News & Updates
 
June 2010

Godsgrazingfield Devotions June 2010

Old Barn

GOD'S GRAZINGFIELD DAILY DEVOTION

Today’s First Thoughts                                    June 1, 2010

Good Morning!
In the next few days we will take a look at the men Jesus chose to be His Apostles.

ANDREW, THE FIRST TO FOLLOW JESUS:
John 1: 40. “One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother.  41. He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ. 42. And he brought him to Jesus.” (KJV)

It is fitting that we should start with Andrew as we begin to look into the lives, and works, of the Apostles because he was the first to follow the teacher from Nazareth. If there was no more to be said about Andrew than what we have just read it would be enough to fill a library with books. After all was there greater soul ever won to Christ than Simon Peter? So right off we could call Andrew the father of personal evangelism. How happy Andrew must have been at Pentecost to gaze out upon a sea of upturned faces listening to Peter’s Pentecostal Sermon. A Sunday school teacher named Edward Kimball urged a young Boston shoe salesman to accept Jesus as his Savior. All he knew of him was that his name was Dwight L. Moody.

Andrew was a manly man, as were the rough and hardy fishermen of his day. He is almost always referred to in the scripture as “Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother.” Although overshadowed by his brother, he is always mentioned in the first four names in all the lists of the twelve. He was a disciple of John the Baptist (John 1:35). We first meet Andrew in Bethabara beyond Jordan where John the Baptist was baptizing, some fifty or sixty miles from his home in Galilee, Bethsaida. Andrew and his companions made their way down into the water to be baptized by John.

The last mention of Andrew in the New Testament we find him in the upper room at Pentecost. Although Andrew was the first to follow Jesus it was to be that he was relegated to a lesser role, or position, on the apostolic honor roll--the position of honor went to Peter, James, and John. There are far too many who will not play in the band unless they can have the big drum--those who will not work unless given a prominent position.

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

11 Chronicles  15  16 ---- John  12 :27-- 50

James & Mary Lee Thornton

*******************************************************

GOD'S GRAZINGFIELD DAILY DEVOTION

Today’s First Thoughts                       June 2, 2010               

Good Morning!
We see more human nature at work in Simon Peter than any other apostle; in fact, many times we can see ourselves in his actions.

SIMON PETER -- A SERVANT AND AN APOSTLE OF JESUS CHRIST:
John 1:42….. when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona:  “And thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.” (KJV)
 2 Peter 1:1. “Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:” (KJV)

There is about thirty five years that have passed between the first scripture we read and the last one. Simon is now an old man waiting to fulfill the prophecy concerning his death told to him by his Lord (John 21:18-19). Ancient tradition tells us that Simon Peter followed his Lord until, in like fashion, on a cross; he paid the supreme price for his Apostleship. Thirty five years in the service of his master. How I wish we had a record of every day of his life. The road from fisherman, on the Sea of Galilee, to Apostolic Writer was a long and difficult one for Simon Peter. Only the name of our Lord comes up more often, in the New Testament, than Simon Peter.

Our Lord speaks more often to Peter than to any other of his disciples, sometimes in praise, sometimes in blame. No disciple is so pointedly reproved by our Lord as Peter. No disciple ever ventures to reprove his master but Peter. No disciple ever so boldly confessed and acknowledged our Lord as Peter did so often. No one ever intruded, and interfered, and tempted him as often as Peter did. Jesus spoke words of approval and praise, and even blessing, to Peter, the like of which he never spoke to any other man. He said harder things to Peter than he ever said to any other disciple, unless it was to Judas.

No man ever had a greater consciousness of his sins than did Simon Peter. On one occasion Peter asks the Lord to “depart from me for I am a sinful man, O Lord!”  (Luke 5:8) But Jesus stayed with him. On another occasion, “he went out and wept bitterly.” (Matthew 26:75) Another time, “now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher’s coat unto him, (for he was naked) and did cast himself into the sea.”  (John 21:7) Yet Simon Peter became the rock Jesus spoke of and the greatest soul-winner in the early church.

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

11 Chronicles  17  18  --- John  13 :1 - 20 

James & Mary Lee Thornton

****************************************************

GOD'S GRAZINGFIELD DAILY DEVOTION

Today’s First Thoughts                          June 3, 2010

Good Morning!
I’ve heard a lot of preachers berate Simon Peter for his lack of faith, and scold him for looking at the boisterous sea, but I have yet to see anyone else ever go so far as to even get out of the boat.

SIMON PETER WALKS ON THE WATER:
Mark 6:48. “And he saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them: and about the fourth watch of the night he cometh unto them, walking upon the sea, and would have passed by them.”Matthew 14:28. “And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. 29. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. 30. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. 31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?”

We must remember, Jesus is watching all the time. The word “toiling” used here means more than working, or laboring, it means literally, tormented, or tortured. It was only by painful effort that they could make any headway against the driving storm, and after nine, long, agonizing, hours they had only gone a little more than three miles. At sometime between three a.m. and dawn Jesus appeared to them, in the midst of the storm, walking on the sea. They saw him, or thought they saw him, on the sea, walking. This he did by His divine power, which He possessed as God, and which, when it pleased him, He could assume as man.

“They cried out in fear.” Verse 27. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.  Verse 28. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water” (Matthew 14:27-28). It was the voice that Simon Peter was familiar with, and the form looked like the Lord, but Simon Peter, in order to be for sure, made this extraordinary request. Only Matthew, who was on the ship, records this incident. Peter, ever impulsive, ever impetuous, was not willing to wait for the coming of the Lord; he would go to him, and that upon the water, but he will only come at Jesus’ command. “And he said, come.” Our Lord takes him at his word, and gives the command. Then Simon Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water, to go to Jesus.

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

11 Chronicles  19  20  ---- John 13 :21 - 38 

James & Mary Lee Thornton

***********************************************

GOD'S GRAZINGFIELD DAILY DEVOTION

Today’s First Thoughts                        June 4, 2010    

Good Morning!
The delivery of the keys of a city, etc., to a person, symbolizes the handing over of the authority to that person. 

