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September 2010

Godsgrazingfield Devotions September 2010      

September

GOD'S GRAZINGFIELD DAILY DEVOTION

Today’s First Thoughts                     September 1, 2010

Good Morning!
There are experiences with us all in which God forgives our sin, but we still pay the consequences. We reap as we have sown. We suffer where we have sinned.

HOW IT WENT ILL WITH MOSES:
Numbers 20:10 “And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock? 11. And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also. 12. And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.

IT was but one act, one little act; but it blighted the fair flower of a noble life, and shut the one soul, whose faith had sustained the responsibilities of the Exodus with unflinching fortitude, from the reward which seemed so nearly within its grasp. The wanderings of the forty years were almost over. The congregation which had been scattered over the peninsula had converged towards the given meeting-place in Kadesh. There the encampment remained for some months; and there Miriam died one of the few with whom that lonely spirit could still hold converse of that life which lay beyond the desert sands, the valleys of Sinai, and the waters of the Red Sea, in the distant mighty land of the Pharaohs and the Pyramids.

Moses, Aaron, Caleb, and Joshua (and perhaps the Levites), were the only relics and survivors of that vast triumphant host, whose voices had rung out their challenge on the morning of emancipation; and each of the four thought himself sure, and his comrades also, of going over to “see the good land that is beyond Jordan, that goodly mountain, and Lebanon.” But this was not to be.

In quitter moments Moses would have acted differently, but just now he was irritated, indignant, and hot with disappointment and anger. When, therefore, the assembly was gathered together in their thronging multitudes around him, he accosted them as rebels. He spoke as if the gift of water depended on himself and Aaron. He betrayed his sense of the irksomeness of their demand, and then vehemently smote the rock with his rod twice. And as those blows re-echoed through the still air, they shivered for ever the fabric woven by his dreams and hopes.

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Psalm 135 136 --- 1 Corinthians 12

James & Mary Lee Thornton

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

GOD'S GRAZINGFIELD DAILY DEVOTION

Today’s First Thoughts                               September 2, 2010

Good Morning!
The death of Miriam, of Aaron and of Moses all occurred in the same year.

THE DEATH OF MOSES:
Deuteronomy 34:5. “So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD. 6. And he buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Bethpeor: but no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day.

The Bible is the book of life. Its pages teem with biography; they contain but scant memorials of death. The only death they describe at length is that of Him who in dying slew death. The very minuteness of the description here shows how unique and all-important it was. Men make more of death than of life as a gauge of character. The records of Scripture find little room for dying testimonies, words, or experiences; whilst they abound in stories of the exploits and words of those who have stormed and suffered and wrought in life's arena. This may explain why, contrary to human custom and expectation, the death of the great Lawgiver is described with such brief simplicity.

After such a life it was meet that Moses should have a death and burial unparalleled in the story of mankind; and we do not wonder that poet, painter, and preacher, have found in that lonely death on Pisgah's summit a theme worthy of their noblest powers. As far as the east is from the west, so far had that transgression been removed. But though the remission was complete, yet the result lingered in his life, and shut him out from an experience which should have been the crown of his career. Jude tells us (vs.9) that the devil showed up at Moses’ funeral contending to claim his body but Michael the great Arch Angel wrested it away from his grasp.

An ancient Hebrew legend says that when the time came, Moses turned to the Almighty (so the legend runs) and said, “Thou, Lord of the Universe, who wast revealed unto me in the burning bush, remember that Thou didst carry me up into thy Heaven, where I abode forty days and forty nights; have mercy upon me, and hand me not over into the power of the angel of death.” I’m sure that if the devil came to claim so great a person as Moses he will also show up at our funeral.

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Psalm  
137 138 139 --- 1 Corinthians  13

James & Mary Lee Thornton

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

GOD'S GRAZINGFIELD DAILY DEVOTION

Today’s First Thoughts                                  September 3, 2010

Good Morning!
The first and chief need of our Christian life is fellowship with God.

DAILY FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD:
1 John 1:3 “… and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.

The Divine life within us comes from God, and is entirely dependent upon Him. As I need every moment to breathe the air afresh, as the sun every moment afresh sends down its light, so it is only in direct living communication with God that my soul can be strong. The manna of one day was corrupt when the next day came. I must every day have fresh grace from heaven, and I obtain it only in direct waiting upon God Himself. Begin each day by tarrying before God, and letting Him touch you. Take time to meet God, do not rush in and out of His presence.

To this end, let your first act in your devotion be a setting yourself still before God. In prayer, or worship, everything depends upon God taking the chief place. I must bow quietly before Him in humble faith and adoration, speaking thus within my heart: “God is. God is near. God is love, longing to communicate Himself to me. God the Almighty One, Who worketh all in all, is even now waiting to work in me, and make Himself known.” Take time, till you know God is very near.

When you have given God His place of honor, glory, and power, take your place of deepest lowliness, and seek to be filled with the Spirit of humility. As a creature it is your blessedness to be nothing, that God may be all in you. As a sinner you are not worthy to look up to God (Luke 18:13); bow in self abasement. As a saint, let God's love overwhelm you, and bow yourself still lower down. Sink down before Him in humility, meekness, patience, and surrender to His goodness and mercy. He will exalt you. Take time to get very low before God. Take note of Elijah in 1 Kings 19:42.

This is the great object of fellowship with God that I may have more of God in my life, and that God may see Christ formed in me. Be silent before God and let Him bless you.

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Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:

Psalm 
140 141 142  -- 1 Corinthians 14 :1--20

James & Mary Lee Thornton

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

 
GOD'S GRAZINGFIELD DAILY DEVOTION

Today’s First Thoughts                       September 4 & 5, 2010

Good Morning!
God is to be formed in us, so that His form or figure, His likeness, can be seen in us.

CHRIST IS A LIVING PERSON:
Galatians 4:19 “My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you.”

We have not only Christ's life in us as a power, and His presence with us as a person, but we have His likeness to be wrought into us. He loves you with a personal love, and He looks every day for the personal response of your love. Look into His face with trust, till His love really shines into your heart. Make His heart glad by telling Him that you do love Him. He offers Himself to you as a personal Saviour and Keeper from the power of sin.

