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November, 2015

Bible For The World
Devotions, November, 2015

                             God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion                   

Today’s First Thoughts                                             November 1, 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   49 50      Proverbs   2

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                             God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion                                                           

Today’s First Thoughts                                         November 2, 2015

Good Morning!
God gives to His children according to their faith.

ACCORDING TO THE MEASURE OF FAITH:
Matthew 8:13. “And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.”

This passage of Scripture brings before us one of the principal laws of the kingdom of heaven. In order to understand God’s ways with His people, and our relations with the Lord, it is needful to understand this law thoroughly and not to deviate from it. Not only does God give or withhold His gifts according to the faith or unbelief of each, but they are granted in greater or lesser measure, only in proportion to the faith which receives them. God respects the right to decide which He has conferred on man.

Therefore He can only bless us in the measure in which each yields himself up to His divine working, and opens all his heart to Him. Faith in God is nothing else than the full opening of the heart to receive everything from God; therefore man can only receive divine grace according to his faith; and this applies as much to divine healing as to any other grace of God.

Jesus said unto the centurion, “As thou hast believed so be it done unto thee.” The part of faith is always to lay hold on just that which appears impossible or strange to human eyes. Let us be willing to be considered fools for Christ's sake

(1 Corinthians 4:10). Let us not fear to pass for weak-minded in the eyes of the world and of such Christians as are ignorant of these things, because, on the authority of the Word of God, we believe that which others cannot yet admit. Do not, then, let yourself be discouraged in your expectation even though God should delay to answer you, or if your sickness be aggravated.

Once having placed your foot firmly on the immovable rock of God's own Word, and having prayed the Lord to manifest His almightiness in your body because you are one of the members of His Body, and the temple of the Holy Ghost, persevere in believing in Him with the firm assurance that He has undertaken for you, that He has made Himself responsible for your body, and that His healing virtue will come to glorify Him in you.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Jeremiah   51  52      Proverbs   3

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                               God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion                                          

Today’s First Thoughts                                                       November 3, 2015

Good Morning!
It is The Lord who desires to awaken and develop in you the necessary faith.

THE WAY OF FAITH:
Mark 9:24. “And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.”

These words have been a help and strength to thousands of souls in their pursuit of salvation and the gifts of God. Notice that it is in relation to an afflicted child that they were pronounced, in the fight of faith when seeking healing from the Lord Jesus. In these words we see that in one and the same soul there can arise a struggle between faith and unbelief, and that it is not without a struggle that we come to believe in Jesus and in His all-power to heal the sick. In this we find the needful encouragement for realizing the Savior's power.

Take notice first that without faith no one can be healed. When the father of the afflicted child said to Jesus, “if thou canst do anything, have compassion on us, and help us,” Jesus replied: “If thou canst believe.” Jesus had the power to heal and He was ready to do it, but He casts responsibility on the man. “If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.” In order to obtain your healing from Jesus, it is not enough to pray. Prayer without faith is powerless. It is “the prayer of faith” which saves the sick (James 5:15). If you have already asked for healing from the Lord, or if others have asked it for you, you must, before you are conscious of any change, be able to say with faith, On the authority of God's Word I have the assurance that He hears me and that I shall be healed. To have faith means in your case to surrender your body absolutely into the Lord's hands, and to leave yourself entirely to Him. Faith receives healing as a spiritual grace which proceeds from the Lord even while there is no conscious change in the body. Faith can glorify God and say, “Bless the Lord, O my soul... Who healeth all my diseases” (Psalm 103:1-3). The Lord requires this faith that He may heal.

I speak here especially to sufferers who do not doubt the power or the will of the Lord Jesus to heal in this day, but who lack the boldness to accept healing for themselves. But how is such faith to be obtained? Tell God the unbelief which you find in your heart. And count on Him for deliverance from it. It is He who desires to awaken and develop in you the necessary faith. Cry out to Him, “Help my unbelief.”

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Lamentations   1  2      Proverbs   4

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                             God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion                                          

Today’s First Thoughts                                       November 4, 2015

Good Morning!
In the exuberance of his joy the healed one exalts the Lord, he glorifies God by word and deed, and all his life is consecrated to his God.

LET HIM THAT IS HEALED GLORIFY GOD:
Luke 18:43. “And immediately he received his sight, and followed him, glorifying God: and all the people, when they saw it, gave praise unto God.” Acts 3:8. “And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.”

Divine healing binds us more closely to God. Thus it comes to pass that in our day, as in the time of the early ministry of Jesus Christ, the believer who has been healed by Him can glorify Him far better than the one who remains sick. Sickness can only glorify God in the measure in which it gives occasion to manifest His power (John 9:3; 11:4). Doubtless very many sick people have glorified God by their patience in suffering, but God can be still more glorified by a health which He has sanctified.

“Why then should those who have been healed in answer to the prayer of faith glorify the Lord more than such as have been healed through earthly remedies?”

Here is the reason. Healing by means of remedies (medicine) shows us the power of God in nature; but it does not bring us into living and direct contact with Him; while divine healing is an act proceeding from God, without anything but the Holy Spirit. In this latter, contact with God is the thing which is essential, and it is for this reason that examination of the conscience and the confession of sins should be the preparation for it (1 Corinthians 11:30-32; .James 5:15, 16). One who is so healed is called to consecrate himself quite anew and entirely to the Lord (1 Corinthians 6:13, 19). All this depends upon the act of faith of those which lays hold of the Lord's promise, which yields to Him, and which does not doubt that the Lord at once takes possession of what is consecrated to Him.

This is why the continuance of health received depends on the holiness of the life, and the obedience in seeking always the good pleasure of the divine Healer (Exodus 15:26). Health obtained under such conditions ensures spiritual blessings. When the Lord heals the body it is that He may take possession of it and make it a temple that He may dwell in. The joy which then fills the soul is indescribable. It is not only the joy of being healed; it is joy mingled with humility, and a holy enthusiasm which recognizes the touch of the Lord and receives a new life from Him.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Lamentations   3   4      Psalm   89

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                             God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion                                            

Today’s First Thoughts                                           November 5, 2015

Good Morning!
The Bible teaches us that it is the will of God to see His children in good health.