JESUS GIVES PETER THE KEYS TO THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN:
Matthew 16:18. “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

It was after a time of solitary prayer (Luke 9:18) that he put this question to his followers. “I call myself the Son of Man: what do the multitudes say of Me?” “Who do they consider the Son of Man to be?” This was the term he used to show the truth of the incarnation-- perfect God and perfect man--of a just soul and human flesh subsisting in one. Some thought him to be one of the celebrated prophets of antiquity revived, restored to life again, to prepare the way for the great, and longed for, restoration of Israel, according to Mosses (Deuteronomy 18:15).

After these answers were given to his question concerning who the people thought he was, Jesus asked the important question to which the previous one led. “He saith unto them, but whom say ye that I am”? (Matthew 16:15) Upon the answer to this question hung the foundation of the Christian Church. The whole weight and worth of the gospel hangs upon it. “Whom say ye that I am?”  We also must be able to furnish an answer to this question. Jesus was testing their knowledge of the real nature of himself. Peter acknowledges Jesus to be the true Messiah, commissioned and sent by God to reveal his will to man, and accomplishing all that the prophets had foretold concerning him; no mere man, not even the most exalted of men (which common opinion held Messiah to be), but the Son of God , of the substance of the father, begotten from everlasting, GOD OF GOD, PERFECT MAN, SON OF GOD And SON Of MAN.

After Peter’s confession Jesus says to him, “And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” In this Jesus is giving Peter the right or authority to tell people how to be saved.

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

11 Chronicles  21  22  ------ John  14  

James & Mary Lee Thornton

***************************************************

GOD'S GRAZINGFIELD DAILY DEVOTION

Today’s First Thoughts                       June 5 & 6, 2010                 

Good Morning!
It was needful, in the early Church that one should be chosen to be the chief office-bearer and leader of the body of believers.

PETER USES THE KEY TO OPEN THE GATE TO HEAVEN:
Acts 2: 14. “But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: 38. Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”

Not that Peter conceived himself to be, or was recognized by others as, infallible, or as an irresponsible despot; many events before and after Pentecost forbids such an assumption. His faith, character, and zeal pointed him out as well constituted to regulate and order the infant community, or Church, and to take the first part in maintaining that unity which was essential to the new kingdom.

The first major event in the history of the Church took place on the day of Pentecost and is recorded in Acts chapter 2, the coming of the Holy Ghost with the evidence of all of those gathered there speaking in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. This was God's way of bringing the church into being. Without Luke leaving us this record we would never have known this happened. Peter's sermon followed in which he used the key (authority) Jesus gave him (Matthew 16:19) to tell those who came together what to do to be saved (Acts 2:38).

Another great event that took place was the conversion of the Gentile Cornelius (Acts 10:1-48), of which Peter was chosen to do where he used the same key. This was a monumental thing that was to have world-wide significance. Up until Peter was sent to the Roman Centurion's house the gospel had been preached to the Jews only, but now Peter and the other apostles realized that God had opened the door to every race, whether Jew, Gentile, Greek, or Roman. This was the beginning of the enormous expansion of the church. This event affects you and I today, it opened the door that we also might enjoy the same experience as the Apostles did on the day of Pentecost. It is from this point on that the emphasis of the book of Acts switches from Jewish Christianity to a gospel to the whole world.

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

11 Chronicles  23  24  --------- John 15 
11 Chronicles   25  26  27 ---- John 16

James & Mary Lee Thornton

**************************************************

GOD'S GRAZINGFIELD DAILY DEVOTION

Today’s First Thoughts                        June 7, 2010                         

Good Morning!
The road from fisherman to apostolic writer was a long and difficult one, but it shows that regardless of occupation or disposition, Jesus can use us in His service.

THE SONS OF THUNDER:
Mark 1:19. “And when he had gone a little further thence, he saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the ship mending their nets. 20. And straightway he called them: and they left their father Zebedee in the ship with the hired servants, and went after him.”

James and John along with their father owned a fishing boat on the Sea of Galilee and most likely were of an upper middle class family. These two were to become, along with Peter, part of the inner circle and very close to Jesus. Of the Twelve, the story of John is most complete, only Peter is mentioned more than the other ten. John is revealed to us, not only in the first three Gospels, but his own writings, and by his silence. With true humility, John seldom alludes to his own existence. In the 21 chapters of his Gospel, his own name is never used by him. In John's Gospel he alludes to himself as, "The other Disciple" (John 18:16).

John alone occupied the Inner Most Circle. He cherished the mere thought of it, and used the phrase “The Disciple Whom Jesus Loved,” to describe the relationship. It must have been because of their all-consuming zeal that prompted Jesus’ nick-name for James and John, Mark 3:17 “And James the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James; and he surnamed them Bo-an-erges, which is, the sons of thunder:” I do not feel that Jesus gave them this name as a derogatory title. It was not to belittle them. I feel it was intended as a title of honor, although it was never mentioned again.

Their mother's name was Mary, surnamed Salome, who was most likely a sister to Mary the mother of Jesus. Most likely James and John were cousins to Jesus. What an immense spiritual advantage it is to be children of a Godly Home. Mothers, Fathers, you should pray that your sons, your daughters will do more that just make the Team. Salome so loved their Master and Lord that she stayed at the cross and helped to carry his body to burial. What a strong Christian mother James and John had. I feel she was at Pentecost and received the Holy Ghost along with Mary, Jesus' Mother.

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

11 Chronicles  28  29 ------  John  17

James & Mary Lee Thornton

************************************************

GOD'S GRAZINGFIELD DAILY DEVOTION

Today’s First Thoughts                        June 8, 2010 

Good Morning!
Jesus allowed a year to pass before he permitted James and John to pass from discipleship to Apostleship.

