Devotional for March 2023

[Jer.31:3] [Eph.3:17-19] [2Co.5:14-15]

(11) “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you saith the Lord, thoughts of Peace and not of evil, to give you an expected end. (12) Then shall ye call upon me – and ye shall go and pray unto me – and I will hearken unto you.(13) And ye shall seek me — and find me – when ye shall search for me with all your heart. And I will be found of you, saith the Lord – and I will turn away your captivity…” [Jer.29:11-14]

The scripture references above the Jer.29 text — are what last month’s devotional touched upon. They are all obviously scriptures that describe and explain something of God’s great love for each of those whom He has determined and decreed to be eternally chosen, redeemed and saved by His great grace. In regards to the great works and ways of the gracious reality of our Lord God’s infinite and eternal love in our personal and individual salvation experience – we are now ready to address the last scriptural reference from Jer.29:11. We will have to include vs.12-14 for contextual purposes. For there is in this text described a real Cause and Effect reality – on an individual and personal level – that is being pictured! And, in the picture that is being drawn from Jer.29:11-14 — it is the none other than the loving longing of our Lord that is the real Cause. In other words, the “Expectation” of vs.11 is – God’s expected end”. Which in itself works out in becoming that which fulfills in each one of His eternally saved-by-grace children – their prayerful seeking after Him! Hence, this text – in it’s entirety – becomes one of the eternal foundations of a true believer’s real assurance of their eternal standing in Christ.

All that is said in vs.11-14 is sourced in the Omniscience of our eternally loving and saving God. It is His thoughts and His ways – which are not at all our thoughts and our ways [see: Is.55:8-9] – that make up the expectation of our Almighty God who has loved us and done all that is both necessary and required to save us. Which includes all that He, in turn, Causes us to become as being His true children! Because He fulfills His loving longing for us – we, in turn, become all that through Him we (as a result) pray for — hope for – and strive for – even while we are still here in these earthly bodies and circumstances enduring all that is a part of this age of sin and death! We have the Spirit of God – whom – both God the Father and God the Son has sent unto us; and through  whom the Triune God– eternally abides in us(!) [see: Jn.14:16-17,23,26; 15:26].

This is what Phil.1:6 alludes to when it says: Being confident of theis very thing, that He (our Lord God) which hath begun a good work in youwill perform it (or, perfect it) until the day of Jesus Christ.” Likewise, everything in Jer.29:12-14 is the Effect of what the Lord God declares to be true of Himself being the gracious Cause in vs.11. The Spirit of God bears witness unto the spirit of each one of His children that His divine and holy thoughts toward him are all His thoughts of Peace and not of evil. And, that sinner/child receives that gospel of grace message and then cries out “upon the Name of the Lord” to prove that they’re one of His saved ones! [see: Rom.10:13] Then a change of behavior takes over His sinner/child. He begins to seek the Lord in prayer like never before. This is a behavior that takes hold on him and does not let him go. No; instead this behavior becomes even more and more intense. It becomes an unbreakable and holy habit! He longs for the Lord to be in his daily life and walk throughout the struggles of this fallen-in-sin world. He is bound to praying and seeking the Lord until he finds Him and gets ahold of Him and will not let Him go. And why is this victory so certainly to be realized? Even because all of God’s thoughts, intentions and motives are of Peaceand not of evilForever!


Devotional for February 2023

“The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying: Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love! Therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” [Jer.31:3]

“that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, (18) may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; (19) and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God..” [Eph.3:17-19]

“For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all – then were all dead: (15) and that He died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him which died for them and rose again.” [2Co.5:14-15]

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you saith the Lord, thoughts of Peace and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” [Jer.29:11]

Three out of four of the above texts obviously have to do with God’s Love toward His sinner-saved-by-grace-children – while they are yet in this fallen-in-sin world. That being said – actually all four of these texts speak specifically of the Love of Christ our God!


The first text out of Jeremiah declares that all those who have been saved – are being, or have been — drawn by God’s lovingkindness into the reality of knowing and understanding that He has loved them from eternitywith His eternal loveand has ultimately provided an eternal atonement for all of their sins! How so very wonderful is that?!

Then, from here we jump over into the New Testament where the apostle Paul – inspired by the Holy Spirit – tells us that the whole family of God(Eph.3:15) by the power of the Holy Spirit will be made able to understand the great eternal love of our great eternal Savior! A love that has brought to pass and wrought for us every aspect of God’s eternal salvation from all of our sins.

