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Be alert!

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

Week 1 of Advent: Preparation for our Savior

Let’s say that the CEO of your corporation, whose home office is in another city, informed your boss that he would be coming to your office, but he was not sure which day he would be there. There would be a mixture of feelings that could include excitement, dread, fear, and nervousness. Maybe some would be afraid that he was coming to close your office down. Others might be excited because they’ve had the opportunity to meet him and he is a really good guy with a great sense of humor. Others might have a “wait and see” kind of attitude. Regardless of how staff feel, everyone would be on the alert and busy getting ready for his coming. Each day that went by people would constantly have their eye on the door watching for his arrival.

Now let’s say that months went by and the CEO still hadn’t come. Perhaps staff begin to stop looking for him and all the preparations that were made begin to go back to how things were before. They’d stop keeping an eye on the door and parking lot and then when they least expect it – he arrives. This is how it is with Jesus’s coming – both at his incarnation and for his second coming. Jesus told us in Matthew 24:42:

Therefore be alert, since you don’t
know what day your Lord is coming

When you least expect it

When we expect someone important to arrive, we clean the house. We’re on our best behavior. We invite others to the big event. But when we don’t know when that person is coming, we slack off and we end up caught unawares. Then when we least expect it, they show up and they catch as we truly are.

On the alert for the Messiah

Since Adam and Eve sinned, God said He would make a way for redemption and it was eagerly anticipated. From the time Isaiah prophesied about the coming Messiah, it would still be another 600 years before Jesus was born. When Jesus did arrive, He was nothing like what the people had conceived in their minds that the Messiah would be. So they dismissed Him as their long awaited for and anticipated Messiah.

The people were expecting a majestic king, not a lowly baby in a manger. They expected a great military leader, not a kind and gentle miracle worker. Whatever picture they had in their minds about the Messiah – Jesus didn’t measure up to the image they had created. However, had they truly studied the Scriptures, they would have seen that the Messiah was living among them.

On the alert for His second coming

Now, centuries later, we’ve fallen into the same expectation – or rather lack of expectation. Even Paul and the other disciples expected Jesus to return any day following His ascension into Heaven. But Jesus hasn’t returned yet and we’ve lost the expectation of His return. We are not on the alert – watching for His return. We live the way we want to and many of us are going to be caught unaware. What will you be doing the moment Jesus returns? Will you be ashamed or joyful? Will you be ready or left behind?

Be alert: We don’t know when He is coming

The people did not know when He would arrive at His birth and we today do not know when He will come again. In fact, the Bible tells us that even Jesus doesn’t know the moment when He will return again. Only God knows and Jesus simply waits for God to say, “Go get my children.” But since we do not know when He is coming, we need to be living on the alert, watching for His return. Since we don’t know when He will return for us, we need to live every moment as if He is coming in the next moment. If He came today, are you ready?

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

Visit our three retail experiences:

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

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

We’re offering 30% discount on our speaker fees if booked by December 31, 2021. Call today and use the discount code: THANKFUL2021.

We’re thankful for the opportunity 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:



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

Ready for Christmas music?

Christmas YouTube Playlist

We’ve created a YouTube Christmas playlist (click here) of both Christian and fun Christmas music to enjoy while you decorate for the holidays and help you get those gifts wrapped, cookies baked, and all the other preparations you are doing this holiday season. So click the link and listen to our Christmas playlist in the car, at home, or while you work.

Need some relaxing Christmas tunes? Here’s a smooth Jazz playlist to sit back and with it quietly in the background while at the office, wrapping gifts, or decorating the house. We hope you’ll enjoy the songs of the season – jazz style.

Click here for the Contemporary Christian Playlist
Click here for the Southern Gospel Playlist
Or Click here for the Hymns Playlist
Animated videos that dig deep into God’s Word

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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The Shoot and Root of Jesse

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

Week 1 of Advent: Preparation for our Savior

In this week of Advent preparation, today we find the prophecy of Isaiah 11 that talks about a “root and shoot of Jesse that will bear fruit and stand as a signal for the people and his resting place will be glorious. It is a prophecy about Jesus who will come from the line of Jesse and He will have a kingdom of life and peace for those who believe in Him. Isaiah’s prophecy says:

Then a shoot will grow from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots will bear fruit. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on Him—a Spirit of wisdom and understanding, a Spirit of counsel and strength, a Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord. His delight will be in the fear of the Lord.

