The Prize of Trust

The Prize of Trust by Kirk Hunt

Go and speak to Ebed-Melech the Ethiopian, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: “Behold, I will bring My words upon this city for adversity and not for good, and they shall be performed in that day before you.

For I will surely deliver you, and you shall not fall by the sword; but your life shall be as a prize to you, because you have put your trust in Me,” says the Lord.

Jeremiah 39:16, 18 NKJV
Please also read Jeremiah 39:11-18

Jerusalem fell, per God’s command. In the middle of the chaos and confusion, God stopped to speak reassurance and peace to a lone Ethiopian. Unlike the men and women around him, Ebed-Melech put his trust in God.

Ebed-Melech, an Ethiopian, stood out among the Hebrew people. I am certain there were men and women who frequently reminded him that he was just a foreigner and proselyte, therefore not really one of God’s people. Still, he continued to worship Jehovah-God in sincerity and truth.

As death and destruction fell on Jerusalem, Ebed-Melech watched in peace and security. The Babylonian soldiers tramped around him. As the Hebrew captives were matched off at spear-point, the foreigner and proselyte watched from his God-appointed safety.

I want to think he wept as God’s people were punished for their unrepentant sin. Meanwhile, Ebed-Melech, stood firm and at peace in his child-like trust and obedience to God. I wonder who, or what, those other folks trusted.

Think: Is my trust in God?

Pray: “Father-God, help me to trust in You alone.

Copyright © November 2022, Kirk Hunt

This devotional is brought to you courtesy of CadreMen Press. You can purchase a copy of Blessed and Blessing: Devotionals For Gospel Champions from your favorite bookseller or directly from CadreMen Press.

Your Labor Counts

Your Labor Counts by Kirk Hunt

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

1 Corinthians 15:58 NKJV

Your calling in God may weigh heavy on you at times. The level of reward or results may cause you to question the value of your efforts. Trust Scripture; your labor counts.

Poppa Hunt, as we drove along, would often point out buildings or structures he labored on. Unless a specific light was visible and shining at that moment, the results of his work were not visible. His labor was still there, and still providing a benefit to men and women he would never meet.

The classrooms of students you taught may never return to say thank you. The elder you lavished care and concern on may not remain to remember your efforts. The time and attention you invested in that project may never be acknowledged.

Your Kingdom work counted then and counts now. You may never know the impact and blessing of your labors. Just know, in faith, that your labor for God had an impact and will have a payoff.

Faithfulness is not always recognized by men and women. Human eyes may not see the effort and exertion you made on a project. Our omniscient God sees Your labor and faithfulness. In these days, and in the days to come, our God will reward your faithful labors in His Kingdom.

Think: My labor counts in the Lord’s work.

Pray: “Father-God, help me to labor in my calling with faithfulness to You.

Copyright © September 2022, Kirk Hunt

This devotional is brought to you courtesy of CadreMen Press. You can purchase a copy of Blessed and Blessing: Devotionals For Gospel Champions from your favorite bookseller or directly from CadreMen Press.

Forgive You

Forgive You by Kirk Hunt

And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.”

Mark 11:25-26 NKJV

Forgiveness is not for them. Forgiveness is for you. You should forgive, daughter or son of God.

Real forgiveness is the act of acknowledging the offense happened, but no longer holding it against the offender, or considering the offense again. Imagine you open the prison cell door of the offender. Then you leave the prison, never to return. Who is the one set free?

In the moment you forgive, you put it behind you. Circumstances may remind you on occasion. You acknowledge it happened but then you resume what God is doing with you now.

Forgiveness cannot create reconciliation or restoration, but makes it possible. Forgiveness does not restore what was lost, but sets the stage for what will come. Forgiveness keeps your heart and spirit available to what God has for you now.

When God considers you and your errors, what does He see? A soul stuck in resentment and grievance? Or a soul seeking Him in peace, free from what has gone before?

Think: Forgive them to your own benefit.

Pray: “Father-God, help me to forgive as I want to be forgiven.

Copyright © August 2022, Kirk Hunt

This devotional is brought to you courtesy of CadreMen Press. You can purchase a copy of Blessed and Blessing: Devotionals For Gospel Champions from your favorite bookseller or directly from CadreMen Press.

