by Julia Bruce
While a man dressed in a devil costume was walking to a Halloween costume party, it began to rain torrentially. The man ran for the first cover he could find. It happened to be a church in the middle of a service. He rand directly into the sanctuary to the shock of all in attendance. The congregation panicked and they all cleared the room, except for one unfortunate woman who was trapped beneath the feet of this confused fellow. With fear and trembling the woman pleaded, “You know I’ve been on your side all along!”
Doesn’t this woman’s plea sound like our world today? The words of Isaiah 53:6 ring true for us today:
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way;
and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
In Jeremiah’s day, Israel wasn’t any better. In verse 1 of Chapter 5, God says to Jeremiah:
“Run to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem;
See now and know;
And seek in her open places
If you can find a man,
If there is anyone who executes judgment
Who seeks the truth,
And I will pardon her.
Though they say, ‘As the Lord lives,’
Surely they swear falsely.”
Jeremiah and his scribe, Baruch, would have been two righteous people, but God uses this hyperbole to make a point. Jerusalem had become as heathenistic as our world today. Back in Genesis 18, God visits Abraham and tells him his plans to destroy five cities and Abraham bargains with the Lord. Just as God agreed then to spare the cities for ten righteous men (which could not be found!), God still extends mercy to cities and nations on the grounds of a few righteous people who dwell in them.
Jeremiah responded to the Lord saying that God had already stricken and consumed the people of Jerusalem, but they had not grieved over their rebellion and sin, they refused to receive correction, they made their faces harder than rock, and they refused to return to God. Down in verse six, it says of the city: “Their transgressions are many; Their backslidings have increased.”
Perhaps as you read this description of Jerusalem, someone you know comes to mind. They are caught up living in every sin imaginable and any time they are corrected they just become harder and harder, refusing to acknowledge or repent of their sin. Perhaps these words convict you because it sounds like you.
Jeremiah said of the people of Jerusalem: “They are foolish.”
Jerusalem and the entire nation of Israel will experience the righteous judgment of God, but when warned, they believed that they, “God’s chosen ones,” would not see it. They mistakenly presumed that God’s promises to bless Israel precluded the possibility of judgment for sin. They believed that the covenant God made with them would protect them from the promised judgement that was coming. However, they must have skipped over a two-letter word: if. All the way back in Exodus 19-24 where Moses is the leader of the nation, God promised to make the nation of Israel is treasured possession among all people and “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” if they follow God’s commandments.
Israel was still God’s chosen people and through them God would bless all nations through the birth, life, death, burial, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. But just as a parent disciplines a wayward child, God must discipline his chosen people. As a result, the nation would be invaded, conquered and the people carried off. Only a remnant would be left and from them, God would keep his promise to Abraham and David.
The question for us today is, will we be like the nation of Israel and falsely believe that God will not judge? America has been known as “In God We Trust” – but no longer. The people have spoken. The Ten Commandment have been removed from every government building and court room. They have tried to remove “In God we trust” from our currency. Today, people only trust in themselves and live for themselves. Judges 17:6 describes us perfectly: “but every man did that which was right in his own eyes.”
The Christians of today need to wake up. If God would judge his chosen people for their moral depravity and sin, you can bet He will judge us today. We, like the nation of Israel, sit around in denial and think it won’t happen– but there will come a day when God says, “enough is enough!” It is time that the Christians of the world unite in a unified prayer effort for a revival for our world and we can find the recipe for revival in 2 Chronicles 7:14. The first half is what we must do. The second have is what God will do if we do the first half. In this verse, God says:
If my people, which are called by name – that’s us Christians – those who called and believed in the name of Christ to save them from their sins
shall humble themselves – our world today doesn’t like humility, but that’s the only way to come to God. We must acknowledge how far we have fallen short and that there is no good work of our own that can save us from God’s judgement of sin. The only way we can be saved is through Christ who created a way for us to have fellowship with God. James 4:8-10 says, “Come hear to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” It is necessary that we have a proper heart posture when we come before God. We live like we deserve His mercy, grace and blessing and take salvation for granted – but Romans 6:23 tells us that the wages of sin is death. Death. That’s what we deserve for our sin. Eternal death. However, because he loves us, he created a way — one way — for us to have eternal life. Jesus said “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the father but by Me.” Jesus is our ultimate example of humility. Philippians 2:8-11 says, “Being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” If the Son of God found it necessary to humble Himself, then why would we think we don’t need to? The truth is we don’t want to. Humility is hard – even painful sometimes.
and pray – This isn’t a memorized, repetitive prayer. It isn’t the Lord’s Prayer. This is the kind of soul-searching, gut-wrenching prayer that takes place as the Holy Spirit reveals to us just how sinful we are. It’s an agonizing conversation with our Holy Creator as we pray for ourselves. Too often we treat prayer like a magic spell to bring a genie out of a bottle who will gladly give us everything we wish for and then get mad when we don’t get it. God is not a genie. When we pray, we come into the presence of God. In His presence there is no room for arrogance and pride. It’s where we find forgiveness of sin. It’s where the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin. It’s where our hope is restored. It’s where we make our requests to God. It’s where we admit our need and our dependence on Him. It’s where our faith is laid out before Him and we are able to touch the heart of our heavenly father. It’s where we have a relationship with God.
