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NUGGET Today's Devotional

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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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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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The book of Joshua has many powerful lessons for us today. Join us on Saturdays for LESSONS FROM JOSHUA!
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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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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Fri 07 Jan 2011, 3:25 pm

Today's Devotional:
THE BLUEJAY

"So go to the street corners and invite everyone you find to come to my feast.’" (Matthew 22:9, NCV)
There is a tree not far from the covered patio behind my parents house. For years my mother has taken bread and other food, torn it into small pieces and thrown it out off the patio. In the morning there is a bluejay that is sitting in that tree watching for her to come out and throw out the food. He then squawks and lets all the other birds know that breakfast has been served. Then birds of different sizes and colors come to see what has been served for breakfast.
The Scripture above is from a parable Jesus told about a man who was planning a wedding feast. He sent his servants out to invite two groups of people to it but most of them turned him down. So the man told the servants to go out and invite everyone to the feast.
At the end of the age there will be a great wedding feast which will be served by Jesus Christ. It is up to us to invite everyone to the feast. We cannot invite just those we think might accept the invitation but give all a chance of partaking of that great feast.
So let us all be like the bluejay. Let us say loud and strong, “The feast is prepared! Come to the feast!”
Prayer: lord Jesus Christ, we thank You for the feast that is being prepared for us. Help us to let everyone know that the feast is prepared and that all are invited. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
By Dean W. Masters
dwmasters@earthlink.net
Erwin TN

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

Post  Admin on Wed 05 Jan 2011, 3:50 pm

THE PLIMSOLL LINE

For the uninitiated, a Dictionary definition of the term “Plimsoll line” is that it is a line drawn on the lower end of ships, marking the maximum level to which the ship can sink into water after its tare capacity is full. Simply put, it is an indication of the vessel’s maximum loading capacity. If the water level goes above the Plimsoll line in the event of overloading or other technical problems, it is considered dangerous as the ship may sink.
Ever wondered in this sin-accursed World (courtesy the original Adamic sin), where problems are the order of the day (Romans 8:19-22), the Great Creator has put in all of His children, His own “Plimsoll line”? Since, He knows our weak frame thoroughly He would never allow the problems of our lives to cross their limits.
“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.” –I Cor 10:13
Divine reason for allowing you to be tempted (mind you, even the Son of God was not exempted from the temptations-Heb 2:10)? Let Scripture itself give the answer…
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.-James 1:2-4
When we are toughened by the various God-permitted trials, we get going when going gets tough. The ultimate result of it all! Our Great trainer gets glorified and the people around us are attracted to Him by our perseverance.
Going through tough times? Do you for the deliverance pine? As per His time and will, ultimately everything is going to be just fine! Remember the Plimsoll line!!!
Prayer: I praise and thank Thee Lord Jesus for just what YOU ARE! Amongst several of Thy outstanding attributes, is the one of being a GREAT COACH. You went the way of suffering first and have shown us the way. In our difficulties, enable us to trust you, believing that our difficulties, however big they are, would never cross Thy intended limit. Amen!
Suresh Manoharan
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Sun 02 Jan 2011, 1:51 pm

Today's Devotional:
MY PRAYER THIS NEW YEAR
I was driving to a town in southern Ontario when I first heard the song. It had a catchy beat and tune, so I turned up the volume. That's when the words drew me in, the words, deep in meaning, rich in their correcting power: "are we caught in the middle!"*
I didn't immediately understand, but it didn't matter. The tears began were streaming down my face anyway, and as I reached for a tissue, I heard God's voice loud and clear: "You are not accessing the power I have given you! You're caught in the middle!"
But wait a minute! Did this mean that I was not being all that God meant for me to be?
It all reminded me of a familiar passage from the book of Revelation: "I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth …" (Rev 3:15-16 NKJV).
Suddenly I understood! God was calling me out of lukewarmness! He was calling me to take hold of the gifts, of the promises! He was calling me to fully comprehend who I am in Christ! He was calling me to be on fire for Him!
Whoa! That's strong!
But what does it really mean?
Just this: when we accept Christ into our hearts, we are saved. It's as simple as that. But something else happens. The door to God's unlimited power opens, giving us access to that power!
Yes, friends, this IS Biblical: "Because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe." (1 Thess 2:13-14 NKJV).
Not convinced yet? What about the gifts of the Spirit?
"But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues." (1 Cor 12:7-10 NKJV).
The bottom line is this: When we accept Jesus into our hearts, the door is opened for far more than salvation! It is opened so that God's power can flow through us!
So why aren't more Christians doing miracles? Being healed? Standing in faith? Sensitive to the presence of evil spirits?
Why am I not prophesying? Speaking words of wisdom? Abounding in knowledge?
Because, friends, more often than not we all stand at the doorframe of that power, but we don't enter into it! We have utmost power and we are not wielding it!
So what does this all have to do with a New Years message?
I would like to challenge each of us for this New Year to step into that power that Christ has promised for each of us! Let's stop standing at the doorframe! Let's go forward as warriors! Let's stand firm in Christ, being an effective instrument of His power! Let's break free "from the middle"!
But how do you do this? The message to the church of Laodicea also tells us this: "I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see." (Rev 3:18-19 NKJV)
Oh, there is much in this text. God is calling us to allow Him to refine us, to purify our hearts. But the point I want to drive home today is this: He is calling us to let Him open our eyes that we may see!
But just what is it we're supposed to learn to see? "… the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power …" (Eph 1:18-19 NKJV)
Friends, the lyrics to this song, "Somewhere in the Middle" by Casting Crowns, can be accessed at http://www.lyricstime.com/casting-crowns-somewhere-in-the-middle-lyrics.html . I encourage each of you to prayerfully read these lyrics. May it be our prayer each and every day of this new year to stop standing at the doorframe, to put aside our common sense, our fears and our disbelief, and to walk through that door! Let's pray that we will break free "from the middle" so that we can be on fire for Him!
If this is also your prayer for New Year, please email me at helpmelearnaboutjesus@gmail.com . I'll look forward to hearing how each one of you plans to get into the power of His might!
Happy New Year!
In His love,
Lyn
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Fri 31 Dec 2010, 2:46 pm

