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May, 2013

Devotions, May, 2013

Joyce's Flower Garden
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1.                           God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                         May 1, 2013

Good Morning!
There is a glory and beauty far beyond the wildest dreams of any mortal person.

SATAN PRESENTS THE GLORY OF THIS WORLD TO JESUS:
Luke 4:5. “And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.
6. And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.
7. If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.
8. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

Once more the scene changes. They have left Jerusalem and the Temple. They no longer breath the stifled air, thick with perfume of incense, the Devil whisks Jesus away with the speed of light onto the top of some very high mountain. Satan turns on some magical screen and out of the cloud-land at the edge of the horizon the world, in all its glory, beauty, strength, majesty, lies unveiled; Its work, its might, its greatness, its art, its thought, all emerge in clear view. Jesus is shown inside the great palaces, the governments that are in session, the armies are marching with gleaming shields and banners waving. Cities and towns and villages are clearly seen.

It is a world quite different than the Nazareth-home where the God-man grew up in. And all that was in His vision, Satan claims, and will give to Him if He will do homage to Him. “All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.” It was, not ‘worship,’ but ‘homage’ (allegiance) which the Evil One desired, but once given, Satan would lay claim to ownership of The Son Of God.

But in this very fact lay the answer to Satan’s suggestions. Jesus could see high above the moving scenes of earthly glory and beauty and power, to a land with glory and beauty which far exceeds any the world could ever offer. He could look beyond the earthly horizon and see a city not made with hands; A city with walls of jasper, and gates of pearl, and streets of pure gold; A river of pure water flowing through it, and trees with leaves for the healing of the nations. A throne, high and lifted up, was set in the midst of it, that not long afterward to be His, just waiting His return.

“NO THANKS SATAN, I must be about My Father’s business,” which is to do His will. With this Luke adds, “And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season.” He would be back, and in the end bring a cross.

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

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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2.                         God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                       May 2, 2013

Good Morning!
Why is being a member of a church different from being a member of any other institution or organization in the world?

EVERY MEMBER MATTERS:
Hebrews 10:24. “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
25. Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

What does it mean to be a member of a church? You will understand why membership matters and every member matters if you will begin to see the church as a body and the members as the vital organs. We are told in Romans, “So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one, members one of another.”

People’s thoughts today about membership, people think about paying dues, secret rituals, or having your name on some invisible roll that nobody ever sees. To Paul, being a “member” of the church was the same thing as being a vital organ of a living body. Until we understand that, we will never understand the Biblical meaning of membership. The church is a body, not a building. It is an organism, not an organization. In order for organs of the body to fulfill their purpose they must be connected to the body. For the body to be healthy all of the organs must be connected and they must be functioning. Any vital organ that is detached from the body will not only fail to fulfill its purpose, but it will die. The same thing is true for Christians who refuse to become a member of a church.

While your relationship to Jesus Christ is personal, God never intended it to be private. The church is a body, and every member needs to be connected to the body. The church is a family, and every family member needs to be a functioning member of the family. One of the greatest problems we face in the church today is “meaningless membership.” According to the Barna Research Group, 1 in 7 people will look for a new church this year, and 1 in 6 attends two or more churches on a rotating basis. Now some call these people “church hoppers.”

The reason many hop from church to church is because they are saying in their own way, “my membership is not meaningful.” Our Church is going to do everything she can to insure that “every member matters.” This is going to entail a process; a never ending process that we pray will produce meaningful members.

Read-Thru-The-Bible

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

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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3.                        God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                      May 3, 2013

Good Morning!
If the Christian life is anything at all it is to be a life of joy--radiant resplendent, refreshing joy. It is joy unspeakable to be a Christian.

THE JOY OF JESUS:
Philippians 1:3. “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you,
4. Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy,
18. What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.

The words ‘joy,’ ‘rejoicing’ or ‘gladness’ are found 19 times in the book of Philippians. When you open this little book it is like opening your window to a gust of fresh air. It is like walking into a room that is filled with the scent of beautiful roses. This little book pulsates and radiates with joy. But it is not just an ordinary joy but a super ordinary joy. It is the joy of Jesus for this book is not only about joy. It is also about Jesus just as every book in the Bible is about Jesus. In Philippians, 20 times Paul uses the name Jesus. There is joy in Jesus. There is the joy of Jesus. There is joy with Jesus. So the book is about the joy of Jesus--real joy, true joy, everlasting joy cannot be found apart from Jesus, and any other joy you do find will last only as long as the emotion is generated.

The joy of Jesus is a personal joy. It is a powerful joy. It is a permanent joy. Jesus said in John 15:11, “These things I have spoken to you that my joy may remain in you and that your joy may be made full.” There we see it ‘my joy, a personal joy,’ may remain in you, a permanent joy so that your joy maybe full, a powerful joy. There is the joy of having the Holy Spirit as your friend, the joy of having the Bible as your guide, the joy of having heaven as your home. When I think of it my soul just thrills in the joy of knowing the Lord. I am like the person who was saved, stood up in church and gave his testimony. He said, “I am happier now when I’m not happy than I was before when I was happy.”

Of all the churches that Paul founded if you had asked Paul, “Paul which of these churches would you like to pastor?” He would undoubtedly have said the church at Philippi; “it was the nearest and dearest to his heart.” Notice he says in 1:7, “I have you in my heart.” He says in 1:6, “I long for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus.” Philippi was a devoted church full of joy, happy in Jesus, winning souls, loving one another.

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

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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 4. 5.                    God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                   May 4 & 5, 2013

Good Morning!
Jesus is saying that there should be no external sign of fasting or sorrow, but it should be done secretly to the Lord to receive a full reward.

THE BENEFITS OF FASTING:
Matthew 6:14. “Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
17. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face;
18. That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.”

Jesus was asked why His disciples did not fast like the Pharisees and John’s disciples, He told them that they did not fast while the Bridegroom was with them but the days were coming when the Bridegroom would be taken away and then they would fast (Luke 5:33-34). Jesus knew the benefits of fasting and He taught his disciple by His own fasting. He knew that the days and months ahead would bring about many fasts in their lives. He says, “When you fast,” not “if you fast.”