Bow before God until you get some sense of the greatness and blessedness of the work to be carried on by God in you this day. Say to God, “Father, here am I for Thee to give as much in me of Christ's likeness as I can receive.” And wait to hear Him say, “My child, I give thee as much of Christ as thy heart is open to receive.” The God, who revealed Jesus in the flesh and perfected Him, will reveal Him in you and perfect you in Him. The Father loves the Son, and delights to work out His image and likeness in you. Count upon it that this blessed work will be done in you as you wait on God, and hold fellowship with Him.

All this can only be in the power of the Holy Spirit, who dwells in you. Count upon Him to glorify Christ in you. Count upon Christ to increase in you the inflowing of His Spirit. As you wait before God to realize His presence, remember that the Spirit is in you to reveal the things of God. Seek in God's presence to have the anointing of the Spirit of Christ so truly that your whole life may every moment be spiritual.

Let every approach to God and every request for fellowship with Him be accompanied by a new, very definite, and entire surrender to Him to work in you. As you tarry before God, let it be in a deep quiet faith in Him, the Invisible One, who is so near, so holy, so mighty, so loving. Begin each day thus in fellowship with God and God will be all in all to you.

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Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:

Psalm 
143 144 145 -- 1 Corinthians  14 :21 - 40
Psalm  146 147
  -- 1 Corinthians   15 :1 -- 28 

James & Mary Lee Thornton

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

GOD'S GRAZINGFIELD DAILY DEVOTION

Today’s First Thoughts                         September 6, 2010

Good Morning!
If we are to experience a deepening of spiritual life, we want to discover clearly what is the spiritual life that God would have us live, on the one hand; and, on the other, to ask whether we are living that life; or, if not, what hinders us living it out fully.

PRIVILEGE AND EXPERIENCE:
Luke 15:31 “And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.”

The words of the text are familiar to us all. The elder son had complained and said that though his father had made a feast, and had killed the fatted calf for the prodigal son, he had never given him even a kid that he might make merry with his friends. The answer of the father was: “Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.” One cannot have a more wonderful revelation of the heart of our Father in heaven than this points out to us. We often speak of the wonderful revelation of the father's heart in his welcome to the prodigal son, and in what he did for him. But here we have a revelation of the father's love far more wonderful, in what he says to the elder son.
We will look at this in the next few days and study it under the following subjects.
1 The high privilege of every child of God.
2 The low experience of too many of us believers.
3. The cause of the discrepancy; and, lastly,
4. The way to the restoration of the privilege.

The High Privilege of The Children Of God:
We have here two things describing the privilege: First, “Son, thou art ever with me”—unbroken fellowship with thy Father is thy portion; Second, “All that I have is thine”—all that God can bestow upon His children is theirs. “Thou are ever with me;” I am always near thee; thou canst dwell every hour of thy life in My presence, and all I have is for thee. I am a father, with a loving father's heart. I will withhold no good thing from thee. In these promises, we have the rich privilege of God's heritage. We come into the very presence of God, so that we can live all the day with that presence resting upon us.

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Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:

Psalm 
148 149 150 -- 1 Corinthians  15 :29-- 58

James & Mary Lee Thornton

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

GOD'S GRAZINGFIELD DAILY DEVOTION

Today’s First Thoughts                                       September 7, 2010

Good Morning!
The child of God is called to this blessed privilege, to live every moment of his life in fellowship with God.

THE HIGH PRIVILEGE OF THE CHILDREN OF GOD:
Luke 15:31 “And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me,..”

We have, in the first place, unbroken fellowship with Him. A father never sends his child away with the thought that he does not care about his child knowing that he loves him. The father longs to have his child believe that he has the light of his father's countenance upon him all the day—that, if he sends the child away to school, or anywhere that necessity compels, it is with a sense of sacrifice of parental feelings. If it be so with an earthly father, what think you of God? Does He not want every child of His to know that he is constantly living in the light of His countenance? This is the meaning of that word, “Son, thou art ever with me."

That was the privilege of God's people in Old Testament times. We are told that “Enoch walked with God.” God's promise to Jacob was: “Behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.” And God's promise to Israel through Moses was: “My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.” And in Moses' response to the promise, he says, “For wherein shall it be known that I and Thy people have found grace in Thy sight? Is it not that Thou goest with us; so shall we be separated, I and Thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth.”

The presence of God with Israel was the mark of their separation from other people. This is the truth taught in all the Old Testament; and if so, how much more may we look for it in the New Testament? There are many Christians—I suppose the majority of Christians—who seem to regard the whole of the Spirit's work as confined to conviction and conversion, not so much that He came to dwell in our hearts, and there reveal God to us. He came not to dwell near us, but in us, that we might be filled with His indwelling. We are commanded to be “filled with the Spirit;” then the Holy Spirit would make God's presence manifest to us.

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Proverbs 
1 2  -- 1 Corinthians 16

James & Mary Lee Thornton

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

GOD'S GRAZINGFIELD
 DAILY DEVOTION

Today’s First Thoughts                                       September 8, 2010

Good Morning!
To belong to Christ is to have all the riches of heaven bestowed upon us.

ALL THAT I HAVE IS THINE:
Luke 15:31 “, and all that I have is thine.”

Then that is the next blessed privilege: Thank God, He has given us His own Son; and in giving Him, He has given us all things that are in Him, He has given us Christ's life, His love, His Spirit, His glory. “All things are yours; and ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's” (1 Corinthians 3:23). All the riches of His Son, the everlasting King, God bestows upon every one of His children. “Son, thou art ever with me; and all that I have is thine.”

Is not that the meaning of all those wonderful promises given in connection with prayer: “Whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, ye shall receive?” Yes, there it is. That is the life of the children of God, as He Himself has pictured it to us. Simon Peter described our experience in Christ, “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (2 Peter 1:3-4).

And again, what about the promise? The Father says, “All I have is thine.” Are you rejoicing in the treasures of Christ? Are you conscious of having an abundant supply for all your spiritual needs every day? God has all these for you in abundance. “Thou never gavest me a kid!” The answer is, “All that I have is thine. I gave it thee in Christ.”

What is God like? I know no image more beautiful and instructive than that of the sun. God's sun shines on every leaf; on every flower; on every blade of grass; on everything that springs out of the ground. All receive this wealth of sunshine until they grow to perfection and bear fruit. Would He who made that sun be less willing to poor out His love and life into me? The sun—what beauty it creates! And my God, would He not delight more in creating a beauty and a fruitfulness in me?—such, too, as He has promised to give?

