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Did you remember to read your Bible?

Today’s Bible Reading: December 28

Bible reading image


Zechariah 7-9

Revelation 19

Clicking on the Scripture links above will open a new window where you can read the scripture from the English Standard Version at Biblegateway.com or choose the Bible version you prefer to read. Check back each day to get the Scripture to read in the One Year Bible Reading Plan.

#ReadYourBible #Revelation #Zechariah

Why is daily Bible reading important?

Bible Reading is vitally important to growing spiritually and keeping our spiritual selves full. God wants us to hide His Word in our hearts, meditate on it and apply it to our lives. When we have a plan, we are more likely to follow through. Here are eight reasons you should have a daily Bible Reading plan:

  • We can find His will for our lives
  • Bible reading is our spiritual nourishment
  • It helps us be able to discern the thoughts and intents of our heart.
  • The Bible instructs us in righteousness
  • It gives us power to overcome trials, heartaches, and sin
  • God gives us many promises, but you won’t know them unless you read about them, memorize them, and know if it’s a promise intended for us today
  • God reveals Himself to us and we learn about Him which strengthens our relationship with Him
  • He also speaks to us through His Word.

Don’t miss what God has to say to you today.
It’s time to practice spiritual self-care and read your Bible!

Practice Spiritual Self care and dig into God’s Word today to be revived and renewed!

All Things Possible

With God, all things are possible. You just gotta have faith.

Here are some of our favorite designs you can find in the shop:

  • Revive Us Again, Lord

God, Love, and Marshmallow Wars

by Julia M. Bruce

What’s Inside God, Love, and Marshmallow Wars?

This book 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, Christian Book Distributors, Amazon, and Barnes & Nobel. Click the icons below to purchase from your preferred bookstore. Now also available at WalMart online.

Westbow logo
Christian book logo
amazon logo
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 Join the community of couples on Facebook who are committed to intentionally growing their marriage and learning how to have a marriage that honors God. Here you can post photos of the different activities as you do them, ask questions of other couples, share how God is using this book to strengthen your marriage, and grow with other Christian couples. We’ll see you in the community.

Bible Studies, Bibles, Books & More

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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.

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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.

See our other recent posts:

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Bible Reading for December 28

Today’s Bible Reading: December 28

Bible reading image


Zechariah 7-9

Revelation 19

Clicking on the Scripture links above will open a new window where you can read the scripture from the English Standard Version at Biblegateway.com or choose the Bible version you prefer to read. Check back each day to get the Scripture to read in the One Year Bible Reading Plan.

#ReadYourBible #Revelation #Zechariah

Why is daily Bible reading important?

Bible Reading is vitally important to growing spiritually and keeping our spiritual selves full. God wants us to hide His Word in our hearts, meditate on it and apply it to our lives. When we have a plan, we are more likely to follow through. Here are eight reasons you should have a daily Bible Reading plan:

  • We can find His will for our lives
  • Bible reading is our spiritual nourishment
  • It helps us be able to discern the thoughts and intents of our heart.
  • The Bible instructs us in righteousness
  • It gives us power to overcome trials, heartaches, and sin
  • God gives us many promises, but you won’t know them unless you read about them, memorize them, and know if it’s a promise intended for us today
  • God reveals Himself to us and we learn about Him which strengthens our relationship with Him
  • He also speaks to us through His Word.

Don’t miss what God has to say to you today.
It’s time to practice spiritual self-care and read your Bible!

Practice Spiritual Self care and dig into God’s Word today to be revived and renewed!

All Things Possible

With God, all things are possible. You just gotta have faith.

Here are some of our favorite designs you can find in the shop:

  • Revive Us Again, Lord

God, Love, and Marshmallow Wars

by Julia M. Bruce

What’s Inside God, Love, and Marshmallow Wars?

This book 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, Christian Book Distributors, Amazon, and Barnes & Nobel. Click the icons below to purchase from your preferred bookstore. Now also available at WalMart online.

Westbow logo
Christian book logo
amazon logo
Barnes and Nobel logo
walmart logo


 Join the community of couples on Facebook who are committed to intentionally growing their marriage and learning how to have a marriage that honors God. Here you can post photos of the different activities as you do them, ask questions of other couples, share how God is using this book to strengthen your marriage, and grow with other Christian couples. We’ll see you in the community.

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.

See our other recent posts:

904.239.8937
A non-profit ministry located in Jacksonville, FL 
Follow us on:

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If we are to live by faith, why does God give signs?

