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April 2010

Godsgrazingfield Devotions   April 2010

Buffalo River
                      " He leadeth me beside the still waters"
  

 GOD'S GRAZINGFIELD DAILY DEVOTION

Today’s First Thoughts                  April 1, 2010                                  

Good Morning!
Almighty God arraigned a funeral to be given to His Son.

HE IS BURIED BY JOSEPH AND NICODEMUS:
John 19:38. “And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus. 39. And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight. 40. Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury. 41. Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid. 42. There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews' preparation day; for the sepulchre was nigh at hand.”

After the great High Priest's atoning sacrifice had been offered up, He was not to be subjected to any further ignominy. Two honorable men – honorable not only in the eyes of men, but also before GOD - are entrusted with the interment of Immanuel's corpse; and a company of tried female disciples are to be joined with them. And John 19:38 tells us Joseph was a secret disciple for fear of the Jews. He and Nicodemus worked together to bury the body of the Lord Jesus Christ. Here was a wealthy and prominent man whose heart was afraid; but when push came to shove, he mustered his courage, trusted in God, and did what was right.

Joseph proceeded directly to the governor to ask his permission to take down the Saviour from the cross, and honorably inter Him in his own family sepulcher. He arrives at the Roman palace, and after having been announced, he appears in the presence of Pilate, and says with firmness and in plain terms, “I am come to beg of thee one thing - that thou wouldst give me the body of JESUS that I may prepare an honorable grave for Him as He deserves.” He and Nicodemus begin, tenderly and gently, to draw out the nails from His hands and feet. That precious corpse reclines upon their shoulders, and after they have wrapped it in fine linen, they gently let it down from the cross to the ground, and laid it in Joseph’s new tomb.

It's often hard to stand for what's right, but it helps to remember the example of Joseph of Arimathea. He craved the body of Jesus. This made him unclean for the Passover.

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

Judges  13 14 15  -----  Luke  6 :27--- 49 

James & Mary Lee Thornton

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GOD'S GRAZINGFIELD DAILY DEVOTION

Today’s First Thoughts                   April 2, 2010                                 

Good Morning!
We know that various people had a hand in the death of Jesus.

WHO WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR JESUS’ DEATH?:
Acts 2:36. “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.”

Peter, preaching on the day of Pentecost, seemed to lay the blame for Jesus’ death on the shoulders of the House of Israel. Again in Acts 3:14-15. and again in Acts 4:10. Peter did the same. We would like to add that it was the corrupt Jewish religious establishment that we can lay the blame upon. Not all of the Jews were corrupt. Many of the common people loved Jesus and heard Him gladly. It was the Sanhedrin, the high archery of the temple, of whom Annas, & Caiaphas were head.

Then we could say Pilate was responsible for His death. He knew that Jesus was innocent yet used the power of Rome to crucify Him. We could also say God the Father was responsible for Jesus’ death. “He (God) that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all (Romans 8:32). “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son” (John 3:16). God sent His Son into the world to die. Then Jesus Himself took responsibility for His own death. “No man taketh it (life) from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father” (John 10:18). He knew He was going to die. He knew when He was going to die. He gave Himself for us.

Finally everyone is responsible for Jesus’ death. My sins, your sins, put him on the cross. “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” We could never live good enough to get to a perfect heaven. There is a little goodness in everybody, but goodness won’t take you to heaven. Some say if you are a nice person, do good deeds etc—you will get to heaven one day. The Bible says you must be born again; the blood of the crucified Christ must be applied to our souls. The blood of the Messiah had to be shed—it was shed on the cross—that blood when it is applied to our souls it make us white as snow. Have you been made white in the blood of the Lamb? That’s the message of the cross. Jesus became a man in order to die. God could not die unless He became a man. He died for your sins.

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

Judges  16 17 18  --- Luke  7  :1--30 

James & Mary Lee Thornton

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GOD'S GRAZINGFIELD DAILY DEVOTION

Today’s First Thoughts                  April 3 & 4, 2010                                  

Good Morning!
The resurrection of Jesus was undoubtedly the greatest event in human history.

CHRIST'S RESURRECTION IS THE ANCHOR OF THE GOSPEL:
1 Corinthians 15:17. “And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. 18. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.”

The authenticity of the Resurrection of Jesus, the witnesses of the Resurrection, and the importance of the resurrection, is declared by Paul the Apostle in 1 Corinthians 15. The Apostle wrote, “What I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve...to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time...to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all He appeared to me” (1 Corinthians 15:3-8). In this battle, Jesus died, was buried, was raised on the third day, and was alive again, all witnessed by hundreds. Accounts were written and preserved. We have accounts by Matthew, by Mark, by Luke, by John, and by Paul.

If Christ was not raised...his preaching was useless and he was a false witness about God. If Christ was not raised...all faith in Him has been futile and those who have died believing in Him have done so in vain and are lost forever. If Christ was not raised...we are to be pitied more than all others because we have believed a lie (1 Corinthians 15:14-19). Paul used the word kenos, meaning empty, to describe a void where there is absolutely nothing. So if Jesus was not raised, Paul says all his effort, our faith...even our lives...have been for nothing.

But the fact is that Christ has been raised from the dead (verse 20). Not a thought, not a wish, but a fact. How did Paul know? Because he had proof, and so do we. We can see Him work in our lives and the lives of others. We can feel His presence and hear His voice. And with Christ as Lord, teacher and friend, we become a miracle the world cannot comprehend...lives with new meaning and examples for those who reject the proof, who refuse to believe...who have chosen a life that is meaningless. Then Paul states a fact, “But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept” (1 Corinthians 15:20).

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

Judges  19 20 21   ---- Luke 7 :31 -- 50
Ruth    1  2  3  4  ------ Luke 8 :1 --- 25

James & Mary Lee Thornton

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GOD'S GRAZINGFIELD DAILY DEVOTION

Today’s First Thoughts                  April 5, 2010

Good Morning!
We are going to resume the study of the Sermon on the Mount & the Lord’s Prayer.

LET US BEGIN OUR PRAYER WITH PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING:
Matthew 6:9. “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.”

