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December, 2011

top  December, 2011  Sunday, June 25, 2017

Snow On Barn

                               Barn In The Snow

       Click On The Date Below For Todays Devotion

       Todays Date Is Sunday, June 25, 2017

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                God's Grazingfield Daily Devotion

1.  Today’s First Thoughts                                     December 1, 2011

Good Morning!
In the next few days we will look at the Parable of The Sower to find something that will help us to develop our lives to become 100 fold Christians.

DEVELOPING OUR LIFE:
Luke 8:5. “A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it. 6. And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture. 7. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it. 8. And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.”

God has given us life. Our life is like a farm or parcel of ground deeded to us for life. God has given each of us, let’s say 1000 acres. Its up to each individual to work and develop his ground. The ground and the production thereof is what you make of it. You may say “I had a big disadvantage when I started in life. I was born into a very poor family or born into a race, or culture, or nationality, which gave me disadvantages other people do not experience.” It’s not where you start in life, but where you end up, that matters. I can name you many people who started in life much worse off than you, and made God’s honor role. Nobody else can work your farm. You can’t lease it out to someone else to work. You must take care of your own life.

This study is intended to reach out to both Church members and those who are not. Everyone needs to take another look at their position in life and respond to the need. We will start this study by looking at a portion of The Parable Of The Sower. Jesus didn’t just tell stories to take up peoples time, but each story has many messages in it. We want to liken this parable to the farm God has given to each of us. Every one of us has all these kinds of soil on the farm God has given us, and it’s up to us to make it bear fruit. In this story a farmer sows seed to produce a harvest. Don’t say that he wasn’t a good farmer, and that he should know better that to sow seeds in ground that hasn’t been properly prepared. 
This is a story of our life, my life, your life, not somebody else’s life.

Tomorrow we want to take a good look at our farm. We will look at the areas that are productive and is keeping us looking good among all our friends and neighbors. These are our strong points, but we also have areas which are not productive. We want to bring forth “a hundred fold.” Then life in Christ is not a struggle.

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

Galatians 1  2  3            

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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 2.                    God's Grazingfield Daily Devotion

 Today’s First Thoughts                                 December 2, 2011

Good Morning!
Remember God has deeded us a life (farm) to produce fruit unto eternal life.

LET US LOOK AT OUR FARM:
Matthew 13:8. “But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. 9 Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

By the age of 35-40 you have had time to develop your farm; this is one-half or more of your productive life. Remember I said we received 1000 acres of land, or life to use.  Let’s say you now have 500 acres of productive land. You have a running stream of water that flows into your farm. (Everyone who has the Holy Ghost has a river of living water). You have buildings, barns, storage buildings, a house, fences, cows, horses, and chickens. You are raising corn, soybeans, wheat, hay, small orchard, and a garden. Everything looks fine—but appearances are deceitful. You need more production. It is hard to make ends meet, paying for 100,000 dollar tractors, trucks, combines, corn pickers, tools of all sort, and 100’s of other things that make a farm go. What do you do? What can you do? You can’t expect to raise two crops each season. You try more fertilizer. You order different kinds of seeds.

These things are helpful but it will only increase production by a small percentage. What can you do? You need to look at the other 500 acres God gave you. Neglected acres. The neglected portion of your life needs developing. There are times our Christian life becomes stagnated, things are not flowing as they should. We have tried to develop the “Fruit of the Spirit” Paul wrote about (Galatians 5:22), and some of them we have working in our life. Then we think of the list Peter asks us to consider, 2 Peter 1:5 “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6. And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7. And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. 8. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

If we have only one half of each of these lists working in our lives we are only getting one-half production out of our spiritual farm. What is faith without virtue? Or what is joy without peace? We want every thing on these lists to be operating in our lives. “For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.” (2 Peter 1:8-9).

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

Galatians  4  5  6         

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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 3.  4.               God's Grazingfield Daily Devotion

 Today’s First Thoughts                              December 3 & 4, 2011

Good Morning!
The 500 acres of non-productive land could make you lose the farm.

ANOTHER LOOK AT OUR FARM:
Matthew 13:4. “And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side,..”
Matthew 13:5. “Some fell upon stony places,..” “And some fell among thorns,..”

The first 500 acres is your strength, everyone has some good points, hardly anyone is completely bad. I want a better future for you, and above all God wants a better future for you. God does not want us to live a nominal Christian life, but He wants a “hundred fold” life from you. Many are struggling along and not being as blessed as they should be. We are now going to look at the neglected 500 acres of my life, your life.

We emphasize our strong points. Everybody talks about your strong points, the areas that are producing fruit. The neglected 500 acres can be made to be productive, it can be developed. You say it’s all overgrown, rocky, hard ground, some swamps, and dark dense woody places. Two or three old cars or trucks started a junk pile which has grown considerably—trees blown over by storms and left to rot away, and gullies that have been washed out by years of neglect.  No Trespassing,” signs are posted here and there, Do Not Enter,” “Stay out.”
Are all these kind of things cluttering up your life? I sure hope not. All of these things that fill the 500 acres of your life that are non-productive must be dealt with, cleaned up. God wants to help you. More than that, God wants to get down in the dirt with you. He wants to work with His children. God is willing to do the heavy lifting, things you cannot do. He yearns for our cooperation—But, He will not go where He is not invited. First Thing, take down the no trespassing signs, let God in.

What are you hiding? What is it that you don’t want God to see? Have you got areas of your life that are off-limits to your Pastor, your friends, your wife or husband? No trespassing. Some hidden things need to be uncovered. Dark Places. Some things need to be brought out into the light. Darkness cannot survive in the light. While we hide our faults and failings, they grow larger—they develop a power over us. Before we know it, we are planning our days around our self-destructive habits, much like an alcoholic plans his days around when he will drink. And the more we hide these faults and weaknesses, the more power they tend to have over us. If they are serious enough and left unattended for long enough, they begin to control our whole life. But when we bring them to the light they lose their power over us.

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

Ephesians  1  2  3         
Ephesians  4  5  6          

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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5.                 God's Grazingfield Daily Devotion

 Today’s First Thoughts                                 December 5, 2011

Good Morning!
Some things need to be gotten out of our life, they stagnate the stream God placed within you when He gave you the Holy Ghost.

