Nothing Matters but Jesus

Photo by Rod Long on Unsplash

My friend directed me to an article she had read and thought it was awesome and wanted me to read it to see what I thought (I recommend reading it (https://www.raystedman.org/new-testament/acts/handling-dissension). Needless to say, when I finished this article I was moved. I believe the part that made me break down was this:

All we need to do is get the truth out to people. The Bible is the truth, it is the way things really are. We are living in a world ruled by illusion and fantasy where people are confused, disturbed, and upset. They feel that there is nothing certain, nothing to be trusted. Everything is a phantasmagoric cloud of uncertainty and illusion. They do not know where to turn or what to believe. The truth hits with wonderful impact upon such minds. There is an immediate awareness, as there was in Jesus’ days on Earth, that what is being said is right. There is a ring of truth conveyed. As the word of truth abounds, disciples multiply because men and women are drawn to the truth. They want to know what is right and what is real, what is honest, what is genuine.

All that is important – all that truly matters is Christ and Him crucified! Paul said:

And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. 1 Corinthians 2:1-2

There is nothing but Christ. The answer to anything is Christ. We are so imperfect and yet He chooses us to tell others of Him. Praise the Lord! What a humbling truth.

Everything in this world is ruled by our thoughts, our feelings, and what we think is right. Yet scripture tells us:

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

In all our ways we should acknowledge Him – the answer is Christ!

Truth is, I have made choices and decisions without prayer, without forethought; I have just went rough shot at what “I” thought was right. When I have done this, usually, it hasn’t turned out well. I have hurt others, I’ve not followed the Lord’s leading – I leaned unto my own understanding.

BUT GOD! He restored me after much prayer and repentance! He is such a good God who allows us to stroll down our own way so that we learn. I have learned that when I am being attacked, or when I’ve made the wrong decision and things are going badly to look at what I need to do (if anything) and to learn what I need to learn as I’m going through that valley moment.

Every experience is an opportunity for growth. Whether what you are going through is something you directly created or caused or something with which you were not directly involved. When you are feeling attacked by the enemy, allow yourself a moment to rest in Jesus, pray, and to ask Him to show you what you need to learn from this experience. I believe we stay in those valley moments until we learn what He wants us to learn.

I guess what I’ve learned is this – “For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.”

I love y’all!

If you don’t know who Jesus is and you want to know more, go here. If you need prayer go here and myself and a group of Godly women will keep you in prayer.

Learning in the Valley

Photo by Caleb George on Unsplash

I felt like giving up today. Just giving up on Ministry. I was convinced that I’m not cut out for this kind of work of the Lord. I can plan things and I love watching lives change because of something we decided to do. But today….satan has been really attacking and I’m feeling VERY unqualified.

The truth is, I am unqualified. If it was not for the Lord I would never be able to do anything and especially not ministry. So I sit here trying to take my own advise and figure out exactly what I’m suppose to learn about this experience. What does God want me to “get” out of this valley moment (and yes Satan….it is a moment….I’ve won already!).

1.) Everyone should have a voice and everyone matters. However, the ONLY voice I should be listening to is God’s voice.

Matthew 6:33. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

2.) Pray before you do ANYTHING. I can look back at the times I’ve sought the Lord’s leading and those times when I did not. The times I prayed worked out SO MUCH better.

Jeremiah 33:3. Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.

3.) Even the most seasoned Christian can make mistakes – choose the wrong way and hurt others unintentionally. Conversely, the milk drinking Christian can give some of the best advice. It ain’t about us….its about Jesus and listening when He speaks no matter who He speaks through.

Ephesians 2:10. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Bottom line friends, I need to get my happy self back into the word, praying, fasting, and seeking the Lord in all I do. I need to be compassionate to others and really listen to their concerns but at the end of the day, my decisions need to be based on the Lord’s word and His leading — even when its hard and even when I feel like giving up.

Pray for me. Love y’all.

 

God’s Version of Girl Power – Pt. 3 – Esther

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Photo by Jared Subia

Finally my favorite woman in scripture – Esther. You want to know what true girl power looks like, read Esther. I remember when I first really understood what Esther was all about – it was when I watched a movie. Watching the movie encouraged me to read the whole book (which is small and doesn’t take long) and I was hooked. I was convinced this is the type of woman I want to be.

I want to be the kind of woman that conducts her life with humility and strength.  A woman that seeks after God FIRST and then follows Gods path regardless of what I think the outcome might be. I want to be the kind of person who trusts God over top of what man might say or do.

