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NUGGET Today's Devotional

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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.
©Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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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
 
Announcement:

Hounded by problems? Have troubles become your "norm?" Do you find it hard to hold on to faith in the midst of dire need? God know! Check out Victory in Trouble, a 4-part mini-series by Lyn Chaffart, designed to help you be victorious through your troubled times.
©Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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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
 
Announcement:

Do you have a prayer request? Do you know someone who needs to be prayed for? Prayer works! The Bible confirms this in James 5:16: "The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." (NIV) Send your prayer request here and let us pray in agreement with you! Matt 18:20: "For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them." (NIV) Hallelujah!
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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.
©Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give.
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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.
 
Announcement:

Are you looking for that rest, peace and security that everyone says comes from Jesus? Visit the mini-series, "Eternal Music" and find out!
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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! 
©Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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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.
 
Announcement:

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
 
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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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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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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Sat 02 Apr 2016, 10:33 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
 
April 2, 2016
The Miracles of Bonnie and Elio

By Answers2Prayer 
 I was witness to two animal miracles this week.

My mother's aging cat, Bonnie, was vomiting up yellow bile. When her brother had done the same thing some years ago, he was then diagnosed with liver cancer and he had to be put to sleep, so you can imagine the anguish my mother was going through. We all began to pray, and we arranged to take her to the vet the next day. Interestingly, the vet couldn't find anything wrong with Bonne. In fact, when she did some blood work, the blood work came back perfect, as if Bonnie were 6 years old instead of 16. Anyone surprised that there has been no further incidences of vomiting since? 

About this same time, Elio, the aging black lab belonging to an e-friend of mine, had surgery to remove a cancerous tumor on his leg. The tumor had attached itself to a vein, and unfortunately, the vet was unable to get all of it. A week and four more surgeries later, the leg was still bleeding despite the fact that Elio was being kept sedated. We were all praying for Elio, as he was the only companion my e-friend has, and she is quite attached to him. By Wednesday of this week, the bleeding stopped and she was able to take Elio home. He is not yet out of danger, but he is much, much better. 

Why am I telling you these two stories? After all, Bonnie and Elio are just animals, and these stories don't even mention the types of problems that affect each of us daily.

I am telling you these stories because of one Bible passage: "Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?" (Matt 6:26-30 NKJV) 

Friends, if God so loves the little creatures of this earth like Bonnie and Elio enough to heal them, can't we trust Him with our problems as well? If God so cares about us that he heals our beloved pets, can't we trust Him with our families? With our own lives? "So why do worry about ______ (Insert your present worries here)?...if God so the [beloved pets], which today is and tomorrow [are not], will He not much more ________(insert here your present worries), O you of little faith?"

Whatever it is, be it small or large; be it the common cold or cancer; be it a sick pet or a dying brother; be it no money for a vacation or no money to pay the rent or put food on the table; be it whatever you are worrying about today, give it to God. He knows, and the God who clothes the weeds of the fields; the God who takes care of the birds of the air; the God who healed Bonnie and stopped Elio's bleeding will much more take care of your worries!

God bless each of you this week as you give your worries to Him!

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 01 Apr 2016, 8:25 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

March 31, 2016
Grumble and Complain
bible
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Have you ever been around a complainer? A person who always seems so down and everything that happens is bad and nothing looks as if it is improving. How long does it take for you to just want to move away from this type person? In no time you feel yourself being drug down and nodding with what they say. You need to get away from them and let them wallow in self-pity and discouragement for they will pull you down to where they are in no time. 

Then there is the person who glows and is always smiling at everyone and enjoys life and shows it. They lift you up and don't pull you down. In no time you find yourself smiling and feeling good about yourself and how things are. These are the type of people we like being around. 

What is the difference in them you ask? One looks at things with negativity and the other with promise and hope. Jesus can make a difference in everyone's life if they just believe and receive Him. No, you may not always be uplifting and full of peace and joy, but you do know where it comes from. A Christian is not down for long; they know His promises and hang on to each and every one. Sure Christians have bad days, no one ever said it would be all roses but the difference is they know that they know they have a Savior that is with them and will never leave them. 