Week 4 of Advent: Love

Faith is the Foundation of Christianity

Have you ever asked for God to give you a sign? Maybe you’re trying to make a major decision that will send your life down a different path. Or maybe you feel God calling you to a certain task. Or maybe you just simply are searching for God. There are many reasons why we might ask God to give us a sign. Some say that to do so shows a lack of faith. In some instances that could very well be true and that can be a huge problem since Christianity is 100% dependent upon faith in God and in His only Son, Jesus who became the Savior or the world. The very foundation of Christianity is faith in who Jesus is and the work He did through his birth, life, death, and resurrection.

Got Faith?

The main reason why Christians struggle with not having much faith is because we tend to follow what we perceive to be true rather than what we know to be true by faith. The kind of faith that has a complete trust or confidence in someone or something that is built up over time as that person proves himself faithful time and time again. But human often fail us and then we lose faith in them. We struggle with faith because we base our faith on our human experiences. If we want to have the kind of faith seen in the “Faith Heroes” of Hebrews 11, then we have to base our faith on the unchanging nature of God – not people.

How to build up our faith

We can build our faith in Christ as we look at the promises of God where He has kept those promises. We can build our faith in Christ as we look at the prophets who foretold pieces of the future that God revealed to them and then see in history where those prophesies occurred. As God inspired the various writers for the books of the Bible, He gave us His own personal testimony of His faithfulness to us.

As children of God, it is by faith that we must believe that Jesus is who He said He is — the promised Messiah and Son of God. By faith we must believe that He lived His entire life without sin. By faith we must believe that through His death on the cross He become the atoning sacrifice for the sins of every person. It is by faith we must believe that after three days in a tomb, He was raised to life again. By faith we must believe that He ascended into Heaven after 40 days where in that time He appeared to many. By faith we must believe that today, Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father and that He is preparing a place for us in heaven. And by faith we place our trust in Jesus as “The Way, the truth and the life.”

There is no other way by which we can be saved. Then Jesus gives us His perfect righteousness, making us justified before God.

A Whole Lot of Faith

That’s a whole lot of faith. Yet often, we live as though we don’t really believe all that we claim to believe and the biggest reason why is we don’t truly know God because we don’t take the time to get to know Him. Just as you would not place your complete faith and trust in a total stranger, if God is more like a stranger to you than a Father, it will be difficult to fully trust Him with complete and total faith in Him.

The more intimately you know Him, the easier it becomes to have faith in Him. The only way we get to know Him while in this life is through daily personal Bible study where He reveals Himself to us on every page and through a habit of conversing with Him in prayer. In Romans 10:17, Paul wrote, “Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”

We can certainly learn about God through the sermons we hear at church, but if you really want to seek God with all your heart, you’ll need to open your Bible and begin to study it for yourself.

Doubting Thomas

If you struggle with faith, I want to encourage you through one of the disciples who has become known to us as “doubting Thomas.” When Thomas hear that Jesus had been raised from the dead, he said he would not believe unless he saw Jesus for himself, saw the wounds from the nails in His hands and feet and thrust his hand in Jesus’ side where he had been pierced with a sword. Jesus later appeared again to the disciples and this time Thomas was with them. With love, He walked up to Thomas and let him see with his own eyes, touch the nail scars and showed him His side. Thomas immediately bows and worships Jesus. Jesus said, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:29)

Asking for a sign

Others in the Bible also asked for a sign. In Judges 6, Gideon asked God for the sign of the fleece. King Herod was hoping for a sign (Luke 23:8). In Matthew 24, the disciples asked Jesus what sign would precede His coming. And in Isaiah 7, Ahaz is told to ask for a sign – but he would not. A sign was given anyway and that sign was the prophecy of the coming of the Messiah.

Moreover the Lord spoke again to Ahaz, saying, “Ask a sign for yourself from the Lord your God; ask it either in the depth or in the height above.” But Ahaz said, “I will not ask, nor will I test the Lord!” Then he said, “Hear now, O house of David! Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will you weary my God also? Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. Curds and honey He shall eat, that He may know to refuse the evil and choose the good. For before the Child shall know to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land that you dread will be forsaken by both her kings.”

Jesus wants each one of us to believe – to have faith. He will meet your level of faith where you are – but He will not leave you there. He will take you to the next step – and then the next. So if you need a sign, like Thomas did, then ask.

