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July, 2015

Daily Devotions, July 2015

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1.                          God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

 Today’s First Thoughts                                         July 1, 2015

 Good Morning!
Jeremiah lived in a time of apostasy. His society had abandoned the Lord and deeply resented Jeremiah for confronting their sins and affirming God’s standards.

JEREMIAH FAITHFULLY PROCLAIMED GOD’S WORD:
Jeremiah 1:4. Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 5. Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

Jeremiah’s contemporaries not only rejected Jeremiah’s message; they ridiculed and hated the man. Despite the hostility of those around Jeremiah, He faithfully proclaimed God’s Word and warned of judgment for forty years. Without human companionship for most of this time, Jeremiah was forced to turn to the Lord. Jeremiah poured out his heart to God, expressing his anger, his sorrows, and his anguish. God encouraged Jeremiah, but did not let the prophet draw back from his painful ministry.

In the end, Jeremiah’s predictions of doom and destruction all came true. The prophet was vindicated, but never appreciated. Only after his death was Jeremiah given the respect and appreciation he always deserved. How striking that when the crowds of Jesus’ day were asked who they thought Christ might be, their first response was that He was possibly Jeremiah or one of the other great prophets (Matt. 16:14)!

What, then, do we learn from Jeremiah’s example? Jeremiah reminds us that we too may be called to face opposition. If we are, we need to be as faithful in our ministry as Jeremiah was in his. Jeremiah challenges us to speak out against the evils in our day. We are likely to be labeled “intolerant” and our words may evoke hostile responses. But we are to be true to God whatever pressure others may bring to bear. Jeremiah prods us to share our inner life with the Lord. God understands and cares, even when no one else seems willing to listen. God will not only listen, but He will encourage and support us in our labors. Jeremiah encourages us to look beyond the present time to envision a future in which God’s will is done. However dark the present may be, the future that God will bring is bright indeed.

Read-Thru-The-Bible,
Click on the links below to read today’s Bible verses online
2 Chronicles   1  2        Psalm  56  57  58                                 

 James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net 

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 2.                        God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                       July 2, 2015

Good Morning!
Solomon succeeded his father David as Israel’s king. He immediately set out to fulfill his father’s dream of constructing a temple for the Lord.

SOLOMON ASKED FOR AN UNDERSTANDING HEART:
1 Kings 3:5. In Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said Ask what I shall give thee. 9. Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people? 

Solomon was granted several revelation experiences. Unfortunately, Solomon did not remain committed to the Lord throughout his life.  Solomon asked for wisdom (1 Kings 3). At the beginning of his reign, the biblical writers said Solomon “loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of his father David” (3:3). Just after Solomon had expressed his love by offering a thousand sacrifices, God spoke to Solomon in a dream, inviting Solomon to make a request. Solomon expressed his sense of inadequacy, and asked only for “an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil”
(1 Kings 3:9). This request pleased God, and the Lord granted him not only wisdom but peace, wealth, and long life as well.

Solomon dedicated the temple (1 Kings 8; 2 Chron. 6). One of Solomon’s first priorities was to construct the temple his father David had dreamed of building to honor the Lord. Solomon’s prayer of dedication, recorded in these chapters, further reveals Solomon’s heart for the Lord and his understanding of spiritual realities. Solomon concluded the dedication service by challenging his people: “Let your heart therefore be loyal to the Lord our God, to walk in His statutes and keep His commandments, as at this day” (1 Kings 8:61).

God’s second appearance to Solomon (1 Kings 9). After the dedication of the temple, the Lord appeared to Solomon again, promising to bless the king if he continued to walk before Him and live a godly life. In Solomon’s later years, the foreign women he married “turned his heart after other gods; and his heart was not loyal to the Lord his God” (1 Kings 11:4). The Book of Ecclesiastes reveals the misery Solomon felt as he drifted further and further from God. Solomon concluded that all was meaningless—including his own accomplishments.

Read-Thru-The-Bible,
Click on the links below to read today’s Bible verses online      
2 Chronicles   3   4         2 Corinthians   8     

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net 

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 3.                          God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                                 July 3, 2015

Good Morning!
The greatest of Christian missionaries and evangelists was once its greatest persecutor.

SAUL THE PERSECUTOR:
Acts 9:1. And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, 2. And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.

The apostle Paul was a Jew from the city of Tarsus. As a young man, he came to Jerusalem to study under Gamaliel (Acts 22:3), perhaps the most notable of first-century sages. Paul, known then as Saul, was totally committed to the Law as interpreted and understood by the rabbis, and was a member of the sect of the Pharisees. When Stephen, the bold Christian evangelist, was stoned to death in Jerusalem by a mob, Saul stood watch over the cloaks of the killers; fully supporting their action
(Acts 7:58). Later, when official persecution developed, Saul took a leading role in rounding up Jesus’ followers. To this young persecutor, the followers of Christ were heretics, and their faith an affront to the God he served, an aberration that must be purged from Judaism.

Saul was on his way to Damascus with a commission from the high priest charging him to return Christian Jews to Jerusalem when his conversion took place (Acts 9:3—30). Saul, still blind, was led to a house in Damascus. The Lord sent Ananias, who prayed for Saul and restored his sight immediately, Saul became as bold and zealous in preaching Christ as he had been in persecuting Christians! Saul’s aggressive preaching soon aroused so much hostility that the believers in Damascus were able to save his life only by lowering him over the wall of the city in a basket. Apparently, angry Jews lay in wait at every exit to the city, eager to kill Saul.

Saul returned to Jerusalem, where at first the believers were fearful of approaching him. Even when the Christian community accepted Saul, he was a problem for them. Saul remained totally zealous and bold. He so outspokenly preached Christ that he further aroused hostility in Jerusalem too. Finally, Paul had stirred up such opposition that a delegation of Christians took Saul to Caesarea and put him on a boat for Tarsus. He was simply too contentious to keep around!

Read-Thru-The-Bible,
Click on the links below to read today’s Bible verses online
 2 Chronicles   5  6      2 Corinthians   9

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net  

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  4. 5.                          God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                                    July 4&5, 2015

Good Morning!
John Mark was a failure who came back.

