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January 2013

God's Grazingfield Devotions January 2013

Karen's Backyard In Winter

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1.                           God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

 Today’s First Thoughts                                      January 1, 2013

Good Morning!
In the first few days of this New Year we want to look into a little book which is not well known to many, even to those who read their Bible daily. The writer of the book of Lamentations is believed to be Jeremiah, known as the “Weeping Prophet.”

GREAT IS THY FAITHFULNESS:
Lamentations 3:22. “It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
23. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.”

The book of Lamentations is a series of funeral dirges, or songs of mourning, that were written against the backdrop of the Babylonian invasion and destruction of Jerusalem.  In the verses of this book, we can see the awful sufferings endured by the people of that city at the hand of their enemies.  Still, even in the midst of all the pain and the turmoil, God had His man in Jerusalem to record the events and to bring honor to His Name. A study of Jeremiah’s life reveals a portrait of unending sadness and deep depression.  Allow me to give you some of the background for this precious man of God.

1.  He received an unwanted call to minister (Jeremiah 1:5-6.)

2.  Called to a ministry of preaching nothing but judgment (Jeremiah 1:9-10).

3.  He was forbidden to marry so that he might give himself more fully to his ministry of proclaiming the impending judgment of God (Jeremiah 16:1-13).  As a result he was very familiar with loneliness.

4.  He was a man of deep sadness and he wept openly about the sins of his people (Jeremiah 9:1).

5.  He endured depression as the result of his message going unheeded for so long.  He even came to the point where he tried to get out of the ministry, (Jeremiah 20:9).  His pain is understandable, because in a ministry that spanned some 50 years, there is no record of even one convert.

6. He suffered imprisonment by King Zedekiah because the king did not approve of Jeremiah’s preaching (Jeremiah 32:5).  Even while the Babylonians are invading the city in fulfillment of his prophet declarations, Jeremiah is sitting in the dungeon (Jeremiah 32:2).

7. After Jerusalem falls and many have been killed or taken captive, the prophet does not gloat or take an “I told you so.” Instead, he becomes broken with the remnant and enters into suffering with them (Lamentations 1-5).

Read-Thru-The-Bible

Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Genesis  1  2      Matthew 1       Psalm  1

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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2.                              God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

 Today’s First Thoughts                                          January 2, 2013

 Good Morning!
Jerusalem has been completely destroyed and in the Book Of Lamentations the Weeping Prophet surveys the horror that his beloved city has gone through yet he holds out hope for the city and the people to be restored because God is Merciful.

GREAT IS THY FAITHFULNESS:
Lamentations 3:22. “It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
23. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.”

Yesterday we described some of the awful trials and tribulations that Jeremiah suffered for many years. Yet after enduring a life like this; after being rejected, hated, mocked, imprisoned, ignored; after seeing his beloved Jerusalem ransacked, desecrated and destroyed; after experiencing the horror of war, the brutality of the enemy and the pangs of hunger, Jeremiah was still able to stand forth amid the rubble of the city and the bodies of the dead and lift his voice in praise to God for His great, unfailing faithfulness to His people. 

How was this possible?  Despite his trials and his troubles, Jeremiah had gotten a good grasp on the reality of just Who God is!  Jeremiah knew that whether things went well, or whether everything fell apart, God would still be God and that God would be eternally faithful to His people, (Lamentations 3:21).  Jeremiah was still able to find hope in a hopeless situation because he believed in the faithfulness of His great God. “This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.”

Like Jeremiah, we all go through times when life seems to fall apart at the seams.  When these times come we also need the blessed assurance that God is faithful!  Thankfully the Bible gives overwhelming evidence of the unchanging faithfulness of our great God. There are three words in this passage we want to look at, “Mercy,” “Compassion,” and “Faithfulness.”

Let us look at the word “Faithfulness” in Lamentations 3:23. This is a word which means “firmness, fidelity, steadiness, steadfastness.”  This word pictures God as One upon whom we can depend.  We can be sure that as we face the storms, trials and valleys of life, God will ever prove Himself to be steadfast and faithful to you and me.  To put it very simply, you can count on the Lord!

Read-Thru-The-Bible

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

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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3.                         God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                         January 3, 2013

Good Morning!
When others turn their backs on you and when their love grows cold and empty, God will still be there to love you, He will never stop or change in His love for you.

A LESSON ABOT LOVE:
Lamentations 3:22a. “It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed.”

MERCIES: This word is translated “loving-kindness” over 30 times in the Old Testament.  It is a very expressive word that conveys all the ideas of “love, grace, mercy, faithfulness, goodness and devotion.”  This word pictures God as the Divine lover of men.  It finds its New Testament equivalent in the word agape (The love portrayed in John 3:16).   Regardless of what we face as we go through this life, we must ever remember that God loves us unceasingly and perfectly through them all!  Notice 3 quick thoughts about the love of God for you and me.

A.  The Scope Of God’s Love: John 3:16 “For God so loved the world;” Romans 5:6  “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.”  No one is beyond the reach of the love of God Almighty. (Ephesians 2:1 “-And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;”4).  Regardless of how you may feel at any given moment of life, God does love you and He will always love you.  He loves as no other can, or as no other will!

B.  The Strength Of God’s Love: Jeremiah 31:3 “Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn thee.” Rom. 8:38-39.  God’s love for man is a love that knows no boundaries.  He loves us constantly and completely.  It is a love that can never be broken by us or by Himself.  His love is boundless and eternal.  Never forget the awesome truth that God loves you!  !

C.  The Source Of God’s Love: 1 John 4:8b “for God is love.” By His very nature, God is love.  Everything that happens in your life and in mine is an expression of His great love for you and me.  That is why we can quote Romans 8:28 with blessed assurance, because no matter what happens to me or to you, it is a product of the great love of God for us.  We must always remember that nothing happens in your life or mine that does not first pass through the filter of God’s love and of His will for our lives Isaiah 45:7, “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.”

Read-Thru-The-Bible

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

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

 
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4.                             God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                            January 4, 2013

Good Morning!
You’ll never face a situation as a believer that God will not give grace to help you make it through.

A LESSON ABOUT LIFE:
Lamentations 3:22b. “We are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.”

