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The Dangers of Ministry

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

Any person who works in any type of ministry profession is in danger. Real danger. Paul put it this way in 2 Corinthians 4:8: “We are pressured in every way…” (HCSB). The King James words it, “We are troubled on every side.” Pressured and troubled.

I bet when you said that obedient yes to God when He called you into your area of ministry you didn’t imagine that you were signing on for pressure and trouble. Too often, when we are serving God, we believe that everything we do in His name will blessed and we’ll be happy. However, it doesn’t take too long before we realize that’s not what ministry is like. Ministry work is pressure and trouble.

There is a reason that serving God includes pressure and trouble, but God can use those times to refine us, grow our faith, and make us better Christian soldiers who reflect His image and glory, or we can cave into the pressure and trouble and leave the calling that God has given us.

Most likely, you understand that as a part of ministry you are constantly fighting spiritual battles, but perhaps you need a reminder or to see your pressures and troubles through a different perspective. Either way, let’s examine why ministry work is about pressure and trouble.

Ministry work draws unwanted attention

As we begin to serve broken people who are sinners[1] that belong to the devil, we draw the unwanted attention of our adversary, Satan. Some of those broken people have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus, but they too are fallen, broken human beings. And so are we. The point is none of us are perfect. So, we who are broken and imperfect, are called by God to serve and minister to more broken and imperfect people.

Our calling – whatever the ministry is – is about winning the lost, growing disciples, proclaiming the good news of Jesus and to keep people out of hell. But Satan – who knows that hell awaits him – wants to take as many people as he can with him and we, through our ministry, are working in complete opposition with him. So, we become target practice for His fiery darts and the pressures and troubles begin to abound – relentlessly, at times.

Satan’s fiery darts

Satan’s fiery darts of pressure and trouble take on many different shapes and sizes, but if Satan can get us to quit the ministry to which we have been called, then our impact in God’s kingdom is affected. The moral state of our nation is impacted. And the world around us is impacted. We must remember that Satan is the ruler of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4 [2]) and when we are serving God, we’re serving Him in Satan’s territory. We are encroaching behind enemy lines.

Thankfully, Satan is not always successful in getting us to quit the ministry we have been called to. There are faithful Christian soldiers who continue to fight the good fight, and I hope that one of those soldiers is you. But if you feel like you have lost your effectiveness, then I want you to recognize that Satan will use pressures and troubles to keep us so busy putting out the skirmishes that our ministry effectiveness is hindered.

If you are considering quitting your ministry or if you feel like you are no longer effective, I want you to know that you are not alone, and I want you to see how Satan is at work to get you to the point of giving up. You probably already know this, but sometimes we need a reminder that what is going on around us in our ministry – those pressures and troubles – is about fighting the good fight and we must not give up.

Ministry is a Battlefield

Ministry is hard. It is a battlefield. And often, it is us who stand with feet firmly planted, with our shields raised high to protect the ones to whom we minister from the fiery darts of Satan. At the same time, our own backs are littered with numerous fiery darts and not just the ones where we were the intended target, but also the ones where the targets were the people to whom we minister to every day. We can not protect them 24/7 and they end up with numerous fiery darts well planted into them too, but when people who serve in ministry serve and protect those God has placed before us and we take on some of the arrows intended for them, as well as our own.

The assaults from our enemy are relentless and they are fierce. We are pressured and troubled in every way and on every side. Why? Because ministry is a battlefield, and we are soldiers sent in to fight the good fight. And if we are going to finish our race, we need to recognize when we need self-care, understand Biblical self-care, and take the time to practice self-care.

Jesus knows when we need to practice self-care

If the ministry in which you serve feels like pressure and trouble, then hear Jesus say to you the same words he said to the disciples in Mark 6:31, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” Jesus knew it was time for His disciples to practice some self-care. He understood that when we are continually pouring into others, we eventually become empty, and we need time alone with Him to recharge and fill back up again so that we can continue to pour into others.

Think about it this way. Jesus said He is the vine, and we are the branches. Apart from Jesus we can do nothing. In fact, in John 15:2, Jesus says, “Every branch in Me that does not produce fruit He removes, and He prunes every branch that produces fruit so that it will produce more fruit.” Pruning is never easy – but it produces more fruit. So, pruning is necessary.[3] Pruning is the act of cutting away dead or overgrown branches or stems with the result of increasing fruitfulness and growth. So now we have pressure and trouble and pruning. Sounds like about as much find as playing volleyball in the middle of a giant swarm of bees!

Pruning to be Fruitful

In a spiritual sense, pruning is about Christ cutting away the parts of us that do not glorify Him so that He can produce more of the Fruit of Spirit within us, so we are more fit to do the ministry He entrusted to us. But for that fruit to be healthy and vibrant, it needs to be nurtured. The branches get all they need for life from the vine. But apart from the vine, we whither and die. Apart from the vine we are not nourished. And if we are empty ourselves, we have nothing left to give to anyone else or to the task to which God has called us.

As servants of God, Jesus sends us out, just as He did His disciples, to fight the good fight and to do good work so that the Father in Heaven is glorified. If you’ve ever asked, “What is God’s will?” This is it. We are sent out to do good work so that God is glorified. But we all must continually come back to the Vine so we can fill up and then go out and pour the living water of Christ into others. Biblical self-care is about staying connected to the Vine, so we do not become empty, unnourished, and wither and die in our ministry calling.


Footnotes:

[1] Just as a reminder, we too are broken people who are sinners that once belonged to the devil. Don’t ever lose sight that before you were redeemed and made new, Satan was your father, too.

[2] In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. (2 Corinthians 4:4, ESV)

[3] I bet you never willingly went to the “vine pruning line.” But it is here that God cuts away at the areas of our lives that need growth so that we are better equipped for His plans for us. Don’t avoid the pruning line. It won’t be fun, but the end results will bring more glory to God.

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

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Here in Florida, it does not feel like fall yet, but September is here and that means we are growing our fall line of t-shirt designs. Check out these two new designs:

Sweater weather

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See our other fall designs:

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See our Canvase prints in the Teespring Store: All Things New

All Things New

We’ve added a new canvas print to the Teespring Store. These prints make great gifts or for decor in your home.

When we ask Jesus to forgive us and save us from our sin, He takes our old, sinful self and makes us new in Him. This beautiful canvas is a great reminder of what Jesus has done for us.

See our Canvase prints in the Teespring Store: All Things New

All Things New

We’ve added a new canvas print to the Teespring Store. These prints make great gifts or for decor in your home.