And, why is this true? How does this happen to us? Even because Christ’s love for us literally blows our fallen minds! The Spirit of God causes us to receive and understand the glory of God’s great grace that He has exercised unto us – and in us – in His saving us from our sins. The knowledge of this surpasses anything and everything that has ever happened to us – and it’s all because of the Lord Jesus Christ! Praise His all glorious Name!

In fact, as the next text from 2Co.5 conveys unto us: “…the love of Christ constraineth us[or, more lit.> “the love to usfrom out of Christcontrols us”] so that we rightly do judge – that Christ as our Sovereign Savior Substitute has satisfied all of God’s perfect Justice upon our sins in His dying for us at Calvary! And, His having been raised from the dead for us – we have through Him — a perfect atonement for all of our sins! Because of this – we absolutely want to live only for Him and His glory throughout the rest of our lives in this fallen world!

The last text from Jer.29 further reveals something special concerning God’s love for us. It tells of the very specific loving longing that our God has for each of His saved sinner children. Whatever God thinks – comes to pass (see Is.14:24).  And, He says that He knows the thoughts that He thinks toward us – thoughts of Peace and not of evilin order to give to us His expected end.

We will discuss deeper and further this text in next month’s prayer/newsletter.

For Christ’s Glory Only!  – John Carpenter


Devotional for January 2023

(30) “And the angel said unto her, fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favor with God. (31) And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb and bring forth a Son – and thou shalt call His Name, Jesus. (32) He shall be Great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest – and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of his father, David: (33) And He shall reign over the house of Jacob forever – and of His Kingdom there shall be no end. (34) Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? (35)And the angel answered and said unto her, the Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee – therefore also that Holy One which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” [Lk.1:30-35]

In the light of the dawning of a New Year – we shall consider the last four of Ten pure gospel descriptions that are unfolded in the angel, Gabriel’s announcement unto young Mary — who was chosen to be the mother of the Son of Man, Christ Jesus. Having last month looked at the first six of the ten descriptions – we are ready to consider the last four. Hence, the Seventh pure gospel description of Christ is found in vs.33, which says: And He shall reign over the House of Jacob foreverand of His Kingdom there shall be no end.” Now Jacob represents all the individual persons whom God has loved from eternity! Jacob, also, has been — from the Word of God — depicted as being the sinner/child of the household of Isaac – the miracle son of Abraham and Sarah! Jacob proved to be the sneaky – lying – sinner that surreptitiously got what he wanted by trickery — in regards to Esau’s birthright and his father Isaac’s best blessing. And, God declared to Rebecca — before the twin boys were even born – that He loved Jacob and He hated Esau [see: Ro9:13]! Gabriel tells Mary that her Son will be the promised Seed through whom the Serpent, Satan, will be destroyed. And — He will also be the Sovereign Savior Substitute for all His people; His family; His Church; and His elect-to-eternal life. He will reign over the Household of Jacob forever — and His Kingdom shall have no end! These are obviously all of God’s chosen sinner/-children who will be eternally saved by God’s grace through the meritorious and vicarious person and work of His only-begotten, beloved Son! Praise His Name!

When Mary hears this news – she is beside herself  in amazement and asks a most obvious question: “How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?”  To which Gabriel answers by delivering the Eighth pure gospel description of Christ! And this one comes from the first part of vs.35. He said to her, the Holy Ghost shall come upon thee…”. The presence and power of the Holy Spirit was in charge of the performance and the success of absolutely everything that had to do with the incarnation of the eternal Son of God – and, as well, the creation of our world – and — the eternal Salvation of our souls! Therefore, the Holy Spirit’s presence and power is also absolutely necessary for the performance and success of all of us making it through this fallen world following Christ Jesus every step of the way – on into His (and consequently our) heavenly glory!

This brings us to the Ninth pure gospel description in this wonderful portion of scripture. The next thing that Gabriel is sent to tell Mary is: “…and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee…”. This obviously refers to God the Father! So, we have the presence and power of the whole Trinity at work in the performance of this most wonderful miracle of God’s grace in order to effectually save all the souls of His entire eternal family! The incarnation of the eternal Son of God was the supreme preternatural act of omnipotent divine intervention of God’s love and grace. It is completely unprecedented as far as God’s miracles are concerned! Glory to His Name!

The Tenth pure gospel description is that Mary’s sonwill also be called the Son of God. Amen.

