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NUGGET Today's Devotional

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Post  Admin Tue 20 Apr 2021, 10:47 pm

"Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, 'The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.'" (Lamentations 3:22-24 NIV)

As I approach the corral, it is still dark, and the icy morning seeks to penetrate the warmth of my parka. My headlamp illuminating the way picks out the horses as they hover at the gate. They are waiting in expectation, as they know there could be special treats in my pocket. As I silently laugh to myself at their eagerness, I consider the lesson that their behaviour is prodding me to embrace.

How expectant am I of the special treats that God has for me each day? God is a good God, and He gives good gifts to His children. For the asking, He strengthens us daily to do all that we need to do. He blesses us with friends and family, jobs and homes. He causes the sun to rise in the morning and the moon at night, the snow to fall and the rain to patter. Each and every day, He blesses us with opportunities to help others, to treat our neighbour as ourselves. We have eyes to see the glorious multitude of shades and colours that our world is adorned in. We have ears to hear the singing of the birds, the barking of a dog, the purring of a contented cat, the cry of a newborn, the laughter of a child. We have a mouth with which to praise Him and to encourage our fellow human beings. We have a sense of smell to savour fresh bread coming straight from the oven, blossoms in spring, wet leaves in the fall, and the sharp tang of winter. He blesses us with healing from our wounds emotionally, spiritually, and more often than not, physically, as we struggle to recuperate from colds, the flu, and a myriad of other common illnesses. For the asking, He grants us wisdom, which we must then not doubt. He forgives our sins and renews our spirit when we have fallen short of the life that He calls us to in Christ. His Word assures us of eternity with Christ when we have faith to believe in the work of the cross and resurrection. And He is even now, through Christ, preparing a home for us in heaven.

Yet how often, I must ask myself, do I stand at the gate of prayer each morning, waiting with expectation to recognize and receive these special treats which come daily from the hand of my heavenly Father? Not nearly as I often as I should -- I know that for certain.

How about you? Great is His faithfulness. Most wonderful are the gifts of His hand each and every day. I pray that I may not forget this lesson that the horses have revealed to me, and I pray that you might embrace it, too, as need be within your life.

Prayer: Father God, thank You that because of Your great love, we are not consumed, for Your compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. Help us to cultivate more and more an attitude of joyful expectation of seeing, receiving, and appreciating the good gifts which come from Your hand, each and every day. In Christ's name, we pray. Amen.

Lynne Phepps
Atlin, B.C.

Reprinted from the PresbyCan Daily Devotional with the author's permission

 
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Post  Admin Tue 30 Mar 2021, 11:32 pm

"There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love." (1 John 4:18 NIV)

I was dog sitting for my daughter the other day while she got some work done in her house.   When it was time to take them home I decided to walk her eight pound pack leader, Lexie home first.  Even though she was the smallest of all my daughter's dogs she tended to boss and bark at the others during the walks across the road from my house to her's.

As soon as I opened the door and stepped out on my porch I saw my neighbor walking his own little dog down the road.  All at once the fur on Lexie's back stood up in a Mohawk.  She growled, lunged, barked, and pulled on her leash to get to my neighbor's dog.  I bent down, picked her up with one hand, and held her to my chest.  She relaxed and started to lick my chin as if to reassure me that she loved me and would always be there to protect me from all the dangers of this world.

I couldn't help but feel a bit of envy at that tiny dog's fearlessness.  All too often in my own life I have made a friend of fear instead of showing him the door.  Like Mark Twain I have "known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened."  It was like my mind was driving down an old, dirt road and continually falling into the ruts of fear and worry.  Often it took a lot of hard work to steer my thoughts back out again.  Sadly, I have spent far too much of my life fumbling with fear when I should have been dancing with love.

God loves us all so much and God wants us to live our lives free from fear and full of love.  Keep your thoughts on love then.  Fill your heart with love.  Live your life in love.  It will make your face smile.  It will make your heart sing.  It will make your spirit soar.  It will make your soul one with God.  It is a far better companion than fear ever will be.  Invite it in then for a seat and a glass of tea and show fear the door.

Joseph J. Mazzella

 
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Post  Admin Sun 28 Mar 2021, 9:23 pm

In the concluding part of our series on the "Heavenly Census Register" (read Lamb's Book of Life), we focus on yet another aspect of this transcendental subject...


Represent...

"But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ..." (Philippians 3:20 ESV)

Invariably, if in a country's context, the subjects...citizenship and census register...are inter-linked, then in the spiritual realm too, the subject of a Christian's citizenship and the Lamb's Book of Life are also inter-twined.

A Christian whose name is registered in the Lamb's Book of Life, at the point of former's regeneration, we are awarded citizenship in Heaven that very moment. So if our Citizenship is in Heaven, what is our role in this world? A hopeless one of living aimlessly? No way! We are Christ's ambassadors (2 Cor. 5:20)! Then again, if we are Christ's ambassadors...are our lives measuring up to our noble calling?

For the uninitiated it needs to be retold that in the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic relations in 1960...On the basis of several worthy historical precedents, it was decided to grant "Diplomatic immunity" to the ambassadors. This would mean that an ambassador of, say, India, in not-so-friendly Pakistan (I am all for friendly ties with Pakistan (See Rom. 12:18), though historically India and Pakistan have sadly for so many reasons not been the "best of chums" )...Laws of distant, not immediately-visible India would apply, and not the Laws of visible, oh-so-close (to him physically) Pakistan... Even as he tries to promote the best interests of India in adverse circumstances in Pakistan. Being a bit Pro-Pakistan at the cost of Indian interests would be tempting to him, too, considering the appreciation which would come his way from people in his immediate vicinity. But can he afford to compromise his duty of always upholding the interests of the Indian Government that, trusting his integrity, put him there in the first place?

By the same token, for a Christian who is Christ’s ambassador in this World...The holy laws given by the invisible King of Heaven would apply (read-all the Scriptural Statutes), and not the apparently "juicy laws" of this visible fallen world where he resides, which entice a Christian to satisfy his lust of the eyes, flesh and pride of life. For instance: The law of the world may say, "get even with your enemy especially during times of extreme provocation!" But the one given by the King seated on the Heavenly throne would warrant exactly an opposite course of action: Love your enemy and pray for him (See Matt 5:39-48)… Though there is every temptation to go by the dictates of the World, that tit-for-tat policy that is accepted and welcomed by this World. Hey...you are representing the invisible King who is observing you! Obey His laws in faith, and not that of the visible people right around you of this World! Remember that if we were to see our King physically, there would be no role for faith in our lives (See 1 Peter 1:7-8).

Duty demands that I also project the somber "other side of the coin" on this subject. Will not the Ambassador who is not representing his native country properly be recalled by the same? Ditto with the ambassador for Christ who is not representing the Heavenly King in a manner worthy of his/her calling. Some sober words of "a premature recall" from the "place of posting" are recorded in the Scripture about the compromising Christians (they had been given a long rope) as a warning:

"That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged. But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world." (I Cor 11:30-32)

Oh yes...here in this context "recall" doesn't mean immediate "deletion from Lamb's Book of Life" itself, but rather, experiencing highly avoidable, painful consequences on not being a "good ambassador". It would serve us well to go about our ambassador's duties earnestly lest these words apply to us.

Finally Dear friends... In conclusion I would like to state, in whichever nation the good Lord in His sovereign wisdom has placed us, while we eagerly desire nothing wrong about it, to have our names registered in our country's census register so that all the Government-launched welfare schemes would apply to us... With greater desire we need to take all the steps possible to not only have our names registered in the Lamb’s Book of life, read Heavenly Census Register, by seeking Christ the Savior first with contrite and repentant hearts, but also retain it for eternity by obeying Him faithfully till the end of our lives from the point of regeneration!

Hallelujah! What price any theology, which doesn't end with doxology!

Prayer: Father, we thank Thee for giving us the high privilege of being Your ambassadors on Planet Earth. Empower us to live lives worthy of our high calling. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Suresh Manohan
An unworthy servant
J and SM Ministries

 
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The is the last of "The Heavenly Census" mini-series. If you have missed any of the previous parts, you can access them online by clicking here. Otherwise, if you don't have access to the Internet, you can email me and I will send them to you.

 
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Post  Admin Thu 25 Mar 2021, 2:31 pm

NUGGET Today's Devotional - Page 3 Moses10

In the ongoing series on the subject of "The Heavenly Census Register" (Read Lamb's Book of life), we come to the penultimate portion even whilst focusing on yet another dimension of this ethereal subject...


Resolve...

"But now, if you will only forgive their sin--but if not, erase my name from the record you have written" (Deut. 32:32 NLT)

Amazing is Moses' determination, borne out of love for His sinful people, when it comes to interceding for Divine forgiveness. The Jews, who were liberated from the Egyptian bondage had (in Moses' physical absence) committed a sin of idolatry and adultery right at the same Holy Place (Mount Sinai) where they had received Commandments to shun these 2 detestable activities (Ex. 20:4-5,14). Talk of holding a New Year Rev Party inside the Church right after the watch night service, breaking in the process all the New Year resolutions about holiness taken only a few hours earlier!

Like Moses, the Apostle Paul too, unthinkable as it seems, was willing to forego his salvation itself to see the fulfillment of his holy desire for Jews to accept Christ ("for my people, my Jewish brothers and sisters. I would be willing to be forever cursed--cut off from Christ!--if that would save them." Rom. 9:3 NLT)!

