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NUGGET Today's Devotional

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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Wed 05 Oct 2016, 7:38 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

October 4, 2016
Lessons From Camping, Part 1: How to Park a Trailer

By Answers2Prayer
 "But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me." (2 Cor 12:9) 

We had been planning this particular trip for months. Having just purchased a new trailer and a new vehicle to tow it, we were chomping at the bit to take them out for their maiden voyage. Imagine our disappointment when the weather forecast held nothing but rain for the entire week leading up to the trip, and not just rain, but torrential rain for the designated weekend...Sure, we had a new trailer that didn't leak, but who wants to camp in the rain?

It was too late to change our plans, however, and besides, we really did need to go out for a weekend before taking the trailer on a long trip, just to "break it in" properly, so instead of revising our plans, we prayed and asked God to give us a good trip, no matter what the weather might be.

Things didn't look too promising when we arrived at the campground and drove to our reserved site. Imagine our horror to see that it was at the top of a hill at the end of a narrow, steep alleyway. To make things worse, the entrance was narrower than our tow vehicle, and it slopped off to the left into a deep ditch. Yikes! 

Having never been extraordinarily good at driving with a trailer in the reverse direction, and especially not with a new trailer and tow vehicle, I did the "intelligent" thing: I decided to pull onto the site instead of backing onto it. In order to get the vehicles lined up so that the trailer didn't end up in the ditch, I had to proceed onto the entryway very slowly. That didn't leave me any momentum for climbing the hill, and with my inexperience with a manual transmission, it wasn't long before my clutch was smoking and the wheels were spinning in the soggy gravel. 

Once on top, we would learn that the site was very small, with no way to turn around or to even pull the trailer all the way off the alleyway. There was nothing we could do except back off the site. But how? If I hadn't felt comfortable backing on to it, how would I ever feel comfortable backing off? Especially with that ditch down at the bottom...And even if we managed to make it off the site, then what? This was, after all, our reserved site! 

I decided to put into practice what I preach. I gave the problem to God. Two minutes later a park ranger drove up. I was disappointed when he didn't just volunteer to park our trailer for us, but he did the next best thing. He told us that once we were off our reserved site, we could drive through the camp and pick any empty site. 

That still left the biggest problem, however: How would we get the trailer off of this site without landing it in the ditch? I went to God in prayer. I told Him that I couldn't get the trailer back onto the road; but that I knew He could. I asked that His strength, wisdom and towing power be perfected in my weakness. I then got into the car, put it in reverse, and started down the hill. I didn't have a single problem, and two minutes later, we were again on the camp road. 

We choose the next campsite over. It was on level ground, the entrance was broad with no ditch, and I had no problem backing onto the site. In all, it was closer to the bathhouse and right next to the camp's water supply. A much better site all around. As we sat in the trailer, letting the clutch cool down, I couldn't help but think how much easier it would be to handle most of my problems in life if I would only hand them over to God and allow His strength to be perfected in my weakness. 

Whatever challenge it is that you face today, be it illness, problems at work, problems with the kids, or even problems parking a trailer, why not try giving it to God, fully believing that His strength will be perfected in your weakness? You will be amazed at how easily everything falls into place. 

"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." (2 Cor 12:90)

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 02 Oct 2016, 5:19 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
October 1, 2016
The Root and the Tree

By Answers2Prayer 
 It was our last camping hurrah of the season, and though it was mid-October, the weather was beautifully warm and clear. A perfect weekend to be out in nature. Our camping site was excellent; the only problem was that it would take some careful maneuvering to back our small trailer onto it. 

We quickly prepared ourselves for the job. My husband stationed himself on the rear right corner of the trailer, and my oldest son on the rear left, and I began that treacherous trip in reverse that would be required to maneuver the trailer onto the site. 

I hadn't gone two metres, however, when my husband began shouting something about a tree root that was on the site. It didn't seem to matter which way I directed the trailer, he continued to direct my attention towards the offending root. 

I would later learn that my son was also giving me a warning: There was a large tree directly off the front left-hand corner of the tow-vehicle. Regrettably, I didn't notice him at all over the warnings being given to me about the root; but fortunately for us all, I did see the tree. I asked my son's fiancee, who was still in the car with me, to station herself beside it. She did, but before I could continue the job of parking the trailer, my husband ran up to the window to make sure I had heard his warning about the tree root. 

Don't get me wrong, the root was indeed a formidable concern; but the tree was a far more immediate obstacle to be contended with, so I focused my attention away from my husband and onto my future daughter-in-law's directions. With her excellent assistance, I was able to avoid that tree, and then I switched my attention to my husband's warnings. 

What if I had focused my attention solely on avoiding the root? 

We would now have a dented front end on our tow-vehicle. 

It all made me think. Jesus tells us, "Why do you see the speck in your brother's eye, but fail to see the beam of wood in your own? Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me remove the speck from your eye,' while there is a beam in your own? You hypocrite! First remove the beam from your own eye, and then you can see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye." (Matt 7:2-5)

We are quick to point the finger at those who do us wrong. Any time there is something amiss, we look for a cause--outside of ourselves! We have become so blinded by self-preservation and self-exoneration that we are often completely oblivious to the fact that the problem may actually stem from ourselves. Yet when we judge others, when we focus on their faults, we are blinded to the reality that we, ourselves, may have a much more serious default in our own character. 

Jesus warns us against this: "Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For by the standard you judge you will be judged, and the measure you use will be the measure you receive." (Matt 7:1) 

Each of us also has someone who can help us with that "tree"...God's Holy Spirit is ever there to guide us and convict us of our own faults. "But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I am going away. For if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you, but if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will prove the world wrong concerning sin and righteousness and judgment..." (John 16:8) Our problem is often that we become so distracted by the "roots", by the defaults we see in other people, that we fail to hear the voice of God's Spirit guiding us.

Let's remember this the next time we're tempted to point the finger of blame at someone else. Just for a moment, let's shift our attention enough away from that "root" that we can hear the voice of God's Spirit. Then we will be able to look for the more formidable problems in our own lives, and then we will be able to avoid the "tree"! 

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:

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 30 Sep 2016, 4:57 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
September 29, 2016
Up to You

By Answers2Prayer 
 "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing." (1 Cor 13:1-3)

The college I attended as a young man was a collection of beautiful, red brick buildings built along the side of a hill. At the bottom of the hill was the closest town. Getting back to the dorms from town during the cold, Winter months was a treacherous trip even for the sober students. 

For those who had been drinking at the town bars it often led to many slips and falls as they stumbled up the slick sidewalks. On one December day a friend and I were debating going into town to grab a bite to eat at the local convenience store. We didn't like the idea of walking downhill on a sheet of ice, but the dinner at the cafeteria that day had left a lot to be desired. Finally, we decided to head down and grab some sandwiches and sodas. We gingerly made our way and after about ten minutes got to the bottom of the hill. As we walked towards the store a shivering man approached us. His clothes were worn and dirty. His gray hair was wild and unruly. 

His face was unshaven. He didn't have a lot of teeth left either. He smelt strongly of sour liquor. When he got close he stopped and seemed a bit ashamed of what he was about to say but finally he asked for a few dollars to get something to eat. I stepped back at first and all of the warnings that I had heard others say against people like him played in my mind. Yet, when I looked into his sad eyes I felt a warmth in my heart. I pulled out my wallet and gave him the money. As we walked on my friend said that the man was probably going to spend that money on alcohol. I thought about it then said, "What he does with the money is his choice. Sharing it was mine."

I have looked back on that memory so many times over the years. If I had it to do all over again I think that I would have talked to the man longer, gave him more money, and maybe shared a hug with him as well. Even to this day some 30 years later I keep that man in my prayers. 

I pray that he found his way back to health, back to a home, and back to God. We all come into this world from love and when we leave it we will return to love.  

Whether we love while we are here, however, is up to us. What is your choice going to be? Are you going to live by the rules of the world or the rules of Heaven? Are you going to help just yourself or are you going to help others as well? Are you going to let fear rule you or are you going to love others as God loves you? It is up to you! 

Joseph J. Mazzella
 
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"The Heavens declare the glory of God..." (Ps. 19:1) 

There are so many lessons we can learn from God's nature. Join us on Saturday and next next for priceless lessons inspired by a recent camping trip.

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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Wed 28 Sep 2016, 10:37 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

September 27, 2016
Brrrr!

By Answers2Prayer 
 It was 84 degrees (29 C.) in Orlando a few days ago. Yet, I carried my jacket inside the local movie theater. The interior is like an igloo. And the fact that I'm always cold doesn't help.

We walked in and ran into the friendly manager. As we chatted with her, I asked her, "Why do you guys keep the temperature so low? I think next time I'll bring my earmuffs."

