10/26/14: Are You Smelly?

•October 25, 2014 • 1 Comment

#AHeartForTheWord

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When we think of someone being smelly, we usually think of a person having an unfavorable odor. Perhaps you recall an individual who passed by you recently who had just been out exercising and you smelled their sweaty attire. Maybe you scrunch your face up as you call to mind the time you walked past a homeless person whose clothes reeked of stale urine. Or you may remember the middle-school boy who got carried away with his dad’s cologne before attending his first school dance.

But then there are the pleasant smells. A fragrant rose, coffee brewing in the morning, bacon sizzling in the skillet, fried chicken, and freshly baked bread are among my top favorite scents. We tend to smile when our preferred aromas are in the air. According to smithsonianmag.com, “Airborne molecules that elicit a reaction in a member of the same species are called pheromones,” and “people perceive all sorts of interesting things about one another through olfaction [smell].”

I have heard it said that smell is an extremely powerful memory trigger as well. Upon getting a whiff of a particular perfume, you might remember the name of that most loved (or most hated) schoolteacher of whom you haven’t thought in years. Every time you get your oil changed you could think of your dad because the smells of the auto mechanic’s shop trigger visions of him in the garage working on an old engine. And what would Thanksgiving and Christmas be like without the blended aromas of all your childhood favorites wafting from the kitchen and making your mouth water?

God’s word has something to say about how we smell. In the Contemporary English Version (CEV) of the Bible, Second Corinthians 2:15a says, “In fact, God thinks of us as a perfume that brings Christ to everyone.” Since we smell like someone we’ve been close to, like someone we have rubbed up against, we carry the scent of Christ to those with whom we come in contact. So the question is: are you smelly? Worship God today for being so pungent with His grace that it gets all over us, so much so that others “smell” and react to Him when they get close to us.

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©2014 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.

 

Pick up a copy of Sharon’s newest release,

Boomerangs to Arrows: A Godly Guide for Launching Young Adult Children

available from Judson Press (http://www.judsonpress.com/product.cfm?product_id=17387),

at bookstores, and on all major online book buying sites.

Video link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2JH_gbinMk

Also still available:

Power Suit: The Armor of God Fit for the Feminine Frame

from New Hope Publishers (http://www.newhopedigital.com/2010/08/power-suit/)

 

 

9/10/14: Alive Again

•September 10, 2014 • Leave a Comment

091014: Alive Again

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            Lots of people ask for proof that God is real and that Jesus is who He says He is. The proof is the resurrection and the empty tomb. After all the resurrection talk started back in the first century, all anyone needed to do was produce the dead body of Jesus, and this whole Christianity business would have been squashed. But no crucified, dead body could ever be found because God had indeed raised Jesus. Life went back into that body. Paul writes:

  • “…that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. Then last of all He was seen by me also…” 2 Corinthians 15:3-8 (NKJ).

          In any court case, credible eyewitness testimony is key to solving the case. It can be extremely difficult to get people’s stories it jive. But in the case of the resurrection of Jesus, the testimony of Peter (Cephas), the rest of the apostles (the inner circle of the twelve), over 500 other followers (the brethren), James, and then Paul himself, all corroborated. All these eyewitnesses saw the resurrected Christ.

        Jesus is alive, and His life proves the existence and reality of God.

       God continues today to breathe life into dead situations. Let Him breathe His life into the deadness you are facing, and then worship Him for being the Life-giver.

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©2014 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.

Pick up a copy of Sharon’s newest release,

Boomerangs to Arrows: A Godly Guide for Launching Young Adult Children

available from Judson Press (http://www.judsonpress.com/product.cfm?product_id=17387),

at bookstores, and on all major online book buying sites.

Video link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2JH_gbinMk  

Also still available:

Power Suit: The Armor of God Fit for the Feminine Frame

from New Hope Publishers (http://www.newhopedigital.com/2010/08/power-suit/)

 

 

9/8/14: Proof

•September 8, 2014 • Leave a Comment

#HeartForTheWord

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            One way to prove that two things are the same is by observing the actions of both. For example, if two cups are filled with a clear substance and one proves to be acid that eats through a piece of wood, pour the substance from the other cup onto the same piece of wood to see if it does the same thing. If the second substance eats through the wood in the same way, it’s safe to assume that the second substance is also acid.

