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Love as I have loved you

As Jesus is getting closer to the end of His earthly ministry, He gives a new commandment. In John 13:34, Jesus tells the disciples, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” He then tells them that this love they have for others would be the identifying mark of those who follow Him. Why is this a new commandment? Back in Deuteronomy 6:5, we are commanded to love the Lord with all our heart, soul, and strength. In Leviticus 19:18, we are instructed to love our neighbor as ourselves. Then in Matthew 5:43-48, we are taught that we must even love our enemies. So obviously loving God and others is not a new commandment.

So what’s new about this commandment in John 13:34? The new commandment is that we are to love one another as Jesus loves us.

If we are to love one another as Jesus loves us, then what does that love look like?

One of God’s primary attributes is love. 1 John 4:8 says, “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” It is not a definition of God, but rather that His love permeates His essence in all that He is and everything He does. So when we truly know Him and experience His unfailing love towards us, there should be a desire for every person we come in contact with to want to experience His love also. Therefore, if we don’t love others, we must not know God on a personal level and have experienced His love.

Love Defined

Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 that love is patient, kind, does not envy, does not boast, is not proud, does not dishonor others, is not self-seeking, is not easily angered, does not keep any record of wrongs, does not rejoice in evil but rejoices in truth, it always protect, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres, and it never fails. Only God has such an unwavering and unfailing love and He expressed that love to us through Jesus’ death and resurrection.

John 3:16 tells us, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Jesus said in John 15:13, “No one has greater love than this, that someone would lay down his life for his friends.” And that is exactly the purest and truest love there is – and Jesus did that for us. He loves perfectly.

Only God has such an unwavering and unfailing love and He expressed that love to us through Jesus’ death and resurrection. — Julia Bruce

Because we are made in God’s image, we should reflect His love.

It would be impossible for us to love like Jesus on our own. This unselfish, perfect love can only come from God. Jesus demonstrated and taught us how to love and we can learn from the examples He set. While on earth, we often see Jesus in the role of a servant as he placed the needs of others above His own and He expects us to do the same. However, loving and serving others is not a burden, but a joy.

Galatians 5:22 provides a list of spiritual fruit that is the result of having the Holy Spirit dwelling within us and one of those fruit is love. Jesus tells us in John 15:4, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.” Because He lives in us, we will bear His fruit which will overflow from us and the world will see and know that we belong to Him. So what is the distinguishing mark of being a disciple or follower of Jesus? Loving others as Jesus has loved us.

Because we are made in God’s image, we should reflect His love. It would be impossible for us to love like Jesus on our own. This unselfish, perfect love can only come from God.

Jesus showed no partiality in who he loved

We can’t love like Jesus and only love those who dress, talk, or act like us. Nor can love like Jesus and love only those in the same social or economic class as us. We can’t love like Jesus and only love those who have the same color of skin as us. We can’t love like Jesus and only love those who are of the same denomination as us. There are no exceptions to Jesus’ love. There is no one so far gone in sin that Jesus doesn’t love. So if we love as Jesus loved, we can not put limits to who we love either.

Jesus showed no partiality in who he loved our how he loved. In fact, Jesus loved us all so much that He gave His life for us. How did He love? Completely! His love for us cost Him the cross. — Julia Bruce

Jesus also showed no partiality in how he loved.  

In fact, Jesus loved us all so much that He gave His life for us. How did He love? Completely. His love for us cost Him the cross. God knew before He ever created Adam and Eve that they would sin and it would send Jesus to the cross. He knew before He created you that you would sin and it would send Jesus to the cross – but He created us anyone because He loved us. Jesus willingly laid down his life because He loved us.

So does how you love others set a distinguishing mark on you as one of Jesus’ disciples? Does the world see how you love others and recognize you as a child of God?

What is the identifying mark of being a disciple or follower of Jesus? Loving others as Jesus has loved us. — Julia Bruce


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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:

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A Word to Christians in Response to the Storming of the Nation’s Capital: Pride Goes Before the Fall

A good beginning

Last week, we watched as protestors stormed the capital. If you’re like me, you probably thought, “This doesn’t happen in America. We’re not a third-world country. We’re the United State of America.” As a nation, our founding fathers built America on Christian principles and the Word of God. It was a good beginning. But arrogance and pride is an infecting stench in our nation that is tearing us apart.

The founding fathers were mostly men with Christian backgrounds who had studied the Word of God and incorporated the truths of the Bible into the very fibers that wove our country together. You will find those fibers in our Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and the laws that govern our nation. Those fibers were strong, sturdy, a sure foundation. A rock-solid foundation to withstand the test of time and the storms of life. Jesus said in Matthew 7:24-25 that “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.”

