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NUGGET Today's Devotional

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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Sun 13 Mar 2011, 11:42 am


It is Lent, a time of year when we are encouraged to give up something that is precious to us. I would like to challenge you to take Lent a step farther by spending time in meditation, contemplating just how deeply Jesus suffered for each of us! The lessons we can learn will work to reinforce our faith and draw us closer to God! Join us on Saturdays throughout this Lenten season for THE SUFFERINGS OF JESUS! If you have missed any of these lessons, you will find them published online at www.scripturalnuggets.org/Folder10/suffering_of_jesus.htm .

THE SUFFERINGS OF JESUS:

A Lenten Series, Part 2

The Arrest


Last week, in THE SUFFERINGS OF JESUS, Part 1, we learned from Jesus' garden experience that we can't always run from problems. We need to strengthen ourselves in prayer, and then meet them head-on!

The focus of today's lesson centers around the suffering Jesus underwent at the time of His arrest: "Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and took Him." (Matt 26:50)

This simple verse briefly summarizes what happened as Jesus was arrested, but it does little to help us understand the suffering that Jesus underwent at this time. In order to fully do so, we must go back a few verses, back to the Garden of Gethsemane.

Remember, Jesus has just undergone hematidrosis, an extreme, stress-induced medical condition that causes a person to actually sweat blood. He is very near the point of death at this time, and only by the touch of God's angel can He continue on.

And as if that isn't enough, He goes to the place where He's left His disciples, only to find them - Asleep! Imagine the sense of total abandonment He must have felt!

Then, while He is still speaking to the disciples, Judas, one of His closest friends appears.

Under different circumstances, Jesus might have been glad to see Judas. But today Judas is surrounded by an angry regiment: "And while He was still speaking, behold, Judas, one of the twelve, with a great multitude with swords and clubs, came from the chief priests and elders of the people." (Matt 26:47 NKJV)

Imagine the agony of seeing one of your very best friends approach you with a company of soldiers, all bearing guns, all pointed - at YOU!

Then, to make matters worse, Judas comes up and gives Jesus a kiss of greeting!

But this kiss was far from innocent: "Now His betrayer had given them a sign, saying, 'Whomever I kiss, He is the One; seize Him.'" (Matt 26:48-49 NKJV)

Talk about pouring salt into a wound!

But Jesus doesn't turn away from Judas. He doesn't even rebuke him. Instead He calls him "friend": "Friend, why have you come?" (Matt 26:50b NKJV)

And while all of this was going on, where are Jesus' other disciples?

We know where Peter is! Peter has drawn his sword! Peter is ready to fight for Jesus! "Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest's servant, and cut off his right ear." (John 18:10 NKJV)

Now this might bring comfort, but it isn't THE WAY! "But Jesus answered and said, 'Permit even this.' And He touched his ear and healed him." (Luke 22:51 NKJV). We know that the gesture of good will on Peter's part saddens Jesus, for He turns and rebukes Peter gently: "Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword." (Matt 26:52 NKJV)

And then, as if it isn't hard enough on Jesus, "all the disciples forsook Him and fled." (Matt 27:56b)

The Bible tells us that Peter and another disciple, probably John, later turn back and follow the crowds (See John 18:15), but this doesn't happen immediately. Jesus, already feeling abandoned by His closest friends in the garden when they slept instead of battling with Him in prayer, now is forced to watch as His eleven loyal friends turn and run away!

If only the story would end here. Jesus is taken to Annas' house, then to Caiaphas'. They blindfold Him and strike Him, commanding Him to tell them who had done it (See Luke 22:63-65). They spit on Him (See Mark 14:65). They take His own words out of context to condemn Him (See Mark 14:61), and the list goes on. But as if this public pain and humiliation isn't enough, Peter then betrays Him openly (See Matt 26:69-75, Mark 14:66-72, Luke 22:54-62, and John 18:15-18,25-27)!

The sense of utter abandonment! The utmost rejection! The ultimate desertion!

My thoughts now turn to the Christians in the world-wide persecuted church. Some are turned in by close friends and family. Others watch as their friends and families abandon them in their greatest time of need. Still others are beaten and abused, their homes and churches burned, their Bibles desecrated. These faithful people can take great comfort in the fact that Jesus knows EXACTLY what they are going through!

Persecution of Christians is not yet a worldwide affair, but it may reach that point. Each one of us may someday face something similar, and whether our persecution is today or sometime in the future, we can stand strong knowing that Jesus will NEVER abandon us! He's been there! And if our persecution leads to our death, we will simply be carried from this Earth into the arms of the One who has walked the same road, the One who can dry our tears, the One who can bring comfort to our abandoned, tormented souls, the One who can restore us anew in His Kingdom of Light!

Now we know that Jesus' death was the road He chose to walk that Salvation might be made a free gift for anyone who will accept it. But why did He have to suffer so much prior to His death? I believe it is because Jesus knew we would have to suffer for His name! He willingly walked the road of suffering the night of His arrest that He might be able to fully understand every form of persecution we might have to experience!

Thank You, Jesus! Thank you for choosing the cross for our Salvation, and thank You for choosing the road of suffering! Thank You for understanding every physical, emotion, mental, and spiritual pain that we must endure. And most of all, thank You for always being there, for never abandoning or deserting us, for carrying us through our time of greatest need!

Please join us next week for THE SUFFERINGS OF JESUS, Part 3: The Mockery!

In His love,

Lyn
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Fri 11 Mar 2011, 4:12 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

Today's Devotional:


What does the Bible have to say about global warming? Join us on Thursdays for WEATHER. If you have missed any of this series, previously published parts can be found online at www.scripturalnuggets.org/folder10/weather.htm



WEATHER, Parts 6 & 7



Part 6: WARNINGS OF LOVE

The rain falls on the just and the unjust, Matthew 5:45, so why does it flood upon some areas, drought upon another, fire on another, earthquake and volcano on others? What criteria does the Lord use to determine what weather will fall where?

I am not going to second guess the Lord. That would be evil of me but I can look at what he has said in Scripture.

What happened to Nineveh is interesting. God told Jonah to give a warning to Nineveh ‘for their wickedness is come up before me,’ Jonah 1:2.

Jonah was terrified. He ran in the opposite direction and we all know the story of how he boarded a boat to go anywhere but to Nineveh.

A great storm blew up and they drew lots to see who should be cast overboard to stop the storm. Jonah drew the short straw and they questioned him as to why he was the problem. He said, ‘I am a Hebrew; and I fear the Lord,’ and he told them he had fled from the Lord.

They tossed him overboard, the storm stopped and Jonah was saved by God’s plan to keep him alive.

God calls to each of us to come back to him and there are all sorts of warnings thus far. I pray you will heed them.

Eventually, Jonah went to Nineveh, crying out, ‘Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.’

What people did with the message decided what action the Lord would take. The king took the lead, called on his people to repent, to fast, and ‘turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands.’

And God noted ‘that they turned from their evil,’ and they were not overthrown.

Yes, the rain does fall on both the just and the unjust, and like a Father, God longs to cover us with his own robe if only we will come back to him and accept it.



Part 7: RAINBOW OF REMEMBRANCE

I opened my Book on a foggy morning and looked towards the far horizon. I could see nothing of my world, everything in it was under the blanket of silent, white fog.

Yet in my mind, far, far away, I could see a family, up in barren mountains, moving out of a huge ship, gathering loose boulders and building an altar.

Their household animals and birds hovered around wondering where their lush, rolling hills and plains had vanished to, shocked at the craggy cliffs about them, the clouds still scudding across the sky and the lack of food.

They were well fed in the ark but they longed for the sweetness of fresh grass, the taste of ripening fruit and the smell of ripening grain. They must eat, but Noah’s commitments were in order.

Firstly, he ‘builded an altar unto the Lord,’ and offered a sacrifice of each of the precious clean beasts and clean fowls.

Under changed conditions, the Lord gave to Noah the same covenant he had made with Adam about inhabiting the earth he now ruled. Then God shared the rainbow with Noah as a promise he would not again flood the entire earth, but to the Creator himself the rainbow meant much more.

Solemnly, he said, ‘I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant, which I established between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth,’ Genesis 9:16.

The everlasting covenant made between Father, Creator and Holy Spirit, says ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion ...everything bring forth after his kind …,’ Genesis 1:26. The covenant has not changed and the rainbow is his guarantee.

Later, our weather history confirms that Noah’s descendants, the sons of Israel, sold their brother into slavery, and lied to their father about it. Again, the Lord spoke through the weather. ‘The famine was over all the face of the earth,’ Genesis 42:56, until eventually the brothers confessed their sin to their father and the relationship with their father and brother could be restored.

How much suffering and how many floods, droughts, fires, earthquakes, volcanoes and famines will it take to bring us back to our Father and the embrace of our Brother?

Elizabeth Price
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Wed 09 Mar 2011, 4:26 pm



Welcome to the Nugget

Today's Devotional:

It is Lent, a time of year when we are encouraged to give up something that is precious to us. I would like to challenge you to take Lent a step farther by spending time in meditation, contemplating just how deeply Jesus suffered for each of us! The lessons we can learn will work to reinforce our faith and draw us closer to God! Join us on Saturdays throughout the rest of this Lenten season for THE SUFFERINGS OF JESUS! If you have missed any of these lessons, you will find them published online at www.scripturalnuggets.org/Folder10/suffering_of_jesus.htm .



THE SUFFERINGS OF JESUS:

A Lenten Series, Part 1

Introduction and The Garden of Gethsemane




When was the last time you really contemplated what Jesus suffered at the cross?

If you are like me, I don't particularly like to think too much about it. I mean, He suffered in my place! It isn't a pleasant thought!

Tomorrow marks the beginning of Lent, a time of year when we are encouraged to give up something that is precious to us. This is done to help us better appreciate just how much Jesus gave up for us, but during this particular Lenten season, I would like to challenge you to take Lent a step farther. I challenge you to spent time in meditation, contemplating just how deeply Jesus suffered for each of us!

Why?

Because the lessons we can learn from Jesus' suffering are lessons that will work to reinforce our faith and draw us closer to God!

