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October, 2015

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                           Devotions, October, 2015


                         God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

 Today’s First Thoughts                                     October 1, 2015

Good Morning!
The longsuffering nature of God is the sinner’s reminder or warning. The sinner does not dare think God will delay His judgment and then forget it entirely. Some people give the impression they have eternity to make up their minds. They think if God hasn’t done anything to them yet, He isn’t going to do anything to them.

LONGSUFFERING IS A QUALITY OF GOD:
2 Peter 3:9. “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”

The Sinner’s Rescue. The longsuffering patience of God is the sinner’s rescue. The only reason why sinners are not wiped off the face of the earth is because of the mercy and grace and longsuffering nature of God. He is patient and He extends to us the opportunity to repent, believe the gospel and turn from our sinfulness to holiness. God promises to judge the world. His delay in doing that is a reminder to all of us that the day of opportunity has been extended and it’s time to get right.

Some people interpret God’s silence as His approval. Because God hasn’t judged them or the problem hasn’t been exposed, they assume God has tolerated that and it’s going to be okay. God is a longsuffering, patient God. But there is a line over which you dare not cross. The Spirit of God will not always strive with us. As we read in the book of Romans, there comes a time in the life of a person who continues to reject God when God gives him up to live according to the dictates of his own heart. Christians who play with sin in their lives may assume the patience and longsuffering of God, but if I read 1 Corinthians 11 correctly, it says that for this very reason there were some in the Corinthian church who were weak, some who were sick, and there were some who were even asleep (dead spiritually).

In other words, God took them out of this world prematurely because they refused to deal with the sin in their lives. I wouldn’t be surprised if these had thought, “I have a loving, patient, longsuffering God who will put up with my conduct.” I want to tell you, God won’t put up with it. If you take the nature of God which is His love for you and His longsuffering and patience, and you presume upon that to sin away the day of grace, as an unbeliever you will spend eternity in hell, and as a Christian you risk being taken prematurely out of this world. He’s a longsuffering and patient God. But you have no guarantee that His patience includes tomorrow.

Read-Thru-The-Bible,
Click on the links below to read today’s Bible verses online.
Isaiah   53  54         1 John   5

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                             God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                              October 2, 2015

Good Morning!
As we look at the fruit of the Spirit sometimes known as gentleness, we will examine the many evidences of God’s kindness to us, and we will see how the people in our world need our kindness.

THE WORLD NEEDS KINDNESS:
Galatians 5:22. “But the fruit of the Spirit is …, gentleness,”

The King James Version of the Bible names the quality we will be looking at in this devotion as “gentleness.” The Greek word for this fifth virtue is “christatos” which is best translated by the word “kindness” as we understand it in our language today. The quality of kindness is the sympathetic kindliness or sweetness of temper which puts other people at ease and shrinks at giving pain. Someone has said that, like the impress in a coin which tells us who the owner is; kindness is the impress of God upon His creatures. When we see it in its fullest extent in a human being, we understand that person belongs to God.

This quality of kindness in the Spirit-filled life is one that is desperately needed in our world today. As Christians, we can get impacted by our impersonal world. It’s hard to be kind in our world. It’s hard to demonstrate the reality of our faith as we walk in this culture that has steeled us against being concerned about our fellows and our friends. In our culture today there is 10 percent unemployment rate. We have women and men in our country who are hungry. Churches are called all the time for help and we don’t know what to do. I don’t know the answer to it.

I do know God expects us to be kind. Somehow we’ve got to deal with the world we live in and not lose the quality of kindness that is the fruit of the Spirit. Our world needs it. The world is looking for it. This world of ours is a cruel, violent, uncaring, hurtful place to live. God expects us to bring kindness, joy and love into the lives of the people we touch. We can’t use the excuse that we live in a world that is cold, indifferent and calloused. That’s the reason God left us here, so we could make a difference. The world needs kindness. But let’s narrow the scope even further. Your world needs kindness. Your home needs kindness. Where people are living in close proximity, kindness sometimes gets lost. We need to be tenderhearted, kind and forgiving. The fruit of the Spirit is tested in that laboratory we call the family. If you can make it work there, it’ll work any place on the face of the earth.

Read-Thru-The-Bible,
Click on the links below to read today’s Bible verses online.
Isaiah   55   56     2 John   1            

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                               God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion                       

 Today’s First Thoughts                                  October 3 & 4, 2015

 Good Morning!
In this devotion we will see how the kindness of God is expressed. As we look at the fruit of the Spirit known as gentleness, we will examine the many evidences of God’s kindness to us.

THE KINDNESS OF GOD:
Titus 3:3. “For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. 4. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,”

The kindness of God is seen in His compassion for those who are lost. This is especially true in the New Testament language of the kindness of God. Romans 2:4 says, “...the goodness of God leads you to repentance.” What was the greatest act of kindness the world has ever known? The kindness shown to this world by God the Father when He gave to the world Jesus Christ, His Son. By that act of kindness He made it possible to bring many children to glory in redemption. The Old Testament describes God’s character. The New Testament illustrates it in the Person in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

When Jesus was walking on earth, people asked Him, “Show us the Father.” Jesus answered that request by saying, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). He was saying, “If you want to know who God is, then look at Me, I am God.”

In the first chapter of Hebrews, the writer says, “God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets.…” In other words, in the Old Testament God spoke to us by the prophets. But in these last days, God has “spoken to us by His Son.” In other words, Jesus Christ is God’s last word. Jesus Christ is God in picture to us.

When we study the fruit of the Spirit, we are painting a picture of Jesus Christ. As we see His life on earth in the gospels, every single quality of the Spirit-filled life is expressed. There is no other quality so beautifully expressed in the life of Jesus as the quality of kindness. I see Him feeding 5,000 hungry people by His miracle of the loaves and fishes. I see Him curing a woman on the Sabbath day even though the Jewish law forbade it. Jesus elevated her well-being above the Jewish law and healed her anyway.

Read-Thru-The-Bible,
Click on the links below to read today’s Bible verses online.
Isaiah   57  58    3 John   1
Isaiah   
59  60       Jude   1

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                              God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

 Today’s First Thoughts                                        October 5, 2015

Good Morning!
In this devotion we will learn about the relationship between goodness and righteousness and the contrast of good and evil.

GOODNESS AND RIGHTEOUSNESS:
Galatians 5: 22. “But the fruit of the Spirit is, goodness, ..”

A person who is a good person is an individual of lofty ideals, noble purposes, strong character, reliable conduct and a trustworthy integrity. The only one any of us know who truly embodies all of those characteristics is the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. In the last devotion we discussed the quality of kindness. Kindness is a quality of the heart and emotions. Goodness is a quality of conduct and action. Someone has said that goodness is kindness at work. The relationship between goodness and kindness is that goodness is kindness doing its thing.

