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Post  Admin on Sun 16 Jun 2013, 10:28 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
June 15, 2013
Starting a : Managing Argument, Part 1
By Answers2Prayer 
 
"It's black!"   "No, it's white!"

"Black!" 

"White!"

As the air thickens between my husband and youngest son, I begin to realize something very funny: "Stop, both of you! You're arguing, but you're both right! It's both black and white! It's actually gray!"

At this point, they generally drop their disagreement, join forces, and begin arguing with...me!

Something that becomes quite apparent as you read the book of Job is that there is an argument in the making. It is a polite argument, with turn taking and listening. But it is an argument, nonetheless. 

In our day and age, argument is a prevalent part of our everyday lives. Be it personal arguments with our families, with our coworkers, with our bosses, with the cashier at the grocery store, with our pastors, our friends, our neighbors, and the list could go on and on. 

There are a small number of people who make a real effort to stay out of personal arguments, and these are to be commended. But even when not participating, these are surrounded by the arguments of others on all sides. 

Is there, perhaps, some words of wisdom to be gleaned from Job's argument with his three friends, and even with God, that would help us in the arguments we find ourselves involved in or surrounded by daily? 

This will be the focus of the next two lessons in this third study from the book of Job: Managing Argument. Our first lesson today takes us to the 21st chapter of Job.

As you read through the book of Job, you will notice that each of his friends speaks in turn, twice, and that Job has a rebuttal each time. Job 21 is, in essence, Job's rebuttal for Zophar's most recent attack. 

Now Zophar, as he states his case in Job 20, is actually not saying anything that is theologically incorrect. He is simply stating that there will be demise for the wicked. Theologically correct or not, Job has a rebuttal. He is very angry at this point. In fact, to him, all that he hears from his friends is considered a mockery: "Bear with me that I may speak, And after I have spoken, keep mocking." (Job 21:3 NKJV) 

Then Job goes on with his confutation: 

"Why do the wicked live and become old, Yes, become mighty in power? Their descendants are established with them in their sight, And their offspring before their eyes. Their houses are safe from fear, Neither is the rod of God upon them...They send forth their little ones like a flock,
And their children dance...They spend their days in wealth, And in a moment go down to the grave. Yet they say to God, 'Depart from us, For we do not desire the knowledge of Your ways. Who is the Almighty, that we should serve Him? And what profit do we have if we pray to Him?'" (Job 21:7-15 NKJV)

Okay, wait a moment. There's truth in Job's argument, too! The wicked do get rich, they do, often, live out their days in wealth, they are often very powerful. Yet they often publically say, "I don't need God"! 

So if both of these fine, wise gentlemen are arguing opposite sides of the subject, yet what both of them say is true, then what is missing here?

The answer lies, friends, not in what they said, but in what they don't say. A vital missing piece of Zophar's argument is that the final vengeance of the wicked may not come to them until after they die! 

And Job? Well he missed a major piece in his argument as well! It's the piece that says the wicked do, indeed, meet their final vengeance at death!

So what we have here are two people in a heated debate, one so intense that their emotions are escalating to the point that one accuses the other of mockery. But what they are both presenting, when put together, makes a complete picture! 

So what is the lesson we can learn from Job chapters 20 and 21, from the passionate dispute between Job and Zophar? 

Just this: When we find ourselves in the midst of a fiery argument, we need to do what Job and Zophar did not do: We need to consider that perhaps, just maybe, there is some truth to both sides of the debate, and that quite imaginably, when put together, there is the possibility that both sides of the argument come together to form a complete picture! 

I am not a debater. In fact, I steer clear of anything that even vaguely smells of an argument, and I put my efforts into settling them! However, as in my example at the beginning of this devotional, I do hear many of them. And I have noticed, in my observations, exactly the same thing! There is usually an element of truth in what is being said on both sides! 

Friends, a lot of bad feelings could be avoided if we would just take a moment to consider the points of our opponents, if we would listen, really listen to what they are saying, searching with an honest heart for anything that could possibly be an element of truth. True enough, it is likely that in most of our arguments, there are elements of truth mixed in with falsehoods, but if we can identify the truth and acknowledge it, we can go a long ways towards resolving, or perhaps even avoiding, much of the conflict that surrounds us in life!

And this is the lesson we can learn from our fierce rivals, Job and Zophar.

But wait. What if you are really focussed on "winning" the debate? Join us next Saturday for some tips in Managing Argument, Part 2. 
In His love,

Lyn

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

Does it seem like everything is in chaos?  Visit us on Tuesdays in June to learn how everything is really following an intricate plan:  Order, Order, Order, a Miniseries by Suresh Manoharan
©Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Post  Admin on Fri 14 Jun 2013, 9:41 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
June 13, 2013
Hog in a Trough

By Answers2Prayer 
 When I was a boy my family used to raise hogs during the Summer to keep us fed through the Winter. As I got older it became my job to feed them everyday. My Grandma worked in the kitchen of a Summer camp across the road from us and the director let us have the leftover food scraps for the hogs. I remember lugging the huge pails of slop from the camp's kitchen, down the hill and across the wooden swinging bridge that spanned the river by our house. Then it was another 50 yards up the railroad tracks that ran along the other side our home until I finally reached the pig pen. It always stunk mightily of mud and as much as my arms ached I still tried to fill the trough as fast as possible before my stomach soured.

One year we had a particularly big, brutish, and nasty hog that would bully the other pigs in the pen. Before I would even fill the trough he would climb inside it and stand guard. He would then eat until his stomach was about to burst before he would allow the other two pigs to eat as well. It was so disgusting to watch. Once or twice I even pushed him with a stick to try to get him out of the trough but it was to no avail. Even though there was always enough food for all three pigs. He was determined never to share even if he had to shower in slop.

I did learn one thing from that petulant pig, though, and that was the stupidity of selfishness.

His selfishness didn't add a single day to his life. Nor did it give him one moment of joy. I would shake my head when he groaned in pain from eating too much every day, but he never did learn his lesson. 

As I grew up and the years passed I noticed a lot of other hogs in troughs as well. They may not have had four legs and a snout, but they were just as selfish and just as miserable. They would gorge themselves with money, sex, drugs, and alcohol day after day giving no thought to others, yet their smiles never widened and their hearts never opened. They never saw that they were stupidly spending their days chasing after sad substitutes of what really was important. 

They never experienced the joy of love and sharing that makes Earth feel like Heaven. They never allowed God to fill the emptiness they felt within. They never realized that it is in giving that you receive the most.

God loves us and always is ready to give us all we need. We can accept His love and abundance with joy and share it with everyone, or we can be a hog in trough filling ourselves with slop, selfishness, and misery. The choice is ours. Choose well.

"And my God will supply your every need according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus." (Phil 4:19, NET)

By: Joseph J. Mazzella 
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Post  Admin on Tue 11 Jun 2013, 10:29 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
June 11, 2013
Order, Order, Order! Part 2

By Answers2Prayer

Continuing our series titled "Order...Order...Order", based on the unique sequencing of Continuing our series titled "Order...Order...Order", based on the unique sequencing of Ps. 22-24... Before I go any further , I want to pose a question: What is your favorite Psalm? Do I hear...Psalms 23!!! I wouldn't be surprised at all by such an answer, for Psalms 23, beginning with the touching words, "The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want", is a universally loved Psalm connecting to the deeper realms of one's heart. It is not a coincidence (you would not find the words "accident" or "coincidence" in God’s lexicon) that it is preceded by Psalms 22 and succeeded by Psalms 24, but rather Providence, as you would discover during the course of this message. Before going any further, let's look at the three basic doctrines of Christianity around which all teaching revolves:
1. Justification/Redemption: The stage where a sinner receives the Saviour into his/her life and is justified from the penalty of sin (Romans 8:1). At this stage, the saved sinner, having received the Holy Spirit at the point of regeneration, is still a baby in faith. He would learn to walk in the joy of the Holy Spirit step by step (Romans 8:1, Acts 9:31).
2. Sanctification: The process which depicts the growth of a regenerated soul into Christ-likeness (2 Cor 3:18), with he/she yielding all areas' of his/her life with the Holy Spirit's help into God's hands, thus rendering them holy. With the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit (I John 4:4) at the beginning stage of the Christian life, the reformed individual is not only able to say no to the lust of the World and the Flesh, but also in due course with increased anointing is able to serve the Lord as per the calling which would be revealed to him/her.
3. Glorification: This connotes that Blessed stage in a believer's life, when he/she is either raptured to meet the Lord in mid-air, should the Final trumpet (I Thess 4:13-16) be blown when he/she is still alive, or he/she passes away from the Earthly tent (read body -- II Cor 5:6) and is ushered into the permanent, joyous presence of the Lord.

Pardon "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" The words of the very first verse of Psalm 22 are Prophetic in nature as they constitute the fourth utterance of utter exasperation and anguish on the cross (Matt 27:46). It was the moment in history for which the Lamb fore-ordained for atoning sacrifice was set apart. It was that defining moment when all the sins of mankind (past, present and future) came upon the Sinless Son, followed almost immediately by the Just Divine Wrath of the Holy Father who cannot even see or far less tolerate any impurity (Hab 1:13). That was the moment frozen in Cosmic history when the Eternal union between Father and Son which they had enjoyed from Eternity snapped in order for there to be provision for the re-establishment of the union between God and mankind, which had snapped in the Garden of Eden by the sin of our First parents. Effectively, the Final Adam (another name for Christ. See I Cor 15:45) was purchasing the pardon on behalf of entire Mankind for the sin the First Adam had committed.

