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NUGGET Today's Devotional

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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Tue 18 Apr 2017, 10:37 pm

Welcome to the Nugget


April 18, 2017

So Near, Yet so Far, Part 1

By Answers2Prayer
Sometimes in our Christian sojourn, can we (God's children) really be far away from the very One we owe our physical and spiritual lives to? Even though we may be mistakenly thinking we are close to him? Are there Biblical examples of some souls who were "so close, yet so far from Him"? Yes. In this series of 3 parts I would like to train the spotlight on some of them, while gleaning lessons which are very much applicable to God's people of the 21st century...


Tree...

"Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man, 'Where are you?' He answered, 'I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.'" (Gen 3:8-10)

After the tragic fall, were the very first children of God in the revealed Biblical history well within the ear-shot of hearing the words of their Father when He came to fellowship with them that calamitous day? Yes. But were Adam and Eve as emotionally and spiritually close to Him as before? No. Until that sad, sad day they had felt spiritually "secure" in His presence whenever the Lord came into that "Little Paradise" (Eden Garden) to fellowship with them. Oh yes, so much so they may have actually come running to Him in the manner a loved child comes running into the presence of a doting dad who has just returned after a long international tour!

So what really happened? What did they "lose" in order to feel so spiritually "distant" and thereby "insecure" in the very presence of their Eternal benefactor?

To understand this subject more clearly, we need to understand how the Final Adam (the Son of God like Adam -- See 1 Cor 15:45/Luke 3:38) began His Earthly Ministry. No other issue was more close to His heart than this...let the Scripture take over at this stage...

"Later on, after John was arrested, Jesus went into Galilee, where he preached God's Good News. 'The time promised by God has come at last!' he announced. 'The Kingdom of God is near! Repent of your sins and believe the Good News!'" (Mark 1:14-15)

What is that Kingdom of God, Jesus is referring to here? By any chance was this a reference to Heaven or Millennial Kingdom? No, not at all, for contextually they were not "near" to His audience at that point of time in terms of time or space. Let Scripture (to be more precise Romans 14:17 ESV) explain...The Kingdom of God is: "...righteousness, peace and joy of the Holy Spirit." (Romans 14:17 ESV)

Look at the amazing sequencing of words in the Holy Spirit inspired Scripture. It is said in Scripture, "B" never comes before "A" or "C" before "B". It is righteousness first, followed by peace and joy of the Holy Spirit, and not the other way around. And what exactly is righteousness, if it is not right relationship or standing with God!

Oh yes, Dear Friends...when Adam and Eve lost their right relationship with God, they subsequently lost out on peace and joy of the Holy Spirit as well, which they presumably possessed. The "Kingdom of God" Jesus is refereeing to in His maiden sermon, as it were, is that precious right relationship with God (from which would stem peace and joy of the Holy Spirit) that the final Adam came to restore between the Creator and the fallen descendents of Adamic race who from birth inherit that same sin-marred nature.

And how is that relationship restored? There is no other way other than by repentance (Acts 2:38).

So readers...are we amongst that lot who are from birth regular Church goers...regular participants in Church activities...yet far from the Head of the Church (who is Christ, See Col 1:18) because we have never entered into a right relationship with Him by way of genuine repentance? Time for introspection...

Prayer: Father, by your grace and mercy enable me to have sincere reality check as to my spiritual health, every day. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Suresh Manoharan
An unworthy servant
J and SM Ministries

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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Sat 15 Apr 2017, 10:33 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
April 15, 2017

Jesus' Ultimate Gift

By Answers2Prayer
As I think about the celebration of Jesus' death and resurrection this year, I am impressed with the fact that we don't spend enough time contemplating this ultimate of gifts, the gift of His life on the cross. It's true that we take a few moments in church to contemplate how much He suffered and how our sin put Him on that cross, but do we leave the service with an understanding of the fullness of the gift? Do we make full use of it? Or do we leave the service continuing to walk in condemnation, worry, doubt and fear, shackled by the chains of addictions and crippled with illness and pain?

As we prepare for the services tomorrow morning, let's take a moment to contemplate just what Jesus accomplished in His suffering, death and resurrection, and let's remember that if you have accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savoir, then these gifts are all for you:

1. Jesus' gift brings us reconciliation with God: "Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation." (2 Cor. 5:18-19 NKJV). No longer do we need to walk in condemnation. We have been forgiven and reconciled to God!

2. It provides us with forgiveness and peace: "He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on Him..." (Isaiah 53:5a NIV). No longer do we need to carry the burden of guilt. His peace is ours for the asking!

3. It brings healing and deliverance "...and by his wounds we are healed." (Isaiah 53:5b NIV); "'But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall. You will tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day which I am preparing,' says the LORD of hosts..." (Mal. 4:2-3 ESV). The mental, physical, spiritual and emotional healing, the deliverance from that sin that so easily befalls us, it is all ours for the asking!

4. It brings us the gift of God's Spirit: "And the Spirit of the Lord will rest on him..." (Is. 11:2a NLT), and this brings us an entire other set of gifts, including:

a. Wisdom and knowledge: "To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit..." (1 Cor. 12:8 NIV)
b. Encouragement: "Living in the fear of the Lord and encouraged by the Holy Spirit..." (Acts 9:31 NIV)
c. Understanding and revelation: "I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better." (Eph. 1:17 NIV)

The list could go on, but I think you get the point: Jesus' gift to us at the cross encompasses far more than we initially think!

Yesterday I bought a very expensive gift for my son, but he didn't open it. In fact, he left it in a sack in the laundry room and went on about his work. The truth was clear: My son took the gift for granted, and it left me feeling sad that he didn't seem to appreciate it. It made me think, however. When we do not fully utilize the gift Jesus gave His life to provide for us, we are, in essence, leaving it "in a sack". How sad it must make Jesus feel when we celebrate His death and resurrection but continue to live our lives entrenched in sin, chained to addictions, controlled by stress, grief, ignorance, sickness and fear.

I challenge each of you this Easter to remember the fullness of the gift that was given to us at the cross. Don't leave it untouched. Instead, accept Jesus' Salvation; accept His comfort, His peace, His deliverance; believe in His power to heal and to judge fairly; trust in His judgment, His counsel, His Father's Heart. By doing so, we show our appreciation for this ultimate gift to mankind.

In His love,
Lyn

Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author -- "Aboard God's Train -- A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.

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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Thu 13 Apr 2017, 6:28 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

April 13, 2017

Resolutely Towards Jerusalem with Joy

By Answers2Prayer
"As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set his face toward Jerusalem" (Luke 9: 51: NIV).

Early in his ministry, Jesus revealed who he was: John, the writer of the fourth gospel, shows us Jesus healing a man on the Sabbath Day, and Jesus telling the healed man to carry his mat--on the Sabbath Day (John 5:5-10).

But those who insisted they knew best, said to the healed man, "It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat" (John 5:10b). And they persecuted Jesus (John 5:16).

When Jesus explained, "My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working," his critics "tried all the harder to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God" (John 5:18).

Yet Jesus could not keep silent. He said, "Whatever the Father does, the Son does" (John 5:19c). Jesus wanted people to be aware of the relationship enjoyed by the Father and himself: Jesus said, "... the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does" (John 5:20a). And Jesus added, "... just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it" (John 5:21).

Jesus expanded: "I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes in him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life" (John 5:24).

Though Jesus was hounded, he steadfastly went on to preach and teach openly, to feed multitudes, to heal sick persons, and even to raise Jairus's dead daughter to life, also to raise to life his friend, Lazarus who had died.

Jesus' forerunner, John the Baptist, was murdered.

Jesus began to teach his disciples that he himself "must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again" (Mk. 8:31-37). Jesus rebuked his disciple, Peter, who was trying to dissuade Jesus from this idea.

"As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set his face toward Jerusalem" (Luke 9: 5). Near Jerusalem, plotters teamed with Judas, one of the twelve disciples; and "Satan entered Judas. And Judas went to the chief priests and the officials of the temple guard and discussed with them how they might betray Jesus. They were delighted and agreed to give him (Judas) money. He consented, and watched for an opportunity to hand Jesus over to them when no crowd was present" (Luke 22:3-6).

With Judas's guidance, enemies of Jesus snatched him in the dark, condemned him in Jerusalem, took him out and crucified him at Golgotha.

But three days later Jesus was alive.

Some years afterwards, the writer of the letter to the Hebrews penned: "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" (Hebrews 12:2).

"For the joy set before him?" Joy? What joy? Could one of Jesus' great joys be, that in his love for humanity--that he shared with his Father--he might visualize all believing people of all times in heaven sharing joy for all eternity?

Prayer: You, Lord, did it for us. We praise you for the privilege of being settled in peace with you, awaiting our eternal home in heaven because of what you, Jesus, have done. You gave yourself for us, "the just for the unjust" so that you might bring us to God with joy. Guide us, we pray for all of our days, in praise and worship, in thought, word, and deed that we may pass on your joy. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.

