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July 2014

                        Godsgrazingfield Devotions July 2014

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                            God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                         July 1, 2014                 

Good Morning!
God wants every one of His children to become a person after His Own heart.

DAVID – A MAN AFTER GOD’S OWN HEART:
Acts 13:22. “And when he had removed him (Saul), he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.”

Three thousand years ago, God chose a young man named David to be the king of Israel.  Out of all the sons of Jesse, the favor of God landed on a lad named David.  David was the youngest son of a farmer from the tiny hamlet of Bethlehem.  David was a young man who was not even respected by the members of his own family.  He was a nobody living in a family of nobodies.  Yet, by the grace of God, David became the greatest king in the history of the nation of Israel. 

He also became and ancestor of the Lord Jesus Christ.  He is listed among the great heroes of the faith in Hebrews 11.  During his life, he received great promises and remarkable blessings from the hand of God.  But, greatest of all, David became a man after God’s Own heart.  This was not David’s own testimony, but this is the testimony of God, Acts 13:22.

I would like to spend some time seeking to understand how this humble shepherd boy became a man after God’s Own heart.  Some may wonder why we would even bother to spend time on a man who has been dead some three thousand years.  The short answer to that is this: David achieved in his life something that God wants each of His children to achieve.  David achieved something that many of us fail to accomplish.  David became a man after God’s Own heart and a study of his life can teach us how to do that too.

Now, David was not perfect. In fact, he was far from it!  He failed, and he failed big, but he kept short accounts with God.  He sinned, but he was quick to confess and he manifested genuine heart repentance.  David has much that he can teach us about obedience, faith and worship.  So, as the Lord leads in these pages let’s look together at David: A Man After God’s Own Heart.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Obadiah   1   Psalm   82  83

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                             God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

 Today’s First Thoughts                                          July 2, 2014                 

Good Morning!
God chose David also his servant, and took him from the sheepfolds: From following the ewes great with young he brought him to feed Jacob his people, and Israel his inheritance.

HOW GOD CHOOSES:
1 Samuel 16:1. “And the LORD said unto Samuel, How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? fill thine horn with oil, and go, I will send thee to Jesse the Bethlehemite: for I have provided me a king among his sons.”

This chapter opens with God reminding Samuel of the fact that He has rejected Saul as king of Israel.  Saul was chosen as king because the people wanted to be like the other nations around them, (1 Samuel 8:1-5). When Saul was chosen to be their king, the people were elated.  He was fine physical specimen, standing head and shoulders taller than anyone else in Israel, 1 Sam. 9:2.  While he may have been a giant among men, he was a spiritual pygmy!  Saul was a jealous man, who lived for the praises of the people.  He tended to overstep his boundaries and was guilty of gross disobedience to the commands of the Lord.  As a result, the Lord proved to Israel the dangers of a human king and God rejected Saul as the king of His people.

As a result of Saul’s rebellion, God chooses a new king to rule over Israel.  He chooses a young man named David.  When God chooses David, He chooses an unlikely candidate for such a lofty and powerful office.  In God’s choice of David as king, we are allowed to see something of the process God uses when He would choose someone to work for Him. It may be that God has His hand on someone reading this today.  It may be that He is about to choose someone from our number to go to work for Him.  I know He is looking for such people this day.

How God Chooses: It is against the backdrop of rebellion and rejection that God begins the process of choosing a new king for Israel.  He was ready to raise up a new king and the people had been made ready to accept a new king.  God worked behind the scenes during those difficult days in Israel’s history to prepare the way for His plan to be fulfilled. According to Psalms 78:70-71, God had been watching David as he tenderly watched over the female sheep as they were expecting little ones. This is a time in their life when they are the most helpless to all the danger and hardships of their life. God watched each day as David carefully tended each expectant mother.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
2 Kings   1  2  3  4

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                            God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                        July 3, 2014                 

Good Morning!
There are no accidents in life.  Everything that occurs is part of a larger plan.  God is working, often behind the scenes; in ways that we cannot comprehend, to accomplish His plans and His purposes. Thank God for the truth that God is in absolute control!

GOD’S CHOICE INVOLVES SOVEREIGN PLANNING:
1 Samuel 16:1. “And the LORD said unto Samuel, How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? fill thine horn with oil, and go, I will send thee to Jesse the Bethlehemite: for I have provided me a king among his sons.”

Samuel is told where to go to find the new king.  It appears that the Lord had been arranging everything to bring His chosen king into the world at precisely the right moment in history.  If you look back at the ancestry of King David, you will find the hand of the Lord moving and shaping events.  One of David’s ancestors was a woman named Rahab, Judges 2.  She had been saved out of pagan idolatry and brought into the nation of Israel.  She married a man named Salmon, Matt. 1:5, and became the mother of a man named Boaz, Ruth 4:20.  Boaz also married a Gentile girl brought out of paganism by the sovereign grace of the Lord, named Ruth, Ruth 4.  Ruth and Boaz were the great grandparents of a boy named David.  

These events were not accidental:  They were part of a perfect plan, formulated in eternity passed and worked out in time. This was not coincidence; it was the mighty hand of the Lord.  God’s choice Involves Sovereign Power: Notice the words “I have.”  Many people have great plans and dreams, but they lack the power to bring them to pass.  Not the Lord!  What He proposes, He is well able to dispose!

God rules in the affairs of men.  Napoleon, at the height of his career, is reported to have given this cynical answer to someone who asked if God was on the side of France: “God is on the side that has the heaviest artillery.” Then came the Battle of Waterloo, where Napoleon lost both the battle and his empire.  Years later, in exile on the island of St. Helena, chastened and humbled, Napoleon is reported to have quoted the words of Thomas à Kempis: “Man proposes, God disposes.” This is the lesson of history and of the Bible. 