LET US GET THE JUNK OUT OF OUR LIFE:
Matthew 13:4. “Some seeds fell by the way side,..” (Hard trodden path)
Matthew 13:5. “Some fell upon stony places,..” “And some fell among thorns,..”

The Holy Spirit cannot operate in a vessel (life) that is full of trash. Start by cleaning up the mess that has accumulated. You say, My life is a mess.” But God has seen messes before—He has helped clean up worse messes than you present. God wants to clean up the “junk” in your life, pull up the stumps, and get the rocks hauled out. He wants to help drain the swamps and get the stream flowing in your life; He wants to help smooth out the gullies so your land can be cultivated.

In the 1930’s my family moved to a very old and a very large farm, over 1500 acres. About one-half of it was productive land that could be plowed with a mule team, about one-forth was woods, while much of the rest was rocky, stump-filled and lay idle covered with wild growth. For three years, during the time when there was no crops to plow, or harvest, my dad and I, as a very young boy, took the wagon and team of mules to those non-productive areas and hauled wagon load after wagon load of rocks out and piled them along the river bank. It seemed like we were wasting our time, and the job would never get done.

At other times we would pull stumps by taking a long pole and chaining one end to the stump and tying the mules to the other end of the pole and twisting the stump out. If the stump could not be twisted out that way we dug under the stump and put 3 or 4 sticks of dynamite to blow it out. We cleared an acre at a time, not an acre a day but an acre at a time. Slowly but surely crop-land was cleared, productive land. Today, many years have passed and the farmers are working the once-waste land that my dad and I cleared not realizing what it once looked like.

So let’s get started on the non-productive areas of our life. God will help us in every area that we ask Him to. We may not clean everything out in one day or a week or a month, but today is a good time to start. The progress will make you the happiest person you can be. Every little thing, or big thing, we get done will make our lives more towards the “100 fold” Jesus is looking for.

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

Philippians  1  2  3  4           

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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 6.               God's Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                          December 6, 2011

Good Morning!
Let us get started on the 500 acres of non-productive areas of our life.

THE FIRST STEP IS CONVICTION:
Acts 2:37. “Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?”

Peter’s sermon on the day of Pentecost brought conviction to the hearts of those who heard it. They had been brought face to face with their sins and it so moved them, convicted them, that they wanted to make things right. So we find that the first step to God is conviction, it bring us to the reality, the awfulness, of our sins. Jesus said that the Prodigal son “came to himself.” “I don’t need to be here.” I hope the Holy Ghost has worked on your heart in some of the things I have said. Old time preachers called it Conviction.” That’s the way the Holy Ghost works. It convicts us of our sins. It makes us realize that we are sinners. That’s what conviction is. John the Baptist’s preaching brought conviction on the multitude. What a preacher! When the people were brought face to face with their sins they were moved to act. Mark 1:5 tells us “They came confessing their sins and were baptized by John.”

A woman was brought to Jesus one day having been caught in adultery, and the men wanted to stone her. Jesus stooped and wrote in the sand, and then said, “He that is without sin let him cast the first stone.” “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.” (John 8:9)  Some people are convicted and just walk away. They do nothing about it. I’ve seen people who were under conviction, lose their appetite, and lose sleep fighting conviction. Conviction brings us before God just as we are.

Conviction leads to confession. “I am a sinner.” Admit your sins. John writing to church members, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us” (1 John 1:8-10). Jesus didn’t come for the healthy; He came for the sick (sinners). He established His Church to carry on His work. So if we see things in our lives that are not right, own up to it, confess it to God in prayer. Then turn away from it. Conviction leads to confession, confession leads to repentance, the next step to cleaning up, and making our life productive.

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

Colossians  1  2  3  4          

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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7.                God's Grazingfield Daily Devotion

 Today’s First Thoughts                        December 7, 2011

Good Morning!
Conviction, confessing, and repentance. These are the steps that lead to a life that will bring forth the fruit Jesus demands of us.

CONFESSION LEADS TO REPENTANCE:
Romans 7:23. “But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
24. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
25. I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

We all do things that are wrong, and that makes us a lesser person. We say things that hurt others, or hurt others by not saying things, like I’m sorry, pardon me, or forgive me. These things originate in the heart. Deep down we don’t want to think, say, and do these things. I don’t want to be the lesser person—I really want to be the best version of myself. Paul recognized where the trouble lay, and in Romans 7:22-25, he tells us that there is a conflict between the spirit of man and the flesh. Yet he also tells us there can be victory over the flesh through the Lord Jesus Christ.

Repentance was the message of John the Baptist, “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 3:2). Jesus’ message, “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17). You say, “I repented a long time ago.” Yet I say Christians need to repent. Repent is a powerful word. Repentance is a powerful event when it takes place in our lives. Repent means the same as it did 2,000 years ago. Repent means “to turn back to God.”

We find ourselves turning back to God many times a day—in ways small and great. It is not a matter of guilt and it is not a shameful thing. It is simply at His side I am a better person, a better husband, brother, friend, employee, and citizen. Do you need to turn back to God? Do you need to repent? We turn away from God in small ways—just for a moment—other times in much larger ways. Turning our backs on God is an inner action. It is quite possible for people to turn their backs on God and still go to Church on Sunday. They still pay their tithes—and go through the motion of Church life. The external actions don’t guarantee the internal disposition. Have you turned your back on God? Very few people turn their backs on God completely. Maybe it is in one or two areas of our lives, just a little corner of our heart. Is there an area of your heart that you have turned your back on God?

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

1 Thessalonians   1  2  3  4         

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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8.                   God's Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                   December 8, 2011

Good Morning!
Every journey towards something is a journey away from something.

REPENTANCE IS TURNING TO GOD:
2 Chronicles 7: 14. “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

If we need to turn back to God, we also need to turn away from whatever led us away and keeps us away. Maybe certain people have led you to stray from God. Perhaps possessions have distracted you or certain pleasures have seduced you into walking a wayward path. Whatever it is that distracted you it is important to realize that you cannot journey back to God and at the same time stay where you are. That is why Confession is first then repentance. Sometime it is as important to know what you are journeying from as well as it is to know what you are journeying towards.

Repentance is turning your back on the distractions and walk towards God. The journey to God is a journey away from the defects of your life. Question, “Are you willing to turn back to God? Are you willing to be more like what God is calling you to be? Come to Reality: Confess “I am a sinner and I need to be saved. I need to be saved from myself and from my sin.” I assure you sin and evil are real. There is a lot of evil in the world. The line that separates good from evil is cast down the center of my heart and your heart. The battle is within. So the question is, are we willing to fight the battle?”