By Isabel Allison
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Tue 11 Apr 2017, 10:11 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
April 11, 2017
The Victor

By Answers2Prayer
It was the time of the Passover and Jesus was praying in the garden. A detachment of Roman soldiers, along with a few Temple guards provided by the chief priests and Pharisees, all carrying lamps, weapons and torches and led by none other than Jesus' own disciple, Judas Iscariot, came upon Him (See John 18:1-11).

We see something interesting happened at that moment. John tells us that after Jesus told them that He was who they sought (John 18:5), "...they drew back and fell to the ground." (vs 6 NIV).

The wording of John 18:6 is interesting. The Greek literally translates this as they, "drew towards the back and fell to the ground." It says they drew away from Him and fell to the ground.

We aren't told why; however, we know that something happened, and that something was of God.

Okay, Jesus. Now's the time to run! They are all face down, hiding their eyes! Let's go!

But Jesus didn't do that. Instead, the Bible records: "Again he asked them, 'Who is it you want?'" (vs 7 NIV). And this time, when they answered Him, Jesus said, "I told you that I am he. If you are looking for me, then let these men go." (vs 8 NIV)

It was at this time that Peter drew his sword and cut off the ear of Malchus, the High Priest's servant, for which he received from Jesus, not a commendation as he would have anticipated, but rather a scolding: "Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?" (vs 11 NIV), and Luke 22:51 tells us Jesus healed the man's ear at that time. No longer do we see the guards and soldiers drawing backwards and falling to the ground. Rather, John 18:12 tells us that it was at this point the soldiers arrested Jesus and tied Him up.

Wait. Why would God do something that would cause them to draw away and fall to the ground, only for Jesus to allow Himself to be arrested immediately afterwards?

Interestingly, though all four gospels record the facts surrounding Jesus' arrest, only John documents this scene. Let's remember that the four gospels are like four windows looking onto the same scene. They were written to four different audiences, and the gospel of John was written to the Christian church. Could it be that John was reminding Christ's followers of something vitally important? Could it be he was giving them a hidden message? A message that says Jesus didn't have to be arrested? Jesus was arrested because He allowed it to happen?

So many times prior to this Jesus had simply gotten away from the angry crowds (see Luke 4:30, John 10:39), and John 18:6 tells us that this was no different. He could have gotten away, but He didn't. He chose to be arrested. He chose the cross.

At the same time, Jesus wants us to remember something else of vital importance: The devil could not defeat Jesus. Even in His arrest, He was still all powerful, and the only power the devil had over Him at all was the power He allowed him to have.

What legion of Roman soldiers are you up against today? Whatever it is, don't forget that Jesus has already defeated the devil. He is all powerful and holds utmost authority over the enemy, and the only power the devil can possibly have over us is the power we allow him to have (See 1 John 5:18).

This doesn't mean we will be able to walk out of all our trials, for Jesus told us many times we would have to go through troubles: "In this world you will have trouble..." (John 16:33 NIV) We are even told clearly in the prophecies of the Old Testament that we will have trouble: "When you pass through the waters...when you pass through the rivers...When you walk through the fire..." (Isaiah 43:2 NIV)

The Bible records that Jesus felt abandoned by His Father: "About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, 'Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?' (which means "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?")." (Matt 27:46 NIV). We may also, in the midst of our trouble, feel abandoned by God; yet we are told in both the Old Testament and the New that because of what Jesus has done in for us at the cross and because of His spirit that He has given to us, we are never alone, we are never abandoned. In the same passage in Isaiah 43 where we are told we will pass through the waters and through the fire, we see God reassuring us: "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze." (Is 43:2 NIV) (See also Deut 31:6, Heb 13:5,6).

Let that be your message this year, friends. Yes, we will go through trials, but God has already defeated the enemy, he cannot prevail over us. Even if we must walk those stony paths and those deep, dark valleys, God is always there, and in the end, He is the victor!

In His love,
Lyn

Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author -- "Aboard God's Train -- A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.

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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Sat 08 Apr 2017, 11:33 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
April 8, 2017

The Lion of Judah, Part 3
By Answers2Prayer

In the first two parts of "The Lion of Judah", a mini-series based on Revelation 5, we learned that Jesus is called the "Lion of Judah" because He has prevailed over sin, He has defeated the enemy, and in His death and resurrection, He has reconciled us to God; and as such, He is very worthy of our praise. We then caught a glimpse from the Heavenly scene of the two-fold type of worship fitting of Someone who has done so much that includes both sitting at His feet and meditating upon what He has accomplished in His ultimate sacrifice, and also telling others of what He has done.

But is the purpose of the text introducing Jesus as the "Lion of Judah" (See Rev. 5:5) to simply inform us that He is the "Lamb" who has "triumphed" and to teach us how to praise?

When you read Rev. 5:5, you see that the elder who first addresses Jesus as "the Lion of Judah" actually does so for a very different purpose: "Then one of the elders said to me, 'Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.'" (Rev. 5:5 NIV).

As we celebrate the greatness of the "Lion of Judah" this year, we understand from Revelation 5 that we are to worship Him for His death and resurrection and all that this has accomplished for our reconciliation with the Father; but in addition, we should also worship Him because, "He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals" (Rev. 5:5b)!

Just what does this mean to "...open the scroll and its seven seals"?

In order to fully comprehend this, we must remember that the information presented in the book of Revelation is prophetic in nature, providing us with a word picture of some of the things that are to come. As we continue to read through the book, we see that as the Lamb breaks each of the seven seals, an event happens on Earth (See Rev. 6:1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 12, 8:1). Thus, when the Bible records that there was no one found worthy to open the scroll except the "Lion of Judah", it means that Jesus is the only one worthy of setting prophecy into motion!

Taking this a step farther, when the Lamb breaks open the seventh seal in Revelation 8:1, this precipitates the appearance of seven trumpets: "And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them." (Rev. 8:2 NIV). The next four chapters (chapters 8-11) then describe what happens as each trumpet is blown, cumulating in the seventh trumpet: "The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: 'The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever.'" (Rev. 11:15 NIV); and 2 verses later: "The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your people who revere your name, both great and small--and for destroying those who destroy the earth." (Rev. 11:17-18 NIV).

At the end of the trumpets, which do not begin until the Lamb has broken the scroll's seventh seal, we see that because of all the "Lion of Judah" has done, the world becomes His Kingdom and He has earned the right to judge the nations. Because He has triumphed, it is His right to bring about reward for God's People and destruction for the rest!

Let's jump ahead one more time to the end of the book: "He who was seated on the throne said, 'I am making everything new!'" (Rev. 21:5a NIV); and one chapter farther: "Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. 'Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city'" (Rev. 22:12-14 NIV)

Therefore, because Jesus rose from the grave, the "Lion of Judah" can come again and make everything new! What a promise! What a King! What a Saviour!

The "Lion of Judah"; the One who has triumphed; Our Rock, our Salvation, our Judge, our King; the One who is worthy to set prophecy into motion; the One who has earned the right to judge the nations, the One who is coming again in the clouds of glory, the One who will make everything new. Isn't He worthy of our worship and honor and praise?

In His love,
Lyn

Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author -- "Aboard God's Train -- A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.

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Jesus' death and resurrection is perhaps the single most important thing that has ever happened in the history of mankind. Why not spend some time meditating upon this greatest of gifts throughout this season? You won't be sorry!
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Thu 06 Apr 2017, 7:30 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
April 6, 2017

The Lion of Judah, Part 2
By Answers2Prayer
Last Tuesday, in the Lion of Judah, Part 1, we saw that Jesus is the "Lion of Judah", the One who has disarmed the devil and defeated him forever. As Jesus triumphs over the lies and deceptions, we see Him prevailing over His prey and returning in triumph, thus fulfilling the prophecy given through Jacob in Gen. 49:7. Isn't the One who has done so much worthy of our highest honor and praise? Isn't it fitting, in this season where we celebrate the triumph of the "Lion of Judah", to take the time to meditate upon Jesus and to give Him the praise and honor and glory that He deserves?

But what words, what possible sentences, can we utter that will express appropriate gratitude for the enormity of the gift Jesus died to give us?

When we hear the admonition to praise God (mentioned over 250 times in Scripture), many of us immediately think of going to our prayer closets and saying, "I thank you, Lord". Or perhaps it makes us think of gathering with a group of believers and lifting our hands and our voices in praise. Maybe we even think of the times when praise and worship have moved us to tears. Is this what the Bible means when it admonishes us to give God praise?

Definitely, for we see the heavenly crowd doing just this: "Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice: 'Worthy is the Lamb who was slain To receive power and riches and wisdom, And strength and honor and glory and blessing!' And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them I heard saying: 'Blessing and honor and glory and power Be to Him who sits on the throne, And to the Lamb, forever and ever!'"Then the four living creatures said, 'Amen!' And the twenty-four elders fell down and worshiped Him who lives forever and ever." (Rev 5:11-14 NIV)

This type of praise, where we meditate on all that the "Lion of Judah" has done, is a beautiful, life-changing exercise, one that I highly recommend, and this is the first wonderful way to praise God. But is this all that giving Jesus praise and honor entails?