and seek my face – I can’t help but think of Mary losing Jesus, the Son of God, as the family left Jerusalem to return home and Jesus stayed behind in the temple. If God had entrusted you to be the earthly mother of His Son who would be the Savior of the world and you lost him, I guarantee you would be earnestly and diligently seeking His face. (Click to tweet) How often and your diligently do you seek Him? Are you satisfied with just enough of Him to get you through the gates of heaven for eternity – or do you long to have a passionate relationship with the One who gave His life for you? Do you only seek Him when life is full of chaos? Do you seek Him just for the hour or two you are at church on Sunday? When was the last time you truly sought the face of Jesus?
and turn from their wicked ways – One lie. That’s all it takes to have “wicked ways.” In fact, In Isaiah 64:6, the prophet said, “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are are filthy rags.” The filthy rags that he was talking about were the dirty rags a woman used during her menstrual cycle. What Isaiah was saying is that even in our best state of righteousness, we are still just filthy, unclean rags. We are all sinners. But we look at the person we work with or the one that lives down the street and say, “But I’m not as bad as …” Well, you certainly ought to pray for that person, but this recipe for revival starts with you and it starts with me. If you drew a circle around you and stood in the middle, revival begins with a humble heart praying & turning from your wicked ways – not the wicked ways of your husband or wife, rebellious teen, mother-in-law, teacher, boss, or coworker. Your focus is on you & your wicked ways – your own filthy rags. (Click to tweet) If you truly believe you don’t have any, sincerely ask the Holy Spirit to reveal them to you and He will.
It is only then that God will hear us from heaven, forgive our sin and heal our land. The nation of Israel didn’t get it. They chose to remain hard-hearted and sin-filled so God judged. If He judged Israel – His chosen people – so severely, how can we not expect Him to judge us today? Would you commit this week to following this recipe and ask God to send a revival to our nation?
#verseoftheday #revival #Jeremiah #filthyrags #pray #seekmyface #humility #turnfromyourwickedways #WCM
If you would like to be a part of the God-sized dream we call Wellspring Christian Ministries, you can help with your one-time or monthly tax-deductible contribution. Now, with two ways to give, you can help us grow and expand our ministry. To donate to our general ministries, you can now make a contribution through our website. We are also seeking the perfect 200 (or more) acres of land on which we will build and do the various ministries God is leading us in. To make a donation towards Phase 1 of our Land and Building campaign, you can give at buymeacoffe.com. We like to think of ourselves as “Distributors of Living Water” …and for just the cost of a copy of coffee, you can be one too through your contribution that will have an eternal impact as we lead others to Christ, help Christians develop passionate relationships with God, and help couples connect and reignite their marriages. Who knew the cost of a cup of coffee could do so much? Donate today to become a Living Water Distributor
You can also make a contribution to our general ministries as we grow and expand our ministry as God leads through our website. To donate to our ministry expansion, click here.
- Every gift will be acknowledged on our “Donor Wall” on our website. Just leave your name the way you wish it to appear in the message box as you make your gift.
- Every $50 will receive a free signed copy of Julia’s book, “God, Love & Marshmallow Wars”
- Every $500 or more gift will receive the “God, Love & Marshmallow Wars” Couple Event for their church with Julia’s speaker fees waived (host site is still responsible for travel expense and other costs of the event).
Wellspring Christian Ministries is a 501(3)(c) non-profit organization.
Thank you for helping us grow!
#growingintoourfuture #fundraiser #buymeacoffee #WCM
This event helps couples understand why the daily activities found in the book will equip them to build a stronger marriage and the book provides them with 365 intentional activities to take what they learn at the event and apply it on a daily basis. Through the event, couples will discover the Biblical “why” behind the categories of activities found in the book and the “how” these activities are important to building a stronger marriage. Focus points of the event includes :
- How memorizing scripture together and studying God’s Word together as they study, meditate and apply scriptures related to marriage and life issues will help them develop marriages that honor God.
- Why utilizing fun conversation starters that spark meaningful conversations will keep interest alive as they continually learn new things about each other.
- Why keeping romance alive is essential to intimacy and connectivity.
- How making memories and working together builds relationship investment bonds and how these investment bonds can become the knots that keeps them together through the tough times.
- How they can understand what they are or are not contributing to the marriage as well as how they might be contributing to problems or potential problems within the relationship through the use of targeted, intentional personal reflections
- Why it is important that couples never stop dating and how group dates with Christian friends can be both an encouragement and accountability to their own relationship.
