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Feburary, 2013

Devotions, Feburary, 2013

Playing In The Snow
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1.                           
God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                     February 1, 2013

Good Morning!
Achan had taken a garment and a golden wedge and hidden it in his tent among his stuff. The problem with that, God had told them not to keep anything at Jericho, and God was a spectator of his deeds, and punished all Israel for it.

SOME THINGS CAN’T BE HIDDEN:
Joshua 7:1. “But the children of Israel committed a trespass in the accursed thing: for Achan, the son of Carmi, took of the accursed thing: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against the children of Israel.
10. And the LORD said unto Joshua, Get thee up; wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face? 11. Israel hath sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded them: for they have even taken of the accursed thing, and have also stolen, and dissembled also, and they have put it even among their own stuff.

When Israel went against the little city of Ai they suffered a terrible defeat and 36 of their number were killed. This must have been devastating to the Israelites. The unexpected results of this defeat. Because there was sin in the camp, thirty-six men died. Thirty-six sets of children lost their fathers. Thirty-six mothers lost their sons. Thirty-six wives became widows. It was a very high price to pay for sin.

There are some things you just can’t hide. If you eat raw onions or garlic, others will know about. If you stop bathing or using deodorant, you won’t hide that for long. If you try to hide sin in your life, your secret will eventually get out, because your sin will affect you and all those around you. Numbers 32:23b, “...and be sure your sin will find you out.” When there is a tragedy in our lives, we need to look within and see where the problem is. When there is a lack of power in my life, the problem is not with God, nor is it with others; the problem is always with me.

When there is powerlessness in the church and souls aren’t being saved; when the services are dull and lifeless, we need not blame the Lord. The problem is always a problem within. The greatest problems faced by the church come from within and not from without. The world and the devil really can’t do a lot of damage to the church, but you let someone inside the church get out of line with God and there is a problem! More often than not, when there are defeats, problems, and trouble down at the house of God, you can bet that there is someone in the church who is out of God’s will. When there is a lack of the presence and power of God in the church, it can usually be traced to some sin in the body. There is an infection and it needs to be identified and treated before there will ever be a return of God’s power and glory!

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Exodus  13  14            Mark  4

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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2. 3.                      God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotions

Today’s First Thoughts                                           February 2 & 3, 2013

Good Morning!
If you have sin in your life today, you need to remember that God is a loving and gracious God Who exhibits His greatness by cleansing sinners. You need to come to Him in repentance before it is too late.

GOD GAVE ACHAN TIME TO CONFESS AND REPENT:
Joshua 7:13. “Up, sanctify the people, and say, Sanctify yourselves against to morrow: for thus saith the LORD God of Israel, There is an accursed thing in the midst of thee, O Israel: thou canst not stand before thine enemies, until ye take away the accursed thing from among you.
14. In the morning therefore ye shall be brought according to your tribes:
15. And it shall be, that he that is taken with the accursed thing shall be burnt with fire, he and all that he hath:”

Let us look at the process that God used to point out Achan. God knew who was guilty, why didn’t He just tell Joshua who they were looking for? In my opinion, He was giving Achan time to repent and to confess his sins. Achan squandered many opportunities to confess and repent. God gave Achan until the next morning to come to Joshua and tell him what he had done. I feel that was the time allotted for him to repent. Achan knew the consequences, God had said, “he that is taken with the accursed thing shall be burnt with fire.” Why did not Achan run and falls upon his knees during the night time hours.

Be that as it may, the finger of God was getting closer and closer and finally landed on Achan. There Is Confession – In two verses, Achan finally confesses his sin, yet Achan showed no signs of remorse or repentance. He only confessed his sins after he got caught in them. At this point, it would have been impossible to hide them any longer anyway. The person who tries to hide his sins will never prosper, but will face God in judgment. You see, you will confess your sins one way or another. You can confess them where the confession will make a difference, or you will do it when you face the Lord in judgment. Either way, you will confess your sins (Philippians 2:11).

Some Things Can’t Be Hidden. If you have an Achan heart, God has the cure. If you have sin hidden in your life, the Lord can forgive you and restore you for His glory.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Exodus   15  16      Mark  5        Psalm  17     
Exodus   17  18      Mark  6 

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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4.                         God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                               February 4, 2013

 Good Morning!
Caleb is a picture of the child of God who is not satisfied with the ordinary, but who wants all that God can give him.

GIVE ME MY MOUNTAIN:
Joshua 14:10. “And now, behold, the LORD hath kept me alive, as he said, these forty and five years, even since the LORD spake this word unto Moses, while the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness: and now, lo, I am this day fourscore and five years old. 11. As yet I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me: as my strength was then, even so is my strength now, for war, both to go out, and to come in. 12. Now therefore give me this mountain, whereof the LORD spake in that day; for thou heardest in that day how the Anakims were there, and that the cities were great and fenced: if so be the LORD will be with me, then I shall be able to drive them out, as the LORD said.”

The time has come for them to divide the land and to give each tribe its inheritance. When the tribe of Judah comes forward, there is a gray-haired, 85-year-old man in the midst of them. A man named Caleb steps forward to claim his inheritance. From this passage, I want to show you what it was that enabled this 85-year-old man to possess everything God had promised him. Caleb pictures the Christian who is willing to pay any price, fight any battles in order to win the victories that God has waiting for him. In these verses, we are shown how we can claim our little part of Canaan and walk in victory day by day. Note the repeated phrase “Wholly followed the Lord.” This is said about Caleb at least five times in the Old Testament. It is a phrase that means “To close the gap.” It is a phrase used by hunters to refer to “closing the gap between themselves and their prey.” Caleb was committed to keeping the distance between himself and the Lord at a minimum.

