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Hey there, I'm Sunny Shell, a wretch saved by God's grace through faith in Jesus Christ the Lord. I'm married to the most incredible man on earth, who loves Jesus more than he loves me, and we have two precious adult sons.

The compassionately endures me through my metabolic disease (since 2004) that enables me to be more prayerful and careful about commitments I make and helps me to make the best use of my short time here on earth.

If you want to know more about me, click HERE.

Remembering The Fullness of Christ's Love


"Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end." (John 13:1, ESV)

No matter how many times I read this verse, I'm always in awe of what it says. While Jesus was fully aware of the utter torment and anguish He was about to endure that very night, His thoughts were not on Himself and what horrors would befall Him, but His full attention and love were fixed on His beloved apostles.

The original Greek for the phrase "loved them to the end" means that Jesus demonstrated God's perfect and pure (agape) love to His disciples, continually and fully; to completion, even in His darkest hour.

I'm in a dark place right now as my heart aches deeply for our youngest son, our prodigal, who is no longer walking in God's truth, but walking rebelliously in the deceptive world where truth is relative rather than absolute. While in this dark time, I often struggle with depression which causes me to disparage every new day, sure it will be filled with more sorrow upon sorrow.

But when I run to the LORD for help and protection (Prov 18:10), I get to read passages like this one in John 13. Immediately the Lord lifts me (Matt 14:30-31) out of the miry pit of despair and sets my feet on solid ground, making my steps secure. He puts a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to my God (Ps 40:1-3) and I am saved from the gravity of sadness that continually tries to pull me back.

When I read John 13 verse one, I'm encouraged that though my Lord and Savior looked straight onto the dire anguish of the Cross, He never forgot His disciples, whom He loved, and considered their low estate (Phil 2:4-8). Rather than be consumed with Himself and what He would suffer, Jesus was more concerned about His disciples and what they were about to suffer...though incomparable to His own suffering. And in His great love for them, He prayed for their protection, their unity, their love for God and one another, and that the Gospel would go forth to all the world.

Jesus' thoughts were on the Father's glory, His will and our greatest good―eternal salvation.

This is encouraging to me because in 1 Corinthians two verse 16 we're told that God has given us the mind of Christ! Having repented of my sins and trusted fully in the Son of God for my life, I am sealed with the Holy Spirit who alone knows the mind of the Father (1 Cor 2:10-11) and now through Christ, is given also to me. Rather than be enslaved to my own tormenting thoughts, I am free to fix my mind on the things above rather than on the things below. Because of Jesus' finished work on the Cross, I have been empowered from on high to think on that which is: true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, and worthy of praise (Phil 4:8).

Like Christ my Savior who did this over 2,000 years ago in John 13, I too can do and am doing―meditating on God's promises, considering what most pleases the Father; and after looking upward, I look outward to seek whom I may love and serve to the end.

"always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies... So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light and momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we do not look to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal."
~2 Corinthians 4:10, 16-18 (ESV)

No matter where you find yourselves today: physically, emotionally or spiritually, if by faith, you've repented and trusted in Jesus Christ, then be encouraged that you too have this rich and glorious gift in Him; the freedom to live fully in Christ (Gal 2:20) and perceive this life in the magnificent light of what's waiting for us in Heaven (1 Cor 13:12).

Read Psalm 22 today. Then thank Jesus for all He endured for you so that you might become something neither you nor anyone else could ever make you to be―a holy and beloved child of God Most High.

Just as our Savior did, we should do also; live in this world, but never be of it (Jn 17:14-18, Rom 12:2, 1 Jn 3:1-3).

May you all have a blessed and joyous time celebrating our Lord's Resurrection Day.

Peace be with you.

