GODSGRAZINGFIELD DAILY DEVOTIONS June 2011

Calling His Disciples

    Jesus Calling, "Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men."

       Today Is Sunday, June 25, 2017

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God's Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                                   June 1, 2011

Good Morning!
God will hear our prayers and grant our requests, but often not in the precise manner in which we ask it.

THE BEGINNING OF TWO YEARS OF GREAT POPULARITY:
John 4:43. “Now after two days he departed thence, and went into Galilee. 44. For Jesus himself testified, that a prophet hath no honour in his own country. 45. Then when he was come into Galilee, the Galilaeans received him, having seen all the things that he did at Jerusalem at the feast: for they also went unto the feast.”

When Jesus and His family first took up residence in Capernaum it was only a few days before they left to go to Jerusalem for the Passover feast (John 2:12-13). The citizens did not have time to get fully acquainted with Him. Jesus also had many relatives who lived there and they knew of His humble upbringing, and had no idea of His real greatness. Many of those citizens and multitudes from the surrounding area also went up to the feast, and during the week of the Passover Jesus performed many (unrecorded) miracles according to Nicodemus (John 3:2). Now that He had returned to Galilee the people were excited and were anxious for Him to repeat the miracles there.

One of the first to seek His help was “a certain Nobleman.” One who was of the royal family, connected by birth with Herod Antipas; or one of the officers of the court, “he went unto Him, and besought him that he would come down (to Capernaum), and heal his son: for he was at the point of death.” It is probable that the miracles of Jesus heretofore had been performed only on those who were present with him, and this nobleman seems to have thought that this was necessary. One purpose of Jesus in working this miracle was to show him that this was not necessary. What Jesus intended to teach this man was, that He, Who had life in Himself, could restore life at a distance as easily as by His presence; by the word of His Power as effortlessly as by His personal touch.

“Jesus saith unto him, Go thy way; thy son liveth. And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way” (John 4:50). This is an instance of the power of Jesus to convince the mind, to soothe doubts, to confirm faith, and to meet our desires. He blesses not always in the manner in which we ask, but He grants our main wish. The father wished his son healed by Jesus going down to Capernaum. Jesus healed him, but not in the way in which he asked it to be done.

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11 Chronicles  35 36

James & Mary Lee Thornton

www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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God's Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                                   June 2, 2011

Good Morning!
John, in his book, does not follow a chronological account of the life of Jesus. There are fewer than 20 days that John writes about. How I wish he had written a day by day account. He tells us the world itself could not hold all that should be written.

THE MAN AT THE BACK OF THE LINE:
John 5:1. “After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
5. And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. 6. When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? 7. The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.

We have all experienced having to go to the back of the line on many occasions while shopping, and sometimes at rush hour or during certain seasons it seems that we will never get to the front of the line. In this Devotion we will take a look at a man who was stuck at the back of the line for many years before he finally got what he came for. 38 years is a long time to any man. It is a longer time to a man who is sick. And to a sick man who has no friends, it is a longer time. To the man at the pool of Bethesda time had no end. All the days to him were alike, chilly, drab and hopeless.

No one had ever seemed to see this man. Have you ever felt that no one ever sees you, ever pays any attention to you, or, even cares about you? 38 years in one of the busiest places in Jerusalem. Men constantly passed the spot where he lay. Keen-eyed merchants, traders, vine dressers, shepherds, soldiers, publicans, scholars, Church officials, Scribes, Pharisees, Priests, Levites, And thousand of ordinary people passed through there daily. They came and went, yet not one ever seemed to see this man. Why? It is because everyone was thinking of himself. One had bought a piece of ground, and was in a hurry to see it, another had heard about 5 yoke of oxen for sale, another had married a wife. (Luke 14:18-20) So none of them had time to assist this man's assistance. We try not to see anyone when we are in a hurry, especially stop and help (Luke 10:31-32).

I have painted you a cruel picture. In the fullness of time, A never to be forgotten day, someone else came down to the pool of Bethesda. He who was a genius for seeing men. Can we ever forget the day he came into our lives bringing hope?

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Ezra  1 2 3  

James & Mary Lee Thornton

www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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God's Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                                  June 3, 2011                           

Good Morning!
What He did that day at Bethesda, He always did, and always will.

RISE, TAKE UP THY BED AND WALK:
John 5:8. “Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. 9. And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath. 10. The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, It is the sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed.

Jesus glances over every face in the mass of suffering humanity. His eyes rest at last on the face of the man at the back of the line. His question seemed to be, “do you need some help?” Luke 19:10. “For the son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Matthew 9:12b. “They that are whole need not a physician, but they that are sick” Matthew 9:13b. “For I come to call not the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” 8. “Jesus saith unto him, rise, take up thy bed, and walk. 9. And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the Sabbath.” He said to his followers,

1. “Go to the lost sheep, …”

2. “Heal the sick, …”

3. “Cleanse the lepers, …”

4. “Raise the dead, …”

5. “Cast out devils,…”

He told the man at the back of the line to, “Rise take up thy bed and walk.”

His parables and teachings are about, lost sheep, lost coin, lost son. The traveler who fell among thieves, the blind beggar at the gate. He was always “moved with compassion” toward the helpless. A woman came at the back of the line to give her gift, Jesus saw her, Luke 21:2. “And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites. 3. And he said, of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all:”

He forgave the soldiers who drove the nails into his hands, And carried a robber to paradise with him. So next time you find yourself feeling that you are shoved to the back of the line, there is someone who is concerned regardless of the situation.

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Ezra  4 5 6 7

James & Mary Lee Thornton

www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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God's Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                         June 4 & 5, 2011                             

Good Morning!
The healing of the impotent man at the pool stirred up the animosity of the Jews against Jesus by healing him on the Sabbath Day and his proclamation of equality with God.

JESUS’ WORDS MAKES HIM EQUAL WITH GOD:
John 5:16. “And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day. 17. But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. 18. Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.

