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NUGGET Today's Devotional

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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Fri 26 Nov 2010, 11:37 am

HAPPY LATE THANKSGIVING!
Yesterday was Thanksgiving Day in the USA. No matter where you are in the world, let's remember to thank Him EVERY DAY!



Today's Devotional:
THANK HIM!

“And they remembered that God was their rock, and the high God their redeemer. Nevertheless they did flatter him with their mouth, and they lied unto him with their tongues. For their heart was not right with him, neither were they stedfast in his covenant. But he, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and destroyed them not: yea, many a time turned he his anger away, and did not stir up all his wrath.” (Psalm 78:35-38 KJV)
It is a sad commentary on those of us who claim to be Christians; those of us who say we are saved because we have been born again through the precious redeeming and atoning blood of Jesus, that we only gather with our families, loved ones and friends once a year to officially give thanks to our Heavenly Father. We really should be gathering together every day to give thanks to Him.
Oh dear people, Thanksgiving is not a day just to gather with family and friends to eat a delicious meal. Thank God that He lovingly and graciously provides these wonderful meals for us but Thanksgiving should be a time of reflection and giving thanks to a Holy God for all that He has done for us. I believe that it would rejoice the heart of our Heavenly Father if we would spend most of today thanking Him for His unconditional love and protection.
Our precious Heavenly Father has feelings and it hurts Him when we take advantage of Him. Many times we do take advantage of Him. We know that He is there for us whenever we need Him so sometimes without even realizing it; we forget to thank Him every day for all He does for us. I think that we have forgotten the real reason for Thanksgiving Day just as we have forgotten the real reason for Christmas.
The real reason for Thanksgiving is to spend the day ministering to God, praising Him and thanking Him for His unconditional love for us and for His grace and mercy to us. Yet many times we neglect to thank Him except when we sit down to eat. The rest of the day we pursue our own interests and we put Him back on the shelf until we need Him again. May God forgive us for the way we treat Him! Thank You precious Heavenly Father, for Your unconditional love, mercy, grace and forgiveness that You so graciously extend to us.
We should be filled with gratitude every day that He turns His anger away from us and does not stir up all His wrath. If He were to punish us as we so richly deserve because of the way we treat Him, all of us would be in serious trouble. He has told us that we are to love one another and that we are to spread the love of Jesus to our families, loved ones, friends and to a world that is lonely, hurting and desperately needs to know that someone loves them. Yet, many times we fail Him in this area. He has done so much for us and He asks so little of us. Oh that we would fall in love with our Heavenly Father and with Jesus!
As you gather with your family and friends today, don’t forget to spend time with your Heavenly Father praising Him and thanking Him for His unconditional love, grace, forgiveness and mercy to you. When you thank Him for the food that He gave you to eat today, thank Him that He gave you teeth to chew the food and thank Him that you have a plate, knife, fork and spoon to use during the meal.
Thank Him that you have food to eat because there are many people right in your own neighborhood that do not have food to eat today and they are hungry. Not only are they hungry for the food that we buy at the grocery store; they are hungry for someone to love them, to understand them and to accept them just as they are. Isn’t that what Jesus does for us? He accepts us just as we are. Thank God that He does because if He didn’t every one of us would be on our way to hell for all eternity.
We take so many things for granted and I’m sure that it breaks our Heavenly Father’s heart when we forget about Him during the day. Our loving and precious Heavenly Father deserves to be recognized and honored all day today and every day. Thank You, dear sweet Heavenly Father, for loving us unconditionally and for turning away Your anger from us. Especially thank You for loving us when we hurt You and when we hurt others.
Thank You for Your compassion, for Your grace and for Your compassion. May we be the children that You desire us to be. May we do and say kind and loving things that would bring joy and happiness to Your heart. Grant that when people look at us, they will know that we are Christians by our love to You and by our love to others. Amen.
Joanne Lowe
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Wed 24 Nov 2010, 12:44 pm

THE COMMAND AND A CALL, Part 2
It is indeed surprising that Scriptures bear witness to the fact of godly souls, (who would not as much as harm a fly) having more enemies, than one can remember. In this essay, for better understanding of the following:
a) Measured response of devout souls to persecution and

b) God's ways' of dealing with enemies of His dear ones'
I have categorized the adversaries into 3 groups…
I. Enemies stronger than us
II. Enemies as strong as us and strange, as it may seem
III. Enemies weaker than us
Let us go step by step. In this devotional let's have a look at how God's people have responded to the persecution from Enemies stronger than they are... Now the Early Church had a crisis. Acts chapter 12:1-4 somberly records the fact that Apostle James, the brother of Simon Peter was put to the sword and Peter himself was imprisoned by the envious King Herod. Now this Monarch who kept adding to his list of sins could not simply digest the soaring popularity of these early Christian leaders amongst the masses, hence the cruel reaction.

While King Herod's reaction was one of brutality borne out of his jealousy, what was the response of the Spirit filled First century Church? Did it, reeling under the weight of unjust persecution, invoke God's curses upon the cruel tyrant? NO FAR FROM IT, IT SIMPLY PRAYED FOR THE RELEASE OF PETER FROM THE JAIL.
Even as we see Peter being miraculously delivered from the prison (Acts 12:6-11), we need not even go beyond the 12th chapter of Acts, to see Divine comeuppance catching up with the heartless potentate Herod in a most melodramatic way. Scriptures point soberly that this Herod, who dared to poke his finger into the apple of God's eye (Zech 2:8) by persecuting His dear ones, was eaten up alive by maggots (Acts 12:23). Eaten up by worms, after dying is normal but whilst still being alive! Herod got his just reward alright!
Now did the Early Church in the aftermath of cruel persecution at the hands of this brutal despot, lift as much as it's little finger to exact vengeance? NO! God who thunders "Vengeance is mine" took care of that little unfinished business of settling scores! Enemies beware…and more importantly repent…

Join us next Tuesday for The Command and a Call, Part 3.
Suresh Manoharan
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Sun 21 Nov 2010, 11:50 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 6:
What we can Learn from a Prostitute, Part C