Not according to Revelation 5. In vs. 8-10, we see the 24 elders and the four living creatures bowing down before the Lamb and singing a new song: "You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth."

Here, in this Heavenly example, we don't see that the Heavenly beings are simply saying "praise God", but rather, they are boldly crying forth examples of the abundant deeds He has done!

When I was a child, my parents did many things for the sole purpose of bringing me joy. I thanked them at the time, and then, years later, when I reflected on how much they must have sacrificed for us kids, I have often gone back and thanked them again. When my own children were young, they would often come to me and say, "thank you", and these simple words would fill me with happiness. Occasionally, however, they did something that thrilled me even more: they told their friends about something I had done for them. I might overhear them, for example, saying with excitement, "Hey! My mom took me horseback riding this weekend!" This is exactly what the elders and creatures surrounding the Lamb are doing. They are telling everyone what the Lamb has done!

Just like it thrilled me when my kids talked to their friends about me, it must thrill God for us to talk to others about Him. Thus, a second important way to give Jesus the worship and the praise He deserves is to tell other people what He has done for us. Wasn't this, after all, Jesus' final command while on this earth? "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you." (Matt. 28:19-20a NIV).

As we go through the upcoming two weeks, let's remember this scene in Heaven. Let's throw forth our voices with the heavenly beings. Let's cry out with all our hearts, souls and spirits, "Worthy is the Lamb who was slain To receive power and riches and wisdom, And strength and honor and glory and blessing!" (vs 12); and, "Blessing and honor and glory and power Be to Him who sits on the throne, And to the Lamb, forever and ever!" (vs. 13). But let's not limit these cries of praise to the ears of Jesus alone. Instead, let's follow the example of the elders and creatures surrounding the throne in vs. 8: Let's give Jesus praise and worship by telling others what He has done for mankind. Let's tell them how He has prevailed, and how, as a result of this gift to us, we can be reconciled with God. In so doing, we will be ensuring that our praise and honor and glory is worthy of the "Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David" the One who has "triumphed..." (Rev. 5:5 NIV).

But wait. The "Lion of Judah" gave His life for us, triumphing over sin and reconciling us to the Father; yes. But is this all that is meant when the bible calls Jesus, "The Lion of Judah", the One who has "triumphed..."? Not according to Revelation 5! Join us on Saturday for the concluding part of "The Lion of Judah".

In His love,
Lyn

Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author -- "Aboard God's Train -- A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.

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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Tue 04 Apr 2017, 9:58 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
April 4, 2017
The Lion of Judah, Part 1
By Answers2Prayer
The Lion of Judah.

We first hear this term in the book of Revelation, chapter 5. The setting is Heaven, and John, the author of the book (See Revelation 1:1-2), has just finished describing 24 elders and four beasts surrounding the throne of God when his attention is drawn to a scroll in the right hand of God, a scroll that cannot be opened: "Then I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, 'Who is worthy to open the scroll and to loose its seals?' And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll, or to look at it." (vs. 1-3 NKJV). This is upsetting to John (See Rev. 5:4), but as he begins to weep, one of the 24 elders speaks forth: "Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals" (Rev. 5:5 NKJV)

The Lion of Judah. The One who has prevailed.

Just who is this "Lion of the tribe of Judah," this "root of David", and what does this mean to us today?

Revelation 22:16 tells us it is none other than Jesus Christ Himself: "I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star." (Revelation 22:16 NKJV)

But why would Jesus be called "the Lion of Judah"?

The term actually relates back to the book of Genesis. Jacob, on his deathbed, calls each of his sons to his side and gives them a prophetic blessing (See Gen. 49,50). One of the longest orations was given to his son Judah, and the reference to the "lion" is found in this blessing: "You are a lion's cub, Judah; you return from the prey, my son. Like a lion he crouches and lies down, like a lioness--who dares to rouse him?" (Gen. 49:9 NIV). Thus, Judah is referred to as a young lion returning from devouring its prey.

How is Jesus the fulfillment of this prophecy?

Let's remember that Revelation 5 tells us the reason this "Lion of Judah" is worthy to open the scrolls is because He has "prevailed": "For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the Earth." (Rev. 5:9-10 NKJV)

Perhaps to fully understand the imagery, we must start at the beginning of the story. God, in the garden of Eden just after the fall of mankind, says to the serpent: "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel." (Gen. 3:15, NIV). We see this prophecy being fulfilled by Jesus, the perfect offspring of the woman, through His death on the cross: "he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death--that is, the devil..." (Heb. 2:14 NIV). Through His death and resurrection, He has "...canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross." (Col. 2:14-15 NIV).

Thus, with Jesus' death on the cross, Satan was disarmed and defeated forever. His accusation before God that we are all guilty and should die with him was nullified by Jesus, and Satan can no longer separate us from the love of God in Christ: "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Rom. 8:37-39 NIV).

As Jesus triumphs over the lies and deceptions, we see Him prevailing over His prey and returning in triumph: "You are a lion's cub, Judah; you return from the prey, my son. Like a lion he crouches and lies down, like a lioness--who dares to rouse him?" (Gen. 49:7 NIV).

Jesus. The Lion of Judah, the Lamb that was slain, the One who has prevailed, the One who has redeemed us to God by His blood (See Rev. 5:9-10).

With the Passover week, the week marking the advent of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (April 10-18 this year) nearly upon us, the hearts of all Christians are drawn to the this greatest of events, the celebration of "the Lion of Judah", who in His death and resurrection "has prevailed", who has, by allowing His innocent blood to be spilled, "redeemed us to God". Isn't it fitting that we take the time and effort to contemplate this "Lion of Judah"? That we thank Him for redeeming us, for calling us out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation? For making us kings and priests to our God? For the promise of "reigning" over the Earth? (See Rev. 5:9-10)

But how can we possibly give adequate thanks for what Jesus, the Lion of Judah, the Lamb who was slain, has done for each of us?

Join us on Thursday, for "The Lion of Judah", Part 2.

In His love,
Lyn

Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author -- "Aboard God's Train -- A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.

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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Sat 01 Apr 2017, 9:41 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
April 1, 2017
The Lamb of God
By Answers2Prayer
"Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, 'Father?' 'Yes, my son,' Abraham replied. 'The fire and the wood are here,' Isaac said, 'but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?' Abraham answered, 'God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.'" (Genesis 22:6-8a NIV).

Abraham's knife is raised in his hand to kill his son when God's angel calls, "Abraham! Abraham! ... Do not lay a hand on the boy. Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only Son..." (Genesis 22:11,12, NIV). Just then Abraham sees another sacrifice, a ram caught in the bushes, a sacrifice that God has provided for him.

Today when we hear this story, we rejoice when God stops Abraham before the boy's blood flows, we empathize when God commends Abraham for his willingness to give up his only son, and we marvel at God's timely provision of the ram.

Too, we can be moved by something else of great importance: Even if Abraham had sacrificed his only son, that sacrifice could not have bought anything for Abraham. The reason is that God can never be "bought." Only a sacrifice that God himself provides can serve God's purpose.

Only a sacrifice that God provides can suffice for anyone. In the first century A.D., when John the Baptist saw Jesus coming toward him, he said, "Look, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world..." (John 1:29). When Jesus passed by the next day, John again pointed Jesus out to two of his disciples as, "The Lamb of God" (John 1:36).

God gave his Son, his only Son, Jesus Christ, "The Lamb of God," the sacrifice who died on the cross for all of us -- for all humankind.

The Psalmist asked, "How can I repay the Lord for all his goodness to me?" (Psalm116:12). Actually, no human being can ever repay the Lord, but we can respond as the psalmist did to his own question, "I will lift up the cup of salvation, and call on the name of the Lord. I will fulfill my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people" (from Psalm 116:13,14, 18). The Psalmist will respond in faith, and will also let his fellow men know of his faith.

We are all challenged to do the same. We can share the Lord's benefits together, and rejoice in worship and praise.

Prayer: Thank you for making "all things work together for good for those who love you, for those who are called according to your purposes" (paraphrased from Romans 8:28 NKJV). Increase our faith, we pray, and guide and assist us in making the sacrifice of Jesus Christ known. In His name we pray. Amen.

By Isabel Allison

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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Fri 31 Mar 2017, 6:03 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
March 29, 2017
A "God-Addiction"

By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us "O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly; My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, In a dry and weary land where there is no water." (Psalms 63:1)

Food.

A necessity of life.

One we all require, one most of us enjoy, and one that a few of us think too much about! There are, in fact, a few (or perhaps many?) of us who have the constant desire to have something in our mouths. We are never fully satisfied, even though the stomach may be already complaining of being too full. We have a "food addiction".

Those last two sentences describe persons like myself who sometimes turn to food to satisfy needs not necessarily related to need for food; but as I prepared my longed-for, planned-out, much anticipated breakfast this morning, a new "food-related" thought occurred to me: oh that I would long for, plan out and anticipate my spiritual food as much as I do the physical kind!

The thought set me back a few paces. I mean, I spend time with God--Quality time!--first thing every morning, right? And I also try to spend quality time with Him before going to bed each evening. Isn't that enough? Doesn't that indicate that I truly long for and anticipate my time with Him?