Today's Devotional:
COST BENEFIT ANALYSIS

:"Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness. When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in[b] Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 6:19-23 NIV)
Several years ago I decided to take some classes towards a Certificate in Accounting, which is the field in which I work. It was hard taking classes and also working full time, but I enjoyed the challenge.

One of the things you learn about is something called "cost/benefit analysis". Cost/benefit analysis is a tool to use to determine the value of an expenditure, or simply, does the benefit of an action or purchase outweigh the cost? If we make poor choices in using our resources in business, we may find ourselves out of business, or worse, in bankruptsy court! Life is the same way.

If we make good choices, we prosper and if we make poor choices, we may find ourselves spiritually bankrupt. The verse above is a spiritual cost/benefit analysis. Was the benefit we reaped worth the cost? Or was the cost of sin much too high?

We all have the option of free will in our lives, will we be slaves to sin, or slaves to righteousness that leads to eternal life?

Don't you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living. Romans 6:16 (NIV)
Sonya Richardson
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Wed 29 Dec 2010, 12:30 pm

Today's Devotional:
EQUIPMENT
As I sat on the porch of our rental condo at Ponte Vedra Beach recently, I saw an awesome sight. Swimming in the Atlantic, close to shore, were schools of dolphin. Each group had quite a few fish in it, and the multiple number of schools was unbelievable. I spotted this profusion of dorsal fins slicing through the waves, and as I watched I saw not only swimming, but jumping and tailing.

This was a most unusual sight, and I hurried to get my camera to capture this event on film! I knew trying to keep this vision in my mind’s eye would fade in time, and I wanted a permanent remembrance. I walked to the water’s edge, poised the camera with zoom extended and snapped away. When the film was developed, I was extremely disappointed, for the photos were very poor. My zoom lens had not been strong enough, and my timing had been off- enough to make the photos blurry and indistinguishable. I had been unable to capture on film the sight I had seen because I had been ill equipped to adequately do so.

When we want to show someone a picture of Jesus, we do so through the way we live our lives. Maybe it’s time to check our equipment, so we will be prepared. Am we reading the Bible, spending time in prayer -- listening to Him as well as talking, and opening ourselves to the power of the Holy Spirit each and every day? What about our timing? Are we sensitive to God’s perfect timing in our lives- available to “snap that lens” when He directs us- not when we so decide.

Proper equipment is necessary not only in photography, but also in living the Christian life.

Prayer- thank You, Lord for the beauty of the dolphins I saw recently, and for the reminder I received. Please keep our spiritual equipment in good order so we can more faithfully serve in Your Name and by the power of Your Spirit. Amen

Marion Smith
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Sun 26 Dec 2010, 4:24 pm

Nugget
Today's Devotional:

I WANT JESUS
“Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1: 18-21 KJV)
When our precious Saviour was born, love entered the world. However, it was not just love that entered the world; it was unconditional love that entered the world. It was unconditional love for us from the heart of our loving Heavenly Father that caused Him to send His only beloved Son into the world to save us from our sins.
Rhea F. Miller wrote a poem that so adequately describes the longing in my heart “I’d Rather Have Jesus”. I believe when this dear lady wrote the words to this poem that they came from the depths of her heart. She wrote the poem in 1922 and in 1932 George Beverly Shea put the words to music.
These words are so beautiful and they should echo the longing in the heart of every Christian. “I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold; I’d rather be His than have riches untold; I’d rather have Jesus than houses or lands, I’d rather be led by His nail pierced hand.”
Can you honestly say that you’d rather have Jesus than any of these things? O how I want Jesus! I want Him every minute of every day. I love Him with all of my heart. All the money in the world and all the material things in the world are meaningless compared to the privilege of having our precious and loving Saviour in our hearts. Do you want Jesus or do you want the things of this world? Only you can answer this question. What is more important to you, Jesus or riches and fame?
Joanne Lowe
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Fri 24 Dec 2010, 5:19 pm

