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Eternal Ramification of Sin

One Year Bible Reading Plan and Devotional

Today’s Bible Reading: January 2

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Genesis 3-5

Matthew 2

Eternal Ramification of Sin

Sin – A Little Word with Big Ramifications

Sin. It’s just a small three-lettered word, but it has big eternal ramifications. God knew even before he created humans that they would sin.  He also knew that it would cost His only Son His life so that we could be reconciled and redeemed into a right relationship with Him.  Yet still, he created us with free-will. No one wants someone to love them because they were forced to or have no choice in the matter. That isn’t even love. God gifted us with freedom. Freedom to think. Freedom of conscience. And even freedom to disobey His commands. The choice is ours.

Before there was Sin

For a moment, go imagineering with me. In your mind, picture the perfect Garden of Eden. It’s peaceful there. Birds sing their song of praise to their creator. You have the perfect husband (not to mention, the only man around). The skies are blue, the trees are green. The temperature is perfect. There are no fears or anxiety of any kind. You don’t have to worry about bills or currency, because God has supplied you with everything you need.

When you sleep, the stars twinkle in the sky and there’s the relaxing sound of a waterfall that lulls you to sleep. Fruit and vegetables are in abundance and you can just walk right up and pluck off a big juicy apply or some grapes or strawberries, whenever you want. For pets, you have some horses, dogs, cats, birds, and even some hippos, rhinos, cheetahs, and a big cat you husband called a lion. By the lake, you play with the beavers. Down by the beach, a playful dolphin comes to see you every day. At the end of every day, God comes to walk and talk with you in the garden.

Life can’t get much better. Except….there’s that one tree over there. God said not to eat it. As Eve plops a grape in her mouth, the sun glistens off the fruit of the tree and it really looks good.

Enter “Serpent” Stage Right

I imagine that somewhere in the Garden a little serpent had been eyeing and watching this new creation of God’s – just waiting for the right moment. Maybe – just to be close to her – it endeared itself to her and allowed her to think it was a pet like all the other animals God has created. The serpent noticed how her eye lingered on the fruit. He watched as the thoughts flickered through her mind and he chose that moment to open his mouth and speak. Sin always begins in the mind where imagination and feelings make it seem pleasing for the moment.

A Talking Serpent?

Have you ever wondered how much time passed between the creation of Eve the moment that everything changes for man? If Eve was still rather new to the world, then her interaction with the serpent takes on a different look than if she had been around the Garden for a few years. No where in the creation account does it indicate that animals could talk – so why does the Bible not portray any fear or shock on Eve’s part that a serpent is talking to her? Did they have the ability to talk prior to God cursing them? If Eve was still new to the Garden, then maybe she didn’t know that animals aren’t supposed to go around talking. But, if she were still new – then where is Adam and why isn’t he watching out for her?

The Bible makes it seem as if Eve is not surprised in any way that a serpent is talking to her and it doesn’t tell us where Adam is during this encounter between Eve and the serpent. Just as the serpent watched and waited for the perfect moment with Eve, he also waited for a moment when Adam either wasn’t around or was distracted in some way.

Lessons from Eve’s Mistakes

Because of Adam and Eve’s sin, we all live with a sin nature and there are consequences to our sin. But there are some things we can learn about how Satan tempts us so that we can recognize Satan at work and flee from temptation.

Looking at what she couldn’t have

Eve’s first mistake was standing around looking at that one thing she couldn’t have. If you’ve ever tried to diet, you know what I’m saying. Pizza never looks or smells better than when you’re trying to lose weight! There is something about not being able to have something that makes you want it – really want it.  When you notice you are craving something you shouldn’t have, its a good time to get up and walk away. But Eve hung out there by the tree – not satisfied with every other fruit and vegetable God had given. She wanted that one that was glistening in the sun and looked so very good to eat. In Genesis 3:6, Eve saw that the tree was good for food and that it was pleasant to the eyes.

A Conversation with the serpent

Her second mistake was standing around having a conversation with the serpent. Satan tempted her further and told her it would make her wise…and it did. Wise to guilt, shame, and nakedness. Satan didn’t lie to her. He just didn’t tell her the negative side of the truth.

Temptation always works the same way

Down through the ages every temptation and every sin works the same way. There is an attraction to it, followed by a conflict of the mind where a decision has to be made. The decision to give in to the sin or to turn away and choose obedience to God. The end result of sin is that it always leaves us exposed. Exposed to suffering and sorrow, guilt and shame. Exposed to the consequences that follow. Sin leaves us exposed to broken relationships with others and with God.

James 1:14-15, explains the path to sin this way: “But each person is tempted when he is drawn away and enticed by his own evil desires. Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and when sin is fully grown, it gives birth to death.” Every one of us face temptations every day. And temptation begins in the mind when Satan drops the bait. We are lured and enticed by the perfect bait: our own desires and we sniff out the bait of our desires and are instantly attracted to it. We nurture the desire, think about it, dwell on it. Then temptation gives birth to sin as we yield to the temptation and act on the desire as we fall into sin. Finally, Sin brings the consequences of our choices: spiritual death and separation from God.

