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Did you remember to read your Bible?

One Year Bible Reading Plan and Devotional

Today’s Bible Reading: January 11

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Genesis 27-28

Matthew 9:18-38

Pride Goes Before the Fall

A good beginning

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

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

The problem is that for years we’ve heard the words of God, but we’ve not done them. We’ve become complacent and comfortable within the walls of our churches. It’s past time for Christians to wake up and take action! Not a political one, although we should be spending time in prayer and God’s Word before heading to the polls. Not by storming the capital or other violent means. The action we need to take is on our knees – praying for this nation.

A not so good beginning

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

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

Yet the Bible is clear that God wants us to live in unity. Consider these verses:

From the Old Testament

  • Psalm 133:1. How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!
  • Ecclesiastes 4:9-10. Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! 
  • Amos 3:3. Do two walk together, unless they have agreed to meet?

From the teachings of Jesus

  • Matthew 18:20. Where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.
  • John 13:35. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.
  • John 17:11. And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.
  • John 17:23. I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.

From Peter and James

  • 1 Peter 3:8. Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.
  • James 3:16. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.

From Paul

  • Philippians 2:3. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.
  • 1 Corinthians 1:10. I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.
  • 2 Corinthians 13:11.  Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.
  • Galatians 3:28. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
  • Romans 14:19. Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.
  • Colossians 3:13-14. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
  • Ephesians 4:2-6. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
  • Romans 12:16. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.

Division within the Church

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

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

The result

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

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

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

PRIDE: The Knife that Divides

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

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

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

Pride refuses to “Love Your Neighbor?”

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

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

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

1. Love fervently with a pure heart.

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

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

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

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

2. Love in truth

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

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

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

3. Love like Christ

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

Let all that you do be done in love

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

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

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

We also must be strong because the battle we fight is a spiritual battle so we must go to God who is our strength and our refuge. God gave us spiritual armor and we must put it on if we are going to fight spiritual battles. Only then can we overcome pride so that we are able to do everything in love.

Pride has made America “the all about me” society

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

Pride says “There is no God

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

Is COVID God’s punishment?

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

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

Pride demands Independence and Control

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

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

God exists whether we acknowledge Him or not.

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

Pride is determined to Stamp out God

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

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

A Putrefying Stench

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

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

Be Vigilant

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

The Problem with Complacency

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

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

The Second Problem with Complacency

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

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

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

If we are to rebuild the biblical foundation of this nation, it starts with the church. 2 Chronicles 7:14 says, “If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, forgive their sins, and heal their land.” If we want to see our nation healed, we must wake up out of our complacency. It is up to the people who are called by God’s name – that’s the Christians. The children of God. Those who have acknowledged God and accepted Jesus as their Savior. It’s the Church’s responsibility – our God-given assignment.

We need a revival!

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

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

“If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray,
and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways,
 then will I hear from heaven, forgive their sins, and heal their land.”

A Call to Action

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

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

#ReadYourBible #Genesis #Matthew

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Pride Goes Before the Fall

One Year Bible Reading Plan and Devotional

Today’s Bible Reading: January 11

Download the full one-year Bible reading plan here:

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Genesis 27-28

Matthew 9:18-38

Pride Goes Before the Fall

A good beginning

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

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

The problem is that for years we’ve heard the words of God, but we’ve not done them. We’ve become complacent and comfortable within the walls of our churches. It’s past time for Christians to wake up and take action! Not a political one, although we should be spending time in prayer and God’s Word before heading to the polls. Not by storming the capital or other violent means. The action we need to take is on our knees – praying for this nation.

A not so good beginning

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

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

Yet the Bible is clear that God wants us to live in unity. Consider these verses:

From the Old Testament

  • Psalm 133:1. How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!
  • Ecclesiastes 4:9-10. Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! 
  • Amos 3:3. Do two walk together, unless they have agreed to meet?

From the teachings of Jesus

  • Matthew 18:20. Where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.
  • John 13:35. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.
  • John 17:11. And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.
  • John 17:23. I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.

