News & Updates
 
May 2012

May 2012 Devotions

On Wings Of Eagles
                                                On Wings Of Eagles

                      May 2012  Daily Devotions 

Click On The Date For Today’s Devotion
      Today Is Tuesday, October 17, 2017

  Sun     Mon     Tues    Wed     Thur     Fri       Sat

                          1          2          3         4         5

  6          7          8          9         10       11       12

 13        14        15        16        17       18        19

 20        21        22        23        24       25        26

 27        28        29        30        31

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

1.                            God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion           

 Today’s First Thoughts                                  May 1, 2012

Good Morning!
Was it the blessing, after all, or was it the Blesser that his longing soul primarily desired? This is mostly the want of many people.

LORD THOU ART ALL I WANT, O LORD:
Psalm 119:57. “Thou art my portion, O LORD: I have said that I would keep thy words.”

The Psalmist now sees God. The thick, dark clouds of doubt and perplexity are scattered. The light breaks through. The petition for blessing gives way to praise for the Blesser. With Peter, he now launches out into the deep. He gains the proper perspective. The Hand which rescued the sinking Apostle laid hold upon him. The One who said to the needy Samaritan woman, “I that speak unto thee am he,” has now spoken to his longing heart. With the Emmaus sojourners, it was the breaking of bread; with Thomas, it was the wounds in His hands; with the grief-stricken sister of Magdela, it was one word — “Mary.” And so the Lord reveals Himself.

The Psalmist had categorically listed his blessings in the preceding verses and came to the realization where they came from. There is something more wonderful than a pot of gold at the end of God’s rainbow of promise. And the one who dares to take Him at His Word will find it. He will possess it. He will enjoy it. It will not be a mere fantasy. Christ died that we might have life. But that is not all. He died that we might have it more abundantly. Faith and obedience are both required to reach into this more abundant realm of spiritual possession and privilege. If our faith were but more simple, we should take Him at His Word.

Was it the blessing, after all, or was it the Blesser that his longing soul primarily desired? Here is the pinnacle of the narrative, for now this individual can say in truth, “I have found Him whom my soul loveth” (Song of Solomon 1:7). And his personal testimony at this point is most helpful. Victorious living, life on the highest plane, full-surrender, walking with the Lord — all are little more than an empty overused expression or idea to the majority of professing Christians.

It is unmistakably evident that people are thinking less about the deeper things of the Spirit. We should think of what the Lord Jesus has provided for us in His death. Of the victory which He makes possible for us through His resurrection. Of the purifying force of His promised, glorious return. We should think of the irreparable loss we will sustain if we exchange the abundant life for the emptiness of this world.

Read Thru The Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
1 Samuel   9  10      Romans   4      Psalm  61

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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

                                  
2.                           God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                 May 2, 2012

Good Morning!
Do we ever wonder why we are afflicted? Is there any value in our affliction?

ADVANCE3MENT THROUGH ADVERSITY:
Psalm 119:71. “It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I might learn thy statutes.”

Have we ever seen any good come out of our afflictions? But what was the Psalmist’s affliction? We do not know. Nor does it matter. Like Paul, he will rather glory in his infirmity. And he gives a concrete reason as to why it was good for him: “That I might learn thy statutes,” is his forthright explanation. The loss of an action or a privilege in many a case has proved to be a blessing to spiritual development. With Moses, it was a voluntary choice. He chose “rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.” Admittedly, this is a rare case. Few choose to suffer. Someone wrote a song, “Trials only make me stronger.” Now I don’t know about you, but I would rather not have a trial.

Often, however, a trial may prove to be the chastening rod divinely exercised and a blessing in disguise. “Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction” (Isaiah 48:10). And note well the explanation which follows at once: “For mine own sake, even for mine own sake, will I do it” (v. 11). Perhaps this is one reason we are not to “think it strange concerning the fiery trial.” But rather rejoice, knowing that we are partakers of Christ’s sufferings. Oh, for that faith which rests every circumstance and every ordeal with the One who is touched with a feeling of our infirmities.

Take a look at the Psalmist’s former way of life. Listen to his own honest confession: “Before I was afflicted, I went astray” (Psalm 119:67). Suppose the affliction, whatever its character, had not been imposed. Would he have continued in waywardness? Presumably, yes. Then the trial was after all a blessing. It halted his wandering feet. It spared him more difficulty and loss than can be imagined. The lifeguard is never cruel in smiting the drowning victim whom he is rescuing. Surgery, though painful and inconvenient, is designed to bring health. The Psalmist’s affliction was a timely and necessary experience. We have his own word to support this thought. “It is good for me that I have been afflicted.”

Read Thru The Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
1 Samuel  11  12     Romans   5 

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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

 3.                           God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion       

 Today’s First Thoughts                                May 3, 2012

Good Morning!
If truth is allowed to operate in every phase of our being. It must begin in our heart.

GOD’S WORD IS THE FOUNDATION OF FAITH:
Psalm 119:80. “Let my heart be sound in thy statutes; that I be not ashamed.”

The Bible has much to say about soundness — sound words, sound doctrine, sound minds and sound hearts. A sound heart is the keystone of spiritual stability. Unsoundness in any realm is the surest way to failure and regret. By nature, the heart of man is very unsound. Indeed, it is “deceitful above all things and desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9). God only can change the heart. So the Psalmist prays, “Let my heart be sound in thy statutes.” If his heart is right concerning the Word of God, it will be right concerning the will of God. There is no question about the soundness of Scripture. If it governs his heart, there will be no question about the soundness of his heart.

The Psalmist anchors his faith in a creator. He begins with an appreciation of the creative power of God.  He declares “Thy hands have made me and fashioned me.” Take a hurried glance at this complex temple of man. Who is the architect and builder if not a wise and wonderful God? Who else could possibly conceive such features and functions? The miles upon miles of the intricate circulatory system is in itself a wonder of wonders. The plasma of life which courses night and day through the massive network of conduits is furnished by a self-contained chemical factory.

The raw material from which it is extracted is delivered by one of the most pleasurable exercises in human experience —eating and drinking. It is pumped at the rate of approximately 2500 gallons daily, purified and pumped repeatedly to every cell in the system by a vital unit which operates miraculously in accomplishing a stupendous job.

The fabulous network which communicates sensitivity and reaction from the farthest part is of Infinite design. The psychic processes which receive; record and retain impressions, and which produce balance, action and co-ordination are of supernatural origin. The twin-lensed photographic equipment with its countless cones and rods has been taking three-dimensional action shots and colored pictures ever since Adam first blinked an eyelid. Not only that, the exposure is developed simultaneously and mounted in the gallery of memory. No wonder he exclaimed “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” (Psalm 139:14).

