News & Updates
January 2014

     Godsgrazingfield Daily Devotions January 2014

Sheep Found
                       The Sheep That Was Lost

Click On The Date For Today’s Devotion

Sun    Mon    Tues   Wed   Thur   Fri      Sat

                                1                        4

 5        6         7                9        10      11

 12      13      14       15       16      17      18

19       20      21       22      23        24      25

26      27       28       29       30        31


    1.                        God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                   January 1, 2014

Good Morning
Prayer and Fasting: During the first week of the year our Church dedicates it to a time of prayer and fasting, so we want to emphasize this during the next few days.

Psalm 63:1. “O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee:”
Isaiah 26:9. “With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early:”

We have many Biblical examples of the value of beginning our day with prayer, and today we want to emphasize this as we begin our New Year with Prayer and Fasting. Perhaps you’ve seen this bit of verse on a plaque in someone’s home:

“I met God in the morning, when the day was at its best, 
And His presence came like sunshine, like a glory in my breast. 
All day long, this presence lingered, all day long He stayed with me, 
And we sailed in perfect calmness o’er a very troubled sea. 
So I think I know the secret, learned from many a troubled way: 
You must seek Him in the morning if you want Him through the day.”

And many of us have discovered that when we launch our day with prayer, it makes all the difference. Learning how to begin our workday by praying over our appointments, praying over the tasks that await us, and just asking God to breathe into every situation in a way that will make us a distinct influence for Him in the world in which we live. Let’s begin where David began with the whole area of our prayer life.

Anticipating My Morning Prayer Time: Before we fall asleep, we need to remind ourselves, the first thing in the morning you’re going to spend time with the Lord. You’re going to pour out your heart to Him, and He’s going to meet you in a wonderful way. Somehow, when that’s the last thought of the day, it becomes the first thought of the morning. Almost as soon as I’ve opened my eyes I’m thinking, “I have an appointment with God. He’s waiting for me.” When on the way to the office or workplace, have time with the Lord; try to keep in a prayerful frame of mind so that when we walk through the door, meeting with my Lord will be the first order of business.

Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Genesis   1  2  3

James & Mary Lee Thornton


  2.                           God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

 Today’s First Thoughts                              January 2, 2014

Good Morning!
Pray diligently. Keep after it. Persevere. Fight for that time with God.

PRAY DILIGENTLY: Prayer & Fasting Week:
Colossians 4:2. “Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving.”

Paul says, “Continue in prayer.” This is an imperative. It’s a command. It means to devote your time, attention, and strength to this task. You are to do it with steadfast continuance. Don’t let it be an afterthought, and don’t let it be a ho-hum kind of thing you could take or leave. When we learn how to make this the focus of our discipline, then prayer begins to come alive. You don’t just say, “A prayer a day keeps the devil away,” mumble a few things under your breath, and go on your way. You pray with distinction and determination.

There so many things that would crowd in and steal your prayer time, we must push some thing aside to keep our prayer time with God. As Jesus taught His disciples, pray always and don’t give up (Luke 18:1-8). It’s not just a religious interlude. It’s not some spiritual luxury. It’s not just a 911 number you dial in a personal emergency. It is something that you continue in. And if you read the New Testament carefully, you will see that this was the testimony of the men and women who walked with God in the early church.

We read of the apostles in Acts 1:14, “These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.”
In Acts 6:4, the apostles insisted, “But we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”
In Acts 2:42, we’re told, “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.”
In Romans 12:12, Paul speaks of the believer as “rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer.”

We are instructed in Ephesians 6:18 to “pray always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.”
And 1 Thessalonians 5:17 adds that we are to “pray without ceasing.”

We ought not to look at prayer as some grim duty we have to experience. Prayer is a great adventure! Walking with God daily, diligently, is a path with more mysteries, vistas, and glories than in any national park in the world.

Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Genesis   4  5  6  7

James & Mary Lee Thornton


 3.                          God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                January 3, 2014

Good Morning!
Picture a lone army sentry, pacing the perimeters of camp in the night, alert to every sound, every movement.

PRAY WATCHFULLY: Prayer & Fasting Week:
Ephesians 6:18. “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;”

Watchfulness involves mental alertness and spiritual vigilance. It is to be sensitive and aware when you are in danger. Peter, who criticized our Lord for taking the path of the cross and later failed Him at the most strategic moment, later on had learned his lesson. He knew Satan had gotten control of him on that occasion, so when he wrote his first letter to the church, he penned these terse words: “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8, niv).

Peter, who had not been alert, who had not been watchful and vigilant and prayerful, now offers this hard-won counsel. You’d better keep your eyes open and you’d better keep on your toes. The stakes are too high for you to doze off.

What does it mean to be watchful in prayer? First of all, it means to stay awake! But it’s really much more than that. To be awake is to be vigilant, alert, observant, careful and attentive.

One of the things I’ve learned, not only in my own life, but in talking with others about praying, is that the discipline of prayer can easily slip away from you if you’re not attentive to it. One day without prayer (which can happen to anyone) becomes two days. Two days become three. Three days become a week. And then you wake up and realize with a start that a month has gone by and you’ve hardly prayed at all. Paul warns us, “Watch over your prayer life.”

Do you know what will help you with your prayer life more than anything? It’s keeping a journal, so that you can remember what you’ve prayed about, when you prayed it, and how God has answered. This will become very precious to you in your life, particularly in those weeks and months when you are battling with cancer or some other life consuming issue. Watch God’s answers to your prayers. Watch God work in your life. Write it down and remember to remember that He will never fail you. As the years pass you can go back and reminisce about your prayer time.

Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Genesis   8  9  10  11

James & Mary Lee Thornton


4.  5.                           God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                  January 4 & 5, 2014

Good Morning!
Our approach, or opening statements, to God are very important.

PRAY THANKFULLY:  Prayer & Fasting Week:
Philippians 4:6. “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”

Pray with the attitude of gratitude: Let our supplication (appeal, petition, plea) be made with thanksgiving for what God has already done for us. When we are Spirit-filled people, we are grateful people, and we pray thankfully. Thanksgiving acknowledges submission to the will of God. First Thessalonians 5:18 tells us, “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

Did you ever find yourself rushing into your prayer, getting halfway through it and realizing you haven’t breathed a single word of thanks to the Lord? We’ve all got our ‘gimme lists,’ don’t we? Mine starts accumulating throughout the day, stored in some file in the back of my mind. I want this, I need that, and I’ve got to have such and such. And sometimes, if I’m not careful, I will turn on my spiritual computer and rush my ‘gimme list’ to the screen without taking time to thank the Lord.

