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October 2014

Godsgrazingfield Devotions October 2014

Jesus In Gethsemane
                                            Jesus In Gethsemane

1.                           God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                      October 1, 2014                

Good Morning!
If you are able to see, and read, these lines, you still have mercy. There will come a day for some when mercy will have expired, to look on Jesus then will be dreadful.

LOOK ON JESEU WHILE WE HAVE MERCY:
Hebrews 12:2. “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.”
Revelation 1:7. “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.” (& Zechariah 12:10).

Every eye shall see Him:” Let me say that those who will not look now, shall look. They would not look upon Him as Savior, but will look upon Him as Judge. “They shall look upon Him whom they have pierced and mourn.” The look was too late; the look was not in time. There shall be a cry in the latter times and the cry shall be, “Hide us from the face—that anguished face, that smitten face, that insulted face, that face where I see the marks the thorns made, the red streaks upon it I made when I smote Him in the face, and said “Prophecy unto us, thou Christ, who smote thee?” (Matthew 26:68, Luke 22:64).

Can we imagine what it would be like to be one of those individuals who took part in the crucifixion of Jesus. Pilate will be there, the High Priests will be there, the mockers will be there, the soldiers who parted His garments will be there, and last of all you and I will be there. “Every eye shall behod Him.”

We shall have to look; the only question is how? Are we prepared for His coming? How do we make preparations for His face? By going to His cross. He says to each of us, “Meet Me at the cross. Meet Me where My hands were pierced, where My brow was torn by thorns, meet Me there, Meet me where I was the weakest, meet me there at the cross.”

Then having met Him there, and when “the Son of Man shall come in all His glory, and all the holy angels with Him,” to us He will be the same gentle Savior we met in the hills and valleys of Galilee, and He will open the great door of His kingdom for us, and lift us up to the highest realm in Heaven. Look upon him now while mercy is still extended.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Luke   1      John 1: 1-14

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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2.                         God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                   October 2, 2014                

Good Morning!
We want to continue our thought on the life of Jesus. We want to look at the conditions of the world into which Jesus was born and ask the question, “why was it so long before the promise to Eve was fulfilled?

Galatians 4:4. “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,”

We that are Christians look upon the world we live in, we are appalled by what we see and hear that is going on. The Bible is being fulfilled before our eyes. Scripture tells us, 1. “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3. Without natural affection, truce-breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4. Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5. Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 6. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, 7. Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 8. Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.”
(2 Timothy 3:1-8).

The times we are living in mirror the times when “God sent fort His Son.” Near Bethlehem on the summit of a hill the reigning Monarch, Herod had built a royal palace, and there he slept while, all unconsciously to him, the true Prince of the House of David had been born just below him, in a cave and laid in a manger. But Herod, with a mind full of murder and a body full of pain when told of the birth of this great child, could only find in the splendor of the occasion, a reason for retribution.

There was enough to torment him before his time. Perhaps no man ever lived whose name came down to us through the ages, who was the actual embodiment of more of the appalling, repulsive, lustful, attributes of our vilest human nature than Herod. He lived in an atmosphere of murder. The infants of Bethlehem were by no means his chief victims. No less that twenty of his own house-hold was murdered under his orders, including his beloved wife and several sons and other relatives. And when you have a King, or any ruler, so vile, the whole atmosphere of the nation is vile and in unrest. The Jewish nation was as badly off as could be. Josephus said there were, “ten thousand disorders in Judea,” “full of robberies,” “at no time of their history, not even after their return from exile, had the nation been more wretched.” Socially, politically and economically the foundations of life were broken.  Religion was a mockery, a disgrace. Into this kind of world Jesus was born, and into the same kind of world  He will return the second time.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Matthew   1    Luke   2:1-38

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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3.                          God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                     October 3, 2014                 

Good Morning!
Yesterday we looked at the deplorable conditions in Israel when Jesus was born. Today we want to look at a remnant of righteous people who lived in those times.

YET STILL THERE WAS A REMNANT OF DEVOUT PEOPLE:
Luke 2:25. “And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. 26. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ.”

This brings us to one of the finest disclosures in the New Testament. The omniscient God never left Himself without a witness on earth. Scattered among the towns and villages there were to be found many spiritual believers like Nathaniel, an “Israelite indeed, in whom was no guile.” We call to mind an old Jerusalem Jew who came into the temple at the presentation of the infant Jesus, and taking up the child in his arms, blessing God for having shown him his salvation. This had been “revealed to him by the Holy Ghost.” A good man, a devout man, a just man, and waiting for the consolation of Israel. (Devout= pious, sincere, very religious, dedicated, devoted)

“And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven” (Acts 2:5). “And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him” (Acts 8:2). “There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band, A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God always” (Acts 10:1-2). And we remember Anna a prophetess of great age, coming into the temple giving thanks because God had allowed her to see the Lord.

Very beautiful always seems the sight of an old believer, spiritually arranging himself, even in our time, on the side of Immanuel, Son of Mary, Son of David, Son of God. These steady believers were looking forward. The constant hope in their hearts was “the Lord’s Christ” would come. They were waiting for the “Consolation of Israel.” No one can fail to see the Advantages of such an expectancy Hear what I say, “Our Highest And Our Best Times Are On Ahead.” “To them that look for Him He will appear the second time  ...”

Why not imagine that these young men, John, James, Phillip, Simon, and Andrew, were raised under just teaching of piety, and prayer and waiting, during all those years of their young lives. We too need to look forward, turn our eyes, heart, and mind towards the second coming of our Lord. We know that the time is at hand because the days are evil. Join the devout few who are waiting and watching for Him.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Matthew   2     Luke   2:39--52

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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4.  5.                     God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                October 4 & 5, 2014                

Good Morning!
Today we want to look at God’s choice of the man and woman to which His Son would be born into the world.

GOD CHOSE MARY AND JOSEPH TO RAISE AND NURTURE HIS SON:
Matthew 1:18. “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.”