“Making himself equal with God.” This shows that, in the view of the Jews, the name Son of God, or that calling God His Father, implied equality with God. He not only said that God was His Father, but He said that He had the same right to work on the Sabbath that God had; that by the same authority, and in the same manner, He could dispense with the obligation of the day. They had now two pretences for seeking to kill Him-one for making himself equal with God, which they considered blasphemy, and the other for violating the Sabbath. For breaking each of these the law declared death (Numbers 15:35, Leviticus 24:11-14).

When Jesus said that He can do nothing of Himself, it is meant that such is the union subsisting between the Father and the Son that he can do nothing independently or separate from the Father. Such is the nature of this union that he can do nothing which has not the concurrence of the Father, and which He does not command. In all things he must, from the necessity of his nature, act in accordance with the nature and will of God. Such is the intimacy of the union that the fact that He does anything is proof that it is by the concurring will of God. There is no separate action-no separate existence; but, alike in being and in action, there is the most perfect oneness between Him and the Father (John 10:30; 17:21).

If one does all that another does or can do, then there must be equality. If the Son does all that the Father does, then, like Him, He must be almighty, omniscient, omnipresent, and infinite in every perfection; or, in other words, He must be God. If He had this power, then He had authority, to do on the Sabbath-day what God did.

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Ezra  8 9 10   ----------  Nehemiah 1 2 3

James & Mary Lee Thornton

www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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God's Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                               June 6, 2011                            

Good Morning!
Jesus explains to the Jews that He has the power, right, or authority to call men from the grave to the judgment where He will sit as judge to execute judgment.

A JUST JUDGE:
John 5:26. “For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;
27. And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. 28. Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, 29. And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. 30. I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just;”

“Hath given him authority.” Hath appointed him to do this. Has made him to be judge of all. This is represented as being the appointment of the Father, Acts 17:31. The word authority here (commonly rendered power) implies all that is necessary to execute judgment-all the physical power to raise the dead, and to investigate the actions and thoughts of the life; and all the moral right or authority to sit in judgment on the creatures of God, and to pronounce their life or doom.

“Shall hear His voice.” He will restore them to life, and command them to appear before Him. This is a most sublime description, and this will be a wonderful display of almighty power. None but God can see all the dead, none but He could remold their frames, and none else could command them to return to life.

“Resurrection of life.” In the resurrection the righteous will be raised up to the full enjoyment and perpetual security of that life. It is also called the resurrection of life, because there shall be no more death, Revelation 21:4. The enjoyment of God Himself and of His works; of the society of the angels and of the redeemed; freedom from sickness, and sin, and dying, will constitute the life of the just in the resurrection.

“The resurrection of damnation.” Those who have done evil will be raised up to be condemned or damned. It is said of the unjust that they are reserved unto the Day of Judgment to be punished, 2 Peter 2:9. That this refers to the future judgment-to the resurrection then, and not to anything that takes place in this life.

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

Nehemiah 4 5 6 7

James & Mary Lee Thornton

www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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God's Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                                 June 7, 2011                            

Good Morning!
When faced with an insolvable dilemma, we usually respond by throwing our hands up and declaring that the problem is insurmountable.

JESUS FEEDS 5,000:
John 6:5. “When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat? 6. And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do. 7. Philip answered him, Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little. 8. One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, saith unto him, 9. There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many?

The miracle of the Feeding of the Five Thousand, which follows, is the only miracle of the Savior recorded by all the four Gospels. From a comparison of the accounts we learn that it took place after the death of John the Baptist, and hence as late as the third year of our Lord's ministry. He asked Philip where they might buy enough food for these people to eat. He probably asked Philip this question since this was his home territory. The other gospels tell us that these men had just returned from a successful short-term mission. Jesus had given them authority to cast out demons and heal diseases. They were euphoric over the things that they accomplished in His name. Now Jesus was testing their faith and their understanding of the events that had captivated their lives since they had answered His call to follow Him.

Philip answered, “We would need about a year’s wages to buy enough bread for each of them to have a piece.” Philip’s answer demonstrated that there was still much to learn. Now, they faced a visible problem in purely physical terms. One denarius would feed ten men. Mathematically, if they had two hundred denarii, they could feed two thousand men. This crowd was more than double that size. There was no way the Twelve could afford to feed this huge gathering of people.

Our belief systems are not perfect and free of doubt, but we can draw comfort from the apostles who saw things we have never seen. They saw water turned to wine. They witnessed the joy of a restored leper and saw a man who was paralyzed for thirty-eight years get up from his bed and walk. Yet they had doubts. Therefore, when we struggle, we are surrounded by a whole host of saints who have gone before. Let us note that Jesus is in control and that He might be testing our faith.

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

Nehemiah  8 9 10 

James & Mary Lee Thornton

www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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God's Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                                June 8, 2011

Good Morning!        
There is always enough and more left over, when we put it into His hands.

JESUS PROVIDES OVER AND ABOVE THE NEEDS:
John 6:9 “There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many? 12 When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost. 13 Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten.

“But what are they among so many?” Andrew suggests the same insufficiency of human resources to meet great human needs as is suggested by Moses, when God told him that the people would have plenty of meat. “And Moses said, The people, among whom I am, are six hundred thousand footmen; and thou hast said, I will give them flesh, that they may eat a whole month. Shall the flocks and the herds be slain for them, to suffice them? or shall all the fish of the sea be gathered together for them, to suffice them? And the LORD said unto Moses, Is the LORD'S hand waxed short? thou shalt see now whether my word shall come to pass unto thee or not. (Numbers 11:21-23).

Jesus will say to us, concerning our resources, as He did to Andrew concerning the five loaves snd two fishes. “He said, bring them hither to me” (Matthew 14:18). When we feel limited in our resources to help, when our humanity is exhausted in our efforts to provide the needs which we are faced with day after day, bring it to Jesus. “Five loaves... Five-thousand men.” Jesus took the loaves and, Mark (6:41) says “He looked up to heaven, and blessed, and brake the loaves,” it was during the time that it was in his hands that the loaves and fishes were multiplied to an inexhaustible measure. “...He distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down;... as much as they would.” “He gave thanks,” and, “He distributed.” This is the Lord’s method. He to His children, they to the world, in unlimited quantities.

“Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost. 13. Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten.

There was more left over than there was to start with.

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

Nehemiah  11 12 13

James & Mary Lee Thornton

www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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God's Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                               June 9, 2011

Good Morning!        
When the storms of life are raging around us, Jesus will come to us, and when He comes He speaks peace to our soul.

JESUS WALKS ON THE WATER:
John 6:16. “And when even was now come, his disciples went down unto the sea, 17. And entered into a ship, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was now dark, and Jesus was not come to them. 18. And the sea arose by reason of a great wind that blew. 19. So when they had rowed about five and twenty or thirty furlongs, they see Jesus walking on the sea, and drawing nigh unto the ship: and they were afraid. 20. But he saith unto them, It is I; be not afraid.”

The other Gospels tell us that Jesus commanded them to go over the sea to an area near Capernaum and then departed to be alone in prayer (Mark 6:45). They followed Jesus’ orders, but He was nowhere to be found. Dusk was past. Although some of them were seasoned men of the sea, this would not have been their preference. It was far better to cross the sea in the daylight. A strong wind started to blow and stir up the sea. A stormy sea is frightening even in daylight hours. Since it was dark, the disciples were filled with terror. The boat, now hundreds of yards from shore, was being thrown around by the waves because it was going against the wind. There was no way to compensate for the onslaught of wind and rain and sea.

After a long struggle, nearing the far shore in the area of Capernaum, the disciples now saw a presence, maybe even some type of apparition, approach them, walking on the sea. Their terror became real as the presence drew near their boat. “When they saw him walking upon the sea, they supposed it had been a spirit, and cried out:” (Mark 6:49). Jesus spoke a word of comfort in the middle of the storm. He told them that He was indeed their Rabbi walking on the sea (Mark 6:50). There was no real reason for them to be afraid of Him. He was not a ghost. He was flesh and blood. He was the one that they knew and trusted. He was their Rabbi, their Master.

This is the same incident that Peter walked on the sea to Jesus (Matthew 14:28-31). With great relief, the disciples helped Jesus into the boat. They were glad that their Master was with them in the midst of this stormy sea, but, suddenly, there was no stormy sea. All was calm as they arrived at their destination (Matthew 14:32-33).

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

Esther    1 2 3 4 5

James & Mary Lee Thornton

www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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God's Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                                  June 10, 2011

Good Morning!
Jesus compels none to remain with him against their will, and the question in such trying times is submitted to every man whether he will or will not go away.

JESUS, THE BREAD OF LIFE:
John 6:35 “And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.”

As Jesus came back to His home town of Capernaum the people swarmed to hear Him and to be near Him. His ministry on earth was fast coming to a close and He recognized the fickleness of the crowd as He began to teach that day. As His words came forth that day there was a change in the feeling towards Him. They wanted Jesus to provide natural food for them as Moses did for their fathers. Jesus corrected their misrepresentation of the Scriptures. Moses was not the one who supplied manna in the desert. God alone provided for these wandering people.

Jesus said, “This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever  (John 6:58). Now, the God of Moses was offering them something far greater than manna. The Father had again extended His merciful hand to the lost of the world, offering them real bread from heaven itself. This bread was the genuine article, not temporary, but permanent satisfaction. Jesus then plainly told them that “I am the bread of life.” They understood that Jesus was telling them He was God.

The reaction on that day, “The Jews then murmured at Him” (John 6:41), “The Jews therefore strove (argued) among themselves (John 6:52), “This is a hard saying; who can hear it? And finally “From that time many of His disciples (followers) went back, and walked no more with Him” (John 6:66). The crowds from that day forward thinned out. They no longer “pressed upon Him to hear His words.” They no longer “pressed” through multitudes “to touch Him.”

But Jesus knew that there would be some who would stay close to Him. Peter was the first to answer when Jesus asked, “Will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life (John 6:67-68). Simon Peter not only answered for the twelve, but for the millions who since that day have come to the same crossroad of decisions.

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

Esther  6 7 8 9 10 

James & Mary Lee Thornton

www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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God's Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                      June 11 & 12, 2011

Good Morning!
It is difficult sometime to serve Christ when family member do not believe. Jesus also was burdened because His own brethren did not believe on Him.

JESUS’ BROTHERS URGE HIM TO DEMONSTRATE HIS POWER:
John 7:2 “Now the Jews' feast of tabernacles was at hand. 3 His brethren therefore said unto him, Depart hence, and go into Judaea, that thy disciples also may see the works that thou doest. 4 For there is no man that doeth any thing in secret, and he himself seeketh to be known openly. If thou do these things, shew thyself to the world. 5 For neither did his brethren believe in him. 10. But when his brethren were gone up, then went he also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret.”

Jesus’ younger brothers did not believe His claims. They certainly witnessed some of the spectacular things He did in Galilee, but they did not see beyond the physical aspects of His miracles. Therefore, they wanted to give Jesus their sage advice. If He could perform such deeds as significant evidence of His unique position as the Son of God, then He should go on to Judea and demonstrate His power there. Then, maybe He could regain some of the following He had lost after His discourse on the bread of life. This was said, probably, not in sincerity, but in derision and to the other sufferings of our Lord was to be added, what is so common to Christians, derision from His relatives and friends on account of His pretensions. If our Saviour was derided, we also may expect to be by our relatives; and, having His example, we should be content to bear it.

Jesus had four brothers, James, Joses, Simon, and Judas, and at least two sisters (Matthew 13:55-56). Our Lord would win them in the end. Paul tells us that Jesus appeared to James immediately after His resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:7), who became a leader in the early church (Acts15:13), and also left us a letter we call the Book of James. Jude was also a convert and left a letter we call the Book of Jude. Most likely the whole family was at Jerusalem at the time of the crucifixion and also met Him after His resurrection. I feel they were all in the upper room at Pentecost and received the Holy Spirit along with His mother (Acts 1:14).