The eternal ramification of sin is an eternity in hell. But there is hope! Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Our hope was born in a stable and placed in a manger. He lived a sinless life and died on a cross to pay the price for our sins and then He rose from the dead, defeating Satan and becoming our Redeemer. Because of Jesus, we have hope.

Flee from temptation

When temptation comes calling, don’t stand around admiring it or having a conversation with it. Don’t make it your pet. Start quoting scripture and turn away from it. This is why memorizing Scripture is so important. In Paul’s description of the Armor of God, the Bible is our sword. So have your sword ready and sharpened by hiding it in your heart so you are able to use it at the moment of attack.

If your craving something that you are not supposed to have, start praising God for all He has given you and trust that in His omniscient wisdom, knowing He is a God who only gives good gifts, that He will supply your every need at just the right moment in time.

If you do fall into the trap of sin, be quick to repent and seek God’s forgiveness.

Sin always leaves you exposed. Obedience to God always leads to blessing.

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From the song, “Confidence” by Sanctus Reel. As we start a new year, what giants are you facing? What big thing is God asking you to do? Do you need faith like Daniel in the lion’s den? Hope like Moses in the wilderness? A heart like David? Do you need God to be your defense? If you have giants, you can face them with confidence because God is God of the impossibles.

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The Eyes will Lead to an Ensnared Heart

Is it possible for the heart to walk after the eyes? How does our eyes lead to an ensnared heart that traps us in sin? As we take in the world around us, our eyes “see” before the heart “feels.” Satan knows that our eyes are one of the primary gates through which he can tempt us. From the Garden of Eden to today, the “lust of the eyes” is one of the ways that Satan tempts us to sin. Perhaps this is why David prayed, “Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanities.” (Psalm 119:37). David understood how easily the eyes will lead to an ensnared heart.

1 John 2:16 says, “For everything that belongs to the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride in one’s lifestyle—is not from the Father, but is from the world.

An open gate to sin and an ensnared heart

Our eyes can be an open gate that leads us to the sin of lust. When our eye see something that we want, the fires of lust are kindled and if we allow eyes to feast on the person or thing we are lusting for, it will not take long before the spark turns into an inferno that consumes our mind and our heart. The moment our eyes look with lust, our heart will follow and it becomes ensnared and sin is sure to occur.

We need to be aware of how our eyes can mislead our heart and cause us to lust. Jesus taught this truth in Matthew 5:28: “But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” He understand that our eyes is the open gate that leads us to the sin of lust and adultery. For this reason we must guard our hearts to prevent our eyes from seducing our hearts. Proverbs 4:23 tell us to “Guard your heart above all else, for it is the source of life.”

Sin dwells in an ensnared heart

In Scripture, the heart is the seat of indwelling sin and from it, sin springs up. However, the eye allures the heart and causes the sin to leap from the heart so that we act on it. What the eye sees, stirs the heart to sin. King Solomon warned us of this in Ecclesiastes 9:3, saying, “The hearts of all people are full of evil.” He tells us the hearts of all people are not just tainted by sin, but indeed, full of sin. 

Jesus also told us us that the heart is full of sin in Matthew 15:18-20, “But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these things defile a person. For out of the heart come evil ideas, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are the things that defile a person; it is not eating with unwashed hands that defiles a person.”

Satan used the eyes in the temptation of Jesus, but did not ensnare His heart

We find in Matthew 4:8-10, “Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ ”Worship the Lord your God, and serve only Him.

Satan used the eyes of Jesus to tempt him as he showed Jesus the beauty of the world and said that he would give Jesus all that He saw if Jesus would worship Satan. But let’s pause for just a moment and remember who the creator of the world was. The world already belonged to Jesus — He is the creator. It wasn’t Satan’s to give away in the first place. Because Jesus’ heart did not know sin, His heart did not walk after His eyes and lead Him to sin.

Satan used the eyes in the temptation of Eve and she allowed her eyes to lead to an ensnared heart

Genesis 3:6 tells us how Satan used Eve’s eyes to ensnare her heart: “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate”

The desire for the fruit was awakened through the lust of the eyes, ensnared Eve’s heart and led her to sin. I imagine the scene in the Garden of Eden unfolding and in my mind I see Eve sitting on the grass near the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, petting one of the animals in the garden. Somewhere close by, a serpent lies in slumber and then Satan enters the serpent and begins to watch Eve…and he waits. If he wants to be successful, he’ll need the perfect moment. He notices that Eve gives several curious glances at the Tree God said they could not eat of and then he hears Eve’s belly rumble. “AH!” He thinks, “She’s hungry. This is the perfect moment.” And so, the serpent crawls over to Eve and the infamous conversation begins.”

Four Ways our eyes lead to an ensnared heart

Now this is just how my imagination sees this scene playing out. The Bible doesn’t really tell us what’s going on before the serpent begins to converse with Eve. Nor does it tell us if a talking serpent was normal or if this is the only serpent that could talk. It also doesn’t tell us how long Eve had been created, so perhaps she’s not aware that serpents were not supposed to talk. She certainly doesn’t appear shocked or scared that a serpent is talking to her. Regardless of how it all went down in the Garden that day, Satan used the lust of Eve’s eyes to awaken sin in her heart – and Eve fell for it.