CHANGED FROM GLORY TO GLORY:
Matthew 10:2. “Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; the first is Simon, who is called Peter, then Andrew his brother, 3. James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother.”

"The Sons of Thunder" had to learn that the higher the calling, the harder the discipline would be. Jesus was more concerned about their Qualification. Apostles are not born but made. I think we could safely say that of the Twelve, John more closely portrayed our Lord. He has been called, “JOHN THE APOSTLE WHO PERSONIFIED LOVE.” More than 80 times John uses the word LOVE in his writings. In his Gospel and Epistles, he gave to the world a definition of love not to be found in any writings of any author, religious or secular. “God Is Love.” John as an old, old man was led into the Church at Ephesus and someone would help him rise to his feet to give his Testimony, “MY LITTLE CHILDREN, LOVE ONE ANOTHER.”

Jesus asked James and John, “Can ye bear to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? they said to him, we can. He replied, ye shall indeed drink of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with:” Truly this was to come to pass. “Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church. And he killed James the brother of John with the sword” (Acts 12:1). Why such a short account of the martyrdom of one of the “favorite three?” James was one of the twelve who were commissioned to disciple all nations; why such a short ministry? Why such a violent death? Why would God permit it? We cannot answer, but God knows best.

It is strange that we have not a more full and particular account of the martyrdom of this great apostle, as we had of Stephen. But even this short mention of the thing is sufficient to let us know that the first preachers of the gospel were so well assured of the truth of it that they sealed it with their blood, and thereby have encouraged us, if at any time we are called to it, to resist unto blood too.

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

11 Chronicles  30  31  ----- John  18 :1- 18 

James & Mary Lee Thornton

*******************************************************

GOD'S GRAZINGFIELD DAILY DEVOTION

Today’s First Thoughts                       June 9, 2010    

Good Morning!
John took Mary the mother of Jesus unto his own house.

TO JOHN THE CARE OF JESUS' MOTHER:
John 19:26. “When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! 27. Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.

John was the last friend Jesus spoke to before he died. To him Jesus put the burden of caring for his mother. John alone tells us of this most touching incident. Jesus was concerned about his mother and the future which lay ahead for her. He commits her to the care of John whom he himself loved beyond others. We cannot but wonder why Mary was not placed into the care of her other sons, James, Joses, Simon, and Judas. Was it because of their attitude towards Jesus, for at that time his own brothers did not believe on him? (John 7:3-5)

We say that Blood Is Thicker Than Water, but this act of Jesus in giving the care of Mary over to John proves that Spirit Is Thicker Than Blood. The truest bond between men is to be bound together by the spirit of Jesus. This act of kindness towards Mary, and the trust he placed in John was the opportunity Jesus gave John to develop his own character.  Jesus loved his mother and wanted the best of care for her. He trusted John to give that care above all others on earth. He trusted the relationship as Mother and Son.

How many times has an act of kindness towards someone been given to us by the Lord, so that we may have the opportunity to develop a noble character of our own? “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:10).

John probably never stopped to think about the added expense, the toil and worry of everyday living, the burden of moving her from place to place. She most probably died in Ephesus. John could never forget this mark of love received from the dying Master. The burden of taking care of Jesus' mother was put on the right shoulders for John was the Apostle of Love.

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

11 Chronicles  32  33  ---- John 18 :19- 40

James & Mary Lee Thornton

****************************************************

GOD'S GRAZINGFIELD DAILY DEVOTION

Today’s First Thoughts                       June 10, 2010                 

Good Morning!
A Seer is a person credited with extraordinary moral and spiritual insight. As a Seer the Apostle John had no equal.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS IN OLD AGE:
Revelation 1:9. “I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. 10. I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,”

Moses was eighty years old when the call came to do the greatest work of his life. The last surviving witness to the life, death, and resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ was over 90 years of age when he was sent to labor in the salt mines on the Island of Patmos. History tells us that men worked chained to their barrows. No wonder he could write your brother and companion in tribulation. John at this old age needed loving care, but in Patmos there was no one to watch over him. What hardship John suffered we are not told. When one was sent to Patmos he could expect no kind words. No one ever came to visit you on Patmos. There would be no letters from home, when on Patmos. Patmos was the killing place.

Are we not tempted to ask why God allowed his most faithful, loving disciple, to reach the age when activity had passed, and only the dregs of life seem to remain, to endure the mailed fist of the Roman Empire. Was it to prove once again that his strength is made perfect through human weakness? John now over 90 or maybe 95 was in Patmos. He found himself in the Spirit on the Lord's Day and received the Visions described in Revelation.

Patmos was surrounded by the sea, making escape impossible. But John, while in the Third Heaven, looked around and, "There was no more sea." John saw till the Church was victor over the Roman Empire. Yes he saw till the Church was Victor over all the foes that would come. He saw so far into the future when kingdoms would crumble and Kings would bow to the one he knew who was crowned King of Kings and Lord of Lords. John saw till Heaven came down and Earth went up in smoke.  Then he saw a city coming down from God out of heaven. John was evidently released and fell asleep in Ephesus at a great age after writing 5 of the books in the New Testament.

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

11 Chronicles  34  35  36 ---- John 19 :1: - 22 

James & Mary Lee Thornton

****************************************************

GOD'S GRAZINGFIELD DAILY DEVOTION

Today’s First Thoughts                        June 11, 2010                 

Good Morning!
We could call James the Less the Apostle of obscurity.

THE CALL OF JAMES THE LESS:
Matthew 10:3. “…and Matthew the publican, James the son of Alpheus,”
Mark 15:40. (At the foot of the cross) “…and Mary the mother of James the less.”

A few days ago we wrote about James the less’ most famous brother, Matthew. We do not know when or how James the less became a disciple. But he is mentioned in every list of the twelve which is given in the Bible. Although no single incident is written of this son of Alphaeus, nor any word that is spoken by him. We have only his name; we could call him the apostle of obscurity. Though no word or deed of James the less is recorded, yet his name is preserved for us, as one chosen to be an Apostle by our Lord after a night of prayer. There was something about James which prompted Jesus to include him among the twelve.