ARE WE READY FOR CHRISTMAS?
Christmas is just two days away. Are we ready?
I believe I am. The Christmas tree has been up for 4 weeks, the house is nicely decorated. The snowman scene has been smiling at us for so long now that it's becoming covered with dust, and the buffalo snow around our little ceramic Christmas town that was set out when there was still green grass visible has gone from looking displaced to looking like we just brought it in from outside. The gifts have been purchased and wrapped, and Christmas dinner has been planned, the ingredients bought, and the guest list has been carefully distributed.
Yes, I believe I'm ready for Christmas.
Or so I thought until I read the following text: "To the pure [in heart and conscience] all things are pure …" (Titus 1:15a)
"But," you say, "That text has NOTHING to do with Christmas!"
Yes, that's what I said, too. In fact, I had been praying about a particularly sticky situation at work when God gave me this text, and had I stopped with just this piece of verse 15, I would have been convinced that God was telling me that I was in the right, while the other person was in the wrong. In fact, I was beginning to feel rather pleased with myself for having handled this situation with this VERY WRONG person in the correct manner!
But before I could close my Bible, God spoke to me: "Read the rest of the chapter!"
So my eyes strayed off of this nice, encouraging verse and drifted down the page: "but to the defiled and corrupt and unbelieving nothing is pure; their very minds and consciences are defiled and polluted. They profess to know God [to recognize, perceive, and be acquainted with Him], but deny and disown and renounce Him by what they do; they are detestable and loathsome, unbelieving and disobedient and disloyal and rebellious, and [they are] unfit and worthless for good work (deed or enterprise) of any kind." (Titus 1:15-16 AMP)
In my pious manner, I smiled. Surely God was telling me about the other person at work, and He wasn't telling me anything I didn't already know!
Yes, sorry to admit it, but this was exactly the way my mind was running, and when God spoke to me and said, "THIS is the Christmas message you've been praying about!", I didn't believe Him! After all, there was NOTHING about Christmas in this text! God must be joking!
Now God DOES have a sense of humour, but a strong feeling of rebuke came over me. God wasn't joking. Not at all. And I immediately repented of having thought such a thing.
But what WAS He trying to tell me?
I reread the verses then, more carefully this time, and that's when the full meaning flowed. The text truly was speaking about whether or not we are prepared for Christmas. No, it wasn't speaking about the number of presents under the tree or the condition of the Christmas dinner preparations. It was speaking about the condition of our hearts!
For years I've been bothered by the commercialism that surrounds Christmas, especially here in North America. And I have been very careful to try and "decommercialize" Christmas in my home. Or at least, that's been my attempt. But have I been being careful to "decommercialize" my heart? Have I allowed myself to become pious? To become judgmental about how the rest of the world celebrated the birth of the Christ child? Was my heart where it should be to celebrate the greatest, most unselfish birth in history? Was my heart ready to remember how Jesus left His comfortable home in heaven with His father to be born to a peasant woman in a stable, so that He could provide MY salvation? Was my heart ready to embrace that precious gift?
Whoa! That was food for thought! You see, God was telling me that the way to be ready for the celebration of the birth of His precious Son was to be pure, because only when my heart is pure can the celebration of Christmas reach its maximum potential! "To the pure [in heart and conscience] all things are pure …" (Titus 1:15a)
But as long as I'm feeling prideful and judgmental, I come much closer to fitting the second half of the text: "…but to the defiled and corrupt and unbelieving nothing is pure; their very minds and consciences are defiled and polluted." (Titus 1:15b)
Friends, I repeat my initial question: Are we ready for Christmas? Are our hearts pure, undefiled, unpolluted? Are our hearts filled with unselfish, Godly love? If so, it will be a glorious Christmas, full of blessing to each of us and everyone around us. But if it is not, then we are no better off than the poor folks described in Titus 1:16. We "deny and disown and renounce Him" (Titus 1:16a) by what we do. We truly are: "…detestable and loathsome, unbelieving and disobedient and disloyal and rebellious, and … unfit and worthless for good work (deed or enterprise) of any kind." (Titus 1:15-16 AMP)
Christmas isn't here yet, folks. There is still time to purify our hearts for this glorious celebration. I don't know about you, but I'm going to spend some time doing just that!
In His love,
Lyn
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Wed 22 Dec 2010, 4:44 pm

Today's Devotional:
GIVE THEM A SMILE
"Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.” (Acts 3: 6 KJV)
There are some people who are already planning what they are going to buy their families and loved ones to give as Christmas gifts. Someone said “I don’t have the money to buy anybody a Christmas gift”. You don’t have to buy gifts to make people happy. Give them a smile that comes from your heart.
A smile doesn’t cost anything and they will have the gift and memory of your smile for the rest of their lives. Be sure that your smile is genuine and that it comes from your heart. It would make Jesus very happy if we would give unconditional love and smiles to our families and our loved ones every day of our lives.
Heavenly Father, we give You thanks. Thank You for Your heart of love and compassion. Help us to be kind and loving to our families, our friends and everyone we see. When others look at us, may they always see the joy of Jesus in our smiles. Thank You for loving us unconditionally. I pray that we will bring happiness and joy to You instead of bringing sadness and sorrow to You. Amen.

