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March 2014

                     Godsgrazingfield Devotions March 2014

Bill Fishing

                             God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion           

Today’s First Thoughts                                       March 1 & 2, 2014      

 Good Morning!
In the next few days we will be looking into the gospel of Mark for our lesson on how to make ourselves available to the healing virtue of God. We will discuss 10 instances of healing and the lessons we can gain from each.

DIVINE HEALING:
3 John 1. The elder unto the well beloved Gaius, whom I love in the truth.
2. Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. (KJV)

The Apostle John was writing to a friend by the name of Gaius. What John is saying, “Dear friend, I am praying that all is well with you and that your body is as healthy as I know your soul is.”

The Bible speaks much about healing, in fact a great part of our Lord's ministry had to do with healing the sick and afflicted. He was touched in his innermost being by those who sought Him out for healing of their sicknesses. In like manner the scriptures teaches us to pray for healing, both for ourselves, and for others.

There is no answer to the question, “why aren't all healed?” it is beyond human explanation. But, there are ways to make yourself available to the grace of God’s healing.

TAKE THE TOP OFF THE RAIN BARREL:
When I was a small child I remember a barrel at the corner of the house that my mother caught water in to wash clothes with. The barrel had a top on it to keep the trash out when it was not raining. But when it rained she went out and took the top off so the water which ran off the house could get in the barrel. If she failed to take the top off, even though the water came down, it could not get in the barrel.

The same is true with God's grace to heal, it comes down from heaven like rain, so take the top off the rain barrel, and let God's healing come in. Open up your heart and soul to the grace and mercy of the Lord Jesus. Don’t be ashamed to ask Him for your healing.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Numbers   14  15       Psalm   90
Numbers   16  17

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                            God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion        

Today’s First Thoughts                                       March 3, 2014      

Good Morning!
Settle it in your mind that it is his will that you should be healed.

KNOW GOD’S WILL:
Mark 1:40. “And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.” (KJV)

Luke 5:12, tells us that the diseased man was “full of leprosy.” The disorder was fully developed; it had spread over his whole body. Leprosy was designed to be especially typical of the disease of sin. It was not, as supposed by many, contagious. It was in some cases hereditary. It was a living death. It was incurable by any human art or skill. It was the awful sign of sin reaching unto death. It was cured, as sin is cured, only by the mercy and favor of God. No wonder that our Lord specially displayed his power over this terrible disease.

This leper “kneeling down” spoke to Jesus, “if you will, you can make me clean.”

“If you will,..” He wasn't quite sure…he knew Jesus could--but would he? “If you will--you can.” we know Jesus can, but will he? The leper was saying the same thing. “I know you can, but, will you?”

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

Notice Jesus stretched forth his hand and touched him. Jewish law forbade anyone touching a person who had leprosy. Jesus touched him, knowing that he could not be defiled with the touch. He touched him that he might heal him, and that His divine power of healing might be manifest. In like manner, through the incarnation, God touched the human race, that the power of sin might be broken. Jesus is saying to you, “I will be thou clean.”

The end of the story. Mark 1:45. “But he went out, and began to publish it much, and to blaze abroad the matter, insomuch that Jesus could no more openly enter into the city, but was without in desert places: and they came to him from every quarter.”

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

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                             God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion       

Today’s First Thoughts                                       March 4, 2014      

Good Morning!
Be willing to be healed on the basis of someone else's faith.

BE WILLING TO BE CARRIED:
Mark 2:3. And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four. 4. And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay. 5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.  (KJV)

Jesus is back in Capernaum and it was noised abroad that he was back. Straightway a great multitude was gathered together in and around the house where Jesus was, until there was no room to hold them. The house was full, the doorway was full, all entrances and all the exits were blocked. Here was a man sick of palsy (paralytic, disabled). He was a man who could not help himself, and in no wise could make his way to where Jesus was. Four men brought him to where Jesus was and with much effort lowered him into the presence of Jesus.

Let us notice the actions of these four men. When they got to the house they could not get to where Jesus was because of the multitude. Determined not to abandon the possibility of getting the helpless man to Jesus, they uncovered the roof, “and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay”

Mark 2:5. “When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, son, thy sins be forgiven thee.” Mark 2:11. I say unto thee, arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house. 12. And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, we never saw it on this fashion. (KJV)

This man was healed on the faith of his companions.
Carry me on your faith until I can go on my own.
Let us carry one another on our faith.

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

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                             God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

 Today’s First Thoughts                                       March 5, 2014       

Good Morning!
We have a part to play in our own healing.

OBEY TO THE ABSURDITY:
Mark 3:3. And he saith unto the man which had the withered hand, stand forth.

It was the Sabbath day and Jesus was in the synagogue. There was a man with a withered hand also in there, and there were many other people there, many of them critical of Jesus wondering if He would heal on the Sabbath Day. Jesus did not disappoint them.

Jesus spoke directly to the afflicted man, “stand forth.” “Arise, stand up, and come here.” Can you imagine that? They were in the synagogue, and nobody walks around in the synagogue. It is a place of worship. The man with the withered hand was keeping still in his place. But Jesus said, "come here, stand by me."