I've met a few people--very few, I'll admit--who care absolutely nothing about eating. They can go for hours, even days, without eating, and never feel the slightest desire to fill their stomachs. In fact, most of these people tell me they eat only because they know it's good for them and they have to do it. Is that how I view my time with God? Do I force myself to be with Him only because I know it's good for me? If you had asked me yesterday, I would have responded with a resounding "No!" But today I'm not so sure. One thing is clear to me: if I'm only spending time with God because it's good for me, then I'm doing it for the most wrong reason possible.

In all fairness, I often long to be with God; but when I sit back and analyze my reasons on these occasions, don't they generally have to do with the fact that I am going through some trouble times? Don't I usually want something from Him? Something like healing? Peace of mind and heart? Guidance? It's true that God delights in being asked to supply our needs; but what about simply desiring to sit at His feet? Delighting in His presence? Absorbing His love and grace?

Life is full of suffering: sickness, death, relationship problems, lack of finances, job difficulties, problems with the kids, neighbors, pets, in-laws...You name it! And anyone who has read this post for long knows that I encourage you with all my heart to take these to God, to surrender them into His hands, to surrender yourselves to His will, to let Him carry you through; but a new idea is burning on my heart as I type: Why not pursue Him with all of our hearts, souls, minds and spirits--Not just when problems are knocking at the door, but--all the time! Why not pursue Him in the same way those of us with food (or other!) addictions long for, anticipate, seek and prepare our "gratification"? Why not pursue a..."God Addiction"!

It's true that the word "addiction" usually carries a negative connotation--a connotation of too much or uncontrolled desire. Yet we can never have too much of God! Think about it: Trouble comes knocking at the door, we wouldn't need to try to find Jesus or figure out how to hear His voice over the hard times screaming in your ear. We wouldn't need a crash-course in taking a stand in faith. Instead, we would know God so intimately that there wouldn't be a single doubt in our minds: He will take care of us, our families, our work situations, or whatever the problem may be. The results would be far better than simply running to Him every time there's a problem; rather, the results would bring unspeakable joy, unsinkable faith, unstoppable love! Why not truly take the time and effort to truly fall in love with Jesus--today?

"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied." (Matt 5:6)

In his love,
Lyn

Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author -- "Aboard God's Train -- A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.

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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Tue 28 Mar 2017, 9:34 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
March 28, 2017
The Secret to Living with Joy
By Answers2Prayer
"We went to the library to take a class to learn about preventing Alzheimer's," my friend said.

"Good idea," I said, "but aren't our parents the ones who need help in this department?"

My friend began naming the things one can do to keep the memory sharp. "There are things like listening to a variety of music," she said, "learn a second language...and...and..."

She tried and tried to remember the rest of the list, but never could.

I chuckled. "Girlfriend, these classes to learn memory retention are for you!"

We all do that, don't we? We find it hard to remember what's useful, important and valuable. But on the other hand, we're so quick to recall past hurts, mistakes wounds and all the other goofy stuff from the past. And when the heart is filled with this garbage, joy is nowhere to be found, and we wonder why.

David got it right because he found how to replace the "no-good" he stored in his heart for the best. He said to God: "I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you." (Psalm 119:11)

David kept God's Word, not in a book, or on a piece of paper or within the walls of the temple. He hid and guarded God's Word in His heart.

The reason? To keep sin away, to be save from its grip, to be free from its snare. And when we do the same, joy visits, it settles in and becomes a permanent part of our days.

What do you store in your heart these days?

Janet Eckles
If this message resonated with you, please visit Janet's cyberspace home for more inspiration.

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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Sat 25 Mar 2017, 10:48 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

March 25, 2017
Letting God be God

By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us I just can't seem to get this parenting thing right.

Oh, we made it through the terrible twos. We struggled and almost sank in the tween and teen years; but by the grace of God, we remained afloat. We thought we had it mastered then. Reality, however, always has a way of striking just when you think things are good; and with my boys' 22nd and 24th birthdays now behind us, I am once again faced with the fact that I have no clue what I'm doing as a parent.

Why is it always so hard?

The problem is, I want to be with my kids. I want to help them with their problems. I know their weaknesses, and I can assist them through them. But the more I try to intervene in their lives, the more I try to help them through their problems, the more they push away...

This has led me to a very important discovery in the world of parenting: As my kids become young adults, I have to treat them as such. I have to let them make their own decisions and mistakes. I must let them find their own way.

Why?

Because if they don't walk these paths, they won't grow to be mature, healthy adults capable of making valid decisions and capable of being good workers, friends, spouses and parents.

I simply need to let them go.

But oh, it's so hard!

Something came up the other day with one of my boys. I have been praying hard about something in his life, and when I saw the opportunity to try to mold his actions to conform to what I knew to be the best course, I seized it.

Needless to say, the results were less than favorable...

I took it to the Lord then, fully expecting a bit of divine support. Instead, I received the lovingly gentle, yet firmly applied "Heavenly hand slap". It went something like this: "Haven't you been praying that I would take care of this?" Uh...Yes... "Don't you believe I'm powerful enough to bring this to be?" Uh...Yes... "Do you think that just because you don't see any results, that I'm not at work?" Uh...Maybe... "Don't you believe that I answer your prayers? That I care about your son even more than you do? That I already have this in control?" Uh...Y...well...Uh...

That's when I realized my problem: I had believed my prayer would be answered with God reaching out to change my son's heart through my intervention. The truth, however, is that God truly doesn't need my help. All He needs is for me to fully surrender my son and the situation into His hands.

Wow. That's hard!

But why should it be? Isn't God all powerful, all knowing, all loving and all wise? Shouldn't it be easy to surrender something so small into His care?

The Bible says, "Are any of you suffering hardships? You should pray." (James 5:13a). It's a simple idea: when faced with trouble, we should pray. But perhaps even more noteworthy is what the text doesn't say we should do: It doesn't say we should take things into our own hands. It doesn't say we should try to control the situation. It doesn't say that we will see immediate results. It doesn't even say the hardships will disappear. It simply says, "You should pray."

Does this mean we shouldn't do anything at all?

Not necessarily. What it means is that we surrender the problem to God and let Him be in control. Then, while we remain open to God's guidance, if there is a role for us to play, He will reveal it to us at the right time. And if we play the role that God gives us, then we can sit back in peace, knowing we've done our part and that God will do the rest, even--and perhaps especially--when we don't see immediate results.

I don't know yet what will come of my son's situation, but I know that the One who I've asked to be in charge is capable, willing, loving and wise. In the end, what is best for my son will be accomplished, even if it isn't what I foresee happening.

All of us suffer hardships of some kind or another. Whatever it is that you are struggling with today, take James' advice: "You should pray." Surrender it to Him, give Him control, then sit back and let God be God. The results will be guaranteed to bring utmost happiness and blessing in the end!

In His love,
Lyn

Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author -- "Aboard God's Train -- A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.

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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Fri 24 Mar 2017, 5:45 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

March 23, 2017
Take the Time to Dance

By Answers2Prayer
"For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance...He has made everything beautiful in its time." (Eccl 3:1-4,11)

It was over twenty years ago. My young family and I had just moved into the house I live in now. I could hear my children playing in my son's bedroom while I washed the breakfast dishes in the kitchen sink. Our television was on the country music video channel and I was humming along to the tunes while I scrubbed the frying pan. Suddenly, I felt a gentle tug on the leg of my blue jeans. I looked down and saw my little daughter looking up at me with her sparkling blue-grey eyes. She had snuck back into the kitchen unheard. I smiled down at her, dried my hands, reached down and picked her up. I held her in my arms and we swayed back and forth for a few minutes to the music coming from the TV. Then she giggled, gave my neck a big squeeze, and motioned that she wanted down again. I gave her a final spin around, set her down, and watched as she laughed and ran down the hallway to play again.

I knew that she probably wouldn't remember this moment, but I made sure to place it carefully in the treasure chest of my soul. Even then I was aware of how fast she was growing up and knew that if I blinked I would miss it. I was right too. The days flew by far too fast.

Soon she was too "big" to dance with Dad anymore and hugs and kisses had to be done in private so I wouldn't embarrass her in front of her friends. Before I knew it she was in high school, then college, and then living on her own. Yet, when I look at my adult daughter these days part of me still sees that bright eyed little girl so full of laughter and love.

Time in this life is brief. Always remember then to take the time to dance. Take the time to love. Take the time to pray. Take the time to laugh and to sing. Take the time to give hugs and kisses. Take the time to watch the sunset. Take the time to thank God for every day you have.

Take the time to cherish each moment you are given. Life is too short not to be lived in joy.

By: Joseph J. Mazzella

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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Tue 21 Mar 2017, 11:18 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
March 21, 2017
What Went Right

By Answers2Prayer
"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things." (Phil 4:8 NIV)

Today I made the mistake of turning the news on. I found my senses instantly assaulted with stories of fighting politicians, corrupt corporations, and countless crimes. It seemed like the only news worth showing was mankind at its very worst. It seemed like the only thing they wanted to talk about was what went wrong today.