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Proverbs 
3  4  5   --- 11 Corinthians 1

James & Mary Lee Thornton

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

GOD'S GRAZINGFIELD DAILY DEVOTION

Today’s First Thoughts                                      September 9, 2010

Good Morning!
The father withheld not his gifts from the elder brother in sovereignty; neither does our Heavenly Father withhold any good thing from them that love Him.

THE LOW EXPERIENCE OF TOO MANY OF US:
Luke 15:29 “And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends:”

The elder son was living with his father and serving him “these many years,” and he complains that his father never gave him a kid, while he gave his prodigal brother the fatted calf. Why was this?  Simply because he did not ask it. He did not believe that he would get it, and therefore never asked it, and never enjoyed it. He continued thus to live in constant murmuring and dissatisfaction; and the key note of all this wretched life is furnished in what he said. His father gave him everything, yet he never enjoyed it; and he throws the whole blame on his loving and kind father.

Is not that the life of many a believer? Do not many speak and act in this way? Every believer has the promise of unbroken fellowship with God, but he says, “I have not enjoyed it; I have tried hard and done my best, and I have prayed for the blessing, but I suppose God does not see fit to grant it.” But why not?

Some think these rich blessings are not for them, but for those who have more time to devote to religion and prayer; or their circumstances are so difficult, so peculiar, that we can have no conception of their various hindrances. But do not such think that God, if He places them in these circumstances, cannot make His grace abound accordingly? They admit He could if He would, work a miracle for them, which they can hardly expect. In some way, they, like the elder son, throw the blame on God. Thus many are saying, when asked if they are enjoying unbroken fellowship with God:—“No I have not been able to attain to such a height; it is too high for me. I know of some who have it, and I read of it; but God has not given it to me, for some reason.” But why not?  James 4:2 tells us, “Ye have not because ye ask not.”

The Bible speaks of a joy that is “unspeakable and full of glory” as the fruit of believing; of a “love of God shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost given unto us.” Do we desire it, do we? Why not get it? Have we asked for it?

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Proverbs 
6 7  --- 11 Corinthians 2

James & Mary Lee Thornton

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

GOD'S GRAZINGFIELD DAILY DEVOTION

Today’s First Thoughts                                    September 10, 2010

Good Morning!
You must remember, that God has given you a will, and by the exercise of that will, you can hinder God, and remain content, like the elder son, with the low life of unbelief.

CAUSES OF NOT ENJOYING GOD'S GIFTS, AND OUR LOW EXPERIENCE:
Luke 15:29 “Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends:”

The believer is complaining that God has never given him a kid. Or, God has given him some blessing, but has never given the full blessing. He has never fully filled him with His Spirit. “I never,” he says, “had my heart, as a fountain, giving forth the rivers of living water promised in John 7:38.” What is the cause?

The elder son thought he was serving his father faithfully “these many years” in his father's house, but it was in the spirit of bondage and not in the spirit of a child, so that his unbelief blinded him to the conception of a father's love and kindness, and he was unable all the time to see that his father was ready, not only to give him a kid, but a hundred, or a thousand kids, if he would have them.

He was simply living in unbelief, in ignorance, in blindness, robbing himself of the privileges that the father had for him. So, if there be a discrepancy between our life and the fulfillment and enjoyment of all God's promises, the fault is ours. If our experience be not what God wants it to be, it is because of our unbelief in the love of God, in the power of God, and in the reality of God's promises.

If there is to be any deepening of the spiritual life in us, we must come to the discovery, and the acknowledgment of the unbelief there is in our hearts. God grant that we may get this spiritual quickening, and that we may come to see that it is by our unbelief that we have prevented God from doing His work in us. Unbelief is the mother of disobedience, and of all my sins and short comings—my temper, my pride, my un-lovingness, my worldliness, my sins of every kind. Though these differ in nature and form, yet they all come from the one root, that is, that we do not believe in the freedom and fullness of the Divine gift of the Holy Spirit to dwell in us and strengthen us, and fill us with the life and grace of God all the day long.

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Proverbs 
8  9
-- 11 Corinthians  3

James & Mary Lee Thornton

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

GOD'S GRAZINGFIELD DAILY DEVOTION

Today’s First Thoughts                                September 11 & 12, 2010

 Good Morning!
There are many children of God who need to confess, that though they are God’s children, they have never believed that God's promises are true, and that He is willing to fill their hearts all the day long with His blessed presence.

THE WAY OF RESTORATION—HOW IS THAT TO BE BROUGHT ABOUT
Luke 15:31 “And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. 32 It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.”

We all know the parable of the prodigal son; and how many sermons have been preached about repentance, from that parable. We are told that “he came to himself and said, I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and in thy sight.” In preaching, we speak of this as the first step in a changed life—as conversion, as repentance, confession, returning to God.

 But, as this is the first step for the prodigal, we must remember that this is also the step to be taken by His erring children—by all the ninety-nine “who need no repentance,” or think they do not. Those Christians who do not understand how wrong their low religious life is must be taught that this is sin—unbelief; and that it is as necessary that they should be brought to repentance as the prodigal.

You have heard a great deal of preaching repentance to the unconverted; but I want to try to preach it to God's children. We have a picture of so many of God's children in that elder brother. What the father told him, to bring about a consideration of the love that He bore him, just as he loved the prodigal brother, thus does God tell to us in our contentedness with such a low life: “You must repent and believe that I love you, and all that I have is thine.” He is saying, “By your unbelief, you have dishonored me, living for ten, twenty, or thirty years, and never believing what it was to live in the blessedness of My love. You must confess the wrong you have done Me in this, and be broken down in contrition of heart just as truly as the prodigal.”

May the Father of mercy grant all of us that deep contrition, so that they may be led into the blessedness of His presence, and enjoy the fullness of His power and love!

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Proverbs 
10 11 12  ------ 11 Corinthians  4

Proverbs  
13 14 15 --- --  11 Corinthians  5

James & Mary Lee Thornton

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

GOD'S GRAZINGFIELD DAILY DEVOTION

Today’s First Thoughts                                September 13, 2010

Good Morning!
The first and chief need of our Christian life is fellowship with God.

DAILY FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD:
1 John 1:3 “… and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.

The Divine life within us comes from God, and is entirely dependent upon Him. As I need every moment to breathe the air afresh, as the sun every moment afresh sends down its light, so it is only in direct living communication with God that my soul can be strong. The manna of one day was corrupt when the next day came. I must every day have fresh grace from heaven, and I obtain it only in direct waiting upon God Himself. Begin each day by tarrying before God, and letting Him touch you. Take time to meet God, do not rush in and out of His presence.

