2/8/18: Do You Know What the Devil Knows?

•February 8, 2018 • Leave a Comment

It’s always a good idea to know what your enemy knows. One of the main strategies of competitive sports teams is to study game tapes of the other team. In basketball, for example, on game day, the Team A’s players take the court knowing that Team B depends upon the three-point shot of one of their guards. Team A also realizes that if they can take Team B’s center to his left, they take him away from his strong side. Team A can win the game by challenging the strengths and exploiting weaknesses of Team B. But here’s the caveat: Team B knows that Team A has watched their tapes, so if Team B knows themselves, they can thwart Team A’s efforts.

Our enemy knows some things. He’s been “watching our tapes” and knows our strengths and weaknesses. 1 Peter 5:8 says, “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour” (NLT). But here’s the great news. We know what the devil knows, so we should be fortified to use what he knows against him.

And exactly what does the devil know? The devil is not omniscient like God is so he only knows what he’s been studying of humankind for centuries. That’s a lot, but that’s not what we need to concern ourselves about. The main thing we need to remember is that the devil knows who Jesus Christ is. Time and time again, when Jesus came near a person possessed by a demon, the demon would identify Jesus. It happened twice in Luke chapter 4 alone. Luke 4:33-34 says, “Now in the synagogue there was a man who had a spirit of an unclean demon. And he cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!” and Luke 4:41 says, “And demons also came out of many, crying out and saying, “You are the Christ, the Son of God!”

All we have to be concerned about is the fact that the demons know Jesus because when we identify with Christ, our lives are hidden with Christ in God (see Colossians 3:3).

So the question is: do you know at least as much as the demons know? Do you know who Jesus is and do you know to hide in Him when the enemy attacks? Jesus did a slam dunk on the devil to win the game at Calvary and the Resurrection. Always remember that you are on the winning team.

 

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©2018 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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    • A View from the Upper Room

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

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

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2/7/18: Be on the Winning Side

•February 7, 2018 • Leave a Comment

When David had to go on the run from King Saul, the first people who rallied to his support were his family members. The next folks were not necessarily the folks David would have chosen as followers. I Samuel 22:1-2 says, “David therefore departed from there and escaped to the cave of Adullam. So when his brothers and all his father’s house heard it, they went down there to him. And everyone who was in distress, everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented gathered to him. So he became captain over them. And there were about four hundred men with him” (NKJ).

If it’s true that birds of a feature flock together, this ragtag band of followers doesn’t seem to speak too well of David. Look who decided to band with him: those in distress, those in debt, and those who were discontented. Man, what a bunch of complainers!

However, maybe the bird saying is the wrong way to look at it. Perhaps a better cliché would be “it takes one to know one.” Maybe these distressed, discontented debtors felt an affinity with David, knowing he too was distressed and definitely discontented. They also realized David had favor with God and was positioned to be the next king. If we look back a few verses, we see what people were saying about David. “Is this not David the king of the land? Did they not sing of him to one another in dances saying, ‘Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands’?” I Samuel 21:11 (NKJ)

At times, we may find ourselves in distress, in debt, or in discontent. We cannot, however, allow these problems to cloud our outlook. It’s still important to pay attention to whom we should follow. We are to keep ourselves connected to the King. That’s the only sure way to be sure we’re on the winning side.

________________________

©2018 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
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http://www.hsbn.tv/_store.html#!/366-Glimpses-of-God-Getting-to-Know-the-God-Who-Knows-You/p/77442498/category=15564996

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

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2/6/18: Win the Debate with the Culture

•February 6, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Discussion and debate can be a good thing; however, there does come a time to bring a discussion to an end, a debate to a conclusion. Even in an academic debate competition, one side wins and one side loses.

According to “How to Win a Formal Debate or Academic Dispute” by Nicholas Morine (www.suite101.com), a winning debater is able to:

“… defend your side with intelligence, wit, and flair. (A winning debate consists of) a very logical and compelling opening statement. A good closing statement not only seeks to initially weaken the argument of your opponent via your strongest criticism of their performance – but ends with a slightly modified reiteration of your primary points… (and) a consummate debater will almost invariably lend credence to the maxim that the best defense is a strong offense (through the ) deconstruction of your opponents argument. Debate is not always simply an academic and cerebral exercise but also an examination of the human condition and the myriad issues and questions that accompany our existence.”