The complainer does not want to listen to the truth. They seem to be happy in their little world. These are the ones who need prayer and shown love. For love will open blinded eyes to see and deaf ears to hear. They need Jesus in their life and we need to pray for them and be faithful in doing so. 

Maybe the next time you see them the glass will be half full and no longer half empty. Just maybe you will see a difference in their lives and you know what the difference is. Pray for the lost for you may never know what your prayers have accomplished. 

"But exhort one another daily, while it is called 'Today,' least any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin." (Hebrews 3:13) 

Sharon Niece
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John the Baptist said, "The time has come...The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!" (Mark 1:15). But what exactly is the Kingdom of God? Join us next week for "Basics of Basileia", a four-part mini-series by Brother Suresh Manoharan designed to help us have a better understand of God's Kingdom.
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Wed 30 Mar 2016, 11:21 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

March 29, 2016
Where a Forest has Grown

By Answers2Prayer 
 I was giving myself a bad time of it the other day. It was one of those moments when you question your life. I kept wondering if I had done enough to learn, to grow, to help others, and to make this world a better place. I was being a tough judge on myself too. It was then, however, that God in His infinite wisdom gave me peace by awakening in my mind an old story that I had read many years before. 

The story begins when a young man taking a lone hiking trip loses his way and finds himself stranded without water in a desolate treeless valley. He is saved, though, when a widowed shepherd finds him and leads him to a spring. The man learns that the shepherd after losing his wife had decided to restore the ruined landscape by single-handedly planting a forest, tree by tree, with only a curling pole and acorns that he had collected from many miles away.

Many years later the man returns and finds a growing forest in the valley and the shepherd, now a bee keeper still at work cultivating and nurturing the woodland. The man continues to visit the valley each year and watches as over four decades the tree planter turns the valley into a Garden of Eden. In the end the man helps his friend to get the government to protect the forest and many people move there. He also visits him one last time as the now very old tree planter peacefully passes away.

Thinking of that story made me realize that each of us is a tree planter too. We plant trees of goodness with every loving thought we think, every kind word we share, and every caring act we do. We plant these trees each and everyday of our lives. We should waste no time judging ourselves then while there are more trees to plant. And at the end of our lives when we face our Heavenly Father, we can smile and see where a forest has grown.

"So they will be called oaks of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified." (Is 61:3) 

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

Post  Admin on Sat 26 Mar 2016, 11:46 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

March 26, 2016
A White Easter

By Answers2Prayer 
  "'Come now, let us settle the matter,' says the LORD. 'Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.'" (Isaiah 1:18)

Everyone in North America knows exactly what I'm talking about when I say "White Christmas". According to weathernetwork.ca, the definition of a "white Christmas" is that there is a minimum of 2 centimeters of fresh snow on the ground when you wake up Christmas morning. I, for one, love to go out for a walk on the undisturbed streets, basking in the vivid reminder of what Christmas is all about, how Jesus came to this earth as a tiny baby and 30 years later sacrificed Himself on the cross so that my sins, though as scarlet, can be as "white as snow".

As romantic as the notion of a White Christmas is, however, no one sees any romanticism in a "White Easter". Easter is usually in the time of year all over the world where transition is happening. In the northern hemisphere, the memory of winter is fading; and in the southern hemispheres, summer is rapidly transitioning into fall. Certainly not the time of year that anyone would, even romantically, wish for snow. Nonetheless, when I awoke at 5:00 am Easter morning last year, there was a 2 centimeter blanket of snow covering my deck. 

Needless to say, I didn't go out for a walk. No, I went back to bed and hoped that when I awoke, this fresh snow would be nothing more than a bad dream. You see, after record cold temperatures and snow all last winter, not even the romantic side of me could find nothing positive in the blanket of snow that lay on my deck. 

When I woke up two hours later, there was, unfortunately, still snow on my deck. There wasn't as much of it, however, and for that I rejoiced. I was sure that by mid-day it would be all gone.