I know that it is God's will for you to be healed because Jesus violated the Sabbath to heal this man. Jesus gave a command for the man to carry out.

“You, you with the withered hand, you, stretch it out.” “What does he mean stretch it out?” “I’ve never stretched it out before.” “How can I?” “It’s withered.” But nevertheless at Jesus' command, “and he stretched it out.” “Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out:” (Mark 3:5b)

Maybe it was difficult at first, maybe he had to struggle. But he was determined to obey, even if it killed him. “And his hand was restored whole as the other.”
(Mark 3:5c) But, instead of killing him it healed him.

It was absurd to ask Naaman to dip seven times in the Jordan River. But he got his healing by doing the absurd. Remember Peter had fished all night and caught nothing yet Peter said, “Nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.” Jesus told a blind man to go wash in the Pool of Siloam after He had put mud on his eyes, he went, he washed, he saw (John 9:7).

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Numbers   23  24  25   

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                              God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                         March 6, 2014      

Good Morning!
Complete deliverance from Satan's bondage is available to every man.

PREACHING THE GOSPEL TO THE POOR:
Luke 4:18. The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of  sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,

We only possess, it is evident, the very barest abstract of the words of the Teacher Jesus on this occasion. They must have been singularly eloquent, winning, and powerful to have extorted the wonder and admiration alluded to in the 22nd verse. God is no respecter of persons. He loves the wealthy as well as the poverty stricken. But unscrupulous religious figures have always had a tendency to offer their services to those best able to show their gratitude in greenbacks. We can look at Balaam and his services for pay. The poor need the Gospel, (good news).

Their life on earth is the hardest; it is often one of unremitting toil; often one of severe privation, many are almost destitute of comfort and enjoyment; and often one of serious and hard oppression, in which the strong will of another robs them of all liberty of action. How precious, how necessary, to these are the joys which earth cannot give and cannot steal — the treasures which enrich the heart, the hopes which reach beyond the grave! The Gospel offers them the only treasure they will ever have.

But in the ministry of Jesus, it was noticeable that, while He did not neglect the rich, neither did He shun the poor. His compassion was evident in His equal ministry to all society. In fact, one of the proof's Jesus offered of His Messiah-ship to John's followers was this: “to the poor the gospel is preached” ( Luke 7:22). The common people still hear Christ gladly, while the wealthy and the strong and the famous are sitting at the feet of “the world,” to learn its wisdom and to seek its favor.

At first the wonder, the admiration, of the people that day is excited. If they had only yielded to the teaching, how mighty would have been the work of the day! But, alas! the small, petty feelings of the village prevent the work. The folks in Nazareth missed out on the “equal opportunity” gospel when they rejected Jesus that day.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Numbers   26  27

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                             God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                         March 7, 2014      

Good Morning!
There is no need for any person to suffer from prejudice, sorrow, bondage, sickness or oppression. All men can be free.

HEALING THE BROKEN HEARTED:
Luke 4:18. "… he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, …."

A Broken Heart is a Universal Affliction. Few have not had major disappointments in life. Jesus announced that the Healing Of Broken Hearts was now available. Let’s not pass by this lightly because it is second in Jesus’ Ministries. It comes before Physical Healing! This is not to minimize Healing of the Body. Jesus would get to that later. But a Healthy Body often houses a Sick Heart. Actually, the Healing of the Brokenhearted is an Inner Healing. And it is just as definite and essential as Outward Healing.

THE BROKEN HUMAN HEART: There are two things which break hearts:

One is intolerable shame; the shame which comes from a crushing sense of sin; it may be of flagrant sin, such as commands the deep indignation and strong censure of our fellowmen, and involves the loss of our own self respect; or it may be a sense of that common sin of which all the souls of men are guilty in the sight of God, the keeping back from him of all that has been due to him, all the reverence and love of our hearts and all the service of our lives. Under a deep sense of sin, and therefore of condemnation, affected and afflicted with the consciousness of Divine disapproval and the fear of Divine punishment, the heart cries out for refuge.

The other is overwhelming sorrow; it may be some crushing disappointment, or it may be some wearing and trying sickness, or it may be some heavy and humiliating loss, or it may be some terrible bereavement and consequent loneliness of heart and life; under one or more of these overwhelming burdens the heart may be bowed down even to breaking.

When we come to really know Jesus We have the Opportunity to have all the Hurts, Conflicts, Bitterness, and Inner Turmoil ended  once and for all. There is but one availing “Refuge of our soul” to whom we can flee with perfect assurance that in him we shall find what we need. Christ came “to heal the broken-hearted,” and he does so by: Offering us the most tender sympathy. He is the High Priest who is “touched with a feeling of our infirmities, having been in all points tried even as we are,” and therefore able to enter perfectly into our grief’s of mind, body, or estate.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Numbers   28  29  30

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                            God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                   March 8 & 9, 2014      

Good Morning!
Satan's grip on humanity has already been broken at Calvary's Hill. He has no more ability to afflict those who put their trust in Jesus. The only power he has over any person is the power that a person allows him to exercise.

DELIVERANCE FOR THE CAPTIVE:
Luke 4:18. “…to preach deliverance to the captives, …to set at liberty them that are bruised."