When we ask Jesus to forgive us and save us from our sin, He takes our old, sinful self and makes us new in Him. This beautiful canvas is a great reminder of what Jesus has done for us.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Bible Studies, Bibles, Books & More

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Time for Rest

Jesus and the Disciples needed rest

Jesus had been performing miracle after miracle. He had been teaching crowds, defending himself against the Pharisees, and now recently, his cousin, John the Baptist had been beheaded. And everywhere He went, he had the disciples in tow, teaching them everything He possible could for the time after He would return to heaven and the gospel message would be placed into their hands to spread throughout the world. They stood by observing, soaking everything in and miracle after miracle, they were left in speechless awe. We also find in Mark 6 that they were weary and needed rest.

Then, the story changes scenes as Mark inserts the interlude story of John the Baptist being beheaded. In the gospel of Matthew, we find that this incident is connected to Jesus deciding to get away for a while for some rest.

We all need rest from time to time

We all need rest from time to time, even when we are busy doing the Lord’s work and serving Him through ministry. Since God created us, he knows more than anyone else that our bodies need adequate rest. And because Jesus, the Son of God, came to dwell among us in a flesh and blood body, he experienced being tired. In John 4:6, we find Jesus worn out from His journey and sat beside the well where he would encounter the Woman at the Well.

Without rest, we are not fully able to accomplish the tasks he has called us to do. When we become so tired that we don’t know how we can keep going, Matthew 11:28 says, “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

Jesus calls us to himself and leads us to rest

The Greek word for “come” is deute and means to “come hither” or “follow.” Jesus calls us to himself and to follow His example. Jesus calls us to experience Him in an up-close-and-personal kind of way. He longs to bring us into close proximity and into an intimate fellowship with himself. He wants us to take whatever circumstance we are in and He says, “Give them to Me.” He longs for us to give Him every burden and problem in total surrender and dependence on Him. As we learn to trust him, we are then able to find peace and rest. In 2 Chronicles 20:17, God tells his people to “position yourselves, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord. He is with you.”

When we are Heavy-laden and weary, Jesus invites us to rest

Sometimes we get so caught up in hurrying from one to-do item to another that we barely have time to breathe. We end up heavy-laden with burdens and become weary. The Greek word for “weary” is kopiao and means “to labor, toil, expand great effort in hard and disagreeable work,” “to grow weary, tired; labor to the point of exhaustion.” Doesn’t this sound like us? But instead of taking time to rest, we just grab some caffeine or one of those very unhealthy energy drinks and just keep going. The result shows in both our physical health and emotional health.

What we really need, is rest. Jesus invites us to give him all our heavy burdens and our weary souls and He will give us rest. In Exodus 33:14, God says, ” “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

God created our need for rest

Feb 25 ctt 1

“Rest” is the Greek word anapauo which means “to refresh, rest up,” or “to cease from labor.” God created our need for rest…a pause from life…for our own good.  A pause to cease from the hustle and noise of life so we are able to:

  • Seek His will and determine our steps
  • spend time with God so we are able to listen to Him
  • re-energize
  • avoid burnout
  • to keep serving Him in whatever capacity we have been called

Saying “yes” to too much

At times, we allow ourselves to get so caught up in life and say “yes” to too many things (sometimes, even ministry areas in the church) until we become burned out. But when we take a pause and seek His will, He will give us insights and let us know His will so that we don’t overextend ourselves to the point of becoming exhausted. We can protect ourselves from being involved in too much if we take the pause to determine His will. However, even when we are following His will, we become weary and need to take a pause. It then becomes a time of re-evaluation and we need to eliminate unnecessary things from our lives so that we have the energy and time to do what He has called us to do.

Daniel was weary

Sometimes, as we do the will of God, Satan fights against it and we feel as if we are rowing a boat upstream without a paddle. Taking a pause to spend time with God and pray over the task we’ve been given will send the angel armies our way. Daniel is an example of this.

In Daniel, chapter 9, he is praying for the Lord to hear him. Verses 20-23, Daniel pleads to God and in his weariness, Gabriel comes to him. Daniel wrote in these verses, “While I was speaking, praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my petition before Yahweh my God concerning the holy mountain of my God- while I was praying, Gabriel, the man I had seen in the first vision, came to me in my extreme weariness.”

Then in Chapter 10, verses 12-13, Daniel receives another visit. In these verses we read, “Don’t be afraid, Daniel,” he said to me, “for from the first day that you purposed to understand and to humble yourself before your God, your prayers were heard. I have come because of your prayers. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia opposed me for twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me after I had been left there with the kings of Persia.”

God had heard Daniel’s prayers and sent his messenger to Daniel, but the prince of the kingdom of Persia stood in the way opposing the messenger. Daniel was completely unaware of the spiritual warfare his prayers were stirring up. Yet Daniel continued to pause and seek God until the messenger arrived.

A time of pause and rest allows us to listen to God

Another reason to pause and rest is so we are able to listen to the voice of God. 1 Kings 19:12 is the only verse in the Bible that talks about God speaking in a whisper. Because we have the Spirit of God dwelling within us, the way God speaks to us today is the soft whispers across our heart as we are reading His Word or as the Holy Spirit recalls a verse of scripture to our minds. Sometimes it comes to us as our pastor is preaching or in a conversation with a friend.

These soft, quiet impressions are easy to get loss in the loud bustle of everyday life. If we want to hear the voice of God, we need to quiet ourselves and listen with expectation. He longs to speak to us. But we have to ask ourselves, do we really want to hear His answer? Too often our prayer lives become a one-sided conversation where we tell God what we want Him to do in our lives then jump up and go on about our day. There are things God would love to say to us, but we have to quit talking long enough for Him to get a word in. If you feel as if God never speaks to you, then perhaps it’s time to take a pause and rest in His presence….quietly before him and give Him a chance to speak as we sit silently and listen expectantly.

A time of pause and rest allows us to re-charge

Taking a pause also gives us the change to re-charge. Just as your car runs out of gas, so do our bodies run out of energy. We reach a point where we feel that we have nothing left to give and yet people are still demanding more from us. In Matthew 14:23, Jesus found the need to have some alone time. “After dismissing the crowds, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. When evening came, He was there alone.”

Did you notice what he did on the mountain, he prayed. Our help and our strength to keep keeping on comes from God. In Psalm 121:2, the psalmist wrote, “My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.” In Psalm 28:7, he wrote, “The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped. Therefore my heart rejoices, and I praise Him with my song.” If you feel as if you energy tank is running on low, when was the last time you had some meaningful time along with God?