GOD'S PRESCRIPTION FOR THE SICK:
James 5:14. “Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: 15. And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.”

What is the direction here given to the sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let the elders pray for him. In the time of James there were physicians, but it is not to them the sick believer must turn. The elders then were the pastors and leaders of the churches, called to the ministry not because they had passed through schools of theology, but because they were filled with the Holy Spirit, and well known for their piety and for their faith. Why should their presence be needed by the sick one? Could not his friends have prayed? Yes; but it is not so easy for everybody to exercise the faith which obtains healing, and, doubtless, that is one reason why James desired that men should be called whose faith was firm and sure.

Besides this, the elders were representatives to the sick one of the Church, the collective body of Christ, for it is the communion of believers which invites the Spirit to act with power. In short, they should, after the pattern of the great Shepherd of the sheep, care for the flock as He does, identify themselves with the sick one, understand his trouble, receive from God the necessary discernment to instruct him and encourage him to persevere in faith. It is, then, to the elders of the Church that the healing of the sick is committed, and it is they, the servants of the “God who pardons iniquities and heals diseases” (Psalm 103:3), who are called to transmit to others the Lord's graces for soul and body.

Finally, there is a promise still more direct—that of healing; the apostle speaks of it as the certain consequence of the prayer of faith. “The prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up.” This promise ought to stimulate in every believer the desire and expectation of healing. Receiving these words with simplicity and as they are written, ought we not to see in them an unlimited promise; offering healing to whomsoever shall pray in faith? The Lord teaches us to study His Word with the faith of a truly believing heart.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Lamentations   5        Ezekiel   1     Proverbs   5

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                             God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion                                       

Today’s First Thoughts                                           November 6, 2015

Good Morning!
James knew that a faith which obtains healing is not the fruit of human nature; therefore he adds that the prayer must be “fervent."

FERVENT AND EFFECTUAL PRAYER:
James 5:16. “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. 17. Elias (Elijah) was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. 18. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.

James gives the example of Elijah, a man of the same nature (“subject to like passions”) as we are, drawing therefore the inference that our prayer can be and ought to be of the same nature as his. How then did Elijah pray? This will throw some light upon what the prayer of faith should be. Elijah had received from God the promise that rain was about to fall upon the earth (1 Kings 18:1), and he had declared this to Ahab. Strong in the promise of his God, he mounts Carmel to pray (1 Kings 18:42; James 5:18). He knows that God's will is to send rain, however he must pray, or the rain will not come. His prayer is no empty form; it is a real power, the efficacy of which is about to make itself felt in heaven. God wills that it shall rain, but the rain will only come at Elijah's request, a request repeated seven times with faith and perseverance until the appearance of the first cloud in the sky.

In order that the will of God shall be accomplished, this will, must on one side be expressed by a promise, and on the other it must be received and laid hold of by the believer who prays. He therefore must persevere in prayer that he may show his God that his faith expects an answer, and will not grow weary until it is obtained. Perseverance in prayer, a perseverance which strengthens the faith of the believer against all which may seem opposed to the answer, is a real miracle; it is one of the impenetrable mysteries of the life of faith.

Prayer, therefore, is no vain form. In Gethsemane, Jesus prayed three times in succession. On Carmel Elijah prayed seven times; and we, if we believe the promise of God without doubting, shall pray until we receive the answer. Both the importunate friend at midnight and the widow who besieged the unjust judge are examples of perseverance in seeking the end in view.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Ezekiel   2  3  4     Proverbs   6

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                              God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion                                         

 Today’s First Thoughts                                             November 7 & 8, 2015

 Good Morning!
God certainly hears the prayer of each one of His children as soon as it is presented to Him with living faith, but the sick one does not always possess such faith as this.

INTERCESSORY PRAYER:
James 5:16. “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed.”

James begins by speaking to us of the prayers of the elders of the church; but here he addresses all believers in saying: “Pray one for another that ye may be healed.” Having already spoken of confession and pardon, he still adds: “Pray one for another.” This shows us that the prayer of faith which asks for healing is not the prayer of one isolated believer, but that it ought to unite the members of the body of Christ in the communion of the Spirit. God certainly hears the prayer of each one of His children as soon as it is presented to Him with living faith, but the sick one does not always possess such faith as this. Therefore, that the Holy Spirit may come to act with power, there must generally be the union of several members of the body of Christ united claiming His presence. We need one as well as the other.

This dependence on our brethren should be exercised in two ways. First of all we must confess our faults to any whom we may have wronged, and receive pardon from them. But besides this, if one who is sick has been brought to see that a certain sin which he has committed the cause of his sickness, and to recognize in it a chastening of God, he ought in such a case to acknowledge his sin before the elders or brethren in Christ who pray for him, and who are  thus enabled to do so with more light and more faith. Such confession will be also a touchstone which tests the sincerity of his repentance, for it is easier to confess our sins to God than to man. Before he does it, his humiliation must needs be real and his repentance sincere. The result will be a closer communion between the sick one and those who intercede for him, and their faith will be quickened.

James notes here still another essential condition to successful prayer: it must be the prayer of the righteous. We often hear these words quoted: “The prayer of a righteous man availeth much,” but very rarely is it taken in connection with its context, or remembered that it is most especially divine healing which is in question here. May the Lord raise up in His Church many of these righteous men, full of faith, whom He can use to glorify Jesus as the divine Healer of the sick!

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Ezekiel    5  6  7     Proverbs   7 
Ezekiel    8  9         Proverbs   8

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                              God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion                                                          

Today’s First Thoughts                                             November 9, 2015

Good Morning!
Most Christians see nothing more in divine healing than a temporal blessing for the body, while in the promise of our holy God its end is to make us holy.