Joanne Lowe
May 12, 2009
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Sun 19 Dec 2010, 4:04 pm

Today's Devotional:
THE AVENUES OF LIGHT



One of the pastors at my church recently said that this must be the era of inflatable lawn ornaments. As I was jogging through my neighbourhood in rural Canada that same evening, it occurred to me that he must be right. So many lawns now display inflatable snowmen, Santas, penguins, sleighs …
But are there any inflatable manger scenes?
In fact, are there any manger scenes at all?
Okay, yes, there was one or two, but you almost can't see them amidst all of the reindeer and candy canes and trains.
So where has the real reason for Christmas gone? Has it become so covered up with pagan symbolism and commercialism that we can't even find it anymore?
I was praying about this as I was running that night. To tell the truth, it made me more than a little angry that the devil had succeeded so completely in making us lose the true meaning of Christmas! And I tried to express my indignant ire to God. After all, He would be even angrier than I about how His birthday is being covered up with worldliness!
Or would He …?
I was in for a surprise, for what I sensed from God wasn't anger at all. Great sadness yes, that the world would honor Santa over Jesus. But what I was sensing was something completely different from anything I had ever expected! I was sensing that God isn't even worried about the worldiness that has become associated with His birthday!
But then, He knew it advance, didn't He? He knew that Santa would try to take His place at Christmas time!
Why, God? Why didn't You do something to stop it?
That's when I heard God's voice, loud and clear: "Because, My child, I'm not afraid of a little competition!"
Wow. What a powerful answer! And it made total sense! Why should the God of the Universe get upset by a little competition? The only ones who need to worry about competition are the ones who may not win, and God has ALREADY won!
Suddenly it became clear why the devil tries so hard to push Jesus out of Christmas! He IS afraid of the competition! And rightfully so, because he's already LOST!
With this in mind, I began seeing the numerous Christmas decorations a little differently. I saw the houses lit up with white lights, and I thought, "Jesus is the light of the world!" Then I saw the houses lit up with colored lights, and I thought, "Jesus brings color to our lives!"
The candy canes caught my attention next. They are just upside down "J"s, "J" for Jesus. And they look like a shepherd's crook, reminding us that Jesus is our great Shepherd. And their color? Red reminds us of the blood Jesus shed for us, and the white reminds us that God now sees us as pure, because of Jesus' sacrifice!
What about the reindeer and penguins, the icicles and snowflakes, the trees and the mistletoe? Jesus is the Lord of creation! And the sleighs and trains? He doesn't need our pitiful transportation devices! These are just symbols that remind us of how unpowerful Santa really is!
And then there's the Santas. Yup. They stand in almost every yard as a stout reminder that Jesus isn't afraid of competition! He's already won the battle!
This year at Christmastime, I would like to challenge each of you to examine all of the lawn decorations you pass in the streets of your cities and towns. Let God speak to you from each of them, let Him show you that Jesus truly is bigger than our worldliness and commercialism! He can still speak to us of His birth out of every single pagan symbol of Christmas that we see, and as a result, walking down any street lit up for Christmas can, if we let it, be an avenue of light to lead us closer to the One whose birthday we celebrate!
"But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ's at His coming. Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet." (1 Cor 15:20-NKJV)
In His love,

Lyn
Lyn Chaffart, 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 17 Dec 2010, 5:12 pm

Today's Devotional:


A GIFT OF LOVE

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." (John 3:16 NKJV)
I have always loved Nativity scenes ever since I was a boy. I remember growing up seeing the great care my Grandma always took unwrapping ours. She would gently lift each ceramic statue out of the box and lovingly arrange them in the tiny, wooden barn. The baby Jesus was always the last one lifted out and she would always smile before placing Him in the manger.
It was at another manger too that I saw the most beautiful picture of the real meaning of Christmas. This was years ago when public Nativity scenes were everywhere at Christmastime. It was before the fear of offending others made most of them sadly disappear from parks and town squares. I remember taking a moment to look at one of these public Nativity scenes during a cold, December day. A snow was gently falling on each of the statues and even in the manger. About this time a mother walked up with her young son. The boy couldn’t have been more than three years old. As they too stopped to stare at the beautiful sight the little boy removed his scarf and walked over to the Nativity. Then he folded it and placed it over the manger. He smiled as he walked back and said, "Baby Jesus looked cold." I thought that his mother would make him go back and retrieve the scarf, but thankfully she was made of wiser stuff than me at that time. She just smiled, wiped away a tear, and kissed her son on top of his head. Then leaving his gift of love, they slowly walked down the snow covered street together while the boy happily sang all the words he knew to "Silent Night."
It took a lot of years for me to grow as wise as that child, but when I did I realized that Christmas truly is about Love. It is about a love that is both joyfully shared and unconditional. It is about a love that sacrifices, cares, and gives. It is about loving each other just as much as God loves us at Christmastime and always.

