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NUGGET Today's Devotional

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Post  Admin on Sun 28 May 2017, 9:51 am

Welcome to the Nugget
May 27, 2017

Let Them Pray, Part 2
bible
By Answers2Prayer 
Last Thursday, we saw that no matter what the nature of the problem you are going through, the fix is the same: "Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray." (James 5:13 NIV).

But what if you do pray, but you don't see results?

The Bible teaches us: "If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer." (Matt 21:22 NIV). This is a promise: Whatever we ask for in prayer, believing, we will receive! 

But does this mean we will see the results we expect? The ones we desire? Does it mean that those results will always be, like the turn-around with my patient last week, immediate? 

No, it doesn't.

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012, God promised me about 15 hours before I found the growth that He would heal me. I had no idea what He was referring to, until I found that odd "bump" later that same day; and then I just assumed that His promise meant He would remove the tumor before I ever got to see the doctor. When He didn't, I was a bit annoyed. I decided then that He would wait until it was confirmed that I actually had cancer. Again, I was doomed for disappointment. God did not take the tumor away, and as a result, I had to go through the agony of the needle biopsy, I was required to have surgical intervention, and it was necessary to have long-term treatment. 

When I look back, however, over the past four years, I realize that God did, indeed, keep His promise. He healed and re-established me 100%. He didn't do it in my timeline. He didn't even do it in the miraculous way I expected it to be done. Instead, He used modern medicine. Nonetheless, He kept His promise to heal me. 

Why? Why was I healed in His way and not mine?

I don't know the answer to that question. When I look back, I can see how God carried me so tenderly through those hard times. I can see His hand of mercy and grace on my life more times than I can count, and in the end, I have learned so many beautiful lessons about depending on Him. Perhaps the most important lesson learned, however, was that God loves me. No matter what I am going through, I never need to doubt that fact! 

Have you prayed about your situation? Has God given you a promise of restoration, but you don't see any results? Then consider the fact that God may be answering your prayer in a different way from what you expect. Rest in the promise that He will answer your prayer, and that He does, indeed, love you so very much; and then sit back and watch for His hand in your life and in your situation. I can guarantee you that you will be blessed beyond reason, and maybe, just maybe, at the end of it all, you will say, just as I did after cancer, "God, thank You for allowing me to take this ride through the valley of ______ --with You!" 

Don't forget to pray, don't forget that God answers all of our prayers: "If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer." (Matt 21:22 NIV); and especially don't forget this vitally important fact: God loves you, and as long as you put your trust in Him, His perfect love will cast out your fear, for: "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear..." (1 John 4:18 NIV)

In His love,
Lyn
Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author -- "Aboard God's Train -- A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.
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The early church united in prayer, and as a result, miracles upon miracles happened. Sadly, that unity experienced by the early church has been shredded in modern times by differences of opinion and doctrinal disputes. Just what does the Bible have to say about doctrine? Check out the mini-series, "True Doctrine: A Pentecost Message"!
©Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Post  Admin on Fri 26 May 2017, 5:57 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
May 25, 2017

Let Them Pray, Part 1
bible
By Answers2Prayer 
Starting with Tuesday of last week, my life at work became much more complicated. 

In retrospect, there was no real reason for me to see it that way. My current student was doing beautifully, and because she was beginning to work independently, I suddenly found myself with plenty of time on my hands to do my paperwork and to tend to my administrative duties. As a result, for the first time in months, I am actually "caught up". Everything was going well with my colleagues, most of my patients were progressing, and I even found myself going home on time. 

So why is it that I was feeling so stressed? 

There was just this one thing I haven't mentioned: A new patient had recently come onto my caseload who was perhaps the most challenging one I've ever had to deal with in my 27-year career as a Speech-Language Pathologist/Therapist. No matter what I did, I couldn't make any headway with this patient, and my feeble efforts only seemed to raise his ire--that, incidentally was high enough to begin with!

By Tuesday of that week, I was at my wit's end. After having the worst session I've ever had in my entire career, I was completely and totally drained. I simply had nothing else to give to the rest of my patients, and when I looked at my schedule the next day and saw this patient's name in my morning bunch of patients, I panicked. What could I do that would make a difference? How could I succeed in bringing "down" his ire, rather than raising it? How could I maintain enough of "me" so that the rest of my patients wouldn't suffer? 

That's when I remembered something vitally important: I remembered to pray. 

I was immediately impressed with some new activities to try, and when I went to see this particular patient, I found him calm. He wasn't happy, but he was kind of "resigned" to the "very bad" fact that he had speech therapy. We had a beautiful session, in which we made certain headway, and the next day, when I again remembered to pray, it was exactly the same. 

Praying about problems, big or small, is not a new thing for me, and hadn't prayer made the world of a difference with my current student? Didn't prayer bring me home on time every Friday, despite the fact that on Fridays, in addition to my regular work, I have to update the patients' records? Hadn't prayer proved time and time again to keep me calm? To see my endless mountain of work come to an end? Hadn't I seen it make huge differences in the lives of my colleagues? Hadn't prayer resolved so many family problems? Brought about healing? Provided wisdom in delicate situations with my kids, my husband, my mom? 

Why did I wait so long to pray for this patient?

I don't know the answer to that question. Probably for the same reason that I usually seem to wait about twice as long as necessary before remembering to pray about--say--anything!