Fasting accomplishes many things. One of the greatest benefits of fasting is that through denying the bodily cravings of the flesh, the spirit man gains ascendancy. Fasting was always used as a means of seeking God to the exclusion of all else. Fasting does not cast out demons, but rather, it casts out unbelief. Therefore, fasting is beneficial to every aspect of the Christian life not just in the casting out of devils.

The real virtue of a fast is in humbling ourselves through self denial, and it can be accomplished through ways other than total abstinence. Partial fasts can be beneficial, as well as fasts of our time or pleasures. However, because appetite for food is one of man's strongest drives, fasting from food seems to get the job done the quickest. Fasting should be an important part of our seeking God. Endeavor to live a fasted lifestyle, whether it is a denial of yourself through food, or denial of your own wishes. Exalt Jesus today. Put Him first in everything that you do. A fast does not always have to be totally secretive to be productive. Rather, Jesus is once again dealing with the motives behind our actions. The fast must be directed toward God and not men.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
1 Samuel   15  16          Romans   7
1 Samuel   17  18          Romans   8         Psalm  63

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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6.                         God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                        May 6, 2013

Good Morning!
There is no such thing as luck or coincidence in the Christian life. If God is in control of everything, then what appears to be luck or coincidence is really an opportunity provided by God.

OPPORTUNITIES:
2 Corinthians 2:12. “Furthermore, when I came to Troas to preach Christ's gospel, and a door was opened unto me of the Lord,”

In many ancient harbors the water was shallow and ships often had to wait for the incoming tide to raise the water level sufficiently to allow them to sail in. The Latin phrase ‘ob portu’ (against the port) described a waiting ship's position just outside the harbor. The English word opportunity derives from the phrase ‘ob portu’ to describe when one prepares and waits for just the right moment to act.

In our scripture today Paul is referring to some incidents which occurred when he was passing through Asia Minor (Acts 16). Verse 6 tells us that Paul intended to turn East into Asia but the Holy Ghost forbid it. Then he wanted to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not. While Paul was thinking on these two closed doors he had a vision of a man asking to “Come over into Macedonia, and help us.” This was the door of opportunity he spoke of in the above scripture. And what an opportunity, this is where Luke joined him and Lydia was baptized and a great Church established in Philippi.

Those who seem to have the most opportunities in life make opportunities instead of waiting for them to happen. The apostle Paul was the kind of person who looked for every opportunity to preach the Gospel. If a door closed and the opportunity vanished, he assumed it was God who closed the door and that another would open. Instead of bemoaning the two missed opportunities, Paul took the third, “assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them. (Acts 16:10).

Galatians 6:10 “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.”
An obstacle is often an unrecognized opportunity.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
1 Samuel   19  20         Romans  9

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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7.                          God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                         May 7, 2013

Good Morning!
We have an adversary that is tirelessly working to bring about the downfall of every Christian. On the other hand we have an advocate working in our favor. In the next few days we want to look at how our Advocate opposes our Adversary.

JESUS CHRIST IS OUR ADVOCATE:
Luke 22:31. “And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:
32. But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.”
1 Peter 5:8. “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
9. Whom resist stedfast in the faith, .,.”

The word “advocate” means, “someone who supports or speaks in favor of someone.”  In the Book of Job, God asked Satan where he had come from. Satan said he had come from going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it. Satan is scouring the earth and he is looking for those whom he may spiritually overcome and consume. He is walking about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. Peter’s language dramatically communicates the danger which Satan represents. It also implies Satan’s limitations. If the devil is seeking those whom he may devour, then there are those whom Satan can’t devour.

Just as the whale could not keep Jonah in its belly but had to throw him up on dry ground, so there are those whom the devil cannot devour and digest to their spiritual destruction. Those people whom the devil can’t devour are those who have a faith relationship with Jesus unto eternal life.

In Luke 22:21 Jesus is warning His disciples, and especially Simon Peter, that Satan is indeed seeking those whom he may devour. Jesus is warning Peter that Satan wants to devour him and the other disciples. Jesus says, “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked for you…” Jesus is here addressing Simon Peter, but He is also not talking about Peter alone. The word “you” here is plural. The reference is to all the disciples. Satan already had Judas. In Luke 22:3 “Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve. 4. And he went his way, …” Satan already possessed the soul of Judas Iscariot. He had devoured him like a lion, but this had not satisfied but only whetted Satan’s appetite, now Satan wants to devour the other eleven.

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

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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8.                         God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                    May 8, 2013

Good Morning!
Satan demands that the disciples be acknowledged as belonging to him.

SATAN HAS DESIRED US:
Luke 22:31. “And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:
32. But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.”

Jesus says to Peter, “Satan has asked for you,” with “you” in the plural. The Greek word here translated “desired” refers not to a polite request but to the demand of an alleged right. The book “Pilgrim’s Progress” is an allegory representing the Christian life as a journey or pilgrimage be a man named Christian. Christian leaves the City of Destruction passes through the straight and narrow gate of faith in the gospel message, and then travels the Highway of Holiness to the city of Zion, which is heaven.

At one point in his journey, the devil in person of a monster named Apollyon confronts Christian, blocks his path and swears that Christian will go no farther. In this encounter Apollyon claims that Christian belongs to him. Apollyon: “whence came you, and whither are you bound?” Christian: “I came from the city of destruction, which is the place of all evil, and I am going to the city of Zion.” Apollyon: “By this I perceive thou art one of my subjects; for all that country is mine, and I am the prince and god of it. How is it thou hast run away from thy king?”

Satan is there arguing that Christian is his subject because he was born in the city of Destruction. Christian is a citizen of the kingdom of darkness, and therefore the Lord of Darkness is demanding allegiance. Satan is making the same demand regarding Jesus’ disciples in Luke 22:21. Satan had instigated, and listened, as the disciples had disputed among themselves, as to which of them should be considered the greatest (Luke 22:24). Now Satan could point to this petty rivalry, rooted in pride, and claim it as evidence that the disciples belonged to him.