There is a bondage that is worse than any inflicted by stone walls and iron chains. Who among us is not-- or has not-- been the captive of emotions, desires, drives, thought patterns, some habit, or guilt? Every man is a captive to something. No man is free. The vast majority are captive to their own vicious lusts; A few are captive of Jesus Christ. Jesus freed humanity from their former slave-masters, but in order to remain free from negative forces, the liberated souls must remain the  captives of Jesus Christ. Paul delighted in calling himself “A servant (slave) of Jesus Christ.

Sin is at first a transgression, but it soon becomes a tyranny. It grows into a power; and it becomes a power which holds the soul in its grasp, so that it is practically enslaved; it attempts to rise, to move, to do that which befits it and for which it was created, but it finds that it cannot; it is held down; its way is barred. This is true of sin in all its forms, and it is true in a number of degrees, varying from an objectionable constraint down to an almost hopeless despotism.

LIBERTY FOR THE BRUISED: Bruised souls: Those who are bruised with the worries of life. Those who are harassed and fretted by a multitude of conflicts with men and things. Those who are perplexed with the problems of life, and are thereby troubled in soul. Those who are smitten by the persecutions of life, or they may be placed in human surroundings unfavorable to peace. He is ready, at our appeal, to strengthen us by his indwelling Spirit, and to grant us sustaining grace. These are “exceeding great and precious promises,” which not only cover the whole path of life, however long that may prove, but reach on beyond the horizon-line of death into the blessed and eternal future.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Numbers    31  32
Numbers    33  34

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                             God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion    

Today’s First Thoughts                                         March 10, 2014      

Good Morning!
It must be very bad to be blind, to look on no scenery, to read no book, to grope our way in thick darkness. It is worst of all to be spiritually blind-- blindness of spirit, a darkness in which the soul fails to see the highest of all beings.

SIGHT TO THE BLIND:
Luke 4:18.  “…and recovering of sight to the blind, …”

As a symbol of all physical healing, the announcement of sight to the blind should have had a happy reception. To think that, pains, struggles, and sicknesses could be relieved would make just about any diseased person joyful. The only thing which prevented these Jews from receiving healing was their attitude: “It's too good to be true.” This particular prophecy could, of course, also apply to the opening of spiritually blinded eyes. But that possibility too was reduced by the negative reaction in Nazareth.

“It must be very bad to be blind,” we say; probably we but faintly realize what it means. It is bad to be physically blind — to look on no scenery, to read no book, to behold no countenance, to recognize no love in a human face, to grope our way in the thick darkness. It is worse to be mentally blind — to see, and not to see; to open the eyes on the beauty and wonder and glory of the universe and to recognize nothing beautiful, wonderful, glorious, there; to be as lonely in a library as in a cell! It is worse still to be morally blind — blind of soul, so that a man can see nothing degraded in drunkenness, nothing shameful in vice, nothing revolting in obscenity and profanity, nothing repelling in selfishness; so that a man can see nothing noble in generosity, nothing beautiful in beneficence, nothing regal in righteousness and duty, nothing sacred in human love.

It is worst of all to be spiritually blind — worst, because that is the root and source of all the others; blindness of spirit, a darkness in which the soul fails to see the Highest of all beings, the loftiest of all truths, the greatest of all facts; a darkness in which the soul fails to recognize the essential truth that in God we “live, and move, and have our being,” and that to him we are responsible for all we are and have; in which it is blind to our sorrowful state of guilt and condemnation in the sight of God. Praise came to “open the eyes of the blind” that they may see His glory.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Numbers   35  36

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                             God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                        March 11, 2014      

Good Morning!
Touching Jesus with Purpose. Many touch the Lord: but few touch Him with purpose.

IF I CAN GET TO HIM, I SHALL BE WHOLE:
Luke 8:43. And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any,
44. Came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched.
45. And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?
46. And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me.

Many jostled against Jesus that day, why didn't the virtue go out into the jostling crowd? Because there was no purpose in those touches. Yet when the little lady stretched her hand through the multitude and grasped His garment, virtue went out of Jesus. Can anyone estimate how many come into contact with the Lord regularly through His Word, fellowship with Believers, and the Touch of His Spirit, who never really purposefully reach out, in Faith, to receive the answer to their needs?

The touch represents HER ONLY HOPE. She had nothing else to which to cling. For twelve long years she had been a sick and weary woman. There is something interesting in the circumstance which Luke the physician records, that all her means had been spent on physicians, but that she could not be healed of any. Mark adds that she rather grew worse. If a portion of her income had still been left. The temptation would have been to try another doctor. But now there is only this chance. It was the energy of despair which drove her to Jesus.

“When she had heard,” says Mark, “the things concerning Jesus, she came.” There is no delay over questions such as, “How can I reach his presence? How can I get through this multitude? Will he care for me?” All such self-inquiry is at once dismissed. The true faith is busied only with its Object. The mind is too much in earnest to stop over problems concerning the act or the manner of faith. The touch represents A PERSONAL CONTACT. “Only to put my hand on the clothes, or even the fringe of the garment.” So she says to herself.

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

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                             God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                        March 12, 2014      

Good Morning!
A man driven against his will.