There are many people who love us, parents, family, friends, but they cannot save us. That is what makes us eligible for membership in the Lord’s Church. He didn’t come to save the healthy; He came to save the sick. We are imperfect but capable of change and growth.  We are all imperfect but perfectible. The Church holds me in my weakness, comforts me in my limitations, endeavors to heal me in my sickness, and nurture me back to full health in Christ. The Church manages to harness all my efforts and struggles, not only for my own good, but for the good of the entire Church and humanity. This is just a small part of incredible mystery of the Church. I ask again, Are you willing to turn back to God?” “Do you want to be all that God wants you to be?” “Do you want to be a 100 fold Christian?”

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

1 Thessalonians 5     2 Thessalonians 1  2  3         

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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9.                   God's Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                           December 9, 2011

Good Morning!
Let us ask ourselves, “Will what I am about to do help me to become the best version of myself?”

THE GRACE OF GOD:
Titus 2:11. “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
12. Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;”
1 Peter 5:5b “… “be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.”

Grace is the power of God alive in us. It heals the wounds that our sins have created and helps us to maintain moral balance. Grace helps us to persevere in the pursuit of virtue. It enlightens our minds to see and know which actions will help us becomes all God created us to be, 100 fold Christians. Grace inspires us to love what is good and shun what is evil. Grace is not a magical illusion, it is mystical and real.

When we come to an altar, we should come first to reconcile ourselves with God and receive forgiveness, this is not just a cleansing experience, it is also a strengthening experience. We all need forgiveness; we all need cleansing and strengthening. We, above all, need to bring our sins to the altar, confess them to God, and ask His forgiveness. It is an opportunity for you and God to work together to form a better version of yourself. It will increase our desire for holiness, and that is a desire we should fan with all our energy. If we are serious about being a Christian, then it is imperative that we are serious about doing the will of God.

Teaching us,..” If a person desires to excel in any sport, they need a good coach to teach them, mostly, the things they are doing wrong, and then show them a better way. A similar thing exists in our relationships. God gives us husbands and wives, sisters, brothers, and parents and friends, to help us to see things as they really are. There is no relationship more precious in the world than the friendships of people we love, trust, and respect enough to allow them to correct us when they see things as they really are. We need to be constantly mindful of our ability to deceive ourselves and our tendency to distort the way we see things in our relationship with God and our relationship with other people. Paul tells us, “For the grace of God … hath appeared.. teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lust, we should live soberly, righteously, and Godly in this present world.”

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

1 Timothy 1  2  3         

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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10.  11.               God's Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                          December 10 & 11, 2011

Good Morning!
The Jews were a nation of farmers, and it is therefore a common thing in the scriptures to refer for Illustrations to their occupation, and to the scenes with which farmers and shepherds are familiar.

BREAK UP YOUR FALLOW GROUND:
Hosea 10:12. “Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you. 13. Ye have plowed wickedness, ye have reaped iniquity; ye have eaten the fruit of lies:

Fallow ground is ground which has once been tilled, but which now lays waste, and needs to be broken up and mellowed, before it is it is ready to receive grain. To break up the fallow ground, is to break up your hearts, to prepare your minds to bring forth fruit unto God. The mind of man is often compared to the ground in the Bible. The word of God is the seed sown there, the fruit representing the actions and emotions of those who receive it. To break up the fallow ground therefore, is to bring the mind into such a state that it is fitted to receive the Word of God. Sometimes your hearts get matted down, hard and dry, until there is no such thing as getting fruit from them until they are broken up, and mellowed down, and fitted to the Word. It is this softening of the heart, so as to make it feel the truth, which the prophet calls break up your fallow ground.

If you intend to break up the fallow ground of your hearts, and make your minds sensitive on the subject of religion, you must go to work just as you would to get your mind on any other subject. Instead of keeping your thoughts on everything else, and then imagining that by going to a few meetings you will get your feelings started, go the common-sense way to work, as you would on any other subject. It is just as easy to make your minds feel on the subject of religion as it is on any other. God has put these states of mind under your control. If people were as uncaring about moving their limbs as they are about regulating their emotions, you would never get anywhere.

Break up all the ground and turn it over. Do not “scrape” it, as the farmers say; do not turn aside for little difficulties; drive the plough right through them, dig deep, and turn the ground up, so that it may all be mellow and soft, and fit to receive the seed and bear fruit “an hundredfold.”

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

1 Timothy  4  5  6          
2 Timothy  1  2  3  4           

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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 12.                     God's Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                            December 12, 2011

Good Morning!
What good is a well that is stopped up or dry? Isaac, second in the line of Hebrew patriarchs, must have asked that question many times. If you doubt it, look at the record in Genesis 26 of the number of wells he reopened and dug.

ISAAC REOPENED THE OLD WELLS:
Genesis 26:18. “And Isaac digged again the wells of water, which they had digged in the days of Abraham his father; for the Philistines had stopped them with earth after the death of Abraham: 19. And Isaac's servants digged in the valley, and found there a well of springing water. 21. And they digged another well, and strove for that also: 22. And he removed from thence, and digged another well;

A stopped up, dry well, is of no value to anyone until it is re-dug and cleaned out so the fresh water is again available. At least at one point in his life, Isaac showed great concern for the unused, stopped-up wells that his father Abraham earlier had dug. Reflecting on Isaac and his well-digging afford us opportunity to consider some of the fountain-heads in our Christian life that are stopped up and dry. Once they were channels intended to be blessings. But the water has ceased to flow. There is very little fresh water flowing from the wells of scriptural confession and reconciliation.

The devil, that old and ancient enemy of our souls, makes it his important business to stop up the wells of spiritual blessing and Christian experience. He is trying his best to sell Christians short, suggesting that these channels of blessing are now ancient and out-of-date. He would have us believe they should be allowed to dry up to a trickle and finally be abandoned altogether.

Isaac remembered his boyhood and the wells of flowing water. That part of the world has always been arid. Isaac knew very well that fresh, flowing water was not just an option. It was a necessity. And here is where we tie in these actions of Isaac with the Christian life. The underground streams of water in our world are a free gift of God. Mankind could never create the natural flow of water. It is there by the provision of Almighty God, the Creator. Man must dig his wells to tap the water source, to get down where the water flows. Once released, the water blesses God’s creation. We must dig out the old wells! We must recognize our dryness of spirit, our coldness of heart. We must make the decision to renew our desire for God, the outpouring of His Spirit, for the seasons of rejoicing, and become more like Jesus.