Satan could claim it as a mark of ownership as valid as a brand, or mark burned on he hide of a steer. Satan lays claim that the disciples belong to him. He wants to prove his ownership of them by placing them in his sieve and sifting them as wheat.

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

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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 9.                        God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                      May 9, 2013

Good Morning!
The sieve is a shallow container with a mesh or screen bottom. The farmer puts the grain in the sieve, and then he vigorously shakes the sieve while blowing over it. The small heavy dirt falls through the mesh, and the light chaff is blown away leaving the good grain clean and ready for storage.

THE SIFTING PROCESS:
Luke 22:31. “And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:
32. But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.”

Satan says he wants to sift the disciples as wheat. He wants to put them through a vigorous shaking of their faith because Satan believes this will reveal the disciples as chaff. Satan believes the trial will destroy the disciples’ faith and spiritually ruin them. And true to his word, the disciples, especially Peter, will have their faith shaken that night when Jesus is arrested, tried, and crucified. Satan deliberately goes for the jugular vein their spiritual life which is faith.

Jesus had told them, Peter especially, “I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not.” Satan’s battle strategy against the disciples was to fight against the king of graces and that is faith. Why is faith so important? Its importance lies not in itself but in its object. The object of our faith is Jesus Christ, and faith is our lifeline to Him. The believer is in a vital, saving union with Jesus Christ, and the human experience of that union is faith.

Destroy faith, and you cut off Jesus Christ. To cut off Jesus is to cut off the Head from the Body. To cut off Jesus is to sever the Vine from the branches. Apart from Christ, the disciples can do nothing. “Without faith, it is impossible to please God.” Faith is our union, or attachment, our joint, with Jesus, and thus faith is the source of all the other graces. Apart from faith, there can be no true love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Destroy faith and the Christian is defenseless. Take away faith and the Christian has no shield against he fiery darts of the wicked one.

Satan demands the right to sift the disciples, to test the disciples, because he believes he can destroy their faith and prove them as worthless chaff.

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

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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10.                       God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                       May 10, 2013

Good Morning!
All of the eleven disciples will persevere because Jesus prays for them.

OUR ADVOCATE OPPOSES OUR ADVERSARY:
Luke 22:31. “And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:
32. But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.”
John 17:20. “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;”

Satan had made a similar demand in the Book of Job. God had pointed to Job as His faithful servant. Satan demanded that he be allowed to sift Job like wheat. Satan demanded that he be allowed to afflict Job and he said that Job would fail the test and prove to be chaff. Satan said that Job would respond to the affliction by cursing God. Satan was wrong about Job. Job patiently endured the affliction to the glory of God, Satan was wrong about Peter and the other disciples.

Why was Satan defeated? Jesus is not afraid of submitting His disciples to winnowing because He regards them not as chaff but as wheat. They are wheat not in their natural condition but as a result of the transforming grace of Jesus. All of the eleven disciples will persevere because Jesus prays for them. In like manner Jesus has prayed for me and for you because we have believed on Him through the disciples word (John 17:20). Satan demands and Jesus prays, and the prayer of Jesus are more effective that the demands of Satan.

Satan lays claim on the disciples, and us also, because of sin, but Jesus claims them because He is about to pay their redemption price. Jesus is about to redeem the disciples, not with corruptible things, like silver and gold, but with His own precious blood, as a lamb without blemish and spot. Jesus is saying, “They are mine, for I am about to buy them with a price.”

As long as we abide in Jesus through a faith relationship, we will resist the devil, and he will flee from us. As long as we feed on Christ Jesus in faith, the devil may sift us, but he will not be able to stomach us. We will not be among those whom the devil, as a roaring lion, is able to devour.

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

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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11. 12.                      God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                     May 11 & 12, 2013

Good Morning!
Satan accuses us and claims us as his own, but all Jesus had to do is to show the nail scars in His Hands. Yes, we are sinners, but those scars prove that our sins have already been paid for.

OUR ADVOCATE OPPOSES OUR ADVERSARY:
Revelation 12:10. “And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
11. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.”

The saints overcome Satan through the power of the blood of the Lamb. “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:1-2). Jesus Is our propitiation, the One who through His own suffering has satisfied God’s righteous wrath against our sins.

 
Jesus tells Peter that He has been praying for him (Luke 22:31). Notice Jesus is not praying that Peter be spared the violent shaking process. Jesus is praying that Peter’s faith not fail. Satan is allowed to shake Peter’s faith. We know the story of Peter’s denial of Jesus that night. Peter would deny Jesus three times, and even with vehement swearing. It may have appeared that the embers of faith had ceased to burn in Peter’s heart. Yet the fire of faith was never completely extinguished. You can blow on cold coals all you want, and they will never burn. But if there is even a little spark left, a breath on them will cause the embers to come to life.

Let us read of the breath that revived the flame in Peter’s heart. “And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And Peter went out, and wept bitterly.” (Luke 22:61-62) All it takes is a reminder of the Savior’s warning and a look into the Saviors eyes. Not a word was uttered yet Peter is filled with sorrow for his sin. That is a sign of embers of spiritual. Soon after Peter cries his tears of repentance, he is again with his fellow disciples to help them.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
1 Samuel   29  30   Romans   14     Psalm   66
1 Samuel   
31       2 Samuel   1       Romans   15

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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13.                       God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                        May 13, 2013

Good Morning!
The ‘conscious’ has been described as “The sense of what is right and wrong that governs somebody’s thoughts and actions, urging him or her to do right rather than wrong. Using this idea we want to take the next few days to examine the Vanishing Conscience in the world we live in.

A GOOD CONSCIENCE BEFORE GOD:
Acts 23:1. “And Paul, earnestly beholding the council, said, Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day.” 

