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

Praises and Prayer Requests for October

Praises and Prayer Requests

Well, dear friends and family in Christ, it truly is a beautiful Autumn time and season at Camp Del-Haven. The colors of the leaves are becoming magnificent! It is a wonderful testimony of the glory of our Lord. His handiwork is indeed marvelous to behold.

Another wonderful and marvelous testimony of our Lord’s presence and answer to prayer is how it has been going for Jeff Hall and family in their moving on to the Camp Del-Haven grounds.

While they still have quite a bit of work that absolutely needs to get done, they are officially moved into their new double wide mobile home. Praise the Lord! Please continue to pray for the leading of the Lord in meeting their needs and in giving them wisdom – as only He can do.

In your praying for Del-Haven – Please remember to lift up in prayer our staff regulars who are facing the every day spiritual onslaughts of an alluring and compromising world, as well as all the snares of the Wicked One. These young men and women need the preserving grace of our Savior God to keep them and establish them in His righteousness. In short, they need all our prayers to support them in their walk through this fallen world. Please don’t forget that we need 5 good male helpers for next summer. And, when you pray – Please do not forget to pray for all the campers that God has delivered to Del-Haven to hear the pure truth of the gospel of His grace! We sometimes have a camper only once – and then we never see them again. Many times, however, we have camper boys and girls that start coming to camp when they are six years old and we see them every year until their twelfth birthday. It is from this group that we often have – by God’s grace – harvested good staff help. They are well acquainted with the Del-Haven program for evangelization and spiritual growth. But, in every case – Prayer for their true Christian walk through this world is an absolute must! This is where your support is so very important! Please continue to keep us lifted up before Christ’s ruling throne of grace and glory as often as the Holy Spirit moves you. We love you and thank you for doing so. You are so very important to us!


Devotional for October 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]

Unto whom are the wonderful words of the first phrase of this section of holy scripture being addressed? The answer is: To everyone that is included in the group; to them which are in Christ Jesus”. This, in turn, begs an answer to two more questions: What exactly does it mean to be, in Christ Jesus”? And, just how exactly are we included in that group? The answer to all three of these questions is the very substance of the gospel of the glory, only, of the Lord Jesus Christ – the only sovereign, Savior, substitute that there ever was – is – or, ever will be!

The first phrase of 1Co.1:30 explicitly and descriptively declares: But, of Him (i.e. God) are ye in Christ Jesus”. Or, more literally it is saying: But, by His doingare ye in Christ Jesus”. Eph.1:3-4 echoes this reality in the way it describes God the Father. It says: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ (4) according as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the worldthat we should be holy and without blame before Himin love(which is a more graphic way of saying that we have no condemnation in Christ Jesus). This same Ephesian passage also tells how it is that we have been included among all those that are being referred to in the phrase: to them which are in Christ Jesus”. We were included in this group by our heavenly Father who blessed us – not only with the spiritual blessing of our being placed and eternally positioned in Christ, but also with our being blessed with ALL the other additional spiritual blessings that go along with being placed in Christ! Plus, this text even reveals to us — how and when — all this took place! It says: According as He hath chosen us in Himbefore the foundation of the world. Wow! Praise the Lord! So, therefore, according to God’s Word – He chose us in Christ – He placed us in Christ – and, furthermore, He graciously blessed us with – not just one or two of His spiritual blessings, but – All of His spiritual blessings in Christ, our Savior! (which include His: wisdom and righteousness and sanctification and redemption”[the rest of 1Co.1:30])

Next, let’s focus on the last two words of vs.4in love”. The Word of God from Jer.31:3 reveals to us: The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee withan everlasting love. Therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” Hence, these two words at the end of Eph.1:4 must refer to this same eternal love — God’s eternal love! This is the personal, individual love that God has, first of all, for His beloved, darling, eternal Son – and, second of all, for each and everyone of His eternally loved, chosen and placed positionally inHis Son! Take heed to how Jesus prayed to His Father the night before He bore our sins to Calvary: Jn.17:23-26: I in them and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. (24) Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory which thou hast given mefor thou hast loved me before the foundation of the world. (25) O righteous Father… (26) I have declared unto them thy Nameand will declare itthat the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in themand I in them.” Grant us Lord, by thy grace, to receive this wonderful truth!

-For Christ’s Glory Only!

John Carpenter


Praises and Prayer Requests for September

Praises and Prayer Requests

Well, dear ones, we may finally be embarking on the pleasant, cooler days of Autumn. How refreshing that will be! Soon the campground will become aglow with all of God’s beautiful Fall colors of the forest leaves. It will be but another wonderful testimony of His matchless glory.