The problem is that for years we’ve heard the words of God, but we’ve not done them. We’ve become complacent and comfortable within the walls of our churches. It’s past time for Christians to wake up and take action!

A not so good beginning

We’ve come a long way since then. We’ve withstood wars, the Great Depression, scandals and all the “storms” of our history. The one thing that got us through it all was that humble foundation our founding fathers gifted to us: a nation built on God.  They built this nation on the Rock of Jesus and His eternal Word.

However, unfortunately, there is one thing we’ve never learned – unity. Today, we are as far away from united as we can be. We’re divided by race, religion, politics, and class and that has been true from the beginning. It makes you wonder why we’re called the “United States of America,” doesn’t it?

Division within the Church

Even among Christians, we’re divided by denominations and religious beliefs. To this, the words of Paul stretch down through time to say, “I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” (1 Corinthians 1:10)

We may worship the same God and read the same Bible, but we — mere humans – attempt to interpret the words and meanings of the Sovereign, Almighty God and have the audacity to believe that we are the only ones who’ve interpreted it correctly. Satan has us so busy drawing lines in the sand and picking sides while arguing with those on the other side that it is impossible for us to carry out the mission Jesus gave to the church – to be “salt” and “light”, to be “fishers of men,” to disciple the saints and evangelize the lost. We can be guilty of being more concerned with who is correct in doctrine than who is lost and on their way to hell. All while the rest of the world is watching. What testimony do we give to the world if this is their view of us?

The result

The result is what we are seeing unfolding in our nation now. Racism. Protesting. Rioting. Anger. Hatred. Murder. Division.  Jesus said in Mark 3:25, “If a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.” These words are true for our individual homes, the House of Representatives, the Senate, Congress, the White House and our nation as a whole. And the division we see in all of these is great indeed. You see, Satan wants nothing more than to stir up divisions so that we fall. And if we are so busy picking our battles, drawing lines in the sand, refusing to work together – this nation built on God will cease to be blessed by God.

The foundation our founding fathers established for our nation has been traded out for the sinking sands of political gain, financial gain, fame, and success. Our leaders have tossed out the Word of God. Demolished the Biblical foundation. And we – the Christians – in our complacency, have sat back and allowed it to happen. We’ve kept our voice quiet. We didn’t go out to vote. We’ve neglected our prayer closets. We’ve not raised up spiritual leaders. And now, our children, marriages, homes, and government are suffering.

In fact, if we take an honest look, the division in our nation has become a gaping, infected wound, and the life of our nation is pouring out of it. As with every wound, something has to be responsible for inflicting the wound. We need to identify the knife that created the wound.

PRIDE: The Knife that Divides

Division doesn’t just happen – something has to be cut in order to be divided. The same is true when we look at the division tearing our nation apart. It goes by several names. Ego. Self-centered. Narcissistic Personality Disorder (yes! It’s so prevalent that the DSM has a diagnosis for it!). And, as it is more commonly known: PRIDE.

The problem with pride is that pride is unbending. It is only concerned with my wants, my needs, my desires. It thinks that I know better than anyone else. That I am the only one that is right. I am all that matters. It refuses to see a point from someone else’s perspective. It is demanding, controlling, unyielding, and it rips apart relationships, homes, governments, and countries.

At the center of the word, “pride” is the letter “I” and when our focus is on “I” we cease to care about others. We become the knife that divides this nation.

Pride refuses to “Love Your Neighbor?”

No matter how we might try to get around it, Jesus expects us to love each other. In Mark 12:31, Jesus said we are love our neighbors as we love ourselves. In Mark 5:44, He said we are to even love our enemies. So, there’s no way around it. We are supposed to love others. All others. Not just those who look like me, think like me, dress like me, or vote the same way I do. But everyone.

Love your neighbors. Love your enemies. Not just tolerate or accept each other. Not pretend on the outside that we love them and then stab them in the back when no one is looking. Love doesn’t run their name through the mud on national television just to win a vote. It doesn’t cut them off in rush hour traffic because you’re the only one on the planet with a long list to get done today. It doesn’t turn away the vulnerable and hurting for materialistic gain or personal recognition or professional advancement. Nor does it slant the news story to make your favored candidate look good. Love does not raise your hands in worship at church then go home and bash the pastor over lunch. That’s not love.

How are we to love others? We can find at least three ways in the Bible that can be a healing salve:

1. Love fervently with a pure heart.

1 Peter 1:22 tells us, “See that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently.” A pure heart does not seek the harm of others. It doesn’t dig up dirt on others, sling it over national television without any thought to the opponent’s family members or their children who have to go to school the next day with all their classmates who heard the trash (true or false) about their parent.