As in the case of God’s choice of David to be king (Psalm 78:71), he had watched Mary and Joseph for some time. And out of the thousands of families in Israel God found the perfect home into which to place His son. Little information is given in the Gospels as to the history of either Joseph or Mary before what is told in Matthew 1:18. Joseph was of the house of David, a royal linage by direct decent; but now fallen so low that he was but a village carpenter. Mary too, was of the royal stock of David, yet in so humble a condition of life as made it natural that she should be betrothed to Joseph.

Joseph and Mary had plans to be married and no doubt were making all the arrangements for that big day in their life in the near future. Then one day when Mary was alone a strange being appeared before her. He introduced himself as Gabriel, one of the high Arch-Angels who stands in the presence of God, and has been sent to give her a message. He enters this humble abode in Nazareth and stands reverently before this youthful maiden. He cannot give to her his message until he has offered her such homage as any heavenly messenger never paid to any member of the human race.

“Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women” (Luke 1:28). Is it any wonder that Mary was “troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be,” (Luke 1:29) as she looked upon that strange, unearthly, attractive form before her? She said not a word, but kept silent as the angel continued his message to her. “And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. 31. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. 32. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 33. And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.” (Luke 1:30-33)).

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Matthew   3    Mark   1    Luke   3
Matthew   4   Luke    4  5   John   1:15-51

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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 6.                         God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                    October 6, 2014               

Good Morning!
There was not a mother in Israel in the last four-thousand years who did not cherish it as the highest object to be desired to be the mother of the promised Messiah.

HOW SHALL THESE THINGS BE?:
Luke 1:34. “Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? 35. And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.”

A New Departure Of Human History: If you have a difficulty as to the acceptance of the story we have read; will you be good enough to suggest another story by which we shall escape all difficulty of bringing into the human race a man different from all other men, yet a Savior and redeemer of all mankind? It had to be a man with a voice and utterances of the upper and better world. A redeemer like ourselves in all points had to be introduced into the race, and yet so unlike us as to be wholly separate from sinners.

Wherever Christ Is Born It Is A Miracle: When He is born in us it is by a miraculous conception. A man cannot become a Christian by some simple and ordinary way, like repeating some creed. When Christ is born in your heart, precisely the same operation is gone through as indicated to Mary. It is an unexpected event brought about by the overshadowing of the Holy Ghost. As for the operation of the Holy Ghost, it begins and ends with the word miracle.

Obscure and mysterious as what Gabriel had said, Mary seems to have understood that it was the birth of  the Messiah so long looked for that he was speaking of. Hers was a question of curiosity, not of unbelief. “How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?” She was told that the Holy Ghost would come upon her, that by the power of the highest should overshadow her, that the child to be born was now miraculously conceived. Mary’s answer, “And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.” (Luke 1:38). Mary, like Abraham, staggered not at the promise of God.

Mary could not fail at once to perceive, and to be sensitive to all the misconceptions and the perils which she would certainly incur. I like what Luke says several times, “And Mary kept all these thing and pondered then in her heart.”

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

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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 7.                         God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                    October 7, 2014               

Good Morning!
No better man can be found in all the pages of holy writ. No man was ever asked to be a part of any higher task as Joseph. No man fulfilled his role better than Joseph.

JOSEPH WAS A JUST (Morally Correct) MAN:
Matthew 1:19. “Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily. 20. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. 21. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. 22. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, 23. Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. 24. Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: 25. And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.

“While he thought on these things.” It is difficult, perhaps impossible, to decide whether it was before or after Mary’s visit to Elizabeth, that Joseph was told of the condition of his betrothed. It must have thrown him into painful perplexity. He was not at first prepared to believe the story, and yet he had such trust and devotion in her that he could not utterly discredit it. He pondered what to do. To put her away with a bill of divorcement would openly stamp her character with shame. He was unwilling for this to happen. To put her away privately would at least cover her reputation that the child might be thought of as his, this he resolved to do.

God Solves His Problem: After several restless nights, God put Him to sleep so He could quieten his fears and confusion. The angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, removed all his doubts, and led him to take Mary as his wife. The wedding took place and they were waiting at Nazareth for the baby to be born. And they were quietly waiting at Nazareth for the expected birth. But it was not at Nazareth where God planned to have His Son to be born. An ancient prophecy 700 years before had already designated another village, not in Galilee, but in Judea.

“But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting” (Micah 5:2). God would solve this problem also.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Mark   2     John   5

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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8.                          God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                    October 8, 2014               

Good Morning!
Today we will look into Matthew’s Gospel to follow the birth of Jesus.

WISE MEN FROM THE EAST CAME TO WORSHIP THE CHRIST CHILD:
Matthew 2:1. “Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, 2. Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.”

History has tried in vain to identify these men who came from the East to do homage to Jesus shortly after His birth. They are called “the three wise men,” but their number is also a mystery, probably from the three gifts given by them. They have also been given names, Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar, but this also is probably fiction. We do know that they came with very high and noble intentions.

There is remarkable information, from both Roman and Jewish writers, which have been quoted, which tells us that at the period of time of our Lord’s birth that in these far-off regions there was a strong belief that one born in Judea would rise to rule the world. Men read the stars and a new star to them represented a king being born somewhere. One night as some of them were out gazing into the sky they saw a very bright new star over the area of Judea, which to them represented the expected king. They made preparation to go meet and do homage (bow) to this new king.

It must have taken considerable time for preparation and travel to reach Judea because Matthew 2:16 seems to indicate that it was two years before when they first saw the star. Their arrival and inquiry caused quite a stir in Jerusalem. “When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.” No one there had seen the star. No one there had heard about this new king. “Herod Was Troubled.” And when Herod is troubled everybody is troubled. “Has a new claimant, with better title to the throne been born?” “Why haven’t I been notified?”