I wish I could go into details about Esther but reading it would far outweigh anything I could say. To make it short, Esther (a Jew) ended up queen of Persia (a non-Jewish “state”) and saved her people from total annihilation at the risk of her own life. Her most famous quote when she had to go into the King to speak with him without permission (even the queen wasn’t allowed to go into the kings presence without being summoned), was the following:

Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.  Esther 4:16

She didn’t come to this decision lightly, in fact, when Mordecai first told her of Haman’s plot to kill the Jewish people, she sent message to remind him she couldn’t go into the king’s presence without risking death. Fear came upon her. He then sent the following back to her:

Then Mordecai commanded to answer Esther, Think not with thyself that thou shalt escape in the king’s house, more than all the Jews. For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?
Esther 4:13-14

This is the kind of “girl power” I want to posses. The kind of power that only comes from above. The kind of power that comes with being obedient to my heavenly Father. The kind of power that comes from prayer and fasting. Truthfully, I don’t want girl power at all – I want God power given to me through the Holy Spirit because of the sacrifice Jesus made at Calvary. Honestly, that is the only true power!

Thank you for joining me and learning about a couple women from scripture and learning how in today’s society what they consider “girl power” is not power at all.  The power we see working through Debra the Judge and Esther the Queen is power from on high. Thank you Lord for that “power power wonder working power in the blood of the lamb!”

 

If  you want to know more about Jesus and how He can change your life, click here. Additionally, there is a team of Godly women who want to pray for you and whatever situation you find yourself in. If you need prayer click here.

How did I get here?

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Photo by Eugenia Maximova

BY ELLEN SUTLIFF & CANDIE BALDRIDGE

Have you ever woken up and said, “how did I get here?” At one time or another we all have. Maybe because we find ourselves in a situation that just a few years ago we would have NEVER thought we would be. Maybe it was because other people did things that ultimately affected our life. Regardless, we have all been at that place in our lives where we have looked in the mirror wondering how we are where we are and wondering how we are going to get out.

There are addicts that wake up most mornings asking this same question; how did I get here? These can be people who are addicted to work, money, drugs, pornography, sexual activities, drinking, or violence. Those things that take over the body, mind, and soul to a point where without it, they are in withdrawal. People who find themselves in this situation don’t start out their life headed down this road. It all starts with, “I can handle this and just try it once.” It quickly turns into, “I need more so I will do whatever it takes.”

These are addictions satan uses to oppress and keep people in bondage. Our enemy takes advantage of our natural man. He uses those three areas in which to tempt and if this person doesn’t have the Spirit living within them, this is all they know.

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 1 John 2:16

As Christians, we need to ask ourselves, “Am I spiritually asleep and unaware of what’s going on around me; Am I so consumed with my own life and problems that I don’t want to recognize other people’s problems?” Or are we those who have no compassion for people in this situation? I know that as for us, both of us have thought to ourselves a time or two, “If that person really cared about their children and their family, they would straighten up and get their life together.” That is until addiction hit close to home. I think it is important for us to remember this verse:

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Ephesians 6:12

We need to be bearing these burdens in prayer. We need to have compassion for those who find themselves in the grip of addiction. Does that mean we say it’s okay – of course not. Does that mean we enable them to continue in their addiction – NO! But does that mean we mark them off as unlovable and not worth our time? NO! People who are in the grips of bondage need Jesus; no matter what situation in which they find themselves. We are called to love them.

And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is , Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. Mark 12:29-31

The children of God must wake up from their spiritual sleep and have a burden for the lost and for those brothers and sisters in the Lord who find themselves in these places of addiction. We need to show the love of Jesus and show them that the hole in their lives they are trying to fill with their drug of choice should be filled with the Spirit of God.

Are you asking yourself how your loved one got to where they are? Are you tired of being the friend who always picks up the pieces? Or maybe you are that person who has just given up on your loved one and has no more compassion for their situation. Might we encourage you to keep praying. Lift them up to the greatest healer – Jesus.

And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. Galatians 6:9

 

Ellen Sutliff is a 52 year old pastor’s wife and a mother. In her congregation she has people with family members in the throws of addiction. She has old friends with people who are homeless and living in the woods because of addiction. Ellen has family who are slowly losing their lives to addiction. She has chosen to fight the good fight in prayer for those who struggle with these strongholds. “How did I get here? By the love, mercy and grace of God. He filled my heart with my Lord Jesus!”

If you need prayer please contact us here. If you don’t know Jesus and want more information, watch this video – it could change your life!