This proves to us that the souls of our family members and our other relatives can be won to the Lord by us living real Christian live before them. Simon Peter gave advise to wives with unsaved husbands on how to win them to the Lord, not by constantly attacking them about their sins but by Holy living before them (1 Peter 3)

 
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Job  1 2 3 4 5    ----------   Job 6 7 8 9 10  

James & Mary Lee Thornton

www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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God's Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                                 June 13, 2011

Good Morning!
The Book of John is so thrilling, so personal. How I wish John could have left us more about Jesus. He tells us that his story is incomplete. John wrote about fewer than 20 days in the life of Jesus.

ALONE AND NOT ALONE:
John 7:53 “And every man went unto his own house.”
John 8:1 “Jesus went unto the mount of Olives.”

The Bible which we have in our hands today a chapter sometimes stops before the thought or incident has been completely finished. Such is the case in the two scriptures we have chosen for our thought today. Jesus was in Jerusalem and all day long he had been teaching and intermingling with the people. The day had drawn to a close and the last verse of chapter 7 says “Every man went unto his own house.” The first verse of chapter 8 continues the theme and says that “Jesus went unto the Mount of Olives.” It was the end of one of the most wonderful days in the life of Jesus. On this particular day Jesus had met and preached to various classes of people. The congregation was divided in their opinion of Him.

The day ended in division among the people, some for Him, some against Him, some would have laid hold on Him. They sent officers to arrest Him and when they came back empty handed they asked, “Why have ye not brought Him? The officers answered, Never man spake like this” (John 7:46). The day came to an end with, "Every man going unto his own house.” “Jesus went unto the mount of olives." (John 7:53; & 8:1) The people went to their respective homes, To find domestic happiness, wife, children, supper, And to bed for the night, They went to sleep till another morning broke.

The Son of Man spent the night alone, among the trees on the hill side, The stars looking down, With no human companion near. What a contrast, alone, loneliness, alone, but not alone. Why did not someone ask Him home with them? When no earthly door would open, He went to the Mount of Olives to talk face to face with His father. He who Himself is God, must look up and appeal for strength. We need to learn to take advantage of the lonely hours. Come away from a noisy world, Enter into silence with God. When we learn the meaning of faith, of love, of sacrifice, of prayer, we cease to be alone.

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

Job   11 12 13 14

James & Mary Lee Thornton

www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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God's Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                                 June 14, 2011

Good Morning!
People are usually convicted by their conscience when they are brought face to face with their sins.

A WOMAN BROUGHT TO JESUS FOR TRIAL:
John 8:7 “So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is
without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. 8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. 9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.”

Early in the morning, unafraid, yet fully aware of the imminent danger, Jesus returned to the temple, the epicenter of the growing opposition fueled by the Jewish Sanhedrin. Following His usual custom, He sat down and began to teach those remaining about His kingdom. This has the appearance of a trap created to test Jesus. It seems unlikely that a woman would be caught in the act of adultery, which is generally cloaked in secrecy. How would anyone know what was going on unless they had previously planned the trick in order to arrest the woman and place her before Jesus?

They wished to make it appear that he was gluttonous, and a wine-bibber, and a friend of sinners, and disposed to relax all the laws of morality, even in the case of adultery. Seldom was there a plan more artfully laid, and never was more wisdom and knowledge of human nature displayed than in the manner in which it was met.

Jesus knelt down and wrote in the dust of the temple floor as though He hadn’t heard them. No one knows what Jesus wrote, but can suppose that some of their own sins were being written for all to see. Then rising from the ground Jesus turned to the accusers and replied, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.”

Unable to face their own guilt before Moses’ Law and before the Prophet, the accusers walked away, starting with the older men. They were convicted by the truth that Jesus placed squarely before them. Their hypocrisy exposed, their consciences possibly convicted, the lawyers stood guilty. Sentenced by their own evil hearts, they could not throw that first stone. Jesus was left alone with the accused woman. Jesus words to her, “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.”

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Job  15 16 17 18 19  

James & Mary Lee Thornton

www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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God's Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                                 June 15, 2011

Good Morning!
The Pharisees therefore said unto him, Thou bearest record of thyself; thy record is not true.

JESUS MISUNDERSTOOD:
John 8:19. “Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also. 23. And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world.”

It was perfectly natural for them to seek corroboration of Jesus’ testimony. If they could just speak to His Father, they could evaluate His testimony in their effort to determine the truth of His claims. They were, of course, thinking of someone who lived nearby to whom they could dispatch their representatives. Jesus knew that these men had no concept of His heavenly origins. He told them flatly that they did not know Him, nor did they know His Father. Indeed, He implied that they would never know Him or His Father.

“I’m from above.” This one statement expressed the immensity of that chasm. There was no common denominator or foundation which these men shared with Jesus. In fact, the opposite is true. Jesus and His adversaries come from opposite ends of God’s eternal spectrum. How could Jesus say that He was not from this world, yet be standing right in front of them? The physical evidence overloaded their senses so much that they could not perceive the world from which He had come. If they touched Him, they would feel flesh. If they cut Him, He would bleed. What could He possibly be saying? He was as physically real as any of them. But He was not of their world.

“If ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.” There was only one possible alternative to this bleak prediction of Jesus. The sentence is conditional after all. They would have to acknowledge that He was the Son of God, the Lamb of God that would take away the sins of the world. Indeed, these men would have to see Jesus as the great I Am, as described in Exodus 3:14. No one else can save us. Indeed, we can be saved only by the power of the one named Jesus and not by any other person (Acts 4:12).

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Job  20 21 22 23 24

James & Mary Lee Thornton

www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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God's Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                                 June 16, 2011

Good Morning!
“He is the freeman whom the truth makes free, and all are slaves beside.” (Cowper)

THE TRUTH SHALL MAKE YOU FREE:
John 8:32. “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. 33 They answered him, We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? 34. Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.