All Jerusalem Was Troubled.” We can understand them being troubled, they knew Herod’s jealous temper, and blood thirsty disposition. They feared lest his vindictive spirit might prompt some new deed of cruelty in order to cut of a new arrival. We know that their fears were realized a few days in the future.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Matthew   12:1-21     Mark   3     Luke   6

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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9.                          God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                    October 9, 2014               

Good Morning!
As near as Bethlehem was none of the inhabitants of Jerusalem cared to accompany the wise men to find the Child.

THE STAR WENT BEFORE THEM:
Matthew 2:8. “And he (Herod) sent them (The Wise Men) to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also. 9. When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. 10. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. 11. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.”

It surely must have surprised the wise men to come among the very people over whom this new born king was to rule, to enter the capitol of their country, the city of the chief priests and scribes by whom, if by any, an event so great should have been known, and to find there no notice, no knowledge of the birth; to find instead, that they, coming from a strange land, professors of another faith, are the first to tell the Jews of the coming of their king.

Had these wise men been men of weak faith doubt could have easily crept in. “Perhaps it was a delusion we have listened to.” “Maybe it was a doubtful appearance of a star we have seen in our own land.” Is it not a wonder that they, instead of going on the Bethlehem, would have gone forth despondingly, doubtfully and distrustfully, from Jerusalem, and taken the road back to their own homes? But they had good reason to believe that the star was real, and the attitudes and unbelief of others, moves them away from the confidence that God had given then the sign.

God Honors Their Faith: Somewhere in the village the birth had taken place. Herod said, “Search diligently.” Just then, in the midst of their perplexity, once more they saw the star which they had seen in the East. “And, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.” When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.” The star moved before them and stood still over the house where the baby Jesus lay. They rejoiced.

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

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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10.                        God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                    October 10, 2014               

Good Morning!
These wise men are our representatives at Bethlehem making for us Gentiles the first expression of our faith, and the first offer of our allegiance to Jesus. How long has it been since you knelt before King Jesus? Kneeling in prayer is a lost act in most people’s prayer life. We have a long prayer bench at the foot of our bed. On this bench is my mother’s bible and my mother-in-law’s bible and several more.

COULD THIS CHILD BE A FUTURE KING?:
Matthew 2:11. “And when they (the wise men) were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.”

Following the star they enter the house over which it stood, and stand before a mother and her child; a mother of very humble appearance; a child clothed in the simplest clothes. Can this be, as they look around the house, in which infant royalty lies? Can that be the child they have come so far to see and worship? Had they known all about that infant that we now know; had they known that an angelic choir had already sung at his birth filling the midnight sky with a melody that is still sung, “Glory to God in the highest and on earth, peace and good will toward men,”

Had they known that in that little hand which lay so feebly folded, that in that tiny brain, omnipotence lay slumbering—that at the touch of that hand, the blind eyes would be opened, and the tied tongue unloosed—that at His bidding the wildest of nature, in its stormiest, would stand still, devils driven out of men and women, that the dead would come forth at the sound of His voice, and had they known that those tiny feet would walk on water, and had they known that at the death of this Son of Mary, the sun would be darkened, the rocks would be rent, and the graves would give up their inhabitants, and that He Himself would burst the barriers of the tomb, and rise to triumph, attended by an angelic host, to take His place at the right hand of power in the heavens. But they knew nothing of all this.

What they did know we cannot tell. We only know that instantly, in absence of all outward and unpromising appearances, they bow the knee before the infant, lower than before the haughty Herod at Jerusalem, bow in adoration such as they never rendered to any earthly king. And the act of worship over, they open their treasures and present to Him their gifts; the gold, the frankincense, and the myrrh, the rarest presents of the East. These Gentile Eastern wise men were the first of a great company to be gathered from the East and from the West from the North and from the South to sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of God.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Matthew   8:1-13      Luke   7

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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11.  12.                 God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                October 11 & 12, 2014                   

Good Morning!
That single act of worship rendered, the wise men return to their own country, and we hear of them no more. They come like spirits, and like spirits they depart, passing away into obscurity from whence they came. But our affection follows them to their native land, and would fain know the secret of their after lives and deaths.

GOING HOME A DIFFERENT WAY:
Matthew 2:12. “And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.”

Anyone who truly comes to Christ, goes home another way. Coming to Jesus is the most life changing experience in the world. Meeting and doing homage to Jesus Christ changes the direction we have been traveling. The old road maps we have been using are of no value any more. These wise men took a different road back than the one they came on. God is the one who gave them a new road to travel home on. The angel of the Lord says, “I will show you the way home, not one step of the old road will you take, I will make a way for you.”

Do not say there is no way out of your difficulty. It may be a family difficulty, a difficulty at work, a personal difficulty of which no human help can solve. Do not say that there is no way out and you feel that you are just beating your head against the wall. Stand still, and say, “Lord, show me thy salvation and take me home by another way. I thought this was the right road, but I find that my thinking has been misinformed, and circumstances have brought strange and mighty opposition. Lord I will not move a inch until thou dost lead the way.”

Psalm 37:4. “Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. 5. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.  6. And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday. 7. Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.”

Saul of Tarsus left Jerusalem on his way to Damascus as a fanatical tormentor of the Christian Church and on his way met the Lord who changed his directions forever. He came home another way, through the Desert of Arabia humbled and rejoicing from the change that had taken place in his life. Come home another way.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Matthew   11  thru   12:22-50      Luke   11
Matthew   13    Luke   8

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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13.                        God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                    October 13, 2014                

Good Morning!
This incident shows us in how many ways God interrupts in human affairs. The angel of the Lord warned the wise men, and He also warned Joseph it’s time to flee.

THE MINISTRY OF WARNING:
Matthew 2:12. “And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way. 13. And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him. 14. When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt:”

God Comes In Our Dreams: God is in continual communication with those who have the right mind. He speaks to them by starry eloquence; He speaks to them in words and visions and dreams. He is a God nigh at hand, and not afar off, to those who are rightly inclined towards Him and whose hearts have a desire to know His will. What Is A Dream? I’m not talking about a nightmare, nor the incoherence of a disordered mind brought on by over-eating. I’m talking about the out-going of the soul towards the invisible.