OBEDIENCE AND HEALTH:
Exodus 15:25. “…there he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved them, 26. And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee.”

It was at Marah that the Lord gave to His people this ordinance. Israel was just released from the yoke of Egypt when their faith was put to the test in the desert by the waters of Marah. It was after He had sweetened the bitter waters that the Lord promised He would not put upon the children of Israel any of the diseases which He had brought upon the Egyptians so long as they would obey Him. They would be exposed to other trials, they might sometimes suffer the need of bread and of water, and encounter great dangers; all these things might come upon them in spite of their obedience, but sickness might not touch them.

In a world still under the power of Satan, there might be a lot of attacks coming from without, but their bodies would not be oppressed with sickness, for God had delivered them from it. Had He not said, “If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God... I will put none of these diseases upon thee which I have brought upon the Egyptians, for I am the Lord that healeth thee?” Again elsewhere, “Ye shall serve the Lord your God, ... and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee”
(Exodus 23:25).

This calls our attention to a truth of the greatest importance: the intimate relations which exist between obedience and health, between sanctification which is the health of the soul, and the divine healing which ensures the health of the body—both are comprised in the salvation that comes from God. The expressions which bear this out seem to be purposely multiplied: “If thou wilt diligently hearken.., if thou wilt do that which is right.., if thou wilt give ear... if thou wilt keep all his statutes, I will not send any sickness upon thee.”

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Ezekiel   10  11     Proverbs    9

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                              God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion                                           

Today’s First Thoughts                                     November 10, 2015

Good Morning!
We should regard the “anointing with oil,” not as a remedy, but as a pledge of the mighty virtue of the Holy Spirit, as a means of strengthening faith, a point of contact and of communion between the sick one and the members of the Church who are called to anoint him with oil.

ANOINTING WITH OIL IN THE NAME OF THE LORD:
James 5:14. “Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:” Mark 6:13. “And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them.”

In the Old Testament all those who were called to the special service of God were to be anointed with oil, as a token of their consecration to God, and of the grace they should receive from Him to fulfill their vocation. Thus the oil which was used to anoint the priests and the tabernacle was looked upon as “most holy” (Exodus 30:22-32), and wherever the Bible speaks of anointing with oil, it is an emblem of holiness and consecration. Nowhere in the Bible do we find any proof that oil was used as a remedy for sickness.

In the Old Testament, oil was the symbol of the gift of the Holy Spirit: “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me,” (Isaiah 61:1). It is said of the Lord Jesus in the New Testament: “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power” (Acts 10:38), and it is said of believers: “Ye have an unction (anointing, R.V.) from the Holy One” (1 John 2:20). Sometimes man feels the need of a visible sign, appealing to his senses, which may come to his aid to sustain his faith, and enable him to grasp the spiritual meaning. The anointing therefore should symbolize to the sick person the action of the Holy Spirit who gives the healing.

Do we then need the anointing of oil as well as the prayer of faith? It is the Word of God which prescribes it, and it is in order to follow out its teachings that most of those who pray for healing do the anointing with oil; not that they regard it as indispensable, but to show that they are ready to submit to the Word of God in all things. James, the head of the Church of Jerusalem, faithful in preserving as far as possible the institutions of his fathers, continued the system of the Holy Spirit.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Ezekiel   12   13      Proverbs   10  

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                                God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion                                          

Today’s First Thoughts                                  November 11, 2015

Good Morning!
We may talk a great deal, and write a great deal, about the father's love to the prodigal, but when we think of the way he treated the elder brother, it brings to our hearts a truer sense of the wonderful love of the father.

FULL SALVATION OUR HIGH PRIVILEGE:
Luke 15:31. “Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.”

The elder son, being ever with his father, had, if he liked, the privilege of two things: unceasing fellowship and unlimited partnership. But he was worse than the prodigal, for, although always at home, yet he had never known, nor enjoyed, nor understood the privileges that were his. All this fullness of fellowship had been waiting for him and offered to him, but not received. While the prodigal was away from home in the far country, his elder brother was far from the enjoyment of home, while he was at home. We see this also played out in many Christian’s lives.

Unceasing Fellowship: “Thou art ever with me.” An earthly father loves his child, and delights to make his child happy. “God is love,” and He delights to pour out His own nature to His people. Unlimited Partnership: “All I have is thine.” The elder son complained of the father's gracious reception of the prodigal, of all the feasting and rejoicing over his return, while to him had never been given a kid that he might make merry with his friends. The father, in the tenderness of his love, answers him, “Son, you were always in my house; you had only to ask and you would have gotten all you desired and required.” And that is what our Father says to all His children.

Now let us consider the Way of Restoration: how to get out of this poor experience. The prodigal repented and so must those children of God who have been living within sight of, but not enjoying, His promises. These two sons represent two classes of Christians: the prodigal—away backslidden; the elder son—out of full fellowship with God. They were alike poor, and the elder son needed as great a change as did the prodigal; he needed to repent and confess and claim his full privileges; and so ought all low-level Christians to repent, confess, and claim full salvation. There are two classes of Christians: those who enjoy full salvation, and those who do not understand about it. Oh, both of you, come today and say, “Father, I have sinned.” Our message is that the Lord your God desires to have you living continually in the light of His countenance, enjoying all of His blessings and benefits.

Read-Thru-The-Bible  
Ezekiel   14  15      Psalm   90  91

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                              God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion                                                         

 Today’s First Thoughts                                             November 12, 2015

 Good Morning!
Absolute dependence upon God is the secret of all power in our work. The branch has nothing but what it gets from the vine, and you and I can have nothing but what we get from Jesus.

YE ARE THE BRANCHES:
John 15:5. “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.”