While we also need to take time to get plenty of physical rest each night, we cannot neglect the rest our souls need if we are going to be spiritually healthy. So as we take today to honor the labor of our hands, let’s also take time to rest, recharge so that our labors tomorrow hold new energy, ready to continue in the tasks that God has called us to…whether it’s a ministry related job, real estate, medical, education or any other field where work.

Four things Jesus invited the disciples to do

In Mark 6, Jesus recognized the disciples’ need for rest, and He recognizes ours as well. It is under these circumstances that He invited His disciples to…

  • come with him
  • by themselves
  • to a quiet place
  • and get some rest.

Rest sometimes means Getting away

Sometimes getting the rest you need requires you to get away. Maybe you need to get physically away from all the distractions and just rest. Sometimes the rest we need is spiritual and we need to get away with Jesus. Either way, remember that our Savior knows when we need rest and in those moments He invites us to get away with Him. He wants to lead you away from the crowds and the busyness of life to just bask in His presence. To lean on Him, draw from His strength, and be renewed and refreshed. What will it take for you to actually get away with Him for the rest you need?

Rest is a time to Relax and recover

Feb 25 ctt 2

Have you ever taken a vacation and when you get back you feel as if you need a vacation from your vacation? Sometimes our vacation are so jammed backed with activities that we come back more exhausted than before we left.

When Jesus invited the disciples to come by themselves, it was a time for the ministry team to relax and recover. Mark 6 tells us that the disciples had been in such high demand in the villages where they went that they hadn’t even had time to eat. Whether you serve in a ministry of some sort, are a stay-at-home-mom, a corporate executive, or a day laborer, we can become so busy that we don’t take time to stop an eat or see to the basic needs of life. Jesus invited his ministry team to take some time just for themselves – where they were not in demand, where they were not healing or preaching or casting out demons. Jesus wanted to invest in them relationally. He was also teaching them the importance of rest so they could keep on serving.

Rest needs a quiet place

Not only did Jesus invite them to come with him to get away be themselves, but he also wanted them to find a quiet place. Have you ever noticed how uncomfortable it can be when everything is quiet? If we are with others, the silence often feels awkward. Some of us even need the hum of a fan just to go to sleep. Whenever I travel and stay in hotels, the hardest part of getting to sleep is how quiet the room is. The truth is, we simply are not used to quiet. However, Jesus challenges you to find it.

It is in the quiet where we can here Jesus say, “Be still and know that I am God.” He wants us to just be still and rest. God knows the demands that have been placed on us. He knows the ministry He has called us to. And He knows the problems you are struggling with. He knows. And He’s inviting you to come away with Him and rest.

click here to listen to our daily devotions on Spotify and be sure to follow us.

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

We’re offering 15% off our speaker fees if you book by July 31, 2021. Call today and use the discount code: SUMMER2021.

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

Help support our ministry:

One-Time
Monthly
Yearly

Make a one-time donation

Make a monthly donation

Make a yearly donation

Choose an amount

$5.00
$15.00
$100.00
$5.00
$15.00
$100.00
$5.00
$15.00
$100.00

Or enter a custom amount

$

Your contribution is appreciated and will help us grow and expand our ministry. We are a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

Your contribution is appreciated.

Your contribution is appreciated.

DonateDonate monthlyDonate yearly

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]

Download our Free 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]
Bible Reading Plan Download

Download our Free 2021 Daily 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]

Download our Free 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 and takes a Biblical approach to self-care.

[Download not found]

<<<NEW>>> In the Spreadshop Store:

Three In One

God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit – Three in One.

Every Knee Will Bow

The slide show below highlights some of our favorite Christian Tees designs available in our Spreadshop and Teespring stores.

  • Revive Us Again, Lord

See our Canvase prints in the Teespring Store: All Things New

All Things New

We’ve added a new canvas print to the Teespring Store. These prints make great gifts or for decor in your home.

When we ask Jesus to forgive us and save us from our sin, He takes our old, sinful self and makes us new in Him. This beautiful canvas is a great reminder of what Jesus has done for us.

To see the collection of Canvas and Poster Prints


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 

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Come Away and Rest

Jesus had been performing miracle after miracle. He had been teaching crowds, defending himself against the Pharisees, and now recently, his cousin, John the Baptist had been beheaded. And everywhere He went, he had the disciples in tow, teaching them everything He possible could for the time after He would return to heaven and the gospel message would be placed into their hands to spread throughout the world. They stood by observing, soaking everything in and miracle after miracle, they were left in speechless awe. Some of them probably wished they could do some of the miracle Jesus had done. And then, in Mark 6, Jesus sends them out to the villages nearby to do just that. It was time to put what they had been learning into action. When they return, they are exhausted and Jesus invites them to come away and rest.

An interlude

Then, the story changes scenes as Mark inserts the interlude story of John the Baptist being beheaded. In the gospel of Matthew, we find that this incident is connected to Jesus deciding to get away for a while for some rest. We all need rest from time to time, even when we are busy doing the Lord’s work and serving Him through ministry. Since God created us, He knows more than anyone else that our bodies need adequate rest. In fact, He established for Israel the Sabbath day as a day of rest. He also set the example for us in the creation story where we see that on the seventh day, God rested from all His work – not because He was tired, but because the work was finished.

Because Jesus, the Son of God, came to dwell among us in a flesh and blood body, he experienced being tired. In John 4:6, we find Jesus worn out from His journey and sat beside the well where he would encounter the Woman at the Well. Without rest, we are not fully able to accomplish the tasks he has called us to do. When we become so tired that we don’t know how we can keep going, Matthew 11:28 says, “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

Follow Jesus’ Example

The Greek word for “come” is deute and means to “come hither” or “follow.” Jesus calls us to himself and to follow His example. He calls us to experience Him in an up-close-and-personal kind of way. He longs to bring us into close proximity and into an intimate fellowship with himself. Jesus wants us to take whatever circumstance we are in and He says, “Give them to Me.” He longs for us to give Him every burden and problem in total surrender and dependence on Him. As we learn to trust him, we are then able to find peace and rest. In 2 Chronicles 20:17, God tells his people to “position yourselves, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord. He is with you.”

Heavy-laden and weary?

Sometimes we get so caught up in hurrying from one to-do item to another that we barely have time to breathe. We end up heavy-laden with burdens and become weary. The Greek word for “weary” is kopiao and means “to labor, toil, expand great effort in hard and disagreeable work,” “to grow weary, tired; labor to the point of exhaustion.” Doesn’t this sound like us? But instead of taking time to rest, we just grab some caffeine or one of those very unhealthy energy drinks and just keep going. The result shows in both our physical health and emotional health. What we really need, is rest.

