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September 2011

Godsgrazingfield Daily Devotion, September 2011 

         Harvesting Olives

             ^^^^ Gathering Olives In Nazareth ^^^^

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1.   God's Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                          September 1, 2011 

Good Morning!.
We need to set time aside that belongs to God and to us and spend that time in prayer and fasting and fellowship with Him.

THE VICTORY OVER STRESS IS WON IN THE HEART:
Romans 10:10 “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

We live in a noisy world, and as a result find ourselves uncomfortable in silence. Almost everyone we meet has a phone or an earplug glued to their ear, listening to voices or music continually. People never have time to sit and listen to their own thoughts, much less to consecrate on “the still small voice of God.” Some of the most spiritually satisfying moments a person can have are when you are away from everyone and everything and are in the perfectly silent presence of God.

The events in life that can produce stress is usually unavoidable, but the effect it has on our lives can be controlled. If we take the time to build up the inner man, we will be in the position then to stand against the onslaughts against the outward man.

FASTING FOR INWARD STRENGTH: If we study the lives of great men of the Bible, and great leaders in Church history, we find that fasting played an important part in their lives. Why did they fast? and why should we? As a result of fasting our spiritual sensitivities are quickened (awakened) and it is much easier to concentrate on the priorities and the needs of the inner man. You will find that Bible reading and prayer are more intense, and you will be more spiritual alert in every extent when you are fasting. Some people have a certain day set aside every week as a day of fasting, Bible reading and prayer.

Jesus tells us that there are some things that cannot be accomplished but by fasting and prayer (Mark 9:29). Fasting is a discipline (training that produces moral and mental improvement) that must be learned, and the more we do it, the more comfortable we will be with it. I encourage you to make fasting a regular part of your effort to nurture the inner man. Throughout the Bible people are encouraged to fast. John the Baptist taught his disciple to fast (Mark 2:18). Jesus Himself fasted for 40 days. Paul fasted (2 Corinthians 11:27). All these are an example for every Christian to follow and to help in the discipline of the soul.

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

Ezekiel   10  11  12      

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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 2.   God's Grazingfield Daily Devotion                        

Today’s First Thoughts                                      September 2, 2011

Good Morning!

I DON'T REGRET A MILE, by Howard (Happy) Goodman

I don't regret a mile, I’ve traveled for the Lord,

I don’t regret the times, I’ve trusted in his word.

I've seen the years go by, many days without a song,

But I don't regret a mile, I’ve traveled for the Lord.

I've dreamed many a dream that's never come true,

I've seen them vanish at dawn.

But enough of my dreams have come true,

To make me keep dreaming on.

I've prayed many a prayer that seemed no answer would come,

Though I’d waited so patient and long.

But enough answers have come to my prayers,

To make me keep praying on.

I've sown many a seed that's fallen by the wayside,

For the birds to feed upon.

But I’ve held enough sheaves in my hands,

To make me keep sowing on.

I've trusted many a friend that's failed me,

And left me to weep alone.

But enough of my friends have been true-blue,

To make me keep trusting on.

I've drained the cup of disappointment and pain,

And gone many a day without a song.

But I’ve sipped enough nectar from the roses of life,

To make me want to live on.

I don't regret a mile, I’ve traveled for the Lord,

I don't regret the times I’ve trusted in His word.

I've seen the years go by, many days without a song,

But I don't regret a mile, I’ve traveled for the Lord.


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

Ezekiel   13  14  15      

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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 3. 4.   God's Grazingfield Daily Devotion              

Today’s First Thoughts                              September 3 & 4, 2011

Good Morning!
The loss of the sense of sacred things is always one of the signs of moral decay. But let us remember that the eye of the Great Judge is upon every scene of profanity and dissipation (2 Chronicles 16:9).

THE NIGHT FEAST OF BELSHAZZAR: 
Daniel 5:1. “Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thousand of his lords, and drank wine before the thousand. 5. In the same hour came forth fingers of a man's hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaster of the wall of the king's palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote. 6. Then the king's countenance was changed, and his thoughts troubled him, and the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against another.

Belshazzar was the last of the Babylonian kings. The great feast he made for a thousand of his lords which we read about here was on the last night of his reign. Belshazzar inherited the pride, the glory, the palaces, the capitol, the kingdom of his great father Nebuchadnezzar. He gained all this power and glory at the age of 15. It quickly went to his heard. He lifted himself up against the Lord of heaven, and he despised the kings and armies of the earth. But remember the old saying, “The bigger they come the harder they fall.” Material power is no obstacle to God.

Belshazzar himself takes the lead in the reveling. “Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thousand of his lords, and drank wine before the thousand” (Daniel 5:1). Indulgence in the intoxicating cup prepares the way for every excess of profanation.

Belshazzar and his thousand lords did not profane the golden vessels of Jehovah until that had drunk wine. The feasting and mad pursuit of thrills is a sign of a sick generation. “Belshazzar, whiles he tasted the wine (under the influence of wine), commanded to bring the golden and silver vessels which his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken out of the temple which was in Jerusalem; that the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, might drink therein.

Belshazzar belonged to the proud, profligate race of Chaldeans—licentious and wildly extravagant, grossly self-indulgent and very, wicked. The Hebrew Prophets described them as “Given to pleasures, dwelling carelessly, and trusting in wickedness” (Isaiah 47:8). The day of doom is not far off from any great city, or country, when its young men become effeminate, self-indulgent, fond of pleasure, and afraid of work.

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

Ezekiel   16  17  18          
Ezekiel   19  20  21      

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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5.  God's Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                           September 5, 2011 

Good Morning!
God write in very conspicuous places, and in very inopportune times.

THE FINGERS OF GOD WRITE UPON THE WALL:
Daniel 5:5. “In the same hour came forth fingers of a man's hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaister of the wall of the king's palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote. 6. Then the king's countenance was changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against another.