First of all we want to look at how a person’s conscious is formed. When a baby is born he has no sense of what is right or wrong, but God made it possible for this sense (conscience) to be developed. A person’s conscious is a learning process and the learning process begins as soon as the child’s thinking capabilities are formed. The child’s parents, especially the mother, is usually the one it becomes attached to because its personal need are usually taken care of by her, so she usually becomes its first teacher. That’s why good mothers are so important in early training.

The conscience is first formed when the mother and father talks to them about things they should or should not do. The remembrance of those things is the beginning of conscience. The conscience grows accordingly along with the environment in which the child grows up in. If it grows up in a good moral Christian atmosphere, with Godly principals, both taught and acted out before them, learning to love and respect other people, their conscience will develop like-wise. Good Sunday School and Church services, with Pastors stressing love and empathy is one of the best developers of a Godly conscience.

Children who lack this type of training usually grow up lacking a Godly conscience and empathy. When we say ‘empathy’ we mean they have no capacity of sorrow or understanding of the feelings of another person or animal. Thousands upon thousands of children have grown up in the last few decades who have no empathy and commit horrific crimes because they have no sympathy or feelings of guilt or remorse or regret. Guilt only comes when a person breaks a rule that has been formed in their conscience. So no rules formed, no conscience formed.

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

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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14.                        God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                       May 14, 2013

Good Morning!
In looking at the conscience, we must also look at, where, indeed, did sin go? What became of it? The word ‘sin’ occurs 917 times in the KJV Bible, once for almost every page, yet we do not hear much about it any more. (The Vanishing Conscience)

WHATEVER HAPPENED TO SIN:
Romans 6:23a. “For the wages of sin is death;”

In all of the laments and reproaches made by our preachers and prophets, one misses any mention of “sin,” a word which used to be a veritable watchword of prophets. It was a word once in everyone’s mind, but now rarely if ever heard. Does that mean that no sin is involved in all our troubles, sin with an “I” in the middle? Is no one any longer guilty of anything? Guilty perhaps of a sin that could be repented and repaired or atoned for? Is it only that someone may be stupid or sick or criminal or asleep? Wrong things are being done, we know; tares are being sown in the wheat field at night. But is no one responsible, no one answerable for these acts? Anxiety and depression we all acknowledge, and even vague guilt feelings; but has no one committed any sins? Where, indeed, did sin go? What became of it? (By Dr. Karl Menninger)

Our culture has declared war on guilt. The very concept is considered medieval, obsolete, unproductive. People who trouble themselves with feelings of personal guilt are usually referred to therapists, whose task it is to boost their self-image. No one, after all, is supposed to feel guilty. Guilt is not conducive to dignity and self-esteem. How do we get rid of guilt? The right way is by renouncing the sinful behavior that makes us feel guilty, and by repenting and seeking forgiveness.

Ann Landers has written, “One of the most painful, self-mutilating, time—and energy-consuming exercises in the human experience is guilt.… It can ruin your day—or your week or your life—if you let it. It turns up like a bad penny when you do something dishonest, hurtful, tacky, selfish, or rotten.… Never mind that it was the result of ignorance, stupidity, laziness, thoughtlessness, weak flesh, or clay feet. You did wrong and the guilt is killing you. Too bad, but be assured, the agony you feel is normal.… Remember guilt is a pollutant and we don’t need any more of it in the world.” In other words, you shouldn’t let yourself feel bad when you do something dishonest, hurtful, tacky, selfish, or rotten. Think of yourself as good, ignorant, stupid, lazy, thoughtless, or weak, perhaps—but good. Don’t pollute your mind with the debilitating thought that you might actually be guilty of sin.

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

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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15.                      God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                      May 15, 2013

Good Morning!
We are taking a few days to examine why this society we live in has no conscience.
(The Vanishing Conscience)

NO GUILT, NO SIN?
2 Samuel 12:13. “And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD.”

In a book that deals with sin and guilt, this phrase, “I have sinned,” occurs only a few times and by fewer individuals. People just don’t want to admit to sinning. David’s sin occurred a year or more before he admitted to it, and only then because Nathan, the Man of God, confronted him with it. I’m sure that his sin had bothered him to a certain extent because he said, “my sin is ever before me” (Psalms 51:3b).

Whatever happened to sin? These days everything wrong with humanity is likely to be explained as an illness. What we used to call sin is more easily diagnosed as a whole array of disabilities. All kinds of immorality and evil conduct are now identified as symptoms of this or that psychological illness. Criminal behavior, various perverse passions, and every imaginable addiction have all been made excusable by the crusade to label them medical afflictions. We want to pass laws to excuse compulsive gamblers when they embezzle money to gamble and to force insurance companies to pay to treat them. We want to treat people who can’t find love and who instead (when they are women) go after dopey, superficial men or (when they are men) pursue endless sexual liaisons without finding true happiness. And we want to call all these things—and many, many more—addictions.

“Recovery,” the code-word for programs modeled after Alcoholics Anonymous, is explicitly marketed as a lifelong program. We’ve grown accustomed to the image of a person who has been sober for forty years standing up in an AA meeting and saying, “I’m Bill, and I’m an alcoholic.” Now all “addicts” are using the same approach—including sex addicts, gambling addicts, nicotine addicts, anger addicts, wife-beating addicts, child-molesting addicts, debt addicts, self-abuse addicts, envy addicts, failure addicts, overeating addicts, or whatever. People suffering from such maladies are taught to speak of themselves as “recovering,” never “recovered.” Those who dare to think of themselves as delivered from their affliction are told they are living in denial. What is really needed is to admit, “I Am A Sinner And I Have Need Of God In My Life.”

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

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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16.                       God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                        May 16, 2013

Good Morning!
How can we have true self-respect without hearty approval from a healthy conscience? We desperately need to recover the conviction that certain behavior is sinful. (The Vanishing Conscience)

HOW WELL IS OUR CONSCIENCE?
1 Peter 3:16a. “Having a good conscience;”
Ezekiel 18:4b. “The soul that sinneth, it shall die.”