MAN'S DISTRESS:
Luke 8:27. And when he went forth to land, there met him out of the city a certain man, which had devils long time, and ware no clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs.
28. When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high? I beseech thee, torment me not.

Which had devils long time.” Does not this verse accurately portray the condition of the sinner, bound by the power of evil, driven deeper and deeper into sin? In such a condition, life becomes a wilderness of despair. All hope soon is gone and what makes this way of life even more tragic is that the person may become content and not desire deliverance. Such would be the tragic fate for every man if Satan had his way. Again, the cause of Jesus Christ was to deliver man from the awful clutch of evil. The effect is to establish the delivered person upon the solid foundation of truth in Christ Jesus.

Torment me not.” The sight of Jesus appears to have produced an extraordinary impression upon this man. The holy, calm, gentle majesty, the tender compassion, and the conscious sovereignty which were expressed in the aspect of our Lord, awakened in him, by force of contrast, the humbling consciousness of his own state of moral disorder. The devils did the speaking through this man’s voice. They recognized who Jesus was. “I beseech thee, torment me not.” In his possession one remarkable and very terrible feature seems to have been the divided consciousness; the sufferer identifies himself with the demons, and now one speaks, now the other.

One very solemn reason why this special case of exorcism on the part of our Lord is related with so much detail and repeated by the three evangelists, Matthew, Mark, and Luke, seems to be the glimpse which the dialogue between the evil spirits and the Master opens to us of the dread realities hidden in the future for those who sin deliberately against the will of God. The existence of the place or state of torment is affirmed very pointedly by our Lord and his disciples. The swineherds told their story, the demoniac, so long the terror of the neighborhood, now sane, clothed, too, like one of them, was sitting peacefully full of deep, gratitude at the Master’s feet

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

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                             God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                        March 13, 2014      

Good Morning!
The outstanding outreach of the first Church was the results of a great missionary spirit and vision. Every heart without Christ is a mission field. Every heart with Christ is a missionary.

THE MISSONARY SPIRIT OF THE CHURCH:
John 4:35.  “Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.”

Some evangelist are not very interested in theology; some theologians are not very interested in evangelism. Pentecostals should be deeply committed to both. A study of evangelism in the first century church is of real significance for our day. It can help us to understand afresh the gospel of the apostles, the methods they employed, the spirit they displayed, and the manner in which they proclaimed their message--a message they lived by and were ready to die for. Evangelism was the heart-throb of the early Church; it is the primary task of the Church in our own day.

Evangelism was this church's first priority; it was the very life-blood of all First-century Christians. That is why we find that, “the Lord added to the Church daily such as should be saved.” (Acts 2:47). It still happens today when the church is willing to pay the price!

Lift up your eyes” To see the temporal harvest you look down and around, but to see this you must look up; it is in the spiritual region, and concerns the spiritual nature and interest of man. The harvest of Jesus is souls. It is spiritual in its processes, its sphere, its aim, and its results. It means the spiritual quickening, the germination, the growth, the cultivation and ripening of human souls. Think not that this world is only for material and physical purposes. Its chief end is the production of holy and perfect souls. And as the system of nature is adapted to produce different grains in perfection, so there is a spiritual system of Divine grace adapted to produce perfect souls.

As soon as the seed begins to bud, it is partially given back to human care. As soon as the Divine Word begins to bud in repentance and faith, and grow in grace, it is at grace, to some extent, under human discipline and supervision. The Divine and human operations join in its development and progress. “One soweth, and another reapeth.”

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Deuteronomy   5  6 7

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                               God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion   

  Today’s First Thoughts                                        March 14, 2014      

Good Morning!
When men have the will to speak of their Lord, they find no shortage of ways in which to do it.

THE GREAT COMMISSION:
MATTHEW 28:19. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

The Great Commission is simply the command to preach and teach the gospel message of Jesus Christ to every person in the world. The death of Jesus Christ broke down the middle wall of partition which had separated the Jews and the Gentiles, and now the Gospel is to be preached to all nations. Do your utmost to Christianize the whole world.

However, before we can preach the gospel we must know what it is and how one can appropriate its blessings to his life. The message that Peter preached on the Day of Pentecost to the Jews remained the same for Samaritans, Gentiles and other disciples. It is the same message for us today, for we much exercise faith in the atoning work of Christ on Calvary in our repentance, our water baptism, and in our receiving the Spirit.

To fulfill The Great Commission given by our Lord Jesus, we must continue to preach the gospel of salvation through the cross to every person, to exhort men everywhere to repent of their sins, to baptize our converts in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38), and to pray that God will fill each one with the Holy Ghost. We will know when believers receive the Holy Ghost today, for they will “speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gives them utterance.”

“I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” The task of world evangelization is the responsibility of the church, not a select group of key personnel. It is clear that this commission is not merely for the original disciples but also for the disciples of the disciples of the disciples, in perpetuity until Jesus returns. All during this time there will never be a day when Jesus will not be present with his disciples as they are busy about the business of the Kingdom.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Deuteronomy   8  9 10

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                           God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion     

Today’s First Thoughts                                     March 15 & 16, 2014      

Good Morning!
Certain sayings of our Lord are marked out as of special importance by the term “first.” They tell us some of the things that He set above all others. The word ‘first’ was used many times by our Lord. We will discuss some of those ‘firsts’ in the next few days. We will start by the most important one of all.