The Handwriting appeared upon the wall of the banquet room in Belshazzar’s palace in the hour of their wildest mirth to show that God was there. God is in every scene of wickedness and debauchery not less really than in Holy Places of His own sanctuary. The finger of God is ever writing the witness of his presence upon the living tables of out hearts. As long as we have a conscience, we have a voice within us to tell us that God’s eye is ever fixed upon us. And that we must give account to Him of all we do.

God is witness every day of the week and every hour of the day. God never sleeps. His ear catches every word that passes from our lips (Matthew 12:36). In the deepest solitude we must all have one companion. “God is here—God is everywhere.” We cannot hide anything from God. BELSHAZZAR IS TERRIFIED:

“Then the king's countenance was changed (his color changed, the blood drained from his face, he was white as a ghost), and his thoughts troubled him (he had anxious thoughts, alarming thoughts), so that the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against another. The king cried aloud (literally called with strength).” (Daniel 5:6-7a).

This writing was strange which no one could read. Since it was a ghostly hand it was a ghostly script which no wise man had seen. There was room for alarm when professional wise men were unable to interpret the writing. “Then was king Belshazzar greatly troubled, and his countenance was changed in him, and his lords were astonied (astonished)” (Daniel 5:9). The Queen Mother gave this advise, “and the queen spake and said, O king, live for ever: let not thy thoughts trouble thee, nor let thy countenance be changed: There is a man in thy kingdom, in whom is the spirit of the holy gods;” (Daniel 5:10-11).

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

Ezekiel  22  23  24      

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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6.    God's Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                    September 6, 2011

Good Morning!
Thou, O Belshazzar, hast not humbled thine heart, though thou knewest all this. Men are held accountable for what they know.

4 WORDS, 4 STRANGE WORDS: 
Daniel 5:25. And this is the writing that was written, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN.

GOD WRITES SO MUCH IN SO FEW WORDS: In four words God sums up Belshazzar’s life and remaining hours. “This is the interpretation of the thing.”

26. MENE; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it.

27. TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.

28. PERES; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.

30. In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain.

Our lesson from this Bible scene: Oh, to be wanting when God weighs our motive, character, life, and soul. To be wanting when judged by the most compassionate, indulgent and generous friend. To be wanting in a hope sure and steadfast when God takes away the soul. To be wanting when the book of life is opened and the eye of the final Judge turns to see whose name is written there. To be wanting in love, and obedience to Christ. To be wanting in fruits and joys of a Holy Life. Those that are wanting will be cast into outer darkness, Cast into everlasting night.

Our life is filled with crises—there are moments when our whole future is at stake. What will we say? What will we answer for our wanting? What excuse can we bring to that court? Will we say “it was the home I was raised in, the environment around me, the neglect, the abuse, the poverty, my race, my color, my lack of education? Let us not while away our days in senseless reveling and spending our nights in wild parties and wicked deeds. Remember we will give account as well as Belshazzar for our time spent on earth.

We will close with the words of the Apostle Paul to the Romans. 12. “The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. 13. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. 14. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof” (Romans 13:12-14).  

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

Ezekiel  25  26  27      

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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7.   God's Grazingfield Daily Devotion       

 Today’s First Thoughts                                      September 7, 2011

Good Morning!
We will spend a few days giving instructions on how to study the Bible. God wants us, not only to read the Bible, but to understand what it says, and this only comes by studying and praying over what we read.

HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE:
2 Timothy 3:15. “And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

Many of us, like Timothy, were fortunately raised in homes where the Bible played a prominent role in life. The ‘Holy Scriptures’ were read and discussed before us from early childhood. We learned to respect what was written therein and was taught that it was the Word of God. Yet I realize that many are not so fortunate to have that privilege in early life. To many the Bible is a new book, and some cases like a foreign book, hard to read and harder to understand. I hope these next few devotions will give some light on a way to study and understand the Bible.

PEOPLE are always asking, how shall I study the Bible? What is the best method? There is no short cut, no royal road, no magic method. I say to such an inquirer, “Read the Bible over and over again—not once, nor twice, nor thrice, but many, many times.” And that is all any one can do. Read it until you become familiar, cognizant (the mental process of knowing) of its contents, until you are so familiar with your Bible that you can close your eyes and visualize the passage by locating it upon a particular page just where it belongs. I did this as a child, I could visualize in what column, outer or inner, half-way down the page or near the top or the bottom of the column where a certain scripture was located. Now I am not saying that this is really necessary, what I am saying you need to become familiar with your Bible.

When I say ‘your Bible’ I mean you need to possess a Bible you call your own. If you don’t own a Bible sell something and buy yourself a Bible. Buy the best Bible you can afford. I am partial to the King James Version, not that other versions are not good. Buy a Bible that has a concordance at the back, this is used to look something up and you want to know where it is located in the Bible. Another good help is a reference that is located, some in the center column, some in the scripture itself, this helps to locate a companion scripture with the same thought. A good study Bible has many other helps, such as a Topical Index where you can look up and get a short definition of names, places, subjects, concepts, doctrines, and many other things.

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

Ezekiel   28  29  30        

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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8.      God's Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                               September 8, 2011

Good Morning!
How could a man ever do anything unless he knows how it ought to be done? We not only have to be taught, we have to be trained. We must learn the ‘how to,’ we must acquire the practice and knowledge as a means to succeed.

HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE:
2 Timothy 3:15. “And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”

A man riding upon a railroad train, and heard the trainmen call out the stations, and he refers to his time card to verify the call as each station is passed, and he wondered at the trained memory of the man who can repeat that long list of way stations without a mistake, and he asked him how he ever does it, and he smiles and replies that he has done it so long it is automatic, done without thought and without effort.