But wait. Why would I rejoice at the spiritual symbolism of a "White Christmas", yet not at the same symbolism of a "White Easter"? It's true that had Jesus never come as a baby, there would never have been a death or a resurrection; but in all reality, what we celebrate at Christmas, the birth of Jesus, isn't nearly as important as what we celebrate at Easter. In fact, we don't even really know when Jesus was born; yet we know exactly when He died: At Passover, the time of year when Christians celebrate Easter! Easter is truly a day of celebration, for Christ our Lord, who suffered a horrible death on the cross, carrying our sins as far from us as the east is from the west (See Ps 103:12), rose again Sunday morning to bring us life and life more abundant. It is truly because of Easter that we can say, in the words of the prophet Isaiah, "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool." (Is 1:18).

Wait a minute: White as snow...Isn't that what was covering my deck?

Isn't it true that we tend to live most of the year as if there is no Jesus, no blood sacrifice, no resurrection power? Just like the snow on my deck was almost gone when I woke up two hours later that morning, as soon as Christmas and Easter are over we tend to forget that our sins are as scarlet, yet Jesus makes them as white as snow. We tend to go back to living ordinary lives, back to our survival modes, completely forgetting that we were created for more than this, that we were created to thrive. 

Instead of being depressed about the snow at Easter last year, I thanked Jesus for it, for it was an important reminder that because of what He did on the cross, we have reason to celebrate, for our sins, though as scarlet, are as "White as snow"! May the memory of that "snow" that covers our sin never "melt" from our hearts. May it stay vivid in our minds throughout the upcoming year in order to be a continual reminder to us of the power of the blood--for salvation, for relationship, for healing, for wisdom and peace and strength, for victory over temptation and addiction--for Resurrection Power!

Thank You, Jesus, for sending us the "White Easter" last year. Thank you for making our sin as "white as snow" every day of our lives. May we NEVER forget the power of your blood! 

Our weather forecast calls for 16 degrees C. (about 66 F.) tomorrow, and part of me is glad there will no "white Easter" this year. My wish for all of us, however, is that by the precious blood of Jesus, all our Easters--as well as the rest of the year too!--will be "white"!

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 25 Mar 2016, 11:06 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

March 24, 2016
All Revealed

By Answers2Prayer 
  There is a point at which we receive a revelation. It can come at any age and it is a moment in time when we are given insight and conviction. For years, as simple church-goers, we believed in the cross, in the conviction of the sinful, and the salvation of the repentant. If you were reasonably good, you were reasonably saved. If you were only a bit naughty, you were reasonably redeemed. There were, of course, really bad people who were beyond redemption.

Then one day, truth dawned but let me take it step by step. 

We see three men on three crosses. The middle one is Jesus and on either side of him is a criminal but please note that these three men had each been brought up in homes of worshippers. They were Jews so it is reasonable to assume that each one had been brought up in the faith of their parents and each one had been home-schooled as was the law of their nation. None was illiterate, ignorant, or untaught. It is not impossible that each one had done service in the ministry. Each one on those crosses was in indiscribable agony, two were cursing and swearing, desribed as malefactors, and we would have believed them to be beyond redemption. Only one was realising the horror of being rejected by God. 

Yet Jesus had an escape from the horror of dying on a Cross. He did not have to stay there. He was being rejected by his Father only because he represented sinful mankind but not because he had any sin of his own. If he chose to, he could claim his divinity, reject mankind and go home in glory. Yet onlookers even scorned him and taunted him saying 'If thou be the king of the Jews, save thyself.'

What a temptation! He could have proved them right. He could have saved himself, but it also meant that he had greater pain than the other two put together because they had no choice, they had to stay. But he did not have to stay, he had a choice to make and keep. 

He even cried out "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" (Mark 15:34). Foresaken by God...at such a time...why indeed!

When in the simplicity of my understanding, I realized some of the meaning of the three crosses, I realized that I identify with one or the other of the two malefactors. Why? Because they represented the whole of mankind and that includes me. I had begun to understand that these two malefactors represent the nearly good, the nearly bad, the very best and the very worst of us. We justify ourselves and pretend there is goodness in us. We forget that we are all the same as the malefactors on the crosses--we are sinners. At least they were honest with themselves, and one even said "we indeed suffer justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds." (Luke 23:41). So would I curse and swear and blame everybody but me for my sinfulness as they did? Or would I be like the one who turned to Jesus and said, "Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom" (Luke 23:42)?