THINGS WHICH MUST BE FIRST:
Matthew 6:33. But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

The kingdom of God is the most important attainments one can strive for in this life. Jesus says, Matthew 16:26. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? The priorities of an individual's life are a window to his soul. Verbal assent may be given to many things that are soon forgotten, but we act upon those things that are really important to us. As followers of Jesus Christ, we have given up many of our prerogatives to Him. This being true, it becomes important to know the mind of Christ covering those things that should be first.

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else. This positive command of Jesus comes immediately after He told them not to worry about food clothing and other things that would be supplied by God (Matthew 6:31). The disciples must not be anxious but must have as their primary concern God’s Kingdom and the upright lifestyle that accompanies it. Putting God first in this way will result in God giving them all the food and clothing they need. The present seeking of Kingdom values is equivalent to living righteously in this world. They are to pray for the realization of God’s Kingdom and will on earth (Matthew 6:10). While the disciples’ needs may be met only partially during the present life (Matthew 5:3–10; 6:11), they will receive an abundant reward when the Kingdom comes in its fullness (Matthew 19:28–29).

The Father expects his children to put him first, but he delights to meet their needs. Disciples must not permit their needs to dominate their prayers, their thoughts, and their activities. Disciples must prioritize their allegiance to God, his rule, and his righteous standards. In so doing they will receive all they need to eat and wear, as it were, as fringe benefits. But if they insist on prioritizing their own needs in their prayers and activities, they will never experience the joy of resting in the Father’s care and provision.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Deuteronomy   11  12  13
Deuteronomy   14  15  16

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                            God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion   

Today’s First Thoughts                                        March 17, 2014      

Good Morning!
To harbor ill-will can stop the flow of God's love through us and greatly hinder our testimony.

FIRST BE RECONCILED TO THY BROTHER:
Matthew 5:23. Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;
24. Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.”

Our Lord is telling us that, for our gift (offering, prayer, worship) to be accepted by Him, we must first make sure there is not any problems between us and our fellow men. If there is ‘ought’ (a small matter) between us and them, it must first be settled then come and worship, and pray, and give our gifts. This is high priority, one of the ‘first things’ in our relationship with God. Jesus also told us that answers to our prayers was dependant upon this principal also. Divine forgiveness is linked with human forgiveness (Matthew 6:12).

The first step toward reconciliation with an estranged brother is to pray; pray that God will intervene with you in your reconciliation. You are less likely to remember a problem of this kind as you commune with a pure holy God. Significantly the situation here does not pertain to one’s own anger but to the anger or grudge of another. Disciples are thus responsible not only to reign in their own anger but to take steps to reconcile with others who are angry at them. It is not a question of arguing about who offended whom but of both offender and injured party taking responsibility for reconciliation.

The second step is to forgive him. When you forgive your brother, you release him and yourself to think more clearly and perhaps to see your own part, your own wrong in the matter. It is much easier to forgive than to be forgiven. One can take pride in forgiving but never in being forgiven.

The third step is to go to your brother and make peace. This is a privilege, for Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers.” (Matthew 5:9) The selfish spirit of today that neglects and even injures our brother is not of God. As God seeks to bring man back to oneness with Himself, He also seeks to bring man back into harmony with each other.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Deuteronomy   17  18  19  20

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                             God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                        March 18, 2014      

Good Morning!
We are to first clean out our own eyes before trying to help our brother with his eyes.

THE MOTE HUNTER:
Matthew 7:3. “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
4. Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
5. Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.”

Jesus here refers to one’s fellow member of the community of disciples. The motivation provided by the warning of harsh divine judgment is here augmented by two rhetorical questions that stress the perverse tendency of humans to criticize in others what they excuse in themselves.

JEALOUSY will often cause a person to look for flaws in others.
Self-Righteousness. When one is inflicted with this terrible desire, he often is able to see even the smallest speck in his brother's eye.
Pride will cause men to see things that are not really there.
Ambition has in it an ingredient that every Christian should avoid.
Hypocrite. Those who would see the mote in their brother's eye and fail to see the beam in their own, Jesus called “hypocrites” or “actors” under assumed character."

THE BEAM: This brings us to the core of the Master's Teaching. First cast out the beam. Before we can help our Brother, we must be able to see clearly from our own eyes.  Before we think or act to correct our Brother, we should first, Pray for ourselves, Ask for forgiveness for our own faults, Examine ourselves, Humble ourselves before God and others, Right the wrongs in our own lives.

Picturing one’s sin as a log in one’s eye stresses the inability of fallen human beings to render just judgment. How can someone whose vision is totally obscured by a log in his eye render a just assessment of another person’s minor vision problems that are due to a speck or splinter? And how can the person with the log in his eye think that he is capable of rendering assistance in removing the speck from his brother’s eye? Jesus labels this absurd situation as hypocrisy and plainly states that judgment of others can be rendered justly only when one has first judged oneself.

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

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                            God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion                 

Today’s First Thoughts                                       March 19, 2014      

Good Morning!
First cleanse the heart. All the weightier matters of the law have to do with the heart and attitude. All outward actions are of no value if they do not come from a pure heart.