And so, if we want to avoid the same mistake Eve made, we need to be aware of four ways our eyes lead to an ensnared heart.

1. We can have an ensared heart through the wantoness of our eyes

Wantonness is the trait of lacking restraint or control. It is a reckless freedom from inhibition or worry. It is the abandonment of what is right and choosing what is wrong without any restraint. Wantonness is the extreme indulgence in sensual pleasures.

Wantonness of our eyes will always mislead our hearts and put us in danger of an ensnared heart. In Job 31:1, Job made a covenant with his eyes so that he won’t think lustfully upon another woman. He believes that his life is lived before and governed by God who numbers all his steps. Job acknowledges that there is nothing he can do and nowhere he can God that God is not aware of it. So then God knows that Job has avoided sexual lust and he eyes have not ensnared his heart into adultery.

Then in verses 5-8, Job tells his friends that if he has walked with falsehood or his foot has hastened to deceit, if his step has turned aside from the way and his heart has gone after his eyes, then let God be the one to judge, who will judge with righteousness and find him innocent. Because Job had made a covenant with his eyes, he can stand before God in all innocent and with full integrity.

2. We can have an ensnared heart through a proud look

When we have a proud look, we look down on others in a condescending way. We think more highly of ourselves than we should while looking scornfully, disdainfully, or arrogantly at others. Our eyes can make us see ourselves as superior to others and ensnares our heart into the sin of pride. Proverbs 6:16-17 says, “These six things the Lord hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look, A lying tongue, Hands that shed innocent blood. A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that are swift in running to evil, A false witness who speaks lies, And one who sows discord among brethren.”

It is interesting that the seven abominations to God begin with a proud look. Pride often leads to a lying tongue, shedding of innocent blood, the devising of wicked plans, running toward evil, being a false witness, and sowing discord. Proverbs 16:18 tells us, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.”

3. We can have an ensnared heart through eyes that covet

“Covet” is most commonly defined as “desire.” To covet something means to desire it and for a person to want to take it for themselves. The Ten Commandments tell us not to covet (Exodus 20:17). We need to know that when the Lord issues a commandment, he is protecting us from something harmful, not restraining us from something good. God’s call to forsake covetousness hems us in, dissuading us from running after things that, on their own, disappoint, distract, or even destroy. He instead calls us to what is truly good, worthy, and satisfying: himself.

Coveting, a sin inextricably tied to our want, is a corruption of what was created in us to be the mechanism that draws us to the Lord.  Our want is the door through which we enter into satisfaction in God. Coveting turns our attention from our good Provider and fixates it on anything of lesser value. It leads us to believe that we can be satisfied in creation apart from the Creator.

In Joshua 7, we find the sin of Achan – a sin of covetousness. In verse 21, Achan confesses, “When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them; and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it.” In this verse we find the progressive sin of covetousness and it started with Achan “seeing” the spoils. Once he saw, it provoked him to take and hide the forbidden spoils.

The sight of the eye blows up covetous desires into our hearts (Ecclesiastes 5:11).

4. We can have an ensnared heart through idolatry

Idolatry is the worship of something other than God. Idolatry is the root of all sin because it seeks to steal glory from God. This is what we see happen when Moses is on the mountain and the nation of Israel begins to wonder what happened to him. So they came to Aaron, and said “Come, make us gods that shall go before us.” After Aaron had the people bring to him their gold jewelry, he melted it all down and created a golden calf, then said, “This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt! They wanted something visible to worship.

But idolatry is also more than just bowing down before a physical idol. We can be guilty of making idols out of our careers, money, possessions, spouses, children, and hobbies. Whenever we place anything before God or give something a higher importance than God, we make that item or person an idol in our lives.

A visual reminder

God knew that Israel would struggle with their hearts being ensnared by their eyes leading them to spiritual whoredom and fornication by abandoning God and choosing to worship idols. . So, He gave them a visual reminder to help them focus on His commandments. In Numbers 15:38-39 God says, “Speak to the children of Israel: Tell them to make tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and to put a blue thread in the tassels of the corners. And you shall have the tassel, that you may look upon it and remember all the commandments of the Lord and do them, and that you may not follow the harlotry to which your own heart and your own eyes are inclined.

Today, we too, have a visual reminder to help keep our eyes from ensnaring our heart – it is the Word of God. This is why we are to read our Bibles every day, meditate on it, and hide it in our hearts. When Jesus was tempted, He defeated Satan by quoting scripture. If we memorize God’s Word, when Satan comes to tempt us, the Holy Spirit will recall the Scriptures we have already hidden in our heart so that we can keep our hearts from being ensnared.

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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.

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Eternal Ramification of Sin

Sin – A Little Word with Big Ramifications

Sin. It’s just a small three-lettered word, but it has big eternal ramifications. God knew even before he created humans that they would sin.  He also knew that it would cost His only Son His life so that we could be reconciled and redeemed into a right relationship with Him.  Yet still, he created us with free-will. No one wants someone to love them because they were forced to or have no choice in the matter. That isn’t even love. God gifted us with freedom. Freedom to think. Freedom of conscience. And even freedom to disobey His commands. The choice is ours.