Read Thru The Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
1 Samuel   13  14     Romans  6     Psalm  62

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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

                                 
4.                            God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion 

Today’s First Thoughts                                 May 4, 2012

Good Morning!
How passionately wonderful, whether in the darkness of disappointment, sorrow or death, to be cuddled to the bosom of the Almighty.

I AM THINE, O LORD:
Psalm 119:94. “I am thine, save me; for I have sought thy precepts.”

Here the Psalmist reminds me of John during the Holy Supper. “Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved” (John 13:23). I feel that for the rest of his life John remembered and cherished that moment listening to the heartbeat of God. Just to know that one can rest on his bosom. I do not feel that it is out of reach of any one of us. “I am Thine, O Lord, save me.”

Holy quietness reigns. The Psalmist finds no necessity this morning to say, “Be still, my soul.” There is a hallowed calmness and a sense of the Divine presence. In quietness and confidence, he possesses his soul. There is an inward surge of affection, a welling-up of humble devotion as he whispers, “I am thine.” Here is attachment of the first order. Here is relationship supreme. It is a soothing consciousness of a definite oneness with the Almighty. It is an assurance which builds and blesses as nothing else. His statement is beautiful in its simplicity, “I am thine.” That’s all one needs to say.

When Moses had no companion but Joshua, he sought earnestly for a closer fellowship with God. He requested a revelation of grace and a glimpse of glory. The answer from Heaven was immediate and gratifying: “And the Lord said, Behold, there is a place by me . . . come up in the morning.” This was in effect a manifestation of parental affection in response to a desiring child.

“I am thine, O Lord, I have heard Thy voice,
And it told Thy love to me;
But I long to rise in the arms of faith,
And be closer drawn to Thee.

Draw me nearer, nearer, precious Lord,
To the cross where thou hast died,
Draw me nearer, nearer, nearer, blessed Lord,
To Thy precious bleeding side.”

Read Thru The Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
1 Samuel   15  16    Romans   7 

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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

5. 6.                          God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                 May 5 & 6, 2012

Good Morning!
As we grow with the Bible, the Bible grows with us. It grows into our life, into our attitudes, and into our actions. It grows into our heart, into our love, and into our praise. When we speaks, the Scriptures are invariably involved in our statements.

WE NEED MUCH TIME FOR MEDITATION ON THE WORD OF GOD:
Psalm 119:97. “O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.”

It was the Psalmist who penned these words, “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper” (Psalm 1:1-3).

I have in my library what is know in the literary world as a ‘trilogy.’ It is a set consisting of three books on the same theme by an author. They were written by a former editor of Readers Digest, Fulton Oursler, about 60 years ago. The first was “The Greatest Story Ever Told,” about the birth, life and death of Jesus Christ. The second one, “The Greatest Book Ever Written,” a retelling of the Old Testament. The third book, “The Greatest Faith Ever Known,” is the story of the founding of Christianity and the men who followed Jesus’ steps to spread His word to the world. The story is taken from the book of Acts. It is a story of kings and jailers, of far voyages and shipwrecks of great miracles and escapes and ultimate martyrdom.

I have spent my life reading and studying these Bible stories, and I relive each one today as I did when I was a small boy who would fight the battles along with Joshua and David, and follow the footsteps of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Moses, help Samson carry away the gates of the city, sit back to back with Elijah under the Juniper tree, then listen for that still small voice to give me instructions for the day. I can truly understand why the Psalmist could spend the day meditating on the Word of God. There is no book more exciting nor uplifting than the Bible.

There is no country, nation, or race of civilized people who do not owe their civilization to the Bible. Somehow and in someway the Bible and it’s principles touched their land. No other civilizing force exists in the world outside of the Bible.

Read Thru The Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
1 Samuel   17  18       Romans  8      Psalm   63
1 Samuel  
19  20       Romans  9

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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

 7.                          God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                 May 7, 2012

Good Morning!
Psalm 119 gave the most extensive, the most coordinated, and the most sustained testimony regarding the authority, value and permanence of the Scriptures to be found in the whole of the Bible.

THE FLOODLIGHTED PATHWAY:
Psalm 119:105. “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”
130. “The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.”

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet.” The Psalmist has discovered the practical value of this wonderful Volume which many esteem so lightly. This is no small discovery. It is a must in the advancement of devotion. The Psalmist required illumination, and here it is. Surely the man of God is fully furnished. Nothing he needs is overlooked. There are perils in the darkness. Any unlighted path presents the traveler with many difficulties if he attempts to pick his way along the uneven terrain. He is fortunate indeed who has a lamp at his feet when necessity forces a night journey.

What serious perils there are for those who walk in spiritual darkness! This is the reason for the stumbling on the part of multitudes. This is the cause for so many precipitous plunges into moral debacles. This is the unquestionable answer to most of life’s sorrows. Jesus said, “Men love darkness because their deeds are evil.” The Psalmist looked upon the Scriptures, not only as a lamp unto his feet, but as a light unto his path. In other words, the Bible not only assists one in making one’s daily decisions, but it illumines the whole course. It not only shows one where to step, but to where those steps will lead. This is the thought expressed by Solomon when he said, “The path of the just is as the shining light that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.”

When the Psalmist declared, “The entrance of thy words giveth light,” he was not expressing an opinion. He was stating a fact. He was proving it in his own experience. But in our day, people go to great pains to shut out that light. They all but ignore the exhortation to study the Scriptures. They abstain from church attendance with little or no compunction. An athletic contest attracts people more readily than a Bible conference. Many who have religious inclinations are described as people who spurn wholesome instruction and heap unto themselves teachers to merely tickle their ears.

Read Thru The Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
1 Samuel   21  22       Romans   10      Psalm   64

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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

 8.                           God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

 Today’s First Thoughts                                 May 8, 2012

Good Morning!
Every Christian has an obligation and we need to hear it from God daily.

LIKE A SOLDIER SEEKING ASSIGNMENT:
Psalm 119:133. “Order my steps in thy word: …”

He wants the Lord to tell him which way he should take. Paul’s attitude was of like nature. “What wilt thou have me to do?” he asked of his newfound Lord. How important it is to keep in touch with headquarters, and to get directions from above! God wants to order the steps of His people — to lead them in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. “Unreasonable!” one cries. “Too emotional!” another maintains. “Fanatical!” others charge. But this dear servant of Christ, “being dead, yet speaketh.” It is now two thousand years since his voice was heard, but his printed words are filled with power; his testimony is still charged with challenge, and his story of dealings with God can send any conscientious Christian to his knees.