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

Post  Admin on Thu 16 Dec 2010, 2:14 am

Today's Devotional:
THE HOLIDAYS

“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” (Revelation 21:4 KJV)
A friend of mine who I have known for over twelve years is a mental health counselor. A couple of years ago when we were talking on the telephone about holidays my friend said “More people get depressed and commit suicide over the holidays than at any other time”.
It doesn’t matter if it is a spouse, a child, a parent or another loved one who has died, the grief and sorrow are the same. We think about our loved ones more during the holidays than at any other time of the year. It is so important that we comfort and encourage people who have lost loved ones.
A lady whose husband had been dead for two months was talking to a friend. She said “People don’t understand that when somebody has lost a loved one they need to be comforted and encouraged for a long time, not just during the funeral and the day after the funeral”.
If anyone understands how much it hurts when a loved one dies, it is our Heavenly Father. Not only did His beloved Son die, His Son was tortured and beaten beyond recognition and crucified on a cross of horror. God’s heart must have shattered into millions of tiny pieces when His Son was crucified on that cross.
Heavenly Father, I pray that You would please comfort all of us who have lost loved ones. We know that our loved ones are with You but the empty spot in our hearts is still there. May we be an encouragement to each other during the holidays. Amen.
Joanne Lowe
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Sun 12 Dec 2010, 7:42 pm

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 9:
The Problems at Ai, Part B


Last week, in the Problems at Ai, Part A, we learned three important lessons: to remember to give God the credit for our victory and resist the urge to be prideful, to always seek God's advice, and to always seek His timing and direction beforehand!
But there are more lessons to be learned from the problems that Israel faced at Ai. You see, this was the day and age where angels with fiery swords became visible to man! God could have stopped them from going against Ai without His direction! Something was staying His hand!
It is interesting to note that Joshua 7, the chapter that records the story of Ai, actually begins with something that happened at Jericho: "But the Israelites acted unfaithfully in regard to the devoted things; Achan son of Carmi, the son of Zimri, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of them. So the LORD's anger burned against Israel." (Josh 7:1 NIV)
In other words, the "Lord's anger burned against Israel", because of something that had happened at Jericho! There was sin in the camp, and it stayed God's hand at Ai!
So what was this sin?
Jericho was the first miracle to happen once the people were in Canaan. The Bible tells us that they "… burned the whole city and everything in it, but they put the silver and gold and the articles of bronze and iron into the treasury of the LORD's house." (Josh 6:24-25 NIV) Jericho was the "first fruit" of the conquest, so to speak, and the plunder of the city was the Lord's. It was also the only city conquered where God required the plunder for Himself, for when the situation at Ai was finally settled and God told the people to go up against it, He told them: "You shall do to Ai and its king as you did to Jericho and its king, except that you may carry off their plunder and livestock for yourselves." (Josh 8:1-2 NIV)
But Achan couldn't wait for Ai. He "… violated the covenant of the LORD" and did "… a disgraceful thing in Israel" (Josh 7:15). In essence, he "stole" from the Lord.
Isaiah tells us that sin causes God to not be able to hear our voices: "Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear." (Isa 59:1-2 NIV). In other words, Achan's sin stood between God and His people, and the door was open for the people to go up against Ai without His blessing!
Please note here, that because of the sin of one man, the whole camp suffered. So often I hear people say that they know God hasn't forgiven their sin, because their bad circumstances are still with them. It is true that when we go against the Lord's direction, not only do we sin, but it actually stays God's hand, and when we are given specific direction from God, we need to follow it, to the letter! And it's also true that when we are faced with temptation, overcoming needs to be our #1 priority! But our own bad circumstances may not be rooted in our personal sin! Sometimes the bad things happen as a result of someone else's sin!
So what should we do in the face of bad circumstances and situations? It is always a good idea to search our own hearts and souls for unconfessed sin. God will reveal it if it's there, and if He does, our place is to repent. But if He doesn't reveal anything new, and the only things that are brought to mind are things that we have already confessed and repented of, then we need to understand that what is happening to us is not a result of our own sin!
God is the specialist of turning bad things into good ones. Sometimes the bad things don't reverse themselves, but God will ALWAYS bring something good out of the situation, and sometimes this "something good" is important lessons for us to learn.
So in the face of bad circumstances, yes, take that extra step, search your heart for unconfessed sin. But if there is none, then put your trust in God, ever knowing that He will bring you through!
Isn't this what He did at Ai? After Achan's sin was uncovered and dealt with, God 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)
There is one more important lesson to be learned from Israel's problems at Ai. Join us next week for The Problems at Ai, Part C.
In His love,
Lyn
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Fri 10 Dec 2010, 12:42 pm

Today's Devotional:
GOD’S ECONOMY

“Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? Or, What shall we drink, or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6: 30-33 KJV)
A few days ago, I was talking to a friend on the telephone. I said “The Saviour of the world loves us. What more do we need?” When we have the assurance in our hearts that Jesus loves us, we don’t need anything else. We don’t need big homes or expensive cars. It is nice to have these things but we don’t need them.
Our economy goes up and down but there is one economy that will always stay the same and it is God’s economy. His economy will never change because He owns everything. He has promised that He will take care of us and supply everything that we need. He has never failed us, not one time. Yet, there are times when we panic and doubt His promise to us. How we must hurt Him and break His heart.
Heavenly Father, thank You for being a Father that we can trust. Thank You for supplying all of our needs. Thank You that You even give us things that we don’t need just because You love us and want us to be happy. We love You, dear Father, and we appreciate all that You do for us. Amen.
Joanne Lowe
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Thu 09 Dec 2010, 12:26 pm

Today's Devotional:
THE COMMAND AND A CALL, Part 4

Today in the concluding part of the series, let's look at a response of God's anointed to persecution from enemies weaker than them!
Yes, strange as it seems, we even sometimes see enemies who are actually weaker than us who provoke us badly. Here it would be all the more tempting to settle scores because there would be no great fear of retaliation! Ask David, who was severely pricked by an uncouth, surly but not-so-strong Nabal (I Samuel 25)!