In the last two lessons from What a Prostitute can Teach us, we saw the importance keeping our promises, of standing up for what is right, and of letting our actions proclaim what we truly believe. There is one last lesson we can learn from this famous woman, and this is, perhaps, the most important lesson of all:
4. Don't judge!
Rahab was a prostitute.
There was no denying the claim.
Prostitutes were and still are considered a sinful class of people. We don't like associating with them, and we certainly don't want our children associating with them!
But is it ours to judge?
Let's see what Rahab's story tells us:
"However, Rahab the harlot and her father's household and all she had, Joshua spared; and she has lived in the midst of Israel to this day …" (Josh 6:25 NASU)
Wait a minute! Not only was Rahab a sinful woman, but she was also a Canaanite! Didn't Moses warn against letting Canaanites live in Israel? "Do not let them live in your land, or they will cause you to sin against me, because the worship of their gods will certainly be a snare to you." (Ex 23:32-33 NIV)
But Rahab was exempted from this law. Once she and her family were rescued from Jericho, they were invited to live in Israel, and not only this, but she was allowed to marry an Israelite, Salmon! "Salmon was the father of Boaz by Rahab …" (Matt 1:5 NASU) And the honor bestowed upon her didn't even stop here! She became the great-grandmother of kind David, and is even mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus: "Boaz was the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse. Jesse was the father of David the king." (Matt 1:5-6 NASU)!
Friends, let's not judge! God loves prostitutes! In fact, God loves all sinners! "Jesus said, 'It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: "I desire mercy, not sacrifice." For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.'" (Matt 9:12-13 NIV)
The next time you feel tempted to point the finger at someone for their sin, remember: "This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus." (Rom 3:22-25 NIV)
We shouldn't judge others for the life style they choose, for our own sins grieve the father just as much. Remember, "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." (Matt 7:1-2 NIV).
Instead of judging, let's love sinners. Let's commit to praying for them, for you never know when God will call someone from the depths of sin and do a great work through them!
There you have it. Four important lessons we can learn from Rahab the Prostitute: Keep your promises, stand up for what is right, let your actions be in line with your faith, and most importantly, do not judge!
The next time you see someone who has chosen what you would consider to be a sinful lifestyle, remember Rahab. Don't point the finger. Instead, be kind to them and pray for them. Who knows? The drug abuser on the street may come to the Lord, and when he does, he may promise to spend the rest of his life helping kids stay out of drugs! The person serving a life sentence for murder may accept Jesus' gift of Salvation, and he may be the one God will use to bring the thousands of other inmates to Him! The person who steels identity and leaves people homeless and destitute may someday come to the Lord, and when he or she does, God may use that person as an example of faith in our day and age! Instead of judging these people, let's commit them to our prayers. You never know when God will call someone like Rahab, from the depths of sin, and do a great work through them!
Join us next week for the other important lesson that Joshua has to teach us: LESSONS FROM JOSHUA, Part 7: God's Part and Our Part.
In His love,
Lyn
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Fri 19 Nov 2010, 2:34 pm

CONNECT THE DOTS

There were numbered, random dots all over the page. They had no form and no substance and they made no sense. They were just scattered dots on a blank page and they had to be connected to reveal the picture hidden in them.
I can remember bending all my energy and patience into joining the dots to make a picture. I had no idea why this dot had to be joined to that dot or why this line had to go this way and then veer off in a strange direction to the next dot.
But when all the lines were drawn, the secret of the dots was revealed as a beautiful house. I kept the picture for many years because it reminded me that great plans are sometimes hidden from our view.
If your life sometimes feels like a page of unconnected dots, remember the Lord does not show us the whole picture all at once. He said “I alone know my purpose for you”, Jeremiah 29:11. It's His secret and the secret lies hidden in the dots. His picture is ‘as high as the heavens are high above the earth, his ways high above ours, and his thoughts above our thoughts’ (Isaiah 55:8,9.)
It is a big picture. Paul found it. When he connected the dots of his life he found the picture that was hidden in them. He said it was God’s purpose was "to reveal his Son in and through me." (Galatians 1:16.)
Keep that picture in mind when the dots seem senseless and unconnected because God never loses sight of the picture he has hidden in you.
Elizabeth Price
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Wed 17 Nov 2010, 7:21 pm

THE COMMAND AND THE CALL, Part 1
Ever wondered what is the most difficult commandment (of NT times) to obey on a scale of 1-10? For many the commandment to LOVE OUR ENEMIES (Matt 5:43-48) would score a perfect 10! So how about a series on this vital subject?

Christian victims of communal persecution for no fault of their own in the state of Orissa in India (in recent times) and many others going through similar kind of persecutions in different parts of the World, would doubtless find obeying this commandment very, very difficult. But when we consider the fact that that this commandment has been given for our good, perhaps it would become easier for us to obey it.

What do I mean by "for our good"? Examine the following verse carefully and the answer will emerge: "Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many." (Heb 12:15). Who suffers the most, when there is bitterness in your heart? Is it not YOU who is harboring bitterness? No second thoughts on this score, please! For it is said that bitterness of spirit is like an acid in a vessel. It corrodes and destroys the very vessel in which it is stored. We are the ones' who would suffer from increasing hypertension or mounting glucose levels whenever we nurse a strong desire to get even with someone who has wronged us. Our health deteriorates, even as the impelling desire to get even consumes us. Would it not serve us well then to hand over (I admit it is easier said than done), all our grievances to the ONE, who has said, "Vengeance is mine" (Romans 12:19)?
The claim "vengeance is mine" is no empty boast of the ONE, who has "settled scores" countless times historically. Jesus handed over Himself to His Father, even as His enemies (Jewish religious leaders and many other Jews) subjected Him to inhuman treatment. Add to His physical and spiritual anguish, the torment of people mocking Him, at the foot of the cross (Matt 27:39-43/ I Peter 2:21-23), and the picture of extreme provocation with a capital P would emerge. But did the Son of God threaten to get even? NO! But would the Father keep quiet? Is not the chilling fact of Jerusalem's destruction by the Roman army in 70 AD, along with the massacre of over 1 million Jews (who scowled at Christ in the cross) a case of God keeping His word for good? ALWAYS. Be it in the matter of blessing or even "settling scores" on behalf of His wronged ones'!
Are you being persecuted? Let the Almighty handle the matter!

For more on this subject, join us next Tuesday for Part 2 of this series.
Suresh Manoharan
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Sun 14 Nov 2010, 3:36 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 5
What a Prostitute can Teach us, Part B

Last week, in What a Prostitute can Teach us, Part A, we looked at the importance of promise-keeping, and how a kept promise can ultimately lead to ultimate good. Today we will look at two more lessons to be learned from this famous prostitute:
2. Stand up for what is right!
When Rahab initially hid the spies, she was, in essence, taking a stand against her own people. She knew who the men were. She knew what people they represented and what God they served. In her own words: "I know that the Lord has given this land to you … We have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to Sihon and Og, the two kings of the Amorites east of the Jordan, whom you completely destroyed …" (Josh 2:9-10 NIV)
Rahab also knew that her people were in grave danger. Otherwise she would not have asked for the spies to promise to save her and her family: "Give me a sure sign that you will spare the lives of my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all who belong to them, and that you will save us from death." (Josh 2:12-13 NIV)
Yet despite all that she knew, Rahab was willing to take a stand against her very own people!
Why did she do it?
Because she knew the power of the God they served, and she wanted to serve Him, too! "… for the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below." (Josh 2:10-12 NIV)
As a result of the fact that Rahab was astute enough to recognize the hand of the One true God, she and her family were the only inhabitants of Jericho to survive.
Friends, let's follow Rahab's example. Let's stand up for what is right! For in doing so, we also follow the advice of Paul: "Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you." (1 Cor 15:58 NIV); "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery." (Gal 5:1 NIV)
True, this could mean lost friendships. It could mean lost raises and promotions. It could even mean lost family. But in the end, it meant salvation for Rahab, and it will mean life eternal for you and I!
3. Keep your actions in line with your faith!
Rahab believed the God of Israel was the One, true God, she was willing to betray her own people for her beliefs, and this message was made clear by her actions. When she hid the spies, lied for them, and later helped them to escape, she was letting her actions demonstrate her faith.
The author of the book of James goes to great length to help us see the importance of our actions: "What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? … faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, You have faith; I have deeds. Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do." (James 2:14-18 NIV)
Basically, James is telling us that our actions will show what we truly believe, and he specifically uses Rahab as an example: "In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead." (James 2:24-26 NIV)
The author of the book of Hebrews also uses Rahab as a specific example of the how faith must be shown in our actions: "By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient." (Heb. 11:31 NIV).
When Rahab acted upon her faith, she not only saved the lives of the spies, but she saved her life and the lives of her family as well. Friends, if we truly believe something, we will take action! Let's learn from the prostitute Rahab. Let's let our faith and our belief in God be represented by our actions, for in so doing, we will not only be proving that our faith is not dead, but we will also be proclaiming that faith to the world!
Join us next week for perhaps the most important lesson that we can learn from Rahab: What a Prostitute can Teach Us, 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.
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Fri 12 Nov 2010, 2:49 pm