The Lord, who loves intercessory prayer warriors who have a fervent desire to save the lost, feels sad when He does not find them:

"On your walls, O Jerusalem, I have set watchmen; all the day and all the night...they shall never be silent. You who put the Lord in remembrance, take no rest, and give him no rest until he establishes Jerusalem and makes it a praise in the earth." (Isa 62:6-7 ESV)

"And I sought for a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the breach before me for the land, that I should not destroy it, but I found none." (Ez. 22:30 ESV)

How about resolving this year, to witness (as often as possible -- See Col 4:12 TLB) and intercede fervently for all the unbelievers who are acquainted to us, in order that their names would also be registered in the Lamb's Book of Life.

George Mueller, the great Victorian Christian and social reformer, tells a story of persistent intercessory prayer for the lost in his diary:

In November 1844, I began to pray for the conversion of five individuals. I prayed every day without a single intermission, whether sick or in health, on the land, on the sea, and whatever the pressure of my engagements might be. Eighteen months elapsed before the first of the five was converted. I thanked God and prayed on for the others. Five years elapsed, and then the second was converted. I thanked God for the second, and prayed on for the other three. Day by day, I continued to pray for them, and six years passed before the third was converted. I thanked God for the three, and went on praying for the other two. These two remained unconverted.

Thirty-six years later he wrote that the other two, sons of one of Mueller's friends, were still not converted. He wrote, "But I hope in God, I pray on, and look for the answer. They are not converted yet, but they will be."

In 1897, fifty-two years after he began to pray daily, without interruption, for these two men, they were finally converted--but after he died! Hallelujah...these men's names were also finally recorded in Lamb's Book of life. How's that for persistent praying (See Luke 18:1)!

Prayer: Father into Thy Hands we commit our hardened hearts which may not have a passion for intercession. Soften them in order, we become passionate intercessory prayer warriors in keeping with our high calling. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Suresh Manoharan
An unworthy servant
J and SM Ministries

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Post  Admin Tue 23 Mar 2021, 4:57 pm

NUGGET Today's Devotional - Page 3 Lambsb10
Now there may not be a country in the World today which doesn't take a Census of it's population. For instance the Government exercise towards the population count in Canada is due in 2021. The data thus obtained would eventually be used by the Canadian Government (and likewise other Countries which take periodical Census) to facilitate better governance of its citizens. It follows that that the statistics pertaining to its citizens is recorded and stored in a "register" (Hey...in this cyber age...it may be in a Super Computer)!

Be that as it may, it's also time to reflect on the importance of yet another ethereal Citizenship Register...and that is the Lamb's Book of Life!

In this Series of 3 parts, while toeing My Master's line of gleaning spiritual lessons from contemporary events, intend to bring different dimensions of the Book of Life to the fore...using alliteration beginning with--what else: The letter "R"...(Doesn't the word "Register" also begin with an "R"?)
Rating...
"However, the important thing is not that demons obey you, but that your names are registered as citizens of heaven" (Luke 10:20)

Our Lord unequivocally brings out the paramount importance of having our names recorded in Heaven's Book of Life putting its significance thereof over and above even great public Ministry involving miracles.

Opps...undertaking Christian Ministries which on the surface value appear great may not take one to Heaven as evidenced in the following Scripture portion:

"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?' And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness'" (Matt 7:21-23 BLB)

But on the other hand having our names not only recorded in Lamb's Book of Life and doing our part in ensuring they remain therein is guaranteed to land us safely in Heaven (See Rev. 3:5/20:15).

Our names are written down in that ethereal Book...in this New Dispensation of Grace...the moment we repent of our sins and appropriate Christ's atoning work on the Cross in our lives (See Romans 4:13-25/5:1-2/10:8-10) ...and the same would be retained if we on our part faithfully keep obeying Him in all areas of our life.

Now who are they whom the omniscient Jesus (See Pro 15:11, Heb 4:13) does not know? His words of condemnation (in the context of failing to obey) to the accursed, "I do not know you" (Matt 7:23 BLB) seem paradoxical considering His omniscience.

St. Augustine, the well-known Christian Saint of the 5th Century, observes that these words actually mean that these men--purportedly "Servants of Christ" in public perception--never knew Him properly in the first place. In other words, they never fully understood Christ and His priorities. After becoming Christians, with due passage of time, they may have made a good start in Ministry, but somewhere down the line, they may have got carried away by the lust for "fame and riches". Take Demas (See 2 Tim 4:10) or his O.T. counterpart Balaam (Jude 1:11), for example. An anointing in them that is irrevocable (See Rom 11:29) may have served the purpose of "blessing the people" (people are always precious unto the Lord), amongst whom these men ministered, but their hearts were far-removed from the Lord's priorities in the matters of total obedience. They were thus, never a source of joy to their Master (see 1 John 2:4). Let's remember that the Lord CAN blot out names from the Book of life: "But the Lord replied to Moses, 'No, I will erase the name of everyone who has sinned against me.'" (Exo 32:33 NLT). This, of course, was a result of their persistent disobedience despite being given much (read responsible leadership privileges--See Luke 12:45-48) and all of scriptural warnings.

While the disobedient lot are said to be those "who do not know the Lord", look at what the Scripture has to say (in stark contrast...employing the same word "know") about the faithful Servants of His for whom total obedience to the Master (synonymous with loving the Lord--See 2 John 1:6) is more important than anything else...

"And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments..." (1 John 2:3 ESV); "Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God" (1 John 4:7 ESV)

On our part (I reiterate), and only by depending fully on His sustaining grace, let's strive to finish the race of our Christian lives with our names retained in the Book of Life. This would result in we being acknowledged by the Master Himself eventually as "Victorious" (Rev 3:5 –NLT), rather than as "Workers of lawlessness" who having lost their place in the "Heavenly Census Register" and are "deported" to Hell!

Just a word...about the "victorious" folks, many of them, just like their master being at the receiving end of injustice and lies (faithful Cross bearers -- See Luke 23:23/1 Peter 2:18-23), may end up appearing in the sight of the World as "defeated" ones, again much like their Master. They too would be exalted by the Heavenly Father when it would matter the most.

Prayer: Father, we throw ourselves at Thy Feet weak as we are to live a life of complete obedience at all times. Strengthen us to walk in the straight and narrow path faithfully. In Jesus' Name, we pray. Amen.

Suresh Manoharan
An unworthy servant
J and SM Ministries

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Post  Admin Sun 21 Mar 2021, 8:47 pm

Is a banana a fruit or a vegetable?

The answer is simple, right? We all know a banana is a fruit...

Or is it?

On a recent visit to a banana plantation on the isle of Guadeloupe, I was shocked to learn that a banana is not a fruit at all, and the tall, leafy plant that it grows on is not even a tree! Rather, the plant is technically considered an herb, and the "fruit" is actually better classified as a vegetable!

Why?

Each banana plant can only produce one flower. The banana plant dies after this. It can thus be said that the banana plant gives its entire life for just one flower.

It all made me think about the Great Commission. We are all called to share the gospel ("Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you." Matt 28:19-20 NIV), but most of us are not evangelists. Most of us are, rather, banana plants. We may only produce one or two flowers for the Lord in our lifetimes.

And that's okay. It isn't a numbers game. The evangelists may lead hundreds of people to Christ, but most of them only have access to people who actually come to their meetings. In addition, it is only a select number of people who will give their hearts to Christ after hearing the gospel only one time, and these people will need plenty of encouragement and guidance in order to continue on with their walk with Christ, something that most evangelists just don't have the time to do. Most of us will probably never hold an evangelistic series, yet in our own, individual ways, we can reach people who would never think of attending an evangelistic series. We can be there to work with them, to encouragement them, to give them guidance and to answer their Bible questions.

It is a lot of work for just one person, but then, the banana plant puts a lot of effort into one flower, too! In the same way that the banana plant makes producing just one flower its only priority, we need to make the Great Commission our one purpose, even if it means that we succeed only once in bringing someone to the Lord.

But is all the effort really worth it?

The answer again comes from the banana plant. You see, that one flower from the banana plant doesn't just produce one banana. It produces one bunch of bananas, and that bunch may mean as many as 400! So when we make the great commission our priority, even if we only succeed in bringing one person to Christ, we never know but that one person will go on to produce 400 more!

The banana plant does have some help. In order for a healthy bunch of bananas to be produced, it requires the help of a banana farmer who comes along at the right time, trims off the remains of the flower and covers the bunch in a blue plastic bag to keep out the bugs and to prevent the bananas from ripening too fast.

In the same way, we have the Master Banana Former: We have God's Spirit to help us. Even by pouring everything we have into the Great Commision, we continue to need the Holy Spirit to cover our spiritual offspring and to protect them and keep them growing at the right speed. That's the good news. We don't do it alone!

But the story doesn't end here. After the bunch of bananas is harvested, the plant itself dies. The root system, however, doesn't. Other Banana plants will grow up from the root system.

When we put our priority into bringing one person to Christ, we complete our purpose for that one; but if we are properly rooted in Jesus, then we have the potential to send up other shoots, to produce more "flowers for Christ"!

The story just keeps getting better and better!

So just how do we make the Great Commission our #1 priority?