I am beginning to truly appreciate this fellow. Of all the biblical characters, I relate to him the most clearly. Humbly, I searched my heart and said in prayer, "Please Lord, let me take the hand of the malefactor who came to you and please take me home with my brother." 

Elizabeth Price
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Wed 23 Mar 2016, 11:29 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

March 22, 2016
Chained Up? Or Set Free? Easter 2016

By Answers2Prayer 
  Being an animal lover, I was appalled by the title of a Youtube video that recently appeared on my Facebook wall: "Dog Chained Up For 10 Years". I was in tears as the story unfolded. Tears of anger at the owner of this poor dog, chained up under a porch in Phoenix Arizona, where the temperatures in the summer can reach 120 F (50 C); Tears of compassion for the dog, covered with tumors and flies; and Tears of joy when this same dog was freed, given a bath, medical care, and placed in a new home where there were no longer any chains. 

The story stayed with me, and it wasn't until a couple of days later that I finally heard God's voice speaking to me over my own emotions: "Now you know how I feel."

I stopped in my tracks. Yes. Of course. This was how God feels when He sees the crown of all His creation, mankind, chained, enslaved, imprisoned to the lies of the devil. He sees us bound to our addictions, shackled to our insecurities, fettered to our illnesses, rendered powerless by our devotion to our false gods. And His heart aches with the desire to set us free. 

The good news is, God has already set us free: "It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery." (Gal. 5:1) 

Notice, friends, that this text is written in past tense! It doesn't say He "will" set us free. It doesn't say He "would love to" set us free. It says, "It was for freedom that Christ set us free"! That means it's already said and done! We are free!

And this is the glory of the Easter message. When Jesus went to that cross, He overcame sin, darkness, chains, everything. Consider the following text: "The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, Because the LORD has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound…" (Isaiah 61:1)

But wait. If we are already set free, then why are we still living in our addictions, our fears, our pain? Why are we still chained to our false gods? Ensnared by our human natures? Bound to our insecurities?

Remember, the devil likes to lie to us ("You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it." John 8:44), and for some unknown reason, it is easier to believe the devil's lies than it is to believe the Truth of God's Word. It is easier to believe in what we "see" than in what we read. It is easier to walk by sight and not by faith. 

Like that poor dog, do you feel chained up? Left to your own resources by the addictions, the sicknesses, the circumstances? The good news is, you have already been set free (See Gal 5:1!). Yes, you still see the chain, but God asks us to walk by faith, not by sight (See 2 Cor. 5:7). He asks us to see that the chain no longer has any power over you, that we can simply shake it off. Why? Because when Jesus died and rose from the dead, He has already set you free! 

So why, if God has already loosed our chains, is He sad? Because we do not walk in the freedom that Christ died on the cross to give to us. 

This Easter season, let's not make Jesus' sacrifice in vain. Let's resolve to walk in the liberty that Jesus died to give us. Let's put off our chains! 

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 Sun 20 Mar 2016, 11:50 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
March 19, 2016
At Any Cost, by Any Road



By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us   She watched him leave, something impressing her she would not see him again

He had vowed to fight her poverty, brought about by the greed of bureaucracy, and he was so sure he would succeed, there was a swagger in his step.

Surely they would listen when they understood the reasons.

Word drifted back to her from time to time that he had met up with others who felt the same way. Her hopes ran high as she prayed with renewed purpose. Perhaps some day her son would fulfill the promises for a land of peace and prosperity.

She prayed as only a mother can pray.

Disturbing news filtered back as she met up with other impoverished families. They would meet as they went out to gather wild sycamore fruit and the grapes of a lone vine growing inaccessibly in a wild ravine. There, too, they befriended and tamed feral goats and milked them each day.

News came through the friendship network that the young men had so disturbed authorities, they had to disband and flee for their lives.