From Peter and James

  • 1 Peter 3:8. Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.
  • James 3:16. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.

From Paul

  • Philippians 2:3. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.
  • 1 Corinthians 1:10. I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.
  • 2 Corinthians 13:11.  Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.
  • Galatians 3:28. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
  • Romans 14:19. Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.
  • Colossians 3:13-14. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
  • Ephesians 4:2-6. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
  • Romans 12:16. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.

Division within the Church

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

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

The result

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

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

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

PRIDE: The Knife that Divides

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

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

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

Pride refuses to “Love Your Neighbor?”

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

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

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

1. Love fervently with a pure heart.

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

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

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

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

2. Love in truth

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

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

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

3. Love like Christ

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

Let all that you do be done in love

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

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

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

We also must be strong because the battle we fight is a spiritual battle so we must go to God who is our strength and our refuge. God gave us spiritual armor and we must put it on if we are going to fight spiritual battles. Only then can we overcome pride so that we are able to do everything in love.

Pride has made America “the all about me” society

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

Pride says “There is no God

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

Is COVID God’s punishment?

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

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

Pride demands Independence and Control

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

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

God exists whether we acknowledge Him or not.

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

Pride is determined to Stamp out God

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

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

A Putrefying Stench

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

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

Be Vigilant

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

The Problem with Complacency

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

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

The Second Problem with Complacency

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

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

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

If we are to rebuild the biblical foundation of this nation, it starts with the church. 2 Chronicles 7:14 says, “If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, forgive their sins, and heal their land.” If we want to see our nation healed, we must wake up out of our complacency. It is up to the people who are called by God’s name – that’s the Christians. The children of God. Those who have acknowledged God and accepted Jesus as their Savior. It’s the Church’s responsibility – our God-given assignment.

We need a revival!

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

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

“If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray,
and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways,
 then will I hear from heaven, forgive their sins, and heal their land.”

A Call to Action

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

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

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The Danger of Defiance Against God

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

Defiance: They didn’t listen then, and we do not listen now!

If you did not know that I was quoting a verse from the Bible in the book of Jeremiah, would not these words adequately describe the average person today? People filled with defiance against God? People filled with anger, bitterness, unforgiveness, pride, idolatry, and a right to their own agenda. Forget about God’s way of life. I will live my life the way I want to and to make sure I can, I will toss out any laws that prohibit it so that I can live guilt free. Does this not seem to be the attitude of our nation today?

God’s laws stand forever and do not change to suit our defiance against God

They can remove the 10 Commandments form the courtroom – but God’s laws will stand forever. They can change the laws of our nation and say same-sex marriage is acceptable – but God will never accept it. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever and His Word will not change. And so, if their way of life doesn’t measure up to God’s way, they become angry at God or say, “There is no god.” Or, the will say “God is dead.” Or they will choose to make up their “god” who will play by their rules. The nations of Israel and Judah thought the same thing in Jeremiah’s day. Let’s see how it turned out for them.

God’s covenant with His chosen people broken out of defiance

The majority of the Old Testament tells us about God’s chosen people and his covenant with them – that if they would forsake the false gods worshiped by other nations and would love Him with all their heart, soul, and mind, then He would be their God and they would be His people. He would bless them in the land of promise. Doesn’t sound too difficult. Worship only the one true God – the one who had parted the Red Sea so they could escape the Egyptians (this is important and we’ll get to why in a minute).

The one who had done all the signs and wonders to Pharaoh before Pharaoh finally let them leave. The same God who had fed them with Manna when they complained of a lack of food and sent them quail when they complained there was no meat. And the same God who brought water out of a rock. The same God who saw to their every need for 40 years of wandering around in the desert. The same God they met at the mountain and heard His voice and trembled. And the same God who caused the walls to fall at Jericho.

