Devotional for March 2021

And He opened His mouth and taught them, saying:

  • 3.“Blessed — the poor in spirit – for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
  • 4. Blessed — they that mourn – for they shall be comforted.
  • 5. Blessed — the meek – for they shall inherit the earth.
  • 6. Blessed — they that hunger and thirst after righteousness – for they shall be filled.
  • 7. Blessed — the merciful – for they shall obtain mercy.
  • 8. Blessed — the pure in heart – for they shall see God.
  • 9. Blessed — the peacemakers – for they shall be called the children of God.” [Mt.5:2-9]

“Blessed is the man whom thou choosest and causest to approach unto thee – that he may dwell in thy courts. We shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house – even of thy Holy Temple.” [Ps.65:4]

Of the seven blessings that our Lord God has bestowed upon us through the person and work of His incarnated eternal Son, Christ Jesus – we have briefly touched upon in previous newsletters,  only the first two, viz., Blessed are the poor in spiritand Blessed are they that mourn”. We have also noted that both of these blessings pertain to the Righteousness that God requires in order to be approved and accepted into God’s holy and heavenly presence! Of which – none of us naturally have – nor can we perform, or attain. This is why Jesus tells us from Jn.14:6: I am the Way, the Truth, and the Lifeno man cometh unto the Fatherbut by me.” The Lord Jesus Christ, by God’s great grace, is our approval and acceptance with holy, holy, holy God Almighty! The Lord Jesus Christ – indeed — is our eternal Salvation and Life! [see: Rom.6:23, 1Co.1:30-31 and 2Co.5:21]

We now come to the third divinely pronounced blessing: Blessed are the meekfor they shall inherit the earth.” This blessing – like all of them – is a spiritual blessing – and must be received, believed and understood in a strictly spiritual sense. It has been said that meekness is the mark of sinner who has been mastered by God. To be meek — for the most part – in this world – is mocked by a false humility. This is hypocrisy! But, what this verse is referring to is produced in a sinner’s soul that has been blessed with God’s grace of true repentance. Meeknessaccording to God’s grace is a true regenerating realization of who you are – as a sinner – before Holy God. This regenerating realization is completely wrought out because the Holy Spirit of God bears witness with your spirit that you have been placed in Christ before the foundation of the world – or, in other words – before the creation of the world – completely forgiven, cleansed and made whole by the atoning blood of He, who is the Lamb of God! The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world! [Rev.13:8] It is this Truth of the person and work of Christ that causes you to stand silent, humble and thankful – in a state of true worship — before holy God. And, in this true state of contrition – you know that you do not deserve — in the least bit – for this to be eternally true. Moreover, God promises all who fill this scriptural description – that it is they – that will inherit the New Heavens and a New Earthwherein dwelleth Righteousness! [see: 2Pe.3:13Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift!” [2Cor.9:15]

Now the question may be asked: “How can I attain this blessing?” And, the answer is we can’t! No one attainsany of God’s blessings. If they are possessed – it is because they have been given by His grace. Jesus commands – He does not invite – Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest! (29) Take my yoke upon you and learn of mefor I am Meek and lowly in heartand ye shall find rest unto your souls. (30) For my yoke is easy and my burden is light[Mt.11:28-30]  This is the only way that we can obtain God’s holy Meekness”.

For Christ’s Glory Only! – John Carpenter

 

 

Devotional for February 2021

And He opened His mouth and taught them, saying:

3.“Blessed — the poor in spirit – for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.

  1. Blessed — they that mourn – for they shall be comforted.
  2. Blessed — the meek – for they shall inherit the earth.
  3. Blessed — they that hunger and thirst after righteousness – for they shall be filled.
  4. Blessed — the merciful – for they shall obtain mercy.
  5. Blessed — the pure in heart – for they shall see God.
  6. Blessed — the peacemakers – for they shall be called the children of God.” [Mt.5:2-9]

“Blessed is the man whom thou choosest and causest to approach unto thee – that he may dwell in thy courts. We shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house – even of thy Holy Temple.” [Ps.65:4]

All those that arepoor in spirit – are all those that been blessed with God’s grace of Repentance. And a true Repentance occurs in a chosen sinner’s life when God’s Holy Spirit of grace reveals unto them – the pure and plain truth about themselves as being sinners! It is He – and He, alone – that can convince them that they are indeed a condemned sinner before God and have nothing in themselves, or even that they can make up their minds to call forth to exercise from themselves that will equal what God requires in order for Him to eternally save them. The sad reality of Is.64:6-7 is revealed unto them: But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy ragsand we all do fade as a leafand our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away, (7) and there is none that calleth upon thy Namethat stirreth up himselfto take hold of theefor thou hast hid thy face from us because of our iniquities!”  