She laughed. "The temperature is set as if the theater was full," she said. "Even if there are 5 people, the temperature setting never changes."

"Oh."

I put on my jacket as hubby and I headed to find our seats.

That night under my cozy covers, I had a comforting thought. Contrary to the one-setting thermostat at the theatre, God doesn't have one setting to His love. He's provision is unique to each of us, our situation and our challenges.

He doesn't give us less than we need. He's not a moment late or a moment too soon. His love is uniquely customized according to the emotional coldness we might feel on that moment, on that day or season.

Have you been there? As you read this, you might be in the ditch of hardship, yet He has the rope long enough to get you out. That's because He's so divinely aware of all our struggles. He knows the degree of our pain and has the exact amount of comfort. He knows the depth of our financial failures and has the perfect provision to lift us up. And when overwhelmed by life's trials, He has the right quantity and customized solutions.

So why don't we go through life carefree and with peace overflowing? Perhaps because we doubt His perfect provision. We wonder when, how and where He will bring what we need. And as He determines that, do we truly believe that He will do what He promises throughout His Word, including the one in Psalm 91?

"Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you...Then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways..." (Ps 91:3-11)

Father, I reclaim my peace as I know You will be my provider in the coldness of this world. You will bring what I need at the moment I need it. And You will exert your power enough to bring answers, perfect and timely. In Jesus' name I thank you, amen.

* What answer are you waiting for?
* What is your degree of trust?
* How can you be sure of God's provision?


Janet Eckles

If this message resonated with you, please visit Janet's cyberspace home for more inspiration. 
 
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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? Check out "Basics of Basileia", a four-part mini-series by Brother Suresh Manoharan designed to help us have a better understand of God's Kingdom! 
©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 25 Sep 2016, 4:31 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
September 24, 2016
The Best Part

By Answers2Prayer 
  I was delighted to find celeriac in the local farmer's market this morning. This strange-looking root vegetable, also called turnip-rooted celery, knob celery, and sometimes celery root, is a variety of celery cultivated for its edible roots, hypocotyl, and shoots. 

As the primary cook for someone who has a potato intolerance, I am most interested in it for the fact that it makes a wonderful substitution for potatoes. You can chop it and cook it for potato salad, you can throw it into soup instead of chunks of potato, you can grate it and fry it up like hashbrowns, and when you aren't trying to use it to substitute for potato, you can grate it and eat it as a salad. 

The only problem is, celeriac isn't available in our neck of the woods year round, hence my excitement to find it this morning. The problem was, the vendor was selling it with its greens attached. I had never seen it sold that way before, and all I could think of was how much room in my garbage that top would take up. This is what motivated me to tell the vendor that I didn't need the greens.

"But that's the best part!" she argued, pinching off a leaf and holding it out for me to smell. "See what a nice aroma it has?"

Sure enough, it smelled strongly of celery. Intrigued, I asked how to use it. 

"You chop it up and throw it into your soup," she responded. "You can freeze it, too, and whenever you need to celery in a recipe, you can throw it in."

Once home, I washed the greens and chopped them, and then I put them in a freezer bag for later use, and as I did, I couldn't help but think that I had come very close to leaving behind "the best part" of the celeriac!

In the rehab hospital where I work, one of the more common statements I hear about God is this: "I don't believe in God, because if God really existed, I wouldn't be here in the hospital!"

The whole incident with the celeriac greens made me think about this. You see, we want all the good things that God has to offer us, but we really don't care for the bad. I mean, after all, why would a loving God allow so much suffering?

But when we only buy into God for the good things, are we, perhaps, throwing away "the best part"? 

But wait. How can suffering be "the best part"? 

I don't pretend to have all the answers to this, but I do know that we see only a very tiny part of the picture of life. In our limited line of vision, there isn't room for suffering, and it seems impossible to think that anything good could actually come out of it. What if we, even for just a moment, considered the fact that some of the suffering we must face actually works for the good? A death in the family, for example, may be the only thing that will ever bring a non-believing family member to the place where they realize they need the Lord. Debilitating handicaps may be the only way God can help us to understand how much we need Him, how rich our lives can be if we rely solely on Him. Serious debt and lose of job may be the only way God can help us to understand that He is our provision. All the time. 

Hasn't God promised to work everything out for the good? Prayerfully consider this text: "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." (Romans 8:28) 

The question is, do we trust God enough to recognize that hardships are times to grow, that they are not to be wished away? Can we trust Him enough to understand that all things work together for good? Can we blindly follow where He leads, even if it means a brief trip through the valley of suffering? Can we come to realize that without the suffering that God permits in this life, it is like we are throwing out "the best part"?

I challenge each of you today to surrender yourselves completely to God's will, even if it means a trip through the valley of suffering, ever knowing that God will ALWAYS provide a way of escape (See 1 Cor. 10:13). When you do, you will find that you are indeed, enjoying "the best part".

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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HAVE A BEAUTIFUL FALL!
With Autumn already showing her colours throughout the Northern Hemisphere of our planet, with the children all back in school, let's all take a moment to reflect upon the blessings that God has granted us throughout this past summer. May God bless you abundantly and with abundance this fall!
©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 23 Sep 2016, 10:14 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

September 22, 2016
Hanging by a Thread

By Answers2Prayer 
  "You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me." (Psalm 139:5)

My grandmother taught me how to hem. I remember it being as difficult to learn as tying shoelaces, my fingers feeling thick and clumsy. I wanted to learn to sew, however, so I kept practicing. Eventually I learned, and am grateful I did, since it has come in handy so often. 

There are times when our world seems to unravel right before our eyes. The Bible clearly says "when we have troubles" not 'if'. We can't get a needle and thread, sew it up with a neat hem-stitch, and fix it.

The good news is that we have a promise, in the book of Psalms, written by David. King David wrote out of his experience; he knew what he was talking about. In Psalm 139, he says the Lord has us hemmed in and protected.

When you feel like you are hanging by a thread, and just barely holding on, it's good to remember the beautiful "hemmed in" promise we can claim from the Lord.

"You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely. You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me." (Psalm 139:1-5) 

Sally I. Kennedy
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"And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work." (2 Cor. 9:8)

Wait a minute: If God promises abundance, then why do I have all this need? Click here to find out!
©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 18 Sep 2016, 8:15 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
September 17, 2016
To Boldly Go

By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us
Being a shy person by nature, witnessing isn't something that comes natural for me. Oh, it's easy enough to write about God and send it across the world to people who you will never meet, but to take those same words and share them, either in written or verbal form, with those you interact with on a daily basis, now that's a different story altogether. Yet Jesus didn't command only the outgoing people of the world to witness. He commanded this of us all: "Then Jesus came to them and said, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.'" (Matt 28:18-20)

I live in North America where persecution for one's faith is relatively rare. Yet as I read stories of Christians in the persecuted church, I am absolutely amazed at how bold they are with their witnessing. The only down-side for me to witnessing is that some of my friends might think I am a "Bible thumper", a "Jesus Freak", or worse, just plain "religious". But those in the persecuted church are taking their life in their hands just to spread the good news of God's love. 

What makes the difference? 

Their love for God supersedes their fear. Doesn't God's Word say, "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear" (1 John 4:18)? 

I have recently been very touched by reading the testimony of a former Muslim girl, published in the book, "Face to Face with Jesus", by Samaa Habib and Bodie Thoene*. Those she suffered greatly for her faith, this girl loved Jesus so much that she persevered. In the end, she saw the salvation of her entire family. 

As I thought about this one morning last week, I could hear God giving me a challenge, a challenge to put aside my shyness, to lay aside my fear of what others would think, and to love Him boldly. I couldn't do it. Not on my own. And the tears coursed down my cheeks as I told God I wasn't courageous enough to do what He asked of me. That's when I clearly heard His voice in my mind: "I will make you bold!" I began to pray, to ask God to empty me of my fear and to fill me with His love, with His boldness, His supernatural courage, His wisdom and discernment. Then I asked Him to open the doors where He would have me witness and push me through them. 

I witnessed to three of my patients at work that day. One of them loudly purported that he didn't believe in God. When I heard God's Spirit saying, "Pray for his healing," I asked him if I could pray with him. In tears, he told me I could. The very next day, his health status took a turn for the better. Everyone was amazed at the difference. 

Similar things have happened every time I've asked God to make me bold. It is exciting. It makes me wonder why I don't ask God to make me bold all of the time! In fact, maybe I will start doing that! After all, He gave up everything for me; and if I truly love Him the way I feel that I do, how can I not do everything in my power to make Him happy? How can I not do my part in bringing the lost sheep of His fold home to Him?