Seek The Peace

Seek The Peace by Kirk Hunt

And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray to the Lord for it; for in its peace you will have peace. For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Do not let your prophets and your diviners who are in your midst deceive you, nor listen to your dreams which you cause to be dreamed.

Jeremiah 29:7-8 NKJV

God’s people have been called to seek the peace of the city where they live. Not to suddenly establish a theocracy through force. God draws men and women to himself through our loving witness of Him. Christianity has never expanded through the use of bayonets or inquisitors.

In fact, the opposite is true. Christians dying in the Colosseum or suffering in prison won over pagan Rome. The persecution of Christians has always expanded the Church.

Consider the example of Boarding Schools, too often run by religious organizations. They are being revealed as destroyers of life, complicit tools of cultural genocide. That is because they were not seeking peace, but something else.

If God’s people pray in sincerity and truth, He will hear us and heal our land. If God’s people pray for peace where we are, God will faithfully bless us with peace. And that will open the door to our loving witness of Him.

Think: God’s people should see the peace, wherever we find ourselves.

Pray: “Father-God, make me an instrument of Your peace.

Copyright © August 2022, Kirk Hunt

This devotional is brought to you courtesy of CadreMen Press. You can purchase a copy of Blessed and Blessing: Devotionals For Gospel Champions from your favorite bookseller or directly from CadreMen Press.

Hear The Conclusion

Hear The Conclusion by Kirk Hunt

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:
            Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man’s all.

For God will bring every work into judgment,
Including every secret thing,
Whether good or evil.

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 NKJV

The conclusion of the affairs of men and women is in the judgment and declarations of God. Our God, omniscient and omnipotent, sees and measures what we do. You will stand before His Throne and give account for all of your life, seen or hidden.

If you live righteously and build His kingdom, He sees. If you live in disobedience and rebellion, He sees. And His voice will be the conclusion of the matter.

Do not fret that the wicked seem to escape judgment. Do not worry that the righteous go unrewarded. God sees everyone’s secrets and hidden things. His justice will not be denied.

For a righteous man or woman, these verses are a comforting promise. The work no one recognized is seen and will be rewarded by Father-God. The secret sacrifices will be rewarded by God Himself, sooner than you think.

Alone before God’s throne, everything will be revealed and you will give account. Then He will speak and conclude the matter. For men and women who live according to the Bible and God’s calling, His judgment and justice will be a blessing.

Think: I will hear God’s conclusion about my life and work.

Pray: “Father-God, help me to live so I hear Your good conclusion of my life.”

Copyright © July 2022, Kirk Hunt

This devotional is brought to you courtesy of CadreMen Press. You can purchase a copy of Blessed and Blessing: Devotionals For Gospel Champions from your favorite bookseller or directly from CadreMen Press.

Give And Get Water

Give And Get Water by Kirk Hunt

The generous soul will be made rich,
And he who waters will also be watered himself.

Proverbs 11:25 NKJV

Sometimes I fret. I give and do for God’s Kingdom and all I seem to get in return is tired. That is exactly the time to keep doing Kingdom work. Those who water for God will be watered by God.

Out of obedience, I should work like a mule for God’s Kingdom. And be thankful for the privilege. God understands my human frailties. Knowing how weak and fragile a servant I am, God has laced Scriptures with promises, like 2 Corinthians 9:6 and Galatians 6:7.

He loves us too much to exploit us. We take up so much room in His heart that He will not send us away empty. God owns the cattle on a thousand hills. He has reserved a meal (or two) for you.

There will be difficulty, and delay, and even denial in your work. The story has not ended until you receive what God has promised you. And it will be glorious, and more than you bargained for.

Do not fret about when, or where, or what you will receive. God has the timing and the format down. Do your work of watering. He will do His work of watering you.

Think: I cannot work and serve in God’s Kingdom without being blessed by God.

Pray: “Father-God, help me trust Your love and promises.”

Copyright © July 2022, Kirk Hunt

This devotional is brought to you courtesy of CadreMen Press. You can purchase a copy of Blessed and Blessing: Devotionals For Gospel Champions from your favorite bookseller or directly from CadreMen Press.

To Deceive, If Possible

To Deceive, If Possible by Kirk Hunt

For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand.

Matthew 24:24-25 NKJV

Jesus Christ, Himself, warned us that false messiahs and false prophets would deceive people. Men or women, out of greed, or delusion, or ego, would lead too many into error and sin. Reveal God’s truth by comparing everything you see and hear to the Bible.