Now it is for us to appropriate this pardon in our lives, which Jesus had purchased on the cross by His unimaginable suffering (can anyone fathom or quantify the depth of his physical and spiritual anguish on the cross especially when all the sins of mankind were laid upon Him and Divine Just wrath came visiting consequently?). That is why the Author of the Epistle to Hebrews writes:

"How shall we escape, if we neglect so GREAT a salvation" (Heb 2:3). Salvation procured by Christ is qualified by the word "great" because the Saviour underwent immeasurable suffering to procure it for us. The unbearable physical pain was compounded by the unimaginable spiritual agony. It is also great because it is "grace in action" being placed "within easy reach of us, free of cost". Let the Scripture (TLB) take over at this stage:

"For Salvation that comes from trusting Christ-which is what we preach-is already within easy reach of each of us; in fact it is as near as our own hearts and mouths. For if you tell others with your own mouth that Jesus Christ is your Lord and believe in your own heart that God has raised him from the dead, you will be saved." (Romans 10:8-9)

Scriptures declare irrefutably that all of us are sinners, irrespective of our social standing. It is not our fault that we are born a sinner, but it would be our fault if we die one, as one hardening our heart to the invitation of Divine Grace. Want emotional, spiritual proof? So here goes... Does anybody (parents or school teachers) teach us how to lie when we are young? How do we inherently know that there is something truthfully wrong about lying? Why make such a fuss about scams in media if truth is something so unimportant? Tell me, why do not even atheists go about walking naked in defiance of what Bible says about the origin of sin and the realization of shame? At this stage, let me speak with all the earnestness I can muster. Only if you have personally appropriated the Redemption work "finished" on the cross (incidentally Psalm 22 ends with the word "Finished"-- vs 31 GWT -- the sixth utterance on Mission accomplished by the Saviour), can you ever say: "The Lord is my Shepherd (Pilot of my Life) and I shall not want".
Prayer: Father, only if we accept the redemption work completed by your Son on the Cross, can we appropriate the promises of Psalm 23 in our life. If any of us are still undecided in this matter, prompt our hearts to accept the Truth of Psalm 22. In Jesus' Name, amen.
Suresh ManoharanJ and SM Ministries
Please join us next Tuesday for Order, Order, Order, Part 3 to learn how Psalm 23 is a "Pilot".
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Post  Admin on Sun 09 Jun 2013, 10:45 pm

Welcome to the NuggetJune 8, 2013
The Secret to Deliverance

By Answers2Prayer
I've always wondered about the deliverance ministry.

Of course Jesus delivers us. Period. And if you have any doubt, please prayerfully consider the following texts:

"If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free . . . Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed." (John 8:31,32, 36 NKJV)

". . . who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver us; in whom we trust that He will still deliver us . . ." (2 Cor 1:8-10 NKJV).

But does this mean we have no part to play?

In my contacts with Christians, I have noticed that we usually find ourselves in one of two camps: Either we believe that we have no role to play, that God will do all the work, or we believe that we must work for our deliverance, and that God will bless our efforts.

So which is it, friends? Do we simply sit back and wait for God to deliver us? Or do we ask for God's blessing as we work out our own deliverance?

I came upon an interesting text the other day in the book of Proverbs that answers this question once and for all: "The horse is prepared for the day of battle, but deliverance is of the Lord." (Prov 21:31 NKJV)

Our role is to prepare for the day of battle. However once we've done all the preparation we can do, we must sit back and watch while the Lord works His deliverance!

In our day and age, most of us are not familiar with the idea of preparing horses for war. I have never done this either, but I have had the privilege over the past years to volunteer for a local therapeutic riding program. One of my responsibilities is to prepare the horse for riders with special needs, and it is from this preparation process that we can learn exactly what our role is in deliverance.

It starts like this: A therapeutic horse must have the right temperament. A horse that is skittish will shy away from sudden noises and movements, and this could easily unseat a rider with a handicap.

In the same way, we, too, must have hearts that are well-grounded in the Lord, unshakable in our faith in Him. Consider the following text: " . . . if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister." (Col 1:21-23 NKJV)

You will also need to spend time training the horse on how to deal with the unknowns that arise. He needs to be conditioned to wheelchairs and built-up mounting blocks, even mechanical lifts. He needs to be trained to obey your command, and finally, you need to ensure that he isn't particularly full of energy on the day he will be doing therapeutic riding.

This can be compared to our spiritual training. Training isn't fun, but doesn't the Bible say ... "My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; For whom the Lord loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives." (Heb 12:5-6 NKJV)?

Of course you must also ensure the horse is healthy. This means vet and Ferrier visits, teeth grinding, and vaccinations.

We, too, must ensure that our Spiritual health is good. Our "regular vet visits" can be translated into making it a habit to spend regular time with our Lord and Savior. We need to be filled with His Spirit, open to His Word, malleable clay in His hands! "Look, as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel!" (Jer 18:6-7 NKJV)

The therapeutic horse must be well-groomed to ensure he doesn't have stones in his hooves or mud clots under the saddle pad.

We, too, must continually allow the Lord to cleanse us of sin: "Let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God." (2 Cor 7:1 NKJV)

Finally, the therapeutic horse must be wearing the right equipment for the rider.

In the same way, we, too, must be clothed in the right armor: "Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil..." (Eph 6:11 NKJV)

And you thought you could just go out and put someone on just any horse!

And in the same way, when it comes to deliverance, we have a definite role to play as well!

But we must remember that our role is only preparatory in nature. Once we are completely prepared, we must then remember: "... but deliverance is of the Lord." (Prov 21:31 NKJV)

Are you in need of deliverance? Then start preparing yourself for that deliverance. Spend time with God. Allow Him to render you sin free, perfect, grounded, well-disciplined, in good Spiritual health, and clothed in the armor of God. Then all you need to do is sit back and let Him do the rest! In His love,

Lyn

Lyn Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two teens, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries.
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Is the Bible written in any specific order? Join us on Tuesdays this month for "Order, Order, Order!" -- A mini-series by Brother Suresh Manoharan
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Post  Admin on Fri 07 Jun 2013, 9:19 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
June 6, 2013
Deny Our Suffering or Take Up the Dance of Lament
By Answers2Prayer
King David has always been my favorite biblical character. As a teenager, I found a photo in a magazine of a young man wearing a ring of flowers upon his black, curly hair. He resembled what I imagined David the boy shepherd may have looked like. I asked my artist mother to create a painting from the photo and replace the flowers with a crown. It would be my painting of king David.
Over the years, I read the Psalms of David. I identify with his emotions of grief, anger and love, and it wasn't until my son Joshua died by suicide nine years ago, that my faith would be put to an unimaginable test.

In the Bible, lament is used in both the Old and New Testaments. Merriam-Webster defines the word: to mourn aloud: WAIL. To express sorrow, mourning.

Lament is mentioned as one of the "a time to's" in the third chapter of Ecclesiastes. In verse four it reads, "A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance." (Eccl 3:4)
I see a promise there that we will experience gladness--in due time. Even Jesus our Lord said, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, that ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy." (John 16:20)
I never understood the deep layers of this word lament. It wasn't until recently that the unstated dawned into the bigger picture of my grief for love lost.
Within hours after Joshua's death, I sensed my two choices: To cling to Lord God even in death, or use substitutes that would leave me empty.
To tell the truth, I was terrified not to stay close to the Lord, for I couldn't imagine life without Joshua. Just as biblical Jacob wrestled with an angel all night long, I too, wrestled with God for answers and His presence during my darkest season.

I remained stubborn through an escalating, never-ending raw, unknown-to-me-before intimacy with God. Looking back, even though I did not feel God's presence, I see He held me closer than ever before in the dance of lament. Wrestling with God was always only about me being honest, faithful and to trust Him.

Now I can identify with the broken hearted, for I'm broken hearted. I got God back, when it seemed I had lost Him forever.
Father, You cannot lie and You say You will never leave us nor forsake us. Thank You for being the trustworthy Holy One. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen. Jean Ann Williams All scripture taken from the King James Authorized Version.
Announcement:

Just how does one manage an argument? Join us on Saturdays in June, beginning next week, for tips on managing arguments from the book of Job!
©Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Post  Admin on Wed 05 Jun 2013, 9:44 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
June 4, 2013
Order, Order, Order! Part 1
By Answers2Prayer

"For God is not a God of disorder..." (1 Cor. 14:33)

First things first. What is the chief and highest end of man? Let the revered Christian Book namely the Westminster catechism give the answer. Man's chief and highest end is to glorify (worship) God, and fully to enjoy him forever. When it comes to glorifying Him and fully enjoying Him, let it be said that the entire exercise ought to be "absolutely genuine emanating right from the innermost core of one's being (read spirit)". This would lead to the next question, how could the process of glorifying Him originate right from the depths of one's heart? It is only possible, when a person is truly fascinated by His unique traits. Remember, worshipping God for what He is, is the highest form of worship, standing head and shoulders above other forms of worship, which come with strings attached, such as worshipping Him for the blessings, He showers upon us. While on the subject, at this stage, it would serve us well to look at the synonym of the word "Glorify", which is "Magnify". When, one magnifies Him, that is to say, when one keenly observes His Divine nature, with a magnifying glass, as it were, the "spiritual explorer" (if you permit me to use this expression) in you is bound to come across several unique attributes of the Almighty, which would evoke awe, and in turn lead to spontaneous, heart-felt worship and praise.

In this message punctuated with...what else..."Hallelujahs" (incidentally Hallel in Hebrew language means To praise and Yah means God), I would like to bring before my readership, one definite attribute in the Almighty, which at once evokes awe in me that is...He is (as the above-captioned Scripture emphasizes) a God of order. There is perfect order, in whatever He does. Take the order of His Physical Creation for instance...first light...then only plants otherwise, how can plants survive without photosynthesizing their food in the absence of light...then only animals followed for how can animals live without eating the plants?

Now let us come to the spiritual realm. Let us look at the classification of the Scriptures and at once, we see Divine order in operation. Be it the the Old Testament Books (before the advent of Christ) which had been classified into three categories (See Luke 24:44) using the criteria which was accepted by our Lord and the Early Church or our contemporary Christian Bibles, which follow a beautiful symmetry. Firstly, let's look at the classification which the Early Church accepted...
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 Books of Daniel and Lamentations which appear in the "Prophets" section of the Modern-day Bibles, despite containing prophecies were not placed in the Prophets' section of the Early Church 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 (eg: a praise or prayer) in the Scriptures!!!

