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Post  Admin on Sun 26 Feb 2012, 9:58 pm

February 25, 2012
THE EMPTY SEAT By Answers2Prayer
I couldn't believe my good fortune. The seat next to me on the aircraft was still empty and the cabin crew were already closing the doors. We were leaving right on time for a 5 hour night flight to Reykjavik, Iceland, where we would land at 6:30 local time. Our entire night would pass in this brief 5 hours, and I, for one, was planning on sleeping through the flight. The fact that I had no seatmate on one side assured me that I would be a tiny bit more comfortable in my endeavours!

I glanced across my husband, who occupied the aisle seat, to my two teens in the aisle and middle seats across the way. They had not fared as well as I. A gentleman occupied their window seat.

"Oh well," I thought smugly, "at least someone will get some sleep!"

But the gentleman was calling out to the flight attendant, asking if there were any empty seats on the aircraft. It seems that he and his wife were separated for the flight, a fact which obviously didn't make him happy!

I glanced at my empty seat. Should I give it up so he could sit with his wife?

Naw! Screamed a voice within. You're the one who will have to spend all of tomorrow driving while the rest of them catch up on their sleep in the car! You deserve this empty seat!

I liked that little voice. Yes, this was obviously a gift from God!

But that "nice" voice was crowding out a stiller, smaller one, one which I didn't wish to hear: It's such a little thing! You know I'll take care of you!

I sighed, then I raised my hand to catch the attention of the flight attendant. "One of my boys can sit in this empty seat," I said, indicated the coveted spot. "Then the gentleman's wife can sit with him!"

And so it was arranged. My 6-foot son crawled over me to crowd himself into the window seat. But I wasn't worried. God had promised to give me a good night's sleep!

That's when the toddlers in the row of seats behind me started kicking the back of my chair. And they didn't stop until we landed in Reykjavik . . .

I prayed for patience and tried to relax. Then, just as I was almost asleep, my husband jumped up with his camera, pushed it across my face, and began taking pictures out the window. I could have strangled him!

He drifted off to sleep after this, and despite the incessant drumming on the back of my chair, I again tried to relax. That's when my son started to wiggle. "Can't you be still?" I whispered.

"Not in these seats," was his response.

Between his wiggling and the constant banging on the back of my chair, spasms began developing in my legs. My entire life I have been "blessed" with a condition that I now know by the name of "Restless Leg". Anyone with this condition knows that sudden movements when you are relaxing will often set off muscle spasms, and once they begin, there is no stopping them. Especially not in these close quarters.

Needless to say, there would be no sleep for me on that flight, and when we finally landed, I was in no shape to spend the day behind the wheel of a foreign car in a foreign country.

"Why, God? You promised to take care of me! Why didn't You help me sleep?"

I felt remorse as soon as I allowed the thought to cross my mind, and I could already hear the quiet rustle of "wind" that always seems to proceed the voice of my Lord and Saviour: "I never promised you a good night's sleep, My child. I promised I would take care of you!"

"But You didn't do it!" I challenged, angry now. "Now I have to drive all day and You know how sleepy I get when I drive!"

"I promised I would take care of you, and I haven't broken My promise!" repeated that soft voice.

Suddenly I understood. I had misinterpreted this promise to mean I would sleep, but God had something different in mind!

He did take care of me that day, despite the fact that the car turned out to be a standard. He took care of me despite all the kilometres we put in and despite the foreign country and foreign laws. And most definitely, despite my fatigue! He gave me the strength and energy for that day, and once I was finally between the sheets of our hotel room, I had a very good night's sleep, despite the four hour time change.

What was God trying to teach me?

That no matter what, He will take care of me! It may not be in the way I think it will be, but in the end, I can trust Him to work out what is best!

Friends, sometimes things don't go the way we think they should. But no matter what, God can be trusted. Sometimes we became very disillusioned with God because He appears to be ignoring us. Do we trust Him to know what is best? Do we trust Him to make everything beautiful, in His time?

Think about it!

"And He has made everything beautiful in His time." (Eccl 3:11)
In His love,
Lyn

Lyn Chaffart, Mother of two teens, Speech-Language Pathologist, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, www.scripturalnuggets.org, with Answers2Prayer Ministries, www.Answers2Prayer.org.
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Just what IS love, anyway? Join us on Tuesdays in January and February for LESSONS IN LOVE FROM 1 CORINTHIANS 13, a mini-series by Soyna Richards, to find out!
©Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Post  Admin on Fri 24 Feb 2012, 8:49 pm

Welcome to the Nugget February 23, 2012
OF SOLDIER AND SHOULDER, Part 2 By Answers2Prayer

Continuing the series on the problem of getting cold-shouldered and the prescribed "love therapy" in this second and concluding part of the series, I want to focus more on the virtue of love.

In relation to other great virtues like faith and hope Apostle Paul puts love at a higher pedestal. Hey, how is that love towers above even faith, without which we cannot please God (Heb 11:6) and hope that sustains a Christian (2 Thess 2:16-17). The one and only reason is that LOVE IS THE ETERNAL BINDING FACTOR which keeps the Creator and His most prized creation . . . man . . . together for eternity. After passing away from this World or at rapture of the Church (if we are alive at that time), once we see the Lover of our souls with our own eyes where is the need for faith or hope to sustain the Divine-human relationship? Whereas love is required to keep that relationship going throughout eternity. Sadly is not the cosmic history witness to the fact that Mr. Devil despite seeing God and being in His presence for ages fell away due to lack of love for the Creator?

Whilst on the subject of love, using the word LOVE as an acronym, I intend to dwell on the first two letters in relation to God-Man relationship (Love God is the first of the two commandments given by the Saviour-Mark 12:29-31) and the other two covering inter-personal relationship amongst fellowmen (Love your fellowmen is the other).

L = loyalty: You truly love your Creator? Then you would be loyal to Him unto death being ever-willing to make even the supreme sacrifice of laying your life at the altar of martyrdom. Oh how many countless souls have and will give their all for the ONE who has given His all (even the last drop of blood-John 19:33-34) to them (Rev 7:9-14).

O = obedience: Father Abraham had to decide whether, he loved his beloved Issac (what a wondrous gift to aged parents) or the Giver of the gift, when it came to heeding the words of Master. Away went the grey father towards Mount Moriah in obedience to the Almighty's instructions to sacrifice his precious offspring (without even telling his wife prone to hysterical reaction). Who is not moved, when the picture of an old father emerges in the mind's eye climbing Mount Moriah with his son in tow? His heart pounding, creaky limbs shaking, mind filled with legitimate doubts about God's goodness BUT DETERMINED TO OBEY, on the Mount of Sacrifice, Father Abraham virtually touched the summit of love for the Creator, when he lifted up the gleaming blade to plunge it into his own flesh and blood, only to be Divinely-stopped in the nick of time. And the Almighty's response to this selfless act of obedience which did not mind giving up the most prized treasure? Father Abraham would now have "spiritual" descendents as many as stars in the skies and sand in the sea shore (Genesis 22:1-18).

Now coming to inter-personal matters . . .

V = vulnerable: Opps . . . truth be told, love exposes a tender heart to many a hurt. Imagine how Prophet Hosea must have been heart-broken, when his wife deserted him for other men . . . worse . . . even had children with them. Even then the shattered Prophet magnanimously accepts his wife towards the end (Hosea 3) . . . symbolic of spiritually adulterous Israel being accepted by God. As love exposes us to hurts, should we then gravitate towards "play it safe" hard-core indifference? NAY. For that would mean taking the risk of stemming the flow of oh-so-precious warm Divine love through our hearts. As somebody put it "Nothing costs more than loving, except not loving"!

E = enjoy: We would always enjoy the presence of the ones we love for they bring along warmth and SECURITY, which we so much crave for. Say Christian, are people feeling "warm and secure" in your presence? A demanding, domineering, dogmatic, demeaning demeanor would destroy relationships. Remember, Christianity is not only about "Christ living in us" but "CHRIST LIVING THROUGH US".

Ah the frozen shoulder ache has caused many a headache to all suffering from it. Greater are the travails of one being cold-shouldered. Like the Saviour used the greatest setback (the cruel cross) as a springboard to procure our salvation, we as Christ's soldiers' let's resolve now to soldier on, converting adversities (getting cold-shouldered experiences') as opportunities to advertise . . . CHRIST'S AGAPE LOVE!!!

Prayer: Father, let me always respond in love whenever, I am treated unfairly. In Jesus' Name. Amen

Suresh Manoharan
www.jandsmministries.com

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There are many types of crowns mentioned in the Bible. Why are there so many? Check out THE CROWNING GLORY miniseries at www.scripturalnuggets.org/folder10/the_crowning_glory.htm
©Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Post  Admin on Wed 22 Feb 2012, 5:52 pm

Welcome to the Nugget February 21, 2012
LESSONS ON LOVE FROM 1 CORINTHIANS 13, Part 8 By Answers2Prayer

"It is not self-seeking . . ." (1 Cor. 13:5)

Within this subject of love on which Paul is instructing us, we keep returning to the theme of esteeming others as higher and better than ourselves:

"Now he told a parable to those who were invited, when he noticed how they chose the places of honor, saying to them, 'When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in a place of honor, lest someone more distinguished than you be invited by him, and he who invited you both will come and say to you, 'Give your place to this person,' and then you will begin with shame to take the lowest place. But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when your host comes he may say to you, 'Friend, move up higher.' Then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at table with you. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.'" (Luke 14:7-11)

"'And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.'" (Matthew 6:5)

This how God feels about self exaltation. On this point The Word of God stands alone. What else can we say?

Yours in love and in Christ,
Sonya Richards

Announcements:
It's Valentine's, a season where we think about love. But perhaps some of you are hurting because someone you care about is giving you the cold shoulder. Join us for the last two Thursdays of this month for OF SOLDIER AND SHOULDER, a mini-series by Brother Suresh Manoharan to learn the importance of responding in love, even when we are given the cold shoulder!
©Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Post  Admin on Mon 20 Feb 2012, 12:09 pm

Welcome to the Nugget February 18, 2012
LESSONS FROM DAVID'S FALL, Part 16:
David's Passivity By Answers2Prayer
Just one last lesson we can learn from this powerful story.

