold contemporary graphic design and high glossy finish. An affordable Christian encouragement or appreciation gift! Attach this patriotic Truth Tag to your key chain, luggage, purse, or backpack; keep the bookmark in your current favorite read.
Featured Scripture: 2 Chronicles 7:14 (KJV)
|If My People: A Prayer Guide for our Nation
By Thomas Nelson
Embark on a 40-day prayer journey for America during a time of political division and transition! In the spirit of 2 Chronicles 7:14, this helpful guide provides devotional thoughts to inspire you to lift up our nation’s leaders, and includes seven meditations from past presidents that were inspired during our country’s darkest days. 128 pages, hardcover from Nelson.
By Max Lucado / Thomas Nelson
Do you wish you prayed more—with more fire, faith, and fervency? Embarking on a journey to the very heart of biblical petition, Lucado explores the quotable, repeatable, portable prayer that Jesus gave his first followers when they struggled with this spiritual discipline. Discover how to have a heartfelt dialogue with God—and let the conversation begin! 192 pages, softcover from Nelson.
|Developing a Powerful Praying Church
By Richard Blackaby / Blackaby Ministries International
|Draw the Circle: The 40 Day Prayer Challenge
By Mark Batterson / Zondervan
Since The Circle Maker‘s release in 2011, inspiring stories of God’s answers to prayer have poured in to Mark Batterson’s inbox. In Draw the Circle he shares 40 of those faith-building stories through devotional readings that will encourage you to keep praying like never before.The 40-day prayer plan outlined in Draw the Circle will give you the insight and motivation you need to develop a deeper, more passionate prayer life. And as you take on the prayer challenge Batterson lays out, you’ll be sowing seeds that will bear a lifetime of faith as you watch God work in your life and in the world.
|The Circle Maker
By Mark Batterson / Zondervan
Updated and revised! When his land was drought-stricken in ancient times, Honi ha-M’agel drew a circle in the sand, stepped inside it, and wouldn’t budge until God answered his petition for rain. What impossible dream are you praying about? Sharing new insights and personal stories, Batterson’s bestseller will help you achieve your desires through audacious prayer. 240 pages, softcover from Zondervan.
By Stephen Kendrick & Alex Kendrick / B&H Books
Many people feel they are less than who God says they are. We get our identity from our careers, our political positions, family roles in the family, and other things. This small group study uses clips from the film Overcomer to examine how we determine our identity and how we can find our true identity in Christ.
The Bible study is geared for adult groups to use prior to the movie or just after seeing the movie. The study includes clips from the movie.
The Overcomer Bible Study Kit has five sessions and includes:
- one Bible Study Book
- one DVD with a promotional video and five 2-4 minute video sessions
- Who Are You?
- You Are Broken
- You Are Chosen
- You Surrender
- You Declare
By Provident Films
From the creators of War Room, Courageous and Fireproof. Basketball coach John Harrison’s high school team is crushed by the closing of the town’s largest employer. Hundreds of families move, leaving him running a struggling cross-country program. But then he meets Hannah and begins helping this unlikely runner attempt the impossible in the year’s biggest race. Starring Alex Kendrick, Priscilla Shirer, and Aryn Wright-Thompson. Rated PG. Dove approved (12+). Approx. 119 minutes.
By Julia M. Bruce/Westbow Press