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July 2013

Devotions For July 2013

At The Feet Of Jesus

                                    At The Feet Of Jesus              

      Today Is Sunday, June 25, 2017

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1.  God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                              July 1, 2013        

 Good Morning!                                                                                                                                            
 Belshazzar was the last of the Babylonian kings. The great feast he made for a thousand of his lords which we read about here was on the last night of his reign.

THE NIGHT FEAST OF BELSHAZZAR:                                                                                                  
Daniel 5:1. “Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thousand of his lords, and drank wine before the thousand.
4. They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone.
30. In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain.”

Belshazzar belonged to the proud, profligate race of Chaldeans—licentious and wildly extravagant, grossly self-indulgent and very, wicked. The Hebrew Prophets described them as “Given to pleasures, dwelling carelessly, and trusting in wickedness” (Isaiah 47:8). Their young men were showy, sensual, and lewd. They dressed in dyed garments of bright colors—they curled their hair, used jewelry, carried walking-sticks with a bird or a serpent carved on the handle. They were fond of gold and silver chains, costly furniture, and great feasts.

They frequented dramatic entertainments in which dancers and singers appeared with little or no dress, and less decency, for their amusement. They drank wine and sang lewd songs, were out late at night and did everything else that wild, half-intoxicated young men and women are likely to do. (Sounds like modern day youth). This is well documented by Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel and from the Greek historians, as well as from inscriptions from their own monuments that remain to this day. And knowing all this concerning that great and mighty city we are not surprised that Babylon became a desolation.

The day of doom is not far off from any great city, or country, when its young men become effeminate, self-indulgent, fond of pleasure, and afraid of work. There are 4 words which describe those who leave all the work for someone else, “it’s not my job.” That is the way Babylon was ruined—that is the way Rome fell to the barbarians—that is the way Constantinople came under the sway of the Mohammedans—that is the way Venice ended a thousand years of independent history with shame and servitude.

Belshazzar and his thousand lords did not profane the golden vessels of Jehovah until they had drunk wine. The feasting and mad pursuit of thrills is a sign of a sick generation.

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

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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2.   God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                            July 2, 2013        

Good Morning!
God is witness every day of the week and every hour of the day. God never sleeps. His ear catches every word that passes from our lips (Matthew 12:36). In the deepest solitude we must all have one companion. “God is here—God is everywhere.” We cannot hide anything from God.

THE FINGERS OF GOD WRITE UPON THE WALL:
Daniel 5:4. “They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone. 5 In the same hour came forth fingers of a man's hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaister of the wall of the king's palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote. 6 Then the king's countenance was changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against another.”

Belshazzar had everything to flatter his pride and feed his passions. He was an absolute Monarch, holding life and property of his thousand lords and his countless people entirely at his disposal. He answered to no one. His servants were the princes of conquered nations. Kings bowed before him. His wives and concubines were the wives and daughters of kings. His city was enriched with the spoils of many nations—his fields were cultivated by captive people. He was hasty and violent in temper.

Belshazzar inherited the pride, the glory, the palaces, the capitol, the kingdom of his great father Nebuchadnezzar. He gained all this power and glory at the age of 15. It quickly went to his heard. He lifted himself up against the Lord of heaven, and he despised the kings and armies of the earth. But remember the old saying, “The bigger they come the harder they fall.” Material power is no obstacle to God. In this reading we see the moving fingers of God.

“In the same hour came forth fingers of a man's hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaister of the wall of the king's palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote” (Daniel 5:5). God writes in very conspicuous places, and in very inopportune times. The Handwriting appeared upon the wall of the banquet room in Belshazzar’s palace in the hour of their wildest mirth to show that God was there. God is in every scene of wickedness and debauchery not less really than in Holy Places of His own sanctuary. The finger of God is ever writing the witness of his presence upon the living tables of out hearts.

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

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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3.    God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                     July 3, 2013        

Good Morning!
Like Belshazzar, numerous men have exorcized awesome power and authority over nations and people, but there is a power so great and mighty that even the mightiest of them will tremble and shake in their knees before Him.

WHO SHALL BE ABLE TO STAND?
Daniel 5:6. “Then the king's countenance was changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against another.”
Revelation 6:15. “And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; 16. And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: 17. For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

Belshazzar had feared no one, but just the appearance of God’s fingers brought terror to him. His color changed, the blood drained from his face, he was white as a ghost, and his thoughts troubled him, he had anxious thoughts, alarming thoughts.
4 Words, 4 Strange Words. This writing was strange which no one could read. Since it was a ghostly hand it was a ghostly script which no wise man had seen. There was room for alarm when professional wise men were unable to interpret the writing.

ME-NE, ME-ME, TE-KEL, UPHAR-SIN: GOD WRITES SO MUCH IN SO FEW WORDS. In four words God sums up Belshazzar’s remaining hours. “This is the interpretation of the thing.”
MENE; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it.
TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.
PERES; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.
In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain.

Thou art found wanting.” Oh, to be ‘Wanting’ when God weighs our motive, character, life, and soul. To be ‘Wanting’ when judged by the most compassionate, indulgent and generous friend. To be ‘Wanting’ in a hope sure and steadfast when God takes away the soul. To be ‘Wanting’ when the book of life is opened and the eye of the final Judge turns to see whose name is written there. To be ‘Wanting’ in love, and obedience to Christ. To be ‘Wanting’ in fruits and joys of a Holy Life. Those that are wanting will be cast into outer darkness, Cast into everlasting night.

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

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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4.    God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                      July 4, 2013        

Good Morning!
Jacob was chosen by God before his birth to become the father of the Jewish nation.

JACOB'S VISION OF THE LADDER:
Genesis 28:10. “And Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward Haran. 11. And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep. 12. And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.