When you study the Bible, if you can’t find a particular word’s meaning by studying it in isolation, you can find out what it means by playing it off against other words. The word “goodness” is often found in relationship to the word “righteousness.” Righteousness in its contextual meaning has to do with justice, equality, right action. Often in the Bible we see these words together— “the righteousness and goodness of God,” or “the justice and goodness of God.”

We understand the word goodness as we see it alongside the word righteousness. Someone has said that righteousness is what God gives to us that we deserve. It is that which is our due. Goodness goes beyond that and relates to what God gives us beyond what we deserve, beyond that which is our due. The great characteristic of goodness as it is found in its relationship with the term righteousness is generosity. It is what a person gets that he doesn’t deserve. It is what God gives to a person that they could never, ever earn. Goodness in its relationship to righteousness teaches us about generosity.

The word “good” means to be generous, liberal or openhanded. From this we come to understand the word good as it is in the fruit of the Spirit means to be generous, openhanded, openhearted, open-homed. A miserly person is evil. A generous person is good. Goodness is the generosity that springs from the heart that is kind. Generosity is that openhearted attitude we see reflected in truly godly people.

Read-Thru-The-Bible,
Click on the links below to read today’s Bible verses online.
Isaiah   61  62    Revelation   1     

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                              God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion                       

Today’s First Thoughts                                               October 6, 2015 

Good Morning!
In 3 John there is a record of a man (Gaius) who embodied the fruit of goodness.

SOME TRUTHS ABOUT GENEROSITY (FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT GOODNESS):
3 John 5. “Beloved, thou doest faithfully whatsoever thou doest to the brethren, and to strangers; 6. Which have borne witness of thy charity before the church: whom if thou bring forward on their journey after a godly sort, thou shalt do well:”

The Apostle John is writing a letter to Gaius to give instruction in the matter of generosity. In the letter he commends Gaius. He says Gaius is a generous man who received into his home many who passed through, the strangers and ministers who came through the city. First of all we learn that through generosity, Gaius proclaimed the truth to the lost. The word truth appears in this epistle seven times. In fact, 3 John 1 says that John wrote to the well-beloved Gaius whom he loved in truth. John understood that ministry isn’t in buildings, budgets, committees and programs. Ministry is truth.

Ministry is the Word of God as it is preached and taught in the context of the church and out in the highways and byways. John was saying to Gaius, “Your gift of generous goodness, your open-heartedness toward those who have traveled through—the pilgrims and strangers, the missionaries, the itinerant preachers—has given you the opportunity to associate with the greatest enterprise in the world: providing for God’s people in service through your gifts and getting involved with them in truth by your generosity. John was saying that through Gaius’s generous hospitable attitude, he had become linked to the teachers and become one who preached the gospel of Jesus through his acts of generosity. Through his attitude, Gaius proclaimed the gospel to the lost. John was saying that when Gaius took the people home, when he ministered to them, gave them a place to sleep, fed them and cared for them, he became a partner in the ministry.

A person’s circumstance may be that he or she cannot be a missionary or preacher. Life sometimes puts people where they must have a secular job, they must stay in one place and carry out the duties of life and living. Where those people cannot go, their prayers and money and practical support can go. And in giving that support, they make themselves allies of the truth. By giving our support by our generous spirit we carry out the wider work of the church. We become an ally of the truth.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click on the links below to read today’s Bible verses online.
Isaiah   63  64      Revelation   2

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                              God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion                        

 Today’s First Thoughts                                        October 7, 2015

Good Morning!
In this devotion we will see that faithfulness is an ethical virtue. As we study the character trait of faith, we will examine the faithfulness found in God and in Christ. We will also look at the exhortation we are given to be faithful.

THE FAITHFULNESS OF GOD:
Galatians 5:22. “But the fruit of the Spirit is,…. faith,”

When we begin to study the characteristic of faith in the fruit of the Spirit, one is expecting Paul to be saying that when the Spirit of God controls your life, you are a man or woman of faith. In other words, you are able to believe great things from God, you are able to trust God through great difficulties; you are able to be a leader in terms of vision. But what Paul is talking about here is not so much faith (believing) as faithfulness. Faith is a theological virtue. Faithfulness is an ethical virtue. Paul was talking about what God expects us to be in our daily lives.

God places a high premium on the quality of faithfulness. He says to us by way of Paul in 1 Corinthians 4:2, “It is required in stewards that one be found faithful.” We are all stewards of the grace of God. God has given Christians an opportunity to administer part of His Kingdom on this earth in His behalf. Paul reminded the Corinthians that God was not necessarily looking for a person to be rich or talented or successful. He was requiring a person to be faithful. If there is anything at all we need in our churches, and even in the world itself, it is this quality of faithfulness. Sometimes described as fidelity, sometimes defined as steadfastness, it always means the determination to stay by your word and complete your commitment.

First of all, God set the standard for faithfulness. God’s faithfulness goes back to the beginning of humanity and extends beyond where we are, out into the eons of the future. One of my favorite hymns comes from Lamentations. “Great is Thy faithfulness, O Lord, my God, and Thy mercies are new every morning, and special every day.” The faithfulness of God ought to be the chorus of our singing. His faithfulness should be the confidence of our praying. It is because He is faithful we can go to Him in prayer and know He hears us and answers us. We don’t have to try and figure out when God is in a good mood so we can get what we want. We can go to God whenever we want and ask what is in our heart. If we come according to the will of God, He has promised on the basis of His faithful nature to hear and answer our prayers.

Read-Thru-The-Bible,
Click on the links below to read today’s Bible verses online.
Isaiah  65  66       Psalm   81  82  83

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                             God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion                     

Today’s First Thoughts                                              October 8, 2015

Good Morning!
Faithfulness that will be ours when the Spirit of God controls us may be the highest calling anyone can receive.

THE EXHORTATION TO FAITHFULNESS:
Galatians 5:22. “But the fruit of the Spirit is,…. faith,” (Faithfulness)

Proverbs 20:6. asks an intriguing question: “Who can find a faithful man?” Where do you go these days to find someone faithful, someone who will stick with a commitment to the end? Someone has defined integrity as maintaining a commitment after the circumstances in which the commitment was made have changed. That is faithfulness.