-For Christ’s Glory Only!  John Carpenter

Devotional for December 2022

(30) “And the angel said unto her, fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favor with God. (31) And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb and bring forth a Son – and thou shalt call His Name, Jesus. (32) He shall be Great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest – and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of his father, David: (33) And He shall reign over the house of Jacob forever – and of His Kingdom there shall be no end. (34) Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? (35)And the angel answered and said unto her, the Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee – therefore also that Holy One which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” [Lk.1:30-35]

This significant portion of scripture brings forward Ten descriptive pure gospel declarations that when — put altogether – comprises the true purpose and substance of the whole Bible. It’s all about Christ! He is our all and in all!”[see: Col.3:11] Our history – truly does become His Story! Let us look this month at the first six of these pure gospel descriptives and the last four next month.

First of all, from vs.30 – the God of Peace bears witness with young Mary of Nazareth that – just like Noah [see:: Ge.6:8] — she is a true recipient of God’s eternally saving grace. This is what Gabriel means when he says unto her – thou hast found favor with God”. And, it is in this same way that the Spirit of God deals with each one His chosen sinner/children [see: Ro.8:16-17]. #2> From vs.31 He reveals to her that she has been chosen to be the Woman through whom the prophecies of Ge.3:15 and Is.7:14 – concerning Jesus Christ – would be fulfilled! [See those two texts] #3> The Angel Gabriel also announces that the Name of the miracle Son that she will give birth to – will be, Jesus. It is from Mt.1:21 that we are told that this same truth was revealed unto Joseph. The text says that he was told — in advance: And she shall bring forth a Sonand thou shalt call His Name Jesus: for He shall save His people from their sins!” The Name Jesus, of course, means: Savior.

From vs.32 we have three more identifying pure gospel descriptive declarations concerning the person and work of our Lord Jesus Christ: #4> He shall be Great”; #5> and shall be called the Son of the Highest; and #6> “and the Lord God shall give unto Himthe Throne of His father David! In regards to #4, the scripture from He 4:14 and 13:20 plainly says: Seeing then that we havea Great High Priestthat is passed into the heavensJesus, the Son of Godlet us hold fast our profession (or, more lit. our confession); And, Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesusthat Great Shepherd of the sheep(lit.) in the blood of the Everlasting Covenant…”.

And then — in regards to #5 and #6 – there is: Is.57:15 and Ps.132:11. As far as Jesus being described as the Son of the Highest” – He is the Son of God the Father described in Is.57:15 which says: For thus saith the High and Lofty Onethat inhabiteth eternitywhose Name is Holy! I dwell in the high and holy place with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit; to revive the spirit of the humble and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” This describes the whole ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ. There is none more exalted than He! God the Father is the One who declared of the incarnation of Christ from Ps.2:7> Thou art my Sonthis day have I begotten Thee.” And Jesus said from Jn.10:30> I and my Father are One!” And #6, Ps.132:11-12 goes on to say: The Lord has sworn in Truth unto David; He will not turn from it; Of the fruit of thy body will I set upon thy Throne. (12) If thy children shall keep my Covenant and my testimony that I shall teach themtheir children shall sit upon thy Throne for evermore!” In Christ – it has been forever done! Amen.

For Christ’s Glory Only! – John Carpenter

Devotional for November 2022

“And whatsoever ye do – in word or (lit.) in work – do all in the Name of the Lord Jesus – giving thanks to God and the Father by Him.!” [Col.3:17]

“But God be thanked – that ye were the servants of sin – but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.” [Rom.6:17]

The verse right before the first one (Col.3:16) exhorts us as being God’s elect-to-eternal salvation to: Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly; or, “abundantly”! So much so (in accordance with 3:17) as to influence all our words and all our works! So that everything that we do – in the entirety of our beings — including all our thoughts, intents and motives – we do – we perform — as living proof that we are indeed the true children of the Christ, our God. And, this, in turn, brings forth the wonderful reality of that which is descriptively declared unto us from our second text, Rom.6:17! Which introduces to us something that we can truly be thankful to God alone for. Let us, therefore, examine this truly grand premise.

Rom.6:17 declares dogmatically that something fantastic has happened unto us by God’s grace! And, it is from Rom.6:18 that we have it clearly laid out what that something is. It says: Being then made free from sinye became the servants of righteousness!” Wow! What exactly is this portion of scripture saying to us?

In order for us to get the full and actual impact of what God’s Word is declaring here we need to understand the language that it is really using here. When it says in its use of the word “servants” – it is literally meaning: “bondslaves”. A bondslave is always subject to the contextual reality of their actual circumstances. This is what they are bound (or, bonded) to. They are not truly free and independent contractors, or actors. They are the property of their taskmasters who have their entire being – and will — under their complete control – at all times!