In Acts chapter 17, we find Paul in Athens and “his spirit was provoked within him when he saw that the city was given over to idols” (verse 16, NKJ). So while in the marketplace one day, some philosophers encountered him and decided they wanted to hear what he had to say. This was not unusual because “… all the Athenians and the foreigners who were there spent their time in nothing else but either to tell or to hear some new thing” Acts 17:21 (NKJ).

As if in a formal academic debate, Paul defended the truth of the gospel with intelligence, wit, and flair.

  • Paul’s opening was logical and compelling: “Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious; for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you” Acts 17:22-23.
  • He deconstructs their continuous debating habits and search for new things by making clear the real God. There is no more need to search and debate. “God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things. And He has made from one blood every nation of men… so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him…” Acts 17:24-27.
  • Then his closing statement ends with a slightly modified reiteration of his primary points and examines the human condition. “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead” Acts 17:30-31.

When confronting our present society, we must do nothing less than Paul did in Athens. As truth merchants and defenders of the faith, it is our duty to deal head on with our present “times of ignorance,” and put a period on the end of the debate about who the real God is. Yes, engage the culture. Start with what it understands, and then proclaim the One it does not understand: God, in the person of Jesus Christ.

________________________

©2018 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  and on HSBN’s You Tube channel.

(Stream current show or view past episodes anytime!)

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

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2/5/18: Football is Like Life

•February 5, 2018 • Leave a Comment

In the aftermath of the Super Bowl, whether your team won or lost, I thought it might be a good idea to post a run of devotions about winning as believers. Spoiler: We win because God wins!

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My favorite sports season has now come to and end for this year. I love football and even though my favorite team, the New Orleans Saints, didn’t make it to the Super Bowl this year, I enjoyed the season. (No, I don’t live in New Orleans, but as a Christian, shouldn’t the Saints be my favorite team?) Thousands of football fans spend millions of dollars traveling to games, buying tickets, and purchasing sports apparel, all for the love of the game and a chance to vicariously participate in what will hopefully be a winning season for their favorite team.

The goal of every game is to move forward, and I believe we love football so much because it stands as a metaphor for life. We long to get ahead, no matter what obstacles may stand in our way. We all love progress and success; however, the Bible, not the Saints’ playbook, gives us the ultimate answer to the question of how to move forward. Hebrews 10:36 – 11:1 states, “For you have need of endurance (patience), so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise: ‘For yet a little while, and He who is coming will come and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith; but if anyone draws back, my soul has no pleasure in him.’  But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul. Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (NKJ).

Let’s use the game of football as an analogy. First, know how to get to the line of scrimmage, because we will be unable to move forward until we are there. For the believer, the line of scrimmage is where we receive the ball, which is the promise God has for us. Once in possession of God’s promise, our job is to keep moving forward. If we are impatient, we’ll jump off-sides, misread the play, or ignore the quarterback, and fumble. But if we are patient enough to do the will of God first—obeying the plays the Coach (God) has taught us, listening to the specifics detailed by the Quarterback (Jesus), and trusting the Blocker (the Holy Spirit) leading the way—God’s promise will be handed to us. Then it’s our obligation to the whole team to run with what God has given. Then we can move forward. Don’t “draw back.” If we hesitate, we’re liable to be tackled by the enemy. We must just keep our legs moving and faithfully stretch for the goals we are hoping to reach.

Get in the game of life and move forward by patiently doing the will of God. Worship God today as the Play-caller in your life.

________________________

©2018 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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(Stream current show or view past episodes anytime!)

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

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2/4/18: Time to Party!

•February 4, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Webster’s New Word Dictionary defines a party as “any group of persons acting together.” A party could be for the reason of accomplishing a task, being sent out on a mission, or meeting socially for amusement, entertainment, or recreation. One thing’s for sure: we generally enjoy getting together for a party. When we hear the right people say, “Let’s party,” we perk up, pick up our keys, grab our potluck dish, and joyfully head out expecting to have a great time.

