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NUGGET Today's Devotional

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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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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.
Joanne Lowe
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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
July 3, 2010
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