Devotional for January 2019

“Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before – beware lest ye also – being led away with the error of the wicked – fall from your own stedfastness.” [2Pe.3:17“Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. (13) For if ye live after the flesh – ye shall die; but, if ye – through the Spirit – do mortify the deeds of the body – ye shall live. (14) For as many as are led by the Spirit of God – they are the sons of God. (15) For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear – but ye have received the Spirit of adoption – whereby we cry, Abba, Father.” [Ro.8:12-15]

All who are alive on this earth – in this world – right now – are, one way, or another — being described in these two particular portions of God’s Word. We are either being led away with the error of the wicked, or we are being led by the Spirit of God. Therefore, there are two things we must never lose sight of – or, two things we must never forget: First, we must never forget where  it is that we are; and Second, we must remember that we are all being led from here to eternity by one of two influential ways of thinking! In regards to the first premise of where we are – of which we should constantly be conscious — we are in this lost, dark, trial-and-sorrow-filled, sinful and cursed world. Yes, this world truly is (just as Ps.23:4 describes) — the valley of the shadow of death” – and, we are all – one way or the other — being led through it. And, this world is not our friend. 

The context of 2Pe.3:10 describes the firey destruction and end that this fallen-in-sin world is inevitably hastening toward. The Holy Spirit of God, through the apostle Peter, so graphically and explicitly tells us: But the day of the Lord will comeas a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise and the elements shall melt with a fervent heatthe earth alsoand the works that are thereinshall be burned up!” This event will take place the same day that the Spirit through John describes from Re.20:11: And I saw a great white throneand Him that sat on itfrom whose facethe earth and heaven fled awayand there was found no place for them!” This present world has been, and right now is – literally passing away right before our eyes — unto its just and righteous perdition that will most certainly come to pass at the all-glorious and all holy return of the Almighty Lord Jesus Christ.

As true believers and followers of the Lord Jesus, we – by God’s grace – have an unbreakable, eternal relationship with Him. It is Christ – and Christ alone – that will get us safely through the dark and evil “death-valley” of this world! Praise His wonderful Name, what is descriptively declared from 1Jn.5:19 rings completely true for us: And we knowthat we are of God(lit.) and the whole worldin the Wicked One lies.” It is no wonder why 1Jn.2:15-17 imperatively warns us to: Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the worldthe love of the Father is not in him. (16) For all that is in the worldthe lust of the eyes, and the pride of lifeis not of the Father, but is of the world! (17) And the world passeth awayand the lust thereofbut he that doeth the will of Godabideth forever.”

It is the way of this world to think of, and bring in, a New Year with a spirit of revelry and riotous activity. But, this is the common way of wantonness in which the Wicked One leads his captives! Nevertheless, let us, by the Holy Spirit of grace remember and heed His divine exhortation: Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, immovablealways abounding in the work of the Lordforasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vainin the Lord.” [1Co.15:58]

For Christ’s Glory Only! – John Carpenter

Praises and Prayer Requests for December

Praises and Prayer Requests

Well, dear ones, it’s hard to believe we have come to the end of 2018!  We have had a couple of light snowfalls already – and it is not yet officially Winter. But, the Lord truly is gracious – the crisp and cold air smells so clean and good.

As we look forward to the approaching of 2019 – we continue to earnestly pray for the Lord to provide a fresh new influx of good male helpers! We also do not want to forget our good female helpers that we still have on board. They need constant prayer as well. Your faithful prayers are so important to us…and, to our staff…and to all the boys and girls that we have ministered to — and that we will be ministering to! Thank you so much for being there for us as you are.

Guess what! We have had given unto us some beautiful granite countertops. However, they have not yet been installed. This is because it takes some special skilled labor to accomplish this job. The countertops have been simply sitting in a corner of our Dining Hall – waiting for the Lord to send to us the ones that can work with them and get them installed for us. Finally, the Lord has sent us someone who can fulfill this task. Whether or not this will get done (like anything else) will be up to the Lord’s moving. Please remember to pray with us in this regard. It will make for a very nice finish where the renovation of our Kitchen is concerned. We will keep you updated.