COMPASSION: “Sympathy for the suffering of others, including a desire to help.” In Mark 6:32-44 Jesus and his disciples were in a desert place and thousands of people came out to Him, “And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them.” On this incident Jesus used miraculous power to fed the multitude. This is a word that literally means “to be moved in the heart out of love for another.”  This word is a picture of the grace of God in the life of the believer.  You see, as we pass through our storms and our valleys, we do not do so alone!  God observes our path and gives grace for the journey.  There are 2 thoughts given here about the grace of God that we need to learn and remember as we go through life.

God’s Grace Is Sufficient: The great Apostle and the thorn in the flesh.  God did not promise an easier road, but He promised that His grace would be sufficient for the need. 2 Corinthians 12:9 “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.”

Grace is usually defined as “The unmerited love and favor of God toward sinners.”  It carries that idea, but this is a word that changed with the growth of the church.  It came to refer to the strength that God gives to face battles and to bear up under times of difficulty.  With this in mind, we should always remember that regardless of what life sends our way, we can be confident of the fact that the Lord will give us the necessary strength to face the trying times of life. 

Notice the promise given in Isaiah 43:1 “But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. 2 When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.” This is an eternal promise to the believer. Great is the faith that can stand amid the wreckage of life and declare the praises of God.  Jeremiah was that kind of a believer.  Are you?

Read-Thru-The-Bible

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

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net


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5. 6.                              God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                      January 5 &6 2013

Good Morning!
If you look to God for the needs in your life, you will never be disappointed.

GOD IS MY SUSTAINER:
Lamentations 3:24. “The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. 25. The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.

God is described as the soul’s “portion.”  This word means “share or booty.”  It refers to “the spoils of war.”  Jeremiah is saying, “In the battle of life, God is my reward, my share, and my portion.”  When the Lord is viewed in this light, He will be all that a person needs to be satisfied in their soul, Psa. 103:5; Psa. 107:9. God may not give you and me the things we desire in life; but He will always give us that which is best, and He will give us that which will satisfy the soul, Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

God will never fail those who place their trust in Him, Isaiah 49:23; Romans 10:11.  Not a single Word of any of His precious promises will ever fail to be honored by Him, Psalm 119:89 “For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. 90 Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: thou hast established the earth, and it abideth.”

If you come to Him for salvation, He will not send you away lost, John 6:37b “and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.”  If you trust Him for salvation, He will never send you away into Hell, John 10:28 “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.”  

God will sustain you through this life and into eternity. Luke 12:32 “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” I would like to remind you that God knows where you are today.  He knows what you are going through, Job 23:10 “But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” He will not forsake you, but He will faithfully keep you and bring you out, in His time, Psalm 34:15-22. If you are lost, it may look like you are doomed, with no hope.  I would like to tell you that God can save your soul by His marvelous grace, if you will but look to Him by faith.  If you will stop trusting yourself, your religion and your own goodness; and if you will come to God confessing your sins and calling on Jesus for salvation, God will save your soul.

Read-Thru-The-Bible

Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Genesis   9  10        Matthew  5          Psalm  3 
Genesis  11  12       Matthew  6 

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

 
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7.                            God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                         January 7, 2013

Good Morning!
We want to look into the Book of Joshua for a few devotions and discover some parallels in our own life which I feel will strengthen us for the days ahead.

CANAAN LAND IS JUST IN SIGHT:
Joshua 1:1. “Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' minister, saying,
2. Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel.”

The journey has been long, 40 years the Children of Israel had journeyed, mostly round and round in that vast “terrible wilderness” (Deuteronomy 1:19), now they once again are in sight of the Promised Land. Miriam, the little girl who stood on the banks of the Nile when her little brother was set afloat in a little basket, and later took a tambourine  led the people in singing when they stood on the other side of the Red sea after Pharaoh’s army were drowned, is dead after nearly 130 years of service. Aaron her brother, who was chosen by God to be the first High Priest, is also dead. And her other brother, Moses, whom she watched over 120 years ago, and who had been the greatest of God’s leaders, had also been put to rest with the angels as pallbearers.

In fact all who had left Egypt, who were over twenty years old, were dead, except two, Caleb and Joshua. Now, in our reading, a new congregation is standing looking over the Jordan River into the Promise Land. Thirty or forty years ago the front rows of our Church were filled with people who sacrificed much of their lives both with their time and finances, to make the Church what it is today. One by one we have seen most all of them pass on to a better land, one of eternal bliss. Those are the ones who used to look away, with eyes closed, to that Promised Land every time they sung about heaven, now they are enjoying that wonderful land. Many, or most, of them never had much to look forward to in this life, but what glory is theirs now.

After the death of Moses, Joshua was called to lead this vast new nation into the place where God had called them to go. Today our congregation stands on the threshold, looking over and ready to conquer and inhabit this land they have heard about. It is my prayer that, through the preaching of the Word of God, we will witness The Dawning Of A New Day in our lives as individuals and in our Church.

Read-Thru-The-Bible

Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Genesis  13  14      Matthew  7     Psalm  4

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net


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 8.                               God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                         January 8, 2013

Good Morning!
We are not out for a day in the park! We are not on a playground; we are on a battleground!

COURAGE FOR CAANAN LAND:
Joshua 1:9. “Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.”

In our age, there are many misunderstandings surrounding the Christian life. A trip to the local Bible bookstore bears this out. The shelves are lined with books that claim to be able to teach us how to make the Christian life easier for the believer and the church more acceptable to the world. TV evangelists make it seem so easy to live for Jesus. The truth of the matter is that there is nothing easy or acceptable about the Christian life. It is not always easy to live for Jesus. The Gospel of Jesus Christ will never be acceptable to the world. We are on a battleground!

We are engaged in warfare with a spiritual enemy who is far more powerful than we are, Ephesians 6:12, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” In our own strength, we cannot defeat our enemies! The good new is this: our enemies are nowhere near as powerful as our God. 1 John 4:4b, “…because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.”  Thus, even in the midst of our battles, there is always hope for victory. Romans 8:31, “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:37, “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.”

 In fact, the Bible tells us that we are the recipients of victory through the Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:57 “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” While we are engaged in the battle with evil, there is the expectation that we can and will walk in victory in our lives. For me, this is what the book of Joshua represents. In the first 9 verses of the Book of Joshua God gave to Joshua the required ingredients for total victory. “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.”