This despicable reality is why the Savior describes the next blessing bestowed upon His saved ones. He says: Blessed are they that mourn”. Living life is this fallen-in-sin world produces many sad reasons for us to mourn – but what our Lord is teaching us here is a most particular reason. The real reason the blessed sinner-saved-by-grace-children truly mourn – is the same reason why they are considered to be poor in spirit”. It is because they are totally bankrupt of the perfect righteousness that they need in order to be eternally saved! And, they mourn because the righteousness that they need – can in no way be attained by them – from themselves! And, it is the Holy Spirit of Christ, alone, that gives them an understanding of this reality about themselves. Nevertheless, the message of the Gospel of the glory, only, of the Lord Jesus is: Blessed are they that mournfor they shall be comforted! Praise the Savior! So, from where does the Spirit of God deliver unto us eternal comfort from the foreboding reality of our not being able under any circumstances to manufacture and maintain a righteousness that could possibly be approved and accepted by holy, holy, holy God?

He delivers to us everlasting comfort through the person and work of our Substitute/Savior – the Lord Jesus Christ! He points us to the Gospel of His Glory! He gets us deep into the scriptures where it has been recorded! Ro.15:4 tells us: For whatsoever things were written aforetimewere written for our learningthat we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.”  We are poor” – because we have no righteousness that we need to get into heaven! We, therefore, mourn– because we are nothing in ourselves before our God – nothing but condemned sinners! But, we are blessed because through Christ – and Him alone — we have been given the Kingdom of heaven…and this is what completely comforts us!

For Christ’s Glory Only! – John Carpenter

Devotional for January 2021

And He opened His mouth and taught them, saying:

3.“Blessed — the poor in spirit – for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.

4.Blessed — they that mourn – for they shall be comforted.

5.Blessed — the meek – for they shall inherit the earth.

6.Blessed — they that hunger and thirst after righteousness – for they shall be filled.

7.Blessed — the merciful – for they shall obtain mercy.

8.Blessed — the pure in heart – for they shall see God

9. Blessed — the peacemakers – for they shall be called the children of God.” [Mt.5:2-9]

“Blessed is the man whom thou choosest and causest to approach unto thee – that he may dwell in thy courts. We shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house – even of thy Holy Temple.” [Ps.65:4]

Predominantly, when a New Year comes to pass, this is when people often make personal resolutions to improve themselves. They resolve to better the image of themselves by endeavoring to do something – or to stop doing something. In this way, they hope that they will exude a better personal and individual image of themselves. But, when our Savior opened His mouth and taught these verses from Mt.5 — He descriptively declared what the pure truth of the gospel of God’s grace bestows upon His true disciples. He taught them concerning how they – as sinners – still in this sinful world — can recognizein themselves (and, for that matter, in each other) truly being one of God’s blessed children  — while they are still passing through — this fallen world!

First of all, according to God’s Word, to be a blessed by God sinner – in this world — is to truly be one of His chosen sinner/ children — whom He has chosen and placed in Christ before the foundation of this world [see Eph.1:3-5].Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christwho hath blessed us with all spiritual blessingsin heavenly placesin Christ – (4) according as He hath chosen us in Himbefore the foundation of the world  – that we should be holy and without blame before Himin love (5) having predestinated usunto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself  according to the good pleasure of His will…”

Oh the unfathomable wonders of God’s eternally saving will and grace! That He has been pleased to purpose — and even to predestinate — poor, undeserving, unlovely – even enemy/sinners – to be blessed by almighty God and chosen in Christ – and even to being adopted by Jesus Christ into becoming a part of God’s holy heavenly family! Praise His Wonderful Name!

How can this be true! How can it be possible that any poor sinner who does not possess one iota of ability to do even one thing to merit or earn a place and standing in God’s holy family! How can they even believe that: theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven?! But, this is exactly what the incarnated eternal and holy Son of God – who cannot lie – right up front announced!

Everyone of these descriptive Blessingsbecome descriptions of everyone that the Father has given His Savior/Son – to save. Jesus said, All that the Father giveth to meshall come to meand him that cometh to meI will in no wise cast out. (38) For I came down from heaven not to do mine own willbut the will of Him that sent me. (39) And this is the Father’s will which hath sent methat of all which He hath given me I should lose nothingbut should raise it up again at the last day!”[Jn.6:37-39]  We will look further into this grand context in the future. Praise the Lord!