One other thing – we already know that we will be needing some new plastic mattress covers for many of our beds. What we need is 40 new covers. They cost about $7.00 each. We are praying for the Lord’s leading and provision where this particular need is concerned.

Your faithful support in prayers and gifts is greatly appreciated. The cold weather causes a lot more need for propane gas. We try to keep the wood stove going as much as we can to help cut down on the gas furnace. The Lord knows our needs even before we ask…yet He commands of us to cast all our care upon Him because He cares for us. Praise the Savior!

We hope and pray that you all have a very blessed and joy filled Christmas time of year!

 

Devotional for December 2018

“And without controversy, great is the mystery of Godliness: God was manifest in the flesh…”“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us…”“For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God – sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: (4) that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us – who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”“But when — the fulness of the time was come – God sent forth His Son – made of a woman, made under the law, (5) to redeem them that were under the law – that we might receive the adoption of sons. (6) And because ye are sons – God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.” [1Ti.3:16; Jn.1:14; Ro.8:3-4; Ga.4:4-6]

Each one of these scripture references descriptively declares the single most significant and most wonderful occurrence in the whole of the history of fallen-in-sin humanity! An event that would be completely constructed and perfectly performed by the eternal, all-powerful and all-constraining love and grace of God! For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son[Jn.3:16] This marks the historical event that would be God’s fulfillment of His promise that there would come into fallen humanity the Seed of the woman – who would crush the head of the Serpent. The revelatory reality of the incorruptible Seed of the Word of the Truth of the everlasting gospel is that this Seed of the woman would be the holy incarnation into the likeness of sinful flesh of the eternal and almighty Son of God! We know Him from our sin-poisoned history as the holy Savior — our Lord Jesus Christ! 1Jn.3:8 announces unto us: For this purpose the Son of God was manifestedthat He might destroy the works of the devil.”

It was the wicked evil plan and purpose of the subtlety of Satan to surreptitiously corrupt – and thereby kill — along with Adam and Eve – all their children as well! And, at first sight, it seemed  that he had successfully done it! For the Word of God says: For as in Adamall die[1Co.15:22] For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God[Ro.3:23] And, For the wages of sin is death…” [Ro.6:23]  Therefore, do each of these descriptive declarations include every single fallen-in-sin person that makes up the whole progeny of Adam and Eve!

Nevertheless, 700+ years before the actual birth of Christ, the same Word of God foretold these words: But thou BethlehemEphratah(!) – though thou be little among the thousands of Judah yet out of thee shall He come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been of oldfrom everlasting!” [Mic.5:2] The word, Ephratah  means: Fruitful. The announcement that the Holy Spirit makes through His prophet, Micah, is that in the little town of Bethlehem there would be born and come forth — the eternal Fruit of the incarnation into the likeness of sinful flesh – the eternal Son of God. He would be the promised Seed of the woman who would also be the eternal sovereign Savior Son of man. He would come from eternity into the history of fallen humanity in the fullness of time to fulfill God’s perfect purpose. He is the one whom we know as the Lord Jesus Christ – the King of kings and the Lord of lords! He is the one whom we also come to know as being our sovereign, Savior Substitute! His life and death and resurrection has made for us a holy and perfect redemptive propitiation for our sinful souls! The Word of God descriptively declares: But of Him are ye in Christ Jesuswho, of Godis made unto uswisdom and righteousness and sanctification and redemptionthat according as it is written: he that gloriethlet him glory (only) in the Lord.” [1Co.1:30-31] If it’s not all Christ – it’s all wrong! Praise His Holy all-glorious Name!

For Christ’s Glory Only!

–John Carpenter

Praises and Prayer Requests for November

Praises and Prayer Requests

Well, dear friends, our God continues to faithfully bear testimony unto us that He hears and answers our prayers. Some of the men from First Baptist Church of Oak Grove — whom the Lord sent to us to do the bulk of the excellent work on the renovation of our Restroom facilities and our Kitchen – came out and did some more work to dress up what they had started. So, God’s faithfulness is demonstrated through their doing what they said they were going to do! This is true integrity! Praise His Name! And, He displays this through His people. Marvelous! We love the way our Lord God does that! Thank you, Lord, for these dear friends and family in Christ. Please remember to pray for – and thank our Lord for – these faithful servants of His.