It's interesting to note that throughout all of the trouble that David went through, this king and mighty warrior didn't even put up a fight. When Absalom took over the palace, David passively packed his bags and left.

Doesn't this seem strange to you? I mean, wouldn't you or I have tried to hang on, to stop the rebellion, to protect our homes and families and all that is precious to us?

But David simply turned away.

Why would David react in this manner?

There are many theories. Some would say that it was because David's response was rooted in the fact that the perpetrator was his own son.

It's an interesting theory, but David's passivity extended beyond Absalom. As he left Jerusalem, he was accosted by a man named Shimei who threw stones at David and cursed him:
"Come out! Come out! You bloodthirsty man, you rogue! The Lord has brought upon you all the blood of the house of Saul, in whose place you have reigned . . . So now you are caught in your own evil, because you are a bloodthirsty man!" (2 Sam 16:7-8 NKJV)

David's men were aghast at Shimei's audacity: "Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Please, let me go over and take off his head!" (2 Sam 16:9)

Well said!

But this wasn't David's response: "So let him curse, because the Lord has said to him, 'Curse David.' Who then shall say, 'Why have you done so?'" (2 Sam 16:10)
No, David's passivity was not rooted in the fact that Absalom was his son. It went far deeper than that.

Another theory to David's indifferent response is that he was keenly aware that it was his own sin that had spearheaded this particular chain of events. From the rape of Tamar to the ensuing murder of Amnon, the exile of Absalom and his cool homecoming, and finally, to the revenge of Absalom, it all traced back to that one fateful night with Bathsheba.

But when you read David's writings, you see clearly that he was a man who knew he was forgiven: "As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us." (Ps 103:12 NKJV)
Let's look at the petition he made to God after his great sin: "Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow." (Ps 51:7 NKJV)

Note that when David asked for cleansing, he didn't say, "So I will be cleaner", and he didn't say, "so that maybe I'll be clean." He said, " . . . and I shall be clean . . . I shall be whiter than snow."
In David's song, recorded in 2 Samuel 22, we can also clearly see that David knew he was forgiven. Despite all the wrong he had done, he stood blameless before God: "For I have kept the ways of the Lord, And have not wickedly departed from my God . . . And as for His statutes, I did not depart from them. I was also blameless before Him, And I kept myself from my iniquity." (2 Sam 22:22-25 NKJV)
No, David's apparent passivity had anything to do with guilt. He understood that once he was forgiven, his sin was as if it had never happened.

So why was David so apathetic in his flight?

I believe that David's response to his men, when they wanted to kill Shimei for his insolence, sums it up nicely: "Let him alone, and let him curse; for so the Lord has ordered him. It may be that the Lord will look on my affliction, and that the Lord will repay me with good for his cursing this day." (2 Sam 16:11-12 NKJV)
Friends, David understood two all-important truths:
1. God is in control: "You comprehend my path and my lying down, And are acquainted with all my ways." (Ps 139:3 NKJV)
God knows when people are out to get us and when we are falsely accused. He even knows we will go through trials in life. He is in control!

2. Good will come out of trouble: "My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience." (James 1:2,3 NKJV); and "And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope." (Rom 5:3,4 NKJV).
David understood that good CAN and WILL come out of trouble. He simply accepted it as God's will, knowing that somehow, in the end, "the Lord will repay me with good . . ."

What about us, friends? Can we face trials of the calibre David faced with the same passivity, the same apparent apathy?

Not only can we, but we are called to do so: ". . . count it all joy when you fall into various trials . . ." ever knowing that when it's all said and done, "the Lord will repay me with good . . ."

This is the conclusion of LESSONS FROM DAVID'S FALL. My hope and prayer is that through these lessons you have come to a complete understanding of the following:

1. Our sin has consequences.
2. Grief has its place and time, but we must move on.
3. When we do sin, God forgives. Completely. We do not need to continue to carry our guilt.
4. God will use the bad times as occasions to shape our character and to repay us with good.
5. Passivity in time of trouble is the key
6. The wicked will not always prosper.
7. Pride goes before a fall.
8. We need to follow the direction of the Holy Spirit
9. And finally, our first and number one priority must be to worship our King!

If you have missed any of the LESSONS FROM DAVID'S FALL, you can access them online at www.scripturalnuggets.org/folder11/lessons_from_davids_fall.htm . God bless you as you continue to draw closer to Him!

In His love,
Lyn

Lyn Chaffart, Mother of two teens, Speech-Language Pathologist, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, www.scripturalnuggets.org, with Answers2Prayer Ministries, www.Answers2Prayer.org.
Announcements:
Just what IS love, anyway? Join us on Tuesdays in January and February for LESSONS IN LOVE FROM 1 CORINTHIANS 13, a mini-series by Soyna Richards, to find out!
©Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Post  Admin on Fri 17 Feb 2012, 6:50 pm

Welcome to the Nugget February 16, 2012
OF SOLDIER AND SHOULDER, Part 1 By Answers2Prayer


Ouch! My Dad developed a frozen shoulder condition and boy, we took him from one hospital to another with no avail, till the "Magnet therapy" did the trick. In this series, I intend to touch upon a particular type of "shoulder problem" and the "therapy" related to it.

While, I have not endured the pain of a frozen shoulder, I have experienced the pain of yet another "shoulder problem" . . . getting cold-shouldered!!! While a Dictionary may define the phrase Cold-shoulder as "pay no attention to", it cannot adequately describe the pain involved of the person at the receiving end of it all.

The Saviour Himself was not exempt to this pain inflicted on Him by this spiritually "cold" World. Scripture puts it aptly "He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him." (John 1:11). We who follow Him are bound taste the same bitter pill of rejection, now and then, when we stand up for all that is God-honoring and true.

What then ought to be our response to all those who cold-shoulder us? Do we snap ties or show Christ-like persistent love? The answer ought to be obvious to all who take pride in their relationship with the loving Redeemer. While on the subject of being coldly brushed aside, as His Chosen lot, we ought to be doubly careful that we are being contemptuously dismissed for having been LOVING AND TRUTHFUL and not for wrong reasons. In this context, observes Apostle Peter wisely . . . "Of course, you get no credit for being patient if you are beaten for doing wrong. But if you suffer for doing good and endure it patiently, God is pleased with you" (I Peter 2:20)

Ah to be loving despite being unloved at all times! What is about Love (guaranteed to break nine times out of ten even cold, stony hearts) that is so sublime? Let the Scripture answer. "God is love" (John 4:8). So when we put on love (Colossians 3:14), we are donning the "most irresistible attire" one has ever worn. After all, is anything more beautiful than the Creator?

Prayer: Father, despite being snubbed unfairly, with Thy power enable me to respond in love always. In Jesus Name. Amen

Join us next Thursday for the conclusion: OF SOLDIER AND SHOULDER, Part 2.

Suresh Manoharan
www.jandsmministries.com

Announcements:
Just what IS love, anyway? Join us on Tuesdays in January and February for LESSONS IN LOVE FROM 1 CORINTHIANS 13, a mini-series by Soyna Richards, to find out!
©Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Post  Admin on Wed 15 Feb 2012, 8:23 pm

Welcome to the Nugget February 14, 2012
HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!
LESSONS ON LOVE FROM 1 CORINTHIANS 13,
Part 7 By Answers2Prayer

"It does not dishonour others . . . " (1 Cor. 13:5)

Dictionary.com defines dishonour as "to deprive of honor; disgrace; bring reproach or shame on" when used in the verb form. We will do a lot to protect our reputations, won't we? But to what lengths will we honestly go? Will we go so far to protect ourselves that we are willing to bring dishonour on someone else? If we shift blame to someone else when we are the ones to blame, that is clearly sin, but what about when we are in the right? If someone else is to blame for whatever situation we are facing yet we take the blame for them, are we not helping them escape dishonour? And if we take on the shame and blame for something we did not do to spare another, is that not the sacrificial love that Jesus calls us to? Is that not what He did for us on the cross? It all comes back to this: will we, and do we, esteem others better than ourselves, as we are commanded?

Under the influence of the Holy Spirit, Peter said in 1 Peter 2:19-21, "For it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God. But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example that you should follow in his steps."

We do it for His glory, that all might see Jesus through our efforts and praise His name and be brought to repentance. Let Jesus always be our example. For the glory of the Father, He "endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." (Hebrews 12:2) Because He loved us, He has taken on our dishonour -- which Satan seeks to use against us to destroy us -- so that we might receive the honour of salvation and eternal life.

Yours in love and in Christ,
Sonya Richards

Announcements:
It's Valentine's, a season where we think about love. But perhaps some of you are hurting because someone you care about is giving you the cold shoulder! Join us for the last two Thursdays of this month for OF SOLDIER AND SHOULDER, a mini-series by Brother Suresh Manoharan to learn the importance of responding in love, even when we are given the cold shoulder!
©Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Post  Admin on Sun 12 Feb 2012, 6:48 pm

Welcome to the Nugget February 11, 2012
THERE IS NO FEAR IN PERFECT LOVE --
A Valentine's Special By Answers2Prayer

Valentine's Day is around the corner.

It's the time of flowers and candy and dreamy dinners for two. It's a time for special, gentle words, acts of kindness, and-romance! Love is truly in the air.

Do you know what you are going to give your Valentine this year?

I don't know about you, but I want my gift to my Valentine to be a gift of love!

But how do I do that? Where do I get it from? Certainly not from my selfish heart . . .

For so much of the world, love is an elusive, and often disappointing, emotion. If you don't believe it, just look at the lyrics to numerous popular songs: "Love Hurts"; "Love that Burns"; "Love Burns"; "Love on the Rocks"; "Haven't got Time for the Pain"; etc. Even Romeo, the great romantic of all times, said: "Is love a tender thing? It is too rough, Too rude, too boisterous, and it pricks like thorn."

I don't know about you, but that isn't the kind of "love gift" I wish to give my Valentine this year! I want my Valentine to receive a gift of perfect love!

But does perfect love exist?