He will not judge by what He sees with His eyes, He will not execute justice by what He hears with His ears, but He will judge the poor righteously and execute justice for the oppressed of the land. He will strike the land with discipline from His mouth, and He will kill the wicked with a command from His lips. Righteousness will be a belt around His loins; faithfulness will be a belt around His waist.

The wolf will live with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down with the goat. The calf, the young lion, and the fatling will be together, and a child will lead them. The cow and the bear will graze, their young ones will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. An infant will play beside the cobra’s pit, and a toddler will put his hand into a snake’s den. None will harm or destroy another on My entire holy mountain, for the land will be as full of the knowledge of the Lord as the sea is filled with water. On that day the root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples. The nations will seek Him, and His resting place will be glorious.

A Root and Shoot of Jesse, but Who is Jesse?

Jesse isn’t mentioned often in the Bible, but every time he appears in the pages of God’s Word, there is significance to what we learn about him. For example, we learn that he is the Father of King David and so all the kings of Israel who follow after David are descendants of Jesse. Israel was ruled by kings for approximately 400 years, but due to sin and turning their backs on God and His covenant with them, they were conquered and sent in exile, ending the reign of kings actively ruling in Jerusalem. First, Babylon defeated Judah, then Persia defeated Babylon. Then later Greece became the ruling power and then finally, by the time of Jesus, Rome held the power. So the royal line of kings ended and appeared to be dead.

A dead stump

Let’s say that a tree in your yard had to be cut down. It may, at one time, have been a beautiful tree with flowering buds and it provided a shade for your children to play under its branches. Birds enjoyed making their nests in it and squirrels romped and played in its branches. But then it got a disease, and it branches died and you had to cut it down. Nothing remains now but a dead stump. But years later, your children are grown and now there are grandchildren playing in the yard and you notice that a living shoot is springing up from that dead stump and over the years, a new and beautiful tree once again graces your yard – and this one is even greater and more glorious than the previous one.

That is exactly what the prophet Isaiah was saying in these verses. The line of kings was as dead as the stump of the tree, but a sprout would rise up from the stump and the sprout would be Jesus. But for Jesus to have been a shoot and root of Jesse, the physical, genealogical line had to continue – and it did after almost 600 years of no Davidic king actively ruling, after 600 years of foreign domination – a shoot is born on a silent, holy night in a stable and laid in a lowly manger.

When all hope is lost a new shoot springs up

After 600 years, one would think all hope of Isaiah’s prophecy being fulfilled was lost. But God likes to show up in the moments when all hope is lost. He likes bringing life out of death and that will be the hallmark of Jesus’ life: life out of death, when it looks like all hope has been lost. As Jesus hung, nailed to a cross, and breathed His last breath, those who believed that He was the promised Messiah, probably felt like all hope was lost. Maybe they felt silly for believing Him. His death crushed their hopes. But when they thought it was all over, little did they know it was just the beginning. The beginning of life – not death.

The Root and Shoot of Jesse will be a Tree of Life

Jesus paid the price for our sins. Paul wrote that the “wages of sin is death.” Each one of us must pay that wage of sin, but Jesus stepped in and paid the wages for us. He died in our place. When we come to Him by faith, acknowledging Him as the only Son of God who died and rose again, and asking him to forgive our sins and be our Savior, then His death opens the way to eternal life for us. This shoot of Jesse, then becomes the shoot in our tree of life.

Shoot and root of Jesse

Not only is Jesus the shoot of Jesse, but He is also the root of Jesse. In other words, Jesus is the origin of the whole Davidic line, including Jesse. Jesus is not only the descendant of David, but He is also David’s Lord, both as the same time. Son of David and Son of God – Jesus is fully 100% man and 100% God. Jesus, who died on the cross as king of the Jews and then rose again is the very Son of God who was with the Father at the beginning.

So why does Isaiah prophesy that this shoot and root is of “Jesse”? Why not say He will be a descendent of David, who is so much more well-known? In comparison, Jesse is an obscure person barely mentioned at all in the Bible. But when you look at David and his descendants who ruled after him, all of them fell short. So the prophesy goes back to Jesse – a generation before David – as if to say there will be a divine “restart” – a whole new and eternal king. A king even better than David.