This will be the theme of the Saturday lessons throughout this Lenten series. Today we begin this series by looking at Jesus' suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane …

THE GARDEN OF GETHSEMANE

We begin our walk down the path of Jesus' suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane. At this point in the story, Jesus hasn't even begun to experience the physical torment of His arrest, His mock trial, the walk to Calvary, or the of the outrageous brutality cross. At this point, Jesus is free, He's in a peaceful place, and He's surrounded by His closest friends. But Jesus knows what is ahead of Him. The Bible records that "…He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed. Then He said to them, 'My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death.'". (Matt 26:37-38 NKJV)

Jesus has known all of His life that the next few hours would happen. He even told His disciples that He would die and raise to life again after three days (See Mark 8:31). But as the hour draws near, the reality of what He must go through weighs heavily upon the shoulders of our Lord and Savior, to the point that the Bible tells us: "His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground." (Luke 22:44 NKJV)

Medical literature demonstrates that the sweating of blood is a physical reality. It is known as "hematidrosis", and though rare, it occurs under conditions of great emotional distress. The tiny blood vessels in the sweat glands rupture, and the blood then mixes with the sweat. Those who experience it are usually near death. [1] The fact that Jesus' sweat was mingled with blood is, in itself, an indication of His great anguish. Is it any wonder that an angel needed to come and strengthen Him (See Luke 22:43)?

There are three important lessons to be learned from Jesus' suffering in the garden. First of all, after surrounding Himself with His closest friends, He went off by Himself to pray: "Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, 'Sit here while I go and pray over there.'" (Matt 26:36-37 NKJV).

We've all experienced moments when we just don't want to be alone. We need emotional support, and we look to our close friends or loved ones to give it to us. We gather a select few and cling to them!

And this is what Jesus did. But it isn't ALL that He did. He left them all and went deeper into the garden to pray: "He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed …" (Matt 26:39 NKJV).

When we are overcome with sorrow or fear or grief, it is okay to gather our support network around us. But we shouldn't lean on them! Instead, we should go to our Heavenly Father in prayer!

Why?

Our friends and family may care about us, but they are human. They may not know how to help. Even Jesus' closest friends fell asleep when Jesus needed them the most: "Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping" (Matt 26:40 NKJV)

But God is always there!

The second important lesson we can learn comes from Jesus' prayer itself.

I don't know about you, but my prayer in the midst of trials usually goes something like this: "Lord, make it go away!"

You know what I mean! When we are in financial straits, we pray for money. When faced with illness, we pray for healing. When our children misbehave, we pray that they will behave again! Lord, make it go away!

But this wasn't Jesus' prayer. Oh, I doubt He would have minded if God had suddenly come up with another way: "if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me …" But it is the end of His prayer that teaches us the important lesson: "…nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will." (Matt 26:39 NKJV)

At the beginning of the worst suffering known to mankind, Jesus basically says, "If it's the way it has to be, I submit to Your will!"

Friends, the next time we are facing trials, let's remember Jesus' prayer at the Garden, and let our prayer also be: "Lord, I'd like it if you'd take the trouble away, but if this is not Your will, then I accept it with grace. You will give me the strength to get through!"

The last, and perhaps most important lesson to be learned from Jesus' Garden experience is just this: Jesus didn't have to be in that garden that night! He knew something was afoot. He could have fled to the wilderness!

But He didn't. Instead He strengthened Himself in the Lord and then went out to meet the men who would arrest Him.

There comes a moment when temptation and problems cannot be avoided, and we shouldn't even try. The best thing to do is to remember Jesus' example in the garden: Strengthen ourselves in prayer, and then meet the trouble head on, ever knowing that God will give us the strength to carry on!

Friends, the next time we are facing trials, let's remember that although it's good to encircle ourselves with our support systems, we must not forget that we should only lean upon God! And instead of trying to pray away our trails or run from them, let's submit to God's will, ever knowing that what He is allowing us to go through is NOT bigger than His ability to help us through. All we have to do is lean on Him! Only then can we face our problems and temptations head on and victorious!

Please join us next week for THE SUFFERING OF JESUS, Part 2: The Arrest.

In His love,

Lyn

Lyn Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two teens, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, www.scripturalnuggets.org, with Answers2Prayer Ministries, www.Answers2Prayer.org.

[1] http://www.apologeticspress.com/articles/2223


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In His love,

Lyn Chaffart submissions@scripturalnuggets.org
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Sun 06 Mar 2011, 11:18 am

The book of Joshua is rich in lessons for our day and age, and this 18 lessons series, appearing in the Nugget on Saturday evenings, will be focusing on practical tips from this book that can help us in our walk with the Lord. If you've missed any of the LESSONS FROM JOSHUA, you will find them published online at www.scripturalnuggets.org/Folder9/lessons_from_joshua.htm

LESSONS FROM JOSHUA, Part 18: Conclusion

If you go and Serve Other gods ...

"Every promise has been fulfilled; not one has failed. But just as every good promise of the Lord your God has come true, so the Lord will bring on you all the evil he has threatened, until he has destroyed you from this good land he has given you. If you violate the covenant of the Lord your God, which he commanded you, and go and serve other gods and bow down to them, the Lord's anger will burn against you, and you will quickly perish from the good land he has given you." (Josh 23:14-16 NIV)

Joshua was now 110 years old, and in his own words, "I am old and well advanced in years." (Josh 23:2 NIV). The conquest of Canaan had ended some years earlier, and the people had been enjoying rest in the land the Lord our God promised to them. Now Joshua gives one last address to the people, and in this address, he reminds them of three important facts:

*That God has kept all His promises (Jos 23:14);

*That God will help them drive out the remaining Canaanites (Jos 23:5);

*That they are not to mingle with the remaining Canaanites so that they remain faithful to God.

So what is the lesson for us in this concluding admonition of Joshua?

It is identical to the lesson that Joshua was attempting to drive home for the Israelites!



*God has also kept all of His promises to us, and we do well to remember this fact!

*Just like God promised to help Israel drive out the remaining Canaanites, He is there to help us drive out the impurities in our hearts!

*Just like Israel was admonished to not mingle with the remaining Canaanites, in order that they remain faithful to God, we are told to not play with the evil parts of our sinful nature so that we, too, can remain faithful to God!

Okay, but what does this REALLY mean?

Just this: God has given us victory over sin. This is a gift from Him. But He asks us to not play with sin, and He gives us guidelines so that we can learn how to keep our hearts pure, how to let Him continue to fight our battles. These guidelines can be summed up in two sentences: Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, soul and mind, and love your neighbor as yourself!

You see, love sums up God's law! Love requires forgiveness. Love requires faithfulness. Love requires respect. When we follow these guidelines, we are doing our part so that God can continue to drive the impurities out of our hearts.

However, if we entertain evil - unforgiveness, hatred, anger - then rather than driving out the flesh in our hearts, we are feeding it. And when we do this, we close the door to God's help.

If we truly want to be free from the things that continue to plague us, if we want freedom from addictions and pet sins, then we must ask God to help us follow His commands! We must ask God to reveal to us where, in our lives, we are not following His suggestions to love unconditionally, to forgive unconditionally, to respect, to be faithful!

I suggest that just as those foreign gods and foreign women were, in the end, what brought Israel into apostasy and led to the downfall of the nation, our tendency to hold on to anger and to not love unconditionally will be our downfall as well! These things will stand in the way of our total freedom!

The apostle Paul tells us: "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free." (Gal 5:1a NIV)

Have you ever wondered about the wording of this text? I mean, why doesn't it just say that Christ has set us free?

I would like to propose that it is worded this way because we have to claim that freedom. Just like God miraculously overpowered huge numbers of powerful nations during the initial conquest of Canaan, Christ has already SET US FREE! But just like the people needed to do something to maintain their gift of freedom (not intermarry, not turn to the gods of the nations, not associate with the people left in the land), we also have a role to play in order to fully embrace ours. And our role is to love unconditionally, to forgive, to respect, and to be faithful to God and those around us.



Friends, Christ already set us free! Let's not throw away that gift by staying entangled in unforgiveness, anger and hatred! Instead, let's follow Paul's (and Joshua's!) Advice: "Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery." (Gal 5:1b NIV)

Remember: "But if you turn away and ally yourselves with the survivors of these nations that remain among you and if you intermarry with them and associate with them, then you may be sure that the Lord your God will no longer drive out these nations before you. Instead, they will become snares and traps for you, whips on your backs and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from this good land, which the Lord your God has given you." (Josh 23:12-13 NIV)

This is the last LESSON FROM JOSHUA. My prayer is that the truths recorded in this 6th book of the Bible will have helped you grow in your Christian walk as much as it has helped me. If you've missed any of the LESSONS FROM JOSHUA, you will find them published online at: www.scripturalnuggets.org/Folder9/lessons_from_joshua.htm.

In His love,

Lyn

Lyn Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two teens, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, www.scripturalnuggets.org, with Answers2Prayer Ministries, www.Answers2Prayer.org.
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Fri 04 Mar 2011, 12:41 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

Today's Devotional:
What does the Bible have to say about global warming? Join us on Thursdays for WEATHER. If you have missed any of this series, previously published parts can be found online at www.scripturalnuggets.org/folder10/weather.htm

WEATHER, Parts 4 & 5

Part 4: INHERITED MEMORIES

Every morning we put feed out in dishes for parrots that gather in our garden. Every day they come down from the mountains to us for food and then they fly off to their way of life lived outside our garden.

They build nests and rear their young in the mountains and they return to us with their brood to be fed each day. The young learn to know us and accept what we provide.

My children were like that. They loved to go ‘home’ to hear stories from their grandparents and then they would return to where they lived.

So it was with the first children born outside the Garden. The two eldest boys were told how their parents were made in the image of God. Then the parents believed an opposing source who said it was all a lie, Genesis 3:11-24, and they did the unthinkable.

Cain, the eldest boy, decided he could restore paradise without sacrifice. As a statement of his beliefs, he made an offering of the wonderful crops of fruits and grains he had grown.

Abel, the second son, accepted that his parents had broken the Royal law but that, by faith, he would be saved through grace as they were. One day, another, ‘made in the image of God,’ would die in their place to restore their lives to ‘the image of God.’

He offered a sacrificed life, Genesis 4:4, as a statement of belief and Cain was angry with him. So angry, he killed him.

Cain determined to earn approval through his works, ‘but every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin; and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death,’ James 1:14,15.

Still the weather was benign and still Cain, relying on environmental good works, despised that ‘the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord,’ Romans 6:23.

My prayer is that you will have faith in the sacrifice of the Son of God to restore you, because ‘without faith it is impossible to please him,’ Hebrews 11:6.



Part 5: FOUNTAINS OF THE DEEP

Genealogies are an interesting statement of how belief is handed down from family to family. After Abel was killed, the next brother, Seth, took on the faith of his dead brother.

His genealogy comes down to the time of Noah where they are known as ‘the sons of God.’ It is the title of everyone who believes that the law of God is just and that the grace of God is through the sacrifice God has provided, 1st John 3:1-5.