Few passages in the entire Bible have equaled these verses (Genesis 28:10-22) in their influence upon religious thought. The story of Jacob’s dream about the ladder set upon earth and reaching up to heaven, and the angels ascending and descending on it. No man could number the souls who have taken heart at the thought of it. “It could happen to me,” is our thought. This story is told and retold in prayers, and hymns, and sermons every Lord’s day.

How many of you have slept (or laid) on a bed which seemed to have rocks in it? I’ve slept on lumpy feather beds. I’ve also slept on straw ticks which gouged me every time I moved. There is an old saying, “If you make your bed hard, you will have to lay on it.” Jacob had made his bed hard—he would have to lay on it. Never a man has lain down, on any bed, more troubled than Jacob was that night. He was a fugitive, and he was afraid. He probably surrounded himself with stones and used one for a pillow. Wild animals were lurking, and his brother Esau may be close.

This was probably the first night in Jacob’s life that he had to sleep outside. Jacob had been a mama’s boy, nourished from his earliest youth with all the tenderness and care of a mother’s love. Born second in a set of twins (Esau was first), his mother, Rebekah, had spoilt him. God had plans for him. God was to use him, and bless him. Jacob would dig wells that people would drink from for 3500 years (I’ve drank from one of them myself). God would make him the father of a nation which still exists when most of the nations of his day have long ago faded from existence.

God must have had a hand in the decision to send Jacob to Laban’s house to seek his wife. This would keep the bloodline pure from Abraham down through Jacob (Genesis 24:2-9). So Jacob left the security of his father’s house to go to Haran. This night may have been the first of numerous visits God had with Jacob.

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

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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5.     God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                   July 5, 2013        

Good Morning!
Jacob was seventy-seven when he left Beersheba for Haran. He would spend twenty years serving his uncle Laban, thirty-three years back in Canaan, and the last seventeen years of his life in Egypt.

Genesis 28:16. “And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the LORD is in this place; and I knew it not. 17 And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.”

In this vision Jacob received divine assurance that the God of Abraham and Isaac was with him in his wanderings, and would bring him back again into this land and give it to him and to his seed as an inheritance forever. Jacob was a fugitive and he was afraid—he, in our estimation, had not deserved a vision of God—but he needed it. All his life in his groping and unworthy way he had desired it. He had never been content with the things of the flesh, as Esau was. Even guilty of all his many sins he knew that there was a higher righteousness to which he was accountable. No doubt that this was the first of Jacob’s many encounters with God. It would be remembered all the rest of his life. The same is true of ourselves the first encounter we have with God is never forgotten. Neglected, misplaced, but never forgotten.

Our lesson from this is that even in our unworthiness, in our fears, in our unexpectedness of any favor, God appears, sometimes in our darkest night. Many are quick to point out doubt in Jacob’s prayer (vs. 20-22), but after all it was only a dream, and it took all the rest of his life to make it a reality (Genesis 48:3-4). Jacob’s night at Bethel was a great turning-point in his life. This night vision reassured him of the reality of his mother’s conversation with God (Genesis 25:22-23), one of the very few conversations recorded that God had with a woman) that he would be the one that God would call to be the father of a great nation.

We would like to take note of the absence of worldly goods; we could say poverty, of Jacob when he left home. When Jacob left home he did not take part of the flocks he had cared for so many years. Only the clothes on his back and a few provisions to sustain him in his journey were all he took. In a prayer years later he reminds God of this. “I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth, which thou hast shewed unto thy servant; for with my staff I passed over this Jordan; and now I am become two bands” Genesis 32:10. He left with nothing, came home rich.

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

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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6. 7.   God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                             July 6 & 7, 2013        

Good Morning!
The cross is not a beautiful object, it represented death. Yet today millions of people wear little gold crosses hung around their necks. Why? Because Jesus somehow transformed this most gruesome method of execution into something glorious.

THORNS AND CROSSES:
Luke 9:22 “The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day. 23. And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.”

As Jesus mentions His death in these verses we have two cruel form of torture represented, thorns and crosses. The path He has for us seems clear here. We are to pick up our cross and follow Him. The cross He has for us should not be confused with the thorns of life, our common human inheritance. The cross is chosen willingly. We choose to pick it up daily or we can choose not to. We tend to say of those who are ill, bereaved, or suffering financial difficulties that they “have their cross to bear.” But those unfortunate happenings are not crosses. Those are the thorns we have not chosen. In 2 Corinthians 12:7 Paul writes about having a thorn in the flesh. This was something Paul didn’t choose it was given to him.

Thorns are un-chosen suffering. Christ came to alleviate suffering. We can be burden-bearers with each other in our suffering. But suffering in itself is not noble. It is simply part of life. When you are able to endure a painful thorn in the flesh by the grace of God, you are a profound witness to your contemporaries. I know any number of people who have borne some of life's most difficult thorns with courage.

But bearing your cross is quite a different matter. Your cross is not like Jesus’ cross. His cross was a literal one and He died on it to forgive our sins. He says to His disciples here and He says to us today to take up our cross daily. Our cross is that difficult thing we choose to do because we are His people. We receive grace to be brave and uncomplaining through our thorns but the glory comes as we pick up our cross for His sake. We choose a hard place, a difficult relationship, a thankless job. We serve on a committee, or get involved with a neighbor. We do the things we don't have to do because we feel it is God's will for us. We say, like Isaiah, “Here am I, Send me.” We choose to bear crosses for His sake, Who bore one for us.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
2 Chronicles   11  12       1 Thessalonians   3     Psalm   94
2 Chronicles   13  14       1 Thessalonians   4 

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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8.   God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                                     July 8, 2013        

Good Morning!
In the next few days we want to look at a 3,500 year old story that tells how Abraham rescued his nephew Lot from a very powerful force. Perhaps, as Lot, you have found yourself captured against your will by some evil habit, or power, that enslaves you. That’s when you need a friend.