As grand and glorious as David’s kingdom was, this new, eternal king will far surpass David’s kingdom. It will be a kingdom that bears good fruit. It will be a peaceable kingdom that includes not just the Jews, but also the Gentiles – and that’s good news for you and me because if you are not a Jew, then you are Gentile. So the eternal life that Jesus offers is for you and me, as well as the Jews.

Prophecy fulfilled and Second Coming

In Isaiah’s day, they prepared and waited for the coming of the Messiah and Isaiah’s prophecy was fulfilled with the birth of Jesus. Today, we prepare and wait for His second coming that will bring an even greater kingdom, the peaceable kingdom. A kingdom that is eternal, with no more sorrow or death, pain or sickness. A kingdom that is everlasting and will include all those who hope in Christ as their Savior. Those who believe in Him are the fruit that comes from the One who is both the shoot and root of Jesse – the Messiah – Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.

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

Visit our three retail experiences:

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

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

We’re offering 30% discount on our speaker fees if booked by December 31, 2021. Call today and use the discount code: THANKFUL2021.

We’re thankful for the opportunity 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:



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

Ready for Christmas music?

Christmas YouTube Playlist

We’ve created a YouTube Christmas playlist (click here) of both Christian and fun Christmas music to enjoy while you decorate for the holidays and help you get those gifts wrapped, cookies baked, and all the other preparations you are doing this holiday season. So click the link and listen to our Christmas playlist in the car, at home, or while you work.

Need some relaxing Christmas tunes? Here’s a smooth Jazz playlist to sit back and with it quietly in the background while at the office, wrapping gifts, or decorating the house. We hope you’ll enjoy the songs of the season – jazz style.

Click here for the Contemporary Christian Playlist
Click here for the Southern Gospel Playlist
Or Click here for the Hymns Playlist
Animated videos that dig deep into God’s Word

You can also watch our animated devotionals on the YouTube Channel


God, Love and Marshmallow Wars by Julia M. Bruce

What’s Inside God, Love and Marshmallow Wars?

God, Love and Marshmallow Wars is a book that includes 365 daily activities and takes you on a guided journey through Biblical principles about Godly marriage that you can then apply to your marriage, as well as helping you talk through concepts that can help you develop a solid relationship. Inside you will find simple, quick activities that include:

  • Scripture to memorize and meditate on.
  • Conversation Starters.
  • Concepts from the Bible on Godly marriages.
  • Romance Builders.
  • Relationship Builders.
  • Personal reflections.
  • Date ideas.
  • Group date ideas for you and other Christian couples.

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

WestBow Press logo

Bible Studies, Bibles, Books & More

Christianbook Distributors logo
Everything Christian for less!

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

Christianbook Distributors Search:
Christianbook.com

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


Here’s some of our recent posts.

904.239.8937
A non-profit ministry located in Jacksonville, FL 

Follow us on:

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Prepare the Way

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

Week 1 of Advent: Preparation for our Savior

What if someone famous that you admired was coming to your house today? What would you do to prepare and get ready? Who would you tell about it? Who would you invite? In Isaiah 40, the prophet Isaiah foretells about John the Baptist who would be the voice crying out, “Prepare the way of the Lord.” Isaiah wrote:

“A voice of one crying out: Prepare the way of the Lord in the wilderness; make a straight highway for our God in the desert. Every valley will be lifted up, and every mountain and hill will be leveled; the uneven ground will become smooth and the rough places, a plain. And the glory of the Lord will appear, and all humanity together will see it,
for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

Prepare the Way of the Lord

Whenever the President visits a city, the local police and the secret service work together to close down road, plot out a path, and create a way for him to reach his destination. In Isaiah’s day, if a king or dignitary was going to visit, the way would have to be prepared. This often meant repairing roads, removing fallen trees or other obstacles, and eliminating all detours so that there would be no barriers to the king’s arrival.

Prepare the way by Removing the obstacles

Isaiah tells us that in a similar way we are to “prepare the way for the LORD.” At Christmas we celebrate the coming of the King, so it’s important to prepare our hearts for his coming by removing the obstacles that stand between us and a right relationship with God. These obstacles can be sins, such as hatred, bitterness, anger, addictions, sexual sins, lies, or any other barrier that stands between you and the Lord. It could be things, hobbies, or people that you have made a higher priority in your life than God. Obstacles can be anything that controls your heart that doesn’t allow God to have control. It can be anything you have not surrendered to Him. And it can be any lack of faith you have for believing God.