Did you ever wonder about those days in the Garden of Eden, before sin entered the picture to shatter the relationship between God and His two happy tenants? The Bible says God would come to walk with Adam and Eve in the garden, in the cool of the day. Did you ever wonder about those conversations? Do you suppose Adam rushed up to God with a clipboard and pencil in hand? “Ah yes, there were just a few things I wanted to review with You, God. I really don’t think so.

I feel that the first few years (it may have been centuries) the first couple would have simply cherished being in God’s presence? Can’t you imagine them expressing their wonder and gratitude for the beauty He had created…for the cooling wind…for the crimson sunset…for the joys of companionship between husband and wife…for the privilege of walking and talking with the Creator of all? Oh, what a wonderful thing happens when we stop to reflect upon what God has already done, and ask Him to accept our gratitude as we offer Him our praise and our worship.

Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Job   1  2  3  4  5
Job   6  7  8  9

James & Mary Lee Thornton


6.                              God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                     January 6, 2014

Good Morning!
Do you want to encourage your pastor? Cards and notes and little remembrances are nice, and I’m sure they’ll always be appreciated. But the sure knowledge that he can count on your daily prayers—for him and with him—is something that’s just beyond price. This week tell him “I’m praying for you.”

PRAY SPECIFICALLY:  Prayer & Fasting Week:
1 Thessalonians 5:17. “Pray without ceasing.”
Ephesians 6:18b. “With all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
19. And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, ..”

In almost every letter Paul asks whoever he is writing to pray for him. I can hear him saying, “I want you to pray not only for yourselves, but I want you to pray for me, too.” And as I read through his letters, I am taken by the detail in which Paul asks others to pray. Sometimes we’ll agree to pray for someone, but I wonder if we shouldn’t be more diligent to ask, “How would you like me to pray?”

Pray For Opportunity: Notice what Paul says: “Pray also for me that God would open to me a door for the word, the opportunity, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in chains, that I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.” Remember, now, Paul is writing this from prison. And he’s not asking for an “open door” so that he can walk out of jail. (That would be my prayer!) No, that’s not the principal thing on the Apostle’s heart. In reality, he’s asking for several things. That “open door” phrase appears in Scripture several times. Please note that Paul is not saying prayer opens the door, he is affirming that God is the One who opens doors. He shuts a few, too.

When God opens a door, no one shuts it. When we pray for open doors, we ought to pray that God would give us opportunities. You might say, “I wish I could witness, but I don’t know how to do it.” But I dare you to make this thought part of your prayer life every morning as you are on your knees (I hope you kneel sometimes) before the Lord: “Lord, make me sensitive to the opportunities that You bring my way, so that I will know that it is Your open door.”

Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Job 10  1  12  13

James & Mary Lee Thornton


7.                             God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                January 7, 2014

Good Morning!
We want to spend some time in the next few days looking into the life of Moses. We want to examine, not only his accomplishments, but the force behind them. Moses was one of the greatest men in human history, and left a big mark upon it. Human history would have been very different without Moses’ life experiences.

Hebrews 11:24. “By faith Moses, ...”

The writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews lays bare the secret of the marvels accomplished by the heroes of Hebrew history. Obedient to God’s summons, they range themselves in one great battalion, and with united breath, cry, “Why marvel ye at this? Or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had effected them? The God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, made bare his holy arm and wrought by us. And his name, through faith in his name, hath done all these wonderful works” (Acts 3:12).

We make a profound mistake in attributing to these men extraordinary qualities of courage, and strength of body or soul. To do so is to miss the whole point of the reiterated teaching of Scripture. They were not different from ordinary men, except in their faith. In many respects it is most likely that they were inferior to ourselves, and if we should meet one of them in our daily walk, we would find it almost impossible to believe that they wrought such prodigies of valor, endurance, and deliverance. In each of them, their faith grew as from “a grain of Mustard Seed.”

There was one characteristic common to them all, which lifted them above ordinary men, and secured for them a hallowed place in the “Hall of Fame” of Scripture that they had a marvelous faculty of faith; which, indeed, is but the capacity of the human heart for God. Four times over, faith is cited as the secret of all that Moses did for his people. Moses, like us, was not born with great faith, but it grew greatly.

Faith Our Standpoint: It will be our intention throughout our study of the remarkable life of Moses, that, though Moses may have had commanding features of mind and body, and have been versed in all the learning of his time (Acts 7:22); yet the marvelous outcome of his life-work was not due to any of these qualities, but to the faith which united his soul to God. His faith sufficed to do what all his other qualities, without his faith, would have failed in doing. Faith must become our standpoint, our rock, our anchor for, “without faith we cannot please God.”

Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Job 14  15  16

James & Mary Lee Thornton


8.                           God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

 Today’s First Thoughts                                 January 8, 2014

Good Morning!
The necessary conditions of all true faith is an absolute assurance of being on God's plan, and a daring to act, in utter independence of feeling, on a faith which reckons absolutely on the faithfulness of God. This was Moses’ strong point.

Hebrews 11:24. “By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; 25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;
28. Through faith he (Moses) kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them. 29 By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned.”

We hope to go further in our devotions, and show that all the blessings which GOD in his mindfulness of his covenant bestowed on Israel, came to that rebellious and stiff-necked people through the channel of Moses’ faith. It is God's method to seek the cooperation of man in the execution of his purposes, and to fulfill his promise through his servant’s faith. In this case it was Moses who was called into partnership with the Lord, and it was through his faith that God fulfilled the promise made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. So we see the conditions of a mighty faith were fulfilled in the history of Moses.

Moses was allowed to make his first efforts for the freeing of his people in the energy of his own strength, and to fail miserably; so that he fled away to Midian, there abandoning all hope of delivering them, and spending his years in solitude and exile, until it was with the greatest difficulty that he could be induced to undertake the Divine commission. He was reduced to the last extreme of helpless nothingness when the burning bush flamed in his path, a symbol of utter weakness, possessed and indwelt yet unconsumed by GOD, who is a consuming fire.