There are at least three kinds, or types of prayers—prayers of adoration or praise, prayers of petition or request, and prayers of intercession. The Lord’s Prayer contains all of these. Today we want to think about the first—prayer of adoration or praise. The first four sentences and the last sentence of this prayer address the sovereignty of God and His role in our life. Only three sentences deal with petitions for our benefit—and these in the middle of the prayer. These petitions for bread, forgiveness, guidance, contain all we really need. So the bulk of the Lord’s Prayer is adoration or praise.

First let us consider our approach to God. Paul says, “Let us come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need’ (Hebrews 4:16). “Let us come boldly..” This does not mean rush in and out of His presence. It means to come with calm assurance. We should enter into the spirit of prayer—meditation, adoration and praise. The important thing to get from this—no matter what our condition or circumstances may be—no matter our desire or need, we must never start with ourselves—we should never start with our petitions.

It does not matter how desperate they may be—no matter how much tension we are under, physical illness, war, calamity, some terrible problem confronting us—never fail first to adore Him—praise Him. It’s the Bible way—HIS HONOR—HIS GLORY FIRST. The Psalmist says, “Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise, be thankful unto him and bless His name” (Psalm 100:4). We must pause before we speak in prayer. Take time to shut some doors, and open up your mind to God. So it might be a good way to start by saying nothing.

Job in his wretchedness had been talking a great deal (37 chapters) he and his friends. He felt that God was dealing unkindly with him. Job had expressed himself freely. In chapter 38 God breaks in and talks to him. God talks to him in close quarters, and begins to reveal himself to Job. Job was dumbfounded. “Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay my hand upon my mouth” (Job 42:4).

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

1 Samuel  1 2 3  ----- Luke  8 : 26-- 56 

James & Mary Lee Thornton

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GOD'S GRAZINGFIELD DAILY DEVOTION

Today’s First Thoughts                   April 6, 2010

Good Morning!
The Holy Spirit enables the child of God to call Him Father.

WHO HAS THE RIGHT TO COME?
Matthew 6:9b. “Our Father which art in heaven,..”

Eastern monarchs were almost un-approachable—no one could approach him unless they were bidden to come. This is made vivid in the story of Queen Esther. “All the king's servants, and the people of the king's provinces, do know, that whosoever, whether man or woman, shall come unto the king into the inner court, who is not called, there is one law of his to put him to death, except such to whom the king shall hold out the golden scepter  that he may live: but I have not been called to come in unto the king these thirty days.” (Esther 4:11). Guards were posted with orders to execute any who came without being given this sign of welcome.

Who has the right to come? The story is told of a small boy breaking away from his nurse one day, rushed into the inner court of one of those awesome monarchs, and not pausing at he door of the throne-room, but rushed past the guards and down the aisle to the throne, climbed the steps which lead to the throne and up into the lap of the monarch and into his arms—it was the king’s son. “That’s my boy.” All of God’s children have the right to come.

It is only the people in whom the beatitudes are true who can say with confidence, “Our Father.” Sure we believe in the universal fatherhood of God and the universal brotherhood of man, but that is not the meaning of God as Father, as Jesus is using it here. The Bible draws a sharp distinction between those who belong to God and those who do not. It is an absolute distinction; it is only those who are in the Lord Jesus Christ who are truly called the children of God. John declares the unique love of God toward us, in making us His children. “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not” (1 John 3:1).

Paul says, we are born “the children of wrath,” “the children of the devil,” “the children of this world.” We have to be taken out of that realm and translated into another realm to become the children of God. “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba (my), Father” (Romans 8:15)

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

1 Samuel  4  5  6  ----- Luke 9 :1-- 17 

James & Mary Lee Thornton

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GOD'S GRAZINGFIELD DAILY DEVOTION

Today’s First Thoughts                  April 7, 2010

Good Morning!
Let us never lose a due sense of the greatness and the might and the majesty of God.

HALLOWED BE THY NAME:
Matthew 6:9. “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.”

Jesus was always concerned about the glory of His Father. He says just before His Crucifixion, “I have glorified thee on the earth, I have manifested Thy Name” (John 17). “Hallowed be Thy Name.” Our Lord wants us to pray that the whole world may come to know God in this way—pray that the whole world may come to honor God like that. It is the deep expression of a burning deep desire for the honor and glory of God.

The word “Hallowed” means to sanctify, or to revere, or to make and keep holy. “Hallowed be Thy Name” present perfect tense. Thy Name was Holy, Thy Name is Holy, Thy Name shall always be Holy. God revealed Himself to the Children of Israel under various names. Some so revered that the Jews would not pronounce it. He revealed Himself as “El or Elohim,” which is strength or power. He revealed Himself to Abraham as “El-Shaddi,” which is “God Almighty.” He revealed Himself in that great and wonderful name, “Jehovah,” which means “The self-existent one, I Am that I Am; eternally self-existent.”

We must realize that we are praying to the ever blessed, eternal, and absolute, almighty God. There is a sense in which we should take off our shoes from our feet when we pray. David said “O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together” (Psalm 34:3). “Hallowed be Thy Name,..” It is the supreme thing we should seek, that “God in all things may be glorified …” (1 Peter 4:11).

It is the purpose for which the world was created—it is the end for which the saints are called and converted. In all our prayers let us keep foremost in our mind that God created us for His glory and to have glory from us.

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

1 Samuel  7 8 9   ----- Luke  9 :18 -- 36

James & Mary Lee Thornton

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GOD'S GRAZINGFIELD DAILY DEVOTION

Today’s First Thoughts                 April 8, 2010

Good Morning!
In heaven the will of God is always being done perfectly.

THY WILL BE DONE:
Matthew 6:10. “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”

Gethsemane is the one thing we generally associate with this phrase—“Thy will be done…” We think of something harsh and forbidding, hard and painful—something which brings our life into the shadow of the cross—something to shrink from—the will of God. Like, “I don’t know the outcome, but I have given it over to the will of God.” Like, giving ourselves over to some rigid rule. Is this what Jesus intended for us to think when He asked us to pray “Thy will be done?” No! No! A thousand times no!

The will of God is not something to dread, to fear. It is God’s will to take away your dread, your fears. It is God’s will for you to have the best that this earthly life has to offer. It is God’s will for you to be free from pain, sorrow, disappointments; it is God’s will to give you eternal life. That’s His will to give a good abundant life.