            So it is with God and Jesus. One proof that they are the same is that they can do the same things. In Psalm 104, the Psalmist declares that “the waters stood above the mountains. At Your rebuke they fled; at the voice of Your thunder they hastened away…You have set a boundary that they may not pass over, that they may not return to cover the earth.” In other words, God can control water; water obeys Him.

           Now let’s test the other cup. Matthew 8:26 says, “But He (Jesus) said to them (the disciples), ‘Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?’ Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.” Not only do we see here that the waters obeyed Jesus’ command, but they acted differently when He was around. In John 6:19, the water holds Him up as He walks on it, and in John chapter 2, it blushes at His word and turns into wine.

          Dealing with the elements (like water) is but one example proving that both God the Father and God the Son can perform the same feats. Indeed, They are one in the same. And They have not changed. They continue to walk on the impossible and calm the irrational issues that confront us. Worship God today for being the water-walker and storm-stiller.

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©2014 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.

Pick up a copy of Sharon’s newest release,

Boomerangs to Arrows: A Godly Guide for Launching Young Adult Children

available from Judson Press (http://www.judsonpress.com/product.cfm?product_id=17387),

at bookstores, and on all major online book buying sites.

Video link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2JH_gbinMk  

Also still available:

Power Suit: The Armor of God Fit for the Feminine Frame

from New Hope Publishers (http://www.newhopedigital.com/2010/08/power-suit/)

 

 

 

9/2/14: The Need for Mercy

•September 2, 2014 • Leave a Comment

 

Whenever I think of mercy, I think of two things. On the one hand, the word “mercy” conjures up the picture of a guilty person who has been arrested for a crime he was caught doing red-handed. There’s no way to wiggle out of the truth and he’s standing in front of the judge’s bench about to be sentenced. If the judge looks on this criminal and says, “Not guilty, you’re free to go,” mercy was just granted.

The other picture I see when I think of mercy is that of Jesus Christ on the cross, suffering and dying to satisfy God’s wrath that would otherwise be poured out on me. You see, Jesus took my sin onto Himself and when He was nailed to the cross, so was my sin. Now when God, the righteous Judge, looks at me standing before His bench, He sees that Jesus served my sentence already and says, “Not guilty, you’re free to go.”

Psalm 103:10-14 captures the idea of God’s mercy:

“He has not dealt with us according to our sins,

Nor punished us according to our iniquities.

For as the heavens are high above the earth,

So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him;

                  As far as the east is from the west,

So far has He removed our transgressions from us.

                  As a father pities his children,

So the Lord pities those who fear Him.

                  For He knows our frame;

He remembers that we are dust.”

Mercy means “not getting what we justly deserve. ”Many of us may not want to admit it, but the truth is we all need God’s mercy. If God dealt with us according to our sins and iniquities, doling out what we justly deserve, we’d all be in a heap of trouble. Thankfully, just like a loving father who pities his children, God pities us, knowing we’re flawed, yet letting our flaws and failures be swallowed up by His great love for us. Our response to so great a love can be nothing less than total devotion, praise, and obedience. Worship God today for being merciful.

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©2014 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.

 Pick up a copy of Sharon’s newest release,

Boomerangs to Arrows: A Godly Guide for Launching Young Adult Children

available from Judson Press (http://www.judsonpress.com/product.cfm?product_id=17387),

at bookstores, and on all major online book buying sites.

Video link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2JH_gbinMk

Also still available:

Power Suit: The Armor of God Fit for the Feminine Frame

from New Hope Publishers (http://www.newhopedigital.com/2010/08/power-suit/)

September 1, 2014: Life Will Work Out

•September 1, 2014 • 1 Comment

#HeartForTheWord

Besides being a classic love story, what we read about Ruth in the Bible is an uplifting reminder that where we were born and the bad things that happen to us in the past are no indicators of what God can do with us in the present and future. Ruth was from a family line considered cursed. (The Moabites were descendents of the incestuous relationship between Lot and one of his daughters, see Genesis 19:36-37.) Then she became a widow at an early age and had no children through which to secure an inheritance. But none of that mattered to God. What mattered to God was her heart, which was sold out to Him. After all was said and done, Ruth caught the attention of the most eligible bachelor in town, he fell in love with her and married her, and she became the great-grandmother of King David, directly in the line, which led to our Savior!

Isaiah 26:3 says, “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” Stay committed to following God. No matter where you come from or what you’ve been through, a heart sold out to Him is what matters. Don’t worry. Be at peace. Life will work out. Worship God today for having divine foresight that sees past the awful present and is able to carry you into an awesome future.

