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NUGGET Today's Devotional

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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Fri 03 Jun 2016, 9:33 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
June 2, 2016
How to find God's Will for Your Life

By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us  Living out of God's will will bring pain. Being in God's will will bring peace.

"I made a big mistake," my friend said. She offered to drive a friend's car to the hospital one afternoon. As she left to come home it was dark and the parking lot was full. She hit the alarm, and followed the beep.

"I got in the car," she said. "I adjusted the seat, the mirrors, but the ignition key wouldn't turn. I tried and tried."

Moments later, she opened the door quickly and slipped out in seconds. She realized she was in the wrong car.

I almost laughed, until I realized that in the vehicle of life, we all make that mistake at one time or another. God said we're in this world, but we're not of this world. But do we listen? No. We try to fit where we don't belong. We adjust our life trying to make things work. We try to move forward according to our will and whims. Frustration visits often, and discouragement settles in.

That's because we still try to conform to this world's pattern. We work to pay bills. We buy things to look good. We dream big to soar high. We reach goals to feel proud.

But no matter how we try, we get nowhere because the ignition key just won't turn. We're stuck. Until we discover that seeking God's will is the key. And with that key then life turns. The ride is secure. Priorities change. The view improves, and the destination is sweet.

That's why God, the manufacturer of our destiny gave us the map to follow: "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will." (Romans 12:2)

Father, I confess, I've been a fool reluctant to transform my mind and relentless in conforming to the world's ways. But thank you for your grace that gives us another chance. And with a transformed mind, life has meaning, our journey holds purpose, and our dreams have significance. Thank you for giving us the wisdom to be transformed in mind and heart. In Jesus's name, amen.

* How has your life been going?

* Are you driving down the road of life lined with purpose and meaning?

* How will you find God's Will for your life?

Janet Perez Eckles
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Wed 01 Jun 2016, 1:20 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

May 31, 2016
Our Father in Heaven, Hallowed be Your Name

By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us
I'm glad I grew up in a church where The Lord's Prayer in unison was repeated meaningfully. We did not rush: Even we children could keep up, conscious of the meanings as we prayed with everyone.

Jesus said, 
"when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans .... 
This is how you should pray:
'Our Father in Heaven, 
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread,
Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one'" (Matthew 6:7-13).

Now, I like to repeat The Lord's Prayer in the morning as I gaze out the window while my oatmeal porridge bubbles in the microwave.

But when I sometimes caught myself babbling meaninglessly, I had to trace back to where my mind separated itself from the meaning of the words. Then I tried something to keep my mind with the words of the prayer: I used the prayer to guide and expand meanings and related ideas for my prayers to begin the day. For instance, like this:

'Our Father in Heaven, (And, Father, you are also right here with me in your Spirit.) 

hallowed be your name, (May I hold your name holy to the extent that others will be influenced to do so too.)

your kingdom come, (Your kingdom come in all the earth -- especially we pray for the people suffering in Nepal. Send people to share you Spirit, your Word, your physical help.)

your will be done (Give me, please today, your words of assurance of your love and grace and eternity to speak to the gentleman I will visit who's dying with cancer.)

on earth as it is in heaven. (Keep me reading and obeying your Word so my words and actions will be in line with your way and will.)

Give us today our daily bread, (For your bountiful supply I praise you. Cause me to choose healthful foods -- and not too many.)

Forgive us our debts, (Those hasty words for which I must apologize.)

as we also have forgiven our debtors. (Strengthen me to forgive instantly.)

And lead us not into temptation (Save us from selfishness. Cause us to be liberal in our giving for your Kingdom's expansion.)

but deliver us from the evil one.' (Shield us from Satan's subtle wiles.) 

This way of praying will be different and new every time it is used. Enjoy it, I pray, for Jesus sake, Amen.

Isabel Alison
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Sat 28 May 2016, 11:49 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
May 28, 2016
I Lift up my Eyes...


By Answers2Prayer
  God gave me a powerful Psalm this morning. 


It wasn't the first time I had been given this text, and as I heard the familiar words playing themselves out in my mind, my thoughts went back to that day, over 40 years ago, when God first spoke to me through this Psalm...


I was in Grade 12, and as an elective, I had taken Wilderness Survival. One of the course requirements was a survival trip -- a trip into the wilderness with nothing but a basic First Aid kit, a coat, a compass, a small pot for boiling water, a firestarter kit, and some fishing line, -- and one of the requirements of the survival trip was to spend one night solo. 


And so it was that I found myself all alone, curled around a small fire built up against the face of a large rock, trying to stay warm through the very long hours of that seemingly-endless night. Needless to say, sleep didn't come. Every rustle of the breeze set my heart to beating faster, and it wasn't long before I was jumping at the tiniest sound. 


As I was attending a Christian school, our instructor had also allowed us to take a small Bible along with us, and one of the requirements of the survival trip was to memorize Ps. 121. To date, there had always something more important to do on the trip -- things like scrounging for anything edible, etc. -- and I hadn't taken the time to even look up the text; but on that long, dark and cold night, I found myself pulling out my Bible and thumbing to Ps. 121:


"I lift up my eyes to the mountains--
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip--
he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
The LORD watches over you--
the LORD is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The LORD will keep you from all harm--
he will watch over your life;
the LORD will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore." (Ps. 121 NIV)


I'm not sure if there would have been a better text for our instructor to ask us to memorize, for the words were exactly what my terrified mind needed to meditate upon. It was, perhaps, one of the first times in my life that I actually experienced the joy and peace that can come only from the presence of God. 


As the years have passed, I have experienced God many more times. Nonetheless, I am still tempted to be afraid, to become stressed, to be anxious, each and every time things don't go the way I expect them to. This morning was no different, and when God reminded me of that text, it once again had its desired effect: I don't know what today or tomorrow will bring, but I know that the God of the universe holds me in the palm of His hand, and I have absolutely nothing to fear.


As I sit here typing this devotional, however, there is one phrase that jumps out at me like never before: "I lift up my eyes..."


All these years I've read into this psalm all the wonderful protection God gives me; yet I've always missed the message of the very first line, the message that says I have to do something: I have to lift up my eyes! 


Is this why I so easily forget? Is this why the worries and stresses and fears continue to plague me day in and day out? Is it because I do not lift up my eyes?


Father God, help me to remember to "lift up my eyes" to You at ALL times! That is my responsibility, and when I do so, You are faithful to fulfill the rest of the promises: You will never leave me or forsake me; You will never slumber or sleep; You will be my shade and shelter, and no harm will come to me; You will watch over my life; and You will watch over my coming and going forever...Thank You, Father! In the mighty and powerful name of Jesus, Amen.


In His love,
Lyn


Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author -- "Aboard God's Train -- A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.
 
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Fri 27 May 2016, 8:57 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

May 26, 2016
The Mist

By Answers2Prayer 
 There was a mist this morning when I first looked out the window. A major fog had rolled in, obscuring my vision of the yard...

But wait. How could it be foggy? It was, according to the weathernetwork, -14 degrees C! Not exactly weather for the kind of fog I saw in my yard...

And then I saw it: It wasn't the yard that was foggy at all, it was my window. I had just boiled a kettle of water for my morning tea, and condensation from the steam of the kettle had built up on the window.

As I think about this, I realize that there are many things that "fog" our vision. The negative circumstances that we all go through have the power, just like the steam from my tea kettle, to "fog over" the windows of our lives, making everything seem murky and dark.

As I stood at that window this morning, I realized that all I had to do was to reach up and swipe away the condensation, and my view of my yard would be as clear as ever. 

The same is true with life's "condensation." It's true that we can't just "swipe away" the negative things from our lives; but wiping away the fog on my window this morning wouldn't have removed it either. It would have simply made a peephole that I could see through; one that would have allowed me to notice that the sun was shining, that the frost from last night's freeze was indeed, beautiful, and that my dog was enjoying herself rolling in the frozen grass. It would have allowed me to realize that God was still in charge, and He was running things quite well, despite my foggy window.

In the face of something as devastating as the circumstances that we all face daily, how can we "swipe away" the "fog" that clouds our view of life? How can we focus beyond our own negative circumstances?

Jesus said something very interesting to His disciples: "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children." (Luke 10:21) 

In other words, when our eyes are blinded, we cannot "clear away the fog;" but God, in His wisdom, reveals the hidden things to "little children."

Jesus also tells us that we need to become like "little children:" "Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." (Matt 18:3)

A little child is trusting and humble, and when we put our trust in God and Him alone, when we humble ourselves before Him in submission to His wisdom, knowledge, love and will, we become "like little children," and our eyes are opened to the things of the kingdom. It is in humble submission to God that we can "clear away the condensation" on the "windows" of our souls, that we can again focus beyond the circumstances we are going through and rejoice in the beauty of the world God has put around us. It is in total trust in God that we can begin to see the greater picture. It is when we stop trying to ask the "why me, God?" question that we can begin to understand God's take on our circumstances.

