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January 2012

Godsgrazingfield Devotions, January 2012

Winter In Norway
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2.                         
God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                    January 2, 2012

Good Morning!
Complete deliverance from Satan's bondage is available to every man.

PREACHING THE GOSPEL TO THE POOR:
Luke 4:18. The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of  sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,

We only possess, it is evident, the very barest abstract of the words of the Teacher Jesus on this occasion. They must have been singularly eloquent, winning, and powerful to have extorted the wonder and admiration alluded to in the 22nd verse.

God is no respecter of persons. He loves the wealthy as well as the poverty stricken. But unscrupulous religious figures have always had a tendency to offer their services to those best able to show their gratitude in greenbacks. We can look at Balaam and his services for pay. The poor need the Gospel, (good news).

Their life on earth is the hardest; it is often one of unremitting toil; often one of severe privation, many are almost destitute of comfort and enjoyment; and often one of serious and hard oppression, in which the strong will of another robs them of all liberty of action. How precious, how necessary, to these are the joys which earth cannot give and cannot steal — the treasures which enrich the heart, the hopes which reach beyond the grave! The Gospel offers them the only treasure they will ever have.

But in the ministry of Jesus, it was noticeable that, while He did not neglect the rich, neither did He shun the poor. His compassion was evident in His equal ministry to all society. In fact, one of the proof's Jesus offered of His Messiah-ship to John's followers was this: “to the poor the gospel is preached” ( Luke 7:22). The common people still hear Christ gladly, while the wealthy and the strong and the famous are sitting at the feet of “the world,” to learn its wisdom and to seek its favor.

At first the wonder, the admiration, of the people that day is excited. If they had only yielded to the teaching, how mighty would have been the work of the day! But, alas! the small, petty feelings of the village prevent the work. The folks in Nazareth missed out on the “equal opportunity” gospel when they rejected Jesus that day.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Genesis  3  4    Matthew 2

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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3.                        God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

 Today’s First Thoughts                                January 3, 2012

Good Morning!                         
There is no need for any person to suffer from prejudice, sorrow, bondage, sickness or oppression. All men can be free.

HEALING THE BROKEN HEARTED:
Luke 4:18. "… he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, …."

A Broken Heart is a Universal Affliction. Few have not had major disappointments in life. Jesus announced that the Healing Of Broken Hearts was now available. Let’s not pass by this lightly because it is second in Jesus’ Ministries. It comes before Physical Healing! This is not to minimize Healing of  the Body. Jesus would get to that later. But a Healthy Body often houses a Sick Heart. Actually, the Healing of the Brokenhearted is an Inner Healing. And  it is just as definite and essential as Outward Healing.

THE BROKEN HUMAN HEART: There are two things which break hearts:
One is intolerable shame; the shame which comes from a crushing sense of sin; it may be of flagrant sin, such as commands the deep indignation and strong censure of our fellowmen, and involves the loss of our own self respect; or it may be a sense of that common sin of which all the souls of men are guilty in the sight of God, the keeping back from him of all that has been due to him, all the reverence and love of our hearts and all the service of our lives. Under a deep sense of sin, and therefore ofcondemnation, affected and afflicted with the consciousness of Divine disapproval and the fear of Divine punishment, the heart cries out for refuge.

The other is overwhelming sorrow; it may be some crushing disappointment, or it may be some wearing and trying sickness, or it may be some heavy and humiliating loss, or it may be some terrible bereavement and consequent loneliness of heart and life; under one or more of these overwhelming burdens the heart may be bowed down even to breaking.

When we come to really know Jesus We have the Opportunity to  have all the Hurts, Conflicts, Bitterness, and Inner Turmoil ended  once and for all. There is but one availing “Refuge of our soul” to whom we can flee with perfect assurance that in him we shall find what we need. Christ came “to heal the broken-hearted,” and he does so by: Offering us the most tender sympathy. He is the High Priest who is “touched with a feeling of our infirmities, having been in all points tried even as we are,” and therefore able to enter perfectly into our grief’s of mind, body, or estate.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Genesis   5   6   Matthew  3   Psalm  2  

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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4.                       God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                January 4, 2012

Good Morning!
Satan's grip on humanity has already been broken at Calvary's Hill. He has no more ability to afflict those who put their trust in Jesus. The only power he has over any person is the power that a person allows him to exercise.

DELIVERANCE FOR THE CAPTIVE:
Luke 4:18. “…to preach deliverance to the captives, …to set at liberty them that are bruised."

There is a bondage that is worse than any inflicted by stone walls and iron chains. Who among us is not-- or has not-- been the captive of emotions, desires, drives, thought patterns, some habit, or guilt? Every man is a captive to something. No man is free. The vast majority are captive to their own vicious lusts; A few are captive of Jesus Christ. Jesus freed humanity from their former slave-masters, but in order to remain free from negative forces, the liberated souls must remain the  captives of Jesus Christ. Paul delighted in calling himself “A servant (slave) of Jesus Christ.

Sin is at first a transgression, but it soon becomes a tyranny. It grows into a power; and it becomes a power which holds the soul in its grasp, so that it is practically enslaved; it attempts to rise, to move, to do that which befits it and for which it was created, but it finds that it cannot; it is held down; its way is barred. This is true of sin in all its forms, and it is true in a number of degrees, varying from an objectionable constraint down to an almost hopeless despotism.