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

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                             God’s  Grazingfield Daily Devotion

 Today’s First Thoughts                                           July 4, 2014                 

Good Morning!
We know that if we put ourselves into God’s hands, everything will work out all right.

GOD IS LOOKING INTO OUR HEARTS:
1 Samuel 16:7b. “..for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.”

God's sovereign choices extend to every area of life. I do not presume to understand it all, but I believe the Bible teaches us that God is in the business of working out all things according to His will, Ephesians 1:11; and bringing His eternal purposes to pass in time, Isaiah 46:10-11. Some people are bothered by the notion that God is in absolute control of all of life.  I, however, find it very comforting!  I know that nothing can happen unless the Father ordains it and that if He ordains it; it is for my good and for His glory. Thank God for His sovereign choices.

God’s choices are sometimes surprising: Samuel is set to Bethlehem to anoint the new king.  When Samuel arrives there, he commands Jesse to gather together his sons.  They come before the old prophet and pass before him one by one.  It is in this process that God makes known His choice for king.  But, His choices, while they are sovereign, also carry with them some real surprises. The first of Jesse’s sons passes before Samuel. His name is Eliab. His name means “God is Father.”  He is a fine physical specimen, and Samuel thinks that he is surely the chosen one.  But, God says, “I have refused him.” Eliab might have looked pleasing outwardly, but something in his character disqualified him from being the king. 

Abinadab is next.  His name means “My father is noble.”  But, he too is passed over and rejected by the Lord.  Next is Shammah.  His name means “Astonishment.”  This may refer to his physical size or some other physical trait, but no matter, he too is rejected!  Then, one after another of Jesse sons pass before Samuel until seven have passed by and all are rejected by the Lord. Surely these men are all fine physical specimens; their physiques having been refined and toned by hours of hard, physical labor.  Anyone of them would have possessed the physical requirements to turn heads and rule as a king.  But, none of them possessed the right kind of character traits that God was looking for.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
2 Kings   9  10  11

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                             God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                       July 5 & 6, 2014                 

Good Morning!
God sees what man cannot see.  Even Samuel was impressed with Eliab, but God wasn’t. You would have thought that Samuel would have learned his lesson with Saul, but Samuel is still looking at men through human eyes.

GOD CHOSE DAVID:
1 Samuel 16:12. “And he sent, and brought him (David) in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the LORD said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he.”

We see a young man; he’s handsome, well-spoken and intelligent. We look at him and we say, “That young man would make a fine preacher someday.” The problem is, we cannot see his heart.  We see a man; he’s saved, good to his family, been blessed in his work and has some business sense. We look at him and say, “That man would make a good deacon.” Again, we can’t see his heart. We judge people by how they strike the eye; God judges them on a far different level. that person we think will do great things in the church may not even make a blip on God’s radar screen. While that one we think will amount to nothing might just be used in a mighty way by the Lord. God makes His choices based not on what He sees about our outward characteristics, but on what He sees within the content of our hearts.

Samuel finds out that there is another son.  He is the youngest and he is said to be with the sheep.  He is so insignificant within the family that he is not even summoned with the rest of the boys, but he is left out of the feast and the sacrifice.  He is out there doing the job of a humble servant.  In fact, when he is mentioned by his father, he is not even called by his name; he is simply called “the youngest.”  When he walks in, Samuel sees a handsome, young man; bright-eyed, with the blush of youth in his cheeks.  God tells Samuel to anoint this one, for this is he.  The one rejected and passed over by the others is the very one picked by the Lord.  No doubt Jesse and his sons were all amazed as they watched the ancient prophet hobble over to young David and pour the anointing oil on his head.

As God looks at your life, what does He see?  Does He see a handsome face, a pleasing physical appearance and a well-kept, well-dressed body?  No, He sees your heart.  He sees the real you.  But, here is the real question: Does God see a heart that He can use?  Or, does He say about your life the same thing He said about Eliab, “I have refused him?”  What does God see in your heart?

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
2 Kings   12 13     2 Chronicles   24
2 Kings   14          2 Chronicles   25

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                             God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                          July 7, 2014                 

Good Morning!
When God went after a man after His Own heart, He did not go to the palaces, the temples or the places of influence, wealth and power. God chose the most unlikely person in the most unlikely of places. The key to being used of God is possessing the right kind of heart.

FROM THAT DAY FORWARD:
1 Samuel 16:13. “Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah.”

God excels in taking no-bodies and making some-bodies out of them. FROM whatever side we view the life of David, it is remarkable. It may be that Abraham excelled him in faith; and Moses in the power of concentrated fellowship with GOD; and Elijah in the fiery force of his enthusiasm. But none of these was so many-sided as the richly-gifted son of Jesse. Few have had so varied a career as David: shepherd and monarch; poet and soldier; champion of his people, and outlaw in the caves of Judaea; beloved of Jonathan, and persecuted by Saul; vanquishing the Philistines one day, and accompanying them into battle on another. But in all he seemed possessed of a special power with GOD and man, which could not be accounted for by the fascination of his manner, the beauty of his features, the rare gifts with which his nature was empowered, or the spiritual power which was so remarkable an attribute of his heart.