There was silence of them for a long time, then news of their robberies and violence came back to their families.

One family vehemently disowned their son, but she never ceased to pray for hers. Then came news that two of the young men had been captured and sentenced to death, guilty of the crimes she had so long feared they were committing.

Guilty: her heart was pierced and near to breaking.

"But the Lord can reach him!" she remembered triumphantly, and she prayed day and night.

There was no news. Her hope gave way to despair but still she pleaded for his mercy for her boy.

Then one Friday a foreboding paralysed her. She did not go out but stayed indoors alone and fasted and knelt in silent prayer.

She was hardly conscious of time and when she opened her eyes, everything was in darkness.

The thickness of the dark felt strange. She stood up and opened the door but there was no starlight and no moonlight, just a heavy blackness so black she seemed to breathe it in.

In fear, she returned to prayer, reaching out again to her Lord for her son, trembling with premonition.

"Lord," she prayed, "at any cost, by any road, bring him to yourself."

When she opened her eyes, the darkness had lifted and a strange peace settled on her.

Days later, the news filtered back. Her son had been crucified that day, along with her friend's son and another man. The third man was on the middle cross between them.

The strange report was that her son turned to the third man on the middle cross and said to him, "Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom." (Luke 23:42)

Thank you, Jesus, for making a way! Praise God for the cross! Praise God for answered prayers.

Elizabeth Price
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Do you have a prayer request? Do you know someone who needs to be prayed for? Prayer works! The Bible confirms this in James 5:16: "The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." (NIV) Send your prayer request here and let us pray in agreement with you! Matt 18:20: "For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them." (NIV) Hallelujah!
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Fri 18 Mar 2016, 7:32 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

March 17, 2016
No Magic In the Green

By Answers2Prayer
King Bryan, I wonder how many people know who King Bryan is? He is the king of the leprechauns. I happen to know that because I recently watched an old favorite Disney movie called "Darby O'Gill And The Little People". One fine day while chasing a rainbow, Darby O'Gill came upon King Bryan and captured him. As the story goes, if you capture a leprechaun, then he has to grant three wishes. Well the shenanigans between King Bryan and Darby O'Gill in this old tale were very amusing, to say the least. There was a moral to the story of the love of a grandfather for his grandchild and Darby's willingness to sacrifice his own life to save his granddaughter. 

In the month of St. Patrick many people claim to be Irish as they wear green top hats, walk with shillelaghs and last but not least, drink green beer!

The reality is, that there is another kind of green in the world...The green of envy, which is not self-sacrificing, as in the aforementioned story, but rather, more self-giving or filled with self-motivation. That would be the green-eyed-monster of jealousy.

This is when one wants what others have, in particular when pride raises its ugly head. It can destroy friendships, work relationships and even family relationships. It happens when someone looks on a situation and doesn't understand the depths of it.

When someone is given the gift of compassion from above, they are sometimes compelled to give care and assistance to a person in need. This is a very good thing and something heaven is proud of. Add to that someone looking on who does not understand why the giver, has not done something similar for them and you have a jealous feeling growing in the onlooker. It is often probable that the onlooker has much more than the person in need, but that matters little. Jealousy is not a heavenly thing and does not stop to consider this fact. It starts to cause resentment, gossip and a need for revenge. Does God approve of such motives?

The next often tried, logical, step for the onlooker is to surround themselves with people who will support them in their perceived injustice. Thus they begin to gossip and tell all manner of tales about the needy person, in order to persuade their supporters that they have been treated unfairly. This can sometimes make the giver feel that perhaps they should not have been generous in the first place. In other extreme cases the jealous person, the one with the green-eyed-monster sitting on his shoulder, will try to get what the needy person has obtained by any means available. 

What must the Heavenly Father think of this? God was the one who prompted the giver to be generous in the first place and that was a very good thing not only for the needy person, but also for the giver. Many of us believe that good deeds in this world go before us and are saved for us in heaven. Prayer can eliminate the need to feel jealous. If we ask our Heavenly Father to make us generous of heart ourselves and not fall into the temptation to destroy or reverse the good act, He will surly help us to replace the jealousy with good thoughts and even a generous spirit of our own. 