In Midian Moses married the daughter of the priest of Midian, Reuel, and two sons were born, and he kept his father-in-law’s (Reuel, priest of Midian) sheep (Exodus 3:1), he had no sheep of his own, but it also tells us that “Moses was Content” (Exodus 2:21-22) there in the most barren waste-land in the world. Moses spent 40 years there in the desert of Midian. No doubt thinking this is where I will come to the end of my life. Only God could have known that in the heart, life and ability, of this “content” 80 year old man, dwelt the first five Books of the Old Testament. We want to see how his “mustard seed of faith” grew into a huge tree of faith.

Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Job 17  18  19  20

James & Mary Lee Thornton


 9.                            God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

 Today’s First Thoughts                                    January 9, 2014

 Good Morning!       
There are days in all lives which come unannounced, unheralded; no angel faces look out of Heaven; no angel voices put us on our guard: but as we look back on them in after years, we realize that they were the turning points of our existence.

Exodus 3:1. “Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb. 2 And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.”

Quite ordinary was that morning as it broke. The sun rose as usual in a dull haze over the expanse of scrawny land, and above the giant forms of the mountains. The sheep browsed as usual on the scant vegetation, or lay panting beneath the shadow of a great rock; but there was nothing in their behavior to excite the thought that God was nigh. The awful silence unbroken by song of bird or hum of insect life, the acacia bushes drooping in the shade-less glare, these things were as they had been for forty years, and as they threatened to be, after Moses had sunk into an obscure and forgotten grave.

Then, all so suddenly, a common bush began to burn with the fire of God; and from its heart of fire the voice of God broke the silence of the ages in words that fell on the shepherd's ear like a double-knock: “Moses, Moses.” And from that moment all his life was altered. In fact this is where Moses’ life really begins. This is where every life really begins, when God comes knocking on the door of our heart, and we open and let Him come in. Life is never the same afterward.

The peaceful quiet, the meditative leisure of forty years, the hiding from the strife of Egypt, the simple piety of the homestead where the priest of Midian ministered, and Zipporah, his wife, welcomed him with his boys, as he brought the flock home to its fold, suddenly vanished as a dream. And he went forth, not clearly knowing whither; knowing only that he dared not be disobedient to the heavenly vision, or refuse the voice of Him that spoke. That voice still speaks to those whose hearts are hushed to hear. Remember he spoke to Elijah in “a still small voice.”

Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Job 21  22  23

James & Mary Lee Thornton


 10.                            God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

 Today’s First Thoughts                                    January 10, 2014

Good Morning!
If the summons were to come to us to-day, too many of us would have to ask for a moment's delay while we went to finish some neglected duty. Oh for the free, unrestrained, available spirit, to be ready to go at any moment whithersoever the Lord may appoint.

Exodus 3:4. “And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I.” 6. “Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God.”

This is the first time the voice of God had been heard in hundreds of years. At the very first thing God wanted Moses to know who He was, the ancient God of his fathers, of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The God of past generations still makes known His will to the anointed ear. Nor will our lives ever be what they might until we realize that God has a plan for every hour in them; and that He waits to reveal that plan to the loving and obedient heart, making it known to us by one of the ten thousand ministries that lie around us.

Insensibly many times we contract the habit of thinking of Him as the GOD of the dead, who spoke to the fathers in dreams and by prophets; whereas the ‘I AM’ is God of the living – passing through our crowded thoroughfares, brooding over our living spaces, and seeking hearts which are still enough from their own plans and activities to listen. The main point for each of us is to be able to answer his summons with the response, “Here am I.”

What a remarkable announcement: Out of the bush came the voice of GOD, blending past, present, and future, in one marvelous sentence: - the past, “I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob;” - the present, “I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows, and I am come down to deliver them;”- the future, “Come now, therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh” (Exodus 3:6-10). “I will send thee:” Moses would go with all the resources in heaven and on earth behind. With God on our side there can be no failure, no power can stand against us. No man before, or since, has wielded as much power as Moses. The power of God through his rod Egypt would be humbled.

Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Job   24  25  26  27  28 

James & Mary Lee Thornton


11.  12.                          God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

 Today’s First Thoughts                               January 11 & 12, 2014

Good Morning!
Moses had been reckless enough to attempt to free of his people by the blows of his right hand. But now that God proposes to send him to lead an Exodus, he starts back in dismay almost petrified at the proposal, but how true this is to nature. In the next few days we want to see how God instills that great faith in Moses to be used by God, and to become one of the greatest figures in human history.

Exodus 3:11. “And Moses said unto God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt? 12. And he said, Certainly I will be with thee; and this shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee: When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain.”

And God said, “Certainly, I will be with thee.” Surely it is God's business to choose his special instruments (Moses was more than a messenger or envoy, he wielded more power than any man in history); and when we are persuaded that we are in the line of his (God’s) purpose, we have no right to question the wisdom of his appointment. To do so is to depreciate his wisdom, or to doubt his power and willingness to become the complement of our need.

What an assurance was here. And yet something of this kind is said to each of us when we are called to undertake any new charge. We have been called into the fellowship of the Son of God. “He died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.” He is with us all the days, even unto the end of the age. He will never leave us, neither forsake us. “Fear not,” He seems to say; “I am with thee: I who change not, and without whom no sparrow falls to the ground. All power is given unto Me in Heaven and in earth. Not an hour without my companionship; not a difficulty without my co-operation; not a Red Sea without my right arm; not a mile of wilderness journeying without the Angel of my Presence.”

Days break very differently on us. Sometimes we open the door to a flood of sunshine, sometimes to a sky laden with black, dull clouds; now a funeral, and then a marriage; hours in which it is luxury to live, and others which pass with leaden-footed pace; but nothing can part us from our Divine Companion - nothing but needless worry or permitted sin.

Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Job   29  30  31    
Job   32  33  34

James & Mary Lee Thornton


 13.                           God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

 Today’s First Thoughts                                  January 13, 2014

 Good Morning!
In his next excuse Moses professed his inability to answer if he were asked the name of God. Do you have that problem?

Exodus 3:13. “And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? What shall I say unto them?
14. And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.”

I AM THAT I AM; There we have the unity of God to the exclusion of the many gods of Egypt; the unchangeableness of God, who lives in an eternal present; the self-sufficiency of God, who alone is his own equal. No other term can describe Him; when you have said your utmost you must fall back on this that, GOD is GOD.

The name JEHOVAH was not wholly unknown to Moses, for it entered into his mother's name, Jochebed, “the Lord my glory;” but now for the first time it was adopted as the unique title by which God was to be known in Israel. Slowly it made its way into the faith of the people; and whenever it is used, it speaks of the self-existent and redeeming qualities of the nature of God, and is forever enshrined in the precious name of our Savior, Jesus.

