8/12/15: De-Fense

•August 12, 2015 • 1 Comment

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#HeartForTheWord

As basketball fans, we find ourselves often yelling the hopeful chant, “De-fense! (clap, clap) De-fense!” What we mean is that we want our team to stop the other team from gaining an advantage. You see, when our team is on defense, the other team has the ball. Without our team’s intervention, the opponent could score.

Psalm 62:5-6 says, “My soul, wait silently for God alone, for my expectation is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defense; I shall not be moved” (NKJ, emphasis added). When challenges and life’s negative circumstances seem to be getting the upper hand, we can yell out to God, “De-fense! (clap, clap) De-fense!” He is our center, towering over the height of every problem. He is our guard, effectively blocking every charge of the opposition. And He is our power forward, rejecting the shots of disappointment and defeat designed to score points against our advancement and success.

Psalm 94:22-23 echoes the same sentiment. “But the LORD has been my defense, and my God the rock of my refuge. He has brought on them their own iniquity, and shall cut them off in their own wickedness; the LORD our God shall cut them off” (NKJ, emphasis added).

Get your shout on! De-fense! (clap, clap) De-fense!

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©2011 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.

8/11/15: So Great to Have a Friend

•August 11, 2015 • 1 Comment

 

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It is wonderful to have a good friend. At least one. And many of us have more than one. My sister-friends are just a phone call away when I have great news to share and when I am having troubles. I can laugh with them, cry with them, complain to them, and ponder the mysteries of the universe with them. Whatever it is, they understand.

Especially when I’m having hard times, my friends are wonderful examples to me of the love of the Lord. Psalm 94:19 says, “In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul” (NKJ). God comforts me best, and He’s given me friends who are there for me as well. The Scriptures also say, “A man who has friends must himself be friendly” Proverbs 18:24 (NKJ). I just hope I’m as good a friend to them as they are to me.

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©2015 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.

 

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Pick up a copy of Sharon’s newest release,

 

Why I Get Into Trouble as well as other favorites, Boomerangs to Arrows, and Power Suit

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

 

Power Suit: The Armor of God Fit for the Feminine Frame from New Hope Publishers (http://www.newhopedigital.com/2010/08/power-suit/)

 

8/10/15: God’s Speed Bump

•August 10, 2015 • 1 Comment

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My husband and I recently visited my nephew and his family in Columbus, Ohio. They live in a quaint, historic little neighborhood just outside of downtown in a gorgeous, three-story brick home. Anyone who turns from the major thoroughfare onto the side street leading to their home will see a street sign that says, “Calming Zone Ahead.” After driving a few more feet, we discovered that the calming zone was achieved by speed bumps. Whoever made that sign realized everything is just a matter of perspective. Slowing down was more than a safety concern; slowing down was an opportunity to experience calm.

God placed a speed bump in Israel’s road, but with a calming zone sign. “Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense, and whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” Romans 9:33 (NKJ). Lots of people stumble at the name of Jesus, not wanting to surrender to Him; however, slowing down to consider the claims of Christ leads to both safety and calm. The safety found in Christ is the security of the eternal life He supplies. The calmness found in Christ is in knowing that He always has our back.

So as we face whatever comes our way, let’s not allow Christ to be a speed bump inhibiting our progress, but a calming zone inclosing us in calm.

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©2015 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.

 

ANNOUNCEMENT: Watch The Holy Spirit Broadcasting Network’s new internet TV show Life That Matters with Sharon Norris Elliott from any internet-connected device at www.HSBN.tv. (Stream current show Monday, Wednesday, and Friday; or view past episodes anytime!)

Pick up a copy of Sharon’s newest release,

 Trouble-copy-2

Why I Get Into Trouble as well as other favorites, Boomerangs to Arrows, and Power Suit

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Boomerangs to Arrows: A Godly Guide for Launching Young Adult Children available from Judson Press (http://www.judsonpress.com/product.cfm?product_id=17387),

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

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Power Suit: The Armor of God Fit for the Feminine Frame from New Hope Publishers (http://www.newhopedigital.com/2010/08/power-suit/)

8/8/15: Listen, Learn, and Pass It On

•August 8, 2015 • 1 Comment

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One of the funniest things about parenting happens when you find yourself talking to your child and you suddenly realize you are sounding just like your own mother or father. When did we become our parents? When we had kids of our own. Little by little, we discovered the wisdom of what seemed so incredibly crazy when our parents spoke the same words to us.

“Don’t turn that heat up. Just put on a sweater.” Now I realize Daddy was trying to save on that gas bill.

“You will sit there until you eat those vegetables.” Now I see that Mom knew what was best for my health.

“This hurts me more than it hurts you.” Now I know the pain of disappointment a parent experiences when our children ignore our counsel chasing foolishness they believe is astuteness. It hurts just as much to have to discipline them as it does to have to watch them experience the consequences of their poor choices.