Psalm 122:1 reflects the excited feeling we get as we look forward to attending a party. “I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go into the house of the LORD’” (NKJ). What? You didn’t expect for there to be a party at church? Isn’t a party a “group of persons acting together”? At church, we are acting together as we worship our wonderful Lord. Isn’t it a party when we’re together to accomplish a task, to be sent on a mission, and to get together socially? At church, we are encouraged and trained to accomplish the task of fulfilling the Great Commission (see Matthew 28:18-20); we’re fortified to live out our purpose or mission; and we enjoy the fellowship of other believers.

Perhaps we are not glad about going to church because we haven’t understood it as the party it’s supposed to be. Maybe we’ve looked at church as a place to go to just suck out what we need, rather than a place to go to contribute to the needs of others – to “act together.” Maybe we aren’t glad to attend church because we’re waiting for everyone else to crank up the excitement. Or we may not be happy about attending church because we have a problem with the other people who will be there. Excuses.

A party is what we make it; our church is what we make it. Many church congregations nowadays get together for many other reasons besides church service. In addition to the usual fellowship groups of men, women, singles, and married couples, congregations get together to celebrate birthdays, exercise, scrapbook, and even to have a fun potluck as folks enjoy a friendly rivalry over the Super Bowl. Hebrews 10:24-25 says, “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching” (NKJ). Church is a party of believers, acting together to encourage one another in this life, spurring one another on toward love and good works. Forget all those lame excuses and focus on the reason for the gathering. Go to church. Let’s party!

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©2018 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 copies of Sharon’s books for yourself and as gifts for your family members and friends!

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1/12/18: How to Beat a Hacker

•January 12, 2018 • Leave a Comment

My personal email address was hacked. People received an email message from me that asked them to send money in order to keep my HSBN.tv show on the air. Sure, I could always absolutely use money to keep the ministry rolling, but I didn’t send that request. If anyone sent money to the return email connected with that request, it would have gone to a totally different site than my own, and the money would have been collected by the hacker – a thief.

Thankfully, my email connections know me. People started contacting me, all of them realizing that I didn’t send the request. First of all, there were misspellings in the message. I am an author, an editor, and an 34+ year English teacher. My friends know how picky I am about correct syntax. In addition, the tone of the request just didn’t sound anything like me. The bottom line is this: those who read my devotions and other email messages regularly “hear” my voice in my writing. So even though the hacker had my email address and had even copied the “signature” at the bottom of the page, there was a letter off here and there. My friends and connections knew the message was not from me. Their knowledge and familiarity with me beat the hacker.

Do we know Jesus that intimately? When false Christs rear their heads with bogus messages, do our ears perk up and cause us to pay a thief, or are we able to dismiss a hack because we know Christ’s voice so very well? Fake news – a counterfeit – may look pretty good, but it will always be one letter off here or there. John 10:27 says, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” Our close familiarity with and intimate knowledge of Jesus will beat Satan, the ultimate hacker, every time.

________________________

©2018 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! 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 copies of Sharon’s books for yourself and as gifts for your family members and friends!

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1/6/18: What Have You Done?

•January 6, 2018 • Leave a Comment

What have you done? This is a question I’ve asked wide-eyed and with an elevated tone of voice when I’ve been shocked by some phenomenally ridiculous negative action someone has taken. God asked the same question for the same reason to both Eve and Cain. After Adam threw Eve under the bus for tempting him to sin, God asked her, “What is this you have done?” (See Genesis 3:13 NKJ.) Then just one chapter later, Cain got cheeky with God when asked about his brother’s location. Cain knew he had murdered his brother but snidely retorted, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” God came back with, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood cries out to Me from the ground” Genesis 4:9-10 (NKJ).

It’s time to ‘fess up. What have you done? What have you not confessed that you should be honest with God about? Until we face our issues, we cannot allow God to forgive and fix them. Man up or woman up and be ready for the consequences, but know that even with the possible and probable punishment will come the open door to move forward. Cain’s family went on to do great things, and Eve was granted another son (Seth) through which to continue the line of humankind.

So here at the beginning of the year, let’s do some personal soul searching. What have we done? It’s time to be up front with God. “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, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” Hebrews 12:1-2 (NKJ).

________________________

©2018 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!)

img-life-that-matters

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

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Boomerangs FrontCover

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

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Sharon’s other books still available:

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