O, to submit ourselves to the will of God—it is the greatest of Christian virtues—only a few will. We have won our greatest victory when we have learned to prefer God’s will to our own. When we honestly seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness. The person who sincerely desires that God’s will may be done, never talks about unanswered prayer, all his prayers are richly and graciously answered.

In heaven everyone and everything is waiting upon God and anxious to do his bidding with praise and honor and glory. Jesus came into this world to perpetuate this attitude here on earth. Jesus says, “… I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me” (John 5:30b). The Psalmist says, “I delight to do thy will, O my God:” (Psalm 40:8). The will of God is something we have to do.

When Jesus said to pray, “Thy will be done,” He was not merely commending or praising the spirit of resignation or inaction. It is not merely giving ourselves over to a fate we cannot prevent. The will of God is something we do—not just allow. It means a spirit of battle and service.

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

1 Samuel   10 11 12 ---- Luke  9 :37 ---62

James & Mary Lee Thornton

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GOD'S GRAZINGFIELD DAILY DEVOTION

Today’s First Thoughts                     April 9, 2010

Good Morning!
God’s will is only done as we help Him to do it.

WE HELP CARRY OUT THE WILL OF GOD:
Matthew 6:10. “Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”

Jesus says, “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me” (John 6:38). He was “doing” God’s will when He went to Pilate’s judgment hall. He was “doing” God’s will when He carried the cross to Golgotha. “To do” thy will, O my God” God’s will is not something that is done regardless of us, or happens anyway. God’s will is only done as we help Him carry it out.

We are given a place in the accomplishment of the will of God. It is something in which we have to play our part. A voice we have to hear and obey a purpose we have to see and carry out, a plan we have to approve and work upon, a line we have to grasp and link up our lives with. The will of God is a path we follow, a life we live, a duty we perform. The will of God is something we “do”—not just allow. This phrase of the Lord’s Prayer should be an integral part of our daily prayer.

We should pray that we might be able to discern God’s will for our lives. There are perplexing decisions and hard choices to make—if we are close enough to touch Him—His Spirit will guide us. We will find a direction and a voice will say, “This is the way, walk ye in it.”

The biggest battle takes place within us—a struggle takes place—our biggest foe is ourselves—“the flesh” is the Giant in our lives. We have won our greatest victory when we have learned to prefer God’s will to our own. To embrace the will of God goes far beyond lip-service. Denying self denotes giving up some things—taking up a cross—a symbol of suffering. In the world there is conflict, trial, and hard-places.

Doing the will of God is the most difficult task a man or woman ever undertook. First of all a person must come to grips with self—a most difficult task. Our desires, our thoughts, our passions, our likes, our dislikes, etc. They all must be subdued and bound over to Him, “As it is in Heaven.” The Apostle Paul stands out as an example of giving one’s self over to the will of God. Who can count the saints who have been encouraged by Paul’s appeal and example? Paul was one man who truly prayed, “Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”

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

1 Samuel  13 14  ---- Luke 10 :1 --- 24

James & Mary Lee Thornton

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GOD'S GRAZINGFIELD DAILY DEVOTION

Today’s First Thoughts                  April 10 & 11, 2010

Good Morning!
Our prayer should be for bread which is necessary for life.

GIVE US BREAD FOR THE DAY:
Matthew 6:9. Our father which art in heaven, 6:1. “Give us this day our daily bread.”

This verse brings us the first of three petitions in the Lord’s Prayer. Three sentences contain petitions for our welfare. It makes one wonder if our prayers are not overloaded with petitions. All of our great needs are summed up in these three petitions. “Give us this day our daily bread.” Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” And, “Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.” Our whole life is bound up in three petitions. Our physical needs, our mental needs, and our spiritual needs are all included. The body is remembered, the soul is remembered, the spirit is remembered, and that is the whole of men.

The prayer implies that we should live in simplicity. The petition is for bread, not for luxuries. It is a plea for day-by-day provisions, not a lifetime security. Let us think of the people who were there on the Mount that day and heard this prayer for the first time. A few of them were rich, yet some so poor as to be almost destitute—or beggars. Most of them were people of meager means. As long as they could earn their wages they managed well enough, but there was nothing to spare. They had no margin or anything saved, the day’s wages had to buy the day’s food.

With people so arranged, or with people who are poor—one of their worst troubles—one of the things which affects their whole thoughts, and make it hard for them to heed spiritual teachings, is the uncertainty about the necessities of life—the frequent worry about the day’s supply of bread. Jesus found this to be true in His work—so He fed the multitudes which came to Him, Jesus told them not to worry, not to be anxious about food, drink, and clothing. But it is hard not to worry, hard not to be anxious unless we have something in hand to sustain us. So Jesus encouraged them to pray for it, to ask that God would remove the anxiety by letting them have enough for the day.

Proverbs 30:8b. “Give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: 9. Lest I be full, and deny thee, .” There is a danger when we no longer have to pray—“Give us this day our daily bread,” and we can say I’m not hungry God. What do we say, how do we pray when we have all that we want?

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

1 Samuel  15 16  ---- Luke  10 :25 --- 42
1 Samuel  17 18 ---- Luke  11 :1 ---- 28

James & Mary Lee Thornton

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GOD'S GRAZINGFIELD DAILY DEVOTION

Today’s First Thoughts                      April 12, 2010

Good Morning!
God did not give us grace in one lump sum, but continues to give grace as it is asked for.

FORGIVENESS OF DEBTS HINGES ON OUR FORGIVENESS OF OTHERS:
Matthew 6:9. Our Father which art in heaven, 6:12. “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.”

Today we look at the second petition which our Lord tells us to pray for. It is the one and only clause which Jesus enforces by an additional warning. V. 12. “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors, V. 14. For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: V. 15. But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

“Debts,” something owed, “Trespasses,” a violation of moral or social ethics, an unlawful act committed on the person, property, or rights of another—to cross a line, to enter without permission. Luke’s version of this prayer, “And forgive us our sins,..” Only God can forgive sins and as these verses imply, we daily need a canceling of debts—who can deny the fact that we need forgiveness? David said, “Blessed is the man whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity” (Psalm 32:1-2).