Walk by faith, not by sight

However, at the same time, we also need to remember the words of Paul in Hebrews 11:6 where Paul tells us to walk by faith and not by sight. We can ask for a sign for the wrong reason, which is testing God. The scribes, Pharisees, and Sadducees often did so to which Jesus responded, “An evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign; and yet no sign will be given to it but the sign of Jonah the prophet; for just as Jonah was three days and three night in the belly of the sea monster, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” (Matthew 12:38-40)

Why does God give signs sometimes and not others?

Why does God give signs in some instances and not others? The answer lies within the “why” we ask for a sign. If we ask for a sign because we want to take a shortcut, our “why” is the wrong reason. Often we want to take a shortcut, because we are lazy or we feel that the task is too hard or too long and we want to just skip over to the end. Jesus said in Matthew 7:13-14, “For wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life.” Most often, shortcuts are dangerous and have consequences.

Faith doesn’t take shortcuts

Abraham and Sarah attempted a shortcut to achieve God’s promised son. The consequences of their actions reached across generations. Shortcuts can also lead to poverty (Proverbs 10:14 and Proverbs 21:5) and mistakes (Proverbs 19:2). They can often seem profitable at the moment, but it is always better to do things God’s way.

Psalm 37:7 tells us to wait patiently for God to act.

In the Message Bible, Matthew 7:13 says, “Don’t look for shortcuts to God. The market is flooded with surefire, easygoing formulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time. Don’t fall for that stuff, even though crowds of people do.

In Psalm 32:8, God says, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.”

Proverbs 37:5 tells us to “commit everything you do to the Lord, Trust him, and he will help you.” Taking shortcuts turns the discovery of God’s will into a scheme that places all the responsibility and work on God. Beware of taking the easy way out.

Faith doesn’t ignore what God has already revealed

We also need to be sure that asking for a sign is not a way to ignore what God has already revealed to us as His will because we don’t like what He’s already shown us. We know from God’s Word that we are to give a tithe. So to pray and ask God for a sign that He wants you to tithe would be wrong. We know that God says in His Word that we should not commit adultery. So to ask for a sign from God to see if it’s OK for you to have an affair is wrong. To ask for a sign for anything that contradicts what God has already revealed, is wrong.

Faith doesn’t test God

If we are asking God for a sign to “test” Him, then it is sin. Deuteronomy 6:16 says, “Do not test the Lord your God.” In Psalm 78, David wrote about Israel’s continued sin, rebelling against God and deliberately testing Him.

Faith doesn’t validate a decision you’ve already made

We also should not asked for a sign as a means to validate a decision we’ve already made. Balaam did this when he asked God if he could go and curse the Israelites. God’s answer was, “No!” But Balaam didn’t like the answer and prayed again. God did not give Balaam a sign that he was to go, but he went anyway. He had already made up his mind to go before he ever prayed. The act of praying in this case was an attempt to justify the decision that he had already made.  Too often, we jump into something that looks really tempting and then begin to pray and ask God to bless it. Essentially we are asking God to surrender to His will to us rather than us surrendering our will to Him.

Faith doesn’t avoid the waiting

Another reason we tend to ask God for a sign is because we want to avoid waiting. Waiting is often a time of feeling powerless, dependent, anxious while knowing we can do nothing – but wait. We we ask for a sign, we are putting ourselves back in control. Let’s say that the sign you ask for is that God would do something by a certain deadline. This means that God needs to respond by our schedule – not his. 

In their book Experiencing God: Knowing and Doing the Will of God, Harry Blackaby and Richard King say, “If you do not have clear instructions from God in a matter, pray and wait. Learn patience. Depend on God’s timing. His timing is always right and best. Don’t get in a hurry. He may be withholding directions to cause you to seek Him more intently. Don’t try to skip the relationship to get to the doing.” God is never late. Wait on Him. It will be worth it.

God is not a genie in a bottle

Lastly, we can’t ask for a sign as if God were a genie in a bottle. He is not a good luck charm that keeps us from failure or pain. We can’t use a sign from God as a means to never experiencing problems in life. What we see as success and what God sees as success can often look very different. From the world’s view point, as Jesus died on the cross, the world could say that He failed. But from God’s viewpoint, Jesus was a huge success because Jesus accomplished God’s perfect plan to redeem us and to save us from our sins. God’s plan may include some times of pain and suffering, but there is blessing in obedience.

Is it ever right to ask God for a sign?

So is it ever right to ask God for a sign? God wants to develop an intimate and loving relationship with us – and that takes time. Without a relationship with God, Christianity is reduced to a superstitious and shallow practice not any different than when the Israelites worshiped the golden calf. What sets Christianity is part is a relationship based on faith in THE living God. Within that relationship, God may choose to speak to us through His Word, through a friend, through our circumstances, and even through a sign.