So the best product of Bible study becomes spontaneous and involuntary. You read the Bible so frequently, so thoughtfully, so earnestly, so prayerfully that it comes to you without direct effort on your part, where to locate a passage, and you label it instinctively. And when the facts of Scripture are all in your head and heart, you can safely trust the Holy Spirit to interpret those facts, and therefore the only thing to seek and to secure is to become familiar with the contents of the Word thoroughly cognizant of all the facts of Scripture, and read them so often that you see them on the page where they occur, even with closed eyes. In that way, a man with one book, if that book be the Bible, has a large and liberal culture and an education that will serve manifold purposes in solving the problems and bearing the burdens and discharging the duties of daily life. “Are able to make thee wise unto salvation.”

Take your Bible to Church with you. Follow the preached word in your own Bible. Don’t be afraid to underscore certain passages, words, thoughts, and other things that impress you. Make notes of thoughts of things which inspire you. My Bible is so marked up that sometimes when I am just flipping through it I am arrested by some mark, note or comment that I stop again and reread it. Take notes of sermons you hear preached so you can look them up later in your Bible or the Devil will come and steal away the thought from you.

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

Ezekiel   31  32  33       

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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9.   God's Grazingfield Daily Devotion                                    

Today’s First Thoughts                          September 9, 2011 

Good Morning!
The Bible is not like an ordinary book that can be easily understood by almost everyone. The Bible is a Spiritual Book written under the inspiration (breath) of the Holy Ghost, or we might say by God Himself. And thereby its contents are revealed to readers by His Spirit.

HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE:
2 Peter 1:20. “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation (men did not write their own opinions). 21. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved (breathed upon) by the Holy Ghost.”

1 Corinthians 2:11. “For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. 14. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned (understood).”

Regeneration: When Nicodemus approached Jesus in John 3 inquiring about instructions from Him. The very first thing Jesus talked to him about was the necessity of being ‘born again’ to understand the things of God. This first condition is indispensable and fundamental; indeed it is not so much a condition as a prerequisite, and that is regeneration. You must be born again before you can fully understand the Bible. It is absolutely necessary (Matthew 13:11). What Daniel says of prophecy is true of all Scriptures, “The wise shall understand, the wicked shall not.” He means that character rather than culture is the condition of understanding prophecy. If you would understand the prophecies of God’s Word correctly, it is not necessary to graduate at a University or Seminary, and read Greek and Hebrew, but it is necessary to be good, to be pure, to be holy.

The heart is the organ of spiritual vision, and character rather than culture becomes the key to unlock the mysteries of scripture. That is true of all Scripture. “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned (1 Corinthians 2:14). No unregenerated man can know anything about the mysteries of God and the meaning of the Bible. A man must be a Christian before he can open the Bible with any possibility of arriving at its meaning. It is spiritually discerned.

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

Ezekiel    34  35   36       

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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10. 11.   God's Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                      September 10 & 11, 2011

Good Morning!
There is upon receiving the Holy Spirit, an anointing of the Holy Spirit, as a teacher and a guide and a helper that confers a marvelous benefit upon the believer.

THE HOLY SPIRIT IS OUR TEACHER OF THE BIBLE:
John 16:5. “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth (Holy Spirit), is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

Jesus gave this promise of the coming of the Holy Spirit to His disciple just before He was crucified. There were many things He had talked to them about that they could not understand, so He told them when the Holy Spirit came He (the Holy Spirit) would give them the understanding of all those things, even to mysteries of things to come. BE FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT. A person must be born of the Spirit to study the Bible successfully.

You need the Holy Spirit in your mentality to stimulate you, to enlighten you and to help you. Our minds need saving quite as much as our souls and quite as much as our bodies, for our highest life is a mental life, and even our spiritual life comes under the scope of our mentality, and the Holy Spirit is our teacher to guide us into all truth, and even a believer can study better with the help of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is like oil to lubricate the mental machinery so that a man can think coherently, imagine vividly, remember retentively, argue logically. I believe that a Christian student in the public schools usually makes higher grades than a student who is not a Christian. A Christian has a mentality illuminated by the Holy Spirit.

What do we feed our mind upon? In order to study and understand the Bible there must be a ravenous appetite for Bible study. “Thy words were found, and I did eat them” (Jeremiah 15:16). “I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food” (Job 23:12). If you don’t love to study the Bible, you’d better postpone this course of study, but the appetite grows by what it feeds on, and if you haven’t any appetite for Bible study, you need praying for. Sometimes a person goes to a doctor, before the doctor makes a diagnosis, he begins to quiz you. The first question is how is your appetite? If you have no appetite, you need medicine. When a Christian has no appetite for God’s Word, it is a dangerous symptom.

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

Ezekiel  37  38  39       
Ezekiel  40  41  42     

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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1 2.  God's Grazingfield Daily Devotion                                     

Today’s First Thoughts                                    September 12, 2011     

Good Morning!
We need to enter into our study of the Bible with the idea that our conceptions of scripture might be wrong, and we want to find the truth hidden in them.

HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE: WITH REVERENT HUMILITY:
John 5:39. “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.”

Jesus was talking to perhaps the greatest Bible scholars in the world of that day, yet their understanding of it was clouded. No one can learn anything that has come to class thinking that they already know it all. Let us enter into our Bible study with the idea we want to learn something from it. Let your mind become involved. Do not read over a long passage too fast. Read it slowly and meditate on each word. There is usually a key word or two in each scripture that should catch your attention. For instance when we see the word ‘therefore’ we should know that something has been said in the scriptures just before that one, that the writer is saying because of that which he has already said,  we should take note of what he is going to say next.

The Bible is the only book, representing the only religion that speaks to our hearts and reveals our spiritual condition and then gives us a true remedy for our needs.