In the New Testament, faithfulness is seen as a high priority with God. It’s in almost all of the parables. I went through the Bible and found every person I could about whom it is specifically said that he or she was faithful. There were many others who were also faithful, but God for some reason determined to put the descriptive term of faithfulness on these people: Daniel, Hananiah, Epaphras, Onesimus, Sylvanus, Antipas, Abraham, Moses, Lydia, Timothy and Paul. You’ve probably never heard of some of these people. Yet God through His Holy Spirit determined to make sure we knew they had achieved the level of faithfulness.

What I learned from going through that list is when we get to heaven, if we have to get in line for rewards on the basis of faithfulness, we are going to be very surprised at who is standing at the head of the line. It will be a lot of people you and I have never heard of. You probably don’t know all the people at your church who work behind the scenes, who are there day in and day out. They never get any accolades or praise. But they are faithful. I believe when they stand before God someday, God isn’t going to ask them how much or how many or how beautiful or how loud or how long. He’s just going to say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”

If being filled with the Spirit of God produces in us the characteristic of faithfulness, what do we say when we aren’t faithful? We are simply telling the whole world that we aren’t Spirit-controlled Christians. We’re quitters. That’s not the nature of God. God has given all of us something to do and He says to us, “Here’s what I want from you in this assignment. Be faithful.” God holds up for us the greatest and highest order to be faithful. Faithfulness is God’s priority for the Christian life.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click on the links below to read today’s Bible verses online.
Jeremiah   1  2      Revelation   3

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                             God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                                October 9, 2015

Good Morning!
In this devotion we will look at the difficult meaning of meekness. As we study the eighth fruit of the Spirit, we will discover the balance meekness has between strength and gentleness.

MEEKNESS EXEMPLIFIED IN MOSES:
Galatians 5:23. “But the fruit of the Spirit is, … meekness.”

As we study the fruit of the Spirit we realize again how high the standard is and how far short our own life falls from meeting that standard. Each one of these (fruit) seems to put a rung on the ladder a little more beyond our reach. But these are not listed as characteristics we are to produce by our own efforts. It is only as we come to the Word of God in obedience to do what God says, depending upon the Holy Spirit to empower us to be that kind of person that those characteristics can be reproduced. Meekness seems even more beyond the reach of the human potential. It can only be ours by the Holy Spirit.

When you hear the word “meekness” you may think of the word in its modern setting—used to describe someone who is spineless, spiritless, lacking in strength and virility. The meek person in today’s world is not how we’d like to be known. But the Bible says the meek person is the person who is blessed. “Blessed are the meek.” Beyond that, they are the people who will inherit the earth. The Bible says the meek are blessed of God and someday they will rule the new earth. If we are to understand the term meekness in the spirit the Word of God presents it to us, we will have to learn something more than what we know by way of its common meaning today.

Meekness is not weakness. It is not laziness. It is not compromise at any price, not just being born nicer than other people. It is far more than that. Someone has described meekness as gentleness by those who have the power to be otherwise. Power under control. Meekness is the grace that brings strength and gentleness together. Meekness is exemplified in Moses. Numbers 12:3 says, “(Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.) Here’s a man who could rise to white hot anger against unrighteousness and in the next moment be a compassionate, caring individual, willing to put his own life on the line in his love for his people. (Exodus 32:32)

Read-Thru-The-Bible,
Click on the links below to read today’s Bible verses online.
Jeremiah   3  4      Revelation   4

 James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                              God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion                       

 Today’s First Thoughts                                 October 10 & 11, 2015

Good Morning!
In Bible days the words used to soothe someone when he is in a state of anger or bitterness or resentment are described as meek words. An ointment which could soothe the pain of an ulcerous wound was described as a meek ointment.

MEEKNESS EXPECTED OF CHRISTIANS:
Galatians 5:23. “But the fruit of the Spirit is, …meekness.”

James 1:21. says, “Receive with meekness the implanted word.” That means it is the spirit of meekness that helps us know we don’t know it all. It opens us to the truth of the heart of God. When you come to study and consider the Word of God, you need to come with a spirit of meekness. You have strength and power, but it’s not sufficient to comprehend God. Someone has written “The meek are those who quietly submit themselves before God to His Word, to His rod, and who follow His directions and comply with His designs, and are gentle toward all men.” Meekness brings a person into sweet resignation to the Word of God.

Galatians 6:1 says, “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.” Never is someone more in power than when they know they’ve caught someone in the wrong. Never is the temptation to wield that power greater than when you are confronting someone whom you know has done wrong. That’s why the Lord has reminded us that in that moment, more than any other, we need to know the true meaning of meekness which is power under control. Meekness is the spirit which makes correction a stimulant, not a depressant. It brings hope, not despair. What a difference that would make if we did all our correcting as parents with meekness.

Paul wrote to Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:24, “And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, 25. In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;” So often when we are opposed in something, we feel like saying, “Okay, you want a battle? You’ve got one.” But the Bible says we are to respond and counteract opposition with meekness. There is nothing more beautiful than to see a strong, powerful person demonstrating compassion, love and condescending to the weak things in life. Like our strong and gentle Savior.

Read-Thru-The-Bible,
Click on the links below to read today’s Bible verses online.
Jeremiah   5  6      Revelation    5
Jeremiah   7  8      Revelation    6

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                             God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion                       

 Today’s First Thoughts                                        October 12, 2015

Good Morning!
In this devotion we will see the importance of gaining control over our passions. As we look at the fruit that is temperance or self-control. We will also learn how to acquire self-control.

SELF-CONTROL AND DISCIPLINE:
Galatians 5:23. “But the fruit of the Spirit is, .. temperance:”

The Holy Spirit was wise in putting temperance or self-control at the end of the list of the fruit of the Spirit. It is the most difficult fruit of all the nine, and we might have gotten discouraged if we had heard that one first. Yet it is the most important characteristic because if we don’t have self-control, we will never be able to implement the means of grace that will develop all the other characteristics in our lives. If we are so undisciplined and lacking in self-control that we never take the time to do the things God has told us to do for our growth, then all of these other characteristics are simply unreachable ideals. Discipline is a very important characteristic for the younger set as well as for those who have walked in the faith for some years.

Most of us would agree that when it comes to the battle for the right kind of living, the biggest enemy is not out there. The biggest enemy is right here—ourselves. That’s why the principle of self-control is so very vital. It is that principle which makes it possible to achieve the goals God has set before us. You don’t achieve, even in the secular world, unless you are willing to pay the price of discipline.