The first step to any truly effective remedy for all mental and emotional afflictions is an honest assessment of one’s own sin and the acceptance of complete responsibility for one’s own moral failings. Most important there is ultimately no help for those who deny responsibility for their own behavior. When professional counselors encourage people to forgive themselves without repenting, what do we expect to become of the conscience?

No matter what problem you suffer from—whether you are a serial murderer or just someone struggling with emotional distress—you can easily find someone who will explain to you why your failing is not your fault, and teach you how to silence a troubled conscience. From a Biblical perspective, that kind of counsel can be spiritually destructive. It fails to address the real problem of human sinfulness. Those who refuse to acknowledge their sinfulness actually place themselves in bondage to their own guilt. “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy” (Proverbs 28:13). “If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. [But] if we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John1:8–9).

Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners! Jesus specifically said “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Mark 2:17b). Where there is no recognition of sin and guilt, when the conscience has been abused into silence, there can be no salvation, no sanctification, and therefore no real freedom from sin’s ruthless power. The conscience is an innate ability to sense right and wrong. Everyone, even the most unspiritual heathen, has a conscience. The conscience entreats us to do what we believe is right and restrains us from doing what we believe is wrong.

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

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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17.                       God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                        May 17, 2013

Good Morning!
Our ability to sense our own guilt is a tremendous gift from God. He designed the conscience into the very framework of the human soul. It is the automatic warning system that tells us, “Pull up! Pull up!” before we crash and burn.

GOD HAS GIVEN EVERYONE A CONSCIENCE:
Romans 2:14. “For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:
15. Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another.”

Paul is saying here that even those Gentile, or heathen, who have not been exposed or are unaware of the laws of God has a built in inner voice called the conscience that bears witness to a law that God has written in their hearts. The conscience is an innate ability to sense right and wrong. Everyone, even the most unspiritual heathen, has a conscience. The conscience entreats us to do what we believe is right and restrains us from doing what we believe is wrong. The conscience is not to be equated with the voice of God or the law of God. It is a human faculty that judges our actions and thoughts by the light of the highest standard we perceive.

When we violate our conscience, it condemns us, triggering feelings of shame, anguish, regret, consternation, anxiety, disgrace, and even fear. When we follow our conscience, it commends us, bringing joy, serenity, self-respect, well-being, and gladness. It is possible to nullify the conscience through repeated abuse. Paul spoke of people whose consciences were so twisted that their “glory is in their shame” (Philippians 3:19). Both the mind and the conscience can become so defiled that they cease making distinctions between what is pure and what is impure (Titus 1:15).

After so much violation, the conscience finally falls silent. Morally, those with defiled consciences are left flying blind. The annoying warning signals may be gone, but the danger certainly is not; in fact, the danger is greater than ever. Furthermore even the most defiled conscience will not remain silent forever. When we stand in judgment, every person’s conscience will side with God, the Righteous Judge. The worst sin-hardened evildoer will discover before the throne of God that he has a conscience which testifies against him. Listen to your conscience; it may be the last voice you will hear.

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

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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18. 19.                 God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                     May 18 & 19, 2013

Good Morning!
Error, human wisdom, and wrong moral influences filling the mind will corrupt or cripple the conscience rendering it ineffective. (The Vanishing Conscience)

OUR CONSCIENCE BEARS WITNESS OF THE FACTS:
Romans 9:1. “I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost.”

The conscience is privy to all our secret thoughts and motives. It is therefore a more accurate and more formidable witness in the soul’s courtroom than any external observer. Though it may be hardened, cauterized, or numbed into apparent dormancy, the conscience continues to store up evidence that will one day be used as testimony to condemn the guilty soul. The conscience reacts to the convictions of the mind and therefore can be encouraged and sharpened in accordance with God’s Word. The wise Christian wants to master biblical truth so that the conscience is completely informed and judges right because it is responding to God’s Word. A daily diet of Scripture strengthens a weak conscience or restrain an overactive one.

Richard Sibbes pictured the conscience as a court in the council of the human heart.
“The conscience itself assumes every role in the courtroom drama. It is a register to record what we have done in exact detail (Jeremiah 17:1). It is the accuser that lodges a complaint against us when we are guilty, and a defender to side with us in our innocence (Romans 2:15). It acts as a witness, giving testimony for or against us (2 Corinthians 1:12). It is the judge, condemning or vindicating us (1 John 3:20–21). And it is the executioner, smiting us with grief when our guilt is discovered (1 Samuel 24:5).

We should not sin in hope of concealment. What if thou conceal it from all others, canst thou conceal [it from] thy own conscience? As one saith well, What good is it for thee that none knows what is done, when thou knowest it thyself? What profit is it for him that hath a conscience that will accuse him, that he hath no man to accuse him but himself? He is a thousand witnesses to himself. Conscience is not a private witness. It is a thousand witnesses. Therefore, never sin in hope to have it concealed. It were better that all men should know it than that thyself should know it. All will be one day written in thy forehead. Conscience will be a blab. If it cannot speak the truth now, though it be bribed in this life, it will have power and efficacy in the life to come.… We have the witness in us; and, as Isaiah saith, ‘Our sins witness against us.’ It is in vain to look for secrecy. Conscience will discover all.”

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
2 Samuel   12  13      1 Corinthians   5     
2 Samuel   14  15      1 Corinthians   6       Psalm  70

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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20.                       God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                      May 20, 2013

Good Morning!
The writer of Hebrews tells us that the blood of Christ restores the conscience to its original condition as it was before Adam sinned. (The Vanishing Conscience)

HOW THE CONSCIENCE IS CLEANSED:
Hebrews 10:22. “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.”

One feature of the miracle of salvation is the cleansing and rejuvenating effect the new birth has on the conscience. At salvation, the believer’s heart is “sprinkled clean from an evil conscience” (Hebrews 10:22). The means through which the conscience is cleansed is the blood of Christ. “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God” (Hebrews 9:14).

