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July 2012

July 2012
                    Harvest In Nazarus
Harvest Nazarus
                Harvesting Wheat In Nazarus
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1.                           Godsgrazing field Devotions                         

Today’s First Thoughts                      June 30 & July 1, 2012

Good Morning!
In the midst of the mechanics of living, the Christian cannot lose sight of the eternal purpose of God. He must be conscious of the signs of the time, the worth of a soul, and of his responsibilities toward God. He must keep his sanity in a world that has given themselves over to pleasure and self-seeking.

BE SOBER AND WATCH UNTO PRAYER:
1 Peter 4:7: But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and  watch unto prayer.

One of the most interesting meanings of the word sober is “well balanced.” a sober or well-balanced person will react properly to his surroundings and to his knowledge. He will be prepared with a proper defense—“the breastplate of faith and love, and, for an helmet, the hope of salvation.” Although the spirit in the world opposes the Spirit of Christ in our hearts, the strongest weapon the Christian has is love. Love overcomes evil. Furthermore, it converts the sinner, bringing light to his dark life. Here again through the love of the Spirit, we show God to the hungry world around us.

We should note while the breastplate of faith and love protects the heart, the helmet, which likened to our hope of salvation, enables us to meet danger and opposition that attacks the mind. With the helmet of salvation called hope, we surely can look at the present and the future in the right perspective. It is also most sobering to realize that we have an adversary who is so powerful that he is called the god of this world.

The beauty of it all is the fact that the resident Christ within us makes us the victor in every trial and test if we will  only use the power given to us in the Divine Plan of Salvation. Not only are we forgiven for the past sins when we find our God in a personal experience, but we are also given power to overcome the enemy as we walk with God.

Read Thru The Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
1 Chronicles  28  29     Colossians  1      Psalm  91
2 Chronicles 
1  2         Colossians  2

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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2.                           God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                July 2, 2012

Good Morning!
A few days with Abraham. With his tent and his altar, Abraham sojourned in the land of Canaan. He had no permanent home but moved from place to place.

A FAMINE IN CANAAN:
Genesis 12:10. “And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine was grievous in the land.”

The Land of Canaan is a picture of the spirit filled life. It is not a place of special privilege, as many think, for the great and favored few. The land of Canaan is where God expects every Christian to dwell every day of his life. Though Abraham is now in the land, he has not yet learned the conditions of life in the land. Abraham, like so many new Christians, though “in” the spirit had not yet learned to “walk” in the spirit. As so often happens in the life of all of us, Abram, in Genesis 12:10, looked upon the outward circumstances, and he had a failure of faith. When Peter looked upon the “boisterous” wind and waves his faith failed and he began to sink.

Abram was a man with flocks and herds, and when the rains failed to come these were severely threatened. Abram’s livelihood depended upon pasturing his flocks and herds. As the scarcity of food grew, it must have seemed impossible to remain where he was. Abram felt driven to leave Canaan, even though God had called him to be there. There is not a word here about asking God’s permission to go down to Egypt. Abram listened to his fears and he went to Egypt.

A SPIRITUAL FAMINE: A spiritual famine is any circumstance that threatens our dependence upon God. A spiritual famine is any circumstance that makes faith difficult. We all have experienced such a famine. Something seems to cut-off the full joy of fellowship with our Lord. A cloud moves between us and God. Something beyond our control makes it hard to maintain that fellowship. It’s hard to maintain the altar when the rains don’t fall. It may have been a bitter disappointment that crushes you, making your heart ache, and leaving you with little strength for prayer and fellowship. Many are the circumstances which makes it hard to maintain our fellowship with God. The spiritual rains which had watered our soul have stopped and our soul is drying up. When this happens we are tempted to run rather than to stick it out. In the next few days we want to follow Abraham down into Egypt.

Read Thru The Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
2 Chronicles  3  4     Colossians  3      Psalm  92 

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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3.                           God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion 

Today’s First Thoughts                                 July 3, 2012

Good Morning!
The rains had stopped weeks ago and the land was drying up, the water was scarce, grass was gone, things looked bleak for the stock, so Abram went down to Egypt.

THE HIGH COST OF LETTING DOWN:
Genesis 12:11. “And it came to pass, when he was come near to enter into Egypt, that he said unto Sarai his wife, Behold now, I know that thou art a fair woman to look upon: 12. Therefore it shall come to pass, when the Egyptians shall see thee, that they shall say, This is his wife: and they will kill me, but they will save thee alive. 13. Say, I pray thee, thou art my sister: that it may be well with me for thy sake; and my soul shall live because of thee.”

We also try to get away... Physically if we can. We all sometimes say, "I’ve just got to get away for a while." We move to another neighborhood, change jobs, take a trip, or go home to mother. If we cannot run physically, we try to run mentally. There are multitudes which have retreated into a mental Egypt where life seems more pleasant. Many live in a realm of fantasy all day long. You can find a mental Egypt in your TV set, your radio, the movie theater, the bottle. For some the retreat they choose is a constant round of social life... Always ready for the weekend. Whenever we attempt to satisfy the spirit with the things of the world, we have gone down to Egypt. Going down to Egypt means taking on the attitudes, the expectations and resources of the world. But we cannot let down and adopt the world without paying a high price.

Let us see what happens in Egypt. First of all the pressure is off, Abram found in Egypt the release he was seeking. There is plenty to eat in Egypt. But something else happened. When Abram lost his faith back in Canaan, he lost his courage. Loss of faith makes cowards of us all. Even before he got to Egypt he grew afraid and sunk to cowardice and falsehood. He told a little white lie, and persuaded Sarai to go along with it. Abram, out of the land, away from the tent, and the altar, old self came to the front, and he stoops to falsehood, hypocrisy, and deceit. This is the result of anyone who moves away from God and where he wants us to be. The outcome of this lie was that Sarai was put in real danger, and into humiliating circumstances. The king claimed her for his harem...Abram had opened the door for him.

Read Thru The Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
2 Chronicles  5   6        Colossians   4

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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4.                           God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                 July 4, 2012

Good Morning!
God had told Abraham that he was to be a blessing to all nations (Genesis 12:2-3), but he has turned out to be a curse to Pharaoh while he was down in Egypt.