Whatever barriers and obstacles you’ve allowed to be in the way prevents you from allowing the Lord to have complete and total Lordship of your life. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the areas that are obstacles and barriers to your relationship with God and the areas that you have not fully surrendered to Him. Repent and ask the Holy Spirit to help you remove these barriers and open the way for Christ to fully reign and rule in you.

Prepare the way by developing Godly ways

Preparing the way isn’t just removing what is in the way, but its also fixing what’s wrong. We do this by developing Godly ways, habits and practices. We don’t just need to develop them, but we also need to live them out consistently. Without studying, memorizing, and applying God’s instructions to us that we find in His Word, we will not be able to develop Godly ways. Certainly we can learn Godly ways by going to church, but growing in Christ comes from hiding God’s Word in our heart, asking the Holy Spirit to “search me and know my thoughts,” and being doers of the Word.

Prepare the way by living Godly ways

All around us the world watches us. They want to know what is different about us. We can prepare the way for Jesus to come into the heart of someone else by living a life that honors and glorifies God in our words and actions. As we pray for those who are lost or those who have wandered away from God, we prepare a way for for Jesus to enter their lives or draw them back to Him. We can witness to them by telling them what God has done for us or inviting them to church.

Prepare a way to your own heart

Often times, we think we’re doing pretty good as we compare ourselves to the world, but none of us are without sin and God is always working to grow and develop our faith. So we need to make sure we are allowing the Holy Spirit to convict us and clean out the areas of sin so that God has a path to work in our lives the way that desires.

How do you need to prepare a way?

As we make preparation for the Christmas season this year, be brave enough to spend time alone with the Holy Spirit and ask Him how you need to prepare a way for Christ – whether that’s clearing out obstacles, developing Godly habits, living Godly ways, or making a path for God to grow your faith.

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

Visit our three retail experiences:

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

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

We’re offering 30% discount on our speaker fees if booked by December 31, 2021. Call today and use the discount code: THANKFUL2021.

We’re thankful for the opportunity 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:



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

Ready for Christmas music?

Christmas YouTube Playlist

We’ve created a YouTube Christmas playlist (click here) of both Christian and fun Christmas music to enjoy while you decorate for the holidays and help you get those gifts wrapped, cookies baked, and all the other preparations you are doing this holiday season. So click the link and listen to our Christmas playlist in the car, at home, or while you work.

Need some relaxing Christmas tunes? Here’s a smooth Jazz playlist to sit back and with it quietly in the background while at the office, wrapping gifts, or decorating the house. We hope you’ll enjoy the songs of the season – jazz style.

Click here for the Contemporary Christian Playlist
Click here for the Southern Gospel Playlist
Or Click here for the Hymns Playlist
Animated videos that dig deep into God’s Word

You can also watch our animated devotionals on the YouTube Channel


God, Love and Marshmallow Wars by Julia M. Bruce

What’s Inside God, Love and Marshmallow Wars?

God, Love and Marshmallow Wars is a book that includes 365 daily activities and takes you on a guided journey through Biblical principles about Godly marriage that you can then apply to your marriage, as well as helping you talk through concepts that can help you develop a solid relationship. Inside you will find simple, quick activities that include:

  • Scripture to memorize and meditate on.
  • Conversation Starters.
  • Concepts from the Bible on Godly marriages.
  • Romance Builders.
  • Relationship Builders.
  • Personal reflections.
  • Date ideas.
  • Group date ideas for you and other Christian couples.

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

WestBow Press logo

Bible Studies, Bibles, Books & More

Christianbook Distributors logo
Everything Christian for less!

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

Christianbook Distributors Search:
Christianbook.com

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


Here’s some of our recent posts.

904.239.8937
A non-profit ministry located in Jacksonville, FL 

Follow us on:

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Be a Guard

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

Week 1 of Advent: Preparation for our Savior

The lyrics of a popular, secular Christmas song says, “You better watch out, you better not pout, you better not cry, I’m tellin’ you why – Santa Clause is coming to town.” We need to watch out and be ready – to be on guard – , because Jesus is coming to town. We often look at preparation as the process of getting ready for something. But the prophet Ezekiel, gives us something a little bit different to think about as we prepare for the coming of Christ. In Ezekiel 38:7, he wrote:



“Be ready and keep ready, you and all your hosts that are assembled about you, and be a guard for them.