Read-Thru-The-Bible

Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Genesis  15  16       Matthew  8

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net


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9.                              God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                          January 9, 2013

Good Morning!
The book of Joshua is about the battles Israel faced in order to claim that promise from God. Joshua is a book about warfare, painful defeats, suffering and great victories. It is a book that has much to teach the modern Christian about obtaining spiritual victory in our lives.

A CALL TO CLAIM THE LAND:
Joshua 1:2. “Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel. 3. Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses. 4. From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast.”

We like to sing songs about Canaan Land and we seem to have the idea that Canaan Land refers to Heaven. Nothing could be farther from the truth. When we get to Heaven, there will be no more wars, there will be no more enemies, there will be no more suffering or death, and there will be no more sin. All of these are present in the book of Joshua and are dealt with in its pages. No, Canaan Land is not Heaven. It is a picture of the victorious Christian that is available to every child of God and every church today! It is a picture of victory in the midst of struggle.

As we journey through this powerful, special book I want to take the time to visit a few mountaintops that we find along the way. My goal is to help you to stop wandering around in the wilderness and to enter into your Canaan Land of spiritual victory. It is my desire to help our Church move past the pain and problems of the wilderness into the peace and power of the Lord’s rest. It is my prayer that, through the preaching of the Word of God, we will witness The Dawning Of A New Day in our lives as individuals and in our church. God has called us to claim the land.

This first chapter serves as something of an introduction to the book. I would like for you to read carefully what the Lord has to say to Joshua concerning the land of Canaan and about how to claim it. The first few verses will help us to understand what it takes to go from wandering around in a wilderness of defeat to living in a land of victory. There are some truths here that we need to understand today as we look at the thought of occupying the land.

Read-Thru-The-Bible

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

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net


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10.                               God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                          January 10, 2013

Good Morning!
And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land:

GOD HAS GIVEN US THE LAND, WE MUST OCCUPY IT:
Joshua 1:2. “Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel.”

In these verses, Joshua is reminded that the Lord has already given the land of Canaan to the children of Israel. Moses, the man of God is dead, but the work of God goes on. Never think for a minute that God can’t make it without you. Joshua is commanded to lead the people into Canaan to claim the land that they had been promised by the Lord. This was the very first promise that God gave to Abraham (Genesis 12:7), and the promises were reaffirmed to every succeeding generation of the nation of Israel. The land was indeed their land! There was no need for them to continue wandering around in the wilderness. They had a land; all they had to do was claim it.

We look around us and we see Christians who are defeated; who struggle with sins; and who for all intents and purposes are wandering around in a spiritual wilderness. It does not have to be that way. God has a place of victory and He has promised us that we can live in that place of peace and blessing. I believe with all my heart that God did not save you to see you defeated. Most of the time, we are defeated because we refuse to walk in victory. I believe there is a place of conquest for every child of God today that we can claim for our own and these next few verses tell us what we need to remember as we set out to claim our Canaan.

By the way, the land God gave to Israel was about 300,000 square miles. They only claimed about 30,000 square miles of that. Of course, they were not limited to the 300,000. They were given as much as they were willing to claim, v. 3. The extent of their victory was only limited by their faith, and they only occupied 10 percent of it. The same is true with us. We live far below the mountain top experience.

1 John 5:14-15, “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.”

Read-Thru-The-Bible

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

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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11.                              God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                           January 11, 2013

Good Morning!
The Lord tells Joshua that if he is to lead the people of God to rest in Canaan, then he must take heed to the Law of God.

A CALL TO CARRY OUT THE LAW:
Joshua 1:7. “Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. 8. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

Remembering the Law is an essential step to entering our Canaan as well. Notice what the Lord said to Joshua about the Law and how this applies to our lives today.

1.  v. 7 He was to keep the Law – He was to do everything the Law said to do, not turning from it the least little bit.

2.  v. 8 He was to meditate on the Law – Day and night, his mind was to be occupied with the Law. He was to love it and let it fill his heart and mind. This was in order that his life might be centered in the Law and therefore in the will of God!

3.  v. 7, 8 He was to prosper by honoring the Law – God’s promise to Joshua was that if he lived his life around the Law of God, God would prosper him in everything he did and that God would make him very successful.

There is a lesson in this for us today. I thank the Lord that we are not under the Old Testament Laws today I praise Him that we are under grace. Having said that, I would like to say that many in our day have concluded that since we are no longer under the Law, that they are free to do anything they please. I want to remind you that such an attitude is dangerous and is guaranteed to bring you to ruin. If you want to live in Christian victory today, you too must develope a love for the Word of God. Just as Joshua was commanded to honor the Law, we are commanded to honor and keep the Book of God. Do you have a time set aside each day when you go to the Word of God and feed therein? If not, your spiritual life will be weak and ineffective. If so, you are well on your way to claiming your Canaan and entering into your spiritual victory.

Read-Thru-The-Bible

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

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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 12. 13.                         God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                  January 12 & 13, 2013

Good Morning!
Joshua receives his challenge from the Lord (Joshua 1:1-9), and without hesitation, he goes to the people and tells them that the time has come to take their land.

JOSHUA PREPARES THE PEOPLE TO PASS OVER JORDAN:
Joshua 1:10. “Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people, saying,
11. Pass through the host, and command the people, saying, Prepare you victuals; for within three days ye shall pass over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land, which the LORD your God giveth you to possess it.”

Joshua tells the people to get ready to go into Canaan and claim the land. These were the words they had been living for 40 years to hear. However, before they could go in, they had to get ready. God told them to prepare them some food. The manna was about to stop. God had told them that He would give them manna while they were in the desert, but it would cease when they entered the Promised Land (Exodus 16:35). The manna was desert diet, now they were about to move up to something a whole lot better. They were going to a land flowing with milk and honey. What had worked in the wilderness would not suffice in the land of blessing.

Before we can enter our Canaan, we have to make the proper preparations. The way we live must change. The things we feed on must change. Our priorities and passions must be brought in line with the will of God. The entire scope of our lives must be altered to adjust to living differently than the world around us. This is why so many never enjoy the victorious Christian life. They simply refuse to make the necessary changes to adjust to living in spiritual victory.

The fact is, if you expect to walk in victory, you will have to learn to walk by an entirely new set of rules. Paul tells us in Romans 6:4, “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, we also should walk in newness of life.”  And again he exhorts us in Colossians 3:1. “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.”