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

Titus 1  2  3    Philemon 1      

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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13.                  God's Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                              December 13, 2011

Good Morning!
There are people within the ranks of Christianity who have been taught and who believe that Christ will shield His followers from wounds of every kind.

WOUNDED JACOB IS RENEWED BY HIS HUNGER FOR GOD:
Genesis 32:24. “And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. 25. And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob's thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him. 26. And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.

If the truth were known, the saints of God in every age were only effective after they had been wounded. They experienced the humbling wounds that brought contrition, compassion, and a yearning for the knowledge of God. I could only wish that more among the followers of Christ knew what some of the early saints meant when they spoke of being wounded by the Holy Spirit. I suppose there is no theologian living or dead who quite knows what Paul meant when he said, “From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus” (Galatians 6:17).

In the darkness of that Middle Eastern night, Jacob wrestled. At daybreak, the Stranger touched Jacob’s thigh, wounding him, putting the thigh out of joint. But still Jacob wrestled. “I will not let thee go, except thou bless me,” Jacob vowed. At Peniel Jacob was wounded. The Bible informs us that for the rest of his life “he halted upon his thigh”—he limped. But the Bible informs us of something else. It says that as Jacob passed across the ford of the Jab-bok, “the sun rose upon him.” Before, Jacob had been in the shadows so much of the time that the sun had difficulty reaching his troubled face! And about his wound. Certainly we would agree that the matter of a limp for the rest of his life was a very small price to pay for the benefits of a wound administered by the Lord Himself.

Knowing his own many faults and flaws, Jacob sensed within himself a great dissatisfaction. In every generation, the people who have found God have been those who have come to the end of themselves. Recognizing their hopelessness, they have been ready to throw themselves on the mercy and grace of a forgiving God. I hope we can all come to the point where we have a longing for that Presence which goes beyond the physical satisfactions of food and drink and family and friends. Even though wounded let us wrestle on until we receive the blessing.

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

Hebrews 1  2  3  4        

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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 14.                 God's Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                            December 14, 2011                                        

Good Morning!
If we feel anything in the presence of God but poverty of spirit—it means that you have never really faced him. That is the meaning of this Beatitude.

THE POOR IN SPIRIT:
Matthew 5:3. Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

There is no entry into the kingdom of heaven unless one is poor in spirit. We shall see that this is the fundamental characteristic of the Christian. Poor in spirit is the very core of Christianity. Jesus said, “And learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart:” (Matthew 11:29). All the other Beatitudes follow after one is “poor in spirit.” (Poverty of spirit) To be “poor in spirit” really means an empting, while the other Beatitudes are a manifestation of a fullness. We cannot be filled until we are first empty. You cannot fill with new wine, a vessel which is partly filled already with old wine, until the old wine has been emptied out.

It is an essential part of the gospel that conviction precedes conversion—the gospel condemns before it releases. The preaching of John the Baptist condemned thousands because he preached repentance, a turning from their life as they were then living (Matthew 3:2, 8; Luke 3:10-14). Jesus also preached repentance as a necessary prerequisite to salvation (Luke 1:14-15). Peter preached repentance on the day of Pentecost and it brought conviction on those who heard him and 3,000 responded (Acts 2:37-41). So we find conviction leads to repentance. And repentance leads to salvation. It takes a cleansing, an empting, before the filling.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit:” What Jesus is talking about is a man’s attitude or feelings towards himself. What do we think about ourselves?  There is such a thing as “false humility.”  The world puts great emphasis on self-reliance, self-confidence, and self-expression. If you want to get ahead, believe in yourself, express yourself. This idea, self-reliance, this expression, is controlling the life of men in our world. Pull yourself up by your own boot-straps—you control your own destiny. Reach out there and get it. It’s yours for the taking. You are somebody, (self-motivation) you can do anything you set your mind to (Genesis 11:1-6). This type of thinking has to change Jesus says, if you expect to come into the Kingdom Of God. We must become humble, as little children. This Kingdom does not belong to the mighty, the great, the proud, the aggressive, but only the poor in spirit shall inherit the kingdom of heaven. It’s the only permanent Kingdom; all other kingdoms will pass away.

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

Hebrews  5  6  7  8        

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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 15.               God's Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                     December 15, 2011                                        

Good Morning! “And this have ye done again, covering the altar of the Lord with tears, with weeping, and with crying out.” Malachi 2:13.

THEY THAT MOURN:
Matthew 5:4. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

This makes the Christian so different from the man of the world. The one thing the world tries to shun is mourning. The world says, “forget your troubles, be as happy as you can be.” We are living in a pleasure mad world. Think of the money, energy, and enthusiasm that are expended on entertainment. Multi-billion dollar amusement parks, cities and states devoted to entertainment. The highest paid people are entertainers, 100 plus million dollars per year. In fact the top ten highest paid people are entertainers. Entertainment was America’s second leading export last year, with billions of dollar market.

Make them laugh, Make them happy, Thrill them, Pleasure mania keeps it going. But Jesus says, “Blessed (Happy) are they that mourn.” Again we must say that has a spiritual meaning. Jesus was not talking about Sorrow because of the death of a loved one. Jesus himself experienced this type of sorrow. The mourning which Jesus speaks of in this Beatitude is brought on by an awareness of our undone condition. We become aware of our sinful condition. Those who do not weep for sin—will weep because of sin. We must experience a real conviction of sin.

This comes before the joy. Many seek God for the joy or ecstatic feeling which comes with the baptism of the Holy Ghost. But to experience the real joy of serving God one must experience the sadness brought on by the realization that we are wretched in his sight. Weeping is a human emotion that should not be stifled. There are so many incidents in scripture where weeping and tears touched the heart of God. The Psalmist said, “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning” (Psalms 30:5). And again he says, “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weeping, bearing precious seed shall doubtless come again with rejoicing bringing his sheaves with him.” (Psalms 126:5-6)

“The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit” (Psalms 34:18). It is not an unmanly thing to weep before God. Those who do not weep for sin—will weep because of sin. Jesus wept over the sins of Jerusalem. So we find that the second step into the Kingdom of God is a contrite spirit. O, the comfort, of a forgiven heart.