The genealogy of Cain runs concurrently with Seth’s and just several generations later, a descendant of Cain’s was the first to break God’s law of marriage and take two wives, Genesis 4:18.

God uses marriage throughout the Bible to illustrate God’s relationship with his people and how relationship with him is damaged as in marriage when marriage is compromised.

In the time of Noah, in contrast to Seth’s line known as ‘the sons of God,’ Cain’s line is referred to as ‘the daughters of men.’ ‘The sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair,’ and married them. Genesis 6:2,4. Apostasy became reality followed by world-wide corruption and violence, Genesis 6:11.

Only Noah ‘found grace in the eyes of the Lord,’ verse 8, and only Noah believed rain and flood were coming. And only Noah and his family were preserved.

Not only did it rain, ‘the fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven’ poured forth storm, water, volcano and earthquake. The surface of the earth erupted and the heavens poured forth their anger that the sacrifice for broken law was rejected. The grace of God was spurned.

As the Lord would say many years later, ‘But your wrongdoing has upset nature’s order,’ Jeremiah 5:25, REB, or, as Isaiah said ‘The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.’ Isaiah 24:5, KJV.

The heavy hand of disbelief in the Lord’s way of dealing with sin, changed weather patterns and today we have storms, floods, droughts, fires, earthquakes and volcanoes.

Elizabeth Price
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Wed 02 Mar 2011, 2:50 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

Today's Devotional:
A SLIVER IN THE DARKNESS

Standing outside this morning in the predawn chill, dressed in my robe, my winter coat, and my mukluk slippers, waiting for my dog to do her business, I looked up for a moment to see the moon. It is one of those slivery crescent moons right now, but with a planet or star shining just above to the upper left. It sort of looked like the Proctor and Gamble logo. That wasn't what got me thinking though.

The moon, if you didn't know, produces no light of its own. The moon's glow is caused by reflecting the light of the sun. No matter what phase of the moon it is or where it is placed in the sky, its only light is a reflection of the sun's light. Even though we can't see the sun, we know it is still there because we see its light reflected. As I looked at the tiny sliver, it made me think of the light we are supposed to reflect.

I began to imagine that I was the moon, called to reflect the glorious light of the Son. Am I just showing a sliver, little glimpses of light but mostly in the dark? Do I shine like a harvest moon, reflecting the full glory of all that is possible in the Son? Does how much light I shine change with different phases in my life?

I thought of places in the real world where the sun doesn't shine for six months out of the year, and the only light seen is the light of the moon. They know the sun is still there, even though they can't see it, because of the moon. There are people in our lives living in spiritual darkness. They can't see the Son, but they can see His glory and beauty reflected through our lives, if we let them. We can give a glimpse of what is really out there to someone who otherwise wouldn't know.

I bet the moon doesn't hang there in the sky, being all proud of its bright shining light, either. If the moon could think, it would probably be so grateful for the sun, keeping it from living in eternal darkness. As I begin to shine for God, and things along my path are lit up, I sometimes get confused. I start to think that I am responsible for the light and goodness working in my life. I'm sure the moon doesn't have an ego problem.

My prayer today is multi-faceted. Lord, please help me to remember to shine for You, to reflect Your light into the darkness that fills this world. Use me, Lord, to point the way to the True Source of Light, to be a beacon of hope in the night. And Lord, keep me humble. (Always a brave prayer, I know.) Help me to keep You at the forefront of my life, remember that it is only Your Light that I reflect, Your Spirit in me that is seen, that on my own I am nothing. It is Your grace in my life that gives me light for this journey.

"And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit." (2Corinthians3:18)

Debbie Giese
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Mon 28 Feb 2011, 1:06 pm

The book of Joshua is rich in lessons for our day and age, and this 18 lessons series, appearing in the Nugget on Saturday evenings, will be focusing on practical tips from this book that can help us in our walk with the Lord. If you've missed any of the LESSONS FROM JOSHUA, you will find them published online at www.scripturalnuggets.org/Folder9/lessons_from_joshua.htm

LESSONS FROM JOSHUA, Part 17

What we can Learn from the Division of the Land,

Part C



Last week, in The Division of the Land, Part B, we learned that we need to be thankful for what God's blessings and stop looking around for something better. We need to claim what God has promised us as our own, and take it in His power, rather than looking around for something easier, and we need to remember to give God the credit, no matter what! Because otherwise, just like the tribe of Dan, we could easily fall away from God!

There is one last lesson we can learn from the division of the Land, and this lesson comes from the allotment of the tribe of Levi.

Isn't it tempting to look at others who have more than we do and wish for what they have? The Bible tells us not to covet, but it's so easy to do. After all, some have houses, good jobs, a steady income, loving families, while others live on the streets!

This is no difference within the body of Christ. Some are rich, some barely get by. Some live in big, fancy houses, others in subsidized housing, or worse. Some never want for something to eat, while others only feed their kids by donations of kindhearted people, or by visiting the local food banks or soup kitchens. The children of some get expensive presents for Christmas and birthdays, the children of others get hand-me-down clothing or homemade or repaired toys.

The truth of the matter is, even within the body of Christ, some people have received a better lot in life than others!

Where is the fairness in this?

The tribe of Levi must have felt this keenly. They weren't given an inheritance in Canaan like the other tribes. In fact, their allotment was only 48 cities, spread out throughout the land. They were given a little pasture land around each city, but they weren't given fields, which, for the people of the day, translated into livelihoods.

I'm not making this up, folks! This is clearly spelled out in the Bible: "The priests, who are Levites - indeed the whole tribe of Levi - are to have no allotment or inheritance with Israel … They shall have no inheritance among their brothers …" (Deut 18:1-2 NIV)



But did the Levites feel left out?

No. In fact, they felt honoured, for the above verse goes on to say, "They shall have no inheritance among their brothers; the Lord is their inheritance, as he promised them." (Deut 18:2 NIV)

Okay, so they were specially chosen by the Lord, the Lord Himself was to be their inheritance. But they didn't have land! How were they to live?



Friends, when God tells us He is our inheritance, we can rest assured He will provide for us: "They shall live on the offerings made to the Lord by fire, for that is their inheritance." (Deut 18:1-2 NIV)

The Levites were put in a position where they did not have to worry about tending their fields or growing their own food because God had something far bigger for them to do! They didn't have the worries that accompany farmers: drought, locust, etc, because to them was entrusted the care of the tabernacle and the instruction of the people in the ways of the Lord! They were forced to rely upon God for their sustenance, which meant that their faith had the opportunity to grow on a daily basis!

Did they see it as having been given a lesser lot?

No. They saw it as an honour!

It's true that God doesn't always give out equal (in the eyes of the world) lots in this life. How will you handle this? Will you go through your life wishing for the lot that someone else has been given? Or will you see your "lesser" lot as a blessing from God? Will you feel cheated by God, or will you feel special?

There is great joy to be had in living from moment to moment, in complete dependence upon the Lord for everything. Those who are placed in this situation, who are developing this complete dependence, should feel blessed indeed. They know that the crashing stock market could easily wipe out all of their neighbour's wealth, while nothing in the world will ever stop God from providing for them!

So the next time you feel like your lot in life wasn't quite as good as the next person's, remember the tribe of Levi. Learn to depend upon the Lord for everything, 100% of the time, and you will find that rather than being the source of material blessing, He is the source of true joy!

Join us next week for LESSONS FROM JOSHUA, Part 18: The Conclusion

In His love,

Lyn



Lyn Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two teens, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, www.scripturalnuggets.org, with Answers2Prayer Ministries, www.Answers2Prayer.org.

It is nearing Lent, a time of year when we are encouraged to give up something that is precious to us. This is done to help us better appreciate just how much Jesus gave up for us, but during this upcoming Lenten season, I would like to challenge you to take Lent a step farther. I challenge you to spent time in meditation, contemplating just how deeply Jesus suffered for each of us! Join us on Saturdays in March and April for THE SUFFERINGS OF JESUS: A Lenten Series.

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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Sun 27 Feb 2011, 2:03 pm


Welcome to the
Nugget


Today's Devotional:
What does the Bible have to say about global warming? Join us on Thursdays for WEATHER. If you have missed any of this series, previously published parts can be found online at www.scripturalnuggets.org/folder10/weather.htm
WEATHER, Parts 2 and 3



Part 2: CLOTHING YOU CANNOT BUY

I have a snapshot of a figurine on a rock in the garden with the sun rising behind it. The figurine is almost obliterated, it is clothed with light when the sun rises behind it.

It reminds me of why clothing was important when God set up his kingdom in the time of Moses. His instructions included, ‘neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woollen come upon thee.’ Leviticus 19:19 and Deuteronomy 22:11.

Don’t wear a covering woven with two different kinds of thread. I was once asked why, and Jesus explains it.

Do you remember the lesson of the guest who came to the wedding not wearing the proper garment? It is the parallel of Adam and Eve coming into the presence of God wearing their own workmanship as a covering for their sin.

Jesus further explained it in the story of the prodigal son when the father stripped his son of his filthy clothes and put his own robe on him.

He deals with it even more directly in the Sermon on the Mount, when very good people come to him to enter the kingdom of heaven claiming they have prophesied, cast of devils, and ‘in thy name done many wonderful works. "Jesus then says to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, ye that work iniquity.’" (Matthew 7:21-23).

It is a story that offends good living, ethical atheists and many worthy people. What all these illustrations and histories tell us is that God does not receive us if we come to him wearing the blood of the Saviour mixed with our own good works.

The only covering for sin in the Garden of Eden was the covering provided by God and our only covering for sin is the covering provided by the death of Jesus.

You cannot buy it, you can only accept it as the gift of God.

‘For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.’ (Galatians 3:27).



Part 3: WEATHER FORECAST

The first weather report we have from the Lord says that in his Kingdom the weather was stable. The earth was watered by a mist each day, ‘there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.’ No rain as we know it, no storms, no droughts, no deserts, because a soft mist covered all the earth. (Genesis 2:5,6).

Dampened day by day, the world grew abundant food crops all year round.

God created his kingdom on earth and gave it to Adam to ‘rule over’ from the beginning. Yet, even when Adam and Eve broke the Royal law that was inscribed on their hearts, there was no weather change. God told them they would ‘return to the ground; because from it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return,’ (Genesis 3:19).

They would die. Death was the consequence of breaking the Royal law but God clothed them by providing a sacrifice for their covering and they accepted coats of skins. (Genesis 3:21).

God’s justice and God’s grace are a total deal, ‘Justice and judgement are the habitation of thy throne; mercy and truth shall go before thy face,’ (Psalm 89:14). They had sinned against the law written on the heart in the Kingdom of God but sin was not to have uncontested control. Grace was there to cover their sin.