JOHN MARK--MAKING GOOD IN THE MINISTRY:
Acts 13:13b. “…And John (Mark) departing from them returned to Jerusalem.”

It is not a question of “if we fail in the spiritual life, it’s a question of “when.” Since we know its coming, we need to be prepared not to be defeated by it. God specializes in retraining the repentant and taking them on to higher ground.

We are introduced to John Mark in Acts 12:12. We glean from this verse that Mark lived in a large home in Jerusalem and in possibly affluent conditions. This home was a gathering place for the early Church and John Mark would have met all the Apostles. He most likely, as a youth, saw and heard Jesus himself on his visits to Jerusalem. He possibly was the young man who fled at the arrest of Jesus (Mark 14:51-52).

John Mark’s greatest opportunity was when he was chosen to accompany his Uncle Barnabas and the Apostle Paul on their first missionary trip. Sometime during this missionary venture John Mark defected and returned to Jerusalem. John Mark’s defection bothered Paul to the extent he would not allow him to accompany them on the second missionary trip, in fact it caused a quarrel between Paul and Barnabas to the extent they broke off their longtime relationship. However, Uncle Barnabas took John Mark with him and that is most likely the saving of John Mark.

Can we look back in our life at a time when we “defected,” or were ready to “give up,” and someone “took us” And “encouraged us” not to give up?

John Mark won back the fellowship, and respect of the great Apostle Paul and joined him in some of his latter missionary trips. John Mark was with Paul when he wrote the letter to Philemon (verse 24). The great apostle left John Mark a great compliment, “He is profitable to me for the ministry” (1 Timothy 4: 11). We have no record of any sermon John Mark preached or any miracle that was attributed to his ministry, but John Mark left to the world the greatest story ever told, the record of the life and death of Jesus Christ. John Mark was a failure who came back.

Read-Thru-The-Bible,
Click on the links below to read today’s Bible verses online
2 Chronicles   7   8        2 Corinthians   10
2 Chronicles   9  10       2 Corinthians   11

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net 

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 6.                         God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                            July 6, 2015

Good Morning!
Paul enlisted Timothy as a companion on his second missionary journey.

TIMOTHY:
2 Timothy 1:2. To Timothy, my dearly beloved son: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. 5. When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.

Paul enlisted Timothy as a companion on his second missionary journey. Luke noted that Timothy was the son of a Jewish woman and a Greek father. According to Jewish custom that traces Jewishness through the mother rather than the father, this meant that Timothy was a Jew. Timothy became a believer at an early age, taught by his mother Eunice and grandmother Lois (2 Tim. 1:5). Timothy may have been in his early twenties when he began traveling with Paul, who would have been closer to fifty. Paul obviously valued Timothy, and referred to him as “my fellow worker” in Romans 16:21, and three times mentioned sending Timothy to churches as his representative (Phil. 2:9; 1 Thess. 3:2; 2 Thess. 1:7).

At the same time it is clear from the letters Paul wrote to Timothy that Timothy lacked the confidence and the powerful presence of the apostle. In urging Timothy to let “no one despise your youth” (1 Tim. 4:12), Paul seems to have had Timothy’s timidity in view, as well as the fact that in the first century wisdom and authority were associated with age. It must have been difficult for the relatively youthful Timothy to represent the apostle Paul and expect churches to respond to his authority.

In a real sense, anyone who is expected to step into the shoes of giants, as the second generation of Christian leaders surely was expected to face a daunting task. Yet Timothy, Titus, and others like them maintained the integrity of the Church, helped to preserve its deposit of truth, and continued the spread of the gospel throughout the world.

Read-Thru-The-Bible,
Click on the links below to read today’s Bible verses online
2 Chronicles   11  12        2 Corinthians   12     

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net 

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 7.                        God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                           July 7, 2015

Good Morning!
Nicodemus took a stand with the crucified Messiah: a stand he may have believed was too late—at least until after resurrection morning.

NICODEMUS:
John 3:1. There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:
2. The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. 3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

Relatively early in Jesus’ ministry, Nicodemus visited Christ privately and at night. 
Nicodemus began the meeting with a confession: “We know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him” This admission is striking, for the “we” indicates that the religious leaders privately recognized that Christ spoke with divine authority, although they publicly tried to undermine His mission!

Christ quickly shifted the focus of the conversation to the issue of rebirth: a person must be “born again” even to see the kingdom of God. The saying either puzzled Nicodemus, or he attempted to dismiss it. Christ rebuked him. As a ruler of Israel, he must be familiar with Jeremiah’s new covenant teaching and God’s promise to give His people a new heart and character. Jesus had come into the world as a gift of God’s love, “that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). John tells us nothing more of the interview or of Nicodemus’s reaction.

The Pharisees angrily responded, “Have any of the rulers or the Pharisees believed in Him?” They were certain that not one of their members would take Jesus’ part. (John 7:46). Nicodemus, identified in the text as “one of them,” timidly raised a legal question: “Does our law judge a man before it hears him and knows what he is doing?” (John 7:51). Nicodemus certainly did not confess that he had himself gone to hear Jesus to find out what he was doing! Nor did Nicodemus confess any belief in Christ. And, after the rebuke of his companions, Nicodemus remained silent.

After the crucifixion, Nicodemus provided expensive spices with which to anoint Jesus’ body. The hundred pounds of spices mentioned by John would have cost a fortune   (John 19:39). 

Read-Thru-The-Bible,
Click on the links below to read today’s Bible verses online
2 Chronicles   13  14   2 Corinthians   13   

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net 

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8.                        God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                                            July 8, 2015

Good Morning!
The Jews’ threat to denounce Pilate as no friend of Caesar was something Pilate felt he could not afford to risk.