The word “temperance” is in the Greek “kratain.” It means “to grab hold of, to grasp.” It’s the concept from which we get the expression, “Get hold of yourself,” when we’re talking to someone who is getting too emotional. The word is used only seven times in the New Testament. In almost every situation, it is used to describe the importance of gaining control and reigning over our passions and desires. One of the most notable uses of the term is in 1 Corinthians 7:9, talking about the unmarried. “If they cannot exercise self-control, let them marry.” That’s saying if they are not capable of self-control in the area of sexual passion, then let them get married. If you are a person of self-control, you will be able to martial restraint in the area of sexual life, exercise and eating habits. Temperance will reign over the lusts of the mind, ambitions and obsessions, attitudes, pride, guilt and inferiority.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click on the links below to read today’s Bible verses online.
Jeremiah   9  10      Revelation   7

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                             God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion                      

Today’s First Thoughts                                         October 13, 2015

Good Morning!
Temperance will reign over the lusts of the mind, ambitions and obsessions, attitudes, pride, guilt and inferiority.

STRATEGY FOR SELF-CONTROL:
Galatians 5:23. “But the fruit of the Spirit is, .. temperance:”

The matter of self-control is a battle fought in the mind. The mind controls the passions. The battle is fought in the thought life. There is no conflict as severe as the conflict one goes through who labors to subdue himself. But there are some practical things God will use in our lives to help us move in the right direction. When evil thoughts come we ought to dismiss them as quickly as we can. We ought to war against them not by recreating the thought but by warring against that principle in our lives. The more we become obsessed with our desire to get rid of a thought, the harder it is to get rid of it. What God would have us do by way of strategy is objectify the thoughts by assigning them mentally their actual worth. Since the thoughts are worthless, we need to dismiss them as quickly as possible from our minds. The very thought itself is not necessarily a sin. If you take that thought and embrace it, hang onto it and milk it for everything its worth, that’s where the sin is. You can’t do away with the thought. But the sin is where you grab onto that thought.

People who fight the battle of self-control have a pattern of recurring failure. They keep failing the same way every time. If you struggle with this and you examine where you fall, you will probably discover there is a commonality to it. There are certain places, certain times where you fall. You need to get a new routine. Stop setting yourself up for temptation. You can deal with evil thoughts by programming your mind in a positive direction. Some examples are scripture memory, reading good Christian literature and focusing your attention on spiritual things such as daily devotion and prayer. The best way to deal with the struggle for control over your thoughts and passions is to become so occupied with Jesus Christ, fall in love with Him so much, that you don’t have any room left in your being and in your mind for these intruding thoughts to come in and take control. Maybe you think the only reason pastors urge you to come to church and Bible study is so we can count the numbers. But we want you there under the sound of the Word of God because we know if you’re there, that is the greatest hedge we can build around you to keep the adversary away. By focusing your mind upon Jesus Christ.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click on the links below to read today’s Bible verses online.
Jeremiah   11  12         Revelation   8

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                              God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion                        

 Today’s First Thoughts                                           October 14, 2015

Good Morning!
As we study the Spirit-filled life, we will examine the need for the Spirit’s control of our life and the steps we must take in order to receive that filling.

CHARACTERISTICS OF THE SPIRIT-FILLED LIFE:
Ephesians 5:18. “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; 19. Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;”

Several years ago, a religious painter painted two pictures of Jesus Christ and hung them together in a gallery. The first picture was of the Jewish Christ, the one we’re accustomed to seeing when we see pictures of the Lord. It was very beautifully done and would bring a sense of inspiration and worship to anyone who would look at it.

Next to that traditional picture of Christ, the artist hung a picture he’d painted of the Lord Jesus Christ disfigured and ugly. It was a misrepresentation of the genuineness of the Lord. The artist was asked why he had painted these two pictures. He said, “The first picture is Christ as He really is. The second is the Christ the world sees when they look at His church who represent Him in their world.” The world does not see Christ physically as the disciples saw Him. They see Christ through His body which is the church made up of true believers. In studying the fruit of the Spirit we have been brought face to face with the kind of life God expects us to live if we are to truly represent Him in our world. This kind of living is supernatural, seemingly impossible, and can only be lived through the Holy Spirit.

The characteristics we know as the fruit of the Spirit are equally divided into three sections. Each section has three characteristics in it. The section at the beginning of the list has to do with the fruit of the spirit and our relationship with God—love, joy and peace. We have love in our lives because of the love of God shed abroad in us by the Holy Spirit. We have joy because we have Jesus Christ. We have peace because we have God and the peace of God which passes understanding. The next group has to do with our relationships with others—longsuffering, kindness and generosity. Those are important because we’re supposed to relate positively with others. If our relationship with God is right, then our relationships with others ought to be right also. Finally, there is the fruit of the spirit and our relationship with ourselves—faithfulness, meekness and self-control. Paul is telling us is that Christians are to be in good relationship with the Father, to have positive relationships with each other in the body, and each is to be related properly to himself in self-discipline.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click on the links below to read today’s Bible verses online.
Jeremiah   13  14       Psalm   84  85

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                              God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion                       

 Today’s First Thoughts                                        October 15, 2015

Good Morning!
The overwhelming effect of looking at these nine Fruit of the Spirit brings us to our knees as we realize we cannot possibly achieve such a life if we attempt to do it by ourselves. There are several reasons why we will never live this kind of life unless we are filled with the Holy Spirit.

WHY DO WE NEED TO BE FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT?
John 5:15. “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”

The first reason we need the Holy Spirit is, we are absolutely unable to do God’s will in our own life. Jesus says, John 15:5, “Without Me you can do nothing.” Romans 8:8 says, “So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” The Christian life isn’t hard. It’s not difficult. It’s impossible without the help of the Holy Spirit! The second reason is our absolute dependency on Jesus Christ to do the will of God. Galatians 5 tells us our character depends on the Spirit of God. It’s the fruit of the Spirit. Romans 8. says our prayer life is dependent on the Spirit of God. Acts 1:8. tells us our personal witnessing is dependent upon the Spirit of God. The world is a different realm from the Christian faith. God has called us not only to live a stringent, demanding life, but He has asked us to live it in a world that doesn’t know anything at all about what we’re doing. The world doesn’t understand the Christian experience.

Everything God asks us to do He asks us to do in dependence upon the Holy Spirit of God. Thirdly, we will never live the kind of life we have been studying in our own energy because the Christian life is made up of absolute demands. Some people say they’re glad they live in New Testament times so they don’t have to live under the law. Well, it’s true we are not under the law for salvation. But we are not only responsible to live as holy as the Jews did under the law; we are responsible to live a magnitude above that. Not only are our actions important, but God even examines our motives and desires.

If we try to live that life in our own strength, we will fail. This is one of the major problems in our churches today. Many have diminished the stringent demands of the Christian faith and then attempted to meet them in their own energy. There isn’t any way to live the Spirit-filled life without the Spirit of God in control.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click on the links below to read today’s Bible verses online.  
 Jeremiah   15  16   Revelation   9

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                               God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

 Today’s First Thoughts                                               October 16, 2015

Good Morning!
Pray for the Holy Spirit’s control and declare your allegiance to Him.