Now the temptation to get even at being insulted was too great even for a man of God's own heart (I Sam 25:21-22), especially as the provoker was not as strong as him! But for the timely intervention of wise Abigail (Nabal's wife) and her wonderful intercession, David would have had the seared conscience of a man who took law into his own hands, all his life (I Sam 25:31)!

But what about Nabal, who heaped insults upon the anointed servant of God? He was not going to get away, was he? Though David forgave him, verses 37 and 38 of the same chapter record somberly the fact that Divine comeuppance by way of a premature death shortly caught up with that churlish character.
A short detour…
Forget physical persecution, as this David versus Nabal account testifies even insulting God's chosen ones' can prove costly for the careless lot. Even with respect to the Nation of Israel, let us be careful with our words. I shuddered coming across a tirade against Israel by a Christian pastor recently. Even if all of Jewish actions in the simmering West Asia do not seem overboard, would it not serve us well to remember the Biblical mandate "Do not give him (Israel) your blessing and DON'T CURSE HIM" (Genesis 31:24-TLB)?

Jerusalem, as per the Biblical prophecy (Zech 12:1-3) could become ground zero of all Global tension in the imminent tribulation period. Are not all Global events, most notably the failed/truncated peace talks of recent vintage between Jews and Arabs, a harbinger of future events to come?

Jews deny that Jesus is the Messiah and Son of God, and our Arab friends are just as guilty. No wonder in the early part of the Tribulation period the Anti-Christ would have countless admirers!

But the the book of Romans prophecies that the Jews will repent and seek Christ towards the end of Tribulation (Romans 11:26). One truth which cannot be denied is the fact that Israel is a tool in the hands of the Wise Creator, as He takes the World history to a climax. (for more on this topic, click on the following: http://www.jandsmministries.com/rev_pre.asp ).

To those following developments in West Asia in the media, I can only pen these words with an air of one pleading with folded hands, "those with eyes PLEASE SEE and those with ears PLEASE LISTEN" (Matt 13:9) for events are unfolding therein exactly in consonance with Biblical prophecies! It's time to accept Jesus! Now! Now to the other side of the coin…
Now coming back to the main track (I had used "a loop line", you see!), no essay on any topic is complete, till we look at both sides of the coin, as it were. What about those ruthless persecutors of Christians, who at some time realized the folly of their ways and repented? Did God forgive them?

There is an emphatic YES to this answer in the Scriptures.

What about Saul, the rabid Jewish persecutor, who became a mighty Christian apostle Paul, following his personal encounter with Christ, on the Road to Damascus (Acts 9:1-16)? Or for that matter the jailer who cruelly clamped the limbs of Paul and Silas in the Philippians' jail in the rusting stocks (Acts 16:24-24) but accepted Christ later?

God keeps the doors of forgiveness open to all who sincerely seek Him…yes to even to the likes of those who participate in terrorism and persecution, to those who are perpetuating the communal violence globally! So even as there is a command to persecuted Christians to forgive their persecutors, there is a call to the persecuting lot also to repent of their cruel ways and seek the true and ever living GOD, when there is still time (II Cor 6:1-2)! `
"Winners do not do different things, they do things differently"…wrote the wise management guru Shiv Khera in his book "You can win". In conclusion, I would like to slightly rephrase this wise sentence and put it this way: "Christians may not do different things but they are commanded do things differently". That is in the face of persecution (from all kinds of foes') we have been commanded to show love.
Suresh Manoharan
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Sun 05 Dec 2010, 2:36 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 8
The Problems at Ai, Part A