Way back in Deuteronomy 1:34-36 God made this promise to Caleb, “he shall see it, and to him will I give the land that he hath trodden upon, and to his children, because he hath wholly followed the LORD.” I can see Caleb now climbing that mountain with a sword in one hand and a deed in the other while singing to the top of his lungs, “Give me my mountain!” Caleb knew God had given it to him so he claimed it. Faith is not positive thinking. Faith is not “name it and claim it.” Faith is not optimism. Faith is not looking on the bright side. Faith is simply acting on what God says. Faith is simply taking God at His Word and believing that He will do everything He has promised to do!

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Exodus  19  20     Mark  7     Psalm  18

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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5.                          God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

 Today’s First Thoughts                                       February 5, 2013

Good Morning!
Whether you are saved or lost today, you will see that there is A Place Of Safety and His name is Jesus. Those who flee to Him for salvation are saved from the wrath of God and the penalty of sin.

A PLACE OF SAFETY:
Joshua 20:1. “The LORD also spake unto Joshua, saying, 2. Speak to the children of Israel, saying, Appoint out for you cities of refuge, whereof I spake unto you by the hand of Moses:”

It is these cities of refuge that I want to consider today. They paint for us a clear picture of the salvation that is to be found only in the Lord Jesus Christ. When a man had accidentally taken the life of another, he could flee to one of these six cities of refuge and there, if it was determined that the death had indeed been an accident, he could find safety from the “avenger of blood.” So, these cities were established as a refuge. For our sakes, these cities serve to point out certain facts about the salvation we enjoy in the Lord Jesus Christ. Just as these cities were places were a man could flee in a time of desperate need, so Jesus is a place of safety today.

We were all guilty and needed a refuge. We need a place where we can run to and find safety for our souls. Praise God that there is a place where the sinner can flee and find help and hope. There is a place where we can find a new life and a new start. It is a place where the avenger of blood cannot touch us, ever. That place is a man. That man’s name is Jesus Christ.

The city of refuge allowed a man to live who would have otherwise surely died. So it is with Jesus. He is the only One Who can guarantee salvation to the soul of man. When a sinner comes to Jesus Christ by faith and accepts Him as Savior, that person is immediately adopted into the family of God. He has his sins washed away forever. The road leading to Him is always clear. On His side, there are no obstructions. When He died on the cross, He died for all sin, so sin is not a problem that can keep you from coming. He has cleared the way! The only things that can keep you from getting to Him are those things you lay in your own path. Things like unbelief and pride.

He is always available! Jesus Christ is never closed. He will receive anyone who will come to Him at any time! He is waiting for you to show up

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Exodus   21  22          Mark  8 

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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6.                         God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                       February 6, 2013

Good Morning!
Israel has acquired the land that God had promised them and their faithful leader, Joshua, is old and is preparing to die. Before he steps off the scene, he has something to say about serving the Lord.

AN OLD GENERAL’S FINAL ORDERS:
Joshua 23:1 “And it came to pass a long time after that the LORD had given rest unto Israel from all their enemies round about, that Joshua waxed old and stricken in age. 2. And Joshua called for all Israel, and for their elders, and for their heads, and for their judges, and for their officers, and said unto them, I am old and stricken in age:”

In order to communicate what is on his heart, Joshua calls two meetings. The first, in chapter 23, is held with the elders and leaders of the people. The second meeting, recorded in chapter 24, involves all the people of Israel. As Joshua, the Faithful Old Soldier and General of Israel, prepares to break camp, he wants to encourage Israel to stay the course for God. He knows that the old guard, those who knew Moses and Joshua, are swiftly dying off. He knows that a new generation is coming along that did not see all the miracles and all the wonders of the Lord in their midst. Before he dies, he just wants to remind them of the God they serve.

In these two chapters, there are some valuable lessons for us. We live in a day when many have forgotten about, and some have never seen, the glory and power of God, and those who have known about such things are becoming fewer by the day. We need to be reminded of the power and glory of our God. Our children need to be exposed to His power. As I look about our Church I see most of the ‘old guard’ has passed on and a new congregation has taken over. My prayer is that they will stay the course and keep the blessings and the power we experienced in days gone by.

I hope you will go with me the next day or so to ancient Israel as Old General Joshua issues his last orders to his troops. Notice the thoughts that occupied the heart and mind of this great man as he neared the end of his journey. These thoughts were designed to teach Israel about the way and will of God for their nation. These thoughts also speak of the way and will of God for His Church. Let’s notice these thoughts together as we consider An Old General’s Final Orders.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Exodus  23  24        Mark  9     Psalm  19

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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7.                          God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                       February 7, 2013

Good Morning;
The sins of complacency and apathy are among the most common and devastating sins that exist among the people of God.

JOSHUA'S EXHORTATION BEFORE HIS DEATH:
Joshua 23:6. “Be ye therefore very courageous to keep and to do all that is written in the book of the law of Moses, that ye turn not aside there-from to the right hand or to the left; 7. That ye come not among these nations, these that remain among you; neither make mention of the name of their gods, nor cause to swear by them, neither serve them, nor bow yourselves unto them: 8. But cleave unto the LORD your God, as ye have done unto this day.

As Joshua nears the time of his departure, he sees some changes occurring in the life of Israel. He sees changes that he does not like. So, like any good leader, he feels duty bound to address these issues before he departs. We preachers have the same duty as Joshua. When we see error in the lives of people, we have a duty before God to tell people about those errors. Why? We tell them God loves them, we love them and we want to help them walk in the will of God for their lives.