THANK GOD FOR THE BILLS
“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19 KJV)
We have to pay bills every month. Many times there is not enough money to pay the bills or there is not enough money to pay the bills and also buy groceries and personal necessities. I have received several emails from people who told me they didn’t know how they were going to pay their bills.
I can relate to those people because I am on Social Security and many times I am like the pastor who said “There is more month than there is money”. However, our Scripture verse for today gives us hope because God will supply everything that we need. We can trust God to take care of us.
Thank God for the bills because it means that we are living in a house and not sleeping on the streets. It means that we have warmth and shelter. We take so many things for granted and we also take God for granted. I thank God for indoor plumbing so I don’t have to go outside to go to the bathroom.
It is time we stop complaining about what we don’t have and be grateful for what we do have. There is one bill that we will never have to pay. It is our sin debt. It is a bill that we owe but could never pay. Thank God that the price was paid in full by our precious Saviour when He died for us on the cross.
If you have been complaining about paying bills, stop it. Many people don’t have a place to live or food to eat. It has only been ten years since I have had a home to live in and I thank God for the privilege of having a home. I get excited when I pay my bills. It means I am not sleeping on the streets.
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Wed 10 Nov 2010, 2:51 pm

Today's Devotional:
ARE YOU FREE OR ARE YOU STILL IN BONDAGE?
“If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” (John 8:36 KJV)
The precious blood of Jesus makes us free from the bondage of satan and sin. Thank God for the redeeming blood of Jesus! However, there are times when we act like we are still in bondage to satan. Have you been set free by the blood of Jesus or are you still in bondage to satan?
Did you know there is no such thing as a gloomy Christian? Yes, we have heartaches, disappointments and crises so we can’t smile all the time. No matter how many trials we have in our lives, Jesus doesn’t leave us and He still loves us. That should be enough to fill our hearts with joy and happiness.
Philip Paul Bliss wrote one of my favorite songs “Free From The Law”. I love these encouraging words “Now we are free, there’s no condemnation, Jesus provides a perfect salvation. “Come unto me,” O hear his sweet call, Come, and He saves us once for all”.
One of the ways that satan attacks us is by telling us that Jesus doesn’t love us and that we can’t be forgiven for the things we did in the past. Don’t listen to him because he is a liar! Jesus forgives us, saves us and sets us free. We are no longer in bondage to satan.
Heavenly Father, please help us to live in the freedom that Jesus has given us through His precious atoning blood. May we have smiles on our faces instead of frowns. I pray that You would please help us to walk in the freedom that Jesus has given us. Amen.

Joanne Lowe
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Sun 07 Nov 2010, 12:45 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 4:
What a Prostitute can Teach us, Part A

The book of Joshua records the story of a very famous prostitute.
Just before crossing the Jordan River, Joshua sent two men to go and spy out Jericho. Israel's reputation had proceeded them, however, and their reception in Jericho was less than welcome, so they went to the only person who they knew would receive them without question: "So they went and entered the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there." (Josh 2:1 NIV).
Despite the fact that she was a prostitute, this Rahab was one special girl. The messengers knew that men came and went from Rahab's home regularly, and when she stood up against her own people to defend their common enemy by hiding the spies and lied for the king's messengers, they believed her! "Yes, the men came to me … At dusk, when it was time to close the city gate, the men left. I don't know which way they went." (Josh 2:4-6 NIV).
She would later let the spies out of her window by a rope, for her home was on the outer city wall, and send them off with instructions to hide in the hills for three days. But she did so only after securing a promise from them: "Now then, please swear to me by the Lord that you will show kindness to my family, because I have shown kindness to you. Give me a sure sign that you will spare the lives of my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all who belong to them, and that you will save us from death." (Josh 2:12-13 NIV)
The spies solemnly promised that if she tied the cord, the same one that had lowered them to the ground, in the wall-side window of her home, everyone in her house at the time would be spared. On the day the walls of Jericho fell, they brought Rahab and her family out of the rubble alive: "So the young men who had done the spying went in and brought out Rahab, her father and mother and brothers and all who belonged to her. They brought out her entire family and put them in a place outside the camp of Israel." (Josh 6:23 NIV)
And so it was that Rahab and her family were saved. End of story.
Or is it?
Rahab's name is actually mentioned several other times in the Bible, and from these texts, we learn that there are four important lessons that this famous prostitute can teach us today!
1. Keep your promises!
It would have been easy enough for the spies to break their promise to Rahab. After all, what would be the purpose to saving the life of a mere prostitute? Israel had plenty of these, they certainly didn't need one more!
So why did they keep their promise?
In Bible times, promises were considered to be a bit more binding than they are in our day and age. Here's what God had to say about promise-keeping: "This is what the Lord commands: When a man makes a vow to the Lord or takes an oath to obligate himself by a pledge, he must not break his word but must do everything he said." (Num 30:1b-2 NIV)
God is our ultimate example of promise-keeping. The Bible records that He keeps all His promises: "Not one of all the Lord's good promises to the house of Israel failed; every one was fulfilled." (Josh 21:45 NIV); and "The Lord is faithful to all his promises and loving toward all he has made." (Ps 145:13 NIV)
So the spies kept their promise because that's what people did in those days.
But let's take a look at the long-term consequences of promise-keeping in this story. The next time Rahab's name is mentioned in the Bible is in the book of Matthew, when her name appears in the genealogy of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ: "Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of King David." (Matt 1:5-6 NIV)
When the spies kept their promise to Rahab, they contributed to the birth of the great King David, and even to the birth of Jesus Himself!
Friends, let's follow the example of the honorable spies! Let's be true to our word, just as God is true to His!
Join us next week for the two other important lessons we can learn from the prostitute Rahab: LESSONS FROM JOSHUA, Part 5: What a Prostitute can Teach us, Part B
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 05 Nov 2010, 4:53 pm