1. The Bible discovers sin in us and convicts us. (John 8:9)

2. The Bible helps cleanse us from the pollution of sin. (Psalm 119:9)

3. The Bible gives strength to overcome sin. (Psalm 119:11)

4. The Bible gives instruction for life’s difficulties. (Psalm 119:92)

5. The Bible provides us with a sword (weapon) for victory over sin (Ephesians 6:17)

6. The Bible makes our lives fruitful (meaningful).

7. The Bible gives us power (motivation) to pray.

In nearly every verse of Psalm 119, the author magnifies God’s word. He uses seven words to represent God’s word. 1. Law. Because God loves humankind, He has given a book of teaching and laws so that we can know what He expects from us and how we should live. 2. Testimony. God’s word is His own testimony of Himself. 3. Precepts. The Precepts of God are those responsibilities He has appointed for His people. 4. Statute. God’s statutes (laws engraven in stone) are meant to be kept. 5. Commandments. If we really love God we will keep His commandments, and they will not be burdensome. 6. Judgments. God is a God of justice and judgment. 7. Word. This is a word that the King James Translators used 85 different words to translate it. The main idea is that whatever is written in the Bible is God’s word.

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

Ezekiel  43  44  45   

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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13.   God's Grazingfield Daily Devotion

 Today’s First Thoughts                          September 13, 2011    

Good Morning!
Begin your Bible study with prayer. Get acquainted with its author.

HOW TO STUDY YOUR BIBLE: WITH PRAYER:
Psalm 119:18. “Open mine eyes, and I shall behold wondrous things out of thy law.”

Before I buy a book I want to know something about the author. The Epistles of Paul would have little meaning if we didn’t have something written about his life and struggles penned by his biographer Luke in the Book of Acts of the Apostles. In Acts Luke tells us about Paul’s involvement in the stoning of Stephens, and also his rage and persecution of the Church. Luke explains in great detail of Paul’s conversion on the road to Damascus. We fall in love with Paul as Luke tells us in great detail of Paul’s missionary travels and accomplishments, and of the great persecution he went through for the cause of Christ.

And the best way to get acquainted with the author of the Bible is by talking directly to Him. You will find He is not hard to talk to. He is a great listener and wants to hear from you. He will help you to understand His word. If you will read His word diligently and talk to Him about what you have read He will give you enlightment of it. The very best way to study the Bible is simply to read it daily with close attention and with prayer to see the light that shines from its pages, to meditate upon it, and to continue to read it until somehow it works itself, its words, its expressions, its teachings, its habits of thought, and its presentations of God and His Christ (anointing) into the very warp and woof of our being.

Study the Bible with faith, or believing, what you read; only in this will it ever have any effect on our life. We must believe what it says no matter how difficult it may be to understand it. Beginning with the first chapter of Genesis, unless we can wrap our minds around the words of creation, and let them sink down into our hearts we will never grasp the meaning of the rest of the Bible. Ask God to help you to believe what you read in His word. Paul says, “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). The more you exercise faith in your reading of the Bible the more satisfaction and enjoyment you will receive from your study.

Obey the Word of God. The Bible has been given to us that we may know how to live a Holy life, well-pleasing to God. Mark those things which God prompts you to change about your life and conform to its teachings you will find peace in doing this.

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

Ezekiel  46  47  48         

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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14.    God's Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                             September 14, 2011    

Good Morning!
There are those who contend that God created the world and mankind and then left it to its own fate or natural course. For the next few days we want to study the Biblical Record concerning God's method of intervening in the life of man to set him apart as Holy unto the Lord Himself.

GOD’S INTERVENTION INTO THE AFFAIRS OF MEN:
Genesis 11:5. “And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded.” Psalms 53:2. “God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God.”

God has intervened. What dramatic power intrusions God has made throughout human history. The Old Testament has recorded God’s many sovereign Interventions to accomplish His ordained purposes for mankind and planet Earth. Think of judgment mingled with mercy after Adam’s Fall! Think of the gracious provision for Noah and his family in the Flood! Think of the rescue of Lot’s family from the fiery destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah! Think of the waters of the Red Sea and of the River Jordan divided for the passage of the hosts of Israel! Think of the pillar of fire and cloud, the daily manna, and the water from the Rock in the wilderness!  Think of the fiery furnace that would not burn the Hebrew children; of the lions that would not devour the faithful Daniel!

His trust in God’s Intervention caused the Psalmist to rejoice, “Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For he will give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways” (Psalm 91:9-11).

But, God’s New Testament Intervention eclipses all past wonders. The reason is simple. In the Old Testament God sent men and angels and used nature and materials to accomplish His purposes. In the New Testament God employs no agent; God Himself personally intervenes. The  New Testament chronicles two humanly inconceivable Interventions: 1. The Incarnation, God’s personal sacrificial Intervention through the human life and fleshly ministry of Jesus Christ; 2. The Church, God’s personal indwelling Intervention through the ministry of the Holy Spirit in and by the Body of Christ. Both of these factual histories of Almighty God’s Intervention defy natural causes, have no earthly duplicates, and challenge human comprehension.

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

Daniel  1  2  3       

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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15.    God's Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                      September 15, 2011

Good Morning!
Divine grace beyond the ability of man to fully comprehend is being poured out upon the undeserving. The Father’s love is revealing God’s personal, inward, continuing, and never ending Intervention “to seek and to save the lost.”

THE INCARNATION: GOD’S INTERVENTION INTO THE AFFAIRS OF MAN:
John 1:14. And the Word (God) was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

The New Testament gives record of God’s intervention into the affairs of man through the Incarnation (God becoming flesh) and the Church being empowered by the Holy Spirit. First of all, we will consider God’s humanly inconceivable intervention revealed in the Incarnation. The Incarnation record focuses upon Jesus Christ’s unique and finished work to save lost humanity by His sinless life, His sacrificial death, and triumphant resurrection. The Church record focuses upon the Holy Spirit’s baptism of Jesus’ disciples into the Body of Christ, the Spirit’s indwelling of that Body, both corporally and individually, with power to proclaim Christ’s Gospel by holy lives and redemptive message. As our thoughts center upon these mysteries of grace, let us rejoice with grateful praise.