If we have lost the dream in our Church we have lost everything—prophecy, tongues, miracles, songs, gifts of healing, helps, government, we have lost them all. The dream stands for that grandest of all powers, the religious imagination. That man that can truly say, “I have a dream,” the Church that has a dream, will accomplish much. We cannot accomplish anything if we have lost our dreams.

The angel of the Lord watched Herod, watched the young child and His mother, watched the wise men, these were guardian angels. At least four or five times we read of God sending His angel in a dream in the story of the birth of Christ. Two times the dreams were dire warnings to the wise men and to Joseph. We note that when the warning came both Joseph and the wise men acted immediately. Joseph arose in the night and took the young child and his mother to Egypt. It would be much easier to escape detection by fleeing at night, even though it was far more inconvenient for them to travel in the darkness. But Joseph was not disobedient to the heavenly vision. What an awesome responsibility was placed upon Joseph. We also have those watchers for our souls, a guardian angel that can only be seen with the eyes of the soul.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Matthew   8:14-34      Mark   4  5

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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14.                       God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                   October 14, 2014                   

Good Morning
Mary and Joseph and the young child are in the safety of Egypt, their journey and their time in the foreign land paid for by the gifts of the wise men, enough to sustain them there and to bring them back and start a carpenter shop in Nazareth.

HEROD SLAYS ALL THE CHILDREN IN BETHLEHEM:
Matthew 2:16. “Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men.”

Mocked Of The Wise Men: There is no passage of scripture which has a more dire effect as the one that says God will laugh at our calamities, and mock when our fear cometh (Proverbs 1:26). We have seen His tears—they were poured out over Jerusalem, they have fallen upon the graves of loved ones, but we have never seen Him laugh. There is a human laughter that turns us cold—God forbid we should ever hear our divine Father’s laughter, when the great fire-wave swell around us and all heaven seems to be pleased with the discomfiture of our souls. Herod experienced this; his death was extremely painful after great suffering.

“Exceeding Wroth:” The 2nd chapter of Matthew is a record of trials. Everybody engaged in it seems to be pierced through with the same sword. I’m sure that Mary and Joseph felt that in some way they were responsible for all the tragedy that took place. Their baby, whom they did not ask for, had caused great pain and suffering and strife. The wrath of Herod caused many homes in Bethlehem to suffer terribly all because of their infant son.

Pharaoh was afraid of the little boys so he gave orders to have them drowned as soon as they were born. He said, “Kill all the boys, drown them.” Herod said, “Kill all the babies under two years old.” Pharaoh and Herod directed their attention to the very young. They knew that if they lived it would endanger their throne. Satan knows this and he is trying hard to steal our young, our babies, and our future.

I hope everyone who reads this will see the value of the young. The Church, every family, needs to begin with their young, train them, bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, spend time with them, encourage them in the Lord. They will soon be our leaders, our masters, our Pastors, our teachers, our Church. In the last 30 years I have seen the babies grow up and become the singers, the youth leaders, now they have babies of their own growing up in the Church.

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

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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15.                        God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                    October 15, 2014                   

Good Morning!
I wish I had a complete history of every hour, of every day of the life of Jesus Christ as he was growing up, but today we run into a period that is shut up to us.

A PERIOD OF SILENCE:
Matthew 2:23.” And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.”
Matthew 3:1. “In those days came John the Baptist preaching in the wilderness of Judaea.”

In reading these verses one after the other you might suppose that the two events followed one another within a very brief period of time, when in fact there are thirty years elapsed  between the last verse in the 2nd and the 3rd chapter of Matthew. The heart is sad at that thought; we do not want such wide gaps, we want Matthew to take us down to Nazareth and give us a daily glimpse into that obscure wondrous home. We long to overhear some of the conversations that went on. Yet we stand here at the beginning of the 3rd chapter with but one brief glimpse given by Luke.

A Period Of Silence: There are many such periods of silence in the Bible some lasting for hundreds of years, no voice from God, no prophet thundering out warnings, no angels singing, just silence. We do know that there were four more boys born, and at least two girls, in the family (Mark 6:3), so Jesus had plenty of playmates. Joseph, who was chosen by God to be Jesus’ guardian, would have trained him how to work in the carpenter shop. All of this time, 30 years, Jesus looked and acted like an ordinary man, going to the synagogue on the Sabbath, and taking His turn to read the scriptures there (Luke 4:16).

As the years rolled on, and there was no outward show of divinity about Him, one could wonder if Mary had any doubts of the things she had been told by the angel concerning His greatness. Her first show of faith in this was at a wedding shortly after His baptism (John 2:3-5). No doubt Jesus informed His mother when it was time to be about His Father’s business, then taking one last look around the carpenter shop to make sure everything was in order, He picked up His staff and made his way down to the Jordan River where John the Baptist was baptizing. What an enormous time this was in the history of the world. The world had waited thousands of years for this moment. Now Christ the Lord was coming on the scene,

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Matthew   14   Mark   6    Luke 9:1-17

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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16.                       God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                   October 16, 2014                   

Good Morning!
Yesterday we wrote about the gaps, or periods of silence, in the Scriptures, but as God looks at history there are no periods when the movement is not continuous, with a perpetual movement and purpose of divine will, 46 times called “The process of time” in the scriptures KJV.

THE VOICE:
Matthew 3:1. “In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, 2. And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
John 1:23. “He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.”

Who is John the Baptist? What role did he play in the divine plan of God? His answer to the first question, when asked who he was, “I am the voice crying in the wilderness.” The answer to the second question is, he was a man sent from God to introduce the Savior of the world, “Behold the Lamb of God.” His message in essence was, “The King is coming, prepare to meet Him.” In an earlier devotion (October 2) we wrote of the deplorable conditions of the times when Jesus was born, and as one of us would clean house and straighten up everything if grand visitors were coming to see us, John came to ‘clean up the house’ because the King was coming.