PILATE
John 18:28. Then led they Jesus from Caiaphas unto the hall of judgment: and it was early; and they themselves went not into the judgment hall, lest they should be defiled; but that they might eat the passover. 29. Pilate then went out unto them, and said, What accusation bring ye against this man? 30. They answered and said unto him, If he were not a malefactor, we would not have delivered him up unto thee. 31. Then said Pilate unto them, Take ye him, and judge him according to your law. The Jews therefore said unto him, It is not lawful for us to put any man to death:

Pilate may well have known about Jesus before the high priest and his party brought Christ to him. Yet, the interview Pilate had with Jesus left him uncomfortable. John gives us details of Pilate’s talk with Christ, and Jesus’ statement that while He was, as accused, the “King of the Jews,” His kingdom was “not of this world” (John 18:36). Pilate finally announced that he found no fault in Christ, and attempted to have Jesus released. The Jews, however, shouted out so loudly that Pilate decided to have Christ examined by torture. After Christ was beaten and ridiculed, Pilate showed him to the crowd, which loudly demanded that Jesus be crucified. It was unthinkable that one who “made Himself the Son of God” should live (John 19:7).

This revelation frightened Pilate, and he held another private interview with Jesus. When Christ refused to defend himself, Pilate again expressed his intention to release Him. In the end, Pilate gave in and ordered the crucifixion. But first, Pilate publicly washed his hands and announced that all blame for the execution must fall on his accusers, thus declaring himself “innocent of the blood of this just Person” (Matt. 27:24). The crowd mobbing Pilate’s court shouted, “His blood be upon us and on our children.” (Matt. 27:25). Pilate did have one last statement to make. He ordered that the cross bear an inscription stating “THIS IS JESUS, THE KING OF THE JEWS” (Matt. 27:37).

Read-Thru-The-Bible,
Click on the links below to read today’s Bible verses online
2 Chronicles   15  16         Psalm   59  60   

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net 

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 9.                          God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                              July 9, 2015

Good Morning!
Barnabas always saw the good in people.

BARNABAS—SON OF CONSOLATION:
Acts 4:36-37. “And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus, Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles' feet.

This verse introduces us to Barnabas, who was a wealthy land owner of the tribe of Levi (Priesthood), who sold his property and gave the money to help the Church get started. The best description of Barnabas is given in Acts 11:24, “For he was a good man and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord.”

One of Barnabas’ first acts of kindness was when Paul, the feared persecutor of the Church had been converted on his way to Damascus, and upon returning to Jerusalem was still so feared by all the Apostles that they would not have anything to do with him. Barnabas was the first to acknowledge the genuineness of Paul’s conversion, and brought him into fellowship with the rest of the Apostles. (Acts 9:26-27)

Barnabas took his nephew, John Mark, with him to work in the mission field of Cypress, after he had deserted Paul and Barnabas on their first missionary trip. It is most likely through the consoling ministry of Barnabas, that John Mark regained his good standing in the ministry.

Sometimes we may think that because we have a role behind the scenes, we are not important. What great impact Barnabas had in the early Church leading many to Christ in Antioch, and most of all believing in and encouraging the man who was to become the great Apostle Paul, and last, but not least, consoling and encouraging the man who wrote the second Gospel. What a loss it would be if we did not have the Gospel of Mark.

Before attending services at your Church this week, ask God to give you a word of encouragement to someone.

Read-Thru-The-Bible,
Click on the links below to read today’s Bible verses online
2 Chronicles   17   18        Galatians   1  

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net 

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 10.                        God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                             July 10, 2015

Good Morning!
Today's devotion we will discuss the first martyr in the history of the church.

STEPHEN—THE MAN WHO DIED FOR HIS FAITH:
Acts 7:59. “And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. 60. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

We all wonder at some point what we would do if threatened with death for the sake of our religious convictions. An ordinary man (Stephen) with a sterling character shows us how to manifest grace and courage in the midst of life’s ultimate test. We meet Stephen when the need arose for men to help with the physical needs of the early church. They looked for seven men of good character, “of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom” (Acts 6:3) whom they could put in this service. That's when Stephen became a member of the first deacon board (Acts 6:5).

Not only did Stephen serve in this category, he became a mighty preacher of the gospel. “And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people. And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake” (Acts 6:8, 10). This brought him into conflict with the leaders of the synagogue, who brought false witnesses to testify against Stephen. But Stephen was a man of great courage and he would not compromise his convictions. The thing that sustained him when things were at their worst, he looked up and saw Jesus.

In the Church today we need to be full of the Holy Spirit as Stephen was. We have Stephen’s story in Scripture, not just for the sake of history, but that we might be filled with the same Spirit that filled him. Stephen, in God’s will, died before reaching the fullness of his human life. Stephen is one of the great heroes of the Christian Church. He was an ordinary man, faithful to God, and willing to distribute food to those in need. Ordinariness can lead to extraordinariness when we chose to live our lives full of the Spirit and courage. The last person Stephen talked to on earth was the first person he talked to when he got to heaven—the Lord Jesus, who was standing to welcome him home (Acts 7:56).

Read-Thru-The-Bible,
Click on the links below to read today’s Bible verses online
2 Chronicles   19   20          Galatians   2      

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net 

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11. 12.                       God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                                July 11 & 12, 2015

Good Morning!
We have been studying the people God uses, and today we look at how an ordinary man became an "Extraordinary Evangelist:"

PHILIP--THE EVANGELIST:
Acts 8:5. Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them. 6. And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles that he did.

Today we look at another of the early church’s seven deacons—Philip the deacon, who became Philip the evangelist. He was another faithful, yet ordinary, man in the Church in Jerusalem who responded to the opportunities before him and was greatly used by God. When Philip was chosen as a deacon, he probably had no idea that God intended to use him as an evangelist. We have to admire Philip because he was so fearless at something so many of us dread—personal evangelism. Personal evangelism is one of the most rewarding things we can become involved in.

We do not know how long Philip served as a deacon before he became an evangelist. But the events that led up to it are told us in Acts 8:1-5. Great persecution scattered the Church and that is when Philip went to Samaria. Philip began preaching and sharing his experience and great multitudes turned to the faith Philip preached. In other words, a great revival broke out with miracles taking place, and people getting baptized. This was the first revival that took place outside of Jerusalem.

Notice what Philip preached when he went to Samaria, he “preached Christ unto them.” That was the only message the early Church preached the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. “Jesus Christ and Him crucified” was the message (1 Corinthians 2:2) they preached. They had not read all the books and been to all the conferences. They only had an eyewitness story to tell of a Messiah who died and rose again. That should be the very core of our preaching, witnessing, and teachings.