EGYPT IS A PLACE OF REBUKE AND HUMILIATION:
Genesis 12:17. “And the LORD plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai Abram's wife. 18. And Pharaoh called Abram, and said, What is this that thou hast done unto me? why didst thou not tell me that she was thy wife? 19. Why saidst thou, She is my sister? so I might have taken her to me to wife: now therefore behold thy wife, take her, and go thy way. 20. And Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him: and they sent him away, and his wife, and all that he had.”

The danger he thought existed had no power over them until he made it possible by his lie. Our loved ones always suffer when we go down to Egypt. Not only was Sarai endangered, but Lot also went down to Egypt with him. No doubt the lust for comfort, and worldly pleasure, and glory, was born in Lot while he was in Egypt. Shortly after their return to Canaan Lot made his choice and moved into Sodom. Another thing about his sojourn in Egypt was that Abram was made rich by the King of Egypt. Abram was given sheep, oxen, he-asses, men-servants, maidservants, she-asses, and camels. One of the first things, this caused was strife between Abram’s herdsmen and Lot’s herdsmen over the riches they got in Egypt. (Genesis 13:2)One of the maidservants was Hagar, of whom Ishmael was born, who became a thorn to his descendants, even to this day. The price of Abram living in Egypt is great, even to this present generation. But this is not all that happened.

Egypt is a place of rebuke and humiliation:
Genesis 12:18. “And Pharaoh called Abram, and said, what is this that thou hast done unto me? Why didst thou not tell me that she was thy wife? 19. Why saidst thou, she is my sister? So I might have taken her to me to wife: now therefore behold thy wife, take her, and go thy way.

Abram was driven out of Egypt:
Genesis 12:20. “And pharaoh commanded his men concerning him: and they sent him away, and his wife, and all that he had.”
What a terrible folly going to Egypt became. Abram repeated his sin years latter. (Genesis 20:1-18)

Read Thru The Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
2 Chronicles   7   8       1 Thessalonians   1 ,     Psalms 93    

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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5.                           God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                 July 5, 2012

Good Morning!
“Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold.” Much of these riches he had gotten in Egypt. Riches sometimes brings heartaches.

ABRAHAM BACK IN CANAAN:
Genesis 13:1. “And Abram went up out of Egypt, he, and his wife, and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the South. 2. And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold. 3. And he went on his journeys from the South even to Beth-el, unto the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Beth-el and Ai, 4. unto the place of the altar, which he had made there at the first: and there Abram called on the name of Jehovah.”

Abram came back to the place where he first set up his tent and where he had made an altar. What a lesson Abram had learned. He discovered that God is able to supply his needs. Are you in a time of trial and testing that makes it hard to hang onto God? Don’t think for a moment you will find what you need by running down to Egypt, you will find a kind of relief but the price of Egypt is terrible. Someone has said that life seems to be arranged backwards. We are called upon to make our most important choices at a time when we have the least amount of experience to guide us. So many times we say later, “If only I had known,” Or, “If I had it to do over again.”

As we said earlier, life in the land is one of continual conflict... We must go from victory to victory. Further, it is a life of unending choice. There is no doubt Lot was a continual weight for Abram to carry. Lot evidently responded when God spoke to Abram and called him out of Ur of Chaldees. Lot’s father was dead so he wanted to go along, so Abram brought him with him. But one thing we notice about Lot, he always depended upon Abram.

There are many ‘Lots’ around. They never seem to learn to walk alone with God, but lean on another’s faith for strength. As long as they have a strong church to lean on, or a close friend who is faithful to pray for them and encourage them, then all is well. But when the prop is weak, they are weak. We could call them second-hand Christians. Now, even though the Bible calls Lot a righteous man. (2 Peter 2:7-8) He was wholly and totally dependent upon Abram for his faith. The story tells us that, “And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold.” But Lot also had prospered by being associated with uncle Abram, and this brought trouble.

Read Thru The Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
2 Chronicles   9   10,          1 Thessalonians  2

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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6.                           God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                 July 6, 2012

Good Morning!
Abraham and Lot’s prosperity caused trouble, because there had been a long drought and the land had not had time to fully recover when they came back from Egypt.

STRIFE LOOMS AT OUR DOOR:
Genesis 13:7. “And there was a strife between the herdmen of Abram’s cattle and the herdmen of Lot's cattle: 9. Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left.”

Abram reminded lot, “We are brethren.” That means we are tied together in the same bundle of life. It means if I hurt you I am hurting myself... If you hurt me, you are hurting yourself. We cannot have strife without injuring one another. Whenever strife develops between members of the body of Christ, Everyone gets hurt. Wounds are inflicted which, many times, never heal. Always the evil is lurking, ready to devour us. Just outside every Christian’s heart the evils of the flesh, jealousy, envy, resentment, bitterness, malice, await opportunity to bring us down.

Their prosperity was at the very root of what we read here. We are going to see that the character of Lot was demonstrably injured by his prosperity. Abram escaped corruption through wealth, yet that wealth was indirectly the power which deprived him of his kinsman. Better to remain poor and keep friends than to become rich and lose friends. The scarcity of pasture and water brought about strife between their herdsmen. Abraham offered Lot the choice of the land before them. We must remember that God had already given Abram the land, so he, not Lot, was entitled to choose which part of the land went to whom. That concession of his rights was intended to head off hostility between himself and Lot, and preserve the unity of the spirit in the bonds of peace.

God has created each of us with the ability to choose, what a privilege. Yet each person is responsible for the choices they make. There are some choices we make every day which has nominal effect on our lives, yet there are some choices we have to make that has a long term effect on us and some choices are permanent, affecting our lives and those we associate with. These are the choices we need to make after much prayer and consideration.

Read Thru The Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
2 Chronicles  11   12        1 Thessalonians  3        Psalm   94   

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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7.  8.                      God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                July 7 & 8, 2012

Good Morning!
From the plateau at Bethel one has a panoramic view of Palestine. As Abram and Lot stood on this plateau, the land stretched away as far as the eye could see.