Any attempt to convince the psalmist that his day lacked many of the factors which now work against a strong, consistent Christian testimony would meet with immediate failure. It would not be agreeable to him or helpful to us. God is superior to anything of any age or period. As the need abounds, His grace super abounds, and this is what makes people Godly. “I am what I am by the grace of God,” was Paul’s ever humble explanation.

The Psalmist can tabulate an impressive list of trying situations. He only alludes to them in terse comments here and there, and they are mostly contained in his fervent prayers. He does not have to explain to One who is omniscient. The Lord knows the details. Doubtless the pits which were digged and the snares which were set involved immorality of some types and worldliness of many kinds.

“Trouble and anguish have taken hold on me” (v. 143), he frankly states. Yes, he had his problems, but he cleaves to the Scriptures relentlessly. One never can sink with a lifesaver such as this.

And so, with the Book in heart and hand, the Psalmist moves onward.

Read Thru The Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
1 Samuel   23  24     Romans   11

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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

9.                           God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion                        

Today’s First Thoughts                                  May 9, 2012

Good Morning!
In the healing of the leprous man Jesus demonstrated the greatest compassion this man had ever experienced.

THE TOUCH OF THE MASTER’S HAND:
Mark 1:40. “And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. 41. And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean.”

The leper believed Jesus was able to heal him, but he was not sure whether Jesus was willing to heal him because lepers were outcasts. Jesus could have healed the leper simply by speaking to him. Why do you think Jesus reached out and touched him? Jesus understood the loneliness and isolation the leper had experienced. Undoubtedly, Jesus’ loving touch was the first this man had felt in a long time. Lepers were the outcasts of society, forced to live outside the city limits. All other men shunned him and some even threw rocks at him to keep him at a distance.

Jesus met a grown man’s need for meaningful touch, a man who was barred by law from ever touching anyone again.… To touch a leper was unthinkable. Banishing lepers from society, people would not get within a stone’s throw of them. With their open sores and dirty bandages, lepers were the last persons anyone would want to touch. Yet the first thing Christ did for this man was touch him.

Even before Jesus spoke to him, He reached out His hand and touched him. Can you imagine what that scene must have looked like? Think how this man must have longed for someone to touch him, not throw stones at him to drive him away. Jesus could have healed him first and then touched him. But recognizing his deepest need, Jesus stretched out His hand even before He spoke words of physical and spiritual healing. Have you ever withheld compassion from someone in need? Why? How can you follow Jesus’ example and show compassion even to those you find unattractive? Let us ask ourselves, what are some practical ways that I can reach out in compassion to those around me?

PRAYER: Lift up our eyes, O Lord, that we might see our world as you see it. Teach us to build bridges between our hearts and those of people who need a friend or a helping hand. Help us respond as you respond to the hurts around us.

Read Thru The Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
1 Samuel   25  26       Romans   12     Psalm   65

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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

10.                           God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                 May 10, 2012

Good Morning!
The Book of Jonah is one of the most incredible books in the Bible. It is filled with mystery and intrigue. And yet it is a book that has taken a great deal of abuse. Perhaps no other book in the Bible has suffered at the hands of critics like Jonah.

JONAH THE PROPHET WHO RAN FROM GOD:
2 Kings 14:25. “He (Jeroboam) restored the coast of Israel from the entering of Hamath unto the sea of the plain, according to the word of the LORD God of Israel, which he spake by the hand of his servant Jonah, the son of Amittai, the prophet, which was of Gathhepher.”
Jonah 1:1. “Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying,
2. Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me.  3 But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish, ..”

Jonah was the same one known in the days of Jeroboam. And as credit-worthy as that reference might be, far more reputable support is found in the Gospels of Luke and Matthew. In Luke 11:29–32, Jesus Christ Himself validates the life and ministry of “Jonah the prophet” in the context of Jonah’s ministry to the Ninevites. What about the really hard-to-fathom part about the great fish that swallows Jonah? In Matthew 12:39–40, Jesus’ words include a reference to Jonah being in the belly of the whale. In fact, Jesus bases His own teaching about His coming three-day burial on Jonah’s “burial” in the depths of the sea in the belly of the fish. It seems that if Jesus Christ relied on the historical accuracy and integrity of the scriptural account of Jonah, we can be confident in doing the same.

If the inerrancy of Scripture means anything, it means that what is written is true. We will approach the story of Jonah from that perspective. It is a true story with a myriad of lessons about God’s interaction with man: His guidance, His patience, His second chances, His love for sinners, His correction of believers. And Jonah, perhaps like us, needed to learn all those lessons.

Jonah Disobeys God’s Directions: God spoke clear directions to Jonah: Go and preach against Nineveh (Jonah 1:1). God called him to go as a missionary to an Assyrian city of 600,000 people, which in that day was a huge metropolitan area. It was wicked. It was heavily fortified. It was powerful. And it was to be the object of the preaching of one Jewish prophet: Jonah! No wonder Jonah was not excited about the prospect of his new ministry. It seems that he had been faithful before.

Read Thru The Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
1 Samuel   27  28       Romans 13

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net


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

11.                           God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion 

Today’s First Thoughts                                  May 11, 2012

Good Morning!
It is important for us to learn from Jonah’s life that disobeying God is sin and only leads to trouble.

JONAH  DELIBERATELY DISOBEYED GOD:
Jonah 1:3. “But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.”

God said to Jonah, “I want you to go east to Nineveh.” What did Jonah do? He went in exactly the opposite direction. Let’s see why going in the opposite direction from what God commands is a sure road to heartache. What Jonah didn’t understand is that whenever God calls us or commands us to do something, he enables us to do it. Jonah heard clearly what God said, but he did as a lot of believers have done, and continue to do today—he failed to believe. And “whatever is not from faith is sin” (Romans 14:23). While we will discover that Jonah ultimately obeyed God, we should learn that it is wisest to obey Him immediately, not later.

To begin with, we can say at least one thing about Jonah: he was deliberate. When God said, “Go east,” Jonah didn’t just partially disobey. He went due west—as opposite to God’s direction as he could get! He went down to Joppa on a westerly course, and he took a ship going west rather than east. Not only was he going west, but he was going to the extremity of the known west in those days. Tarshish was a smelting city of the Phoenicians. Some believe it was in Spain, while others say Tarshish was on the western coast of Africa. Regardless of where it was, it was in Jonah’s estimation as far as he could go from the place God told him to go.

So Jonah didn’t just stay where he was and not go to Nineveh, nor did he just stay in Joppa. He did the exact opposite of what God told him to do. He started from where he was and ran away from God. In fact, the end of the verse says “he went from the presence of the Lord.” He got as far away from God as he could. How do you run away from God? The Psalmist says, “If I ascend into heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there” (Psalm 139:8). You can’t ever run from God—He’s everywhere. But in his own localized view of the world, Jonah thought, “If God wants me in Nineveh, the best place for me is in Tarshish. I’m out of here.” And so he went. It was a very deliberate act.