What a simple thing it is to be a branch—the branch of a tree, or the branch of a vine! The branch grows out of the vine, or out of the tree, and there it lives and in due time bears fruit. It has no responsibility except just to receive from the root and stem sap and nourishment. And if we only by the Holy Spirit knew our relationship to Jesus Christ, our work would be changed into the brightest and most heavenly thing upon earth. Instead of there ever being soul-weariness or exhaustion, our work would be like a new experience, linking us to Jesus as nothing else can.

Now, just a few thoughts about this blessed branch-life. In the first place it is a life of absolute dependence. The branch has nothing: it just depends upon the vine for everything. That word, absolute dependence, is one of the most solemn and large and precious of words. The whole of theology is summed up in that one principle of absolute dependence upon God.  If you can learn every moment of the day to depend upon God, everything will come right. You will get the higher life if you depend absolutely upon God.

And how does He fulfill the trust of that dependence? He does it by sending down the Holy Spirit—not now and then only as a special gift, for remember the relation between the vine and the branches is such that hourly, daily, unceasingly, there is the living connection maintained. The sap does not flow for a time, and then stop, and then flow again, but from moment to moment the sap flows from the vine to the branches. And just so, my Lord Jesus wants me to take that blessed position as a worker, and, morning by morning and day by day and hour by hour and step by step, in every work I have to go out to, just to abide before Him in the simple, utter helplessness of one who knows nothing, and is nothing, and can do nothing. If you would be a true branch of Christ, the living Vine, just rest on Him, abide in Him. Let Christ bear the responsibility.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Ezekiel   16   17    Proverbs   11 

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                             God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion                                          

Today’s First Thoughts                                        November 13, 2015

Good Morning!
Close, personal, actual communion with Christ is an absolute necessity for daily life. Take time to be alone with Christ. Nothing in heaven or earth can free you from the necessity for that, if you are to be a happy and holy Christian.

A Life Of Close Communion:
John 15:4. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.”

The life of the branch is a life of close communion. Let us again ask: What has the branch to do? You know that precious, inexhaustible word that Jesus used: “Abide.” Your life is to be an abiding life. And how is the abiding to be? It is to be just like the branch in the vine, abiding every minute of the day. There are the branches, in close communion, in unbroken communion, with the vine, from January through December. You may have ten hours of hard work daily, during which your brain has to be occupied with temporal things; God orders it so.

But the abiding work is the work of the heart, not of the brain, the work of the heart clinging to and resting in Jesus, a work in which the Holy Spirit links us to Christ Jesus. Believe that deeper down than the brain, deep down in the inner life, you can abide in Christ, so that every moment you are free the consciousness will come: Blessed Jesus, I am still in Thee. If you will learn for a time to put aside other work and to get into this abiding contact with the heavenly Vine, you will find that fruit will come.

How many Christians look upon it as a burden, and a tax, and a duty, and a difficulty to get much alone with God! That is the great hindrance to our Christian life everywhere. We need more quiet fellowship with God, and I tell you in the name of the heavenly Vine that you cannot be healthy branches, branches into which the heavenly sap can flow, unless you take plenty of time for communion with God. If you are not willing to sacrifice time to get alone with Him, and give Him time every day to work in you, and to keep up the link of connection between you and Himself, He cannot give you that blessing of His unbroken fellowship. Jesus Christ asks you to live in close communion with Him. Let every heart say: “0 Jesus, it is this I long for, it is this I choose.” And He will gladly give it to you. When you get alone with God, worship and adore Him, praise and trust Him, love Him and wait for His love.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Ezekiel   18  19      Proverbs   12      

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                             God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion                                                         

Today’s First Thoughts                                        November 14&15, 2015

Good Morning!
Being a spiritual adult means you move from knowing about God to knowing Him personally. There is a big gap between being a spiritual child and a young man, but an even larger gap between being a young man and a father.

KNOWING GOD:
1 John 2:13. “I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father.”

In this wonderful passage in 1 John 2:12–14, the apostle John describes stages of spiritual growth and maturity that believers go through. There are spiritual “children,” “young men,” and “fathers.” Spiritual children are those whose “sins are forgiven.” They are people who don’t know any more than that they are born again and have eternal life. Some people have been Christians for 10 or 20 years but are still spiritual children. They don’t know anything about Christian truth or doctrine and they don’t know much about God. Spiritual infancy, just like physical infancy, is to be expected. But it should transition into the next phase at the appropriate time.

Becoming a spiritual young man, or adolescent in the faith, should follow infancy. This is the time when your faith is tested and you must prove what you believe. You begin to learn truth about God and see it validated in your own experience; you win more spiritual battles than you lose. Then you become a spiritual adult, or a “father,” because “you have known Him who is from the beginning.” This is spiritual maturity.

Where are you on John’s continuum of spiritual growth and maturity? If all you know is that you’re saved, you need to take it to the next level. If you’re a spiritual adolescent, you need to focus on knowing God. This is not a matter of pride but a matter of purpose in our lives so that we ultimately come to know God, not just know about Him. The apostle Paul would boast (glory) in nothing except “the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Galatians 6:14). And Hosea the prophet wrote that God delights more in people knowing Him than in making sacrifices to Him (Hosea 6:6). Worship is important, but knowing God is the most important thing of all.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Ezekiel   20   21      Proverbs   13
Ezekiel   22  23      Proverbs    14

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                               God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion                                           

 Today’s First Thoughts                                         November 16, 2015

Good Morning!
Do you know about God, or do you know Him? Knowing the God You Worship has the ultimate goal of encouraging you to worship God with your whole heart.”

KNOWING THE GOD YOU WORSHIP:
Jeremiah 9:24. “But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.”

We can only worship someone we love, and we can only love someone we know.
Worship, therefore, begins with a heart that has touched the heart of God, a heart that truly knows the one we worship. If we come to know Him as He wants to be known, we will love Him. And if we love Him, worship will not be something we “do” as much as it will flow naturally from a heart filled with the knowledge of and love for God. Worship is an uncontrolled release of expression from a heart that can’t contain its love for God.