Be ready

In the prophecy against Gog, the people are told to be ready. Back in the book of Exodus when God used Moses to bring the Israelites out of Egypt, they were told to be ready. We always need to be ready for when God is ready to move in our lives. Being ready means we’ve already made the necessary preparations. Exodus 12:11 says, “In this manner you shall eat it: with your belt fastened, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. And you shall eat it in haste.” The idea was to be ready to go the moment Pharaoh told them to leave. Being ready even before God is ready to act demonstrates faith that God will do what He says He will do.

Keep Ready

Sometimes God gives us direction and we get excited and start planning and getting ready – but then it feels like we just got ready to sit and wait. God’s timing doesn’t always match our timing, so once we’re ready, we need to keep ready. That means we keep everything ready that’s needed for what God is asking us to do – no matter how long God takes before He acts. Staying ready means we keep on believing God by faith and waiting on Him.

If the Israelites had gotten everything ready to leave but after the first plague Pharaoh didn’t let them leave and they quit believing in what God said and just sat back enjoying their meal, kicked off their shoes and relaxed, then by the time they got everything ready again, Pharaoh could have changed his mind and not let them leave. Or perhaps all the Egyptians would have had time to become angry over losing all their first born children and came in to massacre the Israelites.

God wasn’t just giving Pharaoh a hard time or paying him back for his cruelties to the Israelites. He was also teaching the Israelites about who He was and His power. It should have been a lesson to prepare them to trust Him in the dessert and to know He would lead them into the Promised Land. But as we know, they only had to get to the Red Sea before they began to doubt God. Perhaps this is why Ezekiel also said to be a guard.

Be a Guard

A guard protects. He stands between the vulnerable and danger. He warns of coming danger. A guard fights for those who can’t fight for themselves. He protects the assets. The guard stays diligent – always looking out for any possible danger. He doesn’t sleep through the night. He doesn’t sit around playing cards or scrolling social media. He’s guarding what is most valuable to him.

Guarding your heart

This isn’t about protecting yourself from someone hurting you. Solomon was talking about your spiritual heart in Proverbs 4:23-27. He thought that guarding your heart was more important than anything else. He wrote:

Guard your heart above all else, for it is the source of life. Don’t let your mouth speak dishonestly, and don’t let your lips talk deviously. Let your eyes look forward; fix your gaze straight ahead. Carefully consider the path for your feet, and all your ways will be established. Don’t turn to the right or to the left; keep your feet away from evil.

Guarding your heart is important because if you’ve not first protected it from temptation, then you will not be able to guard your mouth, eyes, or feet. Why? Jeremiah 17:9 tell us, “The heart is more deceitful than anything else, and incurable.” The heart will make us believe that what our mouth, eyes, and feet want to do is ok. It will come up with all kinds of excuses until we rationalize why it would not be wrong to do whatever we are being tempted to do. So we must guard our heart and we do that through memorizing Scripture, studying God’s Word, and spending time praying – without ceasing. If we do not guard our hearts, we will not be able to guard anything else.

Guard the host assembled about you

Ezekiel also said we are to guard the host assembled around us – that’s your family. Your spouse, your children. If you are a married man, God has called you to be a spiritual leader in your home and part of that responsibility is guarding your wife and children. Not only in a physical sense, but also in a spiritual sense. You guard them by praying for them, by being a Godly role model for them, teaching them God’s Word through family devotions, training them in the ways of God, taking them to church, and teach them how to love God with all their hearts, minds, and soul. Are you guarding the host assembled about you?

How ready are you?

Before Jesus’ birth the Israelites’ Advent was preparing expectantly for the coming Messiah. But when He came, they had no idea that He walked among them. They created in their own minds what the Messiah would be – a King who would overthrow their oppressors. They were not expecting a baby born low income parents who would lay Him in a manger.