Read Thru The Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
1 Samuel  29  30        Romans   14      Psalm   66 

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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

12. 13.                         God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                  May 12 & 13, 2012

Good Morning!
When we turn away from the revealed will of God, there’s always a price to pay.

JONAH PAID THE PRICE IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE:
Jonah 1:3. “.. So he (Jonah) paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.”

Scripture teaches us, “for the wages of sin is death …” (Romans 6:23). Wages aren’t paid in one lump sum; they are paid in little increments throughout our lives and then we get the final payment at death. Sin pays, all right, and its wages are not what the sinner would want. The coins he handed over were actually the cheapest part of the fare. Unknowingly, Jonah was about to pay a huge price for his disobedience! In fact, the whole book is about how much it cost Jonah to disobey God. Had Jonah not been deceived in his disobedience, he would never have boarded that ship

Given the unpredictability of shipping in Jonah’s day, it’s possible that if God hadn’t intervened he might never have gotten back. When we get involved in walking away from God, we can’t just get back on another ship that takes us directly back home and have everything the way it was. Things change in the meantime and all kinds of problems occur. Yes, God forgives, and he restores. But there is always scar tissue left from sin that often complicates our lives from that point on. The journey away from God is a one-way trip until God, in His grace, intervenes as He did in the life of Jonah..

Twice in this text we read that Jonah went away from the presence of God. More than a few expositors have noted that Jonah’s journey away from God was a downward journey. Through the whole book he went down to Joppa, then he went down into the ship. Then he went down into the sea. Then he went down into the belly of the great fish. Then the great fish went down to the very depths of the ocean.
Would you agree today that when you or I journey away from the presence of God, it is a downward trip? And every step takes us to another level until we come back to the place of fellowship with the Lord. Jonah was doomed for his disobedience—but thankfully the story doesn’t end there.

Read Thru The Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
1 Samuel   31       2 Samuel  1     Romans  15
2 Samuel  
2  3     Romans  16      Psalm   67

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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

 14.                        God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion      

Today’s First Thoughts                                 May 14, 2012

Good Morning!
It wasn’t just bad luck on Jonah’s part that his ship ran into a storm at sea. From God’s perspective in heaven, it was an orchestrated series of events.

JONAH RUNS INTO A GREAT STORM:
Jonah 1:4. “But the LORD sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken.”

But the Lord…” These are the words of saving grace not only in Jonah’s life, but in ours as well. The old preacher who said that the Lord saved him by “butting” into his life of sin was right! Jonah was headed down, down, down, but the Lord was following him every step of the way. And he used a storm to begin His rescue of the disobedient prophet. God wanted Jonah to do something for Him. Jonah disobeyed. And so God set in motion a plan to get him back on track.

We can’t run from God. Those who are sailing today on comfortable and pleasant seas will someday realize that they are headed into a great storm. The living God in heaven won’t forever tolerate deliberate rebellion, and He will do whatever He needs to bring us back to obedience. Perhaps we have gone deliberately from the presence of the Lord, starting with small things. We skip church. We stop reading the Word of God. We quit praying. We distance ourselves from the accountability of Christian friends. And then the larger steps of sin become easier.

We do everything to get away from the presence of the Lord, but the problem is, we truly are believers and the Holy Spirit is in our hearts. He is going to keep after us and make us miserable and send storms into our lives that will disrupt everything until we finally come to our senses. I hope it doesn’t take as much for us as it took for Jonah. In fact, the quicker we realize we are on a detour and get back on track with God, the less powerful will be the storms we face.

Though Jonah’s story took place more than 2,500 years ago, I have seen God deal with believers in exactly the same way. He loves us so much that he will not allow us to walk down a road toward destruction. God loved Jonah so much that He incorporated the wind and the sea and prepared a great fish to bring him back to compliance with the will of God. I ask you today, “Are you running from God?” “Not me,” you say, “I’m in church every week!” That doesn’t make any difference. You can run from God inside church as fast as you can on the outside, because running from God is a matter of the heart.

Read Thru The Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
2 Samuel   4  5     1 Corinthians  1

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net


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

15.                          God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion
                     

Today’s First Thoughts                                  May 15, 2012

Good Morning!
Jonah’s sin and uncaring attitude put the very lives of those around him in mortal danger. He discovers that no man is an island. No man live unto himself, what we do affect those around us.

JONAH’S RUNNING PUTS OTHERS IN JEOPARDY:
Jonah 1:4. “But the LORD sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken. 5. Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god, and cast forth the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it of them. But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep.”

David the Psalmist said, “Before I was afflicted I went astray” (Psalm 119:67). Some of us are hardheaded, and God has to put us through the storm in order to get our attention. God’s goal in all of His actions was the restoration of His disobedient prophet to a place of fellowship and usefulness. Whatever you think is going to be better for you in Tarshish, you’re wrong! There is nothing better than being in the center of God’s will. Jonah would have been ten times safer and better in the city of Nineveh, surrounded by six hundred thousand angry Ninevites, but in the will of God, than he was in that boat running away from God. The same is true for you. If God has called you, you should arise and go. If you’re running, stop running. If you are going to run any way, run back to his arms. Today, at this moment, He stands with arms open wide to receive you.

Sometimes it is trouble of our own doing. We do foolish things and we get a result due a fool. But sometimes God causes the wind to blow and He stirs up the sea because we are not going in the direction He has told us to go and he has to get our attention. I want you to understand that this storm in which Jonah finds himself was caused by God, it was continued by God, it was ordained by God, it was arranged by God. The storm was God’s doing as it sometimes is in our life. Everywhere you look in the Book of Jonah, God is personally orchestrating the events in Jonah’s life. Jonah’s world was about to come apart piece by piece. “… the ship was about to be broken up. Then the mariners were afraid; and every man cried out to his god, and threw the valuable cargo that was in the ship into the sea, to lighten the load.

Read Thru The Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
2 Samuel   6  7        1 Corinthians   2      Psalm   68

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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

 16.                        God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion               

Today’s First Thoughts                                 May 16, 2012

Good Morning!
If you are a believer who is walking in disobedience, you take the potential for God’s chastening into your home as well. Your spouse, your children, your extended family—all stand to suffer because of your sin. The complicity of sin. There will be a day in the bottom of the ship—a day like Jonah’s—when someone will put their finger in your face and say, “What are you doing?”

THE SLEEPING PROPHET:
Jonah 1:5. “…But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep.
6. So the shipmaster came to him, and said unto him, What meanest thou, O sleeper? arise, call upon thy God, if so be that God will think upon us, that we perish not.”