And, food for thought, Jesus many times said plainly that miracles were possible only through faith (see Matt 15:28), and that miracles didn't happen because of lack of faith (see Matt 13:58). Is it possible that when we become like "little children," in total trust in and submission to God, that we open the door for our own miracles?

Think about it.

In His love,
Lyn


Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author -- "Aboard God's Train -- A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.
 
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Wed 25 May 2016, 6:44 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
May 24, 2015
Grumbling is Contageous
By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us
Throughout the book of Exodus and Numbers the Israelites complained. God, through Moses, had battered the Egyptians with ten plagues until Pharaoh finally agreed to let the Israelites leave after God struck all of the first-born of Egypt, both people and animals. As they made their way to the Red Sea, God moved on Pharaoh's heart to change his mind and chase the children of Israel, to re-capture their slaves they had become dependent on to build cities and perhaps even the pyramids (the Bible does not say that the Israelites worked on the pyramids, but the secular historian, Josephus, in his work entitled "The Antiquities of the Jews," does). 

When the Israelites saw the Egyptian army coming for them this is what they said in Numbers 14:11-12, "They said to Moses, 'Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? Didn't we say to you in Egypt, 'Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians'? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!'"

God, in a dramatic why, parted the Red Sea, saved the Israelites, and drowned the entire Egyptian army. And in the beginning of Exodus 15 they sing and praise Him, but the party didn't last long. By the end of Exodus 15, after three days without finding water, they were at it again. They complained about the lack of water, and when they found water, it was bitter. God caused Moses to throw a stick of wood into the water and it became drinkable (the first water purifier). By the next chapter, it is the lack of food they are complaining about. Again they say that they should have stayed in Egypt where they had food instead of starving to death is the desert. God gave them quail at evening and manna in the morning. 

Moving into Chapter 17, we again have a water problem combined with a death wish. The people complain they are thirsting to death. God brings water from a rock. There is more, but suffice it to say, at every stumbling block they tripped. The next issue was scouting out the Promised Land, which was indeed "flowing with milk and honey," but also was occupied by giants and people in fortified cities. Out of the 12 spies only two, Joshua and Caleb, suggested they push on, but the other 10 said they should not go. Again they accuse the Lord of bringing them out of Egypt to kill them! 

This was not the end of their complaining, but you get the idea. Complaining about what God has provided for us is sin, but there are other consequences also. When we complain about what God has given us, or not given us, others may be listening and imitating us. Remember the old saying, "little pitchers have big ears?" Our kids are taking their cues from us, and while they may get further than we did, the things we speak sometimes come back to haunt us or our decedents.

After entering the Promised Land, the Lord gave the Israelites a great victory over Jericho, but shortly thereafter things took a turn for the worst. Although the Israelites defeated Jericho, a large fortified city, they were unable to conquer the smaller city of Ai even though the Israelite army was much larger than they. It was, we find out later, related to the sin of Achan in taking some of the treasure from Jericho that was to be dedicated to the Lord. But hear what Joshua, the brave spy, says at this defeat. 

And Joshua said, "Alas, Sovereign Lord, why did you ever bring this people across the Jordan to deliver us into the hands of the Amorites to destroy us? If only we had been content to stay on the other side of the Jordan!" (Joshua 7:7)

Joshua had heard his parents, grandparents, and relatives ask this same question over and over during the 40 years that they wandered in the desert until all the unfaithful ones had died before God allowed the others to enter the land He promised. 

Although Joshua was strong in the Lord and had seen His mighty works, as soon as something unexpected happens, he joins his voice to the cries of the Israelites accusing God of planning their destruction. I know that sounds harsh to say he accused God, but that's what he did and he learned it at his father's knee. 

Our inheritance may include both good and bad, but it is up to us which we choose to remember. Throughout history people have chosen to do better than their parents in their words, deeds, and actions. Racial prejudice carries from generation to generation, but it only takes one generation to break that cycle. Joshua had successfully broken the cycle of not trusting God enough not to question His plans, and yet, when the chips were down, he fell back on his parent's way. 

Happily, Joshua rooted out the offender and went on into the Promised Land, but this is a word for us and our children to seek to carry on only good things, and to teach only good to our children. Before you speak or act, think about who is watching and listening to you and what effect that may have on future generations.

Sonya Richards
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Sat 21 May 2016, 8:13 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
May 21, 2016
An Abundance of Revelation

By Answers2Prayer 
  I am sure that many of you have received, at one time or another, a message from God. I am also sure that the moment He spoke will forever be engraved in your hearts. In fact, some of you may have received more than one message from the Lord, and there are a few who receive regular messages. But why such a variance in frequency amongst believers? Isn't hearing God's voice one of the gifts of Salvation? Shouldn't we all be receiving an abundance of revelation? 

If you look through the Bible, you will see that a variance in frequency of revelation is common. Some in the Bible only received one or two recorded messages from God. Hagar is a good example (See Genesis 21), as is King Belteshassar (See Daniel 5) and King Nebuchadnezzar (See Daniel 2 & 4). When we study the Scriptures, however, we also see that there are many who received multiple revelations from God: Abraham, Daniel, David, Isaiah, etc. 

Why such a variance in frequency of God's revelations? 

I believe that at least part of the answer can be found in the story of Samuel. 

As we know, despite the fact that Eli the High Priest's reputation as a father was poor (see 1 Samuel 2:12-17, 22-26), Samuel was placed by his mother into Eli's care at a very young age (see 1 Samuel 1:24-28). During this sad time in the history of the priesthood, Eli received messages from the Lord through prophets; but that they did not have any impact on his sons' wickedness (1 Samuel 2:22-26). Then we see the Lord beginning to reveal Himself to Samuel through Samuel's famous nighttime calling (1 Samuel 3:1-15), and we see that Samuel, after this, had many, many personal encounters with God. 

Why did God speak directly to Samuel, but not to Eli? Why did God visit Samuel many times, and not just once?

I believe the answer lies, in part anyway, in the recipient's response to God's messages. Eli's messages, warning against his sons, did nothing to change the situation. Samuel's response, however, was different. Though he received a very difficult message, one that kept him from sleeping the rest of the night: "So Samuel lay down until morning, and opened the doors of the house of the LORD. And Samuel was afraid to tell Eli the vision." (1 Sam 3:15, NKJV), when Eli asked him about the message, "Samuel told him everything, and hid nothing from him" (1 Samuel 3:18a). Interestingly, the very next verse tells us that God continued to reveal Himself regularly to Samuel: "So Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba knew that Samuel had been established as a prophet of the LORD. Then the LORD appeared again in Shiloh. For the LORD revealed Himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the LORD." (1 Sam 3:19-21, NKJV)

What about us? Do we take God's revelations seriously? Do we share them? Do we allow them to work change in our hearts? Do we use them in their intended fashion? Do we give glory to God when we receive them? Or do we bury them, pretend they never happened, downplay them, or convince ourselves that they are not of God?

Like Samuel, we need to take God's revelations seriously. We need to apply them to our lives, allowing them to work change in our hearts, and if the message includes someone else, we need to share it. 

My youngest son had a Samuel experience when he was about 7 years old. God visited him in the night and mapped out for him his life's work. He shared it with his parents, and he began to plan his life around this God-given goal. True enough, there were times throughout the years that he turned away from that message, but God always brought him back. My son is now in Bible school preparing himself for the calling God placed on his heart at age 7. Any wonder that he regularly hears from the Lord? 

Let's resolve together to recognize that the voice of the Lord is special. Let's act upon it. Let's give God the glory for revealing Himself to us, for when we do, we may be opening the door for many further revelations! 

In His love,
Lyn


Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author -- "Aboard God's Train -- A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.
 
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Fri 20 May 2016, 10:59 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

May 19, 2016
What you can do Today

By Answers2Prayer
  I was the third car back in a long line. We were stuck in the middle of town while the water company dug through the pavement to reach a leaking water line. I looked around the street while I waited not knowing that I was about to witness a minor miracle.

As I looked at one old house I saw a young mother walking quickly into it. Her face held a curious combination of stress, worry, and silent desperation. Her eyes looked like they had been crying for a long time. In her arms her 3 year old girl seemed to have absorbed her fear and was clutching tightly around her Mom's neck. Ten minutes later I watched as the mother and child came back out. Their faces had been transformed. The mother's smile was big and her eyes were bright. The little girl was laughing and skipping around her Mom. The one other difference was the big bag of food the Mom now held. The old house I later learned was the home of a local food pantry.