To this end, let your first act in your devotion be a setting yourself still before God. In prayer, or worship, everything depends upon God taking the chief place. I must bow quietly before Him in humble faith and adoration, speaking thus within my heart: “God is. God is near. God is love, longing to communicate Himself to me. God the Almighty One, Who worketh all in all, is even now waiting to work in me, and make Himself known.” Take time, till you know God is very near.

When you have given God His place of honor, glory, and power, take your place of deepest lowliness, and seek to be filled with the Spirit of humility. As a creature it is your blessedness to be nothing, that God may be all in you. As a sinner you are not worthy to look up to God (Luke 18L13); bow in self abasement. As a saint, let God's love overwhelm you, and bow yourself still lower down. Sink down before Him in humility, meekness, patience, and surrender to His goodness and mercy. He will exalt you. Take time to get very low before God. Take note of Elijah in 1 Kings 19:42.

This is the great object of fellowship with God, that I may have more of God in my life, and that God may see Christ formed in me. Be silent before God and let Him bless you.

Read-Thru-The-Bible    
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:

Proverbs
16 17 18
  --- 11 Corinthians 6 

James & Mary Lee Thornton

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

GOD'S GRAZINGFIELD DAILY DEVOTION

Today’s First Thoughts                                        September 14, 2010

Good Morning!
He is to be formed in us, so that His form or figure, His likeness, can be seen in us.

CHRIST IS A LIVING PERSON:
Galatians 4:19 “My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you.”

We have not only Christ's life in us as a power, and His presence with us as a person, but we have His likeness to be wrought into us. He loves you with a personal love, and He looks every day for the personal response of your love. Look into His face with trust, till His love really shines into your heart. Make His heart glad by telling Him that you do love Him. He offers Himself to you as a personal Saviour and Keeper from the power of sin.

Bow before God until you get some sense of the greatness and blessedness of the work to be carried on by God in you this day. Say to God, “Father, here am I for Thee to give as much in me of Christ's likeness as I can receive.” And wait to hear Him say, “My child, I give thee as much of Christ as thy heart is open to receive.” The God, who revealed Jesus in the flesh and perfected Him, will reveal Him in you and perfect you in Him. The Father loves the Son, and delights to work out His image and likeness in you. Count upon it that this blessed work will be done in you as you wait on God, and hold fellowship with Him.

All this can only be in the power of the Holy Spirit, who dwells in you. Count upon Him to glorify Christ in you. Count upon Christ to increase in you the inflowing of His Spirit. As you wait before God to realize His presence, remember that the Spirit is in you to reveal the things of God. Seek in God's presence to have the anointing of the Spirit of Christ so truly that your whole life may every moment be spiritual.

Let every approach to God and every request for fellowship with Him be accompanied by a new, very definite, and entire surrender to Him to work in you. As you tarry before God, let it be in a deep quiet faith in Him, the Invisible One, who is so near, so holy, so mighty, so loving. Begin each day thus in fellowship with God and God will be all in all to you.

Read-Thru-The-Bible   
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:

Proverbs 
19 20 21 ---- 11 Corinthians  7

James & Mary Lee Thornton

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

GOD'S GRAZINGFIELD  DAILY DEVOTION

Today’s First Thoughts                                 September 15, 2010

Good Morning!
We want to take a look into the incident which brought Jesus to tears and try to understand His feelings as He wept in the view of onlookers.

GROWN MEN DON’T CRY IN PUBLIC:
John 11:35 “Jesus wept.”

The incident involves a man, who but for his death, we would have never heard of him. We would have never known that he existed, his voice is never heard, and he never speaks for our benefit. The gospel writers pass over him almost completely. Lazarus of Bethany comes as near to Jesus of Nazareth, both in his character, and in his services, and in his unparalleled experiences as mortal can ever come. Lazarus of Bethany is never mentioned in the New Testament till the appointed time comes when he falls asleep and dies, and is raised from the dead for the glory of God.

Our Lord and His twelve disciples often found a place to rest and dine at the home in Bethany where Lazarus lived with his two sisters, Martha and Mary. We are introduced to this family in Luke 10:38-42 when Martha invited Jesus and the Twelve Disciples into her home and served a meal for them. On this particular occasion the whole train of the Evangelist’s (Luke) thought is upon the two sisters, Martha and Mary. Martha seemed to be so cumbered (burdened) with preparation and serving that she became aggravated because Mary was not helping her.

Mary was enjoying sitting at the feet of Jesus listening and hanging onto every word He spoke. That’s when Martha, in her exasperation interrupted our Lord and asked Him to send Mary to help her. Then we hear the gentle rebuke of Martha by our Lord, “Martha, Martha thou art careful and troubled about many things, but Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

But we ask, “Where was Lazarus during the time when all this group crowded into his home?” I feel that Lazarus was busy keeping the fire going for Martha, turning the roasting lamb, fetching water and washing all these guest’s feet, and seeing that everyone had a good time. Lazarus loved his Lord far more than they all—but it was a silent love. It was a worshiping love, only his love could not escape His eyes who know what is in man without man testifying to the fact. Jesus knew how deeply Lazarus loved Him—and He loved Lazarus back again and expected his disciples to love Lazarus.

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Proverbs 
22 23 24  ----  11 Corinthians  8

James & Mary Lee Thornton

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GOD'S GRAZINGFIELD  DAILY DEVOTION

Today’s First Thoughts                            September 16, 2010

Good Morning!
The world would never have heard so much as Lazarus’ name unless the glory of
God had been bound up with Lazarus’ sickness, and death, and resurrection.

JESUS WEPT:
John 11:1 “Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. 3. Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick.”

This is the first time Lazarus comes to our attention, and if we are not careful we will leave him out and once again focus our attention upon the vocal Martha and Mary. But if we keep our mind focused upon Lazarus we will be able to understand why Jesus wept. We will be able to understand why Jesus groaned and wept all the way to Lazarus’ grave. The Evangelist that bear record according as he saw, had seen his Master’s love to Martha and Mary and Lazarus many times.