They were ‘sent out from the garden of Eden,’ (Genesis 3:23), and I remember picture books from my childhood showing Adam and Eve being driven out of the Garden under a black sky in a raging wind storm and pouring rain.

It did not happen like that. They left their home in deep sorrow but the weather did not change. A mist still watered the face of the ground and food still grew abundantly.

Now, we too, can rest in what Isaiah would say many years later, and it is my prayer that you will always greatly rejoice in the Lord, saying ‘for he has clothed me with garments of salvation, he has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness,’ (Isaiah 61:10).

Accepting his mercy and truth, sin is covered.

Elizabeth Price
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Wed 23 Feb 2011, 12:06 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

Today's Devotional:
GOD INTENDED IT FOR GOOD
"You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done." (Genesis 50:20)

"But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have." (1 Peter 3:15)

"It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees. The law from your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold." (Psalm 119:71-72)

"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose." (Romans 8:28)

There are some things that happen in our lives that become a dividing line, separating what came before and what came after in an irrevocable way. Some things are good - marriage, birth, a new home and some, not so good – an accident, a death, the loss of a job, but rest assured that God is not surprised by any of the things that happen in our lives, no matter how good, no matter how bad. He is the one Who always was and always will be. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. He is in your future before you were ever born and he knows what it holds and how He will use it to shape and mold you for the good of His kingdom, if you will let Him.

Someone very dear to me was accused of a sickening crime. This young man is 21 years old, was in school and life was going well. Then one day his name was in the newspaper and his picture on the television. Suddenly, people who had no idea who he was and how he was were making assumptions about his character, were thinking him to be a monster, an evil person and deserving of punishment. It may not be fair that the public tries and sentences a person based only on the evening news and the spin on the story by the anchorman, but fair or not, this young man’s life will never be the same.

It will forever be before and after. And all that comes after will now be shaped by this event. We all know that bad things happen to good people, maybe even to us, but the real dividing line in these events is what you will allow Almighty God to do with your life, even your life in ruins, because He does not see ruins, He sees beauty in the ashes and joy for despair. He sees a life He can use in any way He chooses should it be yieled to the Master’s Hand, because adversity brings compassion and understanding for others; unfair treatment can make a champion for justice rise from the ashes to fight for the rights of others, or just to be a shoulder for someone else. When we walk a mile in the shoes of another we are willing to let them lean on us when we are stronger and they, weaker. The stumbling of another takes on a new meaning once you stumble yourself.

You have to be the one to decide to yield to the Lord all of your life, all of your pain, all of your joy. The after can be immeasurably more beautiful that you ever imagined.

Yours in Christ,

Sonya Richards
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Sun 20 Feb 2011, 1:31 pm


The book of Joshua is rich in lessons for our day and age, and this 18 lessons series, appearing in the Nugget on Saturday evenings, will be focusing on practical tips from this book that can help us in our walk with the Lord. If you've missed any of the LESSONS FROM JOSHUA, you will find them published online at www.scripturalnuggets.org/Folder9/lessons_from_joshua.htm

LESSONS FROM JOSHUA, Part 16

What we can Learn From the Division of the Land, Part B


Last week, in What we can Learn from the Division of the Land, Part A, we learned that we are never given more than we can manage, and whenever we are asked to take on more, we need to check it out with the Lord first. Sometimes we need to delegate, and sometimes we simply need to say "no"!

We know that the majority of the tribes were assigned their allotments by casting lots. But what about Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh? They specifically asked for land on the far side of the Jordan River, and they got it (See Numbers 32). Why did some tribes get what they asked for, while others got what was given to them by the casting of lots?

This is to teach us an important lesson. Sometimes in life, we get what we ask for, but sometimes we don't. Remember, the tribes who got what they asked for were content, and so were the tribes whose land was chosen by lots! We need to learn to be content, no matter what.

The tribe of Asher received land that bordered the Mediterranean Sea. This was a big advantage, giving them access to shipping, fishing, international trade routes, etc. In essence, they had waterfront property!

But the land ascribed to the tribes of Issachur, Naphtali and Zebulon were not remarkable in any way. They didn't have waterfront property, there were no bad people to kick out, nothing at all that the Bible sees as important enough to note.

Were the people of Naphtali, Issachur or Zebulon jealous?

Not that we're told.

Why not?

Because they learned an important lesson: Be happy with what you have been given in life!



And this is the lesson that these tribes have to teach us. We need to learn to enjoy God's blessings, and stop wishing for something better or different. Remember what Paul tells us? "I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength." (Phil 4:12-13 NIV)

Finally, let's look at the allotment given to the tribe of Dan. They received a large allotment, but the Bible tells us that they couldn't drive out the people in their land: "But the Danites had difficulty taking possession of their territory …" (Josh 19:47a NIV).

But Dan was far too independent to worry about such tiny details. They simply took things into their own hands: "…so they went up and attacked Leshem, took it, put it to the sword and occupied it. They settled in Leshem and named it Dan after their forefather." (Josh 19:47 NIV)

There was only one problem: From the beginning until the very end, Dan worshipped idols: "…Then the children of Dan set up for themselves the carved image; and Jonathan the son of Gershom, the son of Manasseh, and his sons were priests to the tribe of Dan until the day of the captivity of the land." (Judg 18:29-31 NKJV)



What happened here is that Dan didn't call on God's power to drive out the people of the land they were allotted. Instead, they looked to their own strength and wit. They found a sleepy little community, Lechem, far away from any of its allies, they took them by surprise and they slaughtered them.

But the Danites didn't see that God had given them this victory. Instead they looked to themselves as the victors. And then they were tempted to say, "who needs God when we've done such a fine job on our own?" So they set up carved images and worshipped them, and they were still worshiping them on the "day of the captivity of the land" (Judg 18:31).

That's the danger of taking things into your own hands, friends! When you succeed, you fail to recognize God's hand in your situation! After all, it was YOUR idea, not His! And the next trap that's so easy to fall into is to turn away from Him altogether.

Friends, God has a quiet resting place for each of us. He has promised it to us, it is ours. Some of us may already have received that promise, some may not. But whether you have received your promise or not, keep looking to God! Keep striving to possess what He has promised you. Don't look for an alternative plan! And when victory comes, remember, give Him the credit!

There is just one more lesson we can learn from the division of the Land. Join us next week for LESSONS FROM JOSHUA, Part 17: What we can Learn From the Division of the Land, Part C!

In His love,

Lyn



Lyn Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two teens, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, www.scripturalnuggets.org, with Answers2Prayer Ministries, www.Answers2Prayer.org.


In His love,

Lyn Chaffart submissions@scripturalnuggets.org

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WEATHER, Part 1:

Clothed With Light


Adam and Eve were naked but they were made in ‘the image of God’ so I wondered what it meant. Mostly when God as God is pictured in Scripture, he is described as light, or cloud or fire. He is never pictured as a naked being, and when he appears as a man, as when he appeared to Abraham under the oaks of Mamre, he appeared as dressed for a journey.

It is when we are given a description of Jesus, Moses and Elijah on the Mount of Transfiguration that we are told they were clothed in white, so white it was dazzling.

Moses and Elijah are two of the only three human beings described in the Old Testament as being in heaven. The other was Enoch and he, like Elijah, was taken to heaven without having died. Moses, on the other hand, was resurrected as Jesus would be after his death.

The revelation of their appearance leads me to believe that Adam and Eve ‘glowed’ like that when they were made ‘in the image of God.’ They must have shone with light as Moses did on the Mount with Jesus. So when they are described as being naked, before they sinned and then after they sinned, I see two different pictures.

In the first picture they are naked in the sense that they have no need of clothing as we know it because they shone with the inner light of God. Then I see them when that light went out because they had believed a different voice and lost their inner light of God’s perfection.

God lets us know that eventually he writes his law on the hearts of his people in his kingdom. As he said, ‘I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts,’ Hebrews 8:10, so that ‘Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and enter in through the gates into the city,’ Revelation 22:14.

If we break that law, we have no right to enter the kingdom of God.

God had told Adam and Eve they were not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If they did, they would die.

Their sin was that they believed and were seduced by advice above God’s. They put another ‘god’ above God. ‘Thou shalt have no other gods before me,’ and the law of God which was inscribed on their hearts, was smashed.

It was as smashed then, the same as it was smashed when the Children of Israel worshipped an idol in the desert, and Moses smashed the two tablets of the law God had given him. (Exodus 32.)

The inner light of Adam and Eve being perfectly made ‘in the image of God’ went out. They were naked. They were dead men walking.

Hurriedly they made covering for themselves of leaves.

When God found them, naked, ashamed, and full of excuses, he demonstrated that sin causes death. God slew a creature he had created to provide their covering. The covering they had made for themselves was discarded.

The full horror of the death of Jesus, the second man ‘made in the image of God,’ (2nd Corinthians 4:4), begins to emerge. Looking back to that moment, John describes him as ‘the Lamb, slain from the foundation of the world.’

So when his people are restored fully to the kingdom of God, the inner light is restored also, ‘the Lord God giveth them light,’ (Revelation 22:5).

Elizabeth Price




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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Wed 16 Feb 2011, 4:55 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

Today's Devotional:
A TAP ON THE SHOULDER
"But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus." (Phil 4:19 KJV)

A long time ago when my full grown children were still "children" I saw something that still brings a burst of joy to my heart whenever I think about it. My youngest son who was still a toddler at the time was very attached to his big sister. When she first started going to school he would stand by the window waiting everyday for her bus to bring her home. And when I would walk her up the hill to our house he would be waiting at the door to hug her.
One day, however, after a particularly nasty diaper incident his Mom needed to give him a quick bath right when the bus was scheduled to arrive. When his sister and I made it to the door then he was still in the tub. His sister went into her room to put her coat up and as soon as she shut the door out toddled her brother from the bathroom and right to the window he went. His internal clock knew that his sister should be home any second. I smiled as I watched him looking intently out the window while his sister emerged from her room. Quietly she snuck up behind him and ever so gently tapped him on the shoulder. The look on his face when he turned around and saw his big sis was one I have rarely seen in this life. It was pure bliss, pure joy, and pure love. His big eyes shined with delight, his toothless smile took up most of his face, and his tiny arms opened up to give his sister a very big hug.
I realized a while ago that I had spent far too much of my own life looking out a window waiting for something or someone to bring me what I wanted in this life. It took me a long time to finally feel the gentle tapping on my own shoulder. When I turned around there was God ready to take me in His arms and fill me with His love. I saw then that everything I had ever needed: love, joy, peace, and oneness with God had been with me all along. I had just been looking the wrong way. I hope that you too will turn around when you feel that tap.