The sailors were not vindictive toward Jonah; they just wanted to know what was going on and why he was in trouble with his God: “Please tell us! For whose cause is this trouble upon us? What is your occupation? And where do you come from? What is your country? And of what people are you?” (v. 8).  The confession of Jonah: “So he said to them, I am a Hebrew; and I fear the Lord, the God of heaven, which made the sea and the dry land” (v. 9). Jonah’s confession was theologically on target. His problem wasn’t his theology; it was his failure to do what he knew was God’s will. His problem was disobedience. What a terrible thing it is to know the truth and not to do it!

The confusion of the sailors: “Then the men were exceedingly afraid, and said to him, Why have you done this? For the men knew that he fled from the presence of the Lord, because he had told them. Then they said to him, ‘What shall we do to you that the sea may be calm for us?’—for the sea was growing more tempestuous” (vv. 10–11). Remember, these sailors didn’t have any idea of how God works. All they knew was this: here was a man who was a prophet of his God. And if they got the story right, Jonah was telling them that even though he knew what God wanted him to do, he disobeyed. Even these sailors could see that didn’t make good sense and they were suffering because of it.

“Nevertheless the men rowed hard to return to land” (v. 13). Wherefore they cried unto the LORD, and said, We beseech thee, O LORD, we beseech thee, let us not perish for this man's life, and lay not upon us innocent blood: for thou, O LORD, hast done as it pleased thee” (v. 14). And evidently Jonah just looked on.

Read Thru The Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
2 Samuel   8  9     1 Corinthians   3

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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

17.                         God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                 May 17, 2012

Good Morning!
Though scared to death, Jonah should have been walking and watching, preaching and praying, doing his part while expecting God to do His.

JONAH IS THROWN INTO THE SEA:
Jonah 1:15. “So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea: and the sea ceased from her raging. 17. Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.”

This devotion demonstrates how and why God is willing to discipline His children in order to teach them and bring them to maturity. In the seventeenth verse of Jonah, chapter one, the scene changes from a ship to a fish—a great fish prepared by the Lord for a specific purpose. We could ask, “why did not God just let Jonah drown and call some other prophet to go to Nineveh?” In the first place God doesn’t just let people go, especially His servants. 2 Kings 14:25 tells that Jonah was a servant of the Lord, and not only a servant, but a trusted prophet. We should all be thankful that God deals with people this way. Who of us has not needed God’s longsuffering? Jonah discovers not only that God prepared a ministry for him, but He prepared a contingency plan to save the ministry—and the minister.

It is quite evident that the Lord is not finished dealing with his servant. The Lord prepared a fish to swallow him up. There is no story in all the Bible that has caused so much derision, mockery, and blundering exegesis as the story of Jonah and the whale. While we don’t wait for this evidence before we believe the Bible (we believe the Bible because it is the Word of God), discoveries often marvelously confirm that which many felt to be fanciful or mythical. The Biblical story of a fish swallowing a man is that kind of event. Our own research in Biblical or non-Biblical books will give us pages of detail about actual cases of fish large enough to swallow humans, and of humans who were swallowed by fish and lived to tell about it!

We do not need the records of natural man to prove to us that a sovereign God can create, and direct, the elements of His creation to accomplish His purposes. If we do not believe that God could, and did, prepare a giant fish to discipline a prophet, then we will have trouble believing as well that a dead man named Jesus of Nazareth came back to life. Don’t forget—it is the three days of Jonah in the belly of a great fish that Jesus used to predict His own resurrection after three days. Jesus said it, we believe it, and that settles it.

Read Thru The Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
2 Samuel   10  11      1 Corinthians  4       Psalm  69

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net


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

18.                         God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                  May 18, 2012

Good Morning!
“When my soul fainted within me I remembered the LORD: and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple” Jonah 2:7.

IN THE BELLY OF A GREAT FISH JONAH KNELT IN PRAYER, WOW:
Jonah 2:1. “Then Jonah prayed unto the LORD his God out of the fish's belly, ..”

I have heard and read about men and women who have prayed under all kinds of conditions and circumstances, from war stories to death-bed repentance. But this is one prayer meeting that is hard to duplicate. Jonah thought his life was over. If you read on ahead a little bit into the prayer that begins in Jonah 2:2, you will hear what was going through Jonah’s mind as he splashed into the cold waters of the Mediterranean Sea:

“For thou hadst cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas; and the floods compassed me about: all thy billows and thy waves passed over me. Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight; yet I will look again toward thy holy temple. The waters compassed me about, even to the soul: the depth closed me round about, the weeds were wrapped about my head. I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me for ever: yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O LORD my God. When my soul fainted within me I remembered the LORD: and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple (Jonah 2:3-7).

Jonah is in serious trouble, about to drown. But the great truth of Romans 11:29 saved Jonah’s life: “For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.” Jonah had been called by God and had not yet completed his assignment! But even beyond his mission to Nineveh, there was another calling of God on Jonah’s life—and that was to know and submit to his God. And he could not do that as a dead man. So, first and foremost, God sent a great fish to rescue Jonah to keep him alive. God was not finished with him yet.

“I will look again toward thy holy temple.” In this phrase Jonah is remembering the words of Solomon in his prayer at the dedication of the temple, “and they pray unto thee toward this city which thou hast chosen, and the house which I have built for thy name; Then hear thou from the heavens their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause” (2 Chronicles 6:34-35). So Jonah directed his prayer towards the holy temple from out of the belly of the whale. In the hour of our desperation let us turn our heart and mind toward the only one that can deliver us from all trouble.

Read Thru The Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
2 Samuel  12  13     1 Corinthians   5

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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

19.   20.                  
God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                             May 19 & 20, 2012

Good Morning!
Trapped in the belly of a great fish, Jonah literally has only one resource available—prayer! Fortunately, he discovers that prayer is the only thing that will work in his situation.

PRAYING YOUR WAY OUT OF TROUBLE:
Jonah 2:5. “The waters compassed me about, even to the soul: the depth closed me round about, the weeds were wrapped about my head. 6. I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me for ever: yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O LORD my God.”

The prayer of Jonah is one of the most outstanding prayers we have recorded for us in the Bible. It is unmatched for its intensity and sincerity. Everyone knows there are no atheists in foxholes. Jonah, chapter two, shows us that the bellies of whales seem to have the same effect. All it takes for the average atheist or disobedient believer to get serious with God is to have the walls of the foxhole—or the whale’s belly, as the case may be—to close in on them.

The key to the second chapter of the Book of Jonah is understanding that Jonah is now fully motivated as a “pray-er.” In the first chapter of the book we read the sad record of his disobedience and his doubt and the trouble that he got into. It was only after this that Jonah realized he was in a situation over which he had no control. There was nothing he could do. He had run from God and was entombed in the belly of a giant fish. And the Scripture says then he prayed (Jonah 2:1).