LIBERTY FOR THE BRUISED: Bruised souls: Those who are bruised with the worries of life. Those who  are harassed and fretted by a multitude of conflicts with men and things. Those who are perplexed with the problems of life, and are thereby troubled in soul. Those who are smitten by the persecutions of life, or they may be placed in human surroundings unfavorable to peace. He is ready, at our appeal, to strengthen us by his indwelling Spirit, and to grant us sustaining grace. These are “exceeding great and precious promises,” which not only cover the whole path of life, however long that may prove, but reach on beyond the horizon-line of death into the blessed and eternal future.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Genesis  7   8   Matthew  4

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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5.                        God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                 January 5, 2012

Good Morning!
It must be very bad to be blind, to look on no scenery, to read no book, to grope our way in thick darkness. It is worst of all to be spiritually blind-- blindness of spirit, a darkness in which the soul fails to see the highest of all beings.

SIGHT TO THE BLIND:
Luke 4:18.  “…and recovering of sight to the blind, …”

As a symbol of all physical healing, the announcement of sight to the blind should have had a happy reception. To think that, pains, struggles, and sicknesses could be relieved would make just about any diseased person joyful. The only thing which prevented these Jews from receiving  healing was their attitude: “It's too good to be true.” This particular prophecy could, of course, also apply to the opening of spiritually blinded eyes. But that possibility too was reduced by the negative reaction in Nazareth.

“It must be very bad to be blind,” we say; probably we but faintly realize what it means. It is bad to be physically blind — to look on no scenery, to read no book, to behold no countenance, to recognize no love in a human face, to grope our way in the thick darkness. It is worse to be mentally blind — to see, and not to see; to open the eyes on the beauty and wonder and glory of the universe and to recognize nothing beautiful, wonderful, glorious, there; to be as lonely in a library as in a cell! It is worse still to be morally blind — blind of soul, so that a man can see nothing degraded in drunkenness, nothing shameful in vice, nothing revolting in obscenity and profanity, nothing repelling in selfishness; so that a man can see nothing noble in generosity, nothing beautiful in beneficence, nothing regal in righteousness and duty, nothing sacred in human love.

It is worst of all to be spiritually blind — worst, because that is the root and source of all the others; blindness of spirit, a darkness in which the soul fails to see the Highest of all beings, the loftiest of all truths, the greatest of all facts; a darkness in which the soul fails to recognize the essential truth that in God we “live, and move, and have our being,” and that to him we are responsible for all we are and have; in which it is blind to our sorrowful state of guilt and condemnation in the sight of God. Praise came to “open the eyes of the blind” that they may see His glory.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Genesis  9  10     Matthew  5    Psalm   3

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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6.                        God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                  January 6, 2012

Good Morning!
Touching Jesus with Purpose. Many touch the Lord: but few touch Him with purpose.

IF I CAN GET TO HIM, I SHALL BE WHOLE:
Luke 8:43. And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any,
 44. Came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched.
45. And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?
46. And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me.

Many jostled against Jesus that day, why didn't the virtue go out into the jostling crowd? Because there was no purpose in those touches. Yet when the little lady stretched her hand through the multitude and grasped His garment, virtue went out of Jesus. Can anyone estimate how many come into contact with the Lord regularly through His Word, fellowship with Believers, and the Touch of His Spirit, who never really purposefully reach out, in Faith, to receive the answer to their needs?

The touch represents HER ONLY HOPE. She had nothing else to which to cling. For twelve long years she had been a sick and weary woman. There is something interesting in the circumstance which Luke the physician records, that all her means had been spent on physicians, but that she could not be healed of any. Mark adds that she rather grew worse. If a portion of her income had still been left. The temptation would have been to try another doctor. But now there is only this chance. It was the energy of despair which drove her to Jesus.

“When she had heard,” says Mark, “the things concerning Jesus, she came.” There is no delay over questions such as, “How can I reach his presence? How can I get through this multitude? Will he care for me?” All such self-inquiry is at once dismissed. The true faith is busied only with its Object. The mind is too much in earnest to stop over problems concerning the act or the manner of faith. The touch represents A PERSONAL CONTACT. “Only to put my hand on the clothes, or even the fringe of the garment.” So she says to herself.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Genesis   11  12    Matthew   6

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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7.    8.                 God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                        January 7 & 8, 2012

Good Morning!
A man driven against his will.

MAN'S DISTRESS:
Luke 8:27. And when he went forth to land, there met him out of the city a certain man, which had devils long time, and ware no clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs.
28. When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high? I beseech thee, torment me not.

Which had devils long time.” Does not this verse accurately portray the condition of the sinner, bound by the power of evil, driven deeper and deeper into sin? In such a condition, life becomes a wilderness of despair. All hope soon is gone and what makes this way of life even more tragic is that the person may become content and not desire deliverance. Such would be the tragic fate for every man if Satan had his way. Again, the cause of Jesus Christ was to deliver man from the awful clutch of evil. The effect is to establish the delivered person upon the solid foundation of truth in Christ Jesus.

Torment me not.” The sight of Jesus appears to have produced an extraordinary impression upon this man. The holy, calm, gentle majesty, the tender compassion, and the conscious sovereignty which were expressed in the aspect of our Lord, awakened in him, by force of contrast, the humbling consciousness of his own state of moral disorder. The devils did the speaking through this man’s voice. They recognized who Jesus was. “I beseech thee, torment me not.” In his possession one remarkable and very terrible feature seems to have been the divided consciousness; the sufferer identifies himself with the demons, and now one speaks, now the other.