Only in One: "In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins." (1 John 4:9-11 NKJV)

The Bible teaches us that we are only "complete" in Him: "For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power." (Col 2:9-10 NKJV)

You see, intimacy and relationship are at the very heart of God! We know this because we know that God entered the Garden of Eden, after Adam and Eve had fallen, calling out to them: "Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, 'Where are you?'" (Gen 3:9 NKJV)

Think about it! The Creator of the universe, Who already KNEW Adam and Eve had sinned, Who KNEW they had broken the one and only commandment He had given them, still DESIRED to visit with, to commune with them! And God still desires that intimacy with His creation. The bottom line is this, friends! We are only complete in God!

Still aren't convinced? Then check this out in the Word of God:

"that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height - to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God." (Eph 3:17-19 NKJV)

Okay, that sounds like a bunch of religious mumbo-jumbo, doesn't it? But what does it have to do with what I plan to give my Valentine this February 14?

Why not spend some time between now and February 14 pursuing perfect love, the love that can only come from Christ?

Great idea. But how do I do that?

Simple, actually! By spending time in God's presence! Spending time working on our relationship with Christ will serve to benefit ALL of our earthly relationships!

How so?

Because when we spend time in God's presence, we become transformed into His image! "But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord." (2 Cor 3:18 NKJV)

And just what "image" are we being transformed into?

An image of love. "And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him." (1 John 4:16 NKJV)

Perfect love. "that you . . . May be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height - to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge . . ." (Eph 3:18-19 NKJV)

Love that takes away fear! "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love." (1 John 4:18-19 NKJV)

As we abide in God's perfect love, His love will shine through in our relationships, and suddenly it won't be hard to love others the way He does, to do unto others as we would have them do unto us, to treat them the way God treats us!

To truly LOVE them!

Isn't that the gift you'd REALLY like to bestow on your loved one this year?

But wait, you say. I don't have a special Valentine. I don't have anyone I can lavish the perfect gift of love upon!

Then why not spend time in God's presence anyway? It will fulfill you like no other relationship ever can, AND it will prepare your heart for giving unselfish love to EVERYONE you meet. It will transform Valentine's Day from a day when we show love to one special person, into a day where we share God's perfect love with EVERYBODY!

In His love,
Lyn

Lyn Chaffart, Mother of two teens, Speech-Language Pathologist, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, www.scripturalnuggets.org, with Answers2Prayer Ministries, www.Answers2Prayer.org.
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Post  Admin on Fri 10 Feb 2012, 10:17 pm

Welcome to the Nugget February 9, 2012
LESSONS FROM DAVID'S FALL, PART 15:
The Census By Answers2Prayer
This next lesson from David's fall comes to us from the last chapter of 2 Samuel. The story starts off by saying the Lord is angry with Israel: "Again the anger of the Lord was aroused against Israel . . ." (2 Sam 24:1a).
The Bible doesn't tell us why, but historically, the Lord becomes angry because of idolatry or professed lack of faith. And as a result, 2 Samuel records that God moved David to go out and number Israel: "Go, number Israel and Judah." (2 Samuel 24:1b)
It is interesting that this story is also recorded in 1 Chron 21, and in this reference, the Bible states that Satan moved David to go out and number Israel: "Now Satan stood up against Israel, and moved David to number Israel." (1 Chron 21:1).

What are we to make of this apparent discrepancy?

If you look throughout early Bible history, you will see that God is often charged when something evil happens. We also know from other Bible passages that sometimes God uses evil angels to accomplish His purposes (see 1 Kings 22:19-23), and sometimes He allows the devil to have his way with God's people (see book of Job). It is just speculation, but for this particular story, I would like to propose that because God was angry with Israel, He allowed the devil to move David to do this great sin.

But this leads us to the next question: Why was numbering Israel such a great sin? Was it not ordered by the Lord in Numbers? (See Numbers 1-4)
Yet we know that it was considered a sin, because of the response of Joab, the commander of Israel's army: "Now may the Lord your God add to the people a hundred times more than there are . . . But why does my lord the king desire this thing?" (2 Sam 24:3 NKJV)

We also know that after the fact, David's conscience bothered him: "And David's heart condemned him after he had numbered the people . . . 'I have sinned greatly in what I have done . . .'" (2 Sam 24:10 NKJV)
So if something can be okay at one time and a sin at another, how are we to know the difference?

Simple: We ask God, in ALL circumstances!

But why was it right to number Israel at one time, and wrong at another?

When numbering was done in Biblical times, it was done for the purpose of learning how many fighting men there were (". . . every male individually, from twenty years old and above - all who are able to go to war in Israel." Num 1:2-3); and this time was no different: "Then Joab gave the sum of the number of the people to the king. And there were in Israel eight hundred thousand valiant men who drew the sword . . ." (2 Sam 24:9)
Since the purpose was to learn about the size of the army, could it be that David was living in fear of attack? Was he worried that, come a siege from another nation, Israel would fall?

It's pure speculation, true enough. But I would like to propose that if this is actually the case, David was perhaps not, at that point in his life, walking in faith! He was perhaps letting his fear make him rely on mere numbers rather than on the Living God! If so, then what was ordered by God at one time became a sin at another, not by the actual act of numbering, but by the motivation behind it!

Our job is simple: We must pray and let God lead us at all times, and when He says "no" to something that could, in our minds, be a "good" thing, then we need to search our motivation. Did God say "no" for our own good, to prevent us from greater sins of pride or distrust? Did God say "no" to reveal to us hidden motivations and sins that we may not even be aware of?

I remember one time, early in my writing, God asked me to submit some of my devotionals to other publications. I did so with joy, and I admit, with just a little pride. Then one day God told me I had to stop submitting my work, and He was clear about why: Instead of writing for God's glory, I had begun writing for my OWN glory! Ouch!

Another time God removed the protection He had been giving me for a certain addiction I struggle with. I was devastated, because I am not strong enough to overcome addiction on my own, and I had personal, selfish reasons for wanting to be free of this particular one. But God was clear: My motivation for being free of this addiction was wrong! He didn't want me to desire freedom from the addiction alone, he wanted me to desire freedom from the intemperance it was rooted in!

I could go on telling stories of times when certain things have been a sin at some times but not at others, but I think you get the point: Let's always remember to ask God about each action we do, even if it is something He allowed us to do in the past. And if He says "no" to something that seems pretty innocent, let's be willing to search our hearts and our motivation, and let's be willing to learn the lessons He would have each of us learn!

Please join us on Saturday, February 18, for the final lesson from David's Fall: Part 16: David's Passivity.

In His love,
Lyn

Lyn Chaffart, Mother of two teens, Speech-Language Pathologist, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, www.scripturalnuggets.org, with Answers2Prayer Ministries, www.Answers2Prayer.org.
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Post  Admin on Wed 08 Feb 2012, 10:26 pm

LESSONS ON LOVE FROM 1 CORINTHIANS 13, Part 6:
Love is not Envious, Boastful or Proud By Answers2Prayer
"It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud." (1 Cor. 13:4)

We live in a "me first" society, and the world teaches that you have to "look out for number one" and make sure you get what you want, no matter whom you have to step on to get it. It is a day, unfortunately, where those in the public eye are worshipped, and for many the life goal is becoming famous. But we are called to be "in the world but not of it".

Christians have a higher calling. Fame and fortune are not what we are to seek. Matthew 6:33 says, "But seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you." We are to be like Jesus, who was humble and meek; certainly fame was not on His agenda. James 4:6 says, "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." Solomon said, "A man's pride brings him low, but a man of lowly spirit gains honor." (Proverbs 29:23 NIV) Finally, the psalmist writes, "You save the humble but bring low those whose eyes are haughty." (Psalms 18:27 NIV)

Unfortunately, even Christians are not above these things. The Lord has gifted me with the ability to sing, and now at this point in my journey I can share my testimony of how I struggled with envy and pride as well, although at the time when I was dealing with these things, it was embarrassing to admit that I felt this way. Our church has an awesome worship team with many talented musicians and singers, and from shortly after I began going there until just recently, I wanted more than anything to be on that team. This longing to possess something that God had not given me really almost consumed me. It certainly interfered with my worship. While I should have been focusing solely on God, I was focusing more on me, I am sorry to say.

I am happy to report that the Lord, in His infinite wisdom and His gentleness, has brought me to a better and higher place, where I am willing to wait on His timing to exalt me, even if I sing only in the Heavenly choir, which I think we all will join someday.

The results of my journey have made me able to receive compliments as something nice but not all-consuming, and to be able to honestly praise others and hear others praised without feeling envious. I have come to place the Lord first, far above other things, as He deserves and demands.

We must love the Lord, our God, above all things and to accept what He gives as our provision from Him and not be caught up in wanting what others have. We should rejoice in God's goodness and His wisdom in all things. If I brag about my gifts, I am saying that mine are better than the ones that others have -- or worse, I steal God's glory because He is the giver of all good things and deserves my gratitude for what He has done in my life. If I envy my Christian brother or sister, I show that I love myself above him or her and consider myself more worthy of God's blessing. Wanting what others have or bragging about what I have or exalting myself is merely self-love. It is not the love of God at all.

Yours in love and in Christ,
Sonya Richards

Announcements:
Do to the Valentine's season, the mini-series LESSONS FROM DAVID'S FALL will not be appearing on Saturday this week. Please join us for the final two editions of LESSONS FROM DAVID'S FALL on Thursday, February 9, and Saturday, February 18.
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Post  Admin on Sun 05 Feb 2012, 9:20 pm

Welcome to the Nugget February 4, 2012
LESSONS FROM DAVID'S FALL,
Part 14: The Wise Counsellor By Answers2Prayer
Last week, in LESSONS FROM DAVID'S FALL, Part 13, we learned from the story of Joab's search for Sheba, the newest threat to David's throne, that the best way to deal with our less-than-ideal circumstances is to put on the armour of God and then stand up in victory to face the schemes of the devil. But there is one more important lesson to be learned from this story.

When Joab went after Sheba, he had one goal in mind: To subdue this enemy of David. And he knew what he was doing. After all, hadn't he subdued countless of David's enemies in the past, including the recent uprising of Absalom? Yes, Joab's methods were tried and true: He would single-mindedly pursue Sheba, sparing nothing until this usurper was brought down!

And this is where our story today picks up. Joab arrives at the city of Abel and immediately sets to work besieging it: "Then they came and besieged him in Abel of Beth Maachah; and they cast up a siege mound against the city, and it stood by the rampart. And all the people who were with Joab battered the wall to throw it down." (2 Sam 20:15 NKJV)

What about the innocent lives in Abel?