Refresh and Rest Up – Cease from Labor

“Rest” is the Greek word anapauo which means “to refresh, rest up,” or “to cease from labor.” In Ecclesiastes, the wisdom of Solomon tells us that there is a time for everything – a time to work, a time to clean, time to spend with friends and family. But too often we neglect the time to come away with Jesus and rest for a while. God created our need for rest…a pause from life…for our own good.  A pause to cease from the hustle and noise of life so we are able to:

  • seek His will and determine our steps
  • spend time with God so we are able to listen to Him
  • re-energize
  • avoid burnout
  • to keep serving Him in whatever capacity we have been called

Without rest, we are on the path to burnout

At times, we allow ourselves to get so caught up in life and say “yes” to too many things (sometimes, even ministry areas in the church) until we become burned out. But when we take a pause and seek His will, He will give us insights and let us know His will so that we don’t overextend ourselves to the point of becoming exhausted. We can protect ourselves from being involved in too much if we take the pause to determine His will. However, even when we are following His will, we become weary and need to take a pause. It then becomes a time of re-evaluation and we need to eliminate unnecessary things from our lives so that we have the energy and time to do what He has called us to do.

Time to pray

Sometimes, as we do the will of God, Satan fights against it and we feel as if we are rowing a boat upstream without a paddle. Taking a pause to spend time with God and pray over the task we’ve been given will send the angel armies our way. Daniel is an example of this.

In Daniel, chapter 9, he is praying for the Lord to hear him. Verses 20-23, Daniel pleads to God and in his weariness, Gabriel comes to him. Daniel wrote in these verses, “While I was speaking, praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my petition before Yahweh my God concerning the holy mountain of my God- while I was praying, Gabriel, the man I had seen in the first vision, came to me in my extreme weariness.” Then in Chapter 10, verses 12-13, Daniel receives another visit. In these verses we read, “Don’t be afraid, Daniel,” he said to me, “for from the first day that you purposed to understand and to humble yourself before your God, your prayers were heard. I have come because of your prayers. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia opposed me for twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me after I had been left there with the kings of Persia.”

God had heard Daniel’s prayers and sent his messenger to Daniel, but the prince of the kingdom of Persia stood in the way opposing the messenger. Daniel was completely unaware of the spiritual warfare his prayers were stirring up. Yet Daniel continued to pause and seek God until the messenger arrived.

Pause and Listen

Another reason to pause and rest is so we are able to listen to the voice of God. 1 Kings 19:12 is the only verse in the Bible that talks about God speaking in a whisper. Because we have the Spirit of God dwelling within us, the way God speaks to us today is the soft whispers across our heart as we are reading His Word or as the Holy Spirit recalls a verse of scripture to our minds. Sometimes it comes to us as our pastor is preaching or in a conversation with a friend. These soft, quiet impressions are easy to get lost in the loud bustle of everyday life. If we want to hear the voice of God, we need to quiet ourselves and listen with expectation. He longs to speak to us. But we have to ask ourselves, do we really want to hear His answer?

Too often our prayer lives become a one-sided conversation where we tell God what we want Him to do in our lives then jump up and go on about our day. There are things God would love to say to us, but we have to quit talking long enough for Him to get a word in. If you feel as if God never speaks to you, then perhaps it’s time to take a pause and rest in His presence….quietly before Him and give Him a chance to speak as we sit silently and listen expectantly.

Rest to re-charge

Taking a pause also gives us the change to re-charge. Just as your car runs out of gas, so do our bodies run out of energy. We reach a point where we feel that we have nothing left to give and yet people are still demanding more from us. In Matthew 14:23, Jesus found the need to have some alone time. “After dismissing the crowds, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. When evening came, He was there alone.” Did you notice what he did on the mountain, he prayed. Our help and our strength to keep keeping on comes from God. In Psalm 121:2, the psalmist wrote, “My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.” In Psalm 28:7, he wrote, “The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped. Therefore my heart rejoices, and I praise Him with my song.” If you feel as if you energy tank is running on low, when was the last time you had some meaningful time along with God?

Do not neglect your physical rest…or spiritual rest

While we also need to take time to get plenty of physical rest each night, we cannot neglect the rest our souls need if we are going to be spiritually healthy. So as we go about doing the various tasks that need to be done today, let’s also take time to rest, pause, and recharge so that our labors tomorrow hold new energy, ready to continue in the tasks that God has called us to…whether it’s a ministry related job, real estate, medical, education or any other field where work.

Jesus recognizes our need for rest

In Mark 6, Jesus recognized the disciples’ need for rest, and He recognizes ours as well. It is under these circumstances that He invited His disciples to…

  • come away with him
  • by themselves
  • to a quiet place
  • and get some rest.

Come Away with Jesus

Sometimes getting the rest you need requires you to get away. Maybe you need to get physically away from all the distractions and just rest. Sometimes the rest we need is spiritual and we need to get away with Jesus. Either way, remember that our Savior knows when we need rest and in those moments He invites us to get away with Him. He wants to lead you away from the crowds and the busyness of life to just bask in the His presence. To lean on Him. To draw from His strength. And to be renewed and refreshed. What will it take for you to actually get away with Him for the rest you need?

Come away by yourself

Have you ever taken a vacation and when you get back you feel as if you need a vacation from your vacation? Sometimes our vacation are so jammed backed with activities that we come back more exhausted than before we left. When Jesus invited the disciples to come by themselves, it was a time for the ministry team to relax and recover. Mark 6 tells us that the disciples had been in such high demand in the villages where they went that they hadn’t even had time to eat. Whether you serve in a ministry of some sort, are a stay-at-home-mom, a corporate executive, or a day laborer, we can become so busy that we don’t take time to stop an eat or see to the basic needs of life. Jesus invited his ministry team to take some time just for themselves – where they were not in demand, where they were not healing or preaching or casting out demons. Jesus wanted to invest in them relationally. He was also teaching them the importance of rest so they could keep on serving.

Come away to a quiet place

Not only did Jesus invite them to come with him to get away be themselves, but he also wanted them to find a quiet place. Have you ever noticed how uncomfortable it can be when everything is quiet? If we are with others, the silence often feels awkward. Some of us even need the hum of a fan just to go to sleep. Whenever I travel and stay in hotels, the hardest part of getting to sleep is how quiet the room is. The truth is, we simply are not used to quiet.