FIRST CLEAN THAT WHICH IS WITHIN:
Matthew 23:25. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.
26. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.

Jesus is saying, “Outwardly you look like righteous people, but inwardly your hearts are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness.” The scribes and Pharisees appeared to men as righteous, but their hearts were full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. For Jesus the law must be obeyed from the heart. Outwardly lawful behavior may conceal a lawless heart. “You are so careful to clean the outside … but inside you are filthy.”

CLEANSE FIRST THE HEART: Men often are satisfied with a clean exterior because it makes them look good before their friends. We must go to the source of  all good and evil (the heart) and there make things right. Proverbs 4:23. Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. Remember what Jesus said in the Beatitudes, “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8). Of all the Beatitudes this one is the most difficult to attain.

CLEANSE FIRST THE MIND: Much difficulty experienced by Christians stem from a carnal mind. Pride, malice, envy, strife, ects. are all the results of a carnal mind. First the mind must be cleansed and then men can work out the problems of life with little difficulty.

CLEANSE FIRST THE SPIRIT: In order to receive a cleansing of our spirit, we must enter into the closet of prayer and there commune with God until we are able to enter into the heavenlies by the Spirit and be baptized in the Spirit of Christ. Only then can we mirror the image of Christ in our spirit and life on earth.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Deuteronomy   24  25  26  27

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                            God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion                       

Today’s First Thoughts                                       March 20, 2014      

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:
Deuteronomy   28  29

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                            God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                        March 21, 2014      

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:
Deuteronomy   30  31

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                             God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

 Today’s First Thoughts                                    March 22 & 23, 2014      

 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:
Deuteronomy   32  33  34   Psalm   91
Joshua   1  2  3  4

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                             God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

 Today’s First Thoughts                                       March 24, 2014      

 Good Morning!
“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning?” (Isaiah 14:12)

JUDAS ISCAROT:
Psalms 41:9 “Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.”

About the same time that the Word became flesh in Bethlehem, and the angels of God sang their anthem of worship at His appearance, there was joy also in the cottage of Simon of Carioth, in the tribe of Judah, for they likewise had a son, though only a mortal, been born. His parents, thankful and hopeful, called the boy “Judas,” that is praise of God; and thus recognized the Almighty who had graciously given them a son. We know so little about Judas’ early life, but we do know that he fell under the persuasion of the one born in Bethlehem, who called, and chose Judas to become one of His Apostles.

The question is, “How can one so chosen, and heavenly endowed, fall so far as Judas fell?” There was a time when “the candle of God shone upon his head, and when the secret of God was upon his tabernacle” (Job 29:3-4). Judas swore allegiance to the banner of Jesus, the Friend of sinners, with youthful enthusiasm, though with an unbroken will; and the Searcher of Hearts, perceiving the promising talents of the young man—who was really zealous for the cause of God in a certain degree—confidently admitted him into the circle of His nearest and most intimate disciples.

The Lord appointed him as the treasurer of the little group. But yet amid such holy sentiment, an evil root remained, which was the love of the world, and especially of its gold and empty honor. The compassionate love of Jesus left no means untried to accomplish the cure; but alas, Judas did not yield to His tender and unwearied mercy. Judas allowed the worst part of him to overcome the better part. The period arrived in which Judas actually laid his thievish hand, for the first time, upon the fund entrusted to him. And after he had once broken through the barriers of his moral conscience, the next, and every subsequent embezzlement, became easier and less objectionable. For a considerable time Judas thought himself safe in the disguise of his conscious hypocrisy, until the anointing of Jesus by Mary in the house of Simon the leper at Bethany. Though the words of Jesus, the hypocritical disciple became fully aware that the Lord saw through him, and knew of his crime.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Joshua   5  6  7  8

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                             God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion                      

Today’s First Thoughts                                        March 25, 2014      

Good Morning!
He that does not decide for the Lord today may tomorrow be found opposed to Him, and carrying the banner of Satan.

JUDAS ISCARIOT:
John 13:26 “Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.
27. And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.”

Judas had hastened away from the company at Bethany (Matthew 26:14-16). He now felt himself more at home, and more in his element among the adversaries of Jesus than in the company of fellow disciples. The bargain of the thirty pieces of silver was concluded. However, he knew only half of what he was doing. He had plunged himself into a vortex against which he was unable to control. He no longer guided himself; another (Satan) dragged him away behind him. We nevertheless soon see him again seated in his old place among the twelve. We meet the Son of Perdition in the last social evening circle at Jerusalem. And we see the Lord again trying every thing to save the soul thus sick unto death. We say to Judas, “Reveal thyself, Judas; throw down the mask, and escape eternal perdition, before the door of mercy is closed. There is still time.” But Judas resists, and envelopes himself still more deeply in his disguise; for another voice still more powerful pervades his soul, and drowns every better feeling within him.

The moment Jesus handed Judas the sop, the disciples shudder, and Judas stands, trembling, his eyes wandering, and asks, “Master, is it I?” The Lord answered, “thou sayest it.” That moment, the evil will of Judas overcame the last and most powerful attraction of mercy, and the root of sin in his heart came to full bloom. The day of salvation closed; the hour of visitation of divine mercy expired, and Satan triumphantly entered into him. Judas realizing that the Lord was aware of his motives, rushed away in the night to betray his Lord and to forfeit eternal life.