Lazarus, for the glory of God, and for the glory of the Son of God had fallen into a fatal sickness, and Martha and Mary sent a message saying, “Lord, he whom thou lovest is sick.” No doubt Lazarus warned them of the danger Jesus faced by coming to him. His disciples tried to deter Jesus from going to him because of the danger Jesus faced from the Jews at Jerusalem but Jesus would not be deterred. “Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep.”

Not until we open our eyes and see the ascended Lazarus in glory, will we ever read this magnificent chapter right and understand why Jesus should groan and weep all the way to where Lazarus’ dead body lay and decayed in the grave. Our Lord knew what He was on His way to do, and He took to heart what He was on His way to do, and it repented Him to a groaning that could not be uttered, to work His last miracle for the awakening of Jerusalem at such a cost to Lazarus. He knew all the time how it would end. He knew what Caiaphas would say. And he knew what Judas, and Pilate and Herod and the people would do. And He groaned in His spirit because he so clearly foresaw that His friend Lazarus, like Himself, was to be such a Saviour of death in them that perish, and at such a price to Lazarus.

“Jesus wept.” Yes, and if you saw a friend of yours in glory, and then saw also that he was to be summoned to lay aside his glory and to return to this life, you could not but weep to.

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Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:  

Proverbs  25 26 ---- 11 Corinthians  9

James & Mary Lee Thornton 

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 GOD'S GRAZINGFIELD DAILY DEVOTION

 Today’s First Thoughts                             September 17, 2010

Good Morning!
Jesus wept, for, though Martha and Mary gained by it, yet Lazarus himself lost by it, by being re-imprisoned, re-committed, and re-submitted to the manifold incommodities of this life

“WHY JESUS WEPT”
John 11:35 “Jesus wept. 43. “And he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.”

Our Lord wept because Lazarus, who had been but four days in glory, was to be summoned to lay aside his glory and to return to this world of sin and death.. But it was to be to Lazarus as it was to his Master, and that is enough. Jesus was to say later, “Now is My soul troubled: and what shall I say? Father save Me from this hour; but for this cause came I unto this hour: Father, glorify Thy name.”

Thus it was that scarcely Lazarus sat down in his Father’s house: he had not gotten his harp of gold well into his hand in preparation for the great Hallelujah welcome of the ascension of his Lord, when the angel Gabriel came up to where he sat and said, “Hail! Lazarus! Thy Master calls up for thee. The music fell silent for a moment as Lazarus rises up and laid aside his glory, and hang his harp on the wall, and passed out of sight, and descended to where their heavenly Prince still tarried, His work unfinished. Lazarus’ soul descended into the grave where, for four days his former body had lain dead, and towards which our Lord was now on His way.

Lazarus was the most lamb-like of men in all the New Testament, next to the Lamb Himself: his services and his experiences were not at all unlike the services and the self-surrender and the self-emptying of his Master. For Lazarus also laid aside his glory. God may have as terrible a service to ask of you, when you are ready for it, as when He asked His own Son to go to Calvary, some self-emptying and self-sacrifice like that He asked of the glorified Lazarus also, when He sent him back to Bethany. Are you able? Are you ready? Are you willing to be made able and ready?

Let your answer be the answer of Jesus of Nazareth, and Lazarus of Bethany. “Lo, I come in the volume of the book, it is written of Me, I delight to do Thy will, O my God: Yea, Thy law is within my heart.” God’s great demands that He sometimes makes on His great saints is the great lesson that Lazarus teaches us, a demand that made His divine Son weep as Lazarus came down to comply with the demand.

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Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:

Proverbs 27 28 29  --- 11 Corinthians 10

James & Mary Lee Thornton

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GOD'S GRAZINGFIELD DAILY DEVOTION

 Today’s First Thoughts              September 18 & 19, 2010

Good Morning!
We will start these next few devotions by learning about the opposite of the fruit of the Spirit—the works of the flesh. Then we’ll move on to the nine characteristics that make up the fruit of the Spirit:

THE FLESH AGAINST THE SPIRIT:
Galatians 5:16. “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. 17. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

The Christian life is never effortless. We were never promised a painless or perfect life. We were never promised a free ride. Yet when Jesus called us to come to Him, He told us the burden would be light. Why is it that so often the burden does not feel light? Why does it feel that we are running as fast as we can, only to stay in the same place? The answer lies in the source of our energy. Anything we do on our own, by ourselves is bound to be more difficult than if we rely on the energy of God. His strength is boundless. His resources are limitless, and they are ours for the asking. When we ask God to fill us with His Spirit and allow the Spirit to be the One in control of our lives, then our effort is fueled by the Almighty, and we begin to produce fruit born of the Spirit.

Sin is a result of the search for meaning outside of God. As we look at the works of the flesh, we will examine the different categories of the works. We will also see how the conflict of the flesh affects believers. The world has gone mad after meaning in life. Its people are searching, fighting and scratching for something to ease the pain of the emptiness they feel inside. What we commonly call sin—in Galatians 5:19-21, referred to as the works of the flesh—is simply the variety of ways people search for meaning outside of God. God’s plan for humanity was that we find life and find it more abundantly.

This life was to be found in God Himself, and He created each of us that we might know the possibilities and potentials that are in us as we are related to God. Unfortunately, many in our world have rebelled against God’s plan for their lives and have gone out to find their own plan. They have set out on a journey that has ended in despair and meaninglessness.

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Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:

Proverbs   30 31   ---11 Corinthians  11 :1 -- 15
Ecclesiastes  1 2 3  -  11 Corinthians  11 :16 - 33

James & Mary Lee Thornton

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 GOD'S GRAZINGFIELD DAILY DEVOTION

Today’s First Thoughts                                 September 20, 2010

Good Morning!
The fruit of the Spirit and the works of the flesh are the only two choices open to us. We can live our lives according to the principles of the Word of God and let Jesus Christ be the center of our lives or we can live our lives as though God did not exist.

THE BIBLE’S CONCEPT OF THE FLESH:
Galatians 5:19. “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20. Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21. Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”

“And such like.” The concept used to describe life lived apart from God is the concept of the flesh. The word “flesh” in most of its uses in the New Testament refers to people as they are apart from God. The flesh is used to describe what it was like for us before we were Christians. When we came to Christ, God took away the emptiness and filled it with His Spirit. Now there is meaning in life. The Bible goes to great lengths to describe the limitations of our life in the flesh. The first characteristic of the flesh we’ll look at is that the flesh cannot please God. Romans 8:8 says, “So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” That means you cannot come to God apart from what God is doing in your life and bring anything to God that pleases Him. The best you have to offer God on the outside is not going to make it. You can’t please God in the flesh.