John Came Preaching: Preaching in the New Testament is a term which means ‘heralding,’ going up and down crying, shouting, with a ringing voice, “Prepare.”
He is the ‘preacher’ who “Blows the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand;” (Joel 2:1). Many do not like shouting, many object to exclamation, but the true preacher speaks with a very certain voice; “Prepare, Look Out, Attention.” After this comes the teacher, the pastor, the expositor, the man whose business is to stand in one place and unfold the riches of divine wisdom.

How much the world needs preachers shouting, “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” What is the meaning of the word ‘Repent’ as John used it? Repent means, Change your purpose, alter your mind, turn around, do an about face, you are on the wrong road, return. When a man repents of his sins, he knows the bitterness of inward sorrow, his eyes weep; his soul is afflicted with grievous distress on account of sin. Then the repentance expresses itself in an outward change of standing, attitude, and relationship, all coming up out of an inward conviction wrought through infinite pain and sorrow. There are no words to express it. Everyone Must Experience Repentance To Be Saved.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
John   6     Matthew    15     Mark   7

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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17.                        God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                     October 17, 2014                   

Good Morning!
John’s Baptism was the sensation of the day. Everyone seemed to have interest in it.

BAPTISM & CONFESSION OF SINS:
Matthew 3:5. “Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan, 6. And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins. 7. But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8. Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: 9. And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.”

All the valley of the Jordan was moved, people poured in from every place, great and small, in order that they might hear this new prophet, for a prophet had not appeared to Israel for five hundred years. They “went out confessing their sins.” Not in a minute and detailed manner to John, but acknowledging that they were not as good as they ought to be, pleading guilty to a general indictment. John’s baptism did not remit or cleanse them from sins, it only brought them to the point of repentance, forgiveness and remission of sins was to be brought by the death of Jesus Christ and the shedding of His blood. “Without the shedding of blood there is not remission of sins” (Hebrews 9:22).

John’s message changed when he saw the Pharisees and Sadducees come to where he was baptism. He called them a generation of vipers (poisonous snakes), and charged them to bring forth fruits, or evidence, of repentance. Now these were the high religious men of the day. “Don’t tell me that you are of Abraham’s seed, for God is able to raise up children of Abraham from these stones.” John was a man who recognized the possibility of people coming to religious ordinances from the wrong motive. These men did not come for purely religious purposes and John knew that.

This seems to be so prevalent in our own day. Religion has captured the imagination of thousands, yea millions, and many have taken advantage of this and used religion as means to amass great fortunes. Religious television broadcasts has created vast audiences by offering an easy path to salvation. They are thereby able to raise vast amounts of money to build their own castles and hierarchy. We could say that many of these are the Pharisees and Sadducees of our day. They do not go to church to get benefit but to give it. The way to the cross is, “Just as I am—without one plea. But that thy blood was shed for me. And that thou bidest me come, O Lamb of God, I come.”

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Matthew   16      Mark   8     Luke   9:18-27

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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 18.  19.                God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                October 18 & 19, 2014                    

Good Morning!
After thirty years of silence in His life, Jesus comes to the Jordan where John is baptizing, and asked to be baptized by John.

JOHN BAPTIZES JESUS:
Matthew 3:13. “Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. 14. But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? 15. And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.”

We can be sure that Mary realized that it was the son of her cousin Elizabeth that was shaking the country to the South of Nazareth, and soon her own Son, who had so devoted himself to all the household duties, suddenly threw off all his duties and left to where John was. All the old memories of angel visits and wise men coming were suddenly revised, and she realized He would never return, and she could scarcely let Him go without following along with Him.

Whether John and Jesus had ever met before, even though they were cousins, we do not know. But we can be sure that they knew about each other and their missions through their mothers who would have told them the story in minute details many times. Whether they had a few minutes time of greeting at the Jordan we are not told. Then Jesus told John the reason He came to the Jordan that day was to be baptized by John. John realizing how much more superior Jesus was than himself, he promptly declined by saying, “I have need to be baptized of thee.”

The one point upon which we, along with John, can agree, that the baptism of Jesus could not have been a baptism unto repentance. “He did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth( (1 Peter 2:22). He was “without spot or wrinkle, blameless” (Hebrews 9:14). Then why did Jesus need to be baptized? Jesus told John it must be done to “fulfill all righteousness.” Here in subjecting Himself to the baptism of John, we have the first instance of Christ acting in His public official character as the Messiah. The baptism of Jesus was in itself only a consecration to, and preparatory initiation for the New Covenant of the Kingdom. The baptism of Jesus was His last act of His private life, henceforth He was engaged in His father’s business.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Matthew   17       Mark   9   Luke   9:28--62
Matthew   18    John   7  8

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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20.                        God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                    October 20, 2014                   

Good Morning!
Today we read where the Spirit of God came to take up resident in His prepared temple.

THE HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD DESCENDED UPON JESUS:
Malachi 3:1. “Behold, I will send my messenger (John), and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.”
Matthew 3:16. “And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: 17. And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

Thirty years before this day God had begun to prepare a body for himself to take up His abode in, “a body hast thou prepared me’ (Hebrews 10:5), and immediately after Jesus’ baptism, God did take up His abode in it. Jesus was baptized, “and while He prayed, the heaven was opened. And the Holy Spirit descended like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, ‘You are My beloved Son, in you I am well pleased’” (Luke 3:21-22). The baptism of Jesus was His last act of His private life, and emerging from the waters of baptism, He was immediately commissioned to His official God sent business.

The Spirit of God came in a visible form like a dove, “and it abode upon him” (John 1:32). The same Holy Spirit later came in a visible form as flames of fire and sat upon each one at Pentecost, and they also were filled with the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:3-4). We should also note that it was after Jesus was baptized and coming up out of the water that the Holy Ghost came making this two separate events. Some preachers have made this a single event. Other words they say you get the Holy Spirit when you are baptized, but in every case in the Bible they are always two separate experiences  (Acts 2:38; Acts 8; 14-17; Acts 10:44-48; Acts 19:1-8).