Some seem to think that the New Birth experience took care of all of their sins, both past and future sins. This is true in a sense—the New Birth cleanseth us from all sins and makes us eligible for forgiveness for future sins. The Apostle John writes, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:8-9). From the scriptures we have read today we come to conclusion that we must do two things to receive forgiveness--‘forgive others who have trespassed on us, and confess our own sins to God and ask Him to forgive us.

God’s forgiveness hinges totally upon our willingness to forgive our fellowman of their trespasses against us. There is not a one of us that has not been trespassed upon, offended, slighted, you have been hurt, and you feel the pain. Satan would like to bring bitterness, resentment, and make our hearts implacable. If we fail to forgive, the time will come when we will face Jesus Christ—there will be all our sins, insincerities, trespasses, debts, all un-forgiven.

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

1 Samuel   19 20 21 --- Luke 11 :29 --- 54 

James & Mary Lee Thornton

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GOD'S GRAZINGFIELD DAILY DEVOTION

Today’s First Thoughts                    April 13, 2010

Good Morning!
“He leadeth me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.”
(Psalm 23:3)

EVIL IS VERY REAL, WE NEED DELIVERANCE:
Matthew 6:9. “Our Father which art in heaven”, 6:13 “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:”

This is the third petition of the Lord’s Prayer. There are some who would argue that we need the temptations to test us because it makes us strong. They say that “a tree which is sheltered from the wind will never put down firm roots.” “Trials only make me strong,” so goes the song. Now I would feel more secure if I knew I would never have another temptation, trial or test.

Jesus says to pray, “And lead us not into temptation,..” That is the final request in this prayer, and here is what it means. We are asking that we should never be led into a situation where we are liable to be tempted by Satan, or allow us to be lead into positions where we can be so easily tempted and where we are liable to fall. Jesus told his disciples, “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation” (Luke 22:40).

There are situations, places, events, which will be dangerous to your Christian walk. Watch and pray, always be on guard lest you fall into temptation. We should never invite temptation or place ourselves in sinful circumstances. Satan will see to it that we do not go very far along the road before we are faced with suggestions of evil which make an appeal to something in our nature.

The temptations come subtly, suddenly, and disguised with appeal for each person, and every vocation, and every age of our life. Temptation is very real for every mortal soul, rich or poor—young or old—male or female. We will never out-grow this part of the Lord’s Prayer. Jesus Himself knew what it was to be tempted.

There is a difference between trial and temptation. Trials are brought upon us by the world because of our contrasting way of life. Trials are brought upon us by outside conflicts. It is not a shame to go through a trial—but glory (1 Peter 4:12-13). Temptations, on the other hand are brought on by inner conflicts. “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed” (James 1:14). That’s why Jesus told us to pray, “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”

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

1 Samuel  22 23 24  ---- Luke  12 :1 ---- 31

James & Mary Lee Thornton

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GOD'S GRAZINGFIELD DAILY DEVOTION

Today’s First Thoughts                   April 14, 2010

Good Morning!
Life requires decision and the Christian life demands decision; however, decisions once made must be constantly reaffirmed.

EARTHLY TREASURE VERSUS HEAVENLY TREASURE:
Matthew 6:19. “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, .. 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, ..”

There is a problem which every Christian will face; the Bible calls it “The World.” Paul says, “For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world,
(2 Timothy 4:10a). The “world” has many allures, many attractions and some people are pulled back by its force. John says, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world” (1 John 2:15a). “The world” which is referred to here is not the physical universe—it is the system of which Satan is the head. His fallen angels and demons are his emissaries—the unsaved human race his subjects. All this together with its purpose, pursuits, pleasures, practices, and places where God is not wanted. It is anti-God and anti-Christ.

You cannot refuse to choose. We cannot live without consciously or unconsciously having to choose something to which we give our devotion. Men may offer their devotion to God, the Devil, the world, mammon, the state, a political party, a job, home, family & etc. Joshua urged the people to make their decision, “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; … but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (Joshua 24:15).

“Treasures on earth” Many may feel secure and say it does not speak to them, because they feel that Jesus was addressing this to the very rich, only those who hold great material possessions. But the word “treasures’’ which Jesus used means far more than money, it is anything which we value most of all—“number one.” Not love of money only, but love of honor, love of position, status, and love of one’s work. Our “treasure” is what you live for—that which we spend most of our time and energy for. Your home, wife, children, job, automobile, sport,--it’s what you get your main or even total satisfaction in this life from. Jesus is telling us let it not be from things that belong to this world only. The treasures on earth are always beset by risks and ends in total loss. Heavenly treasure can be acquired only as the earthly is renounced. “But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, ...”

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

1 Samuel   25 26  ----- Luke 12 :32 -- 59 

James & Mary Lee Thornton

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 GOD'S GRAZINGFIELD DAILY DEVOTION

Today’s First Thoughts                   April 15, 2010

Good Morning!
Who alone can break away from the power of sin?

SIN’S FOUL BONDAGE:
Matthew 6:24. “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”

More than 145 years separate us from the last time that physical bondage of an individual was legal in America. This makes it hard for many of us to really understand servitude. But the people to whom Jesus was speaking would understand this passage very well. No doubt some of them had servants of their own and possibly in the midst were even household servants. The Nation of Israel was no stranger to servitude, having served many nations in their long history. They were slaves to the Egyptians, the Babylonians, the Assyrians, the Persians, the Midianites, the Philistines, and even though they did not like to admit it were at the present time under bondage to the Romans.

More than physical bondage, Jesus had in mind spiritual bondage. “Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. (John 8:34 & 36)
According to our Lord, earthly things, worldly things tend to become our master. We serve them; we love them, our hearts are captivated by them. What are they?

We are mastered by appetites, by desires, by cravings by hungers, by thirsts; now these things were given to us by God, and we were meant to enjoy them—but because of sin, we have become their slaves. The moment a person is dominated by them or is mastered by them, he is a slave to them. It is so difficult for a person to break away from sin’s foul bondage. Who alone can break the power of a cigarette? Many a person’s soul is bound up in the turn of a card, the roll of a dice, or roulette wheel. Some will bet their soul on the game as well as their pay-check. To some drugs or alcohol is their master.