Not only is the flesh powerless to please God, it is also powerless to produce righteousness in our lives. We cannot do the Spirit’s work in the energy of the flesh. Paul asked the Galatians why if they came to Christ by the work of the Spirit they are so foolish to think they can please God in their own energy (see Galatians 3:3). The Bible is very clear that the flesh is weak. Apart from God, we are not able to bring anything to God. The flesh is at war with the Spirit and the Spirit is at war with the flesh. There are two parts of me—what I was before I became a Christian (that part of me is still there) and what I am because I am a Christian. Those two parts of me struggle inwardly. When we came to Christ we did not at that moment become a totally spiritual being. We did not lose the flesh. I’ve had people say to me, “If you accept Christ, all the struggles in your life will be over.” But the day I accepted Christ my struggles began.

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Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:

Ecclesiastes  4 5 6  -- 11 Corinthians 12

James & Mary Lee Thornton

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GOD'S GRAZINGFIELD DAILY DEVOTION

Today’s First Thoughts                     September 21, 2010

Good Morning!
Why doesn’t God take away the struggle? How do you explain the fact that we are born again, saved and ready to go to heaven, and yet we have this intense struggle?

THE FLESH IS CONTRARY TO THE SPIRIT:
Galatians 5:17 “For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.”

There are hundreds of Christians who have never been told there is a struggle. They go through their whole life wondering what’s wrong with them. They never get any information to help them deal with the conflict in their own life. The teaching of the Word of God is for the benefit of presenting the Christian mature and perfect in the Lord. Someone has said the Word of God is the whip which subdues the wild tendencies of the flesh. But if we are never taught about the Spirit of God and the conflict in the Christian’s life, we will never know how to deal with it.

It is the incompatibility of your lifestyle with the world’s. Once you become a Christian, immediately you are out of sync with everything. We are unique as Christians. A. W. Tozer puts it this way: “The real Christian is an odd human being anyway. The Christian feels supreme love for One he has never seen. He talks every day with somebody he can’t see. He expects to go to heaven on the virtue of somebody else. He empties himself in order to be full. He admits he is wrong so he can be declared right. He goes down in order to get up. He’s strongest when he’s weakest, richest when he’s poorest, happiest when he feels the worst. He died so he can live. He forsakes in order to have. He gives away so he can keep. He sees the invisible, hears the inaudible and knows that which passeth knowledge.”

This is why the spiritual part of you is struggling with the part which is still flesh. You’re incompatible. And it isn’t going to get any better. God has given us in His Word the instruction we need in order to deal with this matter in our lives. Yet we are all about as holy as we want to be. Many people who go to worship services leave before Sunday School. My question to these people is: What have you found in your life that has made it possible for you to arrive at such a place in your spiritual growth and development that you can successfully avoid the opportunities God has provided for you to grow and mature in your faith by the teaching of God’s Word?

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Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:

Ecclesiastes  7 8 9 --- 11 Corinthians  13

James & Mary Lee Thornton

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GOD'S GRAZINGFIELD DAILY DEVOTION

Today’s First Thoughts                              September 22, 2010

Good Morning!
We have conflicts of the flesh because of the irresponsibility in our own lives.

THE WORD OF GOD IS FOOD FOR THE SPIRITUAL PART OF ME:
1 Corinthians 3:1. “And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. 2. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.

Paul blames the Corinthians for their weakness and non-proficiency. Those who are sanctified are so only in part: there is still room for growth and increase both in grace and knowledge. We receive this knowledge by our reception of the Word of God. It is the duty of a faithful minister of Christ to consult the capacities of his hearers and teach them as they can bear. And yet it is natural for babes to grow up to men; and babes in Christ should endeavor to grow in stature, and become men in Christ. It is expected that their advances in knowledge should be in proportion to their means and opportunities, and their time of professing religion that they may be able to bear discourses on the mysteries of our religion, and not always rest in plain things.

It was a reproach to the Corinthians that they had so long sat under the ministry of Paul and had made no more improvement in Christian knowledge. Christians are utterly to blame who do not endeavor to grow in grace and knowledge. He blames them for their carnality, and mentions their contention and discord about their ministers as evidence of it.

By our very absences from the teaching centers of the Word of God and from the opportunities for growth and development, we become responsible for the defeat in our lives because we do not expose ourselves to the opportunities God gives us in growth. It’s true in our relationship with the church. It’s true in our relationship to prayer. It’s true in our relationship to the Word of God. One of the reasons we struggle so much is because while the world is feeding the old nature, the new nature is being starved to death. We have put it on a low calorie diet.

Paul tells the Corinthians, “Do you not walk as men?” It is to be lamented that many who should walk as Christians, that is, above the common rate of men, do indeed walk as men, live and act too much like other men.

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Ecclesiastes  10 11 12 --- Galatians  1

James & Mary Lee Thornton

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GOD'S GRAZINGFIELD DAILY DEVOTION

Today’s First Thoughts                        September 23, 2010

Good Morning!
Paul says to the Galatians that a person who seeks to find meaning apart from God will find himself involved in all kinds of sinful activities.

THE CONDUCT OF THE FLESH:
Galatians 5:19. “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20. Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,   21. Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like:

The first few have to do with those who find meaning in sexuality. These are adultery, fornication, uncleanness and lasciviousness. Paul said there is a whole group of folks who think that meaning is to be found in the sensual. Our world is running wild in that direction. People who find meaning in sex act as if the glands in their bodies are their gods. There is another category of people who believe that meaning is found in prosperity. We shove the word idolatry back into the culture of the Old Testament, but it’s alive and well. Someone has defined an idolater as one who has made up his mind where and how he will find life, and whatever it is he will work feverishly to get it. He will guard it, sacrifice to it, and worship it. To lose it is to lose life. Materialism is the idol we have built in our generation.

The next category is the longest list. It describes those who find meaning in independence. This is the most prolific group of people in our day. This list—hatred, variances, emulations, wrath, strife, sedition, heresy, envyings, murders—holds the expressions of one who has set himself up as god. So many people believe they are god but they have to live with other people who also believe they are god. Pretty soon, they bump into each other and the independence of this one gets into the independence of that one and the work of the flesh then becomes these interpersonal relational sins.