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

Hebrews  9  10  11        

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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16.               God's Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                          December 16, 2011                                        

Good Morning!
The world thinks in terms of strength, power, of ability, self-assurance and aggressiveness. That is the world’s idea of conquest and power.

THE MEEK:
Matthew 5:5. “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.”

When we think of world conquest we naturally think of men like, Genghis Khan,
Tamerlane, Napoleon Bonaparte, Roman Legions, and Hitler’s Panzer Divisions. These all have tried and failed to conquer all. Let me give you a little secret, the world was not promised to those types of people. World conquest, possession of the whole universe, was given to the meek, of all people. “Heirs of God, joint heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17). “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.”

The Christian whom Jesus describes in the Beatitudes is different from the world. He is a new man, a new creation; He belongs to an entirely different kingdom. Paul said I want you to know that He, “hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: (Colossians 1:13). The day is coming when, “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever” (Revelation 11:15).

There are some questions we need to ask ourselves.
1. Do we belong to this kingdom?
2. Are you ruled by Christ?
3. Is He your King and Lord?
4. Are we manifesting the Beatitudes in our life?
5. Are we truly blessed?
6. Are you happy?
7. Have you been filled with His Spirit?
8. Have you got peace?

Jesus in the beatitudes promised all of this to those are living like He asks us to in the Sermon On The Mount. We can only live it by His help and He also promised this help if we will only ask of Him.

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

Hebrews  12  13           

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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 17.  18.                   God's Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                   December 17 & 18, 2011                                         

Good Morning!
The greatest need in our lives is not more money to pay the bills, not more of this world’s goods, not more leisure time, not better health. Real happiness, real blessings only come when we seek after righteousness with all of our heart.

HUNGERING AND THIRSTING AFTER RIGHTEOUSNESS:
Matthew 5:6. “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.”

Here Jesus speaks of a consuming anxiety for righteousness. Jesus portrays a man ravenous with hunger, parched and panting with thirst. Then He tells us that when we long for goodness as much as such a man longs for food and drink, then we are among the blessed of the Lord. Most of us can remember when we came to the Lord, the over-whelming zeal, or desire, we had to serve Him. We saw visions, dreamed dreams; there was an in-satiable thirst for His blessings, a hunger to hear His word. We sought opportunities to witness.

But has time taken away the zeal? Has the years dulled the edge of our willingness to sacrifice our time and talents? Has life’s responsibilities weighted so heavily on us that we dropped down from the mountain-top and become content to live on a lower plain? Has the Laodicean spirit cooled our love for Jesus? Have we allowed other things to spoil our appetite for the things of God? Other thing may not be harmful in themselves, but too many things we give so much of ourselves to them that they rob us of our hunger and thirst for righteousness. Jesus told Martha, “Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:41-42).

I am fully persuaded that unless this Beatitude is fulfilled in someone’s life the Christian Religion will perish from the earth. That unless someone in this Church fulfills this Beatitude in their life, this Church too, shall perish from existence. I am persuaded that unless we as individuals fulfill this beatitude we will soon cease to be Christians. This is probable the most important Beatitude. Righteousness is the desire to be right with God. It means a desire to be free from sin, because sin separates us from God. Paul says, “Zealous of good works.” To hunger and thirst after righteousness is to seek to rid our lives of sin in all its forms.

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

James  1  2  3      
James  4  5       

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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19.                    God's Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                          December 19, 2011                                        

Good Morning!
By hungering and thirsting after righteousness we will be able to stand in the presence of God, faultless, blameless without spot and without wrinkle.

OUR DESIRE FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS WILL BE FULFILLED:
Matthew 5:6. “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.”

We should hunger and thirst to get back into that old relationship. The original relationship of righteousness was in the presence of God. Adam and Eve were made righteous they dwelt and walked with God. To hunger and thirst after righteousness means to desire to be free from the power of sin. It means to be free from the desire for sin. Free from the bondage of sin. He is a man who wants to show the Fruit of the Spirit in his every action. It means to be like Jesus. Paul in Galatians 4:19 “My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you,.”

To hunger and thirst after righteousness does not mean a passing feeling, a passing desire, it means something that keeps on until it is satisfied. Hunger is something deep, it hurts and is painful. It is something that causes suffering and agony. Hunger and Thirst persuades our every thought and our every action until satisfied. Psalms 42:1. “As the hart (deer) panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. 2. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: ………”

To be hungry is not enough; I must be starving to know what’s in the heart of God for me. When the Prodigal Son was hungry he went to feed upon husks. But when he was starving he turned to his Father. To hunger and thirst really means to be desperate, to be starving, and feel like life is ebbing out. Happy, happy, blessed, to be congratulated, are those who Hunger and Thirst after Righteousness. But it is also a continuing process.

By the help of the Holy Ghost you will be able to be more than conquerors over all the things that come against you. We should strive to be in the right places and doing the right things to receive food for our souls. To hunger and thirst after righteousness, is to crave the fellowship of Godly and Saintly people. Talk to them, spend some time with them, and keep close to them. That person who hungers and thirst after righteousness will have a desire to read and study God’s Word.

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

1 Peter  1  2  3      

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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 20.                God's Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                               December 20, 2011                                        

 Good Morning!
God saw the miserable, wretched condition that His creation had sunk to. He saw the suffering, and in spite of the law-breaking, Mercy was the thing that moved Him to action.

BLESSED ARE THE MERCIFUL:
Matthew 5:7. “Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.”

Jesus is saying, “that is what a man should be like, merciful.” In fact Jesus is saying that this is the Christian’s character—he is merciful. The Christian faith is not something on the surface of a person’s life. It is not a coating or a veneer—the Christian faith begins at the core of our lives. The New Testament speaks of a rebirth, being born again, a new creation, a new nature. The “Born Again” experience causes us to be merciful. To be merciful does not mean that we should be “easy going.” Not to see things, or if we do see things, to pretend we have not. To be merciful does not mean to smile at law breaking and transgression.

Jesus did not smile at those who transgressed against God’s Law. He drove some out of the Temple. To be merciful is to have a sense of pity. Not only to have a sense of pity but a desire to relieve the suffering. Merciful is pity plus action. One of the great examples in the Bible is the story of the Good Samaritan. A man fell among thieves who robbed him and left him by the roadside wounded. Two “Do-Gooders” came by, a Priest and Levite; they saw him and passed him by. 