Not of consequence.

What about the fact that Abel was an ancient, respected city of Israel?

Without importance.

Fortunately for the innocent people of Abel, there was a wise woman within the walls: "Then a wise woman cried out from the city . . . 'Hear the words of your maidservant.'" (2 Sam 20:17a)

Now something like this had never happened to Joab before, and fortunately for the people of Abel, it took him enough by surprise that he momentarily stopped his work: "And he answered, 'I am listening.'" (2 Sam 20:17b)

This wise-and courageous!-woman then went on to speak: "They used to talk in former times, saying, 'They shall surely seek guidance at Abel,' and so they would end disputes. I am among the peaceable and faithful in Israel. You seek to destroy a city and a mother in Israel. Why would you swallow up the inheritance of the Lord?" (2 Sam 20:18,19 NKJV)

Now Joab is so overwhelmed with her audacity that he begins to stammer: "Far be it, far be it from me . . ." (2 Sam 20:20 NKJV). And he must have felt a little under attack as well, for he goes on to deny her accusations: "far be it from me, that I should swallow up or destroy! That is not so!" (2 Sam 20:20b,21a)

Isn't it interesting that though Joab's troops are in the process of doing just exactly what the woman accuses him of, Joab denies it!

But then he must realize how crazy his denial sounds, so he goes on to justify his actions: "But a man from the mountains of Ephraim, Sheba the son of Bichri by name, has raised his hand against the king, against David." (2 Samuel 20:21)

Joab now has to do something quickly or he will lose face. So he tells her to do something he knows is impossible: "Deliver him only, and I will depart from the city." (2 Sam 20:21b)

Imagine his surprise when Sheba's head is thrown down from the wall!

You see, Joab thought he knew how to conquer this problem, and he never stopped to consider any other options.

And that's the lesson we can learn from Joab today: Going on our gut instinct isn't always the wisest thing to do!

So often we barge into problems, standing up to them with the same stance that has served us well in the past, and yes, often achieving our goals, without giving a thought to the hurt that our actions may bring about. But what if there were a better, easier way, one that would accomplish our purpose without bringing as much destruction and hurt?

That's where the Holy Spirit comes in, friends! He is the "wise woman" that Joab was so fortunate to have! He is our Wise Counsellor! If we will but learn to listen to His voice, our purpose can still be accomplished, and much damage can be avoided!

The day I read this this story in my Bible, a recent situation was brought to mind. My 16 year-old's grades had just come home. Now they were good grades, grades that would make most parents proud. But they weren't the grades I knew my son could pull.

So what did I do? Well, nothing, because he was away on a retreat for the weekend. But I did plenty in my mind. I rehearsed my first encounter with him once he was back home. I would sit him down, give him a sound lecture and ground him from all extracurricular activities, from his I-Pod, and from Facebook until he started pulling the kind of grades I know him to be capable of!

Fortunately for my son, I heard the voice of my Wise Counsellor. He reminded me that lectures and grounding don't work with this child. They just make him rebellious, and every time I utilize this method with him, a rent widens between us. Oh, the grades might improve with my method, but I would stand losing even more of the fragile connection that I have with this teen.

So what did I do when my son returned? I addressed the issue, yes. But in God's way, following God's advice. In the end, my purpose was accomplished, I did not destroy my son's self-esteem, and the relationship between us was strengthened.

Friends, the next time a problem arises in your life, don't just rush in hot-headedly. Take a moment and think and pray about how you will respond. Let God be your guide! Because when you do, you can be assured that not only will your purpose be accomplished, but you will also avoid unnecessary hurt and destruction!

Please join us next week for LESSONS FROM DAVID'S FALL, Part 15: The Census.

In His love,
Lyn

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

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©Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Post  Admin on Fri 03 Feb 2012, 6:55 pm

Welcome to the Nugget February 2, 2012
THE BIG SECRET By Answers2Prayer


It was isolated farming country with long distances between families. There was no telephone and no electricity so communication was by letter and light at night was by kerosene lamp or candle.

Money was scarce and candles cost money so they were used sparingly. Kerosene lamps were even more luxurious so a small one was in the kitchen and a large one was reserved for the family room.

Nothing was lighted until the darkness of night settled on the house.

Nobody carried candles or lamps about with them, except for an unlit lantern hanging from the veranda rafter on emergency call to attend a disturbed horse or cow or sheep on dark nights.

Family members knew every step of the way around the house and went from room to room in total darkness without fear or stumbling.

I thought of it all very early this morning. We had had clouds and rain for several weeks with no hint of sunlight and this was midsummer, the very middle month of summer in a 'hot, brown land' with temperatures that usually hover towards forty degrees Celsius.

Leaving my bed just as the darkness of night began to grey, I dressed in the dark and crept outside. Across the valley towards the sunrise, there was a misty break in the clouds on the skyline of the distant hills. The sun shone into it from below the horizon and set it aglow, with a soft richness and glow power far beyond any lamp or candle. It was the only light between threatening clouds and the darkness of the earth below and it was enough to see heaven with.

I thought of what Paul said to the Ephesians, "Though you once were in darkness, now as Christians you are light. Prove yourselves at home in the light, for where light is, there is a harvest of goodness, righteousness, and truth." (Ephesians 5:8)

We have a harvest to produce and harvest cannot come without light. Candles and lamps are not enough, only light from heaven has enough glow power for the harvest it must produce. And only the Lord can give it because only he has the glow power to reveal heaven. He has it because "in him was life, and that life was the light of mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has never mastered it." (John 1:4,5).

The big secret is to find the light switch.

Elizabeth Price

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Post  Admin on Wed 01 Feb 2012, 2:23 pm

Welcome to the Nugget January 31, 2012
LESSONS ON LOVE FROM 1 CORINTHIANS 13, Part 5:
Love is Kind By Answers2Prayer
"Love is kind." (1 Cor. 13:4)

You probably have heard the expression "to kill someone with kindness" which, in reality, is to show how "good" you are and how "bad" he or she is. If we can kill with kindness, surely we can seek to save with it as well. Unfortunately the world can be an unkind place. It seems that kindness has gone out of style, at least in the world, but we are to be "in the world, but not of it". How can we show the love of Jesus? By being like Jesus. The gospels paint a picture of our Savior as gentle and kind, touching the untouchables and ministering to the outcasts of society, the ones the religious establishment scorned and ostracized.

How can we do less than He, when He did so much for us? In Matthew 25:45 Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me." Would we fail to show kindness for Jesus if we should meet Him on the street? I have no doubt that we would fall at His feet and rush to do whatever He asked of us. However, what He has actually already asked of us, we do not do. He has asked us to be kind to those that He loves, the people around us, those whom we see every day. And what will we say, when we see Him face to face and He asks us why we have failed to love those He loves, to show kindness to strangers and loved ones alike? Will we see His disappointment? Maybe His love and forgiveness for us will be too great for that, but dare we risk a broken heart should we fail the One Who never fails? I pray that we all will be more mindful every day of the kindnesses we can do. The harvest is plenty, but the laborers are few. Will you be the one to show the kindness of God Almighty to those who are dying for His touch? He is counting on us all, and if we will yield to the Holy Spirit living in us -- the Comforter, the Healer, our Refuge and Strength -- we will find that He is all that we need to show the love of Jesus in a real and powerful way.

Yours in love and in Christ,
Sonya Richards

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Post  Admin on Sun 29 Jan 2012, 8:47 pm

Welcome to the Nugget January 28, 2012
LESSONS FROM DAVID'S FALL, Part 13: My Way? Or God's Way? By Answers2Prayer
In last Saturday's Nugget, LESSONS FROM DAVID'S FALL, Part 12, we learned from the story of Amasa's murder that when God gives you a command, it is in your best interest to do it! Right away! If you don't, you might lose the privilege of working for Him, and worse still, you cause someone to lose their life!

But there is yet another lesson to be learned from the incident with Sheba the traitor . . .

"Sheba passed through all the tribes of Israel to Abel Beth Maacah and through the entire region of the Berites, who gathered together and followed him. All the troops with Joab came and besieged Sheba in Abel Beth Maacah. They built a siege ramp up to the city, and it stood against the outer fortifications." (2 Sam. 20:14-16 NIV)

Now Joab was a seasoned warrior. He had been David's Commander-in-Chief ever since David became king. He had successfully defeated the Israeli army headed by Abner and ensured that David became king of Israel. He headed up successful campaigns against the Philistines, the Edomites and the Moabites (2 Sam 8), the Arameans (2 Sam. 10), the Ammonites (2 Sam. 11), etc, and most recently, Joab had personally defeated Absalom, David's own son, who tried to usurp the throne from his father. It can truthfully be said that Joab knew how to defeat David's enemies! And he was at it again. After murdering Amasa, he followed Sheba to Maacah where Sheba took up refuge, and here he built a siege ramp and began to destroy the wall.

Was it a good method?

Well, why not? It was one he has successfully used before. After all, Joab wasn't one to sit back and watch his enemies advance! He had always taken a direct approach to David's enemies!

Only one problem this time:

"While they were battering the wall to bring it down, a wise woman called from the city, 'Listen! Listen! Tell Joab to come here so I can speak to him.' He went toward her, and she asked, 'Are you Joab?' 'I am,' he answered. She said, Listen to what your servant has to say.' 'I'm listening,' he said. She continued, 'Long ago they used to say, "Get your answer at Abel," and that settled it. We are the peaceful and faithful in Israel. You are trying to destroy a city that is a mother in Israel. Why do you want to swallow up the Lord's inheritance?'" (2 Sam. 20:17-19)

Joab's problem? Someone was standing in his way! A courageous woman! A woman who realized that her home was about to be destroyed by a fellow Israelite. A woman who was not afraid to take a stand!
Notice that she goes right to the point: "Tell Joab to come here so I can speak to him . . . Long ago they used to say, 'Get your answer at Abel' . . . You are trying to destroy a city that is a mother in Israel. Why do you want to swallow up the Lord's inheritance?"

This wise woman realized she needed to speak to the top and immediately asked for Joab. Then she proceeded to remind him of the city's historical status, and then she played on his sense of loyalty to Israel as a country by asking him why he wanted to "swallow up the Lord's inheritance".