Asking for a sign after God has already spoken is wrong. But when His will is not clear, there is nothing wrong with asking God to make His will known. He could choose to do so through a sign, but it could also be another way of confirming His will, such as through the pastor’s sermon or through the words of a friend. When we do feel that God has given a sign, we must be cautious because we also know that Satan can do signs. So be sure your recognize God’s voice when He speaks to you. In John 10:27, Jesus said that we hear his voice because He is our Shepherd.

The purpose of signs

Over and over again in the Bible we can find God giving His people signs. What’s the purpose? So that they would know Him. Why does He give us signs? Because He loves us and He longs to have a relationship based on complete faith in Him. The signs He gives are one way to reveal Himself to us and grow our faith. He doesn’t want to be some mystical being we don’t know. The whole reason He gave the sign in Isaiah 7:10-16 was so we would recognize the Messiah when He came. He loves us and wants us to know Him.


Recommended Resources:

Faith Crisis: What Faith Isn’t and Why It Doesn’t Always Do What You Want – eBook

By Ron Dunn / B&H Books
Many well-meaning Christians misunderstand the role that faith plays in our relationship with God. And because we don’t understand the ways of God, we open ourselves up to losing faith if he doesn’t deliver what we want, when we want it. But the Bible promises that God always rewards real faith. So what, then, is true faith? And how do we tell the difference between truth and a counterfeit faith that is nothing more than false advertising? In Faith Crisis, Ron Dunn guides us through a study of the nature of faith, using Scripture and real-life examples to show what the genuine article looks like, so there’s no mistaking it. You’ll learn that it’s not about quantity but quality, and that the reward of faith is not in blessings, but in experiencing the very presence of God.

Experiencing the Power of Life-Changing Faith-Romans

By Kay Arthur / Harvest House Publishers
Discover the truth of God’s Word for yourself! The Book of Romans is Paul’s clearest presentation of the gospel—and includes answers to some of life’s most important questions. How can I have peace with God? How can I know God’s will? Does being religious make me a Christian? For personal or group study. 144 pages, softcover from Harvest.


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Names of God

What’s so important about the names of God? Each one reveals to us a characteristic about God so that we can understand and know Him in that characteristic. This design honors some of the most popular names of God.

Our Father – Names of God

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God, Love and Marshmallow Wars by Julia M. Bruce

What’s Inside God, Love and Marshmallow Wars?

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

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

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:
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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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Rejoice! And Give Him Glory

Week 3 of Advent: Rejoice

A COVID Postponed Wedding

This year, my nephew got married. We all rejoice at weddings (unless we don’t approve of the marriage for some reason). And as exciting as marriages are, Blake and Eileen had the added “excitement” of COVID that interrupted their plans. They did not rejoice over the delays, but they worked together to tackle the obstacles and they did rejoice on the day they finally exchanged their vows.

They were supposed to have been married in the spring. However, Blake is in the Air Force and stationed overseas. The military would not let Blake come back home due to COVID travel restrictions, so the wedding was postponed. And then it was postponed again…and again. Finally, Eileen just stop coming up with a new date and waited for the military to allow Blake to travel.

When he did finally get to come home in August, they wouldn’t allow him enter the state we live. So we took the wedding to the state just north of us and with a lot of pulling strings, getting a quick marriage license, and people working together to make it happen, Blake and Eileen were finally married…about five months after the original wedding date. It didn’t happen exactly as they planned and dreamed about but we did rejoice with them and then again when months later, Eileen was finally able to join Blake overseas.

Wedding Plans

Did you know that right now, Jesus is getting ready for the Marriage of the Lamb? He’s busy making the preparations. Just like Blake and Eileen didn’t know when their marriage would actually take place and once Blake was able to come home, we had about a week to scramble and put all their wedding plans (some altered) in place, we do not know the moment that Jesus will come again to collect His bride – the church who is all those who have placed their faith in Him as their Savior.

In fact, Jesus doesn’t even know the time. Jesus said in Matthew 24:26, “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only” But Jesus will not be unprepared. He is making His plans and getting everything ready. And when God the Father says, “Son, go get my children!” you can bet Jesus will be ready to welcome the church with open arms and all of heaven will rejoice.

Rejoice! Give Him glory! The Marriage of the Lamb has come and the bride is ready.