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11 comments:

  1. Oh Sunny, thank you for this! I am also currently battling with depression and I would be weeping with you if I saw you in person. I was reminded this morning at our Good Friday church service how I was bought at a very high price. How blessed are we that as such underserving and wicked people we have a Saviour who paid the highest price for our freedom and bringing reconciliation to our Heavenly Father once again. I want to live my life in the truth of the victory of Jesus death and resurrection. My "self" is so loathsome and I also find such comfort in him and feel that lifting out of the pit of despair and him placing me on solid ground.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The Lord bless you precious sister Amy. I've been praying for you every since I read this. May the LORD our God continually bring us His perfect peace and comfort in His Son.


    And amen, we were bought with a matchless and very high price. If we remember this and cling to this truth, the things that cause us to despair will lose their power and control over us. We will not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. The darkness will NOT overtake us because we are children of the light. Hallelujah! Thanks be to God for Jesus Christ! \o/ Much love and prayers to you dear sister. ♥

    ReplyDelete
  3. Homeschool on the CroftApril 23, 2014 at 12:06 PM

    I am so glad to read this! I do not know two of these ladies (yes, I'm here in a Scottish backwater ;) ), but I was very uncomfortable with the little I read of Ann Voscamp. I remember very flowery language taking us to Notre Dame (of all places :O ), and attempting to relive her own very sensual experience there (whilst, apparently, 'experiencing God'). I cannot comment on the others, cannot comment on the rest of Ann's writings - that was enough for me. But I am grateful for your 'heads-up' here. I have two teenage daughter, both professing Christ, and I am thankful to be able to show them this article. THAT is why you are right to go public with these warnings.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Sunny, Your article seemed to miss the element of grace and research. I have been following Ann's blog and read her books. "Emotional crack" is quite offensive. I'm reposting this quote directly from Ann's blog:

    ".. and then on Friday of #PassionWeek, we lit each candle & confessed & silently named our sins that He bore on that cross.
    He hung there out of pure love, bearing all our dark & death, gaining nothing for Himself, yet realest, resurrected life for us.
    #1000gifts"

    ReplyDelete
  5. Have you approached these women privately about your concerns? And did you receive a response?

    ReplyDelete
  6. My goodness, this is painfully lacking the depth of analysis that should be required with the accusation of false teaching. Theological disagreement is one thing, weaknesses are another, but such a broad brush should be wielded a bit more carefully.

    I'm not even necessarily disagreeing with your conclusions (as I have read very little of each woman's work), but the samples provided (particularly in the Beth Moore section) do not warrant the claims of "heretical teachings", "panentheism", "the wiles of our enemy, the devil", or "viewing our relationship with God Almighty in a sexual manner."

    ReplyDelete
  7. These women (and any men) are in the public eye and therefore can be addressed privately or publicly. I know it is hard to hear that your favorite person you follow may not be doctrinally sound. It does happen. I know. I used to get so upset if a Truth or Truths were pointed out about someone I followed in some way. Please don't hold anyone above God's Word. His Word is our guide, not these people. Yes, sometimes He can share things through others, but if it doesn't fully line up with His Word, then you need to be leary.

    ReplyDelete
  8. This may be one of the worst blog posts I've read. Zero real evidence. SEEMS like you wanna pick a fight. I don't know for sure, so don't worry, I'm not sinning by judging your motives. Just how it comes across to me.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Wendy, "emotional crack" was said by another commenter...with whom I agree. When we're addicted to anything (including our emotions) rather than Christ and His Word, then we're addicted to a drug. And your quote here by Ann, only proves my point.


    And as far as my article lacking grace, well, you're entitled to your own opinion.


    Peace be with you sister.

    ReplyDelete
  10. The answer to this question has already been answered multiple times.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi there brother Paul, as far as I know, she didn't delete them because she's repented, but only hiding them because of much biblical accountability coming to her from many others who posted them.


    She's still teaching all these things in her current Bible studies (with DVD's).


    I will pray about your request and seek my husband's counsel to ensure this is something I need to continue exposing or if there is already ample evidence made public elsewhere.


    Thank you for your interest and your faithfulness to teach and shepherd the women of your church in truth.

    ReplyDelete

"If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him." ~ C.T. Studd
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