Later Jesus read a scripture from Isaiah 61:1 “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;” He finished this by saying, “This day this scripture is fulfilled in your ears” (Luke 4:21)

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
John   9:1   thru   10:21     

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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 21.                       God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                    October 21, 2014                   

Good Morning!
You do not see any event in its proper attitude, or relationship, until you take into consideration the circumstances leading up to it.

THEN:
Matthew 4:1. “Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.”

This word ‘then’ indicates a point in time. It is a transition from one scene, event, or occasion, etc. to another. This word ‘then’ occurs after something has taken place and leads us into another event. Let us first look back upon the event that had taken place. Jesus had just been baptized by John the Baptist, “and when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17-17). The next event that follows, “THEN was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil” (Matthew 4:1).

Isn’t that just like life, baptized then tempted, approved of God and handed over to the devil, standing on the river bank with great heavenly signs and blessings on our heads and then driven (Mark 1:12) as with whips and scourges into the wilderness to fight life’s determining battle. Do not question the validity of your baptism because it was succeeded by a fierce temptation. Do not say you must have been mistaken when you thought the heavenly dove descended and rested upon you, ‘then’ great storms of life come upon you. You are a son of God (Romans 8:14), standing on the bank of the river, and you are just as much a son of God when tormented and vexed by all the forces of hell in the wilderness.

Son-ship does not depend upon moods and feelings. You are a child of God what-ever may be your momentary relationship, whether in a heavenly state, or in the hellish state of the wilderness. Be sure of your adoption into the family of God (Romans 8:15), then leave yourselves to be operated on by all the discipline God appoints for you. Jesus Christ was a Son when the dove lighted upon Him, and He was a Son when the devil set his whole force of ingenuity, and subtlety against Him. Cheer up, then, despondent soul, for God can make the wilderness bloom as a rose.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Luke   10   11     John 10: 22--42

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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22.                        God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                    October 22, 2014                   

Good Morning!
“Then was Jesus led up,” “driven.” We speak sometimes of temptation as if it were an accident of life; we forget the words “led up,” and “driven.”

DRIVEN INTO THE WILDERNESS:
Matthew 4:1. “Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.”
Mark 1:12. “And immediately the Spirit driveth him into the wilderness.
13. And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him.”
Luke 4:1. “And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, 2 Being forty days tempted of the devil.”

These words indicate that temptation is a part of a plan, it a step in the sequence, or succession, to a better life. Sometime we delude ourselves into thinking that if we step softly we can get past the serpent’s habitat without the serpent hearing, that we can elide him, and then taunt him when you are miles past. Take no such thoughts. Life itself is temptation. To be is to be nearly lost. Peter said, “And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?” (1 Peter 4:18). Understand that you have to be tempted. The wilderness is not an area lying a thousand miles from your course, into which you may go if you are so inclined for a test.

You have started out walking with God, and your eye is fixed on heaven, and right across, from beginning to end, lies the wilderness, and you cannot escape it. But, do not think of the wilderness that you must go through, as if were a part of God’s universe over which He had no control. The Lord sits upon the circle of the earth and upon the height of the heaven, and the devil is His slave, and chained with iron with bits in his mouth and beyond his chain he cannot go.

I must be assaulted, tried, tempted, vexed, thrown down, and battered, and stomped on, and if not I must be already captured by the devil. James says, “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience” (James 1:2-3). Not ‘if’ you fall into temptations, but ‘when’ you fall. It is a forgone conclusion that every child of God will have temptations and trials. I know that the television airways are full of preachers that offer a path clear of all trials if you will only support them with a great part of your income, and they say that “if you are having these trials you are not a child of God.

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

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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23.                        God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                    October 23, 2014                   

Good Morning!
The children of Israel spent most all of their journey from Egypt to the land of Canaan in one wilderness after the other. It was inevitable because that whole part of the world was wilderness. But one thing sure God was with them always.

THAT GREAT AND TERRIBLE WILDERNESS:
Deuteronomy 8:15. “Who (God) led thee through that great and terrible wilderness, wherein were fiery serpents, and scorpions, and drought, where there was no water; who brought thee forth water out of the rock offlint;”
Matthew 4:1. “Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.

The 14th chapter of Exodus tells of the deliverance of the children of Israel out of Egypt through the Red Sea and of the annihilation of the Pharaoh’s army. In the 15th chapter we read of Moses’ song of deliverance, “And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances. And Miriam answered them, Sing ye to the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea” (Exodus 15:20-21). What a glorious time of rejoicing they had, delivered from slavery, free from the army of Egypt, a time of great jubilation, nothing can stop us.

Into the wilderness: Let us read the next verse. “So Moses brought Israel from the Red sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness, and found no water” (Exodus 15:22). Gloriously delivered from slavery, then plunged into the wilderness of Shur, shouting and dancing on the bank of the Red Sea, then no water for them to drink. Does this sound familiar? Our own walk with God sometimes, even after great blessings, plunges us into a wilderness where we are tempted and tried for no blame of our own. These verses tell of the different wilderness they went through, Exodus 15:22, Exodus 16:1, Exodus 17:1, Exodus 19:1.

Here is a partial list of the wilderness we will pass through on the way to the promised land. The wilderness of pain, of disappointment, of sorrow, of depression, of trouble, of sickness, and the list goes on and on. But remember as God was with the Children of Israel in the cloud, and the pillow of fire, He will always be with us.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Luke   14  15

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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24.                        God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                   October 24, 2014                    

Good Morning!
Why there should have been a devil, I cannot tell. These mysteries are not to be solved here and now, I accept them because they conform with my inner most consciousness, and with experiences know in my own heart.

THE DEVIL WILL MEET YOU IN THE WILDERNESS:
Matthew 4:1. “Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.”