The Bible gives us some clues:

1. Study God's Word: "Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth." (2 Tim. 2:15 NIV)

2. Be proud to be God's child: "For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile." (Rom. 1:16 NIV)

3. Know who you are in Christ. You are His handiwork, His hands and feet: "For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." (Eph. 2:10 NIV)

4. Always be prepared: "But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect..." (1 Peter 3:15 NIV)

5. Pray for God to open doors: "Then he said to his disciples, 'The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.'" (Matt. 9:37-38 NIV)

Don't have an evangelistic calling on your life? Then take lessons from the Banana plant. Make it your #1 priority to bring someone to Christ. But don't forget to stay rooted and grounded in Jesus by studying God's Word, by knowing who you are in Him, being proud to be God's child, praying for God to open the doors, and always being prepared. When you do these things, then you will truly be able to bring more and more people to the Lord.

In His love,
Lyn

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

 
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Post  Admin Thu 18 Mar 2021, 9:27 pm

Have you ever encountered an unfulfilled promise? I assuredly have.

One of the worst broken promises I've experienced was this; "Your job is secure," I was told, "as is everyone else's in your department. You're all completely safe!" In the grand scheme of things, this managerial promise to me and my co-workers was huge because at the time, people were being let go all over the building I worked in.

I came home that day and assured my wife that we'd be okay. A few months later, the hammer fell! Suddenly unemployment for me and twenty other dumbstruck colleagues became our reality. Bottom line is this. Promises made by man are often defective, untrustworthy and can easily be broken. Let's face it, talk is often cheap.

What's your broken promise? Or perhaps for you it's entirely fitting to pluralize that word? Conversely, have you ever made a promise to someone and been unable to keep it? I believe we all have.

As human beings, we are broken, sinful and often times incapable of promise keeping behavior. We mean well, companies mean well, a friend or family member means well. But let's face it, worldly promises can and will be broken.

But did you know that when you place your faith in Jesus Christ, he will never break his promises? God will never backtrack. His promises are one hundred percent dependable.

The Apostle Paul wrote this, "For Jesus Christ, the Son of God, does not waver between 'Yes' and 'No'. He is the one whom Silas, Timothy and I preached to you, and as God's ultimate 'Yes,' he always does what he says. For all God's promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding 'Yes' And through Christ, our 'Amen' (which means 'Yes') ascends to God for his glory." (2 Corinthians 1:19, 20 NLT)

Let the trumpets of kept promises sound out!

My friend, God will never tell us one thing, and go against his word. Okay, time for questions! Do you crave honesty and unchanging heavenly promises? Do you want your life to stand on every promise God makes? Do you want to trust in every word God says and see it all come to pass in Jesus name? Do you?

I personally want to claim every promise God makes! If you are dis-heartened with the broken promises of man, then let's rejoice in but a few of God's fail-safe promises to us.

*   God is Always with Me. I WILL NOT FEAR!
*   God is Always in Control. I WILL NOT DOUBT!
*   God is Always Good. I WILL NOT DESPAIR!
*   God is Always Watching. I WILL NOT FAULTER!

God will protect you and be your strength. He will provide for you, give you peace and will always, always, love you! And best of all, he will save you if you invite him into your heart! Also, please pray with me…

Dear Lord Jesus, Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. Please forgive me. Come into my life and heart. I receive you as my Lord and Savior. Now, help me to live for you the rest of my life, and for me to trust in your promises. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen.

If you prayed this prayer, then welcome to a life of Standing on Every Promise of God! Please email us. We would love to help you in anyway possible.

We also invite you to visit the Savior's Call.

Paul Smyth

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Post  Admin Tue 16 Mar 2021, 11:16 pm

 
"I dread this year," someone posted. "I don't think I'll stomach the political scene with all the accusations and insults."

Not sure if you agree. But one thing for sure is that as we sail off into the sea of another year, no one can predict what awaits us. Will it be calm seas, rough waters, or sudden storms? By some standards, we're already sailing in a rocky boat while huge waves toss our emotions and shake our sense of security.

The disciples also sensed that rough movement. Like us, unpleasant helplessness visits when facing uncertainty.

"Then he [Jesus] got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Without warning, a furious storm came on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, and 'Lord, save us! We're going to drown!' He replied, 'You of little faith, why are you so afraid?' Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm" (Matthew 8:23-26).

What's wrong with those disciples?

They were physically close to Jesus. They could touch Him, see Him, and speak to Him. They knew His power and they witnessed His miracles. Wasn't that enough? Not for them. They allowed their human emotions to rule.

And with fear at the top, they nudged Jesus awake. But here's the surprise: Jesus didn't express understanding, He offered no thoughts of comfort, nor did reassuring words slipped from His lips.

Instead, He challenged them, You of little faith, why are you so afraid? Direct, wasn't He? How about you? If He were to ask you the same in the midst of your heartache, your storm and fear, how would you answer Him?

Here's a challenge.

Will you pause a minute and do a self-check of the level of faith your heart registers?

Does it show in the red that faith is in the negative? Or does it show intermittent faith, one moment, praising God for the answer and the next, with muscles tense, asking God Why? or When? Or maybe, like many, you suffer from the misplaced-faith syndrome: faith to calm your storm--in your bank account, in doctors, in the economy, in your family, in your pastor or in your friends.

No matter how our faith registers on the charts, Jesus asks us the same question, Where is your faith and why are you afraid?

Here are five ways to anchor your faith no matter the storm:

1. My faith is big because I know God is bigger than my problems.
2. My faith says that when I see the impossible, He's already working on the possible.
3. When I doubt, He understands and still plans to bring the answer.
4. When I'm afraid, I have faith in His protection.
5. When the answer doesn't come, in faith, I will praise Him anyway.

Secure in Jesus' power to bring stability, and knowing He's our anchor, faith-filled emotions refresh our focus.

Then we can look beyond the storm, and we choose the same trust, the same commitment to lean On Him and the same faith in what we yet don't see.

We can't see tomorrow...

...or know just how rough the waters will get. That's why when we open the container of uncertainty, we drink the water of worry that pours from all sides. Its pollutants destroy our peace and passion for life.

"But the fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It's our handle on what we can't see. The act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors, set them above the crowd" (Hebrews 11:1-2 The Message).

When the boat of life is swaying, the choice we make also distinguishes us--do we cater to our emotions or bring honor to God. Because "It's impossible to please God apart from faith. And why? Because anyone who wants to approach God must believe both that he exists and that he cares enough to respond to those who seek him. By faith, Noah built a ship in the middle of dry land. He was warned about something he couldn't see, and acted on what he was told. The result? His family was saved. His act of faith drew a sharp line between the evil of the unbelieving world and the rightness of the believing world" (Hebrews 11:5-8 The Message).

When nausea stirs in our belly because of the violent movement of our boat, we can take our thoughts captive, gaze at the color of hope in the horizon, and inhale a deep breath of faith. The scenery of our circumstances begins to change. Peace visits once again. And trust in God has a more defined meaning. The trust, certain and sure, that Jesus is indeed sailing with us inside our shaky boat.

Let's Pray: Father, when fear erases my faith, show me to trust in You more, to rely on Your promise and to count on Your protection. In Jesus' name.

How much faith are you holding on to as you face your storm today?

Janet P. Eckles
 

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Post  Admin Sun 14 Mar 2021, 12:09 am

It never ceased to amaze me how a simple kiss could take away the tears from my toddlers’ eyes. How can something so small make such a change?

The answer of course is that it showed someone cared, and that was truly all that really mattered in the eyes of my toddlers.

Does this work for adults?

A phone call today left me in tears. My husband swallowed me up in his arms for a massive hug. Somehow the emotional pain melted away a bit with that hug. It didn’t change the phone call, but the emotional support showed that someone cared and that was really all that mattered.

Does this work for the major problems in life?

Well I can guarantee that a simple hug will not take away illnesses, deaths, rebellion, poverty, natural disasters, or the hosts of other things that we are faced with on a daily basis. But even here, knowing someone cares makes a difference.

God knows this, and He reaches out to us to give us "hugs" as well. No, not usually the physical kind, though He might send someone to do so in His stead; but He sends us hugs just the same. Sometimes I have physically "felt" His hugs.

So how can you access a Heavenly Hug?

By meditating on His Word, for one thing. Here are just a few of His promises:

1. "The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." (Deut. 31:8 NIV)
2. "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1:9 NIV)
3. "May your unfailing love be my comfort, according to your promise to your servant." (Ps. 119:76 NIV)
4. "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble." ( Ps. 46:1 NIV)
5. "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives." (John 14:27 NIV)
6. "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...Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever." (Ps. 23:4,6)
7. "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted." (Matt. 5:4)
8. "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." (Matt. 11:28)

I would encourage you, in your lowest moments, to take a few of these verses and mediate upon them. Tell God how you feel. Don’t hold back! He knows anyway, so why not discuss it with Him? Then mediate upon these verses and feel God’s comfort coming over you like a warm hug.

There was something else interesting from my hug today. Prior to this, my husband had been frustrated by something he was doing. After reaching out to give me a hug, he felt better too!

No matter what you are going through right now, I urge you to reach out to someone who could use a hug. Maybe it isn’t a physical hug, but a kind word, a gesture of love, a few words of encouragement could go a long way towards helping them feel better...And it just might help you feel better as well!

In His love,
Lyn


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

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Post  Admin Thu 11 Mar 2021, 11:59 pm

NUGGET Today's Devotional - Page 3 Answer10
Admittedly, the five words in this devotion's title flow out of my mouth a lot. Sometimes I'm calm, other times I have tears running down my cheeks. There are even times when I'm furious at God because he has chosen not to answer me, or even offer a clue as to how he intends to resolve the issues on my heart. I sense I'm not alone here. Slow to answer prayer can be tortuous.