You might could argue that yes, all that happened, but the events of the book of Jeremiah were many generations later. And you would be correct. But even as Moses was on top of the mountain with God writing the 10 Commandments with his own finger, the people were down at the bottom of the mountain worshiping a golden calf they had Moses’ brother, Aaron make for them.

Defiance problem #1: Idolatry

Idol worship was their weakness. Or maybe it was wanting to be like the other nations around them. Maybe they wanted a tangible god they could see. What they could not say is they didn’t know there was a true God. Their entire history has God woven into their lives. It doesn’t really matter why they kept returning to idol worship over and over again. What matters is that they did and in doing so, they kindled the wrath of God.

Time and again God sent prophets to warn them and to call them back to Him. Sometimes, a king would listen and he would repent and lead the people back to worshiping God. Their fault always was in the fact that they didn’t totally wipe out the idol worship. They might would remove the carved images, but they left the “high places” and did not tear those down. When the next king came to the throne, the people went right back to idol worship – doing it their way instead of God’s way.

In the book of Ezekiel, chapter 8, God gave him visions that showed the extent of the idol worship:

“Son of man, do you see what they are doing – the utterly detestable things the Israelites are doing here, things that will drive me far from my sanctuary?”

Defiance problem #2: Pride

They also had a problem with pride. When the temple was built, they took the promise of God that we find in 2 Samuel 7:13 and believed it would protect them from God’s wrath. This verse says, “He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever.” Verse 16 says, “And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure for ever before me; your throne shall be established for ever.” They thought they could live any way they wanted and avoid retribution from God based on this covenant.

God fulfilled this covenant through Jesus Christ, who was born of the “house and lineage of David” and will eternally sit on the throne at the right hand of God. But God’s promise was not that one of David’s descendants would always be on the throne of Israel. They had pride in the idea of being God’s chosen people, but did not take the responsibility of the covenant they made with God seriously.

The result of defiance and breaking the Covenant with God

In Jeremiah’s day, God called Jeremiah out to be a prophet and warn the nation of the coming judgment but they refused to believe or repent. As a result, God sent the Assyrians and the Babylonians. The nations were destroyed, as was the temple the people took so much pride in. The majority of the nation was carried off into captivity and a small remnant remained, just as God has promised.

This small remnant decided they were going to pick up and move to Egypt (remember where God had brought them out of? Now there they were going back!) However, through the prophet Jeremiah, God told them not to go. Their response to Jeremiah was flat out defiance saying, “We will not listen to you! We are going to do what we want to do and nobody is going to stop us.” And off to Egypt they went. As a result, God punished them and none of the remnant of Judah that went to Egypt escaped or survived due to famine and sword.

What can we lean from Israel and Judah’s defiance of idolatry and pride?

What implication can we learn from Israel and Judah’s sin of idolatry and pride? If God would punish His chosen people so severely, would he not do the same to a Gentile nation?

We may not bow down or sacrifice to carved images, but most of us have created some kind of idol in our lives – something that is more important to us than God. What is it that keeps you out of church on Sunday? What is it that keeps you from tithing or serving God within your local body of believers? Or what is it that stops you from having a daily, personal Bible study time and prayer time with God?

Whatever it is that you put before God, that’s your idol. Maybe it’s social media. Maybe it’s work. And maybe its your children. Or going fishing or hunting. Maybe its a sport or hobby. Maybe its just some extra hours of sleep on Sunday. When you choose anything over God and make it more important than God, you are turning your fist up at God just as sure as Israel and Judah did and say “I’m going to do it my way!”

God gave Judah and Israel plenty of chances to repent and return to Him. He sought them out over and over. He called them back to Himself. And God does the same with us today. If God has not had the place of honor in your life or you have been defiantly disobedient to Him – Hebrews 3:15 says, “Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your heart.” Instead, fall to your knees in repentance and return to Him today.