Today’s verse is found in Revelation 19:7.

Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.

As I read this verse about the wife making herself ready, I thought about all the months of planning Blake and Eileen did to create their very special, magical moments for their wedding day. The bride chooses a dress, venue, flowers, cake, and caters. She chooses her maid of honor and bridesmaids. She chooses the music for the wedding service and the reception. On the day of her wedding she sits for hours to get her hair done, carefully puts on her make up or hires someone to do it for this special day. She puts on her dress and veil. Slips on her shoes.  She takes the arm of her father or maybe an older brother or someone who has been a father-figure in her life and starts down the aisle towards her waiting groom to join her life with his.

What is the Marriage of the Lamb?

GotQuestions.org answers this question this way:

The concept of the marriage supper is better understood in light of the wedding customs in the time of Christ. These wedding customs had three major parts. First, a marriage contract was signed by the parents of the bride and the bridegroom, and the parents of the bridegroom or the bridegroom himself would pay a dowry to the bride or her parents. This began what was called the betrothal period—what we would today call the engagement. This period was the one Joseph and Mary were in when she was found to be with child (Matthew 1:18; Luke 2:5).

The second step in the process usually occurred a year later, when the bridegroom, accompanied by his male friends, went to the house of the bride at midnight, creating a torchlight parade through the streets. The bride would know in advance this was going to take place, and so she would be ready with her maidens, and they would all join the parade and end up at the bridegroom’s home. This custom is the basis of the parable of the ten virgins in Matthew 25:1–13.

The third phase was the marriage supper itself, which might go on for days, as illustrated by the wedding at Cana in John 2:1–2.

https://www.gotquestions.org/marriage-supper-Lamb.html

The Implication of John’s vision

GotQuestions.org says the following:

What John’s vision in Revelation pictures is the wedding feast of the Lamb (Jesus Christ) and His bride (the Church) in its third phase. The implication is that the first two phases have already taken place. The first phase was completed on earth when each individual believer placed his or her faith in Christ as Savior. The dowry paid to the bridegroom’s parent (God the Father) would be the blood of Christ shed on the Bride’s behalf. The Church on earth today, then, is “betrothed” to Christ, and, like the wise virgins in the parable, all believers should be watching and waiting for the appearance of the Bridegroom (the rapture).

The second phase symbolizes the rapture of the Church, when Christ comes to claim His bride and take her to the Father’s house. The marriage supper then follows as the third and final step. It is our view that the marriage supper of the Lamb takes place in heaven between the rapture and the second coming (during the tribulation on earth).

https://www.gotquestions.org/marriage-supper-Lamb.html

Jesus will rejoice for His Bride

One of my favorite parts of any wedding is watching the groom’s face light up the moment his bride starts down the aisle and he sees her in all her wedding glory. Blake was no different. His whole face shown with joy and he was grinning from ear to ear. I thought about the moment that Jesus sees His bride and the joy He will express in that moment. Can you imagine what it will be like to see the Savior’s love for us on his face? Oh, how we will rejoice to see Him!

The bride has made herself ready

Revelation 19:7 tells us the the bride has made herself ready. How do we make ourselves ready for Jesus? By admitting that we are sinner, lost and bound for hell, which is the penalty for sin. We must believe that Jesus is the one and only Son of God who died in our place to pay the price for our sins. And we must confess our sins, ask Jesus to forgive us and then confess Him is our Lord and Savior.

1 John 1:9 tells us, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” In that moment, you become a child of God, a part of the church and you have made yourself ready for the Lamb and you can rejoice knowing that Jesus is getting ready for you to join Him at the marriage of the Lamb.

We can rejoice because Jesus is getting things ready

From the moment that Jesus ascended into heaven until the moment he returns for His bride, He is making preparations to receive His bride. In John 14:2, as Jesus was assuring His disciples and telling them that He would be leaving them to return to His father he said, “I go to prepare a place for you.” He’s getting ready for His bride and we can rejoice in that.

Would you marry a stranger?

If you have ever watch the TV show, “Married at First Sight,” they put together a whole wedding in less than 2 weeks and then marry someone they have never met, allowing so-called “expects” to match them and create an arranged marriage. Referred to as an “experiment,” the couples are legally married and live together for eight weeks and then decision day comes and they have to decide if they will stay married or get a divorce (A testament to how little the marriage vows mean in today’s society and how common and acceptable divorce is.” Based on the number that stay married and the number that get divorced, it doesn’t look like that these marriages based on “scientific data” is any more successful than traditional marriages.