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©2014 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.

 

Pick up a copy of Sharon’s newest release,

Boomerangs to Arrows: A Godly Guide for Launching Young Adult Children

available from Judson Press (http://www.judsonpress.com/product.cfm?product_id=17387),

at bookstores, and on all major online book buying sites.

Video link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2JH_gbinMk

Also still available:

Power Suit: The Armor of God Fit for the Feminine Frame

from New Hope Publishers (http://www.newhopedigital.com/2010/08/power-suit/)

 

August 30, 2014: Need Some Reassurance?

•August 30, 2014 • Leave a Comment

#HeartForTheWord

 In Judges, chapter 6, the Angel of the Lord appears to Gideon to tell him he is the next judge chosen to deliver Israel, this time from the oppression of the Midianites. Not understanding why he, the least in a small family, would be chosen, Gideon asked the Lord for some reassurance. First, the Lord consumes food with fire, then He allows dew to fall on the fleece only the first time, and then on the ground and not on the fleece the second time(see verses 21 and 36-40).

I was a little puzzled by this, not by the signs themselves, but by Jesus’ reaction in the New Testament when He was asked by the Pharisees to show a sign. His reaction then was, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign!” Matthew 12:39 NIV. Why was it wicked for the Pharisees to ask for a sign but okay for Gideon?

I think the answer lies in the heart of the one asking the question. You see, the Pharisees were asking for a sign in order to believe; Gideon was asking because of his belief. Gideon’s heart beat for God and he wanted to be sure he was moving in obedience. Our loving heavenly Father has no problem reassuring us that we are really hearing from Him, but woe to those of us who know we hear and still do not move and obey. The Pharisees simply wanted to see some magic; their hearts were twisted to only hate Him no matter what they saw. Gideon was poised to obey.

What do we do with the voice of God when we hear it? Worship God today for being the One who reassures.

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©2014 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.

 

Pick up a copy of Sharon’s newest release,

Boomerangs to Arrows: A Godly Guide for Launching Young Adult Children

available from Judson Press (http://www.judsonpress.com/product.cfm?product_id=17387),

at bookstores, and on all major online book buying sites.

Video link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2JH_gbinMk

Also still available:

Power Suit: The Armor of God Fit for the Feminine Frame

from New Hope Publishers (http://www.newhopedigital.com/2010/08/power-suit/)

 

8/28/14: A Word About Good Thing

•August 29, 2014 • Leave a Comment

#HeartForTheWord

By the end of Joshua, chapter 21, all of the children of Israel had taken possession of the land God had promised to their forefathers. Verse 45 says, “Not a word failed of any good thing which the Lord had spoken to the house of Israel. All came to pass.” This reminded me of another verse. Psalm 84:11 ends by saying, “…no good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.” Here are other verses about a “good thing”…

  • Ps 34:10 The young lions lack and suffer hunger; but those who seek the LORD shall not lack any good thing
  • Ps 92:1 It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High: (KJV)
  • Prov 18:22 He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the LORD.
  • Jer 33:14-15 ‘Behold, the days are coming,’ says the LORD, ‘that I will perform that good thing which I have promised to the house of Israel and to the house of Judah: ‘In those days and at that time I will cause to grow up to David a Branch of righteousness; he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the earth.
  • Phile 1:6 …that the sharing of your faith may become effective by the acknowledgment of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.
  • Heb 13:9 Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein. (KJV)

Since God created us all with individuality, the “good thing” He supplies to me may not be the same as the “good thing” He supplies to you, but that’s okay. To me, a good thing is yet another great book idea; to you, a good thing might be a hike in a lovely forest. Either way, the good thing supplied by God is His pleasure. He’s a loving Father.

Worship God today for at least one “good thing” in our lives, whatever it may be.

 

(Unless otherwise noted, verses are taken from NKJ.)

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©2014 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.

 

Pick up a copy of Sharon’s newest release,

Boomerangs to Arrows: A Godly Guide for Launching Young Adult Children

available from Judson Press (http://www.judsonpress.com/product.cfm?product_id=17387),

at bookstores, and on all major online book buying sites.

Video link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2JH_gbinMk

Also still available:

Power Suit: The Armor of God Fit for the Feminine Frame

from New Hope Publishers (http://www.newhopedigital.com/2010/08/power-suit/)

 
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