The scripture does not say that Jesus was led into the wilderness by the devil. But it does say that the devil met Him there. So we might say that the devil inhabits the wilderness, and when we stumble into our wilderness the devil will also meet us there. The devil was a very real presence to our Lord while He was in the wilderness. He also will come and sit down beside us while we go through our wilderness of pain, of sorrow, of depression, of trouble, of disappointment, and etc. We do not know if the devil appeared personified to our Lord or not, but one thing is clear his presence was very real, and out Lord recognized him.

Only three of the temptations are recorded for us, but the scripture indicate that they lasted throughout the entire 40 day period. Mark 1:13. “And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him.” I like the last phrase, “and the angels ministered unto him.” It was a terrible ordeal; 40 days fasting would have weakened his physical body almost to the point of deliria, and mental breakdown. That’s when He needed angelic help for his physical body. It lets me know that in my lowest physical or mental condition, I can also depend on help from above. I know from personal experience that angelic help has come on several occasions in my life. I didn’t see them but I am persuaded they were present.

Sometime the devil slips into our service in the midst of the Holy atmosphere (Job 1:6). And if he is here, he came with someone, he don’t live here. Someone lives in the heart and lives of us all. Satan pays no board, he’s a freeloader, a thief, and a liar. Jesus finally ordered the devil to leave Him alone, “Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan:” (Matthew 4:10). “And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan:” (Luke 4:8) “And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season.” (Luke 4:13) This is the first of many times Jesus ordered Satan to get away from Him. I feel we need to do the same thing when he shows up in our life. Satan will leave but only for the time being.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Luke   16  thru 17:10

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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 25.  26.                God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                October 25 & 26, 2014                   

Good Morning!
When Jesus heard that John was cast into prison He came to the forefront.

THE HEROISM OF JESUS CHRIST:
Matthew 4:11. “Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him. 12. Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into Galilee;”

We must not imagine that the events in the eleventh and twelfth verse followed one another in immediate succession. Jesus had been actively carrying out several months ministry in Judea (John 2:13-4:3) when He heard that John was cast into prison. John was put in prison by Herod for preaching against his sinful lifestyle. Then John’s work ceased. Shut up the preacher in prison and you will stop the Church, would seem be the short and easy method of Satan. In this devotion I want us to look at the heroism of Jesus which became the example of thousands of His followers. After John was cast into prison Jesus began His ministry in earnest (Matthew 4:23-25).

It might have been a good time for Him to disappear back into the wilderness for safety. For the next three years Jesus visited and preached in almost every town and city in that part of the world. This is how the Christian kingdom has advanced from the very first until now, the front rank and file fallen, but the next rank steps up and takes their place. That has been done and is being done, and none can hinder the progress of this divine kingdom. Progress, that is with a heroism that is not of human inspiration, but of divine strength. Where there is danger there is always something within that provokes courage.

None of theses things move (deter) me.” Dare we preach this text, “And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me. But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:22-24)? Dare we preach from the hero’s words? It still takes a hero to preach the Gospel Of Jesus Christ. Paul was imprisoned and from those prisons his hand wrote letters and epistles which have touched, encouraged and saved more people than he could have reached in twenty lifetimes otherwise.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
John   11   Luke   17 :11   thru   Luke   18:14
Matthew   19      Mark   10

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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27.                        God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                    October 27, 2014 

Good Morning!                  
“Follow Me, and I will make you.” As if He had said, “Rely on Me for the power, puzzle not yourselves with vain inquires as to how this following is to be sustained and completed, He who gives the call gives the power.”

JESUS CALLING MEN INTO HIS SERVICE:
Matthew 4:18. “And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. 19. And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. 20. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him. 21. And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them. 22. And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.

We must not think that this event took place immediately after Jesus’ temptation. A considerable time passed between the temptation and His walk by the sea. We are not to think that these men never saw Jesus Christ until the day He came by where they were working. According to the Gospel of John chapter one, Jesus, immediately after the temptation, returned to where John was baptizing and John introduced Him as the “Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world.” It also tells us that John and Andrew and Peter and Phillip and Nathaniel spent some time with Jesus and even went to the marriage where Jesus turned the water to wine (John 2). Then they retuned to their homes and resumed their normal life.

There was a wonder in their hearts about Him. They knew His person, they knew His voice, they knew somewhat of His claim, they had witnessed His power. They were already in a sense followers of Jesus just like many are today, yet are not wholly in the circle wholly and firmly. This call was to a more definite call to service. It was not a call for repentance, or religious devotion in the sense of mere affirmation. This was a call to service. “Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men.” Many of us have heard the call, but how to carry it out is our concern. I may not be equal to the task. But Jesus says, “I will make you.”

We do not start upon this warfare or race of our own strength. We have come at the bidding of God, to do God’s work and to do it with God’s strength. So many of you are standing back because you think you have to do everything in your own power, but remember the last phrase in this call, “I will make you.”

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Matthew   20  21

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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28.                        God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                    October 28, 2014                   

Good Morning!
In our scripture today Jesus calls four men who were middle aged and who had security of jobs and homes, good standing in the community, to leave all of this and follow Him into a life of hardship and unknown experiences which later was to bring suffering and death into this little fishing partnership.

LEAVING ALL TO FOLLOW JESUS:
Luke 5:8. “When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord. 9. For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken: 10. And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men. 11. And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him.”

“They forsook all, and followed Him.” I never knew God to address any call to any human soul that did not involve loss. To understand our natural desire to know whether a call is heavenly or earthly, God has always associated with His calls with sacrifice. When Moses was called, he counted it greater honor to follow God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season, and to be enriched with all the treasures of Egypt. God called Abraham to leave his father’s house and go unto a strange land. Few have sacrificed more than the Apostle Paul to become “obedient to the heavenly vision.”

Simon Peter and Andrew his brother, and James and his brother John, left their nets and followed Jesus. Have we ever left anything for the Savior? I look at my life, I have left nothing. He has given me far more than I have ever given Him, the whole benefit is on my side. There are those of us who think we have given up a great deal for the gospel. I am not of that number; I have given up little for the gospel, yet have received riches untold. There have been men and women who have not counted their live dear unto them that they might follow Christ. Yet it would be my distress not to follow Him.