Many of you reading this post are dealing with problems far bigger than an angry, belligerent patient. Some of you are in life-or-death struggles. It doesn't matter, however, what the nature of your problem is, for the fix is the same: "Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray." (James 5:13 NIV)

Whatever it is you're going through, I encourage you to do what I finally did this past Wednesday morning: Give it to God in prayer, ever believing that He will make a way, He will bring you through triumphant. Then sit back and watch while He answers your prayers: "If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer." (Matt 21:22 NIV)

But what if that solution isn't immediately apparent? Join us next week for some suggestions.

In His love,
Lyn


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

Do you have a prayer request? Do you know someone who needs to be prayed for? Prayer works! The Bible confirms this in James 5:16: "The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." (NIV) Send your prayer request to prayerrequest@answers2prayer.org and let us pray in agreement with you! Matt 18:20: "For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them." (NIV) Hallelujah!
©Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Post  Admin on Tue 23 May 2017, 6:19 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
May 23, 2017

Twenty/Twenty Vision, Part 3

By Answers2Prayer
  Today, in the concluding part of the series on how our Heavenly Father's perspective varies with respective to that of finite intelligent men of the World, we come to two more related subjects...
Lay-up... 

"One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want." (Proverbs 11:24) 

Now how is this possible? One steeped in human rationale may ask for in the Worldly realm, more you save, greater your savings, fatter your bank balance and so on and so forth? Let me herald the fact once again that impossible is possible only with God (Matt 19:26). Now hear this testimony from a horse's mouth (Yours truly). When I was about a quit a lucrative, highly paid job to take-up full-time spiritual ministry in answer to the Master's call eleven years ago, several questions popped up in my mind with regard to my future charity? Well, I was supporting some Christian ministries financially, when I was holding a job. Would or could I continue doing the same being a full-timer also was a question which creased my forehead before I took that "leap of faith"? Truth to tell, by His Grace and empowerment alone my financial support to Christian ministries increased much more after coming to Full-time Ministry. Why? Did I solicit funds and get them? never! The Lord provides faithfully by "stirring up the hearts of men" (Exodus 35:21--the cornerstone verse of George Muller's peerless orphanage ministry). It is indeed true that a Christian's Bank balance at the end of the day may not be "overflowing" but his spirit will become richer with time, even as his "Heavenly Bank account" will be swelling with the laying up of treasures in the place that matters most (Matt 6:19-20). Hmmm...what happened to manna which the Israelites wanted to "hoard"? Much to their chagrin, got infected with maggots (Exo 16:20)! But the same manna "laid-up" in a bowl inside the Ark of the Covenant (in the presence of the Lord)...mind you with no addition of preservatives...well...well...well...I can only shout Hallelujah remembering once again what the Saviour said "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal" (Matt 6:19-20). Oh to look at "Heavenly Investment" as the Heavenly Father does!!! 

In Ministry, the golden rule is "If you run after Jesus, all the needed resources come 'chasing' you". But tragically if one runs after money, he would eventually find himself stranded "high and dry" (1 Tim 6:9). Shipwrecked…ah that's the word!!! 

When it comes to Charity, we can be either like clean waters of a "flowing river" or like that of a dirty, stagnant pond becoming a perfect haven for mosquito breeding (sic). Repulsive as it is, the sight of a dirty pond...our lives would appear as such in the eyes of one with a 20-20 vision, if we resort to "hoarding" greedily in the Earthly vaults instead of storing them in the "Heavenly" ones'. By the way are not flowing clean waters revered to the point of worship in our Country? In this connection, we need to tell our countrymen lovingly that the Creator alone needs to be worshipped and not His creation. 

Lay-down... 

"For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it." (Matt 16:25) 

And when it finally comes to the crunch! After our time is up and done on Earth! Take my word, by then we would have completed all of the divinely ordained purposes in our life (John 21:15-19). Now with martyrdom with all its attendant implications of physical agony looming large before us, what ought to be our response? Thankfully we should accept martyrdom (Romans 14:8) laying down our physical lives for His glory...fully believing that "sunset" (our end) in one place is actually a "sunrise" (a glorious beginning) in the other. Incidentally if our martyrdom inspires some brethren, strengthening their faith, then so be it. Didn't somebody say "aspire to inspire, even when you expire". By the way, how can a Christian discern, his time is up and it is time to cede to his killers' without any struggle? The indwelling Holy Spirit is the teacher in all matters including this dicey issue (2 Peter 1:14). 

Finally, for those who are willing to lay down their life at the altar, the reward by way of a Crown promised is not one of incorruptibility (I Cor 9:25) or rejoicing (I Thess 2:19) or glory (I Peter 5:4) or righteousness (2 Tim 4:8) but paradoxically the one of Life (Rev 2:10). Hallelujah!!! No wonder that great martyr Jim Elliot observed "He is no fool, who gives up what he cannot keep, to gain what he cannot lose". Hallelujah. 

Oh even to see "premature" death (in the sight of myopic World) wrought by martyrdom, as the Heavenly Father sees it!!! A matter of great joy for the person concerned in the Eternal perspective (Philippians 2:17)!!! 

Prayer: Father, may we at all times have the wisdom to view those sacrifices' made for Your glory as "gain", though the World may view it as "loss". In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Suresh Manoharan
An unworthy servant
J and SM Ministries  
Announcement:

What do you do when things seem impossible? Join us on Thursday and Saturday for "Let Them Pray!" A Mini-Series by Lynona Gordon Chaffart
©Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Post  Admin on Sun 21 May 2017, 10:58 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
May 20, 2017

Twenty/Twenty Vision, Part 2

By Answers2Prayer 
  Continuing to focus on how our Heavenly Father's perspective differs in relation to finite "intelligent" men of this World, today we come to yet another subject (penultimate part of the Series)...

Lofty... 

In the sight of Perfect One, the one who is lowly is the lofty one. Consider this Scripture... 