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

Post  Admin on Sun 13 Feb 2011, 11:01 am

The book of Joshua is rich in lessons for our day and age, and this 18 lessons series, appearing in the Nugget on Saturday evenings, will be focusing on practical tips from this book that can help us in our walk with the Lord. If you've missed any of the LESSONS FROM JOSHUA, you will find them published online at www.scripturalnuggets.org/Folder9/lessons_from_joshua.htm
LESSONS FROM JOSHUA, Part 15:
What we can Learn from the Division of the Land, Part A


The book of Joshua is coming to an end now. All that is left is the division of the land.
I don't know about you, but I find the chapters in Joshua 13-20 rather tedious, for they go into so much detail about characteristics of borders. But is there something that we can learn from these chapters? This will be the focus of these next three lessons from Joshua.
"The lot came up for the tribe of Benjamin, clan by clan. Their allotted territory lay between the tribes of Judah and Joseph …" (Josh 18:11 NIV)

Benjamin's land was very small, perhaps the smallest of allotment given. Why?
The Bible tells us that the land was to be divided according to the number of people in each tribe: "Distribute the land by lot, according to your clans. To a larger group give a larger inheritance, and to a smaller group a smaller one." (Num 33:54 NIV). This makes sense.
A small group of people would not have been able to manage a large piece of land. The lesson we can learn from Benjamin's allotment is that we are given what we can manage! No more, no less. And we serve a wonderful, wise, all-knowing God who knows just how much we can manage! Remember: "No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear." (1 Cor 10:13 NIV).
As someone who is nearly always under the gun for time, I take great comfort in this! When my plate seems to be heaping full and another load is placed upon it, I'm often tempted to think that the plate will overflow!

But it won't.
Why?
Because God gave Benjamin the smallest piece of land! Because God knows how much my plate will hold, and He will never give me more than I can handle!
But what about Judah? Their land was very big, probably the biggest single allotment given. In fact, when it came time for Simeon to be given a piece of land, here's what the Bible tells us: "The inheritance of the Simeonites was taken from the share of Judah, because Judah's portion was more than they needed. So the Simeonites received their inheritance within the territory of Judah." (Josh 19:9 NIV)

So many times we try to take on more than we can handle. For some, there seems to be no other options, but for the vast majority of us, we do this because we simply don't know how to say "no"! We take on more and more, until we truly do fold under the load.
For some of us, this is a control issue. We feel that if we don't do it, it won't get done. Or maybe it will be done, but it won't be done right. We feel (or are made to feel!) That we are the only ones who can accomplish the task!
Instead of just taking everything on ourselves, we should be ready to share the load, to delegate, and we should be ready to say "no".
But wait a minute. Isn't this message opposite the one taught to us by the tiny amount of land given to Benjamin?
On the surface, yes. But let's look beneath the surface …
Remember, God will not give us more than we can manage. But sometimes we don't make the effort to check into whether it is God giving us the task or not! Sometimes we just take things on!
The solution?
Whenever you are tempted to, asked to, or feel compelled to take on something new, make the effort to check it out with God, first! If it is really of Him, He will tell you, and you can rest assured that, like with Benjamin, He will not give you more than you can manage!
But if it isn't, then like Simeon, you may give yourself permission to say "no, I can't manage a task of that caliber", or like Judah, you may give yourself permission to delegate and "share" the load!
Join us next week for What we can Learn from the Division of the Land, Part B!
In His love,
Lyn


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Today's Devotional:
THROUGH THE PEA-SOUP

Every morning a wild magpie flies from across the hills and lands in a tree in the garden. There he waits. He waits until we come out of the house and see him. Then he waits until we throw tiny pieces of bread or food scraps to him.
He catches each piece on the wing, gulps it down and lands in the tree for the next throw.
This morning I followed the routine but there was a pea-soup fog. I could barely make out the hazy shape of our little wild friend.
I threw the food but fog blurred my vision and I threw it too far off course for him to catch it. I tried again and failed again.
The magpie seemed to sense my difficulty and decided to make himself as much like me as possible. He came right down out of the tree and landed close to me. Now I could see him clearly and interact with him face to face. Nothing separated us and we were friends.
It was like that with our God, wasn’t it? We couldn’t see Him clearly because of the foggy thoughts that blurred our vision. We had listened to bad press about Him and we created a pea-soup of wrong perceptions. We had separated ourselves by our own fog and forgot the 95th Psalm which says ‘he is our God, we the people he shepherds, the flock of his care.’
So like our magpie, He read our difficulty and came right down on the grass beside us. We could see Him face to face.
He was made like us in every way and He made his home among us. We were forever friends because he became one of us. John 1:14. ‘So the Word became flesh; he made his home among us and we saw his glory, such glory as befits the Father’s only Son.’
We couldn’t see him clearly. …
Elizabeth Price
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Thu 10 Feb 2011, 12:56 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

Today's Devotional:
Due to technical difficulties, many of you did not receive a readable version of the Tuesday Nugget. As a result, we are resending it today. God bless each of you abundantly!
HEDGE OF PROTECTION


"Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land." (Job 1:10 NKJV)
We always enjoy our vacations on Skidaway Island in Savannah,Ga. On this island a small population of deer leisurely roam the neighbourhood, eating anything they choose along the way . Some homeowners have protected their favourite shrubs and flowers with wire or electric fencing which prevent the deer from stripping the plant.
On one trip I noticed a bed of roses which was enclosed in a wire fence and protected from the deer. In their eating spree, the deer would rob the roses of their beauty, sap the life out of them, and basically just consume them.
Satan would like to do that to the Christian. He would enjoy stealing God’s beauty from our lives - the splendour of a spirit of giving, loving and serving. He would like to devour our lives by filling us with a spirit of greed, lust or fear. However, God puts a hedge of protection ( Job 1:10) around His children, much as the homeowners protected their roses from the onslaught of the deer. He also has taught us how to dress ourselves with His armour; but mostly, He has allowed Jesus to shed His precious blood to cover us.
God has promised in His Word that we will not fight Satan alone. Our heavenly father is our banner of protection. He is our Jehovah-nissi , and there is victory for us in this fact.
Marion Smith
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Tue 08 Feb 2011, 12:57 pm

The book of Joshua is rich in lessons for our day and age, and this 18 lessons series, appearing in the Nugget on Saturday evenings, will be focusing on practical tips from this book that can help us in our walk with the Lord. If you've missed any of the LESSONS FROM JOSHUA, you will find them published online at www.scripturalnuggets.org/Folder9/lessons_from_joshua.htm
LESSONS FROM JOSHUA, Part 14:
Why Total Annihilation?


"So Joshua subdued the whole region, including the hill country, the Negev, the western foothills and the mountain slopes, together with all their kings. He left no survivors. He totally destroyed all who breathed, just as the Lord, the God of Israel, had commanded." (Josh 10:40-41 NIV)
As I read through the above text, it occurred to me that Joshua was very thorough. He "went through the whole region", he "left no survivors", he "totally destroyed all who breathed", and he did it, "just as God had commanded".
Now some would say that this total annihilation of entire cultures and people groups is what we would call in our day and age, "genocide", and we would all agree that this is a very cruel practice. So why was it not only permitted, but commanded by God? And what lessons can we learn from it today?
To answer the first question, we have to go back into the books of Moses. Here we find numerous references to the people of the land of Canaan, and we find just as many references to the land being "defiled". In fact, God said that because the people of Canaan defiled the land in such a significant way, it "vomited" them out: "Even the land was defiled; so I punished it for its sin, and the land vomited out its inhabitants." (Lev 18:25-26 NIV)

And just what was it that had "defiled" the land? Lev. 18 gives us an entire list, and almost all of them have to do with perverse sexual sins: Don't sleep with your brother's wife or your neighbour or your sister or your step mother, don't sleep with animals, or with others of the same sex, or with your uncle, to name a few. And the list also includes the horrible offence of sacrificing children to Molech, one of the gods of the land. In other words, perverseness rampaged in the land of Canaan, and God wanted to cleanse the land of these sins!
But God is good. He didn't wipe out the people immediately. In fact, He waited 400 years to do so. Why? The Bible says it's because the sin of the people had not yet reached its full measure. (See Gen. 15:13-16) I believe this was because God wanted to give them every chance possible to escape this punishment!
We are also told that God cleansed the land of the Canaanites so that they and their perverse practices wouldn't corrupt God's people: "For they will turn your sons away from following me to serve other gods, and the LORD's anger will burn against you and will quickly destroy you. This is what you are to do to them: Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones, cut down their Asherah poles and burn their idols in the fire. For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession." (Deut. 7:4-6)

You see, God knew Israel was weak and would fall quickly back into idolatry. He wanted them to have the best chance possible of staying "clean", of "breaking free".
So what can we learn from this for today?
Several things, actually.
First of all, the Bible tells us that the end of time is when it is "as in the days of Noah" (Matt. 24:37). In those days, the earth because so perverse that God cleansed it with water. In the days of Joshua, the land of Canaan was so perverse that God cleansed it as well. And what about our day and age? Perversity rampages, and every sin listed as one of the reasons for the total annihilation of Canaan rampages today! As a result of our perverseness, the world will again be cleansed, but this time, with fire, and only those covered by the blood of Jesus will survive.
Secondly, just as Joshua systematically went through the land and attacked the cities, killing kings, destroying cities, killing people, so we must also systematically go through our lives, renouncing the things of the flesh! For if we don't, these perversities of the world will surely be our downfall! We, also, need to take measures to not even expose ourselves to evil, for if we do, we will certainly fall back into it!
And finally, just as God helped Joshua in the conquest of Canaan, He has also promised to help us rid ourselves of perversity! "Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God-through Jesus Christ our Lord!" (Rom 7:24-25 NIV)

So what do you say? Shall we get started cleaning our hearts? Why not today?
When the stories of miraculous conquest in the Promised Land come to an end, the book of Joshua devotes the next 9 chapters focus on the division of the land. After reading about the excitement of the conquest, the book suddenly becomes a bit slow-Boring, if you please. Certainly unrelated to anything that we could relate to today! But would God devote 9 chapters of a book to a subject that does not relate to our day and time? Please join us next week for LESSONS FROM JOSHUA, Part 15: The Division of the Land, Part A.
In His love,
Lyn
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Sat 05 Feb 2011, 3:52 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

Today's Devotional:
DO YOU WANT TO BE HAPPY?

“Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.” (Isaiah 6:8 KJV)
Pastor Alfred Henry Ackley wrote a beautiful song “In the Service of the King”. The words in this song describe how I feel. “I am happy in the service of the King. I am happy, O so happy! Through the sunshine and shadow I can sing, In the service of the King”.
I receive a lot of emails from people who are unhappy. Are you unhappy? Do you want to be happy? If so, serve Jesus! Happiness only comes when we surrender everything we have to Him. You may not have a lot of talents but you can smile at someone.
God may want to use you to encourage and comfort someone for Him. Are you listening for His call? You will never hear Him speaking to you if you are watching television all day long. Think how God could move in the hearts and lives of our loved ones if we would pray for them as much as we watch television.
All of us want to be happy. I sure want to be happy but I think that instead of thinking about our happiness so much we need to concentrate on making Jesus happy. If ever someone deserves to be happy, it is our precious Saviour. Will you shut off the television and serve the One who died for you?
Joanne Lowe
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Welcome to the Nugget

Today's Devotional:
MINING SOME TRUTHS, Part 3

To conclude the series on Chile miners' saga, there are two more truths to be "mined"…

Celebration…
Oh yes, Chile rejoiced, so did the world at large at the safe passage of the 33 miners from "Death to life". Praise God at the "safe passage" of even one sinner from "eternal death to eternal life". With this, all of heaven rejoices (Luke 15:7)!

Staggering truth, this! If the Chilean President, Mr. Sebastian Pinera, was right there to welcome the miners and usher them into a "new life", so was the Father (symbolizing God) of the prodigal, when he emerged out of his "cocoon of sin" (Luke 15:20)! Should we not welcome every individual who steps into the portals of a Church seeking the Savior, whatever be his/her sinful background?

YES!

Now did I hear that one person has just come into the family-fold of Christ? Join me, it's party time (Luke 15:22-24)!

And now for the last truth ...

Evangelization…

Stripped of all fanciful trappings, Evangelization, simply put, is "sharing the GOOD NEWS that Christ is ready to save everyone from their sins". Taking Christ's Great Commission seriously (Matt 28:18-20), His disciples, braving all odds, went to the "ends of the World". By the way, do you know that Chile is "one of the ends of the World"? Now were Christ's disciples successful? Want proof? Take it. Christians are in the majority in Chile now! Is not Sebastian Pinera, the name of the Chilean President, a Christian name? Forget going to "ends of the World". Have you reached out to your neighborhood with the Gospel? Herald the Christmas season this year in your neighborhood with sweets, gifts and Gospel tracts! By doing that you can rest assured that you will be sending a chill down the devil's spine! HALLELUJAH!

Prayer: Father, the more I understand about your grand plan of salvation for mankind through Jesus Christ , the more I am challenged about my responsibility in sharing it with all I come in contact with. Keep me on fire. Always! In Jesus' name. Amen.

Suresh Manoharan
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Mon 31 Jan 2011, 11:24 pm

The book of Joshua is rich in lessons for our day and age, and this 18 lessons series, appearing in the Nugget on Saturday evenings, will be focusing on practical tips from this book that can help us in our walk with the Lord. If you've missed any of the LESSONS FROM JOSHUA, you will find them published online at www.scripturalnuggets.org/Folder9/lessons_from_joshua.htm
LESSONS FROM JOSHUA, Part 13
What to do About the Kings

It was in the aftermath of the glorious victory over 5 Canaanite kings. God gives Israel victory, He roots out five nations, the sun stands still for Joshua, and all is good.
Except for one thing: "Now the five kings had fled and hidden in the cave at Makkedah." (Josh 10:16 NIV)
The kings of these five city-states are still alive!
When we give our hearts to God, He gives us victory over sin. But this is no guarantee that we won't fall into temptation. The story of how Joshua takes care of those five kings is a beautiful lesson for us on how we can slay the enemy of our souls, as well as the wickedness of our hearts!
"Joshua said, 'Open the mouth of the cave and bring those five kings out to me.'" (Josh 10:22)
The first important lesson is this: When Joshua hears about the kings, he is concerned! If the kings are still alive, they will be able to rally against Israel again. They must be destroyed.
Our first step to overcoming temptation is to recognize that it must be destroyed! We need to understand, just like Joshua did, that if we allow the wickedness to stay in our hearts, it will eventually "rally" against us and call us back to sin.
So what do we do about it?
"When they had brought these kings to Joshua, he summoned all the men of Israel and said to the army commanders who had come with him, 'Come here and put your feet on the necks of these kings.' So they came forward and placed their feet on their necks." (Josh 10:22-24 NIV)
The way of the day was to publically humiliate the defeated foe by putting a foot on his neck.
Likewise, when we go up against temptation and addiction, the first thing is to claim victory over it! Remember, the devil was defeated at Calgary! We can walk in that victory!
But how?
"Joshua said to them, 'Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Be strong and courageous." (Josh 10: 25a)
The first step towards walking in victory is to not be afraid or discouraged! When coming up against temptation and addiction, when coming up against our human nature, we need to be strong and courageous!
"This is what the Lord will do to all the enemies you are going to fight." (Josh 10:25b)
And while we're being strong and courageous, we need to remember that "we" are NOT the ones who will be victorious: It is the LORD who gives us victory! We are weak and our efforts will always leave us wanting. The minute we start relying on ourselves, we are doomed to fail! But He is strong, and He is the One who already conquered the enemy for us!
"Then Joshua struck and killed the kings and hung them on five trees, and they were left hanging on the trees until evening." (Josh 10:26 )
Then we rise up in the name of the Lord, and we overcome, and we rejoice in the power of our God!
So the secret to overcoming temptation is:
•To recognize that it needs to be overcome!
•To remember that the enemy can only have as much power over us as we allow him to have, because he is an already-defeated foe!
•To be strong and courageous!
•To remember that it is not by our own efforts that we will overcome, but solely by relying on the power of God for each step of the way!
•To rise up and overcome!
To then rejoice in the power of God!
But the story doesn't stop here:
"At sunset Joshua gave the order and they took them down from the trees and threw them into the cave where they had been hiding. At the mouth of the cave they placed large rocks, which are there to this day." (Josh 10:27)
Joshua eventually had the bodies removed and buried. He hid them from sight for good.
This is the final step in overcoming temptation. When God gives us victory, we need to "bury" the temptation!
This means that we should take measures to avoid situations where we will be further tempted in this manner. We need to guard even our thoughts and our hearts and so that nothing that can potentially drag us down can enter in! When even the tiniest thought of the temptation enters our mind, that is the time to identify it and claim God's victory over it in Jesus name!
And in doing so, we are "burying" the defeated foe!
But doesn't all this killing in the book of Joshua seem cruel? Please join us next week for LESSONS FROM JOSHUA, Part 14: Why Total Annihilation …
In His love,
Lyn
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Fri 28 Jan 2011, 12:00 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

Today's Devotional:
APPLE CIDER

“Ho! Every one who thirsts, come to the waters; And you who have no money come, buy and eat. Come, buy wine and milk Without money and without cost." (Isaiah 55:1, NASB95)
On a hot fall day our high school marching band took part in the Apple Festival in Chilhowie, Virginia. We marched in a parade then waited around for our time to compete in the field competition. After that parade I was hot and thirsty. I went to a vendor who had cans of soft drinks. This is where I saw my first Mr. Pibb. It was good and cold but did not quench my thirst. Then I saw a vendor who had bottles of ice cold apple cider. I bought one of these and that hit the spot.
We are created with a thirst but most don't know what will quench that spiritual thirst. We may try different things but they don't quench it completely. Then we go on to something else which we think might fill that hole in us. But Jesus Christ is the only one that can really quench our spiritual thirst.
There is a cost to what quenches our thirst. But that cost is not ours. We can quench our spiritual thirst for free. But to quench this thirst it cost Jesus Christ His life. He gave His life so we could be filled without cost.
Let us all partake of Jesus Christ to quench our thirst. And let us share Him with others so they may know what will truly quench their thirst.
Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, we thank you for giving Your life for us. Thank You for offering Yourself to quench our thirst. Help us to continually drink from Your supply. Help us to let others know that You are the only One who can quench their thirst. Amen.
By Dean W. masters
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Wed 26 Jan 2011, 12:47 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

Today's Devotional:
Our apologies, but due to technical difficulties, most of you did not receive Part 1 of this series last Tuesday. Parts 1 and 2 are being sent out in this mailing, for those who didn't receive Part 1.
MINING SOME TRUTHS, Parts 1 & 2


August 5th 2010. For a bunch of thirty-three men, it was going to be a routine "day in the office". Only their office was a good 2000 feet below the Earth's surface, their "office cubicle", nothing but layer upon layer of mud mixed with copper and gold, their "office equipment", drilling machines, spades et al, and their business, "mining yellow metals". Worse, their "office premises" caved in for no fault of theirs. For the next 69 days, these men did not see the "light of day", both literally and figuratively, and only on the 13th of October, 2010, after virtually shaking hands with death, they emerged out of the "black hole" to the spontaneous cheers of the local Chilean crowd and the global TV audience. Yes, you guessed it right, I am speaking about the saga of the Chilean miners, whose faces, as they stepped out one by one from their life-saving missile-shaped "capsule", said it all! Steely determination, gratitude, relief, joy and everything else!
Are there any spiritual lessons to be "mined" from the spine-chilling experience of Chile miners? Yes, it brings to the forefront some chilling reminders as well as some comforting, re-invigorating and challenging truths. First of all:
Dominion…

For no fault of theirs, there they were, the Chilean miners, trapped helplessly in the dominion of darkness, with seemingly "no light at the end of the tunnel", until the rescue act began from "above". Oh yes, none of us are responsible for eating the "forbidden fruit" which tragically resulted in the "Earth caving in around mankind". Our grand-parents are responsible for that ONE BIG FATAL SLIP (Romans 5:12)!

Cheer up! For us, too, trapped down here on earth, the rescue act began from "above", with the Savior Himself descending down into the miry, dark pit of sin to save everyone trapped in it from eternal death (Col 1:13-14).

Co-ordination…

The entire rescue act stood out for team work, with several people pooling their minds and their resources, even as they bailed out the trapped miners. "Team Trinity" also worked in perfect unison to bring about our release from the dominion of darkness. Consider this Scripture verse: "who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood" (I Peter 1:2).

So much so about our salvation, it is said "God thought it, Christ bought it, Holy Spirit wrought it, though the devil fought it, Praise God I got it"!