When gut wrenching problems arise in our lives, we desperately want God to listen to our prayers, and we covet his response. After all, God wants us to pray without ceasing. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says this, "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." (ESV)

Second admission on my part; I sometimes don't find it easy to rejoice always, and pray without ceasing, especially when I crave an answer from the Lord and it doesn't readily show up. And giving thanks in all of our circumstances? Well, even though it's the will of God, my heart and soul occasionally wrestle to comply. Let's face it; in a society where we demand instant answers and gratification, waiting on God is not as easy as it sounds. But that is exactly what we must learn to do.

When answers are slow to come, and we cry out, "Answer me, Lord, answer me," we need to remember whom God is. His promises are unfailing and his ears are always inclined to hear our prayers. As I've learned, there are times when my prayers have not aligned with God's will for my life, and if you're like me, I would prefer that God conforms to my will and how I want things to play out. Thankfully, God reminds me of this, "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:9 NIV)

Prayer is relatively easy. We open our mouths, and we pour out our souls to God. We can pray on our knees, in our cars, at the office, while walking the dog. God hears all, "I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy." (Psalm 116:1 NIV) When asking for help in our afflictions, we want more than anything for God to answer without delay, and I truly understand the discouragement when God is slow to answer, or chooses a path for us that we failed to see coming.

Bottom line, never stop praying! Never stop believing that God hears every word from your mouth! You may not get an immediate response, and you may wonder if God even heard your request. But he hears every heartfelt word and plea for help. And in his perfect way and perfect timing, you will be answered.

No matter the distressing situations you may find yourself in, no matter the outflow of your heart, trust God and lean heavily on his promises. These five words "Answer me, Lord, answer me," will generate results. I encourage you to pray always and then patiently await God's reply.

It will come!

Paul Smyth

 
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Post  Admin Tue 09 Mar 2021, 5:13 pm

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins." (1 Peter 4:8 NIV)

Few years ago, my friend came to faith in Christ Jesus through my testimony. She found herself with a decision to make. She could report to the police that her mother had stolen money from her, or she could just let it go.

Looking to me for advice, God's word came to me: "Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins." (1 Peter 4:8 NIV).

My friend decided to talk to one of my former pastors about it, and the pastor emphasized the need of bringing her mother to accountability for the theft.

This made sense to me, too, but I was very concerned about my friend's father and the pain and suffering it would cause him if my friend filed a police report. As I was thinking about what to say, the Holy Spirit impressed upon my mind the statement that police always make when arresting someone: Whatever you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.

I decided to google this statement and see what it truly means. Apparently, if you are in an accident, these words are true from the moment of the accident until the jury's final decision. I learned that insurance companies will do everything in their power to minimize how much they have to pay out on your claim, including statements you might have made at the scene of the accident while you are still in shock. The insurance company might take this statement to indicate you aren't really hurt.

But wait: You aren't a doctor! You haven't done a thorough medical examination! Nonetheless, they will tell the jury you were fine when you got out of your car.

Thus, it is vitally important that whenever you say anything, you choose your words carefully.

In a broader sense, it is also vital that we even choose our actions carefully, for everything we do will result in some kind of a reaction.

What about our rights? We always want to justify everything and prove we are right, no matter what. Even here, however, there is often a price to pay afterwards.

This is the decision my friend faced: To push for her rights and ignore the potential consequences, or to react in love.

Like my friend, I, too, am faced with a decision. It's a different one than the one she must make, but I face it constantly, as long as I live on this earth. Why? Because God create us and gave us free will. We have to choose to live according to His will, or according to the way of the devil.

Sisters and brother,in Christ. I am writing this devotion not to teach you how to get a better deal in an accident. I write this because of the law of the land that points to the Law of our Heavenly Father.

Consider Matt 12:36: "But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned." (NIV)

Christ Jesus, our Holy brother, friend, our highest priest, teaches us to love one another: "My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: Where I am going, you cannot come. A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." (John 13:31 NIV)

And God's Word, written in Paul's letter to the Corinthians: "And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." (1 Corinthians 13:13 NIV)

Please Join me in prayer: Heavenly Father, Holy Spirit, "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans." (Romans 8:26 NIV). "Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." (Psalm 139:23 NIV) I confess my sin of not loving everyone like I should. I need Your Spirit to help me in my everyday situations, as it's written in 1 Corinthians 16:13-14: "Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love." In Christ Jesus name, we ask,"To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!" (Rev 5:13 NIV). Thank God. Amen

Sophie Chun Ngeth

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Post  Admin Sat 06 Mar 2021, 10:14 pm

Our home of exactly 3 weeks has a gas fireplace insert. It was one of the things that enticed us to put an offer on this particular home, and you can imagine our disappointment when the previous owners didn't leave the remote control for the fireplace.

Now you likely already know that most gas fireplaces do not have remotes. We, however, didn't know this, for the only gas fireplaces we've had any experience with have all had remotes, and when the message finally got back to us a week later that the fireplace had no remote, we were upset.

Big problem, right?

Not really, and I get it. Not being able to turn on a gas fireplace is nothing compared to the trouble you are facing at this very moment. Who cares about fireplaces when you or a loved one has just received a bad diagnosis? The remote becomes pretty unimportant in the face of homelessness. Unfortunately there aren't any remotes for cancer or heart problems. There isn't a "button" you can push to alleviate relationship problems and rebellion. And nope. No quick fixes for world hunger and poverty, persecution and natural disasters either...

We decided then that there must be a different way to turn on the fireplace; and so we searched for over a week, trying everything we could think of to make that fireplace come on. It was to no avail. Despite our every effort, the only flame in the firebox was the pilot light. Shouldn't there be a simple solution?

In much the same way, we seek solutions to our real problems. We seek counselling. We look for a second job. We read how-to manuals. We go online and search out the newest and latest home remedies for whatever illness that we or our loved ones have been diagnosed with. We may even go so far as to give to the many agencies who feel the hungry in the world. And all of these things are good things to do, and our efforts may actually have some small positive response. No matter how hard we try, however, the problem does not go away entirely. If only there were some simple solution!

Two weeks after our move, our son from Waterloo came home for Easter. He is our local "go to" for technical problems, and immediately he had the fireplace working. We were amazed, and the obvious question was immediately forthcoming: "What did you do?" We were expecting a long and complicated response, something along the lines of pushing this button while turning this other one; so we were both amazed when he said, "I flipped the switch!" Sure enough, there was what appeared to be a light switch in the controls part of the fireplace, and one flick of a finger was all it took...

To say we felt a bit "dumb" was an understatement; however it all made me think: What if there were a simple "switch" that we could turn on to resolve all of the true problems in the world?

Of course, there isn't. But there is something just as simple that we can do: We can pray. The Bible teaches: "Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective." (James 5:16 NIV). If you know Jesus Christ your Lord and Saviour, you have the breastplate of His righteousness at your disposal (See Eph. 6:14Is. 59:17). All you need to do is don His righteousness--accept it as your own--and your prayers become "powerful and effective".

James also teaches that we don't have because we don't ask: "You do not have because you do not ask God." (James 4:2 NIV). Jesus tells us something similar: "...how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask?" (Matthew 7:11 NIV)

But wait. Maybe you are praying but your prayers aren't being answered. Here are some other "switches" that you can flip:

1. Don't forget the first part of James 5:16: We need to pray with a clean heart. We need to confess our sin.

2. We need to ensure that we are asking with right motives: "When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures." (James 4:3 NIV)

3. We must ask in faith, without doubt: "But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind." (James 1:6 NIV)

4. We must also consider that perhaps our timing isn't the same as God's timing. Can we simply believe that His timing is perfect? Remember: "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV)

Whatever burden you are having to bear at the moment, don't seek solutions on your own. Instead, humble yourself before the Lord and ask. And don't forget to confess your sin; ensure you are asking with the right motives; ask in faith, ever believing even when you don't see results; and understand that it is God's timing, not yours.

In His love,
Lyn


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

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Post  Admin Tue 16 Feb 2021, 9:02 pm

Last Saturday, in "Giving god the Praise, Part 1: How Much is Enough", we came to understand that it is important that we praise God with at least the same intensity that we pray for our miracle.

Wait. Why should we have to say thanks as many times as we have prayed? Doesn't God know our heart? Isn't one thank-you enough for Him? And why does our praise need to be so specific and extnesive?

I believe the answer to these "why" quesitons is three-fold....

First of all, I have to ask myself what would happen if I were to spend as much time and effort praising for His miracles as I do stressing about them in the time leading up to the miracle. I don't know about you, but if I were to do that, there wouldn't be any room in my mind to even think about new problems that might arise. Thus, spending more time thanking God would be a good faith-building exercise. Think of it this way: If you are busy praising God for healing you of an ulcer, then when the doctor calls to inform you that you have a blocked artery, you'll be too busy praising God for how He took care of your ulcer to even worry about the blocked artery. The response to God would be simple: "Okay, God! You did it before, I know You'll do it again, and I thank you in advance for taking care of this problem!"

A second, and perhaps even more vital reason is this: The book of Deuteronomy commands the following: "You shall diligently keep the commandments of the Lord your God, and his testimonies and his statutes, which he has commanded you." (Deut. 6:17 NIV). A few verses earlier, He says, "And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates." (Deut. 6:6-9 NIV). In other words, God was asking the people to do everything in their power to not forget -- His commands, yes -- but also the miracles, the "testimonies"; and not only this, but to "teach them diligently to your children". This would ensure that the next generation, and the next and the next will all remember the power and the works of the Lord! If we were to diligently obey these commands from Deuteronomy 6, we would be ensuring faith for our generation, as well as for the next!