3. Writings: Psalms to II Chronicles

The Christian Bible, without as much as adding or deleting any book of the Old Testament Section, follows the beautiful symmetry of:
1. History: Genesis to Esther
2. Poetry: Job to Song of Solomon
3. Prophecy: Isaiah to Malachi

The New Testament Scriptures have also been categorized, generally speaking, into 3 sections based on the following time-related yardsticks:

1. Past--The four Gospels (redemption work has been completed)
2. Present--From the Book of Acts to the Epistle of Jude (symbolizing the age of Grace, following the atoning work of Christ on the Cross)
3. Future--The Book of Revelation

Amazing, isn't it? If all Scripture is God-inspired as this portion of the Bible testifies: "All Scripture is God-breathed..." (2 Tim 3:16), then it follows that Divine inspiration would be very much there behind its classification too. In this series of four parts (including this one) we would reflect the unique orderly sequencing of three Psalms: Ps 22, Ps 23, Ps 24.

Prayer: Father, Thou art so orderly in everything you do. Let this trait be observed in us your children too at all times for Your Glory. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Suresh ManoharanJ and SM Ministries
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Post  Admin on Sun 02 Jun 2013, 5:10 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
June 1, 2013
Dehydrated? Have some Water!
By Answers2Prayer

75% of our bodies are made up of water. We need this water in order to keep our bodies running smoothly. We lose water routinely, however, when we breathe, when we sweat, and when we use the bathroom. This water has to be replaced, or we can become dehydrated.

There are also many conditions that can cause us to lose water more rapidly, thus putting us at high risk of dehydration. These include fever, heat exposure, vomiting, diarrhea, increased urination due to infection, diseases such as diabetes, impaired ability to drink (such as being in a coma or having a swallowing problem), no access to safe drinking water, significant injuries to skin, and the inability to seek appropriate water and food (an infant or disabled person, for example).

Symptoms of dehydration include the following: dry mouth/eyes, sweating may stop, muscles cramp, nausea and vomiting, heart palpitations, lightheadedness, especially when standing, weakness, decreased urine output, and when dehydration is severe, it can denote a life-threatening emergency.

In general, dehydration causes people to be less able to perform at their peak. It sets people up for weight gain, joint and muscle pain, fuzzy thinking, disease, and fatigue. It can cause irritability, anxiety, depression, food cravings, and allergies, and emergency thirst signals include feeling sick upon rising in the morning, heartburn, migraines, angina, joint pain, back pain, colitis pain, fibromyalgic pain, constipation, late-onset diabetes, and hypertension.

Not exactly what any of us need in our lives, is it?

With the problems of dehydration being so complex, wouldn't it make sense for this to be a fairly rare occurrence? Wouldn't it make sense for us to only become dehydrated when we are sick or in extreme situations? I mean, all we normally have to do is just go and get a cup of water!

Why is it then, that the majority of the world suffers from dehydration?

In many parts of the world, water isn't clean enough for consumption, and sometimes the only available clean water is guarded for certain ones in the community. If these are the conditions where you live, then dehydration isn't surprising.

But why is it that dehydration affects an estimated 75% of the population in North America, where drinkable water runs from every tap in every home, where we waste water as if it were a renewable resource?

Yes! That's what the studies show!

Studies also show that those who do not drink water have a diminished thirst mechanism, and they often mistake their thirst for hunger. Thus they eat instead of drinking. You see, it works like this: When your body sends you a message and you stop listening to it, it will eventually stop sending you that message!

I have the reputation where I work of pushing my patients to drink more water. The number one reason I get for why they don't drink is that they aren't thirsty. These same patients will usually tell me, once they have gotten their water intake up to acceptable levels, that they now suddenly feel thirsty whereas they never did before!

Okay, all of this is very interesting, but what is the point of all this in a devotional?

Just this: Where clean drinking water may not always be available, Jesus tells us to come to the well and drink. He tells us, "...whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life." (John 4:13-14 NKJV)

So why is it that most of the world is spiritually dehydrated?

Some know Jesus, the source of living water, but many don't. Just like the symptoms of physical dehydration, spiritual dehydration also brings about disastrous results. We can't perform at our peak. Our thinking gets fuzzy, and it results in cravings for something-anything!-to satisfy our Spiritual thirst.

But if Jesus' living water is so abundantly available, why have we become so spiritually dehydrated?

Because we've become so used to our God-less state that we no longer recognize our need for spiritual water! Our spiritual "thirst mechanism" has stopped working! When we feel spiritually "thirsty", we mistake it for hunger, and we try to fill it with other things. Work. Love. Friendships. Drugs. Sex. To name a few.

Yet Jesus stands patient by, begging us to "come to the well", to drink the living water so that we will never thirst again!

People in some parts of the world have an excuse for being dehydrated because there isn't abundant clean water to drink. But the good news is this: Everyone has access to Jesus' overflowing well of water! There is no excuse for spiritual dehydration! Why not partake of that living water more often, friends?

It is recommended that we sip through 8-10 cups of water every day. Why not take frequent "sips" of Jesus' water throughout each day as well?
In His love,

Lyn

Lyn Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two teens, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries.
Announcement:
Does it seem like everything is in chaos? Visit us on Tuesdays in June to learn how everything is really following an intricate plan: Order, Order, Order, a Miniseries by Suresh Manoharan
©Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Post  Admin on Fri 31 May 2013, 7:28 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
May 30, 2013
What to Do?


By Answers2Prayer

A number of years ago I got my bachelor's degree in music education and then went on to get my masters degree in tuba performance. It was then time to get a job. I wanted to be a high school band director. Since I had a masters degree I thought that I should be able to choose where I wanted to teach. After years of looking for a position I finally said, "Lord, wherever you want me I'll go."

Everybody has these kinds of decisions to make all the time. We need to learn to be led by God in these situations. There is no place in the Bible that tells us, "Dean will teach music in Podunk, Tennessee."

We do find a number of things that the Bible tells us to do. Jesus said the following:

"And He said to him, 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'" (Matthew 22:37-39 NASB95)
These were the greatest two commandments that we are to follow. If we would follow them completely then we would be willing to follow the last command Jesus gave us:

"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit..." (Matthew 28:19 NASB95)
We need to follow the commands that are given to us that are in the Bible. We need to know the leading of the Holy Spirit in the things that the Bible do not specifically mention. So if we follow the leading of the Holy Spirit we will know what to do.

By Dean W. Masters

Owner of the Master's List.

Announcement:

Does it seem like everything is in chaos? Visit us on Tuesdays in June to learn how everything is really following an intricate plan: Order, Order, Order, a Miniseries by Suresh Manoharan
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Post  Admin on Tue 28 May 2013, 10:43 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
May 28, 2013
Music to the Heart

By Answers2Prayer
When my children were babies I spent many hours feeding them, changing them, bathing
them, and dressing them. Yet, all of these hours combined are probably still less than the time I
spent trying to make them laugh. From tickling toes, to belly blows, to making faces, to weird
noises there was no limit to what I would do to hear the sweet sound of laughter coming from
their tiny mouths. Their laughter brought such joy to my ears and my soul. It was so musical, so
delightful, and so contagious that I found myself joining in every time I heard it. It made me
think that this is what Heaven must sound like at times.I have never understood the fact that as we grow older we tend to laugh less and less when
instead we should be trying to laugh more and more. Laughter brings beauty to our faces. It
reverses our wrinkles. It exercises our insides. It keeps us young. Laughter clears our thoughts.
It wipes out our worries. It reduces our fears. It puts our problems in perspective. Laughter helps
our souls to sing. It sets our spirits to soaring. It makes us sound like angels. It helps us to see
the world through the eyes of love. I am going to do my best to keep laughing all of my days here. I am going to keep my mind
open for all the joys each day may bring. When my days are done I want my laugh lines deep
enough to drive a truck in. When my life here is over I want to hear our Heavenly Father say:
"Well lived, well laughed, and well loved!"A good friend of mine recently sent me a framed saying. It says: "Laughter is the music
of the heart." I hope then that you always fill your heart with music. I hope that your days are
full of giggles, grins, chuckles, and belly laughs. I hope that you laugh and love your way all
through this life and right into Heaven."You lead me in the path of life; I experience absolute joy in your presence; you always give me sheer delight." (Ps 16:11) Joe Mazzella

Announcement:

Just what does Jesus have to say about His own divinity? Check out "At the Pool of Bethesda"!
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Post  Admin on Sat 25 May 2013, 9:55 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
May 23, 2013
Deleted
By Answers2Prayer

"and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints." (Revelation 5:8)

Hurriedly, I was trying to retrieve E-mail I had deleted by mistake. I thought, "Maybe...if I act right away!" No such luck. It was gone from that big E-mailbox in the sky. I was reminded of old science fiction movies where a Martian, or other outer-space individual, would get zapped. One beam of light and he was deleted. Gone.
This week my husband was sharing how much his spiritual heritage means to him. "Just think," he said, "of all the prayers that have been said for me by my parents, grandparents, Sunday school teachers, and untold others. Who knows where I'd be if it weren't for all those prayers!"
Later, I thought about what Ben had said. None of the prayers offered in his name has ever been deleted. No prayer he has prayed has been erased, either. Nor mine. Nor yours.
It says in the final book of the Bible that all our prayers are stored in a huge golden bowls in God's throne room. All.
What an honor, privilege and blessing to pray. Each and every prayer is heard by God himself. And not one of them will ever be deleted. Not even by accident.
That is good news.

Sally I. Kennedy
Announcement:
Can we, as Christians, learn something from the Election process? Check out the mini-series, "Of Elect and Select"!
©Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."

Welcome to the Nugget
May 25, 2013
Partaking of the Bread: Bread of Life, Part 4
By Answers2Prayer

In Bread of Life, Part 3, we discovered that Jesus' discourse on being the Bread of Life is really a true picture to us of God's unending, merciful love, love that reached out to a sinful, dying people who are on a death race to hell, and opened another door. We saw how God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should accept Jesus as the "Bread of Life", not just for life eternal, but in order for our spirits to be opened, in order to make way for His Truth and Power to be glorified in our lives.