I know that many of you reading this post are already bold in your witness. But if you are not, then I urge you to join me in falling so deeply in love with God that you can't help but witness. I encourage you to join me in asking Him daily to make you bold. He will respond, it is a prayer He loves to answer. Then sit back in anticipation to see what He is going to do through 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.

*"Face to Face with Jesus" by Samaa Habib and Bodie Thoene is available on Amazon. Samaa's story will truly change your life.
Announcement:

A special happy birthday wish to my precious mom, Wynona Gordon, who turns 80 today. May God grant her many more happy years! 

Lyn Chaffart, Moderate, The Nugget
©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 16 Sep 2016, 9:09 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

September 15, 2016
Camo

By Answers2Prayer 
  "Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight." (Hebrews 4:13)

We were on the back porch. A holiday morning, not much stirring yet. I was slowly waking, cradling a steaming mug of coffee, when my husband asked, "Do you see what's in the tree?"

I strained to look, and all I saw was healthy, green palm fronds. Perfectly camouflaged, the iguana lay draped over a top branch. I zoomed in with my camera lens, and was once-again amazed at the mimic that nature comes up with.

"He's so concealed by his coloring and marks," I thought. "It keeps him hidden in his surroundings." 

Sometimes I cover things up, put a smokescreen over them. But nothing in all of this world, including my heart, is hidden from God. Our very thoughts are known to Him, and they're not a surprise. He doesn't say, "Hmmm, imagine that, what she's thinking!"....or, "Gee, look what he just did!" No news to the Lord, who knew us before we were even born (Psalm 139).

And, He loves us anyway. You may have heard this, and it is true: there is nothing you could ever do that would make God love you more, and there is nothing you could ever do that would make God love you less. He loves you. Period. Forever. Unconditionally. It's who He is. 

That is definitely good news.

Inspirational Messages, Sally I. Kennedy 2015 
 
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Wed 14 Sep 2016, 11:23 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

September 13, 2016
The Benefits of Encouragement, Part 2: The Payback

By Answers2Prayer 
  Last time, in The Benefits of Encouragement, Part 1, we saw the power of giving encouragement, even when the givers were suffering as well. But is there any payback for the givers of encouragement?

The Bible tells the story of a Moabite woman, one who married an Israelite and then was left a widow without children. This meant, in that society and culture, that she had nothing. In order to sustain herself and her widowed mother-in-law, she went out into the fields and gleaned, something that was only done by the dirt poor. The owner of the field found her and gave her encouragement. He told her to glean only in his fields, and then he told his harvesters to leave plenty of grain behind for this young woman. The young woman was encouraged, yes, and she and her widowed mother-in-law suddenly found themselves in the position where they had plenty to eat; but was there any gain for the owner of the field that showed her kindness?

Some of you have already guessed that that young widow's name was Ruth, and that the kind field owner was named Boaz, and if you are unfamiliar with the story, I encourage you to read it in the Book of Ruth. As you review the story, you will come to the end of the book and realize that Boaz did, indeed, gain from this act of kindness. He went on to marry Ruth and she bore him a son Obed, grandfather to King David, ancestor to Jesus Christ. 

Consider the following text: 

"Each one of you should give just as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, because God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace overflow to you so that because you have enough of everything in every way at all times, you will overflow in every good work. Just as it is written, 'He has scattered widely, he has given to the poor; his righteousness remains forever.' Now God who provides seed for the sower and bread for food will provide and multiply your supply of seed and will cause the harvest of your righteousness to grow. You will be enriched in every way so that you may be generous on every occasion, which is producing through us thanksgiving to God." (2 Cor 9:7-11)

This means that when we give encouragement, we are promised the following benefits: 
1. God's Grace will overflow in us (vs 8);
2. You will overflow in every good work (vs. 8);
3. Your righteousness will remain forever (vs. 9);
4. Your seed and bread will be provided and multiplied (vs. 10);
5. The harvest of your righteousness will grow (vs 10);
6. You will be enriched in every way (vs 11)!

I don't know about you, but that looks like a pretty good payback to me!

In part 1 of this series (See The Benefits of Encouragement, Part 1), I told four stories of people who reached out and encouraged others, despite their own substantial need. Was there any payback for these people?

I am excited to report that the African prayer warrior who reached out to others across the world in their time of need, providing them with prayers and encouragement, was blessed by having every one of his own needs not only met but surpassed in the course of a year. That's what happens when we reach out to others, even when we are in dire need ourselves!

Unfortunately, this wasn't the case in my other three examples. We know that many of the West Berliners lost their lives in trying to help their brothers and sisters escape Eastern Germany. We also know that the priest who stood in the place of the young man in Auschwitz lost his life, and I am sad to say that my friend's father, who reached out to encourage me when I was dealing with cancer, passed away a few months later. That doesn't sound much like having their lives enriched, does it?

Or does it? Let's remember that two of the promised benefits of giving unconditionally to others are: Your righteousness will remain forever (2 Cor 9:9) and the harvest of your righteousness will grow (vs 10). These people who gave so unselfishly to others, even in the face of their own difficulties, received their ultimate final reward: They are with Jesus in Heaven, for their righteousness has remained forever. They have no more pain, no more sickness, nothing but peace forever and ever. 

I don't know about you, but that sounds like pretty good payback after all!

Are you suffering? In need? Dealing with lots of problems? 

Don't despair. Instead, reach out to others in need. Not only will you forever change their lives for the better, but the personal paybacks are beyond measure.

May God bless you as you reach out to others with words of encouragement, even in the face of your own difficulties.

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 11 Sep 2016, 10:42 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
September 10, 2016
The Benefits of Encouragement, Part 1: The Power

By Answers2Prayer 

 This past summer, we had the privilege of visiting Berlin. We walked along the path of the Berlin wall, we visited several memorials to the Berlin wall, and we even stayed in the part of Berlin that was once considered "East Berlin". It was an amazing eye-opener to all of us to see with our own eyes the oppression of the East Berliners, and to come to understand just what the Berlin wall represented to these people.

After learning a bit more about the history of Eastern German and East Berlin, it wasn't at all hard to understand why thousands of East Berliners risked their lives to try and escape. Many of the escape attempts were successful; however, many were thwarted, and as a result, many of these poor, oppressed people lost their lives. It kind of made you understand how significant the oppression must have been, that people would risk their lives to this degree to escape it. 

But there was another class of stories we learned as well. We learned of the hundreds, maybe even thousands of West Berliners who put themselves into significant danger to bring East Berliners out of their oppression and into the west. Many of these attempts succeeded, motivating many of the West Berliners to go back into East Berlin and bring more and more of the oppressed into the freedom of the west. Unfortunately, many of these attempts were also thwarted, and often it was the West Berliners who were helping their oppressed brothers and sisters who were killed.

Why would these westerners put their lives at risk for the easterners? 

Some were motivated by love. Many times a young woman or man would meet an East Berliner and fall in love. Sometimes it was to bring out the families of the ones they had already helped escape. But sometimes the motives were completely unselfish.

They all knew the danger. Why would they do such a thing? 

Three years ago, I "rode God's Train" through the valley of Breast Cancer. There were moments during this dark year of my life when nothing could shake my faith. There were also moments when I was weak. During one of these weak moments in my life, I received a card of encouragement from my best friend's father. He was a man I barely knew. I had met him only a handful of times. But what was the most significant fact was that he was nearing the end of his cancer walk and was suffering significantly from the radiation and chemotherapy treatments. In fact, his walk ended shortly after I received his note of encouragement, and he is now pain and cancer free, resting in the arms of Jesus.

Why would someone who was going through so much suffering in his own life, reach out to someone like myself? After all, my cancer was only Stage 1. I was certainly not considered to be "palliative" at that time. 

Another interesting part of our trip this past summer was a visit to two WWII concentration camps: Dachau and Auschwitz. What an eye-opener from thousands of angles. One thing that really touched me, however, was a story of a priest who willingly traded places with a young man who was to be killed. He was, after all, a prisoner as well, his suffering was far beyond anything that most of us will ever have to bear, yet he reached out and gave up his life for a total stranger. 

Why would he do such a thing?

One final example:

There is a prayer warrior in Africa. Despite the fact that he had serious problems of his own, he decided to put his own problems on the back burner and put all of his efforts into praying for the needs of others.

What was his personal motivation to worry more about other people's problems, which were often insignificant, comparatively speaking, than his own substantial problems?

When we are in the midst of problems, isn't it usually the case that we tend to focus on ourselves? Even the most unselfish among us see our own suffering as a time when we need to focus on ourselves. After all, haven't we spent most of our lives worrying about the needs of others? Isn't it our time now to receive?

I see this so often in my own life. I love praying for others. I love watching what God is doing in their lives. But when I have a need or when someone close to me has a need, guess where the focus of my prayers turns? To myself! After all, isn't it my "right"? My "reward" for always caring about and praying for others? 