A pure heart also doesn’t participate in such actions by reporting it or talking about it with others. Rather it recognizes that doing so stirs up strife.  

A pure heart means no guilt can be found in how we love others.

This verse also says we are to love others fervently. Not just a little bit – but intensely with a whole lot of pure love.

2. Love in truth

1 John 3:18 says, “My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.” In other words, you don’t go around saying you love someone, but then your actions speak differently. Your deeds should match your words if there is any truth to them. It’s the old saying of “actions speak louder than words.”

Loving in truth also means that we can’t veil our true thoughts and motives behind false words of love. In other words, statements such as, “I’m only telling you this because I love you, but….” and then your words are anything but loving and the motivation behind them isn’t love.

Sometimes it is necessary to confront others, but that should also be done in love and only truth should be spoken. Ephesians 4:15 tells us to speak the truth in love. Therefore, this verse tells us that bashing others with our words in wrong. We can’t speak the truth in love when we’re slinging their name and character through the mud. Instead, we point out the truth of what’s wrong, point them to God’s Word, and lead them to Jesus where they can discover His grace, mercy, forgiveness and love. We have a responsibility to speak the truth of God’s Word, but we are just as responsible for doing so in love.

3. Love like Christ

Jesus said in John 13:34-35, “A new commandment I gave unto you, That ye love one another; as I have love you, that ye also love one another.” Jesus also said, “Greater love hath no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13) It is easy to love those who love us – but what about those who are different than us? What about those who think different than us? We don’t get to choose who we will love. We are called to love everyone the way that Jesus loves them. What about it Christian? Do you love others as Christ has loved you – unconditionally, sacrificially? If love were measured on a meter, would your meter register in the “Christ-like love” category for both your neighbor and your enemy?

Let all that you do be done in love

1 Corinthians 16:13-14 tells us, “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.” We must be watchful because Satan, the father of lies, will deceive us so that we stumble and fall into sin.

We counter his attack the same way Jesus did – by standing firm in the faith. You can’t stand firm in the faith if you don’t have a clue what the Bible says. So, you need to be in the Word of God every day, treasuring it and hiding it in your heart so that it will be a light unto your path and to keep you from sinning against God.

Paul also said, “act like men” [or women]. We aren’t to act like spoiled brats demanding our own way, but mature children of God who reflect His character wherever we may go and to whomever we may encounter.

We also must be strong because the battle we fight is a spiritual battle so we must go to God who is our strength and our refuge. Only then can we overcome pride so that we are able to do everything in love.

Pride has made America “the all about me” society

We sing “America the beautiful” but the reality is more like “America: the all about me society”. Put that way, it doesn’t sound very beautiful. Proverbs 16:18 warns us that, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” In Psalm 10:4, the psalmist wrote, “In the pride of his face the wicked does not seek him; all his thoughts are, “There is no God.” The problem with saying “There is no God” is that you will also believe God’s Word is irrelevant. Therefore, loving your neighbor can just be thrown out and you just simply love yourself. No one else matters but you.

Pride says “There is no God

Doesn’t that seem like the cry of our world today: “There is no God.” Why? Because if there is no God people can go on living anyway they want and not worry about retribution and judgement from God. However, Proverbs 16:5 warns us that, “Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the Lord; be assured, he will not go unpunished.” And so, people do not acknowledge the existence of God. If we did, then we just might have to also acknowledge the possibility that COVID is a punishment for our arrogance and pride that believes we don’t need God.

Is COVID God’s punishment?

Is COVID a punishment? Only God can truly answer that question. But over and over again in the Bible God punishes nations for their wickedness, pride and refusal to turn back to him. We find in the Bible where the world became so full of sin that God regretted creating people. Only Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord and God saved him and his family from the flood.  From Sodom and Gomorrah, to Nineveh, to even his own chosen nation of Israel. Assyria, Babylon…and on down the pages of history.

Nations have come and gone when their sin became so great that God said, “Enough!” But we also know that Nineveh experienced a revival when Jonah went to preach to them, and God relented in His decision to destroy them. So, we know that when nations turn back to God, He does stop his judgement. But when they refuse to repent, the nation is destroyed.

Pride demands Independence and Control

There’s another reason people do not acknowledge the existence of God. Pride says, “I don’t need anyone or anything. I can do it my way.” But if we acknowledge God, then we know that we are dependent upon him for every single thing we have in life.