Prayer: Jesus, you were meek and humble of heart. You are the most generous of all and came here and sacrificed your life in order to share heaven with us. Please take the promptings of the evil one away and replace it with the goodness that is like yours in wishing our brothers and sisters only the VERY BEST in their lives. Amen. 

Marilyn LaPierre
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Sat 12 Mar 2016, 11:18 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
March 12, 2016
Of Promise, Patience and Prize, Part 3

By Answers2Prayer 
 In our series on how problems come visiting in a believer before fulfillment of a Divine promise, let's focus on the life of the greatest King in Jewish History...

Ruler...

"I would have to live in harsh environs of many a cave for many years before entering the cool comforts of the palace" was the thought that would have never crossed anointed young shepherd boy David's mind as he was being nationally feted after his heroic feat of slaying mighty Goliath (I Sam 18:6-9). But envious King Saul fuelled by murderous rage, much like the envious brothers of Joseph made life miserable for poor David chasing him all around the country making the poor innocent hero-turned fugitive change 15 locations whilst escaping for his life.

Then come two opportunities for fugitive David to slay his unjust enemy (who would even propagate lies in regards to David...oh how lies and injustice go hand in hand. See 1 Sam 22:6-8) but David used those two chances to showcase his godly patience (1 Sam 24/26) instead.

In both the instances, even as his mates in trouble urged him to wield the sword to finish off his foe who was out to mercilessly snuff out his life, David wielded something else...something really wondrous at a time none may have Scripturally (Exo 21:24) faulted him for his act of revenge, for was not "eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth" the norm then? I reiterate, he displayed much to even his enemy's amazement godly patience (oh-so-precious to the Lord) letting go of his foe even while patiently bidding his time to become the King in God's own appointed time. And when that time of coronation finally came, he went on to become Israel's greatest King wielding (wielding again eh) total control from River Euphrates in the north to the borders of Egypt in the South (2 Sam 8) which was actually God's original geographical promise for Abraham's descendents (Gen 15:18-21/Joshua 1:3-4) but was sadly not brought to fruition by not-so-godly, not-so-obedient Jewish leaders before David. 

Next week, in the concluding part of our series, let's look at what made Jesus the Saviour of the World. Were His unparalled wise teachings the cause or His astounding miracles or "something else"...

Prayer: Father, grant us Thy grace to trust Thee in the midst of all my difficulties, knowing that they are contributing to my spiritual growth. In Jesus' Name. Amen

Suresh Manoharan
An unworthy servant
J and SM Ministries
 
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The Easter season is already upon us. Join us throughout the month of March as we celebrate this ultimate sacrifice that Jesus came to this Earth to give us.
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Fri 11 Mar 2016, 11:29 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
March 10, 2016
Of Promise, Patience and Prize, Part 2

By Answers2Prayer 
  In the second part of our series on how problems precede fulfillment of a Divine promise in a believers life, let's have a look at the life of the greatest Prime-Minister of Biblical history, as a case in point... 

Prime-Minister...

"Here comes the dreamer" hissed his envious brothers' contemptuously even while plotting his murder as they saw Joseph in "designer attire" of his times from a distance riding "majestically" towards them on a donkey (Gen 37:17-20). About 1650 years later, "someone" who "rode majestically" on the back of a donkey into Jerusalem (Matt 21:1-9) also figured in the murderous conspiracy of his envious "elder brothers" in Ministry (Pharisees and Saducees-Matt 26:4).

Now what exactly were Joseph dreams' which amongst other reasons contributed to his elder brothers' turning green with envy? To quote verbatim from the Scriptures and its interpretation thereof..."my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it. " and "this time the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me." ...meaning virtually, he would be a high and mighty ruler one day with even his kith and kin being his subjects (Gen 37:5-11).

Well did Joseph's dreams come to pass immediately. Well they had go through the pit-Potiphar's house (den of temptations actually)-prison-before stepping into the palace, as it were. In the process consider what "all" transpired...let the Scripture take over at this stage...