The whole remaining life of Moses and of Israel was inspired by this name. All through their history the thought of what God was, and what He would be to them, rang out like a chime of bells. And for us it is full of meaning. “This,” He said, “is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations” (v. 15). And as its full meaning opens to our vision, it is as if God put into our hands a blank check, leaving us to fill it in as we will. Our God Is Sufficient.

Are we dark? let us add to his “I AM’S” the words, “I AM the true Light;”
Are we hungry? the words, “I AM the Bread of Life;
Are we defenseless? the words, “I AM the Good Shepherd;”
Are we weary? the words, “I AM Shiloh, the Rest-giver.”
“I AM the rose of Sharon, I AM the lily of the valley, the bright and morning star.”
“I AM GOD and there is none else beside Me.”
“For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:9).

Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Job 35  36  37

James & Mary Lee Thornton


14.                       God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                    January 14, 2014

Good Morning!
Moses’ third excuse was that the people would not believe him, nor hearken to his voice. But GOD graciously met this also by showing him miracles which he might perform in Egypt, and which would give deep lessons to him. Isn’t that just like us, we have so many excuses to offer the Lord for the reason that we cannot do what He has assigned for us to do.

Exodus 4:1. “And Moses answered and said, But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The LORD hath not appeared unto thee. 2. And the LORD said unto him, What is that in thine hand? And he said, A rod. 3. And he said, Cast it on the ground. And he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from before it. 4. And the LORD said unto Moses, Put forth thine hand, and take it by the tail. And he put forth his hand, and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand: 5. That they may believe that the LORD God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath appeared unto thee.”

What is in thine hand?” It’s a rod, a piece of dried wood I picked up years ago. It’s only good for leaning on, and helping herd the sheep. It was probably only a shepherd's crook. What a history awaited it! It was used to turn the Nile into blood, bring plagues and unspeakable misery to Egypt. It would be stretched out over the Red Sea, making a pathway through its depths, and then closing it upon Pharaoh and his army; used to smite the flinty rock and water gushed forth; to win victory over the hosts of Amalek; to be known forever as the ROD OF GOD (Exodus 4:20).

When God wants an implement for his service He does not choose the golden scepter, but a shepherd's crook; the weakest and humblest thing He can find; a ram's horn, a cake of barley meal, an ox-goad (Shamgar), an earthen pitcher (Gideon), a shepherd's sling (David). He employs a worm to chastise a prophet (Jonah). A rod with GOD behind it is mightier than the vastest army.

We wrote earlier about the great faith of Moses (Hebrews 11), but now we learn that Moses, like all of us, was not born with the awesome faith we read about, but his faith was cultivated and grew to those immense proportions by Jehovah himself. We want to notice that God was patient with Moses and showed him where his faith should stand, in His might power.

Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Job 38  39

James & Mary Lee Thornton


15.                         God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                   January 15, 2014

Good Morning!
The patient God showed Moses yet another sign that He was the Mighty God that would judge Egypt.

Exodus 4:6. “And the LORD said furthermore unto him, Put now thine hand into thy bosom. And he put his hand into his bosom: and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous as snow. 7.And he said, Put thine hand into thy bosom again. And he put his hand into his bosom again; and plucked it out of his bosom, and, behold, it was turned again as his other flesh. 8. And it shall come to pass, if they will not believe thee, neither hearken to the voice of the first sign, that they will believe the voice of the latter sign. 9. And it shall come to pass, if they will not believe also these two signs, neither hearken unto thy voice, that thou shalt take of the water of the river, and pour it upon the dry land: and the water which thou takest out of the river shall become blood upon the dry land.

At God's command the rod was cast on the ground, and it became a serpent. In Egyptian worship the serpent played a very conspicuous part. And as it wriggled on the sand, and sought to do him harm, so that he fled from it, but, when GOD gave the word, how easily it became once more a rod in his hand, as he fearlessly grasped the venomous animal by the tail. So God would instruct his faith. If only he would dare to do as he was bidden, Pharaoh and all his priests, and the whole force of the Egyptian empire would be equally submissive.

The second sign was even more significant. His hand thrust into his bosom became leprous; and then again pure and white. It was as if God met his consciousness inadequacy, and taught him that it could be put away as easily as his flesh was cleansed through His forgiving grace. And the third sign, in which it was promised that the water of the Nile should become blood on the dry land, was full of terrible omen to the gods of that mighty country, the people of which depended so entirely on its river, and worshipped it as a god. 

Are we only as rods, and rods which were once useless as serpents? Yet God can do great things by us, if only we are willing to be wielded by his hand. Are we polluted with the leprosy of sin? Yet we may be as Moses’ hand, thrust into his bosom and made clean and pure. Are our foes many? They are God’s foes too, absolutely in his power to cover them with confusion.

Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Job   40  41  42

James & Mary Lee Thornton


 16.                        God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                          January 16, 2014

Good Morning!
This is not the only time we find Moses arguing with God. Several times, during the long journey through the wilderness, Moses stood his ground and won favor with God like no other person in the Old Testament, and sometime he lost the argument.

Exodus 4:10. “And Moses said unto the LORD, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue. 11. And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD? 12. Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say. 13. And he said, O my Lord, send, I pray thee, by the hand of him whom thou wilt send. 14. And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Moses, and he said, Is not Aaron the Levite thy brother? I know that he can speak well. And also, behold, he cometh forth to meet thee: and when he seeth thee, he will be glad in his heart.

It had been 40 years since Moses left Egypt and we have no record of any exchange of communication between him and his family, yet probably some traveler or merchant had brought word to Egypt about Moses. It seems that at the same time God was dealing with Moses He also had put it in the heart of Aaron to go seeking his brother. Aaron came and they met each other at the very Mountain where God met with Moses. (Exodus 4:27).

Very grudging Moses agrees to go. “And he said, O my Lord, send, I pray Thee, by the hand of him whom Thou wilt send.” It was as much as to say, “Since Thou art determined to send me, and I must undertake the mission, then let it be so; but I would that it might have been another, and I go because I am compelled.”