“Ye shall know the truth.” This sentence explicitly answers the question of Pontius Pilate, “What is truth?” This verse is so deeply moving, to grasp the full import of Jesus’ promise we must understand the meaning of the word “know.” The Greek implies a knowledge gained through the rigors of one’s personal experience. This is not some vain intellectual pursuit or even a disciplined study of some worthwhile subject. Rather, it is the deeply personal knowledge that comes from the intimate experience of knowing Christ. Discipleship results in personal, intimate knowledge of the truth.

The “truth” is the central core of Jesus’ teaching. In fact, it is His very essence, HE IS TRUTH. It is the revealed truth that Jesus is exactly Who He has said He is. He is the bread of life. He is the Messiah. He is the Son of God. He is the Word, the Light of the World, the Lamb of God. This is the truth that every disciple embraces by virtue of his experience by the Holy Spirit, knowing that Jesus is his Savior.

“We were never in bondage to any man:” This the Jews said and within sight of any man of the poorest vision, was a Roman Garrison. They had been in bondage to the Egyptians, the Assyrians, and worst of all, a slave to their own evil ways. One brief glance at their history would convince anyone that the Jewish people had lived most of their existence in servitude to one ruling monarch or another. In the face of over-whelming contradictory evidence, they insisted they did not need to be made free.

But through the experienced knowledge of Jesus, the truth, sets His followers free. Not free from Rome. Not free from responsibilities or even from the temporary consequences of sin. It frees Christ’s own from the eternal consequences of their sin. For this reason, Jesus vigorously castigated the Pharisees for their unbelief because they “would die because of their sins” (John 8:24). The effect of the gospel is to break this hard bondage to sin and to set the sinner free.

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Job  25 26 27 28 29 

James & Mary Lee Thornton

www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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God's Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                                 June 17, 2011

Good Morning!
Free indeed. Truly and really free. You shall be blessed with the most valuable freedom; not from the chains and oppressions of earthly masters and monarchs, but from the bondage of sin.

THE SON GIVES TRUE FREEDOM:
John 8:35. “And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. 36. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”

Jesus was speaking of spiritual slavery, the impenetrable darkness of sin that is so firmly embedded deeply within the core of human existence. They were indeed slaves. They had never been free. Their past, present, and future were fully predictable because this was the unchanging condition of their hearts. “A wicked person will be trapped by his own wrongs, and he will be caught in the ropes of his own sin” (Proverbs 5:22, GW).

Jesus reminded them that the status of a slave is only temporary. A slave may provide useful service, but he never really belongs. The slave is always an outsider, looking inside at the life and the happiness of the family. In contrast to the slave, the son is always on the inside, never on the outside. By virtue of his birthright, the son’s status is permanent. These leaders were enslaved by their sins and their status in God’s family was only temporary. They did not really belong (1 John 3:8-10).

“If the Son shall make you free.” It is the son’s birthright to determine the slave’s future. One word can set him free or send him to his death. But who can set a slave free from the bondage of sin? The Son! The Son of God, their Messiah, the Lamb of God, can grant them pardon and set the slave free. The Son is the only one in a position to grant such freedom. There is no one else. But we can be assured that once the Son has made the declaration to set the slave free, the slave is no longer a slave, but a free person.

We may conclude with absolute assurance that the truth of which Jesus spoke was not some vague concept. It is the very person of the Lord Jesus Christ. Later Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one goes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). The message that Jesus faithfully declared during His earthly life could not be clearer. Jesus, in the core of His eternal being, is the eternal truth. This truth is eternal and unchanging.

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Job   30 31 32 33 34

James & Mary Lee Thornton

www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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God's Grazingfield Daily Devotion                        

Today’s First Thoughts                                       June 18 & 19, 2011

Good Morning!
Jesus challenges the Pharisees “Which of you can prove that I am guilty of sin.”

JESUS’ CHARACTER IS SINLESS:
John 8:46. “Which of you convinceth (can convict) me of sin?”
John 14:30. “for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.”

Who among us can say that? Jesus is saying, “There is nothing in Me that Satan can claim, nothing he can lay his black claws on and say that’s mine.” ‘There is no envy, no malice, no guile, no self-seeking, no hypocrisy, no evil thoughts, no lies, no deceit, no sin of any nature or form. There is none of the taint of Adam’s transgression in me; no one can find a flaw in My character.” 

Despite their defense that Abraham was their father and later that God was their Father, Jesus told them that they were the children of the devil himself. As these moments in history would proceed inexorably toward the cross, these men would follow the plan of Jesus’ archenemy, Satan. Jesus knew him well. He had met him in the wilderness of Judea. They had come face to face, and Jesus had conquered. As He looked at these men with sadness for their unbelief, He knew that they were the children of this evil one. Jesus is saying, “You are full of dirty tricks and schemes, you are sons of the devil! You hate everything that has God’s approval. Quit trying to distort the truth about the way the Lord wants people to live” (Acts 13:10).

Jesus demanded that they judge Him according to their own Law. They would find Him guiltless of any offense against the Law that they held in such high esteem. Thus, there was a shameful hypocrisy in their intentions to kill Jesus. He stood before them guiltless under the Law in stark contrast to the earlier account in which they had brought a woman caught in adultery. Jesus agreed that she was guilty and might be stoned to death. But, placing demanding criteria on her execution, He told them that anyone without sin should throw the first stone. Each of these elders had finally turned and left the scene, knowing within the deepest recesses of their hearts that they too were guilty before God’s Law. Jesus concluded that it was incredible that He should stand before them as the only guiltless one and not be believed.

Adam was created sinless and fell under the temptation of Satan. Jesus was born sinless and remained sinless through all the temptations and onslaughts of Satan. Of all the race Jesus is the only one to walk this earth and have no taint of sin on Him.

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Job  35 36 37 38   -------  Job 39 40 41 42 

James & Mary Lee Thornton

www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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God's Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                                 June 20 2011

Good Morning!
More important than declaring a relationship with Abraham, Jesus used that phrase which declared Him to be the eternal God, the “I Am.”

THE ETERNAL SON OF GOD:
John 8:57. “Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? 58. Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I Am.”