The Old Testament Law required blood sacrifices to atone for sin. But Old Testament sacrifices could do nothing for the conscience. Hebrews 9:9–10 says, “Gifts and sacrifices (under the Levitical system) could not make the worshiper perfect in conscience, since they relate only to food and drink and various washings, regulations for the body imposed until a time of reformation.” Those sacrifices had no actual value in atoning for sin, “it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins” (Hebrews 10:4). The blood of Jesus Christ washes away our sins.

Does that mean believers can persist in sinning and yet enjoy a clear conscience? Certainly not. “How shall we who are dead to sin still live in it?” (Romans 6:2). The new birth entails a complete overhaul of the human soul (2 Corinthians 5:17). A washed and rejuvenated conscience is only one evidence that such a transformation has taken place (1 Peter 3:21). Love of righteousness and hatred of sin is another evidence (1 John 3:3, 8). Believers whose behavior contradicts their faith cause their consciences to be defiled (1 Corinthians 8:7). And those who profess Christ but ultimately reject faith and a good conscience suffer shipwreck spiritually (1 Timothy 1:19)—that is, they prove they never truly believed in the first place (1 John 2:19).

What a gift it is to be cleansed from a defiled conscience! In the same way that a grieved conscience is a flash of hell, so a pure conscience is a foretaste of glory. It is the Christian’s high and holy duty to guard the purity of his regenerated conscience.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
2 Samuel   16  17     1 Corinthians  7

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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21.                        God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                      May 21, 2013

Good Morning!
How can we keep our consciences pure? What is the proper response to guilt feelings? Here are some simple principles to remember involving confession, forgiveness, restitution, procrastination, and education. (The Vanishing Conscience)

KEEPING A PURE CONSCIENCE:
1 Timothy 3:9. “Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.”
2 Timothy 1:3. “I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience.”even their mind and conscience is defiled.”

Confess and forsake known sin: Examine your guilt feelings in light of Scripture. Deal with the sin God’s Word reveals. Proverbs 28:13 says, “He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion.” First John 1:9 speaks of confession of sin as an ongoing characteristic of the Christian life: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” We should certainly confess to those we have wronged.

Ask Forgiveness and be reconciled to anyone you have wronged: Jesus, “Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift” (Matthew 5:23–24).

Make Restitution: (Numbers 5:6-7) This Old Testament Law is binding on us. Here is what Zacchaeus the publican said, “And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold” (Luke 19:8).

Don’t Procrastinate in clearing your wounded conscience. Dealing with a wounded conscience immediately by heart-searching prayer before God is the only way to keep it clear and sensitive. Putting off dealing with guilt inevitably compounds the problems. Procrastination allows the guilt feelings to fester and eat on us.

Educate your conscience: We must subject our conscience to the truth of God and the teaching of Scripture. Think on pure and holy things.

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

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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22.                      God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                     May 22, 2013

Good Morning!
When God breathed His breath into Adam he gave him an inner being that would live eternally. He also gave man the choice of where his soul will spend eternity.

MAN BECAME A LIVING SOUL:
Genesis 2:7. “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”

The soul of man is the only thing in the story of creation that will last eternally. The Bible talks about a day when “the stars will fall from heaven,” and also a day when, “the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements (atoms) will melt with fervent heat, and the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up” (2 Peter 3:10). The soul of man will endure the conflagration that will completely annihilate observable creation. Only the unseen world, the heavenly world, will remain.

Jesus tells us how important the soul of man is and the value of redeeming it. “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”(Matthew 16:26). The Psalmist says, “For the redemption of their soul is precious..” (Psalms 49:8) He also says, “But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me.” (Psalms 49:15).

In the light of what we have read let us make an all out effort to save our soul. The soul is the spiritual part of man; it is given by God to everyone born into this world and returns to God who gave it when we die (Ecclesiastes 12:7). Paul’s prayer for the Church at Thessalonica seems to recognize the fact that man is composed of three parts, Spirit, Soul, and Body. “I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:23). At the second coming of the Lord the soul will be reunited with a spiritual body at the resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:5-54); (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).

God designed the three parts of man, Spirit (mind, mental), Soul, (spiritual), and Body (physical), to live in harmony. To have full and complete harmony in our lives we must invite God into His rightful place in our life.

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

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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23.                       God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                     May 23, 2013

Good Morning!
The creation of man and the establishment of his home seems to be what the story of creation has been pointing toward. Nothing could have been more personal than God Himself planting and arranging the garden that was the first home for man

MAN’S FIRST HOME, A GARDEN, A PARADISE:
Genesis 2:8, “And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.
9. And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. 10. And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads.” 

Of all His works God only “created man in His own image: in the image of God created He him.” This expression refers not merely to the intelligence with which God endowed, and the immortality with which He gifted man, but also to the perfect moral and spiritual nature which man at the first possessed. And all his surroundings were in accordance with his happy state. God put him into the Garden of Eden “to dress it and to keep it,” and gave him a congenial companion in Eve, whom Adam recognized as “bone of his bones, and flesh of his flesh.”

Thus as God had, by setting apart the Sabbath day, indicated worship as the proper relationship between man and his Creator, so He also laid in Paradise the foundation of civil society by the institution of marriage and of the family. One of the greatest thing about this home was the presence of God was in it. “And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day” (Genesis 3:8). I like to think that it was God’s custom and delight to walk about in the Garden home of Adam and Eve. God should feel at home in our parlor, den, bedroom, and be welcomed into our conversation and society.

This is the only way our house can be a home is to have God, not as a guest, but as an occupant. In many homes today people are so preoccupied with one another, their food and drink, clothes, comfort, and entertainment, that they lose contact with the One Who should be at the center of all decisions. Don’t neglect the Creator of the home, or it will become an empty shell. Make the Creator a welcomed part of your family. Every day let us pray, “God Bless Our Home.”