We are slated to get new skirting around the trailer home that Sheri DeShepper presently lives in. It has needed this work done on it for many years. Please pray for this much needed task to get accomplished without any problems. Thank you.

And, dear ones, since this is primarily a prayer reminder newsletter – once again, please remember to lift up before our covenant God — the young people who help us (and who will help us) on our staff. This is when we need to be seeking the Lord’s provision for 2019. We always need to fill some empty slots in our male and female helpers. We do love and appreciate all of you who so willingly and faithfully support this ministry in and with your continual prayers. We also are continually praying (and thanking God) for you.

In addition, of course, when you are praying for us – please do not forget to pray for all the boys and girls whom the Lord has sent (and will send) to us to minister the gospel of God’s grace. They desperately need our unceasing prayer support! As the Spirit of God so moves – please help us in this way. This is what it’s all about! We love you and thank you again.

 

 

 

Devotional for November 2018

“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus – who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (2) For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. (3) For what the law could not do – in that it was weak through the flesh – God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh — and for sin – condemned sin in the flesh: (4) that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us – who walk not after the flesh – but after the Spirit.” [Ro.8:1-4]

What a truly grand statement of the word of the truth of the gospel of God’s great grace this portion of scripture proves to be! It more than merits yet another thoughtful consideration. Why? Because it descriptively declares the undeniable evidence of what Christ’s holy workof His holy walk of lifein and through this unholy worldhas eternally accomplishedfor all those which have been placed in Him. The blessed holy work of the Triune Savior/God – works out works in – and works through all those which this text declares are in Christ Jesus – a most wonderful eternally saving miracle. It is this work that has produced not only their eternal standing before Him – but their personal and individual walk through this sinful, fallen world. A walk following after the blessed Holy Spirit of God. What a wonderful gospel declaration!

Dear ones, this is the special spiritual experience  that we should earnestly be praying to be made apparent – not only in and from our own lives – but also in and from the lives of each other. For this is the description of the vibrant and living relationship that the eternal Savior Son of God enters into with each one of His true believers. This is what being genuinely born from above produces in a sinner. They are daily – even hourly – being successfully and effectually led by His Holy Spirit – through this world of the valley of the shadow of death – all the way — into the heavenly bliss-filled reality of the Savior’s blessed eternal presence.

It is our walk after – or, according to – the Holy Spirit of Christ our God – that becomes the manifestation of our having been – by God’s grace alone – completely redeemed and remitted from the dreaded eternal, but just, condemnation of the law of sin and death”. Which law — rules and reigns over our ever present – in this world — sinful flesh.  Why is this true? Because we, by the grace of the faith of the Lord Jesus Christ, walk anew — according to the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus! It is this that brings to pass the reality of the living proof of the written statement of God from Ro.6:14, which says: For sin shall not have dominion over youfor you are not under the lawbut under grace!” And, its all because of the eternal accomplishment of the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ! Praise His Holy Name!

This, in turn, is why the apostle is inspired by the Holy Spirit to explain unto us that which he does in vs.3-4> For what the law [of sin and death] could not doin that it is weak through the flesh [i.e. our sinful flesh] — Godsending His own Sonin the likeness of [our] sinful fleshandfor sin, condemned sin in the flesh [i.e. His flesh] (4) that the righteousness of the law [of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus] might be fulfilled in us [who are in Christ, and] who [as a result of His Holy work] walk not after [or, according to] the flesh, but after [or, according to] the Spirit.”

There are even more distinguishing details delivered in Ro.8:5-13 that graphically demonstrate the striking difference between these two. It is these differences that serve  to lend weight to the context of Ro.8:14: For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God!” Amen.

For Christ’s Glory Only!
John Carpenter

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