All of us experience trouble in our lives. In fact, a lot of the trouble we experience is not because we have been bad or we have done wrong. Philippians 1:29 says it this way: “For to you it has been given on behalf of Christ, not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for His sake.” Suffering is just as sure as salvation. We are going to have some suffering because of who we are in Christ. But sometimes trouble comes to us not because of who we are in Christ, but because we have denied who we are in Christ. Sometimes our trouble comes as God’s remedial action to bring us back into fellowship with Himself. This was the case with Jonah.

Jonah’s trouble is characterized by one word: affliction. Go through Jonah’s prayer and all the intense words that Jonah used to describe his situation. Could you use some of these same words to describe some trouble you have been in or are in now?

Read Thru The Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
2 Samuel   14  15     1 Corinthians   6    Psalm   70
2 Samuel  
16  17     1 Corinthians   7

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net


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

21.                         God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion      

Today’s First Thoughts                                 May 21, 2012

Good Morning!
Insofar as his own resources were concerned, Jonah was in an impossible situation. So he turned to God.

JONAH REALIZES HE IS OUT OF FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD:
Jonah 2:4. “Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight;”

Alone in the Mediterranean Sea with no life jacket. Jonah is swallowed by a giant fish. This makes his situation completely impossible, physically, mentally, and spiritually.

Physical Trouble: Jonah was in danger of dying. Who knows how long he might survive in the belly of the giant fish, but it could not have been forever. His physical demise was imminent, to say the least.
Mental Trouble: Jonah was in trouble mentally. Notice verse 6: “I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with its bars closed behind me forever.” Jonah is in such trouble that his mind must have reeled at the very thought of his situation. Suffocation is one of the most terrifying ways to die, and that is what Jonah was facing. It is amazing that he had the presence of mind to think the thoughts recorded in this prayer.

Spiritual Trouble: being out of fellowship with God is the most miserable trouble of all. Jonah 2:4 reads, “Then I said, ‘I have been cast out of Your sight.’ ” Remember, this was what Jonah had been trying to do. It suddenly dawns on him that he has accomplished his goal! Jonah now felt he had sinned so much, he had gone so far, he was in such dire circumstances, that even God didn’t see him. He was out of the sight of God.

Jonah’s predicament is just like the trouble we often experience. We get stressed physically when we violate God’s principles. We get consumed mentally when everything is caving in on top of us. And before we know it, we feel like God has forgotten us. That complete sense of trouble is a universal one. Psalm 22, written prophetically to picture the agony of Jesus on the cross, also pictures the agony of the Psalmist himself: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” We get so overwhelmed by what is happening in our lives—physically, mentally, and spiritually—that we feel completely hopeless. Thank God He does not forsake us.

Read Thru The Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
2 Samuel  18  19      1 Corinthians   8     Psalm  71

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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

 22.                         God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion   

Today’s First Thoughts                                  May 22, 2012

Good Morning!
What do you do when life is completely overwhelming? I hope you do what Jonah did—you pray.

PRAYING YOUR WAY OUT OF AFFLICTIONS:
Jonah 2:1, “Then Jonah prayed unto the LORD his God out of the fish's belly,
2, And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice.”

A pattern for fixing spiritual failure in Revelation 2:5. The church at Ephesus was once a flourishing congregation who had left their first love—devotion to Christ. Verse 5 tells them (and us) what to do when you get overwhelmed with failure or trouble: “Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen; repent and do the first works.” Here are the three terms: remember (they must have forgotten), repent (they must have failed), and do the first works (they must have forsaken). If you use this threefold pattern, you will have a guide for praying your way out of affliction.

Remember: First of all, Jonah’s prayer was a prayer of remembrance. he remembered that God had blessed him in the past. his thoughts went back to the times when it was different. He remembered the fellowship with God that he had once known. Remember where did you get off the path? Go back and remember how it used to be! The first thing Jonah did was spend a little time in the fish’s stomach creating in his mind a picture of when he was in a different place at a different time, worshipping God in His holy temple.

Repent: Jonah’s prayer was a prayer of repentance. Notice verse 7: “When my soul fainted within me, I remembered the Lord, and my prayer went up to You, into Your holy temple.” When Jonah remembered the past, he realized that he was out of fellowship with God. Jonah understood the mess he was in, but he knew he didn’t have to stay there, and so he cried out to God. Until we repent, we will never get better or get right or get clean or get whole. You say, “Well, that’s too hard.” No, what is hard is living in a whale’s belly because you didn’t repent quickly enough to avoid getting there in the first place.

Return: The last step is to return to the first works. We come to our senses, we remember where we used to be, we repent, and then we immediately begin to obey what we know God wants us to do.

Read Thru The Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
2 Samuel  20  21      1 Corinthians  9 

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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

23.                          God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion       

Today’s First Thoughts                                  May 23, 2012

Good Morning!
You say, “I’ve been there before.” All of us have. And we will all likely be there again sometime before we see heaven. But that is no excuse for not praying our way out of affliction today.

REMEMBER, REPENT, AND RETURN. HE IS WAITING TO RECEIVE YOU:
Jonah 2:9. “But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD.”

Psalm 107 is a Psalm about people who kept getting in trouble, who kept having to cry out to the Lord to save them. Verses 13, 19, and 28, all say, “Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble,”  27. “They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits' end. 28. Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. 29. He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. 30. Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.

Then the 43rd verse of Psalm 107 “Whoso is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall understand the loving-kindness of the LORD.” If you will cry out to God in your trouble, He will heal you and He will hear you and He will forgive you and He will put you back on track. He will give you a second (and a third and a fourth) chance. But He is waiting for you to respond to Him and cry out in your trouble. Jonah must have read Psalm 34:6 “This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.”

DID YOU KNOW?  There is a person whom most Christians think didn’t suffer to learn obedience who really did. In fact, this person cried out in tears to the Father just like you might do. He was never in the belly of a whale, but He was alone one night in a garden with all the forces of hell encouraging him to disobey the Father. So the next time you think God is tired of hearing you call for help, remember He’s not. His son has been there, too. (See Hebrews 5:7–8.)

Salvation is of the LORD:” The word ‘salvation’ that Jonah used in his prayer occurs 164 times in the (KJV) Bible. 65 times it means deliverance, 3 times to make safe or free, 32 times it means to set at liberty, 57 times it means to rescue, 5 times it means defender or defense. I don’t know about you but I have had need of all these at some time or other in my life.