LOT PITCHED HIS TENT TOWARD SODOM:
Genesis 13:11. “Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other. 12. Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom.”
“Lot lifted up his eyes and looked...” What did he see? He had no doubt been out looking around before. He knew that when choosing property the number one thing is, location, location, location. It is obvious he looked in only one direction. He looked to the east and he saw the Jordan River and the well-watered plain, like a garden. The deepest point on the face of the earth... Then, it had lush green grass on either side as far as the eye could see. He was greatly attracted to it... A dream place. Then he saw the cities of the plain...cities like as in Egypt. Lot remembered Egypt and all of it’s splendor. This is what Lot saw...but there were some things Lot did not see. Lot did not see the ungodly acts going on there, he did not see the hand of God raised over the whole area with a flaming torch in it.

The word ‘Jordan’ means ‘descender’. The river ends in the Dead Sea. There is no life there...grand to look upon, But spiritually it meant death. It is always going down, going away from God. Jonah went down to Joppa. Jonah went down into the bottom of the ship. Jonah went down to the bottom of the sea (Jonah 1:3, 2:6). Lot went down into the plains of the Jordan, “and pitched his tent towards Sodom.” This was the first step away from Uncle Abraham and the daily sacrifice and worship; it would not be the last. His tent faced Sodom, and all the ungodliness in it. The first step away from Holy things is the opening of a door that is hard to close. The next chapter we find Lot dwelling in Sodom. He moved in with all his family.

While it is true, that neither Lot, nor Abram, could foresee the death, the rottenness, or the judgment that life in Sodom would bring. But the whole point of this lesson is this, “Lot chose for himself.” and, “Pitched his tent towards Sodom.” Not all the way in, but towards, Sodom. Presuming to run his own life, and deceived by what he saw, he chose for himself, heart-ache and judgment. It was not long before he moved into Sodom, Worse yet, Sodom moved in with him. Most likely his wife was from Sodom.

Read Thru The Bible
Click the links below to read today’s Bible verses online:
2 Chronicles   13   14     1 Thessalonians  4
2 Chronicles   15   16     1 Thessalonians  5     Psalm  95

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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9.                          God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                July 9, 2012

Good Morning
Our lesson from this, we still have choices. We can say with Lot, “I want what the world can offer me.” Or like Abram, wait on God, and let him choose for us.

LETTING GOD CHOOSE:
Genesis 13:14.“ And the LORD said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: 15. For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever. 16. And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered. 17. Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee.”

Immediately on Lot’s departure Jehovah approaches. The appearance of the heavenly friend, came to compensate for the loss of the earthly kinsman, as often happens in the divine dealings with men and saints, and was a welcome relief for Abram. This is the third time that God spoke directly to Abram, and he recognized his voice. Abram’s heart was no doubt troubled because of the separation of Lot, and dejected as he realized his solitude among hostile neighbors, and being a stranger in a foreign land. So these words were given to console and encourage him. “Lift up thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art...”

How many times has God come to us and told us to, “hold your head up, and look around you, look at all I’m giving to you?” Once again Jehovah renewed his covenant with Abram, with emphasis on the land being given to him and his seed forever, and the promise of innumerable descendants. “arise, walk through the land...” Note the words of Jehovah.

“Lift up thine eyes,...” “arise,...” “walk...”  
“Arise, walk through the land...” “Don’t wait for it.”  
“Enjoy it now.”  “You can have it.”  
“Set your feet upon it.” “Possess it... Now.”

God is telling Abram not to be moping around, get up, and start moving, I’m going to make you one of the greatest figures in human history, so get going. God speaks to us in like manner trying to motivate us to our full accomplishments.

Read Thru The Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
2 Chronicles   17  18,        2 Thessalonians   1

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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10.                         God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                July 10, 2012

Good Morning!
The blessings which God bestowed upon the nation of Israel are typical of the blessings available for the True Church today.

LEARNING FROM ISRAEL’S EXPERIENCE:
1Corinthians 10:11: Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

It is a miracle to think that a seventy-five year old man could be the beginning of a great nation, but this is exactly what happened in God's plan. Then the birth of his heir did not occur until he was one hundred years old, and then by a miracle, From his ninety year old wife, Sarah, who was the epitome of obedience and loyalty, came Isaac, the promised son who hated war and loved peace. His life of outward sacrifice brought him an inward peace. From Isaac came Jacob, who had much property but little happiness. From Jacob, whose name changed, came twelve sons which became the tribes of Israel. From the twelve tribes came a nation clothed in the supernatural and in the miraculous, which stood upon its feet and began its strong and miraculous march down through the centuries.

No other nation has ever had such manifest, miraculous tokens of God's presence. Not only was Israel a separated nation but they were exalted by the hand Of God. In much the same way a believer is exalted by God's salvation. The Church also enjoys such protection for Jesus said the “gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

Paul said “I can do all things through Christ.” God fights for the church as long as it does things “through Christ.” The Church is joint heirs with Christ in the things that have been provided in eternity. Many times the reason we fail is because we do not give our Melchizedek the opportunity to minister to us.

How valuable is our fellowship in the house of God. There, in his presence, we make promises to him.  It is there that God meets with us, and blesses us, Strengthening us for the test ahead of us, as we raise our hands and worship him. There is nothing in this world that compares to the glory of fellowship with the living God, maker of heaven and earth.

Read Thru The Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
2 Chronicles  19  20      2 Thessalonians   2     Psalm   96

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

 
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11.                          God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                 July 11, 2012

Good Morning!
The whole cause of Christ is injured by the sin, neglect, or un-spirituality of one believer.

ACHAN-----SIN IN THE CAMP:
Joshua 7:20. And Achan answered Joshua, and said, Indeed I have sinned against the LORD God of Israel, and thus and thus have I done:

When the three thousand men fled before the men of Ai, and thirty-six slain, Joshua went straight to God about it, and he did well. But read his prayer, and you will see a strange note in it--Joshua reproaches God. “Why hast Thou brought us here? Why, art Thou going to destroy us? Why, were we not content to dwell across the Jordan?” As if the power of God was now exhausted. Then Joshua learned that the blame lay not in heaven, but at his door.

Blame not the promises, charge not the failure to the Throne: the secret of failure lies in the tents of Israel. How prone we still are, when we are defeated, to lay the blame of it on something, or someone far away. How ready, in every fault and every failure, to trace the source of it anywhere but in ourselves.