But a certain Samaritan came by and saw him and had compassion on him. He went to him and bound up his wounds, set him on his own beast and brought him to the Inn and took care of him. That was pity plus action. Not only did he have pity, he did something about the situation. The others saw it, maybe even had a certain amount of pity but did nothing.  Jesus coming into the world was the supreme example of mercy. In Him, “Mercy and Truth have met together; …. (Psalm 85:10).  “Blessed are the merciful; for they shall obtain mercy.”

“Mercy there was great and grace was free,
Pardon there was multiplied to me;
There my burdened soul found liberty,
At Calvary.”

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

1 Peter  4  5         

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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 21.           God's Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                         December 21, 2011                                        

Good Morning!
To “See God” is of such rare occurrence that even the promise of “Seeing Him” sounds exciting.

THE PURE IN HEART:
Matthew 5:8. “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.”

This is one of the most fascinating utterances that ever fell on human ears. It has been the text of 10,000 sermons. There have been great volumes written in an attempt to expound it. So obviously we cannot hope to exhaust the complete resources of this Beatitude in this study. At best we hope to grasp something of its meaning. Perhaps if we had been responsible for placing the Beatitudes in order we would have placed this one at the beginning instead of in the middle. After all “Seeing God” is the ultimate climax of every religion. To “See God” is the whole purpose of religion. This is the reason behind the multitude of idols the world over.

But until the time of Jesus Christ the vision of God had eluded all but a handful of people. Very few Old Testament Characters actually admit to ‘seeing God.’ Not Noah, Not Daniel, Not David, Not Job. Of the Major Prophets only 2 claim to have had visions of God, Isaiah, and Ezekiel. Of the Minor Prophets only one says that they saw God, (Amos 9:1). Moses had already seen more than any man. His desire for God was not fully satisfied; God showed him some ‘after-glow,’ or reflection.

“Blessed are the pure in heart:” This is the very essence of the religion which Jesus brought, Purity of Heart. This is what real Christianity is about, A Pure Heart. Jesus puts the emphasis upon the heart and not upon the head. He does not comment those who are intellectual; His interest is in the heart. The Christian faith is not only a matter of Doctrine or understanding or of intellect. It is a condition of the heart. To understand doctrine is absolutely essential. Our mind must comprehend God and His Word. But don’t stop there.

We can see God only when we are pure in heart. What does our Lord mean by Pure in Heart? One meaning is that it is without hypocrisy, it means ‘single.’ The pureness of heart corresponds to ‘singleness.’ It means “without folds” it is open, nothing hidden. It means sincerity, single-minded, or single-eyed devotion. One of the best definitions of purity is given in Psalms 86:11. ….” Unite my heart to fear Thy Name.” Our trouble is our divided heart. One part of me wants to know God and worship God and please God. But another part of me wants something else.

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

2 Peter 1  2  3         

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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22.                 God's Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                    December 22, 2011                                        

Good Morning!
First be at peace with yourself then and then only can we be at peace with one another.

PEACEMAKERS:
Matthew 5: 9. “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.”

In this Beatitude we have the results of the previous Beatitudes at work in our lives. We have become peacemakers. The Jews, to whom Jesus addressed this Beatitude, must have been shocked by what He said. They had the idea that the Messiah would come and by force liberate them out of the hands of the Romans, and establish His kingdom on the throne of David. No doubt they expected a military campaign, a national uprising, a materialistic kingdom. John 6:15 “When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone.”

This took place immediately after the feeding of the 5,000. Now Jesus praises the peacemaker. Later He would tell Pilate, “My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence” (John 18:36). The Jews seemed to overlook a small portion of Isaiah 9:6. “He shall be called …. The Prince of Peace.”  Now I must say that everyone who belongs to His Kingdom is a Peacemaker. A peacemaker is a person who stands out as being different from the rest of the world. They are different because they are the Children of God. They are different because they Hunger and Thirst after righteousness. They are different because their hearts have been made pure by the Blood of Jesus Christ.

Sin took peace from the earth. That’s why we have had two world wars in some of your life time. That’s why there is always the threat of war. Sin took peace from the earth. Why did the League of Nations fail? Why does the United Nations seem to be failing? The source of the failure is the heart of man. A new heart, and nothing but a new heart, can possible deal with the problem. The great need of the world today is for Peacemakers. James 3:18 “And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace. We should practice being Peacemakers. First and foremost it means that you learn to control your tongue, learn when to speak, and how to speak.

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

1 John 1  2  3           

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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23.                  God's Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                      December 23, 2011                                        

Good Morning!
When Jesus comes in the clouds of glory He will avenge all persecutions against His Church.

PERSECUTED FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS:
Matthew 5:10. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

I feel that this is the last of the Beatitudes and that verse 11 and 12 are only a post script of verse 10. Jesus is telling these people what is likely to happen when they put the Beatitudes to practice in their lives. In Other words, because you are a Christian you are more likely to suffer persecutions. In reality because you are a Peacemaker you will be persecuted. Because you hunger and thirst after righteousness people will revile you. Because you are pure in heart the world will despise you.

The spirit that is in the world hates the Christian way of life. That spirit of the world has always been against Christ and His children. Anti-Christ, Anti God spirit John says “it is already at work.” John says “Even now it is in the world:” It was in the Garden of Eden. It put Jesus on the cross. It is still at work today. “Blessed are they which are persecuted for Righteousness sake: For theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.” There have been grievous periods of persecution at various times in the history of the Church. In this Beatitude Jesus was preparing His followers for their life of service for Him. On no occasion did Jesus promise an easy way of life.

We do an injustice to new converts when we declare their troubles are over when they give their hearts to God and begin to live for Him. Paul say in 2 Timothy 3:12 “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” Jesus asks us to take up a cross and follow Him. A cross is the sign of hardships, a symbol of suffering and death, suffering for righteousness sake. Hebrews 11:35 –38, tells the story of women and children who were persecuted.

Who are these? They are God’s people, People living by faith and persecuted for righteousness sake. Down through the ages Jesus Christ come to us, still bearing His cross and challenging each of us to take up our cross and follow Him. Peter and John soon learned the road of suffering in Acts 4, Followed by Stephen in Acts 7. James was martyred in Acts 12. Acts 9 tells of the conversion of Paul who suffered a lifetime of persecution for his faith in Christ. 2 Corinthians 11:23-28 tells His story.