Today, our Advent is the second coming of Jesus. In 1 Thessalonians 5, Paul wrote, “For you yourselves know very well that the Day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night.” We will not know before hand when He will come again, so we must be on guard and always ready. We need to have the expectancy that He could come again in any moment and live so that we would not ever be ashamed if He returned and caught us doing something we shouldn’t. And we need to live with the urgency that if He came right now, how many people would not be ready? What are we doing to help others be ready?

Be Ready and Be on Guard

As we are preparing our hearts for Christmas, take time alone with the Holy Spirit and ask Him how ready you are for the second coming of Christ. How ready are you for God to do the next thing in your life? How well are you guarding your heart, your spouse and children? What do you need to do to be ready, keep ready, and to guard the host assembled around you?


Visit our three retail experiences:

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

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

We’re offering 30% discount on our speaker fees if booked by December 31, 2021. Call today and use the discount code: THANKFUL2021.

We’re thankful for the opportunity 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:



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

Ready for Christmas music?

Christmas YouTube Playlist

We’ve created a YouTube Christmas playlist (click here) of both Christian and fun Christmas music to enjoy while you decorate for the holidays and help you get those gifts wrapped, cookies baked, and all the other preparations you are doing this holiday season. So click the link and listen to our Christmas playlist in the car, at home, or while you work.

Need some relaxing Christmas tunes? Here’s a smooth Jazz playlist to sit back and with it quietly in the background while at the office, wrapping gifts, or decorating the house. We hope you’ll enjoy the songs of the season – jazz style.

Click here for the Contemporary Christian Playlist
Click here for the Southern Gospel Playlist
Or Click here for the Hymns Playlist
Animated videos that dig deep into God’s Word

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.

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Wake Up!

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

Week 1 of Advent: Time to Wake Up

Today as we consider what it means to prepare for the second coming of Christ, we want to examine the impact of a lost world trapped in the darkness of sin and that part of preparing for Christ’s coming again is to bring the light of the world into the darkness – because dawn is coming – the moment when Jesus steps out of the realms of heaven and calls His children home. We should not only be preparing ourselves for the moment we meet Jesus, but also those who do not yet know him. Night is nearly over where the darkness of the world rules. Dawn is coming where light dispels the darkness. And yet millions are still trapped in the darkness of their sins. It’s time for us to wake up and start sharing the gospel message to those who are lost. Paul wrote to the church in Rome:

Besides this, knowing the time, it is already the hour for you to wake up from sleep, for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is nearly over, and the daylight is near, so let us discard the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us walk with decency, as in the daylight: not in carousing and drunkenness; not in sexual impurity and promiscuity; not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no plans to satisfy the fleshly desires. 
–Romans 13:11-14

Morning person or Night owl?

Do you consider yourself a morning person or a night person? I am definitely a night owl. In fact, when Brian asked me to marry him I tried to warn him. I told him he needed to know two things about me before he thought he wanted to marry me: I’m expensive and I don’t do mornings. He found both were true very quickly. I have three alarms set on my phone because I know I will ignore the first two, pull the covers up over my head, and go back to sleep. On the other hand, I have a niece who has always been a morning person. If the sun is up even just a peek then she is wide-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready to go. Bless her heart.

I know me well enough to know not to schedule complex or difficult task in the morning hours if at all possible. Naturally, I can’t always save them for later in the day, but I know I will be much more successful with those kind of tasks after I’ve been up a while and had some caffeine. It’s just that my brain isn’t on the same rotation schedule as the sun and it lags a few hours behind. Once I get going, I’m full steam ahead.

Paul calls Christians to be “Morning people”

Most of us know when our most productive time of the day is and if you’ve done any training in time management, then you’ve been taught to schedule your complex and difficult tasks during your peak performance times slots as much as possible. In Romans 13, Paul says that Christians are “morning people” (doesn’t God have a great sense of humor?). As a child of God, I shouldn’t need a few hours to get going in living my spiritual life.

Paul says the time is “just before dawn”

Paul says that the time is just before dawn. Can you hear the urgency in his writing of Romans 13:11-14? The darkness of night battles with the beginning rays of the sun – fighting to continue covering the earth in it’s inky blackness of sin. But as the sun rises, darkness is defeated.  As the sun comes up, we get a new start to a new day, another opportunity to serve God with the gifts and talents He has given us. It’s another day to tell the good news of His birth and what Christ has done for you. It’s another opportunity for the lost person to come to the Light of the World, but that lost person is dependent on us to bring them to the Savior.