Pride also wants to be in control. We do not like it when we feel like we can’t control what’s happening around us. It stresses us out, makes us afraid. When a pandemic happens and our entire lives are changed all at once, it’s scary. Acknowledging God means that I have to accept that even with COVID, God is in control. This world is His creation and nothing happens without Him knowing it. He’s never caught by surprise at what happens on earth. We may not understand why some people – good people, pastors, children, and Christians — die from COVID and some do not. But if COVID is God’s judgment on the world, it will not end until God’s judgment is completed. We don’t like that. It’s out of our control.

God exists whether we acknowledge Him or not.

Choosing to say “there is no God” doesn’t mean he doesn’t exist. God is real whether a person chooses to acknowledge him or not. Quoting Isaiah 45:23, Paul wrote in Romans 14:11, “For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me and every tongue shall confess to God.” You can choose to say there is no God today – but one day you will stand before Him and confess that He is God. And if you deny Him in this life, you will reap His judgement of eternity in hell.

Pride is determined to Stamp out God

Not only do people choose to not acknowledge His existence, but people have been trying to stamp God out of this nation, little by little, for generations. Prayer was removed from schools. Abortions became legalized murder, wiping away an innocent’s child’s right to life and discrediting God as the creator of life. The Ten Commandments were removed from government buildings. Some would have us remove the motto “In God we Trust” from our money and any other thing it is stamped on. Marriage was “re-defined” and same-sex marriages became legal. In a nation that claims freedom of speech and freedom of religion, we’ve seen Christian business owners receive retribution from the government for denying services to homosexual couples.

Yes – our world today wants to cry out, “There is no God.” Because they believe if we can stamp out God, then they are safe from God’s judgements. Do we need to even ask, “Is there just cause for God to judge America?”

A Putrefying Stench

Because people continue in their stubbornness and pride, the division of our nation has become a gaping wound with a putrefying stench. When left untreated a wound develops bacteria that causes an infection. Infections often stink and the greater the infection, the greater the stench. If left ignored and untreated the wound turns to gangrene and the only way to save the life is amputation.

Our nation has a bacteria infecting it. We don’t like to call it by its name because it both convicts us and condemns us. It’s a tiny, little word but holds our nation in its grips. Like the word, “pride”, it also has the letter “I” at the center. It is this one little word that is the whole crux of the problem. The bacteria infecting us is…Sin. Proverbs 21:4 tells us, “Haughty eyes and a proud heart, the lamp of the wicked, are sin. And wherever you find pride you will find sin. And wherever you find sin, you find the work of Satan.

Be Vigilant

1 Peter 5:8 tells us, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” Right now, he is trying to devour our nation – and we Christians are sitting back within the walls of our pretty churches and allowing it to happen. Our complacency is our sin. We’ve been complacent as the world attempted to stamp God out of our nation and we’ve been complacent in acknowledging the true state of this nation. As long as what happens in the world doesn’t reach within the bubble of our homes and families, we’ve looked the other way as we shake our heads and regretfully say, “Well, bless their hearts.” Then we go on with our lives. We have failed to be vigilant. We’ve allowed Satan to sneak in and steal away the firm foundation of this nation.

The Problem with Complacency

The problem with complacency in Christianity is it destroys the effects of being “salt and light” to the world that Jesus commanded us to be. In Mark 16:15, Jesus told his disciples to “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. But after he ascended into heaven, we find in Acts 1 that the disciples stood around staring up into the sky. Two angels had to come to them and say, “Why are you all standing around here gazing up into heaven?” (My paraphrase). They could not both “go into all the world” and stay there staring into heaven at the same time. God had to send the angels to say, “Get to work!” (Again, my paraphrase) Likewise, we can’t stay within the walls of our church and effectively be salt and light to the world.

It’s time we wake up from our complacency and get out of our churches and go into all the world and bring the love of God to a world who so desperately needs Him.

The Second Problem with Complacency

There is a second problem with complacency. It nauseates Christ. We find in Revelation 3 that the church at Laodicea had a complacency problem. Jesus told them they were “lukewarm” – neither hot nor cold. In verse 17, Jesus said, “For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.” As a result, Jesus says that he will spew them out of his mouth.

It comes back to pride again. Pride fools us into believing we are better than we are and keeps us from realizing just how wretched we are. Isaiah 64:6 says, “We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment.” We have to stop comparing ourselves to the next person and saying, “I’m not as bad as them.” When we do, we fool ourselves into thinking we’re okay and we can’t see that even our best righteous deeds are just filthy rags.

How then do we heal the wound of division caused by the sin of pride?