Jesus said, "If I be lifted up from the earth I will draw all men unto me" (John 12:32). Jesus continues to draw people when we lift Him up. "Preach Christ."

Read-Thru-The-Bible,
Click on the links below to read today’s Bible verses online
2 Chronicles   23  24     Galatians   3
2 Chronicles   23  24     Galatians   4

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net 

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 13.                         God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                                 July 13, 2015

Good Morning!
Luke was by all indications a true intellectual as well as a dedicated physician and caring person.

LUKE THE BELOVED PHYSICIAN:
Colossians 4:14.  Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas, greet you. Philemon 1:24. Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas, greet you.

Paul speaks of Luke as the “beloved physician” (Col. 4:14) and as a “fellow laborer” (Philemon 1:24). From earliest times, Luke has been identified as the author of the third Gospel (Luke) and of Acts, in part because each book features medical language and refers often to illnesses, diagnoses, and to the details of sickness, cures, and marks of recovery.

In Acts 16, for the first time the author shifts from describing what “they” (Paul and his companions) did to what “we” (Paul, with Luke now among his companions) did (16:11). It becomes clear that Luke joined the missionary team at Troas, just before Paul crossed into Europe for the first time.

What we know of Luke as a person must be inferred from the books he wrote. First, Luke used the most educated and beautiful Greek of any Gospel writer. He was clearly given a classical education as well as medical training. While his name is Greek, he may well have been a Jew, as Jews often bore Greek as well as Jewish names. We also know from the emphases in Luke’s Gospel that Luke was especially concerned with the poor, the oppressed, and with women. His Gospel contains many stories depicting Jesus’ involvement with the poor. The themes developed in Luke’s writings show that he was an unusually sensitive and caring man as well as a careful historian.

Read-Thru-The-Bible,
Click on the links below to read today’s Bible verses online
2 Chronicles   25  26            Galatians   5

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net 

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 14.                          God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

 Today’s First Thoughts                                                        July 14, 2015

Good Morning!
Only after Jesus was condemned did Judas show any remorse. He threw the money the high priests paid him on the floor.

Matthew 26:15. JUDAS said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver. 16. And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him.

It was entirely in character for Judas later to approach the high priests and conspire to deliver Jesus to them for money. Each of the Gospels relates what happened, although John adds poignant detail. While the disciples shared their last meal with Jesus, He predicted one of them would betray Him. Each of the disciples voiced the question, “Is it I?” Yet when Jesus offered Judas a choice morsel from their serving dish, and told him to do what he intended to do quickly, the others did not realize the significance of Jesus’ act.

Jesus showed that He knew what Judas planned. Yet, in the offering of a choice morsel, a sign in that culture of special favor, Jesus was giving Judas a last opportunity to repent. If only Judas would repent he was not yet lost. But Judas would not change his mind and lose the thirty pieces of silver for which he had bargained, for Satan now had a firm grip on Judas’s heart and mind.

Later that night, Judas led a mob that included temple guards and soldiers to Gethsemane, a favorite spot of Jesus’, and Christ was taken away. Matthew added a vital piece of information. After Christ was sentenced to death, Judas, “seeing that He had been condemned, was remorseful and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying ‘I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.’ ” The chief priests scornfully sent Judas away. Judas left, and hanged himself (Matt. 27:1–50). In the act of hanging, the rope broke and Judas’s body fell, tearing open his belly (Acts 1:18).

Read-Thru-The-Bible,
Click on the links below to read today’s Bible verses online
2 Chronicles   27  28      Galatians   6

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net 

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  15.                         God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                                     July 15, 2015                                    

Good Morning!
In the next few days we will study about HEAVEN, where it is, its inhabitants, and how to get there. And the certainty of God’s promise of a life beyond the grave, and the rewards that are in store for faithful service as gleaned from Sacred Scripture.

HEAVEN: CITY OF EVERLASTING LIGHT:
Revelation 21:23 “And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.”

These devotions, upon a subject that is very dear to me, are prepared in the hope that they may give comfort and edification to many; that the weak may be strengthened, the sorrowing consoled, and the despondent encouraged to look with increasing faith to that fairest of cities in the Better Land, which is the home of the Redeemer and of the redeemed.

A great 19th century preacher said. “When I was a boy I thought of Heaven as a great shining city, with vast walls and domes and spires, and with nobody in it except white angels, who were strangers to me. By and by my little brother died, and I thought of a great city with walls and domes and spires, and a flock of cold, unknown angels, and one little fellow that I was acquainted with. He was the only one that I knew in that country. Then another brother died, and there were two that I knew. Then my acquaintances began to die, and the number continually grew.

But it was not until I had sent one of my little children back to GOD, that I began to think I had a little interest there myself. A second, a third, a fourth went, and by that time I had so many acquaintances in Heaven that I did not see any more walls and domes and spires. I began to think of the residents of the Celestial City. And now so many of my acquaintances have gone there, that it sometimes seems to me that I know more in Heaven than I do on earth.”

May the thought of loved ones gone before give additional joy to us as we follow in these thoughts about Heaven. We need not forget our dear loved ones; but we may cling forever to the enduring hope that there will be a time when we can meet unfettered, and be blest in that land of everlasting light, where the soul drinks from the living streams of love that roll by God’s high throne.

Read-Thru-The-Bible,
Click on the links below to read today’s Bible verses online
2 Chronicles   29  30           Psalm  61  62  63

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net 

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 16.                         God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                               July 16, 2015                                      

Good Morning!
In our inmost hearts there are none of us but have questionings of the future.

HEAVEN; IT’S HOPE:
Colossians 1:3. "We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ . . . 5. For the HOPE which is laid up for you in heaven.”

A great many people imagine that anything said about Heaven is only a matter of speculation. They talk about Heaven much as they would about the air. Now there would not have been so much in Scripture on this subject if GOD had wanted to leave the human race in darkness about it. “All Scripture,” we are told, “is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16, 17).

What the Bible says about Heaven is just as true as what it says about everything else. The Bible is inspired. What we are taught about Heaven could not have come to us in any other way than by inspiration. No one knew anything about it but GOD, and so if we want to find out anything about it we have to turn to His Word. The Bible shows itself more than a human book by what it says.