And Joab's reply?

"'Far be it from me!' Joab replied, 'Far be it from me to swallow up or destroy! That is not the case. A man named Sheba son of Bicri, from the hill country of Ephraim, has lifted up his hand against the king, against David. Hand over this one man, and I'll withdraw from the city.' The woman said to Joab, 'His head will be thrown to you from the wall.'" (2 Sam. 20:20-21)

And Joab, the seasoned man of war listens to her arguments. Remember, Joab is NOT the kind of warrior to go off and let others fight his battles for him. He's the kind who gets in there and gets his hands dirty! He builds siege ramps! He destroys towns! But the woman is proposing another way.

Now we aren't told if Joab's work on the siege ramps stopped at this point, or whether he simply proceeded thinking that the woman was crazy. But we do know that it wasn't long before the head of Sheba son of Bicri was catapulted over the wall:

"Then the woman went to all the people with her wise advice, and they cut off the head of Sheba son of Bicri and threw it to Joab. So he sounded the trumpet, and his men dispersed from the city, each returning to his home. And Joab went back to the king in Jerusalem." (2 Sam. 20: 22 NIV)

Friends, the wise woman of Abel was faced with an impossible situation: A fellow Israelite was destroying her city, and she courageously stood up to Joab. In the same way, when we are faced with impossible circumstances, we shouldn't just pussy-foot around. We shouldn't take on the victim mentality. Instead, we should: "Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes." (Eph 6:11-12 NIV). And then we need to stand up victoriously against those schemes!

This is just one more lesson to be learned from the story of Sheba, Joab and the wise woman of Abel. Join us next Saturday for LESSONS FROM DAVID, Part 14: The Wise Counsellor.

In His love,
Lyn

Lyn Chaffart, Mother of two teens, Speech-Language Pathologist, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, www.scripturalnuggets.org, with Answers2Prayer Ministries, www.Answers2Prayer.org.
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Post  Admin on Fri 27 Jan 2012, 6:47 pm

Welcome to the Nugget January 26, 2012
YES BOSS!!! Part 4: Passenger By Answers2Prayer

In the concluding part of our series "YES BOSS", we come to yet another Biblical instance, were the Lord showed who is the "real boss" . . . so here goes . . .

Hear ye, Hear ye! Seeing is believing! Come, see and believe . . . a lowly Passenger (actually a prisoner being transported to Rome) is commanding the Ship . . . not its captain . . .

"Then the sailors tried to abandon the ship; they lowered the lifeboat as though they were going to put out anchors from the front of the ship. But Paul said to the commanding officer and the soldiers, 'You will all die unless the sailors stay aboard.' So the soldiers cut the ropes to the lifeboat and let it drift away." (Acts 27:30-32)

Now what brought about this amazing scenario, that the Ship crew including the Captain, the Officer in charge of the Prisoners obeyed its humble passenger orders? Did he stage any mid-sea coup? NAY! Let's hit the flash back button for a moment and see what actually brought Paul to the mid seas' in the first place. Wrongly arrested for blasphemy amongst other reasons by the blood-thirsty bigoted Jewish leaders (Acts 21:26-40, Acts 22,23,24,25) Apostle Paul appeals to Caesar (Court of Final appeal) claiming innocence. Thus unto Rome, he journeys in the custody of one Commanding Officer Junius along with other prisoners (Acts 27:1). In the long journey from Israel towards Rome, besides the fact that Apostle Paul's prophecy of bad weather had come true (Acts 27:10-20) with passage of time, all the VIPs in the Ship from Paul's noble conduct had discerned that the Almighty Himself was with him, so much so (we see a vindication of this fact) that in the next emergency situation . . . well . . . let the Scripture take over once again . . .

"But they hit a shoal and ran the ship aground too soon. The bow of the ship stuck fast, while the stern was repeatedly smashed by the force of the waves and began to break apart. The soldiers wanted to kill the prisoners to make sure they didn't swim ashore and escape. BUT THE COMMANDING OFFICER WANTED TO SPARE PAUL, so he didn't let them carry out their plan. Then he ordered all who could swim to jump overboard first and make for land." (Acts 27:41-43)

Should I need to say more? That Apostle Paul eventually had a fruitful Ministry in Rome is altogether another matter (Acts 28) however the cardinal question, I intend to pose at this point is "Who is the ultimate commander of events in any situation?" Is it not the Lord of the Heaven's armies (Psalm 84:1,3,8,12)? Would you join me in saying YES BOSS (keeping the Almighty in view)!!!

Prayer: Father, how our hearts flow with love for thee, when we can clearly , your hand at work influencing the decisions' of our superiors. Yes Lord, thou art the TRUE BOSS. We glorify thee, once again in Jesus' Name. Amen.

Yours in His service,
Suresh Manoharan
www.jandsmministries.com

Announcements:
Just what IS love, anyway? Join us on Tuesdays in January and February for LESSONS IN LOVE FROM 1 CORINTHIANS 13, a mini-series by Soyna Richards, to find out!
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Post  Admin on Wed 25 Jan 2012, 5:36 pm

Welcome to the Nugget January 24, 2012
LESSONS ON LOVE FROM 1 CORINTHIANS 13,
Part 4: Love is Patient! By Answers2Prayer

"Love is patient" (1 Cor. 13:4)

I don't like to wait. I don't like to wait in line. I don't like to wait because someone is thoughtlessly blocking the whole aisle with his cart. I don't like people cutting in front of me in traffic or driving all the way to the very end of a lane that is running out and then trying to squeeze in front of me. I am impatient. But love is not.

Scripture tells us we are to esteem others better than ourselves, to love our neighbor as ourselves. Love is patient, and if I would be patient I would be happier. If I am patient, then I don't mind the line. In fact, I could use that down time. I could pray while I am waiting. I could pray for the cashier and the other people in line. I could make someone's day a little better by letting her go in front of me if I am patiently waiting.

If I am patient, I would nicely say, "Excuse me" to the person blocking the aisle instead of fuming about how inconsiderate he is being to me. (I must think the sun rises and sets on me, huh?)

If I am patient, I leave room for another car to get in my lane in front of me instead of stressing myself over trying to leave less than an inch between myself and the car in front of me because "No one is going to get my spot in line!"

In fact, all of God's instructions to us -- the do's AND the don'ts -- are, in fact, for our good. If we would just do what He says, we would be happier and less stressed. Can't we all use a little more happiness and a little (or a lot!) less stress? Let's choose together to be a little more patient with one another, starting today. What have we got to lose?

Yours in love and in Christ,
Sonya Richards
Announcements:
Are you ever tempted to think that your sin has no consequence? After all, Jesus forgave ALL our sins! Even that one little time when we knew better, but it anyway! What could be the harm? Join us on Saturdays for LESSONS FROM DAVID'S FALL, a mini-series designed to help us understand that EACH and EVERY ONE of our actions have a profound affect, not only on our own lives, but on the lives of thousands of others around us!
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Post  Admin on Sun 22 Jan 2012, 8:15 pm

Welcome to the Nugget January 21, 2012
LESSONS FROM DAVID'S FALL, Part 12: DO IT . . . NOW!!!
By Answers2Prayer
"Then the king said to Amasa, 'Summon the men of Judah to come to me within three days, and be here yourself.' But when Amasa went to summon Judah, he took longer than the time the king had set for him. David said to Abishai, 'Now Sheba son of Bicri will do us more harm than Absalom did. Take your master's men and pursue him, or he will find fortified cities and escape from us.' So Joab's men and the Kerethites and Pelethites and all the mighty warriors went out under the command of Abishai. They marched out from Jerusalem to pursue Sheba son of Bicri." (2 Sam 20:4-7 NIV)

The story picks up as King David is just returning to Jerusalem after his son, Absalom, has unsuccessfully tried to usurp the his throne. The men of Judah were all 100% for David, but the rest of Israel were of divided minds. In the last verse of chapter 19 we find all of Israel anxious to bring back the king. But then, in 2 Sam. 20:1, we find a Benjaminite named Sheba who sees an opportunity to seize the throne, and immediately, he has all of the other ten tribes on his side!

King David had just appointed Amasa, who had been the commander-in-chief of Absalom's army, over Joab as commander-in-chief of his own army (2 Sam. 19:13), likely because Joab disobeyed a direct order from the king and killed Absalom (2 Samual 18:14). More than likely, Joab was not overly happy about this particular turn of events, nevertheless, with the threat of Sheba trying to usurp his throne, following so closely in the wake of his own son's attempts, David orders his new command-in-chief to "summon the men of Judah to come to me within three days and be there yourself." (2 Sam. 20:4)

But something happened. The three days went by, and Amasa did not return with the "men of Judah"! Knowing the threat the Sheba posed to be potentially deadly, David knew he couldn't wait any longer, and he summonsed Abishai, Joab's brother, to take the mighty warriors who had been Joab's men and pursue Sheba.

So what about Amasa? Amasa had been given a position that he didn't really deserve, and on the very first mission, he failed to do what he was told to do. He was late in returning to Jerusalem! As a result, David chose someone else to take his place.

Friends, we have also been chosen and raised to a place of honour that we do not deserve: "All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions - it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus . . . " (Eph 2:3-7 NIV)

Though by nature we are objects of wrath, in His great mercy God raised us up with Christ and seated us at His right hand! Sounds a bit like what happened to Amasa, doesn't it?

But what will we do with that position?

Like Amasa, We too are on mission. Our job is to be God's hands on Earth. He asks us to do things for Him, and He expects us to obey. Why? Because His plans are time sensitive! If we don't do them when He asks us to, it could be too late!

So what happens if we, like Amasa, come up short?

Just like King David then sent out Abishai in his stead, God will also find someone who will obey, and He will send them instead.

By being late, Amasa passed up the possibility of achieving a place in history as the one who brought the traitor Sheba down. Instead, Abashai received that honor. But that's not the worst of it: As Abashai and his men, Joab included, pursued Sheba, they caught up to Amasa and his men:

"Joab said to Amasa, 'How are you, my brother?' Then Joab took Amasa by the beard with his right hand to kiss him. Amasa was not on his guard against the dagger in Joab's hand, and Joab plunged it into his belly, and his intestines spilled out on the ground. Without being stabbed again, Amasa died. Then Joab and his brother Abishai pursued Sheba son of Bicri. One of Joab's men stood beside Amasa and said, 'Whoever favors Joab, and whoever is for David, let him follow Joab!'" (2 Sam 20:9-12 NIV)

As soon as the opportunity presented itself, Joab killed Amasa, and thus, he cleanly removed his competition!