However, Jesus challenges you to find it. It is in the quiet where we can here Jesus say, “Be still and know that I am God.” He wants us to just be still and rest. He knows the demands that have been placed on us. He knows the ministry He has called us to. And He knows the problems you are struggling with. He knows. And He’s inviting you to come away with Him and rest.


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John 9:5. Light of the World

When we think about light, what comes to mind? The light in the room you are in? The sun, moon, and stars? The red light you ran this morning trying to get to work on time? Well, Jesus said that He is the Light of the World. Let’s look at some of the characteristics and properties of light to see how we can apply those to Jesus’ words.

Since God created light, He created every characteristic and property that makes light what it is. So Jesus fully understood exactly what light is and how it works. So let’s think back to science class and what we learned about light.

Are you an opaque, translucent or transparent Christian?

First, light has an effect on materials. Opaque material absorb light, but they do not let light pass through them. We certainly want to absorb all the light of Jesus into our lives. But if we are not passing His light on to others, we are being an opaque Christian.

Translucent materials allow light to pass through them, but it distorts the light during passage. If we are a translucent Christian, we might tell others about Christ and profess to be a Christian, but we do not live like a Christ follower. This gives the world a distorted view of both Christ and Christianity.

Transparent materials allow light to easily pass through them. As a transparent Christian, we not only tell others about Christ, but they can see Christ living in us. Which of these is true for you? Are you an Opaque Christian, a Translucent Christian, or a Transparent Christian?

Are you both a diffuser and a specular reflection of Christ?

The next property of light is reflection. Light will bounce off material in two ways: it will either diffuse and go in different directions, which is what happens on rough textured or uneven surfaces; or it has a specular reflection where light goes in one direction, which is what happens on smooth and shiny surfaces and results in an image being seen.

As a Christian, we certainly want to reflect Christ to a lost world. As long as we live in this world we are light the rough texture with uneven surfaces – far from perfect in any way. Yet as we remain in this world, we should be reflecting Christ in every direction that we go – whether its at home with spouse and children, at the grocery store check-out line, in rush hour traffic, at church, visiting the neighbors, or even when we are alone.

At the same time, as a Christian, Christ washed our sins away through His blood on the cross, leaving us shiny and sparkling clean. So as the light of Christ creates a specular reflection, the image that should be seen in us is Christ’s reflection. So as a Christian, do you both diffuse the light of Christ wherever you are and is there a specular reflection that show’s Christ’s image for all to see?

Is it time for the Light of Christ to refract back to your own heart?

Another property of light is refraction. Whenever light changes speed, it will bend or refract. The simple rule of thumb is that when light slows down, it will refract towards the normal line. When it speeds up, it will refract away from the normal line. Refraction usually happens when the light travels from one medium to the next.

In all of our lives, there comes a time when we need to slow down and just let the light of Christ bend and refract toward the line of our own hearts. We can become so busy refracting the light of Christ away to others, that we become tired and exhausted. In Mark 6 we find that after empowering them, Jesus sent the disciples out to heal the sick and cast out demons and minister to the people. When they returned, they were excited, but tired. In verse 31, He says to them: “Come away by yourselves to a remote place and rest for a while.” They had been refracting the light of Christ to everyone they came in contact with, but now it was time for the light of Christ to refract back towards their own hearts.

When was the last time you slowed the pace of life down and listened to the softly spoken words across your heart of Jesus saying to you: “Come away by yourself to a remote place and rest for a while”? Is it time for the light of Jesus to refract to your own heart?

Are we dispersing Christ to the world so that all of who He is, is evident to the world?

Light also has the property of dispersion. This is the process in which light is separated into its colors due to the differences in degrees of refraction. So if we look at the colors of the rainbow, we can see the different ways the light of Christ is dispersed into the world.

  • Red reminds us of His blood He shed on the cross that washes away our sin.
  • Orange is a bright color much like the sun. Just as the sun illuminates the world and expels darkness, Christ illuminates sin in our lives and expels the spiritual darkness when we invite Him to be our Savior.
  • Yellow reminds us of the street of gold in heaven so we can remember that earth is not our home.
  • Green reminds us of healthy, living and growing plants and we should be constantly living for Christ and growing in our faith to be healthy Christians.
  • Blue reminds us of water and Jesus said He was living water and that whoever believes in Him would never thirst again. If you feel a little thirsty spiritually, have you met Jesus at the well of living water?
  • Violet can remind us of kingly robes that were often purple. So as we think about purple we can see Christ as the King of kings and Lord of lords.

Does the light of Christ disperse in you so all the colors are evident?

What kind of interference is there to the Light of the World?

Interference is another property of light. It can either superimpose and have a constructive interference or destructive interference. When we think about Christ as the light of the world, we need to personally reflect on our interference of His light to the world.

Sin creates a destructive interference. Repentance creates a constructive interference. Before salvation, our sin separated us from God (destructive interference) and kept us in darkness and made us a slave to sin. But as we heard or read the message of God’s gift of salvation, another property of light occurred. Christ’s light bent around the obstacle of our sin as God’s Word or the person telling us about Christ created a small opening into our hearts where Christ’s light emerged and if we repented of our sin and accepted Christ as our Savior, His light then spread out in all directions of our heart. This property is called diffraction.

At the moment of salvation, the light of Christ had a constructive interference. It also continues to have a constructive interference through the Holy Spirit who lives and dwells within us. Once we are saved, we are saved for eternity. However, sin can continue to cause a destructive interference in our relationship with Christ. So it is important that whenever the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin in our lives that we immediately confess and repent.

How frequently are you plugged into the source of Light will determine how brightly His light shines in you.

The last two properties of light are frequency and brightness. Frequency is the number of cycles that occur in a given amount of time. What is the frequency you are coming to the Light of the World? Do you just show up at church for Easter Sunday and Christmas Eve service? Or many you attend church every Sunday. Well – there are six more days in the week. Are you spending time with the Light of the World every day? And there are 24 hours in every day. Are you living a life where you are walking with Christ every moment of every day? And that brings us to brightness.

The brightness of light is affected by distance. At night if I turn on the outside porch light, the further I get from the light, the less light their is. The same is true for the Light of Christ. If we think attending church just at Easter and Christmas is enough, there will not be very much of the Light of Christ shining in you. If you attend church every Sunday, but are not spending time with Christ every day, you might start out the week with a bright glow but the closer you get to Saturday, the dimmer the light will be.