HOW TO BE FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT:
Galatians 5:24. “And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. 25. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”

Being filled with the Spirit of God is not like being filled as if you were a container. “To be filled” means “to be controlled by,” like a person who is filled with alcohol is controlled by the alcohol. The substance begins to control the way he acts, thinks, works, lives and the things he says. In the same way, when the Spirit controls your life, you will live a life that is not natural. The Spirit takes over the way you usually are, the way you usually respond. How do you become Spirit-filled?

First of all you have to desire the Spirit-filled life. There is a vast number of Christians who aren’t interested in being Spirit-filled because it would be inconvenient. But that is the first step.

Second, you must denounce the sin in your life. The Holy Spirit is the Holy Spirit. He cannot control the life of a person who is harboring known sin in his being, because He’s not going to take up residence in a dirty heart. If you want the Spirit to control your life, you’ve got to deal with the sin.

Third, discipline yourself to read the Word. The Holy Spirit works with the Word of God that we know. The reason the Holy Spirit doesn’t control more of our lives is because He doesn’t have anything to work with. If we don’t have the Word in our minds and our hearts, the Holy Spirit doesn’t have the ammunition we need for Him to control us.

Fourth, you have to die to your own ambition. When Paul gets done with the Spirit-filled life’s characteristics in Galatians, he says, “And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts” (Galatians 5:24). If you want God’s Spirit to control your life, you’ve got to stop controlling it. You’ve got to take your hands off the wheel. You have to determine that God’s will for you is better than anything you could ever think of. Finally, you have to declare your acceptance of the Holy Spirit’s control. Pray for His control and declare your allegiance to Him.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click on the links below to read today’s Bible verses online.
Jeremiah   17  18          Revelation   10

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                             God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion                      

Today’s First Thoughts                                   October 17 & 18, 2015

Good Morning!
In this devotion we will see the importance of living a life of thanksgiving. The doctrine of thanksgiving is centrality to all of the New Testament scriptures.

GRATITUDE IS NOT AN OPTION:
Ephesians 5:20. “Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;”

The doctrine of thanksgiving which is so paramount in the New Testament has been relegated by some in today’s Church to an optional and seasonal event. It is sometimes looked upon as that which good Christians sometimes do. It is seldom looked upon as that which all Christians are responsible to do. Yet the doctrine of thanksgiving is startlingly central in the New Testament. When you have the Spirit of God controlling your life, you have a thankful, grateful spirit. Ephesians 5:18–20 says, “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Thanksgiving is the result of the Word-Filled life. Colossians 3:15–16 says, “Let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.… ” Paul said if you are filled with the Spirit of God you are grateful. If you are filled with the Word of God you are grateful.

Thanksgiving is the key to our Prayer life. Thanksgiving is also important because the Bible says you can’t have a decent prayer life without thanksgiving. It is the key to your own prayer ministry. Philippians 4:6 says, “Be careful (anxious) for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” It doesn’t say and thanksgiving. It says with thanksgiving. That means no matter what kind of praying we do, there is one thing that is to be involved in every prayer we pray. That one thing is thanksgiving and gratitude.

Gratitude gets you off the negative agenda of things that are yours because of your fallen nature and on to the positive agenda of things that are yours because of your relationship with Jesus Christ.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click on the links below to read today’s Bible verses online.

Jeremiah   19   20       Revelation   11
Jeremiah   21   22       Revelation   12

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                             God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion                       

Today’s First Thoughts                                                   October 19, 2015

Good Morning!
In Africa there is a special little berry called the taste berry. It changes your taste so everything you eat tastes sweet and pleasant. Someone has said that gratitude is the Christian’s taste berry. If you take the attitude of gratitude and devour it in your being and in your spirit, it turns even the difficult, sour things into the sweet. How God wants to teach us that.

VICTORY THROUGH THANKSGIVING:
1 Corinthians 15:57. “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

We lose the ability to perceive things in their actual interrelations or comparative importance if we’re not careful. We begin to look at the world as if the whole world is a problem and our whole lives are filled with anxiety, pressure and problems. But one of the great things God does for us is cause us to take a long look at what’s going on in our lives and realize, “God, there are so many good things happening in my life! There’s so much You are doing for me and my family, my church, my work. Yes, there are problems, but thank You God for the good things You are doing.”

Thanksgiving causes you to refocus your attention away from yourself and your problems and to direct it to God. When you thank Him, you think about what He has done. And the very act of thinking about what He has done causes you to refocus your attention and get things back in perspective. When we don’t have a spirit of gratitude, we violate the Word of God. There are a lot of things we don’t know for sure concerning the will of God. You have to pull those principles together and try to determine what God wants you to do. But one thing I know, it is the will of God for you to be thankful. When you choose to be ungrateful, you have moved your life out of that circle of God’s perfect will.

If you are not thankful, you are out of peace with God. We live in a day of great distress, depression and despair. But God has the answer to that in His Word. He tells us in Philippians 4 that we are to “be anxious for nothing....” That means don’t let anxiety take over in your life. “But in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (vv. 6–7).

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click on the links below to read today’s Bible verses online.
Jeremiah   23  24       Revelation   13

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                              God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion                        

 Today’s First Thoughts                                                  October 20, 2015

Good Morning!
Although it is possible for us to ritually bow our heads before we eat and not be grateful people, there is something about thanking God over three meals a day that reminds us we are not responsible personally for all we have, it all comes from God.

THANKSGIVING IS THE RESULT OF THE SPIRIT-FILLED LIFE:
Mark 8:6. “And he commanded the people to sit down on the ground: and he took the seven loaves, and gave thanks,”

Jesus is our great example for giving of thanks before a meal. Here at the feeding of this great multitude of people He gave thanks for the meal before it was handed out.

In our society today, we have lost sight of the attitude of gratitude. We have become an unthankful people. It has become more and more common for Christians not to have the courage to bow their heads and give thanks for their food when they are out eating in public. If we are not careful, it can become very difficult for us to be open and outward about our thanksgiving attitude to God.

Paul didn’t plan to mention thanksgiving in each chapter. It just spontaneously came to the surface because Paul was a man who had a grateful heart. Sometimes people say, “I know I ought to be grateful, but you don’t know what’s going on in my life right now. This has been a really rough year.” I want to remind you that the man who wrote these letters that are permeated with thanksgiving didn’t have it so good either. Paul was stoned at Lystra. He was driven out of Thessalonica and his ministry was destroyed. When he went to Athens, he was rejected by the Athenians. He was jailed when he went to Philippi. He was apprehended at Jerusalem, jailed at Caesarea. He was taken to Rome as a prisoner and shipwrecked on the way. Then he was let out of prison and put back in again, released and jailed again. Finally he was put in a dungeon at Rome and ultimately martyred for the faith.