As a Christian, we need to spiritually wake up

But, many Christians live – well – basically like me in the morning. Grumpy, not focused, slow, just longing to pull the covers up over my head for another 30 minutes. When we look around our world today, it’s easy to see that Christians have been asleep for far too  long. The moral decay is putrefying our world. We have sat back and allowed prayer to be removed from schools, for marriage to be redefined, to allow abortions to be legal, and to even define gender as each individual chooses. Murder, violence, and crime is at alarming rates. Humanity is tainted with greed and selfishness. Anger and bitterness is in abundance. Crime rates are always higher at night because the darkness of night helps to hide their actions. And Christians seem to be sleeping through it all. 

Wake up! Disregard the deeds of darkness

Paul calls for Christians to wake up. He tells us to discard the deeds of darkness. Paul lists six “deeds of darkness” that we are to discard: carousing, drunkenness, sexual impurity, promiscuity, quarreling, and jealousy. Why does Paul call them deeds of darkness? If you think about each one of them, they are most often done in the hours of darkness. Sin is most prominent in the dark, because it is easier to hide it. It’s harder to be seen. But when sin is brought into the light, it is there for all to see.

Wake up! You’re the light the word needs

In Matthew 5:14-15, Jesus says, “You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.”

As Paul pointed out the deeds of darkness, the opposite of dark is light. Where there is light, it is impossible to have dark. The two cannot exist in the same space. This world lost in the darkness of sin needs the Light of Jesus that shines through us (Christians) if it is to find its way out of darkness.

Wake up! Stop living like the world

As Christians, we are to be set apart from the world – consecrated to God. The world should look at us and see something different. If we are living like the world, they will never see Christ in us. If they see nothing different about us, why would they need a Savior? Wake up. Discard the deeds of darkness.

Wake up and get dressed

Once we wake up, it’s time to get dressed and start our day. Paul calls for Christians to put on the armor of light and to walk with decency, as in the daylight. In John 8:12, Jesus said, I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows Me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life.” Paul also tells us to “put on the Lord Jesus Christ.” If we have put on the Light of the World, then His light should radiate around us bringing light to the darkness of the world and chasing the darkness away – just as the sun chases away the night every morning.

Wake up and put on Christ

Over in Galatians 3:27, Paul wrote, “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” But what does it mean to “put on” a person? It’s a theatrical term that refers to playing the role of a character in such a way that you lose your own identity and become the identity of the person you are portraying. You are so intensely caught up in being the other person that your own identity almost ceases to be and instead you live and breathe the person of your role and your identity becomes that of the character role you are portraying.

So if we have put on the armor of Light and Jesus is the Light of the World, and Paul tells us to put on the Lord Jesus Christ, then the child of God’s identity becomes the identity of Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:53 says, “This perishable nature must put on the imperishable, and this mortal nature must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the moral puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory.” The lost person’s victory over death is dependent on us.

What is the armor of light?

But why does Paul use the word armor? First, armor is protective. When Satan hurls the fiery darts of sin and temptation our way, we are able to deflect them with the proper armor so that we have nothing to hide. And when there is nothing to hide, we don’t have to worry about the light revealing our motives and actions. When we put on the armor of light, we are to satisfy God’s will for us rather than satisfying our own desires. When we put on the armor of light, we are alert to what God is doing in this world and we will be alert to those whom He puts in our path to be a witness to.

We need to live with the revealing light of God shining brightly on our thoughts, motives, behaviors, words, attitudes, and lifestyles so that there is no darkness in us. 1 John 1:7 says, “But if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.” The antithesis to this verse would be that if we walk in darkness then we do not have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus does not cleans us from sin.

Wake up! We’re in a Spiritual Battle

Armor is also used in battle and as Christians, we are constantly in a spiritual battle. It’s almost dawn and we’re in deep sleep but the bugler sounds Reveille to muster God’s soldiers for roll call. Suddenly we are awake and we look around the military encampment. Everyone is scurrying around getting ready for battle. The soldiers are putting on their armor and gathering their weapons.