Before there was Sin

For a moment, go imagineering with me. In your mind, picture the perfect Garden of Eden. It’s peaceful there. Birds sing their song of praise to their creator. You have the perfect husband (not to mention, the only man around). The skies are blue, the trees are green. The temperature is perfect. There are no fears or anxiety of any kind. You don’t have to worry about bills or currency, because God has supplied you with everything you need.

When you sleep, the stars twinkle in the sky and there’s the relaxing sound of a waterfall that lulls you to sleep. Fruit and vegetables are in abundance and you can just walk right up and pluck off a big juicy apply or some grapes or strawberries, whenever you want. For pets, you have some horses, dogs, cats, birds, and even some hippos, rhinos, cheetahs, and a big cat you husband called a lion. By the lake, you play with the beavers. Down by the beach, a playful dolphin comes to see you every day. At the end of every day, God comes to walk and talk with you in the garden.

Life can’t get much better. Except….there’s that one tree over there. God said not to eat it. As Eve plops a grape in her mouth, the sun glistens off the fruit of the tree and it really looks good.

Enter “Serpent” Stage Right

I imagine that somewhere in the Garden a little serpent had been eyeing and watching this new creation of God’s – just waiting for the right moment. Maybe – just to be close to her – it endeared itself to her and allowed her to think it was a pet like all the other animals God has created. The serpent noticed how her eye lingered on the fruit. He watched as the thoughts flickered through her mind and he chose that moment to open his mouth and speak. Sin always begins in the mind where imagination and feelings make it seem pleasing for the moment.

A Talking Serpent?

Have you ever wondered how much time passed between the creation of Eve the moment that everything changes for man? If Eve was still rather new to the world, then her interaction with the serpent takes on a different look than if she had been around the Garden for a few years. No where in the creation account does it indicated that animals could talk – so why does the Bible not portray any fear or shock on Eve’s part that a serpent is talking to her? Did they have the ability to talk prior to God cursing them? If Eve was still new to the Garden, then maybe she didn’t know that animals aren’t supposed to go around talking. But, if she were still new – then where is Adam and why isn’t he watching out for her?

The Bible makes it seem as if Eve is not surprised in any way that a serpent is talking to her and it doesn’t tell us where Adam is during this encounter between Eve and the serpent. Just as the serpent watched and waited for the perfect moment with Eve, he also waited for a moment when Adam either wasn’t around or was distracted in some way.

Lessons from Eve’s Mistakes

Because of Adam and Eve’s sin, we all live with a sin nature and there are consequences to our sin. But there are some things we can learn about how Satan tempts us so that we can recognize Satan at work and flee from temptation.

Looking at what she couldn’t have

Eve’s first mistake was standing around looking at that one thing she couldn’t have. If you’ve ever tried to diet, you know what I’m saying. Pizza never looks or smells better than when you’re trying to lose weight! There is something about not being able to have something that makes you want it – really want it.  When you notice you are craving something you shouldn’t have, its a good time to get up and walk away. But Eve hung out there by the tree – not satisfied with every other fruit and vegetable God had given. She wanted that one that was glistening in the sun and looked so very good to eat. In Genesis 3:6, Eve saw that the tree was good for food and that it was pleasant to the eyes.

A Conversation with the serpent

Her second mistake was standing around having a conversation with the serpent. Satan tempted her further and told her it would make her wise…and it did. Wise to guilt, shame, and nakedness. Satan didn’t lie to her. He just didn’t tell her the negative side of the truth.

Temptation always works the same way

Down through the ages every temptation and every sin works the same way. There is an attraction to it, followed by a conflict of the mind where a decision has to be made. The decision to give in to the sin or to turn away and choose obedience to God. The end result of sin is that it always leaves us exposed. Exposed to suffering and sorrow, guilt and shame. Exposed to the consequences that follow. Sin leaves us exposed to broken relationships with others and with God.

Flee from temptation

When temptation comes calling, don’t stand around admiring it or having a conversation with it. Don’t make it your pet. Start quoting scripture and turn away from it. If your craving something that you are not supposed to have, start praising God for all He has given you and trust that in His omniscient wisdom, knowing He is a God who only gives good gifts, that He will supply your every need at just the right moment in time.

Sin always leaves you exposed. Obedience to God always leads to blessing.


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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.

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Genesis 3:7. Eternal Ramifications of Sin

Genesis 3 7

Sin. It’s just a small three-lettered word, but it has big eternal ramifications. God knew even before he created humans that they would sin.  He also knew that it would cost His only Son His life so that we could be reconciled and redeemed into a right relationship with Him.  Yet still, he created us with free-will. No one wants someone to love them because they were forced to or have no choice in the matter. That isn’t even love. God gifted us with freedom. Freedom to think. Freedom of conscience. And even freedom to disobey His commands. The choice is ours.

