6/21/17 When Miracles are Needed

•June 21, 2017 • Leave a Comment

images-1            Sometimes we find ourselves in need of a miracle. It’s only natural to lean toward worry when faced with difficulties that are far beyond our ability to handle. We cry and hunt for answers. We do everything we can possibly do in our own power. Then, when we reach the end of that proverbial rope, we finally decide to pray. It’s almost as if we think we’ll be bothering God with our problems.

Acts 5:12-25 relates an incident that happened in the early days of the new Church. The apostles were performing signs, preaching, and teaching in the name of Jesus, and “believers were increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women.” These actions angered the religious leaders who decided to throw the apostles in prison. “But at night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out, and said, ‘Go, stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this life.’” Well, in the morning, when the religious leaders gathered to deal with the apostles, they weren’t in the prison. Someone told them, “Look, the men whom you put in prison are standing in the temple and teaching the people!”

Reading this account reminded me that when we are about God’s business, He will do theimages-1 miraculous for us. As Luke relates this incident, he does not say that the apostles even prayed about being released. God just handled the situation for them.

I am in need of a few miracles today as I’m sure you probably are as well. Let’s decide to just keep doing what God has set out for us to do and watch God do what only He can do for us.

______________________

©2017 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.

Links you won’t want to miss: 

  • Watch Sharon in two shows on The Holy Spirit Broadcasting Network: 
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6/19/17: Filled, Now Pour

•June 20, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Lots of arguments have started and divisions have happened over the issue of what it means to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Are we “filled” at the moment of salvation or does the “filling” come later? Is the “filling” for everyone or for just a few who do something special? Do we know we are “filled” because we speak in tongues, some mysterious, unknown language only God can understand?

Denominations will probably keep arguing these and other points about this topic until Jesus returns, but we can deduce a particular truth. Each time Luke recorded an instance of the Holy Spirit’s filling, it was always accompanied by one corresponding action: people spoke. Sometimes they spoke in tongues, and sometimes they didn’t. The important thing to note is not how they spoke, but what they spoke. Every time people were filled with the Holy Spirit, they spoke boldly glorifying God. For example, Acts 4:31 says, “And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness” (NKJ). Read also the context of the verses surrounding Acts 1:8, 2:4, 2:33 and 38, 4:8, 8:15 and17, 9:17, and 13:9.
We fill water bottles to drink from them. We fill the gas tanks in our cars because we have someplace to go. We fill our heads with the knowledge of our education so we can perform in our chosen careers. We fill our bodies with food that becomes fuel for the energy we need to live, work, play, serve, and love. Fillings are for pouring out. Fillings are for being used. The whole point of being filled with the Holy Spirit is so that we’ll have something to pour out. And what should be pouring out of our mouths are bold testimonies to the glory of God.

Romans 8:9b is clear, “Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His” (NKJ). If we are Christians, we have the Holy Spirit inside of us. We’ll never get more of Him because He doesn’t come on the installment plan; however, we can continually surrender more and more of ourselves to Him. Let’s walk in the knowledge that we are filled with the Spirit of God, and let’s open our mouths to boldly pour out words that glorify Him.

______________________

©2017 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.

Links you won’t want to miss: 

  • Watch Sharon in two shows on The Holy Spirit Broadcasting Network: 
    • Life That Matters with Sharon Norris Elliott, and
    • A View from the Upper Room

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  • 619hstwgsl-_sx331_bo1204203200_Join the movement! Closer Walk 2018(c) https://closerwalk2018.wordpress.com
  • 366 Glimpses of God: Getting to Know the God Who Knows You.
  • Start every day of your new year with one of these thoughtful devotional readings that will focus your attention on our amazing heavenly Father.

http://www.hsbn.tv/_store.html#!/366-Glimpses-of-God-Getting-to-Know-the-God-Who-Knows-You/p/77442498/category=15564996

  • Pick up a copies of Sharon’s books for yourself and as gifts for your family members and friends!

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6/15/17: Think It, Say It, Do It

•June 15, 2017 • 1 Comment

Generally speaking, thoughts come before words, and words come before actions. What I think about, I end up talking about, and then eventually I carry out those thoughts and words in action. The key is to think about the right things, so I’ll say the right things, and then I’ll end up doing the right things.

Many readers of these devotions have heard someone quote the words of Scripture that say “death and life are in the power of the tongue.” Usually, the people quoting these words are talking about physical death and they are saying that the verse means you can control how long you live by the words you speak. However, that’s not the context of these words. The writer of Proverbs is here discussing the power of words as they relate to the quality of your life, not the quantity of your life. The New Century Version (NCV) of the Bible renders Proverbs 18:20-21 like this: “People will be rewarded for what they say; they will be rewarded by how they speak. What you say can mean life or death. Those who speak with care will be rewarded.”

So before we open our mouths today in any kind of pledge, promise, or plan, let’s think it through first. I would rather be rewarded than cursed for my words that lead to my actions, wouldn’t you?

 

______________________

©2017 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.

