2/4/17: Living the Best Life We Can Live

•February 4, 2017 • 1 Comment

unknown-1One of most famous lists in the world was originally written by the finger of God. The Ten Commandments are first unveiled to us in the book of Exodus. We read that they were given to Moses up on Mount Sinai. Exodus 31:18 says, “And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God” (KJV). And then later in the book, Exodus 32:15 -16 says, “And Moses turned, and went down from the mount, and the two tables of the testimony were in his hand: the tables were written on both their sides; on the one side and on the other were they written. And the tables were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, graven upon the tables” (KJV).

God trusted men to be His secretaries (of sorts) to write down His words in all the rest of the Bible, so how important must this list have been for God to write it Himself? He really wanted us to know His will so He made these commandments quite plain. From Exodus chapter 20, let’s review:

  1. You must not have any other god but me.
  2. You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. You must not bow down to them or worship them…
  3. You must not misuse the name of the LORD your God. The LORD will not let you go unpunished if you misuse his name.
  4. Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
  5. Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the LORD your God is giving you.
  6. You must not murder.
  7. You must not commit adultery.
  8. You must not steal.
  9. You must not testify falsely against your neighbor.
  10. You must not covet your neighbor’s house. You must not covet your neighbor’s wife, male or female servant, ox or donkey, or anything else that belongs to your neighbor.” (NLT)

Years later, during Jesus’ life, He broke these ten down to two: love God – imagesCommandments 1-4 – and love your neighbor – Commandments 5-10. (See Matthew 22:37-40.) What a blessing to know that God cared enough about us to let us know exactly how to please Him. And when we please Him, that’s living the best life we can live.

___________________________

©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.

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1/23/17: Lip Service vs. Body Service: Make Up Your Mind

•January 23, 2017 • 3 Comments

images-4During the divided kingdom era in the Old Testament, Ahab was an extremely wicked king of Israel. In fact, the Bible says, “Ahab… did evil in the sight of the LORD, more than all who were before him. And it came to pass, as though it had been a trivial thing… he took as wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal, king of the Sidonians; and he went and served Baal and worshiped him. Then he set up an altar for Baal in thetempleofBaal, which he had built inSamaria. And Ahab made a wooden image. Ahab did more to provoke the LORD God ofIsraelto anger than all the kings of Israel who were before him” I King 16:30-33 (NKJ).

God got sick of Ahab, Jezebel, and all their shenanigans, especially after Jezebel massacred the images-2prophets of God she could find (see I Kings 18:4). Moreover, He was disgusted that the populace – the children of Israel– went right along with their wicked royal leaders, giving lip service to loving God, but giving body service to Baal, the false god, through their worship of the images. So God sent the prophet Elijah to Ahab for a contest up on Mount Carmel to settle the question, “Who really is God?” Once everyone was gathered, Elijah spoke these words, “How long will you falter between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him” I King 18:21(NKJ).

The Hebrew word (pacach) translated “falter” in this verse is translated as “waver” in the NIV and NLT, “hesitate” in the NASB, “not decide” in the NCV, and “sit on the fence” in The Message. Pacach literally means “to hop, to limp, and to dance.” The picture is drawn of a person indecisively jumping back and forth so as not to fully commit to either side.

Well, what happened after Elijah asked his question? The rest of I Kings 18 details one of the most images-3exciting incidents in the Bible as God humiliated the prophets of Baal and left no shadow of a doubt about who He is – the true and living God.

My question for you is this: what is it going to take to get you to stop straddling between two opinions? What has God said that you just won’t believe and obey? In what areas of your life are you faltering, wavering, hesitating, not deciding, sitting on the fence, and hopping back and forth? Make up your mind. Stop giving lip service to loving God while your body service is attached to your Baal. As the prophet said, “If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” Just remember, to keep hopping is to have made a choice – you’ve chosen Baal, and by doing so, you’ve chosen the corresponding consequences. imgresThink it through.

___________________________

©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.

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1/18/17: Rest

•January 18, 2017 • 2 Comments

images-2I love it when I have a day off of work. I love it even more when that day off of work does not include work I have to do before I return to work the next day. In other words, it’s an absolute joy when I can simply rest.