Will some people lie to you? Yes, they will. Can you believe the wrong thing for a time? Yes, you can. You have been warned.

Seek God’s truth by studying God’s Word. Compare the words of every teacher and leader you see or hear to Bible text. When in doubt or conflict, believe the Bible.

False prophets and false messiahs always want you to believe something in conflict with the Bible. You cannot trust even their miracles. Even sincere men and women can be in error. You can always trust God’s Word.

Deception will come, but you do not have to be deceived. The simple believe every word, but the prudent considers well his steps.” (Proverbs 14:15, NKJV) The stakes are high. Take the time to make sure you are following the Bible.

Think: Weigh and measure all you hear and see against the Bible.

Pray: “Father-God, help me measure everything by Your Word.”

Copyright © July 2022, Kirk Hunt

This devotional is brought to you courtesy of CadreMen Press. You can purchase a copy of Blessed and Blessing: Devotionals For Gospel Champions from your favorite bookseller or directly from CadreMen Press.

Stick To The Calling

Stick To The Calling by Kirk Hunt

And after him was Eleazar the son of Dodo, the Ahohite, one of the three mighty men with David when they defied the Philistines who were gathered there for battle, and the men of Israel had retreated. He arose and attacked the Philistines until his hand was weary, and his hand stuck to the sword. The Lord brought about a great victory that day; and the people returned after him only to plunder.

2 Samuel 23:9-10 NKJV

Eleazar, the son of Dodo, fought against the Philistines so long and so hard that his hand cramped around the hilt of his sword. When it finally came time to let go of his weapon, he could not. I have experienced this same effect using construction tools. May your service in God’s Kingdom induce the same “stick to it” at least once in your life.

Alone, after all others retreated, Eleazar fought on. He fought with courage greater than his fear. His determination was so fierce that his hand froze around his weapon. He fought to the end because he could not let the enemy win or leave his calling in God.

Here and now, under the grace and truth of Jesus Christ, we fight for God’s Kingdom. In this era we serve and minister rather than swing swords. Still, our level of effort can all too easily match Eleazar’s exertions on that nameless battlefield.

Make no mistake: God brings the victory. A mighty man or woman of God is willing to be His instrument. Let God use you to achieve the impossible.

Think: Mighty are the men and women who stick to it in service to Him.

Pray: “Father-God, help me to stick to my calling.”

Copyright © July 2022, Kirk Hunt

This devotional is brought to you courtesy of CadreMen Press. You can purchase a copy of Blessed and Blessing: Devotionals For Gospel Champions from your favorite bookseller or directly from CadreMen Press.

The Lord Has Blessed The House

The Lord Has Blessed The House by Kirk Hunt

Now it was told King David, saying, “The Lord has blessed the house of Obed-Edom and all that belongs to him, because of the ark of God.” So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-Edom to the City of David with gladness.

2 Samuel 6:12 NKJV

King David heard the news and concerned himself with Obed-Edom. Obed-Edom’s faithful service involved having the Ark of God (aka the Ark of The Covenant) in his home. God’s presence and power made itself known with blessing of the man’s house and household.

After the tragedy of Uzzah, David placed the Ark in Obed-Edom’s house. Obed-Edom faithfully maintained the physical symbol of God’s presence on earth in his home. For three months, the power of God directly rewarded him and his. So much so, that a king looked on with longing.

Your faithful service in God’s kingdom is never without reward. No amount of money can purchase His peace. No level of fame gives His joy. Even the rich, or high, or mighty will look at His presence in your life and covet what you have.

It may not seem like much to you, but be faithful anyway. If God gave your calling, then it is important. And God’s blessing of you, and your house, will make it worthwhile.

Think: God blesses the house of men and women who serve Him in spirit and truth.

Pray: “Father-God, help me to serve my calling in spirit and truth.”

Copyright © June 2022, Kirk Hunt

This devotional is brought to you courtesy of CadreMen Press. You can purchase a copy of Blessed and Blessing: Devotionals For Gospel Champions from your favorite bookseller or directly from CadreMen Press.

Put That On My Account

Put That On My Account by Kirk Hunt

If then you count me as a partner, receive him as you would me. But if he has wronged you or owes anything, put that on my account.

Philemon 1:17-18 NKJV

Apostle Paul sent Onesimus, back to, Philemon. Paul’s letter to his Gospel sons was short and to the point: “Restore your relationship with your Gospel brother. If Onesimus owes you anything, put it on Apostle Paul’s account.”