No, God's admonition to give Him thanks, not once, but many times, has nothing to do with God wanting the praise. It is because it is good for -- us!

Ps. 107 gives us some clues to a potential third reason why giving God a multitude of praise is important:

"Has the Lord redeemed you? Then speak out! Tell others he has redeemed you from your enemies." (Vs. 2 NLT); and "Let them praise the Lord for his great love and for the wonderful things he has done for them. Let them exalt him publicly before the congregation and before the leaders of the nation." (Vs. 31-32 NLT)

The truth of the matter is, when we speak forth our testimony, we unleash God's power to others! Power to save, yes; but also power to give their own problems to God and experience His blessings and miracles personally!

Does this mean that we stand up and give our testimony in church?

Absolutely. The last time that my husband gave a public testimony about being healed, someone in the audience was also healed on the spot!

It isn't confined to giving our testimony before Christians, however. We are also told to give our testimony "before the leaders of the nation"! This is serious stuff!

Why does God belabor this point?

Because it is the power of our testimony that can defeat the devil: "And they have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony..." (Rev. 12:11 NLT)!

I don't know about you, but the next time I get an answer to prayer, I'm going to try to remember to do something more than a simple, "praise God"! And as a warning, this may result in more praise reports being published in the Nugget....

This is the last of the "Giving God the Praise" mini-series. If you missed part 1, you can access it by clicking here. God bless you as you begin to praise Him more and more!

In His love,
Lyn

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

 
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Post  Admin Fri 12 Feb 2021, 12:01 am

NUGGET Today's Devotional - Page 3 1solom10

"The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love." (Psalm 103:8 NIV)

"The Lord is slow to anger and filled with unfailing love, forgiving every kind of sin and rebellion." (Numbers 14:18 NIV)

Throughout the Old Testament, God's people continuously rebelled and repented and every time, without fail or hesitation, God forgave, instantly. 2 Chronicles 33 tells the story of Manasseh, son of Hezekiah, who succeeds his father to the throne of Jerusalem. Hezekiah was a God-fearing king, who was responsible for restoring the Temple of the Lord and reinstating the sacrifices prescribed in the Law of Moses after his father, King Ahaz, had "shut the doors of the LORD'S temple and set up altars at every street corner in Jerusalem" and "built high places [in Judah] to burn sacrifices to other gods and around the anger of the LORD." (2 Chronicles 28:24-25 NIV)

Except one minor incident in Chapter 32 where the let his pride get the best of him but quickly repented and was forgiven, he served the Lord faithfully all his life. However, his son Manasseh did not follow in his father's footsteps and "did evil in the eyes of the Lord". He reinstituted the worship of Baal and erected altars to him and Asherah poles, as well as worshipping the stars, burning his own children, and practicing divination and witchcraft. In short, he was a bad guy. And he lead God's people astray. As always, God gave the people fair warning, which they failed to heed -- initially.

"The LORD spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they paid no attention. So the LORD brought against them the army commanders of the king of Assyria, who took Manasseh prisoner, put a hook in his nose, bound him with bronze shackles and took him to Babylon." (2 Chronicles 33:10-11 NIV)

God chastens those He loves in order to set their feet on the straight and narrow and fortunately for Manasseh, the punishment was effective and brought about the result God desired and God forgave him – not in an hour or a day or a week but in the instant Manasseh humbled himself and sought the Lord’s forgiveness.

"In his distress he sought the favor of the LORD his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his ancestors. And when he prayed to him, the LORD was moved by his entreaty and listened to his plea; so he brought him back to Jerusalem and to his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the LORD is God." (2 Chronicles 33:12-13 NIV)

After this, Manasseh rebuilt the temple and the walls of Jerusalem; he removed all traces of the worship of the false gods and served the Lord for the remainder of his life.

The Bible says that God is the same, yesterday, today and forever; He does not change like shifting shadows and He will not stay angry at His people forever. However, God is a just God; therefore, He must punish sin but He does it for our own good. If He allows us to fall into sin and continue to sin, we are doomed to an eternity separated from Him but He loves us too much to let us go without an effort on His part to bring us back and restore us to fellowship. This is why He is quick to forgive; He loves us. He desires us. He chose to set His love upon us.

So the next time it seems that God is punishing you, examine yourself and see where you might be in error and if you find that you are, appeal to God quickly and He will restore you. To be in the good graces of God, the place where His love and mercy abound -- there is nowhere else for me...and you.

In His Love,
Sonya Richards.
 
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Post  Admin Tue 09 Feb 2021, 10:51 pm

"I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite." (Isaiah 57:15b ESV)

Recently I knew something was amiss between the The Prince of Peace and myself. It is true I have been fighting the battle against life's curve-balls sustained over months in the strength of knowing I am loved and accepted. It is true God has given me the victory, because I am His son. Still, in the turmoil of the doing and contending for victory against opposition I had allowed myself to focus on the victories and neglect The Giver: a bit like the Israelites in the book of Judges. As a result, my relationship time with Him has suffered being more thankful and relieved I had won the victory than inspired to worship God. I was tired of the contending. Ho, hum I am slow learner.

Prayer can change everything. It can. I believe prayer is at its most real when it comes from a place of humility, a pure and contrite heart. I believe prayer moves mountains in the Heavenlies before anything changes here on earth. It is in the Heavenlies where there is an expectation of a meeting of minds, and hearts, yes God and us. Without the expectation of meeting with God, whether we get an answer or not, the efficacy of Prayer dwindles into a pale imitation of what it once was. It stops at the ceiling. We lose the excitement of the intimacy of our relationship by neglect or carelessness. No human relationship would be healthily sustained under such circumstance, so why should we expect our relationship with God to be different?

I have found that He desires sincerity and effort in our communication along with lives lived in submission to His blessings and integrity.

"For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings." (Hosea 6:6 ESV)

I perceive Prayer as a dialogue between parted loved ones sharing their delight over the airwaves. Flowing naturally from this place of intimacy are the cares and concerns for each other, being together as one in purpose, even when separated for a time.

God's heart yearns for those who are suffering, who have turned away from Him, or do not know their spiritual right hand from their left. Through prayer He expects us to know His heart for them too.

"Go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.' For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners." (Matthew 9:13 ESV)

Praise God He has called us to take Him with us as we go into the day, whether we feel like it or not, whether we understand it or not. We just have to grab his loving-kindness greedily with both and arms and snuggle into His presence like the intensity of lovers newly married. Maybe it could be seen as older lovers who are familiar, reliant on one another, knowing each other's heart?

Unless we receive His Love in this dialogue between loved-one and Lover, how can we honestly share what we have known for ourselves?

PRAYER: LORD, hear our prayer: Soften our heart and have mercy on a contrite heart and abide in us. Please enlighten us in our poverty of spirit and love for you so that we can once more come close. May we go into the day with You full of the joy and gladness of being loved and cherished, never to be alone again, and share it, in Jesus' name, amen.

Rod Marshall
 

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Post  Admin Sat 06 Feb 2021, 10:50 pm

I have a bit of a heavy foot when I drive. Oh, I pay some respect to speed limits, but I'm not opposed to going 5-10 mph (10-20 kph) over the limit. Especially since I haven't had a speeding ticket since I was young...

I found myself on a minor road in Texas in January of 2020, driving 79 mph. In my defense, I truly thought the speed limit was 75 mph, as it is on many of Texas' small roads, and I was truly surprised to see those flashing lights in my rearview mirror.

The young highway patrolman was friendly and very polite. I was, apparently, driving 79 mph in a 70 mph zone; and in addition to this, I also had a protective shield over my license plate, which apparently is illegal in Texas. In the end, he did not give me a traffic ticket. Instead, he gave me two warnings.

The aftermath of that little run-in with one of Texas' finest was rather interesting. I realized I had received a large serving of grace; nonetheless, I was upset. Upset enough to cry...

Wait. Why would being a recipient of grace leave me in tears? Was it gratitude?

I'm ashamed to admit that gratitude was not my motivation...No, I was reduced to tears because I had gotten caught, because I had been found less than perfect by Texas authorities, even though I was willfully breaking the law!

The grace shown me that day was but a trite example of the grandeur of the grace that God shows us on a daily basis. We are guilty, and in many cases we're aware of our guilt; yet God extends His grace to us. When God pours His grace out upon us, how do we respond?

Perhaps I should suggest a different response than my own. The true response to grace is not being upset for being found less than perfect, for we are all less than perfect: "For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God's glorious standard..." (Rom. 3:23 NLT)

And perhaps the correct response to this grace is not fear of being caught again, for we know that Jesus' blood covers all our sins, even the ones we haven't yet committed: "He has entered that greater, more perfect Tabernacle in heaven, which was not made by human hands and is not part of this created world. With his own blood--not the blood of goats and calves--he entered the Most Holy Place once for all time and secured our redemption forever." (Heb. 9:11b-12 NLT).

In the face of grace, I would suggest that tears ARE an appropriate response. Not tears of frustration and anger, however; rather we should shed tears of gratitude, of humility and of repentance.

If you have never experienced God's grace, then I urge you do so now. If you're not sure how, please go to the Savior's Call or to our new Salvation Video for help. Then you will have your record wiped clean and you will personally experience God's grace.

If you have already accepted Jesus' blood sacrifice as an atonement for your sin, then I urge you to think about your response to God's grace. Will it be shame at being caught? Or will you, in all humility, shed tears of gratitude, of humility, of joy and of repentance?