Today let us put the wilderness behind us and make all preparations to enter into a new life with Christ Jesus.

Read-Thru-The-Bible

Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Genesis  23  24        Matthew  12
Genesis  25  26        Matthew  13     Psalm  7

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

 
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 14.                              God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

 Today’s First Thoughts                                          January 14, 2013

Good Morning!
If you refuse to line up with the will of God in your life, then you can be assured of the fact that one day, you will fall.

A CHALLENGE TO RESPONSIBILITY:
Joshua 1:12. “And to the Reubenites, and to the Gadites, and to half the tribe of Manasseh, spake Joshua, saying, 13. Remember the word which Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, saying, The LORD your God hath given you rest, and hath given you this land. 14. Your wives, your little ones, and your cattle, shall remain in the land which Moses gave you on this side Jordan; but ye shall pass before your brethren armed, all the mighty men of valour, and help them; 15. Until the LORD have given your brethren rest, as he hath given you, and they also have possessed the land which the LORD your God giveth them: then ye shall return unto the land of your possession, and enjoy it, which Moses the LORD'S servant gave you on this side Jordan toward the sunrising.

Here Joshua addresses the tribes of Reuben, Gad and that half tribe of Manasseh. These tribes had sought, and gotten, permission from Moses to remain East of the Jordan, just outside the Promised Land. Why did they make this request? The land east of Jordan was a land that was good for raising cattle (Numbers 32:1). These people are challenged to remember their promise and to aid the nation until victory was secured. While these people settled in a land of prosperity, they were also in a land of danger. These tribes were the first to go away into captivity several years later, when the Assyrian army attacked Israel from the East.

There is a very powerful lesson for us in these verses. We have legions of Christians who are just like these 2 ½ tribes. They are more concerned about making a living than they are about eternal life. The primary thing that motivates them is getting ahead in life. In other words, they are materially minded, not spiritually minded. When the enemies of Israel attacked from the East, the tribes who lived East of Jordan were the first to fall. The same is true of those Christians who refuse to go all the way in their commitment to the Lord. They are usually the first to fall in times of attack and temptation.

If we really love God, we need to make up our minds to cross on over into the place of victory the Lord has prepared for us! Make the decision today to leave behind anything that is holding you back from serving God like you should.

Read-Thru-The-Bible

Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Genesis  27  28        Matthew  14

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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15.                              God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                         January 15, 2013

Good Morning!
None of us like to be told what to do. May I remind you that every single child of God is a servant or slave to either the Lord or Satan.

THEY PLEDGE ALLEGANCE:
Joshua 1:16. “And they answered Joshua, saying, All that thou commandest us we will do, and whithersoever thou sendest us, we will go.”

They Commit To A Life Of Surrender: These people make their stand with the Lord. They promise absolute obedience and surrender to the will of God. This is the only way spiritual victory will come to any life. There must be total and absolute surrender of every area of life to the will of God and to His divine leadership. Anything less hinders the work of God in your life and mine. What are you holding back from the Lord today? Canaan is only for those who are subject to the will of God.

They Commit To A Life Of Submission: These men also promised to follow the leadership of God’s man. Just as they had followed Moses, they committed themselves to following Joshua. I believe that there is a certain amount of authority invested in the pastoral office, and that the people of God ought to follow the man of God as he follows God’s will for the church, yet there is a higher authority that every person must acknowledge. We are to submit to the leadership of God. Too often, we rebel against anything that seems like authority in our lives. Your entire duty could be summed up in one word: Submit.

They Commit To A Life Of Separation: Finally, the people commit themselves to separating from those in their midst who refused to comply with the commandments of the Lord. And, their separation was so strong that they vowed to put to death anyone who rebelled against the leadership of Joshua. These people knew that allowing rebellion in their midst was a sure way to guarantee defeat. I challenge you to make a complete surrender to God today.

We should separate ourselves from anything that would prevent us from achieving victory in our lives. It may be that certain people that have to go. It may be that certain activities have to be cut out of our lives. We may need to consider the way we dress, the way we talk, the things we watch and do, where we work, how we think or in any other area of life. If it is a hindrance to your entering into your Canaan, then it must go,

Read-Thru-The-Bible

Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Genesis  29  30          Matthew  15      Psalm  8

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net


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 16.                             God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

 Today’s First Thoughts                                         January 16, 2013

 Good Morning!
When you put Christ on the throne of your heart, your whole life is transformed as well.

GOD CHANGED RAHAB’S LIFE:
Joshua 2:1. “And Joshua the son of Nun sent out of Shittim two men to spy secretly, saying, Go view the land, even Jericho. And they went, and came into an harlot's house, named Rahab, and lodged there.”

When we read these stories in the Bible we are amazed at how God works to direct things and events to accomplish His purpose. Rahab’s house would have been the last place we would expect the men of God to seek shelter due to her obvious sins.

Rahab is a demonstration of the power of God to transform lives. What I want you to see from this text is how the Lord takes sinners who will place their faith in Him and completely changes them by His power. Listen to the facts that present themselves in this passage. As you do, if you are saved you should rejoice in the great change Jesus has made in your life. If you are not saved, listen to what the Lord did for Rahab, and consider coming to Jesus Christ that you might be saved and changed by His power.

Rahab Was A Doomed Sinner: She lived in a city that had already been selected for destruction, (Deuteronomy 20:16-18). God had already determined that Jericho would fall. Every lost sinner is in the same situation! The lost person may feel secure today and may not believe that there is any danger. The Bible tells us that the lost are condemned already, (John 3:18). It tells us that they abide under the wrath of God, (John 3:36). It tells us that their ultimate destiny is eternity in Hell to be forever separated from the presence of God, (Psalm 9:17; 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9). If you are lost, that is your future we are talking about

Stop for a moment and think about all that Rahab did not have. She did not have a Bible. She did not have a church. She had never met a missionary. She had never heard a Gospel sermon, sung a Gospel song, or read a Gospel tract. She was living in the heart of a pagan city, living a wicked life with no knowledge of God. But, God in His grace opened her heart and allowed her to hear something about Him. She believed what she heard and she was saved.

Read-Thru-The-Bible

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

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net


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17.                              God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

 Today’s First Thoughts                                           January 17, 2013

Good Morning!
When Rahab came to faith in God, her life was forever transformed. What God did in her is a miracle of His love and grace. What He did for Rahab, He can do for you.