But how do we partake of this Bread of Life? Certainly it isn't as simple as opening the bread box and cutting a slice!

As we continue through the discourse, we notice that the Jews didn't want to believe that Jesus was sent from Heaven. "They said, 'Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can He now say, "I came down from Heaven?"'" (John 6:42 NIV)

Jesus isn't deterred by their unbelief. Instead He goes on to prove that what He's saying is true by referring to the Hebrew Scriptures: "It is written in the Prophets: 'They will all be taught by God.' Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from Him comes to Me." (John 6:45 NIV)

Ouch. Jesus has just said that because the people don't believe what He says, they must not be listening to the Father! Let's remember He was talking to the Jewish rules at the time, the teachers of the law! Those who claim to have an "in" with God Himself!

"No one has seen the Father except the One who is from God; only He has seen the Father. I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life. I am the bread of life. Your forefathers ate the manna in the desert yet they died. But here is the bread that comes down from Heaven, which a man may eat and not die. I am the living bread that came down from Heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world." (John 6:46-51 NIV).

Here Jesus very masterfully brings the teachers of the law back to their roots: Their voyage through the wilderness where they were given daily manna from Heaven. He reminds them of an all-important Truth: Their wilderness experiences with God were but foreshadows of what would come. They were quick enough to eat the manna in the wilderness, how much quicker they should be to partake of the true Bread, the Bread that this manna was but a foreshadow of!

The point is this: The manna given to them in the wilderness was a physical food that nourished their physical bodies. But since these forefathers were now all dead, obviously nourishing the physical isn't enough. Jesus offers more than just physical nourishment! He offers spiritual nourishment! And this spiritual nourishment is such that we shall never hunger or thirst spiritually again!

But the people still didn't get it: "Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves. 'How can this man give us His flesh to eat?'" (John 6:52 NIV)

Anyone out there voicing the same concerns? After all, we can't "eat" Jesus!

Partaking of the Bread of life, friends, is done by spending time in His presence! Consider this text: "He has chosen us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will ..." (Eph 1:4,5 NIV)

What does this mean? It means God wants us to see Him as our Father! He wants to spend time with us! He desires to feed us spiritually so that our never-satiated longings will at last be filled! God loves us that much, my friends!

And is this just a one-time deal?

Not at all! Consider Jesus' words as He wraps up this powerful discourse: "Just as the living Father sent Me and I love because of the Father, so the one who feeds on Me will live because of Me. This is the bread that came down from Heaven. Your forefathers ate manna and died, but he who feeds on this bread will live forever." (John 6:57-58 NIV)

I don't know about you, but I enjoy eating, and the Bread of Life is there to be fed upon at any time. And the best part is this: We don't have to worry about counting calories! We can never "eat" intemperately, we can never get too much! Praise God!

This is the last lesson from The Bread of Life. You can find the rest of this study published online by clicking here, or contact me directly. You are also invited to visit other studies on the deep discourses of Jesus presented to us in the book of John by visiting Lessons From the Book of John

May God bless you abundantly as you continue to seek Him through His Word!
In His love,

Lyn
Lyn Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two teens, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries.
Announcement:
Many of you have written in asking about my recent experience with Breast Cancer, and I want to thank each of you for caring, and especially for your prayers. I recently had my first follow-up with Oncology, and I am pleased to report that it went very well! You are invited to read some of the highlights of my ride with God through this valley of my life at Cancer Experiences. Or if you prefer the whole story, you are invited to read The Train Ride.
©Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Post  Admin on Wed 22 May 2013, 8:08 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
May 21, 2013
No Pain, No Gain! Part 2
By Answers2Prayer

Continuing with a series on God in His role as a Paradisiacal Pilot who loves us enough to correct us, albeit painfully, today we come to the concluding part of the series

Purity...
He will sit like a refiner of silver, burning away the dross. (See Malachi 3:3). He is Holy and He wants His children to be Holy too. Punishment that hurts chases away the evil from the heart, at once making us holy and acceptable unto Him (See Proverbs 20:30). Hey, holiness is our USP. If we lose it, we would become as useless as a salt that has lost its saltiness (see Matt 5:13). Jonah after his purifying experience of mid-sea chastisement was so cleansed that he went the whole cog... (See Jonah 1-3).
A question here... even as Christians maintain their pristine purity, would their lives be dull and devoid of any joy? No!!! Rather in our walk with Him, we would find our life to be very, very fulfilling, and we would discover with the passage of time how His ways truly satisfy us (See Romans 12:1-2). For the humble lot, when it comes to spiritual (ever joyous presence of the indwelling Holy Spirit. See John 14:26) and earthly joys, the sky is the limit...
Perfection...
Was the purpose of Jesus' First coming merely to search and save the lost? Was it not also put the Lost (after finding them) on the pathway of perfection (See 2 Cor 3:18)? Yes dear friends, the process of Sanctification in a Christian's life begins soon after justification (See Romans 8:1) to lead us into a glorious perfection. Succintly put, Christ's purpose of coming into this World was to save the Lost and restore in them the Divine perfect image Adam created in God's image (See Genesis 1:26) had lost. So if this sanctification process entails painful chastisements now and then, we need to accept it, keeping eternity in view (See Colossians 3:1).
But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ (See Phil 3:20). This Pauline perception, if anything, ought to help us get our perspective right.
Praise...
In conclusion, dear Friends let me exhort you that our image of our Creator, Redeemer and Guide ought to go beyond that of a Pampering Papa to one of a concerned parent who is bothered enough to give a timely spanking in order our lives are always sparkling for our own good and His glory. (See Matt 5:14). It is time we give our Heavenly Father some thunderous praise...Hallelujah! More loudly please...
Prayer: Father, we praise thee for every single chastisement that has come our way, for in hindsight, they have all been a blessing to us. We praise thee once again in Jesus' Name. Amen
Suresh ManoharanJ and SM Ministries
Announcement:

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; and Study #3 -- AT THE POOL OF BETHESDA. The fourth study in this series is currently appearing in the Saturday Nuggets through the month of May. Please join us on Saturday for Bread of Life: A series focusing on the discourse in John 6, given just after Jesus fed the 5000 with 5 loaves and 2 small fish!
©Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Post  Admin on Sat 18 May 2013, 10:34 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
May 18, 2013
Understanding Hell Fire: Bread of Life, Part 3, A Study on True Christianity

By Answers2Prayer

In Bread of Life, Part 2, we discovered that Jesus is our "bread", that when we accept His gift of Salvation by Grace, we have our sustenance into life eternal! But more than that, Jesus also gives us freedom from addictions, freedom from worry, power over sickness and death, over unclean spirits, and perhaps most importantly, He freely gives us His peace.

Unfortunately however, the people of Jesus' day didn't quite get it, and their lack of understanding has an important lesson to teach us. We'll pick up the story just after Jesus has told the people: "I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst." (John 6:35-36 NKJV).

There must have been some really blank looks on the faces of those people, because Jesus goes on to further explain: "But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out." (John 6:36-37 NKJV)

What Jesus is truly saying here is this: He is our Bread of life. When we accept Him into our lives, our innate hunger and thirst for righteousness, for a relationship with God, will finally be satisfied. And, perhaps even more importantly, believing in Jesus opens our spirits to the spiritual side of life (see Lessons From the Book of John, Study #1). Only then will the eyes of our understanding be opened, and we can truly understand what He is teaching us.

But then comes the ultimate reward: "and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out." (John 6:37 NKJV)

That's exciting, friends! Many, many Christians struggle with the fact that if they don't "do" enough things, they will not make it to Heaven. But this verse clears that up! It isn't about "doing", it's about "believing"!

But what happens to those who do not believe? If those who do believe are told they will not be cast out, then doesn't this imply that those who do not believe will be cast out?

Is Jesus using scare tactics here? You know what I mean -- If you believe in me, you will get a reward, and if you don't, you'll be punished, so you'd better believe!

Not at all. Jesus goes on to say: "For I have come down from Heaven not to do My will but to do the will of Him who sent Me. And this is the will of Him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that He has given me, but raise them up at the last day." (John 6:38-39 NIV)

Friends, hell isn't about punishment for not accepting Jesus. It's about the fact that ever since Adam, every human being has been born on a roller coast ride, leading straight to the fires of hell! That one, fateful bite threw off all of humanity, condemning everyone to hell fire! This wasn't God's choice! It was our choice! Hell isn't a "punishment" for not accepting Jesus, it is simply a consequence of sin!

But God, out of that pure, tender, eternal and everlasting love, made a way. Not willing that any should have to suffer hell-fire, He sent Jesus to open the gates of Heaven, so that anyone who believes in Him can enter in!

Friends, our God of pure, innocent love has suffered the slander of the world for thousands of years. He has been accused of being an "angry God", ready and waiting to slap us into hell at the drop of a hat. But this picture of God is wrong, and Jesus' words confirm this: "And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day." (John 6:40 NKJV) God's will is that none of us should ever see hell-fire. His will is that we make the choice to get off the roller coaster ride, that we allow Jesus to save us from ourselves.

Why do you serve God? Do you do it because you are afraid not to? If so, then you do not understand the very nature of God. I would encourage you to take some time to meditate on the Truth that Jesus is the Bread of Life, that He wants nothing more than for the entire world to avoid hell-fire, that He, out of the love in His heart, has made a way!

Halleluiah!