So often do we shrink back from the sacrifice or obligation to which God calls us that we think we are going to our doom. We seek every reason for evading the Divine will, little realizing that He is forcing us out from our quiet homes into a career which includes, among other things, the song of victory on the banks of the Red Sea; the two lonely sojourns for forty days in converse with God; the shining face; the vision of glory; the burial by the hand of Michael; and the supreme honor of standing beside the Lord on the Transfiguration Mount. No other human enjoyed such honors as Moses.

Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Genesis 12  13  14  15

James & Mary Lee Thornton


17.                        God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                               January 17, 2014

Good Morning!
The fire faded from the bush; the light above the brightness of the sun died away; the voice was still; and Moses looked around on the browsing sheep and the mighty mountains with the strange wonder of a man awaking from a trance. It had been the supreme hour of his life; for which all previous years (80) had been preparing, and from which all future ones (40) would date.

Exodus 4:18. “And Moses went and returned to Jethro his father in law, and said unto him, Let me go, I pray thee, and return unto my brethren which are in Egypt, and see whether they be yet alive. And Jethro said to Moses, Go in peace.”

FIRST STEPS TOWARD RETURN: Slowly, thoughtfully, perhaps painfully, Moses prepared to obey the heavenly summons. Gathering his flock together, he conducted it from the backside of the desert, with its grandeur, its unoccupied spaces, its intense silence, to Midian, the seat of his clan. “And Moses went and returned to Jethro, his father-in-law.” By inter marriage with the tribe of which Jethro was the chieftain, Moses had placed himself under those old customs which still remain, as unchanged as the world of nature around them, among the wild sons of the desert.

One of these customs demanded that any member of the tribe should seek and obtain permission before starting on a distant errand, involving prolonged absence from the camp. This permission Moses sought. “Let me go, I pray thee, and return unto my brethren which are in Egypt, and see whether they be yet alive.” Moses did not want to break these ancient customs and it paid off a year later when the children of Israel passed through the area on their way to Canaan (Exodus 18).

No obstacle was thrown in his way, and the permission he asked was granted in the short answer, “Go in peace.” But even then he lingered. So utterly had the forty years done their work that his impulsive, hasty spirit had died down; and he who previously had run before God now began to lag behind Him. He was in no hurry to be gone. Was it that he dreaded the turmoil and stir of the busy crowds of those teeming population? Was it that he had commenced to feel the pressure of growing years, disinclining him from great exertion? Was it that he loved the hush of those desert solitudes, and the companionship of those mighty mountains, and was reluctant to tear himself away from them? Was it that he had misgivings about the safety of his person when exposed to the hatred of king and court? We are not told.

Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Genesis   16  17  18

James & Mary Lee Thornton


18.  19.                           God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                January 18 & 19, 2014

Good Morning!
Moses was in no hurry to be gone. It was needful for God to send a second summons into his life while he tarried in Midian.

Exodus 4:19. “And the LORD said unto Moses in Midian, Go, return into Egypt: for all the men are dead which sought thy life. 20. And Moses took his wife and his sons, and set them upon an ass, and he returned to the land of Egypt: and Moses took the rod of God in his hand.”

Roused up by this second summons, as Abraham by the second summons which came to him also when Terah was dead, Moses prepared to start for Egypt. It was a very simple cavalcade, reminding us of another which, in similar lowliness, but centuries after, was destined to travel through a part of that same desert towards the same goal. Moses, however, went as the servant who was faithful in all his house; but the infant whom Mary carried was the Son who had builded the house, and was coming to live in it for ever.

Imagine, then, that setting-forth. Zipporah sitting on the ass, perhaps nursing a little babe, whilst the husband and father walked beside. And in his hand was the sacred rod only a shepherd's crook, but now THE ROD OF GOD destined to be employed for deeds of awe-inspiring power, and always reminding him of what weak things could do when wielded by strong hands behind them. And there followed a marvelous series of events which were to transpire within the next few Months, from the making of the water into blood to the slaying of the first-born.

Not long into their journey Moses became violently ill. “And it came to pass by the way in the inn, that the LORD met him, and sought to kill him” Exodus 4:24. It seems that Moses had neglected to circumcise his son. “25. Then Zipporah took a sharp stone, and cut off the foreskin of her son, and cast it at his feet, and said, Surely a bloody husband art thou to me. 26. So he (God) let him go: then she said, A bloody husband thou art, because of the circumcision.” Zipporah seems to have returned to her home taking the child with her. They would be joined again as the Children Of Israel passed that way a year later. This was the first of many disappointments for Moses as he was going to deliver his people from Egyptian bondage. We should be aware that we also will meet with many disappointments.

Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Genesis   19  20  21  
Genesis   22  23  24

James & Mary Lee Thornton


20.                        God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                   January 20, 2014

Good Morning!
Moses had been gone from Egypt for forty years and most likely had lost all contact with his folks back there. No doubt he had wondered many times if any of them were still alive. What great news to hear from God that his brother Aaron was on his way to meet him.

Exodus 4:27. “And the LORD said to Aaron, Go into the wilderness to meet Moses. And he went, and met him in the mount of God, and kissed him. 28. And Moses told Aaron all the words of the LORD who had sent him, and all the signs which he had commanded him.

Recovered from his illness, but lonely, Moses, having sent back his wife and children, started again on his journey, threading his way through those corridors of red sandstone, by which he had passed some forty years ago. But how different all seemed! He was different. No longer a disappointed man, smarting with the sense of recent failure; but strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might, conscious of a great mission, and of the presence of an angel beside him who would be equal to every emergency. And he knew that the same power which brought him forward was bringing towards him the brother whom he had not seen for forty years.

How the hearts of the two throbbed at the thought of meeting! How eagerly would each press forward! How earnestly would each scan the distant figure of the other in the long vista! And, finally, God so contrived it that they met in the Mount of God, where the bush had burned, and the voice of God had summoned Moses from shepherding a flock to become shepherd of a host. Then what greetings! “He kissed him.” What interchange of confidences! “Moses told Aaron all the words of the Lord who had sent him.” What questionings, as Moses would ask tidings of those whom he had loved! So we shall meet them? God knows where our Aarons are, our twin-souls whom we need to have beside us for the completion of our life-work. They may be far away now. But God will bring them to us and us to them.

The Zipporahs go, but the Aarons come. And we shall not miss each other, since God is Guide. Let us live on His providence and love; and He will so arrange it finally that we shall meet at the Mount of God, some consecrated spot, some spot of holy converse, some blessed meeting-place, selected by Himself. And the embrace, the joy, the kiss of welcome, shall in the ecstasy cause us to forget the forty years of exile, loneliness, and sorrow.

Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Genesis   25  26

James & Mary Lee Thornton


 21.                           God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                  January 21, 2014

Good Morning!
In loving interchange of thought, the two brothers reached Egypt; and in obedience of the Divine command proceeded to summon the elders of Israel to a conference, at which they should present their credentials, and give to them the Divine message with which they were entrusted.

Exodus 4:29. “And Moses and Aaron went and gathered together all the elders of the children of Israel: 30. And Aaron spake all the words which the LORD had spoken unto Moses, and did the signs in the sight of the people. 31. And the people believed: and when they heard that the LORD had visited the children of Israel, and that he had looked upon their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshipped.

It must have been a very remarkable meeting, perhaps the first of the sort ever held. Never before had this downtrodden people produced men daring enough to take such a step, the first, indeed, towards national independence. We are not told whether there was any disposition on the part of any of these elders, who were
probably the heads of the Hebrew families and tribes, to question the right of the brothers to convene them. In all likelihood, they were but too glad to merge all prior and selfish claims in a united effort on their people's behalf; and there were probably many stories still circulating of Moses life and deeds, before his strange and sudden disappearance, which predisposed them to obey his call, and gather at some convenient spot within the territory allotted to them to inhabit.

When all were gathered Aaron recited on the behalf of Moses, who probably stood beside him without a word, the magnificent words spoken at the bush (Exodus 3:16-22). We do not know how they were received. Perhaps Moses’ own fear was partly realized when he said to God, “They will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice; for they will say, the Lord hath not appeared unto thee.” The long years of bondage may have so quenched their hopes and quelled their spirits yet they “believed” and were able to realize that the hour of deliverance had come.

To some who are reading this the hour of your deliverance from something that has held you captive may be near. I urge you to be obedient to the voice of God that has promised to set you free. Come to Him today, surrender you heart and life to Him.

Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Genesis   27  28  29

James & Mary Lee Thornton


 22.                         God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                  January 22, 2014

Good Morning!
Moses no doubt thought that since God had sent him to deliver the Israelites from the Egyptian bondage that when he approached Pharaoh he would be agreeable to his request. But this would be the first test of his new found faith.

Exodus 5:1. “And afterward Moses and Aaron went in, and told Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness. 2. And Pharaoh said, Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the LORD, neither will I let Israel go.”

It was probably in an audience-room of some splendid palace, where the lordly Pharaoh received deputations and embassies, that they met him. How mixed must Moses feelings have been. And then Aaron and he uttered the words, which pealed as a thunder-clap through the audience, “Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto Me in the wilderness.” Moses and Aaron were not ready for the mighty monarch’s answer, “Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the LORD, neither will I let Israel go.”

The point of the reply lies in that word ‘obey.’ He saw that these men did not present him with a request, but with a mandate from One of greater authority than himself. This stung him to the quick. Did they not know that he also was a god? Who was this other God, stronger than himself, who dared to issue such a summons? A God of whose existence till that moment he had been unaware. Who was the God of a group of slaves at that? How dare they speak of their insignificant God in his presence, and in the midst of priests, courtiers, and high officers of state in Egypt? How the royal lip curled as it was uttered! Already the heart had begun to harden! 

And so the audience ended, and the brothers came down the crowded corridors amid the jeers of the court. A very different scene was to be enacted a few months later, as the news came there of the overthrow of the monarch in the Red Sea the last stage of the conflict between himself and the God of the Hebrews, whose name he heard that day for the first time. As we look back on that scene, we can somewhat understand the reason for it all. God can afford to bring us through passages like this, because of “the afterward” to which they lead. We may at first meet failure, but one thing sure if we hold true to God we will be a victor some day.

Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Genesis   30 31

James & Mary Lee Thornton


 23.                        God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                     January 23, 2014

Good Morning!
Finally, they could stand it no longer, and resolved to make an appeal direct to Pharaoh. “The officers of the children of Israel came and cried unto Pharaoh.”

Exodus 5:15. “Then the officers of the children of Israel came and cried unto Pharaoh, saying, Wherefore dealest thou thus with thy servants?”
22. “And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said, Lord, wherefore hast thou so evil entreated this people? why is it that thou hast sent me? 23. For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in thy name, he hath done evil to this people; neither hast thou delivered thy people at all.”

It was a bitter day for Moses and Aaron when the people took the matter into their own hands, and, without using them as intermediaries, went direct to the king to get him to put them back to the point at which they stood before that well-meant, but disastrous interference. But it was evidently better that Moses and Aaron should wait outside the palace to learn the result of the interview.

It was necessary that Moses, Aaron, and the Hebrews, should come to see that their case was desperate, and that no appeals or reasoning or argument could alter it. It was necessary that the people should see that they could not better their position by any efforts of their own. Yes and their thoughts would henceforth be directed past the leaders, who were discredited in their very first endeavor, to the hand and heart of the Almighty.

There is no other help for us when passing through such stern hardships; and the man who cannot flee thither in similar straits is pitiable indeed. When we see our hopes blasted, our plans miscarry, our efforts do more harm than good, whilst we are discredited and blamed, pursued with the taunts and hate of those for whom we were willing to lay down our lives, we may preserve an outward calm; but there will be a heart-break underneath, and the noblest part in us will wither, as corn blasted by an east wind, unless we are able to pour out our whole complaint before God.

The agony of soul through which Moses passed must have been as death to him. As he lay there on the ground alone before God, wishing himself back in Midian, and thinking himself hardly used, he was falling as a corn of wheat into the ground to die, no longer to abide alone, but to bear much fruit. But dying is not pleasant work!

Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Genesis   32  33  34

James & Mary Lee Thornton


 24.                          God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                        January 24, 2014

Good Morning!
The agony of soul through which Moses passed must have been as death to him. He died to his self-esteem, He died to his castle-building, He died to pride in his miracles, He died to the enthusiasm of his people, He died to everything that a popular leader loves. Yet Moses would rise to shine as the stars in the sky.

Exodus 5:22. “And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said, Lord, wherefore hast thou so evil entreated this people? why is it that thou hast sent me? 23. For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in thy name, he hath done evil to this people; neither hast thou delivered thy people at all.”

It is neither easy nor pleasant to forego one's own plans, to cease from one's own works, to renounce one's own reputation, to be despised and flouted by the very slaves you would save. What corn of wheat enjoys having its waterproof sheath torn from it, its elements disintegrated, its heart eaten into, as it lies helpless, exposed to the earth forces, in the cold, damp, dark soil? And yet this is the necessary condition which must be fulfilled, before it can put forth the slender stalk, like a hand holding to the sun thirty, sixty, or many hundreds of grains like itself.