WHEN YOU NEED A FRIEND:
Genesis 14:13. “And there came one that had escaped, and told Abram the Hebrew; for he dwelt in the plain of Mamre the Amorite, ..”
 
Several kings attack Sodom and take Lot captive. (Genesis 14:1-16) Abram with his tent and his altar is dwelling in Hebron when suddenly his quiet life is shattered... A man is running, a messenger is coming with bad news, “your nephew Lot has been taken captive.” In Genesis 14 we are introduced to the first war ever recorded in scripture. It vividly contrasts the blustering armies of earth with the quiet overcoming power of faith. We get the first glimpse of these earthly armies in the first three verses of Genesis 14. Four kings, one as far away as Afghanistan, are banded together, and after invading nation after nation, subduing and plundering at will, are at the gates of Sodom and Gomorrah. Genesis 14:2 “That these made war with Bera king of Sodom.”

Now Lot, having been separated from Abram several years, has long ago moved into Sodom. He no longer worships before an altar; he has lost touch with God. He stands helpless before the apparent invincibility of this enemy. Here then was an enemy seemingly invincible, relentless, unstoppable, striking fear into every heart as they crushed all opposition. Genesis 14:11. And they took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their victuals, and went their way. 12. And they took Lot, Abram’s brother's son, who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed.

If it was not for what happened in this last verse, the world would have never known about all these marauders. Lot, his family, and all his goods were carried away by the invading army. That’s when the man, running, the messenger we spoke of earlier, arrived at Abram’s tent. Perhaps Lot, at the last minute, before his capture, sent this man to find, and tell Abram. Perhaps in desperation, Lot turns to Abram... “I need help.” “Help me if you can.” All hope for Lot now rests in Abram’s hand.

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

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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9.    God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                           July 9, 2013        

Good Morning!
Perhaps there is someone today that is taken captive by some evil force, some evil habit, which you cannot escape from. One Christian can often be the means of deliverance to a weaker brother or sister.

WHEN YOU NEED A FRIEND:
Genesis 14:14. “And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan. 15. And he divided himself against them, he and his servants, by night, and smote them, and pursued them unto Hobah, which is on the left hand of Damascus. 16. And he brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people.

Paul tells us in Galatians 6:1. “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.” Somebody today may need help. Be on the lookout for signals for help... Learn to recognize the signs someone is sending. You that need help, Send a note, Make that call and Raise your hand. You may not have the spiritual strength to walk down to the altar. But somehow send the message, send it today. It is hard, and sometimes impossible, to break away on your own. Don’t be ashamed to call for help.

“And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan.” 318 men, trained for battle.. Disciplined men he could rely upon, His own men, born in his own house. Only 318, But, that was all he needed. Remember at this time Abraham was probably 85 years old. It might have seemed a pitiful handful against the vast armies of those four kings who had come out of the east, plundering everything before them. God wants us to learn a lesson from this that God’s victories are never won by force of numbers.

If 318 people were to gather to pray today, what a day this would be. If those 318 knew how to pray, were trained in the warfare of prayer, they would shake the powers of evil around the world. 318 could put to rout all the armies of evil. Abram pursued them as far as Hobah, north of Damascus (150 miles). Abram never let up, he kept on, he pressed to the utmost, he did not quit fighting until complete victory. Don’t stop praying at the first break in the enemy’s resistance. Press on through until you have won complete victory.

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

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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10.      God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                           July 10, 2013        

Good Morning!
We want to spend some time with Job. I feel that Job lived just prior to Abraham, during what is called the generation of Shem.

THE GREATNESS AND THE INTEGRITY OF JOB:
Job 1:1. “There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil. 3b. … so that this man was the greatest of all the men of the east.”

When the Holy Spirit began the narrative of a particular season in the life of this Old Testament saint, Job is described as “the greatest of all the men of the east.” Not only was Job wealthy in family and ancestry, lands and livestock, but also he is described as a man who “was perfect (blameless) and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed (turned away from) evil.” Job’s uprightness and lifestyle was well known. We note Job’s concern for the spiritual welfare of his family. Job “continually” offered burnt offerings for his family, lest they might have turned their backs on God and sinned (v. 4-5). He was the priest of the family, and at his altar they all attended, valuing their share in his prayers more than their share in his estate.

Job’s life was “perfect” (v. 1); he treasured God’s words more than his food (Job 23:12): Job wasn’t aware of any inner secret sins (Job 31:33): was a respected Judge in the community (Job 29:7-14); didn’t abuse his power (Job 29:15); maintained moral purity (Job 31:1, 5, 7); and didn’t put his confidence in his great wealth (Job 31: 24-24). God testified of him “that there is none like him in the earth,” (Job 1:8). All of the above could be said of few, if any, other man who ever lived, only of the Lord Jesus Himself. Job was not only so rich and great, but also so wise and good, and had such an interest in spiritual things, that one would think the mountain of his prosperity stood so strong that it could not be moved; but there is a thick dark cloud gathering over his head boiling with a horrible tempest.

We must never think ourselves secure from storms as long as we are in this life. The storms come in our lives suddenly unexpectedly, even though we feel we do not deserve to be treated that way. We have gone to church, read our Bible, prayed every day, lived the best we know how, yet the storm came and took almost everything, including our health. We cry as Job did, “Why Lord?”

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

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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11.   God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                          July 11, 2013        

Good Morning!
We live in two worlds, a natural world and a spiritual world, and what takes place in the natural world is controlled by the spiritual world, working behind the scenes.

SATAN APPEARING BEFORE GOD:
Job 1:6. “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. 7. And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.”

