The Greatest Among You

The Greatest Among You by Kirk Hunt

“But not so among you; on the contrary, he who is greatest among you, let him be as the younger, and he who governs as he who serves.”

Luke 22:26 NKJV

Just a few hours (at most) before Jesus’ arrest in Gethsemane the Disciples bickered.  All of them wrestled with each other for supremacy.  All of them thought they should be called the “greatest” Disciple.

In later days, the Disciples would be the selfless saints who advanced the Kingdom until death itself stopped them

Jesus’ rebuke is less than fierce.  He carefully calls His men to give meaningful service to others instead of demanding conspicuous glory for themselves. Jesus points them to reverent humility rather than ego and self-aggrandizement.

I have too often seen men and women push to be recognized for minimal or trifling achievements.  Not often enough, men and women with extreme or extraordinary levels of accomplishment do not get the recognition they deserve.  The greatest among us know who they are and do not need to elbow their way to the front.

As a follower of Jesus Christ, you focus is supposed to be on building God’s Kingdom not your own ego.  If your motivation is self, you can far too easily be let by your lust to satisfy yourself.  The first check on a runaway ego is a relentless focus on Jesus and the things of God. 

By all means, be great in God.  Seek to be the servant who faithfully builds the Kingdom, even if no one sees.  You are not hidden from God and He is far too faithful not to reward you.

Think:      Am I obedient to Christ’s command to achieve much and demand little?

Pray:         “Lord, help me to be the greatest in Your Kingdom by being the greatest servant.”

 

Copyright © July 2019, 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.

Gathered In His Name

Gathered In His Name by Kirk Hunt

“For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”

Matthew 18:20 NKJV

God’s people must gather.  Perhaps, they are gathered by a cause.  Perhaps they are gathered by the call to worship.  Or service.  Where a small number of men and women who are true Christ disciples gather, Christ also is present.

We gather for strength of numbers.  Even if that is only or two.  Leviticus 26:8 promises that God’s faithful people will have an impact out of proportion to their numbers. 

We gather for accountability.  James 5:16 directs us to confess our errors to each to fellow believers.  Who better understands the successes and failures of the Christian life than faith Christians?

We gather for fellowship.  1 John 1:7 reminds us that we walk in the light with other believers.  Since we are going the same way, would it not be better to walk together in friendship and mutual aid?

We gather for joy.  Acts 2:46-47 prove God’s people know how to have a good time and not be hung over the next day.  God’s presence among His people adds, if not multiplies, our joy, peace and comfort. 

If you are one of God’s people, you should gather with us.  If you are not one of God’s people, you should come and see what we are talking about.  After all, there even two or three Christians are, Jesus is there also.

Think:      I must gather together with men and women of Christ.

Pray:         “Lord, help me to find my place among Your faithful people.”

 

Copyright © July 2019, 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.

But Not Destroyed

But Not Destroyed by Kirk Hunt

“We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;   persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed”

2 Corinthians 4:8-9 NKJV

God’s people sometimes find themselves flat on the canvas, questioning the value of continuing the contest.  We may the sons and daughters of the King, but we are not exempt from life’s hardships.  Despite the hurt and pain, we are not destroyed.

Like Job, we wonder why God allows difficulty and hardship into our life.  There is a special value in survivors.  The mere presence of those who have lived through it can bring comfort and confidence.  We all want that kind of weight and gravitas, but no one wants that experience.

One day your testimony, “God brought me through,” will be a valuable guide and comfort to those listening.  They will marvel at your scars.  They will question why you do not limp, or do not limp worse. 

As you speak, remind them that God always cares for us, even in the middle of our worst circumstances.  No matter how dark the day, God’s power brings life and His peace defies understanding.

Scars are proof of both survival and more importantly, healing.  Men and women are comforted by the truth of survivors.  You are proof that no circumstance is always fatally final.   Remind them that even when God lets you experience difficulty, He never lets you do so alone.

Think:      The experience may be difficult but you are not destroyed.

Pray:         “Lord, bring me through, according to Your promise.”

 

Copyright © June 2019, 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.

A Sound From Heaven

A Sound From Heaven by Kirk Hunt

And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.  

Acts 2:2 NKJV

The gruesome execution of their leader had crushed them.  In the bleakest of dark days they clung desperately to each other, afraid to leave and terrified to stay.  Yet even death could not hold their Messiah.  Jesus returned from the grave and completed His promise of hope and power.  On Pentecost Sunday, a sound from heaven delivered Jesus’ promise, just as He said.

To the untrained eye, it appeared that the High Priest and his cronies had won.  They thought they had killed the troublesome backwoods preacher who dared to disrupt their careful schemes.  Instead, Jesus was resurrected from the dead, fulfilling all of the law and prophets. 