If we are to rebuild the biblical foundation of this nation, it starts with the church. 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 will I hear from heaven, forgive their sins, and heal their land.” If we want to see our nation healed, we must wake up out of our complacency. It is up to the people who are called by God’s name – that’s the Christians. The children of God. Those who have acknowledged God and accepted Jesus as their Savior. It’s the Church’s responsibility – our God-given assignment.

We need a revival!

What is wrong in our nation is not going to be fixed by politicians. A stimulus check won’t fix it. COVID vaccines won’t heal it. What our nation needs is revival. Christians need to return to our prayer closets with fasting and prayer. We need to get rid of pride and humble ourselves before God. We need to seek His presence. And we need to ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the wicked ways within us (not in our spouse, children, co-worker, boss, neighbor or enemy) and seek God’s forgiveness. Will you be the wise person that hears and does the words of God? In Matthew 7, Jesus says this kind of person builds his house upon the rock so that when the storms come, the house will stand.

It is time for the people of God to cry out the words of the Psalmist, “Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you?” (Psalm 85:6) We invite you to join us in praying for revival. Start by memorizing 2 Chronicles 7:14:

“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 will I hear from heaven, forgive their sins, and heal their land.”

A Call to Action

Choose a set time this week to set yourself apart from the world to fast and pray. Get alone with God and His Word. Then commit to praying daily with an attitude of humility and repentance. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you any sin in your own life and seek God’s forgiveness. Pray for God to send a revival, to forgive the sins of this nation and to heal our land. Then go out and invite others to pray and fast with you. If within every Christian church in America the people of God joined together to pray, fast, and on call on the Name of God with humble hearts of repentance – we will experience revival. Will you be the one in your church?

Lord, send a revival to America, and let it begin in me.


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Revive Us Again, Lord

Our nation and our world need to experience a revival. 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.” Revival begins with the people of God. We invite you to join us in praying for revival for America and our world.

Revive Us Again, Lord
Revive us again, Lord

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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.

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Matthew 25:40. The aroma of your heart

Feb 9 Matthew 25 40

This verse is often used in teaching that we are to help the poor and less fortunate people — and we should. However, there’s a part of this verse that is almost not noticeable.  Jesus says, “inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethern…” So, who exactly are His brethern? Did He mean the disciples? His half-brothers that Mary and Joseph had after Him? His earthly relatives? If we go over to Matthew 12:50, we find that “Whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.” His brethern are His followers who seek to do God’s will. We should treat His brethern with humble compassion as we recognize they are His servants carrying out His will. How we treat them expresses our love for and commitment to Jesus Himself. But when we treat them harshly, it exposes our lack of devotion to Him. Jesus holds us accountable in how we live our lives. If we claim to live for Christ but our actions demonstrate differently, we need to examine the validity of our salvation. With Christ living in us, we should be a reflection of His character. Jesus treated others with love, kindness and grace – and so should we. When His character shows through our actions, we put Him on display to the world around us. Jesus commanded in John 13:34-35, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Jesus will be our final judge and there will come a day when we must stand before Him and give an account for how we lived out lives and how we reflected His glory to the world. Matthew 7:16-20 says, “You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.” The bitternut tree does not bear fruit every year. It only bears fruit every three years and sometimes only every five years. The beech tree bears fruit every eight years. The white oak can go ten years without bearing fruit. But the champion in delay is the bamboo which bears fruit only every 120 years!
Most Christians don’t live to be 120, but if they did, some would still bear no
fruit for the Lord Jesus. When the final judgment comes, will Jesus recognize you by as one of His own by the fruits of your life? Will He see you as a healthy tree or a diseased tree? Ask yourself: Do I have a real walk with Christ? Do I love others? Does my faith live out in my actions toward others?
2 Corinthians 2:15 says, “For to God we are the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.”  

 

Like it is so well said in this clip from “Facing the Giants” movie, our attitudes and our behavior reflects the condition of our hearts. A healthy tree will produce good fruit. When our heart is right, we will reflect the nature and character of Christ.

Facing the Giants, Sony Pictures Movies & Shows (c) 2006 written and produced by Alex Kendrick and Stephen Kendrick

ctt verse of the day

#aromaofyourheart #leastofthese #loveoneanother #knownbyourfruit

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Don’t forget to learn this week’s memory verse:

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Isaiah 55:6-7

Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.  

 

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 praying. For the next few weeks, we will be focusing on repentance.

#revive #renew #redeem #revivalinAmerica #revivalin2020 #WCM

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Looking for a Valentine’s Day gift for your special someone? Check out our Valentine designs at Spreadshirt.