Satan is likely to show up anywhere, even in a holy spiritual environment. From time immemorial Satan has been involved in the affairs of man. He was in the Holiest environment ever on earth, the Garden of Eden, he attended our Lord’s prayer and fasting in the wilderness, he was in the Garden of Gethsemane, and he has attended every religious service since that day. Now here we have Satan (an adversary to God, to men, to all good) coming into an assembly of the “sons of God that came to present themselves before the Lord.” What an intrusion! One would think that he would be barred from the place of the holy. So we can expect him to show up at our Church, to distract, to lull your mind off the service, and to try to keep you from worshiping the Lord.

Some feel that our scripture reading took place in heaven when the angels came to a meeting with God. But I feel that Satan is barred from heaven since he was thrown out when sin was found in him. This must have been a meeting of saints on earth. Men of religious nature in the patriarchal age, were called “sons of God” (Genesis 6:2); they had their religious assemblies and the stated times for them. In our reading God inquires of Satan where he had been, although He already knew, “give account of yourself.”

Every one, including Satan, is accountable to God for all our time, where we have been, where we are going, what we were doing. I come from “going to and fro on the earth.”(walking about in his own territory) He could not pretend he had been doing any good as the son’s of God could. While we are on this earth we are within his reach, and with so much subtlety, swiftness, and persistence does he penetrate into every corner of it, that we cannot be in any place secure from his temptations. 1 Peter 5:8 cautions us and warns us of Satan’s actions.

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

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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12.     God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                     July 12, 2013        

Good Morning!
God directs Satan’s attention to Job and testifies of him, “there is none like him in the earth.”

SATAN, BY SLANDER, OBTAINS PERMISSION TO TEST JOB:
Job 1:8. ““And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? 9. Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? 10.Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. 11. But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face. 12. And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.”

Of course Satan hated Job; he stood for everything Satan despised, a life lived for the glory of the God he hated. So he makes his accusations; “does Job fear God for naught” (no reason)? “You protect him and prosper him, of course he loves you? Or what you do for him.” “He loves you because you pay him well. If you take away what he has, he’ll curse you to your face.” Satan throws down a challenge at the feet of the Almighty, and God, for His glory, and Job’s good (although Job didn’t know that), allowed the devil to afflict him.

Job’s fall from influence and prosperity is so great, it’s almost impossible to imagine. On one day he lost all of his wealth; eleven thousand animals and the servants who were guarding them by raiders or by fire falling from heaven. While Job was recovering from these reports, an even more grievous one reached him. “While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, Thy sons and thy daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother's house: And, behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men, and they are dead; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee” (Job 1:18-19).

At this news, Job’s faith burst into white-hot flame, and he spoke these celebrated words, “the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly” (Job 1:21-22).

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

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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13.  14.        God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                  July 13 & 14, 2013        

Good Morning!
The loss of all of his children and his property wasn’t the end of Job’s suffering, his suffering had just begun. Satan obtains permission to afflict Job bodily.

SATAN SMITES JOB WITH BOILS:
Job 2:7. “So went Satan forth from the presence of the LORD, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown. 8.And he took him a potsherd to scrape himself withal; and he sat down among the ashes.”

At some later date, to his horror, Job began to sense an excruciating pain spreading throughout his whole body and breaking out in sores and boils from the top of his head to the sole of his feet. The exact nature of these offensive and painful ulcers is unknown, probably like the shingles, which is very painful indeed, but the Bible does give us enough information to get a glimpse into his suffering. He had “boils” (Job 2:7), “My flesh is clothed with worms and clods of dust; my skin is broken, and become loathsome” (Job 7:5), fetid breath (Job 19:17), emaciated body (Job 19:20), erosion of his bones (Job 30:17), blackening and peeling of the skin (Job 30:30).

Added to all this was the broken-hearted and faltering admonition of his wife, and the unkind and heartless counsel of his friends. Yet the struggle that almost over-whelmed Job’s soul and tortured his faithful heart was his inability to reconcile his present circumstances with what he believed about God’s goodness and his own character. The same feeling creeps over most of us when unexpected tragedy, or grave illness, or breakup of homes, loss of financial security etc. We question, “What did I do wrong,” “why me Lord” “what is going to be the end?” Job believed in the absolute sovereignty of God but he wondered, like us, why would He afflict his righteous soul? This is the precious truth that the book of Job reveals to us.

Perhaps that you have discovered, as Job did, that your afflictions has layers. There is the present affliction: the trial as it has first come to you, whether it’s home-less-ness after a disaster, the loss of a loved one, a broken marriage, an ongoing wasting disease, difficulty at home or at work, or whatever affliction you’re facing. Then the underlying problem: the questions, the doubts and uncertainty about God and your relationship to Him. “Is God Angry?” “Is He punishing me?” “Have I committed a sin that has severed my relationship with Him?” The book of Job helps answers these questions. Whatever you’re going through don’t loose hope.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
2 Chronicles   25  26       1 Timothy   2
2 Chronicles   27  28       1 Timothy   3      Psalm   98

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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15.     God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                              July 15, 2013        

Good Morning!
Job wrestles with God, and men, he does stumble, but the faith that God had planted in his heart remains true.

JOB’S HEART IS TRANSFORMED:
Job 19:25. “For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: 26. And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: 27. Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.”

Up until chapter 19, Job’s complaint and misery is almost completely hopeless and despairing. He wonders, “Wherefore is light given to him that is in misery, and life unto the bitter in soul; which long for death, but it cometh not; and dig for it more than for hid treasures; (Job 3:20-21).One question after the other follows. And then, miraculously, the Spirit brings Job a revelation of someone who will rescue him from his despair. Job realizes God is not his enemy and cries out, “for I know that my redeemer liveth, …”

Job is not rejoicing because he believes his trial is ending. He is rejoicing because he now believes, by the Spirit, that he has a Redeemer, a heavenly kinsman who will come to his aid. The role of the kinsman-redeemer was well known in the ancient Near East, and it is this Job is referring to. The next of kin was to redeem his (relatives) property, and restore it to him if in any way he had forfeited it or been obliged to sell it; to defend him against injury and wrong, especially, to avenge his blood if he had been un-righteously slain.