Jesus not only said that He is the light of the world. In Matthew 5:14, He said: “You are the light of the world.” We can only be light to the world when the light of Christ is shinning brightly within us. If we are going to be bright and shining lights to a dark world enslaved to sin, we must be plugged into the source of light. Only then can we share all the properties of the Light of the World with the world.

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Micah 7:7

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Mark 6:31. Come Away and Rest

Mark 6 31

Jesus had been performing miracle after miracle. He had been teaching crowds, defending himself against the Pharisees, and now recently, his cousin, John the Baptist had been beheaded. And everywhere He went, he had the disciples in tow, teaching them everything He possible could for the time after He would return to heaven and the gospel message would be placed into their hands to spread throughout the world. They stood by observing, soaking everything in and miracle after miracle, they were left in speechless awe. Some of them probably wished they could do some of the miracle Jesus had done. And then, in Mark 6, Jesus sends them out to the villages nearby to do just that. It was time to put what they had been learning into action.

Then, the story changes scenes as Mark inserts the interlude story of John the Baptist being beheaded. In the gospel of Matthew, we find that this incident is connected to Jesus deciding to get away for a while for some rest. We all need rest from time to time, even when we are busy doing the Lord’s work and serving Him through ministry. Since God created us, he knows more than anyone else that our bodies need adequate rest. And because Jesus, the Son of God, came to dwell among us in a flesh and blood body, he experienced being tired. In John 4:6, we find Jesus worn out from His journey and sat beside the well where he would encounter the Woman at the Well. Without rest, we are not fully able to accomplish the tasks he has called us to do. When we become so tired that we don’t know how we can keep going, Matthew 11:28 says, “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

The Greek word for “come” is deute and means to “come hither” or “follow.” Jesus calls us to himself and to follow His example. He calls us to experience Him in an up-close-and-personal kind of way. He longs to bring us into close proximity and into an intimate fellowship with himself. He wants us to take whatever circumstance we are in and He says, “Give them to Me.” He longs for us to give Him every burden and problem in total surrender and dependence on Him. As we learn to trust him, we are then able to find peace and rest. In 2 Chronicles 20:17, God tells his people to “position yourselves, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord. He is with you.”

Sometimes we get so caught up in hurrying from one to-do item to another that we barely have time to breathe. We end up heavy-laden with burdens and become weary. The Greek word for “weary” is kopiao and means “to labor, toil, expand great effort in hard and disagreeable work,” “to grow weary, tired; labor to the point of exhaustion.” Doesn’t this sound like us? But instead of taking time to rest, we just grab some caffeine or one of those very unhealthy energy drinks and just keep going. The result shows in both our physical health and emotional health. What we really need, is rest.

“Rest” is the Greek word anapauo which means “to refresh, rest up,” or “to cease from labor.” God created our need for rest…a pause from life…for our own good.  A pause to cease from the hustle and noise of life so we are able to:

  • Seek His will and determine our steps
  • spend time with God so we are able to listen to Him
  • re-energize
  • avoid burnout
  • to keep serving Him in whatever capacity we have been called

At times, we allow ourselves to get so caught up in life and say “yes” to too many things (sometimes, even ministry areas in the church) until we become burned out. But when we take a pause and seek His will, He will give us insights and let us know His will so that we don’t overextend ourselves to the point of becoming exhausted. We can protect ourselves from being involved in too much if we take the pause to determine His will. However, even when we are following His will, we become weary and need to take a pause. It then becomes a time of re-evaluation and we need to eliminate unnecessary things from our lives so that we have the energy and time to do what He has called us to do.

Sometimes, as we do the will of God, Satan fights against it and we feel as if we are rowing a boat upstream without a paddle. Taking a pause to spend time with God and pray over the task we’ve been given will send the angel armies our way. Daniel is an example of this. In Daniel, chapter 9, he is praying for the Lord to hear him. Verses 20-23, Daniel pleads to God and in his weariness, Gabriel comes to him. Daniel wrote in these verses, “While I was speaking, praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my petition before Yahweh my God concerning the holy mountain of my God- while I was praying, Gabriel, the man I had seen in the first vision, came to me in my extreme weariness.” Then in Chapter 10, verses 12-13, Daniel receives another visit. In these verses we read, “Don’t be afraid, Daniel,” he said to me, “for from the first day that you purposed to understand and to humble yourself before your God, your prayers were heard. I have come because of your prayers. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia opposed me for twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me after I had been left there with the kings of Persia.” God had heard Daniel’s prayers and sent his messenger to Daniel, but the prince of the kingdom of Persia stood in the way opposing the messenger. Daniel was completely unaware of the spiritual warfare his prayers were stirring up. Yet Daniel continued to pause and seek God until the messenger arrived.

Another reason to pause and rest is so we are able to listen to the voice of God. 1 Kings 19:12 is the only verse in the Bible that talks about God speaking in a whisper. Because we have the Spirit of God dwelling within us, the way God speaks to us today is the soft whispers across our heart as we are reading His Word or as the Holy Spirit recalls a verse of scripture to our minds. Sometimes it comes to us as our pastor is preaching or in a conversation with a friend. These soft, quiet impressions are easy to get loss in the loud bustle of everyday life. If we want to hear the voice of God, we need to quiet ourselves and listen with expectation. He longs to speak to us. But we have to ask ourselves, do we really want to hear His answer? Too often our prayer lives become a one-sided conversation where we tell God what we want Him to do in our lives then jump up and go on about our day. There are things God would love to say to us, but we have to quit talking long enough for Him to get a word in. If you feel as if God never speaks to you, then perhaps it’s time to take a pause and rest in His presence….quietly before him and give Him a chance to speak as we sit silently and listen expectantly.

Taking a pause also gives us the change to re-charge. Just as your car runs out of gas, so do our bodies run out of energy. We reach a point where we feel that we have nothing left to give and yet people are still demanding more from us. In Matthew 14:23, Jesus found the need to have some alone time. “After dismissing the crowds, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. When evening came, He was there alone.” Did you notice what he did on the mountain, he prayed. Our help and our strength to keep keeping on comes from God. In Psalm 121:2, the psalmist wrote, “My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.” In Psalm 28:7, he wrote, “The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped. Therefore my heart rejoices, and I praise Him with my song.” If you feel as if you energy tank is running on low, when was the last time you had some meaningful time along with God?

While we also need to take time to get plenty of physical rest each night, we cannot neglect the rest our souls need if we are going to be spiritually healthy. So as we take today to honor the labor of our hands, let’s also take time to rest, recharge so that our labors tomorrow hold new energy, ready to continue in the tasks that God has called us to…whether it’s a ministry related job, real estate, medical, education or any other field where work.