Jesus had confidence in him and sent him forth, to preach the gospel, to teach the way of life, to heal the sick, and to cast out demons. Jesus knew that James (the less) could be relied upon to render faithful, yet unsung, unheralded service. No one left us the story of his life and work. James (the less) lived and died, and vanished from the scene of action past all tracing, as far as the sacred record goes. The Acts of the Apostles mentioned the name only once (Acts 1:13). I do not feel that he was given this nick-name (the less) because he was lacking in ability or service. Probably he was short of stature. We could call him a background disciple. As far as we know he never caused his Master any anxiety by backsliding, doubt, or misunderstanding.

James the son of Alphaeus represents a long line of disciples of whom no earthly record would be kept, of whom the world would not be worthy. Like many whose names would not be remembered beyond their quiet, faithful, unsung ministry in the Church. Jesus in his insight and with wisdom and love found a place for this James. We can take courage that he, who ordained the twelve has a place for the vast majority of us who have only one talent. We think of missionaries in lonely places, Sunday school teachers, workers in poor corners of the city, visitors of the lonely, of the sick, of the needy, so content with humble, yet hard service, their names will never figure in history books. Yet they do their best in his service, who has called them to serve, “As Unknown, and Yet Well Known.”

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

Ezra  1  2  -------  John  19 :23 - 42 

James & Mary Lee Thornton

******************************************************

GOD'S GRAZINGFIELD DAILY DEVOTION

Today’s First Thoughts                      June 12 & 13, 2010                                        

Good Morning!
Thomas the apostle, most slandered, ill spoken of, and maligned.

THOMAS THE HONEST DOUBTER:
John 20:24. “But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. 25. The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. (eight days later) 28. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. 29. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

I want to be the last person to speak ill of, or to slander, any Bible character, especially the Heroes of Faith, or the Apostolic Order, the reason being that one day I expect to meet them and I do not want to owe them an apology. They may be listening, because if I understand Hebrew 12:1 correctly we are compassed about with a great cloud of witnesses. Surely Thomas commands our sympathy given to him. Somewhere back in the distant past someone called him “Doubting Thomas” and since that day a thousand preachers have jumped on the same band wagon and beat the same old drum to the same tune of adverse criticism. An old proverb says “give a dog an ill name and his work is done.”

This is certainly true in connection with Thomas. Many teachers and preachers have hardly a good word to say about him, having no independent judgment of their own. It is high time we study this man whom Jesus chose, as Jesus himself must have seen him. Certainly, I agree Thomas may have had doubts, so do the saintliest of men. Who among us has not? But I do not believe for one moment that Thomas was among those born sad, whose heart was the home of sorrow, who looked upon life with sad eyes, and who carried about with him everywhere a heavy heart.

The word Didymus means twin. Who the twin was we would like to know, whether he or she became a follower of the Lord. We know nothing about, the kinsmen of Thomas, the place of residence, nor his occupation. The first three Gospels give us nothing but his name and that only in their listing of the Apostles. We are again indebted to John who, in his Gospel makes him speak for us. John, in his Gospel, gives us three sketches of Thomas the Apostle, and the only one to call Jesus “God.”

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

Ezra  3  4  5  ---- John  20
Ezra  6  7  8 ---- John  21

James & Mary Lee Thornton

**************************************************

GOD'S GRAZINGFIELD DAILY DEVOTION

Today’s First Thoughts                      June 14, 2010                

 

Good Morning!
The Apostles we have discovered how they are made up of greater and lesser lights.

JUDAS, THE APOSTLE WITH THREE NAMES:
Matthew 10:3b. “…, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus;
Luke 6:16. “, … And Judas the brother of James,”

Judas was his Hebrew name, Thaddaeus his Greek name, and  Lebbaeus also his Greek name.  Luke tells us in his Gospel (6:16) and again in (Acts 1:13) that he was the brother of James. (R.S.V. = "Son of James") Although he gave no hint to which James he refers to.

Judas a lesser light. In the beginning of God's Creation, God made two great lights; The greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: He made the stars also. (Genesis 1:16) The sun and the moon are so conspicuous you can't miss seeing them. He made the stars also. The lesser lights, many so faint you can hardly discern them in the sky. How very important in the overall realm of things are these lesser lights. What would it be like to look into the night sky and all these lesser lights not be there. Many a ship would have ended up on the rocks, but for these lesser lights.

Science tells us that many of these, which we call lesser light, are many times larger and brighter than our sun. We are only viewing them from so vast a distance. God has made other Lights also, Spiritual Lights, and has set them in the Firmament of His Holy Word to give Light to Men. Bible Characters are these Lights, great lights, lesser lights. Giving light not of themselves, but of God. Great Lights are those such as Moses, David, Isaiah, Daniel, Abraham, and Jacob, Peter, Paul, John, and etc. Lesser lights are the almost unknown Bible Characters, such as Caleb, the two Spies, and Shamgar.

All that we know about Thaddaeus is that he had three names, and asked Jesus a 16 word question. “Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?” (John 14:22). Jesus’ answer to his question takes up nine verses (23-31) and is the anchor to which many of us cling when we also have questions, the Holy Ghost will come and comfort us.

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

Ezra  9  10 ------- Acts 1 

James & Mary Lee Thornton

*****************************************************

GOD'S GRAZINGFIELD DAILY DEVOTION

Today’s First Thoughts                       June 15, 2010

Good Morning!
Adam becomes a man with whom we can sympathize, for we know intimately the weaknesses he displays.

ADAM WAS CREATED IN THE IMAGE OF GOD:
Genesis 1:26.  And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

God gave Adam Eve as a helper truly comparable to him (Gen. 2:21–24). The significance of the account of Eve’s creation lies in the fact that God used a rib taken from Adam as Eve’s source. If God had begun again with earth’s dust, it might have been argued that woman was a second and subordinate creation. But God used Adam’s own substance. And when the Lord brought Eve to Adam, he immediately recognized the significance of God’s act. Adam said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man”.