Sin always begins in the mind where imagination and feelings make it seem pleasing for the moment. For a moment, go imagineering with me. In your mind, picture the perfect Garden of Eden. It’s peaceful there. Birds sing their song of praise to their creator. You have the perfect husband (not to mention, the only man around). The skies are blue, the trees are green. The temperature is perfect. There are no fears or anxiety of any kind. You don’t have to worry about bills or currency, because God has supplied you with everything you need. When you sleep, the stars twinkle in the sky and there’s the relaxing sound of a waterfall that lulls you to sleep. Fruit and vegetables are in abundance and you can just walk right up and pluck off a big juicy apply or some grapes or strawberries, whenever you want. For pets, you have some horses, dogs, cats, birds, and even some hippos, rhinos, cheetahs, and a big cat you husband called a lion. By the lake, you play with the beavers. Down by the beach, a playful dolphin comes to see you every day. At the end of every day, God comes to walk and talk with you in the garden. Life can’t get much better. Except….there’s that one tree over there. God said not to eat it. As Eve plops a grape in her mouth, the sun glistens off the fruit of the tree and it really looks good.

I imagine that somewhere in the Garden a little serpent had been eyeing and watching this new creation of God’s – just waiting for the right moment. Maybe – just to be close to her – it endeared itself to her and allowed her to think it was a pet like all the other animals God has created. The serpent noticed how her eye lingered on the fruit. He watched as the thoughts flickered through her mind and he chose that moment to open his mouth and speak.

Have you ever wondered how much time passed between the creation of Eve the moment that everything changes for man? If Eve was still rather new to the world, then her interaction with the serpent takes on a different look than if she had been around the Garden for a few years. No where in the creation account does it indicated that animals could talk – so why does the Bible not portray any fear or shock on Eve’s part that a serpent is talking to her? Did they have the ability to talk prior to God cursing them? If Eve was still new to the Garden, then maybe she didn’t know that animals aren’t supposed to go around talking. But, if she were still new – then where is Adam and why isn’t he watching out for her? The Bible makes it seem as if Eve is not surprised in any way that a serpent is talking to her and it doesn’t tell us where Adam is during this encounter between Eve and the serpent. Just as the serpent watched and waited for the perfect moment with Eve, he also waited for a moment when Adam wasn’t around.

Because of Adam and Eve’s sin, we all live with a sin nature and there are consequences to our sin. But there are some things we can learn about how Satan tempts us so that we can recognize Satan at work and flee from temptation.

Eve’s first mistake was standing around looking at that one thing she couldn’t have. If you’ve ever tried to diet, you know what I’m saying. Pizza never looks or smells better than when you’re trying to lose weight! There is something about not being able to have something that makes you want it – really want it.  When you notice you are craving something you shouldn’t have, its a good time to get up and walk away. But Eve hung out there by the tree – not satisfied with every other fruit and vegetable God had given. She wanted that one that was glistening in the sun and looked so very good to eat. In Genesis 3:6, Eve saw that the tree was good for food and that it was pleasant to the eyes.

Her second mistake was standing around having a conversation with the serpent. Satan tempted her further and told her it would make her wise…and it did. Wise to guilt, shame, and nakedness. Satan didn’t lie to her. He just didn’t tell her the negative side of the truth.

Down through the ages every temptation and every sin works the same way. There is an attraction to it, followed by a conflict of the mind where a decision has to be made. The decision to give in to the sin or to turn away and choose obedience to God. The end result of sin is that it always leaves us exposed. Exposed to suffering and sorrow, guilt and shame. Exposed to the consequences that follow. Exposed to broken relationship with others and with God.

When temptation comes calling, don’t stand around admiring it or having a conversation with it. Don’t make it your pet. Start quoting scripture and turn away from it. If your craving something that you are not supposed to have, start praising God for all He has given you and trust that in His omniscient wisdom, knowing He is a God who only gives good gifts, that He will supply your every need at just the right moment in time.

Sin always lives you exposed. Obedience to God always leads to blessing.

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Cover_mBOOKING NOW! Be a host site for the NEW God, Love & Marshmallow Wars Book Tour & Couples Conference:

This event helps couples understand why the daily activities found in the book will equip them to build a stronger marriage and the book provides them with 365 intentional activities to take what they learn at the event and apply it on a daily basis. Through the event, couples will discover the Biblical “why” behind the categories of activities found in the book and the “how” these activities are important to building a stronger marriage. Focus points of the event includes :

  • How memorizing scripture together and studying God’s Word together as they study, meditate and apply scriptures related to marriage and life issues will help them develop marriages that honor God.
  • Why utilizing fun conversation starters that spark meaningful conversations will keep interest alive as they continually learn new things about each other.
  • Why keeping romance alive is essential to intimacy and connectivity.
  • How making memories and working together builds relationship investment bonds and how these investment bonds can become the knots that keeps them together through the tough times.
  • How they can understand what they are or are not contributing to the marriage as well as how they might be contributing to problems or potential problems within the relationship through the use of targeted, intentional personal reflections
  • Why it is important that couples never stop dating and how group dates with Christian friends can be both an encouragement and accountability to their own relationship.

During the event, couples will be given an activity from each focus point to do together, making this event an interactive, fun, and engaging event with practical, hands-on learning. Unlike other couple events that are over when the event ends, couples who attend the GLMW event will be able to apply what they learn when utilizing the book on a daily basis for a year. Since the book is not dated, couples are able to reuse the activities year after year to continue being intentional in strengthening their relationship with each other and with God as they strive to live out God’s design for marriage every day.

Learn more about hosting this event at your church or conference site by clicking here.