"The greatest among you will be your servant..." (Matt 23:11) 

Time we dare to re-phrase the "Leadership Training" programs in the Church as "Leadership training in Servant hood"? Yes! Oh to have the mind of the One who washed His disciples' feet and to think like Him always (John 13:4-14/Philippians 2:5)!!! 

Time also for "reverse-ageing" in the Spiritual realm...Consider this Scripture, looking at it very closely:

"And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven." (Matt 18:2-3)

In an individual's life, after conversion (being made anew in Christ -- See John 3:3/2 Cor 5:17) starts the process of becoming more and more Child-like as the indwelling Holy Spirit starts chipping away at the rough edges of his pride, self-reliance and manipulative tendencies making him flesh-out in increasing measure the Scripture portion "not by your strength or by your might but by My Spirit" (Zech 4:6) so that on the day of reckoning when he is presented to Him (Eph 4:30) we would come across as one with a total Child-like heart (the one of Adam before the Fall which was all about having child-like trust on the Father exuding absolute humility in the process). Mind you, my observations on becoming more and more child-like need to be tempered with 1 Cor 14:20 ...the Lord wants us to become more and more simple by the day...not simpletons!

Are we on the mark in the matter of spiritual reverse aging process or far off the mark in the Master's eyes? Time to introspect...and submit to the leading of the Spirit (Gal 5:16)!

While on the subject of becoming from "big to small", permit me also to state that even though it is as difficult for the high and lofty rich ones' to enter Heaven as it is for the camel to enter the eye of the needle for invariably it is in the rich we observe detestable pride, cocky self-reliance and a crafty manipulative disposition, it is certainly not impossible with God (Matt 19:26) to effect the "necessary salutary changes" in them. In the hands of the Master Sculptor- the patient and persevering Holy Spirit -- in due course of time they (rich ones after being born again) would be "cut down to size" for their own good so as to "pass through the eye of the needle" with ease. Oh to view "growing" and "pruning" process, as the Heavenly Father views it!
 
Prayer: Father, oh how we desire to become lowly Thy sight. We know the process of shaping us into Your Son's image can sometimes be very painful. Empower us from within to cope-up with the same. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Suresh Manoharan
An unworthy servant
J and SM Ministries  
Announcement:

Do you have a prayer request? Do you know someone who needs to be prayed for? Prayer works! The Bible confirms this in James 5:16: "The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." (NIV) Send your prayer request here and let us pray in agreement with you! Matt 18:20: "For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them." (NIV) Hallelujah!
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Post  Admin on Thu 18 May 2017, 9:47 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

May 18, 2017

Twenty/Twenty Vision, Part 1



By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us  "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isa 55:8-9) 

No...No...Twenty-Twenty Vision has nothing to do with Twenty-Twenty Cricket also branded as T-20 Cricket of which there is no shortage, these days. Oh yes, it was "visionary" of Cricket administrators' at the helm to have instituted this "Instant" variety of Cricket in this "Instant" age (Instant Coffee, Fast-Food etc) where time is at a premium and hence public at large, are prone to take to fast-paced Cricketing action packaged and presented all in the matter of just three hours like duck to water. Well, Twenty-Twenty vision is not about having instant "fixes for a problem" but a long-term recourse to an issue which in hindsight would be perfect. Well for those uninitiated in eye-care, "Twenty-Twenty" vision is all about having a "perfect eyesight" (as per the Oxford Dictionary). And who better than our perfect God (Matt 5:48) when it comes to having a "perfect perspective" both in the physical and the more important spiritual realms!!! 

A wise soul remarked, "We do not see things, as they are but we see things, as we are". How true! What seems absurd in the sight of mortal men, may not be so in the eyes of the all knowing Perfect One. In this Series of three parts, Yours truly has endeavoured to bring to the fore the stark contrast in the thinking of the Worldly wise and the Wisest One in the Universe whose ways and thoughts are far higher than those termed as "brilliant" by the finite World (1 Cor 1:25). 


Limp... 

"The sun rose upon him as he passed Penuel, limping because of his hip." (Gen 32:31) 

Truth be told, what was Jacob's spiritual state before his ethereal "wrestling bout" with the Lord (Gen 32:24)? Being an inherent schemer and having cheated many of his near and dear ones' till then, he was the very definition of a "spiritually lame person". But only after, he actually started physically "limping" that he began to walk aright spiritually in the sight of his Creator. In the days to follow, he would even become an innocent victim of cheating by his "near and dear ones" (Gen 37:31-35) enduring terrible emotional agony but he himself would never cheat on anyone, putting them to loss. Folks, do not look down upon (a La Job friends) those fellow Christians who are "limping", for all we know the good Lord may be using this "limp" to accomplish a greater purpose in their lives (Job 23:10). Consider Apostle Paul's struggle with a "limp" in his life that seemed for all practical purposes to be seriously "limiting" him but was actually leading to "God's power being made perfect in his weakness" (2 Cor 12:9). 

The outer man may "perish" but if the inner man is being made "stronger" because of the temporary plight of the former...nothing quite like it (2 Cor 4:16)!

Oh, wise is the one who views matters of "physical and spiritual" like our Heavenly Father does and prioritizes suitably (I Tim 4:8)!

Prayer: Father, we pray to have the mind of Your Son when it comes prioritizing on physical and spiritual matters. In Jesus' Name. Amen!