In Mark 6, Jesus recognized the disciples’ need for rest, and He recognizes ours as well. It is under these circumstances that He invited His disciples to…

  • come with him
  • by themselves
  • to a quiet place
  • and get some rest.

Sometimes getting the rest you need requires you to get away. Maybe you need to get physically away from all the distractions and just rest. Sometimes the rest we need is spiritual and we need to get away with Jesus. Either way, remember that our Savior knows when we need rest and in those moments He invites us to get away with Him. He wants to lead you away from the crowds and the busyness of life to just bask in the His presence. To lean on Him. To draw from His strength. To be renewed and refreshed. What will it take for you to actually get away with Him for the rest you need?

Have you ever taken a vacation and when you get back you feel as if you need a vacation from your vacation? Sometimes our vacation are so jammed backed with activities that we come back more exhausted than before we left. When Jesus invited the disciples to come by themselves, it was a time for the ministry team to relax and recover. Mark 6 tells us that the disciples had been in such high demand in the villages where they went that they hadn’t even had time to eat. Whether you serve in a ministry of some sort, are a stay-at-home-mom, a corporate executive, or a day laborer, we can become so busy that we don’t take time to stop an eat or see to the basic needs of life. Jesus invited his ministry team to take some time just for themselves – where they were not in demand, where they were not healing or preaching or casting out demons. Jesus wanted to invest in them relationally. He was also teaching them the importance of rest so they could keep on serving.

Feb 25 ctt 1

Not only did Jesus invite them to come with him to get away be themselves, but he also wanted them to find a quiet place. Have you ever noticed how uncomfortable it can be when everything is quiet? If we are with others, the silence often feels awkward. Some of us even need the hum of a fan just to go to sleep. Whenever I travel and stay in hotels, the hardest part of getting to sleep is how quiet the room is. The truth is, we simply are not used to quiet. However, Jesus challenges you to find it. It is in the quiet where we can here Jesus say, “Be still and knowFeb 25 ctt 2 that I am God.” He wants us to just be still and rest. He knows the demands that have been placed on us. He knows the ministry He has called us to. He knows the problems you are struggling with. He knows. And He’s inviting you to come away with Him and rest.

 

 

 

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#comeaway #restforawhile #bestill

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revive renew redeem

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

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Ezekiel 36:26

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

Meditate and apply:

Will you commit to praying with us in 2020 that God will revive His people, renew our faith, and redeem our land? We feel such an urgency and desperation for revival. If God is moving your heart for revival, write your revival prayer in the comments along with your state or country. 

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#heartofstone #heartofflesh #revivalinAmerica #revivalin2020 #WCM

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This week’s featured design is taken from our memory verse – Ezekiel 36:26. 

You’ll find the design in tees for men, women, kids, mugs, bags, and other products. The design is also available in white print or black. Check them out in the Spreadshirt  shop.

heart of stone samples

heart black with sin samples

All proceeds go to the advancement of Wellspring Christian Ministries.

Thank you for helping us grow!

Click here to view the Teespring store. 

Click here to view the Spreadshop Store 

#heartofstone #heartofflesh #WCM #teespring #spreadshop

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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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Wellspring receives an 8% commission for any item purchased
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.

Clicking any affiliate link will open a new browser page and take you to Christian Book Distributor’s website.

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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.
408321: Living By The Book, Book &amp; Workbook Living By The Book, Book & Workbook

By Moody Publishers

How would you describe your personal Bible study? Mundane or motivational? Lackluster or lively? Redundant or reviving? In their bestselling book and workbook, Howard and Bill Hendricks offer a practical 3-step process that will help you master simple yet effective inductive methods of observation, interpretation, and application that will make all the difference in your time with God’s Word!Please note that the workbook contained in this set is intended to be used with the book Living by the Book, not the DVD Study.

575628: Living By the Book 7-Part Condensed Series DVD Living By the Book 7-Part Condensed Series DVD

By Howard G. Hendricks / Giftedness Center

Join Howard G. Hendricks live as he shows you how to understand and apply God’s Word for yourself. Millions around the world have been captivated by this brilliant teacher’s highly energetic style, friendly manner, unforgettable illustrations, and laugh-out-loud humor. In these series of 25-minutes sessions, Dr. Hendricks will walk you step-by-step through his signature model for self-study: Observation, Interpretation, Application. Your experience in Scripture will never be the same. And your life will be transformed as you begin Living by the Book!

575604: Living By the Book 20-Part Extended Series Living By the Book 20-Part Extended Series

By Howard G. Hendricks / Giftedness Center

Join Howard G. Hendricks live as he shows you how to understand and apply God’s Word for yourself. Millions around the world have been captivated by this brilliant teacher’s highly energetic style, friendly manner, unforgettable illustrations, and laugh-out-loud humor.

In these series of 25-minutes sessions, Dr. Hendricks will walk you step-by-step through his signature model for self-study: Observation, Interpretation, Application. Your experience in Scripture will never be the same.

787847: Names of Jesus Boxed Mug Names of Jesus Boxed Mug

By Faithfully Yours

Ceramic bistro mug with the wonderful names of Jesus in vibrant color detail. A fantastic gift for anyone to celebrate their faith. 10 ounce capacity; microwave and dishwasher safe. Packaged in beautiful matching gift box.

040395: Coffee and Jesus Jumbo Mug Coffee and Jesus Jumbo Mug

By Glory Haus

Upscale jumbo mug with scripted sentiment

  • 16 ounce capacity
  • Bold brushstroke detail and artisan typography
  • All I need today is a little bit of coffee & a whole lot of Jesus.
  • Polka dot trim and coffee cup design.
  • By Laura Kirkland; handwash recommended; boxed.
8769675: I Love That You&amp;quot;re My Mom, Mug with Bow I Love That You’re My Mom, Mug with Bow

By Lighthouse Christian Products

Gifty mug with handtied grosgrain bow as the finishing touch, and a sweet and simple sentiment in black script on white.Ceramic bistro mug holds 12 ounces; heart shaped I love you tag. I love that you’re my mom with Scripture quote from Ephesians 1:16. Pink ribbon.