We touch these many chords, but the secret still eludes us, until we read the momentous words that sum up the result of a memorable day that lay in the obscure years of his youth. “The Spirit of the Lord came mightily on David from that day forward.” Our Lord was born of the Spirit; but his anointing for service did not take place till at the age of thirty, when on the threshold of his public work, He emerged from the waters of baptism. It was to this He referred in the opening words of his earliest sermon, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, and He hath anointed Me.” The Apostles were certainly great before the day of Pentecost; but they had to wait within closed doors until they were endued with power for the conversion of men. They needed what would be to them as electricity to the wire, or the spark to gun powder. We must be anointed with the Spirit of the Lord for power in service.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Jonah   1  2  3  4

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                             God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

 Today’s First Thoughts                                          July 8, 2014                 

Good Morning!
Samuel had conferred many benefits on his native land; but none could compare in importance with his anointing of the young lad who stood before him that day.

THIS IS HE:
1 Samuel 16:11. “And Samuel said unto Jesse, Are here all thy children? And he said, There remaineth yet the youngest, and, behold, he keepeth the sheep. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Send and fetch him: for we will not sit down till he come hither. 12. And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the LORD said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he

There was his father Jesse, and his seven brothers, probably waiting for him in the ancestral home, preparatory to their all going together to the public banquet to which the leading men of the village had been invited. An unusual restraint lay upon the rough tongues and harsh behavior with which Eliab and the rest were used to treat him. At other times they would not have hesitated to express their impatience and contempt; but now the very air seemed heavy with a sacred spell that held them. No sooner had he entered, flushed with exertion, health glowing on his face, genius flashing from his eye, royalty in his mien, than the Lord said to Samuel, “Arise, anoint him: for this is he!”

Then Samuel took the horn of oil which he had brought with him from Nob, and poured its contents on the head of the astonished lad. It is likely that the bystanders did not realize the significance of that act; or on the eve of the fight with Goliath Jesse would hardly have treated him so unceremoniously, and Eliab would have addressed him with more courtesy. But David probably understood. Josephus does tells us that the prophet whispered in his ear the meaning of the sacred symbol.

Did the aged lips approach the young head and whisper in his ear the thrilling words, Thou shalt be king? If so, in after days how they would return to him; and how vast an inspiration they would be, a formative influence, a preparation for the great destiny that awaited him. The descent of the oil was symbolical; in other words, it had no spiritual efficacy, but was the outward and visible sign that the Spirit of GOD had come mightily on the shepherd-lad. For JESUS there was no oil; but instead, the appearance of a dove flitting gently on Him. For the disciples on the day of Pentecost, there was no oil; but a flame of lambent fire alighting on each bowed head.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
2 Kings   15    2 Chronicles   26

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                            God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                        July 9, 2014                 

Good Morning!
The story of David opens with a dramatic contrast between the fresh hope of his young life and the rejection of the self-willed king Saul, whose course was rapidly descending towards the fatal field of Gilboa.

NO BAD MAN DRIFTS DOWN THE RAPIDS UNWARNED, UNWEPT:
1 Samuel 15:34. “Then Samuel went to Ramah, and Saul went to his home at Gibeah. 35. Samuel didn't see Saul again before he died, though Samuel mourned over Saul.”
1 Samuel 16:1. “The Lord asked Samuel, “How long are you going to mourn for Saul now that I have rejected him as king of Israel?”

Few have had a fairer chance than Saul. Choice in gifts, goodly in appearance, favored by nature and opportunity, he might have made one of the greatest names in history. His first exploit, the relief of Jabesh-gilead, justified the wildest anticipations of his friends. But the dawn was soon overcast. The hot impatience that persisted in offering the sacrifice before Samuel came; his needless oath and ruthless proposal to take Jonathan's life; his flagrant disobedience to the distinct charge respecting Amalek all proved that he was not fit to act as God's vice-regent, and that he must be set aside. The final notice of his deposition was made at Gilgal.

From Gilgal Saul went up to his house at Gibeah (Saul’s days were numbered): while Samuel went to Ramah, a little to the south there was his house; there he had judged Israel for twenty years; and there he dwelt as father and priest among the people, known far and near as the man of God. There, too, he mourned for Saul. No bad man drifts down the rapids unwarned, unwept; but the Divine purpose cannot stay till such pitying tears are dried. Nor must we cling to the grave of the dead past, whence the Spirit of God has fled; but arise to follow, as He transfers the focus of his operation from the rocky heights of Benjamin to the breezy uplands of Bethlehem, and conducts us to the house of Jesse.

In the selection of every man for high office in the service of God and man, there are two sides the Divine and the human: the election of God, and its elaboration in history; the heavenly summons, and the earthly answer to its ringing notes. No one can know the day or hour when God passes by, seeking for chosen vessels and goodly pearls.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Isaiah   1  2  3  4

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                             God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                          July 10, 2014                 

Good Morning!
We turn for a moment to consider the formative influences of David's young life. David’s ancestral roots are recorded in the Book of Ruth.

THE STEM OF JESSE:
1 Samuel 16:1b. “…I'm sending you to Jesse in Bethlehem because I've selected one of his sons to be king.”

The family dwelt on the ancestral property to which Boaz, that mighty man of wealth, had brought the Rose of Moab (Ruth). Perhaps it was somewhat decayed, through the exactions of the Philistine garrison, which seems to have been posted in the little town. We read of the few sheep in the wilderness that composed the flock, and the present sent by Jesse to his soldier sons was meager in the extreme. The conditions under which he brought up his large family of eight sons and two daughters were probably hard enough to severely tax the endurance and industry of them all. David sent his mother and father to Moab to escape the wrath of Saul.