How do we treat God? Do we bring Him flowers and chocolates once a week in the form of our tithes and offerings or our presence in the church’s weekly meetings? And then we wonder why our relationship with Him doesn’t grow. If that’s how we seek to develop a relationship with God, some serious problems will, in time, arise.

When Paul was in prison in Rome, writing to the church in Philippi, he said that the ultimate purpose of his life could be summarized this way: “that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death” (Philippians 3:10). When you read Paul’s letters, it is easy to see that this one thing was the focus of his entire life; it was his passion and reason for living, to know Christ.

Paul also writes that every Christian will one day “know just as I also am known” (1 Corinthians 13:12). That will require a serious adjustment for many Christians, but it shouldn’t. We ought to know God so well when we die that our transition to heaven goes off without a glitch. That is, our knowledge of God was so intimate while on earth that our adjustment to knowing and being known fully in heaven would be minimal—just a different location.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Ezekiel   24  25      Proverbs   15

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                            God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion                   

Today’s First Thoughts                                         November 17, 2015

Good Morning!
Many Christians are guilty of playing the role of victims. They live with a mentality of being the persecuted victims in this world. But we are not victims—we are the victors! And knowing God will give us the power to live like it.

KNOWING GOD GIVES A SENSE OF POWER:
Daniel 11:32. “… but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.”

Daniel was an unwilling resident of Babylon when he wrote those words, having been taken there in the exile of Jews from Jerusalem. He was in a setting where his faith was opposed by the culture around him. But he found strength in his knowledge of God. When he first arrived in Babylon as a prisoner, he was chosen to serve in the king’s court. When told he must eat from the king’s dining room, which would violate his Jewish dietary standards, he refused. Daniel “knew” His God and gained strength from his covenant commitment to honor God’s Word. Daniel and his three friends were the only Jewish hostages mentioned as standing firm instead of violating their conscience and God’s standards (Daniel 1).

Daniel’s three friends found themselves in yet another challenging spot when they refused to bow down before the statue of King Nebuchadnezzar. When the king heard about their refusal, he was furious and threatened to throw them into a furnace of fire. Their answer to the king went like this: “O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful (afraid) to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.” (Daniel 3:11-18). Whenever we read this account, we should be encouraged to “know” God better because I want that kind of power in my own life!

Knowing” God will give us the power to live like that. Those young Hebrews in Babylon could stand up to the king because they knew God and knew they were in the center of His will. They weren’t afraid of anything or anyone, and were not about to defile their consciences or lower their standards just to please a pagan king. Maybe if we knew God as well as those young Hebrew men did, we would live with that same fearless power.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Ezekiel   26   27      Proverbs   16  

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                                 God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion                                           

 Today’s First Thoughts                                               November 18, 2015

 Good Morning!
There is nothing you are experiencing that God is not fully aware of. God is never taken by surprise and He never goes on vacation. There is no reason for you not to live in perfect peace when you know Your God.

KNOWING GOD GIVES A SENSE OF PEACE:
Daniel 4:36. “At the same time my reason returned unto me; and for the glory of my kingdom, mine honour and brightness returned unto me; and my counsellors and my lords sought unto me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added unto me.”

It’s easy to read the paper and watch the news on television and fall into a sense of despair about conditions in this world. We wonder if God really is in control. We find out in Daniel that Nebuchadnezzar discovered who is really in charge of the affairs of this world. In Daniel 4, the king had a dream that he called upon Daniel to interpret for him. The essence of the interpretation was that God was going to depose the king for a period of seven years, during which time he would act like an animal, grazing on the grass of the field. At the end of the seven years, Nebuchadnezzar made a statement about what he had learned in his crash course about who’s really in charge in the world: (Daniel 4:34-35).

Nebuchadnezzar, who had maintained a lofty view and opinion of his role and influence in the world, had come to understand who truly is in charge. After being humbled by God for seven years, there was no question in His mind about the power of God to work out His will. He learned that God is in charge. When we know who our God is and transfer our head knowledge to a level of trust, we can live in peace. We can sleep soundly at night and not worry about what we read in the paper that day. We learn that His sovereignty, holiness, justice, omnipotence, and omniscience will guard us daily. But if we don’t know Him, the affairs of this world will keep us in a constant state of fear and anxiety.

Do you “know” God, or just know about God? That answer can be determined by the sense of pride, purpose, power, and peace that others see in your life. When we “know” Him, not only are we prepared to live each day, but we are preparing ourselves for a seamless transition into eternity: “this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” (John 17:3).

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Ezekiel  28  29       Psalm   92  93  94

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                              God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion                                        

 Today’s First Thoughts                                           November 19, 2015

 Good Morning!
Jesus was an incredibly busy man. The Gospels record only fifty-two days of His life, but what a whirlwind of activity is chronicled in those few hundred hours!

YOU ARE TOO BUSY NOT TO PRAY:
Mark 1:35. “And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.

One of the busiest days of our Lord is recorded in the first chapter of Mark’s Gospel. This day was crowded with miracles to perform, lessons to teach, people to heal, disputes to settle. It was a day totally dedicated to reaching out to people and ministering to their deep needs. How draining that kind of intensive ministry can be! It’s hard to understand the strain on both mind and body if you’ve never endured a day of full-bore, non-stop ministry. To keep yourself open to people all day, to serve them and minister to them and help them and teach them and listen to them for hours on end without a break—nothing I know of will suck the life and energy out of a person like intense ministry. That’s the kind of day Jesus had.