He Fears Their Complacency: Joshua is afraid that the people of Israel might begin to take the Law of God for granted. He fears that they might become complacent in their walk with the Lord and begin to let things slide in their lives. Tragically, he was right; this is exactly what they did. The Apostle Paul, after bidding farewell to the people of Ephesus, “For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them” (Acts 20:29-30).

Joshua Fears Their Compromise: - Another fear Joshua possesses is that the people of Israel will go after the dead gods of Canaan. He fears they will compromise their standards and bow down to idols. Again, this is exactly what happened in Israel. What about us? Aren’t we just as guilty as Israel? Have not the people of God given their affection to other gods? Certainly, many worship the gods of self, success, materialism, career, etc. The truth is, many are guilty of compromise in their lives. We allow ourselves to indulge in activities that we know God disproves of. We do things that we know are wrong and try to justify it by saying, “Well, so and so does it!” All the while we smile and sing, “Oh how I love Jesus!” It has a hollow ring to it.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Exodus  25  26     Mark  10

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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8.                          God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                           February 8, 2013

Good Morning!
The choices you make in life will be determined by the depth of your love for the Lord Jesus Christ and for your Heavenly Father.

JOSHUA’S WARNING AGAINST FORSAKING GOD:
Joshua 23:14. “And, behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth: and ye know in all your hearts and in all your souls, that not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the LORD your God spake concerning you; all are come to pass unto you, and not one thing hath failed thereof. 15. Therefore it shall come to pass, that as all good things are come upon you, which the LORD your God promised you; so shall the LORD bring upon you all evil things, until he have destroyed you from off this good land which the LORD your God hath given you. 16. When ye have transgressed the covenant of the LORD your God, which he commanded you, and have gone and served other gods, and bowed yourselves to them; then shall the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and ye shall perish quickly from off the good land which he hath given unto you.

JOSHUA’S CHALLENGE: Joshua challenges the elders and the people to observe certain truths concerning God. His challenge is for them to look at what the Lord has done and is doing in their lives. If they will just consider the Lord, they are more likely to live the right kind of lives. While there are many challenges given here, the primary idea that Joshua is trying to convey is this: “If you will serve the Lord, He will bless you. If you disobey Him, He will chastise you!” The challenge in verse 11, “Take good heed therefore unto yourselves, that ye love the LORD your God.” That is the crucial point of the matter. How Israel responded to the Lord, was a perfect indicator of her love for Him.

The mighty works of the Lord on our behalf should motivate us to greater service. When we stop to think of all He has done, it should challenge us to go deeper in our relationship with Him. Think on His greatness and goodness toward you. Let those blessings from the Lord be the motivator for you to renew you relationship with Him today.

How true were the words of Joshua when he told them if they forsake the Lord and go after other gods then all the evil things which the Lord warned them of would surely come to pass. The next four to five hundred years (read the book of Judges) Israel suffered many hardships because they did not heed this advice of Joshua.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Exodus   27  28      Mark  11   Psalm  20

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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9. 10.                   God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                    February 9 & 10, 2013

Good Morning!
As his last official act as the leader of Israel, Joshua leads them in a renewal of their covenant with the Lord. This ritual involved several stones.

A STONE FOR A WITNESS:
Joshua 24:24. “And the people said unto Joshua, The LORD our God will we serve, and his voice will we obey. 25. So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and set them a statute and an ordinance in Shechem. 26. And Joshua wrote these words in the book of the law of God, and took a great stone, and set it up there under an oak, that was by the sanctuary of the LORD. 27. And Joshua said unto all the people, Behold, this stone shall be a witness unto us; for it hath heard all the words of the LORD which he spake unto us: it shall be therefore a witness unto you, lest ye deny your God.

Before Joshua dies, he erects a great stone as a monument to the fact that the people have sworn to follow the Lord. So thereafter whenever they passed by that place they would remember their oath and be certain that their lives were pleasing to the Lord their God. We do not erect stone markers to memorialize our oaths to the Lord, but still, we remember them don’t we? Do you remember when you were saved? Did you promise the Lord that you would faithfully serve Him all the days of your life?  Have you forgotten that promise? If you have, you can rest assured that God hasn’t! Some of you have promised to be more faithful to the Lord, to pray more, to read your Bibles, to witness for Him. You made the promise, but have you carried it out?

Joshua as an old man recommits himself and his household to the Lord and the people join him with their commitment. Joshua 24:15. “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. 16. And the people answered and said, God forbid that we should forsake the LORD, to serve other gods;”

Will you also join in this commitment? If you have already committed your life some time ago it still would be good to renew our vows and commitment again and again, over and over, even every day.

Read-Thru-The-Bible

Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Exodus   29  30        Mark   12
Exodus   31 32         Mark   13      Psalm  21

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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11.                      God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                      February 11, 2013

Good Morning!
The book of Joshua closes with three funerals. These funerals speak to us today.

THREE NEW GRAVESTONES IN THE PROMISED LAND:
Joshua 24:29. “And it came to pass after these things, that Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, being an hundred and ten years old.
32. And the bones of Joseph, which the children of Israel brought up out of Egypt, buried they in Shechem,
33. And Eleazar the son of Aaron died; and they buried him in a hill that pertained to Phinehas his son, which was given him in mount Ephraim.”

The Gravestone Of Faithfulness: The first grave stone mentioned is that of Joshua himself. His tombstone spoke about the faithfulness of God to His people! This is the grave of faithfulness. God had used this man Joshua to bring the people in the Promised Land and God had used Joshua to lead the people in the right way. There is no greater Old Testament character than Joshua. Through the life of Joshua, God had proven Himself to be a faithful God.