Yet the majority of his writings on thanksgiving were written from prison.

Thanksgiving is not something that happens to us because of the good things that are going on in our lives. When those good things go away, we are still responsible to be thankful in the very same way. Paul wrote, talking about some very difficult things, “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:37). No matter what went on in Paul’s life, he was still a conqueror—even more than a conqueror.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click on the links below to read today’s Bible verses online.
Jeremiah   25  26     Revelation   14

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                              God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion                       

 Today’s First Thoughts                                             October 21, 2015                     

Good Morning!                                                                     
The Bible abounds in figures representing spiritual attitudes and God’s gracious response.

MAN’S SETTING AND GOD’S SETTING:
Psalm 16:8. “I have set the LORD always before me:” 
Psalm 40:2. “He (The Lord) set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.”

I find a great promise in a verse of the Psalmist,—“I have set the Lord always before me.” That is a “setting” on my part, which will issue in a responsive “setting” on the part of God. I determine the direction of gaze; He will determine the character of my life. I “set the Lord always before me”; He will “set my feet upon a rock.” He will “set my feet in a large place.” He will “set before me an open door.”

How calming and steadying is the influence of the picture as you set it before you! One of Robertson’s congregations at Brighton used to keep a portrait of the great preacher in the room behind his shop, and when he was tempted to any mean device, he would set the likeness before him, and its influence determined his inclination in the way of truth. But it is not the figure of any earthly personality, however noble and ennobling, which is the object of the Psalmist’s contemplation. He “sets” before him the august and holy presence of God, and in the glory of His most searching light all the Psalmist’s affairs are determined.

“I have set the Lord always before me.” It is not a temporary vision; it is a fixed outlook. It is not a Sabbath contemplation; it is the permanent background of the week. If the Lord is “always before me,” then everything else which may obtrude into the line of sight will be seen in relationship to God. I shall see nothing by itself; everything will be seen in divine company. Everything that emerges into my regard, and which demands my contemplation, will be seen against the great white background of the Almighty. I will judge everything by its appearance in this most revealing light. How does a thing look with God in the background?

My suggestions, my desires, my pleasures, my ambitions, my conversations, my business, my prayers, shall all be seen in this heavenly relationship, and by its revelation shall their true quality be judged and determined.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click on the links below to read today’s Bible verses online.
Jeremiah   27  28         Psalm   86

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                              God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion                       

 Today’s First Thoughts                                           October 22, 2015

Good Morning:
The person who steadily contemplates God as the abiding background of all his affection will find a spiritual ministry operating in his life with gracious response.

MAN’S SETTING AND GOD’S SETTING:
Psalm 16:8. “I have set the LORD always before me:” 
Psalm 40:2. “He (The Lord) set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.”

He (The Lord) set my feet upon a rock.” The loose, uncertain sand and gravel shall be consolidated into rock. Loose ideas about the right shall be changed into strong perceptions. Loose principles shall be converted into immovable convictions. Vagrant affection shall be transfigured into steady and unwavering love. Weak willpower shall be energized into mighty powers of righteousness. There shall be about the entire life a firmness, a decisiveness, a sense of strength and “go” and security, comparable to the feelings of a man who has stepped from wet slippery clay to firm and solid rock.

Thou hast set me in a large place” (Psalm 118:5). The life of the man whose gaze is fixed upon God shall not only be firm but roomy. Everything about his spirit shall receive enrichment. The consecrated life is not lived in the dark, dank surroundings of a narrow cell. Our feet are set in a “large place.” Our affections, which were dwarfed and petty, become spacious and inclusive. Our pleasures have larger skies and more remote horizons.

I have set before thee an open door Revelation 3:8). In the old castle at Edinburgh Scotland, the way to the Crown Jewels leads through a very humble doorway and through a very dingy and circuitous passage. The humble doorways of common duties are frequently the way to the room where God keeps His jewels. The Lord is ever giving us new opportunities, fresh chances that day by day we may grow in grace and in the knowledge of Him. It is His will that we should grow daily in finer discernment, richer affection, and more brilliant hope.

Let us “set the Lord” always before us, and life in its inmost depths shall be wondrously transfigured. We shall step upon rock, we shall live in a large place, and life will be abundant in opportunities for moral and spiritual growth through the “open door.”

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click on the links below to read today’s Bible verses online.
Jeremiah   29  30      Revelation   15        

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                             God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion                             

Today’s First Thoughts                                            October 23, 2015

Good Morning!
Some day the Lord Jesus Christ will come back again, and receive His waiting and faithful people unto himself, and I know that there is going to be a judgment day for the world, and that judgment day is the subject of our thought for a few devotions.

THE JUDGMENT DAY:
Acts 17:30. “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: 31. Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.”

There are two events in the future which are absolutely certain. First of all, it is absolutely certain that Jesus Christ is coming again to receive His people unto himself, and to reward them according to their works; and in the second place, it is absolutely certain that Jesus Christ is coming again to judge the world. There are five things about the judgment day that are set forth in our text: first, the certainty of it; secondly, the universality of it; thirdly, the basis of it; fourthly, the administrator of it; and, lastly, the issues, or results of it.

First, the Certainty of it. It is absolutely certain that there is to be a judgment day. “God hath appointed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness.” Men who are living in sin may laugh at it; they cannot laugh it away. In the days of Noah men laughed at Noah's predictions that there was to be a flood, but the flood came and swept them all away. In the days of Lot the men of Sodom laughed at the idea that God would rain fire and brimstone out of heaven, and destroy Sodom and Gomorrah and the other cities of the plain; but the fire and brimstone fell, and these cities were blotted out. In the days of Jeremiah the people of Jerusalem laughed at Jeremiah’s predictions that Nebuchadnezzar would come and lay Jerusalem in the dust and destroy their temple. But it all came to pass just as God said, and just as Jeremiah believed and predicted. All of God's predictions about judgment on individuals and nations in the past have come true to the very letter in spite of all the false hopes that were held out by false prophets.

God’s predictions about the future with regard to judgment upon individuals and nations will come true to the very letter, in spite of false hopes held out by the false prophets.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click on the links below to read today’s Bible verses online.
Jeremiah   31  32      Revelation   16

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield

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                             God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion                       

Today’s First Thoughts                                       October 24 & 25, 2015

Good Morning!
God has given us a special guarantee of the judgment day and that special guarantee is the resurrection of Christ from the dead.