Read Thru The Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
2 Samuel  22  23     1 Corinthians  10    Psalm  72 

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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

24.                          God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion                   

Today’s First Thoughts                                  May 24, 2012

Good Morning!
God restores fallen saints and reassigns them to kingdom duty. The stories of some of God’s most valued leaders, like Jonah’s, are the stories of strategies and stages of restoration.

THE SECOND CHANCE: JONAH IS DELIVERED FROM THE FISH:
Jonah 2:10. “And the LORD spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land.”
Jonah 3:1. “And the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the second time, saying,
2. Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee.”

How many times has a single event, or an unfortunate failure, in a person’s life defined his life from that point on? Why is it that we are so hesitant to extend a second chance, or to let the victories in a person’s life define them instead of their defeats? Fortunately for Jonah and many others in Scripture, and very fortunately for us, our God is a God of the second chance. What God did for Jonah by giving him a second chance at success, He did for a number of other saints in Biblical history. And He stands ready to do the same for us.

Many people believe if you ever make a mistake, it is over—that God can never use you again. Now if anyone should have thought in his own heart that God was through with him, it ought to have been the man Jonah. And yet, “… the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time …” (Jonah 3:1). Not only was Jonah restored to fellowship with God, but he went on to preach perhaps the greatest revival that the world has ever known. God specializes in reaching out to us in the midst of our failure, for He knows that we are dust, and He knows that we are frail. And while He never condones our disobedience and rebellion, throughout the Bible we see God giving His saints a second chance.

Moses: God gave Moses a second chance after he committed murder and never even paid any official penalty for his sin? Yes. It is likely that you have never committed murder, but if God gave Moses a second chance, He will do the same for you.
David: After being given a second chance by God, David filled page after page with the hymns of praise and thanksgiving which we read in the Psalms.
The Prodigal Son: When he returned he was welcomed like royalty, and restored with a robe and a ring. Did the prodigal son get a second chance? Yes, he did.

Read Thru The Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
2 Samuel  24     1 Kings  1      1 Corinthians  11

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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

 25.                         God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                         May 25, 2012

Good Morning!
Great fervent preaching will save the world.

EXCEEDING GREAT CITY, EXCEEDING GREAT SINS, EXCEEDING GREAT SERMON, EXCEEDING GREAT REVIVAL:
Jonah 3:2. “Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee. 3. So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city of three days' journey. 4. And Jonah began to enter into the city a day's journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.”

The Bible tells us that “Nineveh was an exceedingly great city, a three-day journey in extent” (Jonah 3:3). In other words, it took three days to make one’s way through the city. When archaeologists discovered the ruins of Nineveh, they found that the immediate, central part of the city was one mile by two-and-a-half miles, while the entire metropolitan area was over 60 miles in circumference. The 60-mile-long wall around the city was estimated to be 100 feet tall, and the city had 1,500 towers which were 200 feet tall. This was indeed an “exceedingly great city.”

NINEVEH WAS AN EXCEEDING WICKED CITY. They engaged in every sort of unspeakable physical cruelty and terror imaginable against those they conquered. Do you understand why Jonah hated the Assyrians? Why he was not only afraid to go there, but felt they didn’t deserve God’s grace? The last thing in the world Jonah wanted to do was to go and be the messenger of hope and faith to these people—to offer them an opportunity to repent and be spared God’s judgment. He just wanted the judgment to fall! Their great sins had come up before God and God had decided to destroy the city along with it’s inhabitants. Jonah preached with fervency what God had given him to preach.

THEIR REPENTANCE: “So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.” “And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.” When people hear the gospel of Jesus Christ and repent, God will see their works of repentance, and turn His love toward them.

Read Thru The Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
1 Kings  2  3     1 Corinthians  12     Psalm  73

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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

 26. 27.                    God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion          

Today’s First Thoughts                                May 26, & 27, 2012

Good Morning!
After Nineveh’s repentance Jonah  acted like the prodigal son’s pious brother, the one who was sorry that the sinner came home.

JONAH IS ANGERED BY GOD'S EXPECTED MERCY:
Jonah 4:1. “But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry. 2. And he prayed unto the LORD, and said, I pray thee, O LORD, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil. 3. Therefore now, O LORD, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live.

Jonah was saying, “God, I knew you were going to do that. I knew if I went there and preached these people would get right, and then they would end up going to heaven. I want them to go to hell!” While we might never admit it, there probably are people about whom we feel the same way. Maybe they are people who have mistreated us. Or perhaps it is a group of people about whom we have developed a sense of fear or mistrust—Hispanics, whites, African Americans, Chinese, or whoever. Like Jonah, we sometimes have a difficult time surmounting our own racial prejudices to get the Gospel to the people who truly need it. Let me ask you a question. Did Nineveh need the Gospel of God’s grace preached to them? Does the chief city of the race or group that you dislike need the Gospel of God’s grace? Yes, in both cases.

Jonah was willing to write off a whole group of people simply because of their ethnicity, and this is simply wrong. After the apostles wrestled with the issue of taking the Gospel to the Gentiles in the Book of Acts, Peter came to this conclusion: “In truth I perceive that God is of no respecter of persons” (Acts 10:34).

And yet we so often violate that truth. We label people as we would label identical shirts coming down an assembly line. Christ died for the whole world. “Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight.” If we demonstrate, subtly or overtly, that we treat ethnic groups differently, we let everybody know that we don’t have the heart of God, because that is not His heart. It is a liberating thing to get past labeling on the basis of the color of skin, accents, cultural mannerisms, and traditional practices. Only then do we see the person for whom Christ died.

Read Thru The Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
1 Kings   4  5    1 Corinthians  13
1 Kings   6  7    1 Corinthians   14      Psalm  74

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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

28.                         God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion        

Today’s First Thoughts                                 May 28, 2012

Good Morning!
Sometime God uses hard lessons to teach his servants obedience. Jonah, Moses, David, Simon Peter, John Mark, all learned in God’s disobedience school.

JONAH IS SENT AGAIN:
Jonah 3:1. “And the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the second time, …saying,
2. Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city,”

God gave a murderer (Moses), an adulterer (David), a rebellious son (Prodigal), a coward (Peter), and a quitter (John Mark)—not to mention a hard-hearted prophet (Jonah)—a second chance. These second chances don’t come overnight, nor do they always happen the same way. Let’s look at some of the ways God has gotten the attention of His saints in order to give them a second chance.