You’ll find the design in tees for women, mugs, bags, and other products. Check them out in the Spreadshirt  shop.

 

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#MrMrs #Valentine #WCM #teespring #spreadshop

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FundlyWould you consider giving Wellspring a tax-deductible financial gift? We’re raising fund for some media equipment needed for our ministry.  Click here to make your secure tax-deductible contribution.

Cover_mBOOKING 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

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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.

Image result for form pngTo request more information or a booking, 
fill out the online form here.

Or call us at 904.524.8073

#JuliaBruce #speaker #keynote #author

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at CBD through any of these links. Your cost to purchase any item through an affiliate link is the same as purchasing directly from CBD.

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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.

343176X: Mr. & Mrs. Mug Set, Marriage Takes Three Mr. & Mrs. Mug Set, Marriage Takes Three

By Dicksons

Mr. and Mrs. stoneware mug set includes one each white mug for the bride and black mug for the groom, each embellished with swirl motif and accented with quote from bestselling marriage sentiment “Marriage Takes Three”.

A marriage that follows God’s plan
Takes more than a woman and a man.
It needs a oneness that can be
Only from Christ-
Marriage takes three.
Beth Stuckwisch/Dicksons ®

  • Dishwasher and microwave safe
  • 16 ounce capacity
  • boxed set for shower or wedding gift
201809X: Devoted Praying Couple Figure Devoted Praying Couple Figure

By Lighthouse Christian Products

Praying couple sculpture in lifelike detail, cast stone on circle base with protective felt backing. Handpainted with engraved Scripture verse on plaque; Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. Ephesians 4:2-3. 6″ x 6″ x 4.5″. Boxed. Devoted Sculpture Series.

God, Love, and Marshmallow Wars: 365 Daily Challenges to Grow Your Marriage  -     By: Julia M. Bruce

God, Love, and Marshmallow Wars: 365 Daily Challenges to Grow Your Marriage

By Julia M. Bruce / WestBow Press

 

There’s no doubt that marriage is hard work. Yet it can also be one of the most fulfilling relationships you can experience, outside of your relationship with God. However, many marriages leave God outside of the relationship. Godly marriages do not happen without cultivating it, investing in it, and putting God first in your individual lives and in your marriage.
This book includes 365 daily activities and takes you on a 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

 

 

 

950005: I Love Us Coasters, Set of 2I Love Us Coasters, Set of 2

By P Graham Dunn Inc.

Decorative and functional coasters for your car or truck fit into the cup holder to protect your vehicle from drink spills.

Set of two, ceramic absorbent coasters with distinctive art design. Designed with a slanted edge and can be easily removed for cleaning. Each coaster is 2.75″ in diameter.

I love us

941421: Life Takes Us To Unexpected Places Love Brings Us Home, Wall Decor Life Takes Us To Unexpected Places Love Brings Us Home, Wall Decor

By P Graham Dunn Inc.

Dimensional wall decor resembling a wood fence made of wood pallet

  • Artisan lettering on rustic pallet art
  • Farmhouse contemporary
  • Distressed finish and soft touch color accents
  • 14″ x 24″ with rounded picket style top
  • Life takes us to unexpected places, love brings us home
  • Floral motif
281615: I Have Found the One Whom My Soul Loves, Framed Decor I Have Found the One Whom My Soul Loves, Framed Decor

By P Graham Dunn Inc.

Farmhouse Collection of framed wall art pairs natural stained pine frames with artisan typography, artfully detailed with careful attention to the wood texture as well as the placement of each word. Handcrafted in the USA.

  • 20.25″ x 13.75″ high
  • Beveled wood frame
  • Scripture
  • I have found the one my soul loves. Song of Solomon 3:4
  • Romantic gift idea for every celebration of love.
088049: Marriage Prayer Wood Plaque Marriage Prayer Wood Plaque

By Dexsa-the Giving Company

Wall plaque captures the everyday appeal of reclaimed wood as a backdrop for special words and inspiring sentiment, in a heart-to-heart gift you’ll love to give.12″ tall x 5.5″; boxed gift; keyhole hanger. New Horizons Collection; mounted print on wood product with the look of rustic wood. Artisan typography completes the trending look. Made in the USA.

  • Marriage gift idea
  • Marriage Prayer Lord, help us to remember when we first met and the strong love that grew between us. Help us love in practical ways so that nothing can divide us. May our words be kind and our thoughts gracious. May we remain humble enough to ask for forgiveness and wise enough to freely give.
184620: Ten Ways To Love Wall Art Ten Ways To Love Wall Art

By P Graham Dunn Inc.