Traditionally, Onesimus was the chattel slave of Philemon. Some scholars think of their relationship as a standard employee-employer dynamic. Others suggest they were biological siblings. Regardless of their exact history, Paul’s letter indicates that Onesimus stole money or goods when he left Philemon.

Forgiveness requires the shifting of a debt, or debts, to a different account. Someone accepts the loss and writes it off, without further comment or action. The forgiven surely benefits from the removal of their burden. Still, it turns out that the primary beneficiary of forgiveness is the forgiver.

With the debt(s) disposed of, restoration can begin. The pain and ill will of the past can be left behind. The self-poisons of anger and bitterness can be disposed of, once and for all. The Holy Spirit can then fill your empty spaces with love and grace.

Someone owes you something. Father-God asks you to shift that debt, a burden that crushes both of you, to His account. Trade your anger and resentment for God’s love and grace.

Think: Forgiveness involves shifting debts to someone else’s account.

Pray: “Father-God, help me to forgive my brother or sister.”

Copyright © June 2022, Kirk Hunt

This devotional is brought to you courtesy of CadreMen Press. You can purchase a copy of Blessed and Blessing: Devotionals For Gospel Champions from your favorite bookseller or directly from CadreMen Press.

You Are A Great People

You Are A Great People by Kirk Hunt

And Joshua spoke to the house of Joseph—to Ephraim and Manasseh—saying, “You are a great people and have great power; you shall not have only one lot, but the mountain country shall be yours. Although it is wooded, you shall cut it down, and its farthest extent shall be yours; for you shall drive out the Canaanites, though they have iron chariots and are strong.”

Joshua 17:17-18 NKJV
Please also read Joshua 17:14-18

The tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh saw themselves as a powerful and numerous folk. As a great people, they felt they deserved more land than they had been assigned. Joshua immediately gave them an additional plot of valuable land. All they had to do is remove the occupants and possess the land.

Has God blessed you? Then you are a great people. Possess your assignment.

Of course, there is the challenge of clearing the land of obstacles and adversaries. There is the risk of battles with the enemies. There is the hard work of making the land productive.

Delay and difficulty are not denial.” Great stature and high position requires great tasks and challenging assignments. God makes His men and women great so He can give them extraordinary assignments.

He has made you powerful and blessed. All you have to do is use His blessing for His assignment. Take possession of your assignment.

Think: You are a great people. Possess your assignment.

Pray:Father-God, give me the strength and skill to possess my assignment.”

Copyright © May 2022, Kirk Hunt

This devotional is brought to you courtesy of CadreMen Press. You can purchase a copy of Blessed and Blessing: Devotionals For Gospel Champions from your favorite bookseller or directly from CadreMen Press.

Not My Own Will

Not My Own Will by Kirk Hunt

And Moses said: “By this you shall know that the Lord has sent me to do all these works, for I have not done them of my own will.

But if the Lord creates a new thing, and the earth opens its mouth and swallows them up with all that belongs to them, and they go down alive into the pit, then you will understand that these men have rejected the Lord.”

Numbers 16:28, 30 NKJV
Please also read Numbers 16:1-40

Moses declared God’s Will, before witnesses. The rebellion of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram ended with an abrupt, final, and unappealable act of God. Moses understood the mutiny of these men was not against a human leader, but directed at the sovereign God of the universe.

As a man or woman of God, it is not supposed to be about your feelings, vision, or thoughts. You are an instrument of Father-God. From the first gasp through the last sigh, it is supposed to be God’s Will that commands and controls.

Do we, and they, sometimes forget who is supposed to be in charge of the universe, yet alone local affairs? To our shame and peril, we sometimes forget that God is big and we are small. Korah, and his co-conspirators, paid for their God-directed rebellion with their lives.

Make very sure you are performing God’s will and not your own. Your blessing and safety lay in Father-God’s will. And trust that God will address the mutineers at His convenience.

Think: Whose will am I trying to enact?

Pray:Not my own will but Yours, Father-God.”

Copyright © May 2022, Kirk Hunt

This devotional is brought to you courtesy of CadreMen Press. You can purchase a copy of Blessed and Blessing: Devotionals For Gospel Champions from your favorite bookseller or directly from CadreMen Press.