One very solemn reason why this special case of exorcism on the part of our Lord is related with so much detail and repeated by the three evangelists, Matthew, Mark, and Luke, seems to be the glimpse which the dialogue between the evil spirits and the Master opens to us of the dread realities hidden in the future for those who sin deliberately against the will of God. The existence of the place or state of torment is affirmed very pointedly by our Lord and his disciples. The swineherds told their story, the demoniac, so long the terror of the neighborhood, now sane, clothed, too, like one of them, was sitting peacefully full of deep, gratitude at the Master’s feet.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Genesis  13  14    Matthew  7   Psalm  4
Genesis 
15  16    Matthew  8   

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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  9.                      God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion                        

Today’s First Thoughts                                  January 9, 2012

Good Morning!
The outstanding outreach of the first Church was the results of a great missionary spirit and vision. Every heart without Christ is a mission field. Every heart with Christ is a missionary.

THE MISSONARY SPIRIT OF THE CHURCH:
John 4:35.  “Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.”

Some evangelist are not very interested in theology; some theologians are not very interested in evangelism. Pentecostals should be deeply committed to both. A study of evangelism in the first century church is of real significance for our day. It can help us to understand afresh the gospel of the apostles, the methods they employed, the spirit they displayed, and the manner in which they proclaimed their message--a message they lived by and were ready to die for. Evangelism was the heart-throb of the early Church; it is the primary task of the Church in our own day.

Evangelism was this church's first priority; it was the very life-blood of all First-century Christians. That is why we find that, “the Lord added to the Church daily such as should be saved.” (Acts 2:47). It still happens today when the church is willing to pay the price!

Lift up your eyes” To see the temporal harvest you look down and around, but to see this you must look up; it is in the spiritual region, and concerns the spiritual nature and interest of man. The harvest of Jesus is souls. It is spiritual in its processes, its sphere, its aim, and its results. It means the spiritual quickening, the germination, the growth, the cultivation and ripening of human souls. Think not that this world is only for material and physical purposes. Its chief end is the production of holy and perfect souls. And as the system of nature is adapted to produce different grains in perfection, so there is a spiritual system of Divine grace adapted to produce perfect souls.

As soon as the seed begins to bud, it is partially given back to human care. As soon as the Divine Word begins to bud in repentance and faith, and grow in grace, it is at grace, to some extent, under human discipline and supervision. The Divine and human operations join in its development and progress. “One soweth, and another reapeth.”

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Genesis  17  18    Matthew  9   Psalm   5

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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 10.                      God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion
                     

Today’s First Thoughts                                 January 10, 2012

Good Morning!
When men have the will to speak of their Lord, they find no shortage of  ways in which to do it.

THE GREAT COMMISSION:
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:

The Great Commission is simply the command to preach and teach the  gospel message of Jesus Christ to every person in the world. The death of Jesus Christ broke down the middle wall of partition which had separated the Jews and the Gentiles, and now the Gospel is to be preached to all nations. Do your utmost to Christianize the whole world.

However, before we can preach the gospel we must know what it is and how one can appropriate its blessings to his life. The message that Peter preached on the Day of Pentecost to the Jews remained the same for Samaritans, Gentiles and other disciples. It is  the same message for us today, for we much exercise faith in the atoning work of Christ on Calvary in our repentance, our water baptism, and in  our receiving the Spirit.

To fulfill The Great Commission given by our Lord Jesus, we must continue to preach the gospel of salvation through the cross to every person, to exhort men everywhere to repent of their sins, to baptize our converts in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38), and to pray that God will fill each one with the Holy Ghost. We will know when believers receive the Holy Ghost today, for they will “speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gives them utterance.”

“I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” The task of world evangelization is the responsibility of the church, not a select group of key personnel. It is clear that this commission is not merely for the original disciples but also for the disciples of the disciples of the disciples, in perpetuity until Jesus returns. All during this time there will never be a day when Jesus will not be present with his disciples as they are busy about the business of the Kingdom.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Genesis   19  20     Matthew  10

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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 11.                      God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion                                         

 Today’s First Thoughts                              January 11, 2012

Good Morning!
Certain sayings of our Lord are marked out as of special importance by the term “first.” They tell us some of the things that He set above all others. The word ‘first’ was used many times by our Lord. We will discuss some of those ‘firsts’ in the next few days. We will start by the most important one of all.

THINGS WHICH MUST BE FIRST:
Matthew 6:33. But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

The kingdom of God is the most important attainments one can strive for in this life. Jesus says, Matthew 16:26. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? The priorities of an individual's life are a window to his soul. Verbal assent may be given to many things that are soon forgotten, but we act upon those things that are really important to us. As followers of Jesus Christ, we have given up many of our prerogatives to Him. This being true, it becomes important to know the mind of Christ covering those things that should be first.

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else. This positive command of Jesus comes immediately after He told them not to worry about food clothing and other things that would be supplied by God (Matthew 6:31). The disciples must not be anxious but must have as their primary concern God’s Kingdom and the upright lifestyle that accompanies it. Putting God first in this way will result in God giving them all the food and clothing they need. The present seeking of Kingdom values is equivalent to living righteously in this world. They are to pray for the realization of God’s Kingdom and will on earth (Matthew 6:10). While the disciples’ needs may be met only partially during the present life (Matthew 5:3–10; 6:11), they will receive an abundant reward when the Kingdom comes in its fullness (Matthew 19:28–29).

The Father expects his children to put him first, but he delights to meet their needs. Disciples must not permit their needs to dominate their prayers, their thoughts, and their activities. Disciples must prioritize their allegiance to God, his rule, and his righteous standards. In so doing they will receive all they need to eat and wear, as it were, as fringe benefits. But if they insist on prioritizing their own needs in their prayers and activities, they will never experience the joy of resting in the Father’s care and provision.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Genesis   21  22     Matthew  11     Psalm   6 

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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12.                      God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion
                           

Today’s First Thoughts                              January 12, 2012

Good Morning!
To harbor ill-will can stop the flow of God's love through us and greatly
hinder our testimony.