Separation: The path to Moses’ second chance was separation. The Bible says that after Moses failed, he was sent to the Midian desert, and for forty years he was separated from everyone except Jethro’s family. What was God doing? He was making Moses mature—putting a bridle on his passions—so that he would be ready for his second chance when the time was right.
Confrontation: For David it took confrontation. Since David wasn’t owning up to his failures, he needed to be confronted. God sent a prophet named Nathan to David to tell him a little parable. David was found out. Through Nathan’s confrontation, David’s healing and restoration began. David became a king with a second chance.
Desperation: God dealt with the prodigal son through desperation. God took him so low, put him so far down, and took so much away from him that all he had left was desperation. And desperation became the prodigal’s doorway to a second chance.
Demonstration: For Peter, the Lord put on a drama, a demonstration.  in the midst of his denials, it was the crowing of the rooster that brought Peter to his senses. That drama broke Peter—“he went out and wept bitterly”—and ultimately it led to his second chance.
Isolation: God’s strategy for Jonah—isolation. He put Jonah in the belly of a huge fish where he had nothing to do but pray and no one to talk to but God. Jonah qualified for a second chance while contemplating his potentially untimely death, and God gave him the chance.

Whether the stages last forty years, as with Moses, or less than three days, as with Jonah, we need to know them. If we haven’t been through them already, we will.

Read Thru The Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
1 Kings  8  9     1 Corinthians  15

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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

29.                          God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                  May 29, 2012

Good Morning!
Jonah’s message to Nineveh—simple, yet profound—was ordained by God and therefore powerful enough to cause one of the leading city of the world to repent.

REVIVAL IN NINEVEH:
Jonah 3:4. “And Jonah began to enter into the city a day's journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown. 5. So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.”

There is never such a thing as revival that does not start with prayer. God had worked in Jonah’s heart to bring him to a place of confession and preparation for ministry, evidenced by his heartfelt prayer (Jonah 2:1–9). Whenever you see revival in history, you see that it always comes out of prayer. The great revival under Jonathan Edwards in the eighteenth century began with his famous call to prayer. The marvelous work of grace among the New England Indians under David Brainerd had its origin in the days and nights that Brainerd spent before God in prayer. A remarkable and widespread display of God’s reviving power broke out in Rochester, New York, under the labors of Charles Finney. It not only spread through New England, but to Great Britain as well. And Mr. Finney attributed the power of this work to the spirit of prayer that prevailed.

One of the most effective revivals in American history took place after prayer meetings in Topeka Kansas, and Azusa Street in Southern California, in the early 1900s. This revival has had more effect in the religious world than any in modern times. In these prayer and revival meeting God poured out the latter-day gift of the Holy Ghost. Millions upon millions have received this wonderful experience as a result of this great phenomenon.

God-Appointed Preacher for Revival: The second characteristic of revival is a God-anointed preacher. Revival comes through the preaching of the Word of God. It is noteworthy that Jesus Christ mentions that Nineveh repented at the preaching of Jonah (Luke 11:32), and calls Jonah a “sign to the Ninevites” just as the Son of Man was to be to His generation. As Jonah walked through the city, he was God’s preacher with God’s message. Whenever you have renewal or revival, you always have a man of God. In Nineveh, that man was Jonah.

Read Thru The Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
1 Kings  10  11    1 Corinthians  16     Psalm  75

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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

 30.                         God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                  May 30, 2012

Good Morning!
When the people of Nineveh heard Jonah and repented of the evil that was in their hands, God, “repented” of what He was going to do to them so that we could understand what is going on in His heart.

GOD CHANGED HIS MIND ABOUT DESTROYING NINEVEH:
Jonah 3:10. “And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented (changed His mind) of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.

The doctrine of Scripture that says God is unchanging is called the immutability of God. He is subject to no change in His being. He can’t be different today from what He was yesterday. There never was a time when God was not. There never will be a time when He shall cease to be. He has not evolved. He has not grown. He has not improved. Sometimes we change for the better, but God doesn’t because He is perfect. Sometimes we change for the worse, but God doesn’t because He doesn’t age and doesn’t sin. And sometimes we are changed by outside forces, but God doesn’t because nothing in the creation can impact the Creator.

If God does not change, why does Jonah 3:10 say that God decided not to bring upon Nineveh the destruction He had threatened? Did God change? There are three passages in the Old Testament that state that God changed His mind about something He did or indicated He was going to do. How is it possible for God to repent (change His thinking) when we just read that God is not a man that He should repent? From man’s perspective, it certainly appears that God is changing.

While it is perfectly true that God in His sovereign omniscience knows everything in advance, and that nothing that ever happens comes to Him as a surprise, yet it is a mistake to infer from this that He is incapable of emotion or reaction to the willful depravity of His creatures. The Scriptures show He is a God who cares, who loves, who shows a deep concern for His creatures. So because the changeless nature of God is always to be fair and righteous and holy and compassionate and loving, He left room for man to change so that He could forgive and restore. If that were not true, there would be no hope for any of us. If we change, for better or worse, God responds accordingly. But it is not He who changes; it is we.

Read Thru The Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
1 Kings  12  13     2 Corinthians  1

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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

31.                          God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion                  

Today’s First Thoughts                                  May 31, 2012

Good Morning!
What an ending we have to the book of Jonah. Wouldn’t it have been better to end the story with chapter 3 at the close of the greatest revival in history? We will look at chapter 4 and see why God had it written.

AN ANGRY JONAH’S PRAYER:
Jonah 4:1. “But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry. 2. And he prayed unto the LORD, and said, I pray thee, O LORD, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil. 3. Therefore now, O LORD, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live.

In Jonah chapter one, Jonah is running from God. In chapter two, Jonah is running to God. In chapter three, Jonah is running for God. And now in chapter four, Jonah is going to run smack into God. By the time we get to the last part of chapter 4, we will see the point of the Book of Jonah more clearly than ever before. And our teacher is none other than a worm.

The first thing we discover is Jonah’s passion—unfortunately, it is not a passion for souls. Rather, it is anger: “But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he became angry” (Jonah 4:1). What could justify Jonah’s anger? God caused the greatest revival in history to take place in Nineveh and everybody was converted, and Jonah was the one God used. But Jonah preached from a jealous and selfish heart, and when the revival happened he got angry.

The word anger in the Old Testament Hebrew language means to boil or to burn. Jonah was really hot. Why? Was it because God made him look bad? Jonah had said the city would perish in forty days, and now God said, “Never mind.” Probably neither. Jonah was sinfully mad. He didn’t want the Assyrians to experience God’s grace. He wanted God to deal as harshly with them as He had with him.

If anything, this sad attitude by Jonah is like the older brother of the prodigal son in the New Testament. He was really mad when the prodigal returned home and received his father’s welcome. Jonah was mad that a prodigal nation was being spared, much less welcomed, by God.

Read Thru The Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
1 Kings  14  15     2 Corinthians   2     Psalm  76

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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

 

Copyright (c)2010 GODSGRAZINGFIELD & JustHost.com