After a few minutes I turned the television back off. I poured myself a glass of iced tea, sat down at my kitchen table, and instead thought about what went right today. Today the sun came over the horizon and bathed the world in its golden, life-giving light. Today my little house once again kept me warm, safe, and dry. Today I had 3 meals of wonderful food that kept me healthy, alive, and energized for the work of the day. Today whenever I reached my hand down I had a furry head to pet as my dogs and cat shared their unconditional love with me. Today I got to hug and encourage my handicapped sons and see the boundless joy that they share with the world.

Today I talked with my daughter and was once again amazed at the incredible, young woman she has become. Today I got messages from friends and family both online and off sharing their lives and their love with me. Today I shared a few messages of love and joy myself. Today I felt God's love for me flowing through all of His creation and encouraging me to once again spread His love, tell His truth, and shine His light.

When you are at the end of your days in this world are you going to dwell on what went wrong or rejoice in what went right? God showers this world in goodness and we need only to open our hearts to see it. Rejoice in everything that goes right in your life then. Give thanks for it. And do your best to add your own goodness, kindness, and love to it as well. By doing this you will be helping God to make this Earth a lot more like Heaven.

By: Joseph J. Mazzella

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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Sat 18 Mar 2017, 5:23 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

March 18, 2017
The Secret to Success

By Answers2Prayer
I don't know about you, but I am a pretty self-confident person in most things that I do. I am an accomplished cook; I have successfully raised two wonderful, Christian boys; after 34 years, I am still happily married; I have been a registered, practicing Speech-Language Pathologist for 29 years and feel like I know what I'm doing; I have successfully taught classes and run small groups; I know what I'm doing with laundry, house cleaning, etc; I have published a book...The list could go on; but as I think about these accomplishments, I realize that I have become very reliant on myself.

Of course, there was a time in my life when I wasn't confident at all. When I was young, I was extremely shy and insecure, and I didn't feel I could do anything well. Therefore, when I began to see some of my strengths and began to understand that I was, indeed, talented in many ways, I became more secure in myself and my own abilities. I suppose it would be accurate to say that my self-reliance has been cultivated and groomed, and the product of this is that I feel much more secure in many, many areas of my life. As a result, when I was asked to lead out in a new small group in our church, I felt completely equipped and secure in my own ability to do so.

This feeling of self-sufficiency carried me through the planning, organizing, advertising...In fact, it carried me right up to three days before the group was to start. That's when I finally began to listen to God's voice, and what I heard burst my bubble: Unless I admitted my weakness and let God be my strength, I could not do this. It was destined to be a failure.

I was humbled, to say the least, and my next prayer was for God to show me what there was in my life that would keep me from being successful in leading this small group.

Bad question. Or good, depending on your point of view.... God began revealing to me in rapid-fire succession many, many things that would stop the group from being a success. Ouch! I truly wanted this group to bring glory to God, and I immediately set about humbling myself, repenting and asking God to continue to cleanse and heal my heart.

There was one huge issue that God revealed to me, one that would be the biggest adherent to my ability to successfully lead this group: self-reliance!

Wow. All those years of cultivating this sense of self-worth and reliance, and now God wanted me to just hand it all over? He wanted me to admit I wasn't capable? That I didn't have the required skills?

As I was contemplating this, God led me to read just one line in John 5:19: "Then Jesus answered and said to them, 'Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do...'" (NKJV)

Wait a minute! Jesus is saying here that He, Himself can do nothing, that He can only do what God is doing! That hit me like a ton of bricks. If Jesus Himself could do nothing on His own, how was I to think that I had any ability on my own to lead this group--or to do anything--in life?

I resolved right then that I would stop relying on myself, even for the areas of my life where I was an accomplished person. I realized that no matter how good my skills are, they would be enhanced if I let God work through me, and I resolved to go about that day--and everyday--with this prayer on my lips: "Father God, I cannot do this to its maximum potential on my own. I am too weak. May Your strength be perfected in my weakness!"

It was amazing how beautifully the rest of that day went. Devotionals flowed from my fingers, meals were fabulous, the laundry was done in record fashion, arguments were stopped before they started, and I had time to do chores that should have been done weeks ago. What a beautiful day!

And just imagine how beautiful it would be to carry on this attitude throughout every area of my life. Imagine how much more powerful my interactions with my patients would be, how much more effectively I would be able to assist and grow my current student intern, and of course, how much more of a blessing the small group would be to that handful of members.

Friends, the secret of success in everything we do is not rooted in our knowledge or training or experience, and certainly not in our self-confident, self-reliant attitudes. The secret to success lies in that small verse from John 5: We are to watch where God is working and join Him there. We need to acknowledge our own weakness and allow His strength to be perfected in us, for when we do, everything we touch will bless to its maximum potential. But when we don't, we are destined to do a mediocre job at best, and more than likely, we will fail.

Secrets to success? 1) Submission to the Father's will; 2) Humility; and 3) Total reliance on Him...Just like Jesus, our ultimate example!

"Then Jesus answered and said to them, 'Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner." (John 5:19-20 NKJV)

Oh, and my first small group meeting went beautifully. Not because of me, but because I humbled myself before God, admitted my weakness, and allowed His strength to be perfected through me.

In His love,
Lyn

Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author -- "Aboard God's Train -- A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.

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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Thu 16 Mar 2017, 11:44 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
March 16, 2017
The Poison Apple

By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us The tomato was once known as the "poison apple". This myth was held for over 200 years in Europe due to the fact that aristocrats got sick and died after eating them.

The truth of the matter was that the high society in Europe used pewter plates. Pewter has a high lead content, and the acidity in the tomatoes served on a pewter plate would leach the lead from the dish. Those who then ate the tomatoes from that plate often succumbed to death by lead poisoning. Because other foods served on the same pewter dishes did not have the same affect, it was assumed that the tomato was the culprit. As a result, the myth became popular belief, and the innocent fruit that is extremely high in nutritional value, was given a bad name and avoided at all costs.

I wonder how many such myths humanity has believed over the years. True enough, each one is grounded in innocent ignorance; nonetheless, harm could have been avoided if only the truth had been known.

John 7 records an interesting story, one that is also based on ignorance. Jesus had gone to Jerusalem for the Passover, and after listening to His inspired talk, many were convinced this was the Christ they had been awaiting: "On hearing his words, some of the people said, 'Surely this man is the Prophet.' Others said, 'He is the Messiah.'" (John 7:40-41 NIV). Some, however, did not believe: "Still others asked, 'How can the Messiah come from Galilee? Does not Scripture say that the Messiah will come from David's descendants and from Bethlehem, the town where David lived?'" (vs. 42).

But wait! Jesus was born in Bethlehem. He was of the seed of David. What was the people's problem?

Simply this: Just like the people of 17th and 18th century Europe didn't have all the facts, the people of Jesus' day did not have all the facts either. They did not have the gospels, and their social media was mouth-to-mouth gossip that took a long time to get from one side of Israel to another. The people did not realize that Jesus was, indeed, of the line of David, nor did they know the circumstances that had brought his parents to Bethlehem just in time for His birth. They were ignorant, and Jesus became to them a "poison apple", someone to be avoided at all costs.

It's sad, isn't it, how ignorance can take us away from the things that could truly benefit us.

Many of you are going through difficult times right now. Maybe it is serious illness or injury. Maybe it is financial problems, loss of jobs, homes, etc. Maybe it is persecution or war. Maybe it problems with relationships or even death. Whatever it may be, the future looks grim. Have these facts that surround us become "Poison Apples"? Are we basing our beliefs on the visual evidence without taking the time to properly investigate Truth, the Truth that God promises to provide for all our needs? ("And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus." Phil 4:19 NIV) The facts that God can heal all our diseases? Forgive all our sins? Rescues us from our troubles? ("Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits--who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion..." Psalms 103:2-4 NIV)

Friends, no matter what is knocking at your door this day, remember that you have a choice to make: You can choose to let it be a "poison apple", or you can choose to place your trust, not in what you see, but in the Truth of God's Word.

A wise man summed it up nicely: "Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings when the dawn is still dark." (Rabindranath Tagore, as quoted in "Hope Springs" by Ana Lisa de Jong). Let's not succumb to the "poison apple" mentality. Instead, let's put our trust in God and in the promises of His Word. When we do, we feel the light and we sing; even when the dawn of deliverance from our problems is still dark.

In His love,
Lyn

Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author -- "Aboard God's Train -- A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.

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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Wed 15 Mar 2017, 10:22 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
March 14, 2017
Winds of Change



By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." (Hebrews 3:8)

A few years back change was brewing in our home. We had enjoyed a season of peace and calm without any crises. However change was in the wind. Circumstances were stirring with my husband's job. For a while it was a breeze, not a full gale hurricane.

Everything is for a season, the good times as well as the bad times. Each change takes some of the old with it, yet brings something new. That's always somewhat difficult for me. Change is certain, yes. But the unknown is still a little scary.

In the Bible, we read that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. In the book of Matthew (28:20), Jesus promises that the same faithful God who is with us today will be with us in the newness of tomorrow. We don't have to be alone! That takes the fear out of it.