Who’s the enemy? Satan and his demons. In Ephesians 6:10-20, Paul tells us our enemy is not flesh and blood, but principalities, powers, rulers, authorities, world powers of darkness, and spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. We are constantly right smack in the middle of conflict so we need to put on the armor of light. If we are going to stand and fight, than we need to be ready. Paul tells us in Ephesians 6:13-17 about the armor we need to put on:

This is why you must take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand. Stand, therefore, with truth like a belt around your waist, righteousness like armor on your chest, and your feet sandaled with readiness for the gospel of peace. In every situation take the shield of faith, and with it you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is God’s word. (Ephesians 6:13-17)

Wake up. Get dressed. Discard the deeds of darkness. Put on the armor of light. Walk in decency as in the daylight. Put on the Lord Jesus Christ. Let your light shine. Walk in the light. Put on the full armor of God. 

The darker it gets, the closer we are to dawn

Our world today, and in Paul’s day, is still dark. The battle still rages – and fiercer than ever. But that’s how night works. Each hour is darker than the one before it but then dawn comes and a ray of light peeks through the darkness bringing light to the world. Our dawn will come will Jesus comes again. The thing about darkness and dawn is that the darker it gets, the closer we are to dawn. Paul says that we know the time  — it’s time for us to Wake up. Get dressed. Discard the deeds of darkness. Put on the armor of light. Walk in decency as in the daylight. Put on the Lord Jesus Christ. Let your light shine. Walk in the light. Put on the full armor of God. Bring the Light into the world.

What happens at dawn?

The dawning of a new day is coming when Christ will return triumphantly. What does that mean for those trapped in the darkness of the sin and the world? They have hopelessly lost their way in the darkness of sin with nothing but eternal separation from God and eternity in Hell awaiting them. Their souls hunger for Bread of Life. They are desperate for the Living Water. They need the precious Redeemer and Friend to rescue their soul. The lost need to meet the Resurrection and the Life. They need to find the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

It’s urgent that we act now! So, yes! Wake up, dear Christian. The bugler is sounding Reveille. God is calling us to battle. Put on the armor of light and the Lord Jesus Christ. The battle becomes fiercer as the night gets darker.  Those lost in their sin are eternally dependent on us to show them the light.

Wake up. Discard the deeds of darkness. Put on the armor of light. Walk in decency as in the daylight. Put on the Lord Jesus Christ. Let your light shine. Walk in the light. Put on the full armor of God. Bring the Light into the world. Stop sleeping, O Christian! The dawn is coming. 

Please share today’s Devotion to your social media accounts. We’re using the following hashtags: #1stweekinAdvent #Advent #preparing #secondcoming #Wakeup #putonthearmoroflight #WCM

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

Ready for Christmas music?

Christmas YouTube Playlist

We’ve created a YouTube Christmas playlist (click here) of both Christian and fun Christmas music to enjoy while you decorate for the holidays and help you get those gifts wrapped, cookies baked, and all the other preparations you are doing this holiday season. So click the link and listen to our Christmas playlist in the car, at home, or while you work.

Need some relaxing Christmas tunes? Here’s a smooth Jazz playlist to sit back and with it quietly in the background while at the office, wrapping gifts, or decorating the house. We hope you’ll enjoy the songs of the season – jazz style.

Click here for the Contemporary Christian Playlist
Click here for the Southern Gospel Playlist
Or Click here for the Hymns Playlist
Animated videos that dig deep into God’s Word

You can also watch our animated devotionals on the YouTube Channel


God, Love and Marshmallow Wars by Julia M. Bruce

What’s Inside God, Love and Marshmallow Wars?

God, Love and Marshmallow Wars is a book that includes 365 daily activities and takes you on a guided journey through Biblical principles about Godly marriage that you can then apply to your marriage, as well as helping you talk through concepts that can help you develop a solid relationship. Inside you will find simple, quick activities that include:

  • Scripture to memorize and meditate on.
  • Conversation Starters.
  • Concepts from the Bible on Godly marriages.
  • Romance Builders.
  • Relationship Builders.
  • Personal reflections.
  • Date ideas.
  • Group date ideas for you and other Christian couples.

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

WestBow Press logo

Bible Studies, Bibles, Books & More

Christianbook Distributors logo
Everything Christian for less!

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

Christianbook Distributors Search:
Christianbook.com

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


Here’s some of our recent posts.

904.239.8937
A non-profit ministry located in Jacksonville, FL 

Follow us on:

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