In Genesis 3, we get a sense of Adam’s human side. We see his sudden discovery of guilt and shame (Gen. 3:7). We see his anxious attempts to cover up his sin, and the sudden fear that drove him to flee from the God who had always treated him with love (3:8, 10). We see his frantic attempt to shift the blame from himself to Eve and even to God rather than take responsibility for his choices (3:12). In this we see more clearly flaws that reflect our own failings, and indeed the failings of every human being.

What comfort we take then as, after telling Adam and Eve the consequences of their sin, God “made tunics of skin and clothed them” (Gen. 3:21). For here we have history’s first sacrifice. Here we begin to learn the repeated lesson of the Old Testament that, while sin deserves death, God will accept the death of another in our place, and so will cover our sin. In the flaws of Adam, we see ourselves, but in God’s gracious act, we see foreshadowed an ultimate sacrifice offered by One who will pay the penalty for all the sins of humankind.

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

Nehemiah 1  2  3  ------- Acts  2 :1--21

James & Mary Lee Thornton

***************************************************

GOD'S GRAZINGFIELD DAILY DEVOTION

Today’s First Thoughts                       June 16, 2010

Good Morning!
The call of God in one's life is a great thing. When it is obeyed, God will bring out His full will and purpose in that life.

ABRAHAM---CALLED TO BE GREAT:
Genesis 12:2. And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:

Abraham departed from Haran with all that he had, "….And into the land of Canaan they came" (Genesis 12:5). The life of faith is always a life of going forth. No one knows beforehand, the way in which God will lead him; but he knows that if he obeys, blessings will shine upon him all the way, and it will lead to a land flowing with good things. Abraham was not told the land flowed with milk and honey, he found the blessing by obeying.

God wants unquestioning obedience. God asks you to do something. Obey because you love Him and want to please Him. A child should be taught to obey his parents because he loves them, and not because he fears them. If God asks man to do something, and he fails to do it; that is rebellion. If he delays, that is disobedience. When you have perfect obedience to God, you have perfect love for your fellow man. Jesus had perfect obedience to His Father and perfect love for man. God is love. All rebellion and disobedience in the world started with Adam and Eve.

To travel Abraham's road is to travel the road of obedience, not only in word, but in deed, also, that road will lead to a life of separation from false gods, from a spiritual wilderness to a true worship and the wonderful blessing of God. Complete obedience is the only kind of obedience God will accept.

No earthly goods can be as great as the blessings of God. He that has God's blessings has the source of all that is good. God Himself is the best gift to man. It is more blessed to give than to receive.

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

Nehemiah  4  5  6  ------ Acts  2 :22-- 47

James & Mary Lee Thornton

**************************************************

GOD'S GRAZINGFIELD DAILY DEVOTION

Today’s First Thoughts                      June 17, 2010

Good Morning!
Surely the steps of Moses' life were ordered of the Lord. God will so order any life that will submit to Him and His cause.

MOSES THE LEADER:
Hebrews 11:24. By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; 25. Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;

What marvelous ways God has! He provided for Moses protection through the royal household, through those who sought to destroy the child. God allowed Moses' mother to care for him openly and that with pay! Moses was given training in the ways of Jehovah during the formative years of his life and he was trained in all the wisdom of the Egyptians since he was a member of Pharaoh's family.

We cannot praise Moses’ significance too highly. Moses’ name is mentioned some 850 times in the Old Testament in 787 verses. His name is found 80 times in the New Testament, in 79 verses. He is the traditional author of the first five books of the Bible and the dominant figure in four of them. His ministry during a definitive period of Old Testament history is absolutely unique.

Moses’ role in Scripture can be summed up fewer than four headings. Moses was a miracle worker, a channel through whom God’s power was revealed to Israel, to Egypt, and to us today. Moses was the prototype prophet, a spokesman for God through whom God revealed Himself and His will. Moses was the lawgiver, who at Sinai recorded God’s commandments and the precepts that were to shape the lives of the Israelites. And Moses was a leader, whose struggles with the Israelites and whose prayers to God for them both have encouraged and guided those in spiritual leadership ever since.

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

Nehemiah  7  8  9 ---- Acts  3

James & Mary Lee Thornton

*****************************************************

GOD'S GRAZINGFIELD DAILY DEVOTION

Today’s First Thoughts                          June 18, 2010

Good Morning!
David fully exposed his inner spiritual life, freely expressing his hopes and fears, his failures and his abiding confidence in the goodness of the Lord.

DAVID A MAN AFTER GOD’S OWN HEART:
1 Samuel 16:11. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Are here all thy children? And he said, There remaineth yet the youngest, and, behold, he keepeth the sheep. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Send and fetch him: for we will not sit down till he come hither.12. And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the LORD said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he. 13. Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah.

However, David’s deep sense of guilt, revealed in Psalm 32, and his public repentance, expressed in Psalm 51, reminds us that David truly responded to God. In repentance, David relied on God’s grace to create in him a clean heart and restore the joy of his salvation. God restored David, encouraging each of us to turn quickly to the Lord when we sin. Even in David’s great failure God used David to teach transgressors God’s ways and to convert sinners to Him.

David was a man after God’s own heart not because he was sinless but because David trusted how God responded to Him. For most of his life, David sought to honor and obey God. His psalms remind us that David freely shared his inner life and emotions with the Lord and was as eager to commune with the Lord as to depend on Him. Even when David sinned, he relied on God’s grace and forgiveness to restore him to a right relationship with the Lord. In all this, David is an example of true godliness.

Whatever else can be said of David, he was a human being who truly had a heart for God. Yes, David was flawed, as we all are. Nevertheless David loved and trusted God, and those qualities enabled him to use his many gifts to the fullest and mark him as one of the Old Testament’s greatest men.