I have to remind myself, sometimes daily, that when I feel anxious I have jumped into the future. Staying rooted in the moment will make anxiety flee. I need to ask the Lord to send an angel to hold my feet and ankles and help keep me grounded in the present.

The book containing the wisdom of the ages, the Bible, says this: "Do not be terrified; do not be afraid of them. The Lord your God, who is going before you, will fight for you" (Deut. 1:29,30).

Winds of change may continue to blow. Yet we cannot go anywhere God is not already there.

That is good news.

Inspirational Messages, Sally I. Kennedy 2016

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The book of Job has many valuable lessons to teach us. Over the past two years, several studies have been published in the Nugget on the book of Job. If you have missed any of these studies, please click here, and may God bless you abundantly as you learn the valuable lessons God has to teach us in this thought-provoking book.
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Sat 11 Mar 2017, 11:38 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

/March 11, 2017
Eat, Drink and be Glad

By Answers2Prayer
Anyone who has read this post for any length of time will know that I believe in the unerring Word of God. What one finds between the covers of the Bible is God-inspired, God-protected, and is "useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness." (2 Tim. 3:16 NIV)

You will also know that I have always believed pursuing one's own happiness above all else is a selfish way to live, and that in the end, our lives will be happier when we think more about others than ourselves. You will understand my confusion, then, when I read Eccl. 8:15: "So I commend the enjoyment of life, because there is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany them in their toil all the days of the life God has given them under the sun." (NIV). Hum. I would truly have to mediate upon this text before I could fully comprehend what it meant to me. I closed my Bible and proceeded to go about my day.

It was my oldest son's 23rd birthday, and the thought made me more than a little nostalgic. Especially when I realized he was no longer my little boy. Yes, he is a wonderful young man, one who makes me very proud. But he is also one who doesn't want (or need?) his mom to be continually trying to solve his problems and giving him advice. This often leaves me wondering if there is any further role for me in his life...

I was talking to God about this the following morning when my cat jumped onto the chair to sit at my feet. Although my cat is loving, it is only on her terms. It must be when she wants, where she wants, and how she wants. I have accepted this about her, and I have resigned myself to enjoying my time with her whenever she gives it.

As I was contemplating this, it occurred to me that this is how God interacts with us. Most of us have my cat's mentality when it comes to spending time with God. We are willing and ready to do so, but only in our own time, and usually only when we need something. Just like I would love for my cat to come more often, God's heart is breaking to spend more time with us. But just as I accept and enjoy the time my cat does give me, God also accepts us where we are. He respects our decisions and our power of choice, and He is ever ready to help us, to be there for us, to reach out and hold our hands the moment we turn to him.

That's when God spoke to me about my relationship with my kids. I need to approach it in the same way as I approach the relationship with my cat, in the same way He approaches our relationship with Him. I need to enjoy and fully appreciate the times when I am blessed with their company. I need to accept and love them for who they are. I need to encourage them to be independent and allow them to make their own choices.

I opened my Bible then, and I was impressed to reread Eccl. 8:15, but this time, I continued reading the next two verses: "When I applied my mind to know wisdom and to observe the labor that is done on earth--people getting no sleep day or night--then I saw all that God has done. No one can comprehend what goes on under the sun. Despite all their efforts to search it out, no one can discover its meaning. Even if the wise claim they know, they cannot really comprehend it." (Eccl. 8:16-17 NIV)

That's when I realized something powerful: I will never have all the answers to parenting. Hey, I will never have all the answers to anything! And the more I seek those answers, the more I will realize how little I truly comprehend, and how much I need to rely on the Truths of God's Word!

So what is God telling me in vs. 15 ("...there is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad...")? Simply this: Rather than seeking to know the answers to all of life's dilemmas, I simply need to "eat and drink and be glad". I need to be happy with and thankful for the things God has given me, and when I do, "...joy will accompany in toil all the days of the life God has given under the sun"!

Think about it!

In His love,
Lyn

Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author -- "Aboard God's Train -- A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.

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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Fri 10 Mar 2017, 6:34 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

March 9, 2017
A Time to Heal

By Answers2Prayer
"He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds." (Ps 147:3)

Our white cat, Dusty is my son, JJ's favorite pet. They have a special connection that is a delight to see. After she finishes her dinner at night Dusty will run into JJ's room to sleep on the pillow beside him. During the day she will follow him around, nap peacefully in his arms, and even answer with a "meow" every time he calls her name.

A few months ago, however, Dusty began to lose weight. She ate less and less and lost some of her fur. She stopped following JJ around and found a hiding space in my daughter's old closet. She came out only to drink water and then quickly retreated to her hiding spot each day. I was sure for a time that we were going to lose her and prayed to God that she would return to health. I didn't want my son to lose his furry friend. Thankfully, after a few weeks she started to spend time outside the closet again. She began to drink some milk and even started eating her cat food once more. Soon her fur grew back and she gained weight. Once again she became my son's constant companion and I thanked God for bringing her back to him.

I can understand too why she had gone off by herself to take the time to heal from her illness. There have been many times in my own life when I have been beaten and battered by the troubles and pains of this world. There have been times when fear, sickness and sadness have overwhelmed me. There have been times when I have just needed to find a quiet place in my own soul to heal, to think, and to talk to God.

Joyfully, every time I have done so God has been there to fill me with His love and to heal my heart. Each time God has brought me back to the world better and stronger than I was before. When life beats you down then don't give up. Go within. Go to God. Allow His love to fill you and to heal you. And then go out and share that love with the world.

By: Joseph J. Mazzella

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Do you have a prayer request? Do you know someone who needs to be prayed for? Prayer works! The Bible confirms this in James 5:16: "The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." (NIV) Send your prayer request here and let us pray in agreement with you! Matt 18:20: "For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them." (NIV) Hallelujah!
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Tue 07 Mar 2017, 10:27 pm


Welcome to the Nugget


March 7, 2017
What the Sages Teach, Part 3

By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us Today we come to the concluding part of our series on startling accounts of Jewish Tradition, comprising two more eye-openers which would make us glorify our Heavenly Father, all the more...

Bandage...

The story can be found in 2 Kings 20. Isaiah had just told King Hezekiah the grim prophecy of his imminent death. Visibly shaken, the king he prayed fervently, and Isaiah returned to tell him he must apply a fig paste to his boil (presumably cancerous) and bandage it up, and everything would be just fine (See 2 Kings 20:7). Now fast-forward to Matt 1:10, which, whilst giving the genealogy of the Messiah from the Davidic line, makes mention of Hezekiah and also his son Manasseh. We know that Manasseh was born to King Hezekiah three years after Hezekiah's miraculous recovery and subsequent extension of life by 15 years (2 Kings 20:6/21:1). How could King Hezekiah have succumbed to cancer? It would have meant an end of the Messianic line (God forbid), and this is the question which ought to ring loudly in our minds! It would take the Sages to tell us the truth...

Before I go any further, let me state categorically that none can play "holier than God" or be kinder than Him (King Saul learned this truth at a great cost -- See Exo 17:8-16/Deu 25:17-19/1 Sam 15). I know the painful lessons I myself learned when I refused to read the "promiscuous" book of Esther early in my Christian life, whereby the good Lord was constrained to expose me for what I was, humbling me consequently in His own inimitable way!

But coming back to King Hezekiah...

The sages teach that when virtuous King Hezekiah was foretold by the Holy Spirit that his son Manasseh would be very wicked (we know how wicked Manasseh was, but we also know he later repented -- See 2 Chro 33:1-13), to forestall the birth of a wicked progeny, this regent adopted a holier than thou attitude and refused to marry. In so doing, he broke very first law (Gen 1:28) of the 613 contained in the first five Books of the Bible. No wonder the good Lord had to use some arm-twisting tactics to get him back on track (in fact, Hezekiah married Isaiah's daughter), so that nothing would go amiss in His greater sovereign redemption plan for the World (John 4:22).

Privilege...

As Apostle Paul points out in 1 Cor 10:4, there was indeed a moving rock typifying Christ during the travel of the redeemed Jews through their Wilderness journey, providing them with refreshing water all along in their 40 year sojourn. My correspondence with the Rabbis enlightened me to the fact that after the Jews reached the Promised Land this Rock slowly descended into the Sea of Galilee (in the northern portion of Israel) and disappeared. In the NT we see that Jesus ascended and disappeared near Southern Bethany after making provision for the Living waters -- See John 7:37/Acts 1:9.

Truth be told, the Trinity was in operation during the Wilderness journey. What a privilege for the Jews! The Father's presence was there by way of the Pillar of Cloud by day and the Pillar of Fire by night, providing the Jews with not only the needed direction (Exo 13:21-22) and the necessary shade during the sweltering heat of the day, but also the needed warmth in the chilly desert nights. Meanwhile, the moving rock symbolized Christ, and the refreshing water which flowed from it typified the Holy Spirit (John 7:37-39).