The Gravestone Of Fulfillment: The second gravestone mentioned belonged to a man who had died many centuries before in the land of Egypt. This is the grave of fulfillment. While Joseph was on his deathbed, he made the following prediction, “And Joseph said unto his brethren, I die: and God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land unto the land which he sware to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. And Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you, and ye shall carry up my bones from hence. So Joseph died, being an hundred and ten years old: and they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt,” Genesis 50:24-26. Now the fulfillment of that promise is carried out.

The Gravestone Of Finality: The last gravestone marks the grave of Eleazar. He was the son of Aaron the first High Priest. His grave is the grave of finality. The death of Eleazar marks the changing of the guard in Israel. All the old timers are gone! All those who came out of Egypt and out of the wilderness have passed from the scene. All those God used in such a mighty fashion are dead. Now, it is time for a new generation to pick up the mantle of service and do something for the Lord.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Exodus   33  34         Mark   14

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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12.                       God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                      February 12, 2013

Good Morning!
During the next several days we will spend some time with Jesus, We will call these
devotions "Moments with the Master."

TO SEEK, TO SAVE, TO SERVE:
Luke 19:10, “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Mark 10:45, “For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.”

As one reads the Gospels it quickly becomes apparent that the earthly ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ was a people centered ministry. These two verses declare, in detail, our Lord’s mission statement, “To Seek,” “To Save,” and “To Serve.” Jesus came into this world with the cross of Calvary in His heart and on His mind. He was literally born to die, John 18:37. The passage in Mark 10:45 does tell us about Jesus coming to “give His life a ransom for many”, but it also tells us that He came to this earth “to minister”. This word literally means “to serve” and it comes from the same word that gives us the English word “deacon” or “servant”. Jesus came to this world to die for men, but He also came to serve men.

I want you to see that moments spent with Jesus are powerful, transforming, life changing moments. As we observe Jesus and His interactions with the people of His day, we will see how He will interact with anyone who will take the time to spend some Moments With The Master.

A TRANSFORMING MOMENT: Mark 1:40. “And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. 41. And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean. 42. And as soon as he had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed.” In the midst of His preaching and teaching ministry in Capernaum, He is interrupted by a single man, a leper. It is this personal encounter that I want to focus in on this morning. While there were great crowds there to be healed, helped and taught, one man managed to get a Moment With The Master. Let’s look in on this scene and witness for ourselves A Transforming Moment.

Here was a man who could have no social contacts with anyone, could not go to the synagogue, he was a complete outcast until his Moment With The Master. That moment transformed his life and it will do the same for anyone who will call to Him.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Exodus  35  36          Mark  15       Psalm  22

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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13.                       God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                 February 13, 2013

Good Morning!
Of all the diseases mentioned in the Bible, none pictures sin any more clearly than does the disease called leprosy.

MOMENTS WITH THE MASTER:
Mark 1:41. “And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean. 42. And as soon as he had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed.”

Here is this man, his life has been devastated by the scourge of leprosy. Perhaps he awoke that morning in the leper colony and heard that a man named Jesus was in town. Maybe he heard how this Jesus had healed all sorts of diseases and had even cast out demons. Maybe, for the first time in a long time, hope awakened in a heart conditioned to feel only hopelessness. You see, most people believed that leprosy was the ‘stroke of God.’ That it was the direct judgment of God for sin in the leper’s life. Leprosy was a cruel blow to a person’s self-esteem. It made them feel unloved, unwanted and uncared for. But, that morning, faith awakened in the heart of this leper and knew he had to get to Jesus. Whatever motivated him, this poor, wretched man began to hobble his way to Jesus.

Can you see the multitudes as they crowd around the Savior? Can you hear the commotion at the back of the crowd as the people realize that there is a leper in the midst? Can you see the crowd begin to part with cries of fear and disgust as this man passes through their midst? He makes his way through the frightened crowd and stops within arm’s length of Jesus. He kneels before the Lord and declared to the Lord his desire. What he said to Jesus is very telling of his condition. This old leper has reached the place where he knows he needs a miracle of God to deliver him from his disease.

THE COMPASSION OF THE LORD: As the crowd watches, this leper falls down before the Lord and asks for a miracle. What will Jesus do? Will he also turn away in disgust? Will he call for the man to be stoned, as many people would have done? No! Jesus does the unthinkable: He shows this man compassion by reaching out and touches him. It has been years since anyone has touched this man. It had been years since he felt the touch of a human hand upon his. But, oh how glorious that one touch must have felt to this man. O, THE TOUCH OF THE MASTER’S HAND:

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Exodus  37  38         Mark  16

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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14.                       
God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

 Today’s First Thoughts                                  February 14, 2013

Good Morning!
I don’t know what that leper expected. Probably to be run off at best and stoned to death at worst. But, imagine his surprise when Jesus reached out His hand and touched him! He never expected that!

MOMENTS WITH THE MASTER:
Mark 1:42. “Immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed.
43. And he straitly charged him, and forthwith sent him away; 44. And saith unto him, See thou say nothing to any man: but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing those things which Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them. 45. But he went out, and began to publish it much, and to blaze abroad the matter, insomuch that Jesus could no more openly enter into the city, but was without in desert places: and they came to him from every quarter.

But, others would never have touched a leper out of fear of contracting the disease themselves. However, Jesus, the cleanest man in the entire crowd, touched him without fear. What was different about this touch? The leper did not transmit to Jesus the corruption of his disease. Rather, Jesus transmitted to the leper the cleansing of His Deity. Did you know that Jesus is still touching lives today? Oh yes, it makes no difference who you are or what you may have done, you are not so bad as to be beyond His glorious touch.