Suresh Manoharan
An unworthy servant
J and SM Ministries  
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In the Northern Hemisphere it is said, "March winds and April showers bring forth May flowers..." Enjoy the signs of Spring!
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Post  Admin on Tue 16 May 2017, 1:24 pm

14:24:28Welcome to the Nugget

May 16, 2017
What to do in the Storms of Life

By Answers2Prayer
  Decades ago, while still in my hometown of La Paz, Bolivia, birthday celebrations were a big thing. With a handful of invitations, I ran from house to house on the dirt streets where my friends lived. Anticipation danced in my heart as I delivered them with pride because my Mom had designed them with colorful writing.

My parents gathered enough money to buy ingredients for a birthday cake. And the other treat at my 10th birthday party was made by mixing red Jell-O with evaporated milk. Since we didn't have the luxury to own a refrigerator, Mom placed them outside, hoping the chilly night would make them gel.

And when my special day came, the friends who accepted the invitation, filed in through the worn, rusty gate of our house. They carried gifts. And in turn, I carry that memory in my heart.

Decade's later invitations took a different meaning. During the storms of life, I ran down the dirt street of worry and self-pity. The only way to conquer all that was to extend an invitation to Jesus. He accepted and together we celebrated a restoring of my soul.

We can all do the same. But the invitation has to be specific:

* We invite Him into our storm.
* We invite Him into the heartache of the moment.
* We invite Him to share the disappointment in our marriage.
* We invite Him to share the longing for a solution.
* We invite Him into the diagnosis from the doctor.
* And we invite Him to be with us when we face the end of something we treasure.

When Jesus accepts the invitation, He shows up carrying the gift of His promises, colorfully wrapped in His love. They repeat: "The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing." (Zephaniah 3:17)

Into what situation will you invite Jesus today?

Janet Eckles

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

Announcement:
Have you noticed that our perspective on things doesn't always line up with the way God sees things? Join us on Thursday for 20/20 Vision -- A Mini-series by Suresh Manoharan.
©Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Post  Admin on Sat 13 May 2017, 11:54 pm

Welcome to the Nugget


May 13, 2017
A Tribute to Mothers, Part 3
By Answers2Prayer 

 In the concluding part of our series on "Mother's day" meditations...we will focus on some serious responsibilities which come calling the way of a Christian mother...

School...

"...and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus." (1 Tim 3:15)

Oh how incumbent it is upon a Christian mother who has personally tasted God's redemptive love to teach her children through life and lip from their young age onwards all about the "goodness" of God's character. This ensures that the tiny ones learn to trust Him to solve their "problems" (may appear minor to us but they are "major" in their sight), so that one day (when the age of accountability arrives), they would eventually realize their "fallen" condition (the biggest problem) and look to the Saviour for deliverance.

Eunice, the mother of Timothy (2 Tim 1:5), doubtless planted in her young son's heart the "seeds" of the "Messianic" prophecies recorded in the only available Scripture of that era (Genesis to Malachi). Thus, when the Gospel laced with the Messianic prophecies was preached in their native city of Lystra, Timothy's heart responded positively to it. Likewise, closer to our time...Susanna Wesley's meticulous grooming of her sons in the matters of Scripture would one day lead not only to the salvation experience of her John (who had previously rushed into the Pastoral Ministry without the born-again experience, failing therein predictably), but would also trigger what is now known in Christian folklore as the "Methodist reformation"!


Supplicate...

"Women received back their dead by resurrection..." (Heb 11:35)

Christian mothers are privileged not only to bring their precious offspring into this World of the physical realm, but are also charged with the responsibility of fervently praying for their salvation in order that their precious children be "born into the Heavenly realm". That is the spiritual meaning of the above-captioned Scripture verse. Yes, when a child is born, the name of the child is recorded in the hospital and eventually in the concerned Government's records; but a Christian mother needs to pray without ceasing for her child's salvation as well, in order for her child's name is also recorded in the much more important Lamb's Book of life (Luke 10:20/Rev 20:12). Now should I need to remind the devout mothers that "a man born once, dies twice, but the one born twice dies only once, and if the end times take place during his life-time, he is "exempted" from even that one death"!
 
Oh how many wonderful accounts we have come across of interceding mothers like Eliza Spurgeon who prayed passionately for the "re-birth" of her son Charles. He was so head-strong in his young age, but after being given a "new life in Christ" (John 3:3/2 Cor 5:17), he was transformed into not only a responsible Christian, but he went on to be heralded as the "Prince of preachers". 

So Dear brethren, let's cherish our mothers and thank God for them on this side of Eternity, even as we thankfully recollect how sincerely they went about their God-given responsibilities. And in case, they have "gone to a better World", let's rejoice in the "Blessed hope" of being reunited with them one day (1 Thess 4:13-18)!

My irreplaceable Mom at the age of 77 was promoted to Eternal Glory on 2-5-2016...I would one day see her once again...(2 Cor 5:8/Philippians 1:20-23)

Prayer: Lord, thanks for comforting and strengthening me in my Mother's absence. In Jesus' Name. Amen

Suresh Manoharan
An unworthy servant
J and SM Ministries
 
Announcement:

Do you wish you had 20/20 vision? What about 20/20 spiritual vision? Please join us next Thursday for 20/20 Vision: A Mini-series by Suresh Manoharan
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Post  Admin on Thu 11 May 2017, 3:09 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
May 11, 2017

Mother's Day Special, Part 2
By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us  In the penultimate part of our series of meditating on the wondrous similarities between Mother's love and that of our Redeemer, coinciding as it is with the annual, global "Mother's Day" celebrations, today we shall focus on two more parallels...
Security...