Friends, when God tells us to do something, let's don't be late! If we are, we not only risk having the assignment taken out of our hands and given to another, but we also risk being permanently replaced!

"To obey is better than sacrifice . . . " (1 Sam 15:22 NIV)

Let's all adapt the prayer of Kind David himself: "Give me understanding, and I will keep your law and obey it with all my heart." (Ps 119:34 NIV)

But our story today ends with Sheba still at large. How will this dissenter be brought down? Join us next week for LESSONS FROM DAVID'S FALL, Part 13: The Wise Counsellor.

In His love,
Lyn

Lyn Chaffart, Mother of two teens, Speech-Language Pathologist, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, www.scripturalnuggets.org, with Answers2Prayer Ministries, www.Answers2Prayer.org.
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It is never easy to do what is right, but it is always the right thing to do. But what if doing what is right gets you into trouble? What then? Join us on Thursdays in January for YES BOSS!!!, a mini-series by Brother Suresh Manoharan, designed to help us understand the importance of doing the right thing, as well as the ultimate blessings that will result!
©Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Post  Admin on Fri 20 Jan 2012, 2:31 pm

Welcome to the Nugget January 19, 2012
YES BOSS!!! Part 3: Palace! By Answers2PrayerSubscribe UnsubscribeDevotionalsContact us
Continuing with my series on who really IS THE BOSS in our workplaces, today I want to place before the readership one more instance in the Scripture, where the good Lord has influenced the authorities to look favourably upon His loved ones'. Here we go . . .

Palace

Now why is the Royal wine-taster (hey, wine is supposed to bring joy in OT times -Isaiah 24:11- in NT times, however we have something better-John 16:24) whining with his sulky mood before the hulky Persian Emperor at a great risk? Mind you, there was "no room for depression" in the Royal Persian palace (Esther 4:2). Historically speaking the Persians had displaced the Babylonians as the World Super power (for more on the all the World super powers, you may leisurely later on, access my PPT on the Book of Revelation available on this link . . . http://www.jandsmministries.com/rev_pre.asp slide nos 24 to 26 to be more precise)!!! In the midst of all these changes in the Power equation welcome to the deeply touching, inspirational, Nehemiah's historical wall building story! Ever wondered where the foundation for this epochal civil project was laid? Let the Scripture take over . . .

"So the king asked me, 'Why are you looking so sad? You don't look sick to me. You must be deeply troubled.' Then I was terrified, but I replied, 'Long live the king! How can I not be sad? For the city where my ancestors are buried is in ruins, and the gates have been destroyed by fire.' The king asked, 'Well, how can I help you?' With a prayer to the God of heaven, I replied, 'If it please the king, and if you are pleased with me, your servant, send me to Judah to rebuild the city where my ancestors are buried.'" (Nehemiah 2:2-5)

Rest as they say is history. Fast forward to 2:9 it says, not only the King heeded Nehemiah's request but had sent along army officers and horsemen to protect him in his journey to Jerusalem! Fast forward further to 6:15 . . . you come to the heady climax . . . "So on October 2nd the wall was finished-just fifty-two days after we had begun." (Hey, October 2nd is very close to every Indian's heart too for obvious reasons). HALLELUJAH!

Folks, on the subject of foundation-laying, I hope, you have not missed the obvious! IT ALL BEGAN WITH A PRAYER TO THE GOD OF HEAVEN. Before Nehemiah petitioned his boss . . . the Persian Monarch, he petitioned the Monarch of them all!!! No wonder, everything fell into place.

Prayer: O Lord, we love thee and love thee for seeing your hand at work time and again, when it comes to influencing our bosses at workplace. We praise thee, once again in Jesus' Name. Amen.

Yours in His service,
Suresh Manoharan
www.jandsmministries.com
©Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Post  Admin on Sun 15 Jan 2012, 7:54 pm

Welcome to the Nugget January 14, 2012
LESSONS FROM DAVID'S FALL, Part 11: What we can Learn From Mephibosheth By Answers2Prayer
"Next Mephibosheth grandson of Saul arrived from Jerusalem to welcome the king. He hadn't combed his hair or trimmed his beard or washed his clothes from the day the king left until the day he returned safe and sound." (2 Sam 19:24-25 The Message)

Our lesson from David's fall today takes place as David is returning to Jerusalem in glory. On the way, he meets up with Mephibosheth, son of Jonathon and grandson of King Saul.

Now to fully understand this story, we need to go back a few years in history. When news came that Jonathon and Saul were dead, Mephibosheth was only five years old. In that day, whenever a new king took over the throne, it was customary for him to have all the descendants of the former king killed. Fearing that this would happen, Mephibosheth's nurse took the young child and fled. Unfortunately she dropped him, and as a result, he was lame in both feet for the rest of his life (See 2 Samuel 4:4).

But David wasn't like other uprising kings. He remembered Jonathon with affection, and he set out to find any of Jonathon's family who were still alive. When he found out about Mephibosheth, David brought him to the palace. He gave him all of Saul's land and wealth, he gave him Saul's servant, Ziba, to look after him, and then he gave him a place at the king's table (See 2 Samuel 9).

But as David fled Jerusalem during Absalom's attempt to usurp his throne, he was met by Ziba, the servant of Mephibosheth. Naturally David wanted to know where Mephibosheth was. Ziba's response? "Indeed he is staying in Jerusalem, for he said, 'Today the house of Israel will restore the kingdom of my father to me.'" (2 Samuel 16:3)

Now this answer didn't sit well with David, for what Mephibosheth was doing was considered an act of treason. His response? "So the king said to Ziba, 'Here, all that belongs to Mephibosheth is yours.'" (2 Sam 16:4 NKJV)

With this background in mind, imagine David's surprise to be met by Mephibosheth. Naturally David had a question or two for the wayward man: "Why did you not go with me, Mephibosheth?" (2 Sam 19:24)

Here is where we learn the true story: "My lord, O king, my servant deceived me" (2 Sam 19:25 NJKV).

As it turns out, Mephibosheth, who was lame, needed a donkey to ride in order to follow the king. But when he went out, there was no donkey. Ziba had already taken Mephibosheth's donkey to David (See 2 Sam. 16:1). Thus, Mephibosheth was stuck in Jerusalem with no way to follow. And as a result of deception, all his wealth was given to the lying servant, Ziba.

Now Mephibosheth had plenty of reason to be bitter. But he wasn't. Instead, he was grieved for the king who had redeemed him from a life of hiding and shame: "but my lord the king is like the angel of God . . . For all my father's house were but dead men before my lord the king. Yet you set your servant among those who eat at your own table. Therefore what right have I still to cry out anymore to the king?" (2 Sam 19:24-28 NKJV)

King David realized the love for him in Mephibosheth's heart, and he reinstated him gladly: "Why do you speak anymore of your matters?" (2 Sam 19:29 KNJV) And he promised to give Mephibosheth back what Ziba had stolen from him.

Mephibosheth's response? "Then Mephibosheth said to the king, 'Rather, let him take it all, inasmuch as my lord the king has come back in peace to his own house.'" (2 Sam 19:30 NKJV)

To Mephibosheth, the wealth didn't matter. All that mattered was that he was once again in right standing with the king!

Friends, we can learn a lesson or two from Mephibosheth!

Let's take a look at some of the parallels in this story: Just like Mephibosheth had been redeemed by King David, we have been redeemed by Christ. He has taken our place and set us at the right hand of God! He has given us blessings and riches that we aren't worthy of having!

But just like Mephibosheth's wealth was given to Ziba, sometimes things happen and these blessings and riches from God are stolen away.

Our attitude?

We generally get angry at God. But perhaps we would do better to follow Mephibosheth's example: "Rather, let him take it all, inasmuch as my lord the king has come back in peace to his own house."

God is calling us, friends, to stop focussing on what we don't have. Instead, He is calling us to simply rejoice in His presence! Instead of begging God to change our circumstances, God wants us to be content WHERE WE ARE in Him!

But don't forget what David did to evoke this response from Mephibosheth: He promised to give Mephibosheth back his wealth!

And God will do this for us as well, but first, we have to have our priorities straight. We need to learn from Mephibosheth that our first concern is to be happy in the presence of our Lord and Maker. Our relationship with Him should be our #1 priority. Only when it is will we be guaranteed happiness, for only then will we become content where we are and with what we have!

And what happens after that isn't even important anymore, is it?

Join us next week for LESSONS FROM DAVID'S FALL, Part 11: Do It - NOW!!!

In His love,
Lyn

Lyn Chaffart, Mother of two teens, Speech-Language Pathologist, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, www.scripturalnuggets.org, with Answers2Prayer Ministries, www.Answers2Prayer.org.
Announcements:
Just what IS love, anyway? Join us on Tuesdays in January and February for LESSONS IN LOVE FROM 1 CORINTHIANS 13, a mini-series by Soyna Richards, to find out!
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Post  Admin on Fri 13 Jan 2012, 2:12 pm

Welcome to the Nugget January 12, 2012
YES BOSS!!! Part 2: Palate
NUGGET Today's Devotional - Page 30 Palate

Continuing with my series on who really IS THE BOSS, today I want to place before the readership another instances in the Scripture, where the good Lord has influenced the authorities to look favourably upon His loved ones'. Here we go . . .

Palate

The Babylonian Emperor King Nebuchadnezzar--Obama's equivalent of that age in terms of being the Head of a World Superpower--was a kind-hearted man in the sense that he intended to give a fresh lease of life to all the young Royal captives in his realm by training and employing them in his administrative service (Daniel 1:3-5). It is another matter that he had ruthlessly annexed their kingdoms to his burgeoning Empire.

Now the four bright young Jewish captives with a blue blood selected for BAS (read Babylonian Administrative Service) training have a problem with Babylonian biryani (food)! Not with its taste, per se, but they nurse serious reservations in regards to its ingredients (in the permitted or prohibited list-Leviticus 11), its mode of preparation (was the blood of the meat drained? Deu 12:16), whether offered to idols et al.