I did drive the speed limit after this encounter with the Texas Highway Patrol. Here again, however, I have to question my motives. I must admit that I was simply afraid of being caught again, and that the next officer might not show so much grace.

When you have been covered by the blood of Jesus and are swimming in God's grace, how will you respond? Will you continue to sin, knowing that Jesus' blood will cover your sin? Will you stop sinning out of fear that God might not be so gracious next time? Or will you humbly drop to your knees in gratitude and ask God to help you not sin again?

Later, as I contemplated the whole Texas experience, I repented of my poor attitude, and after that, I tried to drive the speed limit out of my gratitude for the grace extended to me. I will admit that I did find the needle on my speedometer over the speed limit a few more times after this; but each time I remembered the grace shown me, and I took my foot off the accelerator.

In the same way, even with a repentant attitude, it isn't logical to think we will never sin again. But when we do, we can be assured that we are forgiven. Then we can ask God to help us to not sin again.

And if you ever find yourself driving in the southwestern part of Texas, beware of roads that are sometimes posted 70 mph and watch your speed. But if you find yourself accidentally over that limit, know that there is a kind officer out there who believes in demonstrating grace!

In His Love,
Lyn


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

 
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Post  Admin Fri 05 Feb 2021, 11:25 pm


 



"For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; 'he will lead them to springs of living water.' 'And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.'" (Revelation 7:17 NIV)

I remembered my oldest daughter wrote an essay in her City College course on the topic of human necessity. When using the example of my escape from my country and being an orphan as a child, she wrote: "My mom found her shelter in her God"

Some of you know firsthand all about human necessity, but for those of you who have never experienced this, I googled the definition:

"A need is something that is necessary for an organism to live a healthy life."

The definition goes on to say that needs are different from wants. Needs are required for safe, stable and healthy lives. A need is something that when not there, causes a clearly adverse outcome. A want, on the other hand, is a desire, a wish or an aspiration.

According to google, some examples of basic needs include such things as air, water, food and protection from environmental dangers. These things are all necessary for life. But we, as humans, need more than just basic needs. Google explains, "In addition to basic needs, humans also have needs of a social or societal nature such as the human need to socialize or belong to a family unit or group."

Google also outlines that needs can be both objective and physical, siting the need for food as a physical need, while psychological needs such as self-esteem are subjective.

I found it interesting after reading this definition that my daughter would say that my human necessities were met through God. And this wasn't the only time she said this. At times when we would argue, she would say, in a very negative manner, "all you have is your Jesus!"

Is this true?

I remember times in my life when my husband has told me that people hate me. I realize as I think about this that at such times, I have made it a habit of praying Philippians 4:7: "the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (NIV). Other prayers that pops up in such times is this: "The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen." (2 Timothy 4:18 NIV); and "'No weapon formed against you shall prosper, And every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is from Me,' says the Lord." (Isaiah 54:17 NKJV)

The truth of the matter is, no matter what our need, be it physical or subjective, Jesus never leaves us to battle alone. He is our hiding place and our protection. He will strengthen us to endure our battles and to come through them with victory.

Wow, when I read this bible verse in Revelation 7:14 ("For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; 'he will lead them to springs of living water.' 'And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.'" NIV), I answer to my Lord and Saviour: "Here I am!"

I want to be one of those of whom it can be said, "These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore, they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence. 'Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat down on them,' nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; 'he will lead them to springs of living water.' 'And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.'" (Revelation 7:14-17 NIV).

To God be the glory. Hallelujah, bless be in His name Christ Jesus. Amen. For He is truly the answer – not just to my own human necessity, but to the human necessity of all of His children!

Sophie Chun Ngeth
San Bernardino, CA
Written 12/11/2019, 10:00AM


 



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What about you? Does anyone have reason to "accuse" you of finding shelter in the Lord? I sure hope they do in my life...


 
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Post  Admin Tue 02 Feb 2021, 10:22 pm

We have a wonderful promise: "The peace of God, which passes all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (Phil. 4:7 NIV)

Before taking this to heart, however, it is important to note the context of this promise. When we read verse 6, we find it is a conditional promise: "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and ptition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God..." (Phil 4:6 NIV). We find, therefore, that the promise of God's peace that surpasses understanding and guards our hearts and minds is conditional upon presenting every request to God with thanksgiving!

Years ago, when I was in High School in France, I was asked to compose a poem. So I had chosen to the topic of peace. I don't remember the entire poem, but I do remember writing that we would have enough food and that we would have peace and not war. This was, of course, rooted in the fact that I had lived in a communist country with war surrounding me, and throughout my entire life, I had faced persecution, famine and even death. How I longed for that peace!

I didn't understand peace back then. It was a fantasy that I longed for. Today, through the revelation of God's Holy Spirit, I have come to understand that we don't find peace in food or other material things, or even in people. We have peace in Christ. I understand now Jesus' statement: "It is written: 'Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'" (Matt. 4:4 NIV). This means that our peace comes from the Words from the mouth of God, and as a result of the Holy Spirit's revelations, I have begun to understand peace and what it entails.

Here are just a few of the Words that come from the mouth of God by which we are promised peace:

a. "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives." (John 14:27 NIV). How often we try to resolve our own problems instead of turning to the living water that God freely gives to us.

b. "Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full." (JN 16.24 NIV). So we can ask him! And how blessed and privileged we are to be able to ask anything in the name of Jesus Christ. So often on this earth, those who give expect something in return. The problem is, without God, no one has power to do anything or help anyone. It's only through the will of our Heavenly Father, by the powerful name of Jesus Christ, that we can receive.

c. "And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work." (2 Corinthians 9:8 NIV). I remember as a child, continually moving from one refugee camp to another. When I would arrive at each camp, I would have only the clothes on my back. However, as I look back, His written word are true. God always provided all things at all times, and I always had everything I needed.

d. "Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen." (Hebrews 13:20 NIV). Right now this is my pray for myself and my family, and for each one of you reading this devotional.

e. "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened." (Matthew 7:7 -10 NIV) How often do we ask God to help us in our problems? This Bible text came to life for me when my son took a good towel to clean the water paints that he had spilled...If only he had asked me first! And if only I, myself, had asked God in each situation...

f. "No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God." (1 John 3:9 NIV). When we face the temptation to sin, God's Word helps us to rebuke that temptation in Jesus' name. Let's remember that when Jesus Christ faced the Satan in the wilderness, He used God word to rebuke temptation: "Jesus answered, 'it is written…'" (Luke 4:4,8 NIV)

There are many more. Check out Matt 11:28-30, 1 Peter 5:7-10, 1 Peter 1:1-2, John 16:33, etc. The important thing is this: Let's remember to present every request to God with thanksgiving. Let's remember that material things are not what brings us peace; but rather, we are nourished by the Word of God. And in those days when peace seems to be eluding us, let's remember these Truths from God's Holy Word!

Thank Jesus Christ! "To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!" (Revelation 5:13 NIV)

Yours in Christ,
Sophie Chun Ngeth

 
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Post  Admin Tue 26 Jan 2021, 5:09 pm

Through media reports of displaced refugees, and even close to home, we are confronted with the poor in the world on a daily basis. I was discussing this with a friend one day, and we concluded that each one of us in our own way would try to help those in need through donations to mission projects, as well as supporting local food banks. We also recognized that so often, we fail to supply people with spiritual food.

The first time I went to Tehran, Iran, was in September 1972. Two of us went there to negotiate a partnership agreement with an Iranian firm. We had been there for a couple of days working out of our hotel room and at our prospective partner's offices, when he asked us over for dinner one evening.

He sent a car over to pick us up. We drove down the avenue for a few miles and turned off onto a little side street. It was just a gravel path really, with barely enough room for a car to drive through without running into the people walking or sitting on the dusty road. We were still inside the city of Tehran.

There were women carrying home their groceries on top of their heads and a few beggars sitting on the side of the road. After a few minutes, we stopped in front of a massive iron gate with a brass plaque on one of the posts, showing who lived there. A servant came to open the gate, and we drove onto the driveway. There in front of us was a huge, palatial home, with an acre of beautiful gardens, flowering shrubs, a pool, water fountains, places to sit, and soft music in the background. There were festive lights and tables laid out with all the goods of the earth. Outside the gate, there were the poor people and the beggars walking on the dusty road. What a contrast!

I found the description of this event in one of my old files and it reminded me of the parable that Jesus told.

"There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham's bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom." (Luke 16:19-22 NKJV)

Jesus went on to say that, besides water to cool his tongue, the rich man's one desire was that his brothers would be told about faith, lest they come to the same end.

There certainly is the need for food for many people in the world today, but there is also a greater need among so many people for spiritual food, even and especially among people close to home. My friend and I concluded that we are so inadequate.

How about you? We need to pray that God will equip us to be much bolder in sharing our faith in Jesus.

Prayer: Our Father in heaven, we pray that You would encourage us and give us the ability and the strength to help the poor, and the poor in spirit. We ask it in Jesus' name. Amen.

Joel Jongkind
Meaford, Ontario, Canada

Reprinted from the PresbyCan Daily Devotional with the author's permission

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Post  Admin Sat 23 Jan 2021, 9:13 pm

"...we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." (2 Cor. 10:5b NIV)

Last week I wrote an article on dissatisfaction and how you can be feeling ecstatic one moment, and with the entrance of one thing--something as big as the trials you are currently going through; something as tiny as a mere annoyance; and the whole spectrum of things in between--and you find yourself wallowing in the mire of discouragement, anger, worry, or worse.