"...How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings..." (Luke 13:34)

Providing protection to her children, whatever be the cost is but one of the many manifestations of a Mother's agape love. Here I would like to recount a deeply touching story involving a mother bird which figures into the biography of the inimitable Sadhu...Sundar Singh. It is said once the forest through which the Sadhu was travelling was engulfed suddenly in flames. As he himself was on the run, he overheard the frantic cries of a mother bird circling desperately over its nest full of nestlings, as the fire spread to the tree where the nest rested. He saw that as the fire reached the nest, the mother bird with its fully-developed wings, instead of using it for flying away from danger, settled down on the nest and covered its nestlings with them, preferring to perish in the flames along with its young ones.
 
We are His Creation...after we were permanently marred by the sin of our first parent's, there was no other way He could save us from His own just wrath against sin other than by coming down in human body and dying in our stead (Rom 5:8-10). The excruciating physical, emotional and spiritual agony the Saviour had to endure to accomplish this can never be properly measured or fathomed. Oh let not our hearts ever become cold and stal,e forgetting what it cost our Saviour to save us! Truth be told, if anyone (God forbid) lands up in hell, it would be because of his own hard-heartedness in declining the gracious offer of Salvation through the Cross.

Yet another aspect of security is that there is always that "ring of fire" around every Christian, which no enemy can pierce (Exo 19:4), as long as the former is obedient to His Saviour. 
Supply...
"As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy." (1 Tim 6:17)

Will a mother ever deprive her children of the best? Ditto with the Creator and Sustainer of our lives as well (Deu 8:18/Matt 7:11/James 1:17)! Count on Him to give you all you need, not all you want, because all you desire may not eventually be good for you. In the matter of asking dear friends, it would serve us well to use our God-given discretion and ask only what all figures under the category of "perfect will" of God (Rom 8:26-27) and not His "permissive will" (Remember how the travelling Israelites en-route to Canaan tragically learned this truth at a tremendous cost? See Psalm 106:15).

Prayer: Our Father in Heaven, how can we ever adequately thank you for our loving mothers' whose very presence would contribute to our emotional wholesomeness deeply speaking to our hearts at all times that here is the one who would to go to any extent to ensure our welfare. We simply praise thee wholeheartedly in Jesus' Name. Amen!!!

Suresh Manoharan
An unworthy servant
J and SM Ministries
Announcement:
Do you have a prayer request? Do you know someone who needs to be prayed for? Prayer works! The Bible confirms this in James 5:16: "The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." (NIV) Send your prayer request here and let us pray in agreement with you! Matt 18:20: "For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them." (NIV) Hallelujah!
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Post  Admin on Tue 09 May 2017, 10:27 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
May 9, 2017

A Tribute to Mothers, Part 1
By Answers2Prayer 
  Sometime ago, a US-based company placed a classified ad for a Director of Operations position and posted it online and in newspapers. Though 2.7 million saw the ad, only 24 people inquired. The interviews were conducted via webcam, where the interviewer details the requirements and benefits:

1. 135+ hours each week,
2. No breaks,
3. Preferred degrees: Medicine/finance/culinary arts,
4. No vacations/workload increases during the holidays,
5. No pay. 

The applicants responded to this job with adjectives such as "insane"  and "inhumane."  The interviewer then shared that there are billions who currently hold this position: Moms. Truly they are the unsung heroines who quietly go about their God-given responsibilities without seeking or looking for any public applause.

Anna Jarvis, that US born, epoch-making social activist of the early 20th century, instrumental for making the Mother's day a reality, was one of the 13 children born to Granville and Ann Jarvis. It has to be said that while like all of us, she saw her mother bringing up her siblings "over the sweat of her brow", unlike most of us, she was inspired to do something monumentally great to publicly recognize the selfless toil all that mothers subject themselves to whilst rearing their children. Now, thanks to her unstinted efforts of mobilizing public opinion (read movement) to have a day in honor of the Mothers in the USA, her country began celebrating every second Sunday in the month of May (from 1914 onwards to be more precise) as the Mother's day. With the Globalization waxing, it would be only a matter of time before this "festival"  would go "viral"  for good...soon...and today, globally (barring few Nations), the second Sunday of May is dedicated to that special person in our lives who, more than anyone else, mirrors the Creator's love (who Himself is love -- I John 4:8). When we see what exactly constitutes Biblical love in 1 Cor 13:4-6: "Love is very patient and kind, never jealous or envious, never boastful or proud, never haughty or selfish or rude. Love does not demand its own way. It is not irritable or touchy. It does not hold grudges and will hardly even notice when others do it wrong. It is never glad about injustice, but rejoices whenever truth wins out..." who donning human flesh comes immediately to your mind? Is it not your mother? Absolutely for she would always believe in you, bear everything for you, hope the very best for you and also endure anything for you (I Cor 13:7)!

In this Series of three parts, Yours truly has endeavoured to bring out the some of the truths so as to show how a Mother's love is in a way a microcosm of the Almighty's love, and what serious responsibilities come the way of a privileged Christian mother...


Soothe... 

"As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you;" (Isa 66:13)

A reassuring smile, a quizzical concerned look, a loving hug which only a mother can give, and a frantic kid knows he is in the presence of the one who would go to any extent to relieve his stress. Friends, it is in our DNA to know to discern who will stand by us, come what may. Their very presence would soothe frayed nerves.

There we are, encircled sometimes by problems, some of which are of our own making, and some for which we may not be responsible but whatsoever. Nonetheless, we always have our God of all comfort comforting us through them all by His comforting presence, which a believer alone is privileged to experience (John 14:15-18/2 Cor 1:3-4/Acts 9:31). Here is this writer, who has "lost" (albeit only temporarily) his Mom only a week before the writing this article, who can cite a 100 reasons for breaking down and plunging into depression (even as he remembers her umpteen acts of sacrificial love in his life), but who is being made to stand upright only by the inimitable comfort His Creator and Redeemer alone can give.