The story of Achan teaches us of the power of one man to infect a whole community and to inflict disaster on it. One sick sheep taints a flock. The effects of one individual's sin are not confined to him only. Achan was the sinner, yet all Israel suffered, thirty-six died.

We should seek to cultivate the sense of being members of a great body and to ponder our individual responsibility for moral and religious health of the church. We are each endowed with mysterious vitality and the power of transmitting impulses, both of good and of evil.

Read Thru The Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
2 Chronicles  21  22        2 Thessalonians   3     

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

 
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 12.                        God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                July 12, 2012

Good Morning!
Even though our life should be guided by the Spirit and the Word of God, that does not mean we cannot use words of advise and wisdom of men.

JETHRO: WORDS OF WISDOM:
Exodus 18:17. And Moses’ father in law said unto him, The thing that thou doest is not good. 18. Thou wilt surely wear away, both thou, and this people that is with thee: for this thing is too heavy for thee; thou art not able to perform it thyself alone.

Jethro was Moses’ Father-in-law and he was also a Priest of Mid-i-an. Not long after leaving Egypt Moses and the children of Israel camped at the base of Mount Sinai for two years. During this period Jethro came to bring Moses’ wife and two sons to him. Jethro was very impressed with what God had done for his son-in-law and for Israel and he gave Jehovah great praise, and also made a sacrifice of burnt offering to him, along with Moses and Aaron. (Exodus 18:11-12)

Jethro also noted the Moses was over-whelmed with trying to be a Judge over every little trespass that took place between the Children Of Israel. It was Moses’ love and care for his people that made him take this responsibility upon himself. But Jethro noted the job was too big for one person to handle. His advise was let others do the menial chores and You, Moses, consecrate yourself to the Spiritual matters to which God has called you.

So it is today our Pastor should not be burdened down with all the cares of this life, trying to solve every little problem and fix every thing that goes wrong. His greatest concern should be to feed the Church spiritually, and he must have, and take, the time to study and prepare for his ministry. He should never have to come to the pulpit so tired from menial chores that he does not feel like ministering at his best.

Read Thru The Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
2 Chronicles   23   24       1 Timothy  1      Psalm   97

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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13.                          God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                 July 13, 2012

Good Morning!
The true leader of the children of Israel was not Moses or Hobab, but the divine presence of God in the cloud and in the fire.

GOD’S GUIDANCE:
Numbers 10:31. And he (Moses) said, Leave us not, I pray thee; forasmuch as thou (Hobab) knowest how we are to encamp in the wilderness, and thou mayest be to us instead of eyes.

Within three months after leaving Egypt the Children of Israel reached Mt. Sinai, in the desert of Arabia. Sometime during this period, Hobab, a relative of Moses by marriage, came into the camp on a visit. He was a Midianite by race, and a member of a wandering tribe of people. He knew every foot of ground in that area. He knew where the springs were, he knew where the grass grew. He knew where the camping places were. He knew where the short cuts were through the wilderness, he knew the safest routes to take. All of this was very important for their passage through this barren land on their way to Canaan. Moses urges Hobab to go with them... “To be to us instead of eyes.” Instead of having to send out scouts ahead of them.

But Hobab was a free, wild wanderer... He did not care to leave the tents of his people to join a Group Of Fugitives wandering in the wilderness. He flatly refuses... Moses presses him with promises of sharing in all of their prosperity... God does not think it worth while to tell whether Moses’ attempt to secure help from a Wilderness Guide failed, or succeeded. 

But one thing the writer plainly tells us, “The Ark Of The Covenant Of The Lord went before them... To search out a resting place for them.” And how, “The Cloud was upon them when they went out of Camp.” God would teach us that it mattered little whether Israel had Hobab or not if they had the Cloud, the Guidance Of The Holy Spirit. We can use the help and resources of the world but most of all we want the guidance and support of the one who is traveling the way before us, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Read Thru The Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
2 Chronicles  25   26       1 Timothy   2

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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14.  15.                  God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion                                        

Today’s First Thoughts                                July 14 & 15, 2012

Good Morning!
Balaam had a true knowledge of the most High God, he had a prophetic gift from God, yet at the same time Balaam’s heart was given to covetousness.

BALAAM RAN GREEDILY AFTER WAGES OF UNRIGHTEOUSNESS:
Numbers 22:22. “And God's anger was kindled because he went: and the angel of the LORD stood in the way for an adversary against him. Now he was riding upon his ass, and his two servants were with him. 23. And the ass saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and the ass turned aside out of the way, and went into the field: and Balaam smote the ass, to turn her into the way. 24. But the angel of the LORD stood in a path of the vineyards, a wall being on this side, and a wall on that side. 25. And when the ass saw the angel of the LORD, she thrust herself unto the wall, and crushed Balaam's foot against the wall: and he smote her again. 26. And the angel of the LORD went further, and stood in a narrow place, where was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left. 27. And when the ass saw the angel of the LORD, she fell down under Balaam: and Balaam's anger was kindled, and he smote the ass with a staff. 28. And the LORD opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, “What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times?”

Balaam, like Melchizedek, was one those mysterious figures who walk across the pages of the Bible, but unlike Melchizedek, Balaam did not stay true to God who used him prophetically. But when He grew proud and covetous, God departed from him. Then, to support his sinking credit, he betook himself to diabolical arts. Our scripture reading informs us that Balaam struggled to conquer God, and change God’s mind to allow him to accept the rewards of the king of Moab. The will of God is declared (v.12), and the struggle between conscience and covetousness begins. God gave him his permissive will but not his perfect will.

And God's anger was kindled because he went: and the angel of the LORD stood in the way for an adversary against him. “The ass saw the angel” (Numbers 2:23). The ass he rode on saw more than he did, his eyes being blinded with covetousness and ambition and dazzled with the rewards of divination. After being beaten by Balaam, “The Lord opened the mouth of the ass,” speaking to Balaam. We see in this, one of the many ways God uses to keep man from his headlong rush into sin. Balaam’s covetousness brought him face to face with the death angel.

Read Thru The Bible

Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
2 Chronicles   27   28      1 Timothy   3     Psalm   98
2 Chronicles  
29   30      1 Timothy   4

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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16.                         God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                July 16, 2012

Good Morning!
One Christian can often be the means of deliverance to a weaker brother or sister.