RAHAB’S CONFESSION OF FAITH:
Joshua 2:11b. “for the LORD your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath.”
James 2:25. “Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?”

James uses her as an example of the believer who proves their salvation by the works of their life, James 2:25. It is worthy to note that James elevates the faith of Rahab to the level of that of Abraham. The message here is that it doesn’t matter if you are the Father of the Faithful like Abraham, or a poor harlot like Rahab, the Lord loves you and He will save you regardless of who you are. God calls and saves people from both ends of the spectrum of life.

The two spies Joshua sent into the city found lodging in Rahab’s house which was built into the wall. She hid them from the authorities on a promise that the Israelites would spare her and her family. The spies agreed and instructed her to hang a scarlet cord in her window as a sign for them. She then lowered them with a rope so that they could escape. By this act of faith in the promise Rahab’s house did not fall when the walls came down even though it was built into the wall.

Imagine Rahab’s plea with her family to join her in her house because they would be saved if they were in her house when the city was destroyed. At first it may have seemed like an idle promise, but at her insistence they came and were saved from destruction. The same goes for us we need to urge, yea beg, our families to join us in following the Lord that they may be saved in the time of the coming of the Lord.

It also is possible that God showed His mercy to her to the point that she became an ancestor of David and also of Jesus? Matthew 1:5 (KJV) we have the name Rachab, which many Bibles and commentaries pronounce Rahab. Her family was saved and was incorporated into the Israelite community according to Joshua 6:25. God is merciful and benevolent showing kindness and goodwill to many that were outside the Abrahamic covenant. We know that He showed mercy and kindness to a Moabite girl by the name of Ruth who also became an ancestor of David and Jesus.

Read-Thru-The-Bible

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

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net


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18.                             God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                             January 18, 2013

Good Morning!
Because Rahab placed her faith in the Lord God of Israel, she obtained some precious possessions. Notice how God took this former harlot and blessed her new life with the richest of His blessings.

RAHAB GOT SOME NEW RELATIVES:
Joshua 6:22. “But Joshua had said unto the two men that had spied out the country, Go into the harlot's house, and bring out thence the woman, and all that she hath, as ye sware unto her. 23. And the young men that were spies went in, and brought out Rahab, and her father, and her mother, and her brethren, and all that she had; and they brought out all her kindred, and left them without the camp of Israel.

Because of her faith Rahab was spared from the destruction that overtook her city. All those in her house were spared as well! When the walls of Jericho fell down, there was apparently one section that remained standing. It was the section that held the house of Rahab. It was a place that was marked by a line of scarlet thread that hung from her window.

What a picture is given here. When a new believer places his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, he is immediately delivered from the penalty of his sins, which is Hell. He finds a new freedom in Jesus that allows him to live while others all around him perish. Just as a scarlet rope, marked Rahab’s home the blood of Jesus marks us as belonging to the Lord. Romans 5:9 “Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.”  Just as Israel in Egypt was saved by the blood of the Passover lamb, Ex. 12. Thank God for the blood of Jesus

Joshua 6:25; Matthew 1:5; Ruth 4:21, She Got New Relatives. When all these verses are taken together, we have the rest of the story concerning Rahab. She married into the people of Israel and became part of all the covenant blessings of the Lord. She went from being part of condemned nation to being part of a holy nation. The point is, while the rest of Rahab’s neighbors died in the war, Rahab lived and went to a wedding. One of these days, you and I, people who deserve nothing but judgment and death are going to be the honored guests at a wedding in the sky, Revelation 19:7-9. When we got saved, we became part of a new family (1 John 3:2).

It’s plain to see that God changed Rahab’s life. What about you? Are you saved?

Read-Thru-The-Bible

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

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net


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19. 20.                           God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                 January 19 & 20, 2013

Good Morning!
There are some strategies that we must implement if we are going to move past the Jordans in our life that stand between spiritual victory and us.

GETTING PAST YOUR JORDAN:
Joshua 3:15. “And as they that bare the ark were come unto Jordan, and the feet of the priests that bare the ark were dipped in the brim of the water, (for Jordan overfloweth all his banks all the time of harvest,) 16. That the waters which came down from above stood and rose up upon an heap very far from the city Adam,”

The years of wrath and death have now expired and the children of Israel are poised to enter into Canaan. They are ready to claim their inheritance in the land of promise. Before they can enter Canaan, they must first get past one final, major obstacle: the Jordan River. Normally, this would not have presented much of a problem, since the Jordan was only about 100 feet wide at Gilgal where they crossed. God brought them to the Jordan River at the time of harvest. Those who have been there during the harvest time relate that the Jordan River swells to an impassable width of over 1 mile. It was over 50 times wider than it normally would have been when Israel arrived. There was no way they could cross this river on their own. They needed supernatural help. It seems that God always does things in such a way that no man can boast of having done them on their own. This crossing would be no exception.

Every person faces his or her own Jordan from time to time. We deal with obstacles that would hinder us from obtaining spiritual victory in our lives. We may feel that we will never be able to enter our Canaan of victory and enjoy the abundant life that Jesus promised His followers. While it is true that I do not know what kind of obstacles that you face in your life; I do know a God who specializes in overcoming the overwhelming and in leading His children to victory.

When they saw the Ark of the Covenant move, they were to “leave your place, and go after it” Not only were they to watch God, they were to move when He did. They were to pursue God. This may require us to leave our comfort zone. Israel was about to follow the Ark through a river that was over 1 mile wide! That couldn’t have been easy. Following God may not be the easiest thing you will ever do, but it will be the best thing you ever do. If you ever expect to get past your obstacles and enter your Canaan, you must learn to follow God.

Read-Thru-The-Bible

Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Genesis   37  38      Matthew   19   Psalm  10 
Genesis   39  40      Matthew   20

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net


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 21.                             God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                          January 21, 2013

Good Morning!
Forty years before the Children of Israel had stood on the shore of Red Sea and God had opened a passage by which they escaped out of Egypt, now God was going to open a passage through the swollen Jordan River for them.