JUDGMENT IS CERTAIN:
Acts 17:31. “Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.”

We read in the text, God “will judge the world in righteousness by that man (Jesus Christ) He hath ordained; whereof He hath given assurance unto all men, in that He hath raised Him from the dead.” The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is an absolutely certain fact of history- It is not a theological fiction; it is not a poet's dream: it is an established fact of history. The evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ is so overwhelming that it is impossible for any honest man to sit down and thoroughly sift the evidence, and come to any other conclusion than that Christ did rise from the dead. 

The resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ is a guarantee that a judgment day is coming. When Jesus Christ came upon the earth, He claimed in John 5:22-23, “The Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son; that all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He that honoreth not the Son honoreth not the Father which hath sent Him.” Jesus claimed that there was a judgment day coming and that He was to be the Judge. Men hated him for making the claim, and the other claims involved in it, the claim of Deity. They put Him to death for making this claim, but before they put Him to death He said, “My Father will set His seal to the claim for which you put Me to death.” And when the third day came, the breath of God swept through the sleeping clay, and God, by the resurrection of Christ, set his seal to Christ's claims, and in accents that cannot be mistaken, and is a message to all ages, THERE IS A JUDGMENT DAY COMING.

If there is any man that flatters himself that there is to be no judgment day; if there is any man that fancies that he can go on in sin, and never be called to account for it; if there is any man that believes he can go on trampling under foot the Son of God, and not have to suffer for it, oh, man, throw that hope away, for it is baseless. It is absolutely certain that there will be a day in which Jesus Christ will judge the world in righteousness.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click on the links below to read today’s Bible verses online.
Jeremiah   33  34       Revelation    17 
Jeremiah   35  36       Revelation    18

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                              God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion                       

 Today’s First Thoughts                                               October 26, 2015

Good Morning!
In the second place note the universality of the judgment day.

ALL NATIONS WILL BE AT THE JUDGMENT:
Acts 17:31. “Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world..”

 “God hath appointed a day in which He will judge the world.” It will be no class judgment; every man and woman on the face of this earth will have to face the Judge in that day. Of course all who are Christians, all who have accepted Christ as their Saviour, and surrendered to Him as their Lord, will have been caught up to meet Him in the air. But all the rest will have to face the Judge in that day.

There will be no escaping that day. Men often escape human courts. There is many a thief that has never been arrested, there is many a murderer that remains un-punished; but when God sends forth His angels to gather the people for that judgment day, they will have to come, and they will have to stay right there until their case is settled. Men have often escaped from the preaching. When the preaching becomes too pointed, they get up and go out, and thus they escape him. You can't escape God that way. You will have to come there, and you will have to stay there until your case is decided (Ecclesiastes 3:16-17) (Daniel 7:9-14).

Jesus is going to judge the world in righteousness. How we would rejoice if every, infidel in town would come tonight and hear and repent. But most infidels would not dare to come to the Church. But there will be a meeting that every infidel will be at. There will be one meeting that every hypocritical church member will be at. There will be a meeting where every impenitent sinner will be present, the meeting with Jesus Christ at the judgment bar of God. That man who is trying to make light of everything I am saying-you will be at that meeting, and he will not make light of it; you will be there face to face with Jesus Christ. That woman who lives for any purpose but a good one, you will meet Christ there at the judgment bar of God.

John was an eye-witness of the judgment. “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books (Bible), according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works” Revelation 20:12-13.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click on the links below to read today’s Bible verses online.
Jeremiah   37  38     Revelation   19

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                              God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion                       

 Today’s First Thoughts                                                  October 27, 2015

Good Morning!
The deeds done in the body, in the life that now is, are to determine the issues of Eternity

THE BASIS OF THE JUDGMENT:
2 Corinthians 5:10. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”

In the third place note the basis of judgment. “The deeds done in the body.” The deeds in the body are the basis of that judgment. There are preachers who tell us that a man can die in sin, and after he is dead can have probation, another chance to repent, that he may repent after his death and turn to God and be saved. The Bible does not hold out any such hope. That kind of teaching contradicts the plain teaching of the Word of God, which says distinctly that “the deeds done in the body,” in the life that now is, are to determine the issues of Eternity.

If a man who is living in drunkenness, who is squandering his time, squandering his money, squandering his manhood in a life of dissipation; you will have to answer for it in that day. That woman who is living a life of frivolity and pleasure instead of living for the God who made her, and the Christ who died for her; you will have to answer for it in that day. The deeds done in the body-they will all come up, things that have been forgotten for years. There is a man who years ago did a base, nefarious deed, and today he is very comfortable in the thought that no one on earth knows of it. To that man I say, the whole world will know about it in that day unless you repent, and Jesus Christ will know about it and will pass judgment upon it. All of our evil deeds will come and sit besides us at the Judgment Bar of God.

The secret things” will be judged. In Romans 2:16, we read: “In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ.” The secret things, the things done in the dark, the things done under the cover of night, the things that nobody saw but God; all will be brought to light on that day. How would you like to have the hidden things of the chambers of imagery and imagination and desire photographed and thrown on a screen before all the world? But the whole world will see it in that day, unless you repent. The secret things will all come to light. The Lord tells us again that the basis of judgment will be our words. Your impure words, your unkind words, your harsh words, your words of gossip and slander; you will give account thereof (Matthew 12:36).

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click on the links below to read today’s Bible verses online.
Jeremiah   39  40        Revelation   20

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                              God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion                       

 Today’s First Thoughts                                                 October 28, 2015

Good Morning!
Who is to be the judge in that day? Jesus Christ himself.

THE RIGHTEOUS JUDGE:
Acts 17:31. “Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained;”

Jesus Christ is to be the Judge. That same Christ whom people are rejecting is to be the Judge. That same Christ whom they are robbing of the honor which is His due is to be the Judge. That same Christ whose divinity they are denying, not that they have any reason for denying it, but simply they don't want to have to believe it and want comfort in your sin, that same Christ whom some are trampling under foot will sit as Judge in that day.

That will be a very dark day for some people. It will be a dark day for Annas and Caiaphas, who robbed Jesus of every form of justice. Now they stand before the bar, and Christ sits upon the throne. I can imagine Pontius Pilate in that day, who knew that Jesus Christ was innocent, and yet condemned Him to appease the Jewish mob. Pilate will stand at the bar and the Christ he so basely wronged will be on the throne. I can imagine the soldiers who spat upon Him, and mocked Him, and crowned Him with thorns. The Christ they spat upon, buffeted and crowned with thorns, sits upon the throne and they stand at the judgment bar.