It seems perfectly reasonable that GOD should have given us a glimpse of the future, for we are constantly losing some of our friends by death, and the first thought that comes to us is, "Where have they gone?" When loved ones are taken away from us how that thought comes up before us. How we wonder if we will ever see them again, and where and when it will be. Then it is that we turn to this blessed Book, for there is no other book in all the world that can give us the slightest comfort; no other book that can tell us where the loved ones have gone.

Every time we breathe some one is dying. We all know that we are going to stay here but a very little while. Our life is but a vapor. It is only a shadow. It is perfectly reasonable that we should study this Book, to find out where we are going, and where our friends are who have gone on before. The longest time man has to live has no more proportion to eternity than a drop of dew has to the ocean.

Read-Thru-The-Bible,
Click on the links below to read today’s Bible verses online
2 Chronicles   31   32     Ephesians   1

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net 

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   17.                          God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

 Today’s First Thoughts                                                  July 17, 2015                                       

 Good Morning!
We are going to spend eternity in another world, a grand and glorious world where GOD reigns. Is it not natural, then, that we should look and listen and try to find out who is already there, and what is the route to take?

HEAVEN: WHERE IS IT?
John 17:1 “These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father,”

Jesus “lifted up His eyes to heaven.” This phrase is repeated several times in the Gospels as Jesus began His prayer. So heaven must be up, as He would know more about its location that anyone. In the 17th chapter of Genesis it says that GOD went up from Abraham; and in the third chapter of John, that the Son of Man came down from Heaven. So, in the 1st chapter of Acts we find that Jesus went up into Heaven (not down), and a cloud received him out of sight. Thus we see Heaven is up.

There are men who say that there is no heaven. They say there was nothing to justify us in believing in any other Heaven than that we know here on earth. If this is Heaven, it is a very strange one. This world that some think is Heaven is the home of sin, a hospital of sorrow, a place that has nothing in it to satisfy the soul.

The very arrangement of the firmament about the earth declares the seat of God’s glory to be above us. Job says: “Let not God regard it from above.” Again, in Deuteronomy, we find, “who shall go up for us to heaven?” Thus, all through Scripture we find that we are given the location of Heaven as upward and beyond the firmament. This firmament, with its many bright worlds scattered through, is so vast that Heaven must be an extensive realm. Yet this need not surprise us. It is not for short-sighted man to inquire why GOD made Heaven so extensive that its lights along the way can be seen from any part or side of this little world.

Some people are trying to find out just how far Heaven is away. There is one thing we know about it; that is, that it is not so far away but that GOD can hear us when we pray. I do not believe there has ever been a tear shed for sin since Adam's fall in Eden to the present time, but GOD has witnessed it. He is not too far from earth for us to go to Him; and if there is a sigh that comes from a burdened heart to-day, GOD will hear that sigh. If there is a cry coming up from a heart broken on account of sin, GOD will hear that cry. He is not so far away; Heaven is not so far away, as to be inaccessible to the smallest child.

Read-Thru-The-Bible,
Click on the links below to read today’s Bible verses online
2 Chronicles   33   34    Ephesians   2

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net 

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    18. 19.                     God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

  Today’s First Thoughts                                            July 18&19, 2015                                     

 Good Morning!
We are going to spend eternity in another world, a grand and glorious world where GOD reigns.

WE ARE GOING TO EMIGRATE:
Hebrews 11:8. “By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. 9. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: 10. For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.”

Abraham was called by God to emigrate to an unknown place and by faith he “sojourned.” This word means he did not take up any permanent residence but constantly moved from place to place. In Abraham’s mind he could see a city, a heavenly city, to which he ever journeyed towards. We too are “sojourners” in a land that is not our permanent home, and we should ever look towards that city.

I do not think that it is wrong for us to think and talk about Heaven. I like to locate Heaven, and find out all I can about it. I expect to live there through all eternity. If I were going to dwell in any place in this country, if I were going to make it my home, I would want to inquire about the place, about its climate, about the neighbors. I would have about everything, in fact, that I could learn concerning it. If any of you were going to emigrate, that would be the way you would feel. Well, we are all going to emigrate in a very little while to a country that is very far away. Is it not natural, then, that we should look and listen and try to find out who is already there, and what is the route to take?

Perhaps, if we would listen, we too might hear on this storm-tossed world of ours, some sound, some whisper, borne from afar to tell us there is a Heaven which is our home; and when we sing our hymns upon the shores of the earth, perhaps we may hear their sweet echoes breaking in music upon the sands of time, and cheering the hearts of those who are pilgrims and strangers along the way. Yes, we need to look up - out, beyond this low earth, and to build higher in our thoughts and actions, even here!

Read-Thru-The-Bible,
Click on the links below to read today’s Bible verses online
2 Chronicles   35  36          Ephesians   3
Ezra    1   2                         Ephesians    4

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net 

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  20.                        God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                                 July 20, 2015                          

Good Morning!
If there is anything that ought to make Heaven dear to Christians, it is knowing that GOD and all their loved ones will be there.

HEAVEN: ITS INHABITANTS:
Isaiah 33:24. “And the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick: the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity.”

The society of Heaven will be select. No one who studies Scripture can doubt that.

There are a good many kinds of aristocracy in this world, but the aristocracy of Heaven will be the aristocracy of holiness. The humblest believer on earth will be an aristocrat there. Scripture say that we shall “reign as kings and priests.” It says in the 57th chapter of Isaiah: “For thus saith the High and Lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit.” Now what could be plainer than that? No one who is not of a contrite and humble spirit will dwell with GOD in His high and holy place.

What is it that makes home so attractive? Is it because we have a beautiful home? Is it because we have beautiful lawns? Is it because we have beautiful trees around us? Is it because we have beautiful paintings upon the walls inside? Is it because we have beautiful furniture? Is that all that makes home so attractive and beautiful? Nay, it is the loved ones in it; it is the loved ones there.

We find clearly in the 18th chapter of Matthew, 10th verse that the angels are there: “Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, that in Heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in Heaven.” We shall have good company up there; not only those who have been redeemed, but those who have never been lost; those who have never known what it is to transgress; those who have never known what it is to be disobedient; who have obeyed Him from the very morning of creation.