About the book: The GLMW book contains 365 daily challenges for couples to strengthen their relationships to each other and with God. Couples will complete activities such as Scripture memory, conversation starters, relationship builders, learning about Biblical marriage, romance builders, personal reflections, and date ideas. Click here to purchase your copy. (This link will open a new widow and take you to Westbow Press’ bookstore.) It is also available at Christian Book Distributors, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble

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Looking for a keynote speaker for your next ministry event? Julia is now booking for 2019 and 2020 Christian events for women’s and couples’ ministries for both small and large events.
Book with us now.

Julia is CEO of Wellspring Christian Ministries, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people and couples develop a passionate relationship with God. A public speaker, conference trainer, event planner, and blog writer, Julia is a two-time graduate from Grand Canyon University with a bachelor in Psychology and a masters in Professional Counseling. Saved as a child and raised in church and in a Christian home and private Christian School as a Pastor’s kid, Julia has taught Sunday school, led music, played the piano, served as Children’s Director, and engaged her gifts in many other areas of church life. Previously employed with the Florida Baptist Convention, Julia organized events and led conferences for church ministry assistants. Today, Julia enjoys sharing her journey as a growing Christian with others looking for a deeper connection with God. Through Bible study and her own life experiences, God has given Julia a passion to help couples understand God’s design for marriage while they learn to place God first in their marriage, cultivate meaningful relationships, build intimacy, and address the tougher issues that come in every marriage so that they can experience a marriage that honors and glorifies God. Julia also loves mentoring, teaching, and working with women to help them learn to live as Godly women.

With her history and experience growing up in both small and large churches, Julia enjoys bringing top level quality events to churches of all sizes. Her father largely pastored small churches and therefore she understands that these vital parts of the believing community need to be good stewards of the resources God provides them with. This knowledge inspires her passion for being available with a fresh perspective for those who want to provide their congregations with meaningful spiritual growth opportunities, regardless of size.

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Or call us at 904.524.8073

#JuliaBruce #speaker #keynote #author

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224984: Overcomer, Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Overcomer, Blu-ray/DVD/Digital

By Provident Films

From the creators of War Room, Courageous and Fireproof. Basketball coach John Harrison’s high school team is crushed by the closing of the town’s largest employer. Hundreds of families move, leaving him running a struggling cross-country program. But then he meets Hannah and begins helping this unlikely runner attempt the impossible in the year’s biggest race. Starring Alex Kendrick, Priscilla Shirer, and Aryn Wright-Thompson. Rated PG. Dove approved (12+). Approx. 119 minutes.

Blu-ray Exclusives:

  • The Heart of Overcomer
  • Creating the Opening Drone Shot
  • Working with the Kendricks
  • Post-Production Behind-the-Scenes: Editing, Scoring, Coloring, and Sound Design
  • “Enough” (Lyric Video) Featuring Koryn Hawthorne
  • Don’t Mess with the Editors

Special Features:

  • The Making of Overcomer
  • Bloopers
  • 10 Minutes of Additional Scenes
  • Commentary with Director Alex Kendrick and Producer Stephen Kendrick
  • Overcomer in 60 Seconds
  • The Theme of Identity
  • The Power of Forgiveness
  • “Overcomer” (Lip Sync Music Video) Featuring Mandisa and More!

Other Features:

  • Audio: English, French (PAR), Spanish, Thai
  • Subtitles: English, English (SDH), Spanish, Chinese (Traditional and Simplified), Tagalog, Korean, Thai, Vietnamese
794037: Waiting on God Waiting on God

By Charles F. Stanley / Howard Books

Are you waiting for God to answer your prayers? Does time tick by without any hint that things will change? You’re not alone! Drawing on personal experiences and biblical principles, Stanley offers a practical and encouraging guide to making the most of the “delays” and following God’s lead to the blessings he has planned for you.

776585: Letters to the Church Letters to the Church

By Francis Chan / David C Cook

If God had it His way, what would our churches look like?

In his most powerful book yet, Pastor Francis Chan digs deep into biblical truths, reflections on his own failures and dreams, and stories of ordinary people God is using to change the world.

As Chan says, “We’ve strayed so far from what God calls Church. We all know it. We know that what we’re experiencing is radically different from the Church in Scripture. For decades, church leaders like myself have lost sight of the inherent mystery of the Church. We have trained people sitting in the pews to become addicted to lesser things. It’s time for that to change.”

When Jesus returns, will He find us caring for His Bride-even more than for our own lives? Letters to the Church reminds us of how powerful, how glorious the Church once was &hellip; and calls us to once again be the Church God intended us to be.

Bonus Videos: The 4 videos from Francis Chan’s BASIC Study series (Fellowship, Communion, Teaching, Prayer) are included here as additional material for you to feel free to use in your church. They are not part of the “Letters to the Church” series.

537264: A Hunger for God: Desiring God Through Fasting and Prayer A Hunger for God: Desiring God Through Fasting and Prayer

By John Piper / Crossway

Is your soul so stuffed with worldly desires that you have little room left for God? Piper invites you to turn from materialism and sharpen your appetite for God through prayer and fasting. His exploration of fasting will help you understand how this ancient biblical practice can nourish your spiritual life and satisfy your longings. 201 pages, softcover from Crossway.