A MIRACLE AT THE JORDAN:
Joshua 3:15. “And as they that bare the ark were come unto Jordan, and the feet of the priests that bare the ark were dipped in the brim of the water, (for Jordan overfloweth all his banks all the time of harvest,) 16. That the waters which came down from above stood and rose up upon an heap very far from the city Adam, that is beside Zaretan: and those that came down toward the sea of the plain, even the salt sea, failed, and were cut off: and the people passed over right against Jericho.

The children of Israel were facing a big problem. The river was over 1 mile wide and there were 2 to 3 million people who had to cross, along with all their animals and baggage, and yet the Lord wanted them to go over. They couldn’t build a bridge; there wasn’t enough time or materials. They couldn’t transport everyone over in boats, there were no boats and they would have been sitting ducks for their enemies. There was only one way around their problem and that was through it. Have you ever sized up your Jordan and thought about how big it was? Maybe you looked at it and concluded, “There is no way around, through, over or past this problem.”

Many times we have sized up our problem and think that it is more than we can ever face. Our problem was the same one we always have when we face a difficult situation: we forget about God. Where we see only problems, God sees only solutions. Where we look at things and say, “There’s no way!” God looks at the problem and says, “Follow me, I have a plan!”

Just think how much faith it took for the priests who carried the Ark Of The Covenant to step off into that fast flowing stream of water. But before their feet got good and wet the stream began to stop flowing and build up into a wall of water. Think also how much faith it took for three millions people to walk through the Jordan with the water piled higher that the trees in the background with nothing, seemingly, to hold it back.  If we expect to get past our Jordan we must step into the stream by faith. Our God was ABLE all the way through the Bible, and He is still ABLE today. Regardless of the circumstances, He is still God and He still can.

Read-Thru-The-Bible

Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Genesis  41  42         Matthew  21       Psalm  11

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net


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22.                          God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

 Today’s First Thoughts                                         January 22, 2013

Good Morning!
When all the people had passed over Jordan, Joshua commanded one man from each of the 12 tribes to get a stone from the midst of Jordan and build a memorial on the Canaan side. Remember which side of the Jordan it was set up. We also need to set up a memorial after a spiritual victory. Be sure to set it up on the victory side.

A MEMORIAL WAS SET UP:
Joshua 4:20. “And those twelve stones, which they took out of Jordan, did Joshua pitch in Gilgal. 21. And he spake unto the children of Israel, saying, When your children shall ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean these stones? 22. Then ye shall let your children know, saying, Israel came over this Jordan on dry land. 23. For the LORD your God dried up the waters of Jordan from before you, until ye were passed over, as the LORD your God did to the Red sea, which he dried up from before us, until we were gone over: 24. That all the people of the earth might know the hand of the LORD, that it is mighty: that ye might fear the LORD your God for ever.

What we do want to do is remember the things the Lord has done for us so that we can tell others about them. We want to remember the great works of our God so that when we pass that way again, we will remember that the Lord was faithful in that day and that He will be faithful in this day as well. Never forget what the Lord has done for you in your yesterdays. It is those yesterday experiences that will tide you over when the trials of today and tomorrow arise in your life.

As believers, we need to erect some visible memorials to the glory of God. When the Lord works in our lives, we should memorialize that event. We should talk about it, share it with others, write about, and spread the word about what God did. We should honor Him for His faithful work in our lives. Because there will be some others coming along behind us. There are children, young people and new believers who are following the paths we have already walked. As they journey and seek to grow in the Lord, they need to be able to see the memorials left by those who have gone before them. What about the rock pile in the river? No one could see it but God. It stood as a monument to the faith of the people. You see, when you face a time of trial, others are often guilty of misjudging your motives and actions, but only God knows the truth about your heart. Even though Israel couldn’t see it, they knew the monument was there.

Read-Thru-The-Bible

Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Genesis  43  44      Matthew  22

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net


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 23.                            God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

 Today’s First Thoughts                                            January 23, 2013

Good Morning!
We have the resuming of sacraments that had been neglected during the forty years wandering in the wilderness.

THE RITE OF CIRCUMCISM AND KEEPING OF THE PASSOVER FEAST:
Joshua 5:6. “For the children of Israel walked forty years in the wilderness, till all the people that were men of war, which came out of Egypt, were consumed, because they obeyed not the voice of the LORD:
7. And their children, whom he raised up in their stead, them Joshua circumcised: for they were uncircumcised, because they had not circumcised them by the way.”
9. “And the LORD said unto Joshua, This day have I rolled away the reproach of Egypt from off you. Wherefore the name of the place is called Gilgal unto this day.”
10. “And the children of Israel encamped in Gilgal, and kept the passover on the fourteenth day of the month at even in the plains of Jericho.”

The two very important sacraments which the Children Of Israel had neglected during their forty years wandering in the wilderness was the first order of business after they had crossed over into Canaan. Before this generation of men can claim their Canaan, enjoy the covenant promises of God, or expect God to fight their battles, they must be circumcised. They must renew the covenant with the Lord if they wanted His blessings on them and if they wanted to be guaranteed the victory.

TO THE JEW, circumcision was a reminder that they were a “marked people.” They were to never forget that they were the servants of the living God and that they were under obligation to obey Him in all things. Circumcision was to be the outward reminder of an inward work of faith. IN OUR CASE, a similar truth is at work. According to Colossians 2:11, we have been circumcised in the heart, “In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ.”

After this was done, notice in the 9th verse above that God said, “This day have I rolled away the reproach of Egypt from off you.” This refers to the many times that they had sinned against God during those 40 years, the making of the golden calf, neglecting His ordinances and rebellions against His and Moses’ leadership, and numerous other offences which occurred both in Egypt and later. But here God is saying, “I have wiped the slate clean, you are my people and my love is toward you.”

Aren’t you glad that God has ‘rolled away’ your past and given you a new slate?

Read-Thru-The-Bible

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

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net


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24.                          God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                      January 24, 2013

Good Morning!
Apparently the inhabitants of the land had fled for refuge to Jericho and the neighboring towns, abandoning to the Israelites the harvest ripening in the fields and the old stores housed in the granaries.

AND THE MANNA CEASED:
Joshua 5:11. “And they did eat of the old corn of the land on the morrow after the passover, unleavened cakes, and parched corn in the selfsame day.
12. And the manna ceased on the morrow after they had eaten of the old corn of the land; neither had the children of Israel manna any more; but they did eat of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year.”