But we can't physically "eat" Jesus. So how can we truly partake of this "bread of life"? Please join us next week, for The Bread of Life, Part 4: Partaking of the Bread.
In His love,

Lyn

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

You don't care for punishment? What if you knew it was for your own good? Join us next Tuesday for the concluding part of "No Pain No Gain"!
©Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Post  Admin on Fri 17 May 2013, 9:57 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
May 16, 2013
Doors are for Opening

By Answers2Prayer
Recently our door to the outside world gave up its mission. It stopped. It had opened and shut so many times it got tired of opening and shutting and its lock stayed securely locked.The knob didn't work and the key didn't work so both the key and the door were useless, ridiculous and superfluous. They were redundant, no use at all to we who lived inside the house and no use to any neighbour who might want to come to our aid.Now, as I understand it, a door is the way into a house. If there is no door you can go round and round and over and under but you cannot get inside the house.You must have a door.In fact, if you want to get inside anything, you firstly have to find the door. For instance, the alphabet begins with the first letter and if you never find the first letter, you never find the key to open the door of the alphabet.Likewise, the door to mathematics is a one and you cannot get a two without a one so the door to a two is a one. Equally, the door to a book is the first chapter and if you want the key to open the book and get inside, you have to begin with the first chapter.Jesus talks about a key and a door. He condemned the lawyers because, He said, "you have taken away the key to knowledge." (Luke 11:52). If you value knowledge, you don't throw its key away but they had, so they could not understand Jesus. They never understood Him because they had taken away the key to the Book that was all about Him.When Jesus talks about a door, He says, "I stand at the door and knock." (Revelation 3:20). The door is shut and the key has been taken away. If I were looking for the key to open the front door of the Bible, I would look in the first chapter of the Book. I would want to get inside the Book to know why it was written and to get to know its principal character. Wouldn't you? After all, doors are for opening.

Elizabeth Price
Announcement:
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; and Study #3 - AT THE POOL OF BETHESDA. The fourth study in this series is currently appearing in the Saturday Nuggets in May. Please join us on Saturday for Bread of Life: A series focusing on the discourse in John 6, performed just after Jesus fed the 5000 with 5 loaves and 2 small fish!
©Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Post  Admin on Wed 15 May 2013, 12:14 am

Welcome to the Nugget
May 14, 2013
No Pain, No Gain! Part 1
By Answers2Prayer

First things first. More than worshipping God for the blessings, which He pours into our lives, we need to learn to worship Him, just for what He is! Worshipping Him, awed by His unique attributes is noblest form of worship, for it emanates from the depths of the heart with no strings attached. In this context, let it be said that the driving force for winning a soul to the Lord ought not to be only the need of saving it from scorching hell-fire, but also to acquaint it with the indescribable heavenly joys one is enjoying. None ought to miss out on that! In this message I intend to bring to the fore, one of our Heavenly Father's sublime qualities. Before announcing the same, I would like to pose a question. As much as we have praised God for being a Doting Dad who readily provides for our needs (Genesis 22:8/14), have we ever praised Him for being a punishing parent, who yearns for our eternal welfare? In case, if we haven't, it's high time we recited the words of the Psalmist "The punishment you gave me was the best thing that could have happened to me, for it taught me to pay attention to your laws." (Ps 119:71 TLB)
Christian life begins with repentance and is sustained by...yes repentance. No Christian can ever shout from rooftops that the moment he accepted the Saviour, he has led a perfect life thence, without ever being put under "course correction" programme by the ever-caring Captain of his life. I, a Servant of God would be the first to accept that I have had my course corrected many a time (saving me from many a hazardous "iceberg") and I owe my spiritual vibrancy (?) today to "timely raps on my knuckles" albeit painful, from my concerned Paradisiacal Pilot.
In this Series of 2-Parts, I would like to package and present a few of the lessons, I had personally learnt from my experiences of Chastisement. At this stage, lest there be any misunderstanding, I would like to state emphatically that punishment in a Christian's life should not be mistaken for the conclusive Judgment awaiting the unbelievers (Rev 20:15), who have all along hardened their hearts to the great Salvation plan of the Saviour (Heb 2:3). So firstly here goes...
Proof ...
How comforting it is to know (the fact validated by Scripture -- See Heb 12:6) that punishment is proof of my living relationship with the Living Heavenly Father, whose other Name is love (1 John 4:8). Because, He has purchased me with His precious atoning blood (1 Peter 1:18-20), I do not belong to myself but I am owned totally by Him. If there is anyone, who has a right to dictate, on how I ought to behave it is my Saviour. Period.
Those of us who are parents, would we dare show our care to a stranger who goes around, say, chain-smoking? Would we take a step to restrain him? Most of us would hesitate to even warn that errant soul, for fear of hearing an instant "Mind your own business" reprisal. On the other hand, what about our own sons? If we see them getting into any debilitating habit, would we not immediately take corrective action? We would because we have the right over them...for their own welfare.
Prompt...
Our Heavenly Father invariably toes the "a stitch a time, saves nine" principle. Not for Him, any procrastination, if we veer off-course in our Spiritual voyage. He would catch our attention immediately with a timely, painful warning (Isaiah 30:20-21). Without intending to point my finger at anyone, I would like to present some examples from my own life-experiences'...all for His Glory and His glory alone. Whilst being employed in a Oil major, one morning whilst rushing off to work, I was needlessly harsh with my wife once (who is such a submissive woman, all in line with Scripture -- See Eph 5:22) and you guessed it right!!! Even before 24 hours had lapsed, I got a lashing from my own earthly boss. If not for that timely chastisement, I would have continued to be a insensitive husband and only the Heavenly Father knows where it might have led to.
Many years ago (May, 1988 to be precise...I had just finished my formal education), I, who would always resist lustful thoughts, lowered my guard for just a while. The result? Almost immediately I was given into the hands of the tormenting spirit. I learnt firsthand how King Saul suffered when the tormenting spirit from "the Lord" tormented him (1 Samuel 16:14 KJV)! Only when I fell flat (literally and figuratively) at His feet, tearfully confessing my sins, did the tormenting spirit leave me for good. Honestly, if not for that prompt Divine intervention, I shudder at the thought of how deeper, I would have fallen...
The spinoff from that experience of Divine comeuppance? I emerged "stronger" in faith (Heb 12:11) that my omniscient Redeemer (Heb 4:13) who keeps track of even my thought-life, would know all about my future problems too...hence He would be right there to help me handle them, as per His will.
Painful...
Yes it pains Him to inflict pain upon us but what is punishment if it is not painful (Heb 12:11) bringing about the desired effect? It is painful enough to register that the next time temptation "rings the doorbell" to take us off-track, we would not go anywhere near the door rather send the Saviour to answer the bell, meaning we would lean on his strength to overcome (James 4:7) the allurements of the flesh or the World or Mr. Devil himself (three enemies of a Pilgrim, when he is making progress...thanks Mr. John Bunyan).
Prayer: Father, we commit ourselves into Thy hands even as you training us with a purpose. In Jesus’ Name. Amen
Suresh ManoharanJ and SM Ministries
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Post  Admin on Sun 12 May 2013, 7:16 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
April 11, 2013
The Setting: Bread of Life, Part 1, A Study on True Christianity
By Answers2Prayer

Please note: As many of you noticed, the Nugget sent out last Saturday was the Nugget for today, Part 2 of the series, Bread of Life. To rectify this error, we are sending out last Saturday's Nugget today, with Part 1 of the Bread of Life series. If you wish to access Part 2, you may do so by clicking here. We apologize for any difficulties this may have caused. May God bless you abundantly as you grow to know Him more and more! Bread of Life, Part 1: The Setting John, Chapter 6, leads us into another of Jesus' deep, insightful discourses, designed to draw us closer to Him and to a clearer understanding of His kingdom.

The setting for this discourse is two-fold: The feeding of the 5000, and Jesus and the storm.

The Feeding of the 5000: We know many details about this miracle, because the incident is recorded in all four of the gospels, and each one gives us slightly different insight into the story. We know from Matthew that John the Baptist has just been beheaded, and Jesus, feeling a bit upset by this, goes off by Himself to grieve and pray: "And he sent, and beheaded John in the prison...When Jesus heard of it, he departed thence by ship into a desert place apart..." (Matt 14:10)

We know from Mark and Luke that it was meant to be a "private" thing... "And he took them, and went aside privately into a desert place belonging to the city called Bethsaida." (Luke 9:10) (See also Mark 5:32)

We know from all four gospels that great crowds followed them, and that when He saw the crowds, Jesus was moved by compassion because they were hungry and there was nowhere for them to find food. So Jesus multiplied what they had, two small barley loaves and five small fish, and it was enough to feed five thousand men, plus women and children, with 12 baskets of leftovers.

Jesus and the Storm: Following the feeding of the 5000, Jesus went up into a private place to pray: "Therefore when Jesus perceived that they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king, He departed again to the mountain by Himself alone." (John 6:15 NKJV), and His disciples left by boat. While they were in the middle of the lake, a mighty storm came up, and just when the disciples thought they would perish, Jesus came by, walking on the water. Jesus then got into the boat, and immediately they were at their destination! "Then they willingly received Him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land where they were going." (John 6:21 NKJV)

It's interesting that though Jesus had calmed another storm, this time His response to the trouble is different: He simply "warps" the boat across the lake and into the harbor they were heading for!

The Bread of Life Discourse: It is actually the day after these two big miracles that our discourse begins. The people realize as soon as the sun rises that Jesus is no longer there, but since they didn’t see Him leave with His disciples, they set out to find Him. And they do find Him, on the other side of the lake!

Is it surprising that they should then ask, "Rabbi, when did You come here?" (John 6:25)

Typical to His style, Jesus doesn't give them the answer they are looking for: "Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled." (John 6:26 NKJV)

Why didn't He just answer their question?

Because Jesus wanted them to learn an important lesson.

You see, the people were focused on one thing: Jesus had fed 5000 people with 5 loaves and 2 small fish. Meanwhile, the disciples were focused on another: Jesus had walked on water, and then they suddenly found themselves, not in the middle of the lake, but in a safe harbor! The lesson that each of these people carried in this hearts was this: Jesus always takes care of our needs! We cannot predict how He will resolve our problems. He doesn't always use conventional ways. He doesn't always use the same ways. But He doesn't abandon us to our problems!

Important lessons to learn? Absolutely.

Vital teachings for us today? You bet.

But as important as these lessons are, they are shallow as compared to the instruction He was preparing to give them. You see, Jesus wanted to take them deeper, and to do so, He needed them to understand that they were seeking Him for the wrong reasons.

This is a call, friends, to examine our own motivation for seeking Jesus. Do we do so because we want a healing? Because we are afraid of going to hell? Because we don't have any food to put on the table? Because we're in trouble?