ANGELO AND THE MASTER OF ANGELS
Angelo Dundee is an American boxing corner man. For the uninitiated, a corner man in boxing is one, who gives vital inputs to his ward before and most importantly during the fight. Needless to say, those strategic inputs based on keen observation of the opponent would often separate the victor from the vanquished. Dundee has had unparalleled success training and working in the corners of legendary boxers like Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard and George Foreman,. These champions have affirmed that his very presence in their corner pepped them up.
Square up to this truth, pal! Christian life is one big fight. Worse…it is a fight with unseen formidable foes (Eph 6:12)! Imagine being pitted with a blindfold against a Tyson! But cheer up, even as we strive to take the Gospel to all the corners of the World and in the process have to fight “big bad dude”-Satan-we have someone far better equipped than Angelo the very the Master of Angels …Christ in our corner Listen to the most successful evangelist of all times…Apostle Paul
But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went to Arabia, (to be trained by Him personally)…for three years -Gal 1:17-18
Apostle Paul again after his training in Arabia and several successful conquests for the Lord…
"For I can do everything ..." (including knocking out the Devil) "...through Christ, who gives me strength." (Philippians 4:13)
"The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet…" (Romans 16:20)
Do not want to be cornered by the “ole enemy”? Then fight with Angelo..opps sorry… I mean Master of Angels (Heb 1:4-6/Rev 22:9) in your corner!
Prayer: Father, we with our own power or wisdom are no match to the strength or the wiles of our Enemy. Be with us, so that we can be victorious in our spiritual fight with Thy empowering spirit alone. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Suresh Manoharan
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Thu 04 Nov 2010, 9:46 pm

NUGGET
THE FRAGRANCE OF CHRIST
“For we are unto God a sweet savor of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish.” (II Cor. 2:15)
When I stepped out onto our back deck one morning, I was greeted by a lovely fragrance hanging in the air. I knew it came from a rose, for a rose has its own distinctive aroma. I breathed in deeply, delighting in the sweetness, and then went in search of the blossom so I could enjoy its visual beauty as well.
However, as I drew nearer to the, deep-red American Beauty rose, another “fragrance” caught my attention. I drew back and wrinkled my nose in distaste. I recognized that smell, too. It was the harsh, bitter odor of onions growing in our neighbor’s vegetable garden near-by. The two fragrances did not mingle well at all. In fact, they clashed. The odor of the onion distracted from the lovely fragrance of the rose.
My thoughts snapped to a Bible verse I had read that morning about Christians being “the sweet savor of Christ,” and I winced at the question that forced its way into my mind. What fragrance defines my life? Are others aware of the sweet fragrance of Christ, or do they smell the ugly odor of worldliness in me? Do they yearn to meet Christ and partake of His beauty because they see the sweet fruit of his Spirit working in me, or do they turn from him because they see the bitter, worldly odor of hypocrisy and pride?
Lord, help me to search deeply into my life today. Show me any areas of worldliness and hypocrisy, and help me to conquer them so others will see only the sweet fragrance of your beauty in me. Amen.

By Donna J. Howard
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Sun 31 Oct 2010, 5:00 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/folder7/lessons_from_joshua.htm

LESSONS FROM JOSHUA, Part 3: When you see the Ark of the Covenant ... Follow It!

After the return of the spies from Jericho, the Israeli camp moved to the Jordan River. Their destination? The Land of Canaan!
Only one problem: It was harvest time. We know this, because Rahab, who protected the spies at Jericho and helped them to escape, hid them under flax that she was drying on her rooftop.
But what was the problem with it being harvest time? "Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest." (Josh 3:15 NIV).

Basically, a raging, flooded river stood between Israel and the Promised Land, with no bridge or boat in site!
That would have been enough to discourage any of us!
But Joshua had a plan designed to control the panic that would no doubt creep into the camp. He said, "When you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, and the priests, who are Levites, carrying it, you are to move out from your positions and follow it."
In other words, the people needed to keep their eyes on it at all times, and in doing so, they were not focused on the raging, flooded river.
So often in life, we come face to face with raging, flooded rivers that we must cross. Our "River Jordan" may be the loss of a job or a cut in pension cheque. Our flooded river may be a bad medical diagnosis. It may even be a wayward child or a failing relationship, or it may take the form of persecution for standing up for what we believe is right. In some cases, the "River Jordan" may even be an addiction. Whatever form it takes, the "River Jordan" of our lives is daunting and ominous, defying any of our efforts to cross it, and it stands in the way of our "rest" - our security and our happiness.
Will we cower on the banks or our river? Will we allow it to feed our fear and anxiety?
If we do, we will never get across. Instead, let's learn from Joshua. Let's fix our eyes upon Jesus and keep them there! Only in so doing will we be able to get through the "River Jordan" and receive our security and happiness!
This likely makes sense to most of us, and when we enter the perilous times in our lives, we make take a stand in faith with our eyes fixed on Jesus. But what if, even for a second, we look away, towards the circumstances that surround us?
Remember what happened to Peter when he was walking on the water? The moment he shifted his gaze from Jesus to the waters under his feet, he began to sink! "Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink …" (Matt 14:29-30 NIV) The same thing will happen to us as well. No matter what the circumstances, the moment we take our eyes off of Jesus, even for a second, the horrifying evidence of our predicament WILL overcome us! If we look to them, we will most certainly fall into discouragement and depression, completely defeated before we even begin.
So let's follow Joshua's advice! Let's keep our eyes fixed upon Jesus! Let's follow wherever He leads, without question! Let's live one day to the next, one minute to the next, ignoring the circumstances, and trusting in God to get us through!
Why?
"Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before.
Friends, the road we will have to follow is one that we've never been on before! We have no idea how to find it. But when God foresaw that we would go through whatever valley we are in at the moment, He also foresaw the WAY OUT! Our job is simply to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and follow His lead!
But wait. Am I being presumptuous here? Am I drawing current meaning into something that was written for a specific place and time?
Anytime God is serious about wanting us to understand something, He repeats Himself, and this same message is given to us another time, in the book of Hebrews: "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart." (Heb 12:2-3 NIV)
Friends, it doesn't matter what form you "Jordan River" may take. The solution is the same: Fix your eyes upon Jesus! He's been there before, He knows the way out. Our only job is to stop looking at the circumstances and look to Him instead!
Join us next Saturday for LESSONS FROM JOSHUA, Part 4: What a Prostitute can Teach Us, Part A …
In His love,
Lyn
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Fri 29 Oct 2010, 12:30 pm

COMMUNICATION LINES
We drove along a dirt road for about fifteen minutes. Right along the fence line of the farm paddocks on one side of the road were remnants of tall, wooden telephone poles.
I remembered when the telephone system reached the area and what a blessing it was to the farmers. They suddenly had a connection outside and beyond themselves. They were not isolated any more as they had been in the past. When they picked up the telephone, somebody was waiting at the other end to hear them.
They relied on the system in times of serious injury or of bush fires or even when machinery breakdown prevented them from harvesting their wheat crops.
When a breakdown occurred they could call a mechanic and they could call on a neighbour to help out in the meantime.
Every farmer kept an eye on the poles of communication along his fence line and on the wire slung between them. Falling tree limbs that put pressure on the line were dealt with immediately. Deteriorating brackets that held the wire on the poles were quickly repaired.
The line of communication was all-important and they put great trust in that one slender, fragile line.
For decades, these poles represented an immediate helpline.
They reminded me of a helpline I was taught to use from early childhood so that I need never feel totally isolated. It is summed up in Psalm 65, verse 2. “Hearer of prayer, to you everyone should come.”
Try it. The poles have not fallen down, the line is not pressured and the connecting bracket has not deteriorated. Jesus made sure the line is clear for you.