Since that day I have twice used what little I had to help that food pantry to restock their shelves. It felt so good to be able to help them help others. It felt so wonderful knowing that I was working with God to keep the miracles going. It felt so right sharing my love to make this world a better place.

What can you do today to make this world a better place? Today you can help fill a hungry child's belly. Today you can give a struggling family hope. Today you can ease another's sadness with your smile and kindness. Today you can uplift another with your joy. Today you can make a minor miracle with your caring heart. Today you can send out ripples of love that have no end. Today you can use what you have to make Earth a little more like Heaven. Today you can make God smile and the angels sing. Do what you can today!

"And as you go, preach, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.'  Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give. Provide neither gold nor silver nor copper in your money belts, nor bag for your journey, nor two tunics, nor sandals, nor staffs; for a worker is worthy of his food." (Matt 10:7-10)

By: Joseph J. Mazzella  
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Wed 18 May 2016, 9:53 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

May 17, 2015
Elusive

By Answers2Prayer 
"...may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you." (Psalm 40:16 and Psalm 70:4)

How difficult it was to be still long enough for one of the beautiful butterflies to land on the back of my granddaughter's hand! She desperately wanted one of these elusive creatures to alight on her and waited ever so patiently. 

When she ran out of patience, she carefully reached down and picked one off a leaf as it was resting there.

A butterfly has about a three week lifespan. It flutters, darts around, lands and then leaves momentarily. Happiness is like the elusive butterfly and short lived.

Joy, on the other hand, can be an ongoing and permanent. Happiness, although circumstantial, as a byproduct of deep Joy. 

Joy in the Lord, a peace in Who God is, and a confidence in Whose you are. Joy is not elusive; God is with you. 

That's good news

Sally I. Kennedy
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Sat 14 May 2016, 10:46 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

May 14, 2016
The Jonathan Quandary
bible
By Answers2Prayer 
Jonathan was in a tough place. He made David, his father's arch-enemy and the anointed king of Israel, his best friend. Meanwhile, he was still Saul's son, legally the next in line to become Israel's king.

It was like walking a tightrope, but Jonathan walked it for a good amount of time. In fact, the Bible records one time where Jonathan was instrumental in making peace between David and Saul (see 1 Samuel 19:4-6). 

Unfortunately this peace didn't last.

Interestingly, Jonathan didn't immediately see there was a problem between his father and his best friend, and even when David brought it to his attention, he still didn't accept this as fact: "But David took an oath and said, '...Yet as surely as the LORD lives and as you live, there is only a step between me and death.'...'Never!' Jonathan said. 'If I had the least inkling that my father was determined to harm you, wouldn't I tell you?'" (1 Sam 20:3-9, NIV2) Jonathan wanted to believe that the two men he loved the most were not at odds with one another, and his love for both, along with his desire for there to be peace between Saul and David, blinded him to truth.

This didn't change the facts, however. Saul did want David dead: "Saul's anger flared up at Jonathan and he said to him, '...As long as the son of Jesse lives on this earth, neither you nor your kingdom will be established. Now send someone to bring him to me, for he must die!' 'Why should he be put to death? What has he done?' Jonathan asked his father. But Saul hurled his spear at him to kill him. Then Jonathan knew that his father intended to kill David." (1Sam 20:30-33, NIV2)

Jonathan was in a real quandary. He could no longer walk with a foot in both worlds. He either had to fully abandon his father and live on the run with David, or he had to turn his back on his best friend.

When I read this story this morning, the meaning of it crystallized in front of my eyes: 

Saul, who had already been removed from kingship (See the full story in 1 Samuel 15), continued to exert his power and command over Israel. Meanwhile, he hated David and did not wish to give up his throne (See 1 Samuel 20:30-33). In the same way, our already-defeated enemy, the devil (See John 12:31, 16:11), continues to exert his power over us, and he will continue to do so until the time for judgment: "Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out." (John 12:31). 

Just like Jonathan, even though I have sworn fealty to Jesus, I still live in this world, and I still try to keep my feet in both worlds. I want to serve Jesus, but I also want to be accepted by the world. I want to do God's will and His will alone, but I also want to be liked, to not be considered "weird". I am in a Jonathan quandary, and God is calling me to the crossroads. He is telling me that I must stop trying to walk with my feet in both worlds. He is telling me that I must choose this day whom I will serve. 

I am sure I am not alone in this quandary, and I encourage each of you out there who also finds himself wanting to serve God but also wanting to be accepted by the world to take a moment to think about the choices that Jonathan, in his quandary, made: Jonathan chose to remain faithful to his father, Saul, and in the end, he died alongside his father and David's throne was established (See 1 Samuel 31, 2 Samuel). 

Will you and I follow in his steps? Or will we take our feet completely out of the world? Will we stop caring what the world thinks and give ourselves over in reckless abandon to the One who is truly anointed King of the world?

As for me, I choose to abandon the world. I choose to stop caring what others think. I choose to respond to God's Spirit no matter what the potential consequences. I choose to stop thinking about those potential consequences, and to recklessly abandon myself to the One who is truly King. I pray that God will strengthen me in my resolve, and I also pray that each of you will join me!

In His love,
Lyn


Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author -- "Aboard God's Train -- A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Fri 13 May 2016, 1:12 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
May 12, 2016
God of a Small Nation, Part 5

By Answers2Prayer 
  In the concluding portion of our series on the "Eschatological" significance of Nation of Israel to all keen Biblical Students, we come to the subject of the Millennial rule of Christ... 

Supremacy...

"In the last days the mountain of the LORD's temple will be established as the highest of the mountains; it will be exalted above the hills, and all nations will stream to it. Many peoples will come and say, 'Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the temple of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.' The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore." (Isaiah 2:2-4)

Jesus in the Millennium would rule the World from Jerusalem along with Saints of the Old Testament and Christians of all ages (including the martyred ones of the tribulation). Those He rules over would comprise of the Jews and those Gentiles who had accepted Him during the tribulation and survived it. The Gentiles would have come to trust in Jesus during the tribulation thanks to the unstinted efforts of:

a) Of the 144,000 evangelistic Jews (Rev 7:4)

b) Our Prophecies, which they had not believed before, but would believe and be swayed by during the tribulation, as everything would pan out as per those prophecies 

c) Gospel proclamation by an angel flying in mid-air (Rev 14:6-7)

Today the United Nations Organization (headquarters in New York), the institution birthed to bring about peace in the World, has engraved part of the afore-referred Scripture portion in the vicinity of its gates: "They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore". The problem is, they are missing out on a key accompanying Scripture portion (more about it in the next paragraph). 

Has the UNO succeeded in accomplishing the main purpose behind its institution? The answer is obvious...the Syrian carnage, Egyptian Civil War, Libyan unrest being flashed in the media today, besides all the wars fought between the Nations from 1945 (year of its birth) till now, simply attest to the fact that it has miserably failed. It has failed so much so that a famous novelist, Alistair Maclean (of Where Eagles Dare and Guns of Navorone fame), wrote very bluntly (when I say bluntly, I mean really bluntly) in one of his novels: "The United Nations cannot stop a dog from peeing in front of its gates". 

However, when the Lord reigns from Jerusalem (this key captioned Scripture portion is missing in the inscription near the UNO gates), the story would be starkly different as the "Nations then will indeed beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore". For most of the time, there would be universal peace.

Before the Saviour comes to reign, in this Grace age, let's invite Him to reign in our hearts. Did He not say that His Kingdom (Baselia in Greek -- Matt 4:17) is very near...as near as our own hearts and mouths? If we believe in our hearts that He has died for our sins and confess it with our mouth, His "Kingdom" would enter our hearts (Romans 10:8-9). The apostle Paul talks about it in Romans 14:17, using the same word, Baselia..."Kingdom of God is righteousness (right standing with God), peace and joy of the Holy Spirit". Virtually, a foretaste of Heaven, Jesus promised elsewhere in the Gospels (John 7:37-38/John 10:10). Friends, rejoice in the living waters which would gush through your hearts. Take my word, I am speaking with the benefit of 31 years of experience of walking with the Lord and rejoicing in His presence every minute of the way (barring those moments when I would foolishly disobey and lose out on His joyous presence and experience "a little Hell" on this side of the Eternity).

Little Israel eh...Boy, it packs a punch in the spiritual realm! Do not we owe to it a Saviour, Salvation and Scriptures? Add to this fact that one of its cities (Jerusalem) would be the future World capital, and at once there is a ring of sanctity about this Nation. Even as we look forward to the imminent rapture of the Church, let's pray for the peace of Jerusalem and for the salvation of Jews, never missing out on an opportunity of speaking about the joys of walking with Jesus. It would make them jealous to have what we possess...the indwelling joy of the Holy Spirit by the grace of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. While for Jews, the Kingdom of God is an expectation, for Christians it is an experience (enjoying 24*7 the righteousness, peace and joy of the Holy Spirit) besides being a realistic expectation (the Millennial Kingdom).