“That which thou sowest is not quickened except it die; . . . but if it die it bringeth forth much fruit.” It is a lesson for us all. God must bring us down before He can raise us up. Emptying must precede filling. We must get to an end of ourselves before He can begin in us. But what a beginning He makes. “Then the Lord said unto Moses, now thou shalt see what I will do to Pharaoh, for with a strong hand shall he let them go, and with a strong hand shall he drive them out of his land.”

And as those words of encouragement and promise broke on his ear, he must have forgotten the averted looks and bitter words of the people, and risen into a new world of restful expectation. Deliverance was sure, though he had learned that it did not depend on anything that he could do, but on that all-sufficient GOD, who had announced Himself as the I AM. And out of the whole story there comes to us this lesson: we must never suppose that the difficulties which confront us indicate that we are not on God's path, and doing his work. And when we stand on the further banks of the Red Sea the song of victory will wipe out the memory of those bitter disappointments, those sharp speeches, and those hours of lonely anguish.

Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Genesis   35  36  37

James & Mary Lee Thornton


 25.  26.                         God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                    January 25 & 26, 2014

Good Morning!
The time of depression with the discouraged servant of GOD is always a time of promise. God had broken His silence of hundreds of years when He spoke to Moses.

Exodus 6:1. “Then the LORD said unto Moses, Now shalt thou see what I will do to Pharaoh: for with a strong hand shall he let them go, and with a strong hand shall he drive them out of his land. 2. And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the LORD: 3. And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them.”

In despair Moses had thrown himself on God, pouring out the story of his failure and shame. “Wherefore hast Thou so evil entreated this people? Why is it that Thou hast sent me?” But there was no chiding, no rebuke, on the part, of his strong and faithful Friend, who knew his frame, and remembered that he was but dust. Notice the string of promises God gave to Moses in the form of I WILL’S in Exodus 6:6-8.

“I will bring you out . . . ,”
“I will rid you . . . “,
“I will redeem you . . . ,”
“I will take you to Me . . . ,”
“I will be to you a God . . . ,”
“I will bring you into the land . . .  ,”
“I will give it you . . .  ;” And notice that this cluster of I wills is contained within two brackets, that pledge the very nature of God itself to their accomplishment, “I am the Lord (v. 6) . . . I am the Lord” (v. 8).

A few months prior to this the Voice of God had come to Moses in the solitude of Midan but now it comes to him in Egypt. Did Moses think that that vision and voice were inseparable from the solitude of those wastes, and the silences of those everlasting hills; and that what was possible there, could have no counterpart amid the stir of Egyptian life, and the presence of the great monuments of idolatry? If so, the suggestion was at once answered by that voice finding him in Egypt itself. Yes, souls of men, God speaks not only in the stillness of the hermit's life; but amid the stir of active engagement, and the press of crowds. Let Him speak to your heart today.

Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Genesis    38 39 40
Genesis    41 42

James & Mary Lee Thornton


27.                          God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                January 27, 2014

Good Morning!
The scriptures tell us that Moses was the meekest man on earth (Numbers 12:1), yet we see great courage and fortitude demonstrated by him as he went time after time before Pharaoh. We could ask how he obtained such strength of character. It is hardly possible to over-estimate the value of simple, unquestioning obedience in the growth of character.

Hebrews 3:2. “Moses was faithful in all his house.”

If we were engaged in telling the story of the Exodus, it would be appropriate for us to study minutely the account of the succeeding plagues. But it is on Moses that our attention must be focused; and, indeed, it is marvelous to trace the growth of this man, in perhaps a few months, from the diffidence and hesitancy of Midian to the moral sublimity which made him “very great in the land of Egypt,” in the sight of the great officials of the court, no less than of the mass of the common people. We shall discover that the secrets of his growth consist in an instant and unquestioning obedience, an utter indifference to human opinion, strength of purpose, unfailing patience, indomitable courage, persevering faith and prayer.

Though he had been at least seven times in the royal presence, and each time  the bearer of heavy tidings, increasingly abhorred by Pharaoh and his court, and though so far his appearances there had been unsuccessful in securing the great object which God had set before him, yet there was no hesitancy or questioning, when for the eighth time the Lord bade him present himself in the palace to demand the emancipation of the people on pain of a locust on the land. And, surely, it must have been a much greater effort for Moses to be the medium of such judgments, and the object of so much bitter hatred, than for many. He was naturally gentle, tender, and very meek always ready to pray for the cessation of a plague, and never for its advent; yearning sympathetically over sister and brother, though they had grievously injured him; willing to be accursed if the people might be spared.

Unannounced, the darkness fell like a pall upon the land, “even darkness that could be felt.” “They saw not one another, neither rose any from his place for three days” (Exodus 10:23). Then, again, we see the proud spirit of the king “Get thee from me, take heed to thyself, see my face no more; for in that day thou seest my face thou shalt die.” Moses made answer with calm dignity, as became the emissary of God. “And Moses said, Thou hast spoken well; I will see thy face again no more.”

Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Genesis   43  44  45

James & Mary Lee Thornton


28.                          God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                   January 28, 2014

Good Morning!
The faith of Moses had kindled faith in three millions of people.

Exodus 12:41. “And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years--on that very same day--it came to pass that all the armies of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt. 42. It is a night of solemn observance to the Lord for bringing them out of the land of Egypt. This is that night of the Lord, a solemn observance for all the children of Israel throughout their generations.”

We have had indications that through the faith of this man, Moses, which was growing exceedingly, blessing would accrue to the chosen people. The children of Israel were exempted from the terrible inflictions by which Egypt was desolated. Moses claimed that GOD should do as He had said. And according to his faith it befell. No murrain swept off their beasts. No boils broke out on their persons. No tempest swept their fields. No locusts destroyed their crops. No darkness obscured to them the sun.

Thus, while the minds of their oppressors were engrossed with their own special sufferings, the Hebrews were at peace; and when the Egyptians were prevented by the darkness from moving, the oppressed population of Goshen had ample time to prepare for that Exodus which Moses at least knew was so near. And when all the provisions had been thus solemnly recited, there followed the words of promise, on which thence-forward Moses’ faith rested, “I will pass through the land of Egypt, and will smite all the first-born in the land of Egypt, both  man and beast; . . . and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt” (Exodus 12:12, 13).