Job now sees God as his redeemer, and although he is convinced that he will shortly die from his disease, he confidently announces that even after his skin has been destroyed, he will in his flesh see God. In Job’s sorely tried heart, God is no longer his enemy who is pursuing him unjustly; He is now his friend, his Redeemer, his next of kin. We also have a “next of kin,” “a redeemer” “a brother,” someone who has come to our aid. We’ve studied His words and observed His life. We know that our Redeemer lives and we will behold Him one day!

Galatians 4:4 “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, 5. To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. We are no longer strangers or slaves, but we are children of God.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
2 Chronicles   29  30     1 Timothy   4

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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16.   God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                   July 16, 2013        

Good Morning!
The true knowledge of God humbles all his creation, and places us on our knees before Him, which is our rightful place.

TRUTH FROM A TRANSFORMED HEART, A HUMBLED HEART:
Job 42:5. “I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. 6. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”

After Job exclaimed that his “Redeemer Liveth,” there was a dramatic change which came over him. From this point on the course of his complaints change. That’s not to say he no longer struggled or sought to determine why the wicked prosper; its just that the deep despair and bitterness is gone from him. He receives council of Elihu, the younger of his friends, who helped prepare him for the astounding council from the Lord. His heart is prepared: Job is about to receive the most precious treasures ever imagined. In the longest and most awesome conversation from God recorded in the Bible, Job is brought to his Knees.

“Now my eyes see thee,” and “I am humbled,” “I repent in dust and ashes,” is Job’s final speech. Job is humbled, instructed, and comforted by God’s sustaining grace, and in the end God is glorified. What was God’s purpose in Job’s trial? It was to silence the lying tongue of Satan, but that was not the only purpose. His purpose was to open Job’s eyes to who He is, a God who is compassionate and merciful, and to sustain within him a steadfastness that would be spoken of for thousands of years.

Do you know that your Redeemer lives? I hope that you do. Do you want to exalt Him and see His glory exemplified in your suffering? God knows that you do, He knows this, and loves you, and will see that your life annuls your enemy’s lies. And it will bring Him great joy, when on that last day you stand on the new earth with your near Kinsman and gaze upon His beautiful, compassionate, and merciful face.

Repeat these words with me, “That I with body and soul, both in life and in death, am not my own, but belong unto my faithful Savior Jesus Christ: who with His precious blood, has full satisfied for all my sins, and delivered me from all the power of the devil; and so preserves me that without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head. He also assures me of eternal life, and makes me sincerely willing and ready, henceforth, to live for Him” Amen.

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

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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17.     God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                  July 17, 2013        

Good Morning!
God completed the environment with the creation of man, who not only reflected His image but who, praise God, also received His blessing.

MAN RECEIVED GOD’S BLESSING:
Genesis 1:28. “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”

One of the questions you ask a new boss is what benefits you could expect as an employee of the company. You want to know if you would have moving expenses, housing allowance, health insurance, and transportation in your annual salary package. When considering a job, the benefits can induce us to make a long-term commitment while the lack of benefits can keep us from such a commitment.

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.” 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, sleeping peacefully at night in harmony with the world around him because he was blessed by His Creator. Praise God, from whom all blessings flow. (James 1:17)

“When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.

Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, and see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, Count them one by one.
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.”

I am: Accepted by God, Beloved by God, Chosen by God, Delivered by God.
The creation of man and the establishment of his home seem to be what the story of creation has been pointing toward.

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

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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18.       God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                 July 18, 2013        

Good Morning!
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.”

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.

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.
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 Chronicles   35  36     2 Timothy 1        Psalm   100

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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19.    God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                               July 19, 2013        

Good Morning!
After the flood as the human race once again began to multiply and they all spoke the same language they wanted to make a name for themselves so they set out to build a tower that would reach all the way to heaven, then God came to intervene.

ONE LANGUAGE IN THE WHOLE WORLD:
Genesis 11:1. “And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. 7. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech. 8. So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city.

In the entire Old Testament only one Scripture specifically relates to God’s intervention manifested by a “tongues” experience. Before the construction of the tower of Babel, the Bible declares that “the whole earth was of one language and one speech” (Genesis 11:1). At that time God brought judgment upon the human race by confounding their language so that they could not understand one another’s speech. This Babel “tongue” confusion motivated the people to scatter abroad. The once-united human race separated into “the nations" (Genesis 11:1-9).

The next chapter of Genesis relates how God intervened again to call Abraham as the father of the Hebrew nation. From that time the Bible speaks of divided humanity as “the nations” and Israel. The once-united human race became and has remained the ever-divided human race. No government or force, personality or philosophy, agency or plan or power has offered an acceptable and adequate basis for restoring unity to the diverse and antagonistic divisions of humanity. Only Christ can offer “oneness.” The object of the coming of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2 was in part to restore the unity of the long-severed fragments of the human race into one family of God.

God again intervened in human language, by a unique “tongue speaking.” God actually spoke in human languages through the lips of the disciples. And let it be emphasized that God spoke so that people of all races, nations, and languages could understand the message in their native languages. The disciples definitely “spoke with tongues.” At Pentecost God revealed that all mankind becomes one new race in Christ Jesus. Only in the Body of Christ are all racial barriers broken. Then too, at Pentecost the Spirit began to unite these 'sons of God' into a new brotherhood, the church of Christ. Only in the redeemed family of God is racial unity a reality.

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

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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20.  21.     God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                               July 20 & 21, 2013        

Good Morning!
Everyone wants to live, but few have ever poured into the ear of God such a holy motive for living as does the Psalmist.

WHAT DO WE WANT TO LIVE FOR?
Psalm 119:17b. “…that I may live, and keep thy word.” 18. Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.”