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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 Canvas prints in the Teespring Store:

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

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

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

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

904.239.8937


Help support our ministry:


7 FREE Downloadable Resources

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

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

[Download not found]

What Satan Does Not Want You To know

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

[Download not found]

Stress Journal

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

[Download not found]

2021 Bible Memory Verse Plan

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

[Download not found]

The Path to Sin

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

[Download not found]
Bible Reading Plan Download

One Year Bible Reading Plan

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

[Download not found]

Self-Care Wheel

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

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

[Download not found]

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

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

You can also watch our animated devotionals on the YouTube Channel


God, Love and Marshmallow Wars by Julia M. Bruce

What’s Inside God, Love and Marshmallow Wars?

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

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

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

WestBow Press logo

Bible Studies, Bibles, Books & More

Christianbook Distributors logo
Everything Christian for less!

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

Christianbook Distributors Search:
Christianbook.com

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


Here’s some of our recent posts.

904.239.8937
A non-profit ministry located in Jacksonville, FL 

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Ministry is a Battlefield

self care theme verse

Doing ministry is serving on a battlefield, constantly at war, but we must not give up because our work is not in vain.

The Spiritual Battlefield

Ministry is a battlefield. It’s the battlefield of eternal life over eternal separation from God. We get up every day to fight the good fight. Even when your ministry is flourishing and growing, there are constant battles to be fought. The dangers we face every day may not be what a soldier faces on a battlefield, but anyone in ministry would agree that there are times they feel like their place of ministry is certainly a battlefield.

No matter your ministry position, denomination affiliation, leadership capabilities, level of education or years serving in your calling, there is a spiritual battlefield that is constantly at war. We might not be able to see the battle, but we can sure feel it and the battle going on in the spiritual realm is indeed fierce. So much so that there may be times where we feel like our armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18) has taken some real damage.

When We’ve Given Our All on the Ministry Battlefield

We read in Ephesians 6:11 and 13 that we are to put on the full armor of God so that we can stand firm. In 1 Corinthians 15:58, Paul writes, “Therefore, my dear brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the Lord’s work, knowing that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” However, sometimes we find that our “standing firm” feels more like standing on tired, wobbly legs, weak from fighting. We’re worn down. We’ve given our all. And all that’s left to fall on our knees before God and weep in exhaustion.

In these moments, we might find ourselves in a place of questioning God’s call to ministry. Did we hear God right? If this ministry is truly what God has called me to do, then why is it so hard and why isn’t God blessing it? At a time when I found myself asking these very questions, I heard the soft whisper of the Holy Spirit say, “Don’t give up in doing good. You will reap at the proper time, if you don’t give up. The more I am at work in you, the harder Satan fights. Stand firm. I am greater in you than he that is in the world.” It was the whisper I needed to keep pressing forward toward the goal. But it doesn’t make the battle any easier…if anything, it becomes harder as Satan fights back even more.

The Earthly Battlefield

As if the spiritual battlefield wasn’t hard enough, there is also an earthly, human battlefield that Satan uses in his arsenal against us. Since those of us in ministry are imperfect people and those whom we minister to are imperfect people, we can find ourselves on a battlefield made up of human problems, such as differences of opinion, selfishness, anger, and well…sin of all kinds.

This earthly battlefield manifests as those moments where the church members argue over which side of the stage the piano belongs on or if there should or should not be a pulpit on the stage. It’s the arguments over the color of the carpet or if it’s okay for the preacher to preach from his iPad rather than a Bible in his hand. It’s those moments where you look around at the squabbles, tired of mediating, and wonder how church ever got to be about these things instead of saving souls from an eternity in hell.

Added to this there is the growing concern of mass shootings within the walls of churches and the questions begin to rise of how to protect the congregation. Should we be concerned about public ministry events at parks or stadiums? Should we be afraid of prayer walking the community where we serve? How do we reach the lost world and still protect the people in our churches? And now we must add the questions of how to keep people safe from the COVID pandemic that has forced all of us to find new ways to do ministry differently.