Fast forward to John's Gospel and what do we see? Using the right occasion, the Feast of Tabernacles (Lev 23:33-34/John 7:1-39), which was celebrated to commemorate the Lord's presence with the Jews during the Wilderness journey, Jesus ups the tempo as it were on the climactic day of the Festival by making an irresistible offer to His audience: "On the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, 'Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, "Rivers of living water will flow from his heart."'" (John 7:37-39 NLT). In effect, He was saying it is good that you are commemorating My presence with you in the Wilderness, for now I am giving you a far better offer...I am willing to live within you and refresh you from within! What a privilege we Christians have today! So much more than the respected Sages and their descendents. Jesus lives in us, refreshing us with His Spirit, the joy of which is at once indescribable (Romans 8:8-9/14:17). Amen and Amen. Let's earnestly pray for the salvation of the Jews the World over in order that they also might taste the "Living waters"...

Suresh Manoharan
An Unworthy Servant
J and SM Ministries

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The book of John takes us through many deep discussions that Jesus gave at various times in His ministry. Please click here for Study #1 -- JESUS AND NICODEMUS; Study #2 -- THE WOMAN AT THE WELL; Study #3 -- AT THE POOL OF BETHESDA; Study #4 -- BREAD OF LIFE; Study #5 -- THE SHEPHERD AND HIS FLOCK; and Study #6 -- THE VINE AND THE BRANCHES
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Sat 04 Mar 2017, 10:38 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

March 4, 2017
What the Sages Teach, Part 2

By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us Continuing with our Series on startling accounts of Jewish Tradition, here we come to the penultimate part comprising two more eye-openers which would make us glorify our Heavenly Father, all the more...

Age...

Hmmm...it's Lenten season and with Good Friday fast approaching, invariably our attention turns to Genesis 22. Going by the description of Issac as a "Lad" in Genesis 22:5, one (read all Christians) would normally assume that Issac was perhaps a young boy or at best a teenager but never a 37 year old typifying Jesus who too in his thirties carried the wooden cross to same place where 137 year old Father Abraham (portending the Heavenly Father) had led "his beloved son" to, about 2000 years earlier to be "sacrificed". Hey...Issac "rose again" (Heb 11:19 TLB), so would the Son of God!

Oh yes coming to the right age of Issac...all of 37 years. The Hebrew word "Naar" used to describe Issac as a "Lad" (Gen 22:5) is a relative term used to address someone who is very much younger to you though the latter by himself/herself may be an adult then. Mind you, Issac was younger to his Father by a good hundred years (Gen 21:5)! In yet another melodramatic Scripture portion as Gen 22 (Note: The good Lord always places two witnesses to underscore His point -- See Deut 17:6) we see a frantic elder brother Judah addressing his "held for ransom" younger brother Benjamin (born in Patriarch Jacob's old age -- See Gen 44:20 -- as such, much junior to Judah) as Naar not once but seven times (Gen 44:30-34) at a time Benjamin himself was a father of ten sons (Gen 46:21)!

Thanks to Archbishop Stephen Langton dedicated efforts, The Bible was divided into Chapters in the 13th Century AD facilitating better navigation through the Scriptures and its subsequent teaching thereof but thematic division style which Langton adopted would sometimes have us believe that there is a considerable time gap between two consecutive Chapters like the one between Chapters 22 and 23 of Genesis which was not the case, all the time. We see at the very beginning of Chapter 23, Sarah who had given birth to Issac at the age of 90, dying at the age of 127 in Hebron (presumably taking care of one of many cattle-breeding farms of the family therein) and Abraham "coming over there" to mourn for her, as evidently he had been at "a different place". Incidentally, from one of the Cattle-breeding farms at well-watered Beersheba Abraham had gone to Mount Moriah and had returned there after passing his "fiery test of faith". Thus the Sages teach that Issac was not a little kid but all of 37 years at that defining testing time in his life acceptance of which would make the Christians better appreciate the comparison between Issac and Jesus, who too in his thirties carried the "wood voluntarily on his shoulders" in full obedience to His Father's instructions (Gen 22:6/John 6:38/John 19:17).

Cage...

Bye-bye theory that the Israelites were "caged" in Egypt for 430 years (theory most of us have stuck to from our Sunday school times... erroneously), when in fact they stayed there for only for 215 years. Life Application Bible has come-up with a pre-cautionary footnote on Exo 13:40 stating 430 years as per the Original manuscripts is the total period of stay in both Canaan and Egypt and not only in Egypt.

A closer scrutiny of "Sage" Paul's observation in Gal 3:17 courtesy his solid training in OT History under a respected Rabbi Gamaliel (Acts 5:34/22:3) would once and for all shatter the myth that Jews stayed in Egypt for 430 years. He points out clearly that the time gap between the Abrahamic Covenant and Sinai Covenant was 430 years and not the stay of the Jews in Egypt which was limited to only 215 years from the time Jacob landed in Egypt at the age of 130 (Gen 47:9) with his sons.

If from the Abrahamic Covenant (Gen 12/15) to the birth of Issac was 25 years (Gen 21:5), then from that point to the birth of Jacob was a lapse of another 60 years (Gen 25:26). Jacob would eventually land in Egypt 130 years thence making it a sum total of 215 years from the origin of the Abrahamic Covenant till the arrival in Egypt. If we minus this figure from 430 years which is the total time gap from Abrahamic Covenant to the one at Sinai, we would get the exact time period of their stay in Egypt which is 215 years (exactly half). This is also in consonance with the Divine Promise in Gen 15:16 that Abraham's descendents would come back from Egypt in the fourth generation...Levi-Kohath-Amram-Moses (Exo 6:16-20). Folks, we better listen to Sages on this matter, better still we listen to our own Apostle Paul...lest we end-up with a serious "time related lapse"...

Prayer: Father, how we are so reassured by the Scriptures that You are a Covenant-keeping God. We glorify Thee once again in Jesus' Name. Amen.

Suresh Manoharan
An Unworthy Servant
J and SM Ministries

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Just what do the Biblical Sages teach, anyway? Please join us next week for the concluding parts of: "What do the Sages Teach" -- A Mini-series by Brother Suresh Manoharan.
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Thu 02 Mar 2017, 10:19 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

March 2, 2017
What the Sages Teach, Part 1

By Answers2Prayer
Its quiz time folks! Tell me what is common to 1 Cor 10:4, Jude 1:9 and Jude 1:14? Well, they are accounts from Jewish Tradition, which we may not find in the corresponding Books of Exodus or Deuteronomy or Genesis respectively (where the related events could have most probably figured), but what the Inspired New Testament writers included wisely in their Epistles by the leading of the Holy Spirit so much so they now figure in sacred New Testament canon.

The exhaustive Bible Study which the good Lord inspired me to commence in my Local Church five years ago, necessitated my on-line correspondence with Jewish Rabbis whenever confronted by some hard-to-understand accounts such as how can Moses wrote the entire Book of Deuteronomy even after he departs from the Earthly scene. Though I first started corresponding with them with a sense of trepidation, most of them have been respectful and were even appreciative as I shared my lengthy testimony with them (talk of writing a love letter!) when they enquired about my background. The common refrain in their correspondence with me (in response to my questions) has been "What the Sages teach." In this Series of three parts, I would like to place before my readership many startling truths of Jewish tradition which Christians need to know in order they can better appreciate Old Testament Scripture, and most importantly, to better glorify their Heavenly Father...

Assuage...

It's evening time on the First Easter Sunday. The glorious fact of Jesus' resurrection was slowly but surely dawning in the minds of grief-stricken disciples, and lo and behold, the Resurrected Lord Himself was standing amongst them assuaging their grief and fears. Let the Scripture take over at this stage...

"Then he said to them, 'These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.'" (Luke 24:44).

Note the order in our Lord's words, it is NOT Law, Psalms and Prophets as it is available in our Christian Bibles today, but a slightly different order. Let me "assuage" your confused minds as to the right order of Old Testament Scripture as it existed during the First century AD in the Early Church--the one that exists even today amongst the Jews:

1. Law: Genesis to Deuteronomy;

2. Prophets: Joshua to Malachi -- It needs to be said here that the word "Prophecy" has to be understood in the way Jews and the Early Church understood it. For them, Prophecy was not only foretelling but also forth telling! Hence the books of Daniel and Lamentations, which appear in the "Prophets" section of the Modern-day Christian Bibles, despite containing prophecies, were not placed in the Prophets section, but in that of Writings, for the simple reason they do not contain anywhere in their contents the authoritative, powerful figure of speech: "Thus says the Lord," which distinguishes a Prophecy from other forms of speech (a praise or prayer) in the Scriptures! The Living Bible gets it right when it comes to exactly defining the function of a Prophet. Let me reproduce here verbatim, a part of 1 Cor 12:28 which goes thus: "Here is a list of some of the parts he has placed in his Church, which is his body: Apostles, Prophets--those who preach God's Word, Teachers..." Has not preaching been all along all about foretelling and forth telling?