We call it addiction—which is a compulsive physiological or psychological need for something. It is an irresistible impulse to perform an irrational act. The only hope to be free from obsessions is the Lord Jesus Christ. “Ye shall be free indeed.”

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

1 Samuel   27 28 29 ----- Luke 13 :1 -- 22 

James & Mary Lee Thornton

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 GOD'S GRAZINGFIELD DAILY DEVOTION

Today’s First Thoughts                     April 16, 2010

Good Morning!
Jesus tells us not to worry about the problems of life but commit them to God.

WORRY, IT’S CAUSES AND CURES:
Matthew 6:33. “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

6:25. “Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought..” DON’T WORRY ABOUT IT:
6:27. “Which of you by taking thought can …” WORRY WON’T CHANGE IT:
6:28. “And why take ye thought?  WHY DO YOU WORRY:
6:31. “Therefore take no thought,” DON’T WORRY:
6:34. “Take therefore no thought for the morrow:” DON’T WORRY ABOUT IT:

In the first 18 verses of chapter 6 Jesus deals with our spiritual life—the way and the reason we worship—almsgiving, prayer and fasting. Beginning with verse 19 to the end of the chapter Jesus deals with the Christian living his life in this world. We do not spend all of our time in prayer, fasting, personal devotion, or almsgiving. No! We live in the world and are engaged in business, and affairs, and have multitudes of problems. 5 times in theses verses Jesus tells us not to worry about them.

Jesus knew that the big problem that would confront us is that of things or lack of things. Jesus knew that the vast majority of the people would never have the worry of wealth, but would live on the poverty level, and worry about how they were going to make ends meet. Many would live under the daily stress of how they were going to feed their families, and where they were going to get the clothes for themselves and their little-ones. Worry, worry, and worry, always something to worry about. This is one way Satan can control your mind. It makes no difference to Satan what you worry about, as long as you worry.

We have all had someone to say to us, “Don’t worry about it.” “Stop worrying.” This is easier said than done. Problems are very real, and it is natural for us to worry about them. There are so many things we worry about—and most of the time we cannot do anything about them. We are God’s highest creation—God will take care of His own. God has his own way of doing that—and Jesus says that we need never become anxious and worried about it. Life is more that food and the body more that clothes. Jesus says one thing is very important, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

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

1 Samuel  30 31 ---- Luke  13 :23 -- 35 

James & Mary Lee Thornton

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GOD'S GRAZINGFIELD  DAILY DEVOTION

Today’s First Thoughts                      April 17 & 18, 2010

Good Morning!
If we are harsh and critical in our judgment of others—we can expect the same to be applied to us.

BE CAREFUL WHEN JUDGING OTHERS:
Matthew 7:1. “Judge not, that ye be not judged. 2. With what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.”

The underlying theme of this section (Matthew 7) of “The Sermon On The Mount’’ is that we are ever moving towards a final Judgment—the final assessment of our life—and determination of our final destiny. So once again our Lord goes for the heart. Jesus is telling us that we set the standard of our own judgment. People are being judged by their own yardstick and their own measure.

Does this mean that the Christian should never express an opinion about others? Should the Pastor use any judgment upon who he uses in the service? Now our Lord was not saying for us not to look and listen and compare the fruit (life, doctrine) of men. The Church has the right to judge and discipline its own. The Pastor has the right to sit down and silence those who are not living or teaching according to the Church doctrine and standards. We should ever be grateful for a Pastor who will discipline and chasten with compassion.

“Judge not.” What Jesus is warning us in this passage is not to fall into the spirit of Pharisee-ism—the spirit of self-righteousness—a spirit of superiority—the spirit of condemnation. “I thank thee, O, Lord, that I am not as other men—or even as this publican” (Luke 18:11). But this attitude was not confined to the Pharisees. This attitude has constantly troubled the Church—and it is still with us today. How guilty we all are at some time or other.

This spirit has a tendency to despise others, to regard them with contempt, as Goliath did of David. This same spirit leads to criticism--becomes one who enjoys criticism. This is the person who expects to find fault—indeed, almost hoping to find something—however small it may be (mote). He delights when he finds it—always hoping for the worst—gets a malicious, malign satisfaction in finding faults and blemishes. Small matters become of vital importance. This spirit is always ready to pass judgment when the matter is of no concern to them at all.  When we condemn and dismiss the person we are assuming a power that belongs to God alone.

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

11 Samuel  1  2  ------ Luke 14 :1 --- 24 
11 Samuel  3  4  5  -- Luke 14 :25 ---35

James & Mary Lee Thornton

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GOD'S GRAZINGFIELD DAILY DEVOTION

Today’s First Thoughts                  April 19, 2010

Good Morning!
We must examine our attitude towards other people.

EYE SURGERY:
Matthew 7:3 “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? 4. Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?

We need to remind ourselves that this was spoken to believers in their dealing with other believers—“brother’s eye.” Why is it that many “good people” are often censorious and harsh in their judgment of others? Our Lord, in this passage sternly calls such “hypocrites”  (v. 5). He Himself, in all His purity and goodness, was ever tender and gentle towards the fallen and the tempted. He told His disciples that the tares must remain with the wheat till Judgment Day. They are not to be rooted out by human hands—for God only knows the difference.

“Eye surgery” One of the most delicate of all operations—it requires a gentle hand of the surgeon—absolute knowledge of the eye and all it’s intricate, complicated parts, organs, vessels, they must be able to see clearly themselves. One slip and the patient could be left blind. So let us beware the next time we attempt to perform eye surgery on a brother or sister. Jesus is saying that our spirit is such that we are not entitled to find fault.

Many times our real desire is to condemn the person, rather than to get rid of the evil that is in them. We appear to be concerned about these people and their faults—we want to give the impression that we are concerned only about their good. We say we “are troubled about this little blemish that is in them, and we are anxious to get rid of it. But our Lord says, “You cannot do it, because it is such a delicate process. This beam that is in thine own eye makes you incapable of doing so. You cannot be a help to another while you are blinded by the beam in your own eye.”