David says nothing of his father, but twice speaks of his mother as “the handmaid of the Lord” (Psalm 86:16 Psalm 116:16). From her he derived his poetic gift, his sensitive nature, his deeply religious character. To this father he was the lad that kept the sheep, to his mother he was David the beloved, and probably she first heard the psalms which have charmed and soothed the world. He honored them both with dutiful care; and when it seemed possible that they might suffer serious hurt, on account of their relationship to himself, amid the storm of Saul's persecution, he sent them to the safe keeping of the king of Moab, the land of his ancestress.
1 Samuel 22:3.

David may have owed something to the schools of the prophets, established by Samuel to maintain the knowledge of the law in Israel. They appear to have been richly endued with the gracious power of the Holy Ghost, and to have led the nation in songs and praise. The sons of these institutions would doubtless visit Bethlehem, and find an eager response in the honest nature of the young shepherd. From them he would learn to reduce his melodies to metrical order, and accompany them with the harp; from them, too, he learned to know and prize the Divine Word. But Nature, and God, was his nurse, his companion, his teacher.

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

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                             God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                           July 11, 2014                 

Good Morning!
The valley of Elah was to witness an encounter which brought into fullest contrast the principles on which God’s warriors are to contend not only with flesh and blood, but against the principalities and powers of darkness.

THREE MEN IN THE VALLEY OF ELAH—SAUL, GOLIATH, DAVID:
1 Samuel 17:2. “2 And Saul and the men of Israel were gathered together, and pitched by the valley of Elah, and set the battle in array against the Philistines.
4. And there went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span.
29. And David said, What have I now done? Is there not a cause?”
32. And David said to Saul, Let no man's heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine.

Three figures stand out sharply defined on that memorable day.
First, the Philistine Champion: He was tall nine feet six inches in height; he was heavily armed, for his armour fell a spoil to Israel, was eagerly examined, and minutely described; they even weighed it, and found it five thousand shekels of brass, equivalent to two hundredweight; he was protected by an immense shield, borne by another in front of him, so as to leave his arms and hands free; he wielded a ponderous spear, whilst sword and javelin were girt to his side; he was apt at braggadocio, talked of the banquet he proposed to give to the fowls and beasts, and defied the armies of the living God. His name has become a symbol of huge size.

Second, there was Saul. A choice young man and a goodly. There was not among the children of Israel a goodlier person than he; from his shoulders and upward he was higher than any of the people. He had also a good suit of armour, a helmet of brass, and a coat of mail. He assured the young shepherd that the Lord would certainly be
with him; but he dared not adventure himself in conflict with what he reckoned were utterly overwhelming odds.

Third, David: He was but a youth, and ruddy, and withal of a fair countenance. No sword was in his hand; he carried a staff, probably his shepherd's crook; no armor had he on, save the breastplate of righteousness and the helmet of salvation; no weapon, but a sling in his hand and five smooth stones which he had chosen, and put in the shepherd's bag which he had, even in his scrip. But he was in possession of a mystic spiritual power, which the mere spectator might have guessed, but which he might have found it difficult to define. The living God was a reality to him.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Amos  1  2  3  4  5

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                             God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                     July 12 & 13, 2014                                           

Good Morning!
As likely as not, to David’s imagination the air was full of horses and chariots of fire; of those angel hosts, which in after days he addressed as strong in might, hearkening unto the voice of God, and hastening to do his pleasure in all places of his dominion. At least, he had no doubt that the Lord would vindicate his glorious name, and deliver into his hands this uncircumcised Philistine.

DAVID TAKES THE CHALLENGE:
1 Samuel 17:8b. (Goliath) “… am not I a Philistine, and ye servants to Saul? choose you a man for you, and let him come down to me.” 26b.  (David) “…who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?”
32. “And David said to Saul, Let no man's heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine.”

Let us note David’s heroic faith: This faith had been born in secret, and nursed in the solitude of a thousand days and nights alone with the sheep and God’s presence. There is no short cut to the life of faith; we must have periods of lonely meditation and fellowship with God when darkness has veiled the material things and silenced the stir of human life. Thus alone can the sense of God's presence become the fixed possession of the soul, enabling it to say repeatedly with the psalmist, “Thou art near, O Lord.”

David’s faith had been exercised in lonely conflicts: David relates to Saul the battle with the lion and the bear. Possibly there had been many conflicts of a similar kind; so that his faith had become strengthened by use, as the sinews of his wiry young body by exertion. In these ways he was being prepared for this supreme conflict.
What we are in solitude, we shall be in public. The crisis will only reveal the true quality and temper born in the soul. It is in these we must conquer if we would be victorious when the eyes of some great assembly are fastened upon us.

David’s faith stood the test of daily life: there was an immediate and ready submission to his father's proposal: “he rose up early in the morning, and took, and went, as Jesse had commanded him.” And before he left his flock he was careful to entrust it with a keeper. We must always watch not to neglect one duty for another; if we are summoned to the camp, we must first see to the attendance of the flock. He that is faithful in the greater must first have been faithful in the least. It is in the home, at the desk, and in the Sunday-school, that we are being trained for service at home and abroad.
Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Amos   6  7  8  9
2 Chronicles  27     Isaiah  9  10  11  12

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                             God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                          July 14, 2014                 

Good Morning!
“Oh, I have seen the day, When with a single word, God helping me to say,
My trust is in the Lord! My soul hath quenched a thousand foes, Fearless of all that could oppose." (Cowper)

IN THE NAME OF THE LORD OF HOSTS:
1 Samuel 17:45. “Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.”

While the two armies, on either side of the ravine, waited expectant, every eye was suddenly attracted by the slight young figure, which, staff in hand, emerged from the ranks of Israel, and descended the slope, For a little while David was hid from view, as he bent intent on the pebbles that lined the bottom, of which five smooth stones were presently selected and placed in his shepherd's bag. Then, to the amazement of the Philistines, and especially of their huge champion, he sprang up on the further bank, and rapidly moved towards him.