The Battlefield of Flesh

Another type of battlefield arises as we try to make sure we protect ourselves, our families, and our ministry from even the appearance of evil. It’s the battlefield of flesh as we avoid the temptations of sin, pride, selfishness, anger, hurt feelings, and desires of the flesh. Galatians 5:17 says, “For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.” Two sides opposing each other: Spirit and flesh. It’s a battlefield.

The Battlefield of Pride

Another aspect of ministry is that we are always on display and are in danger on the battlefield of pride. When our ministry is flourishing, we must be careful that pride doesn’t slip in and we begin to lose sight that the growing ministry we are apart of is God at work through us and that we’ve done absolutely nothing. We have not earned any rights to pats on the back or High-fives. God should always receive all the glory and praise for what He accomplishes through us.

The Battlefield of pointing fingers

Another battlefield of flesh is the battlefield or pointing fingers. Because we are always on display, there are always the ones watching and waiting for us to mess up so they can point their fingers. They are the people who know us well and wag their finger saying, “How could God ever use you? He didn’t really call you. You’re just a ‘dreamer’.” They are people of the world who attempt to prove there is no God. They are people Satan uses to hurl accusations, whether true or not, to discredit our ministry.

Satan loves nothing more than to see a minister of God (whether that is a pastor, missionary, Christian Counselor, or someone in a ministry organization) fail or give up or walk away because of the pointing, accusing finger. It’s one of his best flaming arrows! It doesn’t even matter if the pointing finger of accusation is verified, or all lies. It doesn’t have to hit the target. Once the finger is pointed, damage has been done. Credibility is loss. Effectiveness diminished. Pride creeps in and we become discouraged, hurt, and ready to quit.

A Silent Battlefield

Then there is the silent battlefield of dangers that lurk about in the dark waiting to sneak up, kill and destroy those in ministry. These dangers include health issues, burnout, compassion fatigue, and stress. As a result, pastors, missionaries, and others in ministry professions walk away from the calling.

Instead of standing firm, steadfast, immovable and always excelling, they call it quits and leave the task of ministering for someone else to do. Sometimes they quit, but find a different way to minister. If they decide to stay in their ministry field, they no longer have the passion and zeal to serve. Ministry becomes a “have to” rather than an opportunity to serve our God. They risk facing depression, lack of motivation, and anxiety. Their relationships decline and many physical symptoms begin to emerge.

Don’t Give Up

With so fierce a battlefield, is it any wonder that people who give their all to the ministry God has called them often face the engulfing flames of burnout? But Paul wrote in Galatians 6:9 that we are to not grow weary in doing good. Why? Because at the proper time, we will reap if we don’t give up. What do we reap? Lost souls for the kingdom of God. Seeing Christians mature and discover their calling and then take their place on the battlefield for the Kingdom of God. Relationships restored. Prodigals coming home. Helping another ministry partner stay in their calling. Repentant hearts returning to God. Revival that changes our communities, nation, and the world.

Dear ministry partner, allow me to pray Paul’s words of encouragement over you today. Whether your just stepping onto the battlefield of ministry for the first time today and you’re excited and can’t wait to see how God is going to use you or you’ve been on the battlefield for years and your tired, weary, worn out wondering how to take that next step remember that you are vital to the kingdom of God. You are needed. God has uniquely gifted you and created you for the exact calling He has given you. No one else can do what you’ve been called to do exactly like you can. Don’t get tired of doing good for you will reap at the proper time if you do not give up. You are needed on the battlefield where you are.

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

Our Newest Download! The Path to Sin Worksheet

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]

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:

John 3:16

Does Jesus loves you? Just look to the cross. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him, should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16.

Choose Joy

Let’s Get Ready for Fall, Ya’ll!