I wrote about that last week, because that was where I found myself last week. Little would I know, this whole scenario would play itself out numerous times in the week that ensued....

As I sit here thinking back over the past week, I begin to realize that most of the "things" that sent me spiraling into discouragement and depression were not "things" at all; rather, they were random...Thoughts! Take for example, the evening I am happily communicating via text with my son in Edmonton. I don't hear from him too often, and each text is precious. I was on cloud 9. Enter one random new thought: 'You haven't heard from your son in Kitchener today!' And that was it. I fell off my "happy place" and barreled headfirst into worry and discouragement.

Another time I woke up in a happy mood feeling that everything was right in the world. Enter a random thought: "_____ doesn't like ____! In fact, ____ hates ____!" And my happy mood was instantly gone...

I could go on with example after example, but perhaps the apex was today: I was thinking about all of God's miracles in my life, of all the wonderous things He's done for me, for my family, all the miraculous things He did in the Bible, etc. Enter one random thought: "He isn't taking away the pain in your shoulder this morning..." Yikes! Where did THAT thought come from? But wait. It's true! I asked him to heal my shoulder, and it only seems to get worse! And much like a ball rolling off the peak of a roof, I tumbled off my spiritual high....

But wait. Don't I hear from my Kitchener son almost daily? And doesn't he usually contact me late in the evening? And that business of ____ not liking ___... First of all, I don't even know if it's true; and even if it is, I know the Master "Relationship-Mender"! Then there's that business about the pain in my shoulder. Sure, it's still there, but aren't I simply "condemning" God for not healing me when the time for that miracle isn't yet right?

Don't forget: "Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." (1 Peter 5:8 NIV). In these three cases all he had to do was plant one tiny thought, and I was gone, devoured...

But it doesn't have to be this way. You see, when the devil planted those thoughts in my mind, he was tempting me to doubt my Lord and Saviour. And God has promised that we will never be tempted beyond that which we can bear, but that, "...when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it." (1 Cor. 10:13b NIV)

My job is simple:

1. I must recognize that these random thoughts for what they are: temptations!
2. I must "...take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." (2 Cor. 10:5b NIV)
3. I must claim the promise of 1 Cor. 10:13, that God will always provide a way out.

And that's what I did this morning. I realized I was being attacked with temptations, and I renounced those lies in the name of the Lord.

Unfortunately, they kept coming. Every time I said "amen" to yet another prayer of submission and renouncement of temptation, a new and stronger one would hit! And my neck hurt so bad!

That's when I went to my precious Heavenly father and I said, "God, you have promised that I will not be tempted beyond that which I can bear. Well, Lord, I am falling over and over again into the same trap. I am weak. I cannot withstand these temptations towards negativity. But when I am weak, that's when I am strong, for your strength is perfected in my weakness! Lord, I am ready for the "way out" that you have promised!"

And that was the end of that barrage of temptation. Yes, my neck still hurts, but I have that joy in my heart once again. I may be weak, but in God I am strong!

Let's remember that the battlefield is in the mind. If the devil can tempt us to shift our thoughts away from God, then he has us in his snare. Let's routinely remember to take every thought captive in obedience to Jesus, and when we feel that the temptation is more than we can bear, then let's claim the promise that God will always make a way out.

Oh, and guaranteed, those "problems" that moments ago seems so insurmountable are nothing but molehills beside the mountain of God's power and love! 

In His love,
Lyn


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

 
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Post  Admin Thu 21 Jan 2021, 1:47 pm

NUGGET Today's Devotional - Page 3 Religi10
It was a long flight, but the chat with the passenger seated to my right made the journey interesting.

The conversation began with superficial comments, then it got a bit serious when we discussed religions. She asked me about mine and I answered. "I'm a Christian."

"I believe all religions have something in common," she said. "After all, all religions lead to the same God."

Was she right? Or was she wrong?

We live in a world that mirrors the Titanic. We all know the story. Passengers who enjoyed the journey filled each deck of that luxurious ship. They focused on the celebration; certain they would reach their destination.

Sadly, that never happened. But more tragic is that we're on the similar journey, each on different decks of life--with different ideologies, philosophies, beliefs and religions.


Deck One

The first deck is filled with folks who embrace a bit of all religions. They accept any doctrine that feels comfortable and seems pleasantly correct.

They're busy connecting with the ship, promoting unity with those on the other decks. They're chanting, meditating, doing loving, noble things, connecting to the divine within.

But just like any cruise ship, the captain makes announcements over the loud speaker. In this case the Divine Captain announces: "This ship is going to sink. But I love you all so much I don't want anyone to perish. I have a life boat with your name on it. It's free. All you need to do is accept it (Paraphrased from John 3:16).

No one listens.

Deck Two

The second deck on the ship is filled with folks who embrace the popular trend, the latest guru, and the philosophy that brings warm fuzzy feelings. In the end they believe in nothing specific. Yet get busy filling the void in their hearts with everything from work, exercise, travel and even addictions. They follow nothing. And a sense of emptiness follows them instead.

Confession time. Thirty years ago, I reserved a room on this deck. While I was losing my sight, I embraced anything or any offer that could bring me hope of healing. I came back empty.

Again, the Divine Captain announces over the loud speaker: This ship is going to sink, your life boat is waiting for you. It's free and available.

No one listens.

Deck Three

The third deck on the ship is filled with Christians in name only. As a pastor once said, they're sneaky Christians. They're saintly on Sundays and sinful the rest of the week. (Ask me how I know.) They are quick to become mentally judgmental and openly opinionated, disregarding God's warning in Matthew 7:1-5:

"Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye." (NIV)

Waving my hand in the air, I admit that was me at times. And with shame, I admit overlooking the Gospel and entered into gossip instead.

One more announcement from the Divine Captain:

When the ship sinks, no one will be saved. But I do offer salvation and have eternal life prepared for you, the life boat is waiting for you.

No one listens. They disregard it as it simplistic, too easy, and seemingly intolerant to think it's the only way to life eternal.

But once again, the Bible quotes Jesus' words in John 14:6, "I am the way, the truth, and the life." (NIV)

A few decades ago, I lost my sight and, for the first time, I saw the way, the only way. I accepted the life boat by confessing with my mouth that Jesus is Lord, believing in my heart He died for my sins and through Him I took ownership of that life boat taking me to eternity in heaven.

Millions have done the same. But what do we do while still on earth? Should we sit back and relax, settle on a lounger, enjoy the ocean breeze and sip our tropical drink?

Quite the contrary. We put on the hat of love, kick of those sandals to run faster through those decks. And in the midst of bad news all around, we point them to the loud speaker announcing the Good News. "As it is written, 'How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!'" (Romans 10:15 NIV).

Back to the question: Do all religions lead to the same God? The answer is found in the depth of each heart. One thing is certain, the ship will sink, physical death will come. And even more real is that our eternal destiny is marked by our personal choice.

What is beautiful, however, is the God of the Bible doesn't invite us to practice a religion. But rather, He invites us to rely on His salvation through His son Jesus. His Word says, "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:23 NIV).

Let's Pray: Father, I confess, I was happy living on my own deck, sailing on the ship of life. I thank You for the free gift that transformed my life and guaranteed everlasting life with you. In Jesus name.

On which deck of life are you spending your days lately?

Janet P. Eckles

 
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Post  Admin Tue 19 Jan 2021, 11:54 pm

Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches." (2 Corinthians 11:28 NIV)

Like most pastors, I often wake up in the middle of the night thinking about and worrying over people in the congregation that I serve. I guess that other professionals -- doctors, teachers, nurses, psychologists, social workers, and counsellors -- experience the same kind of sleepless nights. Like them, I carry around in my heart and mind the many circumstances, issues, and even secrets that the people under my care have shared with me. At times, those burdens are hard to carry, so at night, I sometimes lose sleep by worrying about the church folks.

The good thing about this is that I also get some quiet time to pray for their situations. During the day, there is a lot going on, and finding a quiet place or time can be hard to do. However, in the wee small hours of the morning, I can quietly come to God to pray for the healing, help, or wholeness that people need. I can whisper their names to God and ask for strength, guidance, and grace to be given to them. Usually, when I have about finished my prayers, sleep begins to drift over me, so I can return to my bed and get beneath the warm blankets.

When I read today's verse from the apostle Paul, the first thought that crossed my mind was that "He gets it." We tend to think about Paul being a fearless preacher who faced many dangerous and life-threatening moments in his ministry. But he was also a pastor who had a heart for the people whom he met -- this is why he writes of the daily pressure that he endures because of his concern for all of the churches about which he cared. I believe that Paul, too, had some sleepless nights and quiet moments of prayer for the church folks whom he knew.

Maybe you've been waking up at night because of family, work, school, or health issues. Perhaps you are worried about money or concerned about the future. Let me humbly suggest that you use those sleepless times effectively by seeing them as sacred moments when the Holy Spirit is calling you to pray. I think that you'll find an answer to your problems and a much better sleep after praying.

Points to ponder: What concerns do I presently have? When and where can I quietly pray about them?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, when we have sleepless nights because of our current issues and prevailing worries, help us to turn to You quietly in prayer. Enable us to share deep concerns with You and sincerely to seek Your guidance and grace, strength and healing. In Your holy name, we quietly pray. Amen.

John Stuart
Knoxville, Tennessee, USA

Reprinted from the PresbyCan Daily Devotional with the author's permission
 

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Post  Admin Sat 16 Jan 2021, 2:42 pm

Are you feeling less than satisfied these days? Join the crowd. What with political turmoil all around, mass shootings on the rise, demonstrations in countries we rarely even hear about, fires raging out of control all across Canada, the United States, Australia, etc.... It seems that every time you turn on the news, there is never anything good. And we've said yet nothing about climate control issues!