Goliath had apparently been sitting; and when he realized that the youth was daring to accept his challenge, he arose, and came, and drew near to meet David, cursing him as he did so, and threatening him that his blood should crimson the mountain side, whilst on his unburied body feasted the wild things of earth and air.

The name of the Lord of Hosts:” The Name of God, as used so frequently by the heroes and saints of sacred history, stands for those Divine attributes and qualities which combine to make Him what He is. That Name is above every name and before it every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess; because it embodies under one all-sufficient designation everything that any single soul, or the whole race, can require, or imagine, or attain in the conceiving of God.

The God of the armies of Israel:” There was probably something of this sort in David's thought, he conceived of angels and worlds, of the armies of heaven and the elements of matter, of winds and waves, of life and death, as a vast ordered army, obedient to the commands of their Captain, the Lord of Hosts. To come in the Name of the Lord of Hosts did not simply mean that David understood the Lord to be all this but implied his own identification by faith with all that was comprehended in this sacred Name.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Micah  1  2  3  4  5  6  7

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                             God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                          July 15, 2014                 

Good Morning!
David said repeatedly that the whole matter was God’s. He might gather up the spoils of the battle; but the overthrow of Goliath and the Philistine host was not in his hands at all.

THE BATTLE IS THE LORD’S:
1 Samuel 17:46. “This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.

David asked no comradeship in the fight. There was no running to and fro to secure a second. He was perfectly prepared to bear the whole brunt of the fray without sympathy or succor; so sure was he that the Lord of Hosts was with him, and that the God of Jacob was his refuge. Calmly and quietly he went down the slope, and selected the pebbles which best suited his purpose. In this quietness and confidence he found his strength. His mind was kept in perfect peace, because it was stayed on God. He did not go by haste or flight, because the Lord went before him, and the Holy One of Israel was his reward.

When the moment came for the conflict, David did not hesitate, but ran toward the Philistine army to meet their champion. There was no fear of the result in that young heart; no tremor in the voice that answered the rough taunt; no falter in the arm that wielded the sling; no lack of precision in the aim that drove the stone to the one part of the Philistine's body that was unprotected and vulnerable. The stone sank into the giant's forehead; in another moment he fell stunned to the earth. There was no time to lose; before he could recover himself, or his startled comrades overcome their stupefied amazement, his head had been hewn from his body by one thrust of Goliath’s own sword. And when the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled.

The weakest man who knows God is strong to do exploits. All the might of GOD awaits the disposal of our faith. As a child by touching a button may set in motion a mighty steamship, making it glide like a swan into her native element, so a stripling who has learnt to reckon on God may bring the whole forces of Deity to bear on men and things on the world's battlefield. This is the victory that overcomes the world, the flesh, and the devil even our faith.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
2 Chronicles   28     2 Kings   16  17

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                              God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

 Today’s First Thoughts                                          July 16, 2014                 

Good Morning!
I don’t know of any relationship that has lasted very long that has not had to practice forgiveness, How we ask for forgiveness is critical. In fact this is the key ingredient that makes all the difference. 

ASKING FOR FORGIVENESS:
Matthew 18:21. “Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? 22. Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven

Unhealthy relationships lack true forgiveness.  Old problems and conflict are brought up on a regular basis and used to hurt the other person. If I accidentally spill a cup of coffee on you, I have not sinned against you, so I do not need to ask for forgiveness.  No, but I should apologize for what I have done.  On the other hand, if I throw a cup of coffee in your face, I have sinned against you.  I need to ask you to forgive me. So, is an apology the same as asking for forgiveness?  No.  The right way to go about asking for forgiveness is to first name the specific sin, and then explicitly asking the person for forgiveness:  “I was wrong for yelling at you and using that language with you.  Will you forgive me?”  I named the sin and asked for forgiveness. 

 If I would have said, “I am sorry for yelling at you,” and stop there, the typical response from the offended person is, “Oh that’s okay,” or “it’s no big deal.”  What has happened there is the offender has not admitted to sinning against the other person.  Secondly, the offended person has lied by minimizing the sin.  It is not okay for someone to sin against another person.  This is not the way to healthy relationships. So the key is recognizing and admitting when we sin against another person.  When you admit your mistake openly and ask for forgiveness for that offense it now puts it into the other person’s court to make a decision. 

Either I choose to forgive that person or not.  I may not be ready in that moment to forgive if it was a deep hurt or has been a long term thing.  I should consider if the person is trustworthy and sincere.  Even if they are not totally sincere or trustworthy, it is still my decision to hold onto the hurt or release it by forgiving the person.  Unforgiveness is the root of most anger issues and will destroy your relationships.  Choosing to forgive is the beginning of healing and wholeness.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Isaiah  13  14  15  16  17

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                             God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                            July 17, 2014                 

Good Morning!
Practicing forgiveness is one of the most powerful ways a person can stay emotionally healthy.

A GUIDELINE FOE FORGIVENESS:
Mark 11:25. “And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”

Forgiveness is the most effective way to release negative emotions like anger, resentment, hurt and unloved.  Because this is such an important part of healthy relationships I want to give some guidelines on forgiveness:
1. Forgiveness is a choice – We seldom feel like forgiving someone that offended us or hurt us.  It is an act of our will to let go of the offense.
2. Forgiveness is a matter of stewardship – Colossians 3:13 says “Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”  Because we have been forgiven, we should forgive others.  We often choose not to forgive because the person that hurt us does not deserve to be forgiven.  The truth is that no one deserves to be forgiven.  When we remember the grace that God gave us it can help us to extend that kind of grace and forgiveness to others.