For Christ’s Glory Only! – John Carpenter

Devotional for December 2020

“Unto us a Child is born – unto us a Son is given – and the government shall be upon His shoulder and His Name shall be called: Wonderful – Counsellor – the Mighty God – Everlasting Father – the Prince of Peace! (7) Of the increase of His government and peace — there shall be no end upon the Throne of David and upon His Kingdom – to order it – and to establish it with judgment and justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this. (8) The Lord sent a word into Jacob – and it lighted upon Israel.” [Is.9:6-8]

“But thou, Bethlehem – Ephratah! Though thou be little among the thousands of Judah – yet out of thee shall He come forth unto me – to be the Ruler in Israel – whose goings forthhave been of old, from everlasting. (3) Therefore will He give them up until the time that she which travaileth hath brought forth. Then the remnant of His brethren shall return unto the children of Israel. (4) And He shall stand and feed in the strength of the Lord – in the majesty of the Name of the Lord His God – and they shall abide. For He shall be great unto the ends of the earth!” [Mic.5:2-4]

“And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us – and we beheld His glory – the glory as of the Only Begotten of the Father – full of grace and truth!” [Jn.1:14]

“But when the fullness 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! (7) Wherefore, thou art no more a servant, but a son! And, if a son – then an heir of God through Christ!” [Gal.4:4-7]

“And no man hath ascended up to heaven – but He that came down from heaven – even the Son of Man which is in heaven!” [Jn.3:13]

“Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again and called Jesus and said unto Him: ‘Art thou the King of the Jews?’ (34) Jesus answered him, ‘Sayest thou this thing of thyself – or did others tell it thee of me?’ (35) Pilate answered: “Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me. What hast thou done!?’ (36) Jesus answered: ‘My Kingdom is not of this world. If my Kingdom were of this world – then would my servants fight that  I should not be delivered to the Jews – but now is my Kingdom not from hence.’ (37) Pilate therefore said unto Him: ‘Art thou a king then?’ Jesus answered: ‘Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I bornand for this cause came I into the worldthat I should bear witness unto the Truth. Everyone that is of the Truthheareth my voice!’ (38)Pilate saith unto Him: ‘What is truth?’ And when he had said this – he went out again unto the Jews and saith unto them: ‘I find in Him no fault at all!’ [Jn.18:33-38]

“And all that dwell upon the earth – shall worship him (i.e. the anti-christ) – whose names are not written in: The Book of Lifeof the Lamb SlainFrom the Foundation of the World!” [Rev.13:8]

“For so hath the Lord commanded us – saying – I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles (the nations) that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth! (48) And when the Gentiles heard this – they were glad and glorified the Word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained unto eternal life believed! (49) And the Word of the Lord was published throughout the region.” [Ac.13:47-49]                  

Praise the coming of our Wonderful Savior, Christ Jesus our Lord!

 

Devotional for November 2020

 (14) But continue thouin the things which thou hast learned (15) …the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvationthrough faith which is in Christ Jesus. (17) that the man of Godmay be perfectthoroughly furnished unto all good works.” [2Tim.3:14,15 & 17]

That ye would walk worthy of Godwho hath called you unto His Kingdom and Glory. (13) For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because when ye received the Word of God which ye heard of usye received it not as the word of menbut as it is in truth, the Word of Godwhich effectually worketh also in you that believe.” [1Thes.2:12-13]

Now the God of peacethat brought again from the dead our Lord Jesusthat Great Shepherd of the sheepthrough the blood of the Everlasting Covenant (21) make you perfect in every good workto do His willworking in you that which is well-pleasing in His sightthrough Jesus Christto whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen!” [Heb.13:20-21]

If the divine purpose of a sinner/child of God – still alive in this worldly flesh – and still traversing through this fallen-in-sin world – is to have a vital and ongoing – or, shall we say, ongrowing  – relationship with the Word of God so that he  may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” – one might ask: How is this even possible?!  Everyone knows that no sinner (and all have sinned and come short of the glory of God) while in this world is perfect. So, how exactly do we possibly fulfill – or, how in the world can we fulfill – this descriptively declared statement that comprises all of 2Tim.3:17?

There’s only one way, dear one – and that’s — through faith (the faith) which is in Christ Jesus!

And, that’s precisely what the last two scripture references from 1Thess. and Heb. point out to us. And, it may be summed up in this way: Only by, Believing, in the Lord Jesus Christ! Let’s take a brief look at these two references one at a time.