407250: Erasing Hell: What God Said About Eternity, and the Things We&amp;quot;ve Made Up Erasing Hell: What God Said About Eternity, and the Things We’ve Made Up

By Francis Chan & Preston Sprinkle / David C Cook

In Erasing Hell, Francis Chan and Preston Sprinkle take on the topic of hell and our eternal destiny, with a sense of humility and a deep respect for the inspired Word of God. They will address questions such as “Will everyone be saved?” and “Does God Get What He Wants in the End?” as well as reviewing in depth, everything Jesus said about Hell. Chan and Sprinkle lay all the evidence on the table and present all the facts from Scripture, so that people can decide what to believe for themselves.

291119: Double Blessing: How to Get It. How to Give It. Double Blessing: How to Get It. How to Give It.

By Mark Batterson / Multnomah

New York Times bestselling author and pastor Mark Batterson believes the key to radically increasing your faith, joy, and abundance can be found in these three words:

Flip the blessing.

His discovery started with a simple experiment. Whenever he received a blessing, he would give a similar blessing away. If someone paid him a compliment or gave him a gift or went out of their way to help him, he would return the favor by doing something similar for someone else.

We flip the blessing by blessing others in the way God has blessed us. That’s how the blessing becomes a double blessing. It turns giving into a game–one we can’t win because God will always outgive us! It’s an ancient truth found within the Abrahamic covenant: “I will bless you…and you will be a blessing.”

In other words, we are blessed to bless. In a day and age where the idea of blessing has been reduced to a hashtag (#blessed), Batteron challenges readers to pursue true, God-glorifying blessing and experience an exponential impact by participating in the double blessing. Don’t settle for half of what God offers. Discover how you can both get it and give it.

632024: Not Safe: Discovering God&amp;quot;s Dangerous Plan for Your  Life Not Safe: Discovering God’s Dangerous Plan for Your Life

By Mark Batterson / Zondervan

As believers, we may feel tempted to “play it safe”—but God wants to make us dangerous on his behalf! In this inspiring message based on his book All In, Batterson explains that “holding the fort” was never Jesus’ plan for his followers. Instead, he dares you to choose a radical life of spiritual surrender—beginning today. 160 pages, hardcover from Zondervan.

291089: Whisper: How to Hear the Voice of God Whisper: How to Hear the Voice of God

By Mark Batterson / Multnomah

God still speaks today. His voice and guidance wasn’t only for the saints and prophets of old, but for followers of Jesus now. In Whisper: How to Hear the Voice of God, author and pastor Mark Batterson shares seven ways that God communicates with His followers, if they’ll stop to listen. Through the tools of Scripture, Doors, Dreams, People, Promptings, and Pain, God weaves divine messages of love, encouragement and insight, into our lives every day. Hardcover.

588788: Zondervan&amp;quot;s 2020 Church and Nonprofit Tax &amp; Financial Guide Zondervan’s 2020 Church and Nonprofit Tax & Financial Guide

By D. Busby, V. Laue, M. Martin & J. Van Drunen / Zondervan

One of the few resources offering advice to churches and nonprofit organizations on issues of financial accountability, receiving and maintaining tax-exempt status, and charitable gifts. Also includes a thorough description of tax laws, sample policies and procedures with easy techniques for simplifying them, insights on medical expense reimbursements, sound compensation planning, and examples of required IRS filings. 224 pages, softcover.

588795: Zondervan&amp;quot;s 2020 Minister&amp;quot;s Tax and Financial Guide Zondervan’s 2020 Minister’s Tax and Financial Guide

By D. Busby, V. Laue, M. Martin & J. Van Drunen / Zondervan

If you find April 15 taxing in more ways than one, let this easy-to-follow manual come to the rescue! The 2020 edition features a line-by-line explanation of Form 1040 and recent changes in the tax code—with valuable hints about how to reduce next year’s bill. Also includes guidance on compensation, retirement, and ways to maximize business expense reimbursements. 192 pages, softcover.

196846: 2020 Multiple Blessings Create It Planner 2020 Multiple Blessings Create It Planner

By Caroline Simas Simas / Perfect Timing Inc

Multiple Blessings Create-It Planner lets you plan out your schedule the way you want with pages for reminders, lists, monthly goals and special dates. Blank calendar grids in a perpetual 12-month format lets you start on any month you choose in weekly and monthly views. Includes additional space for project tracking, contact and password info, and drawing make this all-in-one planner a must-have!

Details:

  • Colorful art design by Caroline Simas
  • 120+ coordinating stickers
  • Color-coordinating elastic band closure
  • 218 pages of premium paper.
  • Spiral bound, Linen-embossed hardcover
  • Measures 7″ x 9″
520377: 2020 Planner Too Blessed to be Stressed 2020 Planner Too Blessed to be Stressed

By Debora Coty / Barbour Publishing

Ideal for personal or home use, the 2020 Too Blessed to be Stressed 15-month engagement planner, features memorable quotes from Debora M. Coty’s heartwarming devotional, Too Blessed to be Stressed, as well as specially selected Scripture quotations.