3. Writings: Psalms to II Chronicles -- If 2 Chronicles had continued to be the Last Book of the Old Testament Scripture until the order was needlessly revised, presumably during King Constantine's time in the 4th Century AD, one would have seen a beautiful symmetry existing between the last portion of the last book of Old Testament Scripture and that of the New Testament Canon. Now what is the immediate overarching subject of the last Book (Revelation) of New Testament? Rapture! Ah the Blessed hope of every Christian (Titus 2:13) which is alluded to in the command given to John at the sound of something resembling a "trumpet blast" ... "Come-up" (Rev 4:1/1 Thess 4:16)!!! Now as we "bring to the table" as it were, the last words of the last Book (II Chronicles)..."Go-up" (2 Chronicles 36:23-KJV), an enchanting symmetry comes to the fore.

What Cyrus the Persian ruler (who is issuing the Decree of Direction to all the Jews) is effectively telling the Jews is: (New Testament counterparts of Old Testament times)..."Go up to the Holy City of Jerusalem on a mountain for you do not belong here in Babylon (geographically Babylon is a plain, flat as a pancake); rather you belong to the Holy City of Jerusalem up on a mountain. Your God in His Holy City is calling you...Come up"! Has not the World been telling the same of the Church, more so in recent times with violence and moral degradation on the increase...you do not belong here in this "Earthly Babylon," even as our Redeemer is on the verge of issuing the "Come-up" command?

A young girl who had recently become a Christian asked the famous Baptist Preacher Charles Spurgeon..."What friends do I need to give up now"? The Prince of Preachers replied, "Hey, you do not have to give up any of your friends, they would give you up" (1 Peter 4:4)!

Prayer: Father give us a heart to be alert to our Blessed Hope at all times, even as we alert others to the same. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Suresh Manoharan
An Unworthy Servant
J and SM Ministries


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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Tue 28 Feb 2017, 7:55 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
February 28, 2017
Going Alone
bible
By Answers2Prayer

God has said, "I will never fail you. I will never abandon you." (Hebrews 13:5)

She wasn't much bigger than a pint of peanuts when she got a tricycle. Her dad taught her how to ride it. Next came a bicycle with training wheels. Her dad helped her learn to ride that, too. He stayed by her side, until she was steady and confident. Same thing when the training wheels came off; her dad would run along side the bike to hold it in case she lost her balance.

She did so well when he was right by her side, and was frightened to ride alone. After all, her dad wouldn't be there; she'd be going alone.

Sometimes we are like that young girl. We know our Father is with us; we feel secure and comforted by the fact that He is with us "always". Yet when we launch out, have a new venture, a different direction, we might get timid and fearful. Maybe we feel like we are going it alone.

Just as our Father is with us in smaller things, so is He with us in the bigger things of life.

Thank you, Lord, for the promise, that You will never fail us and You will never abandon us. We aren't going alone.

That's good news.

Inspirational Messages, Sally I. Kennedy 2016
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Sat 25 Feb 2017, 11:54 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

February 25, 2017
Lake-Effect Snow

By Answers2Prayer
I had a problem this morning.

I needed to pick my son up from the airport; but when I looked out the window, it was a winter wonderland. It wasn't snowing hard, but the plows regularly going up and down my street spoke truth to my mind: The roads were covered in snow.

It was too late to make other arrangements for my son however, as he was already en route from Edmonton. As I dutifully got into the car, I whispered a prayer for protection as I ventured out onto the road.

It was slow going, as there was hardly any evidence the road was actually under my car. I repeatedly thanked God that He had impressed me to leave 30 minutes early; and at the same time, I kicked myself for not having left even earlier than that.

Imagine my pleasant surprise when the snow had stopped falling by the time I had driven 10 kilometers, and when I had gone 20 kilometers, the roads were completely free of snow. It had been nothing more than local lake-effect snow.

Having grown up in a place where snow wasn't a part of life, this phenomenon of lake-effect snow is still a mystery to me. Oh, I know the science behind it. Cold air masses move over the warmer waters of the great lakes, which heat up the bottom layer of air. This causes lake moisture to evaporate into the colder air, where it condenses, forms clouds, and sends heavy snow over a local area. Nonetheless, I continue to be amazed at how it can be snowing so heavily in one area, and just a few kilometers down the road, nary a flake can be found. And unless you are listening to the radio (which I wasn't at 3:30 am), how could you know that the snow was only a local squall? The view from the car window won't tell us that, and neither will our fingers, still frozen from cleaning the mess off of our cold vehicles!

It all reminds me of problems in life. From our perspective, they are huge, overwhelming and dominating forces that overtake us, burying us in their ferocity. From God's perspective, however, they are nothing more than local snow squalls. So often we ask God why He has allowed this phenomenal storm that just won't seem to go away. From His perspective, however, He knows it is nothing more "lake effect snow".

Isn't it written in His Word that He sees the end from the beginning? "Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, 'My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure'" (Isaiah 46:9-10 NASB).

And doesn't His Word also say that He will supply all our needs? "And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus." (Phil. 4:19 NASB).

Notice this doesn't say we won't go through bad times; nor does it say God won't give us more than we can handle. It simply says He will supply all of our needs. Jesus gives us great advice for these situations: "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." (Matt. 6:33-34 NASB).

What this means is that if we focus on God, if we rely on Him for everything, He will come through for us, no matter how big the "snow squall" might be. In other words, to God, everything we are going through is nothing more than localized "lake effect snow", snow that does not go on forever, snow that He will give us the strength to get through.

What kind of "snow" is falling in your life right now? Whatever it may be, just remember, it is "lake effect snow" in God's eyes. Don't try to weather it on your own. Give it to Him, draw from His strength, and be prepared for the snow to eventually stop falling and the road to eventually clear.

Oh, and we had no further difficulties with snow on the road...until we were once again back home...

In His love,
Lyn

Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author -- "Aboard God's Train -- A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.

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Just what do the Biblical Sages teach, anyway? Please join us next week for "What do the Sages Teach?" -- A Mini-series by Brother Suresh Manoharan.
©Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Thu 23 Feb 2017, 12:48 pm

Welcome to the Nugget


February 23, 2017
Five Promises to Erase Loneliness

By Answers2Prayer
I zipped my suitcase shut, and my 4'10", white-haired Mom walked in. "I worry about you traveling alone," she said. "Someone will be staying with you in the hotel, right?"

I imagine having her blind daughter travel to another country by herself concerns her.

"Sure," I reassure her to erase worry because after all, traveling to speaking engagements is one of the passions I have.

Although I'll have no human accompany me, I'll have someone better--the Holy Spirit.

Think I'm kidding? God's way to make sure we're never alone and know how to conquer loneliness is true.

How else can I, being blind, navigate through hotel rooms, unpack, find the bathroom, get ready and sing with confidence while doing it?

I admit. Sometimes, temptation to feel lonely tries to slip in. But I have found five ways to conquer it:

In the hotel room of loneliness, the Holy Spirit is the concierge to meet all our needs.
* His presence is certain.
* His protection is constant.
* His companionship is sweet
* His comfort is forever.

"And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever, the Spirit of truth" (John 14:16).

Father, sometimes even when surrounded with people, the loneliness is cruel. But thank you for filling the void. For bringing reassurance to every moment. For whispering protection and provision. Thank you for sending your Holy Spirit, for we know you're present now, and you'll be present in the happenings of our tomorrows. In Jesus' name, amen.

Feeling lonely lately?
Who fills that void?
Where do you look for comfort?

Janet Eckles
If this message resonated with you, please visit Janet's cyberspace home for more inspiration.

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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Tue 21 Feb 2017, 8:33 pm

7720.645 in reply to 7720.644
Welcome to the Nugget
February 21, 2017
Make Your Life Si
By Answers2Prayer
"I will sing to the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live." (Ps 104:33)

I have always loved to sing. When I was a boy I sang in church, in my room, and even in my backyard. Growing up I always sang along with the songs on the radio. These days I sing in the shower. I sing when I walk my dogs. I sing when I do the dishes. My wonderful, loving, tech-savvy daughter has even downloaded music from the internet and made her old school Dad CDs so I can sing along with all of my favorite songs.

There is one problem, though. While I love to sing, the sound coming from my voice never seems to match the sound I hear in my soul. It always comes out too high, too scratchy, and way too off-key. I have seen people wince when I sang near them. I have had my dogs join in when I sang too loudly. I once heard myself sing on tape and wondered how that voice could have possibly come out of my mouth. I am sure that even my guardian angels have had to stick their fingers in their ears many times over the years. I have learned to sing quietly then unless I am alone. Then I belt out my songs so all of Heaven can hear. I am sure God doesn't mind my off-key voice as long as I am "Making a joyful noise."

Thankfully, there is more than one way to sing in this life. We all can sing out our love and joy by what we do. We all can share the music within us with the lives we lead. We can shine our smiles. We can share our laughter. We can open our arms for a hug. We can pass on a kiss or a kind word. We can rescue a stray dog or cat. We can help the poor and visit the lonely. We nurse the sick and uplift the fallen We can encourage everyone around us. We can spread our joy. We can make our lives a living testament of goodness. We can love others the way God loves us: unconditionally! Make your life sing then. Sing well. Sing long. Sing with all the light and love in your soul!

By: Joseph J. Mazzella
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