The Incarnation is a first-time, personal, sovereign Intervention by Almighty God into the flesh of humanity. No other religion or philosophy of the past and no other religion or philosophy of the present can parallel the Incarnation.  History proves that the human mind lacks the ability to invent or even to copy this unique revelation. In fact, it is no exaggeration to declare that the human mind cannot understand or fathom the mystery of the Incarnation apart from the illumination of the Holy Spirit. The Incarnation connects with the past solely by divinely inspired types, promises, and prophecies that are totally apart from human causation.  The Incarnation, God’s sovereign and gracious personal Intervention, is humanly inconceivable and remains unmatched in fact or fiction. The human mind can understand but a few of the unique aspects of the Incarnation.

Human language can only give snap-shots of Almighty God becoming flesh. The holy scenario is unique to fact or fiction. WHAT A GRACIOUS INTERVENTION!

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

Daniel  4  5  6 
        

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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16.   God's Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                         September 16, 2011 

Good Morning!
The Incarnation is unique in God “becoming flesh.” Even the inspired words of Old Testament prophecies fall short of presenting the complete mystery that Almighty God would intervene to experience human birth, human physical growth, human physical death, bodily resurrection, bodily ascension, and promised bodily return.

GOD’S INTERVENTION IN THE AFFAIRS OF MAN BY THE INCARNATION:
Matthew 1:23. “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.”

Attempt to imagine the Almighty God born as a helpless human baby in a shepherd’s manger. Try to join the worship of the Holy Infant by angels, shepherds, and magi. Try to explain the flight from Herod, the childhood subjection to earthly parents, the silent years of waiting in Nazareth. What great mysteries! What an Intervention!  No life other than that of Jesus matches every prophecy of the Old Testament revelation. From the announcement of Jesus’ conception every event confirmed God’s redemptive purpose as announced by angels: “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:11)  In two thousand years no duplication has, or could have appeared, in life or literature to match God’s amazing personal virgin-born Intervention.

The Incarnation is unique in Jesus’ brief public ministry.  No scholar can fathom the full mystery of the bonding of Deity with humanity revealed in those three brief years of ministry. Jesus is both the Great Exception and the Great Example. The book of Hebrews describes Jesus as “made like unto his brethren” (Hebrews 2:17) and again as “holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners” (Hebrews 7:26). Jesus’ ministry reveals both aspects of the God-man’s Intervention into human life. Jesus became both the sinless Exception and the righteous Example of mankind.

No single human life or ministry compares with that of Jesus. The Anointed Jesus temporarily banished infirmity, disease, and death from His native land. Demons and unclean spirits fled at His command. Natural forces of wind and storm obeyed His spoken word. Food multiplied miraculously in His hands; trees withered at His curse; shining glory transformed His appearance; angels ministered to His needs. Almighty God literally walked, talked, and worked with mankind on earth. “For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us (1 John 1:2). What a statement of the fact of Almighty God’s Intervention into human life.

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

Daniel  7  8  9        

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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17. 18.   God's Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                    September 17 & 18, 2011  

Good Morning!
After 4,000 years of human struggle to live Holy and Righteously God Intervened
by coming Himself in the Person of Jesus Christ to demonstrate a life lived Holy.

JESUS’ FLAWLESS LIFE IS GOD’S EXAMPLE FOR US:
John 13:15. “For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. 1 Peter 2:21. “…leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: 22. who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth; 23. who, [when] reviled, reviled not again; [when] suffering, threatened not; but gave [himself] over into the hands of him who judges righteously; 24. who himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, in order that, being dead to sins, we may live to righteousness: by whose stripes ye have been healed.”

Jesus’ personal relationship between humanity and Deity set the initial Example for God’s continuing Intervention of the Holy Spirit in all future members of the Body of Christ. Jesus was the Great Example of the humblest Christian’s post-Pentecost relationship with the Holy Spirit. When Jesus submitted to John’s baptism, the heavens resounded with the heavenly Father’s approval and the anointing of the Spirit’s abiding presence. Driven by the Spirit’s inward compulsion, Jesus triumphed over Satan’s testing and began His ministry as God’s Servant. 

Every breath of Jesus’ earthly and fleshly ministry from His conception to His resurrection manifested the abiding presence and activity of the Holy Spirit. In no word or action did Jesus display His spiritual relationship by that which was bizarre, irreverent, ridiculous, theatrical, fleshly, unholy or meaningless. Jesus lived, died, and rose again as the Great Example of the relationship  between humanity and Deity that God’s sovereign and continuing Intervention provides for members of the Body of Christ through the Holy Spirit. Jesus is truly the Great Example for the holy life and redemptive ministry of the Christian.

How Jesus ministered through the Anointing of the Holy Spirit remains the Great Example for the life and ministry of the humblest member of the Church, the Body of Christ.  No scholar has had the spiritual insight to separate the personal power of Jesus from that of the anointing Holy Spirit. As God’s redemptive mission “to seek and to save that which was lost” controlled Jesus’ fleshly ministry even so is the ordained mission of the Christian. The mystery of the blending of the divine/human Jesus with the anointing Holy Spirit of God transcends man’s capacity to fathom fully but sets an Example

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

Daniel  10  11  12     
Hosea   1  2  3  4  5        

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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19.    God's Grazingfield Daily Devotion

 Today’s First Thoughts                                  September 19, 2011

Good Morning!
What Jesus began with Incarnation and finished on Calvary, God’s personal Intervention at Pentecost now climaxed for global proclamation through creation of the Church, the Body of Christ.

THE CHURCH, GOD’S AMAZING INTERVENTION AT PENTECOST:
Matthew 16:18. “…upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

Reason stumbles at the mystery of the infant Church, so puny in its humanity (120), so mighty in its global conquests (all the world). Reason stumbles because of its inability to understand the nature of the Church in its promised Holy Spirit relationships. Acts 1:8. “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”

Many define the church as a building. They say without irreverence, “Let us go to church.” They are referring to a building.  Many others think of the church as the people who are members, saying, “I am a member of the church.” To them the church compares with other human associations. Though all of these common definitions define an aspect of the truth about the Church, they miss the essential: The Holy Spirit Intervention on the day of Pentecost that established relationships that united believers into the Church, the corporate Body of Christ. In fact, only the knowledge that the Almighty God reveals in the Scriptures can explain the transformation of that puny “little flock” into the Church, the Body of Christ.