Prayer: Father in Heaven, I am experiencing first-hand the comfort, you alone can give. How can I adequately thank you for it!!! In response, I simply praise you whole-heartedly in Jesus' Name. Amen.

Suresh Manoharan
An unworthy servant
J and SM Ministries
 
Announcement:

Sometime early in His ministry, Jesus had an interesting encounter with a Pharisee named Nicodemus. We aren't told much about this particular Pharisee, but Jesus' short encounter with him, recorded in John 3:3-20, is packed with essential life-giving nuggets of Truth. Please check out "Jesus and Nicodemus," A Study on Rebirth!\
©Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Post  Admin on Thu 04 May 2017, 1:30 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
May 4, 2017

Is Jesus Really Enough?

By Answers2Prayer
I received a peck on the cheek as I hugged a small, frail woman. "Welcome beautiful visitor," she said.

She brought small bowls of rice to feed the children who gathered outside her tiny nipa hut nestled in the rural areas of the island of Mindanao, Philippines.

In the midst of the humid, scorching heat, she fed them. They sang songs, and then she nourished their souls with Bible lessons.

Fighting mosquitoes and wiping sweat beads off my forehead, I listened and observed her joy, her passion, and patience with those little ones. As we were about to leave and head to our next stop in our missions trip, I hugged her. "I admire you," I said. "You have so little and give so much."

She gave a shy giggle. "When you have Jesus, you have enough," she said.

Can that be so? Can Jesus really be enough?

Here are three questions to determine if He's truly enough for us:

1. If we lose all we value, can we still declare we believe and trust in Him?

2. If our plans fail, our heart is broken, and our future looks bleak, will contentment still fill our hearts?

3. If His ways contradict ours, will we still embrace joy?

And if we had nothing, can we repeat what Habakkuk 3:17-18 declares? "Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior."

No matter what you're facing today, can you still rejoice in Him?

Janet P. Eckles

Announcement:

Hounded by problems? Have troubles become your "norm?" Do you find it hard to hold on to faith in the midst of dire need? God know! Check out Victory in Trouble, a 4-part mini-series by Lyn Chaffart, designed to help you be victorious through your troubled times.
©Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Post  Admin on Tue 02 May 2017, 9:31 pm


Welcome to the Nugget


May 2, 2017

Cosmetic Surgery

By Answers2Prayer
I just heard that Costa Rica is the place to go for a make-over of the body. You know those muffin tops? They can be gone now. Or if you want a little tuck here, a little fat removed from here, some added there. The whole body can be transformed.

"And the price is incredibly reasonable. You can come back a new woman," my friend said. "I'm having all kinds of extra stuff removed even getting these ugly age spots off my hands."

"Not me," I said, "I had all that done years ago."

The transformation was complete. Los of changes and enhancements took place. And I got a great deal. It costs me nothing. Well, change that...it cost my pride.

I undressed my heart and left my pride at the door. Then I lay down on the table of humility. That's where I underwent a soul transformation. When Jesus came into my life, He became Lord of my imperfections.

He removed pounds of insecurities. He carved out fear, the kind that made me think I wouldn't make it through the trials. He pulled out unsightly lies, misconceptions, and negative thoughts from my mind.

I came out a renewed woman--new thoughts, new attitude, new approach to life. And He even removed those spots of gloom that formed when I faced adversity.

All was gone. And great news, His invitation is directed to all of us. He plans to perform soul surgery because He has a purpose. "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will." (Romans 12:2)

We can't know His will unless we let Him renew us. We can't relish in His glory if we do not endure the change. In addition, we cannot expect glory unless we're willing to have Him perform the transformation on the operating table of His love.

What needs a little improvement in your life these days?

Janet P. Eckles

Announcement:

Do you have a prayer request? Do you know someone who needs to be prayed for? Prayer works! The Bible confirms this in James 5:16: "The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." (NIV) Send your prayer request here and let us pray in agreement with you! Matt 18:20: "For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them." (NIV) Hallelujah!
©Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."

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Post  Admin on Sat 29 Apr 2017, 4:01 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
April 29, 2017

The Root of the Problem
By Answers2Prayer

Back in my younger and more adventuresome days, I signed up to run in a 5-km race sponsored by the local school board. I diligently trained for the run, and by the Thursday before the Sunday run, I was ready. There was only one problem: during that Thursday night, I woke up with a major Charlie horse in my left calf. Even walking was painful, and when I tried to hobble around the block at a slightly faster pace, the pain was almost intolerable. How on earth was I going to be able to run 5 kilometers?

Not being one to give up easily, the day of the race found me at the designated spot. There happened to be a registered massage therapist on site that day, one who specialized in sports injuries. He was giving free 10 minute massages to runners, and I joined the queue. Why not? Maybe he could help me!

As I climbed onto the massage table and began telling the therapist about my problems, his experienced fingers began assessing my left calf. Imagine my surprise, however, when he put my left leg aside and began working on my right calf! After about 10 minutes, he placed my right leg back on the table and again assessed my left calf. Then he helped me up off the table and sent me on my way.

But wait a minute. He didn't even work on the injury. What kind of a therapist was he, anyway?

My rush of words was stopped, however, the moment I put my feet on the ground. My left calf no longer hurt! I went on to run those 5 kilometers without the tiniest hint of pain in my legs. I even took second place for my class!