Come, Lord Jesus, very soon, to reign in our hearts, first in this Grace age, and then the World from Jerusalem (Rev 22:20)!

Prayer: Father, how our hearts long for "Your will to be done on Earth, as it is in Heaven". May Your Son's reign be established in this World, very soon. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Suresh Manoharan
An unworthy servant
J and SM Ministries
 
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Wed 11 May 2016, 10:04 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
May 10, 2016
God of a Small Nation, Part 4

By Answers2Prayer 
  In the fourth part of our series on the importance of the "little, Big" Nation of Israel to the contemporary Christians, we focus on the subject of Israel being "the time-piece"...

Symbol...

Once the Fig tree--symbolic of Israel--starts blossoming again, you can assume that I am right at the door, remarked the Saviour (Matt 24:32-33). He was speaking on the subject of the Signs preceding His Second Coming in the whole of Matthew's 24th Chapter.

So Israel, in a way, is a time-piece by which we can discern and arrive at the proximity of the Master's second advent. For approximately 2000 years, since 70 AD with the destruction of Jerusalem by the Roman army (did they not ask for God's wrath to come upon them? Matt 27:24-25) and the subsequent dispersion of the Jews, Israel has resembled a withered fig tree; but now, 66 years since their re-birth in 1948 (God's grace once again coming to the fore in conjunction with His covenant with their forefathers -- Deu 7:7-8), they once again symbolize a budding, blossoming and thriving fig tree.

Now looking at Israel's rebirth from another dimension...it would not be possible for the Anti-Christ to emerge as a Global problem solver (after the Rapture of the Church) without the existence of Israel.

Rev 6:1-2 portrays the Anti-Christ as a conqueror who would win over the people's hearts initially by deception (Daniel 8:25) without shedding blood. Note, he is depicted as carrying a bow, but no arrows.

Today, because of the presence of Israel, there is an Arab-Israeli conflict in West Asia, whereas 200 years ago, it was not the case. If Israel had not been "re-born", there would be no turmoil at all, leaving no scope for the Anti-Christ to display his "peaceful" problem-solving abilities, broker a temporary Arab-Jewish peace pact, and consolidate his position as an undisputed Global leader during the seven years of tribulation. 

Boy, if the Anti-Christ's rapture seems imminent, how much more imminent is the Church's rapture (Rev 4:1)!

After initially posing as the friends of the Jews (he may be of Jewish origin also), the Anti-Christ will reveal his true colors in the second half of the tribulation (Daniel 9:27), posing as God himself (Rev 13:1-8) and subjecting the Jews to severe persecution. In the midst of their heavy troubles, the Jews would in desperation finally look sky-ward to the rejected Messiah (they had rejected Him in His First advent, but would accept Him now as their Saviour--Romans 11:26) for deliverance. Jesus, in answer to their prayers, will come, He will defeat the Anti-Christ and his assistant, the False Prophet, in the Battle of Armageddon (Rev 19:11-21), which will, in turn, usher in the Millennial rule (Psalms 2/Rev 20).

Prayer: Father, even as we see the Nation of Israel "budding and blossoming" in front of our own eyes as a sign of the imminent Church rapture, enable us to be alert and alert others. In Jesus' Name. Amen. 

Suresh Manoharan
An Unworthy Servant
J and SM Ministries
 
Announcement:

Israel is close to celebrating it's 66th birthday. In honor of the rebirth of this country, the Nugget is posting a 5 part mini-series, "God of a Small Nation" by Suresh Manoharan, designed to bring to the forefront the significance of Israel to all followers of the Lord God of Abraham. Join us on Thursday for the concluding edition.
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Sat 07 May 2016, 10:03 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

May 7, 2016
God of a Small Nation, Part 3

By Answers2Prayer 
  In the third part of our series on the significance of "little Israel" to all Biblical events, we focus upon the immeasurably precious Scripture and Saviour...

Scripture...

By no stretch of the imagination would it be an understatement to say that the Christian world owes most of its Canon to the Jews. Barring the good doctor Luke, all other 38 authors of the Bible are of the Jewish origin.
 
Advantage of the Scriptures? Apart from tracing the root cause of all the problems of this World to the fall of man into sin (Genesis 3:1-7), it also foretells the advent of the Saviour right from that very first chapter (Genesis 3:15), which gives the reason for all the diverse problems in this World. From one man, Adam, came sin; from one man, Jesus, comes salvation (Romans 5:12-15).
Oh yes, Scripture is also God-inspired (2 Tim 3:16-17/2 Peter 1:21) to tell us not only what we ought to believe in (Doctrine), but also what we ought to not believe in (Correction). In addition, it tells us how we ought to behave (instruction in righteousness), and how we ought not to behave (Reproof), with true examples of both the negative (I Cor 10:11) and the positive nature (Romans 15:4). It's quite scary to think of the Scriptures minus all the writings of the inspired Jewish authors. Talk of an average Joe trekking through the Amazon rain forest without a map and a guide in tow...

Saviour...

"Great men of God were your fathers, and Christ himself was one of you, a Jew so far as his human nature is concerned, he who now rules over all things. Praise God forever!" (Romans 9:5)

In God's Sovereign plan, it had to be His Son who was born to donn the earthly body of a Jew in the family tree of David, who would complete the Redemption plan on the Cross (John 19:30). Didn't Jesus Himself say, "Salvation comes from the Jews" (John 4:22)?

The two Gospel accounts giving the genealogy of Jesus from both the paternal side (Matthew) and the maternal side (Luke), leave none in doubt about the Jewish ancestry of the Saviour. He was, indeed, of the royal descendent of King David. Incidentally, Mary's (Jesus' earthly mother) father, Heli, as per tradition, had no sons; hence, as per the Jewish custom, his eldest son-in-law, Joseph (Mary's husband), held the legal rights of Heli's first born son, thereby also figuring in the genealogy of Luke's Gospel.
 
Prayer: Father, we simply glorify You for both the Written Word and Living Word (our Saviour). You have given much to the World through the Nation of Israel. We praise Thee once again in Jesus' Name. Amen.

Suresh Manoharan
An Unworthy Servant
J and SM Ministries
 
Announcement:

Israel is close to celebrating it's 66th birthday. In honor of the rebirth of this country, the Nugget is posting a 5 part mini-series, "God of a Small Nation" by Suresh Manoharan, designed to bring to the forefront the significance of Israel to all followers of the Lord God of Abraham. Join us on Tuesday and Thursday next week for the concluding editions.
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Fri 06 May 2016, 7:02 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

May 5, 2016
God of a Small Nation, Part 2

By Answers2Prayer 
  In the second part of our series on significance of the great small Nation Israel to all Biblical students, we focus on it being a sign to the whole World of God's existence...

Sign...

About 300 years ago, the King of Sweden was having personal doubts about God's existence and the Bible's divine nature. He called for Count Von Zinzendorf, who was the bishop of the Moravian Church, to provide evidence about God's existence and Divine authorship of the Bible. When the Count arrived, the King told him he had set aside 10 hours to be enlightened on these matters. Zinzendorf said that much time would not be necessary because all he needed to do was to say two words. The King, skeptical, asked, "What words might those be?" Count Von Zinzendorf replied, "The Jews." 

How true! One look at the history of the nation of Israel would convince even a hard core atheist/agnostic about the existence of the Almighty and authenticity of the Bible. Is not the entire history of this Chosen Nation an outworking of the Deuteronomic covement enshrined in the 28th Chapter of the fifth book of the Bible (Deu 28)? Have not all the blessings so graphically described "chased" the people of Israel whenever, they have sincerely obeyed their Master? By the same token have not the curses too sent by the chastening God "chased" them whenever, they have gone astray? 

Not only the Book of Judges where the cyclical "boom" and "doom" periods of Israel's faith is sincerely portrayed, but in fact the entire Old Testament history stands witness to the solemn fact that the Jews' success or failure in any sphere has been directly proportional to their obedience or lack of it to their Good Shepherd. Unlike say life of a lowly layman, living in one corner of the world, dear friends, history of one nation is not a private occurrence, far removed from public spotlight! It is in public domain and can be checked and cross-checked umpteen times and the unanimous verdict of the umpire (conscience) in all of us would be "God of Abraham exists and his words enshrined in scripture are true!" I repeat, if I as one average nine to five guy living in an inconspicuous place in this world, shout from rooftops, nay even mountaintops, that the hand of God can be seen prominently in my life by way of blessings or curses whenever I have obeyed or disobeyed Him, people may or may not believe; but if a definite trend of good times/bad times is seen emerging in the public history of one nation itself all on one account of an unseen divine interference, can anyone still turn a blind eye to it, without inferring the truth thereof? 