FIRST BE RECONCILED TO THY BROTHER:
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.”

Our Lord is telling us that, for our gift (offering, prayer, worship) to be accepted by Him, we must first make sure there is not any problems between us and our fellow men. If there is ‘ought’ (a small matter) between us and them, it must first be settled then come and worship, and pray, and give our gifts. This is high priority, one of the ‘first things’ in our relationship with God. Jesus also told us that answers to our prayers was dependant upon this principal also. Divine forgiveness is linked with human forgiveness (Matthew 6:12).

The first step toward reconciliation with an estranged brother is to pray, pray that God will intervene with you in your reconciliation. You are less likely to remember a problem of this kind as you commune with a pure holy God. Significantly the situation here does not pertain to one’s own anger but to the anger or grudge of another. Disciples are thus responsible not only to reign in their own anger but to take steps to reconcile with others who are angry at them. It is not a question of arguing about who offended whom but of both offender and injured party taking responsibility for reconciliation.

The second step is to forgive him. When you forgive your brother, you release him and yourself to think more clearly and perhaps to see your own part, your own wrong in the matter. It is much easier to forgive than to be forgiven. One can take pride in forgiving but never in being forgiven.

The third step is to go to your brother and make peace. This is a privilege, for Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers.” (Matthew 5:9) The selfish spirit of today that neglects and even injures our brother is not of God. As God seeks to bring man back to oneness with Himself, He also seeks to bring man back into harmony with each other.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Genesis  23  24     Matthew  12     

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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13.                     God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion
   

Today’s First Thoughts                               January 13, 2012

Good Morning!
We are to first clean out our own eyes before trying to help our brother with his eyes.

THE MOTE HUNTER:
Matthew 7:3. “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
4. Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
5. Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.”

Jesus here refers to one’s fellow member of the community of disciples. The motivation provided by the warning of harsh divine judgment is here augmented by two rhetorical questions that stress the perverse tendency of humans to criticize in others what they excuse in themselves.

JEALOUSY will often cause a person to look for flaws in others.
Self-Righteousness. When one is inflicted with this terrible desire, he often is able to see even the smallest speck in his brother's eye.
Pride will cause men to see things that are not really there.
Ambition has in it an ingredient that every Christian should avoid.
Hypocrite. Those who would see the mote in their brother's eye and fail to see the beam in their own, Jesus called “hypocrites” or “actors” under assumed character."

THE BEAM: This brings us to the core of the Master's Teaching. First cast out the beam. Before we can help our Brother, we must be able to see clearly from our own eyes.  Before we think or act to correct our Brother, we should first, Pray for ourselves, Ask for forgiveness for our own faults, Examine ourselves, Humble ourselves before God and others, Right the wrongs in our own lives.

Picturing one’s sin as a log in one’s eye stresses the inability of fallen human beings to render just judgment. How can someone whose vision is totally obscured by a log in his eye render a just assessment of another person’s minor vision problems that are due to a speck or splinter? And how can the person with the log in his eye think that he is capable of rendering assistance in removing the speck from his brother’s eye? Jesus labels this absurd situation as hypocrisy and plainly states that judgment of others can be rendered justly only when one has first judged oneself.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Genesis   25  26    Matthew  13    Psalm   7

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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14.   15.             God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                       January 14 & 15, 2012

Good Morning!
First cleanse the heart. All the weightier matters of the law have to do with the heart and attitude. All outward actions are of no value if they do not come from a pure heart.

FIRST CLEAN THAT WHICH IS WITHIN:
Matthew 23:25. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the
cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.
26. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.

Jesus is saying, “Outwardly you look like righteous people, but inwardly your hearts are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness.” The scribes and Pharisees appeared to men as righteous, but their hearts were full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. For Jesus the law must be obeyed from the heart. Outwardly lawful behavior may conceal a lawless heart. “You are so careful to clean the outside … but inside you are filthy.”

CLEANSE FIRST THE HEART: Men often are satisfied with a clean exterior because it makes them look good before their friends. We must go to the source of  all good and evil (the heart) and there make things right. Proverbs 4:23. Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

CLEANSE FIRST THE MIND: Much difficulty experienced by Christians stem from a carnal mind. Pride, malice, envy, strife, ects. are all the results of a carnal mind. First the mind must be cleansed and then men can work out the problems of life with little difficulty.

CLEANSE FIRST THE SPIRIT: In order to receive a cleansing of our spirit, we must enter  into the closet of prayer and there commune with God until we are able to enter into the heavenlies by the Spirit and be baptized in the Spirit of Christ. Only then can we mirror the image of Christ in our spirit and life on earth.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Genesis  27  28     Matthew   14
Genesis 
29  30     Matthew   15    Psalm  8

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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16.                       God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion   

Today’s First Thoughts                               January 16, 2012

Good Morning!
Repentance is God's greatest offer to a sinful man. The result of Repentance in the life of a person is unable to be measured. Repentance unlocks the Door to all the graces and blessings that God has in store for man. “Repent or Perish is the demand of God!

REPENTANCE----------GOD'S WAY:
2 Corinthians 7:10. For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.

The presence of godly sorrow in a life brings humility into sharp focus. The softness, or hardness, of heart is determined by its nearness, or distance, from the will of God. The closer one becomes entwined in God's will, the more broken is his spirit. The farther off course one drifts, the more arrogant he becomes, and the more guilty of self justification and self righteousness.

We have all at some time tasted the remorse, disappointment, and heartbreak of spiritual failure. To destroy our future over haunts of the past is what the devil desires. To wipe the slate clean by repenting is what God desires and the soul needs. Paul draws the distinction between godly sorrow that leads to repentance and worldly grief that leads to death. It was worldly grief without repentance that drove Judas to suicide after his betrayal of Jesus. By contrast, though, it was godly sorrow or grief that, through repentance, restored Peter to the circle after his betrayal of Jesus in the courtyard of the high priest.