We don’t get enough rest. We’re all busily running around, trying to either keep up, or catch up, or make up, or get ahead. Perhaps this makes us legitimately a part of the human “race.” We forget that even God put a premium on rest. After all the work of creation was finished, “on the seventh day God ended His work… and He rested… and sanctified [the seventh day], because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made” (Genesis 2:1-3 NKJ).

Jesus followed up with this “rest” theme when people were trying to figure out exactly who He was. As He images-1traveled teaching and preaching throughout the disciples’ cities early in His ministry (see Matthew 11:1), He identified Himself saying that “all things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father” (Matthew 11:27). He goes on to attach this knowledge of the Father to the idea of rest. He says, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). What do we find when we go to Jesus? We find God. And when we find God, we find rest.

imagesI think my day of rest will consist of eating something I really enjoy, watching some home decor TV shows, rearranging my sock drawer, and maybe even taking a nap. I’ll be in better shape for the Kingdom work I need to do tomorrow. What will you do to rest? Let’s bask more often in the physical refreshment to be experienced as we walk through this life resting with God the Father, thanks to God the Son, and in the power of God the Holy Spirit.

___________________________

©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: 

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1/17/16: Accurate Information

•January 17, 2017 • 1 Comment

unknown          I had an opportunity to speak with members of a women’s book club regarding my book Power Suit: The Armor of God Fit for the Feminine Frame. After a lovely lunch and some small talk, we got down to the business at hand of discussing the book. I answered the opening question about my initial inspiration to write the book, and then one of the women asked me about some points I had made in one of the chapters. As I prefaced each of my comments with, “Well, the Bible says…,” I noticed that several of the women were not only quiet, but seemed a bit distant. Soon the reason was disclosed.

         Very politely, one of the women said, “I don’t want to offend you, but I stopped reading the book at page 42.” You see, page 42 lays out the Gospel truth that all religions do not lead to the same God. The book states:

  • No matter what name is on the marquee, churches that teach the fundamental truths of the Bible, acknowledging first and foremost the deity of Jesus Christ, are leading their parishioners to the God of Christianity. However, any religion not willing to assert that Jesus Christ is God – and the coming to Him in faith for eternal life – is not leading its followers to the same God we serve.

A discussion ensued about the veracity of the Bible, the identity of the person of Jesus Christ, and the existence of absolute truth. The question was asked, “How can you say that this viewpoint is “right” and all other religions in the world are “wrong”?

Again, I pointed to Jesus’ own words. I answered, “In John 14:6, Jesus Christ Himself asserted, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’ By saying this, either Jesus is lying, He’s a lunatic, or He actually is the Lord stating the truth about Himself. And we are responsible regarding what we do with that truth.”

That comment forced the next retort. “How can you judge everyone in the world like that?”

My heart was racing now because I realized I was literally on the battlefield for which my book instructed me to suit up. I relished the conversation because I knew that in the armor, I could confidently wield the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, and know that each strike would make its point.

My answer was that there’s a difference between “judgment” and “stating a fact.” I could confidently and unapologetically say that Jesus Christ is the only way to God because that is a fact stated in the Bible. If we believe the Bible to be true, we have to believe all of it. We can’t pick and choose the parts we like – the parts that hold no consequence – and toss out the parts that make us uncomfortable or require us to change. By stating what the Bible says, I am not judging. If people feel judged or criticized, it’s God’s word that’s doing the judging.

People probably will be defensive at first when they hear the truth of the Gospel clearly proclaimed. John 3:19-20 says, “And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed” (NKJ). However, don’t be scared to share the truth of the Word of God, but do so gently and lovingly. Peter instructs us to have Christ so set apart in our hearts that at any and every moment we should “always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks [us] to give the reason for the hope that [we] have. But do this with gentleness and respect” First Peter3:15(NIV).

Eternity hangs in the balance. Give out accurate information about God.

___________________________

©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: 

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Get to Know God Better in 2017!