Rustic wall art makes a statement of warmth and inspiration in your home; 14″ x 24″, on vertical pallet slats; a primitive natural look with distressed finish.Distressed finish; 10 Ways to love…Listen without interrupting…Speak without accusing…Give without sparing…Pray without ceasing…Answer without arguing…Share without pretending…Enjoy without complaint…Trust without wavering…Forgive without punishing…Promise without forgetting. Love never fails.Typography lettering.

Sawtooth hanger for secure wall display; pine slats from actual pallets are attached to two cross beams; ready to hang on your wall.

What is pallet art?
It is a top trend in wall decor, created of dried-out pine with authentic rustic finish and the look of age and distress. It is the same wood that is used to create shipping pallets, and contains knots and knot holes, rough spots, irregular edging, and a rough, raw natural look- from the heart of America.The roughness and texture behind the artwork gives each piece a unique look of its own.

Pallet art is highly desirable and fits well with Country, primitive decor, contemporary suburban designs, and the open, back-to-nature style that is so appealing. Sawtooth hangers are affixed to the back for easy hanging on the wall.

Create a warm and casual atmosphere with distinctive pallet wall art in every room.

337403: Love You More Than I Can Bear Mini Plaque Love You More Than I Can Bear Mini Plaque

By P Graham Dunn Inc.

Mini plaque adds charm to any space in weathered, farmhouse look

  • 6″ x 1.5″x 0.375″ real pine wood
  • Cut and printed in artisan font design
  • For shelf, sill, office, nightstand, cubicle, dorm, or kitchen
  • Handcrafted in the heart of Amish Country USA
  • Love you more than I can bear
275443: I Love You A Bushel and A Peck, Pallet Art I Love You A Bushel and A Peck, Pallet Art

By P Graham Dunn Inc.

Rustic wood wall sign of natural pine slats, with inspirational sentiment; simple yet refined accent for your home.Constructed in similar fashion to an actual shipping pallet, skid sign includes sawtooth hanger on the back, easy to hang on the wall. Handcrafted in the USA.

  • Artisan lettering
  • 17″ x 23.5″ high
  • Love
  • I love you a bushel and a peck, and a hug around the neck.
338117: You Make Me Happy When Skies Are Grey Jute Hanging Decor You Make Me Happy When Skies Are Grey Jute Hanging Decor

By P Graham Dunn Inc.

Farmhouse style hanging sign

  • Constructed of two individual pine slats
  • Jute cord for hanging
  • Weathered look and trending design
  • Artisan font lettering
  • Handcrafted in the heart of Amish Country USA
  • you make me happy when skies are grey
  • 7″ x 7″ x .5″ approximately
337850: Love You More Love You Most Jute Hanging Decor Love You More Love You Most Jute Hanging Decor

By P Graham Dunn Inc.

Farmhouse style hanging sign

  • Constructed of two individual pine slats
  • Jute cord for hanging
  • Weathered look and trending design
  • Artisan font lettering
  • Handcrafted in the heart of Amish Country USA
  • love you more. love you most.; leaf motif
  • 7″ x 7″ x .5″ approximately
231551: Always and Forever, Floral Rustic Wall Art Always and Forever, Floral Rustic Wall Art

By P Graham Dunn Inc.

  • Pallet wall decor
  • 26″ x 10.5″
  • Hangers for hanging
  • Rustic motif
  • We decided on forever
337899: You & Me Forever We&quot;ll Be Jute Hanging Decor You & Me Forever We’ll Be Jute Hanging Decor

By P Graham Dunn Inc.

Farmhouse style hanging sign

  • Constructed of two individual pine slats
  • Jute cord for hanging
  • Weathered look and trending design
  • Artisan font lettering
  • Handcrafted in the heart of Amish Country USA
  • you & me…forever we’ll be
  • 7″ x 7″ x .5″ approximately
261212: Willow Tree &#174 Promise Willow Tree ® Promise

By Susan Lordi / Demdaco

Willow Tree ® figurine Promise, from the Relationship Collection by Susan Lordi. Hold dear the promise of love, 9″ high. A sculpture commemorating your love and a gift to give for special events: proposal, wedding, anniversary or your special day.Willow Tree celebrates loving relationships between friends and family.