There would be no poorer wretch on earth than me, if He should ever dismiss me from His service. I have never been bruised for Him; I have never been chastised for Him. I have had bushels of love given to me because I endeavored to preach Him, and all kinds of comfortableness and honor bestowed on me. Let none of us set up ourselves as sacrificing anything for Him, we have never done it. The sacrifice is always on His part. “Follow Me, And I will make you, follow Me into service.”

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Luke   18:15   thru   Luke 19:48

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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29.                        God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                     October 29, 2014                   

Good Morning!
In these verses we have a picture of the real state of humanity as Jesus found it. He knows your distresses and disadvantages, and He will not overlook these when He audits the account of your life.

JESUS CAME INTO A WORLD FULL OF SUFFERING AND MISERY:
Matthew 4:23. “And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people. 24. And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatick, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them.”

What A World He Came Into: And He knew it before He entered it. If the world had not been damned He need not have come. We are not attracted by these. Tell me where the lepers are, where various diseases and torments dwell, and where those live who are demon possessed, and those who are epileptic and those who are paralyzed, and I will run away. But what are terrors to me were attractions to the infinite Heart.

This is real conditions of the world in every age—it is a world full of sickness, and disease, and torment, a world in which men live who are possessed with demons, who are struck with seizers, and incurable paralysis. This is the world we shy away from. The world is a sick world, a dying world, a mad world. Don’t send dainty men, with kid gloves on, send men with red-blood corpuscles, and grit in their craw, men who labor with coat off, with both hands laboring earnestly for the deliverance, and healing of the soul.

If you do not win the world with blood you will never win it. There are those who object to the expression, ‘the blood of Christ.’ We have now refined that very much into ‘the love of Christ,’ the ‘example of Christ,’ or the ‘influence of Christ.’ Imagine a man coming into a world as described and doing anything about it. Read the last phrase, “He healed them all.” Sin is the greatest disease in the world. And “the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7). “There is a fountain opened in the House of David for sin and uncleanness.” It is our duty as Christians to help alleviate this dread disease called sin.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Mark   11     John    12

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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30.                        God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                    October 30, 2014                   

Good Morning!
We have been with Jesus at the river, and from the river to the wilderness, from the wilderness we find Him walking by the sea, today we climb the mountain with Him, and from the mountain, then we accompany Him as He passes through many towns and villages, always on the move, always making His way towards Calvary.

JESUS BEGINS HIS TEACHING MINISTRY:
Matthew 3:25. “And there followed him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judaea, and from beyond Jordan.”
Matthew 5:1. “And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: 2. And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,”

Today Jesus climbs a mountain and it becomes His pulpit. How many of the multitude followed Him, we are not told, only that His disciples gathered close around Him. And we must remember that He had not yet chosen the twelve so no doubt the group was large. “He sits” and the mountain becomes a fitting pulpit, a mountain He had made with His own hands. Let us close our eyes and let our mind form a picture of the scene. Jesus sitting and His disciples close in around Him, as they would do on many occasions in the coming months.

He opened His mouth.” The ages had been waiting for the opening of those lips. When great men open their mouths to speak, many are making history. Their words appear on the nightly news, and on the world’s newspapers. But tomorrow their words fade and the world waits to hear someone else. Tell me what the headlines were last month, last week, or even yesterday. When Jesus opened His mouth His words He uttered words which would fill all creation, which would be a gospel set in every language ever spoken by mankind.

There are tongues which you cannot teach Milton or Shakespeare, and to many their words will always remain a mystery. But the words of Jesus Christ go everywhere, and fill all languages with infinite ease. He speaks of light, of love, of life, of truth, of peace, of God, and of home. Tell me a people who ever inhabited this planet who does not know of these things. There cannot be a language without these words having some distinct share in it. Jesus sits down upon every mountain in every land, and breaths through every language, His most ineffable gospel. He speaks when the wind blows, He speaks when the birds sing, He speaks in the quietness of our innermost heart. Listen to His voice sometime today.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Matthew   22     Mark   12

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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31.                        God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                    October 31, 2014                   

Good Morning!
We have come to a new word in the New Testament, “He taught them.”

HE TAUGHT THEM:
Matthew 5:2. “And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,” 
Matthew 7:29. “For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.”

Jesus had been going about all the land preaching, performing miracles, healing the sick, and gathering disciples around Him, which was very effective in arousing the people and turning their attention toward Him, but without His teaching ministry, Christianity would never have developed beyond the Jewish Law of the Old Testament, and most likely we would have never heard of it. Jesus came to bring a new law, a new commandment, a new way of dealing with our fellow man, and an entirely new way of looking at, and living our life.

When we listened to Jesus before, He was preaching, now He is teaching. The preacher was a herald, a crying voice; “Repent,” He said. The air was startled by the cry. Now He sits down and teaches, explains, simplifies, and draws the listeners into confidence and sympathy with Himself, and reveals divine truth to them. In His teaching ministry Jesus changed human history. In this sermon several times Jesus said, “You have heard of old times, but, I say unto you.” What did He say? The very first thing He said was, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

What was it He said when we first heard Him, “Repent.” And now He says “Blessed.” Then throughout this sermon He gives us His idea of a ‘blessed’ life. In the beatitudes we have a complete representation of the religion which Jesus Christ came to establish. Let us ask Jesus who is in heave? He says, “The poor in spirit, they that mourn, the meek, they that do hunger and thirst after righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers.” Then perhaps we might be there. Not many mighty, not many noble, not many learned, not many brilliant are called. In Jesus’ conception of the blessed life I find goodness and rewards always go together.

“Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye when men shall revile you and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad for great is your reward in heaven, for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” The law said “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.” The law said they hit you hit them back, But I say turn the other cheek.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Matthew   23       Luke   20  21

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

 

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