Or do we seek Jesus for the right reason? "Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life ..." (John 6:27a NKJV)

Jesus calls us to seek Him not just for the flashy miracle that makes our lives on earth more comfortable, but instead, we are to seek Him for the food that endures to everlasting life with God!

Wait a minute. Is Jesus doing it again? Answering our questions with vague statements that only leave us with more questions?

Join us next week for Bread of Life, Part 2: What Jesus really has to offer.
In His love,

Lyn

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

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Post  Admin on Fri 10 May 2013, 8:45 pm



Welcome to the Nugget
May 9, 2013
Many in One

By Answers2Prayer

"For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." (Isaiah 9:6)

During a trip to visit relatives we drove to a house on the edge of town just off the highway. It was old, with peeling, faded and blistering paint. Once upon a time the side shutters had been red, and maybe even functional. The uneven boards on the front porch sloped making the whole house seem crooked. But inside, oh my! A delightful series of rooms with the most interesting items.

The front room was laden with a wonderful mixture. An antique desk piled with paperwork, which advertising a Notary. Orders, notes, and numbers tacked to the walls, heirloom family photos. I spotted a round wire basket full of chirping crickets. The container's top somehow amazingly kept the insects from jumping out, even though there was no lid.
The owner had been working in one of the two back rooms. Rolls of ribbon were hanging from shelves by the vases and containers. A rusty coca-cola refrigerated case kept flowers and greenery fresh. The adjacent front room had a tiny table, a couple of chairs, small TV, and a cute itty bitty dog who was closely watching me.
This was one house, yet it had many components: a flower shop, bait shop, a notary, and possibly living quarters. Sort of the way a lot of different people comprise one family. Sort of the way a little baby was prophesied to be many different things in One person.
God is able, and willing, to meet us at our every point of need. He is many in One: our provider, protector, comforter, savior, redeemer, and friend. That's exceedingly good news.

Inspirational messages by Sally I. Kennedy Sally I. Kennedy 2012

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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; and Study #3 -- AT THE POOL OF BETHESDA. The fourth study in this series will be appearing in the Saturday Nuggets in the month of May. Please join us on Saturday for Bread of Life: A series focusing on the discourse of Jesus, recorded in John 6, that was given just after Jesus fed the 5000 with 5 loaves and 2 small fish!
©Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Post  Admin on Wed 08 May 2013, 1:00 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
May 7, 2013
Circumcised!
By Answers2Prayer
"I hate, I despise your feasts, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies. Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them; and the peace offerings of your fattened animals, I will not look upon them. Take away from me the noise of your songs;
to the melody of your harps I will not listen." (Amos 5:21-23 ESV)

"And Hamar and Shechem his son came to the gate of their city, and spoke to the men of their city, saying, These men are peaceable with us; therefore let them dwell in the land, and trade in it. And the land--behold, it is of wide extent before them. We will take their daughters as wives, and give them our daughters. But only in this will the men consent to us to dwell with us, to be one people--if every male among us be circumcised, just as they are circumcised. Their cattle, and their possessions, and every beast of theirs, shall they not be ours? Only let us consent to them, and they will dwell with us." (Gen. 34:20-23 Darby)

In the Old Testament, circumcision showed that the person belonged to God. Shechem, who was a Hivite who was not to have anything to do with an Israelite, had raped Dinah, Jacob's daughter. He and his father were told that if they would be circumcised everything would be OK. They realized that if they went along with it they would not only have their women but all of the riches of the Israelites.

There are a lot of people that act the same as Hamar and Shechem. Are you one of these? Do you go to church for the social aspect? Do you just go to see who is there and to be seen? How many times do we see political candidates going to church just around election time just to be seen? Some people, like Shechem, go to church just to meet a mate.

Are you going to church just for fire insurance, thinking that going to church and living a good life get you into heaven? That does not do it, only surrendering to Jesus Christ gets you into heaven.

When you pray, do you just recite a wish list to God? With a lot of the preachers talking about having everything you want given to you by naming it and claiming it do you start believing in God just to get wealthy without doing anything yourself?

In other words, are you acting like a Christian for some reason besides the one that counts? Acting religious is like being circumcised physically without being circumcised of the heart as Paul would say. It is true Jesus Christ can and will meet your needs but he is not someone who is going to fill your every whim.

When we have truly given ourselves to Jesus Christ and are circumcised of the heart then there is one thing we are to look...

"To know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being conformed to his death." (Php 3:10 DARBY)Dean W. Masters
Owner of the Masters List

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Post  Admin on Sat 04 May 2013, 11:15 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
May 11, 2013
What Jesus Really has to Offer: Bread of Life, Part 2, A Study on True Christianity

By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us

In Bread of Life, Part 1, we saw that Jesus wants us to desire time with Him for more than just to have our needs met. He wants to help us understand things from a spiritual plane:

"Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him." (John 6:27 NKJV)

But the people don't get it. They continue to think on the physical level: "What must we do to do the works God requires?" (John 6:28 NIV)

Jesus tries again to bring them to this level of understanding: "The work of God is this: to believe in the One He has sent." (John 6:29 NIV)

Let's remember that the people of Jesus' day lived in a works-based religious system. It was all about circumcision, keeping the sabbaths, offering the required sacrifices, etc., and they had many rules for achieving these things. The mentality of the day was this: If only we do the right things, God will see us as perfect. This is clear in their question: "What must we do to do the works God requires?"

But Jesus came to open the door to Grace, to Salvation by Faith.

This isn't a new concept, for the Bible tells us that Abraham, long before Moses and the law, was saved by faith (see Heb. 11:8-12). But it was one that had been so long lost that the people didn't understand. So Jesus tries to make it simple: "The work of God is this: to believe in the One He has sent."

You see, Jesus knows they needed to feel like they were "doing" something, so He gives them something to do: To believe in Him!

But it is more than they can accept. In fact, they completely ignore the idea, jumping instead to the whole argument of Jesus being God's Son, sent from God: "What miraculous sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do?" (John 6:30)

Wait a minute. These people have not only seen Jesus feed the 5000, then have eaten of the miracle bread and fish that He produced! Yet they have the audacity to say, "What miraculous sign then will you give...?" Are they blind, or what? And as if that isn't enough, they continue: "Our forefathers ate manna in the desert; as it is written: He gave them bread from Heaven to eat." (John 6:31 NIV)

Jesus is our model for patience. He unwearyingly replies, "I tell you the truth, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from Heaven, but it is my Father who gave you the true bread from Heaven." (John 6:32 NIV)

But their faces must have still registered confusion, for Jesus continues: "For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world." (John 6:33 NKJV).

And the people's response? "Lord, give us this bread always." (John 6:34b NKJV)

Hey! Maybe they finally understand! At least Jesus has succeeded in perking their interest enough that they begin to desire what He speaks of!

But they really don't get it yet, do they? They are asking Jesus to give them this bread; but meanwhile Jesus is telling them that He, the one standing before them, is the Bread of God!

Obviously they haven't yet put it all together, so Jesus patiently repeats Himself: "I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst." (John 6:35-36 NKJV).

Friends, though we may grow weary of a steady diet of bread and water, we can survive on it. Not only is it the minimum needed to sustain life, but it was also the staple of the diet in Jesus' day. What Jesus is saying here is this: If you have Jesus, you have everything you need to survive-not just in this World, but for life everlasting!

But more than this. Let's remember that Jesus didn't just give the people bread when He fed the 5000. He also gave them fish! Protein! Something with flavor!

Friends, if we believe accept Jesus' gift of Salvation, we have our Bread of Life, to sustain us forever. But there is oh, so much more! Jesus also offers us "fish"!

How so, you ask?

Take a look at this list of "fish" that Jesus offers us: 1. Freedom from addictions: "Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed." (John 8:36 NKJV)

2. Freedom from worry: "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." (Matt 11:28-29 NKJV)
3. Power over sickness and death, over unclean spirits: "And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease." (Matt 10:1-2 NKJV)

4. And Jesus offers us peace: "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." (John 14:27-28 NKJV)

That's the "fish", friends! When we accept Jesus as our Bread of Life, as our Lord and Savior, we open the door for Him to fulfill our every need!

Now that is a loaf of bread worth buying!

But sadly, the people of Jesus' day still didn't get it. What does their lack of understanding have to teach us? Join us next Saturday for Bread of Life, Part 3: The Dangers of Lack of Understanding.
Ln His love,
Lyn
Lyn Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two teens, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries.

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You don't care for punishment? What if you knew it was for your own good? Join us on Tuesday for "No Pain No Gain", a mini-series designed to help us see why correction is not only permitted but encouraged!
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Post  Admin on Fri 03 May 2013, 6:09 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
May 2, 2013
Be a Donor
By Answers2Prayer

My children gave me a new wallet as a Father's Day present this year. It was the perfect gift
choice considering the moldy, worn, lump of leather I had been using was well past its prime. I
took the opportunity as well to toss out any cards, notes, or scraps of paper in it that were no
longer needed. As I emptied out the old wallet I was amazed at how much it held. Gingerly I
went through its contents piece by piece and moved them to their new home. As I was looking at
them I came across the organ donor card that I had signed nine years ago. Thankfully, it hadn't
yet been called into use. Still, it felt good knowing that if something should ever happen to me
I would be giving another person here a second chance at life.
As I placed the card into my new wallet I started thinking about all the other things we can
donate to help others today. We can donate our time. We can donate our talents. We can share
our wisdom. We can give our kindness. We can bless others with our laughter. We can shine
our light into the darkness. We can donate every bit of love and joy inside of us. And the
greatest thing of all is that when we do, we find that we have even more to share than when we
started. That is one of our Heavenly Father's greatest miracles: the more you give to others the
more God gives to you. The more you shower others with your love, the more God showers your
soul with His.
If you wish then by all means sign an organ donor card so you can give something back after
you die, but don't be afraid to also give something now while you are still alive. Be a donor.
Make your entire life here a gift to others. Donate all those wonderful things inside of you to
make this world a better and brighter place. Give with a cheerful heart and a loving spirit. Give
from the fullness of your soul and then watch as God fills it even fuller. "What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but does not have works? Can this kind of faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, 'Go in peace, keep warm and eat well,' but you do not give them what the body needs, what good is it? So also faith, if it does not have works, is dead being by itself. But someone will say, 'You have faith and I have works.' Show me your faith without works and I will show you faith by my works." (James 2:14-18 NET)
Joe Mazzella
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DEALING WITH GRIEF
Are you or someone you know dealing with grief? Why not check out the series, "Dealing With Grief", recently published on the Nugget by clicking here!