One of the major changes they face is mentioned today. We are told in verse 12 that “the Manna ceased.” As the people of Israel traveled through the wilderness, they were in a place where little food existed. It would have taken an enormous amount of food to feed a crowd that numbered somewhere between 2 and 3 million people. In response to their need for food, the Lord moved in a supernatural way. He gave them a substance called “Manna,” which came down from Heaven during the night.

In the morning, all the people of Israel had to do was walk outside and gather the Manna and they had food enough for that day. God sent the Manna everyday the whole time they journeyed through the wilderness, the only exception being the Sabbath. On the day before the Sabbath day, the Lord sent double the amount of Manna, so the people would not have to gather their food on the Sabbath day. Now we are told, “the Manna ceased.”

The children of Israel lived on the Manna for 40 years. They collected those small, white pieces of Manna every day. For nearly 14,600 days the people of Israel picked up the Manna, they gathered it, they cooked it, and then they ate it. The Manna kept them from starving to death in the wilderness. The difference between having the Manna and not having it was the difference between life and death. It is the only food that ever existed that had all the vitamins and minerals necessary to complete health of the human body. Again, in this aspect, the Manna is a portrait of the Lord Jesus Christ. Like the Manna that sustained the Israelites in the wilderness, the Lord Jesus sustains those who come to Him by faith. “He’s all that I Need, He’s all that I need, Jesus is all that I need.”

Read-Thru-The-Bible

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

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net
 

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25.                         God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                         January 25, 2013

Good Morning!
As these verses open, we find Joshua, the leader of the people of Israel, all alone outside the walls of Jericho. I think it would be to our benefit to consider just what Joshua is doing out there all by himself.

THE IMAGE OF A SHEPHERD:
Joshua 5:13. “And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries? 14. And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant?”

The Shepherd’s Burden: Joshua was the leader of the people. God Himself had chosen him for that position. When the Lord called Joshua to lead Israel, the Lord gave Joshua some very precious promises in Joshua 1:5. It was on the basis of this great promise that Joshua had assumed the leadership role in Israel. Now, he has led them over Jordan. He has led them in obedience to the Law of the Lord. He has led them in observing the Passover. He has led them to the place where they are ready to begin their battle for the land of Canaan.

On the eve of the battle, Joshua goes out to look at the city they are about to attack: the great walled city of Jericho. Joshua is a military leader, and there can be little doubt that he is out there partially to consider the defenses of the city and to formulate a plan of attack. I personally believe that Joshua is there for other reasons as well. Joshua is the leader of a couple of million men, women and children. Every decision he makes will affect the people under his leadership in profound ways. Some will die, others will be injured, families will be torn apart, and lives will be altered based on the decisions Joshua makes. Before those decisions are made, Joshua goes out alone, under the weight of the burden of his office, to seek counsel from the Lord.

In verse 13, the text says, “…he lifted up his eyes, and looked.” This seems to imply that Joshua has his head bowed and his eyes closed in prayer. It seems to me that this man recognizes the terrible burden that rests on his shoulders, and that he is seeking the Lord’s help to make the right decisions for himself and for the Lord’s people. That’s when the real Captain appeared with plans and encouragement.

Read-Thru-The-Bible

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

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net


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26. 27.                       God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                  January 26 & 27, 2013

Good Morning!
We are living in a time when the church, our doctrines, our Bible, our worship, and all the other things that identify us as the Lord’s people, are under attack.

THE SHEPHERD’S BRAVERY:
Joshua 5:13. “And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries?”

As Joshua meditates and contemplates the upcoming battle, he sees an unidentified man standing nearby with his sword drawn. This is the posture of battle. It is the picture of a man who is ready for a fight. Joshua does not hesitate, but he approaches the man and demands to know which side the man is on. Is he on the side of Jericho? Or, is he on the side of Israel? When Joshua first sees this man, he identifies his as a possible threat to Israel. His instincts as a shepherd are aroused and steps up to the defense of his people. Joshua is burdened by the weight of leadership, but he is also consumed with the protection of those under his care.

Leadership always comes with great responsibility. There is the responsibility to seek the will of the Lord in every matter you face. There is the responsibility to make decisions that honor God above feelings. There is the responsibility to do everything with the understanding that every decision is like tossing a pebble into a pond. There are ripples from every decision you make. When a preacher fails, a ministry fails. When a father fails, a family fails. When a mother fails, her children fail. When a deacon fails, a church fails. When a Christian fails, a testimony fails.

If you have been placed in a position of leadership, take it seriously, because the Lord does. If you have a position of leadership, take it seriously, because your decisions affect all those around you. There is a sense in which we are all leaders on some level. I pray that God will help us to recognize it for the burden that it is. We are living in days when the family, the institution of marriage, and our children are under assault. We need men and women who are not afraid to stand up and fight for the things that matter. We need people who are not ashamed to take a stand against the rising tide of evil and ungodliness. We need people who will stand for the Lord to protect their church, their family and their community from all those who wish to destroy it.

Read-Thru-The-Bible

Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Exodus  1  2            Matthew  26
Exodus  3  4            Matthew  27       Psalm  14

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net


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28.                      God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                           January 28, 2013

Good Morning!
Even though Joshua was the leader of the people, he himself was under the lordship of God Almighty.

THE IMAGE OF SOVEREIGNTY:
Joshua 5:14. “And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant?”

This verse, and others, make it clear that our God is in control of all the affairs of life. He is always ready, in every situation, because He has decreed all events that come to pass. That is why He is never surprised by life. We are often surprised by the various turns in the road of life. God is never caught off guard. He never has to resort to “Plan B.” He never has to alter His will. He is never left at a loss as to what to do, because He is God and He is ever in control of all things.

The man’s answer to Joshua’s question must have taken him by surprise. The man says, “Nay; but as the captain of the Lord’s host am I now come.” In other words, the man answers Joshua by saying, “I did not come to take sides in this battle; I came to take over.” His answer tells us exactly Who this Man is. It is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. It is a pre-Bethlehem appearance of the Lord. This is not the first time He appeared in this world, and this will not be the last time He appears either. It must have encouraged Joshua to realize that he was not alone.