One after another, people came to him for healing, for understanding, for a gentle touch. Minute after minute, hour after hour, from the rising of the sun until the pale glow of sunset, Jesus worked. People with problems flocked to Him. A son was ill. A daughter was crippled. A neighbor was tormented by a demon. Two friends were arguing over some point of doctrine. And one by one, need after need, Jesus ministered to them all. Who among us wouldn’t be ready to collapse after a day like that? But still Jesus was not done. Mark tells us, “And when evening had come, after the sun had set, they began bringing to Him all who were ill and those who were demon-possessed. And the whole city had gathered at the door” (Mark 1:32–33). Talk about busy! Eventually, of course, even Jesus needed to rest. But not long after He finally pillowed His head after the busiest recorded day of His life (there’s no telling how late it was), we read, “And in the early morning, while it was still dark, He arose and went out and departed to a lonely place, and was praying there”

The morning after is always the hardest, isn’t it? You’re exhausted. You have nothing left to give. Your bed seems like heaven. That’s the morning that you say, “Well, I guess I’ll just skip praying today.” But not Jesus. The morning after the busiest day of His life was the morning He chose to get up early and pray.

Read-Thru-The-Bible    
Ezekiel   30  31      Proverbs   17

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                              God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion                                           

 Today’s First Thoughts                                       November 20, 2015

 Good Morning!
The kind of prayer that changes hearts and transforms neighborhoods and rebuilds communities and revives nations is intense, fervent, and all business.

PRAYER IS WARFARE, PRAYER IS A WRESTLING MATCH:
Colossians 4:12. “Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.”

I love what it says about Epaphras “always wrestling in prayer” (NIV) for the Colossian believers. The intensity and all-out exertion of his prayer life could only be captured in a word taken from athletic competition. He wrestled in prayer with God, like Jacob did one night long before (Genesis 32:22–32). In a similar way, Colossians 2:1 says Paul had a “great conflict” for the people in his prayer ministry.

The root word which Paul used describing a man agonizing in prayer is also used of a man working until he’s exhausted (Colossians 1:29). It’s the word used of an athlete competing for a coveted prize           (1 Corinthians 9:25). It’s the word used of a soldier who battles for his life (1 Timothy 6:12) or of a man struggling to rescue a friend (John 18:36).

I wonder do those word pictures describe our prayer life? Does it have the sheer intensity of an athletic contest? The all-out agony of rescuing a friend from drowning? The total exertion of an exhausting work day? If so, great! The great adventure of prayer often requires buckets of sweat. The kind of prayer that will change our lives, our churches, and our world is all business. Prayer that transforms is prayer that gets down to work. It’s not an idle word said before mealtime or an exhausted phrase offered before we lay our head on the pillow at night. Those kinds of prayers are good as far as they go, but the problem is, they don’t go very far. They don’t have much stamina. They can’t get a lot of work done.

The kind of prayer that changes hearts and transforms neighborhoods and rebuilds communities and revives nations is intense, fervent, and all business. It’s that kind of dedicated ministry through which the real work of God gets done. As pastor Bill Hybels has written, “When we work, we work; but when we pray, God works.”

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Ezekiel   32  33    Proverbs   18

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                            God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion                   

Today’s First Thoughts                                     November 21 & 22, 2015

Good Morning!
Conversion for those first Christians was not a destination; it was the beginning of a life-long journey.

FAITH IS A JOURNEY:
Acts 2:42. “And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.”

That is what says Luke of the thousands who received the Word and were baptized following the preaching of Peter on the day of Pentecost. Conversion for those first Christians was the beginning of a journey. And right there is where the Biblical emphasis differs from many of today’s Christians. Today all is made to depend upon the initial act of believing. At a given moment a “decision” is made for Christ, and after that everything is automatic. In the Book of Acts faith was for each believer a beginning, not an end; it was a journey, not a bed in which to lie while waiting for the day of our Lord’s triumphs. Believing was not a once-done act; it was more than an act, it was an attitude of heart and mind which inspired and enabled the believer to take up his cross and follow the Lamb whithersoever He went.

They continued,” says Luke, and is it not plain that it was only by continuing that they could confirm their faith? On a given day they believed, were baptized and joined themselves to the believing company. Very good, but tomorrow what? and the next day? and the next week? How could anyone know that their conversion had been genuine? Obviously there was only one way: “They continued.”

Not only did they continue, “they continued steadfastly.” So wrote Luke, and the word “steadfastly” is there to tell us that they continued against serious opposition. Steadfastness is required only when we are under attack, mental or physical, and the story of those early Christians is a story of faith under fire. The opposition was real.

Those first believers turned to Christ with the full understanding that they were espousing an unpopular cause that could cost them everything. They knew they would henceforth be members of a hated minority group with life and liberty always in jeopardy. Yet “They continued.”

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Ezekiel   34  35      Proverbs   19
Ezekiel   36  37      Proverbs   20

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                            God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion                                         

Today’s First Thoughts                                         November 23, 2015

Good Morning!
The fall of man created a perpetual crisis. It will last until sin has been put down and Christ reigns over a redeemed and restored world. Until that time the earth remains a disaster area and its inhabitants live in a state of great emergency.

WE LIVE IN A STATE OF EMERGENCY:
Matthew 24:7. “For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.”

Statesmen and economists talk hopefully of “a return to normal conditions,” but conditions have not been normal since “the woman saw that the tree was good for food... and pleasant”... and “to be desired to make one wise” and “took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.” It is not enough to say that we live in a state of moral crisis; that is true, but it is not all. To illustrate, we may say that war is a crisis in international relations, a breach of the peace between nations, but that is to leave much unsaid. Along with that breach comes widespread ruin, the death of countless thousands of human beings, the uprooting of families, indescribable mental and bodily suffering, the wanton destruction of property, hunger and disease and a hundred forms of misery which grow out of these other horrors and spread like fire over large portions of the earth, affecting millions of people.

So “the Fall” was a moral crisis but it has affected every part of man’s nature, moral, intellectual, psychological, spiritual and physical. His whole being has been deeply injured; the sin in his heart has overflowed into his total life, affecting his relation to God, to his fellow men and to everyone and everything that touches him.