Think of it...a normal story teller would gloss over a hero's sins of commission or omission all with the aim of making the main character appear as a paragon of all virtues in the public eye, but the Divinely-inspired writers of Scriptures--themselves Jews--have never shied away from neither laying bare the serious shortcomings of all Jewish heroes of faith, nor that of their nation as a whole. If this is not truthfulness with a capital "T", then what is it?

Prayer: Father, what an indisputable proof,-Nation of Israel-You in Your sovereign wisdom have placed amidst us, wherein we can see Your awesome works clear as a crystal. We glorify You in Jesus' Name. Amen.

Suresh Manoharan
J and SM Ministries
 
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Wed 04 May 2016, 10:23 pm

Welcome to the Nugget


May 3, 2016
God of a Small Nation, Part 1

By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us  Now I do not know if the famous Indian novelist Arundhati Roy had Israel in mind when she wrote her Booker Prize winning novel, "God of small things," but for a good 3000 years tracing back to the call of that Father of Faith Abraham...the Almighty Creator God has indeed been God of this small Nation in West Asia. Israel's land area of 27,869 Sq kms is only 0.85% of say a country like India from where yours truly is penning this series.

OK folks, Israel celebrated its 66th year of its "re-birth" on May 14th (though as per the moon-based Jewish calendar, the equivalent of the civil date of May 14th is May 5th in 2014), having received its independence on the same day in 1948. Now what is that about Israel that interests all keen Bible students? The reason is as simple as it is profound: The World's future events are not so much linked as inter-twined with Israel's second birth as it were. In this Series of 5 parts, yours truly has attempted to bring to the fore the significance of Israel to all followers of the Lord God of Abraham.

Selection...

Israel's selection in God's grand scheme of things to bring the Saviour and the Salvation to this World can be put down to His grace alone, which He showed in firstly calling Abraham out from his idol-worshipping relatives and entering into a covenant with him (Genesis 12:1-4, Genesis 15/Joshua 24:2-3). Let the Scripture take over at this stage...a part of Moses' farewell message to the Jews of that era: "The LORD did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any of the peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but because the LORD loved you and kept the oath which He swore to your forefathers, the LORD brought you out by a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt." (Deut 7:7-8)

Israeli liberation from the Egyptian captivity foreshadowed the Redemption plan which Christ by His atoning death on the cross completed. Anyone who puts his trust on Christ to take away his sins, immediately experiences liberation from a slavery far more dangerous than the Egyptian bondage-SIN. God did not liberate the Jews from their slavery because they were good and holy, but rather to make them good and holy. The Ten Commandments and the Book of Leviticus (all about Holy Living) were given to them after their liberation and not prior to it. Similarly Jesus liberates a Christian from sin to make for Himself a "Holy, spotless, beautiful Bride" by using His Word and the Spirit (Rev 19:6-9).

Prayer: Father, we praise and thank thee that You saved us from sin purely out of Your grace in order we become a "Holy Bride" for Your son. May we ever co-operate with Your Holy Spirit, as we are being prepared for the great, ethereal marriage. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Suresh Manoharan
J and SM Ministries
 
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Sat 30 Apr 2016, 9:50 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

April 30, 2016

By Answers2Prayer  "This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God's Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ." (Eph. 4:13)

As I have gotten older one thing I have realized is that I really want more out of life. Now I am not talking about bigger bank accounts, more money, a huger house, or a fancier car. What I really want more of are the things that money just can't buy. I want more of the things that strengthen the spirit and nurture the soul. I want more of the things that bring us closer to love, closer to others, closer to Heaven, and closer to God.

I want to watch more sunrises and more sunsets. I want to spend more time smelling the flowers in the Spring and looking at the leaves in the Fall. I want to listen to more music and sing more songs. I want to read more books and gain more wisdom. I want to give more hugs and kisses to my children and hopefully one day to my grandchildren. I want to spend more time watching my dogs play and listening to my cats purr. I want to pray more to God and listen to His voice in the silence of my heart, mind, and soul. I want to think more inspiring thoughts and share them with others. I want to speak more words of encouragement. I want to do more acts of kindness. I want to help others more. I want to lift more people up and let more people lift me up as well. I want to share more smiles. I want to enjoy more laughter. I want to select more joy, create more happiness, choose more peace, and then give it to others. I want to spread more sunshine, eliminate more darkness, and make Earth more like Heaven. I want to write more truth, let more people know that God loves them, and show them that they can love too. I want to do more and more to make this world a better place for everyone.

I pray too that all of you spend your days getting and giving more of what is essential in this life. May you have more love. May you share more joy. May you get more wisdom. May you give more goodness. And may you forever grow more in oneness with God. 

By Joseph J. Mazzella
 
Announcement:

Israel is close to celebrating it's 66th birthday. In honor of the rebirth of this country, the Nugget will be posting for a 5 part mini-series, "God of a Small Nation" by Suresh Manoharan, designed to bring to the forefront the significance of Israel to all followers of the Lord God of Abraham.
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Fri 29 Apr 2016, 9:25 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

April 28, 2016
The Captivity of the Ark, Part 3: The Beth Shemesh Massacre

By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us  It was a somber time in Israel's history. The Ark of the Covenant had been taken captive and was being held by the enemy, the Philistines, and God's high priest Eli was dead, as were his two sons, Hophni and Phineas. For all appearances, God was gone from Israel. However, last week, in "The Captivity of the Ark," Part 2, we saw that God was busy teaching the Philistines some important lessons on His sovereignty. It shows us that when we go through dark times, we must also consider how God may be using our own circumstances to bring Truth to dark places.

Within the boundaries of their knowledge of the Ark of the Covenant, it must be said that the Philistines showed utmost respect for the Ark of God; but did Israel have the same amount of respect for this gold-covered box? 

It would be expected that they would show the Ark even more respect than the Philistines, for they knew that it represented the actual presence of God. Israel had also been given instructions on how the ark was to be housed, transported, etc. If you look carefully at God's instructions for the Ark (Numb 4:15), you see that even taking the Ark into battle in the first place was disrespectful, and even upon its return, Israel did not transport it immediately to Shiloh to put back in the tabernacle. In fact, they didn't even have it carried on the shoulders of the God-appointed Levites (See Numb 4:15). Instead, they set it on a rock and offered sacrifices to it, and some of them even touched the ark, which was also strictly forbidden (See Numbers 1:51)! 

God's response? He didn't just strike the people with tumors and rats: "Then He struck the men of Beth Shemesh, because they had looked into the ark of the LORD. He struck fifty thousand and seventy men of the people, and the people lamented because the LORD had struck the people with a great slaughter." (1 Samuel 6:19)

Even after the deaths of these 50,070 men, the people still didn't remember how important it is to fear the Lord. The ark was still not taken to Shiloh, it was still not placed in the care of God-appointed priests. Instead it was kept in a simple house and guarded by a man named Eleazar: "So the men of Kiriath Jearim came and took up the ark of the LORD. They brought it to Abinadab's house on the hill and consecrated Eleazar his son to guard the ark of the LORD." (1Sam 7:1-2, NIV2). 

Why is it that the Philistines, after only seven months, showed more respect for God and His Ark than Israel?

I believe that the answer lies in the fact that after all those years of possessing the Ark of the Covenant, God's presence in Israel had become commonplace. They had lost their fear of the Lord.

When I look at new believers, I often sense a much higher degree of respect for God than I sense in seasoned believers. Are we in danger of falling into Israel's trap, and in so doing, are we putting ourselves in danger of separation from God's presence? 

As I examined my own heart in the Lord's presence this morning, I realized that I, too, have lost my sense of awe and respect for the Most High God. Oh, I bind and cast out demons in the name of Jesus and I pray down God's healing power over sick bodies; yet I snap out in anger at my family, I struggle to remain in control of everything that happens at home, and I continuously fail in regards to temperance. If I truly feared the Lord, I would sense my own "dirtiness" in the presence of a Holy God! I would make my own sanctification a higher priority! I would approach His throne of grace with far more reference and worship, just like I did when I was first saved! 

Friends, wherever you find yourself in your walk with God, remember: God is holy. Yes, He wants to be our friend, yet in our friendship with Him, we must not attempt to bring Him down to our level. Instead, we must attempt to raise ourselves to His level. We must treat the presence of God with the respect the Philistines showed the Ark of the Covenant, and not with the apathetic disconcertment of the people of Beth Shemesh; for in so doing, we will prevent another Beth Shemesh massacre.