Prayer: Father, the more I understand about your grand plan of salvation for mankind through Jesus Christ, the more I am challenged to reach out to others with it. Keep me on fire. Always. In Jesus' Name. Amen

Redemption, One at a time, The only way…
Mind you, Chile miners, safe in their rescue capsules, emerged "one at a time" from their "grave that held them in its grip for 69 days". Hey, Salvation from our "grave of sin" is also given on a "one on one basis". No one can get a passport to heaven on the basis of the noble deeds of his pious parents or grandparents. Riding piggy back on the back of someone else wouldn't do, wouldn't do at all, when it comes to salvation! everyone has to seek His salvation personally: "Jesus answered and said to him, 'Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.'" (John 3:3 NKJV)

And just as the missile-shaped capsule painted in the colors of the Chilean National flag was the only "life-saving device" for the miners, the cross, "painted" with the blood of Christ, is the only way of salvation for us: "Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.'" (John 14:6 NKJV) "And I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why do I still suffer persecution? Then the offense of the cross has ceased." (Galatians 5:11 NKJV)!
Quite striking, this similarity, isn't it? Now the Chilean miners didn't have any reservations nor did they argue about the life-saving "capsule" being lowered into the pit for their deliverance. Simply put, there were no choices offered to them. There was only one way and they jumped at it! Friend, have you taken your "leap of faith" ("But what does it say? 'The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart' (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." Romans 10:8-10 NKJV), landing into the safe arms of the Savior, as it were: "But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." (John 1:12-13 NKJV)

Let me affirm, there is no other way on!

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek." (Romans 1:16 NKJV)!

Please join us next Tuesday for "Mining Some Truths, Part 3".
Suresh Manoharan
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Sun 23 Jan 2011, 4:00 pm

The book of Joshua is rich in lessons for our day and age, and this 18 lessons series, appearing in the Nugget on Saturday evenings, will be focusing on practical tips from this book that can help us in our walk with the Lord. If you've missed any of the LESSONS FROM JOSHUA, you will find them published online at www.scripturalnuggets.org/Folder9/lessons_from_joshua.htm
LESSONS FROM JOSHUA, Part 12
The Day the Sun Stood Still

"The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day. There has never been a day like it before or since, a day when the Lord listened to a man. Surely the Lord was fighting for Israel! Then Joshua returned with all Israel to the camp at Gilgal." (Josh 10:13-15 NIV)
It was the aftermath of the Gibeonite disaster. The Bible records: "the five kings of the Amorites - the kings of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish and Eglon - joined forces. They moved up with all their troops and took up positions against Gibeon and attacked it." (Josh 10:5 NIV)
Because Israel had made a treaty with the Gibeonites, it was now their duty to go and fight for their ill-founded friends.
It is interesting that although it wasn't God's will for a treaty to be made with Gibeon, or any other people group in Canaan, God didn't abandon Israel to the five kings. In fact, God used this situation to subdue those five kings, and to bring Israel five steps closer to possessing the land. Here are God's words to Joshua: "Do not be afraid of them; I have given them into your hand. Not one of them will be able to withstand you." (Josh 10:8 NIV)
And so it was. The Bible records that Joshua took the huge army by surprise, and that the Lord, Himself, threw the enemy into vast confusion. Israel then pursued them and continued to "cut them down", and God sent large hailstones onto the enemy, to the point that the Bible says, "more of them died from the hailstones than were killed by the swords of the Israelites." (Josh 10:11b)
But night was coming on, and there were still many of the enemy to be conquered, so many that Joshua found himself so wishing for a few more hours of daylight that he asked God to do the impossible: "O sun, stand still over Gibeon, O moon, over the Valley of Aijalon." (Josh 10:12b)
God came through for Joshua. I don't know how He did it, but the Bible records that "The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day." (Josh 10:13b NIV)
What a glorious sight that must have been! And what a powerful witness to the nations of the power and might of the One True God!
But wait a minute. Why would God bless a venture that was created outside of His will?
Because, friends, when we repent of our bad decisions, God knows how to turn them into something beautiful: "He has made everything beautiful in its time." (Eccl 3:10-11 NIV)
I don't know about you, but this thought gives me great comfort. Although I try to follow God's will, sometimes the "will of Lyn" takes over, and I make bad decisions. Isn't it wonderful that we serve a God who loves us despite our mistakes? Who, when we repent, will make something beautiful out of the mess we've created? Who will use the situation to His glory, and will even make the sun stand still in order to do so?
Friends, this isn't license to wilfully go against God's will. The consequences of our bad choices will more than likely continue to haunt us for the rest of our days. Remember, Gibeon was a thorn in Israel's flesh throughout their entire history! But God sees our hearts. He knows when we repent of our past mistakes, and He recognizes a contrite spirit. And even better, He CAN and WILL make something beautiful out of those bad decisions! Who knows? He may even make the sun stand still!
Enough to ponder, but do ponder this: When we repent of our mistakes, God is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and to cleanse us of all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). This means that He can and will make something beautiful out of the mess we created. Our job is to let Him!
Please join us next week for LESSONS FROM JOSHUA, Part 13: What to do About the Kings.
In His love, Lyn
Lyn Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two teens, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devoionals and inspirational poems, www.scripturalnuggets.org, with Answers2Prayer Ministries, www.Answers2Prayer.org.

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Lyn Chaffart submissions@scripturalnuggets.org
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Fri 21 Jan 2011, 1:38 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

Today's Devotional:
THE RIGHT FUEL

It is a tough call to own a motor car that runs on LP gas* instead of on conventional petrol. It has advantages but the serious downside is that if you run out of fuel you are stuck. You can’t borrow a litre or two from a passing motorist or walk down to the nearest service station to buy a can full. You have to take the car with you because you have to fill direct from the pump at the service station.
Equally, you can’t siphon off a litre or two of your LP gas to give to any other stranded motorist. He can’t borrow from you any more than you can borrow from him so if you come across somebody who has run out of gas, you simply have to leave him there.
It reminds me of the ten virgins who were going on a journey (Matthew 25:1-13). Five had filled their tanks with the right fuel: five just hoped somebody would get them out of trouble in a crisis.
Like them, we are on a journey and John tells us that the right fuel is ‘to know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.’ John 17:3. Knowing God is the fuel we must have.
Paul reminds us to fill up at the service station. He said it is where we become ‘familiar with the sacred writings which have power to make you wise and lead you to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.’ (2nd Timothy 3:15.)
And God promises to meet us right there at his service station. He said ‘when you seek me, you will find me.’ Jeremiah 29:13. He is waiting for you; don’t try to run on empty, will you?
Elizabeth Price
* LP gas stands for Liquefied Petroleum Gas, usually comprised of propane and/or butane

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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Wed 19 Jan 2011, 2:33 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

Today's Devotional:
MINING SOME TRUTHS, Part 1
August 5th 2010. For a bunch of thirty-three men, it was going to be a routine "day in the office". Only their office was a good 2000 feet below the Earth's surface, their "office cubicle", nothing but layer upon layer of mud mixed with copper and gold, their "office equipment", drilling machines, spades et al, and their business, "mining yellow metals". Worse, their "office premises" caved in for no fault of theirs. For the next 69 days, these men did not see the "light of day", both literally and figuratively, and only on the 13th of October, 2010, after virtually shaking hands with death, they emerged out of the "black hole" to the spontaneous cheers of the local Chilean crowd and the global TV audience. Yes, you guessed it right, I am speaking about the saga of the Chilean miners, whose faces, as they stepped out one by one from their life-saving missile-shaped "capsule", said it all! Steely determination, gratitude, relief, joy and everything else!
Are there any spiritual lessons to be "mined" from the spine-chilling experience of Chile miners? Yes, it brings to the forefront some chilling reminders as well as some comforting, re-invigorating and challenging truths. First of all:
Dominion…

For no fault of theirs, there they were, the Chilean miners, trapped helplessly in the dominion of darkness, with seemingly "no light at the end of the tunnel", until the rescue act began from "above". Oh yes, none of us are responsible for eating the "forbidden fruit" which tragically resulted in the "Earth caving in around mankind". Our grand-parents are responsible for that ONE BIG FATAL SLIP (Romans 5:12)!

Cheer up! For us, too, trapped down here on earth, the rescue act began from "above", with the Savior Himself descending down into the miry, dark pit of sin to save everyone trapped in it from eternal death (Col 1:13-14).

Co-ordination…

The entire rescue act stood out for team work, with several people pooling their minds and their resources, even as they bailed out the trapped miners. "Team Trinity" also worked in perfect unison to bring about our release from the dominion of darkness. Consider this Scripture verse: "who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood" (I Peter 1:2).

So much so about our salvation, it is said "God thought it, Christ bought it, Holy Spirit wrought it, though the devil fought it, Praise God I got it"!

Prayer: Father, the more I understand about your grand plan of salvation for mankind through Jesus Christ, the more I am challenged to reach out to others with it. Keep me on fire. Always. In Jesus' Name. Amen

Please join us next Tuesday for "Mining Some Truths, Part 2".
Suresh Manoharan
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Sun 16 Jan 2011, 2:20 pm

The book of Joshua is rich in lessons for our day and age, and this 18 lessons series, appearing in the Nugget on Saturday evenings, will be focusing on practical tips from this book that can help us in our walk with the Lord. If you've missed any of the LESSONS FROM JOSHUA, you will find them published online at www.scripturalnuggets.org/Folder9/lessons_from_joshua.htm
LESSONS FROM JOSHUA, Part 11:
The Gibeonite Disaster