Links you won’t want to miss: 

  • Watch Sharon in two shows on The Holy Spirit Broadcasting Network: 
    • Life That Matters with Sharon Norris Elliott, and
    • A View from the Upper Room

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  • Start every day of your new year with one of these thoughtful devotional readings that will focus your attention on our amazing heavenly Father.

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  • Pick up a copies of Sharon’s books for yourself and as gifts for your family members and friends!

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6/14/17: Did What Was Right, But…

•June 14, 2017 • Leave a Comment

One of my Facebook friends asked a question: What’s your morning routine? That was easy. During the summer months when I’m off of work, upon waking, I check my phone for the day’s schedule, go to the bathroom, brush my teeth, pick up my Bible and prayer cards for the day, and head to the treadmill. While on the treadmill, I pray and read my Bible. Then I go back inside to my office and write the day’s devotion. When school is in during the rest of the year, my morning routine consists of getting up, getting ready for work, and driving 30 miles in Los Angeles traffic (can you feel my anxiety). I have to get my prayer time in with my eyes wide open and hands at 10 and 2 on the steering wheel. Bible reading comes at night, and honestly, more sporadically. Needless to say, I much prefer the summer months’ routine.

Whatever your morning ritual, you probably do it without much thought, thus the meaning of the word “routine.” Synonyms of that word are custom, habit, schedule, and practice. What we habitually do every morning may not make a big difference in the grand scheme of things, but what about some of the other routines in which we engage? If our lives were being watched, what would others have to say about our habits, customs, routines, and practices? Would our lives indicate our faith at all?

As we read through the book of Second Kings in the Old Testament, we see an unfortunate, recurring theme. Regrettably, it is said of some of the kings of Israel and Judah that they “did what was right, but…” For example, of Jehoash, it is said, “Johoash did what was right in the sight of the Lord… but the high places were not taken away; and the people still sacrificed” to foreign gods (Second Kings 12:2-3 NKJ). And of Amaziah, it is said that he “did what was right in the sight of the Lord, yet not like his father David… the high places were not take away, and the people still sacrificed and burned incense” to other gods (Second Kings 14:1-4 NKJ).

I think it’s interesting to note that although David had blatant sin in his life, we don’t read of God saying, “David did right, but…” After all the dust clears, we come away from the account of David’s life knowing that he was a man after God’s own heart and every king after him is compared to him.

I want the testimony of my life to be like David’s, don’t you? When all is said and done, I don’t want God or people to say, “Yeah, she did what was right, but…” I want the legacy of my life to be one of which grace has wiped away my faults and all that’s remembered is the cry of my heart toward God: “Sharon was a woman after God’s own heart.”

Let’s all be about the business of tearing down the high places and cutting out the sacrifices to foreign gods. Live in the grace-space that turns everything over to God and gets on with life, being about God’s business. Garner the testimony, “(Your name) did what was right. Period.

______________________

©2017 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.

Links you won’t want to miss: 

  • Watch Sharon in two shows on The Holy Spirit Broadcasting Network: 
    • Life That Matters with Sharon Norris Elliott, and
    • A View from the Upper Room

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  • 619hstwgsl-_sx331_bo1204203200_Join the movement!
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  • Start every day of your new year with one of these thoughtful devotional readings that will focus your attention on our amazing heavenly Father.

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  • Pick up a copies of Sharon’s books for yourself and as gifts for your family members and friends!

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6/10/17: No Fault in Jesus

•June 10, 2017 • Leave a Comment

On the night Jesus was arrested, He was subjected to several illegal trials. (They were illegal because trials were not supposed to be held in the middle of the night.) Anyway, the book of John points out that Pilate, for one, could not find any fault in Jesus. In other words, after Pilate questioned Jesus, he found that there was no reason to punish Him. Jesus had not done anything wrong. Pilate plainly stated, “I find no fault in Him at all” John 18:38 (NKJ). However, to appease His accusers, Pilate decided to go with a custom to release a prisoner to them because it was Passover time. I believe Pilate thought they’d ask for Jesus’ release when he offered them the worst alternative he could find, Barabbas, a notorious criminal. But no, the mob had Barabbas released and Jesus crucified.

People are still finding fault with Jesus today and are still turning to the worst alternatives as substitutes for following Him. Instead of obeying Jesus’ words, we will listen to old wives’ tales, the media’s spin, or culture’s dictates. Jesus, who is clearly identified as the word of God made flesh (see John 1:1-4 and 14), is considered old-fashioned and therefore His words are considered secondary at best, unnecessary at worst. It is easy to find folks who find fault with Jesus and manage their lives according to the dictates of some other source.

What about you? Do you find fault with anything Jesus has said? More to the point: do you find fault with who Jesus is? Jesus is God in the flesh. There are only two choices when it comes to your relationship to Jesus. Either He is Lord of all, or He is not Lord at all. Will it be Jesus or your “Barabbas”?

______________________

©2017 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.

Links you won’t want to miss: 

  • Watch Sharon in two shows on The Holy Spirit Broadcasting Network: 
    • Life That Matters with Sharon Norris Elliott, and
    • A View from the Upper Room

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  • Pick up a copies of Sharon’s books for yourself and as gifts for your family members and friends!

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6/9/17: Was Not Expecting That!