God’s definition of repentance—real repentance. Repentance is a change of mind. There is a turning from something to Someone. Listen to what Paul wrote to the Thessalonians: “… how ye turned to God from idols …” (1 Thessalonians 1:9). They turned from the idols, and that turning from idols was repentance. That is the repentance of the unsaved; it is the repentance to salvation. God does emphasize repentance for the believer if he is going in the wrong direction, walking in sin. For him there is to be a turning, a repentance. A lot of people simply shed tears, which may not indicate true repentance. That kind of sorrow is the sorrow of the world and works death. True repentance is godly sorrow, which “worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of”—that is, repentance without regret.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Genesis  31  32     Matthew  16  

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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17.                       God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

 Today’s First Thoughts                              January 17, 2012

Good Morning!
It is now both the will and promise of God that His Spirit should dwell in the hearts of men through the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Our Spirit filled bodies should be dedicated to the glory of God, and for His service alone.

THE SAINT, THE TEMPLE OF GOD:
1 Corinthians 6:18. Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.
19. What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
20. For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.”

Here is a remarkable truth which many believers have not received. Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. Because our bodies belong to God, we are not to share our bodies in fornication. Now Paul lifts marriage up to the heights, out of this degradation, and says to the Corinthians they are not to live like that. Every man is to have one wife, and every woman is to have her own husband. Paul lifted woman from the place of slavery in the pagan world, the Roman Empire, and made her a companion of man. He restored her to her rightful position

The Word of God teaches there are vessels to honor and to dishonor. Our bodies are portrayed as vessels in many places. Certainly, no vessel could ever be to the glory of God that had not been filled with God's Spirit, and living such a dedicated life that God would be pleased to make His dwelling place there. Then men would be able to see the good works and to glorify God on this behalf.

First of all, it is necessary to be baptized with the Spirit of God, and then to allow God to lead and direct our lives through the Word of God by the help of His Spirit which He has given to us. The Spirit of God will not dwell in an unclean temple. We should not only cast out those things which would defile the temple of God, but we should ever be on guard against the return and re-entry of those things that we have forsaken. In this manner we may dedicate our bodies to the Glory of God and for His Service alone.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Genesis   33  34     Matthew  17   Psalm  9

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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 18.                      God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion            

 Today’s First Thoughts                             January 18, 2012

Good Morning!
The Church is in need of men who are established in the faith. Such men become “pillars in the Church” that hold things together when others are moved away by the strong winds of adversity and doctrine.

PILLARS OF THE CHURCH:
Galatians 2:9a. "And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be Pillars……"
Revelation 3:12a. Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God……

Strong men make strong Churches. The fundamental leadership in Church activities should proceed from men, beginning with the ministry. If saints in general must be strong in grace and truth, those who are leaders certainly must stand out, stand forth, and stand up for all the church by example and experience and practice.

There must have been multitudes of people, unnamed in Scriptures, who lived, and believed in God during the four thousand years from Adam to Christ. But only the pillars, who supported the principle of faith with all its consequences, are listed in Scriptures. They give to us the truths we need to know and set the example for us to follow to be pillars in the church. One certain element was common to all the pillars: they possessed a single minded commitment to God in what they believed. Their one consuming interest was to please God and secure His approval upon their attitudes and actions. A good Christian leader’s talk isn't filthy, it isn't crude, it isn't coarse, it isn't foolish. Rather, it is uplifting. It is speech that speaks of a higher set of values, of a higher purpose. It is speech that is full of grace, seasoned with salt.

Paul said, “Set an example for the believers in speech.” The NESB reads, “conduct.” The issue here is lifestyle of behavior. It has to do with living a righteous life. The Christian is to be a model of righteous living in every area of his life. The places you go. The things you do, the things you buy, the way you live. This is absolutely critical. Therefore, watch over your hearts. Keep out lusts and passions and worldly inclinations. Keep up the life of faith and love. Be much at home and much with God. Take heed to yourselves lest your example contradict your doctrine, lest you unsay with your lives what you say with your tongue. You must be an example in your life.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Genesis   35  36    Matthew  18

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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19.                      God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                              January 19, 2012

Good Morning!
Humility is a virtue for which every Christian should strive. It is the process of putting others ahead of ourselves and God before all.

SUBMIT TO EACH OTHER:
Matthew 23:11. But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.
12. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.

Often it is easy to submit to some people while it is hard to submit to others. This is our carnal nature at work. We are by nature “hero worshipers.” If someone impresses us immensely, we are only glad to submit to him, and we will often try to imitate him. However, to the uninspiring we hardly give them the time of day.

Paul said we should “condescend to men of low estate.” (Romans 12:16). This might be called the art of all arts---to condescend without being condescending . Paul seemed to have mastered this when he said, “I am made all things to all men” (1 Corinthians 9:22). What great lessons on humility we can learn for the Apostle Paul.

Galatians 5:13 “…but by love serve one another.”
Ephesians 4:2 “…forbearing one another in love;”
Ephesians 5:21 “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.”
1 Thessalonians 4:9 “…love one another.”
1 Thessalonians 4:18 “…comfort one another.”
1 Thessalonians 5:11 “…edify (lift up) one another.”
1 Timothy 5:21 “…observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality.”