When Jesus taught plainly and clearly from Jn.8, He said from vs.34: Verily, verily, I say unto you whosoever committeth sin is the servant [or, lit., “the bondslave”] of sin.” This statement includes every single one of us – without exception! Who doesn’t commit sin?! So, who isn’t a bondslave of sin? Therefore, who in this fallen-in-sin world has a free will? No one – that’s who. Who isn’t a sinner? Again – No one – that’s who! For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God!” [Rom.3:23]. Rom.6:20-22 is extremely relevant to this premise – when it says: For when ye were the servants [or, more lit., “the bondslaves”] of sinye were free from righteousness. (21) What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed(?) – for the end of those things is death. (22) But nowbeing made free from sinand become servants [or again, more lit., “bondslaves”] to God, ye have your fruit unto holinessand the end everlasting life!” Praise the Name of our Savior, God – the Lord Jesus Christ!

This brings us full circle back around to Col.3:17! And whatsoever ye do in word or workdo all in the Name of the Lord Jesusgiving thanks to God and the Fatherby Him!” And, Rom.6:17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants [or, “the bondslaves”] of sinbut ye have obeyed from the heart that form of Doctrine [lit.] whereunto ye were delivered.” In other words, the real truth of the matter is that God always delivers His true children over into the hearing and seeing and receiving and believing the pure truth of the gospel of the glory, only, of the Lord Jesus Christ! Hence, Jesus says: And ye shall know the truthand the truth shall make you free!” Jn.8:32

For Christ’s Glory Only! – John Carpnter

Devotional for October 2022

“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.” [He.13:20-21]

We now continue to consider this wonderful text of scripture concerning our Lord Jesus Christ as being theGreat Shepherd of the Sheep”. This final descriptive of the Christ of God is also highly significant when it is put in conjunction with the opening statement of the epistle. From where Christ is also exalted as being God’s perfect representative and spokesman — declaring the things of God – to us who are His chosen sinner/children whom He has singled out of all of fallen-in-sin humanity to be made perfect by His great grace! These two statements are like bookends unto the whole context of the message of the epistle of Hebrews. It’s all about the person and work of our Lord Jesus Christ!

In the center of the epistle we find the astounding announcement of He.7:12-13 – which concerns all of us, His sinner/children in this law-cursed world – having been made perfect in order to be divinely approved and accepted into God’s all glorious and heavenly presence for all eternity. That great descriptive statement is: For the priesthood being changedthere ismade of necessitya change also of (the) law. For He of whom these tidings are spokenpertaineth to another tribe of which no man gave attendance at the altar.”  Hence, the Lord Jesus – the Christ of God – is also forever titled – not only – the Great Shepherd of the sheep – but also as being our Great High Priest! [see: He.4:14]  This makes all the difference where all of God’s eternally loved and chosen are concerned! This descriptive declaration is that which connects God’s eternal purpose (for us) with His eternal performance making what He has done (on our behalf) to be entirely perfect!

Jesus, our eternal Savior and Surety, is – in every way – God almighty. Yes, Jesus is all-knowing, all-present, all-glorious and all Holy God. Col.2:9-10 plainly says: For in Him dwells all the fulness of the GodheadBodily…”! And, the next revealing statement of this text is just too wonderful for fallen human words – “…and Ye are complete in Him which is the Head of all principality and power.”

The preaching of the Word of the Cross declares dogmatically that this has all been done – finished – by our Great God, Jesus the Christ. It was all done when He – voluntarily – shed His own Blood and purged us from all of our sins (which the epistle of Hebrews declares dogmatically at it’s very beginning). Having eternally accomplishing the purging of all our sins – He rightfully occupied the sovereign, over-ruling throne of His Great Grace – from where He sovereignly rules over all His sinner/children throughout the generations of fallen humanity. [see: He.1:3;8-9]

This preaching of the Word of the Cross – according to 1Co.1:18 is: to them who (lit.) are perishingfoolishnessbut unto us (lit.) which are being savedit is the power of God.” And, this is why our Savior is titled: “(that) Great Shepherd of the sheep (lit.) inthe Blood of the everlasting Covenant…”  His sheep being all those whom He knows and all those whom they have – by His grace – come to know Him (Jn.10:14)! Wherefore holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider [or, more lit., fully behold] the Apostle and High Priestof our profession [or, more lit., “confession”] Christ Jesus[He. 3:1]. Praise His All Glorious Name!

For Christ’s Glory Only! – John Carpenter