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

1 John  4  5         

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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 2 4. 25.             God's Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                     December 24 & 25, 2011                                        

Good Morning!
The world does not know the real value of those who live as Christians.

SALT OF THE EARTH: THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD:
Matthew 5:13. “Ye are the salt of the earth:
Matthew 5:14. “Ye are the light of the world.

In these two illustrations, “Ye are the salt of the earth..” “Ye are the light of the world,” Jesus is describing our place, or role, in the world we live in as Christians, or the reason why we are here. He could have willed it that we would be translated, like Enoch or Elijah, the very moment we were saved. No suffering, no persecution, but He has left us here for a purpose. We are left here to keep the world from being completely rotten or decayed. And without the Christians which are in the world it would be in total darkness.

The Church was born into a world of almost total paganism. Idolatry ruled the minds of people, slavery and immorality was the norm, almost the entire world was ignorant and unlearned, darkness ruled the minds of the population of the world. Christianity has done more to correct these things than all the other religions combined. It is the only religion with a moral purpose. Without Christianity the world would still be in the grip of barbarism and paganism. Church we are here to hold back the night. We are here to take the stench out of society. Your influence must be felt, seen, experienced, by everyone around you.

Nothing can take the place of your influence on society, if you will not act as salt, where will the influence come from to make a better society. In these sayings Jesus is exalting His disciples. A ‘pinch’ of salt is enough to flavor this society. Church we don’t have to be many in numbers. All Jesus asks of us is to be real salt. We are to stay in the world, touching every phase of society if we are to redeem it. We redeem society by being what Jesus asks us to be, real Christians and real salt.

The world is in a state of darkness. Jesus asks us to live as salt of the earth and the light of the world. By living as Jesus asks us to. Living the Sermon on the Mount and living a Christian life. Nothing less will give the light they must have. Put your light on a candlestick that it may give light to everyone around us.

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

2 John  1    3 John  1    Jude 1       
Revelation  1  2  3           

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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26.               God's Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                          December 26, 2011                                        

Good Morning!
Jesus is the mediator of the new covenant.

THE PERMANENCY OF GOD’S WORD:
Matthew 5:17. “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
18. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

Jesus did not want the people of His day to misjudge Him, or have the wrong opinion of Him. So twice in this sermon he made this statement, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets.” “Think not that I am come to send peace on the earth: I came not to send peace but a sword.” “Do not misjudge me.” His teachings and actions were very different from the customary and accepted idea of the Messiah at that time. No doubt He aroused Jewish fears. He seemed to threaten both the Mosaic Law and the Temple. “Think not…” Do not misjudge me—“I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.”

Jesus was emphasizing that the Old Testament was the Words of God given to men and therefore must come to pass. They will be fulfilled; almost all of the Old Testament has already been fulfilled. Most of it was fulfilled in Christ. He became the sacrifice. He was the High priest. He was the Temple. By His death on Calvary He has fulfilled all the types and shadows in the whole Ceremonial Law. The Moral Law is different from the ceremonial and judicial law. Here God is laying down something which is permanent and perpetual. It’s a Relationship which must always exist between God and man, written with the finger of God in stone. All through the New Testament it teaches that sin is a transgression of the Law. So the Moral Law of the Old Testament still applies to us. Just think of it. This man of Galilee weighed the religious leaders of His day in His balances, and found them wanting. “For I say unto you,”

Who, or what, gave him the right? If two Jews of that day quarreled, and one of them could claim, “But the law says...,” the argument was ended. But Jesus said “I say unto you.” There was a new age when Christ came. There was a new law when Jesus came. The old law inscribed on tables of stone; the new law written on the tables of the heart.

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

Revelation  4  5  6            

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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27.               God's Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                            December 27, 2011                                         

Good Morning!
We may keep all the commandments and a hundred more, and yet be hard, unkind, impure, jealous, mean, selfish, and complacent, such were the Pharisees.

ANGER;
Matthew 5:21: Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:

“You have heard of old time.” This precept originated in God’s precept to Noah.
Genesis 9:5 “And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man's brother will I require the life of man. 6. Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.” It was reinforced in the Sixth Commandment to Moses (Thou shalt not kill). This law from God has never been repealed. The murderer would be brought to trial by the state government and the punishment carried out by it.

Jesus goes on to say, “But I say unto you, that whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.” The Scribes and Pharisees were intent upon keeping the law but had omitted (neglected) the spirit of the law. Jesus call it, “weigthtier matters” (Matthew 23:23), “More Important Matters.” Jesus was not condemning the Pharisees for their practice of the rules of conduct which they had laid down, they were strict rules.

Jesus is saying to the Pharisees, “You are pleased with yourselves because you have not taken the life of a man. But do you realize that if hatred has developed in your heart, if you have chastised your brother in anger, you have murdered him in God’s way of thinking. You say, I have never committed adultery, but do you know if you even look with lust in your eyes, that is adultery.” Sin took place in your heart before action took place. It is what you think and desire, it is the state of your heart that is important. “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.”

As no human court held one liable for mere anger, our Lord’s thoughts are turned now to Divine Law. Anger is murder in the heart. The angry heart is as much in danger of the Judgment of God as the murderous hand.

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

Revelation  7  8  9         

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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28.                God's Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                        December 28, 2011                                         

Good Morning!
When our despite of someone comes forth in scornful words we are in danger, Jesus is saying, “Don’t resort to name calling.” We do not gain esteem or raise our standing by debasing someone else, however hateful they are.

THE SIN OF CONTEMPT:
Matthew 5:22.  “But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.”

“You idiot,” “Thou fool.” “You scoundrel.” It carries contempt for a person’s heart and character. We are standing at the door of doom. “Raca”…… “Empty-Head” --- “Air – Head” –“Vain – Headed,” That is an expression of a malignant heart…. like the bitter sarcasm of Michael to David. (Samuel 6:20-23) “Thou Fool” …… “Thou Rebel against God.” –“Apostate,” Whoever does this is in danger of Hell Fire. This is the Law that Jesus brought.

The ancient court of Israel could not deal with the murderer in heart, but God will judge them seeing that the consequences of an angry spirit are so terrible. Our Lord is insisting that it is so important to lose no time in seeking reconciliation with a person whom one has injured. So important in fact that the very holiest act must be put off till the reconciliation be made.