Paul went from a conversation with a King (Acts 26:2), to the saving of a runaway slave (Philemon), and from a mighty Apostolic revival to a ladies’ prayer meeting by a riverside (Acts 16:13), is that not condescension? What grace and humility was displayed in his life! To really care about what happens to a person of lesser rank and influence is putting others ahead.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Genesis  37  38    Matthew  19    Psalm  10

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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20.                      God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                              January 20, 2012

Good Morning!
Every Christian desires to be spiritual. True spirituality manifests itself in some practical ways. Spirituality produces unity, obedience, respect, and mercy in the life of a Christian.

LIVELY STONE:
1 Peter 2:5. 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.

Simon Peter is using a metaphor to describe a child of God. He likened them to the building stones of the Kingdom of God. He described them as ‘living stones,’  or ‘spiritual stones.’ It can be stated truthfully that every true Christian desires to be spiritual. For a Christian is one who has said yes to God and no to the world--has  given into the spirit side and not to the flesh. But spirituality or being God-centered must manifest itself in tangible discernable ways. This can readily be seen in the life of Barnabas. Barnabas displayed the characteristics of true spirituality. He was always seeking after the  things of God. Always looking for ways to further the Kingdom of God. Very active in the Church.

We are introduced to Barnabas in Acts 4:36, “And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus, Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles' feet.” Again in Acts 9:27 when Barnabas took Paul in and introduced him to the Apostles who were afraid of him. He searched out Paul to help him in the work at Antioch Acts 11:12, and later accompanied Paul on his first missionary trip Acts 13:2. No greater worker was in the church than Barnabas.

Like Barnabas, Paul and the prophet Isaiah, we can expect to be regarded as lively stones when we adjust our vision and see the Lord high and lifted up. Then we can say, “Woe is me, for I am undone.” The vision of God will not crush us, but cleanse us. His presence will place a desire in our hearts to be as close to Him as we possible can. And the closer we come to Him the more spiritual we will become, and the more spiritual we become the more useful we are in the Church of God.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Genesis  39  40      Matthew  20

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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21.   22.             God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                        January 21 & 22, 2012

Good Morning!
Alert! Awake! Watchful! On Guard! The successful Christian must manifest all of these characteristics. The enemies of a walk with God include sleepiness, slothfulness, compromise and permissiveness.

THE SAINT ON GUARD:
1 Corinthians 10:12. Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.
13. There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

The weaknesses of saints in Paul’s days, notwithstanding their privileges, should warn us of our own frailness lest we presume to dally with temptation, and so fall. This verse is a stumbling block to those who hold the doctrine “once in grace, always in grace.” Many denominations teach that doctrine, but the New Testament Christians were warned of the dangers of falling away. They were urged to take note of the Children of Israel in their falling in and out of God’s favor.

To be alert and watchful is expedient in the life of a Christian. Satan is bent on destroying the souls of both saints and sinners. Only by constant vigilance will we be able to recognize his tactics and overcome them. In an age of unprecedented permissiveness and compromise, we must be even more careful  in exercising self-discipline in order to win this race. It is possible for one to become so taken up with being on guard against defiling influences which can enter in from the outside, that we become negligent about the inward man.

God “will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but God is faithful, but will with the temptation make also the way of escape, that ye may be able to endure it.” God never leaves us helpless. God shows his faithfulness by providing an opportunity of escape, and we must show our faithfulness by seizing the opportunity when it presents itself. As temptations vary, so the means of escape also vary. God permits temptation for our strengthening, not for our destruction.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Genesis  41  42      Matthew  21     Psalm  11
Genesis 
43  44      Matthew  22

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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 23.                     God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion          

 Today’s First Thoughts                             January 23, 2012

Good Morning!
In a world of insincerity, the Christian must be sincere in his life and in his service to God. By so doing he proves to the world the reality of God's work in his life.

WITH ALL MY HEART:
Philippians 1:10. “That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;
11. Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.”

CALLED TO SINCERITY: We are called to follow the example Jesus left for us, and that example included the complete Absence of guile, and the presence of absolute sincerity (1 Peter 2:21-22) There was neither fakery nor showmanship in Jesus. He accomplished precisely what He came on earth to do, never deviating from His purpose nor misleading those who followed Him. It is impossible to succeed in any attempt to fake sincerity. This is the quality which should be at the very root of our relationship with God and our fellowman.

While it is not in error to seek after a specific calling in the Lord, such as the ministry, in which we should be involved, where that involvement should take place, or so forth. There are certain general callings found in scripture which apply to all of us. One of them is sincerity.

Our aim in life should be to “give glory and praise of God.” There can be no nobler ambition: to live for God; only to seek his glory; to love him, not for what he has to give us, but because he is so holy, so loving, so glorious; to be willing to live or to die; to do great things in the world, or to be unknown and obscure, if only he may be glorified; — this is the noblest aim of life, the highest theme of prayer.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Genesis  45  46     Matthew  23    Psalm  12

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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 24.                     God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                              January 24, 2012

Good Morning!
Our walk with God in faith has its beginning at the altar of repentance. It will not be completed until we awake in His likeness.

FROM FAITH TO FAITH:
Romans 1:16. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
17. For therein (the Gospel) is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

Faith is the most important commodity to spiritual progression. It keeps a Christian growing, and going---going toward full stature, maturity and perfection. Paul stresses the fact that our faith must be anchored in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Every hearer of the gospel should inquire of himself whether he has experienced its power over his heart and life. Christians should so consider the glory of Christianity as to keep themselves from all danger of being, in any circumstances or in any society, ashamed of their religion.

DOCTRINAL FAITH: Our doctrinal faith is our basic and fundamental teachings which, when believed and practiced make us a member of the Church of Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul was a firm believer in his doctrine. “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed” Galatians 1:8. Jude 1 tells us to “earnestly contend for the faith (doctrine) which was once delivered unto the saints.”