The Psalmist gives as his sole reason for the petition a most eloquent explanation — “that I may live, and keep thy word.” How many of us can match this? Do you wish to see the light of another day? Of living in it? Why? The primary reason most of us desire to live another day is to complete some project, share some event, to love and be loved, or simply to do things. All want to live, but few have ever poured into the ear of God such a holy motive for living as does the Psalmist.

Only the power of God allowed to have its perfect work in a life could possibly bring a person to such a point as this. Noble attempts are made to answer folk who inquire about the subject. We may go to meetings, join the most spiritual church, do personal work, and testify freely, but if we do not have the heart longing to keep God's precepts diligently, we utterly have missed the simple but profound truth of full surrender.

The Apostles heard parables, witnessed miracles, and received instruction direct from Him who spake as never man spake, yet Jesus was forced to say condemningly: “As yet they understand not the Scriptures” (John 10:6). On another occasion, He said with a tinge of grief in His voice, “Why do ye not understand my speech?” There is a sad deficiency in the experience of present-day Christians as well. Empty profession must give way to glowing reality.

As far as we know, the Psalmist had never witnessed a miracle, nor heard a parable on the deeper life, nor had he had an experience as the Emmaus sojourners in a physical contact with the Lord, but he had heard a heaven-sent message. It revealed to him that God blesses those who walk in the way of the undefiled, those who seek the Lord with their whole heart. It stirred his soul and filled his thoughts. It created a hunger and thirst after righteousness.  “Open thou mine eyes,” he continues, further proving his desire to live daily according to the instructions of the Bible. Why do we not let God tell us what to do daily? There are oceans of possibilities for those who hunger and thirst after righteousness. Jesus said they shall be filled.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Ezra   3  4      2 Timothy 3        Psalm   101
Ezra   
5  6      2 Timothy 4

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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22.     God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                    July 22, 2013        

Good Morning!
Our daily life should be the Sermon On The Mount lived, Over and, over every day.

ENTER THE STRAIT (NARROW) GATE:
Matthew 7:13. “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14. Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”

Our Lord has come from heaven to earth in order to establish a new kingdom. He has come into the midst of the kingdoms of this world to call out of them a people unto Himself and form them into a new kingdom. Jesus wanted to make it plain and clear that this kingdom which He would establish was different from any other kingdom the world had ever known. It would be called, THE KINGDOM OF GOD:
THE KINGDOM OF LIGHT: THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN: Today the sun never sets on His kingdom it stretches from pole to pole, and from east to west.

His people must realize this kingdom was something unique, something separate. In the Sermon On The Mount (Matthew 5, 6, 7) Jesus give a description of it. He gives a description of those who would belong to this kingdom, they would be called Christians. They would be poor in spirit, they would be meek, they would be pure in heart, they would be merciful, and they would be peacemakers (Matthew 5). He tells them that because they are that kind of person and belong to His kingdom that the world would not like them, in fact persecute them.

Nevertheless they are not to segregate themselves from the world, become Monks or Hermits, but they are to remain in society as “Salt” and “Light.” Otherwise society will rot and dwell in gross darkness. In fact He tells them that their lives are to be better that the most religious people the world had ever known, the Scribes and Pharisees. Jesus tells them, How to do their alms giving, How to fast, How to pray, He tells them how they are to treat their fellow men in great detail.

In these verses Jesus talks about narrowness. It’s a narrow life we must live, A narrow gate we must enter, A narrow way that we must walk. Here we are walking along and we come upon two gates confronting us. The one on the left is very wide and broad and a great crowd of people are entering. On the other hand there is a very narrow gate which will allow only one person to enter at a time.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Ezra   7  8       Titus 1     Psalm   102

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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23.      God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                   July 23, 2013        

Good Morning!
Is it any wonder that Jesus said, “And few there be that find it?” (Matthew 7:14b).

THE NARROW GATE LEADS TO LIFE ETERNAL:
Matthew 7:13. “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14. Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”

The first thing we should notice is the way is narrow at the very beginning. Not that it becomes narrower and narrower, but it is narrow at the beginning. Some seem to think to be a Christian is little different from being non-Christian. Some think of Christianity as not narrow, but attractive, exciting, and that you come in crowds. The wide gate leads to a broad way, and a great crowd is surging along it. The narrow way is not only narrow at the gate but continues to be narrow, and only a few are walking on it.

Some things must be left behind at the gate: The first thing we leave behind is worldliness. We leave behind the crowd; We leave behind the way of the world. You first must separate from the crowd. Sometimes you go against the crowd, go in the opposite direction of it to get out of it. You must make a break with tradition, customs, and habits, which is difficult. Almost everybody wants to conform to the norms of society, yet we must extract ourselves from this crowd and become a individual person. We go through the turnstile one by one. Every Person becomes a responsible person to God. The gate is narrow; it brings us face to face with God.

The Sermon Says, “Resist not evil,” “Turn the other cheek,” “Go the second mile,” “Love your enemies,” “Bless them that curse you,” “Do good to them that hate you,” “Pray for them, that despitefully uses you and persecute you.” It is instinctive to hit back. We may think we should defend our rights. We want to love only those who treat us kindly. But this kind of luggage cannot be admitted at the turnstile. We must make a radical break with the world. We have to leave “self” outside. We must “Put off the old man with his deeds.” We must “Bury the old man” (self). Jesus said, “If any man will come after me, let him deny (put off) himself, and take up his cross and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24).

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

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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24.     God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                 July 24, 2013        

Good Morning!
In the next few days we will be focusing on the death and resurrection of Jesus. As this is the most important event in human history we will spend some time on it.