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

Nehemiah   10  11 ----- Acts  4 :1 -- 22

James & Mary Lee Thornton

*****************************************************

GOD'S GRAZINGFIELD DAILY DEVOTION

Today’s First Thoughts                      June 19 & 20, 2010

Good Morning!
God chose Noah to build an ark in which his own family and representatives of all animals would be preserved.

NOAH FOUND GRACE IN THE EYES OF THE LORD:
Genesis 6:5. And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 8. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. 13. And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. 14. Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch.

When Noah lived human society was totally corrupt. Genesis states that “the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5). God was grieved and determined to destroy humankind. Verse eight then states, “but Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord” (Genesis 6:8).

The making of the ark (Genesis 6:11–22). When God spoke to Noah and warned him of the coming flood, Noah immediately set out with his sons to construct a giant vessel. God provided the plans, and the rationale. The ark must be large enough to house members of each animal kind, Noah’s family, and food for them all. As this great vessel rose over the plains, people from miles around must have come to see and to laugh at “Noah’s folly.” Peter refers to this when he speaks of the spirit of Christ speaking to the people of Noah’s day. Along with the ark’s powerful witness to the coming Flood, Noah must have urgently warned his neighbors of what God was about to do. Through Noah’s words, God both invited faith and damned unbelief. By their ridicule of Noah and his message, the people of Noah’s day condemned themselves.

Noah challenges us to persistence. It’s easy to undertake a task we can finish in a few minutes or a few days. It is far more difficult to remain committed to tasks that we must faithfully perform for years before we derive any benefits. Noah challenges us to withstand peer pressure. Noah was so committed to his God-given course that he could not be influenced to abandon it.

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

Nehemiah  12 13  ---- Acts  4 :23 – 37
Esther  1  2  ----------- Acts  5 :1 ---- 21

James & Mary Lee Thornton

*****************************************************

GOD'S GRAZINGFIELD DAILY DEVOTION

Today’s First Thoughts                        June 21, 2010

Good Morning!
Job's patient suffering shows that the righteous can serve God in the face of adversity.

JOB A MAN OF PATIENCE:
James 5:11: Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.

The real character of an individual is revealed under pressure. It is one thing to be joyful and at peace when everything is going our way, but it proves our faithfulness to rejoice and stay true to God when our world is falling apart. Job's superior faith in God was proven by his response to the intense pressure of his trials.

When Satan struck Job, he did it with a speed and coordination which would have caused any but the strongest to falter. But Job arose, rent his mantle, shaved his head, fell down upon the ground, and worshiped God. He evidenced no bitterness, no questioning of God. Job said, “Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither; The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”

We have no way of knowing in advance every detail of our walk with God, and thus we do not know exactly what He may see fit to require of us. But in order to be successful in serving God, there must be a total commitment to live for Him, no matter what happens.

Jesus said, “He that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved”
(Matthew 24:13). We need to be grateful to God for including in His infallible Word the record of such men as Job that we may learn from those who experienced difficulties but who remained true to God through them.

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

Esther 3  4  5 ------ Acts  5 :22 -- 42

James & Mary Lee Thornton


******************************************************

GOD'S GRAZINGFIELD DAILY DEVOTION

Today’s First Thoughts                        June 22, 2010

Good Morning!
Isaac reminds us that it’s not necessary for a son to be as great as his father to have a significant role in God’s plan.

ISAAC PLAYED A VITAL ROLE IN GOD’S PLAN: 
Genesis 17:19. And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.

God predicted Isaac’s birth and gave him his name (Genesis 17:19–21). When He was weaned, his mother insisted that his older half-brother Ishmael be sent away to protect Isaac’s inheritance rights
(Genesis 21:3–12). 

Isaac lived his life as a nomad in the Promised Land, living in tents, leading his flocks and herds to pasture as the seasons changed, and now and then pausing to plant and harvest grain. By the standards of the time, Isaac was a wealthy person. Most references to Isaac portray him in a passive role, being acted upon rather than acting.

When Isaac was forty years of age, his father sent a servant to find a bride for him (Genesis 24). Later when a dispute with local peoples over water rights erupted, Isaac’s response was to move again and again rather than engage in conflict (Genesis 26). And, like his father Abraham, Isaac got his wife Rebekah to pretend they were not married out of fear that he might be killed by a king of the Philistines who desired her (Genesis 26).

Isaac is significant primarily as a transitional figure. He inherited the covenant promises God gave to Abraham and he passed those promises on to his son Jacob. He is frequently named where the Bible speaks of patriarchs, and for generations the Israelites knew God simply as “the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” Isaac is not known for bold actions or great achievements. Yet, Isaac played a vital role in God’s plan and His calling into being a people through whom He intended to reveal Himself and through whom Christ would come.

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

Esther  6  7  8  ---- Acts 6

James & Mary Lee Thornton

*****************************************************

GOD'S GRAZINGFIELD DAILY DEVOTION

Today’s First Thoughts                       June 23, 2010

Good Morning!
Jacob is honored as one of the patriarchs through whom God’s covenant promises were transmitted to His Old Testament people,

JACOB VALUED A RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD:
Genesis 25:30. And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom. 31. And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright. 32. And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me? 33. And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob.

Jacob’s experiences can teach us much about ourselves and our relationship with God. How clearly we see in Jacob our own tendency to take matters into our own hands, even when God has promised to act in His own time. How clearly we see our own willingness to cut corners when we think it will bring us closer to some goal. Yet Jacob also reminds us of our potential for spiritual growth and transformation. If we are spiritually sensitive and value a relationship with God, as Jacob did, God will speak to our open hearts. God will graciously and gradually work within us, until like Jacob we reach a point in which we have learned to value grace.

Jacob teaches us to look past material gain and value the spiritual. We must never lose sight of the fact that God is there and that the reality He promises is far more important than the shadow world we know through our senses. Jacob reminds us that God intends to correct our character flaws. Often, He does this by making us victims of the same kind of hurt we inflict on others. God is not willing to leave His chosen ones unchanged. We can correct ourselves. Or He will correct us.