When the show first started, they married three couples. Over time, they began matching four couples. In each marriage, you can see the stress of the brides and grooms as the moment they are to meet their spouses at the altar to exchange vows arrives. They don’t even know each other’s names until they get to the altar. They don’t know what one another looks like or their likes and dislikes, bad habits – they know nothing about one another. (Side note: I don’t advocate for such a marriage, just pointing out the added stress of marrying a total stranger.)

We’re not marrying a stranger

Thankfully, Jesus is not a stranger to His bride. We have met Him in the scriptures and He tells us everything we need to know about Him. This is why reading your Bible everyday is so important. It is there that you meet your waiting Groom and Savior. It is in the pages of scripture that we learn to rejoice in the love of our Savior. In the Bible, we learn that He loved us so much that He left the glory and splendor of Heaven to be born as a human infant to a poor, virgin girl, grew up in poverty, was rejected and despised, nailed to a cross, died and then rose again – all because of His love for us.

True Love

Our version and understanding of love is mostly based on a Hollywood created version of love – or a Disney princess Happily ever after. My son loves the movie, “The Princess Bride,” which is known for the true love between Wesley and Buttercup. A “love” that can bring Wesley back from being “mostly dead.” Hollywood would have us understand love as riding off into the sunset and heading out to life without problems. Whenever we measure our marriage based on the conceived ideas of love that Hollywood has created, we will always find our marriages lacking and we’ll choose divorce trying to find that elusive idea that Hollywood has created.

We cannot truly understand love until we personally know and experience the sacrificial love of Christ. Any other love is cheap, lust, selfish, and leaves us unhappy and wanting something different. God created us to desire and to know and love Him. Until we experience His love, we don’t truly know what love is. True love is selfless and sacrifice and Jesus sacrificed his life for us. When we understand His love, we can rejoice!

Death cannot stop true love

In the “Princess Bride” movie, Wesley says, “Death cannot stop true love, it can only delay it for a little while.” Jesus’s death did not stop his love for us – in fact, it’s why He came to earth. But neither did his death delay His love. He expresses His love to us in so many ways, each and every day. He is right now lovingly getting everything ready for the Marriage of the Lamb. And even as we wait for His coming to get his bride, He is working every thing out for our good. Take a moment to pause and acknowledge the ways He has expressed His love to you this week. Rejoice and praise Him for his unconditional love that never ends.

We’re not promised “Happily Ever After”

As the bride of Christ prepares for her groom, it’s important to remember that Jesus never promised an easy life. In fact, Paul wrote in II Timothy 3:12, “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” Jesus said in John 16:33, “In the world you will have tribulation.” We can also expect times of chastisement (Hebrews 12:5-11). And sometimes, things happen in this world that we simply cannot understand. But we can trust in the promises of God that He will never leave us or forsake us or that when we walk through the fire, He is with us. Even when things happen that we don’t understand, we can know that God is working everything out for our best and He will carry us through to the other side.

Is the bride of Christ ready for his arrival?

What are we, the bride of Christ, doing to prepare for the marriage of the Lamb? Are we prepared to take our place beside Him? Have we yielded and surrendered to God so that we are ready when it is time? Are we walking by faith, obediently living for Him? Are we telling others about Him so that we bring them with us to the marriage feast? Do we know and understand His true love for us? Are we daily reading His Word so we can get to know Him and develop a relationship with Him? We don’t often hear of arranged marriages anymore. Could you imagine marrying someone that you met once at the altar of a church but never saw again? We get to know the groom as we study God’s Word, attend church, worship with other believers, and through prayer. How well do you know the groom?

What are you doing to prepare for the marriage of the Lamb? The groom is coming!


Revive Renew Redeem logo on self-care post

Check out our Spreadshop store with Christian Tees and other products

These are the last of the Christmas designs for this year

After this week the Christmas designs will go back into the “digital vault” until next year. There are only 2 weeks to Christmas. Products are printed when ordered so order now. See all our Christmas designs in the store.

Emmanuel – Adore Him – Merry Little Christmas – Ornaments – Reindeer – True Story

Here are some of our other Christmas Christian tees designs.

Here are a few samples of our Christmas designs. You can see them all in the store. There are only 5 weeks ’til Christmas. All designs are printed when ordered so you’ll need to give time for printing and shipping. Order early to ensure they arrive in time for wearing this holiday season or giving as gifts.