It is amazing how little is written about the birth of Jesus. A few scriptures in Matthew, a few in Luke are the only references to His birth. So great was the spiritual impression that Jesus made on them that they could not conceive of Him as just another man. So overwhelming had He proved Himself to them that they could not think of a time when He began to be. They who lived with Him and seen His glory did not dwell on Bethlehem and the manger, but wrote, “In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God and the Word was God.” The one thing the Apostles never do is to date the life of Jesus from His birth.

“I Am.” The expression I am, though in the present tense, is clearly designed to refer to a past time. Thus, in Psalms 90:2, “From everlasting to everlasting thou art God.” Applied to God, it denotes continued existence without respect to time, so far as he is concerned. We divide time into the past, the present, and the future. The expression, applied to God, denotes that He does not measure his existence in this manner, but that the word by which we express the present denotes His continued and unchanging existence. Hence God assumes it as His name, “I am,” and “I am that I am,” (Exodus 3:14).

The question here was about His pre-existence. The objection of the Jews was that He was not fifty years old, and could not, therefore, have seen Abraham. Jesus replied to them that He existed before Abraham. As in His human nature He was not yet fifty years old, and could not, as a man, have existed before Abraham, this declaration must be referred to another nature; and the passage proves that, while He was a man, He was also endowed with another nature existing before Abraham, and to which He applied the term (familiar to the Jews as expressive of the existence of God) I AM;

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

Psalm   1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

James & Mary Lee Thornton

www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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God's Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                                 June 21 2011

Good Morning!
How far is individual suffering the results of his own sin? How far is it caused by the sins of his ancestors?

JESUS HEALS A MAN THAT HAD BEEN BORN BLIND:
John 9:1. “And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. 2. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? 3. Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.”

The existence of suffering, like the existence of evil generally, involves problems that man will never fully solve. There is a terrible amount of suffering in the world which is often, so far as we know, underserved. Why do little children suffer? Why is a good, useful active life sometimes cut short by some crippling accident or disease? To give any real answer to such questions requires a knowledge which can go right back to the beginning of things.

Sin and disease are undoubtedly to some extent connected. Offences against the moral law often involve the transgression of physical laws, and must therefore cause pain and disease. We can often trace in individual cases a definite link between wrongdoing and suffering. All of us have good reason to be sure that our sin will find us out. We cannot doubt that a great proportion of the suffering which exists in the world is the result of sin, present or past. The laws of heredity, by which many impaired conditions are passed, greatly strengthen the close association between sin and suffering. The sins of the fathers, and mothers, are still visited on the children, many of which cause birth defects and long-term afflictions.

In the case of the man born blind, Jesus saw in it the opportunity for God to get glory. This man needed Jesus now. Jesus stooped down and spat on the ground. He took that small bit of moisture and mixed it so that it became clay. This was then smeared onto the eyes of the blind man, and told him to “Go wash in the pool of Siloam.” The results were amazing! Probably some kind person took this man’s hand and guided him carefully through the crowds to the pool. After he washed, the man no longer needed a guide through the maze of crowded streets. He could see! For the first time in his life, he could see!

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Psalm  11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18  

James & Mary Lee Thornton

www.Godsgrazingfield.net

22. *************************************************************                          

God's Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                                  June 22 2011

Good Morning!
Jesus introduced a subject familiar to the people of Judea: the care of a shepherd for his sheep.

THE SHEPHERD COMES IN THROUGH THE DOOR:
John 10:1. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. 2. But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3. To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.

The scene that unfolded before Jesus’ listeners was one that the shepherd followed every morning of his life. Jesus first described the security of the enclosure which surrounded the sheep, keeping them from the dangers lurking on the outside. To insure its security, there was only one gate through which all must enter and leave the sheepfold. Any person involved in the care of the sheep would gladly pass through this gate, knowing that this feature was necessary to guarantee safety. Anyone who tried to enter by any other method would be called a thief and a robber. Jesus began to draw a clear distinction between His shepherding and that of the scribes and Pharisees, who were false shepherds.

“To him the porter openeth.” The shepherd was the one person who entered through the gate of this safe enclosure for his flock. The shepherd was not a thief or a robber, but was the legitimate caretaker of his sheep. This one was the true shepherd. The gatekeeper who kept the sheep safe acknowledged the approach of the true shepherd. Only to this one person would the watchman give entrance to the fold. When the shepherd entered the fold, he would call out the names of his sheep. This was common in Middle Eastern shepherding. Many flocks could be kept within one enclosure, but a shepherd knew his sheep and could separate his from the others merely by calling their names.

“The sheep hear his voice.” The sheep would hear the voice of their shepherd and follow that well-known voice. By this our Saviour indicates that it is the duty of a minister of religion to seek an intimate and personal acquaintance with the people of his charge; to feel an interest in them as individuals, and not merely to address them together; to learn their private wants; to meet them in their individual trials, and to administer to them personally the consolations of the Gospel.

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Psalm   19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27   

James & Mary Lee Thornton

www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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God's Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                                 June 23 2011

Good Morning!
How often we wish we could have the experience of those early disciples who knew Jesus in the flesh, just to hear His voice as He called our name in a manner and tones we could never forget.

HE KNOWS OUR NAME:
John 10:3. “And the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.”

When the shepherd entered the fold, he would call out the names of his sheep. Many flocks could be kept within one enclosure, but a shepherd knew his sheep and could separate his from the others merely by calling their names. The sheep would hear the voice of their shepherd and follow that well-known voice. On the face of these words this means personal religion. He does not shout out “sheep” in a loud voice, to which the whole flock can rally at once. The shepherd’s voice is a distinct, delicate, call which a sheep can distinguish from every other sound. This calling by name is another way of saying—“Theses sheep are not the same; they differ from each other. The Ownership is the same; the creatures owned are all different. Each has its own name, its own call, and the Owner’s relationship with each is personal.

Our Lord is teaching and emphasizing here His care over individual souls. He never mistakes one for another. We are not so much alike that we are treated as crowds. We are individuals, every one original and unique, and bearing individual characteristics and names.