ACTION FAITH: Action faith can be described as that faith which we are achieving or receiving. It is practiced in our petitions to the Lord for healing, comfort, and all needs and blessings. Daily faith also helps us to “overcome the world” about us, and to “Taste of the powers of the world above us.” No opportunity should be lost of commending the gospel, with its claims and privileges, to the acceptance of men, without respect to their race, their class, or their character. Unbelief alone is impervious to the power of the religion of Christ. All who sincerely believe will experience its renewing, delivering, and quickening power.

May today's lesson be more than informative and suggestive. May it grip our hearts and give a true insight to the importance of daily growth in Faith.  When we profess, “Lord I believe,” may we also pray, “Lord help Thou mine unbelief."

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Genesis  47  48      Matthew  24

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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  25.                     
God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion  

Today’s First Thoughts                            January 25, 2012

Good Morning!
The two fold purpose of discipline is protection for the Church and correction of the offender.

DISCIPLINE IN THE CHURCH:
1 Timothy 3:15. But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

Paul hoped to come to Timothy at Ephesus shortly; there was a possibility, however, of his hope not being realized. In the event of his tarrying long, he sent to Timothy written instructions for his conduct as a minister. It was of great consequence that Timothy should know what was suitable behavior for the house of God. This was not the temple of a dead idol, but the Church of the living God. It was “a living and spiritual community, a life-stream of believers in an ever-living God.” It was fitting, then, that there should be those arrangements which are most conducive to the life of the community. This Church of the living God is declared to be the pillar and ground of the truth.

This truth is to be upheld from age to age. It is a great honor which God has laid on such imperfect believers as we are; and we should see to it that we do not belie the representation, that we do nothing to take away from the strength of the structure, that we preserve the continuity of the Church’s life, that we witness faithfully to what God is and to what he has done.

The words disciple and discipline come from the same Latin word “dicipulus,” which means pupil or follower and implies the meaning of learning, training, and government. The word discipline includes not only training but also a systematic method of rule and punishment to obtain obedience to authority. For the Christian, the spiritual authority to which he submits is first of all Jesus Christ, then His Word, and then the scriptural government in His Church.

SYSTEMATIC TRAINING: No sensible person thinks that a child can mature into a self-disciplined, respectable adult without instructions in morals and spiritual understanding. Likewise a child of God needs a systematic training program in the church about spiritual matters.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Genesis   49  50    Matthew  25       Psalm  13 

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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 26.                     God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion   

Today’s First Thoughts                             January 26, 2012

Good Morning!
All good thoughts have their value; think on every form of virtue, all things worthy of praise.

THINGS TO THINK ON:
Philippians 4:8. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Thoughts are an index of the character. The current of thought seems ever changeful, dependent on the varying circumstances of the passing hour. It may be so within certain limits; but in truth its general direction is determined by the character. The thoughts run in channels worn for them by the oft-repeated actions which form our habits, good or bad. If the peace of God rules in the heart, the thoughts will be holy; if room is left for the temptations of the world, the flesh, and the devil, they will be of the earth, earthy. The thoughts show what the character is.

On the other hand, the thoughts react powerfully on the character. A sinful thought, brought again and again before the mind, strengthens the natural tendency of the will to evil and leads to the sinful deed. Therefore the thoughts must be disciplined and brought into captivity to the law of Christ. “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” Here is the hardest battle of the Christian life; to govern the thoughts there is need of constant watchfulness and persevering prayer.

Whatsoever things are true.” God is true; his promises are true, Christ is true; he is the Truth; his gospel is true. Holiness is true, real; “Now abideth faith, hope, charity.” The world is false with its cheating pleasures; it passeth away and the lusts thereof. Have Holy thoughts. “Whatsoever things are honest.” Whatsoever things are deep and earnest, honorable and reverend, think on them.
Whatsoever things are just.”  We must bear always in our thoughts the Savior’s rule: “Do unto others as ye would they should do unto you.”
Whatsoever things are pure.” The Christian’s thoughts must be pure and holy.
Whatsoever things are lovely.” The Christian character is lovable; gentleness, humility, charity, naturally attract love. “Think on these things.”
Whatsoever things are of good report.” Let nothing coarse or vulgar occupy your thoughts; If there be any virtue, and if there be any praise.” “Think on these things”

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Exodus  1  2    Matthew  26     

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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27.                    God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion                                        

Today’s First Thoughts                               January 27, 2012

Good Morning!
Can a man still be taken at his word? A Christian can! He tells the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH:
1 Timothy 2:7. Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity.

NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH: The world has seen the day when a man's word was his binding contract. When two men made a deal and shook hands, it would be carried out no matter what the consequences. It is true that the world is very different now. A man is called to a witness stand. He places one hand on a Bible, raises his right hand and is asked  the somber question, “Do you solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth nothing but the truth, so help you God?” Without fail, the individual will swear or affirm, “I do.” And yet on so many occasions the witness will proceed to lie as if it were the thing to do.

THE SOURCE OF TRUTH: “What is truth?” (John 18:38). It is so sad that Pilate did not understand that Jesus not only spoke truth, He was truth. Truth will only be found in Jesus, for He is “the way, the truth and the life” (John 14:6). 

THE TRIUMPH OF TRUTH: The Church is built upon the rock Christ Jesus. Jesus said He was the  Truth; therefore the Church is the product of truth. There have been times when the winds of false doctrine have tried to blow the old ship off course, but she has always sailed through---sometimes tattered, sometimes torn, but never defeated by hell’s tempestuous storms. The truth will stand when the world is on fire, when the stars fall from heaven, when moon is turned to blood, when the rocks and the mountains tremble and move out of their places, the truth will be unmoved.