John 17:24. “Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.” It says in John 12:26: "If any man serve Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there shall also My servant be."

Read-Thru-The-Bible, Click on the links below to read today’s Bible verses online
Ezra   3   4          Ephesians   5

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net 

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   21.                        God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                                  July 21, 2015                                               

Good Morning!
Scripture tells us very plainly that GOD has a dwelling-place. We believe this is just as much a place and just as much a city as is New York, London or Paris.

HEAVEN: IT’S CERTAINTY:
John 14:2. “In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

There are some people who depend so much upon their reason that they reason away GOD. They say GOD is not a person we can ever see. They say GOD is a Spirit. So He is, but He is a person too; and became a man and walked the earth once. There is no doubt whatever about God having a dwelling-place. A dwelling-place indicates personality. God’s dwelling-place is in Heaven. He has a dwelling-place, and we are going to be inmates of it. Therefore we shall see Him. In I Kings, 8:30, we read: “And hearken Thou to the supplication of Thy servant, and of Thy people Israel, when they shall pray toward this place; and hear Thou in Heaven Thy dwelling place; and when Thou hearest, forgive.” Heaven is God’s habitation, and when Jesus came to earth He taught us to pray: “Our Father, which art in Heaven.”

This habitation is spoken of as “the city of eternal life.” Think of a city without a cemetery - they have no dying there. If there could be such a city as that found on this earth what a rush there would be to it! How men would try to reach that city! A city without tears - God wipes away all the tears up yonder. This is a time of weeping, but by-and-by there will be a time when God shall call us where there will be no tears. A city without pain, a city without sorrow, without sickness, without death. There is no darkness there. "The Lamb is the light thereof." It needs no sun, it needs no moon. The paradise of Eden was as nothing compared with this one. The tempter came into Eden and triumphed, but in that city nothing that defileth shall ever enter. There will be no tempter there.

Think of a place where we shall be free from sin; where pollution cannot enter, and where the righteous shall reign forever. Think of a city that is not built with hands, where the buildings do not grow old with time; a city whose inhabitants are numbered by no census, except the Book of Life, which is the heavenly directory.

Read-Thru-The-Bible,
Click on the links below to read today’s Bible verses online
Ezra   5  6         Ephesians   6

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net 

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  22.                         God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                                July 22, 2015                           

Good Morning!
There is no man so poor in this world that he may not be a heavenly millionaire.

HEAVEN: ITS RICHES:
Matthew 6:20. “But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

In these verses Jesus is not advocating poverty but is addressing the way one regards, or uses, what he owns. Someone has said, “No man thinks himself rich until he has all he wants.” Very few people are satisfied with earthly riches. If they want any thing at all that they cannot get, that is a kind of poverty. Sometimes the richer the man the greater the poverty. Somebody has said that getting riches brings care; keeping them brings trouble; abusing them brings guilt; and losing them brings sorrow. It is a great mistake to make so much of riches as we do. But there are some riches that we cannot praise too much: that never pass away. They are the treasures laid up in Heaven for those who truly belong to GOD.

Ministers would not have to urge people to live for Heaven if their treasures were up there; they could not help it; their hearts would be there, and if their hearts were there their minds would be up there, and their lives would tend toward Heaven. They could not help living for Heaven if their treasures were there. It does not take long to tell where a man's treasure is.

In fifteen minutes' conversation with most men you can tell whether their treasures are on the earth or in Heaven. Talk to a farmer about the fields, and you will see his eye light up; you will find he has his heart there. Talk to some business men, and tell them where they can make a thousand dollars, and see their interest; their hearts are there. You talk to fashionable people who are living just for fashion, of its affairs, and you will see their eyes light up; they are interested at once; their hearts are there. Talk to a politician about politics, and you see how suddenly he becomes interested. But talk to a child of GOD, who is laying up treasures in Heaven, about Heaven and about his future home, and see what enthusiasm is kindled. “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

Read-Thru-The-Bible,
Click on the links below to read today’s Bible verses online
Ezra   7   8       Psalm   64   65

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net 

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   23.                      God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                                July 23, 2015                           

Good Morning!
Another want that we have is rest. We get tired of toiling. Yet there is no real rest on earth. That’s part of the curse that God placed upon man (Genesis 3:17-19).

HEAVEN: ALL ETERNITY FOR REST:
Hebrews 4:1. “Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. 9. There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. 10. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. 11. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.”

Now, while we all want rest, I think a great many people make a mistake when they think the church is a place of rest; and when they unite with the church they have a false idea about their position in it. There are a great many who come in to rest. The text tells us: “There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God,” but it does not tell us that the church is a place of rest; we have all eternity to rest in. We are to rest by and by; but we are to work here, and when our work is finished, the Lord will call us home to enjoy that rest.

There is no use in talking about rest down here in the enemy's country. We cannot rest in this world, where God’s Son has been crucified and cast out. I think that a great many people are going to lose their reward just because they have come into the church with the idea that they are to rest there, as if the church was working for the reward, instead of each one building over against his own house, each one using all their influence toward the building up of Christ’s kingdom.

Only the work we do for Christ and His Church will last into eternity.

In Revelation 14:13, we read, “And I heard a voice from Heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth; Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.”

Now, death may rob us of money. Death may rob us of position. Death may rob us of our friends; but there is one thing death can never do, and that is rob us of the work that we do for God. That will live on forever, “Their works do follow them.” Heaven its riches.

Read-Thru-The-Bible,
Click on the links below to read today’s Bible verses online
Ezra     9     10       Philippians   1  

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net 

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 24.                       God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                              July 24, 2015                       

Good Morning!
“Our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory”

HEAVEN: ITS REWARDS:
1 Corinthians 3:8 “…and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.” Revelation 22:12 “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.”

Whenever you find men or women who are looking to be rewarded here in this life for doing right, they are unqualified to work for GOD: because if they are looking for the applause of men, looking for reward in this life, it will disqualify them for the service of God. If you seek the applause of men, you can't have the Lord say “Well done” at the end of the journey. You can't have both. This world was not established in grace, and we have to fight “the world, the flesh, and the devil;” and if we fight the world, the world won't like us; and if we fight the flesh, the flesh won't like us. We have to mortify the flesh. We have to crucify the old man and put him under. Then, by and by, we will get our reward, and a glorious reward it will be.