Jesus never misidentifies Thomas and John, or Peter and Nathaniel, or Mary and Martha. Each name has its special problems, and requires a peculiar ministry. It is not similarity and equality of treatment that we require, but treatment guided by the discernment of the individual need. It is heartwarming to know that the Lord is acquainted with the individual’s need, and that from Him we each receive mercy and grace.

“All these people make me feel that I amount to nothing. What is one fellow in a mass?” “Yes,” replied the other, “I suppose one would feel that way if he did not know that when a man meets God he always meets Him alone. We are never lost in the crowd with Him.” “That’s the way Jesus made men feel.” (J. Reid)

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Psalm  28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35  

James & Mary Lee Thornton

www.Godsgrazingfield.net

24. *************************************************************                          

God's Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                                 June 24 2011

Good Morning!
Many times during the course of our lifetime we make friends with those of our own class and category but some of those friends make good, and become part of an upper class and they tend to ignore and forget us. But would Jesus ignore His friends when He assumed His heavenly status?

“THIS SAME JESUS:”
John 10:3 “…he calleth his own sheep by name,”

Jesus had lived in unimaginable splendor and glory before He came to earth and took upon Himself human nature. All of the glory realms He laid aside and came to earth in the form (nature) of man (Philippians 2:6-8). Paul goes on to say that after His humiliation and death, “He was highly exalted above all things in heaven and in earth” (Philippians 2:9-11).

During the period of His humiliation (33 ½ years) He went about making many friends which He knew by name. He companied with men and women, He visited their lowly dwellings, and moved amid their common domain, and with empathy knew the needs of the individual heart. Will it be true of Him when He rises again on the third day, clothed in resurrection glory; will exaltation create dimness and forgetfulness of friends, after their desertion and denial of Him at the time of His passion. On the dawning of Easter light shall we find Him changed? When the humiliation is ended and the glory has begun again, will He be the same sympathetic presence? Will He any longer know the individual’s life and name? 

Listen to His speech on resurrection morn, “Mary stood without at the sepulcher weeping… Jesus saith unto her, Mary.” It is the same Master, she knew the tone, she had heard it often. And Thomas saying I won’t believe until I see for myself. “Jesus saith unto him Thomas, reach hither thine hand..” Simon Peter consumed, consumed by regret and self-distrust. “Jesus saith unto him, Simon... lovest thou Me?”

Mary went to the tomb looking for one who was dead, but found life. Simon Peter could not forget that only days before, “Art thou also one of His disciples? I am not!” That denial was never out of Peter’s mind. What will the Lord say to him? “Simon…lovest thou Me?” “Lord Thou knowest that I love Thee.” He is still alive, still personal, still caring for us with the same love He showed to Mary, and Peter and Thomas. How personal it all is. “He calleth His sheep by name.”

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Psalm   36 37 38 39 40 41

James & Mary Lee Thornton

www.Godsgrazingfield.net

25. 26. ********************************************************                         

God's Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                     June 25 & 26, 2011

Good Morning!
We all know what it means in connection with any realm of human activity to say that door has been opened. A door in that sense means an opportunity.

THE DOOR:
John 10:9. “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

This saying was prompted by what had happened in the previous chapter when Jesus had healed the man on the Sabbath day that was born blind. The man was eventually cast out of the synagogue and the door to that Holy Sanctuary was forever shut behind him, (John 9:34)). Jesus wanted him, and all who had witnessed this, to know that He was the door to an opportunity to a much better way of life. Those who had cast him out were robbers, robbing this man of the opportunity to come and worship God in the temple of God. Our Lord had found him and had taught him that he had at least one Friend left.

There might be a shut door behind him, cruelty and harshness, excommunication and social exile; but there was an opened door before him in the loving and generous welcome of his new Friend. “I am the door,” Jesus said to His followers on the steps of the temple—the door to something better than the synagogue, the door to something better that the cold formal worship of the Pharisees, such a door as the world has never yet known, such a door of welcome as outcast men and women have hardly dreamed of.

“If any man enter in, he shall be saved.” The sheep-folds of Jesus’ day had no physical gate, only a small opening to the enclosure. The shepherd lay down in the opening and thereby became the gate himself so that anything that came into the fold had to come by or over the shepherd. The shepherd was not only the gate but the watch-dog to keep the sheep safe.

We know that with all our undertaking we stand in jeopardy every hour. Our life is a fragile and precarious affair at the least, and none of the barricades with which we fence our lives about are impenetrable. “He shall be saved,” that is if he enters in. In Jesus we find a Saviour. Saved from dishonor, disgrace, shame, remorse, and moral collapse, saved from very perdition, saved from principalities and powers, saved from things present and things to come. “A Saviour which is Christ the Lord.”

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Psalm  42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 ---  Psalm  50 51 52 53 54 55

James & Mary Lee Thornton

www.Godsgrazingfield.net

27. *************************************************************                         

God's Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                                June 27, 2011

Good Morning!
Do not despise the shepherd-folk. There have been some of the world’s greatest souls among them, and their trade is one of the oldest in the world.

THE GOOD SHEPHERD:
John 10:11. “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. 12. But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. 13. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. 14. I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. 15. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.

When we begin to look at the meaning of the thought behind Jesus’ words, we come upon the roots of history. We see Abraham and Lot coming out of the dim past with flock and herds so great that they have to divide their new inheritance between them. We see Jacob making his fortune among Laban’s flocks, and his sons given the Land of Goshen in Egypt. We see David taken from following the flocks to become king. It was only natural that the poets and prophets should speak of their nation as the flock, and God as the great Shepherd upon whose care they were dependent. “The Lord is my Shepherd.” “Give ear, O shepherd of Israel, thou that leadest Joseph like a flock. He shall feed His flock like a shepherd.”