Fortunately for all those East Berliners, the westerners who attempted to rescue them didn't think so. Fortunately for the young man in Auschwitz, the priest didn't think so. Fortunately for those in need who come to the attention of that prayer warrior in Africa, he doesn't think so. And fortunately for me, in my weak moment during my cancer walk, my friend's suffering father didn't think so either.

What motivates these people?

The Bible tells us that it's more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35). I would like to propose that all these people understood this concept. They truly knew that it was more blessed to give, to think about others, to help others, than to receive. 

Encouragement is powerful, friends. It saved a young man's life in Auschwitz, it blessed hundreds of needy people around the world, it brought thousands of East Germans to freedom, and it brought me out of my self-induced depression. But that isn't the only benefits of encouragement. Join us next time for The Benefits of Encouragement, Part 2: The Payback.

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 09 Sep 2016, 10:09 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
September 8, 2016
Communication

By Answers2Prayer
  "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world." (Psalm 19:1-4)

I was far from being among the first persons to get on the train of text messaging. I was happy with talking on the phone. It didn't take long, however, to realize that I'd better get on board if I wanted to stay in touch with my grandchildren, who were totally into texting.

Communication has changed drastically in my lifetime. What used to be 'science fiction' is now reality. And it will no doubt keep evolving.

God communicates with us through many avenues...people, nature, circumstances, and primarily through His word. The Bible is never out of date, always reliable, and as applicable for us today as it was for people many, many years ago. 

Today 'the full Bible has been translated into 531 languages, and 2,883 languages have at least some portion of the Bible.'* There are more than sixty versions of the Bible (NIV, KJV, ESV, TLB, MSG, etc), yet the message is always the same as it has been. God desires to communicate His great love for us. Thank you, Lord, that you are always about the business of communicating your caring for us.

That is good news.

Inspirational Messages, Sally I. Kennedy 2015 
 
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Wed 07 Sep 2016, 12:15 am

Welcome to the Nugget
September 6, 2016
Surprises!

By Answers2Prayer 
  Somebody said recently that Australians do not like surprises so I guess it goes with the territory that I and surprises are not generally addicted to each other. 

Recently on a trip to town to buy supplies to last a week, one wheel of the car hit a curb as it turned a corner. Bang, and I had a totally ruined and flattened a tyre. It was a surprise I did not want. Carefully I eased to the side of the street and looked for a place to use a phone. Mobile communication systems they do not work where we live, so I looked for a business that was open to ask an attendant to please phone road service.

It was early morning so the first business in the street was still closed. The second was also still closed and then, relief, the third was open and a young lady was sitting at her front desk. I asked would she please phone road service for me because I had a flat tyre. A gentleman sitting at a desk nearby jumped up and took my arm. "Let me," he offered and led me out the door to the car. 

Second surprise! It shook me. 

He and my husband opened the boot of the car, took the spare tyre out and with great difficulty in the awkward and narrow space between the curb and the wheel, he spent time and serious effort taking the dead tyre off and putting the spare on. He was exhausted as he finished and stood up. 

Third surprise. Nothing had prepared either me or my husband for such incredible help and kindness. 

Then, fourth surprise. To increase our amazement, he generously and politely refused any payment so we exchanged first names, shook hands warmly, and said good-bye. We could do nothing but purchase a box of chocolates for him and say in a little note that his kindness 'would never be forgotten.'

2. Surprises

Never be forgotten? How could mortal, forgetful me promise any such thing? Sometimes I even forget what day of the week it is! Of course I may forget but what he did not know was that we often speak to the Lord about him. 

I know that the kindness he gave us will be remembered to eternity because the Lord has a 'book of remembrance,' and a 'book of life.' (See Malachi 3:16 and Philippians 4:3 and various other places.) He keeps records which He will open: '...and the books were opened.'  (Revelation 20:12)

Yes, I may forget but God has the history. 

I love to remember this story and hope you will remember it, too.

Elizabeth Price

 
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Encouragement...It's something we all love to receive and we are all required to do...But it isn't always an easy thing. Join us on Saturday for part 1 of the new mini-series, "The Benefits of Encouragement" to learn how it not only empowers the one who receives, but also the one who gives!
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Sun 04 Sep 2016, 10:52 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
September 3, 2016
The R.A.C.E, Part 3

By Answers2Prayer 

  "...And the Lord--who is the Spirit--makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image." (2 Cor 3:18)

With consistent cross-bearing (Ah, yet another C), which is all about saying yes to all God-honoring acts, and no to all selfish desires, I repeat that with the indwelling Spirit empowerment, a Christian slowly but steadily becomes conformed to the image of Christ.

Here I would like to proclaim as to what constituted the complete purpose of the final Adam's (Read "Jesus" See 1 Cor 15:45) first coming. Figuratively put, if "searching out and saving the lost" is step one of His 2-step grand design, then step two is all about "reforming" in us the pristine, God-like image the first Adam was created with (see Genesis 1:27), had lost due to the fall. If by Jesus' stripes we are healed (see Isaiah 53:5), does it not follow that by His marred image/disfigurement that the crucifixion brought upon him (see Isaiah 52:14), He set the process rolling for restoring the original God-like image in us?
 
Long before the Apostle Paul penned his dying declaration (see 2 Tim 4:7) on completing the course, a look at his approach to the "Christian race of life" would seem to be the very definition of the Olympics motto: "Citius, Altius, Fortius" -- Faster, Higher and Stronger...Here goes...

"I don't mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us" (Philippians 3:12-14)

Hmmm...didn't somebody say the Christian life is like riding a bicycle? If you do not keep pedalling forward, you are bound to fall down!

By the way, the words enshrined in the Olympic's motto were not penned by the founding Father of the Modern Olympic movement, Baron de Coubertin, but rather by a Pastor friend of his: Thanks Pastor Henri Martin Didon! As a Pastor myself, am I not proud of this fact! 

Oh yes the Marathon calls for a long haul. If there is one virtue in Christ which stands tall, it is His infinite patience borne out of His infinite love. Truth be told, if one is called Christ-like, it simply means that he is as patient and long-suffering as Christ. This takes us to yet another Pauline personal account under the next sub-heading...

E-Endurance

Reading of 2 Cor 11:24-27 gives one in some measure an idea of the physical hardships borne by Apostle Paul in his "race" for Christ's Glory. Add to this the "thorn in his flesh" that refused to go away (see 2 Cor 12:1-10), and the picture emerges with no shades of grey of a marathon runner battling exhaustion, chugging along one weary mile after the other. His flesh is crying "halt", but his spirit is spurring on. Let's get this straight: The Master did not sugar-coat the demands of walking in the straight and the narrow, and neither did Paul (See Acts 14:22). Yes, the Christian life is not only tough; but impossible, if you try to go it alone: "'Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the Lord" (Zech 4:6). 

The Christian life, simply put, is as easy or tough as letting Christ live in and through us; but justifiably to the Apostle Paul, the greatest "spiritual warrior" (opps sorry! The "runner") should belong the last word: "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." (Gal 2:20)

The moot point now is this: with stalwarts like him watching us from the Heavenly stands (see Heb 12:1), how are we running our race? We supply the will, the Lord supplies the power. Chug on Christian...Chug on well!

Prayer: Lord Jesus, Thou art the vine and we are the branches, we find our strength to live a God-honoring life in Thee alone. Strengthen us more, we beseech Thee. Amen.

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

Post  Admin on Fri 02 Sep 2016, 11:25 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

September 1, 2016
The R.A.C.E, Part 2


By Answers2Prayer 
 After having meditated on the "R" part of the acronym "RACE", let's continue to focus on the said acronym during this Olympics time by casting the spotlight on...

A-Abundant Life/Anointing...

Let's continue with the Paul saga in Acts 9...

"Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, 'Brother Saul, the Lord--Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here--has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.' Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul's eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, and after taking some food, he regained his strength." (Acts 9:17-19)

Every Christian at the point of his regeneration becomes a Temple of God (1 Cor 3:16), with the Spirit of God indwelling him (Romans 8:9). Without which, it would be impossible for him to say "no" to the attractions of the flesh, to the world or to Satan, from whose domain, he has been saved. Ditto with Saul, who now became Paul...

The Saviour has promised abundant life (John 10:10) to all those who accept Him. What can be more abundant, then enjoying the fruit of the Holy Spirit--The Comforter--right here on Earth (John 14:16)! 

Contrasted with the "fruit of the Satan" (Gal 5:19-21), which everyone "suffers from" before regeneration, imagine and experience for yourselves how fulfilling the fruit of the Spirit is: "...love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control..." (Gal 5:22-23). 