12 ounce size; safe for mw/dw. Boxed

407386: Heart Stone, 1 Peter 5:7 Heart Stone, 1 Peter 5:7

By Lighthouse Christian Products

Heart stone with the natural rustic feel of cement, for shelf, desk, or table display

  • 2.25″ x 2.25″ heart-shaped
  • Scripture verse engraved onto the heart
  • Cast stone
  • Give all your worries to Him because He cares for yo u. I Peter 5:7.
303496: A Heart of Flesh A Heart of Flesh

By Grace Patterson / Xulon Press

215104: Jesus Calling for Easter Jesus Calling for Easter

By Sarah Young / Thomas Nelson

Exquisite photography alongside the heartwarming, meaningful devotions you’ve come to expect from Young make this a stunning keepsake for family and friends or an inspirational gift to yourself! Fifty themed selections for Lent and Easter with accompanying Scriptures keep the focus on the deep significance of this most blessed time of the year. Features include a padded hardcover binding, color printing throughout, a presentation page, and a ribbon bookmark.

914689: Leave it all... Prayer Journal Leave it all… Prayer Journal

By B&H Books

Prayer journal with elastic band closure

  • Hardcover with gold foil imprint design Leave it all in the hands that were wounded for you. Elisabeth Elliot
  • Personal size journal is 7″ x 4.5″; presentation page
  • Designed as a tool for praying methodically and tracing God’s faithful promises, with prompts for Date, Praises, Confessions, Requests, Answers
5281781: Last Supper Tabletop Figure Last Supper Tabletop Figure

By Roman, Inc.

Tabletop figurine of the Last Supper created by Joseph Studio in fine detail, portraying Christ and his disciples all gathered around the table.Freestanding figurine is 11.25′ long x 4.5″ tall; realistic facial and garment detail. Crafted of resin with smooth finish; stone pattern rectangular base. Renaissance Collection.

355984: The Case for Easter The Case for Easter

By Lee Strobel / Zondervan

Priced to give away, this “investigation” into Christ’s death answers three crucial questions seekers ask: Was Jesus’ death a sham? Was his tomb really empty? Was he seen alive after his death on the cross? Strobel’s award-winning skills as a legal journalist will persuade even the most hard-boiled skeptics to reconsider Jesus’ death and resurrection. 95 pages, softcover from Zondervan.

085070: He Chose the Nails: What God Did to Win Your Heart He Chose the Nails: What God Did to Win Your Heart

By Max Lucado / Thomas Nelson

Max Lucado invites you to examine the cross, contemplate its purpose, and celebrate its significance in He Chose the Nails. Go ahead and linger on the hill of Calvary and see just how much God did to win your heart. Paperback.

687269: He Chose the Nails, Study Guide He Chose the Nails, Study Guide

By Max Lucado / Thomas Nelson

Every gift from God reveals his love, but no gift reveals his love more than the gifts of the cross. Have we taken time to open these? As we do, we find that Jesus did it all just for us. The He Chose Study Guide includes video discussion questions, Bible exploration, personal study and reflection materials for in-between sessions, and an additional session for churches and small groups using this study as part of Lent.

Note: Designed for use with the Because of Bethlehem/He Chose the Nails: A DVD Study (SKU: 687849) which is packaged together. It has two DVDS, one for each study.

659708: 24 Hours That Changed the World, DVD with on-line Leader&amp;quot;s  Guide 24 Hours That Changed the World, DVD with on-line Leader’s Guide

By Abingdon Press

One of the most innovative teaching pastors in the country, Adam Hamilton unpacks Jesus’ last days on earth and how they turn upside down the conventional ideas about good and evil, justice and history, life and death. Filmed on location in the Holy Land, it portrays the Last Supper to Christ’s victory over the grave.Segments include:

Introduction (1:23)
1. The Last Supper (11:25)
2. The Garden of Gethsemance (6:57)
3. Condemned by the Righteous (9:15)
4. Jesus, Barabbas, and Pilate (9:10)
5. The Torture and Humiliation of the King (9:06)
6. The Crucifixion (12:54)
7. Christ the Victor (11:10)
Bonus: What If Judas Had Lived? (4:56)
Preview: 24 Hours That Changed the World (1:07)

831160: The Risen Christ: LifeGuide Bible Studies, Jesus&amp;quot; Final  Words on Earth The Risen Christ: LifeGuide Bible Studies, Jesus’ Final Words on Earth

By Bill Weimer / IVP Connect

Jesus, while dying on the cross, uttered several statements that are often called “The Last Words of Jesus,” but his words on the cross were not the last words he uttered while on earth. After his resurrection, he spoke many words of encouragement to his disciples and followers. His conversations with these men and women truly are Jesus’ last words.

In this eight-session LifeGuide Bible study, The Risen Christ, you will meet the risen Jesus Christ and hear his words. Each of the 8 sessions focuses on a specific dialogue and passage of Scripture from the books of John and Acts. Discussion Questions follow the teaching and a “Now or Later” section helps you integrate the teachings into your personal life.&nbsp;Leader’s Notes included.

615240: 40 Days Living the Jesus Creed 40 Days Living the Jesus Creed

By Scot McKnight / Paraclete Press

This bestselling 40-day devotional, based on The Jesus Creed (Jesus’ double commandment to love God and to love others), now comes with a Lenten study in the back of the book. Author Scot McKnight recites it throughout the day every day and challenges you to do the same. You may find that, if you do, you will learn to love God more creatively and passionately, and find new ways to love those around you.

710041: Hard to Dance with the Devil on Your Back: A Lenten Study for Adults Hard to Dance with the Devil on Your Back: A Lenten Study for Adults

By Ray Buckley / Abingdon Press

Known for his stories, poetry, and art, Buckley—interim director of the Center for Native American Spirituality and Christian Study—delineates the crescendo of events leading to the crucifixion so that all can learn how to cope with the stresses and strains of a crumbling world where light is dying out. 64 pages, softcover. Abingdon.

814442: Jesus the King, Study Guide Jesus the King, Study Guide

By Timothy Keller / Zondervan

This powerful 9-session study from author Tim Keller focuses on the meaning and significance of Jesus’ life, based on the gospel of Mark. Is he the promised Messiah? Keller highlights the cosmic, historical, and personal dimensions of the story, encouraging everybody to re-examine their relationship with God.

450146: Our Family Will Love    Wall Plaque Our Family Will Love Wall Plaque

By Lighthouse Christian Products

Rustic look wall plaque 16.5″ x 8.5″; distressed finish Family Scriptures. Our family will… live and accept one another, pray for one another, tell the truth to each other, be kind to one another, bring joy to each other, serve one another, be patient with each other, comfort one another, forgive one another, be generous with each other, honor each other. In a variety of artful typography styles, with Scripture references under each; mounted paper on laser cut MDF wood product. Faux distressed finish.

Cover_mGod, 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