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Post  Admin on Tue 30 Apr 2013, 10:59 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
April 30, 2013
Storm Peace
By Answers2Prayer
Years ago I heard the story of the farm-hand employed by a man who lived in the city. Every evening, before nightfall, the farm-hand would secure all the gates and close down all the sheds and outhouses so there were no banging doors or loose gates to cause trouble if storms should blow up during the night. He left nothing to chance.
Late one evening the city owner visited the farm and heard a weather report of an unusually severe storm approaching. Such a storm had never been experienced in the area before. In the dark, alarmed at the report, he sought out the old farm-hand down at the cottage.
"There's a terrible storm coming," he said, banging on the farmer's door. "Why aren't you out there making everything secure? What needs to be done?" he asked in a panic.
The old farm-hand opened the door and held his lantern high. He looked at the owner and in a measured and dismissive tone he said as he turned away, "I sleep well on windy nights."
The Old Testament tells of a man who did not wait until the storms raged. Like the farm-hand securing the farm, it was his custom to secure his family every day. Early every morning as was his 'regular custom' Job took each one of his grown up sons and daughters to a safe place with God to secure pardon for any sins they might unwittingly have committed. He "offered burnt offering according to the number of them all; for Job said, it may be that my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually." (Job 1:5)
Note Job was concerned that his children may not have sinned and even cursed God overtly, but "in their hearts," and those storms often rage unnoticed by all except God.
Have we done everything in our power during the good times to secure our loved ones against whatever tragedies and difficulties might threaten them? Like Job, do we rise up early in the morning to seek God for our loved ones every day?
If we have, we too, can sleep well on windy nights when destructive storms and gales threaten our families because we have placed them in the Lord's keeping. Like Job, make it a "regular custom" to take each one in prayer to God so that, like the old farm hand, we have peace even in the midst of storms.
Jesus himself presents us with storm peace. Listen to him, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." (John 14:27).

Elizabeth Price
Announcement:

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; and Study #3 -- AT THE POOL OF BETHESDA. The fourth study in this series will be appearing in the Saturday Nuggets in the month of May. Please join us on Saturday for Bread of Life: A series focusing on the discourse of Jesus, recorded in John 6, that was given just after Jesus fed the 5000 with 5 loaves and 2 small fish!
©Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Post  Admin on Mon 29 Apr 2013, 10:24 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
April 27, 2013
Sowing Seed
By Answers2Prayer
"Then you will say in your heart, 'Who has begotten these for me, Since I have lost my children and am desolate, A captive, and wandering to and fro? And who has brought these up? There I was, left alone; But these, where were they?'" (Is 49:21 NKJV)

Despite my best efforts to "keep my chin up", I couldn't stop the tiny tear from working its way down my cheek. And even less, the feeling of despair that had pitted itself in my chest.

What was causing this sense of utter despondency and discouragement? Just this: like any other human being, I desire meaning in my life. And like any true child of God, I love the Lord so much that I want to follow His command to spread the gospel message. I want my efforts for the Lord to positively impact the world around me. I couldn't see it happening.

Six months ago I didn't feel this way. What went wrong?

For the past several years, I have been privileged, as moderator of this newsletter, to watch it grow in leaps and bounds. Wow. And without advertisement of any kind, is that God, or what? True enough, there have always been many unsubscriptions, but all told, there are in general about three times as many subscriptions as unsubscriptions.

But then, about four weeks ago, the unsubscriptions began pouring in, in batches of 10 and 20 at a time. What was wrong? Was it something published in The Nugget? Was I not being open to God's leading? Was it simply an attack from the devil?

But if it was simply an attack from the devil, why wasn't God protecting it? No, it couldn't be. It had to be something I was (or wasn't) doing...

The flow of unsubscriptions eventually slowed, and the subscriptions began to come in again, but for every two subscriptions, there were at least three unsubscriptions. I didn't understand, and I tried to open my heart even more to the workings of God's Spirit.

Gradually the subscription/unsubscription rate became equal, and then the subscriptions slowly began to gain ground. At least the subscriber list was moving in the upward direction, and for that I was thankful.

But then, yesterday, I again received twice as many unsubscriptions as subscriptions. Hence the feeling of discouragement that had lodged itself in the pit of my stomach.

Now I know what all of you are thinking out there: "What? You mean The Nugget subscribers are nothing more than mere numbers?"

Let me assure you that this is not the case. We care about each of your needs, and we pray for you all. However, being a human who wants validation that something she is doing is having a positive impact on the world, the numbers act as a way to gauge that impact. And in a moment of weakness, I couldn't help thinking, "God, I am being so inadequate as moderate of this newsletter! Perhaps You need to find someone else to be in charge!"

I believe that anyone in ministry understands what I was going through, and that's when God placed the words of Isaiah 49:21 on my heart: "Then you will say in your heart, 'Who has begotten these for me, Since I have lost my children and am desolate, A captive, and wandering to and fro? And who has brought these up? There I was, left alone; But these, where were they'"

You see, from a human perspective, we are so easily discouraged. We don't see the "big picture". We only see the tiny portion that is in front of our face, and when that picture isn't pretty, we become dishearted.

But God doesn't ask us to worry about the fruit of our labours, does He? In the parable of the sower (See Matt 13:4-9), He simply tells us to sow seed. True enough, some seed will fall on hearts hardened by the world. It will be unable to sprout, and wild creatures will come and eat it. Other see will fall in shallow hearts, hearts that will grasp the message for a moment, but when distractions come, will let it fall. Still other seeds will fall amongst the deceptions of the world and it will be squelched before it can truly take root. But God doesn't tell us to keep the seed just for the "good soil". He simply tells us to sow seed! The growth of the seed is God's problem, not ours!

So should I worry about the rash of unsubscriptions?

Not as long as I am open to God's leading in this ministry.

And whatever it is that you are doing for the Lord, if it doesn't appear to be growing fruit, don't be discouraged. You never know when something you've said or done will influence someone, sometimes years later, for the Lord. And someday, every devote servant of the Lord will look out and say, just as was prophesied by the Prophet Isaiah: "Who has begotten these for me, Since I have lost my children and am desolate, A captive, and wandering to and fro? And who has brought these up? There I was, left alone; But these, where were they?" (Isaiah 49:21)
In His love,

Lyn
Lyn Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two teens, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries.
Announcement:
The book of John is packed full of life-giving nuggets of Truth. We invite you to read previously-published devotionals from the Book of John by clicking here. Beginning next week, a new mini-series based on another of Jesus' famous discourses recorded in John, will be appearing in the Saturday editions of The Nugget. Please join us then for Studies from the Book of John, Study 4: The Bread of Life: A Study on True Christianity!
©Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."


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Post  Admin on Sat 27 Apr 2013, 4:30 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
July 23, 2013
A Reed and a Wick

By Answers2Prayer Subscribe
"A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out, till he leads justice to victory." (Matthew 12:20 NIV)

In the past my mother had some flowers outside that grew tall but could not hold themselves up. We would drive stakes in the ground and run a wire between them to hold the flowers up. I remember a few times we had gully washer thunderstorms that had blown the few rows of corn we had in our garden down to the ground. We would tromp through the mud, put stakes in the ground and run wire to put the corn upright. We could have cut down the flowers since they were lying in the way but they were still producing. We could have let the corn go but we knew that it was a possibility that it might produce some corn to eat.

The Sunday evening before Christmas our church has a candlelight service. You might get an old candle that has been used before that has a small wick. When your neighbor tries to light your candle it might take a while before it gives off its own flame. Even then the flame might go out but the wick still be glowing. Your neighbor might notice and relight your candle. They don't want to see your light go out.

Both of these are examples of God. You might be like the flowers or the corn that are just weak from everyday growth or from a terrible storm. God sees what you are going through and knows that there is still life in you. He won't cut you off or leave you to waste away if you belong to him. He will come to you and gently prop you up and give you the care needed to be productive. If he sees that your light is almost gone but there is a glimmer of hope in you he will continually light your flame and not snuff you out. The New Living Translation says it this way:

"He will not crush those who are weak, or quench the smallest hope, until he brings full justice with his final victory." (Matthew 12:20 NLT)


God loves you. You may be beaten down by life or the different storms that come through everyone's life but God will come to you and take care of you. He will not cut you off or snuff your smoldering wick.

If we Christians see a brother or sister who are bent low or just have a glimmer of hope, we need to help them. We are God's hands and feet.