Talk of having a foretaste of Heaven right here on Earth (Eph 2:6)! No wonder that a Christian, after "tasting Christ", goes to any extent to sustain that relationship which opened the "fountains of heavenly joy" in him in the first place! Yes, even if it means dying as a martyr, if the situation so demands. 

"No I cannot live for a moment, in the absence of the comforting presence of my Lord. It would be like living on hell". So goes not only my refrain but that of countless born-again Christians in the last two thousand years. How amazing is this Christian race, where the "juiced up" runner (with the Coach--the Holy Spirit--empowering him from inside with "spiritual adrenaline" -- See Eph 3:16/Heb 13:9) can never lose!!!

After enjoying the Fruit of the Spirit, with passage of time and with continual obedience, come the gifts of the Holy Spirit in a Christian's life by way of a special anointing experience (2 Tim 2:21). The gifts would vary from person to person (1 Cor 12), depending on the kind of Ministry the Lord has planned for him (The Five-fold Ministry is listed in Eph 4:12-15). The experience of receiving the Holy Spirit that a Christian has at the point of his regeneration, and the one (read "anointing") at the beginning of his service unto the Lord, are different. It would not be plain joy, but rather a joyous experience even as the fire passes through him! I would never forget the experience of fire settling on me, one rainy July evening in 1989 (after six years of my walk with the Lord), as I began preaching my first sermon in a youth service in St Georges Church, Abids, Hyderabad. Truth to tell, for a few hours afterward this experience, I was afraid even to go to the washroom...

Just as it is not possible to lead an effective, God-pleasing Christian life without the continual inner equipping (Heb 13:20), it is also not possible to be an effective "spokesman" for the Lord later on without the periodical anointing. Imagine Yours Truly preaching on Oct 17th, 1983 in the Youth Service of St Georges Church the very next day after being Born again. No way! A baby needs to grow and  learn to walk before running. However, all said and done, for all Christians, whether anointed for 5-fold Ministry of the Church or not (See Eph 4:12-15), the universal ministry, from the time of spiritual re-birth, is to lovingly share their testimony of how Jesus has re-generated them with everyone (1 Peter 3:15)!

Prayer: Father even while filling us with Your abundant life from the beginning of our Christian race, You also anoint us to be used in Your Ministry. How thankful, we are to Thee for these spiritual blessings. 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 31 Aug 2016, 8:15 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

August 30, 2016
The R.A.C.E, Part 1
By Answers2Prayer 
 "...I have finished the race..." (2 Tim 4:7)

Hey, 2016 is the year of Olympics! There are several athletic events which would capture the imagination of Sports aficionados; but one which is guaranteed to stir one's soul is the Marathon race. Period. There are races and then there is Marathon in a pedestal of its own. There is no other race which places so much demand on a runner's stamina and perseverance as this 26 miler does. 

The race that Apostle Paul is alluding to here in his dying declaration (very soon, he would die a martyr for Christ, beheaded by half-insane Roman Emperor Nero) is not your typical 100 metres sprint (I agree, it has its own appeal); but the marathon race of his spiritual life. Nine times out of ten, the christian life is more of a Marathon than a Sprint. One is bound to come across more of Paul-like testimonies than accounts resembling that of the repentant thief on the cross, whose road to Paradise was a bit like a Bolt's sprint race! Let's hit the loop line now and peep into the history of the Marathon race...

Brief history of the Marathon race...

The modern Marathon commemorates the 25 km run of the soldier Pheidippides from a battlefield at the site of the town of Marathon, Greece, to Athens in 490 B.C, bringing news of a Greek victory over the Persians. Legend has it that Pheidippides delivered the momentous message "Niki!" ("victory"), then collapsed and died, thereby setting a precedent for dramatic conclusions to the marathon.

In 1908, the race's length was extended from about 25 miles to 26.2 miles (42km), so that it finished in front of the Royal Box. This distance is still used today. Very much in line with the Biblical principle that the "best is reserved for the last" (John 2:10), the Men's Marathon race ("best" athletic event) is invariably held on the last day of every Olympics games. 

Onto the main track again...

So what are the lessons we can glean from Apostle Paul's life in the backdrop of a Marathon race? By the way, how about weaving this Series of 4 parts around the acronym RACE itself for easier understanding...using mostly the Pauline writings found in the Blessed Scripture...

R-Repentance

While the life-changing experience of every born-again Christian may not be as melodramatic as that of the Apostle Saul (then Saul of Tarsus, see Acts 9:1-16), no Christian can begin the race of his life (life in tow with the Almighty) without repentance, which is all about setting right the relationship with the Creator. This relationship was impaired by the Fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3). The crafty Enemy of God--the Satan--and our souls did our first parents in. Satan, incidentally, was one of the archangels in Heaven, before "the evil desire to sit in God's throne entered him, resulting in his abysmal fall" (Isa 14:12-15).

All of us are sinners by birth, enslaved to Satan as the Bible proclaims (Romans 3:23/5:12). The Wise would concur. Think it through...after we are born and are growing...does anyone (our parents or our School teachers) teach us how to lie, how to become jealous, etc? Does it not come  all (these sinful traits) very naturally to us? Talk of genetics and transmission of characteristic from a parent to a child...we all inherit the fallen Adamic nature. No wonder the Saviour launched His Earthly preaching ministry with these immortal words: "Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand" (Matt 4:17). How's that for prioritizing--putting horse before the cart?

I would never forget my childhood and early teenage age, which I spent wandering aimlessly in life, seeking pleasure from several worldly enjoyments but having found no real, lasting joy.  I desperately went to Church one day (October 16th, 1983) in deep depression. There I heard a sermon on the "Born-again experience" (John 3:3) and invited Jesus into my life. In retrospect, it seems that the Saviour was waiting there (St Georges Church, Abids, Hyderabad) on that day for me with open arms...

Want me to tell you, how I prayed on that day of 16th October 1983? Well...here goes: "Lord Jesus, I confess I am a sinner by birth. I believe you shed your blood and died on the Cross for my sins. Please pardon all the sins I have committed so far in my life. Please come into my life right now. Amen". 

Dear Reader, if you have already accepted the Saviour, Praise God. Otherwise, why not make Your's truly's prayer, your own as well...right now! It is at this point that the Starter's gun is heard, as it were, in the spiritual marathon race called the Christian life.

Prayer: Father, how blessed are those who have set their relationship right with Thee by appropriating in their lives the atoning work of Your Son Jesus on the Cross! Let not their love for Thee borne out of gratitude ever diminish. 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 Sun 28 Aug 2016, 1:56 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

August 27, 2016
God of Abundance, Part 3

By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us  "...for we live by faith, not by sight." (2 Cor 5:7, NET)

Let's remember that God is a God of abundance, and He is not slack about His promises. When He promises us healing, He heals. When He promises to provide for our needs, He provides. When He promises to re-establish broken relationships, he re-establishes them. In His time, yes, but our job is to live by faith, not by sight, and our works should respond accordingly. So why not give God a sacrifice of praise, even if we aren't yet healed? Why not throw a celebration, even if our homes aren't yet brought back together? For in so doing, we are living by faith, not by sight.

This kind of a message is always easier to preach than to practice, but it's interesting that whenever God gives me a new message, He always allows me to go through something in my life that makes me have to "practice" what I "preach". 

This time is no different. 

About a year ago, my cancer medication was changed, and as soon as I began taking the new pills, I began having new symptoms. I decided not to worry about it, but when I went back for my next follow-up visit with oncology, my Oncologist couldn't dismiss it as readily as I had. He wanted me to go for an ultrasound and he said he would refer me to a specialist. 

Quite naturally, my "laissez-faire" attitude flew out the window. I mean, if your doctor is worried, shouldn't you be as well?

The symptoms continued for the next several weeks, until God began giving me this "God of Abundance" message. I claimed healing over these new symptoms that day, claiming His abundant healing power over them. Gradually, over the course of a week, the symptoms disappeared completely. 

I rejoiced and I praised God, then I made a donation in the name of the mighty God who heals, and I invited my family out for ice cream to celebrate my healing. 

The problem was, I was walking by sight, not by faith. I didn't make a donation and have a celebration with my family before the symptoms resolved; I did so after I was already seeing the results of God's abundance. And imagine my disappointment when a few days after my little "celebration" with my family, the symptoms returned, worse than ever. To say I was discouraged would have been an understatement. I admit that I was even a tiny bit angry at God. After all, I had already declared His abundance, I had already declared to my entire family that I was healed! 

I kept the return of my symptoms to myself for a few days. I had to work through my anger. And of course, they worsened. Finally, I shared the new trouble with my husband, fully expecting him to be as discouraged as I was. He was not. He simply said God would heal me of these symptoms for good. 