Autumn Vibes
Autumn Vibes-fall leaves
Autumn Vibes with pumpkin
Thankful plaid pum[kin
Fall for Jesus – He never leaves
Happy Pumpkin Spice Season
Hello Fall!
Happy Fall Yall
Cutest ‘lil pumpkin in the patch

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 

Follow us on:

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Humility means it’s not all about me

The Root Problem of A World of Disorder and Evil

It doesn’t take much of watching the news or browsing through social media before you hear of some story where someone has been killed, or there is some group opposing the other, or some other crime. Humility is a lost art and racial tensions are dividing our nation and our world. Let’s face it. Our world has become a despot of disorder and evil of every kind! James 3:16 explains why this occurs every single day. This verse says, “For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind.” Jealousy. Selfish Ambition. Do you know what is at the root of jealousy and selfish ambition? ME. YOU. And the root problem of me and you, is SIN.

Living in an “It’s all about me” Society because Humility is a lost art

You see, our problem is that we have become a society of “it’s all about me.” We each think that our own rights are more important than someone else’s and if the other person doesn’t agree, then we become offended. We believe we are the only one that is right and everyone else is wrong but we never take the time to measure right and wrong against the truth of God’s Word….because if we did, we just might be convicted of our sin and have to change our thinking and our lifestyle. We would have to change how we treat others. And we’d have to change putting ourselves first and return to loving our neighbors.

The simple truth of the matter is we are a people full of pride and our world has lost the art of respecting others. Rather, we’re jealous of what other people have that we do not. We are selfish and only look out for ourselves rather than being charitable with what God has blessed us. And we’ve become a people of selfish ambition who will step on anyone who gets in our way, even to the point of dishonesty or even murder, if it gets us to our ambitions.

Many people only care about themselves and they could care less how their words and actions affect the world around them as long as they get what they want. Our world has become a society full of two-year-old toddlers who are all in the middle of the world’s biggest temper tantrum!

Bring Back Humility

Jesus said that the greatest commandment was to love God with all our heart, soul, and strength. But the second greatest commandment is to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. It takes great humility to love the unlovable – those who do not love us in return. It takes humility to love someone who is different than us or who had a different opinion than us. What we must remember is that Jesus loved us even while we were still sinners – so much so that He laid down His life in one of the most humbling ways ever – on a cross. If Jesus could humble himself for you and me, can we not find enough humility to love our neighbor as Jesus loved us?

What the Bible says about caring for others

It is time we get back to a lifestyle of humility and caring about others before ourselves. Here is what the Bible teaches:

  • Luke 6:31 – Just as you want others to do for you, do the same for them.
  • Leviticus 19:18 – Do not take revenge or bear a grudge against members of your community, but love your neighbor as yourself;
  • John 13:34 – A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another
  • 1 John 4:20 – If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.
  • Philippians 2:3-4 – Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
  • 1 John 4:11 – Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
  • Proverbs 10:12 – Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses.
  • 1 Peter 4:9 – Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.

The answer to hate, jealousy, and self-centeredness

Ultimately, the answer to such hate, jealousy, and self-centeredness is Christ. Although Christ is the answer, the world wants to blot Christ out. The more Christ is taken out of the world, the more freedom Satan has and the more our world sinks into the despot pool of sin of pride, jealousy, selfish ambitions, anger, racism, and hate. Satan would take humility and stamp it out because humility is a characteristic of Christ. He doesn’t want the world to see Christ. He wants the world mucking around in the despot pool of sin.

Christians, it’s time for us to fall on our knees and pray for a revival like this world has never seen before. Christ is the only answer to what the world needs. We can be silent no more! Yet our words need to be taken to God in prayer because He is the only one who can change the hearts of people.

Be the example of humility

We need to be living our lives as a beacon of hope to this lost world. Our words and actions should not be like the world’s, but should reflect and imitate our Savior. Romans 12:2 says, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

The Bible also says, “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:13-16). Our words and our lives should be testimonies of our Savior so that those lost without Christ may know Him. That means leaving in humility and loving others as Christ loves them.

Take time today to ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you any jealousy or selfish ambitions within you. Ask Him to cultivate the attitude of humility that reflects the character of Christ to the world.

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

Our Newest Download! The Path to Sin Worksheet

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]

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]