Intending to be more faithful in IAS (read In Almighty's service) than in anything else, they prefer to swap Babylonian royal fare for a healthy kosher vegetarian diet, and thus make their wishes known to the Master Chef through their "ring leader . . . Daniel".

The Chef, of course under strict Royal orders to "give nothing less than the best to the best" (I reiterate these trainees selected from a pool of captives with Royal lineage), was well aware of the implications of these four Jewish youth turning up undernourished and unhealthy before the Emperor. Truth to tell, Chef's head would go chop, chop…But consider this moving Scripture portion . . .

"Now God had given the chief of staff both respect and affection for Daniel."

The result? Daniel and his friends, with no constitutional fundamental rights whatsoever in that age and time, have their way (Daniel 1:8-16)!!!

Of blue-blood or not, buddy do you wanna be a blue-eyed boy of your boss! First curry the favor of the Boss of all bosses, and the rest, as they say, would be history! Take care never to become history but to be a maker of history, wherever you are . . .

Prayer: Father, we are so much comforted to know that you are in ultimate charge. Cast all the Boss-Subordinate issues' of our offices' into your hands. In and through everything, enable us to bring Thee glory. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Join us next week for YES BOSS!!! Part 3: Palace

Yours in His service,
Suresh Manoharan
www.jandsmministries.com

Announcements:
Join us on Saturdays for the continuation of the series, LESSONS FROM DAVID'S FALL!
Are you ever tempted to think that your sin has no consequence? After all, Jesus forgave ALL our sins! Even that one little time when we knew better, but it anyway! What could be the harm? Join us on Saturdays this fall for LESSONS FROM DAVID'S FALL, a mini-series designed to help us understand that EACH and EVERY ONE of our actions have a profound affect, not only on our own lives, but on the lives of thousands of others around us!
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Post  Admin on Wed 11 Jan 2012, 8:02 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

January 10, 2012
LESSONS ON LOVE FROM
1 CORINTHIANS 13: Part 2 -- If I Have the Gift of Prophecy By Answers2Prayer

"If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing." (1 Cor. 13:2)

"Many people today think of a prophet as any person who sees the future. While the gift of prophecy certainly includes the ability to see the future, a prophet is far more than just a person with that ability. A prophet is basically a spokesman for God, a person chosen by God to speak to people on God's behalf and convey a message or teaching. Prophets were role models of holiness, scholarship and closeness to God. They set the standards for the entire community." http://www.jewfaq.org/prophet.htm

The Bible has hundreds of prophesies, but not all prophets have the people's good at heart. Take, for example, Jonah. God called Jonah to prophesy to the people of Nineveh about God's judgment on their sin and what would happen to them if they did not turn from their sin and turn to God, but Jonah did not want to preach to Nineveh. He knew God would forgive them if they repented, but Jonah thought they deserved judgment instead of mercy. After he initially ran from God and found himself swallowed by a whale, he agreed to go, but he did so grudgingly. Even though when the people heard his prophecy, they repented and were saved, Jonah was not happy about it. Jonah did not love the people of Nineveh, but God did. God wanted the people to be saved; Jonah did not. In the end, he only agreed to go to save himself from God's wrath.

"But to Jonah this seemed very wrong, and he became angry. He prayed to the LORD, 'Isn't this what I said, LORD, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. Now, LORD, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.' But the LORD replied, 'Is it right for you to be angry?'" (Jonah 4:1-4)

He loved himself but not the Ninevites.

"Jonah had gone out and sat down at a place east of the city. There he made himself a shelter, sat in its shade and waited to see what would happen to the city. Then the LORD God provided a leafy plant and made it grow up over Jonah to give shade for his head to ease his discomfort, and Jonah was very happy about the plant. But at dawn the next day God provided a worm, which chewed the plant so that it withered. When the sun rose, God provided a scorching east wind, and the sun blazed on Jonah's head so that he grew faint. He wanted to die, and said, 'It would be better for me to die than to live.' But God said to Jonah, 'Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?' 'It is,' he said. 'And I'm so angry I wish I were dead.' But the LORD said, 'You have been concerned about this plant, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left -- and also many animals?'" (Jonah 4:5-11)

Even though Jonah had the gift of prophecy, he did not have love for those that God loved and wanted to save. Paul said that if we have all of these things -- prophecy, knowledge and even faith to move mountains, but we do not love others, we are nothing. We are nothing because without love, we have nothing.

If we can fathom the mysteries of God and we have memorized verse after verse after verse, if we can quote the bible perfectly, if we have all the faith in the world in what God can do, and we do not put all of that into action by loving God's people, saved and unsaved, it is just so much wood, hay and stubble to be burned on that great Judgment Day. We may be saved, but just so. I think without our acts of love and obedience to the Lord's calling here on earth -- to love one another -- we will stand before Him one day with regret over all that we left undone.

God is calling us to LOVE one another and to preach the gospel in all the world and to love our neighbor as ourselves. We know that Jonah loved himself and his comfort and did his best to provide for himself, but did he even love God? The Bible does not say specifically, but Jesus said, "If you LOVE me, you will do the things I say." (John 14:15) Without love, we are nothing and we have nothing, just wood, hay and stubble.

Yours in love and in Christ,
Sonya Richards

Announcements:
Are you ever tempted to think that your sin has no consequence? After all, Jesus forgave ALL our sins! Even that one little time when we knew better, but it anyway! What could be the harm? Join us on Saturdays for LESSONS FROM DAVID'S FALL, a mini-series designed to help us understand that EACH and EVERY ONE of our actions have a profound affect, not only on our own lives, but on the lives of thousands of others around us!
©Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Post  Admin on Sun 08 Jan 2012, 5:29 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
January 7, 2012
LESSONS FROM DAVID'S FALL, Part 10:
The Return of the King
Our story today takes us to the banks of the Jordan River. David's men had successfully stopped the Absalom rebellion and David was free to return as rightful king of Israel. But David didn't just return to Jerusalem when his son was brought down. Instead, he waited on the banks of the Jordan River.

Why?

Because David wanted to ensure that his people wanted him back! He waited for the people to assemble to escort him home!

But David did other things while waiting. You see he wasn't sure that Absalom's followers would want him to be their king, so the first thing he did was to appoint Amasa, the commander-in-chief of Absalom's army, as his own commander-in-chief. It was a great political move, for the Bible tells us that: "he swayed the hearts of all the men of Judah, just as the heart of one man, so that they sent this word to the king: 'Return, you and all your servants!'" (2 Sam 19:14 NKJV)

David was also met on the road by some of the very people who had mocked him on his flight from Jerusalem. He now had it in his power to punish these bad-mouthing delinquents. But he didn't. Instead, against political advice of his advisors, David forgave them: "'Shall any man be put to death today in Israel? For do I not know that today I am king over Israel?' Therefore the king said to Shimei, 'You shall not die.' And the king swore to him." (2 Sam 19:22-23 NKJV)

Even Shimei came to David to ask for forgiveness, and he didn't come alone. Along with him were a thousand men of Benjamin (See 2 Sam 19:17), and in his single act of forgiveness, David won the hearts of these men as well.

And David didn't forget the kindness of those who had helped him either. The Bible tells us: "Now Barzillai was a very aged man, eighty years old. And he had provided the king with supplies while he stayed at Mahanaim, for he was a very rich man." (2 Sam 19:32 NKJV) And what does David do? "And the king said to Barzillai, 'Come across with me, and I will provide for you while you are with me in Jerusalem.'" (2 Sam 19:33 NKJV)

And in this manner, he also won the unswaying allegiance of Barzillai and his household.

In fact, the people of Israel were so won over to David's side that it started a fight among them! The people of Judah, being David's tribe, thought it was their sole right to escort the king. Unfortunately this didn't sit well with the rest of the tribes, and a loud, heated argument ensued: "So all the men of Judah answered the men of Israel, 'Because the king is a close relative of ours. Why then are you angry over this matter? Have we ever eaten at the king's expense? Or has he given us any gift?' And the men of Israel answered the men of Judah, and said, 'We have ten shares in the king; therefore we also have more right to David than you. Why then do you despise us - were we not the first to advise bringing back our king?' Yet the words of the men of Judah were fiercer than the words of the men of Israel." (2 Sam 19:42-43 NKJV)

Now the outcome of this particular argument is the subject of yet another two LESSONS FROM DAVID'S FALL (join us for parts 12 and 13), but the point is, the rightful king returned to the throne, with much of Israel back on his side.

This whole story reminds me of the plan of salvation.

You see, Jesus is the rightful heir to the earthly throne. But just like in David's story, an impostor, Lucifer by name, came along and set himself up as lord of this Earth. Just like Absalom, he did so by deceiving the people into following him.

Jesus could have put up a fight. But He didn't. He wanted His subjects to serve Him out of love and to follow Him freely, without hesitation, so Jesus allowed the impostor to rule this Earth until He could prove Himself to His people. And He did so, beautifully, but laying down His life on the cross. There can be no stronger image of love than to lay down your life for another!

And just like David won the conflict with Absalom, Jesus has won the cosmic battle. But just like David waited on the other side of the Jordan for the people to willingly come to His side, Jesus also waits. He invites us to willingly come to His side. Oh, He will return one day, as King of the universe, but He will do so when the time is right, for He does not wish for any to perish: "Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish." (Matt 18:14 NKJV)

And in the meantime, just like David, Jesus woos us to Him. He provides us with gifts, with forgiveness, with healing, with peace, with help in time of trouble.

But there will come a day friends, when it will all be over. Jesus will reclaim His rightful throne, and those who still choose to follow the usurper, the devil, will be destroyed.

Who will you follow? The rightful King? Or the liar that keeps you ensnared in his evil, vile plans?

I hope and pray that you will make the declaration of Joshua with me today: "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!" (Joshua 24:15)

Please join us next Saturday for LESSONS FROM DAVID'S FALL, Part 11: What we can Learn from Mephibosheth

In His love,
Lyn

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

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©Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Post  Admin on Fri 06 Jan 2012, 4:24 pm

Welcome to the Nugget January 5, 2012
YES BOSS!!!
Part 1: Prison
NUGGET Today's Devotional - Page 30 Prison
Who has not come across this old saying . . .