507198: Just A Little Reminder Love You Willow Tree Figurine Just A Little Reminder Love You Willow Tree Figurine

By Susan Lordi / Demdaco

Willow Tree ® figurine collectible designed by Susan Lordi

  • 5.5″ tall, resin with openwork sparkling metallic sign love you
  • A figurine to celebrate love any day of the year
  • Just a little reminder…
  • For someone you love or someone who loves you
00962X: Love Is, Sterling Silver Ribbon Heart Necklace Love Is, Sterling Silver Ribbon Heart Necklace

By Laurel Elliott, DVB New York

Slender ribbon of sterling silver shapes a keepsake heart necklace engraved with the beloved words of Scripture Love is patient, love is kind. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. and on the reverse I Corinthians 13:4-8. An exquisite design, a reminder of true Christian love; on 18″ sterling silver chain with secureclasp. 1.5″ x 1.5″; in classic jewelry gift box.

Extend your necklace with 2″ sterling silver chain extender; Order Sku 392633

715666: I Heart U Pendant, Sterling Silver I Heart U Pendant, Sterling Silver

By Logos Trading Post, LLC

Sterling silver pendant for someone special

  • Openwork heart at the center of I Heart U
  • Approximately 1″ x 5″
  • In velvet gift box
  • Secure lobster claw clasp
  • A sweet and timeless way to show your love
715704: You & Me Pendant, Sterling Silver You & Me Pendant, Sterling Silver

By Logos Trading Post, LLC

Sterling silver pendant for someone special

  • You & Me in scripted sentiment on black background.
  • Approximately .75″ x .5″
  • In velvet gift box
  • Secure lobster claw clasp
  • A sweet and timeless way to share your love
14324X: Best Husband Ever Socks Best Husband Ever Socks

By Man Made / Pavilion Gift

Men’s gift socks with fun sentiment

  • 70% cotton, 28% polyester, 2% spandex
  • M/L fits men shoe size 8-12
  • Best husband ever is imprinted on the sole
  • Black
87674153: Personalized, Ceramic Mug, Your Love, Red Personalized, Ceramic Mug, Your Love, Red

By P Graham Dunn Inc Engravables

Ceramic gift mug in red with white lined inside. 11 ounce mug; microwave and dishwasher safe; engraved with heartfelt sentiment, Your love is the greatest gift. Love, and personalized with the names of your choice. 4.75″ x 3.75″.

Also comes in pink for her.

Personalized at no additional cost on the premises at Christianbook.com.

189695: So Loved Mug, Ephesians 3:19 So Loved Mug, Ephesians 3:19

By Lighthouse Christian Products

Classy black ceramic mug

  • Red and white designer lettering
  • So Loved with Scripture on the reverse side
  • Ephesians 3:19 …and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
  • Boxed; safe for mw/dw
4900218: I Love You. I Love You More. I Love You Most Mug I Love You. I Love You More. I Love You Most Mug

By Lorrie Veasey / Enesco Corporation

Gift mug shares your love in fun design with red heart trim.Red interior and conversation sentiment I love you. I love you more! I love you the most!16 ounce capacity; stoneware.Boxed; designed by Lorrie Veasey for Our Name is Mud.Fun and functional gift for the one you love. Safe for microwave and dishwasher; 4.5″ tall.

19956X: I Am My Beloved&quot;s, Sterling Silver Ring, Size 11 I Am My Beloved’s, Sterling Silver Ring, Size 11

By Laurel Elliott, DVB New York

Classic sterling silver poesy ring is richly detailed with Hebrew sentiment I am my beloved’s ; taken from the Song of Solomon. Wedding ring favorite in timeless beauty and rich design.Hebrew engraving ani l’dodi; modern Hebrew quote from Song of Solomon 6:3. Created using lost-wax casting, an ancient method of fine jewelry production; a beautiful ring: romantic, meaningful, and everlasting. Elegantly boxed with explanatory enclosure. Made in the USA.

974929: Beholding and Becoming: The Art of Everyday Worship Beholding and Becoming: The Art of Everyday Worship

By Ruth Chou Simons / Harvest House Publishers

You are in the process of becoming. Every day is an opportunity to be shaped and formed by what moves your heart.drives your thoughts.captures your gaze. Is it any wonder that where you direct your eyes and your heart matter in your day-to-day?

We become what we behold when we set our hearts and minds on Christ and His redemption story here in the details of our daily lives. Not just on Sunday, not just on holidays, not just when extraordinarily hard or wonderful things happen.but today

Bestselling author and artist Ruth Chou Simons invites you on a new journey to Beholding and Becoming. With more than 850 pieces of intricate, original artwork, Ruth encourages you to elevate your gaze to the One who created all things.

Today is an opportunity for God to demonstrate His love and His faithfulness in the midst of your mundane. No circumstance is too ordinary or too forgotten for Him to meet you there in worship. His transforming grace turns your “everyday ordinary” into a holy place of becoming.

 

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