Jacob reminds us that the purpose we serve is greater than we are. Jacob was the conduit through which God intended to bless the world. That God uses us to bless others is far more important than that we live happy and prosperous lives. Jacob’s life journey reminds us that God never deserts His own. God was with Jacob before Jacob knew him. He ventured with Jacob on all his travels. He stayed close to Jacob as his life drew to an end. There is no place we can go, no time we can inhabit, where God is absent. His presence is, and will ever remain, our hope.

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

Esther  9  10 ------- Acts  7 :1- 21

James & Mary Lee Thornton

*************************************************

GOD'S GRAZINGFIELD DAILY DEVOTION

Today’s First Thoughts                       June 24, 2010

Good Morning!
God has a purpose for our lives; if we will keep a right spirit, He will bring it to pass.

JOSEPH A MAN OF DREAMS:
Genesis 41:38. And Pharaoh said unto his servants, Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is?

Joseph was the child of Jacob's later life and elder son of Rachel. Jacob's favoritism to Joseph was very evident, probably because he was older when Joseph was born and Rachel, the mother of Joseph, was his favorite wife.

The special coat Jacob gave to Joseph was a type of garment worn only by Priests, rulers, and the wealthy. It pointed out Joseph as Jacob's choice for the birthright. Every time the brothers of Joseph saw the coat they began to hate him more.

Joseph soon added fuel to the fire of his brothers’ envy by telling his dreams which prophesied that the rest of the family would bow down to him in the manner that people bowed to kings in those days. This infuriated his brothers who schemed against him and sold him to a group of traders who took him to Egypt where he ended up in prison. Then when famine came Joseph was elevated by Pharaoh to be Prime-minister. His brothers came to Egypt to buy food and thereby Joseph’s dream concerning them was fulfilled.

Joseph looked beyond what his brothers had done to him and saw the hand of God. Had he developed a hard or unforgiving spirit, he would have missed the grace, blessing, and reward God was preparing in, for, and through him. Instead, he recognized God's will working through his adversity. He stated to his brothers, “God did send me before you to preserve life.”

Our lesson from this, even though we are tested in an unkind and unjustified manner and have every reason to be bitter, we also can learn to bow our wills to God's will and say, “God has something in it for me.”

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

Job  1  2 ---- Acts  7 :22 - 43

James & Mary Lee Thornton

**************************************************

GOD'S GRAZINGFIELD DAILY DEVOTION

Today’s First Thoughts                       June 25, 2010

Good Morning!
Joshua was Moses’ faithful assistant during the Exodus and succeeded him as Israel’s leader after Moses died.

JOSHUA THE CONQUEROR:
Joshua 4:14.  On that day the LORD magnified Joshua in the sight of all Israel; and they feared him, as they feared Moses, all the days of his life.

Joshua is distinguished among leaders as one of the best and strongest in the Bible. Joshua had been Moses’ assistant during their journeying in the wilderness and for approximately twenty-five years he was the leader of Israel after Moses' death, and his life is a constant reminder to us that we should follow the Lord in all of our days. The land and the people were better because he had passed their way.

Joshua called a final gathering of all the people to Schechem (Joshua 24). He knew that his days were numbered and he wanted one last opportunity to influence the people he loved. Joshua reminded Israel of the goodness of the Lord. He recounted their history from the beginning, allowing them to see how God had blessed, protected, delivered and consoled them from the time they left Egypt until the moment at hand.

Joshua, who had always been decisive, reached back into himself during this final moment with the congregation of Israel and called to mind his experience with God that had carried him over the years. Looking upon the people he loved, he exhorted them to "choose you this day whom ye will serve" (Joshua 24:15).  Then Joshua gave his personal and family testimony for all to hear and to know. “But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).

Joshua’s steadfastness in sunshine or rain, in storm or calm, had brought them to a close reliance upon God and he wanted them to maintain this close fellowship.

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

Job  3  4 ------ Acts  7 :44 - 60

James & Mary Lee Thornton

*************************************************

GOD'S GRAZINGFIELD DAILY DEVOTION

Today’s First Thoughts                              June 26 & 27, 2010

Good Morning!
Elijah was “a man with a nature like ours” (James 5:17), and just as surely God graciously ministered to Elijah. Elijah had given his life to serve God, but God also was dedicated to serve Elijah.

ELIJAH
1 KINGS 19:5. And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, then an angel touched him, and said unto him, Arise and eat. 6. And he looked, and, behold, there was a cake baken on the coals, and a cruse of water at his head. And he did eat and drink, and laid him down again. 7. And the angel of the LORD came again the second time, and touched him, and said, Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for thee. 8. And he arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the mount of God.

Elijah’s humanity came through most clearly after his victory on Mount Carmel. When Jezebel heard that Elijah had ordered the prophets of Baal killed, the queen sent a death threat to the prophet. Elijah was terrified, and ran for his life. (1 Kings 19:1-3). While terror gripped Elijah, the Lord supplied him with the strength he needed to flee. Finally exhausted, Elijah stopped running at Mount Sinai [called Horeb here]. God spoke to him there and Elijah shared his despair: “I have been very zealous for the Lord God of hosts; for the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life” (1 Kings 19:10). Rather than rebuke Elijah, God ministered to His prophet in specific and gracious ways.

Elijah reminds us that we may find ourselves in situations where we feel that we alone have remained faithful to the Lord. Should this happen, we are to be bold and speak up for Him as Elijah did. This incident in the life of Elijah reminds us that when we feel weakest God may be the closest to us, ready to whisper to us in a still, small voice. It also reminds us that God is never critical of our human limitations. God understands us, and cares. He knows how to provide what we need to go on with life. It reminds us that we need God’s perspective always. However alone we may feel, many others love God equally and share our experiences. Like Elijah, we, too, need the companionship of like-minded believers. We receive this in fellowship with our Church family.