We should forgive whether or not our offender asks for forgiveness – Jesus forgave the people that abused him and nailed him to a cross.  Forgiveness is not based on whether our offender deserves our forgiveness or whether or not they ask for it.  We are to forgive because we have been forgiven.  Forgiveness releases negative emotions and when we wait for someone to ask for forgiveness those negative emotions can cause much damage to our emotional state and relationships. We should not make our forgiveness conditional – God forgave us with no strings attached, we should do the same.  We should not say:
1. I’ll forgive you if you promise to never do it again.
2. I’ll forgive you if you clean the house.
3. I’ll forgive you but I’m going to sulk for days.
4. I’ll forgive you but only after I tell everyone what you did.
5. I’ll forgive you this time but not if you do it again.

Genuine forgiveness never involves an if or but. Forgiving means I am choosing to release the offense or cancel the debt.  The person does not owe me anything anymore.  There is great freedom when you practice genuine forgiveness.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Isaiah  18  19  20  21  22

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                             God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                           July 18, 2014                 

Good Morning!
Forgiveness of sins is one of the great themes of the Bible.

ACCEPT THE GIFT OF FORGIVENESS
Luke 23:34. “Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.”

There is so much that scripture says about forgiveness that it would take volumes of books to adequately deal with the subject. It will suffice to say that the blood of Jesus is what provided us with forgiveness of sins. That sacrifice was so great that it outweighed all our sins. It covered all the sins of the world-past, present, and future.

Most Christians realize that the sins they committed before they professed faith in Christ are forgiven at repentance and baptism, but any sins that are committed after that time are not forgiven until they repent and ask for forgiveness. Jesus, in the Lord’s Prayer taught us to pray, “forgive us as we forgive those who trespass against us.” This is an ongoing process, asking both God and our fellow man to for forgive us.

All our sins: past, present, and future were forgiven through the one offering of Jesus. If God can't forgive future sins, then none of us can be saved because Jesus only died once, nearly 2,000 years ago, before we had committed any sins. All our sins will be forgiven when we ask God to forgive us.

The forgiveness of our sins is not the ultimate goal of our salvation. It is just a necessary step. The real goal of salvation is relationship with the Father and sin is a barrier to that relationship. So, it had to be dealt with, and it was, through the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. But those who stop with the forgiveness of sins and don't go on into eternal life are missing the heart of salvation. Our sins have been forgiven so that we may enter into intimacy with the Lord.

It is through the riches of God's grace that we have received forgiveness for our sins. There is nothing we can do to obtain forgiveness except humble ourselves and receive forgiveness as a gift through faith in Christ.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Isaiah  23  24  25  26  27

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                             God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                    July 19 & 20, 2014                 

Good Morning!
For a few days we will look into the Book of Job. The Book of Job is probably one of the oldest books in the world, so what value does it contain for the modern reader? Is it allegoric, or fiction, or is it a real story of real happenings to someone many centuries ago, or was it yesterday? All of these questions we will attempt to answer to the best of our knowledge.

JOB, THE IDEAL MAN:
Job 1:1. “There was (once upon a time) a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.”

Why study the Book of Job? At one time or another, almost everyone has felt like Job. While going through trials and times of suffering, we are often overwhelmed by self-pity. We want an explanation for why God allows trials to happen to us. Many books have been written on this particular subject. The Book of Job records the troubling questions, the terrifying doubts, and the very real anguish of a sufferer. The Book of Job can help us in the time when we are surrounded with troubles by giving us a glimpse of God’s viewpoint of our suffering.

The Book of Job centers around Two Questions. 1. First Question: Can a man be good from other than selfish motives? The basic verse of the whole book is a question posed by Satan, “Doth Job fear God for naught?” (Job 1:9). Is not Job pious, as any other man, in exchange for his privileges? In other words it pays to be religious. Is there a man on earth faithful to God for the sake of God, or is it because it brings about God’s favor? Is there such a thing as ‘true worship’?

2. Second Question: Is it true that sin and suffering, happiness and virtue, are inseparably, and inevitably linked with each other? Is it true that a man gets just what he deserves? That the man who lives righteously and noble enjoy all the material advantages of life? And that the man who lives badly is swiftly and inevitably over-taken by misfortune and trouble. In other words does trouble and suffering come because of sin? In his misfortunes the book of Job gives an answer to both questions. In the end God lowers Himself to Job’s level in order to answer all of Job’s questions. This lets us know that all of life’s questions will be answered.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
2 Kings  18:1-8   2 Chronicles  29  30  31     Psalm  48
Hosea  1  2  3  4  5  6  7

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                             God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                          July 21, 2014                 

Good Morning!
I feel that Job lived just prior to Abraham, during what is called the generation of Shem.

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

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

Job’s life was “perfect” (v. 1); he treasured God’s words more than his food (Job 23:12): Job wasn’t aware of any inner secret sins (Job 31:33): was a respected Judge in the community (Job 29:7-14); didn’t abuse his power (Job 29:15); maintained moral purity (Job 31:1, 5, 7); and didn’t put his confidence in his great wealth (Job 31: 24-24). God testified of him “that there is none like him in the earth,” (Job 1:8). All of the above could be said of few, if any, other man who ever lived, only of the Lord Jesus Himself.