Have you experienced His touch? Do you remember how it felt to be locked in sin’s dark dungeon, helpless and hopelessly lost in your sins? Do you remember how good it felt when the Lord reached into the darkness of your life and touched you? If you do, then you know the glory of His touch. If you don’t, you need to know that He will still touch you regardless of who you are, where you have been or what you have done. That is what happens spiritually when a sinner feels the saving touch of the Lord Jesus. Instantly, the blackness and deadness of sin is replaced with the life and the glory of God. The sinner is no longer lost, but found. Is no longer dead, but is alive. Is no longer an outcast, but is made a child of God.

Notice what Jesus says that this will be: “for a testimony unto them.” I would say that high priest had never seen a leper cleansed. I would venture to say that he had never utilized the commandments given in Leviticus 14. But, that day, he was put on notice that there was a man in town Who had the power to take away leprosy! What a testimony it was when that poor old leper was glorious cleansed and applied at the temple for cleansing.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Exodus  39  40       Luke  1       Psalm  23

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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15.                       God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                      February 15, 2013

Good Morning!
We are continuing to look at the personal encounters the Lord Jesus had while He walked here on the earth.

MOMENTS WITH THE MASTER:
Mark 10:17. “And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? 18. And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. 19. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother. 20. And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth. 21. Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me. 22. And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.

Most of the personal encounters Jesus had while He was on this earth ended gloriously. Most often, the people who met Jesus were healed, saved and eternally changed. However, not every meeting ended so gloriously. In our text today we are presented with a man who had a personal encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ that ended tragically. I would like for us to look into this encounter, because I fear that there are many people attending our Churches who are in the same condition as this young man. They want to be saved and they may even feel that they are saved, but they have no understanding of what genuine, Biblical salvation is all about.

The Person Who Came: Matthew tells us that he was young (19:22) and Luke tells us that he was a ruler (18:18). This probably means that he was a ruler in the synagogue. All three evangelists tell us that he was a rich man. It is clear that this young man had many things going for him in his life.
He has Youth: There is no better time to give your life over to the Lord.
He has Wealth: This young man has plenty of this world’s goods.
He has Morality and Religion: This man is living a clean, moral life.
He has Position: Luke says that he is a ruler, he is a man of some influence.
From every outward appearance, this man was the ideal young person. He was everything a mother might want her son to be. He was clean cut, religious, industrious and morally clean. He was the envy of everyone.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Leviticus  1  2       Luke  2

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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16. 17.                 God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                    February 16 & 17, 2013

Good Morning!
Let’s look at another moment with the Master and consider A Tragic Moment.

MOMENTS WITH THE MASTER:
Mark 10:17. “And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?”

The Problem
He Had
: In spite of all he has going for him, this man had one mighty big skeleton in his closet. In spite of all that he had, he still felt an emptiness. He had found that his youth left him unsatisfied. His money had left him feeling unfulfilled. His morality, his clean living and his religious activity had not been able to satisfy the deepest longing of his soul. His swift climb up the rungs of the social ladder had failed to give him what he wanted most: peace with God. So, he comes with haste to Jesus. He falls down before the Lord and he cries out to Christ.

Maybe there are people reading this in the same shape as this young man. From every outward appearance, you have it made. Life has been good to you. You have a little money. Maybe you have climbed up the social ladder a little ways. Maybe your name is well known and you are well thought of in the community. Maybe you are a good person, who has lived a clean, moral life. Maybe you are a church member, a leader, a teacher, and everyone thinks your life is complete.

But, in spite of all you have, there is still something missing in your life. You know you have what it takes to live, but you also know that you are unprepared to die. You have everything you want and need materially, but you do not have spiritual peace with God. Everything looks good on the outside, but the insides are all messed up. If that describes you, then keep reading, Jesus has a word of hope for you.
1. He comes to the right Person: He had evidently heard of Jesus and knows that if anyone can help him, Jesus can.
2. He comes in the right way and manner: He comes running, and kneeling, because he knows the urgency of the situation.
3. He comes for the right purpose: This young man came to Jesus pondering the issues of eternity.
4. He comes at the right time: He came when Jesus was nearby. That is a mistake many make. They think they can come to Jesus at anytime, whenever it fits into their schedule. The truth of the matter is somewhat different. Man doesn’t come to the Lord whenever he wants; he comes to Jesus when Jesus is passing close to him.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links b low to read today's Bible verses online:
Leviticus   3  4       Luke   3     Psalm  24
Leviticus   5  6       Luke   4    

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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 18.                      God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                     February 18, 2013

Good Morning!
Here is the saddest part of this entire encounter. This young man makes his decision, but it is a tragic decision.

MOMENTS WITH THE MASTER:
Mark 10:21. “Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me. 22. And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.”

Follow Jesus: Here is the deciding factor. This young man has been following power, prestige, position and possessions. Jesus says, “You turn your back on all that and you follow me. That is how you get eternal life!” This is still the call of the Gospel. God says, “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God and there is none else” Isaiah 45:22. The demands of the Gospel are clear. You must forsake your sins through genuine repentance and embrace the Savior by faith. This, and this alone, will save your soul, Romans 10:9.

He Made An Earthly Decision: He chose his possessions over Jesus. He loved his money more than he wanted to be saved. Jesus will allow you to make the same choice. It may not be money. It may be pleasure, some sin, your family, your independence, etc. If you want it, He will let you keep it.

He Made An Eternal Decision: One day, this man’s youth faded and was gone. He retired from his prestigious position down at the synagogue. Finally, age and disease overtook him and even his vast wealth couldn’t prolong the inevitable, and he died. When he did, he found out that his religion and his moral lifestyle were not enough. When he died, he found himself in Hell, lost forever, because he had walked away from the only hope he had ever had: Jesus Christ.