Because Jesus planned to transfer full responsibility for proclaiming the Gospel to the infant Church, reason would dictate that the Master Teacher would have devoted large segments of His ministry to explanation about the Church to its future leaders. Exactly the opposite occurred. During His earthly ministry, Jesus made little direct mention about the Church. Matthew records Jesus’ first brief teaching about the Church I say 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. (Matthew 16:18).

Who would have ever thought that this little flock would become a huge number which no man can number (Revelation 7:9)? The Holy Spirit would infuse them with power to witness and win souls.

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

Hosea   6  7  8  9  10         

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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20.     God's Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                         September 20, 2011    

Good Morning!
The Church is the only thing that is “BUILT” by God, all other things were either created from nothing or called forth from that which already existed. The Church is the only thing that was “PURCHASED” by God (Acts 20:28).

IT IS JESUS’ CHURCH, BUILT BY HIM:
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.”

Three truths stand out in Jesus’ statement as critical in importance:

1. Jesus is the one and only Church builder.

2. Jesus also established the doctrinal foundation for His Church.

3. Jesus promised conquering power to His Church.

Becoming a part of this spiritual Body does not result from human effort. Man does not “join” the Body of Christ. Man does not “add” other humans to that Holy Body. Though the human disciple must repent and believe the gospel to be “in Christ,” the exalted Christ must build each new member into the Body of Christ as a “new creation” of God through the Holy Spirit. “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls” (Acts 2:41). “And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved” (Acts 2:47). Notice who (The Lord) determined who would be added and who (The Lord) put their names on the roll.

Each soul that makes up His Church was purchased by His Blood at Calvary. “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood (Acts 20:28). “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed (purchased) with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot (1 Peter 1:18-19):

Peter goes further by describing the stones that Jesus is using to build His Church. “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: (1 Peter 2:5 & 9). Praise God for membership in Jesus’ Church.

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

Hosea   11  12  13  14           

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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21.   God's Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                          September 21, 2011  

Good Morning!
Jesus spent 3 ½ years teaching His disciples and when He left them to go back to heaven He gave them instruction to teach all nations the thing He had taught them.

JESUS ESTABLISHED THE DOCTRINAL FOUNDATION FOR HIS CHURCH:
Matthew 28:19. “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”

All humanity must enter the Church on the same doctrinal basis and personally face the same doctrinal foundation. As the Apostle Paul later taught there can be no other foundation for the Church except Jesus Christ. “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. (1 Corinthians 3:11-14).

This foundation excludes no race or nation from membership, Peter emphasized this when God sent him to preach to Cornelius, a Roman soldier, a non Jew. “Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.” (Acts 10:34-35). The Apostles at Jerusalem also were convinced that the Gospel was to all people. “Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God? When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life. (Acts 11:17-18). The Church’s one doctrinal foundation, Jesus Christ, never changes!

The one deciding factor in accepting the Gentile into their fellowship was that God had given them the “like gift” (the Holy Ghost) as what they had received on Pentecost (Acts 2:4). This doctrine of Repentance, Baptism in the Name Of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and receiving the Holy Ghost speaking in tongues was the Doctrine that set the Church apart, and still does, from all other religions. In every incident where people were received into the fellowship of the Church Jesus built they all, without exception, were brought in under that doctrine.

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

Joel  1  2  3           

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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22.      God's Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                        September 22, 2011     

Good Morning!
This was a very timid group of men that Jesus was giving the responsibility of evangelizing the entire world how on earth could He expect them to fulfill this?

JESUS PROMISED CONQUERING POWER TO HIS CHURCH:
Acts 1:4.“but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. 5. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. 8. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”

“But ye shall receive power,” etc. Literally, as it is translated in the margin, “ye shall receive the power of the Holy Ghost coming upon you.” This was said to them to console them. Though they could not know the times which God reserved in his own appointment, yet they should receive the promised Guide and Comforter.

The word translated ‘power’ in these verses is the Greek word ‘dunamis’ from which we get the English word ‘dynamite.’ The promised spiritual might of the Church would exceed all human potential and require an inward relationship with Jesus. Though the Church would face both cultural and demonic opposition and be tempted to escape the resulting conflict by compromise, Jesus promised the Church constant and abiding possession of such conquering Spiritual power that the “gates of hell” shall not prevail against it.

But ye shall receive power. Literally, as it is translated in the margin, “ye shall receive the power of the Holy Ghost coming upon you.” This was said to them to console them. Though they could not know the times which God reserved in his own appointment, yet they should receive the promised Guide and Comforter. The word power here refers to all the help or aid which the Holy Spirit would grant; the power of speaking with new tongues; of preaching the gospel with great effect; of enduring great trials, praying for the sick, of living a Holy Life, and resisting Satan.

Paul exclaims, “And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,” (Ephesians 1:19). The book of Acts tells us from whence the Church received its power. “And they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people” (Acts 6:5 & 8).

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

Amos  1  2  3  4  5          

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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23.     God's Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                       September 23, 2011      

Good Morning!
Jesus had told the disciples that it was the Holy Spirit who would empower them for the task of proclaiming the redemption for which He shed His blood.  Praise God for promises that never fail!

THE SETTING FOR THE COMING OF THE HOLY GHOST:
Luke 24:46. “And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: 47. And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48. And ye are witnesses of these things. 49. And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.”

Acts 1:12. “Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day's journey. 13. And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James. 14. These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren. 15. And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,)

Immediately after Jesus ascended into heaven the disciples, were obedient to His command to remain in Jerusalem until they were “endued with power from on high.” The group consisted of the 11 remaining disciples, Mary the mother of Jesus, and his half-brothers, an unknown number of women, a total of 120 men and women. They gathered in an upper room of a large house, most likely the home of John Mark the writer of the gospel of Mark (Acts 12:12). There they spent the time united in prayer and supplication waiting for the Holy Ghost to come upon them.