Jesus is telling us that there is no more terrible form of sin than this judging spirit, of which some are guilt. It is like a beam. This other person has fallen into some sin, guilty of some error—but a little mote in the eye when compared with this spirit of judging—which is like a beam. This all applies to the handling of a soul—you are going to touch the most sensitive thing in a person. We should rather weep for them.

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

11 Samuel  6  7  8   ----- Luke  15 :1 - 10    

James & Mary Lee Thornton

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GOD'S GRAZINGFIELD DAILY DEVOTION

Today’s First Thoughts                     April 20, 2010

Good Morning!
This is one of the great and precious promises which are found only in the Bible.

GOD’S PROMISES NEVER FAIL:
Matthew 7:7. “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:”

I cannot imagine a better more cheering statement with which to face all of the uncertainties of life than this. “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:” In order that we might be certain about it, our Lord repeats it, and puts it in even stronger form. “For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened” (v. 8). It is an absolute promise, and what is more, it is made by the Son Of God Himself, speaking with the authority of the Father.

Life is like a journey, full of perplexities, problems and uncertainties. In this sermon our Lord is trying to teach us that what matters in life are not so much the various things that come to meet us—not so much with what we have to deal with—as our readiness to meet them—that’s what really matters. Abraham “went out not knowing whither he went” (Hebrews 11:8), but he knew with whom he went. He was not alone, there was one with him. Although he knew not the events, and the problems which would arise, he was perfectly happy—because he knew his traveling companion. Every once in a while he got a glimpse of “him who is invisible” (v. 27).

15 Times Jesus used the phrase, “Your Father which is in heaven,” He continues to use the Father relationship. Many times that which we call a lack of faith may well be from another reason. We have asked God for something which He did not do for us—we believed it was what we needed. But now we look back upon those things which God did not grant us—and are grateful. Has He ever shut one door in your face only to open another which turned out far better? A job you prayed for, only to get one better. Our natural father never gave us everything we asked for.

I thank God that this is not a universal promise, and that God is not going to grant us our every desire and request. God has a better way. Let us never fail to ask God to do that which is best for us. Our tendency to quit before we finish—a partly mowed lawn—a half-read book—letters never completed—a diet abandoned—a car up on blocks. Don’t quit praying. Are you close to quitting? Please don’t do it.

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

11 Samuel  9 10 11 ----- Luke 15 :11 - 32 

James & Mary Lee Thornton

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GOD'S GRAZINGFIELD DAILY DEVOTION

Today’s First Thoughts                   April 21, 2010

Good Morning!
Treat people in all circumstances like you want to be treated.

 
THE GOLDEN RULE:
Matthew 7:12. “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.”

“Therefore” because God so loves you and does the best for you—you should do the best for others. “Therefore” because God treats you fairly, you should treat everyone else fairly and justly. “Therefore” because you don’t want other people judging you harshly, unsparingly, and without regard to feeling, then don’t be judging them. This is the first rule of Christian conduct. To all men, not merely to brethren, friends, neighbors, fellow-Christians, fellow-citizens—but to strangers, disagreeable people, foreigners, Gentiles, heathen, savage races, etc.

In the world of Jesus’ day the thinking was an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth—do it to others before they had a chance to do it to you—if you are strong take advantage of the weak. It was a cruel world and still is. And into the cruelest of times that the world has ever known—from Malachi to Matthew—men showed no compassion, no mercy, no remorse, no heart—cruel rulers sat with unlimited power--three-fourths of the human population lived in abject slavery--thumbs down sent men to their death—into that world God came down-- Jesus was born.Jesus came to change men’s way of thinking about people. At a time when unwanted babies were just thrown away with no voice of protest raised or any since of cruelty stirred in a single heart. At a time when there was a complete lack of feelings towards strangers and the needy—Jesus came. God’s creation groaned waiting for deliverance. Jesus came, not only to give His life as a ransom, but to bring a message of deliverance—a message of hope, of mercy, of love and compassion.

This message was to do more to change the world than all the laws which were enacted by all the governments of the world. This message was not engraved in stone nor on parchment with pen and ink, “But with the Spirit of the Living God,…In the fleshly tables of the (human) heart” (2 Corinthians 3:3). Jesus sent men forth to change the world—change their way of thinking towards one another. This Verse (Matthew 7:12) has been rightly called “The Golden Rule.” Christ has sent us into the world to show the world what He is like by us following this rule..

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

11 Samuel  12 13  ----- Luke  16

James & Mary Lee Thornton

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GOD'S GRAZINGFIELD DAILY DEVOTION

 Today’s First Thoughts                      April 22, 2010

Good Morning!
The soul that passes through the ‘strait gate’ finds the way which leadeth to life.   

THE STRAIT GATE AND THE NARROW WAY:
Matthew 7:13. “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14. Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”  

For all practical purposes our Lord has finished His sermon with verse 12. His object or purpose of this sermon is to bring His followers to the realization of what it means to be a Christian. Then He emphasizes how they are to manifest that nature and character in their daily life. Now He gives the invitation--“Enter ye.” This is like an altar call—it is an invitation—not an invitation to be a spectator—an onlooker—but an invitation to become a part of His Kingdom. It is a call to action.

You must make a start. Of all the major religions, Christianity is the only one you are not born into—you must be reborn to be a Christian. You may have been christened or baptized at birth—but that does not make you a Christian. Becoming a Christian is a decision—a matter of your choice, a matter of a covenant personal between yourself and God. Robert Browning said, “How very hard it is to be a Christian.” It is indeed, the strictest and most exacting of all great religions.

“Enter ye in at the strait gate.” We enter alone—as He bids. Jesus speaks within the deep and hidden places of our heart. Jesus made no effort to keep back the truth that to follow Him and to be one of His in this world might bring hardship upon you. His Gospel will test and try a man to the utmost. His disciples once said, “This is a hard saying; Who can hear it (John 6:60)?  Then again, “Who then can be saved” (Matthew 19:60)?

We cannot enter the gate without a high seriousness of mind, and a steadfast resolve and purpose. We enter at an hour when there is complete surrender of will. There are certain things which must be left behind us. We leave behind the world, its habits, its customs, the things which please the world—they can’t go—there is no room for them to go through the gate. The world, the crowd is on another way which is much wider.