Here are some of our favorite designs

Listen to our Christmas Playlist on YouTube

Get a head start on your Christmas Shopping at Christian Book Distributors

Only 4 weeks ’til Christmas!

Christmas Store

Click here to enter the Christian Book Distributors 2020 Christmas Collection

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.

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

904.239.8937
A non-profit ministry located in Jacksonville, FL 

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Rejoice Exceedingly with Great Joy

Week 3 of Advent: Rejoice

The Wise Men Rejoice

Among traditional Nativity scenes are three Magi, or Wise Men. However, the Wise Men did not see Jesus until he was a toddler. They did not arrive on the night of His birth. We also don’t know exactly how many wise men there were, but we traditionally place three in the Nativity scene because there were three gifts. In reality the wise men would have had a whole caravan of people traveling with them, especially with carrying the expense gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

What does the Bible tell us about these wise men?

One little boy had a unique perspective on who the wise men were. After returning from Sunday school, he was excited to tell his friends about what he had learned. He told them: “I learned in Sunday school today all abut the very first Christmas. Ya see, there wasn’t a Santa way back then, so these three skinny guys on camels had to deliver all the toys!”

Thankfully, the Bible does give us some insight into who these men were and GotQuestions.org puts it together for us:

We know that the magi were wise men from “the East,” most likely Persia, or modern-day Iran. This means the wise men traveled 800 to 900 miles to see the Christ child. Most likely, the magi knew of the writings of the prophet Daniel, who in time past had been the chief of the court seers in Persia. Daniel 9:24-27 includes a prophecy which gives a timeline for the birth of the Messiah.

The wise men were guided to look for the King of the Jews by a miraculous stellar event, the “Star of Bethlehem,” which they called “His star” (Matthew 2:2). They came to Jerusalem and asked concerning the birth of Christ, and they were directed to Bethlehem (Matthew 2:4–8). They followed God’s guidance joyfully (Matthew 2:10). When they arrived in Bethlehem, they gave costly gifts to Jesus and worshiped Him. God warned them in a dream against returning to Herod, so, in defiance of the king, they left Judea by another route (Matthew 2:12).

So, the magi were men who 1) read and believed God’s Word, 2) sought Jesus, 3) recognized the worth of Christ, 4) humbled themselves to worship Jesus, and 5) obeyed God rather than man. They were truly wise men!

https://www.gotquestions.org/three-wise-men.html

An Example from the Magi

More importantly than knowing about who the magi were, is that there response to being in the presence of Jesus. Matthew 2:10 says:

When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.”

Do we rejoice exceedingly with great joy in the presence of Jesus?

Can we say that we have the same response in presence of Christ as the wise men did? I don’t just mean when we are in church with our hands raised as they sing praise songs. Jesus said in Matthew 28:20, “ I am with you always, to the end of the age.” He is always with us. When we read then, about how the magi responded to the physical presence of Christ, we must keep in mind the reality that we are always in the presence of Christ. Perhaps this is why Paul wrote in Philippians 4:4, “rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice!

Rejoice in the Lord Always

This exhortation to “rejoice in the Lord always” should not only challenge us, but it should also excite us because the Christian life is intended to be a joyful life. We are not to live as if we’ve been defeated. Jesus is victorious and through Him we live in victory too.

Christmas isn’t always a joyful time.

Christmas is not a joyful time. It’s true that the holiday season often inspires feelings of warmth, joy, and belonging. But for some people, this time of year can evoke feelings of loneliness, stress and anxiety.

Holidays and Mental Health

One survey by the American Psychological Association uncovered some interesting data about the holiday blues:

First, while the majority of people in the survey reported feelings of happiness, love, and high spirits over the holidays, those emotions were often accompanied by feelings of fatigue, stress, irritability, bloating, and sadness.

Second, 38% of people surveyed said their stress level increased during the holiday season. Participants listed the top stressors: lack of time, lack of money, commercialism, the pressures of gift-giving, and family gatherings.

Third, 56 percent of respondents reported they experienced the most amount of stress at work. Only 29 percent experienced greater amounts of stress at home.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/evidence-based-living/201712/what-we-know-about-the-holiday-blues

Holidays can create financial stress

Psychology today also reported that another poll of more than 1,000 adults by the Principal Financial Group — a global investment company — found that 53 percent of people experience financial stress due to holiday spending, despite the fact more than half set budgets for their holiday spending.

Why we have Holiday Blues and don’t rejoice

It is during the Christmas season when we seem to most profoundly miss those people in our life who have passed on. During the Christmas season when we become more prone to anxiety and depression. It is during the Christmas season when we seem to worry most about finances. For these reasons, the Christmas season is not always a joy for every individual.