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

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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24.                       God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                      May 24, 2013

Good Morning!
Adam disregarded the consequences of breaking God’s law and brought sorrow and struggle on the entire human race.

GOD COMMANDS OBEDIENCE TO HIS LAWS:
Genesis 2:16. “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
17. But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”

Take time to ask God to bless your food, help you make the choice of the clothes you wear, the places of entertainment you attend, and above all let Him talk to the family through His word. In His word you will find rules to go by to make for a happy home. And we find that these rules and benefits are still given by the Creator to the families who will live by His commandments. If there was no Creator, then you are the result of some accidental happing, having come from nowhere and on your way to nowhere. You are just a nobody with no ultimate accountability or eternal value. That is depressing. Praise God it’s not true.

In the beginning God gave only one law, or commandment to the human race, which consisted of Adam and Eve. “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” After the flood God gave two laws, or commandments, when He emphasizes the sacredness of human life, “a life for a life,” and not to “eat blood” (Genesis 9:4-6). Then 800 years later, God, by Moses, brought a code of many laws centered on the Ten Commandments which the people were commanded to keep.

God’s commandments are not to be taken lightly, because there are consequences, usually severe, to breaking His laws. People are still breaking God’s laws and bringing sorrow, pain, and disappointment on themselves and on their family. Sin is a spiritual disease that has been transmitted to every single person in every generation from Adam. It infects the entire population of the world and is the cause of all problems, of war, greed, hate, prejudice, cruelty, corruption, and all other ills that plague us. God’s moral laws are just as permanent as His law of gravity and the consequences are just as great when defied.

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

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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25. 26.                God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                       May 25 & 26, 2013

Good Morning!
We all are born with a nature that has a strong tendency to sin, our lives bear the “fruit” of sin through the choices we make—which is where sin started in the beginning. Make every choice in the light of its eternal value and consequences.

THE SERPENT'S DECEPTION AND MAN'S SHAMEFUL FALL:
Genesis 3:4. “And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
5. For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. 6. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he (ADAM) did eat.”

When you are at ease, relaxed, off-guard, secure, watch out, that ancient “serpent” called the “devil,” or Satan, is always lurking in the background, still as subtle, as he was when he approached Eve. He comes with lies and deception, tempting everyone to break God’s commandments. That is the way he approached Eve, when she was off guard. Satan is easily recognized when he comes “as a roaring lion” bringing terror and destruction, but the Bible also tells us that sometimes he comes as an “angel of light.” Paul speaks of the “wiles of the devil,” and gives us instruction on how to battle him (Ephesians 6:10-18).

In John 8:44 Jesus tells us that the devil is a liar and the father (beginning) of it. This was not the first lie the devil told when he talked to Eve. Isaiah 14:13-14 tells us he said “I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.” These lies got him kicked out of heaven, but he didn’t stop his lying. He deceived Eve by telling her, “Thou shall not surely die:” it’s not for sure, it’s a maybe. Also, “Your eyes will be opened,” “You will be as God.” You will have intelligence. “She doubted God’s word, she saw, she desired, she took, she did eat, she gave to Adam and he did eat.”

Notice the progression of the sin; the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, the taking hold thereof (she touched), the partaking of (she did eat), the passing it on (she gave to Adam), he did eat. That’s the way sin travels, it never stops till the end thereof which is death, death spiritually, and death mortally. Life is filled with choices. Remember Satan is always on hand to help, or hinder, our choice.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
1 Kings   2  3           1 Corinthians   12        Psalm   73
1 Kings   4  5           1 Corinthians   13

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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27.                       God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                     May 27, 2013

Good Morning!
The conscience is a most important characteristic that God has endowed each human with that was given to them to deter or forestall them from doing wrong.

ADAM AND EVE’S CONSCIENCE WAS AWAKENED:
Genesis 3:7. “And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
8. And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.”

The first thing that happened to Adam and Eve after they had disobeyed God was their conscience was hurt, in fact it tormented them. They were not aware of this built-in mechanism which, until sin entered, was not activated. Satan had told them that their “eyes would be opened,” but he did not tell them of the anguish that would follow, the wishing, the aching, that it could be undone. Adam and Eve’s eyes were opened in a horrible way. They knew good, but also that they were separated from it. They knew evil because they were saturated in it. They knew good and evil (sin) in a way God never intended them to know—through their own experience.

Sin brought shame in their lives: Another thing they had never had before, they knew they were naked, and they were ashamed before God. Adam and Eve stood before each other, dirty in sin and feeling very exposed. They were ashamed of themselves and ashamed of each other, but that didn’t begin to compare with their feeling of shame before God. They were so ashamed that just the thought of having to face Him sent them into hiding and trying to cover themselves with fig leaves.

Have you tried to sew some leaves together to cover up your sin and shame before God? Leaves of good works? Leaves of religion? Leaves of Church attendance? Leaves of community service? There are no fig leaves thick enough, or big enough to hide your sin and shame from God. The only thing that will cover your sin is the shed Blood of the “Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world.” When your conscience is bothering you, thank God for it. Don’t smother your conscience or over-ride it until it no longer speaks to you. Listen to it when it speaks, and make restitutions to God and your fellow man. Your conscience is your best friend.

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

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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 28.                     God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                       May 28, 2013

Good Morning!
Adam and Eve were called before God’s bar of justice. This foreshadows the Great White Throne Judgment where all men must ultimately appear to answer to God.

ADAM IS CALLED BEFORE THE TRIBUNAL OF GOD:
Genesis 3:8. “And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.
9. And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?
10. And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.
11. And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?

I would imagine that up until this day, whenever God would come into the garden Adam and Eve would run to meet Him like we did as a small child when our daddy would come home from work or wherever. Remember how he would gather us up into his arms and tells us he loved us and we would be so happy. That’s the way I imagine Adam and Eve would have felt. Surely the greatest joy of their lives had been when God came in the cool of the day to spend time with them, to commune with them, to talk with them, just listening to His voice, and learning from Him. The Garden of Eden foreshadows what heaven will be like.