That's when God began speaking to me about walking by faith and not by sight. I wish I could tell you that I started praising God that I was healed, even when the symptoms were still present, but I'm afraid my faith is not yet that strong. I gave the worry back to God, however, and I repented of my anger and discouragement and prayed for God to strengthen my faith. Anyone surprised to learn that the symptoms again began to diminish, until three days later, they had disappeared completely? 

Why did my symptoms return?

I believe it was because God had an important lesson to teach me in walking by faith in His abundance, and not by sight. I don't know if the symptoms will ever return again, but I do know one thing: I am healed. Period. Whether that healing is manifested today or next month is irrelevant: The God of the universe has poured out His abundant healing power on my body, and I rejoice, I praise Him. And just perhaps, it's time for a second little celebration. What do you think? 

Whatever your concern is now, friends, why not give it to God? Why not stand upon His abundant promises, even when you don't see the results right away? Why not follow Solomon's example, and before you see even the tiniest manifestation of the promise, why not give God a sacrifice of praise and plan a little celebration? That, friends, is truly walking by faith and not by sight.

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 26 Aug 2016, 11:20 am

Welcome to the Nugget

August 25, 2016
God of Abundance, Part 2

By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us  Last week, in God of Abundance, part 1, we saw that God is indeed a God of abundance, giving to His creation way over and above what they request. We also saw that the way to access this abundance of God is to ask. But wait. I have been asking God for my healing, for my finances, for my relationships, and I'm not getting any response. Why am I not experiencing this abundance? Is it only for some people and not for others?

Solomon received this promise from God when he was in Gibeon sacrificing to the Lord. (See 1 Kings 3:4-14). When he awoke from his dream, however, Solomon did not immediately have those riches. In fact, if he had even the wisdom, he likely wouldn't have immediately noticed, for the Bible records that he "...woke up and realized it was a dream." (1 Kings 3:15a) 

I don't know about you, when I have a dream, I generally just push it aside; but this was not Solomon's reaction. 1 Kings records: "He went to Jerusalem, stood before the ark of the Lord's covenant, offered up burnt sacrifices, presented peace offerings, and held a feast for all his servants." (1 Kings 3:15b)

Thus, Solomon went immediately to offer up burnt offerings and peace offerings to the Lord, and then he held a feast, even though he didn't feel any different and his bank account hadn't changed! 

Why would he do that? 

Because He knew the God who gave him the dream! He knew that this God always keeps His promises!

But wait. How do we know that Solomon knew God kept His promises?

In Solomon's own words a few chapters later: "The LORD is worthy of praise because he has made Israel his people secure just as he promised! Not one of all the faithful promises he made through his servant Moses is left unfulfilled!" (1Kgs 8:56, NET)

Solomon looked back in history. He saw that all the promises God had made to Moses were fulfilled, and this gave him faith to not just know God would fulfill this promise to him, but to be sure of it. So sure, in fact, that he did two things: 

1. He privately thanked God by offering burnt offerings and peace offerings; and 
2. He publically showed his faith in God by throwing a feast for his servants! 

What do we do in the face of God's promises? 

I don't know about you, but I usually don't spent much time praising Him until I begin to see that promise realized. Is this truly walking by faith? Not at all. It is walking by sight. Yet we are told to live not by sight, but by faith: "for we live by faith, not by sight." (2 Cor 5:7, NET) That's what Solomon did. He had faith in the God who had always kept His promises, and without waiting for the promises to be realized, he offered sacrifices and threw a party.

Jesus' brother offers us some excellent advice...Advice that I might add was followed by King Solomon hundreds of years before it was even written: "What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but does not have works? Can this kind of faith save him?...So also faith, if it does not have works, is dead being by itself. But someone will say, 'You have faith and I have works.' Show me your faith without works and I will show you faith by my works." (Jas 2:14-18, NET)

"I will show you faith by my works..." That's exactly what Solomon did, isn't it?

And that's exactly what we must do when we've received a promise from God, yet we haven't yet seen its manifestation: We must follow Solomon's example. We must give God praise, and then throw a celebration.

Let's remember that God is a God of abundance, and He is not slack about His promises. When He promises us healing, He heals. When He promises to provide for our needs, He provides. When He promises to re-establish broken relationships, he re-establishes them. In His time, yes, but our job is to live by faith, not by sight, and our works should respond accordingly. 

How do we apply this to our lives? By giving God a sacrifice of praise, even if we haven't yet been healed! By throwing a celebration, even if our homes haven't yet been brought back together! For in so doing, we are living by faith, not by sight.

Please join us next week for God of Abundance, Part 3: A real-life example of God's abundance when we live like Solomon did: Living by faith, not by sight!

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 24 Aug 2016, 11:16 pm

Welcome to the Nugget


August 23, 2016
God of Abundance, Part 1

By Answers2Prayer  God of abundance.

We've all heard it, we've read it in our Bibles, but have we truly experienced it?

Solomon experienced God's abundance. 1 Kings 3:5-13 bible records that God appeared to Solomon in a dream and offered him anything his heart desired. Solomon, in all humility, asked God for wisdom to rule the people God had placed in his kingdom. 

Did Solomon receive his request?

Yes. Absolutely. "The Lord was pleased that Solomon made this request. God said to him, 'Because you asked for the ability to make wise judicial decisions, and not for long life, or riches, or vengeance on your enemies, I grant your request, and give you a wise and discerning mind superior to that of anyone who has preceded or will succeed you.'" (1 Kings 3:11-13a)

That is wonderful. It is already an example of the abundance of God. God didn't just promise Solomon some wisdom. He promised that Solomon would have a wise and discerning mind superior to that of anyone! God is a God of abundance. When we ask Him for things, we can be sure that not only will we receive what we have requested, but we will receive it in abundance!

But the story doesn't end here. God went on to say to Solomon: "Furthermore, I am giving you what you did not request -- riches and honor so that you will be the greatest king of your generation." (1 Kgs 3:5-13, NET). Not only does Solomon receive an abundance of wisdom, but he also receives what he didn't even ask for!

Talk about God's abundance!

And this abundance isn't just reserved for Kings of Israel. God is a God of abundance, and He loves nothing more than to pour out His abundance on us. This includes healing--even from cancer! It includes provision. It includes restoration. It includes an abundance of everything that we lack. Consider this text: "Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms in Christ. For he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world that we may be holy and unblemished in his sight in love. He did this by predestining us to adoption as his sons through Jesus Christ, according to the pleasure of his will -- to the praise of the glory of his grace that he has freely bestowed on us in his dearly loved Son." (Eph 1:3-6, NET)

Friends, God wants us to be holy, unblemished. He has adopted us as His sons and daughters. Is God's abundance available to us? Yes! We are sons and daughters of the King!

What do you lack this day? Do you lack health? Strength? Finances? Patience? Wisdom? Ask of God: "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened." (Matt 7:7-8); And a few verses later: "If you then, although you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!" (Matt 7:11, NET); 

But wait. I have been asking God for my healing, for my finances, for my relationships, and I'm not getting any response. Why am I not experiencing this abundance? Is it only for some people and not for others?

Join us next week for God's Abundance, Part 2!

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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Great news, our latest Bible Study is finally out. Basking in God's Unfailing Love, An Open Invitation to Experience God Personally To a world gone mad, trying to get to know Jesus may seem foolish. However if you give Him a try, you will desire to get to know Him more and more at the deepest level possible. His relationship with you will be more precious compared to any other human relationships out there. Enjoy getting to know Him.

Come explore it here!  
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Fri 19 Aug 2016, 9:37 am

Welcome to the Nugget

August 18, 2016
The Lighthouse Still Stands

By Answers2Prayer 
"Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, 'I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.'" (John 8:12)

A few years ago the Florida Keys were devastated by a severe hurricane. It was shocking and terrible to see large trees snapped like matchsticks. Homes were floating in flood waters. Roofs were blown off leaving some semblance of shells of houses. Electricity was unavailable for days and, in some areas, weeks.

One thing was still standing intact: the lighthouse. The road to it and the surrounding area was trashed from the storm, but the lighthouse itself was ok.

In life in general, we have times when there are storms. Some not so bad, and others catastrophic. We need a lighthouse that still stands for us. We need the safe place of a harbor, and a Harbormaster watching out for us.

In the midst of tragedy, God is still on His throne, and He is about the business of putting things together for our good, even then. There's a worship song that says it this way: You're my Savior, Restorer, Rebuilder, Rewarder, My Refuge, Redeemer, Defender, My Healer, Savior * God, our lighthouse, still stands. He is our refuge in all times. 

This is good news, most especially when storms hit.