There is an altar for a gift, thank God for the altar, but upon this altar we must first offer ourselves. Personal sacrifices, personal possessions, personal feelings, the altar and the gift is recognized as the heights of religious activities.

A man comes to the altar with the highest motives, to present a gift—or maybe just to meditate in prayer. God will bring to his mind his brother has something against him. There has been a difference of opinion—there has been an argument, hot words followed—maybe it hasn’t gotten that far yet. Now he is at Church trying to worship—but this thing is on his mind—he can’t feel the Spirit, it’s time to “leave thy gift at the altar and go thy way; FIRST BE RECONCILED TO THY BROTHER.”

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

Revelation 10  11  12          

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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 29.                   God's Grazingfield Daily Devotion

 Today’s First Thoughts                      December 29, 2011                                         

Good Morning!
Life is uncertain, and opportunity is passing. With some we only travel a short time with, don’t let them drift apart from us without seeking reconciliation. The opportunity may never arise again until we meet them at the Judgment Bar of God.

THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION:
Matthew 5:23. “Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; 24. Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.”

This brings the question, “which takes precedent, The Gift Or The Reconciliation?” “FIRST BE RECONCILED.” Reconciled = to change from enmity to friendship—to change their attitude—the change being to effect peace. Many times we have to make the first step. We need to search our hearts, soul searching (1 Corinthians 11:27-32), don’t rush the process. Allow God time to speak to us. It is at these moments that God prompts our memory of our shortcomings and our failures. Don’t resist this spirit allow God to deal with us.

There at the altar while searching our heart, if we remember (God will bring this to our mind) that a brother or sister whom we have wronged, berated, slighted, or as Jesus says, “oughted,” or Perhaps they have “oughted” us, we cannot have true worship while we, or they, hold wrath, anger, hatred, or “ought” in our hearts. These things rob the costliest gift of all its value. “Leave thy gift..” “Go thy way:” seek out the wronged or “oughted” person, and “First be reconciled to thy brother.” Resentful feelings must be banished, there is a danger in postponing reconciliation. Paul says, “Don’t let the sun go down upon your wrath” (Ephesians 4:26).

Matthew 5:25. “Agree (come to agreement) with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.” We are all on our way to the Judgment—we must appear before the Great Judge. Therefore we must seek forgiveness from those whom we have offended. And we must forgive those who have offended us while we are on our way during the journey of life. It is human nature to put off reconciliation, but Jesus warns us against procrastination, “Quickly” Jesus tells us that if it be carried beyond that limit of time within which the quarrel can be made up, then mercy will be entirely absent, after that only justice remains.

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

Revelation  13  14  15  16          

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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30.                   God's Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                       December 30, 2011                                         

Good Morning!
“Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head” (Romans 12:20).

LOVE YOUR ENEMIES:
Matthew 5:44 “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;”

We could call this verse the very climax of Christian Living. In fulfilling this verse we rise to the very heights, the pinnacle of a Christian Experience. In fact when this verse is fulfilled in us we have just become ‘The Children of God.’ We could call this verse, ‘The Christian Experience in action,’ Doing more than others. In the previous paragraph, Matthew 5:38-42, is only asking us not to take action against those who take action against us, Passive. Don’t hit back, don’t seek revenge, give up your cloak, Go the second mile and give to the Beggars. Oh how our Lord knew how to search out the heart!

Jesus is not only asking us not to do anything to them, He asking us to do something for them.  Don’t hit them ---- Love Them! Don’t curse them –Bless Them! Don’t seek revenge – Do Good to Them! Don’t wish the worst to come upon them – Pray for Them!

First of all our treatment of others must never depend upon who, or what they are, or what they do to us. How we treat people must be entirely controlled and governed by our view of them and of their condition. There are people who are evil, foul and unjust, nevertheless God sends rain upon them and causes the sun to shine upon them. Their crops are fruitful like the crops of the good people. They have certain benefits in life which are common to all men. Jesus is telling us that our feelings towards others must be governed by that same principal. Not just to love those who love us, but to love our enemies. Not to just do good to those who do good to us.
I hope none of us has an Enemy, Is there someone who ‘Bugs’ you? Someone who rubs you the wrong way, Someone who digs you? Every time you see them, Every time you hear their voice, every time some one calls their name, something rises up in you. Someone at work, a Boss, a neighbor, an in-law or a Church member; Seek them out and do something good for them.

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

Revelation  17  18  19       

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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31.              God's Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                           December 31, 2011
                                                                    January 1, 2012

Good Morning!
As we come to the close of this year we want to look at one of the most important verses in the Bible, which tells us that, in spite of ourselves, God really does love us.

GOD LOVES THE WHOLE WORLD:
John 3:16. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

What made God Do This? Was it because the world loved Him? Was it because the world was lovely? Was it because the world was loveable? God loved us in spite of ourselves. God’s love was totally outside of our action or love toward Him. Matthew 5:44. “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;”

Our prayers for God to save the world are fine, but we need to be specific in our prayers, pray with a purpose. Pray for that person who is ‘Bugging’ you. Pray for those who ‘rub’ you the wrong way. Call out their name to God. Pray for that person at work who despitefully uses you – ‘Save Him Lord.’ Pray for the employer or Boss that persecutes you. ‘Lord fill him with your Spirit.’ I wonder if someone prayed for Paul the persecutor. ‘Lord save him,’ Pray for the neighbor who pulls his fallen limbs over into your yard or dumps his trash in your driveway. Maybe you have an In-law you cannot get along with. Pray for Him or Her. Pray for that Church member who will not speak to you. Jesus prayed for the man who was driving the nails in His hands. “Father forgive them they know not what they do.”

I do feel like someone prayed for Saul of Tarsus. There was nothing in him that one could love. 1Timothy 1:15 …… “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.”  Someone must have prayed for John Newton, ‘Despicable.’ Once he was master of a Slave Galleon. ‘Jesus died for him’ “Amazing Grace! How sweet the sound, That saved a wretch like me! I once was lost, but now am found, Was blind, but now I see.”

First we must die out to self. The Christian lives on a higher level than the world. He belongs to a different kingdom. He is a new man, a new creature, a new creation. That’s how he can love his enemy.

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

Revelation  20  21  22      

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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