What you do with Jesus in this life, will determine what He will do with you in the afterlife. Has He called you to follow Him? What was your response? Did you forsake all to go after Jesus, regardless of the cost? Is He calling you now? What will you say? Jesus said, “One thing thou lackest.” Today is a time of personal encounters. Jesus is speaking to hearts right now. Don’t let Your Moment With The Master become a tragic one today. Don’t walk away from Jesus, come to Him now.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Leviticus   7  8        Luke   5      Psalm  25

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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19.                       God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                         February 19, 2013

Good Morning!
Today we read of a terrifying moment in the life of an unknown woman that came to an end with a glorious ending.

MOMENTS WITH THE MASTER:
John 8:3. “And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, 4. They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. 5. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?

March 22, 1824, John Bridge, Jr. was lead to the gallows and the rope was lowered over his head. But as the men waited for a signal to trip the door, a cheer arose from the back of the crowd. A stranger rode forward and looked the condemned man in the face. “Sir, do you know in whose presence you stand?” Bridge shook his head. “There are but two powers known to the law that can save you from hanging by the neck until you are dead, dead, dead; one is the great God of the Universe, the other is J. Brown Ray, Governor of the State of Indiana; the latter stands before you…” Handing over the written pardon, the governor announced, “you are pardoned.”

In an instant, what had looked like a hopeless situation became a door of hope. John Bridge Jr. went back home, settled down, opened a dry goods store and died peacefully, fifty-one years later. I told that story to ask this question: Can you imagine the fear that must have gripped the heart of that young man as he watched his father and his uncle die, knowing that he was next. Can you imagine the terror as he was led onto the gallows and that noose was placed around his neck? It must have been a moment of terror like few have ever experienced!

But, I know one person who had experienced that feeling. This poor sinful woman, whose story is related in this text, she knew that kind of fear. As she is led trembling into the presence of Jesus, she knows in her heart that she is about to die a horrible death by stoning. However, her path had led her into the presence of “the great God of the universe”. And, when she met Him, everything changed, forever.

I would like for us to look in on this Moment with the Master today. Why? Well, because I want you to know that what Jesus did for this poor, wretched women, He will also do for you. You see, she came into His presence as a condemned sinner, but she left His presence a changed woman with a new lease on life.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Leviticus  9  10         Luke  6

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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20.                        God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                        February 20, 2013

Good Morning!
A woman taken in the act of adultery was certainly humiliated.

MOMENTS WITH THE MASTER:
John 8:7. “So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

SHE WAS A CONDEMNED SINNER: According to the scripture, she was caught in the very act of adultery. She was guilty before the face of the Lord and before the world. Now, adultery is a vile sin, but it is no worse than any other according to James 2:10. “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” In fact, even if we never committed a sin with our bodies or our minds, we would still be guilty before the Lord. Romans 3:23. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” We are all as guilty as this woman, our problem is that we simply won't admit to it. Proverbs 28:13. “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.”

Nobody gets away with sin: The penalty of sin always come due Romans 6:23; Ezekiel 18:4. There will come a payday someday. The only hope any sinner has is to flee to the arms of Jesus. He offers the only hope anyone has in this world or the one to come. He is the only way John 14:6. In their effort to humiliate this woman and to discredit the Lord, they brought her to the best possible place. They brought her to the very man who could deal with her past and her problems and who could make it all right.

What did Jesus Do? He ignored them and stooped down and wrote in the sand. They continued to asking Him. Then Jesus said, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” Jesus again stooped and wrote in the sand. What did Jesus write? Well, for 2,000 years, men have tried to solve that little mystery. I don't know. And, neither does anyone else. However, let me give you a little food for thought in this matter.  Maybe He wrote: The Ten Commandments it was his finger that wrote them the first time. Perhaps He wrote their names in fulfillment of Jeremiah 17:13. Maybe He wrote out Leviticus 20:10 and Deuteronomy 22:22. Maybe He simply wrote the names of their girlfriends in the sand. Maybe He simply wrote the word “Forgiven!” Whatever the Lord wrote on the ground, it surely got their attention. And He knows how to speak to your heart as well. How much better it is to come to Him by faith and miss all that exposure and punishment.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Leviticus  11  12            Luke  7        Psalm  26

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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21                        God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                       February 21, 2013

Good Morning!
Moments With the Master: Jesus wants to meet each of us alone. It is the greatest moment in your life when you come alone before Him.

A SINFUL WOMAN’S MOMENT WITH THE MASTER:
John 8:9b. “And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.
10. When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?
11. She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.”

Let's at least give her accusers credit for the fact that when they saw themselves as they really were, (perhaps the most painful realization of all), they stopped calling for the death of this woman. I want you to know that one of the hardest things you can face is yourself as you really are. However, when you see yourself as being sinful, then you can do something about it. Paul would have went to Hell had he not been brought face to face with himself on the road to Damascus – (Acts 9). When we are convicted of our sins, and then is the time to come to Jesus.

Jesus Faced Her: Only Jesus could have cleared the Temple after that fashion, and when the last rock had fallen to the Temple floor, Jesus stood up and faced this sinful woman. As He stood before her, He was the only One the world has ever known Who was qualified to take up the first stone, as well as all the rest of the stones, and stone her to death. When she faced Jesus, she was facing the ultimate judge. She had reached a place in her life where it was just her and Jesus. It always comes down to that. Eventually, somewhere, someday you are going to have to face Jesus. Eventually, somewhere, someday you are going to have to bow to Jesus.

I am sure that He has given you opportunities in this life to come to Him. What have you done with them? You will either receive Jesus at one of life's encounters, or you will face Him on judgment day. Which would you rather it be? In the end, it always comes down to just you and Jesus. And, what you do with Him will determine where and how you spend eternity. You can walk away, as her accusers did, or can come and kneel at His feet, confessing your sins, and Him as Lord, and go home rejoicing.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Leviticus  13  14       Luke  8

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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22.                        God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                         February 22, 2013

Good Morning!
Moments With The Master: Jesus brought to the world the first, and only, cleansing of heart, mind, and soul, that the world had ever received.