This is the last lesson in "The Captivity of the Ark" series. If you have missed any of the former lessons, you will find them published online by clicking here. Or if you do not have access to the Internet, email me and I will be happy to forward them to you. 

In His love,
Lyn

Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author -- "Aboard God's Train -- A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.
 
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 6:37 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

April 26, 2016
The Captivity of the Ark, Part 2: The Ark is Returned

By Answers2Prayer 
 It was a somber time in Israel's history. The Ark of the Covenant had been taken captive and was being held by the enemy, the Philistines, and God's high priest Eli was dead, as were his two sons, Hophni and Phineas. For all appearances, God was gone from Israel. But just what was God doing behind the scenes? 

Last week, in "The Captivity of the Ark, Part 1," we saw that God was busy teaching the Philistines some important lessons on His sovereignty. How else might the Philistines have ever learned that God is sovereign? That He is more powerful than their god, Dagon? How else might they have learned to respect the One true God?

In fact, the Philistines so learned to respect the God of Israel and His ark, that they actually sent it back to Israel:

"the ark of the LORD had been in Philistine territory seven months, the Philistines called for the priests and the diviners and said, 'What shall we do with the ark of the LORD? Tell us how we should send it back to its place.'" (1 Samuel 6:1-2).

Why would the Philistines have to ask priests and diviners how to return the Ark of the Covenant? Why didn't they just carry it back and give it to them?

The answer to this lies in the fact that after seven months of illness and rats, the Philistines had learned something that perhaps Israel didn't even realize: God is to be feared! And the fact that they even asked such a question of their own priests helps us to understand the depth of their new-found respect for God. 

This fear of God ran even deeper than this: "They answered, 'If you return the ark of the god of Israel, do not send it back to him without a gift; by all means send a guilt offering to him.'" (1 Samuel 6:3a). In other words, the Philistines recognized that they had done wrong in taking God's Ark, and they wanted to return it with a guilt offering. 

And in their newly-found respect of God, they went on to say, "Why do you harden your hearts as the Egyptians and Pharaoh did? When Israel's god dealt harshly with them, did they not send the Israelites out so they could go on their way?" (1 Samuel 6:6)

It is true that the Philistines did not return the Ark of the Covenant in the way that it was prescribed to be transported (See Numbers 5:15), yet this can be understood. They had no knowledge of how the Ark was to be moved. They knew enough about respect for God, however, that they realized it couldn't be moved like any ordinary object: 

"Now then, get a new cart ready, with two cows that have calved and have never been yoked. Hitch the cows to the cart, but take their calves away and pen them up. Take the ark of the LORD and put it on the cart, and in a chest beside it put the gold objects you are sending back to him as a guilt offering." (1 Samuel 6:7-8)

This may seem strange to take untrained cows with calves and shut their calves up. Naturally, the cows would want to return to their calves. But in so doing, the Philistines were doing one last test: "Send it on its way, but keep watching it. If it goes up to its own territory, toward Beth Shemesh, then the LORD has brought this great disaster on us. But if it does not, then we know that it was not his hand that struck us but that it happened to us by chance." (1 Samuel 6:9).

Miraculously, the cows went straight to Israel (See 1 Samuel 6:10-12). Isn't it interesting that even in the last hours of the Ark's imprisonment, God was able to show the Philistines another sign of His sovereignty and power, to teach them yet another important lesson in the Fear of the Lord?

Friends, the next time you feel that God has abandoned you to your circumstances, consider that He may be using those same circumstances to work powerfully in the lives of others, bringing them to a knowledge of His sovereignty and power, and teaching them important lessons in the Fear of the Lord.

But did Israel receive the Ark of God with the same reverence as the Philistines showed in sending it back? Join us on Saturday for "The Captivity of the Ark," Part 3: The Beth Shemesh Massacre.

In His love,
Lyn


Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author -- "Aboard God's Train -- A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.
 
Announcement:

There are many precious lessons about going through trials that can be learned from the story of the captivity of the Ark of the Covenant. This is the subject of the current mini-series: "The Captivity of the Ark". Please join us on Thursday for the conclusion! 
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Sun 24 Apr 2016, 10:53 pm

Welcome to the Nugget


April 23, 2016
The Captivity of the Ark, Part 1: His Hand is Harsh

By Answers2Prayer 
  Those were dark days in Israel. The ark of God had been captured and was in the hands of the enemy, and the high priest, Eli was dead, as were his two sons. For all practical purposes, God had left Israel.

We can all relate to this. It doesn't matter whether it is illness or relationship problems or loss of jobs or homes or feelings of loneliness and abandonment, whatever valley we are in right now will cause us to raise up our hands and cry, "Where are You, God? How can You allow this to happen?"

But there was another part of the story, one that Israel did not see. They did not see what was happening to those who had captured God's ark. 

The statue of their god, Dagon, fell prostrate before the ark of God, and its hands and head were knocked off (see 1 Samuel 5:1-5). Then people of the city were then struck with illness: "But the hand of the LORD was heavy on the people of Ashdod, and He ravaged them and struck them with tumors, Ashdod and its territory." (1Sam 5:6, NKJV)

The people of Ashdod sent the ark away, to Gath (see 1 Samuel 5:8), but the people of Gath were then struck with illness: "So it was, after they had carried it away, that the hand of the LORD was against the city with a very great destruction; and He struck the men of the city, both small and great, and tumors broke out on them." (1Sam 5:9, NKJV)

The ark of God was then banished from Gath and sent to Ekron, but its reputation preceded it, and even before it began wrecking its havoc, the people were up in arms: "Therefore they sent the ark of God to Ekron. So it was, as the ark of God came to Ekron, that the Ekronites cried out, saying, 'They have brought the ark of the God of Israel to us, to kill us and our people!'" (1 Samuel 5:10)

And they were right to be afraid, for: "...there was a deadly destruction throughout all the city; the hand of God was very heavy there. And the men who did not die were stricken with the tumors, and the cry of the city went up to heaven." (1 Sam 5:10-12, NKJV)

As we look at this story, let's especially note the words of the Ashdodites: "The ark of the God of Israel must not remain with us, for His hand is harsh toward us and Dagon our god."

Wait a minute. Did you catch that? The people said that not only was God's hand harsh towards them, but also towards their god, Dagon! In other words, they recognized what Israel probably didn't even know, and what we, in the midst of our trials always seem to forget: God is stronger than any demon of hell! In the midst of our trials, behind the scenes, God's hand is harsh towards those demons who are trying to control us! 

And herein lies the lesson for anyone who is going through difficulties: Our lives may be being ravaged by the demons of hell, but our God is stronger than any of these demons. Even if we don't recognize that it is happening, He is already at work to liberate us. In fact, that demon is already conquered, at the cross of Jesus! It has no choice but to bow before our God and submit to His will, for God's "hand is harsh" against the demons that try to bring us down.

It's true that the ark of God did not return to Israel right away, but it was finally returned (see 1 Samuel 6:1-12). In the same way, God is stronger than whatever ravages your life at the moment, and His hand is harsh against it. Don't look to the circumstances. Instead, look to God, for He is the victor and through Him, you will also be victorious.

But just what was God trying to teach the Philistines with the presence of His Ark? Join us on Thursday for "The Captivity of the Ark," Part 2: The Ark is Returned. 

In His love,
Lyn

Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author -- "Aboard God's Train -- A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.
 
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April 25 is Anzac Day in Australia and New Zealand. We, from the other parts of the world, join them in honouring Australian and New Zealand soldiers lost at war...

ANZAC DAY PRAYER 2016

Nothing unites us as much as a common enemy. But to make sure you know who the real enemy is, please listen to the Lord's warning to his people, (in Isaiah 5:20) "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil."

Later Jesus specifically warned his disciples, "Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect." (Matthew 24:24, on the Mount of Olives.)

In these words, Jesus described those who draw a deep line against the destruction of true belief as 'the very elect.'

So in World War 1, when nations took up arms against the believers of Biblical principles: - when various powers of the world sought to set up a false system of culture: - perhaps the young men and women who fought to keep Christian culture alive might well be described as 'the very elect.'
I am sure we here today think of the ANZACS as the 'very elect' of both countries. They fought to uphold the Christian culture of both our countries. We also think it is 'the very elect' who have fought all such wars since that time, and it is also true of all people today who uphold our true Christian culture.

So just as Jesus gave us the Lord's Prayer in the middle of the Sermon on the Mount, please allow me say a few words of prayer to draw our hearts together. After that, we will say the Lord's Prayer together.

Lord, we admit our lack of wisdom to know your voice above any other voice and so we seek your compassion to know good from evil. 