With that said, one of the most gratifying things about parenting happens when our children become adults and we have the opportunity to see them repeat some of the good things we’ve done or said. We set our feet upon the Rock which is Jesus, trusted Him in our parenting, and now we experience the fruit of that labor as our children carry on in that same vein. Proverbs 22:17-21 states:

Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise,
and apply your heart to my knowledge; for it is a pleasant thing if you keep them within you;
let them all be fixed upon your lips, so that your trust may be in the Lord;
I have instructed you today, even you. Have I not written to you excellent things
of counsels and knowledge, that I may make you know the certainty of the words of truth,
that you may answer words of truth
to those who send to you? (NKJ)

 

Yes, we are to listen to God’s wisdom, count it as pleasant, and let it be fixed upon our lips. As we consistently learn and live by God’s counsels and knowledge, He will allow us to “know the certainty of the words of truth.” We will then know how to “answer words of truth (pass it on) to those” who He puts in our path. And low and behold, our children are the first recipients of the wisdom we have to pass on.

Be encouraged, parents. God’s wisdom will not come back empty. Keep listening to God, learning from Him, and passing it on.

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©2015 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.

 

ANNOUNCEMENT: Watch The Holy Spirit Broadcasting Network’s new internet TV show Life That Matters with Sharon Norris Elliott from any internet-connected device at www.HSBN.tv. (Stream current show Monday, Wednesday, and Friday; or view past episodes anytime!)

Pick up a copy of Sharon’s newest release,

 Trouble-copy-2

Why I Get Into Trouble as well as other favorites, Boomerangs to Arrows, and Power Suit

Why I Get Into Trouble link to our eStore: https://www.createspace.com/5131814

 

Boomerangs to Arrows: A Godly Guide for Launching Young Adult Children available from Judson Press (http://www.judsonpress.com/product.cfm?product_id=17387),

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

 

Power Suit: The Armor of God Fit for the Feminine Frame from New Hope Publishers (http://www.newhopedigital.com/2010/08/power-suit/)

 

 

8/7/15: God’s Backward Planning

•August 7, 2015 • Leave a Comment

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When I teach my students how to write their research papers, I teach them the technique of backward planning. We start with the finished paper in mind. I show them a sample of a completed, excellent paper and then I ask them, “What’s the step that happened just before this student turned in this excellent paper?” They’ll answer that the student organized all the finished parts and did a final check to make sure everything was in the right order. I’ll then ask for the step that happened before that. I write each step on the board, forming a timeline from end to beginning. This back and forth questioning and answering keeps going until I bring them all the way back to where we are at present, the starting point. My students then have a clear picture of not only the final project I’m expecting, but also of the detailed steps they must take in order to successfully produce a quality research paper of their own.

God has done some backward planning for our lives. He wants to turn out men and women who resemble His Son. The end result is our glorification, but before that comes our justification (just-as-if-I’d never sinned). Before that, God calls whom He justifies. Before the calling comes predestination, and before predestination, comes the amazing omniscience of God; He knew us. In other words, thanks to the backward planning of God, we were declared to be “A” students even before we started the assignment.

 

_________/__________/___________/____________/____________/

known       predestined     called           justified             glorified

 

The Bible states this phenomenal plan in this way:

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:28-31(NKJ)

 

All my students have to do is follow my plan and they’ll get an “A” on their research papers. Inevitably though, every year, I teach students who don’t believe that my way is best. They strike out on their own only to end up with disastrous results. Let’s not be that way with God. In the words of the old Four Spiritual Laws tract put out by Campus Crusade for Christ, “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life.” Just keep walking and working in the plan. “We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” Romans 8:37.

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©2015 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.

 

ANNOUNCEMENT: Watch The Holy Spirit Broadcasting Network’s new internet TV show Life That Matters with Sharon Norris Elliott from any internet-connected device at www.HSBN.tv. (Stream current show Monday, Wednesday, and Friday; or view past episodes anytime!)

Pick up a copy of Sharon’s newest release,

 

Why I Get Into Trouble as well as other favorites, Boomerangs to Arrows, and Power Suit

Why I Get Into Trouble link to our eStore: https://www.createspace.com/5131814

 

Boomerangs to Arrows: A Godly Guide for Launching Young Adult Children available from Judson Press (http://www.judsonpress.com/product.cfm?product_id=17387),

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

 

Power Suit: The Armor of God Fit for the Feminine Frame from New Hope Publishers (http://www.newhopedigital.com/2010/08/power-suit/)

 

 

 

 

 

8/6/15: I Want What I Want

•August 6, 2015 • Leave a Comment

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Most of us would not consider ourselves to be greedy. In the main, we like to think we are generous, kind people who are willing to lend a hand or share our possessions if need be. However, Romans chapter 8 suggests a level of possible avarice we may not have formerly considered.