I can imagine Judas Iscariot, who for thirty pieces of silver sold his Master after three years of close association with Him; now he stands before the bar and the Christ he betrayed sits upon the throne. I can imagine that man and woman who have been telling their friends that they do not believe that Jesus is divine, who have been trampling the Son of God under foot, who have been resisting the invitations of mercy it may be for years; you stand before the throne, and the Christ whom you have defamed, slandered, rejected and trampled under foot, sits as Judge.

On the other hand those who have made their peace calling and election sure it will be their glorious day of rejoicing as the Righteous Judge says to them “Enter into the joys of the Lord.” The Apostle Paul answers for all who are prepared to meet the Lord. “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:8)

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click on the links below to read today’s Bible verses online.
Jeremiah   41  42       Psalm   87  88

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                               God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion                       

 Today’s First Thoughts                                              October 29, 2015

Good Morning!
Every man and woman is to be weighed the same balances, the balances of God.

THE FINALITY OF GOD’S JUDGMENT, THERE IS NO APPEALS COURT:
Daniel 5:27. “TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.”

The palace is a blaze of light. The long tables are set for more than a thousand guests. They are brilliant and dazzling with plates and cups and tankards of silver and gold, many-jeweled, reflecting back the light from countless candelabra. Reclining at the tables are the guests, with fingers and arms ringed and jeweled. The air is heavy with perfume and tremulous with the music of harp and dulcimer and sackbut. Between the tables the oriental women weave through the contortions and distortions of the Asiatic dance. Back and forth across the tables fly jest and repartee. The servants come in bearing in their arms the cups of gold and silver which Nebuchadnezzar had carried away from the temple of Jehovah after the sack of the city of Jerusalem. Belshazzar commands that the cups be filled with Babylonian wine, and passed from lip to lip, while he and his guests sing the praises of the gods of gold and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone.

The hilarity becomes more boisterous. Louder and louder thrum the instruments, faster and faster spin the feet of the dancers, swifter and swifter fly jest and repartee. Suddenly a hush like death fans upon the banqueting hall. The king lifting his eyes to the wall sees the fingers of a man's hand writing. As he gazes in wonder all eyes turn in the same direction. There, writing in characters of fire, are the mysterious fingers of an armless hand. Terror freezes Belshazzar to the very soul in the graphic language of the prophet Daniel, “the king's countenance was changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against another.” (Daniel 5:6)

This is the interpretation of the thing: “MENE; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it. TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting. PERES; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.” In whose balance was Belshazzar weighed? The balances of God. Not in the balances of his own estimation of himself: he would never have been found wanting there. Not in the balances of public opinion: but in the balances of God. The final verdict, “That night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain.” (Daniel 5:30)

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click on the links below to read today’s Bible verses online.
Jeremiah   43  44     Revelation   21

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                              God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion                       

Today’s First Thoughts                                               October 30, 2015

Good Morning!
Health and salvation comes by the name of Jesus.

DIVINE HEALING:
Acts 4:10. “Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. 12. “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

When, after Pentecost, the paralytic was healed through Peter and John at the gate of the temple, it was “in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth” that they said to him, “Rise up and walk,” and as soon as the people in their amazement ran together to them, Peter declared that it was the name of Jesus which had so completely healed the man. As the result of this miracle and of Peter's discourse, many people who had heard the Word believed (Acts 4:4). On the morrow Peter repeated these words before the Sanhedrin, “By the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth... doth this man stand here before you whole”; and then he added, “There is none other name under heaven.., whereby we must be saved.” This statement of Peter's declares to us that the name of Jesus both heals and saves. We have here a teaching of the highest import for divine healing.

We see that healing and health form part of Christ's salvation. Does not Peter clearly state this in his discourse to the Sanhedrin where, having spoken of healing, he immediately goes on to speak of salvation by Jesus Christ? (Acts 4:10, 12). In heaven even our bodies will have their part in salvation; salvation will not be complete for us until our bodies shall enjoy the full redemption of Christ. Why then should we not believe in this work of redemption here below? Even already here on earth, the health of our bodies is a fruit of the salvation which Jesus has acquired for us. God is ready to manifest the all-power of His Son, and to do it in a striking way in body as well as in soul. Let us believe it for ourselves, let us believe it for others, for the circle of believers around us, and also for the Church in the whole world. Let us give ourselves to believe with firm faith in the power of the name of Jesus, let us ask great things in His name, counting on His promise, and we shall see God still do wonders by the name of His holy Son, Jesus.

Read-Thru-The-Bible  
Click on the links below to read today’s Bible verses online.
Jeremiah   45  46    Revelation   22

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                              God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion                    

 Today’s First Thoughts                               October 31, 2015

 Good Morning!
The prayer of faith is the result of real godliness, but those who possess it will be the first to acknowledge that it does not come from themselves, or from any effort of their own.

NOT BY OUR OWN POWER:
Acts 3:12. “And when Peter saw it, he answered unto the people, Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk?”

As soon as the impotent man had been healed at the gate of the temple through the prayer of Peter and John, the people ran together unto them. Peter, seeing this miracle was attributed to their power and holiness, loses no time in setting them right by telling them that all the glory of this miracle belongs to Jesus, and that it is He in whom we must believe.

Peter and John were undoubtedly full of faith and of holiness; perhaps even they may have been the most holy and zealous servants of God in their time, otherwise God might not have chosen them as instruments in this case of healing. But they knew that their holiness of life was not of themselves that it was of God through the Holy Spirit. They think so little of themselves that they ignore their own holiness and know only one thing—that all power belongs to their Master. They hasten, then, to declare that in this thing they count for nothing, that it is the work of the Lord alone. This is the object of divine healing: to be a proof of the power of Jesus, a witness in the eyes of men of what He is, proclaiming His divine intervention, and attracting hearts to Him. “Not by our own power or holiness.”

Thus is becomes those to speak whom the Lord is pleased to use in helping others by their faith. It is necessary to insist on this because of the tendency of believers to think that certain people can work wonders. Those who have recovered their health in answer to “the prayer of faith,” “the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16), are in danger of being too much occupied with the human instrument which God is pleased to employ, and to think that the power lies in man's piety. Let us not seek to do or to be anything of ourselves. It is only as we feel our own powerlessness, and expect all from God and His Word that we realize the glorious way in which the Lord heals sickness “by faith in his name.”

Read-Thru-The-Bible 
Click on the links below to read today’s Bible verses online.
Jeremiah   47 48      Proverbs   1
Jeremiah   49 50      Proverbs   2

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

 

 

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