What a moment in time! It was a time of great anticipation! God himself was coming down to dwell, not just with, but in the human beings He had created to empower them to be witnesses of Him to a sin-cursed, fallen world. This waiting period lasted 10 days and during this period a man was chosen to take Judas’ place among the twelve apostles. “They gave forth their lots, and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.” This is the only time Matthias’ name comes up in the Bible.

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

Amos   6  7  8  9                     

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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 24. 25.    God's Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                         September 24 & 25, 2011  

Good Morning!
At the first Christian Pentecost, God made an Intervention that goes beyond the Incarnation. At Pentecost, the Almighty God intervened personally, inwardly, continuously, and permanently in the lives of the disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ.

GOD’S PENTECOSTAL INTERVENTION: A NEW EPOCH:
Acts 2:1. “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.”

On this day of Pentecost God brought about a new epoch, or period, in human history. It was the day that marked the beginning of God’s Church. God’s Sovereign Schedule, John’s Prediction: John the Baptist had predicted that Jesus would baptize “with the Holy Ghost, and with fire” (Matthew 3:11). Nothing before Pentecost and nothing after Pentecost fulfilled John’s prediction. Pentecost was God’s schedule for the fulfillment of John’s prediction.

God’s Sovereign Schedule, Joel’s Prophecy: In his first message, Simon Peter declared that God’s Intervention at Pentecost fulfilled Joel’s prophecy (Acts 2:16). Prophecy fulfillment always depends upon God’s ordained time rather than man’s influence. The time choice of Pentecost was God’s sovereign decision.

God’s Intervention At Pentecost: God’s personal, inward, continuous, and permanent Intervention at Pentecost Jesus had promised the disciples personal empowerment. The first Adam had enjoyed only a brief fellowship with his Creator in the cool of the day. He failed God.  Throughout the Old Testament God had ministered to Israel gloriously but externally with words, laws, leaders, prophets, deeds, and manifestations of blessing and judgment. Despite these multiple demonstrations of love and grace, Israel had continued to fail to live in obedience to God’s will and revealed purposes. Old Testament history continued to prove that the human descendants from Adam, even with external aid from God, were unable or unwilling, to fulfill their ordained destiny.

To accomplish Jesus’ Commission for a holy people to evangelize a lost world would require that the disciple receive a personal Deity empowerment. To accomplish God’s purpose the disciples must experience God as the personal, inward, constant, and permanent presence of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit Intervention must make the Godhead real to each disciple knowing it was God living in each of them.

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

Obadiah 1   ---  Jonah  1  2  3  4         
Micah  1  2  3  4  5  6  7         

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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26.   God's Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                            September 26, 2011   

Good Morning!
The Holy Spirit’s Intervention at Pentecost began unexpectedly when God’s wind-sound burst from the heavens like the mighty rush of an awesome expelled breath.

INTERVENTION MANIFESTED BY WIND-SOUND:
Acts 2:2. “And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.”

The turbulent wind-sound, roaring like a tornado, descended directly toward the house where the disciples of Jesus were gathered. Attracted by the sound, curious pilgrims began to converge toward the focus of the approaching sound. They were mystified! The wind-sound descended like a giant breath, “a rushing mighty wind.” The wind-sound simply descended and filled the air about one single house, what was taking place? The wind-sound signified the personal Intervention of God in the coming of the Holy Spirit.

John wrote that Jesus breathed on them, and saith to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit” (John 20:22). The connection between the “breath of Jesus” as a symbol and the “Spirit of God” as reality, it was not that He actually gave them the Spirit at that time, but that they would understand when, later at Pentecost, the Spirit actually descended and abode upon them and dwelt with them, that the Spirit was given by their exalted Lord.

The disciples now understood that what Jesus had signified by His breath before His Ascension, He had now given in reality. The waiting disciples had now experienced the Holy Spirit, the very breath of Almighty God, expelled upon them. The disciples’ need for power was incredible so the nature of the wind-sound indicated that the intervening might and power of Almighty God was now provided. The nature of the audible manifestation at Pentecost coincided with the nature of Jesus’ promise and met the disciples’ need. The nature of the wind-sound now declared: the Almighty God has now personally, inwardly, permanently intervened!

John had baptized with water; now the exalted Jesus was baptizing the waiting disciples with the Holy Spirit. What a Baptism! The Holy Spirit was poured out upon the disciples in an effusion.  The Holy Spirit enveloped the disciples - all the disciples - in an immersion. The disciples of Jesus were now and forever “in the Spirit.” God’s Pentecostal Intervention was permanent!

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

Nahum  1  2  3   ----  Habakkuk  1  2  3           

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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27.    God's Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                         September 27, 2011  

Good Morning!
Surely they knew that the holy and Almighty Jehovah had descended upon them in flames of fire!

GOD INTERVENED WITH TONGUES OF FIRE:
Acts 2:3. “And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.”

What the disciples experienced was a “sign” and more than a “sign,” the visual manifestation of God’s continuing Intervention.  What the disciples now experienced was awesome in meaning, especially to a Hebrew. After centuries of prophetic silence and departed Shekinah glory (Ezekiel 11:23), the fire-like flame re-kindled their rich traditions of God’s former Interventions. Now the fire-like manifestation had again suddenly appeared, parted into separate fire-like tongues and “sat upon each of them” and transformed each and every disciple into a “burning bush,”  “a holy tabernacle of meeting,” a living light.

These Hebrew disciples needed no word of exhortation to remember their heritage of God’s former manifestations by “fire.”  Had not fire come down upon Abraham’s sacrifice (Genesis 15:17), had not fire burned on the bush before Moses (Exodus 3:2), was not a pillar of fire upon the tabernacle at night (Exodus 40:38), did not fire devour Nadab and Abihu (Leviticus 10:2), had not Moses declared, “For the Lord thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God” (Deuteronomy 4:24)?