Elizabeth Price
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Wed 27 Oct 2010, 9:47 am

Today's Devotional:
THE BIG QUESTION
"and he said, 'Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD.' And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice." (I Kings 19:11,12 KJV)

The story of Elijah is familiar to many of you. He had been on the mount with Jezebel's pagan priests, then Jezebel promised to kill him, he fled to the wilderness and was feeling very depressed. Then God spoke to him. You can read the story in 1 Kings 19 In life we all have choices - Do we listen to the LOUD voices of the world or to the still, small voice of God?
This question occurred to me recently when a disembodied voice spoke to me - seemingly out of nowhere. It was early morning and my furry roommates and I were busy doing our morning routine. Me opening the blinds and they following me around - hoping I would hurry and give them their breakfast. Suddenly a voice spoke to me. The cats freaked and goose bumps broke out on me. What can that be? "The house is locked up tight, there can't be anyone inside". These thoughts raced through my mind and then the voice spoke again!!! For one thing I couldn't understand what the voice was saying and then who or what would be talking to me?
Then it dawned on me - THE SMOKE ALARM!!!!!!!!! It was telling me that it needed a new battery. "Low battery" "Low battery" and again "Low battery". Well, at least I knew where the voice was coming from and the cats weren't freaking but …… That voice continued to warn me about that battery every few moments until a few hours later when my daughter arrived with a new one; which she immediately installed. Ah-h-h-h! Blessed quietness!
Then I started thinking about another voice - that "still, small voice" of God speaking to me, sometimes reminding me that my words or deeds are not according to His will. Do I react to THAT voice with goose bumps? Do I frantically call on humans to come and replace the 'battery' in my conscious?
Sadly we humans sometimes are not so quick to respond to that voice. God doesn't MAKE us do the right things. He doesn't keep nagging at us. But like my smoke detector, we MUST listen to God's voice and respond to the Holy Spirit. When we listen to God's voice and love and follow Him we will receive that 'Blessed quietness', that peace and that joy that comes from waking with God.
Friends, which voice to YOU listen too? Yes, it is important to listen to some of the world's voices, the voice of the law, the voice of the smoke detector, the bells and alarms in our cars - but most important is that 'still small voice' that warns us of things pertaining to eternal life.

Wynona Gordon
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Mon 25 Oct 2010, 12:40 pm

LESSONS FROM JOSHUA, Part 2: Our Rest

Do you ever wonder why Jesus is taking so long to return?
The answer lies in the first book of Joshua: "But to the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh, Joshua said, 'Remember the command that Moses the servant of the Lord gave you: "The Lord your God is giving you rest and has granted you this land." Your wives, your children and your livestock may stay in the land that Moses gave you east of the Jordan, but all your fighting men, fully armed, must cross over ahead of your brothers. You are to help your brothers until the Lord gives them rest, as he has done for you, and until they too have taken possession of the land that the Lord your God is giving them. After that, you may go back and occupy your own land, which Moses the servant of the Lord gave you east of the Jordan toward the sunrise.'" (Josh 1:12-15 NIV)
Basically we have here a quarter of the Children of Israel who were given their inheritance in Canaan on the east side of the Jordan River, a land they have already subdued after defeating Og, King of Bashan, and Sihon, King of the Amorites. But they are not being allowed to enjoy their inheritance because of a promise made to Moses that they go forward with their brothers and fight the Canaanites until their brothers have received their inheritance as well!
In other words, "You can only have what you want, as long as you help your brothers get what they want!"
Sounds like a nice story of brother love, doesn't it? So what does some verses about taking possession of Canaan have to do with Jesus' return?
It's interesting that the receiving of the inheritance is referred to in this passage as "giving you rest". The book of Revelation also speaks of "rest": "There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and his image, or for anyone who receives the mark of his name." (Rev 14:11-12 NIV); and three verses later, "Then I heard a voice from heaven say, 'Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.' 'Yes,' says the Spirit, 'they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them.'" (Rev 14:13 NIV)
Just like the "rest" for the Children of Israel referred to their taking possession of the land God had promised them, we are also promised "rest". Ours is ensured when we accept Jesus into our hearts, but we will not possess it until either we die, or until Jesus returns!
Just like the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh were given their "rest" before the other tribes, we don't all accept Jesus' ultimate "rest" at the same time. And just like these tribes weren't allowed to enjoy their rest until the other tribes found theirs, Jesus will not return until everyone has had the opportunity to hear the Gospel of Jesus and respond to it: "And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come." (Matt 24:14 NIV).
Through this story recorded in Joshua 1, we, too, are commissioned to go forth and help our "brothers" until they, too, have received their "rest". Friends, this is the Great Commission, recorded right here in the book of Joshua! We will not be able to take possession of our rest in the New Earth until everyone in the unsaved world has been given the chance to hear the gospel!
So what are we waiting for?
Just like the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh went forward to help their brothers, let's go forward and help our brothers find their rest as well! Only when they have, "… then the end will come." (Matt 24:14 NIV)!
Join us next week for LESSONS FROM JOSHUA, Part 3: When you see the Ark of the Covenant …
In His love,
Lyn
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Fri 22 Oct 2010, 1:36 pm

A MIRACLE WORKING GOD
My son and I had gone to Michigan and were bringing my mom and her things back home to Alabama because she was going to live with us. He was driving a U Hall truck and my mom and I were following in my car. All went well until in Nashville, Tennessee the traffic was very heavy and he was in the wrong lane and was forced off the freeway. I could not follow him because I was in the center lane and had to go with the flow of traffic. This made the rest of the trip home a nightmare... I was filled with fear because of my son’s serious problems with diabetes. He was as worried about us as we were about him. He got back on the highway and thought he was ahead of us. He waited for us to catch up with him while we were further up the highway waiting for him.
We were never able to find each other and by the time I got home I was frantic. He was not here. I walked into the house and cried out in prayer, “Oh God where is my son“? Just then I looked down on the kitchen counter and there, as if in answer to my question, was a bag of cookies my husband had purchased while we were gone. It was a new brand of cookies that we had never had before nor since. The name on the package was, “Almost Home”. Was this God’s answer? I felt assurance and after about 30 minutes I heard his truck coming up the drive way. That was a tearful reunion. The miracles were just beginning.
The very next day after we got home my son lost his eyesight. Diabetes had made his eyes weak but now he was totally blind. That his blindness had not happened in route was a miracle in itself. Thoughts of what could have happened are absolutely staggering. To have been alone and unable to see in a strange city is not a pleasant thought.
His blindness lasted the entire nine months that my mother lived. He was never able to see her again. He had a lot of built up bitterness in his life because of his condition but in the darkness of his physical blindness his spiritual eyes were opened. He got right with God. He gave his life to the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. This was the most precious miracle of all but God was not finished yet.
When Mom died and I took her back to Michigan for the funeral another miracle took place. I got a call from home and heard these words from my son, “I walked with my cane down the hill to the mailbox and as I turned to come back I looked up and I could see the house. He could see! God was in control the whole time. We often wonder why things happen as they do but we know that God works in mysterious ways to show us His wonders. Had he not been blind he probably would have continued on in his bitterness and rebellion toward God.
How big is God? He is not only bigger than any problem; He is a loving, caring, keeping, wonderful miracle working God on whom we can depend. He has promised “I will never leave you nor forsake you“. Hebrews 13:5.
Christian love,
Carolyn Young
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Wed 20 Oct 2010, 10:58 am