Overcoming Holiday Blues

We can overcome the sadness and anxiety that bring on the Holiday Blues. As Christians we can win back our joy when we stop to rejoice in the presence of Christ. But, in order to do this, we must first recognize where our difficulties begin. Our difficulties begin when we focus on our circumstances rather than our status as a child who is loved by the Creator of the Universe.

Did Mary rejoice in her circumstances?

We must remember that Mary and Joseph were not overjoyed with their circumstances either. It is true, neither Mary or Joseph rejoiced at the news of Mary’s pregnancy. Mary, who was a virgin, was pregnant out of wedlock. “How can this be?” she asked the angel (Luke. 1:34). Matthew tells us that Joseph initially wanted “to put Mary away quietly” (Matthew. 1:19). In other words, he was going to give her a bill of divorce from their engagement. Mary was confused, Joseph wanted to break up–neither were happy with their circumstances. However, Mary was obedient and after the angel visited Joseph, he too was obedient.

Obedience leads to a change of heart

When we choose to obey God, even when we don’t understand we can experience a change of heart. We see this in Mary and Joseph. An angel convinced Joseph that he should not leave Mary and Luke chapter one records Mary’s new perspective on things, “My soul exalts the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my savior” (Luke. 1:46, 47).

A Lesson to learn from the Magi and Mary

The lesson to be learned here is clear: the Christmas season will be most joyful and life will be most joyful when we take our attention off our circumstances and learn to “rejoice in the Lord“.

To Rejoice in the Lord requires faith

Rejoicing in the Lord requires faith. We are told to rejoice without ceasing. That means whether life is good or bad, we are to rejoice in the Lord. We are instructed to rejoice without ceasing in something that we cannot see or touch. We can be encouraged by the faith of the magi. Matthew 2:10 tells us that they rejoiced with exceeding joy when they saw the star. They had not even left for their journey to see Jesus. They saw the star and had faith in the prophecies they had studied and set out by faith that at the end of 800-900 miles they would see the promised Messiah. The star was all the assurance the magi needed to be convinced of the presence of Christ.

We must stop asking God to rearrange the stars to spell out a sign for us and recognize that the Bible gives us reason to have assurance in the presence of Christ. And this presence should generate in us tremendous joy.

To Rejoice in the Lord requires genuine worship

The second response the magi had to the presence of Christ, we read about in verse 11, “And they came into the house and saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell down and worshipped Him; and opening their treasures they presented to Him gifts of gold and frankincense and myrrh“.

The first response the magi had to the presence of Christ was that they “rejoiced exceedingly with great joy” and the second response they had to the presence of Christ was that they “worshipped Him” by giving Him “gifts.” Do we bring hearts of genuine worship that lead us to give Him gifts? The apostle Paul tells us in Romans 12, that the gift we bring to Jesus is “to present your bodies as a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.” Every part of our lives should be a form of worship to God. That means your marriage, your parenting, your career, your hobbies, your speech, your conduct, and your interaction with other people. The way you live your life each day should be an act of worship.

Gold, frankincense, and myrrh might have been acceptable to the infant Christ, but to the resurrected Christ Paul tells us we must “present (our) bodies” as our manner of worship and in our worship we are to rejoice exceedingly with great joy because we are in the presence of Christ.


Revive Renew Redeem logo on self-care post

Check out our Spreadshop store with Christian Tees and other products

These are the last of this year’s Christmas designs!

After this week, all the Christmas designs will go back into the “digital vault” until next year. There are only 2 weeks to Christmas. Products are printed when ordered so order now. See all our Christmas designs in the store.

Emmanuel – Adore Him – Merry Little Christmas – Ornaments – Reindeer – True Story

Here are some of our other Christmas Christian tees designs.

Here are a few samples of our Christmas designs. You can see them all in the store. There are only 5 weeks ’til Christmas. All designs are printed when ordered so you’ll need to give time for printing and shipping. Order early to ensure they arrive in time for wearing this holiday season or giving as gifts.

Here are some of our favorite designs

Listen to our Christmas Playlist on YouTube

Finish your Christmas Shopping at Christian Book Distributors

Only 2 weeks ’til Christmas!

Christmas Store

Click here to enter the Christian Book Distributors 2020 Christmas Collection

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.

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

904.239.8937
A non-profit ministry located in Jacksonville, FL 

Follow us on:

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