But the greatest significance must have related to their memory of the “fire” of God at the dedication of the Tabernacle and of the Temple. Historically, the ‘fire” sign had been national and institutional but now the “fire” Presence was personal and individual. Within the Temple the Glory of God had been visible but only to the high-priest inside the Holy of Holies but now God’s fire-like Presence was externally visible as resting upon individual believers. Could this signify less than the mystery that each disciple had become a temple of God? And the promise of Jesus that the Holy Spirit would never depart meant that the fiery sign might disappear but the Presence would remain. ICHABOD (1 Samuel 4:21) would never be written over this new temple.

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

Zephaniah  1  2  3   -----  Haggai  1  2      

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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28.    God's Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                       September 28, 2011   

Good Morning!
At Pentecost God fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah, “For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.” (Isaiah 28:11)

THE DISCIPLES DEFINITELY SPOKE WITH TONGUES:
Acts 2:4. “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. 5. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. 6. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. 7. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? 8. And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? 9. Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, 10.  Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, 11. Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. 12. And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?

On the first Christian Pentecost, God manifested His Intervention not only by a Wind-sound and a Fire-like anointing but also by a unique “tongue speaking.”  God actually spoke in human languages through the lips of the disciples!  And let it be emphasized that God spoke so that people of all races, nations, and languages could understand the message in their native languages. To be specific, and Luke was very specific about this strange experience, all those in the upper room spoke “with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.” The noise of the mighty wind, and the loud utterances of those who were filled with the Holy Ghost, drew the multitudes to see and hear what was going on.

Luke describes the excitement of those who were visiting in Jerusalem. He described the utter amazement confounding the hearers!  The hearers marveled at what they heard! Their questions revealed the cause of their confusion! “And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? How hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?” The curious hearers were hearing the “tongue speaking” disciples as though the disciples were speaking in the different hearer’s native dialect.

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

Zechariah   1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8       

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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29.     God's Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                   September 29, 2011    

Good Morning!
The “tongue-speaking” disciples were communicating intelligently and perfectly naturally about the wonderful works of God in the hearer’s native dialect. The mystified hearers were each hearing the same speech but hearing it in the hearer’s own native language. What they were experiencing was impossible, yet actual.

WHAT MEANETH THIS?
Acts 2:11b. “We do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.
12. And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?”

The hearers’ confusion centered about the identity of the language in which they heard the disciples speak. The hearers perceived all the disciples as Galileans. No interpreters were translating the disciples’ speech into other languages. Herein arose the amazing mystery that was confounding the hearers. In judging the importance of this Pentecostal “tongue-speaking” manifestation, the student must consider the space allocated by the Bible to each of the three “sign” manifestations of God’s Intervention. Luke gave one verse to the date, one verse to the wind-sound, and one verse to the fire-like tongues. The “tongue-speaking” manifestation received ten verses. Of the ten verses, one verse described the action; nine verses explained the hearers’ confusion and its cause. The nine verses emphasized the national diversity characterizing the hearers. Among the multitude that gathered Luke specifies language differences associated with sixteen different nationalities.

In the entire Old Testament only one Scripture specifically relates to God’s intervention manifested by a “tongues” experience.  Before the construction of the tower of Babel, the Bible declares that the whole earth was of one language and one speech. At that time God brought judgment upon the human race by confounding their language so that they could not understand one another’s speech. This Babel “tongue” confusion motivated the people to scatter abroad. The once-united human race separated into “the nations “(Genesis 11:1-9). The next chapter of Genesis relates how God intervened again to call Abraham as the father of the Hebrew nation. From that time the Bible speaks of divided humanity as “the nations” and Israel. The once-united human race became and has remained the ever-divided human race. No government or leader, philosophy or religion has ever discovered the road back to racial unity for fallen humanity.  Conquerors have displaced and redistributed segments of nations but have always lacked the power to produce racial unity. God was doing a great work in the speaking in tongues.

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

Zechariah  9  10  11  12  13  14              

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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30.    God's Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                      September 30, 2011  

Good Morning!
At Pentecost God’s new Intervention provided the first and only solution to human racial and national division.

SPEAKING IN TONGUES WAS GOD’S SIGN OF UNITING ALL NATIONS:
Acts 2:8. “And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? 11. We do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. 12. And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?

The “tongue-speaking” disciples manifested this third benefit of the coming of the Holy Spirit. At Pentecost God revealed that all mankind becomes one new race in Christ Jesus. Only in the Body of Christ are all racial barriers broken. At Pentecost the Spirit began to unite these “sons of God” into a new brotherhood, the church of Christ. Only in the redeemed family of God is racial unity a reality. So the redemptive message of Christ is the first and only basis by which all mankind may be redeemed and united into oneness. As the confusion of tongues at Babel manifested the division of the races so the manifestation of “other tongues” at Pentecost revealed the new potential for the racial unity of the human race in Christ Jesus.

At Pentecost the Holy Spirit revealed the new relationship of brotherhood in Christ. The work of the Holy Spirit is to take a Jew here, a Gentile there, a male here and a female there, regenerate them and then put them, Jew, Gentile, bond, free, male, female, Scythian, barbarian, into the Body of Christ. Thus they are baptized by the Spirit into one family. But once in the Body their identity is gone; they are neither Jew nor Gentile, bond nor free, male or female, but all one in Christ. (Colossians 3:11). No government or force, personality or philosophy, agency or plan or power has offered an acceptable and adequate basis for restoring unity to the diverse and antagonistic divisions of humanity. Only Christ can offer “oneness.”

This unique and glorious benefit of God’s new Intervention at Pentecost and manifested by the disciples’ “tongue speaking” is unique to the Christian gospel. National diversities, instead of being a barrier before which it once stood still, were opportunities to display its universal adaptation. Every various tongue was made an additional witness that it had now come for ‘every people under heaven. This realization is the throbbing heart of missionary endeavor. How else would the Great Commission have global outreach? How else would “to the uttermost part of the earth be realized?

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

Malachi  1  2  3  4           

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

 

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