"There in prison they hurt his feet with fetters and placed his neck in an iron collar until God's time finally came—how God tested his patience!" (Psalm 105:18-19 TLB)

Let Scripture continue to speak...

"Then the king sent for him and set him free. He was put in charge of the entire king's possessions." (Psalm 105:20)

Lessons to be learnt apart from the all-too-obvious fact...Patience pays? Firstly, the good Lord in His sovereign wisdom permits lies and injustice, yes I reiterate lies and injustice to triumph at the expense of His chosen ones, which would be a quite a bitter pill to swallow for His loved ones bred as they have been from childhood onwards on societal cliches such as, "Truth triumphs and lies lose". "What's happening, Lord" is the question which would initially pop-up in the confused minds of the devout lot even as slowly but steadily the final beautiful design of their lives prepared by the Master artist emerges before their eyes. As the full scope of His grand tapestry is revealed slowly but surely (Rom 8:28/2 Cor 3:18) to His loved ones what other choice is there to them other than to mouth loud Hallelujahs in this World and the Next.

Some of course tragically as the Scripture bears out did not quite co-operate with the Master trainer and lost out...consider this Scripture: "And you shall remember the whole way that the LORD your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not. And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD." (Deu 8:2-3)

Quite unjust of the Lord to let us go hungry opined the majority lot (the ones which came out of Egypt and were travelling towards their prized Promised Land) when confronted albeit only temporarily with hunger pangs. They rebelled against Him with tragic consequences (Numbers 11). Though this may not have been recorded in the Scriptures, we can safely presume that for the likes of godly Joshua or Caleb (even while rubbing shoulders with the disgruntled lot off to the Promised Land) rebellion against the Lord's will was never a possibility. They patiently took a stand borne out of love reasoning all the while that "man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God" meaning that the Lord's presence with them was more important than any presence or absence of food. If that be so, make a note ministers of God of 21st century...Thou shall not live by any earthly appreciation alone but by His approval of thy ministry done for His glory!

Next week, in the penultimate part of our series, let's consider the plethora of problems which came visiting an innocent shepherd boy turned national hero...

Prayer: Father, you know the beginning from the end, grant us Thy grace to co-operate with Thee in Thy training process of moulding us into Your Son's image. 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 09 Mar 2016, 9:31 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
March 8, 2016
Of Promise, Patience and Prize, Part 1

By Answers2Prayer 
  It is quiz time folks! Name the fourth element in the nine-fold Fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-23). Of course, the first three-Love, Joy and Peace- reel off our mouth instantly but the fourth one (very vital one at that) doesn't come to our mind just as easily. Well, Patience as the oxford dictionary defines it is the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious. Spiritually speaking it is all that and more for it can even pass off as the twin virtue of love which bears all things...endures all things (I Cor 13:7).
 
In this Series of 4 parts, I would like bring to the fore how the Almighty develops in us the virtue of patience through some painful ordeals even while placing a prize before us all with an aim of moulding us into His Son's image (Romans 5:3-4). Talk of metamorphosing an ugly caterpillar (when we come to him "warts and all" at the point of salvation) into a beautiful butterfly...(2 Cor 3:18, 2 Peter 1:5-11).

In this Series, let's look at some men and even the Son of God donning the human vesture who for the prize that was placed before them took "everything" in their stride "patiently" (Heb 12:2). What is common among the greatest Prime-Minister in Biblical history, greatest King of Israel and the Saviour of the World is that promise of something "juicy" was not immediately followed by it falling on their lap but them obtaining it only after exhibiting oodles of patience in waiting and even suffering for it.
Let's get into "action" straight-a-way next week, by looking at how the Almighty in His sovereign wisdom allowed a series of debacles in the life of a young "dreamy" oriental Easterner before transforming him into the greatest Prime-Minister in the Biblical history.
Prayer: Father, grant us Thy grace to take the debacles of our life in our stride, acknowledging that everything which happens in our life as per Your will is designed for our welfare. 
Suresh Manoharan
An unworthy servant
J and SM Ministries
 
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