It is not quite accurate to say that when our first parents fled from before the face of God they became fugitives and vagabonds in the earth; and it is certainly not true to say that they passed from the love and care of the One who had created them and against whom they had so deeply revolted. God never abandoned the creatures made in His image. Had they not sinned He would have cared for them by His presence; now He cares for them by His providence till a ransomed and regenerated people can look once more on His face (Revelation 21:3, 22:4). Men are lost but not abandoned; that is what the Holy Scriptures teach and that is what the Church is commissioned to declare.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Ezekiel   38  39         Proverbs   21

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                              God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion                                           

 Today’s First Thoughts                                    November 24, 2015   

Good Morning!
There is in the world an enemy whom we dare not ignore. We see him first in the third chapter of Genesis and last in the twentieth of Revelation; he was present at the beginning of human history and will be there at its earthly close.

THE TRUTH ABOUT THE DEVIL:
Genesis 3:1. “Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made.” Revelation 20:10. “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone,”

This Devil is not a creation of religious fancy, not a mere personification of evil for convenience, but a being as real as man himself. The Bible attributes to him qualities of personality too detailed to be figurative, and reveals him speaking and acting in situations hard and practical and far removed from the poetic imagination.

The devil is declared in the Scriptures to be an enemy of God and of all good men. He is said to be a liar, a deceiver and a murderer who achieves his ends by guile and trickery. Because he is a spirit he is able to “walk up and down in the earth” at his pleasure. While he is not omnipresent (omnipresence being an attribute of God alone) he is ubiquitous, which for his purpose amounts to the same thing.

The enemy bears many names, among them being the dragon, the serpent, the devil and Satan. In addition to this supreme evil being, there are demons, “principalities,” “powers,” “rulers of the darkness of this world” and “wicked spirits in high places” which operate under his direction. How successful this band of cosmic outlaws has been is written into human history with a pen dipped in blood. The havoc they have wrought in the earth is so frightful as to exceed all power of description. Every newspaper, every news broadcast is a proof of the existence of that evil genius called the devil and his band of vicious spirits dedicated to destruction.

Satan hates God for His own sake, and everything that is dear to God he hates for the very reason that God loves it. Because man was made in God’s image the hatred with which Satan regards him is particularly malevolent, and since the Christian is doubly dear to God he is hated by the powers of darkness with an aggravated fury probably not equaled anywhere else in the moral universe. The best way to keep the enemy out is to keep Christ in. The sheep need not be terrified by the wolf; they have but to stay close to the shepherd. It is not the praying sheep Satan fears, but the presence of the shepherd.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Ezekiel   40  41       Proverbs   22

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                            God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion                                        

Today’s First Thoughts                                        November 25, 2015

Good Morning!
The strongest evidence for a Spirit-filled life is gratitude, or thanksgiving.

THANK GOD:
2 Corinthians 2:14. “Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ,”

Did you see it? Gratitude and triumph in the same verse. There is something about the attitude of gratitude that seems at home in the scenes of triumph. I don’t know whether it has been a good thing for God’s people that we have one day a year when we celebrate “Thanksgiving.” Does that mean that we can be as ungrateful as we want to be through the other 364 days? Unfortunately, the doctrine of gratitude, which is paramount in the New Testament, has been relegated by some to an optional and seasonal spirit. Gratitude is sometimes looked upon as that which good Christians sometimes do, instead of that which should mark the life of every believer. The spirit of gratitude or thanksgiving should be true of all of us if we know Jesus Christ and if God’s Holy Spirit is in control of our lives.

“In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). In the world in which we live today, there are so many reasons to be ungrateful, so many reasons to complain. But if the Spirit of God is in us, He will triumph over that. He will give us victory over those negative, self-pitying thoughts, and genuine, heartfelt thanksgiving will spill through the cracks of our soul like sunlight through a glass window as we explain to people what God is doing in our life.

“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” 1 Corinthians 15:57. There it is again! Victory and triumph in the same context with gratitude. You show me somebody who is experiencing spiritual victory, who just exudes a sense of triumph, and I promise you, as you get to know that individual, you will find a man or woman who is saturated with a spirit of gratitude. You get close to these people, and you find yourself wishing some of the outflow of their lives would spill over on you! These gentle spirits are overflowing with the love of God, and the joy of God, and thanksgiving and gratitude. “Oh, God, help us to be like that, filled with Your Spirit.”

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Ezekiel   42   43         Psalm   95  96

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                             God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion                                                           

Today’s First Thoughts                                             November 26, 2015

Good Morning!
Jesus’ teaching is that true greatness lies in character, not in ability or position.

THE WAY OF TRUE GREATNESS:
Matthew 20:22. “Whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;”

From these words we may properly conclude (and the context strongly supports the conclusion) that there is nothing wrong with the desire to be great provided,

(1) We seek the right kind of greatness;
(2) We allow God to decide what greatness is;
(3) We are willing to pay the full price that greatness demands; and
(4) We are content to wait for the judgment of God to settle the whole matter of who    is great at last.

It is vitally important, however, that we know what Jesus meant when He used the word great in relation to men and His meaning cannot be found in the lexicon or dictionary. Only when viewed in its broad theological setting is it understood right. No one whose heart has had a vision of God, however brief or imperfect that vision may have been, will ever consent to think of himself, or anyone else, as being great. The sight of God, when He appears in awesome majesty to the eyes of the soul, will bring the worshiper to his knees in fear and gladness and fill him with such an overwhelming sense of divine greatness that he must spontaneously cry “Only God is great!”

All this being true, still God Himself applies the word great to men, as when the angel tells Zacharias that the son (John The Baptist) who is to be born “shall be great in the sight of the Lord,” or as when Jesus speaks of some who shall be “great in the kingdom of heaven.” Obviously there are two kinds of greatness recognized in the Scriptures. An absolute, uncreated greatness belonging to God alone, and a relative and finite greatness achieved by or bestowed upon certain friends of God and sons of faith who by obedience and self-denial sought to become as much like God as possible. It is of this latter kind of greatness that we speak.