Jesus says: “Rejoice and be exceeding glad, for great is your reward in Heaven.” If JESUS CHRIST spoke of it as “great” it must be indeed wonderful. We call things great that may look very small to JESUS CHRIST; and things that look very small to us may look very large to Him. When Jesus, the Creator of Heaven and earth, He who formed the heavens and the earth by His mighty power, when He calls it a great reward, what must it be? Perhaps some people said to the Apostle to the Gentiles: “Paul, you are meeting with too much opposition; you are suffering too much.” Hear him reply: “Our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.

“Our light affliction,” he calls it. We would have called it pretty hard, pretty heavy, would we not?" But he says: “These light afflictions are nothing; think of the glory before me, and think of the crowning time; think of the reward that is laid up for me. I am on my way; the Righteous Judge will give it to me when the time comes;" and that is what filled his soul with joy; it was the thought of reward that the Lord had in store for him.

Read-Thru-The-Bible,
Click on the links below to read today’s Bible verses online
Nehemiah   1  2     Philippians   2

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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 25. 26.                        God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

  Today’s First Thoughts                                            July 25, & 26, 2015            

 Good Morning!
“I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”

HEAVEN - THE HOME OF THE SAVED:
Revelation 7:9. “After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; 10. And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. 13. And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? 14. And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. 16. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. 17. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.

Now if we would ask you that question, some of you would say, “Why, that's the crowd that lived the best they could and treated everybody right, paid their honest debts and were good citizens and behaved themselves. That's the crowd that is going to Heaven. That is the way I'm going.” No, that isn't the answer John got. And if you would ask somebody else who that crowd is, they would say, “Why, that's the crowd that belonged to our church, because we are the only crowd that is going to Heaven. If you don't come this way, why, you'll never get there.” But that is not the answer John got. And somebody else would say, “Why, that's the crowd that was baptized a certain way and held out faithful to the end.” But that is not the answer John got. “Who are these?” “These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb”

Everyone of them was arrayed in a white robe, and every robe was washed in the Blood of JESUS. You cannot get in without the wedding garment, and it is washed in the Blood of JESUS. Settle that forever. If the Word of GOD is clear on anything, it is clear on that.

Read-Thru-The-Bible,
Click on the links below to read today’s Bible verses online
Nehemiah   3   4         Philippians   3
Nehemiah   5   6         Philippians   4

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net 

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 27.                         God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

 Today’s First Thoughts                                               July 27, 2015                                                             

Good Morning!
“And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.”

A NEW HEAVEN AND A NEW EARTH:
Revelation 21:1. “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.”

God is going to make a new Heaven some day. We read, also, in the fifth verse of this same twenty-first chapter of Revelation, that He is going to make all things new. Why is it necessary for God to make a new Heaven and a new earth? God is a holy God and God does not propose to live with sin. He cannot; and God has sworn by Himself that He is going to purge this universe of sin, and everything that sin has touched. When God gets through there will not be a mark, a stain, a blot of sin left; not a scar or a trace. Every pollution of sin will be thoroughly purged.

“What!” you say, “Has sin ever touched Heaven? Has sin polluted Heaven?” Yes!

God tells us in His Word that once there was war in Heaven; that Satan and his angels rebelled against God. Sin, in other words, has lifted its ugly head and made its slimy trail right up to the very throne of God; and God is going to make a new Heaven. When God starts in to purge sin out of His universe, every person that ever lived on this earth who holds on to his sin, and has not been washed of that sin in the Blood of Jesus Christ, will be purged out with it.

If sin is so loathsome to God that He would make a new Heaven because sin had touched Heaven, then dismiss from your mind the thought that anybody ever will live with God who has not been purged from his sins in the Blood of Jesus Christ. No, God is not only going to be rid of sin but He is also going to be rid of everything sin has ever touched. "Behold, I make all things new" says God. I have something in Heaven with GOD, “an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away.” Give me that, and you can have the world.

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” That is Heaven He is talking about - the home of God's redeemed, the place of many mansions which Jesus spoke about.

Read-Thru-The-Bible,
Click on the links below to read today’s Bible verses online
Nehemiah   7   8      Colossians   1

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net 

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28.                       God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                                       July 28 2015                                                   

Good Morning!
In Heaven there will be music, there will be singing; and I expect to join in that.

WHAT WILL WE DO IN HEAVEN?
Revelation 7:15 “Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple:”

The greatest joy that I have ever found on this earth is serving the Lord. I had never known real joy until I cut loose from everything and gave my life to the Lord to serve Him. You know, I feel sorry for Christian people who just dabble around the edge, live with one foot in the world and one foot in the church. They have never known what it is to really live. They have never known real joy. If you want to be happy; if you want real joy in your life, cut loose from the world and launch out into the deep with God, and be lost in the fullness of His wonderful love and fellowship. Isaiah tells us in 40:31, “They shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

One of the greatest joys to me about Heaven is that I will be able to serve Him to my heart's content. When the saints of God start singing, brother, the angels are going to take a back seat! John says, “And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters,” There will not be a discord. (Musicians tell us that the only perfect musical note ever made is the sound of running water) and as the voice of mighty thunderings” Revelation 19:6. That mighty crescendo of praise rises and swells until the whole heavens resound with that chorus of the people of God singing. And what are they singing? “Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood” Revelation 1:5. Somehow I think David is going to be the choir director. I do! Because he is the greatest singer God ever had on this earth, and the greatest choir director that God ever had. I am going to sit down and watch him. I’ll just want to jump up and say, “Glory to GOD!”

Isn't it good to be a Christian?”  Brother that is the way I feel in my soul when I think about what God has for His children. Talk about shouting! I have been so happy here in this world that my soul has overflowed. And I am not ashamed of it. I am glad I love the Lord enough, and that He is real enough to me, and that He sends the joy of His Holy Spirit into my heart until it just runs over sometimes. I am glad that it is so. I tell you, it is great to be a Christian. But just wait until I get to heaven.