•June 9, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Sometimes we enter into a situation expecting one thing to happen, but a completely different result occurs. Those surprise endings could be either good or bad. Maybe you think everything is going just fine on your job, but then you get a review by your boss and an evaluation that’s less than favorable. Bad ending. Or perhaps you were just about to feel sorry for yourself for having to spend your birthday alone, but then 20 of your pals burst in with a surprise cake. Good ending.

I think Judas and the detachment of troops he gathered to arrest Jesus received one of those unexpected surprises when they rolled up on Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. John relates more details about the event than do Matthew, Mark, and Luke, as John tells of the reaction of the arresting horde. Let’s take up the story in John 18:3-6.

  • “Then Judas, having received a detachment of troops, and officers from the chief priests and              Pharisees, came there with lanterns, torches, and weapons. Jesus therefore, knowing all things that would come upon Him, went forward and said to them, ‘Whom are you seeking?’
  • They answered Him, ‘Jesus of Nazareth.’
  • Jesus said to them, ‘I am He.
  • And Judas, who betrayed Him, also stood with them. Now when He said to them, ‘I am He,’ they drew back and fell to the ground” (NKJ).

All Jesus did was identify Himself and “they drew back and fell to the ground.” What kind of “detachment of troops” was that supposed to be? First of all, these guys were armed with “lanterns, torches, and weapons,” and second, they got all geared up like that to arrest one man. Obviously, they were anticipating some kind of fight. However, what they encountered was more than they had bargained for. Just the words that identified Jesus were enough to knock them to the ground. They never had a chance to even get their weapons ready. They certainly were not expecting that.

Do we know Jesus as He really is? Are we ever knocked down by the Word – so to speak – until we indeed see Him for who He is? Do we approach God all ready with our own “lanterns, torches, and weapons,” – i.e. our own plans – only to find out that His goal for us is to simply get to know a little bit more about who He is?

Jeremiah 29:11-12 says, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen’” (NLT). And Ephesians 3:20 says that God is “able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us” (NKJ). Do we relate to God as the One who has good plans for us? Do we believe He actually does want to give us a future and a hope? Do we honestly anticipate the exceedingly-abundantly-above-all blessings that God is well able to bring into our lives? Do we know Him well enough to know what He wants? What are we expecting?

In our rush to arrest Jesus, to get Him to come with us and do what we want Him to do, let’s stop long enough to hear how He wishes to identify Himself to us. As we grow in our knowledge of who He is, we’ll deepen our understanding of what He wants us to do. And His goals for us are probably much larger and richer than anything we possibly could have been expecting.

______________________

©2017 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.

Links you won’t want to miss: 

  • Watch Sharon in two shows on The Holy Spirit Broadcasting Network: 
    • Life That Matters with Sharon Norris Elliott, and
    • A View from the Upper Room

from any internet-connected device at www.HSBN.tv

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  • 619hstwgsl-_sx331_bo1204203200_Join the movement!
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  • Start every day of your new year with one of these thoughtful devotional readings that will focus your attention on our amazing heavenly Father.

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  • Pick up a copies of Sharon’s books for yourself and as gifts for your family members and friends!

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5/25/17: God’s Publishing Efforts

•May 25, 2017 • 1 Comment

All authors have one ultimate goal in mind – to be published. After all, that’s why we are writing. We actually think other people want to know, and indeed need to hear, what we have to say. We attend writers’ retreats to get tuned in to God’s voice, and we pack ourselves off to writers’ conferences with proposals in hand, seeking the appropriate publisher (or at least a willing one) for our words. We’re concerned about things like capturing our voice on the page, writing tight, weaving humor into serious subjects, and showing not telling. Then once we release our work to the world, we turn our attention to marketing and getting the word out there about our books so people can get the message in their hands and hearts. We pray they understand the takeaway – the main point we are trying to convey.

As an author Himself, God is concerned about these very same things. He was the Ghostwriter for the best-seller of all times, but the published works He continues to produce – those with His personal name on the cover – tend to need more of His hands-on marketing efforts. Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (NKJ). That word “workmanship” is poiema in Greek and it literally means “a product, fabric, and thing that is made.” It’s the word from which we get our English word “poem.” In other words, we are literally God’s poem which He is trying to publish and market.

When God reads back over His poem that is you today, has He captured His voice on the page? Can He see that He’s written a tight, easy-to-comprehend message? Does His joy burst through even in these serious times? Has He accomplished the show-don’t-tell goal in you because you are living what He has penned in your heart?

As the personally authored work of His hands, what’s the takeaway people remember when they read you?

______________________

©2017 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.

Links you won’t want to miss: 

  • Watch Sharon in two shows on The Holy Spirit Broadcasting Network: 
    • Life That Matters with Sharon Norris Elliott, and
    • A View from the Upper Room

from any internet-connected device at www.HSBN.tv

(Stream current show or view past episodes anytime!)

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  • 619hstwgsl-_sx331_bo1204203200_Join the movement!
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  • Start every day of your new year with one of these thoughtful devotional readings that will focus your attention on our amazing heavenly Father.

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  • Pick up a copies of Sharon’s books for yourself and as gifts for your family members and friends!

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