7/11/16: Useless Things

Unknown-2NOTE: Please remember to send your gift to support the upcoming Africa missions trip! Thanks! See below for details about giving. Now for today’s devotion…


Upon witnessing the healing of a lame man, the surrounding crowd at Lystra were so astonished that they proclaimed of Paul and Barnabas, “The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!” Acts 14:11 (NKJ). The people then did what they were accustomed to doing, they proceeded to grant god-status to the apostles (“And Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul, Hermes, because he was the chief speaker” Acts 14:12), and then they made preparations to offer sacrifices to the new gods they had found (see verse 13).

When Paul and Barnabas got wind of what the priest of Zeus was getting ready to do with the people, they immediately moved to stop them. Acts 14:14-15 tells us, “But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard this, they tore their clothes and ran in among the multitude, crying out and saying, ‘Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men with the same nature as you, and preach to you that you should turn from these useless things to the living God, who made the heaven, the earth, the sea, and all things that are in them’” (NKJ).

imagesThe Greek word used here for ‘useless things’ is “mataios” which means empty, profitless, or (specifically) an idol. Different Bible versions translate this Greek word with various English words in this verse. The King James says “vanities,” the NIV uses “worthless things,” the New American Standard says, “vain things,” and The Message gets right down to basics and says “silly god-superstitions.” Any Bible translation you read, the meaning is exactly the same and is clear: the apostles needed the crowd to understand that their dedication to their idol gods was futile, hopeless, ineffectual, and worthless.

How does this apply to us today? We need only a tiny distraction to get our attention off of God as our Source. Let us see something that seems to work – a get rich quick scheme; a new love interest; a too-good-to-be-true, get-in-on-the-ground-floor business opportunity; a quickie debt settlement plot; a supposed miracle drug or cure – you name it, we’re off after it. We name it our god and then we turn to sacrificing our time and money to it.

Today, let’s drop the useless things and follow the admonition of Hebrews 12:1-2, “…let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith…” Stop making gods of what seems to satisfy and let God be the Need-supplier He is so capable of being.


Unknown-2I’m going to Africa! Mission Trip Update! ZAMBIA AND UGANDA, here I come! Preparations are in full swing. I started getting the necessary vaccinations for the trip. All that medication is really expensive. Please sow a financial donation into my upcoming mission trip. Thank you in advance! Click this link:  https://sanewriter.wordpress.com/2016/03/31/33116-special-requestto go to the full request with instructions on how to give toward this amazing ministry opportunity! You can give three ways:

  1. Via Paypal through my ministry website: http://www.lifethatmatters.net (Click “Donate”)
  2. By check sent to my post office box: P.O. Box 1519, Inglewood, CA 90308


©2016 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!)


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

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Boomerangs Videolink: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2JH_gbinMk


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~ by sanewriter on July 11, 2016.

One Response to “7/11/16: Useless Things”

  1. Skeletons in our closets, ready to go outside.

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