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

11 Samuel  14  15  ---- Luke 17 :1 -- 19 

James & Mary Lee Thornton

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GOD'S GRAZINGFIELD DAILY DEVOTION

Today’s First Thoughts                     April 23, 2010

Good Morning!
Our Lord is making His appeal to those who heard Him, or to those who read it, to make a break with the crowd and begin a new life.

IF YOU ARE NOT ALREADY WALKING WITH JESUS BEGIN TODAY:
Matthew 7:13. “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14. Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

As we said it is like an altar call—“Enter ye in,” “make a start.” He also knew that not many would respond to His invitation to meet Him on the other side of the gate. There must have been an element of sadness as He concluded with the word, “And few there be that find it.” To those who enter the strait gate and walk the narrow way there will be eternal rewards. Jesus tells us that the narrow way leads to “life.” It is the best of life here on earth and in the end, eternal life. The wide gate “leads to destruction and many there be that go in thereat.” Jeremiah writes, “Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein”  (Jeremiah 6:16).

Many times when we think about Heaven we think in term of a far-away place, future tense. But Jesus did not talk in terms of a far-away place, but something we can start to enjoy now. John the Baptist said, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Like 16:16). Salvation is in three parts.

1. Justification, which is the removal of the guilt and penalty of sin and giving of a righteous nature—The New Birth.
2. Sanctification, The progressive work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer—in which He eliminates sin and produces His own fruit—the work of the Holy Spirit in our life.
3. Glorification, the act of transforming the present bodies into perfect, sinless, deathless bodies, like unto His (Jesus’) glorious body. The final redemption of the Glorification when the physical body will be changed at the sounding of the last trumpet.

Read-Thru-The-Bible    11 Samuel  16 17 18 --- Luke 17 :20 - 37 

James & Mary Lee Thornton

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GOD'S GRAZINGFIELD DAILY DEVOTION

Today’s First Thoughts                  April 24 & 25, 2010

Good Morning!
Jesus knew that Satan would turn people in the wrong direction:

FALSE PROPHETS--THE GREATEST DETERRENT TO LIFE ETERNAL:
Matthew 7:15. “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16. Ye shall know them by their fruits.”

Our Lord in Verses 13 and 14 has given an invitation to enter the Strait Gate and walk the narrow way because it leads to life. He also knew that standing just out side that Strait Gate would be false prophets. They are always there, that is their favorite place to stand. “Beware of them,” our Lord warns us.  If you start listening to them you will be entirely turned around. They will try to persuade you not to enter in at the Strait Gate and not to walk in the Narrow Way.”

Our Lord knew that this would be the greatest hindrance to those who would like to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. It would not be the ‘Straitness of the gate or the ‘narrowness’ of the way which would turn people away—people love a challenge and are attracted to Christianity by the challenge it offers. Jesus wants you to come near Him and stand close to Him and spend time with Him.

Persecution was not the greatest hindrance. Jesus did not say, “Beware of persecution.” He simply said, “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:10). One by one people would make the sacrifice by giving their lives—beginning with Stephen in Acts 7:58-60 who was stoned to death. James the brother of John would be next Acts 12:2. killed by the sword. Untold millions would join Stephen and James under the altar in Revelation 6:9, “I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:”

Jesus wanted to emphasize how very important it is for us to get started right in our walk with the Lord. It is the voice of the False Prophet that says that “all roads lead to heaven.” The voice that says, “it really doesn’t matter what you believe as long as you are sincere.” What Jesus was saying in verses 13 and 14 is that there are only two roads—not ‘many’ roads. One, the ‘strait and narrow’ leads to life, the other, a ‘broad-way,’ along with all other ways leads to destruction. It is so very important to know which is the right way—the difference is life or death—heaven or hell.

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

11 Samuel  19 20 ------ Luke 18 :1 --- 23 
11 Samuel   21 22 ------ Luke 18 :24 -- 43

James & Mary Lee Thornton

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GOD'S GRAZINGFIELD DAILY DEVOTION

Today’s First Thoughts                       April 26, 2010

Good Morning!
It is inevitable; the storms are going to come upon our life.

TWO MEN AND TWO HOUSES:
Matthew 7:24. “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. 26. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

In these closing verses of our Lord’s sermon he continues to emphasize the contrasting way of men’s lives. Two gates, strait gate, wide gate—two paths, narrow way, broad way—two trees, good fruit, evil fruit—two men, wise man, foolish man—two foundations, rock, sand. Out lord’s teaching is black and white, good and evil, right and wrong, there is no middle ground. There is no broad grey line between the two which one could say, “It was not clear to me.”

Most preaching today is not clear—mostly generalities. Jesus spoke in unmistakable tones and words so as not to leave any doubt in the minds of those who heard Him. This story of the two men and the two houses is the story of our lives, my life, and your life. We are one or the other, we are wise or we are foolish. We are building our house (our lives) on the rock, or we are building our house (lives) on sinking sand.

“Dig deep,” He says, until you have found the rock. He makes the claim that His words are the true foundation to build our house (life) upon, “These sayings of mine.” The main thought our Lord is teaching in these verses is the personal responsibility of each individual for his life, and the fact that somehow, somewhere, sometime he will render his account to God. And in the same way the house he builds (life he lives) will be his own habitation, or, on the other hand its destruction will be also his own ruin.

 
The Sermon On The Mount is something to build your life upon. In fact in verses 26-27 He says if we don’t build on theses sayings everything we build will go down.

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11 Samuel  23 24  ----- Luke 19 : 1 - 27 

James & Mary Lee Thornton

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GOD'S GRAZINGFIELD DAILY DEVOTION

Today’s First Thoughts                     April 27, 2010

Good Morning!
This story of the two men and the two houses is the story of our lives, my life, your life, we are one or the other, we are wise, or we are foolish.

LET THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT BE THE RULE WE LIVE BY:
Matthew 7:27. “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. 26. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

Our Lord makes it plain that whether we are a Christian or not, the tests are sure to come. But what He offers us is a way to weather the storms. Jesus said that one house in this parable stood while the other fell in ruins. Seemingly there was no difference in the two houses to the outward appearance. The difference between the two houses is discovered only when the trials came, when the flood descend and the winds blow. Right? Not so. The difference could have been detected long ago.