And now, Lord, we all lift up our voices together in the prayer you gave to us in your Sermon on the Mount:

Our Father which art in heaven, 
Hallowed be thy name. 
Thy kingdom come. 
Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses, 
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, 
but deliver us from evil: 
for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.
(Matthew 5:9-13.)

Elizabeth Price, ANZAC DAY 2016
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Fri 22 Apr 2016, 4:19 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

April 21, 2016
Three Steps to Finding the Correct Direction for Your Life
bible
By Answers2Prayer 
Sometimes it might be tough, but never too late to find the correct direction and head in the triumphant path for our lives.

From time to time I ask myself why God chose to bless me with friends who don't mind going out with me. What I mean is that heading out with a blind friend cannot be fun. Instead, it might be a chore as I need guidance and descriptions of many things.

But even so, God smiles at me with many friends with patience and a sense of humor to deal with embarrassing incidents.

We exit the car and before we head toward the restaurant, my friend extends her arm for me to hold on to. "Here, let's go."

As we head forward, she tells me when approaching a step, a doorway, change of terrain and when we reach the table in a restaurant.

We laugh, chat and have a great time. We do because I know the three things I need to do: remain close enough to hold on to her arm, trust she will guide me correctly, and obey when she indicates to turn a certain direction in order to avoid smashing into obstacles.

That's what blind people must do. But even if you have eyesight, you might be just like me--blind to what tomorrow holds. No one can see into the future, or know what waits at the turn of the next corner. We're all walking blindly into our tomorrows.

And more than a tad foolish, we walk boldly on our own, trusting in our decisions and suddenly, slam! We hit the wall of disappointment and regret.

Stunned, we wonder what happened. The answer is simple, we failed to follow these three steps for the correct direction for our lives.

1. Remain close to God. Close enough to be under His shadow and know His Word, to hear His guidance and to listen to His warnings. "Show me favor, God, show me favor; for in you I have taken refuge. Yes, I will find refuge in the shadow of your wings until the storms have passed." (Psalm 57:2-3)

2. Trust that He will guide us in the correct path. Rather than our own wisdom or insight, we trust that He knows the best way, the safest route and the destination that will bring rewards rather than regrets. "Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and lean not unto your own understanding." (Proverbs 3:5)

3. Obey His every instruction. Be courageous when afraid. Be bold when feeling doubtful. Be certain when unsure. "If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land..." (Isaiah 1:19)

Father, teach me to stay close to you so I may avoid heartache, sorrow and foolish mistakes. Give me eyes to see my need for your direction for every stage of my life. In Jesus' name, amen.

* What direction is your life going?
* Whose instructions are you following?
* How will you find the correct direction for your life?

Janet Perez Eckles
If this message resonated with you, please visit Janet's cyberspace home for more inspiration.  
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Wed 20 Apr 2016, 10:10 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

April 19, 2015
Homes

By Answers2Prayer 
  "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (Matt. 6:19-21)

I saw an interesting news story the other day. It seems that ultra-rich billionaires are now spending millions to buy up huge mega-mansions just to tear them down. And then they are spending many millions more to build even larger giga-mansions in their place. I shook my head sadly when I watched this and thought of how crazy this world has become.

I also thought back to the very first place I had as an adult. I was newly married and still in college. The only place I could afford was a tiny two room apartment built above a Laundromat. The kitchen and living room combination could be crossed in a few quick steps. Two burners on the kitchen stove didn't work. Springs stuck out of a couch that was older than I was. The mattress in the bedroom was full of divots. The water pressure was a sprinkle and the rattle and hum of the washers and dryers below us was constant. Yet, I can remember being very happy there. We needed little. We wanted little. Each day brought its own joys. And that rundown, little place was home.

When it comes right down to it homes aren't made by the things you own. Homes aren't made by the square footage you live in. Homes are made by the love you share. Every place that I have ever lived in has been modest at best. Every place has been small, crowded, and cluttered. Yet, they have all been home. They have all been full of love and laughter. They have all been full of hugs and happiness. They have all been full of goodness and God.

There is an old saying that goes, "Home is where the heart is." Where are you going to put your heart then? Are you going to put it in things or are you going to put it in people? Are you going to put it in money or are you going to put it in God? Are you going to give it over to this crazy world or are you going to use it to make this world a more loving home for everyone.

By: Joseph J. Mazzella
 
Announcement:

There are many precious lessons about going through trials that can be learned from the story of the captivity of the Ark of the Covenant. This will be the subject of the upcoming mini-series: "The Captivity of the Ark", beginning on Saturday. Please join us then! 
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Sun 17 Apr 2016, 11:03 pm

Welcome to the Nugget


April 16, 2016
Humility and the Fear of the Lord

By Answers2Prayer  Humility.

That's the word I heard from the Lord today.

It has been a very long, trying week, filled with disappointment, pain, stress and lack of sleep, and I suspect that many of you reading this devotional can relate. You are probably either going through or have recently gone through major trials of some kind or another. You're tired, you're disappointed, you are in pain, you feel out of control, you feel harried and used, etc. Why would God's response to all of this pain be just this one word? What does humility (or lack of!) have to do with all the stuff we're going through?

When I asked God this question, He immediately placed Prov. 22:4 in my mind: "Humility is the fear of the LORD; its wages are riches and honor and life."

I can relate to the last part of this verse. My tired, stressed-out existence longs for riches and honor and life. But when we read the first part of this verse, we see that these things we so long for are but the wages of, the result of, the word God placed on my heart: Humility. 

Okay, if humility is the key to life, then perhaps it would be useful to define humility...

And God has already defined it for us: "Humility is the fear of the Lord..."

Did you ever go to the dictionary to look up a word, only to have to look up some of the words in the definition in order to understand?

That's how I felt as I read this line. Humility is the fear of the Lord, but just what is the fear of the Lord? 

We've always learned that this means to respect Him, to reverence Him, to hold Him in awe, but we already do that, don't we? I mean, we have accepted Jesus' gift of Salvation, we recognize Him as the King of the universe. What more can this mean?

If we look to the Bible, we see that the fear of the Lord is the root of all wisdom (See Prov 1:7), for wisdom comes from understanding who God is and that He is holy, righteous and true (See Deut 10:12, 20-21). We also see that fear of the Lord includes understanding how much God hates sin, as well as having a healthy fear of His judgment on sin (See Heb 12:5-11), and fearing God also means having such a reverence for Him that it has a great impact on the way we live our lives. Thus, the fear of God is respecting Him, obeying Him, submitting to His discipline, and worshipping Him in awe.

And the fear of God, according to Prov. 22:4, cannot be achieved without humility.

As I think back over the many things that have "gone wrong" this week, I have to ask myself if I totally surrendered these situations to God. Did I lay them down at His feet? Did I submit to His will, even if that meant going through these tough times? And here was the kicker for me this week: Did I trust Him enough to understand that things might be more than they seemed? Did I trust Him with the problems? Did I trust that He could and would "fix" them--without my help? 

Isn't that what the truly humble do? Don't the truly humble recognize their own inability to change a situation, and submit to the only One who can, without holding on? Without doubting His ways? Doesn't someone who is truly humble, someone who truly fears the Lord, live in total submission to God's will, ever knowing that God's ways are perfect, and that He often allows us the hard times in order to teach us important lessons? And that often these are lessons of humility? 

Friends, if we are not willing to submit to God's will, if we are not willing to ride the valleys of life with Him, are we truly humble? Are we truly fearing God? 

If we truly desire to be humble, if we truly desire to have the fear of the Lord, then we must let Him bring us to all humility. We must desire to submit, in all humility, to His sovereign will, ever trusting that His ways are best, even when we can't see it ourselves. It will be painful, yes, for we know that God sometimes allows us to go through pretty scary, taxing times in order to bring us to all humility, to bring us to the ultimate in the fear of God. But let's remember that the rewards are oh, so great: "Humility is the fear of the LORD; its wages are riches and honor and life." (Prov 22:4)

Will you join me in seeking all humility today, in walking in total submission to God's will, no matter where that path may lead? If you will, then you are promised riches, honor and...Life!

In His love,
Lyn

Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author -- "Aboard God's Train -- A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Thu 14 Apr 2016, 10:06 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

April 14, 2015
Faith-Trust

By Answers2Prayer 
  "'Have faith in God,' Jesus answered." (Mark 11:22)

"The apostles said to the Lord, 'Increase our faith!'" (Luke 17:5)

"Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God." (Psalm 20:7)

"They're so far away. And things seem to be going from bad to worse. My son has hopped right out of the frying pan into the fire! I know God can take care of him and the children, but..."
 
This was a friend, calling recently to ask for prayer. She had worked herself into a tizzy worrying about her family. They were able to email, send pictures, and talk which was so great! The thousand mile distance separating them, however, overrode all that at the moment. She was missing them. She wanted to 'fix' things that were going awry in their lives.