Just recently we received word of another loved one of the Camp Del-Haven family being called home to be with the Lord. It was Archie Murdock. He and his wife, Dorothy, served on our board of directors for many years. The two of them have been loyal allies and supporters of this ministry. They have never forgotten us – and we will never forget them. Please remember Dorothy in your prayers at this time. Pray for the comfort and peace and strength that only God can give unto her. Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.”

The move of Jeff Hall and his family onto the campground is making good progress. Please continue to support them with your prayers and however else the Lord may lead you. If any of you have any questions – just call: (816) 277-7071.

As always, please remember to pray for us – that our God would provide just the right male and female staff members. We especially need male help on our staff. The number of campers that we can handle depends directly to the number of good staff we have for any camp session. The effective ratio is typically one staff person per four campers. The Lord God knows what we need in order to do His work – and Camp Del-Haven is definitely His work!

Also, dear family in Christ, please do not forget to lift up all the children that the Lord has sent to us as campers. They need our continual, faithful prayers that the Spirit of Christ will truly establish a true relationship with them – in their daily lives. Their neighborhoods; their homes; their schools – are fraught with the traps and snares of the Evil One and this world. There’s only one way that any of us can safely make it through this world – and that is by the leading and protection of the Holy Spirit of God! We pray for you-all – for your continual love and support – that our Lord will bless you and keep you – and that you will remember to pray for the boys and girls that God, through us, has planted the good seed of His glorious gospel. As it has before been stated: This ministry was founded on prayer – and has been sustained by prayer – and will only continue with prayer. We need your prayers! Thank you for being there. We love you all.


Devotional for September 2018

“Jesus answered: Verily, verily, I say unto thee – except a man be born of water and of the Spirit – he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God.” “There is therefore nowno condemnationto them  which are in Christ Jesuswho walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (2) For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesushath made me freefrom 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.” [Jn.3:5; Ro.8:1-4]

The reason these two texts are referenced together is because there is a cohesive connection between them. Jn.3:5 comes to us from the conversation of Nicodemus and Jesus. Jesus declares salvation to Nicodemus, a master/teacher of Israel(3:10). And, this is the very first context that the expression born again (3:3) is used; and, it is significant that it is first used by none other than Christ. The term, bornmeans: to be regenerated; whereas, the word used for againcan be more accurately translated as: from above.  We all are (or, at least, we all ought to be) very interested in just exactly what this truly means. The Lord says without this birth occuring in our personal lives – we can neither see (or perceive, 3:3), nor enter, the Kingdom of God!

Jesus specifically tells Nicodemus from Jn.3:5 that being born again (or, more lit., born from above) means to be born of water and of the Spirit”. “Water is scripturally related to the Holy Word of God in Eph.5:26 where the gospel is proclaimed by relating how Christ so loved the Churchthat He gave Himself for it – that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water (lit.) in the Word”. Additionally, Jesus from Jn.17:2 says of all His saved ones: Now ye are clean through the Word which I have spoken unto you.”  It is no wonder that the Holy Spirit inspired the apostle Paul to write what is written in Titus 3:5-6: not by (or, not out of) works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercyHe saved usby the washing of regeneration, and the renewing of the Holy Spirit (6) which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ, our Savior.” And, also, James – by the same Holy Spirit – writes from Jas.1:18: Of His own willHe begat us (or, He caused us be born again) with the Word of Truth”.

But, how do we know that this all important “born from above” – genuine spiritual experience – has indeed happened to us? We know – by the same means that we have been referring to: by the Holy Spirit and the holy Word of God. Jesus, the only begotten, dearly beloved, eternal Son of God – is the living Word of God! When Jesus announced that He (and God the Father) would send to us the Holy Spirit to specifically fulfill the revealing unto us the things concerning Himself i.e. the eternal accomplishments of Christ as the only sovereign, Savior, substitute that there ever was, is or ever will be – He told us: But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of Truth, which proceedeth from the Father, He shall testify of me” “He shall glorify mefor He shall receive of mineand shall show it (or, shall announce it; shall reveal it) unto you. (15) All things that the Father hath are minetherefore said Ithat He shall take of mine and shall show it unto you.” [Jn.14:36; 16:14-15.

And, the things that the Holy Spirit will reveal unto us – are the more-than-marvelous things that are declared in Ro.8:1-4! These are things that pertain to our walk through this fallen world. You can read of them for yourselves. May the Spirit lead you to do so. May He teach you what great things are being said here. More than that, may you also realize the living truth of them. Amen.

For Christ’s Glory Only!

John Carpenter

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