Rule 1.Your boss is always right. Rule 2. If you think the boss is wrong refer to rule 1.

Take heart. There is a Big Boss over ALL the bosses!.

Of several Hebrew names for God, the word ADONAI (Isaiah 6:1), used to describe the Almighty on His Sovereign throne, has through the ages brought comfort to the confused, solace to the distraught and reassurance to many with creased foreheads. The sombre setting- King Uzziah, who by and large was a good King offering security and prosperity, had died. To the vision of Prophet Isaiah is good enough reason for the Almighty to remind the worried Prophet (about the future of the Judean Kingdom) that good Kings may come and go but the King of Kings shall ALWAYS reign from His throne providing for His needy ones' at all times.

Not only does the King of Kings rule over all, He also influences the authorities, He has placed over His loved ones to look upon the latter favorably. In this series of four parts, I want to present to the readership four distinct instances' in the Scripture (there may be more) when this trait of the Adonai God comes to the forefront. Let's focus upon them in chronological order under the following sub-headings . . .

1. Prison

2. Palate

3. Palace

4. Passenger

By the way, have you ever thanked God for the bosses He in His sovereign wisdom has placed over you in your place of employment?

Prison

A young, devout Hebrew slave falsely accused of having tried to rape his master's licentious wife is being cruelly pushed into the Egyptian prison, and lo and behold, iron fetters and an iron collar are immediately and firmly clasped around his feet and neck respectively. Boy, the young boy could hardly move, let alone breathe! The Jailer would have this young "pervert" have it (Genesis 39:20/Psalm 105:18)!

Fast forward by just a few verses . . .

Now the same Jailer treats the same young convict as a venerated saint. From an iron collar retribution to cotton wool preservation!!! Can you believe it?

It gets more curious . . .

The same youth is given charge of all the Jail responsibilities. Straight from Ripley's Book of believe it or not? NAY! Welcome to the righteous Joseph's story. The young man who had remained true to God fleeing the fleeting pleasures of lust (Genesis 39). Welcome once again to the Biblical rags to riches story in the Bible which underscores God's faithfulness in the lives of His faithful ones.

What exactly resulted in a U-turn in the Prison warden's disposition? Let the Scripture take over . . .

"But the LORD was with Joseph in the prison and showed him his faithful love. And the LORD made Joseph a favorite with the prison warden." (Genesis 39:21)

That Joseph goes on to become Prime Minister of Egypt is yet another story, but suffice is to say the Lord can move the heart of our bosses and make them look upon us favourably. Hey, He pulls the strings!!!

For more on Joseph's life, you may access my PPT on the Book of Genesis by clicking on the following link . . . Http://www.jandsmministries.com/genesis_pre.asp (slide #s . . . 100-117 to be more precise).

Prayer: Father in Heaven, we praise and thank thee for influencing the hearts of the authorities in a way, they are made to look upon us favourably. Oh, how many times, we have experienced it firsthand! We praise and thank thee in Jesus' Name. Amen.

Join us next Thursday for YES BOSS!!! Part 2: Palate.

Yours in His service,
Suresh Manoharan
www.jandsmministries.com

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THE ILLUSTRATOR Are you blessed by inspirational stories? Why not subscribe to "The Illustrator", a daily newsletter devoted to bringing people closer to Christ through inspirational stories? Simply go to www.Answers2Prayer.org, scroll down to the section labeled "Subscribe Here", and click "The Illustrator".
©Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Post  Admin on Wed 04 Jan 2012, 4:44 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
January 3, 2012

LESSONS ON LOVE FROM 1 CORINTHIANS 13: Part 1

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"If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal." (1 Cor 13:1)

Throughout your life you will have many people tell you that they love you. Some will mean it, and others, unfortunately, will mean something like “I love what you do for me” but, when you are no longer in the position to give, will suddenly find you less desirable than before. We call those “fair weather friends”. When times are good, they are with you. When times are bad, they are nowhere to be found, and all their declarations of love now ring in your ears as nothing more than empty words, a clanging cymbal.

To hear someone say that he or she loves you is a wonderful thing, but real love loves in word and deed. Jesus said, “If you love me, you will do the things I say” (John 14:15). I think we get so caught up in the frustrations of life that we fail to notice those moments, those actions that say love without a word. Love speaks in many ways, and maybe actual words are the least of these.

Love is holding your child in the dark of the night after a bad dream. Love is knowing your husband’s likes and dislikes; that shows you care enough about him to notice what he likes and to provide those things for him. Love is making a four-hour round trip drive on a Friday night to be with a friend who has lost a loved one and doing it all over again the next day for the funeral. Love is sitting in a hospital room, holding a hand that cannot hold yours. Love is driving the car with no heat so your wife can have the car that has it. Love is watching the movie you don’t like so someone else can watch the one that she does. Love is sacrificing your comfort for someone else, just as Jesus did for you.

If you cannot see that I love you by the things that I do, all the beautiful words in the world will not make it so. My words without actions are simply noise, if I have not love.

Yours in love and in Christ,

Sonya Richards
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Post  Admin on Mon 02 Jan 2012, 9:07 am

Welcome to the Nugget December 31, 2011
BLESSED BE THE NAME OF THE LORD:
A New Year's Message for 2012 By Answers2Prayer

It was a bittersweet day. This was the day my oldest son would move to his new university home. We had been preparing for this day for weeks. Closets and drawers were cleaned out and sorted into the "to take" pile and the "to leave" pile, and now, all of the things in the "to take" pile were neatly stowed in the car, the van, and the trailer. The trailer was hooked up to the van, the animals had been taken to their "away" home, and breakfast was ready when it happened: The Illustrator and The Nugget, the two newsletters of this ministry, vanished from the web, taking their entire subscription lists with them

Years of accumulated subscriptions, completely gone. What would we do?

Earlier that morning, as I was farming out the animals, I had been overcome with the urge to listen to a song, and now, that same song was going around in my head: "Blessed be the name of the Lord, blessed be His name! Every blessing You pour out I'll turn back to praise, when the darkness closes in Lord, still I will say: Blessed be the name of the Lord!"**

What are You trying to tell me, Lord? I whispered.

The bridge began going through my mind then: "You give and take away, my heart is here to say, Lord blessed be Your name!"

But wait a minute. It's easy to praise God when things are going well, but am I also supposed to praise Him when the bad stuff sets in? How can I say "thanks, Lord!" For losing my job? How can I said, "Praise God!" When my spouse leaves me? How can I shout forth a mighty cry of joy when I lose my child? Tell me, how???

And I have to admit, I didn't really feel much like praising the Lord for the loss of the newsletters and their subscriber lists!

It really boils down to this: How much can we trust in God's perfect, unfailing love? Do we truly trust that He loves us enough to take care of us when things go wrong? Do we really believe His promises to take care of our loved ones in the face of trouble? Do we truly believe? Let's take a close look at what a very familiar Psalm has to teach us: Psalms 23:

"The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want." (vs 1)

Notice, it doesn't say "I shall not want in good times" nor does it say "I shall not want because there will be no bad times". It says "I shall not want!"

"He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul" (vs 2,3a)

Why would He promise to lead us beside still waters if they were always still? Why would He need to RESTORE our souls, if there were never any problems? God's promise is to bring us back to still waters and to restore our souls in times of problems!

"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me." (vs 4)

This doesn't say we'll never have a brush with death or have to face the workings of the evil one! It says that through those situations, God is there, and He will comfort us!

"You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over." (vs 5)

Again, this doesn't say God will bless us with no enemies. Instead it says that God will bathe and bless us IN THE PRESENCE of our enemies!

"Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever." (vs 6)

Friends, today is News Year's Eve for some of you, and for others of you, it is already New Year's Day. Either way, it is time to make a New Year's resolution. Will you join me today in resolving to trust in God's unfailing love, no matter what happens? Can we resolve together to turn every blessing of 2012 back to praise? And when bad times come, we will be just as quick to say, "Blessed be the name of the Lord"?

If you will join me in this resolve, I will personally guarantee you that you will have a beautiful year. No, I'm not promising that there will be no problems. I'm promising that if you praise God's name through them, you will be filled with the peace the passes ALL understanding, and your happiness will over flow.

So what happened to the newsletters?

I decided right that morning that I was going to believe in God's unfailing love. My prayer became, "Lord, this is Your ministry, we are but Your humble servants. No matter what happens to this ministry today, Lord, Blessed be Your name!"

Not only did He recover the ministry, but He used this situation to give us a much better, more reliable and user-friendly way to keep God's Word flowing to the world through this ministry. He also used this situation to give you this New Year's message!

May His name be praised in both the good times and the bad throughout ALL of 2012!

In His love,
Lyn

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

**Blessed be the Name of the Lord, by Matt and Beth Redman. You can access this song by clicking on this link: http://www.worshiptogether.com/songs/songdetail.aspx?iid=568273
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Post  Admin on Fri 30 Dec 2011, 11:05 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

December 29, 2011

A LESSON FROM THE SHEPHERDS

Luke 2:8-20

I know that Christmas is over, but I've been thinking a lot about the shepherds in the Christmas story lately. We all know that a host of angels appeared to the shepherds and told them about the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The shepherds were thrilled with the news and told many others about what they had seen and heard. That impressed me.

But verse 20 is what struck me this year. "Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen." (Luke 2:17 NIV) They returned to their sheep and resumed their former lowly lives, accept for one thing – they continued "glorifying and praising God . . ."

A question shot through my mind. What do I do after Christmas? When things return to “normal” after the holidays, what do I do with Jesus? Do I wrap Him up in tissue paper, so to speak, pack Him away and forget about Him like I do my delicate Tree ornaments? Or do I continue to glorify and praise Him like the shepherds did?

I’m happy to report that I don’t pack Him away and forget Him, but I have to admit that He doesn’t always get as much attention from me as He does during the Christmas season. We often here the saying: "Let’s keep Christ in Christmas." This year I plan to modify that saying to "Keep Christ first and foremost in 2012," and continue to glorify and praise Him often. I hope you will, too. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Heavenly Father, thank You for the precious lessons you teach us from Your Holy Word. I surrender my life to you once again in 2012 and will strive to spend more time glorifying and praising You. In Jesus Name. Amen.

By Donna J. Howard
©Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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