O Judas, Judas! Happy would it have been were thou the only one of thy kind! But the name of thy brethren, even in the present day, is legion. From the camp of the world comes the infernal war-cry, “Away with Jesus and the doctrine of the cross!” The traitor, Judas, is again visible on the stage, full of deadly hatred to God. The germ from which a Judas may spring lies dormant in all of us.

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

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                             God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion            

 Today’s First Thoughts                                        March 26, 2014       

Good Morning!
Adopted into the service of the sanctuary, how beneficial and inspiring are songs of praise and worship, how uplifting and soothing they are to our soul.

JESUS SINGING:
Matthew 26:30 “And when they had sung an hymn, they went to the mount of Olives.”

The Passover feast had ended, the traitor had left into the darkness, but before leaving its Holy Chamber, our Lord begins to sing, along with His disciples, the great song of praise, which consisted of Psalms 115-118. It is the first, and only, time we find our Savior singing. The Lord thereby, forever, consecrates vocal music in His Church. Singing is the language of feelings, the exhalation of an exalted state of mind, the voice of an enraptured soul. Singing is heaven’s valuable gift to earth.

Who among us has not experienced its power to raise us high above the fogy atmosphere of daily life; and to transport us so wondrously into the precincts of Heaven? Singing expands and melts the heart—helps banish sorrow, and bursts the bonds of grief. And even greater things than these are experienced when the Spirit from above mingles His breath with it. Can we not, at times, feel Heaven singing along with us? A thousand times singing has restored peace in the midst of strife, banished Satan and pulled down his strong-hold. Singing has caused stony hearts to melt like wax, rendering them capable of receiving the seed of eternity.

But singing was never more glorified than when our Lord sang with His chosen few on the night before His death. O, if David, who wrote the words to those Psalms, could have supposed that they would experience the high honor of being sung by the gracious lips of Him who was the supreme object of his songs, and the sole hope of his life. He would have let his pen drop in joyful astonishment from his hand. But what a seal of approval does the Lord put upon these Psalms (115-118) as to the real unction of the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:21) upon David, by applying them to Himself, while thus singing them in the most solemn hour of His earthly life. Would He have sung them, especially at his moment, if they had not contained the pure Words of God? The Lord singing them, therefore, is a powerful proof of the Divine Inspiration of the Holy Scriptures. The Lord Jesus beheld His own Image in the mirror of the words of prophecy, especially these Passover Psalms in particular.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Joshua   12  13  14

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                                God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion           

 Today’s First Thoughts                                               March 27, 2014      

Good Morning!
At every step Jesus perceived Himself as being sent by the Father to close up the chasm which sin had caused between God and the creature.

THE WALK TO GETHSEMANE:
Matthew 26:31 “And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives. 31. Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad. 32. But after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee.”

After the singing Jesus went out to the Mount of Olives. He proceeds upon the path that was laid out for Him, and how much is laid upon Him, the guilt of thousands of years of sin, the worlds future—the salvation of millions. He goes in order, in His own person, to plant the seed-corn of a new heaven and a new earth. Just think, where we would have been had not He walked this path for us? Our future state would have ended in unquenchable fire. He knew this. That’s why He walked it.

Jesus knew the terrible consequences that His death would have upon His Disciples.
He knew that they would be scattered and for the three days and nights He lay in the tomb they would seem to lose all hope. Then the promise, “But after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee.” Galilee is therefore the rendezvous, the land of reunion and meeting. Once there, He has no further cup of agony to drink, and His followers will no more be offended in Him. He is then no longer the Man of Sorrows, but is clothed in majesty and the victor’s glory. There, in Galilee, He meets His beloved friends, and greets them with salutation of peace. “I will go before thee into Galilee.” Even for us, there is something in these words, if we are able to read between the lines. “After I am risen again.” Assuredly, that resurrection for which we wait, will not tarry—the final elevation of His kingdom from its deep reproach—the manifestation of Him, on whose head are many crowns.

Perhaps the day will soon appear when He shall have made His foes His footstool, and having gathered His elect from the four corners of the earth, and bound and shut up Satan in the bottomless pit—then we shall also gather in the Galilee of peace and joy, where we shall behold Him face to face, whom, having not seen, we love, and shall greet Him with songs of rejoicing and rapture. That Galilee, on the shores of which many weary pilgrims daily cast anchor--that Galilee, where Jesus wipes the tears from their eyes--that Galilee, where the songs of praise rises continually.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Joshua   16  17  18

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                              God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion   

 Today’s First Thoughts                                        March 28, 2014      

Good Morning!
Jesus comforts His disciples with the hope of heaven.

THE CONVERSATION ON THE WAY TO GETHSEMANE:
John 14:1 “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.  2. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”

As Jesus and His disciple make their way to the Mount of Olives gloom seems to settle over the disciples, and Jesus, to raise and brace up their spirits for coming hours, opens up His heart to them. This discourse is the longest conversation by Jesus recorded in the New Testament. It consists of 4 chapters John 14, 15, 16, 17. These are words we also fall back upon when we are troubled or when sorrow grips our heart. They have lifted thousands, yea, millions out of the depths of depression.