As news of the fall of Jericho and Ai began to spread through Canaan, the people of the land, who had also heard of the fall of Sihon king of Heshbon, and Og king of Bashan, became terrified. They didn't have to consult with their tactical analysts or their political advisors to know that Israel was coming and no one was safe!
Many of the kings of Canaan reacted by banding together to make war: "Now when all the kings west of the Jordan heard about these things … they came together to make war against Joshua and Israel." (Josh 9:1-2 NIV)
But not Gibeon. The Gibeonites took a look at Israel's track record, and they recognized that the God of Israel was stronger than their gods. They knew they didn't stand a chance. Their only hope lie in deception: "However, when the people of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and Ai, they resorted to a ruse …" (Josh 9:3-4a)
Although Gibeon was only about 15 miles from Gilgal, these clever warriors managed to convince Joshua and all the elders of the people of Israel that they came from a faraway place over the Jordan, and Israel: " … made a treaty of peace with them to let them live, and the leaders of the assembly ratified it by oath." (Josh 9:15 NIV)
Now, Israel had just finished experiencing God's power through them in the annihilation of Sihon and Og, in the drying up of the Jordan, the fall of Jericho, and the destruction of Ai. How did they fail to see through the Gibeonite scam?
The answer is clear: They "did not inquire of the Lord." (Josh 9:14b NIV)
Okay, so they forgot to inquire of the Lord, and they made a treaty with a "faraway" people who actually lived about 15 miles from their camp. They shouldn't have done it. But so what?
In making a treaty with Gibeon, Israel was in disobedience to the Lord. They couldn't break the treaty that they shouldn't have made. They were unable to follow God's command to completely wipe out the people of Canaan, and the Bible records that it was the people who Israel failed to cast out of Canaan who eventually led them to their ultimate demise (see 2 Chron. 36:11-21).
But there were also short-term consequences. It wasn't long before they were called to help their wrongly-formed allies (See Josh 10:6 NIV)
Friends, the Gibeonites were sneaky, but the Bible says our adversary is sneaky as well: "Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." (1 Peter 5:8 NIV). How, then, can we know when an opportunity is really from God?
Let's say you've been praying for a job, and you are given a job offer. God has answered your prayers, right? And you immediately accept the job.
If this is your response, friends, then you are setting yourself up to the same trap the Israelites fell into. It may, indeed, be of God, but it could also be the prowling devil, trying to rope you into a position that will make you very unhappy or lead you into sin.
So what should we do?
We do what the Israelites failed to do: We inquire of the Lord! If it is truly of Him, He will tell us! Remember, circumstance can also be manipulated by the enemy, and circumstance must always be put to the test!
But the good news is this: When we make mistakes and repent of them, God is faithful and just! In our story today, He didn't slap Israel's hands and tell them to deal with it on their own. He went with Israel against the Amorite kings, totally wiping them out, and in the end, the people of Gibeon were forced to become laborers for Israel: "That day [Joshua] made the Gibeonites woodcutters and water carriers for the community and for the altar of the Lord at the place the Lord would choose." (Josh 9:27 NIV)
Friends, let's be careful to always inquire of the Lord so that we don't make major mistakes. But when we do make them, let's repent and turn back to the Lord, for when we do, He will make: "… everything beautiful in its time." (Eccl 3:11 NIV)
Please join us next week for the next lesson we can learn from Joshua's conquest of Canaan: LESSONS FROM JOSHUA, Part 12: The Day the Sun Stood Still.
In His love,
Lyn


Lyn Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two teens, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, www.scripturalnuggets.org, with Answers2Prayer Ministries, www.Answers2Prayer.org.

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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Fri 14 Jan 2011, 2:17 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

Today's Devotional:
PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT

Today as I was cleaning my house I was thinking back to when I was a teenager and how I could do nothing all day and be perfectly happy, but now that I am an adult and have more responsibilities, I can’t help but feel restless and unproductive when I spend too much time in a seated position!
As I have said before, I have a condition that causes widespread pain and fatigue, but even on days when it is bad, I have to get up now and again and do something, even if only for a short time, otherwise I feel even worse. I need to feel productive even on my “off” days. Now, how did I go from lazy teenager to conscientious adult? Conditioning. Training. Practice.
"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize." (1 Corinthians 9:24-27)
Once you become used to being productive and working in some fashion, either outside the house or in, you feel at loose ends when doing nothing all day. We all need periods of rest, but none of us wants to waste time doing nothing when much remains to be done all around us.
It is the same with the Christian life and the mission we are called take on by Jesus Himself. He called us to be missionaries, evangelists, teachers, encouragers, comforters, and workers in the harvest because the laborers are few. Before we accepted the calling, we were content to do nothing for the Kingdom of God because, like the lazy teenager, we did not feel the pressing need of all that needs to be done, but now, having had our eyes opened, we feel that urgency to be working for the cause.
He told them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field." (Luke 10:2)
When our spirits are lazy, we are restless; when we are working for the Lord, we feel that sense of accomplishment and satisfaction in our labors.
"Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." (Phillipians 3:12-14)
Yours in Christ,
Sonya Richards
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Wed 12 Jan 2011, 3:28 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

Today's Devotional:
JESUS CHRIST UNDERSTANDS OUR WEAKNESSES

It is comforting to know that Jesus faced temptation without giving in to sin. Jesus is the only perfect human being who has ever lived. "Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need." (Hebrews 4:14-16)
Knowing Jesus as our High Priest matures us in the faith and draws us more intimately to Him. When we see the greatness of Jesus in this role, our steadfastness is strengthened. To the Jews, the high priest was the highest religious authority in the land. He alone entered the Holy of Holies in the temple once a year to make atonement for the sins of the whole nation (Leviticus 16). Like the high priest, Jesus mediates between God and us. As humanity's representative, he intercedes for us before God. As God's representative, he assures us of God's forgiveness. Jesus has more authority than the Jewish high priests because he is truly God and truly man. Unlike the high priest who could go before God only once a year, Christ is always at God's right hand, interceding for us. He is always available to hear us when we pray.
Jesus Christ, our great High Priest understands our needs and has compassion toward our frailties. "For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses." (Heb 4:15a). Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness. Our Lord faced what we face (and more), so He understands our battles in a very personal manner. Another matter of even greater significance is that Jesus never yielded to the tempter's attacks: "yet without sin." (Heb 4:16b)Thus, He not only understands our plight, but "He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them." (Hebrews 7:25)
We are encouraged to approach God through our great High Priest. Prayer is our approach to God, and we are to come "with confidence." Some Christians approach God meekly with heads hung low, afraid to ask him to meet their needs. Others pray flippantly, giving little thought to what they say. Come with reverence because he is your King. But also come with boldness because Jesus is your Friend and Counselor. "Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need." (Heb 4:16)
Dear Jesus, my great High Priest, You are great in understanding, compassion, victory, and grace. I have many needs in my life. I come now to You, in full assurance of faith that Your grace is sufficient to meet my needs.
Rev. Telema W. Okobi

President Gentle Flame Evangelistic Association
www.gentleflame.com
Gentle Flame Evangelistic Association | P. O. Box 881553 | San Francisco | CA | 94188


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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Sun 09 Jan 2011, 7:02 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

Today's Devotional:
The book of Joshua is rich in lessons for our day and age, and this 18 lessons series, appearing in the Nugget on Saturday evenings, will be focusing on practical tips from this book that can help us in our walk with the Lord. If you've missed any of the LESSONS FROM JOSHUA, you will find them published online at www.scripturalnuggets.org/Folder9/lessons_from_joshua.htm
LESSONS FROM JOSHUA, Part 10 The Problems at Ai, Part C


Three weeks ago, in the Problems at Ai, Part B, we learned that though sin can stay God's hand, it isn't always a result of our OWN sin. So in the face of disaster, remember to ask God to reveal any unconfessed sin. But if there is none, put your faith in the God who turned the disaster at Ai into something beautiful!
There is just one more lesson to be learned from the problems at Ai, an important lesson on how to overcome temptation.
Remember that the people of Ai had already killed several Israelites and had set the entire camp into panic. Israel now HATED Ai!
This is the first lesson to be learned in battling temptation: Hate your sin! Identify it, and ask God to make you hate your sin as much as He does!
"Then the LORD said to Joshua, 'Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Take the whole army with you, and go up and attack Ai. For I have delivered into your hands the king of Ai, his people, his city and his land…'" (Josh 8:1-2 NIV)
When Israel went up against Ai the second time, they waited until God told them to go, and they did exactly as He told them to do.
Thought hating your sin is a good place to start, this won't stop the temptations from coming. When they do, remember that we are not strong enough to overcome temptation on our own! The secret to success lies in waiting upon the Lord, and then believing in His promises!
"Joshua and the whole army moved out to attack Ai." (Josh 8:3a)
Remember the first disaster? Israel took 3000 men to overtake Ai, and they were defeated. Now they are going in with the ENTIRE army!
This is an important lesson to be learned. When we enter set out to overcome temptation, we need to go in with everything we have! We need to put our heart and soul into the battle. Otherwise, like the 3000 men who first went to Ai, we will also be defeated.
"…You are to set an ambush behind the city." (Josh 8:4a)
Here is another important lesson. When we set out to overcome temptation, we need a plan of attack! We need to go at it from more than one angle!
How do you do this? First of all, we should stay away from situations where we know we will be tempted, and secondly, we must ask God to make us strong against the temptation that inadvertently comes our way!
Let's say you are battling immorality. The first line of attack would be to not put yourself into situations where you will be tempted! Before you go to see a movie, for example, check the description. If there are immoral scenes, then stay away!
As a second line of defense, when temptation comes, and it will, even if you have distanced yourself from the sin, ambush it! Attack it from all sides with the power of Jesus' name! Don't allow even the tiniest contemplation of this temptation!
But there's more: "All of you be on the alert …" (Josh 8:4b NIV)
This is, perhaps, the most powerful piece of advice for overcoming temptation! Always be on the alert! Ask God to help you be aware of even the tiniest thought or memory that enters your mind! Then be prepared to conquer it-to push it from your mind, to take victory in the name of Jesus-before it becomes too huge for you to overcome.
And finally, "When you have taken the city, set it on fire." (Josh 8:8a NIV)
In other words, whatever it was that caused us to fall in the first place, get rid of it! If the Internet causes you to fall, put parental restraints on your Internet. If this doesn't work, get rid of your computer! If you are drawn to movies on TV that cause you to contemplate temptation, block those shows, or get rid of the TV! If going to certain places brings tempting thoughts to your mind, stay away!
Set the city on fire!
There is one final lesson to be learned, and this time, we can learn it from the mistakes of the people of Ai: "When the king of Ai saw this, he and all the men of the city hurried out early in the morning to meet Israel in battle … But he did not know that an ambush had been set against him behind the city." (Josh 8:14 NIV)
When we go up against temptation, we can ALWAYS assume there is an ambush in wait! The people of Ai didn't realize this, and they were drawn out of their city. The lesson we can learn from them is to STAY IN OUR CITY! Our REFUGE! Jesus Christ!
"O LORD my God, I take refuge in you; save and deliver me from all who pursue me …" (Ps 7:1 NIV)
Friends, as long as we keep our eyes fixed upon Jesus, the Author and the Finisher of our faith, we are taking refuge in Him. If our attention is focused 100% on Jesus, there is no room for temptation to enter in! We won't see the ugly circumstances around us, and we will not fall into temptation!
So in summary, the steps to going up against temptation that we can learn from the battle at Ai:
1. Hate it!
2. Follow God's lead!
3. Go at it from all angles!
4. Stay alert!
5. Keep your eyes fixed upon Jesus at ALL times!
Please join us next week for LESSONS FROM JOSHUA, Part 11: The Gibeonite Disaster.
In His love,
Lyn
Lyn Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two teens, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, www.scripturalnuggets.org, with Answers2Prayer Ministries, www.Answers2Prayer.org.
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