Luke tells us that the wise man “digged deep.” Whereas the foolish man did not dig at all, and did not trouble to lay a foundation. Jesus calls him a foolish man—he did not think it was necessary to dig; he could not be bothered with rules and regulations. This type of man has nothing to learn from any man, he knows it all, he thinks, until everything falls in upon him.

“Whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them..” This is the Rock upon which we should build our lives—His sayings—His teachings. If the foundation is wrong everything else will be wrong, and eventually will cause our lives to collapse. We must make the Sermon On The Mount a definite part of our life and never forget its principals. I say once again the Sermon On The Mount is probable the most important part of our Bible, it tells us how to live a Christian life.

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

1 Kings  1  2  ------ Luke 19 :28 -- 48 

James & Mary Lee Thornton

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GOD'S GRAZINGFIELD DAILY DEVOTION

Today’s First Thoughts                   April 28, 2010

Good Morning!
The effects of the Sermon On The Mount upon those who heard it that day.

WORDS THE WORLD HAD WAITED THOUSANDS OF YEARS TO HEAR:
Matthew 7:28. “And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: 29. For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

The sermon was ended and the people were dispersing, and as they went they talked about the things they had heard. Many expressed their feelings and the impressions which had been made upon them by the words of this new Preacher. Let us look back a moment to find the reasons why many had come to this mountain that day—for they had come by the thousands. There had been none of the hype of modern advertising, no media blitz, no full-page ads, no runners had carried the news—yet they came. What brought them? What did they expect to hear? Were they disappointed? Jesus not only spoke to the multitude that day, He spoke to the world.

Matthew 4:23-25 & 5:1-2 tells the story of why they came—it was after a preaching and healing campaign throughout the region, 24. “And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatick, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them. 25. And there followed him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judaea, and from beyond Jordan.” The excitement must have run high as they came together on that day.

They more than followed Him—they were drawn by a compelling force which caused them to leave home, families, fields, flocks, herds, trades, occupations, ships, nets, etc. It was the same compelling force which drew you from your place one day to follow Him—I hope we still feel it. I feel that on this day Jesus walked among this vast throng as he spoke to farmers, fishermen, merchant, shop-keepers, tax-collectors, doctors of the law, Pharisees, scribes, rich men, poor men, beggars, saints, and sinners. To everyone Jesus had something to say—He knew the burden of their heart—He knew the load which had been heaped upon them by their particular circumstance. Each felt, as they look into His eyes, that He really cared.

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

1 Kings  3  4  5  ----- Luke  20 :1-- 26 

James & Mary Lee Thornton

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 GOD'S GRAZINGFIELD DAILY DEVOTION

Today’s First Thoughts                     April 29, 2010

Good Morning!
The Sermon On The Mount was a long sermon covering twenty subjects, yet the people were so moved by what they heard and felt that day that they followed Him away wondering at what they heard.

HE WAS THE CHRIST OF EVERYMAN:
Matthew 8:1. “When he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him.”

The long sermon was over and the day had slipped by almost un-noticed. The vast throng was un-wearied—none seemed in a hurry to leave—the atmosphere was charged with an unseen presence—we’ve all felt it. They talked with one another. It seems that after this great sermon no one turned away from Him. Here were common people confronted by common needs, anxieties, temptations—where sin and pain, disease, and hunger reigns. Now we want to see what their response, reaction was on that day.

“The people were astonished with his doctrine” (Matthew 7:28). “Astonished,” to be amazed, to be exceedingly struck in the mind, greatly wondering. We would say that we were spell-bound. We have all heard sermons, speeches, teachers, orations which have held us spell-bound. We would have to say that it was a joyful experience.

“Great multitudes followed Him.” When we attend a service we could ask ourselves, “Why are we here today? What do we expect to happen? Will we be disappointed when we leave here today? Some of the things that people say about the sermons they hear. Too long, dull-boring, not enough scripture, not speaking to me, I don’t believe it, just what I needed.

What will be our response when we attend service this Sunday, what will be our reaction, what will be our comment on the message, about the preacher? Will we respond favorably, or will we be turned off by his message? These are things to be taken seriously. No man can live this sermon that has not been born again. No man can live the Sermon on the Mount in and of himself and unaided.

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

1 Kings  6  7 ------ Luke  20  :27- 47 

James & Mary Lee Thornton

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GOD'S GRAZINGFIELD DAILY DEVOTION

Today’s First Thoughts                   April 30, 2010

Good Morning!
The Bible abounds in figures representing spiritual attitudes and God’s gracious response.

MAN’S SETTING AND GOD’S SETTING:
Psalm 16:8. “I have set the LORD always before me:” 
Psalm 40:2. “He (The Lord) set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.”

I find a great promise in a verse of the Psalmist,—“I have set the Lord always before me.” That is a “setting” on my part, which will issue in a responsive “setting” on the part of God. I determine the direction of gaze; He will determine the character of my life. I “set the Lord always before me”; He will “set my feet upon a rock.” He will “set my feet in a large place.” He will “set before me an open door.”

How calming and steadying is the influence of the picture as you set it before you! One of Robertson’s congregations at Brighton used to keep a portrait of the great preacher in the room behind his shop, and when he was tempted to any mean device, he would set the likeness before him, and its influence determined his inclination in the way of truth. But it is not the figure of any earthly personality, however noble and ennobling, which is the object of the Psalmist’s contemplation. He “sets” before him the august and holy presence of God, and in the glory of His most searching light all the Psalmist’s affairs are determined.

“I have set the Lord always before me.” It is not a temporary vision; it is a fixed outlook. It is not a Sabbath contemplation; it is the permanent background of the week. If the Lord is “always before me,” then everything else which may obtrude into the line of sight will be seen in relationship to God. I shall see nothing by itself; everything will be seen in divine company. Everything that emerges into my regard, and which demands my contemplation, will be seen against the great white background of the Almighty. I will judge everything by its appearance in this most revealing light. How does a thing look with God in the background?

My suggestions, my desires, my pleasures, my ambitions, my conversations, my business, my prayers, shall all be seen in this heavenly relationship, and by its revelation shall their true quality be judged and determined.

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

1 Kings  8  9  ---- Luke  21 :1 -- 19

James & Mary Lee Thornton

 

 

 

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