I would later learn that it isn't unusual for the injured side of the body to send pain messages to the opposite, uninjured side. This makes us think that the root of the problem lies where we are experiencing pain, when in actuality, it may lie somewhere else.

I believe this teaches us a very important lesson: when troubles come, perhaps their source isn't quite what we initially think. Take, for example, that boss who fires you. Just like I thought my problem was with my left leg, it's easy enough to think that boss fired you because he just doesn't like you. But could the real source of the problem be in the "right leg"? Could something you have done be to blame?

And when the teenager in the house goes off the deep end, it's pretty easy to point the finger of blame at that "left leg": the hormonal individual who's giving problems. But is it possible that the teen is simply trying to get--your--attention?

And what about the heart attack? Bad heart, right? Inherited it from my father. Nothing I can do! Wait. Science has shown strong connections between lifestyle and heart problems. Could the true "right leg" problem be that my lifestyle hasn't always been heart-friendly?

Then there is cancer. The "left leg pain" points to the fact that God's hand of mercy must have been removed from us to allow us to go such a horrible disease. Yet research shows us again and again that so many things in our modern-day environment contribute to cancer: Some sugar substitutes, the fire retardants in our furniture, aluminum, to name but a few.

The point is, when faced with trouble, we tend to point the blame at the "hurting calf", never considering the fact that the root of the problem may lie somewhere else. Yet the truth remains: If that massage therapist had worked only on my left calf, I would not have made it through that race. In the same way he needed to work on the source of my problem, we also must work on our problems at their source, wherever that may be.

How do we do that?

The first step is to forgive those who we are blaming for our problems: "Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you." (Eph. 4:32 NIV); "Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice." (Eph 4:31,32)

Secondly, we must take responsibility for anything we may have done to cause or perpetuate the issue. The world's wisest man tells us: "Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy." (Prov. 28:13 NIV). James tells us something similar: "Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed." (James 5:16 NIV). What this means is that in order to find resolution, we must confess and renounce any contribution we may have made to the situation at hand. When we do, we open the doors for healing--at the root of the problem!

In His love,
Lyn

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

Announcement:

Do you ever wonder how the devil succeeds in trapping so many of God's children? Check out CHECKMATE! A mini-series by Brother Suresh Manoharan designed to help us recognize and avoid the of the traps devil!
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Post  Admin on Thu 27 Apr 2017, 10:04 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
April 27, 2017

Pools
By Answers2Prayer
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28)

One evening while we were away it rained. Loads of rain. Lots of thunder and lightning. This morning the river seemed to be hustling along more rapidly than yesterday.

From the balcony of the condo, I spied a small pool and kept watching it for fish. The guide that accompanied us on our first fly-fishing adventure said to look for trout in the pools of the river. Sure enough, when the sun was full out, shining down, I could see a beautiful rainbow trout. He was so still I'd have thought he was dead if he hadn't been upright in the water.

In the calmer spots of our lives - the pools - where there's not a lot of motion, there is still something going on. There may not be the hustle-bustle - rush - and turmoil of everyday life. Yet all around is a bubbling, effervescent world whose waters flow around us continually.

There is still life, there, in the resting. Life and renewal and refreshing. When it is time, we'll move out of the pool and into the current, back into the rapid flow of the river.

In the book of songs, in the Bible, it says, "Be still, and know that I am God." (Ps. 46:10) The Lord graciously provides pools for us in our lives.

That's good news.
Inspirational Messages, Sally I. Kennedy 2016
Announcement:

Are you looking for that rest, peace and security that everyone says comes from Jesus? Visit the mini-series, "Eternal Music" and find out!
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Post  Admin on Sun 23 Apr 2017, 10:43 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
April 22, 2017
So Near and Yet so Far, Part 3
By Answers2Prayer
Today in the concluding part of our series on "So Near, yet so Far" Biblical examples, we shall focus on two subjects under two separate sub-headings...

Team...

"Then Jesus replied, 'Have I not chosen you, the Twelve? Yet one of you is a devil!'" (John 6:70)

Now Judas was always, so to speak, rubbing shoulders with Jesus 24/7/52/3.5, but where was his heart? On money obviously (John 12:6/Luke 22:3-5)! If the benefits of eating the forbidden mattered more to Adam and Eve than right relationship with their Creator; if to most of the travelling Jews (en-route to Canaan), spicy and tasty fare meant more than their Redeemer; if to hard-core Law-teachers, the mechanical adherence to it mattered more than a love-laced right relationship with the Giver of the Law (from which would emerge justice and mercy and faithfulness -- Matt 23:23); then to Judas, money appealed more than the Saviour.

Now welcome to the Old Testament counterpart of "betrayer" Judas, Ahithophel the betrayer (may not be as well-known as Judas but just as devious all the same -- Psa 55:12-14) who, too, was on the "team" of Jesus' ancestor King David in the capacity of a counselor (1 Chro 27:33/15:12). If for Judas, money mattered more than the Saviour, then for Judas' "fore-runner", revenge against the anointed King (being Bathsheba's grandfather, Ahithophel had a grouse against David because of latter's immoral dalliance with her -- 2 Sam 11:3/23:34) mattered more than right relationship with the Wonderful Counselor (Leviticus 19:18/Deu 32:35).

What was the eventual tragic result of taking law into his own hands and rebelling against the Lord's anointed? Tragic suicide by way of hanging...a la Judas...(2 Sam 17:23/Matt 27:5).

Folks, stay away from greed and the propensity to take the law into your own hands...


Testaments...

Are you always carrying the Bible (Broadly speaking having two testaments of the Mosaic Law and the Gospel) in your hands whenever possible? Good. Is the Bible always with you...being part of your Smartphone now? Better. But please do not settle for good or better instead go for the Best...a la David.