Sally I. Kennedy

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"And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work." (2 Cor. 9:8)

Wait a minute: If God promises abundance, then why do I have all this need? Join us next week for a short mini-series by Lynona Gordon Chaffart: "The Abundance of God".
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Wed 17 Aug 2016, 6:34 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
August 16, 2016
Why are we Here?

By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us  "Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love." (1 John 4:8)

When I was a boy we lived 4 miles from town and most of my friends. As a result I ended up playing by myself a lot. I didn't mind the solitude, however. I enjoyed riding my bike for hours,  swimming in the river, and taking long walks in the woods. It felt good being alone with my own thoughts and my own imagination. Sometimes I even pondered a few of the big questions we all have. I would think, "What is this world all about?", "What is the meaning of life?", and "Why are we here?". I never could think of a good answer, though, and soon went back to playing again. It took me many years and a lot of searching to find the answer I was seeking and when I did it was so simple that I almost didn't believe it. 

The answer is LOVE. It always has been and it always will be. The rest is just details. God loves us all so much and He put us here to love as well. We are here to choose love. We are here to share love. We are here to learn of love. We are here to grow in love. We are here to pray for love. We are here to delight in love. We are here to become one with Our Heavenly Father's Love. We are here to complete our missions in love and to help others to complete theirs. We are here to fill ourselves full to overflowing with the Love that created and maintains the universe. We are here to love God. We are here to love ourselves. We are here to love everyone as ourselves. We are here to find our own special ways of sharing all the love that is within us. It is our gift to God and our answer to life. And even if we haven't done the best job of it up until now, each new day gives us another chance.

When the big questions of life leave you lost then, don't give up. Just love. The answers will come to you, if not in this life then in the next. Always remember that "God is Love" and that when you love you will grow closer to God, Heaven, and your true self.

By: Joseph J. Mazzella
 
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Does your faith need a boost? Why not "boost" it with a series of studies on the Faith chapter, Hebrews 11? Simply click here!
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Sun 14 Aug 2016, 3:08 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

August 13, 2016
Weeds

By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us  I noticed something as I watered the plants on my deck this morning. I noticed that although they were healthy, they were no longer pretty. They had become infected with weeds. 

Normally, every time I water the plants, I pull off the dead flower heads and pull up any weeds I find in the pots; but we have been away for four weeks of this summer. I had asked the neighbor's 10 year-old daughter to water the plants, and she had done a fabulous job of that; but I had not asked her to weed the pots. 

And so, as I watered those flowers and vegetables in their pots this morning, I carefully pulled up the tiny weeds. As I did so, I noticed something: Some of those weeds looked an awfully lot like the plants I had placed in those pots, while others hid under the rich foliage of the healthy flowers, making it hard for me to see them. And after I had cleaned out about half of the many pots, I kind of got tired of the whole procedure and I started to leave those weeds that were less noticeable.

What will be the result of my slothfulness?

When I go out to water the plants tomorrow, I will find healthier, more well-established weeds, ones that have their roots well entwined around the roots of my flowers and vegetables. I will find weeds that are significantly harder to remove. 

This all reminds me of sin. 

The Bible tells us: "But each one is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desires. Then when desire conceives, it gives birth to sin, and when sin is full grown, it gives birth to death." (James 1:14-15)

Thus, temptation is like those little weeds. If we pull them up by the roots the moment we see them, they will not conceive sin. But if we don't keep watch, they will grow, giving birth to spiritual death. 

Let's also remember that: "Evildoers are snared by their own sin..." (Proverbs 29:6)

So what do we do to keep these "weeds" under control so that the "gardens" of our hearts can be pure and beautiful and bear the fruit of God's spirit?

God's Word says: "and we take every thought captive to make it obey Christ. We are also ready to punish every act of disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete." (2Cor 10:5-6, NET)

In other words, we analyze every thought in our heads, comparing it to the Truth of how God's Word suggests we live. If it doesn't line up, we "take it captive", we send it away. And as we search our hearts, when we see any "weeds" that have been allowed in the past to grow up, we deal with them. We pull them up and discard them. 

Let's not forget Peter's excellent advice: "Be sober and alert. Your enemy the devil, like a roaring lion, is on the prowl looking for someone to devour. Resist him, strong in your faith, because you know that your brothers and sisters throughout the world are enduring the same kinds of suffering." (1Pet 5:8-9, NET)

As I examined my potted plants this morning, God began to speak to me about a little "weed" I had noticed in my heart a few days ago, that I had been too lazy to remove. Somehow I "liked" that little weed, and I didn't want to get rid of it. Not yet. But God's message was clear: The longer I let it "grow" in the "garden" of my heart, the more its roots would entangle with the good fruit I want to grow there, and the more this little "weed" will steal the water and nutrients of the "soil" of my heart, serving to "starve" and "dehydrate" the good fruit of the Spirit. I needed to get rid of it before it overtook the "garden" of my heart. 

I fell to my knees and pulled up that weed by its roots, I gave it to God, and I repented of having allowed it to grow there. 

Boy do I feel better! 

And boy is it ever easier to act loving and kind, to be patient and gentle, to have joy and faith. 

Want to truly bear the fruit of the Spirit? 

Then it is important to remove the weeds of sin. Ask God to reveal them to you, and then "pull them up" by their "roots". 

Oh, and if you want to keep the garden of your heart clean, it is best to take personal responsibility for examining it daily. Only then will you find the "weeds" of sin before they take over your heart.

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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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 12 Aug 2016, 11:05 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
August 11, 2016
The Seatbelt

By Answers2Prayer 
  A few years ago before my wife retired from nursing, she was getting ready to leave the parking lot after her days work. She noticed an older gentleman driving out before her onto the main road. He had only gone a very short distance when he stopped and put on his seatbelt. He then drove off some distance up the road, followed by a Police car. He was pulled over and stopped and accused of driving without a seatbelt. The gentleman said that owing to the stiffness of his joints he found it easier to manoeuvre about in the car park without the belt on, and then put on his belt when he got into a proper position on the road, ready to move off.

No mercy or grace was shown. The Law would not bend. The gentleman was fined. He had broken the law and had to pay. Suffer the consequences even for the smallest fault.
I was so thankful for the verse in Romans 6:14b. You are not under law but under Grace.
I was reminded too that we have all broken God`s laws, but He has met our need and paid our debt in full. Hallelujah. Colossians 2:13-14: "He cancelled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; He took it away, nailing it to the cross." (NIV).

Because God is so gracious and has paid our debt in full, the apostle Paul warns us not to be too casual about it. He says in Romans 6:1b-2: "shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? God forbid." (AV).

I have thought about being very diligent about making sure my seat belt is on every time I venture out onto the road. The law is watching.

So also for our safety on the journey of life, and be able to obey God`s laws we need to put on Christ. Romans 13:14: "We need Him on every moment we are awake. God watches over us while we sleep."

Finally, something else to think about. If we keep Christ on, by faith, we will produce fruit for God. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, and self-control; against such there is no law. What freedom. No law.
Remember to belt up in the back also.

Have a safe journey and keep an eye on your rear mirror.

Donnie Black
 
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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 Wed 10 Aug 2016, 9:44 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

August 9, 2016
Knowing About Knowing, Part 4
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Today in the last part of our series on "Knowing about Knowing", let's focus on the last of the Christian doctrines namely Glorification in the light of our "Knowing about knowing" concept... 

Glorification

"All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son..." (Matt 11:27)

Folks, we are treading now on an absolutely Holy ground. We are now casting spotlight on the Father-Son relationship vis-a-vis the subject "know". The Greek Word used here for "know" is "Epiginosko" which is the deepest level of experiential knowledge about the person concerned surpassing even that of Ginosko. Any wonder then that this knowledge in the Son led to immeasurably greater respect for the Father and a love which was able to take any sacrifice in its stride. 

Also, the Son knew the Father's glory (the sum total of all His unique traits of goodness constitute His Glory -- See Exo 33:18-19) to such an extent that the all-consuming desire to uphold it led the normally serene Lamb of God to even rare acts of aggression...a la roaring lion (John 2:13-22/Matt 21:12-13). Jesus was also all "fire and brimstone" in condemning the hypocrisy of some "Servants of God" of His times...notably the Clergy of the Jewish temple (Matt 23), who not surprisingly had lopsided spiritual priorities (Matt 23:23). Didn't I mention in the earlier part of my message also that "not knowing" God properly would lead to skewed spiritual priorities in service ostensibly done in His Name? By contrast, how true is this trustworthy saying...the more we know God clearly, the more we would love Him dearly and the more we love Him dearly, the more we would follow Him nearly.

The Son's understanding of the magnitude of the Father's glory can also be discerned clearly from the prayer He taught His disciples (Luke 11:1-4). Doesn't the Phrase "Hallowed be Thy Name" come right at the very top (before anything else), from where it rightfully belongs?