"Bear one another's burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ." (Galatians 6:2 NASB95)

"Now as to the love of the brethren, you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another" (1 Thessalonians 4:9 NASB95)

"Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing." (1 Thessalonians 5:11 NASB95)

"Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much." (James 5:16 NASB95)

By Dean W. Masters
Masterslist
Announcement:

EZEKIEL'S TEMPLE...Curious about the strange temple described in intricate detail in the last 9 chapters of Ezekiel? Check out the "Lessons From Ezekiel's Temple" series, recently published in The Nugget by clicking here. http://www.scripturalnuggets.org//folder6/lessons_from_ezekiels_temple.htm
©Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Post  Admin on Tue 23 Apr 2013, 10:53 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
April 23, 2013Dovetailing Some Dove Facts, Part 2
By Answers2Prayer
In the concluding part of the series on the similarities between a Dove and the Holy Spirit, today we come to two more distinctive attributes in a dove.
1. Community:
Where gentleness pervades, can happy fellowship be far away? The early Church swayed by the Holy Spirit was known for the frequency of its prayer meetings, fostering happy fellowship (Acts 2:42) in the process. While avian researchers affirm that Doves are highly social birds, the Scriptures also point to the fact that doves live as a happy community together (Is 60:8). Even in one of our Church benedictions...do not we see the words fellowship and Holy Spirit going together (2 Cor 13:14)? While cottage prayer meetings in Lenten season are good, there is nothing prohibiting any Church to have cottage prayer meetings throughout the year. Nothing quite like frequent fellowshipping to grow in the Lord, like the 1st century Church!
2. Agility:
Oh how the Psalmist wishes to have the wings of a Dove to fly away speedily from all the dangers (Ps 55:6-7) surrounding him! Ask any panting and puffing predator bird, which has tried
chasing a dove, and it would vouch for the latter's speed...gasping, if I may add. Once again, let me bring the findings of the avian scientists, into the picture. They affirm, that doves can touch a fantastic speed of 55 miles per hour in full flight (is it any coincidence...Psalm 55...sic)! The early Christians, "on the move", always under the direction of the ever agile Holy Spirit, would also vouch for the speed, He led them from place to place. Ask a certain Phillip...(Acts 8:39-40). WOW...Road to Gaza to Azotus in an instant and then all the way to Caesearea. Say Christian, are you lethargic? Now coming to a different subject, intertwined with that of the dove in Matt 3:16. Should not the fact of Jesus' baptism by immersion "bury" all the doubts surrounding the Baptism procedure? Without intending to stir the hornet's nest, I want to affirm once again that our Lord's example of taking baptism by immersion should be the guiding principle on all debates, on which kind of Baptism is acceptable to God. Even here, care should be taken to check to the best extent possible as to whether a person has genuinely accepted Christ, before one enters the Baptismal waters, lest it (baptism) be reduced to a process of merely transforming "a dry sinner" into "a wet hypocrite".
Prayer: Father enable us always to relish Christian fellowship even while being ever-agile and alert in Your Ministry. In Jesus' Name. Amen
Suresh Manoharan
J and SM Ministries
Announcement:
April 25 is ANZAC DAY in Australia and New Zealand. Happy ANZAC DAY! Anzac Prayer, 2013 Immediately after the Last Supper, Jesus knew he faced a terrible death, during which truth would be compromised and there would be both violence and corruption causing his death. Yet knowing he faced those conditions, he said to his disciples, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you." (John 14:27).In a similar way, our precious young men and women go to war to secure peace and mostly find only horror and death. So is peace just a mirage? Is it a lie? Is it only a hollow, religious fallacy? And is peace only the absence of war?What is real peace and how did the young men of World War 1 have any peace when they faced the terrible conditions of that war?After his resurrection, Jesus said that the end of the world would be as it was in the days of Noah (See Matthew 24:37). Scripture records that in the days of Noah, there were three conditions world wide. The first was the compromise of true belief, spoken of as "the Sons of God marrying the daughters of men." The second was violence, and the third was corruption, (See Genesis 6).
Jesus faced all three at His death, and yet He was at peace. The young men of the First World War faced the same conditions, and our young men and women face those conditions today.
But Jesus said to his disciples, "My peace I give unto you," so you and I have the responsibility and the privilege of placing our young men and women of the past and of the present, in the peace of our God. What Jesus gives to us, we give to them.Whatever happens to them through compromise, through violence and through corruption of the world, the peace which Jesus gave us is ours to give to them. I saw my Mother pray for two of her sons who went to war so I KNOW what it is to pray for our children.So I will say a brief prayer for all of us here and after that we will pray the Lord's Prayer together:Lord, this morning we accept the responsibility You have given us to pass Your peace on to our young men and women. We earnestly seek Your compassion for ourselves and for them and we commend them to You to keep them in peace until You return for them.And now we all join in the prayer You gave us and we pray together:
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory, for ever. Amen. (Matthew 6:9-13)Elizabeth Price
©Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Post  Admin on Sat 20 Apr 2013, 11:01 pm

April 20, 2013
The Folly of Relying on Your Own Belief System...Lessons on Discernment from Job, Part 3
By Answers2Prayer

The book of Job has many valuable lessons to teach us. Over the course of the next year, several min-series will be published in the Nugget, focussing on each of these lessons. Please click here for Study #1 -- Managing Troubles. The next 3 devotionals from Job will focus on the lessons that Job has to teach us about discernment ... Our third and last lesson in discernment from the book of Job comes from Eliphaz' second discourse. As with his first, this one is far from kind:

"Should a wise man answer with empty knowledge, And fill himself with the east wind? Should he reason with unprofitable talk, Or by speeches with which he can do no good? ... Your own mouth condemns you, and not I; Yes, your own lips testify against you." (Job 15:2-6 NKJV)

"Why does your heart carry you away, And what do your eyes wink at, That you turn your spirit against God, And let such words go out of your mouth?" (Job 15:11-13 NKJV)

So where does Eliphaz get off telling Job all of this? Is he not setting himself up as wiser than Job? As perhaps a champion of all wisdom?

It would appear that this is the case:

"I will tell you, hear me; What I have seen I will declare, What wise men have told, Not hiding anything received from their father...The wicked man writhes with pain all his days, And the number of years is hidden from the oppressor...For he stretches out his hand against God, And acts defiantly against the Almighty, Running stubbornly against Him With his strong, embossed shield." (Job 15:17-26 NKJV)

It is clear here that Eliphaz considers himself an expert, and he establishes himself as an expert witness by relying on his own experiences and observations of truth.

But when you read through the list of "proofs" that Eliphaz lists, we know from our own experiences that these accusations are not true. For example, we have all experienced the fact that the filthy rich are often the ones who don't even acknowledge God's existence. We see around us how our unsaved coworkers get the promotions that we deserve, and we all know that God's rain falls on the unsaved farmers' fields as well as on the fields of the saved farmers! So where does Eliphaz get off saying, "Let me tell you what I have seen..." (vs. 17)?

But wait a minute. History and culture tell us that this belief was the mentality of the time. We can even see this in glimpses we get from other parts of the Old Testament: If God didn't prevent it, then He brought it to be! So can we really fault Eliphaz for what he believed? He was simply holding on to the traditions and wisdom of his day!

The problem was this: Eliphaz' vision of the world was discolored by the false truth he clung to!

We must be careful, because often we, too, cling to beliefs that are not Truth! We may be sure that our neighbor hates us, or that our mother doesn't care. And every time we observe anything that they do, we are sure that their intent was malicious and it serves to feed the anger that we hold towards them! But what if it isn't that way at all? What if we aren't privy to all the facts? What if we don't know behind the scenes just what motivates our neighbors, our coworkers, our families? Are we not in danger of seeing the world through Eliphaz' eyes? Aren't our perceptions, just like Eliphaz', based on misconception?

And what about in our definition of Biblical Truth?

I went for many years of my life clinging to what I had been taught as Biblical truth. I let my belief discolor and discredit every proof that what I had learned was false. Only many years later did God open my eyes to Truth, and I was able to see that I had been clinging to a falsehood!

Friends, it is important to test even the most traditional of beliefs in our churches to see if they are truly founded in Biblical Truth! If we don't, then we are seeing the world through Eliphaz' eyes! And that is the lesson on discernment that we can learn from Eliphaz' second speech to Job: Let's be careful that our perception of truth is really based on Truth itself, and not on tradition or culture or mentality. It will help to resolve a lot of the conflict in our lives!

And this, friends, wraps up the lessons on discernment from Job's "friends". Let's remember the following:
1. Truth is not defined by tradition or culture, the wisdom of the day, or even by supernatural occurrences. Truth is defined by God's Word!
2. Truth often comes wrapped up with a few misconceptions, and these misconceptions will miscolour truth! And finally,
3. Our perception of truth must be based on Truth, and not simply on our own perceptions.

If you have missed any of the lessons from this second study on the book of Job, you will find them published online by clicking here.

In His love,
Lyn

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

NO MORE EMAIL ADDRESSESTo protect against SPAM, some Nugget writers have asked to no longer have their email addresses published in The Nugget. Should you wish to contact the author of a particular devotional directly, and the email address is not included, please send your email here, and it will be forwarded directly to the author. If you have any questions, please contact Lyn by clicking here!
©Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Post  Admin on Fri 19 Apr 2013, 7:40 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
April 18, 2013
Attitude or Gratitude
By Answers2Prayer

I walked with a friend through the garden and we came to the tree where I have little hanging pots for seed for garden birds. About twice a day I fill the pots with seed and there is a feeding frenzy between the colourful Mountain Parrots and the King Parrots.

Of course there are inevitable castings from the seed and it builds into quite large piles which I rake away occasionally and when my friend saw the castings she was horrified by its effect on the garden.

"Look at this mess!" she exclaimed. "You must be driven mad trying to keep it cleaned away!" And she turned to me with great sympathy for all the extra work caused by the birds.

Then she pounced on further garden destruction -- wild bird feathers. Busily she picked up about four feathers she had noticed lying on the nearby garden bed and among the rocks beneath the tree. "What a mess!" she exclaimed again. "I would be telling those wild birds exactly what I think of their untidy mess."

So it was with some trepidation that a few days later I walked with another friend in the same area of the garden.

"Oh look!" she whispered so as not to scare the King Parrot in the tree. "When the birds eat, they leave the husks as mulch and it stops the weeds from growing. Do you gather some of it up and put it on your garden beds?"

"Yes, I do," I smiled, "and it aerates the soil when I dig it in. It helps the plants to grow."

I was still smiling at her attitude because it matched my own.

Then she pounced. Two feathers lay on one of the rocks beneath the tree. "What a beautiful thank you from your birds!" she exclaimed. "Look, they have left you a present!" And she handed me the blue-green feather from a Mountain Parrot and a red feather from a King Parrot.

Attitude, I mused, we walk with attitude or we walk with gratitude because "The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works." (Psalm 145:9).


Elizabeth Price
Announcement:
Do you ever wonder why the Holy Spirit is depicted as a dove? Join us next Tuesday for the concluding part of "Dovetailing Some Dove Facts" and find out!
©Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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