The Church loved the thought, and dwelt upon it from the beginning. “That great Shepherd of the sheep,” says the Epistle to the Hebrews. “Ye are retuned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls,” says Peter. It is one of the great comforts which scripture give to us to know that Jesus is the “Good Shepherd.” The thought gives us a picture of tender care. That is the very purpose for which a shepherd exists—to care for his flock. Even as the shepherd cared for his flock, Jesus cares for human souls, the flock as a whole and for each individual soul. The flock cannot exist very long without a shepherd to lead, feed, and protect them.

“The Good Shepherd giveth His life for the sheep.” “The hirling fleeth.” Because, “He careth not for the sheep.” What a contrast between the two. Choose today which you will follow. I choose the Good Shepherd for today and for every day.

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Psalm  56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63

James & Mary Lee Thornton

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God's Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                                  June 28, 2011

Good Morning!
Jesus by his death has made both Jew and Gentile one, “one new man,” thereby breaking down the middle wall of partition between Jew and Gentile.

ONE FOLD, ONE SHEPHERD:
John 10:16 “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.”

Jewish unbelief will not defeat the Lord’s purpose to establish a kingdom of believers. Our Lord foresees the hearty belief of the Gentiles in his Messiahship. He regards them as already his, for they are so from all eternity. He regards them as not “of this fold,” for they are as yet “aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise” (Ephesians 2:12).Yet they are to be brought out of the wilderness of the world to his heavenly kingdom and glory by their hearing his voice in the Gospel. There will be but one Church-state for Jew and Gentile. “And they shall be one flock, one Shepherd.” There may be many folds, that is, many visible Churches, but there is but one flock. There is but one Shepherd in this flock. Our Lord foresees the great mission-work of the Church in coming ages, beginning with Cornelius (Acts 10).

Jesus was looking into the future when missionaries such as Paul and Silas would begin to cross sea and land to make disciples in foreign nations and people and they would worship in one fold. The fold of Israel was very select and very exclusive. The Hebrew was wont to regard the less favored nations (Gentile) with indifference and even contempt. Narrowness was almost the “note” of the Jewish temper. Yet the Old Testament contained no justification for such bigotry. In Psalms and in the prophets we meet with representations of the purposes of God towards humanity at large.

There are still many hindrances’ to Jesus’ concept. So far as the people of Christ fail to exhibit the one spirit, it is owing mainly to these two causes: (1) the lack of devotion to the Lord; and (2) intolerance one towards another. The closer the flock draw around the Shepherd, the less is there of misunderstanding, and the more of fellowship. Watchfulness and prayer alone can check the spirit of dissension, and hasten the prevalence of peace.

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Psalm  64 65 66 67 68 69 70

James & Mary Lee Thornton

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God's Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                                June 29, 2011

Good Morning!
The mysteries that disturb us in the very depths of our being are the moral ones; those which challenge the goodness, or the wisdom, or the power of God.

LIFE’S MORAL MYSTERIES:
John 11:5. “Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus. 6. When he had heard therefore that he (Lazarus) was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was.”
37. And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died?”

What is happening in this chapter is only an example of what’s going on in the world of men every day. Here is a mystery common to all of us—that of a human life cut off in the midst of its years by sickness, its mission apparently unfilled. What makes the case more perplexing is that the victim was a special friend of Jesus Christ. He belongs to the inner circle of our Lord’s friends, yet Jesus does nothing at all to prevent this sickness from running on to a fatal course, and when at last the moment comes for love to act rapidly, He complicates the matter by an unaccountable delay. Surely the whole attitude of the Lord is puzzling. All of these things are challenged by the “on-lookers of life” those who are not truly affected by other people’s grief. “Could not this man have prevented this?” they say.

Let us look at the ones who were deeply affected, Mary and Martha; it was their brother who had died. They were also in the inner circle, Jesus loved them and they loved Him. Because of that reciprocal love they understood Jesus as no outsider could possible understand Him. They approached the problem wholly different from the “on-lookers.” With them there is no complaint, but through this passing cloud there is a ray of light. “Even now,” says Martha, “whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.” She believes to the end with perfect confidence, and that confidence was justified in the final event.

This is the frame of mind that can best bear the strain of sorrow and support the load of the mysteries of life. It is not an idle, ignorant faith, but an intelligent assurance, based upon experience, and kept alive by unfailing love, that God will always do the right and the best thing.

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

Psalm    71 72 73 74  

James & Mary Lee Thornton

www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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God's Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                                 June 30, 2011

Good Morning!
Jesus’ life was the finest example that man’s duty is to face fearlessly the calls and tasks life may present.

A TWELVE HOUR DAY:
John 11:9. “Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world.”

This verse is the answer Jesus gives to His disciples when they were trying to dissuade from going to where Lazarus had died. V. 8. “His disciples say unto him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone thee; and goest thou thither again?” Jesus was faced with the call of human souls for His help and mercy, and the disciples were saying, “Master, it is not safe.” They were asking Him to save himself and forget others. Jesus was saying, “Does not a man’s life lie in the hands of God? Are not all under the providence of the Father?”

Never was there a life of such untiring labor and at the same time of unruffled calm as that of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. There was no one who ever had a work so great in its importance, and which depended for its entire outcome being done with absolute perfectness. Yet it all had to be crammed into three short years of public toil and ministry. He pushed, yea, drove himself relentlessly, many time without rest and sleep, sometimes with only a fig left along the wayside, and a drink from a stranger. Truly, the brief ministry of our Lord was crowded as no other period of time ever since time began, yet we never find the slightest suggestion of hurry, or rush, or over pressure from without.

I’ve known great and good men so terribly charged with duties that they can scarcely allow you five minutes. Yet in the midst of the most strenuous doings and utterances, surrounded by clamorous crowds who had no since of time, or kindly consideration, but who demanded all manner of benefits endlessly, Jesus was always calm, and with Him there was always time to do what had to be done, and His unhurried spirit never failed to meet the immediate call of the hour.

Let us remember our life has twelve hours, no more, and it will be sunset before we dream of it. Let us get done what God has sent us here to do then we can say as Jesus did when His life came to a close, “IT IS FINISHED.”

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

Psalm  75 76 77 78

James & Mary Lee Thornton

www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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