WHEN YOU NEED A FRIEND:
Genesis 14: 12. And they took Lot, Abram's brother's son, who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed. (KJV)

If it was not for what happened in this verse, the world would have never known about all these marauders. Lot, his family, and all his goods were carried away by Invading armies. Sodom pictures the world in its lust for wealth and sensual pleasures. The invading armies from the East portrays the World in it's raw naked power. Power to enslave and tyrannize and take away physical liberties of man.

Genesis 14:13. “And there came one that had escaped, and told Abram the Hebrew;” Perhaps Lot, at the last minute, before his capture, sent this man to find, and tell Abram. Perhaps in desperation, Lot turns to Abram. “I Need Help.”  “Help Me If You Can.” All hope for Lot now rests in Abram’s hand. Uncle Abram proved to be the friend that delivered Lot. Now Lot, having been separated from Abram several years, has long ago moved into Sodom. Lot no longer Worships before an Altar. He has lost touch with God. He stands helpless before the apparent invincibility of this enemy.

Perhaps, as Lot, you have found yourself captured against your will by some evil habit, or power, that enslaves you. You that need help, send a note, make that call, and raise your hand. You may not have the spiritual strength to walk down to the altar. But somehow send the message, send it today. When you need a friend. You will never need a friend any more than when you have fallen into a snare of the devil. Seek out some friend, Some saint of God, Someone you can trust, Lay the matter out before them. Ask them to pray for you, and with you.

Abram had the resource to deliver Lot from physical bondage of the forces of the world, but only Lot could take himself out of Sodom. Lot chose to move back into Sodom where he was to eventually lose everything Abram had regained for him when God destroyed Sodom.

Read Thru The Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
2 Chronicles   31  32        1 Timothy   5     Psalm   99

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net
 

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17.                          God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                 July 17, 2012

Good Morning!
Why only Naaman? Because he alone asked for cleansing.

NAAMAN – RECEIVED BECAUSE HE ASKED:
Luke 4:25. “But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land; 26 But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow. 27. And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus (Elisha) the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian.

YE HAVE NOT BECAUSE YE ASK NOT:  Then as now, the widows in Israel missed the blessing that was grabbed by some poor woman born outside the favored line. Then, as now, Leprosy lay heavy and unlifted in Israel, while some far-way stranger found himself healed. The typical formula of the ministry of Jesus is “Jesus answered and said.” He answered; He spoke because a question had been asked, a problem has been raised. He spoke and acted because a human came to him in need.

Time after time Jesus must have passed a blind man sitting by the roadside in helpless beggary, who never stopped Him by a cry, and if he would not cry, our Lord must pass on, un-invoked, un-arrested. What of the sick who moped in sullen gloom and never reached out to touch His garment? Surely, He was only waiting for them to give Him His opportunity to heal them. Yet, if they will not, He must pass on and do nothing.

How many times has He passed by us, in a service, in a song, in a sermon and we have not reached out to touch and receive him into our life's problems. He stands at the door and knocks and it is up to us to open and invite Him in. He will come by you this Sunday Morning; make an effort to respond to Him. When you feel his presence take heed to that inner voice and call out for help. He is always ready to help you out of any situation you may find yourself in YE HAVE NOT BECAUSE YE ASK NOT:

Read Thru The Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
2 Chronicles  33   34      1 Timothy  6  

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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18.                          God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                 July 18, 2012

Good Morning!
The world is in need of good men. By their acts of kindness and devotion, they make the world a better place. We never know what will be the results of some kind deed we do for someone.

BARNABAS: A SON OF CONSOLATION:
Psalm 37:23. The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.

 Barnabas is one of those men that the early Church could not have done without. Barnabas was one of the wealthy men who sold his property and gave the proceeds to the cause of Christ (Acts 4:36-37). Even though Barnabas was a Missionary, a Prophet and Teacher (Acts 13-1), we read of no sermon that he preached or miracle he called forth, but the greatest contribution he made to the Kingdom of God was his friendship and concern for Paul.

At a time in Paul's life when he really needed a friend, Barnabas was that friend. After Paul's conversion some were afraid of him, others wanted to kill him. It was Barnabas that brought Paul into fellowship with the Church at Jerusalem when they were afraid of him (Acts 9:26-28). It was Barnabas who went to Tarsus to seek Paul to help in the work at Antioch.

It was Barnabas who was chosen to go on the first Missionary Journey with Paul (Acts 13:2). Barnabas, even though he had known the Lord much longer than his friend, was contented to being regulated in second place behind Paul. Barnabas was willing to suffer the same hardships and persecutions as Paul was subjected to.

It is men and women like Barnabas, some who never make the headlines, yet through their sacrifice of love and devotion have made Christianity the greatest force in human history. We could ask, “what would the Apostle Paul's place be on the honor role of human history if it had not been for the friendship of Barnabas?”

Read Thru The Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
2 Chronicles  35  36      2 Timothy  1    Psalm  100 

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net
 

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 19.                        God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                 July 19, 2012

Good Morning!
The strength of a marriage is when a man and a woman can become
partners in the work of God.

PRISCILLA AND AQUILA WERE WORKERS TOGETHER:
1 Peter 3:7. Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered'

Priscilla and Aquila, husband and wife, left one of the most beautiful examples in the Early Church of a Christian couple working in unison for the advancement of the Gospel (Acts 18:1-3; 24-26). Priscilla and Aquila were united with a common goal; they possessed a spirit of hospitality and a love for souls that caused them to put the welfare of the church first. Paul called Priscilla and Aquila “My Helpers In Christ Jesus.” Paul lived with them in their home for almost two years at Corinth, and he was with them for three years at Ephesus. Certainly, Paul knew the value of this faithful couple.

Priscilla and Aquila was grounded in the “True Doctrine” and they in turn imparted this Truth to Apollos. Apollos was not one to sit still with the revelation of the truth. His desire was to expend himself, withholding nothing, in his effort to bring others to the knowledge he had received from Aquila and Priscilla. Apollos was not only a powerful Preacher, he was also a humble student of God's Word and a man who put popularity and acclaim behind him in his quest to declare the whole Gospel wherever he went. Each one of us should take the talents and abilities that God has given us and become the "Soul Winner" that God wants us to be.