Perhaps something has gone wrong in your world.  To the untrained eye, it looks like the villains are the victors and God’s people have been beaten for the final time.  Keep your hope and stay on His path.  After a few days, you will hear the sound of victory from heaven.

The Holy Spirit gives you the power to live the Christian life.  God’s power and presence, dwelling within you, gives you the ability to live in victory through any circumstance.  Do not be confused by the difficult days.  A sound from heaven is on its way.

Study His Word.  Continue to pray.  Work hard at your mission.  His final victory will arrive like a hurricane.

Think:      I will hope and trust in Jesus, knowing I will hear a sound from heaven.

Pray:         “Lord, help me to wait patiently for my Pentecost sound.

 

Copyright © June 2019, 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.

Does Your Love Endure?

Does Your Love Endure? by Kirk Hunt

And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.   But he who endures to the end shall be saved.

Matthew 24:12-13 NKJV

Love is something you choose.  Love-in-feeling comes and goes, but love-in-action is the result of your choices.  Does your love endure despite the climate around you?  Your salvation, and likely the salvation of others, depends on your individual choice to continue loving God then men.

The worst version of lawlessness is the lack of compassion or caring for fellow human beings.  Too many violate the law of love and use the secular legal code only as a way to inflict vengeance or retribution.  The concept of forbearance or even mercy seems to have fled our national borders. 

There are those who choose to love anyway.  Despite the climate of resentment and callousness, they fight to endure in the love and grace that comes through Jesus Christ.  Who or how many will benefit by the determined effort to bless the least of these?  Only heaven knows.

The law of love does not allow anarchy, sin or injustice.  Jesus did not condemn the adulterous woman (or missing man) but He commanded her to stop sinning.  Jesus loved her enough to endure the pressure of the Pharisees and still extend grace to the woman.

You have a choice today.  You can choose to give into the current environment and punish and persecute those around you.  You can also choose to endure to the end and love God’s children, extending the love and grace He has already given you.

Think:      Does my love endure, despite the climate around me?

Pray:         “Lord, help me to endure in my love for You and Your children.”

 

Copyright © May 2019, 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 Have Need Of Endurance

You Have Need Of Endurance by Kirk Hunt

For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise:

Hebrews 10:36 NKJV

Perhaps you have heard the adage: “If it was easy, everyone would do it.”  Endurance is a key ingredient of the best saints of God.  The Christian men and women you most admire have likely built up their endurance.  You can do the same.

Endurance is a characteristic that separates the dedicated from the dabblers.  Talent cannot work if you cannot stay on your feet.  Skill cannot win if you are face down on the floor. 

If you participate in this life, you will take blows.  Somewhere along the line, you will need to stay on task, despite how you hurt.  Can you endure long enough to win anyway? 

Of course, the promise is that God will give you the strength and toughness to go the extra distance to victory.  Are you willing to bear your hurt and harm until God gives you victory?  Endurance is not easy, otherwise everyone would do it.

God promises to be with us, to the end of the world.  The blisters, gasping for air or soreness are our part of doing His will.  You will have to exercise your free will to fulfill His sovereign commands. 

Great men and women of God are not always the best educated, most skillful or even best looking.  The greatest among us endure until their part of God’s plan is complete.  You can be one of His elite saints.  It is as easy as doing His will until you receive His promise.

Think:      What do I need to endure so God can give me victory?

Pray:         “Lord, help me to endure so that I can be a part of Your victory.”

 

Copyright © May 2019, 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.

Like Mother Used To Make

Like Mother Used To Make by Kirk Hunt

Moreover his mother used to make him a little robe, and bring it to him year by year when she came up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice.

1 Samuel 2:19 NKJV

Samuel had been lent (read: surrendered) to God by his mother, Hannah.  Determined to honor her oath to God and still love her precious son, Hannah’s hands worked her loom.  Samuel could proudly speak of “just like Mother used to make,” then model a freshly made demonstration of mother love.

Consider that in 1065 BC that a robe (or coat) had to be hand-made.  Despite being the beloved wife of a wealthy, generous man, Hannah insisted on making for her son with her own hands.  Samuel grew up with physical proof that he had the tender love and affectionate attention of his mother. 

Maybe your son or daughter is physically distant or otherwise separated from you.  Like Hannah, you can chose to make sure your precious child has physical proof of your tender love and affectionate attention.  Maybe you cannot be there with them physically, but you can send evidence they are always in your mind and heart.

Samuel grew up physically distant from Hannah, but he never lacked for unescapable evidence of her love and care.  Who needs a care box from you?  Who needs proof that the miles mean nothing to your heart and mind?

