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

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

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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

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

(Stream current show or view past episodes anytime!)

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  • 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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6/9/17: 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

(Stream current show or view past episodes anytime!)

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  • 619hstwgsl-_sx331_bo1204203200_Join the movement!
  • 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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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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Boomerangs Videolink: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2JH_gbinMk

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5/24/17: Passing the Baton

•May 24, 2017 • 1 Comment

I spoke at a women’s conference this past weekend and the theme of the day was “Passing the Baton to the Next Generation.” A theme like this inevitably makes me introspective. I thought about how one of my main parenting goals was for my children to have a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. I didn’t want them just to go to church because I went to church and made them go. I wanted them to really know God and really love God for themselves. It was important to me that they knew for sure that God created the world and He created them and He had a plan for their lives. I longed for them to appreciate all Jesus had done by dying on the cross for the remission of their sins. They needed to understand that prayer was effective, praise was wonderful, and giving was necessary. I wanted them to grasp the fact that God loved them and serving Him with their whole heart was a joy and the least they could do.

I believe most Christian parents would have these same kinds of spiritual goals for their children. We all want to pass on the baton of our faith. When they are small, kids have to do what we say, they look cute in their “Sunday” clothes, and will dutifully say their prayers. They participate whole-heartedly in Sunday School, youth group, camps, conferences, shut-ins, and choir. The church is a friendly, comfortable, welcoming place for them and the friends they’ve had since birth.

But then they grow up, and lots of times, grown children disappoint us in the choices they make – especially when it comes to spiritual things. They may stop going to church and get in with a crowd of friends who don’t honor God. Their lifestyle choices are such that we can clearly see them heading for a fall. But they’re grown; the best we can do (and it is the best we can do) is pray for them. We cling on for dear life to Proverb 22:6 which says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it” (NKJ) even though we’re aware that these Proverbs are wise sayings, not guarantees.

However, I ran across a great couple of verses this morning in Psalm 22:30-31 that gave me comfort and hope for the next generation. The New Living Translation (NLT) says, “Our children will also serve him. Future generations will hear about the wonders of the Lord. His righteous acts will be told to those not yet born. They will hear about everything he has done.”  The Message (MSG) paraphrase says it this way, “Our children and their children will get in on this as the word is passed along from parent to child. Babies not yet conceived will hear the good news—that God does what he says.”

As parents, let’s not despair of our adult children. As we keep passing the Word along to them—both by what we say and how they see us live—they’ll catch it. Future generations (including our adorable grandbabies) will hear of the wonders of the Lord from our children. Hallelujah!

______________________

©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.

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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5/16/17: Touch Technology

•May 16, 2017 • 3 Comments

Cell phones, computerized copy machines, microwave ovens, global positioning system devices, even automatic teller machines – many gadgets are made with touch screens. No longer is there a need to push buttons; now just touch the magic screen in the right places, and the device does your bidding.

Well, I’m here to tell you that touch technology is nothing new. Jesus introduced touch technology long before the computer was ever even invented. In Luke chapter 8, we read of a woman who had been ill with a bleeding disorder for 12 years. She slipped into the crowd one day as Jesus was passing by and “touched the border of His garment, and immediately her flow of blood stopped” Luke 8:44 (NKJ). Later in that same chapter, Jesus arrived at Jairus’ house where the man’s little 12-year-old daughter had just died. Jesus touched the little girl by taking her by the hand. He then “called, saying, ‘Little girl, arise.’ Then her spirit returned, and she arose immediately” Luke 8:54 (NKJ).

Notice something about the touch technology of Jesus: when the woman touched Him and when He touched the little girl, the results were immediate. The woman’s blood flow ceased right then. The little girl came back to life instantly. Not only were the results immediate, they were also astonishing. A twelve-year disease that had stumped the medical community was simply gone; a dead twelve-year-old girl lived again.

You might think a touch screen is cool, but I dare you to experience Jesus’ touch. The Greek word for touch (haptomai) means ‘to attach oneself to.’ Reach out and touch Jesus or be still and let Him touch you. It doesn’t matter which way the touch flows; the difference will be immediate and astonishing.

______________________

©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!
  • 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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5/15/17:Momentary Anger

•May 15, 2017 • 2 Comments

I received few spankings that I can remember (trust me, the ones I received were memorable), but my mother was good at doling out punishments. The minute the transgression was discovered, she’d slap a week of being grounded, or worse yet, of restriction from using the telephone. I would much rather have received the lecture and then the spanking so I could be finished with the whole sordid situation and get on with living life. But no, those punishments always lasted the full length of the sentence—there was no whining, plea bargaining, or best behavior ploy that could get me out of it any sooner.

The strange thing was that Mom didn’t stay mad at me. More than anything else, I had hurt her heart. Even so, throughout the lockdown or lock out, Mom continued being her regular self. She wasn’t rolling her eyes at me every time she looked my way or our paths crossed in the house. She didn’t even continue to remind me of my sin. We even laughed and joked and basically responded to each other normally although I was under lock and key. I didn’t enjoy the restrictions, but I accepted them because I knew I was guilty, and because I knew my mother and her rules deserved more respect than I had given them. When the disciplinary period ended, my privileges were reinstated. I was happy because of the receipt of my freedom, but the true joy came because of the full restoration of our relationship.

Psalm 30:5 says, “For His anger is but for a moment, his favor is for life; weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning” (NKJ). The Hebrew word for “anger” used in this verse (‘aph) contains the idea of forbearance or long-suffering, and carries the picture of a person breathing rapidly through the nose as one who would be doing his best to hold back from striking out. God can snuff us out because of our sin, but His anger is “but for a moment.” The disciplinary punishments will still prevail in our lives, but even as we go through them, His love for us won’t change. We’ll understand a little more about what our disobedience does to His heart, accept our guilt and His forgiveness, and recognize again that both He and His rules deserve more respect than we had given them. When our privileges are restored, we’ll have gained our freedom, but more so, we’ll experience the joy of the full restoration of our relationship with our ever-loving Heavenly Father.

______________________

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

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Sharon’s other books still available:

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