PETER WALKS ON THE WATER
"And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, 'It is a spirit'; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, 'Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.' And Peter answered him and said, 'Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.' And he said, 'Come.' And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, 'Lord, save me.' And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, 'O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?' And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased." (Matt 14:22-33 KJV)
Friends,
I have often wondered how dull the Gospels might be if Our Lord did not choose Peter as an apostle!
Of course, the Gospels are about Our Lord and they would not be dull, yet the presence of Peter has a way of putting things over the top. He does what others dream to do, even if it is walking on water!
It had been a long day, Our Lord had received the news that John the Baptist had been executed. He retired to a solitary spot, but the crowds followed Him. He fed them spiritually and then fed them physically, all five thousand of them. Afterwards, He sent His disciples on ahead by boat while He dismissed the crowds. Then, He went up the mountain to talk for a time with His Father, and recharge His batteries.
Meanwhile, back on the boat, things are not going well. Our fishermen of the Galilee are losing the battle with the elements, again. The wind has roared up against them and they are not making headway. It is about three am in the morning. In the midst of their travail, they see Jesus walking on the water toward them. They question their eyes. They cry out in fear. This must be some type of ghost or mirage. Our Lord knows their thoughts and says, "Be of good heart! It is I, fear ye not!".
In the midst of life's storms, Our Lord comes into our lives in strange, unpredictable ways. He likes to surprise us. Jesus is walking toward the boat. For Peter, it is not enough. He has a big heart and he cannot wait for Jesus to reach the boat. He calls out, "Lord, if it be Thou, bid me come to Thee upon the waters."
Our Lord responds, "Come".
Peter comes out of the boat, and he begins to walk upon the water. He is walking toward Jesus on the water. The power of God is upholding him and his faith in God is unshakeable for a moment.
Then, a big wave comes by and splashes Peter in the face! Of course, we know Who created the wave! Peter gets shaken, takes his eyes off of Jesus and realizes what he is doing. He is walking on the water. No one can walk on water! Reality sinks in and sinks him!
Going down in shock, this seasoned fisherman does the only thing he can do. YELL FOR HELP! "Lord, save me!"
Lord save me. How many times have we been sinking in life? We have lost a job, a loved one or suffered some other type of setback. It looks hopeless. We are sinking and sinking fast. Lord save me.
Peter was impetuous. Love will do that to people. When Our Lord called to him, he got out of the boat. The other disciples cowered in the boat among the waves when they saw this strange apparition or ghost. Peter is different. Peter calls out to Our Lord, "Bid me to come to you." And he begins walking to Jesus on the water.
Now, Peter was drowning, drowning for love, and Love reached down and pulled him up.
Friends, if God calls you out of the boat that you are in, or the job or the situation, ask only one question, "Lord, is it You?"
Then follow your heart to Him, keep your eyes upon Him and ignore the winds and the waves of life. Should you begin to sink, remember this short prayer, "Lord, save me!"
Father God, please give us the courage to "get out of the boat", the boat of our misery, selfishness, and feelings of unworthiness, and come to You when You call, no matter what the cost. Amen.

David Sheehan
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Mon 18 Oct 2010, 1:15 pm

LESSONS FROM JOSHUA, Part 1
The Mark of a Good Leader

The book of Joshua is rich in lessons for our day and age, and the upcoming 18 lessons, 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. This first lesson looks specifically at the man after whom this book was named, Joshua himself …
Leaders in our day and age are often chosen for their merit, by their track record, or by who they know. But what is the mark of a truly great leader?
Joshua, the son of Nun, was appointed by Moses to succeed him as leader of Israel. Anyone in a position of leadership has unique challenges, but I think that Joshua's challenge was even harder than most, because whenever someone follows in the steps of a great leader, they usually pale in comparison to their predecessor! Joshua's biggest challenge was to try and fill Moses' shoes!
The Bible records, however, that Joshua had no trouble doing so. In fact, it is recorded on the day Israel crossed the Jordan River: "That day the Lord exalted Joshua in the sight of all Israel; and they revered him all the days of his life, just as they had revered Moses." (Josh 4:14 NIV)
If Joshua was able to rise up and take the place of the great leader, Moses, then his leadership skills can be an example for us today.
Let's take a look at what leadership skills Joshua has to teach us:
1. Obedience: After the crossing of the Jordan River, Joshua had the people eating out of the palms of his hands. He could have done anything he wanted and he would have had the full support of the people, but Joshua refused to take advantage of the situation. Instead, he was completely obedient to the instruction his former leader had given Him. In fact, the book of Joshua makes five specific references to Joshua doing things just "as Moses had directed" (Josh 4:10,12, 8:31,33, 11:12)
2. Humility: When the land was finally at peace, Joshua divided the land among the tribes, the Bible records that "When they had finished dividing the land into its allotted portions, the Israelites gave Joshua son of Nun an inheritance among them …Timnath Serah in the hill country of Ephraim." (Josh 19:49-50 NIV). Joshua received an inheritance, not because he set aside a piece of land for himself, but because the people gave it to him. He could have had anything, but he humbly chose a town in the hills, and that only with the insistence of the people.
3. Submission: One more thing of note in the long life of Joshua is that throughout all his years, Joshua was submissive to God. From the day he followed the Lord's command in crossing the Jordan, celebrating the Passover, and attacking Jericho, to the day when he was old and advanced in years, Joshua's message to the people was the same: Stay true to God!
Just before his death, Joshua summonsed the people together: "Be very strong; be careful to obey all that is written in the Book of the Law of Moses," he wrote, "without turning aside to the right or to the left … But you are to hold fast to the Lord your God, as you have until now." (Josh 23:6-8 NIV).
He then ended his address with the following famous challenge: "Then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord." (Josh 24:15 NIV)
Did Joshua's obedience, humility and submission have an impact on the people of Israel?
It most certainly did!
"Israel served the Lord throughout the lifetime of Joshua and of the elders who outlived him and who had experienced everything the Lord had done for Israel." (Josh 24:31 NIV)
In summary, Joshua was a great leader. But not because he was strong or clever. He was a great leader because of his humble, obedient, and submissive spirit.
If you find yourself in a leadership position, why not follow Joshua's example? Be humble, obedient, and submissive to God, and with these three Joshua-demonstrated traits, you are destined to be considered among the greatest leaders of all time!
Join us next week for LESSONS FROM JOSHUA, Part 2: Our Rest
In His love,
Lyn
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Fri 15 Oct 2010, 8:57 am