The last list is a group of people who find meaning in debauchery—drunkenness and revelries. This is the activity that keeps them busy so they don’t have to think about how empty their lives are. But God has something better. God wants to bring such meaning into your life it will no longer be necessary for you to push life away through the exercise and the energy of the flesh. He wants to make your life so beautiful that the fruit of the Spirit is the portrait of your life.

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Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:

Song of Solomon  1 2 3  ---- Galatians  2

James & Mary Lee Thornton

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GOD'S GRAZINGFIELD DAILY DEVOTION

Today’s First Thoughts                      September 24, 2010

Good Morning!
In this devotion we are going to deal with the first in the cluster of the fruit of the Spirit, and that fruit is love. As we look at the first fruit of the Spirit, we will discover its connection to all of the other fruits and virtues in the life of the Christian.

THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT IS LOVE:
Galatians 5:22 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23. Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”

We can say that Love is the Foundational Attribute. Though the fruit of the Spirit cannot be separated, love is the painting on the canvas behind all the other brush strokes in the portrait of Jesus Christ living in your life. The Bible teaches us a great deal about the concept of love. It is a concept not understood by many people today because we have painted it with the colors of the world. God’s kind of love is a love which goes beyond anything you can experience in its fullest sense on your earthly journey. Agape love is God’s special kind of self-giving. Agape describes a love that comes from and is rooted in God. It is totally selfless love. It delights in giving even though the loved one may be unkind, unlovely, unworthy. Love agape style continues to give.

Agape determines to do whatever is best for the loved one. It willingly sacrifices itself for another’s good. Agape gives when it gets nothing in return. It does not even think of getting something back. Love is the word that appears first on the list of the fruit of the Spirit. It’s not accidental. In keeping with the unity of the Bible, love is always first. In Matthew 22, some came to Jesus and asked what the greatest commandment was. Jesus answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” Then He said that the second greatest commandment was: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love was the priority commandment given to the New Testament Christian.

In 1 Corinthians 12:31, after Paul has talked about the gifts of the Spirit, he says, “And yet I show you a more excellent way.” This more excellent way is 1 Corinthians 13—the love chapter. This is the perfect gift. It is the more excellent way. That is the gift of love. The Bible says there is only one way to know for sure a person is a Christian. “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35).

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Song of Solomon  4 5   --- Galatians  3

James & Mary Lee Thornton

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 GOD'S GRAZINGFIELD DAILY DEVOTION

Today’s First Thoughts                     September 25 & 26, 2010

Good Morning!
In this devotion we will see where the joy of God comes from. As we look at Jesus’ desire to give us His joy, we will examine some characteristics of that joy and learn how we can have it in our own lives.

THE SOURCE OF JOY IN YOUR LIFE:
Galatians 5:18 “But the fruit of the Spirit is …., joy,”
John 5:11 “These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.”

Folks aren’t smiling as much these days. Somehow the economy seems to be the straightest road to discouragement for many modern day Americans who have bet their lives on prosperity. Many in the church seem to have caught the same disease. They seem not to understand anything about the joy of the Lord that is promised to all of us. It is the desire of the Lord Jesus Christ that every single one of us who name His name in faith know what it means to have full joy in our lives. Jesus describes that as His own joy (John 15:11). That joy is the atmosphere in which the Christian lives his whole life.

The Bible shows that joy is present in all of the major events of the Christian life. There is joy in salvation. There is joy in baptism. There is joy when we read the Word of God. There is joy in prayer. In fact, the Christian joy is so unique, the Bible teaches us that it comes even at times of discouragement. Even when we are dying.  G. K. Chesterton has written that “joy is the gigantic secret of the Christian.” I believe he’s right. Because the kind of joy we are exploring today is not known anyplace else in the world except in the life of a person who knows Jesus Christ in a personal way. The joy is Christ’s joy. It is simply the life of the Lord Jesus Christ being lived out in an individual.  Christian joy is letting Christ live His life out through you so that what He is, you become. There are other kinds of joy found in other places in the world, but there is no place where you can find Christian joy except in Christ. He is the only source of that joy.

Someone said, “Joy is the flag that is flown over the castle of your heart when the King is in residence.” Joy is determined by whether or not Jesus Christ is at home in your life. If He is, since He is the source and center of joy, you can have this kind of joy—full joy.

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Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:

Song of Solomon  6  7 8 ---- Galatians  4
Isaiah 
1  2  -----------------    Galatians  5  

James & Mary Lee Thornton

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GOD'S GRAZINGFIELD DAILY DEVOTION

Today’s First Thoughts                             September 27, 2010

Good Morning!
Have you noticed how easily earthly joy can leave? Have you discovered how simple it is for your gladness of today to become your sadness of tomorrow? For your sweetness of the morning to turn into the bitterness of the night? The people you thought were your friends today can become your enemies tomorrow?

THE JOY OF CHRIST DOESN’T GO AWAY:
John 16:22 “And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.”

Isn’t that something? Jesus says the joy He wants to give every one of His children is the kind of joy you don’t have to lose. Nobody can take it away from you. Nothing seems to be too stable in the world. You can’t really count on too much anymore. But the joy of Christ is a continual, never-ending, absolutely constant joy when we follow the principles of the Word of God. This joy survives all the difficult times in life. This joy is not hinged on happenings, but it is hinged on a Person. Jesus’ joy not only survives the crises, it almost seems to flourish in the midst of them. 1 Peter 4:14 says, “If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you.”

One of my favorite stories is when Paul and Silas were put in jail. They’ve been beaten and they’re hurting. Who knows what will happen to them tomorrow. But the Scripture says, “But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God” (Acts 16:25). The kind of joy that can get you happy in jail at midnight with your back bleeding and your life in danger is the kind of joy I want!

Surrender your life to Jesus Christ The secret of this joy begins, first of all, when you surrender your life to Jesus Christ. David prayed, “Restore to me the joy of thy salvation” (Psalm 51:12). In Psalm 35:9 he wrote, “And my soul shall be joyful in the Lord; It shall rejoice in His salvation.” In the book of Acts, Philip went and preached Christ to the city of Samaria. There were miracles there “and there was great joy in that city” (Acts 8:8). Later Philip helped to convert the Ethiopian eunuch, and the eunuch went away rejoicing (Acts 8:39). There is joy in Jesus Christ. If we are to possess joy, then first of all we have to possess Jesus Christ.

Christian joy isn’t always laughing, always having a good, hilarious time. Christian joy according to the Bible is the deep, settled peace that comes to live within your heart when you know that the really important things are all right.