Other features include:

  • Weekly, monthly, and year-at-a-glance calendars
  • 17 months of inspiring readings from inspirational humorist Debora M. Coty
  • Pages for monthly goal-setting
  • 17 months of planning &ndash; August 2019 &ndash; January 2021
  • Address book for frequent contacts
  • Color coordinating pages
  • Elastic belly band to all your notes contained
  • Scripture from various translations
  • Hardcover
  • &nbsp;4.375&rdquo; x 7.25&rdquo;
354789: 2020 Mornings with Jesus 2020 Mornings with Jesus

By Zondervan

Begin each day with Jesus . . . and get to know him as your Redeemer, Friend, and Faithful One! Designed to take just five minutes every morning, these 365 engaging readings include Scripture verses, meditations from 13 different authors, and challenging “Faith Steps” meant to inspire and encourage you in your daily walk. 379 pages, softcover from Zondervan.

866054: One in a Million: Journey to Your Promised Land, Member Book One in a Million: Journey to Your Promised Land, Member Book

By Priscilla Shirer / Lifeway

One in a Million: Journey to Your Promised Land – Member Book by Priscilla Shirer provides a personal study experience five days a week plus viewer guides for the group video sessions of this discussion-driven women’s Bible study. Priscilla encourages participants to fully engage in the abundant life God has waiting for those who will allow Him to take the lead in daily living. One in a Million is an opportunity for you to experience your deliverance from strongholds, to conquer your wilderness living, and to claim your God-given inheritance. 6 Sessions. Includes Leader Guide.

12334X: Before Amen: The Power of Simple Prayer (Study Guide) Before Amen: The Power of Simple Prayer (Study Guide)

By Max Lucado / Thomas Nelson

In Before Amen, Max Lucado, a self-professed “recovering prayer wimp,” reveals his personal struggles with prayer. He will show you how he discovered that prayer is not a privilege for the pious or the art of a chosen few but a simple tool all believers have been given to have a conversation with God. Through the use of a simple, easy-to-remember, pocket-sized prayer that he distilled from the prayers in the Bible, he will lead your church members in building a prayer life that is stronger, better and deeper.

Designed to be used with the Before Amen 4-session small group DVD study, this study guide includes leader helps, discussion questions, conversation starters, and between-session activities to enhance your understanding and application of Max’s teaching.

First Lesson Free! PDF Study Guide

God, Love, and Marshmallow Wars: 365 Daily Challenges to Grow Your Marriage  -     By: Julia M. Bruce God, Love, and Marshmallow Wars: 365 Daily Challenges to Grow Your Marriage

By Julia M. Bruce / WestBow Press

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John 3:14-15. Lifted Up

May 10 John 3 14-15

In Numbers 21, the Children of Israel were once again discourage and spoke against God and Moses, saying, “Why did you bring us out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water and our soul loathes this worthless bread.” So God sent fiery serpents and they bit the people and many of them died. When they repented, God told Moses to make a fiery serpent and set it on a pole and whoever looked at it, would live. It wasn’t the bronze serpent that brought about healing. It was the people’s faith in God and his provision that brought healing. 

John uses this Old Testament story as a metaphor for Jesus’ future crucifixion. Just as those in Moses’ day looked upon the bronze serpent and were healed, those who look in faith to Jesus who was lifted up on a cross to pay our sin debt will be healed of their sins and have eternal life. Just like it wasn’t the actual bronze serpent that brought healing and life, looking upon a crucifix will not save us from our sins. It was the people’s faith in God that healed them of the snake bites and it is our faith in Jesus that gives us eternal life.

Just as those in Moses’ day looked upon the bronze serpent and were healed, those who look in faith to Jesus who was lifted up on a cross to pay our sin debt will be healed of their sins and have eternal life. — click to tweet

This faith in Jesus starts with believing that He is who He said He is – the only begotten Son of God. As such Jesus is fully God. While He lived on earth, He was both 100% God and 100% man. The next step of faith is to realize that Jesus lived a perfect, sinless life while on earth, which makes it possible for Him to pay our sin debt. If He had sinned even once, then we would have no hope of salvation. The next step is to realize our lostness in sin. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” There is not one single person, other than Jesus, who has lived a sinless life. Romans 6:23 tells us that the wages or penalty for our sin is death but that the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus. The gift God gave us was allowing His only Son to suffer the torture of being beaten, mocked, scourged, and crucified in our place. Jesus paid our sin debt. The next step of faith is to believe that Jesus did rise from the dead three days later. If Jesus were still in a tomb, then death and the grave is not defeated and there is no eternal life. Today, Jesus is alive and sits at the right hand of God waiting for the day that God tells Him to come to earth again – but this time as a triumphant king. The last step of faith is believing that the blood Jesus shed on the cross will cleanse you from all unrighteousness. There is absolutely nothing you can do to earn salvation. It is only by faith and through God’s gracious gift that salvation is possible. For those who accept these truths by faith and come to Jesus and confess they are a sinner and ask for His forgiveness and ask Him to be the Lord of their life, then that person will have eternal life. Jesus was lifted up for you – will you by faith accept the eternal life He offers you?

May divider

Cover_m God, Love and Marshmallow Wars: This 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 & Nobel

 

book now summer and fall

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.

Image result for form pngTo request more information or a booking, 
fill out the online form here.

 

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Or call us at 904.524.8073

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