LESSONS FROM ANIMALS, Part 6:
Visiting Magpie

We laughed aloud. We have a visiting wild magpie who comes to our door asking for handouts. We love to see him and he knows that if he stands on a certain rock just on the edge of the verandah, we will toss scraps of food to him.
So when we answer his presence at the door, he immediately goes to his rock and waits for us to toss pieces of food for him to catch. It is a game we play with him.
What made us laugh out loud was the idea that the magpie understands what we say to him. One morning we were sitting at the outdoor table having breakfast and the magpie walked close to us.
“No, Maggie,” I said gently because he had been well fed before we sat down to breakfast. “You have just been fed, you can’t possibly be hungry.”
He walked closer, still with his head expectantly on the side, beady, brown eyes fixed on us.
“Go and have a drink of water,” I told him. His back was to the water dish about three metres away and he looked expectantly at us.
“I have just filled the water dish with lovely fresh water,’ I told him, ‘so go and get a drink.”
And he did! He immediately turned his back to us, walked over to the water dish and hopped up on to it. He took several beakfulls and then flew off down the garden to join other members of his family.
We laughed out loud in amazement. It was as though he understood exactly what had been said to him and we are left with a lingering thought. Did he understand? Had he become so familiar with our words that he really understood?
It reminded us that Jesus had a lot of serious things to say about our words and how we use them. He said ‘every thoughtless word you speak you will have to account for on the day of judgement.’ Matthew 12:36.
So always speak kindly, even to magpies, because Jesus is listening.
Elizabeth Price
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Wed 13 Oct 2010, 4:25 pm

NO PAIN, SAME TOOLS
"But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows." (Luke 12:7)
"Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom." (Luke 12:32)
I suffer from a chronic condition characterized by fatigue and wide-spread pain. Over the years, I have become well acquainted with my various types of pain, and, being stubborn, have come to view this with more irritation and aggravation than alarm. However, recently I was besieged with a new and frightening pain that I had never had before, a sharp pain that took my breath and disturbed my sleep and caused my mind to fear the implications – was this my condition taking a turn for the worst? Will I be able to function, to work?
As day one turned into day 2 with this new pain, and day 2 turned into day 3, I began to manage this pain with the same tools I use to manage all the others, and to see that this is just another bump in the road, and really nothing to fear at all, not the end of life as I know it, not the beginning of decent into disability, as I feared, just another circumstance to be managed with the tools I already have in hand.
The attacks of Satan are just the same. He comes at us with some new trial, some new affliction, some new lie, and we begin to give way to fear. Will I be able to stand up against this; will I be overcome? NO! You WILL NOT be overcome, but will overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the Word of your testimony, just as you have overcome all that has gone before. Satan has no new tricks up his sleeve. He simply uses the same old “pains” in a new way to shake us up. We need to turn from fear and work toward victory using the tools we already have in hand with the Word of God and the faith to know that He is still in control, as He is in my pain, and He is still greater than anything Satan can throw at us.

Sonya Richards
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Fri 08 Oct 2010, 11:09 am

THE ALBATROSS

The albatross is an amazing bird. With a wingspan of 3 metres (9.6 feet), they are amongst the largest birds that soar the Heavens.
And soar they do. You see, with wings that big, they can't actually "fly". They rely on gusts of air to keep them off the ground, but once airborne, they can swoop along at speeds of 115 kph (70 mph). Because of this, the next time you decide to visit an albatross sanctuary, make sure you go on a windy day. Though it's pure ecstasy for albatross in the air, they are actually quite clumsy on the ground!
With such a wide wingspan, you would expect the albatross to be absolutely huge. And don't get me wrong, they do have large bodies. But in order for their wings to be able to lay along their backs, like those of most birds, they would need bodies at least 1.5 metres (5 feet) long, which would make them so heavy, they would have trouble staying airborne! So in order to help them manage their extensive wingspan, yet still have manageable-sized bodies, God created them with a unique feature: When on the ground, the outer half of the albatross' wing actually folds up under the inner half! Amazing! But as a result, when sitting on the ground, the albatross looks like nothing more impressive than a large gull.
Unfortunately, there are few in this world who can just "pop over and visit" an albatross sanctuary. The albatross is an endangered bird. Of the 21 species of albatross known, only two are not threatened with extinction. Your best bet for viewing these magnificent birds are the in the southern oceans between Antarctica and the southern parts of South America, Africa, and Australasia. Interestingly, these are areas of consistent wind, and remember: Without wind, the albatross cannot fly!
It was a windy day when we visited the Royal Albatross Centre in Dunedin, New Zealand, and I was delighted to see the numerous birds floating around overhead. They weren't all albatross, however. As I would learn, the vast majority of the flying birds were ordinary gulls. I guess I had figured it would be easy to see the difference in the birds when they were in the air, after all, what gull has a wingspan of 3 metres? But in all honesty, when you're just looking up at those little dots in the sky, it's pretty hard to judge wingspan!
Unless you were fortunate enough to see a gull and an albatross flying together, that is! Then the difference becomes obviously apparent!
As a Christian, it's sometimes hard to see any advantage in our lives over that of our non-Christian friends and co-workers. In fact, it may often seem like the lives of our non-Christian contacts are less restrictive and more fun than our own. In church we hear about "the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints" (Eph 1:18c). We read about the "incomparably great power for us who believe" (Eph. 1:19a). We see other Christians who obviously know "the hope to which He has called [them]" (Eph 1:18b), but in all honesty, we don't see these fruit in our own lives!
Could it be that we are like the albatross on a non-windy day, grounded by our human natures? Could it be that we are not filled with God's Spirit, that Heavenly "Wind"?
Remember, albatross are clumsy on the ground, but once they are caught up by a gust of wind, they unfold their wings and soar into the Heavens! The same is true for us! Once we experience the winds of God's Spirit, once we submit to that breeze of His presence, our spiritual wings will unfold and we will soar.
Let's pray for one another, that we will be filled with God's Spirit, that we will be able to experience the fullness of the life He has for us! "I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength ..." (Eph 1:18-21 NIV).
The sky is the limit, friends!
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 06 Oct 2010, 7:53 am

A FIRM FOUNDATION
"But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall." (Matt 7:26-27 NKJV)

On a recent vacation I took a stroll on Ponte Vedra Beach . I immediately noticed the different consistency in the sand from yesterday's walk. Then it had been soft and mushy - difficult to walk upon. Now it was very firm and compact- no give at all- which made my task much easier. After my saunter on the sand, the asphalt road led me back to our condominium. This was the easiest surface of all three to walk upon.
My morning stroll reminded me of a scripture -- Matthew 7:26- where Jesus speaks of a house being built upon sand or rock.
If I was able to feel the difference in the firmness of these three surfaces, how wise Jesus was to tell us to build upon a firm foundation. Our lives will just be more manageable when we make Jesus our cornerstone and build upon the firm and solid precious Word of God.
Thank you, Lord for your firm foundation.
Marion Smith
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Sun 03 Oct 2010, 7:44 am

HIRE A MISSIONARY
"And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus." (Phil 4:19-20 NKJV)