There is a certain loneliness in leadership that can be discouraging and depressing when you consider how much impact your decisions have on others. Harry Truman once said, “To be President of the United States is to be lonely, very lonely at times of great decisions.” Surely Joshua felt that same sense of being alone. What a comfort it must have been to him to know that God, Who had promised to be with Joshua, Josh. 1:5, 9, had kept that promise! Joshua was not alone; the Lord was with Him!

By the way, that is a promise He intends to keep to you too. He has promised you that He will ever be with you as you face the ups and downs of your life, Matthew 28:20; Hebrews 13:5. The same Lord Who stepped out of eternity to move in the lives of His people in the past, is the same God Who intends to do the same thing for you. You are not alone; the Lord is with you.

Read-Thru-The-Bible

Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Exodus  5  6       Matthew  28

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net


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29.                         God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                            January 29, 2013

Good Morning!
There is a spiritual realm around us that we cannot see. In that hidden spiritual dimension, there are angels and there are demons.

THE LORD’S POWER:
Joshua 5:14. “And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant?
15. And the captain of the LORD'S host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so.”

Notice first of all how Joshua reacted to the knowledge of who this man was, “he fell on his face to the earth.” Humanity has never been able to stand in the presence of the Almighty, in every case in the Bible that is way they all reacted. The day is approaching when all men, both small and great will bow before Him. I want to do so in this life and not wait to be forced upon my knees. God help us all to fall on our knees before Him.

Joshua could not see, but there was a vast army of heavenly warriors camped about him, ready to take on the people of Canaan. The implication is clear: Israel would not face their enemies alone; they would face them aided by the armies of Heaven. (Who do you think pulled the walls of Jericho down?) Joshua now receives the assurance that the Lord is about to this battle and that victory is assured. Those spiritual beings are continually waging war in the battle of good against evil. That invisible host aided Elisha, 2 Kings 6:14-17. That invisible host struck fear into the hearts of the Assyrian army, 2 Kings 7:5-7. That invisible host protected the city of Jerusalem and destroyed 185,000 Assyrian soldiers in one night, 2 Kings 19:35.

The same power that came to the aid of Israel in Jericho, and the same power that came to the aid of Israel time and again, is the same power that surrounds you today. Our Lord is still the Captain of the Lord’s host and He still fights battles on behalf of His people. All these truths serve to remind us that our God is a sovereign God. That simply means that He is in control of all things, of all people, at all times. He is the Lord both of time and eternity. He is in charge and he can be trusted to take care of you!

Read-Thru-The-Bible

Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Exodus  7  8          Mark  1      Psalm  15

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net


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30.                        God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                      January 30, 2013

Good Morning!
When Someone the size of God gets in you, you will be aware of it. Have you had a personal confrontation with the Person of God?

OVERCOMING OUR WALLED CITIES:
Joshua 6:1. “Now Jericho was straitly shut up because of the children of Israel: none went out, and none came in. 2. And the LORD said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour.

The ancient city of Jericho was a very well-built, walled city. The walled city of Jericho stood as a physical and psychological obstacle between the people of Israel and those claiming the land God had promised them. Before they could move deeper into Canaan, the walled city of Jericho first had to fall. That ancient city that stood between Israel and victory is a picture of those things that are entrenched and rooted in our lives. It represents the things that prevent us from going deeper with God ourselves. Regardless of how pious you may want to think you are, there may be things embedded in your life like this walled city that hinder your walk with God.

It may be some besetting sin that prevents you from going deeper in the things of God. It may a root of bitterness and un-forgiveness that stands between you and God’s best. It may be an old, bad attitude that is holding you back. It could be something from your past that you struggle with day by day. It might be some person that stands larger than God in your eyes. It might be some hurt, some slight you have endured that keeps you from moving forward with God. Whatever it is, that thing stands as a stronghold, like a walled city, in your life and it stands between you and God’s best for you. Whatever it is, it has you stopped in your tracks, and you will move no farther until you overcome that stronghold in your life. Before you will ever receive all God has for you, that wall must be torn down.

First There must be a Supreme Commander: Are there areas of your life that are off limits to God? Real sanctification knows that He is Lord of all, or He is not Lord at all. He must be given the Master key to every area of life. Have you come to terms with Who is really in control? Until you do, you can forget about sustained victory, you might as well get used to defeat. When Joshua asked the man with the drawn sword whose side he was on, He answered “Nay.” That means He is not here to take sides in our battles, He is here to take over.

Read-Thru-The-Bible

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

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net


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31.                       God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

 Today’s First Thoughts                                           January 31, 2013

Good Morning!
Jericho was a city of about 9 square blocks. It would have taken about 30 minutes to walk around it. So, they got up, lined up and marched around the city and went home. All they did was walk.

GOD’S PLAN TO BRING DOWN THE WALLS OF JERICHO:
Joshua 6:3. “And ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war, and go round about the city once. Thus shalt thou do six days. 4. And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams' horns: and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets. 5. And it shall come to pass, that when they make a long blast with the ram's horn, and when ye hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city shall fall down flat.”

Walled cities like Jericho were built on hills, and usually were only conquered after sieges lasting several months. Cities like Jericho were not normally conquered by military might. Nor were they conquered by silent armies marching by for seven days. They were conquered by time, as the people inside the walls were starved to death. Now that is a strange plan, if I have ever heard one. In fact, from a purely, human and logical viewpoint, this plan is ridiculous. What God does here is remove any idea that victory in this battle will come from Israel herself. God has formulated a plan that must be followed by faith in the Lord, His promises and His power. He wants Israel to know that human efforts will fail, but that God’s plan will prevail.

When you do it God’s way, there will always be victory! When will we ever learn this? It isn’t about new means and methods! We don’t need a new Bible or a new kind of service. In our personal life, we will try this devotional method seeking His power; or, this kind of prayer emphasis to get on fire for God. We just need to patiently, consistently, and humbly walk with God and carry out His business His way. When life does not make sense, just walk. When others quit, just walk. When some want to fight, just walk. When some come up with a new method, just walk. You see, obtaining the victory is God’s business; obedience to Him is ours.

When Israel marched around that wall the seventh time on the seventh day and shouted, the wall fell down flat. Revelation tells me there is an angel so big he can stand with one foot on the land and the other in the midst of the sea Revelation 10:2.

An angel that size could take his foot and mash Jericho or your wall down flat.

Read-Thru-The-Bible

Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Exodus  11  12          Mark  3        Psalm   16

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

 

 

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