As we study that strange and marvelous episode, we must never forget the light thrown on it by the memorable verse which tells us that “by faith Moses kept the Passover, and the sprinkling of blood; lest he that destroyed the first-born should touch them” (Hebrews 11:28). The importance of this verse lies in the fact that it attributes the keeping of the Passover, the sprinkling of blood on the lintels of the Hebrew houses, and the immunity of the Hebrew people, to the effect of the heroic faith which burnt so steadily in the soul of this simple-hearted man; the entirety of whose obedience was only equaled by the absoluteness of the unquestioning faith, which dared to take God at his word.

Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Genesis 46  47

James & Mary Lee Thornton


29.                        God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                   January 29, 2014

Good Morning!
Who can depict that night, ever memorable in the history of our race when, indeed, as Bunsen says, history itself was born the night when God brought Israel out of the house of bondage!

Exodus 12:30. “So Pharaoh rose in the night, he, all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was not a house where there was not one dead.”

It was the early spring, and a time of the full silver moon, which shed her soft light in cascades of beauty on the land that lay beneath her; from where, on the Western frontier, the Nile rolled its majestic volumes, to the waters of the Red Sea on the far Eastern border. All was still with an almost preternatural silence; broken only by the hoot of the owl, the scream of the bittern, the plunge of the monster in the water, or the cry of the jackal on the plains.

But suddenly the stillness was interrupted by a scream of anguish, as a mother rushed out into the night to tell that the Angel of Death had begun his work, and she was presently answered by the wail of another mother in agony for her first-born; and this by another, and yet another. It was useless to summon priest or physician, magician or courtier; how could they help others who had not been able to ward off death from their own? The maid grinding at the mill and her lady sleeping under curtains of silk were involved in a common sorrow, which obliterated all social distinctions, and made all one.

There was not a house where there was not one dead even Pharaoh's palace was not exempt. The news spread like wildfire that the heir to the throne was dead. “And there was a great cry in Egypt.” “Then Pharaoh rose up in the night, he and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and he called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, Rise up, and get you forth from among my people.” And so the host stepped forth into freedom. For the first time the Israelites realized that they were a nation, and drank the earliest rich deep draught of liberty. A mere horde of slaves, they suddenly crystallized into a people. The spirit of their leader (Moses) inspired and thrilled them. This is for us. We, too, may overcome by the Blood of the Lamb, and by the word of our testimony. By faith we, too, may obtain promises and stop the mouths of lions, and quench the violence of fire. Only claim thy freedom.

Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Genesis   48  49  50

James & Mary Lee Thornton


  30.                          God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                   January 30, 2014

Good Morning!
God will never allow Satan to overtake those who put their trust in Him.

Exodus 14:13 “And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever.”

 It was not long after the hour of midnight before the entire Israelite host was on the move; and as the morning illuminated the cloud with its flush, it beheld them marching, the men several abreast, whilst wives and children and baggage and cattle followed. From different points the vast host which, judging by the fact that the number of the men amounted to six hundred thousand, could not have been less than two and a half millions moved towards the central meeting-place at Succoth.

No sooner had Israel gone than Pharaoh was sorry. The public works stood still for lack of labor. Vast territories were suddenly unoccupied. The labor of this enslaved people was missed on every side, in city and field. There was a sudden loss of revenue and service which he could ill dispense with. And his pride forbade that he should quietly give in to their unhindered Exodus. Besides, in their mad haste to be rid of this people, the Egyptians had laden them with jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment (Exodus 11:2-3); so much so that it is distinctly said, “they spoiled the Egyptians.” It is clear from the contributions afterwards made to the building of the Tabernacle that Israel carried off a large amount of treasure and valuables.

“And the heart of Pharaoh, and of his servants, was turned against the people; and they said, why have we done this, that we have let Israel go from serving us?” “So he made ready his chariot and took his people with him. Also, he took six hundred choice chariots, and all the chariots of Egypt with captains over every one of them.” “And the Egyptians pursued after them, all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh . . . and overtook them” (Exodus 14:9).

In like manner the Devil rises up when a soul is delivered out from his kingdom. He will pursue with all his might and forces to try to reclaim them. But take refuge in the power and might of the Almighty, He will deliver those who call upon him. Moses’ words of confidence still ring true, “Stand still, and see the salvation (power of deliverance) of the Lord” (Exodus 14:13).

Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Exodus   1  2  3

James & Mary Lee Thornton


31.                         God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                   January 31, 2014

Good Morning!
While following God’s cloud may bring any of his children into a position of unparalleled difficulty, they may always count upon Him to deliver them.

Exodus 15:21. “And Miriam answered them, Sing ye to the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.”

From his throne on high their Almighty Deliverer looked down upon the cowering crowd of fugitives in their sore fear as they cried to Him. “In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them; in his love and in his pity He redeemed them; and He bare them, and carried them” (Isaiah 63:9-14) throughout that memorable night and day. As Moses foretold, “He fought for them, while they held their peace.” 

The one man who seemed unmoved amid the panic of the people was their heroic leader Moses, whose faith was the organ of their deliverance. And therefore it is that in all after-allusions to this great event his hand is always referred to as the instrument through which the might of the Lord wrought. “Thou leddest,” says the Psalmist, “thy people like a flock, by the hand of Moses and Aaron” (Psalm 77:20). “He led them,” says Isaiah, “with his glorious arm, dividing the water before them, to make himself an everlasting name?” (Isaiah 63:12). The people, therefore, had good reason to remember the ancient days of Moses; for they were made famous by Moses mighty faith. By his “faith they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land.”

The morning dawn revealed one of the most memorable spectacles of history. A nation of slaves, fleeing from their masters, had suddenly become a nation of freemen, and stood emancipated upon the shores of a new continent. The cavalry of Egypt was overwhelmed in the midst of the sea, there remained not so much as one of them left; and all along the shore lay the bodies of the dead, cast up from the depths of the tide.

And from that ransomed host, congregated there in one vast throng, broke forth an anthem, whose sublime conceptions of language rendered it worthy of the occasion, as it has been the model for triumphal songs in all subsequent times. Today we also can sing the song of victory by riding upon the faith of great leaders of yester-year.

Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Exodus   4  5  6

James & Mary Lee Thornton



Copyright (c)2010 GODSGRAZINGFIELD &