TRUTH IS INDISPENSABLE: No human relationship can stand very long if it is not based upon truth. No society can long exist without truth being the established norm. What would our community be like if we could not have truthful dealings with one another. Anything, no matter what it is, if it is based on lies will not stand.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Exodus  3  4    Matthew  27    Psalm  14

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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 28.   29.              God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion                

  Today’s First Thoughts                   January 28 & 29, 2012

 Good Morning!
Christ prayed for the unity of His sheep. Unity of purpose was the strength of the Early Church. Every true Christian should be striving to keep the unity of the spirit, and every God-called minister should promote the unity of the faith.

UNITED WE STAND:
Ephesians 4:3. Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

The kind of unity for which Jesus prayed and which the Bible Teaches about is the uniting of all those into one faith of God's word. The necessity of this kind of unity is made clear by the words of Jesus. “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand”  (Matthew 12:25).

UNITY IN THE BODY OF CHRIST: The body of Christ is comprised of  many individuals. The individual Christian who has peace and the love of God in his heart will endeavour to promote the work of God and strive to be a peacemaker. Where there is no peace, there can be no unity, either in the life and purpose of the individual, or the body of Christ.

PRESERVATION OF UNITY THROUGH THE BOND OF PEACE: The concord to be preserved is the “unity of the Spirit” —the unity of which the Holy Spirit is the Author; not mere external uniformity, but inward agreement. It is a fact that there is much inward agreement wherever the Spirit of God works. It is our duty to preserve this, to keep it from being broken or even appearing as if broken. This unity is to be maintained by the bond which consists of “peace;” by a peace-loving and peace-seeking spirit, that spirit of which Christ said, “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.”

The danger of breaking the unity of the Spirit is great; readiness to take offence, pride, regardless of the welfare of others, forgetfulness of the vast Christian work and warfare committed to us, are temptations to this. It is much easier to destroy unity than it is to preserve and promote it. Jesus placed his blessing on the individual peacemakers when he said, "Blessed are the peacemakers for They shall be called the children of God." (Matthew 5:9)

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Exodus  5   6     Matthew  28
Exodus 
7   8     Mark  1     Psalm  15 

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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 30.                    God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion
                        

Today’s First Thoughts                                 January 30, 2012

Good Morning!
The Early Church had all things common. The Christian must be open to help not only his brother but also strangers and the underprivileged of this world. Selfishness is a sin, but hospitality is a Christian characteristic.

WELCOME STRANGER:
Hebrews 13:1. “Let brotherly love continue.” 
2. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.

 The Christian Hebrews were to account it a sacred duty hospitably to entertain fellow-believers from other lands or districts, who might be traveling either on business, or in the service of the Church, or because driven from home by persecution. And not only a sacred duty, but a blessed privilege. As A Jew would read these words, his mind would flash back to Mamre, where he would visualize the form of father Abraham. Three travelers were met by Abraham, who invited them into his tent. What did Abraham do? Perhaps He never thought of them as angels; he simply acted like the soul of hospitality that he was. If they be travelers, they shall be entertained. But the three dusty “travelers” revealed their angelic natures; one was the Lord Himself (Genesis 18:1-20).

Abraham had entertained angels, who were heralds of joy and foreshadowing of the promise. Abraham did not neglect to entertain these strangers who came to him  and in so doing he entertained angels unawares. For as Abraham and Lot (Genesis 18., 19.) “entertained angels unawares,” so the stranger whom the Christian receives may turn out to be a messenger from God to his soul and one whose presence may fill his house with the atmosphere of heaven.

Though circumstances have altered since the days of Abraham, the principle Of hospitality is still binding on all who bear the name of Christ. Not only our hearts to be open but our homes as well to such as are really needed.  “Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.” (Romans 12:13)

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Exodus  9  10    Mark  2

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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 31.                    God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                            January 31, 2012

Good Morning!
Since our God is a holy God, and since heaven is a holy place, it is reasonable to expect that God's people who plan to go to heaven  must be holy.

TRUE HOLINESS:
Hebrews 12:14. Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:

The primary meaning of the text seems to be that the Christians addressed “are to guard against differences among themselves; they are not to quarrel with one another, but every one is to be earnestly intent on his own sanctification;” Holiness is the attribute that enables us to keep in check our human drives and motives and free ourselves from worldliness. Holiness, however, is more than just the absence of wickedness and worldliness. God does not leave us empty; He replaces the evil with His nature.. and that is holiness.

What is holiness? It is, “that attribute which is the very crown of all the culture of humanity; for it carries the soul up nearest to the everlasting fountain of wisdom, power, goodness, from which it came. It enters in only where repentance opens the way, and spiritual renewal puts the heart into wholesome relations with the Divine will. It is the peculiar gift for which the world stands indebted to revelation, and it is multiplied just in proportion as the heart is formed into the likeness of Christ’s. It is the summit of manhood, but no less the grace of God. It is achieved by effort, because your free will must use the means that secure it; and it is equally the benignant inspiration of that Father who hears every patient petition.”

True holiness concerns the spirit, as well as of the flesh. It is the fruit of the Spirit, not the product of human effort. Holiness is not a human imitation of the example of Christ; it is rather the supernatural reproduction of the mind and disposition of Christ in our hearts by the power of the Holy Ghost. As sincere Christians, we should seek for holiness. This pursuit should be continuous. It is not by fits and starts that men become holy. It is not occasional, but continuous, prolonged, and lifelong efforts that are required; to be daily at it; always at it; resting but to renew the work; falling but to rise again.

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Exodus  11  12    Mark  3    Psalm  16

James & Mary Lee Thornton
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