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Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:

Isaiah  3  4 ---- Galatians   6

James & Mary Lee Thornton

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GOD'S GRAZINGFIELD DAILY DEVOTION

Today’s First Thoughts                            September 28, 2010

Good Morning!
Since the beginning of recorded history, only 4 percent of the time has the world been entirely at peace. In over 3,100 years of recorded history, only 286 of those years have been warless. During that time over 8,000 treaties were made and broken between the various parties. As we look at the fruit of peace, we will examine how to make peace with God and how to have peace within ourselves, and peace with other people.

SEEKING PEACE:
Galatians 5:22 “But the fruit of the Spirit is .., peace, “

In most every part of the world there is some symbolic representation of humanity’s quest after peace. Some countries erect statues some have even gone further than statues. A man from Santo Domingo was so burdened about world peace he allowed himself to be nailed to a cross as a sacrifice for world peace. This man, Patrice Tomao, had planned to remain on the cross for 48 hours, but he had to cut it short after 20 hours because of an infection that developed in his foot. The newspaper read the next day, “Crucifixion for Peace Falls Short.”

That headline could summarize everything that has been done in our world to find peace. All of it seems to fall short. None of it ever seems to reach its desired end. The problem is not a problem with nations. It’s a problem with nature—human nature. The nature of a humanity which is separated from God. As long as that nature remains untouched and unchanged, the outer trappings of peace will always mock us by their inability to accomplish the goal. Not until a person knows what it means to be at peace with himself in his own heart, in his relationship with his Creator, and then with those who are the creatures of the Creator, can a person know what it means to have peace in a true sense.

There is a peace in our culture today that is brought on by tranquilizers, liquor and other drugs. There is a kind of peace in a mental institution. There’s a kind of peace that comes from being brainwashed. Sometimes we think we are at peace when we are just controlling our panic. True peace gives not only a calm exterior, but a very quiet inside as well. The Bible says the fruit of the Spirit is peace, so it must be available.

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Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:

Isaiah  5  6 ----- Ephesians  1

James & Mary Lee Thornton

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GOD'S GRAZINGFIELD DAILY DEVOTION

Today’s First Thoughts                             September 29, 2010

Good Morning!
The peace God talks about is first of all an individual, personal peace. It has to start there. We all want to start on the outside trying to get nations or communities together. But God doesn’t start on the outside. He starts at the core, and the core of peace is in the individual.

PEACE WITH GOD:
Romans 5:1 “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:”

What does that mean? Is God my enemy? Have I been at war with God? God is a holy God and humans are sinful creatures. They are on different sides. As creatures apart from God, we are at enmity with God. But the Bible says God provided Jesus Christ that we might have peace with God.  I see that picture so beautifully illustrated by the cross itself. Pointing up to heaven it pictures that Jesus Christ, the God/Man, reached up and took the hand of the Father. Pointing down toward earth, it pictures Jesus Christ, the Son of Man, reached down and took hold of fallen human beings. With one hand in the hand of God and the other hand in the hand of man, the only unique personality who was God and man brought the two together and made peace between God and man. When I see the cross stretched out, it’s as if there’s an invitation to all people to come and participate in the peace won at Calvary by Jesus Christ our Lord.

There’s only one way to get peace with God. That’s to come and accept by faith what Jesus Christ did when He died on that cross. The fact that He died doesn’t bring you and God the Father together. It is only when you come and put your trust in what He did and in Him alone that you participate in the peace that comes into the heart of every person who comes to Jesus. The word for peace in the Greek language is “iranay.” It means, “to join together.” It’s a picture of two opposing forces that have been separated, that now have been reconciled. That’s what our peace in Jesus Christ is all about.

If you want the peace of God in your life you need to make really sure you know the Author of peace. Over and over in the scripture, God is referred to as the God of peace. He is the source. Everything you know about peace that’s genuine and real will sooner or later take you back to the source. God is the Author of peace. He created it. He made it. He knows how it works. All true peace is centered in Him.

Read-Thru-The-Bible    
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:

Isaiah  7  8 ------ Ephesians  2

James & Mary Lee Thornton 

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 GOD'S GRAZINGFIELD DAILY DEVOTION

Today’s First Thoughts                            September 30, 2010

Good Morning!
In this devotion we will see what it means to be longsuffering. As we look at the longsuffering nature of God, we will examine what happens when we acquire that godly characteristic. We will also look into how long God’s longsuffering might continue.

LONGSUFFERING IN THE LIFE OF AN INDIVIDUAL:
Galatians 5:22. “But the fruit of the Spirit is ,,,, longsuffering,”

You’ve probably heard the great American prayer that goes like this: “God, give me patience, and I want it NOW!” That pictures how we live among our instant mixes and half hour TV shows, our mini-courses, instant print cameras, freeway express lanes and Concord jets. We are constantly being reminded everything can be done in a hurry. Yet God says He wants to teach us to wait. The word Paul used for longsuffering when he talked to the Galatians about the fruit of the Spirit was “macrothumia.” It is made of two words: “macro” which means “long,” and “thumia” which means “temper” or “explosion.” To be longsuffering means to have a long temper. It’s exactly the opposite of being short tempered.

God wants to develop within us a wonderful quality of being patient and longsuffering. Someone has defined longsuffering as “a long holding out of the mind before it gives room for action or passion.” Someone else has said that “it is the self-restraint that does not hastily retaliate wrong.” Still another person has said, “It is the forbearance which endures injuries and evil deeds without being provoked to anger or revenge.” Still another definition calls longsuffering “the tenacity with which faith holds out.” It is the power to see things through.

If there is any quality we need in our lives today, it is the quality of patience and longsuffering. It is the hardest of all the qualities for us to learn today because we have made a god of speed. We think everything has to be done quickly. It is a virtue which is not covered with romance and glamour as some of the other virtues. But it is the virtue I believe that is closest to the heart of God. God is a God of longsuffering, patience and forbearance. A person who has the fruit of longsuffering is patient with people who nag, does not criticize and irritate when criticized and irritated, does not disappear when frustrated or angered. Patience, longsuffering knows how to sit still and wait its turn. It is slow to retaliate and does not seek to get even. It waits patiently with joy.

Read-Thru-The-Bible    
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:

Isaiah  9  10  ---- Ephesians  3James & Mary Lee Thornton                    

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