Job was not only so rich and great, but also so wise and good, and had such an interest in spiritual things, that one would think the mountain of his prosperity stood so strong that it could not be moved; but there is a thick dark cloud gathering over his head boiling with a horrible tempest. We must never think ourselves secure from storms as long as we are in this life. The storms come in our lives suddenly, unexpectedly, even though we feel we do not deserve to be treated that way. We have gone to church, read our Bible, prayed every day, lived the best we know how, yet the storm came and took almost everything, including our health. We cry as Job did, “Why Lord?”

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Hosea  8  9  10  11  12  13  14

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                             God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                          July 22, 2014                 

Good Morning!
This devotion reminds us that we live in two worlds, a spiritual world and a natural world, and what takes place in the natural world is controlled by the spiritual.

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

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

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

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

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

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                              God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

 Today’s First Thoughts                                          July 23, 2014                 

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

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

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

Job’s fall from influence and prosperity is so great, it’s almost impossible to imagine. On one day he lost all of his wealth; eleven thousand animals and the servants who were guarding them by raiders or by fire falling from heaven. While Job was recovering from these reports, an even more grievous one reached him. “While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, Thy sons and thy daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother's house: And, behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men, and they are dead; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee” (Job 1:18-19). At this news, Job’s faith burst into white-hot flame, and he spoke these celebrated words, “the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly” (Job 1:21-22).

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

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                             God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                           July 24, 2014                 

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

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

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

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

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

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

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                             God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                          July 25, 2014                 

Good Morning!
The Setting of The Book Of Job is the Land Of Uz. A land lost from all records, often thought to be some part of Edom.

JOB WAS THE IDEAL MAN:
Job 1:1. “There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.
2. And there were born unto him seven sons and three daughters.
3. His substance also was seven thousand sheep, and three thousand camels, and five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred she asses, and a very great household; so that this man was the greatest of all the men of the east.”

Job was a righteous man, the best of men, God bearing him record. “There is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth (honors and respects) God, and escheweth (avoids habitually) evil” Job 1:8). Job is the ideal of the good man at its highest. The Old Testament reaches to no grander vision of man than in the life of Job. It would be many centuries before another man, Christ Jesus, would come to surpass him in righteousness. Job is pictured as a man who had all that a man could want; seven sons, three daughters, and enormous wealth (Job 1:1-3). This enormous wealth Satan would try to use as a proof that Job served God only for material benefits.

Job Was Great In His Benevolence: “I delivered the poor that cried, and the fatherless, and him that had none to help him (generosity) Job 29:12. “I caused the widow’s heart to sing for joy” Job 29:13. “I was eyes to the blind, and feet was I to the lame Job 29:15. “I was a father to the poor: and the cause which I knew not I searched out (I went looking to see if I could help those who were hid from sight) Job 29:16. “I comforted the mourners” Job 29:25. “The stranger did not lodge in the street: but I opened my doors to the traveler” Job 31:32.

Job Exhibited The Grace Of Kindness: No One can be truly a Christian without The Grace Of Kindness. Paul tells us, “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted,” Ephesians 4:32. It is the spirit of Jesus manifesting itself in us. Kindness has a winning influence. Kindness reconciles worldly men to religious people.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Isaiah   37  38  39    Psalm   76

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                             God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                   July 26 & 27, 2014                 

Good Morning!
In today’s scriptures we are introduced to a happy family.

THE IDEAL HOME:
Job 1:4. “And his sons went and feasted in their houses, every one his day; and sent and called for their three sisters to eat and to drink with them.
5. And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually.”

The seven sons of Job seemed to take turns having great feasts in their homes. And much to their credit they did not forget to invite their three sisters to share in the merriment. These feasts must have lasted for several days. “.., when the ‘days’ of their feasting were gone about..” Job 1:5.  In all of Job’s love and confidence towards his children there was just one fear in his mind concerning them. He feared lest in their enjoyment of life they might have forgotten God. So many things can happen in times of merriment. Feasting and forgetting.

Sin Has Many Disguises. “It may be that my sons have sinned, and have cursed God in their hearts (not out loud, but inwardly have left God out) Job 1:5.  Job was anxious lest inadvertently (by not keeping their mind on the matter) they may be enticed away by the ceaseless round of pleasures, and become forgetful of Him who is the giver of every good and perfect gift. So there was never a day that Job omitted to pray, or forgot to offer sacrifice for his children. He did not take a chance; he never allowed his faith and repentance to be interrupted on their behalf. “Thus did Job continually” (early in the morning—his first duty) Job 1:5. (We will meet his wife a little later).

Job Was A Man Of Prayer.
Job prayed for his family Job 1:6.
Job Prayed for himself Job 42:1-6.
Job prayed for his friends Job 42:8-9).

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Isaiah   40  41  42  43
Isaiah  44  45  46  47  48

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                             God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                           July 28, 2014                 

Good Morning!
We are to understand from the very beginning that Job is not being punished; he is not even being disciplined. Let us listen to the conversation between Satan and God.

A SCENE IN THE UNSEEN WORLD:
Job 1:6. “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. 7. And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. 8. And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? 9. Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? 10. Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. 11. But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face. 12. And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.

These seven verses set the story at once on a high place (behind an earthly veil). In these words we are transported from the plains of Uz to the halls of heaven. There like an oriental King, Jehovah holds His court. We are given access, for a moment, to the secret counsels of the Most High. In these seven verses we are provided with information that Job is unaware of. We see Job and his family silhouetted against the far-away landscape of eternity. We could call it Earth’s Struggle In The Footlights, Heaven’s Secrets In The Shadows.