Read-Thru-The-Bible,
Click on the links below to read today’s Bible verses online
Nehemiah     9   10       Colossians   2

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net 

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 29.                      God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                               July 29, 2015                                                            

Good Morning!
How little do we realize the meaning of the word death! Jesus took the sting away.

FEAR OF DEATH:
Hebrews 2:14. “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; 15. And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

Jesus shared man's mortal nature that by His dying men might be freed from fear of death. There are a great many of God’s professed children who live in continual bondage, in the constant fear of death. I believe that it is dishonoring GOD. I believe that it is not His will to have one of His children live in fear for one moment.

Jacob showed us how to die. Look and see the way-worn pilgrim breathe his last. His life has been a stern fight; his pathway not strewn with roses, but set with flints; few and evil the days of the years of his pilgrimage. Compared with the brilliant career of Esau, his life might be almost considered a failure estimating it by all human standards of failure and success. But as the scaffold is taken down piece by piece, we catch glimpses of the real manhood which GOD has been so carefully building up, through long years of pain and sorrow; and as it comes into view, we feel that it is more than enough to justify all. Better a hundredfold to be Israel the Prince, though an exile; than Esau, the founder of a line of dukes (Genesis 36).

He seems to have fixed his mind with increasing eagerness on Heaven. He felt that if God had not destined for him an earthly resting place, yet He had prepared for him a City. Its foundations had not been laid by man; its walls bore no mark of human workmanship; its atmosphere could not be stained with the smoke or dust of earth. “I am to be gathered unto my people.” When the dying Patriarch spoke thus, he meant something more than that his dust should mingle with all that was mortal of his forefathers. No; he meant something more than this. He surely looked upon the City as the gathering-place of his clan; the metropolis of true and godly hearts; the rendezvous of all who were his people, because they were the people of God. How much truer is this thought of Heaven than that which is entertained by many today.

Read-Thru-The-Bible,
Click on the links below to read today’s Bible verses online
Nehemiah   11  12        Psalm   66  67

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net 

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  30.                          God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                                    July 30, 2015                                                 

Good Morning!
Can that be a Father's home, where the brothers and sisters do not know each other?

THE DEATH OF JACOB:
Genesis 49:33. “And when Jacob had made an end of commanding his sons, he gathered up his feet into the bed, and yielded up the ghost, and was gathered unto his people.”

“What do you think of the intermediate state?” “Shall we be consciously happy from the very moment of death?” “Shall we know one another on the other side?”

These are the sorrowful questions asked on many sides; and they present a melancholy contrast to the words of the dying Jacob, “I am to be gathered unto my people.” At the best “we know not what we shall be.” We cannot penetrate the veil that only opens wide enough to admit the entering spirit. It is clear that our spirits will not reach their full consummation and bliss till the morning of the resurrection, when body and spirit will be reunited; but it is equally clear that they will not be unconscious, but will enter into the blessed presence of our Lord

This was taught by Christ Himself, when He quoted the words, “I am the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob:” and added the comment, “He is not the God of the dead; but of the living.” That grand formula was spoken years after Jacob had fallen asleep; and yet God speaks of Himself as his God: and since He could not be the God of dead mummies only, or of unconscious spirits, Jacob and all the rest must have been living. Yes, they were living then, and are living now, possessed of all the vivid life that made them what they were. There is no accent of uncertainty in the New Testament. As soon as the tent is taken down, the mansion is entered  (2 Corinthians 5:2). Absent from the body, the believer is present with the Lord.

Do not puzzle over useless questionings: be content to know that death is not a state, but an act; not a resting-place, but a transition; a passage, a birth, a crossing the Bridge of Sighs from the prison to the palace. It would not have been an object of anticipation to Jacob to be gathered to his people, if he would not know them when he reached their blest society. When the Jew thought of the unseen world, he expected to meet the saints, of whom he had heard from childhood, and especially Abraham.

Read-Thru-The-Bible,
Click on the links below to read today’s Bible verses online
Nehemiah    13       Esther   1       Colossians   3

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net 

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  31.                        God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                                  July 31, 2015                                                         

Good Morning!
In the life of Jacob we see the hand of God reaching down and molding a man into a saint who to most people would have seemed hopeless.

HEAVEN, THE HOME OF THE GOD OF JACOB:
Psalm 46:7 “The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.
Psalm 46:11 “The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.”

It is very comforting to discover in how many parts of Scripture God calls Himself the God of Jacob. He seems to take special delight in the title which links His holy nature with one who, so far from giving promise of saint-ship, was naturally one of the most dishonorable of men. We should not have been surprised to find Him speaking of Himself as the God of Israel, the Prince; but it is as startling as it is reassuring to find Him speaking of Himself still more often as the GOD of Jacob. God has not changed since He took Jacob in hand; and He feels towards such characters now as He did when He began his gracious work of renewal in that poor cramped heart; and that He is ready to do as much for all who are conscious of being equally worthless by nature, and who are willing to put themselves into His gracious hands which reach down from Heaven to earth, “molding men.”

There is little doubt that God would do as much for all the readers of these lines, if only they were willing. You too may be cunning, crafty, and deceitful; or you may be prone to outbursts of ungovernable temper; or you may be cursed by unholy desires that honeycomb your better nature; or you may be constantly brought into captivity to some tyrannous sin. Now there is no need for this to be your hapless lot for one moment longer, if only you will hand yourself over to the mighty God of Jacob.

Before God will initiate His gracious work on a human spirit, it must be entirely surrendered to Him. The key of every room, and closet, and cupboard, in the being must be put into His hands. Every province of the life must be placed under His government. There must be no keeping back, no reserve: to withhold one thing, even the least, will vitiate the whole transaction; and leave a foothold for the self-life, from which it will speedily spread back throughout the whole nature. Jesus says, “Take My yoke.” And remember, a yoke is for two. Our Lord yokes Himself at our side; and paces by us, step by step, doing for us what Simon the Cyrenian once did for Him, on the way to Golgotha.

Read-Thru-The-Bible,
Click on the links below to read today’s Bible verses online
Esther   2  3        Colossians   4

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net 

 

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