IT WAS NECESSARY FOR JESUS TO SUFFER DEATH AND RISE AGAIN:
Luke 24:46. “And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved (was necessary for) Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:” (KJV)

First we will look into the reason why Jesus had to come to earth and to suffer and die on the cross of Calvary. The Bible does give us the answer to these questions. God had a plan from eternity past, before there was a heaven and earth, to resolve the separation of man from His grace and favor which sin would bring. Before the fall of man God had a plan in place to bring about man’s redemption.

In Revelation 13:8 we read about, “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” In other words, in the mind and plan of God, before the world was created, He would provide the Lamb, which would be His Son, to die to take away the curse of sin. The sending of His Son to bring about the redemption of man was not a back-up plan, or an after thought, it was planned before creation. That’s the reason Jesus said “thus it behoved (was necessary for) Christ to suffer.”

God, in His omniscience, and His foreknowledge, knew that Adam and Eve would sin and thus bring a breach in their relationship with Him. He also provided a way for that breach to be resolved, and that was by a blood sacrifice. God slew an animal, and shed its blood onto the earth, to cover Adam and Eve’s sin exposed bodies. Thus to cover the first sin by mankind God set the plan in motion which would, “in the fullness of time,” bring about the ultimate sacrifice of the shedding of the blood of The Lamb of God on Calvary.

We find these words of Jesus to Pilate when he was sitting in judgment of Jesus, “To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world,” (John 18:37). He, who from eternity had lain in the bosom of the Father, came to give His life to redeem mankind back to God.

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

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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25.     God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                           July 25, 2013   

Good Morning!
From the most ignominious sufferings we see the most glorious triumph emerge; and from the most dreadful of deaths, a divine and never-fading life arise.

JESUS FORTELLS HIS DEATH:
Luke 18:31. “Then he took unto him the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished. 32. For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on: 33. And they shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again. 34. And they understood none of these things: and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken.” (KJV)

These words were spoken by Jesus as He was journeying towards Jerusalem. His earthly ministry was over and within ten days He would be hung on a cross to suffer and die. Although He knew what lay ahead, “when the time was come that He should be received up, He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem” (Luke 9:51). There was a time fixed for the sufferings and death of our Lord Jesus, and He knew well enough when it was, and had a clear and certain foresight of it, and yet was resolved to see it through. When He saw His death and sufferings approaching, He looked through them and beyond them, to the glory that should follow; He looked upon it as the time when He should be received up into glory. He looked upon it as His translation to a better world, which made it very desirable.

The “Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” approaches the altar of burnt-offering. Bonds, the scourge, the crown of thorns, and the cross, present themselves to our view in the distance; the seven words uttered by Jesus on the cross, sound in our ears, like intimations of liberty and joy to the sinful race. From the most appalling scene the world ever witnessed, a paradise of peace springs forth.

Our Prayer: Father, unlock for us the gates to the sanctuary of Thy passion, and in the awful scenes of Thy sufferings, enable us to discover the mystery of our eternal redemption.

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

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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26.     God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                     July 26, 2013        

Good Morning!
An anointing of Jesus’ body was to take place while He was still alive, since there was no time for it after His death due to the late hour of the day before the Sabbath.

THE ANOINTING:
John 12:1. “Then Jesus six days before the Passover came to Bethany,” 3. Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment. 7. Then said Jesus, Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this.”

Six days before the Passover, and, consequently, four days before the awful day of crucifixion, we find our Lord among friends in the village of Bethany in the home of Simon the Leper, who held a feast for Him and his disciples, and Martha is serving. This would be the last of His many visits to this peaceful setting where He had so many times enjoyed the fellowship and meals with friends. Simon sits as a living monument of the divine fullness which dwelt in Jesus. Also at the feast was Lazarus whom only a short time before Jesus had raised from the dead.

Not long after Jesus had sit down, Mary approaches Him carrying a container of very precious and costly ointment, or perfume, which she brake to pour all of it on the head and feet of Jesus, she does not intend to pour out a few drops only, but that it should be wholly an emblem of her devotion to the Lord of Glory, then humbly bends herself down and wipes His feet with her hair. The whole house was filled with the fragrance and we may well believe that this aroma also ascended up even into the throne room of heaven. The whole circle of guests at Bethany is deeply touched by Mary’s act of devotion, all except one.

Judas, alone, rejects this grateful odor, and had words of discord. He knows how to value the spikenard, but is unable to appreciate the love that provided it, for he is wholly destitute of such feeling. But our Lord appreciates the act of Mary and He has caused Mary’s deed to be recorded in Holy Scripture and said, that “wherever this Gospel is preached in the world, that which she did shall be spoken of for a memorial of her.” And this is truly come to pass. “Against the day of my burying hath she done this” (John 12:7). “She hath come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying” (Mark 14:8).

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

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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27.  28.     God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                              July 27 & 28, 2013        

Good Morning!
Observe how Jesus is attended, a royal entry is prepared for Him.

JESUS’ ENTRY INTO JERUSALEM:
John 12:12. “On the next day much people that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, 13. Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord. 14. And Jesus, when he had found a young ass, sat thereon; as it is written, 15. Fear not, daughter of Sion: behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass's colt.”

We find Jesus after passing through Jericho and on arriving at the Mount of Olives, He sent two of His disciples into the village near them, where they would find an ass tied, and a colt with her. These they were to loose and bring to Him. He tells them, if any man say ought unto you, ye shall say, the Lord hath need of them.” He says, “the Lord,” and not “the Master” only, or “Jesus of Nazareth.” “The Lord” is a title of majesty, a name of dignity, by which He elevates Himself high above every other creature, and declares Himself to be Jehovah. “The Lord hath need of them.”

The colt is led away. The disciples lay their garments upon it as a covering, and the Lord seats Himself upon the animal in order to ride into Jerusalem. This may not sound so royal, why not a golden chariot? Why not a gilded stallion? (This will come later (Revelation 6:2). Our Lord by this act, testifies something greater respecting Himself than would have been the case had He suddenly placed Himself upon a royal throne, or had made His entry into the Holy City beneath a gilded canopy and arrayed in a purple robe.