•January 16, 2017 • Leave a Comment
  • 619hstwgsl-_sx331_bo1204203200_Friends, Thank you for all your birthday wishes. Sixty – yes 60 – is starting off strong. Let’s give each other a birthday gift. Your gift to me will be to purchase my new book, 366 Glimpses of God: Getting to Know the God Who Knows You. My gift to you is the journey you’ll take getting to know God better while reading each devotion every day this year.
It only takes the sale of 10,000 books to crown a Christian book as a “best seller.” Please help me move 366 Glimpses into that category. Perhaps you’re a family member or a personal friend. Maybe you heard me speak, teach, or preach; or you were one of my former students. However it happened, our paths crossed positively at some time in life. Starting with the 400 of you who sent me a birthday wish, here’s how the numbers look:
1. Each of you please purchase 2 copies – one for yourself and one for your pastor, women’s ministry leader, or men’s ministry leader. That’s 800 books.
2. Then please request for those ministry leaders to purchase books, either for their whole congregation, for their women’s group, or for their men’s group. If each church would purchase just 25 books, the goal would be more than met!
Click the link below from http://www.hsbn.tv, or paste it in to order!
Join the movement and get to know God better this year!

___________________________

 

Links you won’t want to miss: 

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1/8/17: Words We Can Know For Sure

•January 8, 2017 • 2 Comments
  • 619hstwgsl-_sx331_bo1204203200_You love “A Heart for the Word’s” devotionals, now get Sharon’s newest book,                366 Glimpses of God: Getting to Know the God Who Knows You.
  • Join the movement! 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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Now for today’s devotional blog entry:

imgresA popular talk show host began using the phrase, “One thing I know for sure.” Whenever this statement was uttered, it would be followed by the host’s declarations of the wisdom she had learned over the years of her life. Millions of viewers hung on her comments, taking them into their lives as words to live by.

Well, as those viewers soak in their favorite TV personality’s thoughts, we can be glad that our God has given us a book full of something we can know for sure. Mark13:31says, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.” (NKJ)

Yes, everything in God’s word we can know for sure. Among other things are these amazing gems of truth:

  • For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John3:16(NKJ)
  • But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8 (NKJ)
  • Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved. Acts4:12(NIV)
  • That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. Romans 10:9-10 (NIV)
  • Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Amen. Revelation 1:7 (NIV)

You’ve just read a very condensed version of the Gospel (the Good News) of God in Jesus Christ. These are indeed words you can know and count on for sure. If you’ve never done so, confess Christ as Lord of your life right now! If you have, forward this devotion to someone who perhaps has never read this message so succinctly. We can keep this devotion circulating around the world! Feel free to comment on the blog when you confess Christ as Lord, rededicate your life to Him, or use this to share God’s good news with your friends!

___________________________

©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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1/7/17: Here’s How to Live Out Your Faith

•January 7, 2017 • Leave a Comment
  • 619hstwgsl-_sx331_bo1204203200_You love “A Heart for the Word’s” devotionals, now get Sharon’s newest book,                366 Glimpses of God: Getting to Know the God Who Knows You.
  • Join the movement! 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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Now for today’s devotional blog entry:

imgresI have heard people say, “I just don’t know how to be a good Christian. What am I supposed to be doing? I wish God would just tell me.” Well, if you’ve ever thought or uttered a sentiment like this, today’s you’re lucky day. I’ve come across God’s answer for you. He has spoken to both young and old, and has laid out plainly what you’re to do so you can’t miss it. Are you ready? Here goes.

Older men are to be:

  • Sober
  • Reverent
  • Temperate
  • Sound in faith, in love, in patience;

Older women are to be:

  • Reverent in behavior
  • Not slanderers
  • Not given to much wine
  • Teachers of good things
  • Admonishers to the young women

Young women are to:

  • Love their husbands
  • Love their children
  • Be discreet
  • Be chaste
  • Be homemakers
  • Be good
  • Be obedient to their own husbands (that the word of God may not be blasphemed)

Young men are to be:

  • Sober-minded
  • In all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works
  • In doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, and sound speech that cannot be condemned (that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you)

Employees are to be:

  • Obedient to their own masters
  • Well pleasing in all things
  • Not answering back
  • Not pilfering
  • Showing all good fidelity (that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things)

Don’t take my word for this list. You’ll find this list in Titus 2:2-10 (NKJ). Once we finish getting ourselves lined up with this list, I don’t think we’ll be running back to God wondering about what He would have us to do. We’ll be doing it.

___________________________

©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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    • 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.

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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