In the eighth chapter of Romans, Paul makes the case for those who are in Christ Jesus, stating that we are not under the condemnation of the law. We live that out by “not walk[ing] according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit… [because] the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made [us] free from the law of sin and death” Romans 8:1-2 (NKJ). The greed on our part comes in when we claim the name of Christ and rejoice over the fact that He death, burial, and resurrection indeed freed us, yet we continue to live double lives. We greedily bask in the glory of our salvation while also greedily enjoying the deceptive pleasures brought to us by our sinful nature (to which we are supposed to be dead).

What’s wrong with us? “We are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live” Romans 8:12-13. We are debtors. Don’t we realize that we owe God and our “payment” to Him is righteous living? But no, we want what we want, and we actually feel overwhelmed by the lusts of our flesh. We feel like we can’t help ourselves when we greedily give in to whatever carnal desires of the moment rear their ugly heads.

How about trying to remember that “we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together…” and “consider that the sufferings of this present time (saying no to the flesh, for example) are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” Romans 8:16-18. Let’s give over and confess the manner in which we have greedily held onto our sinful ways. Replace that greed with a voracious appetite for righteousness.

____________________________

©2015 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.

 

ANNOUNCEMENT: Watch The Holy Spirit Broadcasting Network’s new internet TV show Life That Matters with Sharon Norris Elliott from any internet-connected device at www.HSBN.tv. (Stream current show Monday, Wednesday, and Friday; or view past episodes anytime!)

Pick up a copy of Sharon’s newest release,

 Trouble-copy-2

Why I Get Into Trouble as well as other favorites, Boomerangs to Arrows, and Power Suit

Why I Get Into Trouble link to our eStore: https://www.createspace.com/5131814

 

Boomerangs to Arrows: A Godly Guide for Launching Young Adult Children available from Judson Press (http://www.judsonpress.com/product.cfm?product_id=17387),

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

 

Power Suit: The Armor of God Fit for the Feminine Frame from New Hope Publishers (http://www.newhopedigital.com/2010/08/power-suit/)

8/5/15: What Does God Say About You?

•August 5, 2015 • Leave a Comment

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God speaks directly to and about certain people in the Bible. When God spoke to Ananias about witnessing to Saul (who would soon be known as Paul), He pronounced that Saul “is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel” Acts 9:15 (NKJ). God also refers to David as “a man after My own heart, who will do all My will” Acts 13:22. If we do a character study on Paul and David, we will find that neither man was perfect; yet, God had great things to say about both.

Job on the other hand is an Old Testament character who seemed to have it going on. In fact, God says of him “that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil” Job 1:8. More still, God was speaking to Satan about Job, and actually setting Job up as a test-dummy to be pitted against Satan’s onslaught. After hearing God’s estimation of Job, Satan challenged God twice that he could get Job to curse Him to His face (see Job 1:11 and 2:5). But even after Satan ripped Job of his wealth, killed all 10 of his children, and struck his body with a painful disease, Job never sinned in his attitude toward God. In fact, Job “fell to the ground and worshiped… did not sin nor charge God with wrong… [and] did not sin with his lips” Job 1:20, 22; 2:10.

So today, forget what everyone else has to say. Whether you know you are flawed like Saul (Paul) or David, or whether you are pretty good in the main like Job, what would God testify about you? Can He call you one of His chosen vessels and put you to work for Him? Are you a person whose heart is bent on doing God’s will above all else? Could God say that you are blameless, upright, a God-fearer, and one who shuns evil?

It’s all about the heart, your center, that which is deep down inside. Even though Jeremiah tells us that “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked,” you can pray along with David for God to “create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me” Jeremiah 17:9; Psalm 51:10.

God only has flawed people to love, and He loves you. Thanks to Jesus’ substitutionery death and His resurrection, God sees you through Jesus’ blood as pure and right. He has good things to say about you. Live in the light of God’s testimony.

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©2015 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.

 

ANNOUNCEMENT: Watch The Holy Spirit Broadcasting Network’s new internet TV show Life That Matters with Sharon Norris Elliott from any internet-connected device at www.HSBN.tv. (Stream current show Monday, Wednesday, and Friday; or view past episodes anytime!)

Pick up a copy of Sharon’s newest release,

 

Why I Get Into Trouble as well as other favorites, Boomerangs to Arrows, and Power Suit

Why I Get Into Trouble link to our eStore: https://www.createspace.com/5131814

 Trouble-copy-2

Boomerangs to Arrows: A Godly Guide for Launching Young Adult Children available from Judson Press (http://www.judsonpress.com/product.cfm?product_id=17387),

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

 

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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