 I was afraid.” The word ‘Fear’ entered the human language. On this day they were hiding from Him among the trees in the garden. They were afraid because they had un-confessed sin in their hearts and His coming was a dreaded event. Are you hiding from God? Have you stopped praying and reading your Bible? Stopped going to Church? Do you tell your friends that your work schedule keeps you too busy when really you are hiding? Maybe you maintain the outward appearance of a Christian by going to Church, and calling yourself a Christian, when really your heart and mind is far from God. Aren’t you afraid?

Is God calling you? Is He saying, “Where are you? I missed you in Church this week. Where are you? I missed meeting you for prayer this morning. Where are you? You read your Bible but with such a hurried and cluttered mind. Where are you? Add your name here ________________. And come out of hiding, it takes courage to come out of hiding and into the Lord’s presence when you have disobeyed Him but it will be the greatest thing you have ever done.

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

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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29.                        God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                       May 29, 2013

Good Morning!
You and I are held accountable for the truth we have opportunity to know.

EVE WAS GUILTY BEFORE GOD:
Genesis 3:13. “And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.
16. Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.”

Adam and Eve both were fully aware of God’s Commandment telling them not to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Some want to offer the excuse for Eve by saying that God did not directly tell Eve (they really don’t know what all God told Eve) about not eating of the fruit but was told by Adam. According to her conversation with Satan she explained what God had said concerning the fruit, so regardless of who told her, she knew and was guilty before God.

Every woman who has born children has felt the consequences of Eve’s sin. Since the Garden of Eden women have suffered literal pain associated with childbirth. Yet as excruciating as the physical pain is, there is the emotional pain endured in the process of raising children. Their problems become the mother’s problems, every hurt, disappointment, rejection, failure, pain, or heartache they experience, the mother experiences to a greater degree. Untold numbers of mothers lay awake each night worrying and praying about their son or daughter. Yet there is hope for the human race in the fulfilling of God’s prophecy, “I will put enmity between thy (Satan) seed and her (Eve) seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”

This prophecy has been fulfilled throughout human history in Satan’s repeated attacks on the Jews, God’s chosen people, and in the persecution of Christians, the Bride of Christ. This is also a prophecy of the virgin birth of Jesus of Nazareth, Whose heel would be bruised by Satan on the cross. Yet Jesus’ death was temporary. On the third day He arose victorious from the dead, crushing the head of the Devil, destroying his power forever. Its complete fulfillment is yet to come when Jesus shall descend from Heaven, with a shout from the archangel, and claims complete victory over the one who brought all the misery on the human race.

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

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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30.                       God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                    May 30, 2013

Good Morning!
To answer the questions, “Is there a God?” “What is God like?” “How can I know God?” “Is there life after death?” “Why am I here? “Where am I going?”

A GOD WHO HAD NO NEEDS:
Genesis 1:1. “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”

Genesis begins with the dark void of eternity. God has always been. He has always been God. There was a time when there was nothing but God. And somewhere back before time, God established His throne. Isaiah 14:12-14 and Ezekiel 28:12-17 establishes the fact that God had a hierarchy, a Kingdom with all the pomp and unimaginable splendor anyone could desire, long before He created this Universe. So the question arises, “Why did God create the heaven and the earth?”

A God who had no needs, but Who had desires. He did not need a heaven and an earth, but He had a desire to have boys and girls, and men and women, who would love and worship Him and have fellowship with Him. That’s the reason He created the heavens and the earth. This earth that you and I inhabit is almost an insignificant speck swirling around in an unimaginable vast collection of stars and planets. Why did God create so unimaginable large universe, and as far as science can determine, the earth is the only inhabitable speck in it?

This earth is the most remarkable piece of real estate in the Universe. It was established as a paradise, a home, for the human race. Once man was created, he was committed for the long term. And the Creator, in His grace, showered the man with benefits that would make his commitment to life a joy and pleasure: “God blessed them” (Genesis 1:28). Every day the man would be excited to wake up, eager to go to work, rejoicing in who he was and the opportunities he had during the day, walking in the evening with the Creator, sleeping peacefully at night in harmony with the world around him because he was blessed by His Creator.

God is the Creator, whose purpose for you and me is the same as it was when He created our environment in the beginning. He wants us to reflect His image so that we might receive His blessing. “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good” (Genesis 1:31).

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

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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31.                       God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                     May 31, 2013

Good Morning!
Like planet Earth around us, our lives are not a haphazard cosmos. They were deliberately planned to be filled with the beauty of love and joy and peace and purpose—with God Himself. Such plans for our lives, as for planet Earth, need careful preparation.

WE CAN FIND MEANING IN THE PREPARATION OF THE EARTH:
Genesis 1:2. “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”

In the beginning, there was nothing in the universe except a vast, endless emptiness. There was no time, no history, no life, no light, no sound, just an immense black hole. Then, in all of that eternal empty nothingness, there was a misshapen blob that swirled in water, minute in size compared to the endless expanse surrounding it. It was enveloped in inky blackness, empty of everything and anything we might name, recognize, or find familiar.

PREPARED BY THE SPIRIT OF GOD: One of the very first steps the Creator took to fill the emptiness with life and beauty and eternal purpose was to prepare it by His Spirit: “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”

The description of the Earth as it existed in the beginning is also an amazingly accurate description of the lives of many people today—lives that are formless, with no shape or discipline or character; lives that are void of meaning and joy and satisfaction—empty on the inside; lives that are in the darkness of ignorance, depression, despair, anger, frustration, and separated from God; and lives that are covered with water—the “deep”—having no stability or security.

How does a person whose life is empty experience changes that will result in a full, happy, meaningful life? The first necessary step is the preparation by the Spirit of God. Hundreds bear radiant testimony to the power of God to transform an empty life into one filled with the blessing of God through the preparation of His Spirit and the power of the Word. Let us pray that God’s Spirit will hover over us to prepare our hearts to receive Him into our lives, then what a change takes place.

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

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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