A MOMENT WITH THE MASTER CLEANSED HER
John 8:10b. “Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? 11. She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.”
John 3:17. “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

She Confessed Him As Lord: “She said, No man, Lord.”
He Forgave Her: “Neither do I condemn thee:” The only One qualified to throw a stone refused to. Jesus dealt with her on the basis of grace. The religious men had condemned her and considered her as good as dead. Jesus however saw someone worthy of His love and worth salvaging. When she came to Jesus, she received A New Lord - By her simple confession of Christ as Lord, salvation became her’s. This must be done to be saved. Romans 10:9 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God has raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

She got A New Life: All of her life, she had been subject to the god of this world, Satan. She had been a prisoner of her own lusts and desires. Jesus, however, came and unlocked the shackles that held her bound in sin and He set her free. Just think how her life changed. Jesus specializes in taking wasted, ruined lives and saving them by His grace and restoring them to usefulness. Every person who comes to Jesus for salvation receives this new lease on life. 2 Corinthians 5:17. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” We get a chance to begin again, and this time, we actually have a chance of making something out of our lives.

GO AND SIN NO MORE: Jesus doesn’t pardon sinners to leave them as He found them. He pardons them to change them forever. He won’t save you and leave you in your sins. Along with His salvation comes a new life and liberty from sin’s dominion,” Romans 6:14. “For sin shall not have dominion over you:”

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Leviticus   15  16       Luke  9       Psalm 27

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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23. 24.                 God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                             February 23 & 24, 2013

Good Morning!
As we continue with our thought, Moments With The Master, today we watch as a severely affected woman reaches out to touch the hem of His garment and is healed.

A TOUCHING MOMENT:
Mark 5:24. “And Jesus went with him; and much people followed him, and thronged him. 25. And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, 26. And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse, 27. When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment. 28. For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.

Mark chapter 5 is brimming with impossible cases. It has been called the Bible home for incurables. There are three cases given in this chapter which are absolutely, humanly speaking, hopeless and impossible. There was the Demonic Man, there was this Diseased Woman, and then there was the Dead Girl. All three of these cases were considered impossible in the Lord's day and they still are in our own day as well. For instance, the Demoniac would be assigned to a mental institution, this poor woman would be assigned to a terminal care unit, and the girl, of course, would be carried somewhere and placed for burial in a cemetery.

But as you move through the events in this fifth chapter of Mark you discover that Jesus is more than adequate for every situation, there are no incurables with Him. In every circumstance mentioned, we see that Jesus was more than enough: to the man who was demonized, Jesus became the Great Psychiatrist; to the woman who was diseased, Jesus was the Great Physician; and to the girl who was dead, Jesus was the Great Pediatrician.

The next day or two we want to consider the account of the healing of this diseased woman. This portion of Scripture is kind of like a parenthesis in the action. Jesus is on His way to heal the daughter of Jairus and He is interrupted as He goes by this woman who comes and touches the hem of His garment.  In one sense, every miracle of Jesus was parenthetical, that is, they took place as He moved toward His greatest work: the cross. Jesus came into this world and made His way to the cross and as He went through this world the cross was always before Him. But along the way there were people who were hurting, along the way there were people who had needs and so Jesus stopped along the way to Calvary to help people who had human needs.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Leviticus   17  18      Luke   10   
Leviticus   19  20      Luke   11        Psalm  28

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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25.                       God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                           February 25, 2013

Good Morning!
There are things that come into our lives which seem to take the very life-blood out of us. This is literally true of this woman in our devotion, she had reached the point of desperation. Everything she tried only made the matter worse until she met Jesus. Let us listen in as she has her Moment With The Master.

A MOMENT OF DESPERATION:
Mark 5:25. “And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years,
26. And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse, 27. When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment.

As Jesus was journeying this day, He was thronged by a crowd, the people were pressing all around Him, but in that crowd there was a weak, timid, dying woman who reached out and touched Jesus Christ, when she did, her life was transformed. There are those reading this today who need to reach out and touch Jesus. You need a transformation in your life and you can have it, if you will only touch Him. If you need to touch Jesus, He is passing by you today. Listen and learn how to touch Him.

From the constant blood loss, this poor woman would have been weak and anemic. She would have been pale. She would have had no energy at all. The least of efforts would have worn her out. She would have been a weak, pathetic creature. Her disease was like a scourge, constantly beating her down, day by day. She had tried all the remedies of all the physicians of her day and did not get better, but she will die from this disease, what she has will kill her. Her life is literally draining out of her body little by little, day by day. We are told that she “suffered” under their care. She suffered because those doctors weren’t doctors, in the sense that we think of doctors. They were a bunch of quacks, trying out one superstitious remedy after another. She has come to the place where she knows she is living under a death sentence. I have no doubt she has just about given up.

She is a picture of that believer who is laboring under a heavy burden. Many of God’s children are discouraged and defeated today. You’ve read all the books, listened to all the preachers, and gotten advice from the best of sources, but you are no better. Your life is just as messed up as it ever was. If that is you today, keep on reading, because as we watch this poor woman get the help she needs, we are going to find out about the help we need as well.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Leviticus  21  22         Luke  12
 
James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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26.                       God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                        February 26, 2013

Good Morning!
Moments With The Master: Somewhere, from some source, this poor woman had heard about Jesus. No doubt she had heard that there was power in His touch. But, she didn’t want to ask Him to touch her. She wanted to touch Him.