Everyone of us should be grounded in the True Doctrine and know how to impart this Truth to others. Togetherness means sharing the work load, the burdens, and also sharing the disappointments of each day. Together they could encourage each other and lift each other's burdens.

Read Thru The Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Ezra   1   2        2 Timothy  2

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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20.                         God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                July 20, 2012

Good Morning!
This faithful servant will ultimately “rise for his inheritance” with the other saints of God who possess the righteousness of Christ.

GOD’S LAST MESSAGE TO DANIEL:
Daniel 12:13. “But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.”

Daniel was again admonished to cast any anxieties about these prophecies from his mind and to return to his normal life. Daniel was about ninety years old by this time, and God likely granted him peace and rest in his remaining years of life without giving him any additional revelations, which would seemingly have been included with the other accounts in this book. However, it can also be surmised with reasonable confidence that the “rest” God bestowed upon Daniel also described the peaceful tranquility that Daniel would experience after his physical life had ended and would experience until the end of this world’s days, not just his days.

Over the course of his lifetime, Daniel observed the perils of his people under the wiles of Babylonian captivity, and Daniel himself endured severe discrimination for his Jewish ethnicity and for his unwavering belief in the supremacy of Almighty God. The Lord revealed to this faithful servant the progression of the world’s final days leading to the magnification of Jesus Christ as King of kings and Lord of lords. However, these last days would be overshadowed by peril unlike any the world had or has ever experienced. Daniel, no doubt, shuddered as he pondered the reality of continued persecution of his people, but God’s messenger assured him that there would be an appointed end to these sufferings. Some would be delivered from this time, some delivered out of it, and some delivered through it, but ultimately, all whose names are written in the Book of Life would receive their deliverance through the gift of eternal life.

However, countless believers have not been delivered from similar circumstances and have died for their faith. Why is there so much variation in the outcome? Does God favor some over others? The only distinction between believers is God’s sovereignty. The Lord’s purpose for some and plan for others varies in course but not in result, which is the magnification of God. All Christians are called to be martyrs, to die to self and ultimately to the world and its system, yet the experiences of this call are as diverse as the sands that line the seas.

Read Thru The Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Ezra  3   4         2 Timothy  3       Psalm   101

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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21.  22.                   God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                July 21 & 22, 2012

Good Morning!
We, as believers with the benefit of New Testament revelation, understand that this prophecy has far-reaching significance not limited to only Jewish believers

WHAT A DAY THAT WILL BE:
Daniel 12:1. “And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.
2. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.”

The angel appeared to refer to the “book,” the collective, eternal record, called the Book of Life, in which the names of all people determined to be reconciled to God were revealed. In describing the atrocious end-times affliction that will befall Daniel’s people, and ultimately all who have their eternal inheritance guaranteed in heaven, the angel also delivered a message of hope: many, specifically those whose names are found “written in the book,” will be “rescued.” Details of this delivery, however, are unclear—whether by rapture, or by perseverance amidst turmoil or by ultimate delivery of physical death unto eternal life.

One must remember to whom this message was originally intended—Daniel. The angel assured Daniel that, though his people would experience intense hardships in both the near and distant future, God would never abandon His faithful followers..

Though this resurrection does not pertain exclusively to Jews, Daniel’s people are surely included within it. Although the angel offered Daniel no further clarification regarding the ultimate fulfillment of this plan, the angel did explain that not all Jews would inherit righteousness simply because they were Jews but only those, as described in verse one, whose names are “written in the book.” There will be a distinct separation made at the time of the resurrection—some to everlasting life, the rest to everlasting contempt.

God is keeping a record of all earth’s transactions. Malachi 3:16 “…and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.

Read Thru The Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Ezra   5   6         2 Timothy  4
Ezra  
7   8         Titus  1                Psalm  102

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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23.                        God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                      July 23, 2012

Good Morning!
God told Daniel to record all these things but, thereafter, to shut the words and seal them “until the end times,” which refers to a period long after Daniel’s lifetime:

A SEALED BOOK:
Daniel 12:4. “But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased. 5. Then I Daniel looked, and, behold, there stood other two, the one on this side of the bank of the river, and the other on that side of the bank of the river. 6. And one said to the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, How long shall it be to the end of these wonders?

God is saying, “I have come to explain to you what will happen to your people in the last days, because the vision is about times still to come” (Daniel 10:14). An angel asked the one clothed in linen how long it would be until these prophecies were fulfilled.

Studying these Scriptures is like looking in a mirror and seeing reflections of our fast-paced world. As the Holy Spirit reveals the meaning of these passages to us, we realize that we are living in the last days to which these verses refer, and we, therefore, desperately need to evaluate our spiritual condition. By virtue of great technological achievements, we quickly approach an age where hearts are hardened against God’s message. Mankind worships itself and believes that salvation lies in human accomplishment. Seemingly, the extent of what we can achieve is only limited by our imaginations. We have traveled to the moon and explored distant planets. Advances in medicine help us to live longer, healthier lives. However, with all of man’s modern inventions, not one of them has been able to soothe a wounded heart. Not one has been able to prevent death altogether, and not one can deliver us from the inevitable judgment that awaits each of us at the end of time.

All of man’s technological advances may enable him to attain virtually any level of temporary comfort at the touch of a button, but no amount of human knowledge will ever surpass that of the all-knowing Creator. No technological alternative will ever secure an eternal life in the presence of God. Nothing can ever secure an eternal hope except a vibrant relationship with a loving, personal, faithful Savior and Redeemer.

Read Thru The Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Ezra  9  10          Titus  2

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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24.                          God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                 July 24, 2012

Good Morning!
WHY FOUR GOSPELS? Why did the Holy Spirit guide four men to record this story, from the appearance of the angels to Mary and Joseph, even unto our Lord’s death, resurrection, and ascension into heaven? Let us look into it for a few days.

THE FOUR-FOLD PORTRAIT OF CHRIST:
John 21:25. “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.”

No painting, no canvas, no word of tongue or pen could fully paint the portrait of the Lord Jesus Christ; yet the four Gospels give us glimpses of that portrait from four different angles, as it were. When a man has his photograph taken, he has a front view, possibly a profile, any number of different poses. All present a picture of the same person; yet no one is exactly like the other view. This but faintly illustrates how the four Gospels give us a four-fold portrait of the “Man, Christ Jesus.” Each has a different purpose and design; yet all tell of the matchless Person and mighty work of the Savior of sinners.