During the event, couples will be given an activity from each focus point to do together, making this event an interactive, fun, and engaging event with practical, hands-on learning. Unlike other couple events that are over when the event ends, couples who attend the GLMW event will be able to apply what they learn when utilizing the book on a daily basis for a year. Since the book is not dated, couples are able to reuse the activities year after year to continue being intentional in strengthening their relationship with each other and with God as they strive to live out God’s design for marriage every day.
Learn more about hosting this event at your church or conference site by clicking here.
About the book: The GLMW book contains 365 daily challenges for couples to strengthen their relationships to each other and with God. Couples will complete activities such as Scripture memory, conversation starters, relationship builders, learning about Biblical marriage, romance builders, personal reflections, and date ideas. Click here to purchase your copy. (This link will open a new widow and take you to Westbow Press’ bookstore.) It is also available at Christian Book Distributors, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble
#GLMWcouplesevent #GLMWbook #intentionalmarriage #Godlymarriage
T-shirt Fundraiser: We have a new product line of Christian apparel and accessories available in our Teespring Store and our new Spreadshop Store. You’ll find tee shirts, hoodies, tanks, socks, leggings, tote bags, mugs, iphone cases and more.
All proceeds go to the advancement of Wellspring Christian Ministries.
Thank you for helping us grow!
Click here to view the Teespring store.
Click here to view the Spreadshop Store
#fundraiser #tshirt #teespring #spreadshop
Looking for a speaker for your next ministry event? Julia is now booking for 2019 and 2020 Christian events for women’s and couples’ ministries for both small and large events.
Book with us now.
Julia is CEO of Wellspring Christian Ministries, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people and couples develop a passionate relationship with God. A public speaker, conference trainer, event planner, and blog writer, Julia is a two-time graduate from Grand Canyon University with a bachelor in Psychology and a masters in Professional Counseling. Saved as a child and raised in church and in a Christian home and private Christian School as a Pastor’s kid, Julia has taught Sunday school, led music, played the piano, served as Children’s Director, and engaged her gifts in many other areas of church life. Previously employed with the Florida Baptist Convention, Julia organized events and led conferences for church ministry assistants.
Julia enjoys sharing her journey as a growing Christian with others looking for a deeper connection with God. Through Bible study and her own life experiences, God has given Julia a passion to help couples understand God’s design for marriage while they learn to place God first in their marriage, cultivate meaningful relationships, build intimacy, and address the tougher issues that come in every marriage so that they can experience a marriage that honors and glorifies God. Julia also loves mentoring, teaching, and working with women to help them learn to live as Godly women.
With her history and experience growing up in both small and large churches, Julia enjoys bringing top level quality events to churches of all sizes. Her father largely pastored small churches and therefore she understands that these vital parts of the believing community need to be good stewards of the resources God provides them with. This knowledge inspires her passion for being available with a fresh perspective for those who want to provide their congregations with meaningful spiritual growth opportunities, regardless of size.
To request more information or a booking,
fill out the online form here.
Or call us at 904.524.8073
#JuliaBruce #speaker #keynote #author
Affiliate links for The Case for Christ by Lee Stroble:
|The Case for Christ, Updated and Expanded, Mass Market
By Lee Strobel / Zondervan
If you were a journalist, how would you investigate the top story in human history? Join the award-winning former legal editor of the Chicago Tribune as he cross-examines scholars to uncover incontestable evidence supporting Jesus’ claims. Includes updated archaeological material, an interview with Strobel, and more. A powerful defense of the Christian faith! 464 pages, softcover from Zondervan.
The Case for Christ, Blu-ray/DVD/CD Combo
By Pure Flix Entertainment, LLC
A hard-driving journalist, Lee Strobel was exactly where he expected to be at work: on top. His award-winning investigative reporting recently earned him a promotion to legal editor at the Chicago Tribune. But things weren’t going nearly as well at home where his wife Leslie’s newfound faith in Christ went against everything Lee believed—or didn’t believe—as an avowed atheist.
Utilizing his journalistic and legal training, Lee begins a quest to debunk the claims of Christianity in order to save his crumbling marriage. Chasing down the biggest story of his career, Lee comes face-to-face with unexpected results that could change everything he knows to be true.
Starring Mike Vogel (The Help, Cloverfield), Erika Christensen (Parenthood, Flightplan), Faye Dunaway (The Thomas Crown Affair, Chinatown), and Robert Forster (The Descendents, Jackie Brown). Rated PG. Approx. 113 minutes.
Includes Blu-ray, DVD and CD
- “The Heart of The Case for Christ” Featurette
- Intro to the Museum of the Bible, Washington, DC
- 11 Music Videos from “The Case for Christ” Album
- Interviews with Lee & Leslie Strobel, Cast, and Crew
- Deleted Scenes
- English and Spanish subtitles
Bonus CD included:
- The Case for Christ – Songs Inspired by the Original Motion Picture