A MOMENT OF FAITH:
Mark 5:28. “For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole. 29. And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.”

Regardless of where she heard about Him, she knew she had to get to Him. She had come to realize that Jesus
was her only hope. She believed with all her heart that if she could just get to Him, she would be healed. She had to be determined, because she demonstrated great courage by approaching Jesus in that crowd. As she elbowed her way through the people, she was causing ceremonial defilement for everyone she touched. She was taking a great risk, for if she had been recognized, she would have been subjected to public humiliation and ridicule and possible retribution. It was a risk worth taking. She knew what Jesus would do for her if she could just get to Him.

Have you reached that place in your life yet? Have you come to understand that Jesus is the only hope you have? If you are lost today, you need to get to Jesus. He is the only source of salvation for you, Acts 4:12; John 14:6. If you have never trusted Him for salvation, then you need to come to Him. Jesus is your only hope. You need to touch Him by faith.

It Was Powerful: When she was near enough to Him, she reached out a trembling hand and touched His garment. The word “touched” means “to cling to or to adhere to.” In other words, she held onto Him until she got what she came after. Then, immediately, in that instant, she received what none of the doctors or their costly and painful remedies could give her; she was healed. Instantly, she felt the change in her body. She knew she was a different woman. As soon as this woman touches Him, Jesus knows what has happened. He knows that “virtue” has gone out of Him. This is a word that means “power.” We get our modern words “dynamite” and “dynamic” from it. Listen to these final words of Jesus, “thy faith hath made thee whole.” They drive home the fact that she was finally and fully free from her plague. She was healed and life would never be the same again. A Moment With The Master

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Leviticus  23  24      Luke  13          Psalm  29

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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27.                       God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                        February 27, 2013

Good Morning!
Moments With The Master: One night, a rich, powerful, educated man found himself alone in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. What Nicodemus learned that night would prove to be the greatest lessons of his life.

A TEACHING MOMENT:
John 3:1. “There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: 2. The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.”

In this passage, one of the best known in the New Testament, Jesus has a personal encounter with a man named Nicodemus. Let us eavesdrop on this conversation between the Lord Jesus and Nicodemus today.  I want us to hear for ourselves the great truths Jesus shared with this man. Nicodemus came to Jesus for some answers about religion, what he received were some answers about redemption.  He came to Jesus with questions about Jesus.  He went away with more knowledge about Jesus and about himself than he could have ever imagined.  He came to Jesus that night to ask some questions about life.  He left with information about the new birth.  Let’s listen in as the teacher gets taught.

The Teacher Is Taught: Nicodemus was one of the most powerful and influential men in all of Israel during this time period. During the course of their conversation Jesus refers to Nicodemus as “a master of Israel.” This title means “teacher.” As Jesus teaches Nicodemus the truth about salvation, He shares a few insights about the new birth that we need to hear.

The New Birth:  It has become part of the common language of America. 70% of Americans claim to be born again.  President Jimmy Carter claimed, during his presidential campaign, that he had been born again.  Since Carter, every American president has said that he has had a religious experience, which they have all referred to as being “born again.” And, I hope they have been. 1 Peter 1:23 speaks of the new birth. James mentions it 1:18 as does John in the epistle of First John, 1 John 3:9; 4:7; 5:1; 5:4; 5:18.  Well, what does it mean to be “born again?”  The little phrase literally means “to be born from above.” It carries the idea of getting a fresh start, a new life from Heaven.  We call this experience “being saved” or being “born again.”  In Titus 3:5, Paul uses the term “regeneration.”  It means the same exact thing.  It means that you are regenerated, you get a new life. You get a new start.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Leviticus   25  26        Luke   14

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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28.                      God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                 February 28, 2013

Good Morning!
Moments With The Master: Nicodemus learned the Must Of The New Birth.  Let me show you why it is necessary, if you want to get to Heaven.

YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN:
John 3:3. “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Many people have the New Birth confused. They are seeking reformation.  That is, they are trying to “turn over a new leaf” or “get a new lease on life.”  What the world needs is not reformation, but regeneration. Every person needs regeneration and not reformation. Reformation is just whitewashing, but regeneration will wash you white, inside and out.  Reformation will put new cloths on a man, but regeneration will put a new man in his cloths. What the world needs, what you need, and what I need is regeneration.  You see, if you have been born only once, then you are going to die twice.  But, if you have been born twice, you will never die, because death has been swallowed up in life, John 11:25-26.

With all that in mind, let me share with you The Must Of The New Birth.  Let me show you why it is necessary, if you want to get to Heaven. The Nature Of Humanity Makes It A Must: Jesus told Nicodemus, “You must be born again.” Nicodemus must have thought this was a mistake.  After all, if you looked at this man and at all that he had going for him, you would never expect him to need to be born again.  Not Nicodemus.  Maybe that wino needs to be saved and born again.  Maybe that wayward woman needs the new birth.  Well, that wasted life down in the gutter needs to be born again, but someone like Nicodemus, well surely that doesn’t apply to him.  If you looked at this man you would have thought that he had everything going for him.  He had all the plusses and none of the minuses from a human perspective. Yet Jesus told him, You Must Be Born Again:

Nicodemus Was A Rich Man: Tradition tells us that Nicodemus was one of the three riches men in Jerusalem.
Nicodemus Was A Respectable Man: He was held in great esteem by all who knew him and saw him.
Nicodemus Was A Religious Man: He was a Pharisee. He kept the Law. He was morally pure to a degree that you and I cannot imagine. He paid his tithes. He kept the written Law and the traditions of the elders. Nicodemus was a religious man in need of a Redeemer.  It is good to live clean and holy, but that will not save you.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Leviticus  27     Numbers  1     Luke  15      Psalm  30

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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