It was the aftermath of the miraculous victory over Jericho. The people and their leaders were feeling pretty good about themselves. In fact, the last verse in Joshua 6, the chapter that speaks of the fall of Jericho, states this: "So the LORD was with Joshua, and his fame spread throughout the land." (Josh 6:27)
Yes, they were feeling pretty indestructible. So indestructible that when Joshua told them to go and spy out the region of Ai: "Now Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai …" (Josh 7:2 NIV), they came back with the following report: "Not all the people will have to go up against Ai. Send two or three thousand men to take it and do not weary all the people, for only a few men are there." (Josh 7:3 NIV)
And so that's when happened: "…about three thousand men went up…" (Josh 7:4).
It is important to notice two things here: First of all, God never told them to go to Ai. The Bible says, "Now Joshua sent men … to Ai …" Secondly, God never told them to only send 3000 men! This was the idea of the spies: "… Send two or three thousand men to take it …"
The quest was a disaster. The Bible records: "… but they were routed by the men of Ai, who killed about thirty-six of them. They chased the Israelites from the city gate as far as the stone quarries and struck them down on the slopes. At this the hearts of the people melted and became like water." (Josh 7:5 NIV)
So what really happened here?
First and foremost, the people were prideful after the fall of Jericho, so prideful that they didn't bother to ask God about Ai. They went up against the city without God's direction and without His permission. As a result, they were defeated, the entire camp went into turmoil, and moral hit rock bottom!
Friends, just like Israel's quest was to conquer and possess the Promised Land, our quest is to conquer temptation and addictions, so that we, too, can enter into our eternal rest. But just as Israel failed at Ai, we, too, are destined to fail unless we learn some important lessons from the Disaster at Ai.
The first lesson we can learn from the problems at Ai is to not become prideful and cocky in the wake of a victory. We have to continually remind ourselves that we did not win the battle, God did! "'Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the LORD Almighty." (Zech 4:6 NIV)
A few years ago, a friend of mine struggled to quit smoking. Only with God's help did he finally conquer the addiction. Sometime later, while out with a bunch of friends who were smoking cigars, he was tempted to join in. After all, he had conquered smoking. One little puff on a cigar wouldn't hurt him! I'm sad to say that this friend was drawn right back into smoking, and the last time I talked with him, he still hadn't been able to quit. When we rely on our own power, we are destined to fail!
The second lesson to be learned from the problems at Ai is to always seek God's help, and to resist the urge to follow our own will. God is all knowing, He is all powerful. When He tells us how and when to go forth and conquer, then we know that we will be successful. But if we go forward on the advice of man, things can and will end up with non-optimum outcomes.
Take witnessing, for example. Let's say you've been praying for someone for some time, and it appears that the time is ripe to speak to them, to urge them to accept Jesus into their hearts. Is it a good thing? Yes. Is the time right? Only God knows, and remember: He holds time in His hands! "He has made everything beautiful in its time." (Eccl 3:11 NIV)
And what about our "plan of attack" in witnessing to our friend? Do we challenge them upfront? Or do we wait until they bring it up?
Remember the problems at Ai? Israel sent out 3000 men, because that was what seemed right to them. Always remember: "There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death." (Prov 14:12 NIV)
So what is the best plan of action? We need to ask God what we should do! If we do, and if we follow His advice, we can rest assured that the right words are said at the right time!
In summary then, the first 3 lessons that can be learned from the problems at Ai are to remember to give God the credit for our victory and resist the urge to be prideful, and to always seek God's advice, His timing, and His direction beforehand!
But there are still lessons to be learned from the Ai disaster. Join us next week for The Problems at Ai, Part B.
In His love,
Lyn
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Fri 03 Dec 2010, 4:46 pm

Today's Devotional:
JOY IS FREE
"No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon." (Matt 6:24 NKJV)

I was driving down the road the other day listening to sweet music coming out of my car radio. My heart felt peaceful, my mind was clear, and my soul was full of love. Even with all its problems life seemed good. Then the music stopped and the news came on. There was talk of another millionaire celebrity in drug rehab after an incident with the police. There was news on the murder of a poor man whose life was supposed to be changed after winning the lottery. There was even a discussion on how much greed and excess had damaged our world.
Every story seemed to point once again to the old adage that money can’t buy happiness. Hearing them made me think of a documentary I saw many years ago on Mother Teresa’s home for the dying in Calcutta. What struck me the most when I watched it wasn’t the grinding poverty there. It wasn’t the sickness and suffering that the people there were going through. It was rather the peaceful smiles of love, kindness, and happiness that they shared with the Sisters and with each other. These people had nothing. Many were on the verge of death. Yet, they knew the simple truth that so many of us here are still learning: Joy is Free.
The truth is God loves you and wants you to be happy right now. He wants His light to brighten you, His peace to calm you, and His happiness to uplift you. He wants you to fill your life with His love and then share it with the world. He wants you to have joy and to spread joy everyday of your life here. Don’t worship dollar signs and think that money will bring you happiness then. Joy can’t be purchased. It can’t be owned. It can only be chosen and then given freely to others. In the eyes of eternity money is only worthless paper. The only thing that matters is the love within you and the love that you give to the world. Make that your legacy and your life will forever be rich in joy.

Joseph J. Mazzella

Announcements:

It has been brought to our attention that most of you did not receive the Saturday, November 27 Nugget, LESSONS FROM JOSHUA, Part 7. Our apologies for what must have been a technical error of some kind. In order to correct this problem, this lesson will be sent out again in a special Nugget on Friday Morning, Dec. 3. God bless each of you as you strive to know Him more!
<>< ><> <><
In His love,
Lyn Chaffart submissions@scripturalnuggets.org

NUGGET
Welcome to the Nugget

Special Edition:
It has been brought to our attention that many of you did not receive the Nugget from Saturday, November 27, LESSONS FROM JOSHUA, Part 7. We apologize for what appears to have been a technical error and are sending this lesson out today in a special Nugget. God bless each of you abundantly!