The reality is we have no control over people, places or things--whether we're physically there or not. Yet when we're together and can talk face to face, hug, or hold the kids on our lap we sometimes have more calmness of mind during a rough patch.

Sue went on to say she'd been thinking about it quite a bit and that she had faith, but did she have trust? She had faith that God could be with her family and take care of them, but did she trust that He would?

The Bible has about four hundred verses about faith, approximately a hundred sixty concerning trust. Faith--Trust. Perhaps like faith is a gift and trust is a decision. Quite a difference. 
Maybe you have seen the drawing with a child swinging and a large hand is holding the long ropes that attach to it. Underneath are these words: "Trust. Do I really?"

Today when I pray I will try and remember: Have both faith and trust. 

Prayer: I have faith in you, Lord. Please help me to trust you more. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Sally I. Kennedy  
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Wed 13 Apr 2016, 3:24 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
April 12, 2016
Basics of Basileia, Part 4

By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us  In the concluding part of the series on Basiliea (Greek word for Kingdom, which Jesus used in His maiden message), today we focus on other aspects of this subject...

Commitment...

For those who live for the Kingdom selflessly making please God their only priority (2 Cor 5:9 TLB), there is a Divine assurance from the Word Himself (another name for Jesus -- John 1:1) who always keeps His word that, "ALL these things will be added to you" (Matt 6:33). The word ALL encompasses all our physical, social, emotional and financial needs. Proof of the pudding is in the eating thereof and after walking with my Saviour for 32 years now and tasting first hand His faithfulness in providing for my needs I can attest to the veracity of His words enshrined in Matt 6:33.

Canvass...

Say Christian are you faithfully testifying with love and respect (I Peter 3:15) about the Kingdom and its infinite joys with ones you know well (family members, friends, collegues, partners, co-students etc) and ones you come across only once in a while after building a rapport with them (co-passengers in a long journey)? While every Christian is not called to preach every one of us is called to witness about Christ's role in our lives. People who know us intimately needn't go all the way to the empty tomb in Jerusalem to believe in the Resurrection power of our Lord, for they would witness the same in our zealous witnessing for Him (Acts 4:33 ESV)... ...boy, recently the good Lord inspired me to share my testimony (what Jesus has done in my life) lovingly and respectfully with even "irksome" "unseen" telemarketers who give a buzz at unearthly hours. Nothing ought to stop you too from being faithful to your call to be faithful ambassadors of the Kingdom to which you owe your Eternal life...Hallelujah!

Crown...

Pray tell me in which Earthly Kingdom would a Citizen be elevated to the status of a Co-regent by the King Himself for faithfully following the commands of the Kingdom. Consider the truthful Scripture which holds these staggering promises...

"...we Christians will judge and reward the very angels in heaven." (I Cor 6:3 TLB)

"...they reigned with Christ for a thousand years." (Rev 20:4 TLB)

This without doubt is the highest privilege of being part of the Kingdom. Hallelujah!

Cede... 

With promises like these and with the foretaste of Eternity already given to us by the placement of the joyous Holy Spirit within us, should we not go to any lengths to retain the Kingdom in us as a wise pearl merchant did? Whilst on a business trip on discovering a pearl of great value, he sold everything he owned to purchase it (Matt 13:45). Oh yes, we ought to be willing to lay anything worldly at the altar for this incredible spiritual Kingdom sake. Amen!

Prayer: Father, we progress in the Kingdom by the trust You have generated in us by Thy infinite goodness. Help us to be always obedient as Your Son was in His earthly sojourn. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Suresh Manoharan
J and SM Ministries

 
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Sat 09 Apr 2016, 10:09 pm

[size=40]Welcome to the Nugget[/size]

April 9, 2016

Basics of Basileia, Part 3



 
Continuing our journey into the subject Basiliea (Greek word for Kingdom which our Saviour spoke about in His first discourse -- Mark 1:15), today let's cast our spotlight on another related themes such as rules of the Kingdom, how to obey them etc. Firstly...

Commands...

Ignorantia Juris Non Excusat (Ignorance of the Law is no excuse). Is there any Citizen of any Country who would be excused to live as he wants without paying any heed to the Constitution of his Land? No way! Similarly, a person who is now part of God's Kingdom (living in full, blessed communion with Creator) needs to know the Almighty's "constitution," in order he walks in accordance with it (Exo 33:13). Where else can the new citizen find the Divine Constitution other than in the New Testament Canon (Matt-Rev) and who better to teach the same to him/her the best other than the oh-so-close, indwelling Counselor (Holy Spirit -- John 14:26/Gal 5:16/1 John 2:27). Amazing isn't it that our Heavenly Father not only reveals His plans for us through His Word but also places a Divine teacher within us to understand it's intricacies perfectly. Say Christian, have you ever thanked Him wholeheartedly for the wondrous teacher He has given you? Oh yes, there are human agencies too like a inspired Pastor and a Teacher who have a role to play in the learning process of a Christian (Eph 4:11-12), but none better and greater than the one and only Holy Spirit.

In essence, Commandments of the Kingdom are all about loving God and loving one another intensely as can be evidenced in the Gospels and in the writings of five inspired writers' whose writings alone comprise the New Testament Canon - Mark 12:28-34,Romans 13:10 (read Paul), 1 Peter 4:8James 1:27-282 John 1:5Jude 1:21

Capacity...

There is a rare privilege conferred upon the Citizens of Lord's Kingdom. Oh yes, it is the capacity to selflessly obey the commands of the Kingdom out of sheer love for the Master (agreed we are by nature selfish people). It is also given to us by the Indwelling Holy Spirit. Consider this Scripture portion... "we feel this warm love everywhere within us because God has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love." (Rom 5:5). In which Earthly Kingdom would the King Himself give the capacity to His subjects to obey His commands? However noble he is, he cannot give the capacity to his people too, to be as noble as him, unless he can indwell them, which of course is the case in the incredible God-Christian relationship.

Hey, the Kingdom of God is not just talking but living by God's power (1 Cor 4:20/James 1:27)!

Concise...

When the community of Citizens of the Kingdom all enjoying communion with the Heavenly Father gather together to worship the Almighty together and fellowship with one another, a Church is born, which is the concise form of Heaven on Earth (James 1:18-ESV) where God's will ought to be done as it is in Heaven.

Prayer: Father, we Thank Thee for not only making us properly understand Thy commands but also for giving us the capacity to obey them and also for uniting we of different backgrounds into one spiritual family...the Church. We magnify Thee once again in Jesus' Name, Amen.

Suresh Manoharan
J and SM Ministries


 

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Just what does Jesus have to say about His own divinity?  Check out "At the Pool of Bethesda"! 
 



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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Fri 08 Apr 2016, 9:11 pm

Welcome to the Nugget


April 7, 2016
Basics of Basileia, Part 2

By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us  Continuing to focus on the subject Baseliea (Greek word used in the New Testiment Scripture for Kingdom...in connection with God's Kingdom) let's dwell on further related topics such as how to get into this Kingdom or to be more precise what we need to do for the Kingdom to "enter" us...

Confession...

The Saviour came proclaiming that the key to the restoration of ruptured relationship lay not in man running away from His Maker but by repenting of his sins (Mark 1:15). No patient ever got cured by running away from a doctor but by going to the physician in full acknowledgment of his sickness. The first step towards regaining the Kingdom, we had lost courtesy the original sin of our first parents lies in having a contrite heart.

Cross... 

One can come to God only on God's terms. Through several signs in the Old Testament dispensation, our Heavenly Father was pronouncing this truth. One such was the East-facing entrance of the Tabernacle (Exodus 36:27), through which alone would Chosen people (the Jews) of the Old Testament era approach Him. No wonder Jesus called Himself the Gate (John 10:7-9) and by the utterance of the sixth word on the Cross "It is finished," He announced the completion of the Divine Redemption plan in its totality, for it is at the Cross alone that that God's absolute justice (which demands death for a sinner) and Fatherly mercy (which longs to forgive a sinner) kiss each other (Psalm 85:10), so to speak. There is no other place to go to for reconciliation other than the Cross (1 Cor 2:2). Oh how true that it is at the Cross that one crosses over into the Kingdom.

Citizenship...

The mark of this Heavenly citizenship upon an individual is the seal of the Holy Spirit (Eph 1:13-14) who comes to indwell every Christian with His trademark peace and joy (Gal 5:22-23).

Prayer: Father, we praise and thank Thee for placing your joyous Spirit within us which at once assures us of our safe and right relationship with Thee. We magnify Thee in our Saviour Jesus' Name, who made it all possible by His atoning death on the Cross. Amen.

Suresh Manoharan
J and SM Ministries

 
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