Haman knew all about unsatisfaction. When he saw Mordecai sitting at the palace gate and refusing to bow to him when he passed by, he became livid: "But when he saw Mordecai sitting at the palace gate, not standing up or trembling nervously before him, Haman became furious." (Esther 5:9b NLT). He went home complaining, and before the night was over he had built a gallows 75 ft high. All he needed was the king's permission to hang Mordecai from that gallows.

We saw that Esther 5:9b tells us how angry Haman was when Mordecai didn't bow to him at the palace gate, angry enough to build a gallows to hang Mordecai on. But when we look at the first part of Esther 5, we see that when Haman passed Mordecai at the palace gate, he was actually returning from a banquet with Queen Esther and the King, and the Bible says that Haman was, "a happy man as he left the banquet!" (Esther 5:9a NLT). He was, up until the moment when he exited the palace and some Mordecai, feeling very, very happy!

How is it that he can feel so happy one minute, and the next minute he becomes so upset, dissatisfied, angry?

This, actually, is not the beginning of Haman's story. When Haman was first appointed as the King's right-hand man, all others were expected to bow down to him. Mordecai, however, "...refused to bow down or show him respect." (Esther 3:2b NLT). Once Haman found out about this, "...he was filled with rage. He had learned of Mordecai’s nationality, so he decided it was not enough to lay hands on Mordecai alone. Instead, he looked for a way to destroy all the Jews throughout the entire empire of Xerxes." (Esther 3:5-6 NLT).

It is true that Haman's anger at Mordecai and the Jews in general may have stemmed back hundreds of years to the time when King Saul was commanded to kill all of the Amalekites (See 1 Samuel 15). Their king was Agog, and we know that Haman was an Agagite.... We have no solid proof of this, however; but what we do know is that Haman was angry because he could not control Mordecai's behaviour and because he felt his authority was being threatened!
 
I think I can relate to Haman. I don't know how many times I have been teetering on the brink ecstasy, only to find myself crashing down into the depths of depression, anger and dissatisfaction when just one simple thing happens! Take, for example, when I'm out hiking. I feel like I'm on top of the world. I'm surrounded by God's beautiful nature, it is peaceful and quiet, I'm breathing fresh mountain air and I'm experiencing the thrill of climbing God's beautiful mountains and seeing the spectacular views that are our reward at the top. I am in my "heaven on Earth". Yet how quickly my ecstasy can change into anger, disappointment and dissatisfaction the moment someone says, "We're out of time, we have to go back." Or, "I can't go any further, this is too difficult." I get upset, of course, because I want to continue to experience the ecstasy that I get when I'm hiking in the mountains. The fact that I can't go on, however, doesn't change the stunning mountain views. It doesn't alter in the least the beautiful greenery that still surrounds me. It doesn't even smother out the sweet mountain smells or the peaceful sound of the birds flitting through the trees. So why is it then, that I suddenly become so dissatisfied?

The answer, of course, is that I'm upset because I am not getting my way. 

Let's learn some vital lessons from Haman...and from me! Let's learn that even when bad news strikes, it doesn't erase all of the good that is already around us. We can continue to enjoy the blessings God gives us with a happy heart. True, whatever it is that has made us unhappy may not go away; but that does not have to rob us of every joy God has given us. And when we take the time, even in the midst of bad news, to remember that we continue to be surrounded by God's blessings, it will boost our faith and make our current set of problems seem so much easier to bear.

I challenge you to try this the next time bad news strikes. If you are feeling full of joy only to encounter something that suddenly makes you feel unhappy, don't let that erase the joys that are still in your life. Continue to praise God for His mercies and His blessings and His grace, for when you do, the problem, although still there, will seem to shrink in importance. It will be forced take its rightful place, one that is not at the foremost of all of your thoughts and actions.

If Haman have tried this, then perhaps that gallows, that would eventually become his own death instrument (see Esther 7:9-10), would never have been built. Hey, the Book of Esther might never have been written!

In His love,
Lyn


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

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Post  Admin Fri 15 Jan 2021, 12:20 am

We are already fourteen days into the new year. More than likely, by this time, you have had difficulties with your phone. Maybe it's run out of storage space, but whatever it is, the only suggested "fix" is to reset it. The problem is, if you do so, you will lose everything in the phone!

Many of us made New Years resolutions. However, for most of us, we don't make room in our lives for those resolutions. It's like when our phones run out of storage space, and we refuse to allow the customer service to reset the phone!

This can happen in our relationship with God as well. We don't make room for Him.

Often the only way to make room for Him is to "reset" our minds! In the same way that we make room in our daily life to receive real food, we need to give God our hearts, our minds, our eyes and our ears so we can live our life according to God will. We need to...Renew our minds! "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will." (Rom. 12:2 NIV)

So how is our mind renewed?

By doing what you are doing right now -- reading, studying Scripture, teaching God word and pray scripture daily.

Want to have your mind renewed?

Get to know Jesus.

Want to know Jesus?

Read about Him in Scripture.

Do we have questions about who can become a child of God, about what we do as the child of God, about which of God's benefits we will inherit? Do we want to think like Jesus Christ? Do we want to be obedient to His commandments and love one another? Do we desire to be like Jesus just before He gave His last breath, and forgive those who have hurt us? Do we want to speak God word? But instead of doing all these things, we just--give up?

Remember: "I can do all this through him who gives me strength." (Philppians 4:13 NIV)

Maybe right now you are crossing a sea or a river of trials, either big or small. Let's remember to "download" God Word: "No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go." (Joshua 1:5-7 NIV)

May God be in us all . May God bless you and your family in Jesus Christ's name. Amen.

Sophie Chun Ngeth

 
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Post  Admin Tue 12 Jan 2021, 10:45 pm

"But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be." (Matt. 24:37-39 KJV)

On a global basis, war and destruction is rife, particularly in the Middle East, commonly surrounding the areas of Jesus's ministry. Israel is under threat to be "wiped off the face of the Planet" and atomic weaponry is in creation, with Iran, Pakistan and North Korea delivering constant threats and practice of performing Nuclear missile flight and tests.

Wildfires abound on every continent; even beautifully lush green England and Europe don't escape the harsh reality of fire. The extreme wealth of people is not protected against unusually harsh climatic extremes of fire, hurricanes, freezing cold and heavy downpours. The Amazon forests, sometimes referred to as 'Earths Lungs' experience increasing destruction, either to be consumed by agricultural practice or wildfire. Huge areas on all corners of the earth experience destructive contamination, oil slicks and resultant marine destruction.

Floods are regularly drowning towns, bursting riverbanks and dams. Polar ice is rapidly declining. Polar wildlife is in numerical and health decline. Many African wildlife species are being severely poached, taking them towards extinction.

Politics is completely in disarray in many countries. Striking, demonstrating, placard waving mobs overrule police trying to subdue them. Mob Rule generally has no concept of the politically "bigger picture". There appears to be a clash between the views of leaders and the views of many of the electorate.

Globally, banks and well established businesses are going bankrupt as mismanagement and greed increase, greed fast becoming "the norm". Good leaders in business, education, health, family, politics, military, industry and most vocations become derailed as they strive to achieve good national values.

Pedophilia is becoming more common, highlighted to be practiced among financially successful people and Christian mentors too. Shameful conduct is practiced through Hollywood and by other overpaid people and places, sometimes with leaders "turning a blind eye" to offenders.

Events at Sodom and Gomorrah angered God enough to rain down fire and brimstone on the wrongdoers. The physics and chemistry of the combination of Fire and Brimstone expose the horrific punishment that rained down on the people when God angered so, over His people. That comparatively small area was dealt the wrath of God. The sins of Sodom and Gomorrah are now openly practiced globally, are encouraged at high/leadership levels of society, and are fast becoming a social norm.

Is it possible that Satan's tentacles have penetrated a wide range of leaders of society, geographical regions, seas, mountains, rivers, desert and forest areas in order to attempt achieving destruction of all that is good in God's creation?

We, as family, and Christians everywhere, must all be ready; fully prepared and prayed up with the Armour of God (see Eph. 6:10-18), the full protection of our Lord at all times if we are to live through the pending times in peaceful comfort and joy. Most Bible prophecies are fulfilled. Will we be ready to stand before our Father in Heaven when the last is fulfilled?

Our Father is a God of Peace, Kindness, Forgiveness, Love, bountiful beauty and Joy. He bonds and unites in warmth, love, comfort and generous provision. By contrast, our enemy is determined to destroy. He attacks families, especially well bonded, love-filled family units and friendships. He sews spirit of anxiety, trauma, destruction, ill-health, hate, unpleasantness, confusion, separation and division.

We have to ask ourselves: As individuals, do we UNITE or DIVIDE society? Do we live and deliver a life of peace, kindness and forgiveness? Do our actions show happiness and loving unity? Or do they cause anxiety and division?

God doesn't ask us individually to change the world. He asks us to change into His image, so that one by one the world can be changed. Will you ask Him to help you do that today?

Our Father in Heaven, Hallowed be Thy name.
Thy Kingdom come. Thy Will be done throughout the Earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread and
forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.
Fill our Souls with a kind, forgiving, energised and love-filled Spirit.
Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from all evil for Thine is the Kingdom,
all Power and all Glory. Forever and forever.
Amen.

Tony Morkel

 
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