Jesus had in mind an ancient divine prophecy. “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass”   (Zechariah 9:9). By this entry Jesus testifies that the prophet’s words are being fulfilled in His Own Person. And all Jerusalem also seemed to testify to this fact.

On His entry into Jerusalem we have a new, powerful, and actual proof that Jesus was the true Messiah announced by the prophets, and at the same time the only begotten Son of the Father, our Mediator and eternal High Priest. “Hosanna.”

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Nehemiah   7  8         Hebrews   2
Nehemiah   9  10       Hebrews   3        Psalm   105

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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29.      God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                July 29, 2013        

Good Morning!
Jesus is the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world.

THE PASOVER:
Luke 22:14. “And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him. 15. And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer: 16. For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God. 17. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves: 18. For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come. 19. And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. 20. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.”

Jesus had made His entry into the Holy City on the same day on which the paschal lambs were also brought in for the slaughter. In Exodus 12, the Passover was instituted. v:5, “take a lamb without blemish,” v:6, “shall kill it in the evening…” v:7, “take the blood and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post,…” v:8, “they shall eat the flesh in the night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread: and with bitter herbs they shall eat it.” v:14, “and this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the Lord throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance forever.”

As the deliverance in Egypt found in Jesus’ atoning sacrifice its fulfillment and substantial antitype, so likewise did the divinely-ordained Passover in the Lord’s Supper. Our Lord’s desire to partake of this last Passover doubtless arose from His heartfelt longing for the coming of that hour in which He should be able, as the Lamb of God, to make an end of our state of condemnation, and nail to the cross the handwriting that was against us (Colossians 2:14).

After our Lord had given thanks, He “broke” the bread. Then He declares, “This is my body, which is broken for you.” This is symbolic of that which should soon occur to His own body. “Likewise He took the cup,” after renewed thanksgiving and blessing, then presented it to His disciples, and invited them to drink of it. He calls the cup His blood, even as He designated the bread, His body; and, both elements unite and represent the whole Christ, inasmuch as He gave His life, which is “in the blood,” unto death, as an atoning sacrifice for us.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Nehemiah   11  12         Hebrews   4

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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30.      God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                              July 30, 2013        

Good Morning!
Jesus took the form of a servant and He lived the life of a servant.

JESUS WASHES HIS DISCIPLES FEET:
John 13:1. “Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end. 2. And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him; 3. Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God; 4. He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. 5. After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.

The phrase “having loved His own which were in the world, He loved them to the end,” has such a significant meaning. Those whom His Father had given Him were more the objects of His affection than the holy angels around the throne of God, and His love increased as the end drew near. How He loved them, when He took their sins with Him to the cross, and cast Himself upon the altar for their transgressions. How He loved them, when His own blood did not seem too high a price to be paid for them, although it was they who were the transgressors. He loved them to the end; and to this day He loves them that are his own in similar manner.

This little group of men, the greatest fellowship the world had ever known, seated at the table with the greatest host the world had ever had, had come with worldly ambitions on their mind. It is remarkable that at such a season this dispute could have arisen at all. Having undoubtedly broken out on more than one occasion (Mark 9:33-34). Jesus, knowing that he could not get their minds on heavenly things as long as there was strife among them concerning which one of them was the greatest, decided to teach them a lesson on humility, this he did in the midst of the feast. He took off the seamless garment which the soldiers would cast lots for.

In this attire he was to appear, and literally to act after the fashion of the humblest slave, “after that he poured water into a basin, and began to wash the Disciples feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.” All of its glory, He was heaven, was God manifest (made known) in the flesh. The Almighty became a servant. The master stooped to serve, to wash his Disciples feet.

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

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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31.       God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                    July 31, 2013        

Good Morning!
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts, and see if there be any wicked way in me.”
(Psalm 139:23-24).

“IS IT I?”:
Mark 14:18. “And as they sat and did eat, Jesus said, Verily I say unto you, One of you which eateth with me shall betray me. 19. And they began to be sorrowful, and to say unto him one by one, Is it I? and another said, Is it I?”

The peace of the disciples was at an end, after this shocking news. They can not leave the matter until they know who would do such a shocking thing. And they did not seek the guilty one at a distance, but in their own hearts. They did not begin to suspect Matthew because he was once a publican, nor did they point their fingers at James and John because Jesus had called them, “Sons of thunder,” and did Jesus not rebuke Peter by telling him to “get behind me Satan?” No. But each of them remembered the Lord’s words that some will say, “Lord, have we not eaten and drunk in Thy presence? Have we not prophesied in Thy name? And in Thy name done many wonderful works? And He shall say, depart from Me I never knew thee”
(Matthew 7:22) (Luke 13:26).

The disciples were well aware of this; and hence, on the Lord informing them, that there was one among them, who was accused, they wanted to know, “Lord is it I?” Let us follow their example in this and not look across the aisle or behind us for the guilty party. “Lord,” they ask, one after the other, deeply concerned, and grieved, “Is it I? Is it I?” “Am I capable of committing this terrible deed?”

And we, who are so quick to look for faults in other people, need to hear what Paul says “If we judge ourselves, we shall not be judged”
(1 Corinthians 11:31). Let us start our search within our own hearts, and not exclude ourselves from those whom we regard as being possibly the one in question. For among those who are respected, and reputed as blameless characters, among churchmen and those who are apparently devout, any even among those who frequent the Lord’s Table, may be found such as are rushing onward to destruction.

In congregations where the Gospel is preached, Satan entraps individuals in the snare of religious self-deception, as well as in the pits of infidelity, and ungodliness. It would do us well that when we approach God’s altar if we said, “Lord, is it I?’

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

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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