My yard is a mess. I have 1.5 acres of beautiful lawn, with flower beds, spreading trees, even a pond … And it is all overrun with weeds. This bothers me tremendously, but perhaps what bothers me the most is the weeds along the drainage ditch that our driveway crosses. It is impossible to get the lawn tractor down into this area, and the first impression anyone gets of my property is "weeds galour"!
I wasn't quite sure what to do about this problem. Although I love a manicured yard, I don't have the time to do the work myself … Okay, to be perfectly honest, I also lack the patience, skill, AND the love of gardening! I want the end product without having to work for it!
The youth department at our church took a group of high school students to a fly-in native reservation in Northern Canada for a missions trip this past summer. Both of my teens went, and prior to the trip, all of the students are busily working to acquire the necessary funds. A few weeks before they were scheduled to leave, I noticed a board at the church, titled "Hire a missionary". The young missionaries were hiring themselves out to church members to earn money for the missions trip. "Hum," I thought. "Maybe I should hire a missionary to do my yard work!"
Imagine my surprise as I approached that board to see the name of my own son, advertising himself for hire doing yard work!
You already know what I did. I hired a missionary. Two, actually. And both of them live under my roof! I asked the two of them to clean out a certain flower bed for the money needed to buy team sweatshirts, and I asked the one who had listed his name on the board to make me two new flower beds, one on each side of the driveway where it dips down into the ditch. In return, I would pay what was left of the amount he owed for the missions trip.
The jobs were done. Beautifully. And my sons had the necessary money for their missions trip.
In all, it made me think: How often do we search for ways to have our needs fulfilled, when the best solution is already within our grasp? We seek love. We seek acceptance. We seek fulfillment. We seek peace and hope and comfort. And these desires often push us into drugs, alcohol, and illicit relationships. Or maybe just into making bad decisions, ones that hurt those around us.
But all the while, the solution is already there! Hasn't God promised to fulfill ALL our needs? "And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus." (Phil 4:19-20 NKJV)
Just like the solution to my yard problem lay at home, the solution to every need we have lies it Christ Jesus. Need love? Turn to Him. Need acceptance? He already did! Need fulfillment? He will fill your life to overflowing. Need peace? Look no farther than the Author of peace. Need hope? We have a Hope that is the anchor for our souls (Heb. 6:19)! Need comfort? There is no better source.
But wait a minute. How can we access this solution to all our needs?
But spending time with Jesus! Getting to know Him! Working on that relationship with Him! Allowing Him to shape and make you and grow your faith! Why not give it a try? Remember, the solution doesn't lie in outside sources. It lies under our own roof. And believe me, the end result will be even more beautiful than my new flower bed!
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 01 Oct 2010, 9:58 am

INSIDE AND OUTSIDE
Both inside and outside are not far from each other. They are very close by because the only distance is the door!
A hunter was targeting to shoot his arrow at a bird which was sitting on a tree in the forest. Unexpectedly a tiger came in front of him. He got scared and started running to his home. He came to his house and tried to open the door, unfortunately the key was missing. When he was searching for the key the tiger came and killed him.
He was not away from his house. The only distance was his door. If he would have opened the door with the key he would have escaped himself entering into the house. But he was killed because he was outside the house. He came very close to the door but he could not enter into it. It was a miserable situation.
We can see many people seeking the Lord and his kingdom today. But how many of them are having the key to open it? Many are coming to the Lord but they are out of the door. This is a miserable situation. Many want to come to the Lord only up to limited territory. As we read the gospel of Mark, Jesus said, "The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables." (Mark 4:11). These people came very close to Jesus and saw the miracles, enjoyed them, ate the bread and fish but Jesus said They are out of God's plan. You may have enjoyed the blessings of Jesus, but what will profit you if you are away from Jesus?
The ten virgins came to Jesus but only 5 of them entered and others were forsaken. Those who were ready went inside with him to the wedding banquet. Then the door was shut. Later, the other virgins came too, saying, "‘Lord, lord! Let us in!’ But he replied, ‘I tell you the truth, I do not know you!'" (Mathew 25:1-13)
Many will stand outside the door and and will say "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'" (Mathew 7:21 - 23)
Here Jesus points out some of the people who are standing outside God's plan. Many will come to the Lord only for the blessings those are not permanent. They never care about the eternity. They will come very close to God but still they will be out of the door. The key is "salvation" which many people miss. They will rush up to the door of heaven but if they do not have this key they will lose their lives.
As we go to the kingdom of God we must have the key "salvation" with us. Many are saying, I go to church every Sunday, my forefathers are Christians, many pastors are very close to me, I give much money to the church, I attend all the spiritual meetings. But if you ask them about the salvation they will not answer properly and never show interest to know that Simply they make Jesus as a miracle worker or a man of blessing but fail to find out the salvation.
Noah was inside the ark. Many would have begged him to open the door saying "Noah, please open for us." They would have been out of the door but not so far from inside. Even though they were close to Noah who was inside, They lost their lives because the door was closed.
Where are you standing today? Are you standing out of the door or inside the house? If you are standing outside, ask the Lord Jesus to give you the key to open it. Otherwise Satan will come as a tiger and will kill you lest you cannot enter into eternity.
The day of calamity is on hand. If you want to escape from that day, ask the Lord Jesus, Jesus I am a sinner, forgive me and give me salvation which is the key to open the heaven. If you say this prayer and receive Jesus as your personal Saviour you will receive this key and you will have the rights to open the heaven and escape yourselves from eternal death.
Solomon Mariadas
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Wed 29 Sep 2010, 1:04 pm

AUTUMN OF OUR LIVES
"For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better." (Phil 1:21-24 NKJV)

I love Autumn here in the mountains of West Virginia. The cool air and the hum of the heater in the morning soon gives way to the warm breezes flowing through the window fans in the afternoon. The delightful smell of dry leaves fills the air and in the evening I can sometimes catch glimpses of the deer feeding on the fallen apples from the apple tree in our backyard. The sound of happy children riding their bikes makes a sweet music for the ears as they play away the evening hours until darkness arrives. All of this wonderful joy takes place too under the brilliance of the mountains themselves. This time of the year they look like they were painted by Heaven’s hand. Bit by bit the leaves on the trees transform into glorious golds, radiant reds, and outrageous oranges. Beautiful burgundies and browns soon appear too, as well as yellows that shine like the sun itself. This time of the year always gives me a hint of what Paradise itself must be like.
It really amazes me then that the phrase "the Autumn of our lives" is always said with such fear. The very mention of it stirs up images of aging, illness, and approaching death. I guess so many are afraid of that last leaf falling that they fail to see the beautiful Spring that awaits them.
I think the Autumn of your life should instead be embraced with joy. It should be the peak of a beautiful, colorful, and well-lived life. It should be full of choosing love, sharing happiness, and helping others. It should be filled with making yourself a better person and the world a better place. It should be overflowing with peace, understanding, and oneness with God.
May the Autumn of your life then shine as brightly as the leaves on these mountains. May you live simply, love deeply, and grow daily. May your last days be your best days. And may you walk through the fallen leaves knowing that the journey leads not to death but to eternal life.

By Joe Mazzella
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