If one Gospel story did not suffice, why were two not enough? If more than two, why not a dozen or a score? Why has the Holy Spirit given to us these four records of the sayings and doings of our Lord on earth, no more and no less? There must be some reason for this, a reason that has a vital bearing upon the Person and work of our Lord.

Why is so much of His early life not written? Why do we not have a complete biography of Christ’s life on earth? The answer is that the Holy Spirit had a purpose in what He omitted, as well as in what He recorded. If man had written the story of such a life, he would have done it differently. Thus the very nature of the four Gospels, presents one of the clear marks of inspiration by the Holy Spirit of God. The Divine Author had a special purpose, a definite design, in each of these inspired records — a purpose and a design that become clear as noonday, once we let Him teach us this sacred story.

Two of these men chosen to write Jesus’ story were very close followers of his, Matthew, and John, another, Mark, was probably well acquainted with him, but one, Luke probably never met Him and entered the Bible story 15 years or more after His ascension, yet leaves us the only details of His early life.

Read Thru The Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Nehemiah  1   2            Titus   3       Psalm  103 

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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 25.                        God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                July 25, 2012

Good Morning!
Jesus Christ is most written about figure in human history, yet God only chose four men to authenticate His life and it seems that so much is left out. I would like to have had a moment by moment account, or even a day by day account.

FOUR GOSPELS, THE FOUR-FOLD PORTRAIT OF CHRIST:
John 21:24. “This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true.”

As we read Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, we wonder why practically all of Christ’s life on earth, from His infancy to the beginning of His public ministry at the age of thirty, is passed over by the Spirit of God? Only Luke tells us a single incident of this period, that of the Boy Jesus in the temple at the age of twelve, “sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions” (Luke 2:46). Then, following this story, Luke adds that “. . . he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them . . . And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man” (Luke 2:51, 52). This is the only glimpse we have of the childhood of our Lord on earth, after His return from Egypt with Joseph and Mary.

We know that He worked with Joseph in the carpenter’s shop. We know that, after Jesus was born, Mary and Joseph had four sons and some daughters (Matthew 13:55, 56; Mark 6:3). We like to think of what a wonderful Child the Boy Jesus was in that humble home — never a cross word, never a selfish deed, never a disobedient act! He was without sin; and therefore, He did no wrong! But why did the Holy Spirit not tell us of these things? Why do we not have a complete biography of Christ’s life on earth, not even in all four of the Gospels put together? That we have only a few of the many words and deeds of the Lord, John states definitely in the closing verse of his record: (John 21:25). John wrote about fewer that 20 days of it.

Why do we not have a complete biography of Christ’s life on earth? The answer is that the Holy Spirit had a purpose in what He omitted, as well as in what He recorded. If man had written the story of such a life, he would have done it differently. Thus the very nature of the four Gospels, presents one of the clear marks of inspiration by the Holy Spirit of God. The Divine Author had a special purpose, a definite design, in each of these inspired records — a purpose and a design that become clear as noonday, once we let Him teach us this sacred story.

Read Thru The Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Nehemiah  3   4     Philemon  1 

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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26.                        God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                               July 26, 2012

Good Morning!
This four-fold picture of our Lord is the unveiling of a four-fold prophetic portrait of Him who was to come, as set forth in the Old Testament.

FOUR GOSPELS, THE FOUR-FOLD PORTRAIT OF CHRIST:
Jeremiah 23:5. “Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. 6. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.”

We are told that more than three hundred definite prophecies of Jesus’ first coming into the world are to be found in the Hebrew Old Testament; and these may well be grouped under four official titles for the Son of God who came to redeem lost humanity. And let us never forget that all these minute prophecies were written in God’s Word hundreds of years before Christ was born in Bethlehem, in order that the world might recognize in Jesus of Nazareth the eternal Son of the eternal God.

Now these are the four official titles, found in the Old Testament concerning the promised Redeemer, of whom the four Gospels speak:
1. “A righteous Branch . . . A KING” (Jeremiah 23:5).
2. “MY SERVANT the Branch” (Zechariah 3:8).
3. “THE MAN whose name is the Branch” (Zechariah 6:12).
4. “The Branch of THE LORD . . . beautiful and glorious” (Isaiah 4:2).

These four official titles of our Lord might well be written over each of the four Gospels, respectively: - Matthew presents Him as the King of Israel; - Mark, as the faithful Servant of the Lord; - Luke, as the perfect Son of Man; - John, as the eternal Son of God.

Of course, each of the four evangelists tells us all this and more about Jesus; but each emphasizes particularly the one aspect of His Person and work. In other words, Matthew most assuredly tells us that He was the faithful Servant of God, the sinless Son of Man, and the eternal God, as well as King of Israel; and in like manner the other three writers tell all these things and more.

Read Thru The Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Nehemiah   5   6        Hebrews  1         Psalm   104

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net
 

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27.                          God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion                   

Today’s First Thoughts                                 July 27, 2012

Good Morning!
A glimpse at the four men, chosen of God to write these Gospels, will show us that divine wisdom is manifested in the human instruments selected to paint this four-fold portrait of our Lord.

FOUR GOSPELS, THE FOUR-FOLD PORTRAIT OF CHRIST:
Matthew 9:9. “And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose, and followed him. 10. And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples. 11. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners? 12. But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.

Matthew was an official connected with the Roman Empire; he was, therefore, God’s choice of one to write of Jesus in His official connection with the rule of the heavens over this world in that day when His dominion shall be “from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth” (Psalm 72:8). Matthew was the only one of the four who occupied anything like an official position. He was a publican; that is, a tax-collector for Rome. He was despised by his fellow-Jews, because the nation of Israel hated the Roman who served Rome as unfaithful to Israel. And they despised any of the publicans. Matthew could write, from a heart filled with bitter experience, of the One who was “despised and rejected of men.”

Mark was not an apostle, but he was a servant of an apostle, one who ministered to the needs of others. He is known to us in Acts as John Mark, who served Paul and Barnabas. And in II Timothy 4:11 we read, from the words of Paul to Timothy, “Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry.”
It is fitting that Mark, one who served, should be selected to present Christ as the faithful Servant of the Lord.