Jesus introduced a new and radical conception of greatness. Christ located true greatness and showed how it could be attained. “Whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; and whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant.” It is that simple and that easy—and that difficult.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Ezekiel   44  45          Proverbs   23  

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                             God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion                                         

Today’s First Thoughts                                            November 27, 2015

Good Morning!
We must believe in and expect and demonstrate integrity and moral courage, and not surrender when our principles are challenged.

THE PRESSURE TO CHEAT:
Acts 5:1. “But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, 2. And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles' feet.”

This incident takes place when members of the early Church felt led of the Holy Spirit to sell their goods and property and give the proceeds to the furtherance of the Gospel. Ananias and Sapphira, most likely seeing the accolades given to those who did this, formed the scheme to bring accolades upon themselves by pretending to bring the proceeds of their own property to the Apostles. The result was, Peter saw through their scheme and they died swiftly by the hand of God.

Why are cheating and lying so common in schools, on the sports field, and in business and politics? Apparently it’s a thing called pressure. Kids are under pressure to get into college, athletes and coaches are under pressure to win, and according to a survey by the American Management Association, the pressure to meet business objectives and deadlines is the leading cause of unethical corporate behavior. The desires to further one’s career and protect one's livelihood are the second and third reasons people lie or cheat. In other words, we take ethical shortcuts to get what we want.

Why are we so willing to shift responsibility for every form of human weakness from ourselves to the system? We don’t blame the liar; we blame the law. We don’t blame the cheater; we blame the test. The implication is: Don’t expect me to be ethical when personal interests are at stake. What we call pressures today used to be called temptations. Everyone knew that the test of character was our ability to resist them. We must believe in and expect integrity and moral courage and not surrender when our principles are challenged. We need to expect good people to do what’s right, even when it’s difficult or costly. Lots of people act dishonorably in the face of pressure. But pressure is an explanation, not a justification. Pressures, temptations – call them what you will are part of life, but it’s far more important that we have more character and honesty.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Ezekiel   46   47      Proverbs   24              

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                             God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion                                           

Today’s First Thoughts                              November 28 & 29 2015

Good Morning!
The Lord Jesus Christ, after He consecrates us thoroughly and fills us entirely, has still grace to fill us every day and grace to overcome all the ills and trials of life.

CLEANSING IS CONTINUAL:
John 13:8. “Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. 9. Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. 10. Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all.”

 In John 13, we find Jesus using two expressions for cleansing, for the verbs are different in the original language. One describes a thorough cleansing. “He that is washed” (13:10). The word “washed” means to be thoroughly washed, that is, entirely cleansed—soul and body—and thoroughly sanctified. That person does not need to have the act redone.

But Jesus goes on to say, “He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet.” He will need to have his feet washed, to have the little stains of the passing earth, the little missteps that come a thousand times a day, removed. He does not need to be again saved and sanctified to God, but he needs a thousand re-washings from the transient defilements that had not entered his heart but had stained his feet. He who is washed needs not for his whole body to be plunged beneath the stream, but he needs to have the daily defilements removed. We may be washed in this larger sense, but if Jesus washes us not in this lower sense, we have no part with Him. Our communion is interrupted until we are cleansed.

This is the meaning of coming daily to the throne of grace and finding help in time of need. This is the privilege of the most consecrated believer. That blessed laver is open in our hearts continually, and the Great High Priest is ever there. He is there with the hyssop to sprinkle us and wash us over and over, even from the very shadow of the faintest contact that comes from the spirits of others or the atmosphere of the world in which we live. Let us be sure that we have not only come to the altar and the blood, but that we are washed with pure water. Let us be sure we are constantly keeping our garments unspotted from the world and cleansed in the ever-flowing tides of His love.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Ezekiel   48        Daniel   1       Proverbs   25
Daniel   2   3      Proverbs   26

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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                                God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion                                          

Today’s First Thoughts                                     November 30, 2015

Good Morning!
Let us step into the “Holy Of Holies” reverently and look at the mercy seat.

THE MERCY SEAT:
Exodus 25:17. “And thou shalt make a mercy seat of pure gold: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof. 18. And thou shalt make two cherubims of gold, of beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat. 21. And thou shalt put the mercy seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee.”  

MERCY SEAT.” This is the golden lid of the ark of the covenant. The lid is the mercy seat. It is of the same gold that was wrought into the cherubim above it. They are all of one piece. Now mercy seat means literally, in Hebrew, a bloody covering. It hides something; it covers something that otherwise would be unfit to see. What did this mercy seat cover? In that ark was the record of Israel's sins. In it was the Table of Stone, the Ten Commandments, written with the finger of God, every line of which called to heaven against the nation, every line of which was a witness of their sins.

Suppose it was your sins. And suppose there was no lid on the arkthat it was all open. And suppose that the stony table was witnessing against you forever. And now, see above you the awful Shekinah eye, looking on the record. Would you not want something to hide your sin from His sight? And what if you saw an angel's hand bring a lid of pure, imperishable, impregnable gold and clamp it down over the record of your sin? And what if that angel sprinkled the blood that could answer heaven for your sin, and say to the holy God, “Punished, pardoned, and ransomed because of Jesus?” Would not that be a glorious covering? So it is! And so David sings, “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered” Psalm 32:1.

Covered is the same word used for mercy seat. Again we read, “He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel” (Numbers 23:21). Why? Because it was covered. Oh, this is the meaning of salvation—covered forever by the blood of Jesus, by the righteousness of Jesus! And so this mercy seat has come to represent God's mercy. But further, it has come to mean the privilege of communion and of fellowship on the ground of Christ's atonement and intercession.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Daniel   4   5       Proverbs   27   

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

 

 

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