LESSONS FROM JOSHUA, Part 7
God's Part and Our Part

Throughout the books of Moses, the people of Israel are promised repeatedly that they will be given the Promised Land, the Land of Canaan: "But the Lord your God will deliver them over to you … No one will be able to stand up against you; you will destroy them." (Deut 7:23-25 NIV)
But an interesting little passage can be found in verse 22, just prior to this promise: "The Lord your God will drive out those nations before you, little by little. You will not be allowed to eliminate them all at once, or the wild animals will multiply around you." (Deut 7:22-23 NIV)
And as we read through the book of Joshua, the book of the conquest, we find that this is exactly what happened. Chapters 5-12 speak of the miraculous ways that God initially delivered large portions of the land into their hands. But beginning in Chapter 13 are these words: "When Joshua was old and well advanced in years, the Lord said to him, 'You are very old, and there are still very large areas of land to be taken over …'" (Josh 13:1 NIV)
In other words, God gave them victory over a large part of the land, and He promised to help them drive out the rest who were left in the land. That was His part. But after the land was divided, it was the responsibility of each individual tribe to drive out those who were left. That was THEIR part!
There was one stipulation however: They had to be willing to go forth.
As we read through the chapters dedicated to the division of the land, we find passages like the following: "Judah could not dislodge the Jebusites …" (Josh 15:63a NIV); "They did not dislodge the Canaanites living in Gezer..." (Josh 16:10 NIV); "Yet the Manassites were not able to occupy these towns, for the Canaanites were determined to live in that region …" (Josh 17:12-13 NIV), etc.
In other words, the people didn't do their part!
Why?
The Bible doesn't always directly tell us. In some cases we can surmise that it was fear: "The people of Joseph replied, 'The hill country is not enough for us, and all the Canaanites who live in the plain have iron chariots, both those in Beth Shan and its settlements and those in the Valley of Jezreel.' But Joshua said to the house of Joseph-to Ephraim and Manasseh-'You are numerous and very powerful. You will have not only one allotment but the forested hill country as well. Clear it, and its farthest limits will be yours; though the Canaanites have iron chariots and though they are strong, you can drive them out.'" (Josh 17:16-18:1)
Here we see that God promised Ephraim to help them drive out the Canaanites with iron chariots, but we also see that they were afraid of those Canaanites. It is later recorded in Judges that they didn't drive them out (See Judg 1:29). Their fear kept them imprisoned in the hill country!
Judges 1, in fact, lists numerous people groups who were not driven out of Canaan. Maybe they were all afraid, or maybe driving out the nations became a low priority for the people. Whatever the reason, their disobedience caused God to withdraw His promise: "'but you shall break down their altars.' Yet you have disobeyed me. Why have you done this? Now therefore I tell you that I will not drive them out before you; they will be [thorns] in your sides and their gods will be a snare to you." (Judg 2:1-3)
You may ask why Israel, after seeing the miraculous initial conquest of the land, didn't just go forward and do what God commanded them to do. I believe it is this: Initially the people were following Joshua, not God. Oh, they were indirectly following God, yes. But they were not experiencing Him on an individual level. God didn't drive out all of the people of the land initially, because He wanted them to learn to depend upon Him, not upon Joshua or any other leader that He raised up!
So what does this have to do with us?
Just this: Even in our day and age, God does His part, but we are also expected to do our part!
When I accepted Jesus into my heart and was filled by His Spirit, an addiction that I had struggled with since childhood just melted into nothingness. Since that day, 13 years ago, I have not even been tempted to partake in this addiction.
However there was this other addiction. It did NOT fall away, and though God has given me victory over it, there is not a single day that goes by when I am not tempted to fall back into its evil clutches.
Just like God miraculously gave the majority of Canaan to Israel, God gives us victory over many sins and weaknesses when we accept Him into our hearts, and He promises us victory over those that are left. That's His part. Our part is to learn, through the weaknesses that are left, to totally depend upon God!
And we must be careful to continue to work on these weaknesses, for if we do, God will give us victory. But if we don't, then we put ourselves at risk of having God withdraw His promise!
Please join us next week, for LESSONS FROM JOSHUA, Part 8: The Problems at Ai, Part A …
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 Wed 01 Dec 2010, 12:44 pm

Today's Devotional:
THE COMMAND AND A CALL, Part 3

Continuing with a series on Christian response to persecution, today's let's focus at a Biblical example of perfectly dealing with enemies as strong as us
In organizations (be it even army) people keep a watchful eye on the career path of their peers. If their seniors get promoted, no problem but if their peers get promoted, even if meritoriously…Boy all hell breaks loose…inside them… that is. Envy and peer pressure (they are bedfellows, you see) are an explosive mix. As someone remarked wisely “If you turn green with envy, it means you are ripe for trouble” Envy and peer pressure can get to anybody. Well, it got to colleagues (having equal administrative powers) of a faithful Jew diligently working his way up the career ladder (Daniel 6). So welcome once again to this oft-repeated remarkable story of Daniel in Lion’s den, which throws up wonderful insights, each and every time it is studied!
Now it is one thing to play political tricks to hinder your competitor’s progress and it is quite another thing to hatch a diabolical plot aimed at snuffing out his life itself! Well Daniel’s enemies, chose the latter option…sad for them!
Being well aware of their conspiracy (even Daniel’s juniors’ joined hands in the plot, ostensibly at the prompting of Daniel’s peers, who were the main villains), do we see Daniel praying for God’s curses to come upon his enemies! NO! Neither in his private chambers before his arrest nor in the Lions den, do we see Daniel nursing an iota of bitterness in his heart. He leaves it all to omniscient and an omnipotent God and the result? The fellows, who expected Daniel to make up the dinner of the famished lions the previous evening, end up being the ready breakfast for the hungry predators, the very next morning (Dan 6:24)! Enemies of God’s chosen ones’ (I Peter 2:9) beware…His special lot, would seem innocuous for all practical purposes but behind them stands a God who can be more dangerous than a roaring lion (Hosea 11:10)… at breakfast time, if I may add!
Suresh Manoharan
Hyderabad-India www.jandsmministries.com
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