Luke was “the beloved physician” (Colossians 4:14), a student of human nature and of the human body. Therefore, he could write with understanding about the human perfections and the sinless character of the Son of Man. He tells more about the beautiful, sacred story of our Lord’s virgin birth than does Matthew; Mark and John do not record the story of His birth, for very significant reasons. And Luke portrays the Lord as the sinless Savior of a fallen race.

Read Thru The Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Nehemiah  7   8         Hebrews   2

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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28.  29.                  God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                July 28 & 29, 2012

Good Morning!
It was not by chance that Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were chosen by the Holy Spirit for their God-given privilege and task of portraying the Person and work of the Lord! “Holy men wrote as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”

FOUR GOSPELS, THE FOUR-FOLD PORTRAIT OF CHRIST:
John 1:35. “Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples;
36. And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!
37. And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.”
There is no doubt that one of those two disciples of John the Baptist was John, the writer of the fourth Gospel, the other one was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. From this we learn that John, the beloved disciple, was one of the first followers of Jesus as he began His ministry. John, who seems to have lived nearest the Lord, who leaned “on Jesus’ bosom” (John 13:23; 21:20), was the Holy Spirit’s choice for putting on record the story of Him who, “in the bosom of the Father” (John 1:18), is the eternal Son of the eternal God. John was the disciple “whom Jesus loved.” And his portrayal of the Lord is beloved by all whose sins have been washed in the blood of Calvary’s Lamb.

Luke was “the beloved physician” (Colossians 4:14), a student of human nature and of the human body. Therefore, he could write with understanding about the human perfections and the sinless character of the Son of Man. He tells more about the beautiful, sacred story of our Lord’s virgin birth than does Matthew; Mark and John do not record the story of His birth, for very significant reasons. And Luke portrays the Lord as the sinless Savior of a fallen race.

It has been suggested that each of these four evangelists had in mind a certain people or class, who, in turn, were representative of the human race. Accordingly, - Matthew wrote particularly for the Jew; certainly there can be no doubt of that. - Mark, presenting Christ as the Servant of God, made a special appeal to the Roman type of mind, the people who exacted strict obedience to law and government. Luke, an educated man, with a world-wide vision, possibly had in mind the learned Greeks, Gentiles of every nation, the whole race of man, rather than the nation of Israel, to whom Matthew most assuredly wrote in particular.

Read Thru The Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Nehemiah   9  10       Hebrews   3    Psalm  105
Nehemiah 
11  12      Hebrews   4

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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30.                          God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                 July 30, 2012

Good Morning!
How immeasurable are the depths of the written Word of our living Lord. The more we study the sacred pages, the more their hidden treasures are unfolded before our eyes! None but God could have written such a Book. And the Person it portrays is none other than “God manifest in the flesh,” “Immanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us”!

FOUR GOSPELS, THE FOUR-FOLD PORTRAIT OF CHRIST:
Luke 1:1. “Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order adeclaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, 2. Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word; 3. It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, 4. That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.
THE PURPOSE OF THE FOUR GOSPELS: It is not our plan to attempt a detailed exposition of these four records — not at all. Rather, in all this series of devotions concerning the life of Christ on earth, we seek only to present a bird’s-eye-view of the writings of the four evangelists, not only to make plain the way of salvation, not only to exalt the Lord Jesus, but also to show the divine perfections of these inspired records, in that each portrays Christ in a manner in keeping with the purpose of the book. In other words, we want to keep ever before us in these lessons the question with which we entered upon this study, “Why four Gospels?” Why only four?

Luke tells us more of the story of the virgin birth of Christ than Matthew does; “the beloved physician” was presenting this sacred record from an entirely different view. He was picturing the sinless humanity of our Lord. John is presented the eternal Son of God, who has neither beginning nor end, who “in the beginning” was the Word, even very “God.” All John tells us about Bethlehem’s manger is that the eternal Word of God “was made flesh, and dwelt among us” (John 1:14).

The facts recorded in the first two chapters of Matthew are given nowhere else in the Bible; and the facts recorded in the first two chapters of Luke are found nowhere else in the Bible. Yet the two genealogies (Luke’s is recorded in chapter three) and the two stories of the nativity of our Lord dovetail into the most perfect, the most sublime, picture the world has ever seen — that of the eternal God’s coming down to be born among men — in a manger!

Read Thru The Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Nehemiah   13     Esther  1    Hebrews   5      Psalm  106

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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31.                          God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion                      

Today’s First Thoughts                                 July 31, 2012

Good Morning!
What an array of beautiful stories; yet all one sacred story of the coming into the world of Israel’s King and the world’s Savior. Nothing in all history can compare with it for majesty and beauty — nothing save the story of the cross and the empty tomb.

FOUR GOSPELS, THE FOUR-FOLD PORTRAIT OF CHRIST:
Mark 15:25. “And it was the third hour, and they crucified him.”

THE CROSS — IN ALL THE GOSPEL RECORDS: There are not many incidents in the life of Christ on earth which are recorded by all four evangelists. The feeding of the five thousand seems to be the only miracle performed before His death, and given by all four; and all of the evangelists tell of the ministry of John the Baptist and of his baptism of Jesus. But, in this connection, one thing is both significant and fundamental: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John — all four tell the story of the cross and the bodily resurrection of our Lord! That’s the most important event that was ever written about.

All four explain repeatedly and in no uncertain terms: - That He came into the world to die for sinners; - That He came and died and rose again in fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy; - That He received worship as very God, as in the case of Peter’s great confession; - That He rode into Jerusalem to offer Himself officially to Israel as her Messiah and King; - That He was betrayed by His “own familiar friend”; - That He was crucified on the Jewish Passover, because He Himself was the Paschal Lamb; - That He suffered in Gethsemane’s Garden and on the cross for a guilty world.

All four of the Gospel writers dwell much upon these facts, devoting whole chapters to the crucifixion and the bodily resurrection of our Lord. Then all four tell us that we are to be His witnesses, going into all the world to preach the Gospel to every creature, even as the Father sent His Son to die for us.

Read Thru The Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Esther  2   3         Hebrews  6

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

 

             

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