One proof of a Christian's growth is that he would bear anything to uphold His Lord's Name. Sad isn't it, when we consider that some genuine heroes of faith in times of terrible provocation or temptation allowed the Almighty's Name to be tarnished, while paying heavy cost in the bargain...Take Moses and David for example (Numbers 20:1-12/2 Sam 12:13-14). In stark contrast, picturize the scene at the Calvary cross when the Satan (yes, it was him) through his human agents hurled everything at God's Son in order to provoke Him into at least one God-dishonoring act (1 Peter 2:21-24/Heb 12:3) but wouldn't succeed. Why? For the Son who had a clear-cut agenda in the matter of protecting His Father's Glory steeled Himself, come what may, to bear the most excruciating torture in human history even while being aware that the eventual rewards would by far outweigh the pain endured (Heb 12:2/Philippians 2:5-11).

Even after seeing such tangible proofs of the Son's "knowledge" of the Father, and even after making a wonderful declaration such as the one recorded in Philippians 3:10, it was indeed both humbling and aspirational of Apostle Paul to note thus of Heavenly relationships on the other side of Eternity....the realm the Son-Father relationship was in this Earth itself... 

"For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known." (I Cor 13:12)

No prizes for guessing that the Greek word used by the Apostle Paul in the captioned Scripture portion is Epiginosko, which in English has been translated into know fully.

Yes, for every Child of God this hope of knowing the Father just like His Son Jesus indeed holds good, for one day we shall indeed be like Jesus (1 John 3:2) and thereby know the Father's "goodness" just like Christ. Quite surely at that time our "sacrifices" of our Earthly sojourn would be dwarfed by the size of the Father's rewards (I Cor 2:9). 

Hey, don't you know that the Word (another name for Jesus) always keeps His Word? So, if He has said in His Word that one day we would become like Him, should we not take the Word at its Word? So regarding the glorious future, Boy I know something fabulous is coming my way. Do you?

Hallelujah and Amen.

Prayer: Father, whatever be the cost, help me Your Child to know you better and better. In Jesus' Name. Amen.


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

Post  Admin on Sun 07 Aug 2016, 10:13 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

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August 6, 2016
Knowing About Knowing, Part 3
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After having focused on one (Justification) of the three key Christian doctrines in the background of the concept "Knowing about Knowing", today let's reflect on yet another paramount doctrine of sanctification within the same co-ordinates... 

Sanctification

After receiving a new life from the Saviour, while we do our bit earnestly of praying, Bible-reading, Church fellowshipping and Witnessing in order to be transformed into Christ's image (2 Cor 3:18)--which is the basic purpose behind our being "justified"-- the good Lord does His bit too (a very important one at that) in moulding us into His image. We need to co-operate with Him in this matter. Over to Apostle Paul on this subject...

"...That I may know...the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings...." (Phillippians 3:10 KJV)

Ginosko has been employed again for the word Know in the above-captioned Scripture portion. Compared to this (in his sanctification process) Apostle Paul reasons every other thing like his rich spiritual Jewish heritage for instance is "dung" (strong words quoted verbatim. See Philippians 3:8, KJV). Now how's that for hitting the nail on its head, as it were!

What is a Christian's "sufferings" if it is not consistent Cross-bearing for God's Glory (Luke 9:23), much like what the Saviour (Heb 9:14) did. This Cross-bearing produces Christ-like virtues (Rom 5:3-4) in a Christian. Let's now try to "know" what exactly is Cross-bearing. Remember for a Cross (synonymous with pain) to be carried, it necessarily has to be in touch with your being. Therein lies the answer. The surrounding "unavoidable" irksome circumstances, which one cannot get away from...be it in a country where we live in (can we leave the Country and flee if communal persecutions break out?) or in the place of education/employment/business or in a relationship like marriage, parenthood or the perpetual pain in even one's own body due to some health disorder or the "pain" in resisting an urge to gratify a sexual desire in the unmarried lot or "pain" in resisting the temptation to get even with an enemy...All these constitute a cross. Enduring it without complaint is what earnest Christian cross-bearing is all about.

Now coming to the Resurrection power in a Child of God...What is it if it is not the presence of the same Life-giving Holy Spirit, which quickened his dead spirit at the point of re-generation (Rom 8:2/11) and who now manifests Himself in him by way of continual joy (Acts 9:31/Rom 5:5)?
 
It is in this rare "atmospheric" condition of pain outside and joy inside that a Christian's character gets built. Dwelling more on the subject of the Ethereal Joy which is ever present in a Christian's heart, let it be said that this immeasurable joy (Psa 16:11) not only increases one's spiritual "feel-good" factor exponentially, but also it is by this super-natural joy that one gets to experience fully the joy in other permissive joys like the one in enjoying a sumptuous meal or in the one of physical intimacy within the ambit of marriage ( to play it safe in the contemporary context, shall I qualify the word marriage with the word "heterosexual" 1 Tim 4:1-4 TLB? ), or be it in enjoying to the hilt a creatively-compiled Sports article...at once contributing to abundant life (John 10:10). Simply put, minus the Divine joy, joy would go out of other legitimate "joyous" activities!
 
Focusing on the work of the Spirit in tandem with the Cross in making a Christian grow, it has been said...

-Cross without the Spirit, you dry-up (Psa 106:15 TLB),
-Spirit without the Cross, you puff-up (2 Cor 12:7 TLB)
-With the Cross and the Spirit, you grow-up

While Christians are growing up, some out of the Lord's mercy (2 Cor 4:1) would further be consecrated by Him to be used in the Five-fold Ministry of the Church as Apostles, Prophets, Pastors, Teachers and Evangelists (2 Tim 2:21/Eph 4:8-15). It has to be noted here that while for experiencing Salvation the qualification is realization of one's sinfulness, for consecration into a God-ordained Ministry the qualification is consistent Cross-bearing with the power of His indwelling Spirit.

Also it is only by conjoining the Cross and the Spirit, that the ever-present (yes, it has to be there at all times) love equation in the Deity-Devotee relationship in the Christian realm can be established on this side of the Eternity. Without Cross-bearing 24-7 submissively can we ever underscore our claim that we love the Lord at all times. By the same token, without the placement of the life-giving waters (read Perpetual joy-John 7:37/1 Peter 1:8) in our spirit, can our Heavenly Father validate His claims that He loves us all times? Oh really, cross and the Spirit are made for each other in this Sanctification process!

Prayer: Father grant me more knowledge of Thy goodness, even as I co-operate with You in my sanctification process. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Suresh Manoharan,
Hyderabad, India
J and SM Ministries
Announcement:

What other Biblical truths can we "know" beyond a doubt? Join us on Tuesday for the conclusion of "Knowing About Knowing", a mini-series by Brother Suresh Manoharan.
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Fri 05 Aug 2016, 11:39 am

Welcome to the Nugget

August 4, 2016
Knowing About Knowing, Part 2

By Answers2Prayer 
  While exploring the subject of "Knowing about Knowing", let's cast our spotlight today on the key Christian doctrine of Justification...

"And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent" (John 17:3)

Well, the Christian life begins as it were by experientially knowing God and Jesus Christ (here too for "know" the Greek word "Ginosko" is used in the original text) which means being quickened from spiritual death by the receipt of life-giving God's Spirit (Rom 8:2). Until that Spirit is known and received as an earnest of the soul's inheritance, there can be no saving knowledge of God and Christ (Romans 8:9). Doesn't the ever truthful Scripture attest this truth in another place..."Hereby we know that we abide in Him and He in us because He hath given us his Spirit" (1 John 4:13).

This new birth experience is bound to generate oodles of respect and love in the Saved for the Saviour (Luke 7:47). If Success in the book written by Thomas Edison is 90% perspiration and 10% inspiration, then let it be said that major component of the "all odds surmounting love" (I Cor 13:7) in the forgiven one is respect for the Forgiver. Respect in essence is the core belief that my Divine Deliverer from sin is good all the time. Period (Thanks Don Moen)!!!

For instance, did the Jews in the Wilderness who missed out on the Promised Land really "know" Him? Obviously "no" since one can suspect from their frequent rebellious outbursts (Exo 16:3/17:3/Numbers 11:4-6/14:3) that far from loving Him, they did not even respect Him in the first place! True knowledge of the Saviour would lead to respect in one's heart culminating in love-laced obedience at all times to One who gave His all at the Cross to "buy" our pardon (2 Cor 5:21). 

Prayer: Father, even as my heart is bubbling with gratitude for Your miracle of saving me from sin, help me know more and more about Thy infinite goodness in order, I am grateful at all times. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Suresh Manoharan,
Hyderabad, India
J and SM Ministries 

 
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