Apparently at certain seasons the sons of God came to the heavenly assembly to give a report of the way in which their duties have been performed. Each probably has his fixed Province, since it was thought that each kingdom had its own angel-prince.
Daniel 10:13. “Prince of the kingdom of Persia.”
Daniel 10:20. “Prince of Grecia.”
Daniel 10:21). “Michael your Prince.” 
They seem to be responsible for the order of their Provinces.
And who is this that appears among them? “And Satan came also among them.”
We think of Satan in the atmosphere of worldly temptations—the honky-tonk, the dance halls, etc, we know he is there, but he also appears in the assembly of Saints.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
2 Kings  18:9   19:37     Psalm  46  80  135

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                             God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                            July 29, 2014                 

Good Morning!
Satan is working vigorously to destroy everyone he can. His entrance into the Bible story is as a Serpent; his final portrait is as a Dragon Revelation 20:2. He can be mean, nasty and ugly as a “roaring lion.”

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

The entire revelation of Satan did not come until the time of the prophets Isaiah and Ezekiel; tell of his once glorious heavenly state, and of his fall from heaven. He came down with a grudge and in a vengeful mood attempting to thwart God’s work. But his end is in sight. But in the meanwhile he is working vigorously to destroy everyone he can. His entrance into the Bible story is as a Serpent; his final portrait is as a Dragon (Revelation 20:2).

We know Satan inhabits dens of evil and we are on guard against even going there. But among “the sons of God,” in the holiest of settings, the presence of God himself. NEVER! Oh, Yes! He shows up! He showed up, uninvited, in the meeting between the sons of God, (Job 1:6). He is detected and separated from the sons of God by the all-seeing eye of the all-discerning God. He is immediately confronted by God. “Where did you come from?” As if God didn’t already know. “Why are you here?” “You’re up to no good.” “And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it” Job 1:7.

Satan, with his hands in his pockets, and a shrug of his shoulders, “From all Over.” “I have no fixed province,” “I’m a roving commissioner,” “sort of an ambassador at large.” Each of us will come in contact with Satan today is some form or fashion. The man, or woman, of God who has gained the first, or second, or tenth, great victory is apt to think that it is decisive and final, and that they may now cease to fight. And behold the evil that was vanquished yesterday lifts up its head again, and the conflict has to be begun again. No victory over an old enemy, an old craving, an old habit, is ever decisive. It will rise again somewhere, someway. It keeps us on our knees, and it makes us stronger each time we win.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Isaiah  49  50  51  52  53

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                             God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                          July 30, 2014                 

Good Morning!
Satan, appearing before God, and by slander obtains permission to test Job

DOTH JOB FEAR GOD FOR NOUGHT:
Job 1:8. “And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? 9. Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? 10. Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. 11. But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.”

In this exchange of words Satan acts in keeping with his name. He begins to slander Job—he sneers at him. From out of his evil heart Satan can see no genuine goodness in Job. This is the penalties of an evil heart—the man with an evil heart cannot believe in goodness. So how we look out upon men is totally dependant upon the conditions of our heart. Men take upon the hue and color of our heart. What do we see in people, mostly evil, mostly hypocrisy?  So the evil man is always an accuser of his brethren. A good man, out of a good heart, finds it easy to believe in goodness. The pure in heart see God; they can see God in their brethren.

Jesus saw good in the most unexpected people. He saw it in the publican, the harlot, the thief—but Satan sees no good in any man—no such thing as good. He is the accuser of the brethren Zechariah 3:1-4. So He insinuates his doubts as to the genuineness of Job’s Righteousness. Satan said, “Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.”

Satan says, “There is no such thing as perfection, I can find flaws in any man.” “No wonder he respects you—look at all you have done for him.” “How do you measure perfection?” “His religion is based on self-interest.” “Job is religious for what he could get out of it.” “He is religious only because he thought it paid.” “If his prosperity were suddenly taken away from him, his religion would suddenly vanish and he would renounce God to His face.” Also, says Satan, “His religion is dependant on his circumstances.” “Break down the hedge, expose him to the buffetings of adverse fortune.” “Let temptation assail him and he will cures thee to thy face.” Satan’s voice is still contemptuous.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Isaiah  54  55  56  57  58

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                             God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                           July 31, 2014                 

Good Morning!
The test of the reality of faith is not, can it live in favorable circumstances, but can it live anywhere.

SURE IT PAYS TO BE RELIGIOUS:
Job 1:12. “And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.”

Tested By Prosperity: To some people this is a harder test than adversity. Solomon said, “… give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain” (Proverbs 30:8-9).

Moses warned the people of the dangers of prosperity when they had come into Canaan. Deuteronomy 8:12. “Lest when thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt therein; 13. And when thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied;
14. Then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget the LORD thy God, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage;”

Now let us study these accusations of Satan against Job. It is certainly true that there are rewards in living for God. Paul says, “But godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come” (1 Timothy 4:8). Godliness makes for those qualities which tend to produce success; it makes men diligent, conscientious, and trustworthy. Godliness builds character. It brings men the respect and honor of their fellowmen. And in the world to come it finds its final justification, eternal life. Yes, Godliness Is Profitable: It pays to be honest, and just not simply because of its rewards, but because honesty is right.

Job would prove that there is such a thing as duty, love, devotion. And it is certainly true that a good environment is conducive to religious development. Satan Says, Take The Hedge Down: Many of us owe our Christian experience to the religious atmosphere in the home we were raised in. We call it the result of the “hedge,” or the protected environment. We must create the “hedge,” Satan was speaking of, to protect our children from the evil influence of the devil. We must instill in their youth qualities that can live outside the “hedge.” (When they go to school, to work, out in the neighborhood).

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Isaiah  59  60  61  62  63

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

 

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