“Let not you heart be troubled; ye believe in God.” Believe in God first, but let us not forget the second clause, “Believe also in Me.” It is only the belief in God and in Jesus the Christ that we discover the peaceful secret—it is only when we cast ourselves into the Everlasting Arms of love and mercy that we find rest for our souls. Troubles must come, and pressure must come, and sorrowful days must come to all of us; but the faith which the Lord commends, can keep us steady and strong and peaceful in the midst of trouble.

In the conversation Jesus talks of a future life and reveals that his home in heaven has many mansions and that He is going there to prepare a place for his own (this includes us). As He prepared a place (earth) for us to be born and live on, and what He did for this earth He is doing for the New Earth, and as body mind and spirit have found everything ready here, so spirit, mind, and body will find all they need there. Return, Reception, and Reunion. “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”

It is clear here that what Jesus here promises is to return (I’m coming again), a reception of (to receive you unto myself), and a reunion (that where I am, there ye may be also) with, His disciples. This is a hope which every believer may cherish in view of his own death or the death of a loved one.

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Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Joshua   19  20  21

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                            God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion   

Today’s First Thoughts                                   March 29 & 30, 2014       

Good Morning!
In Gethsemane we see how at one time to His Father, and at another to mere human beings, Jesus turns for comfort to His desponding soul, and does not find what He seeks, and is compelled to return disappointed.

GETHSEMANE—CONFLICT AND VICTORY:
Matthew 26:37. “And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. 38. Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.”
Hebrews 5:7. “Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared;”

We must remember that it is the Eternal Father Himself who presides in Gethsemane; but we exclaim with Job, “Behold God is great, and we know him not, …” (Job 36:26a). If we could have looked behind the dark clouds we would have seen the Father above watching as Abraham climbed the sacrificial mountain in gloom with his son and was hid from Abraham’s sight. And now the Father’s only and supremely beloved Son appears before Him in a position which might melt the flinty rock to pity; but compassion seems a stranger to Him, who said to Zion, “Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee” (Isaiah 49:15).  Yet in this scene before us we are tempted to cry out with David, “Hath God forgotten to be gracious, and is his mercy clean gone forever?” (Psalms 77:8-9).

Again and again does the Son cast Himself on His Father’s bosom, with great supplications—but His ears listen in vain for a favorable response from on high. There is nether voice, nor response, nor attention—it is as if the Eternal had in wrath retracted His words, “Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver thee, thou shalt glorify me” (Psalms 50:15), and had no longer a heart for Him, who lay in His bosom before the foundation of the world. The cup of horrors does not pass from the trembling hand of the sufferer; on the contrary, its contents become bitterer moment by moment. Louder and louder sounds the cries of the agonizing Savior; but the Holy One is silent, and heaven seems barred with a thousand locks.  At last a Holy Angel appears; but why an Angel only, instead of the immediate and consoling vision of the Father?—A created being sent to strengthen the Creator.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Joshua   22  23  24
Judges   1  2

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                              God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion      

 Today’s First Thoughts                                         March 31, 2014      

 Good Morning!
In Gethsemane Jesus had placed upon Him the deep feeling of guilt which the vilest of sinner faces when he comes into the presence of God.

JESUS IS MADE TO FEEL LIKE A SINNER: HE MUST EXPERIENCE GUILT:
Mark 14:34 “And saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: tarry ye here, and watch.”

To understand the battle in Gethsemane we must Look Beyond The Physical Aspects—the things that could be seen and heard—the Savior prostrate on the ground—the great drops of blood that dropped from his face—the sound of His voice crying out to His Father—the angel descending to strengthen Him—His pleading voice to His disciples to watch with Him. These physical aspects of Gethsemane have been equaled and even surpassed by thousands of His followers who went to their deaths with unflinching fortitude. Christianity would be forever destroyed, if the Holy Scriptures compel us to regard the cup which Jesus drank, as essentially the same as that of which Job, Jeremiah, Paul, and many others partook. Jesus’ cup contained something far more dreadful.

The key that unlocks the mystery of Gethsemane is found in 2 Corinthians 5:21 “God hath made Him (Jesus) to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God.” As long as Christ’s position as mediator is not acknowledged, the events in Gethsemane will continue a sealed mystery. Every attempt to explain them otherwise than by the fundamental views of His vicarious (felt or undergone as if one were taking part in the experience or feelings of another) mediation, will forever be to no avail. Only through this light is everything made clear and intelligible concerning the appalling scenes in Gethsemane.

The redeemer as mediator (one that reconciles differences between disputants) would be able to suffer the punishment due to our sins only by having a consciousness of them (2 Corinthians 5:21).  The personal feeling of guilt-- that worm in the marrow of life—certainly renders punishment what it is, and forms its peculiar essence (the inherent idea imparted or expressed) and focus (the center of attention). In Gethsemane Jesus had placed upon Him the deep feeling of guilt which the vilest of sinner faces when he comes into the presence of God. Adam was the first to have the feeling of guilt when he disobeyed the commandment of God. Simon Peter felt this when Jesus came to where he was washing his nets (Luke 5:8).

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James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

 

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