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

Job  5  6  7 ------- Acts  8 :1 ---- 25
Job   8  9  10 ---- Acts  8 :26 ---40

James & Mary Lee Thornton

*****************************************************

GOD'S GRAZINGFIELD DAILY DEVOTION

Today’s First Thoughts                       June 28, 2010

Good Morning!
Jonah is a prime example of a patriot who knew God well but whose first loyalty was to his nation. He was unwilling to do God’s will when he feared that what God had in mind might conflict with his own hopes for his nation’s future.

JONAH WAS CALLED OF GOD TO GO TO NINEVEH:
Jonah 1:1. Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying,  2 Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me. 3. But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.

When God called Jonah to go to Nineveh and announce the destruction of the capital of Israel’s most powerful enemy, he chose to run away instead. Jonah’s attempted flight was thwarted, however. God sent two unusual elements: a storm that nearly destroyed the ship on which Jonah had taken passage and a great fish to return the fleeing prophet to land.

The next time God spoke, Jonah obeyed. He went to Nineveh, and announced the coming judgment. As Jonah had feared, the people of Nineveh did repent! Jonah sat on a hill outside Nineveh waiting to see what would happen until it became clear that God had chosen to delay the judgment Jonah had announced. Angry and miserable, Jonah begged God to end his life. Instead, God rebuked his prophet, reminding him that the Lord had pity on “Nineveh, that great city, in which are more than one hundred twenty thousand persons who cannot discern between their right hand and their left—and much livestock” (Jonah 4:11).

Jonah missed the significance of God’s warning and subsequent relenting. Amos, a prophet from Judah, would soon come to Israel and issue God’s indictment of Israel’s sins and call on His own people to repent. Nineveh’s repentance and God’s gracious failure to punish that city was an object lesson for Israel.

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

Job 11  12  13  ---- Acts  9 :1-- 21

James & Mary Lee Thornton

*****************************************************

GOD'S GRAZINGFIELD DAILY DEVOTION

Today’s First Thoughts                       June 29, 2010

Good Morning!
One of the most striking aspects of Ezekiel’s experience is the stunning visions of Himself that God granted to this prophet. These visions of a transcendent God, glorious and all-powerful, strengthened Ezekiel for the many personal trials that lay ahead.

EZEKIAL
Ezekiel 1:3. The word of the LORD came expressly unto Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar; and the hand of the LORD was there upon him. 24:24. Thus Ezekiel is unto you a sign: according to all that he hath done shall ye do: and when this cometh, ye shall know that I am the Lord GOD.

Only two verses in the Old Testament identify Ezekiel by name. Each is in the prophet’s own book (1:3; 24:24). At the same time many passages in Ezekiel’s book describe his experiences. Ezekiel was not only given towering visions of God; he also was called to act out God’s messages to the Jewish captives. While some in Babylon held out hope that Judah might be preserved and that they might return home, God’s words through Ezekiel emphasized the depths of Judah’s sins (Ezek. 8–11), and the certainty of divine judgment. While God would restore His people to the Promised Land in the future, there was no hope for the present generation.

Two incidents reflect ways in which Ezekiel’s experiences were to mirror the fate God had in store for the people of Judah. Ezekiel acted out the siege of Jerusalem (Ezek. 4; 5). God told Ezekiel to build a model city and lay siege works against it. Ezekiel then was to lie on his side for a fixed number of days and for over a year was to live on a daily ration of some eight ounces of food and a pint of water. Ezekiel’s diet represented the starvation diet of those trapped in Jerusalem by the Babylonian forces. At the end of this time, Ezekiel shaved his head and beard, and divided it into thirds. Each third represented the fate of Jerusalem’s inhabitants when the city fell.

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

Job  14  15  16  ------- Acts  9 :22- 43

James & Mary Lee Thornton

*****************************************************

GOD'S GRAZINGFIELD DAILY DEVOTION

Today’s First Thoughts                        June 30, 2010

Good Morning!
Daniel’s story clearly reflects a lifelong and total commitment to the Lord.

DANIEL KNEW THAT GOD COULD REVEAL SECRETS:
Daniel 2: 16. Then Daniel went in, and desired of the king that he would give him time, and that he would shew the king the interpretation. 27. Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, The secret which the king hath demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers, shew unto the king;
28. But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these;

Daniel and his friends were Jews and thus subject to the Old Testament dietary laws. Daniel refused to eat the nonkosher diet served in the school, and respectfully requested the privilege of eating only that which was lawful. His commitment to God while still a young teen set the course of the next eighty or so years of Daniel’s life. When Daniel heard that all the kings’ advisors were to be executed, he asked Nebuchadnezzar for time. (Dan. 2). Daniel returned to his three Jewish friends, and they went to prayer. When the secret was revealed, the first thing Daniel did was to praise God. Only then did he go to the king.

Daniel’s confidence that God could do the humanly impossible, Daniel’s reliance on prayer, and his emphasis on praise tell us much about the man. They also help us understand how Daniel could have functioned so effectively in a pagan environment. When Daniel revealed the answer to the king, he made sure that God received all the credit. This true humility was part of the secret of Daniel’s success.

When Daniel interpreted the dream that warned Nebuchadnezzar against his pride, Daniel was deeply concerned. Daniel’s expression and his words showed that he cared about Nebuchadnezzar as a person (Dan. 4:19). Nebuchadnezzar accepted this from Daniel, for he knew that Daniel was not trying to manipulate him for personal gain but did truly care about him. Daniel made it a practice to pray three times daily with his window open facing Jerusalem. As his religion was the only possible “flaw” his enemies could find, they tricked Darius into promulgating a decree that no one could make a request to any god or man other than Darius for 30 days.  This did not stop Daniel from praying.

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

Job  17  18  19 ------- Acts  10 :1 -- 23

James & Mary Lee Thornton

 

Copyright (c)2010 GODSGRAZINGFIELD & JustHost.com