"I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you." (Psalm 119:11)

Somehow, thanks to the introduction of chapters and verses in the Bible (courtesy Stephen Langton in the 13th century and Robert Estienne in the 15th century), Christians seem to have lost the art of memorizing the Scriptures and constantly meditating upon it (Psa 1:2). Yes, chapters and verses would help us refer the Scripture portions easily, but nothing is quite like memorizing scripture and chewing upon it. With the help of the ever-abiding, in-dwelling Holy Spirit, doing so eventually facilitates obedience to it, for what use is the "nearness of the Word" (in hands in printed or digital form) if it is not being adhered to with love (Matt 7:21/2 John 1:6-NLT)?

So Dear Friends rather more than saying we are near to the Lord, let us through our lives of constant obedience to Him in all matters, exemplify that truth and obtain the witness thereof from the Father Himself....

"This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased." (Matt 3:17)

Prayer: Father, by the leading of Thy Spirit, enable us to examine closely the health of our "spiritual hearts" on daily basis. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Suresh Manoharan
J and SM Ministries
An Unworthy Servant
Announcement:

HAPPY ANZAC DAY to all of our AUSTRALIAN and NEW ZEALAND subscribers! Below is a special Anzac prayer by Nugget writer, Elizabeth Price:

Whenever our country is at risk of being subjected to the power of a different culture, we feel threatened in all areas of our lives. We feel we are being held to ransom.

At the time of World War 1 the threat was real and a whole generation was sent out to tear down and break the threat of the ransom about to be forced upon us.

Young men became fighters to protect us and young women became field nurses to care for those who gave all they had to give for our protection.

They were prepared to lose everything they had, so that we might remain a free country. They were held to ransom for our physical freedom to own our homes, to worship within our culture, and to marry and have families according to our understanding of Scripture.

A few words from a hymn song have been running around in my mind, day and night, for nearly a week. They speak of a ransom being paid for you and me. I do not remember the writer's name but I think the words went like this:-
'Why should I gain from His reward,
I cannot give an answer,
But this I know with all my heart
His death has paid my ransom.'

Something about the words touches me so deeply they give me both joy and pain.

I know the hymn applies to Christ who left his home and went into battle for you and me. He chose to give His life a ransom for our eternal peace and freedom.

And He was treated like a criminal for daring to give His life to save us from moral destruction.

None of us can fully appreciate that tremendous cost.

Our young men and women gave everything so that we could keep our freedom of choice and today we share with each other our deep, deep awareness that we owe this very meeting here today to their sacrifice. They were ransomed for our physical freedom. And we give thanks that Jesus gave His life as a ransom for our moral freedom.

So let's bow our heads and I will pray the words of the hymn as our prayer this morning. After that, please let us lift all our voices together in the Lord's Prayer:

'Why should I gain from His reward,
I cannot give an answer,
But this I know with all my heart
His death has paid my ransom.'

Now we lift all our voices to you, Lord, together in the prayer you gave us to pray:-

"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, forever. Amen." (Matthew 5:9-13.)

ANZAC DAY Prayer
Elizabeth Price
2017
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Post  Admin on Tue 18 Apr 2017, 10:37 pm

Welcome to the Nugget


April 18, 2017

So Near, Yet so Far, Part 1

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


Tree...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Suresh Manoharan
An unworthy servant
J and SM Ministries

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

Welcome to the Nugget
April 15, 2017

Jesus' Ultimate Gift

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In His love,
Lyn

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

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

Welcome to the Nugget

April 13, 2017

Resolutely Towards Jerusalem with Joy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jesus' forerunner, John the Baptist, was murdered.

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

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

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

But three days later Jesus was alive.

Some years afterwards, the writer of the letter to the Hebrews penned: "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him, endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God" (Hebrews 12:2).

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

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

By Isabel Allison
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Post  Admin on Tue 11 Apr 2017, 10:11 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
April 11, 2017
The Victor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In His love,
Lyn

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

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

Welcome to the Nugget
April 8, 2017

The Lion of Judah, Part 3
By Answers2Prayer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In His love,
Lyn

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

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Jesus' death and resurrection is perhaps the single most important thing that has ever happened in the history of mankind. Why not spend some time meditating upon this greatest of gifts throughout this season? You won't be sorry!
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Post  Admin on Thu 06 Apr 2017, 7:30 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
April 6, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In His love,
Lyn

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

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

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

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

The Lion of Judah. The One who has prevailed.

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

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

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

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

How is Jesus the fulfillment of this prophecy?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In His love,
Lyn

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Isabel Allison

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The season for celebration of Jesus' death and resurrection is almost upon us. Are you ready to commemorate the greatest act of love ever?
©Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."

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

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

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

Food.

A necessity of life.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In his love,
Lyn

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What do you store in your heart these days?

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

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Would you like to make a difference in the world? Why not join the Answers2Prayer Ministry team? We have many volunteer positions. By joining in, you can help in carrying out the Great Commission: "Then Jesus came to them and said, 'All authority in Heaven and on Earth have been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.'" (Matt. 28:18-20 NIV)The time is right and we are in need of many laborers. "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field." (Matt 9:37-38 NIV)If you feel compelled, let us know by sending us an email.
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Post  Admin on Sat 25 Mar 2017, 10:48 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

March 25, 2017
Letting God be God

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

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

Why is it always so hard?

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

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

Why?

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

I simply need to let them go.

But oh, it's so hard!

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

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

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

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

Wow. That's hard!

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

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

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

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

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

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

In His love,
Lyn

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

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