  1. 1Thess.2:12-13> Right up front vs.12 begins with the commanding exhortation that we – as being true and genuine children of God – who have – by God’s sovereign grace — received God’s Holy Scriptures by the sovereignty and the personal teaching of the Holy Spirit — would walk worthy of Godwho hath called you unto His Kingdom and Glory. This worthy walkis a walk only by faith in the person and being – of the perfect walk of the Lord Jesus Christ! And for us who are His Believing” in Him is “Believingin the overall reality that He truly is our sovereign Savior/Substitute! His eternally accomplished and totally successful worthy walkwas done on behalf of us for whom He was sent into this world to save! Therefore – in, by and through Him – we are viewed by all of Holy Heaven as He, Himself, is viewed! Hence, through His workwe have been perfected – and thoroughly furnished unto all good worksjust as described in 2Tim.3:17.
  1. He.13:20-21> These two verses list for us nine descriptive declarations concerning God’s all-glorious work in His saving, keeping — instructing and preserving — all of His saved and quickened ones as they live and sojourn through this fallen world. This text makes it clear and plain that if – your soul’s eternal salvation – is not dependent all on Christ – then it’s all wrong! And, right in the middle of the 9 statements is: make you perfect in every good work”. It’s all by His doing – and it’s all being done according to His will –through Jesus Christ! All Praise and Glory unto the Name of the Savior!

For Christ’s Glory Only! -John Carpenter

Devotional for October 2020

“Yea, and all that will live Godly in Christ Jesus – shall suffer persecution. (13) But evil men and seducers – shall wax worse and worse – deceiving and being deceived. (14) But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned – and hast been assured of – knowing of whom thou hast learned them. (15) And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation – through faith which is in Christ Jesus. (16) All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness (17) that the man of God –  may be perfect – thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” [2Tim.3:14-17]

“That ye would walk worthy of God – who hath called you unto His Kingdom and Glory. (13) For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because when ye received the Word of God which ye heard of us – ye received it not as the word of men – but as it is in truth, the Word of God – which effectually worketh also in you that believe.” [1Thes.2:12-13]

“Now the God of peace – that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus – that Great Shepherd of the sheep – through the blood of the Everlasting Covenant (21) make you perfect in every good work to do His will – working in you that which is well-pleasing in His sight – through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen!” [Heb.13:20-21]

The Word of God has a definite, all-important place in a true believer’s life and walk through this fallen-in-sin world. In fact, the presence of the gospel truth of God’s Word is really what sets a true sinner/child of God apart from this world’s evil environment. And, it is an environment that is so evil – that it is fraught with “so-called ministers” – who literally, as the Word of God from 2Pe.2:3 says, “…through covetousness shall they with feigned [i.e. molded, artificial and false] wordsmake merchandise of you…”. Which means that they will not only mislead you spiritually but they will do it for the sake of getting your money – your admiration – your time. Nevertheless if we, through the Holy Spirit, prayerfully follow both the admonitions and the exhortations of God’s Word – He will lead us safely through this deceitful and spiritually dangerous world.

Christ is our perfect protective sanctuary – He is our refuge – He is our Light – as we walk through this age of the Valley of the shadow of death. Remember what Jesus says from Jn.8:31-32: If ye continue in my Wordthen are ye my disciples indeed (32) And ye shall know the Truthand the Truth shall make you free!” And, dear ones, the Lord Jesus is the Truth! That is why from vs.36 our Lord goes on to declare: If the Son therefore shall make you freeye shall be free indeed!” May our Lord God ever bless us in fulfilling His own Word’s description of being His true disciples by causing us to continue in our learning – from Him – about Him – in His immut-able and infallible Word! Amen? Amen.

Ps.40:7 has the Holy Spirit of Christ saying: I, Lo, I comein the volume of the Book it is written of me!” And, 2Ti.3:16-17 dogmatically declares that: All scripture is given by inspiration of God.” This means that “All scripture” – is all about Christ! It goes on to say of the instrumentality of the written Word of God in the lives of all of God’s sinner/children, that it is all – profitablefor doctrinefor reprooffor correction” – and then it says: for instruction in righteousness”. There is much that will be said about this verse — and this list of functions that are given — but we want to be sure to tie vs.16 all together contextually with vs.17 – which says: That the man of God may beperfectthoroughly furnished unto all good works.” This is, indeed, a beautiful thing.

For Christ’s Glory Only! – John Carpenter

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