Spend the time to make with your own hands.  Be sure to deliver the message that the distance does not impact your love and affection.  Your son or daughter may be surrendered to God, but that does not mean you cannot deliver some mother (or father) love anyway.

Think:      What a mother (or father) makes for a child is extra precious.

Pray:         “Lord, help me to prove my love to Your children, no matter how far away they are.”

 

Copyright © May 2019, 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.

Because He Was Faithful

Because He Was Faithful by Kirk Hunt

So the governors and satraps sought to find some charge against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find no charge or fault, because he was faithful; nor was there any error or fault found in him.

Daniel 6:4 NKJV
Please also read Daniel 6:1–24

The conspirators spent time, money and effort, but came up empty.  Daniel continued to conduct his affairs in a carefree manner, with a joyous spirit.  The shadowy and sinister men who sought his downfall were defeated by his clean record.  When you are righteous and faithful, you are protected beyond reasonable measure.

Scripture says Daniel (and his friends) were smart, wise and clever.  Clearly, Daniel knew the honest play is always the smartest play.  A long record of clean and honest work is its own protection. 

Do not confuse Daniel’s clean record with a lack of hard work.  It takes longer and costs more to do it right the first time.  But when you are done, there is nothing to do but the next task.  It is difficult to threaten an honest man or woman with the honest facts and figures.

Daniel’s record, transcripts and witnesses told a consistent story of fair dealing and honest work.  The men who wanted to bring him down had to look for a different path.  How you do the work is just as important as the outcome.

How do you do what you do?  Are you faithful to God through your work?  Do you play fair and straight, or will there be a problem when we read your transcripts or call the witnesses?

Think:      A righteous, faithful lifestyle is its own protection.

Pray:         “Lord, help me to be Your righteous and faithful servant before all men and women.”

 

Copyright © April 2019, 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.

Yet He Passed Away

Yet He Passed Away by Kirk Hunt

I have seen the wicked in great power,
And spreading himself like a native green tree.
Yet he passed away, and behold, he was no more;
Indeed I sought him, but he could not be found.

Psalm 37:35-36 NKJV
Please also read Psalm 37:1–40

Too often, I despair that the wicked are winning.  I have caught myself fretting that the ruthless and unscrupulous are being established, never to be dislodged.  Then, suddenly, they pass away and can not be found, even if you wanted to see them. 

I am not the first God-follower to think so.  Psalm 37, written by David, speaks to my own concerns.  The wicked may indeed prosper for a season, but not they shall not triumph.  No matter how it looks now, God’s justice is on the way.

In my own life, I have seen men and women suddenly receive justice.  Before, it seemed the wicked ones were immune to the laws of God and man.  After, I trembled at the thoroughness of God’s sovereign and merciless justice. 

On bended knee, I pray that I live in obedience to His Word and law.  I never want to be the one that God’s people cry out against.  I want always to be found, doing Kingdom work the way God wants it done.

Play it straight, since God is watching.  Follow God’s Word and law, the way you know it should be done.  His sword of justice is quick, terrible and not to be denied by mere humans.

Think:      The wicked will receive justice, sooner and more thoroughly than you think.

Pray:         “Lord, help me to be found at all times as Your obedient servant.”

 

Copyright © April 2019, 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.

Who Can Forbid?

Who Can Forbid? by Kirk Hunt

For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God.  Then Peter answered,   “Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?”

Acts 10:46 – 47 NKJV
Please also read Acts 10

I am always stunned by those who forbid what God is doing.  They do not seem to care for the numbers, depth or level of impact of God’s move.  They always seem to have some man-made rule that counters the very Word of God.

Despite Jesus’ Great Commission, there were early Church leaders who insisted that only Jews could become Christians.  Despite Jesus’ healing of the Canaanite and the Centurion’s faith, some of the Disciples maintained a narrow, elitist, judgmental view of who could, or should, be accepted by God.  With the ongoing evidence of God’s choices before their very eyes, Peter still had to challenge the circumcised Christians to accept non-Jewish believers and disciples.

Too often we ask God to bless what we are doing.  Far more often, we should seek to do what God is commanding.  Our obedience to His Word and instruction cannot help but be blessed.

Human rules can sometimes be helpful, but we should never let them stand against what God commands or is doing.  God commands His people to reach into all the world and make disciples.  Anyone, or anything, that forbids the advancement God’s Word of Kingdom cannot be a good thing.  Do not, as a follower of Jesus Christ, try to forbid what God is busy doing.

Think:      Am I following God and His divine Word, or something else?

Pray:         “Lord, help me to not to forbid what You command.”

 

Copyright © March 2019, 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 Call

Not My Call by Kirk Hunt

Then he said to them, “You know how unlawful it is for a Jewish man to keep company with or go to one of another nation. But God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean.

Acts 10:28 NKJV
Please also read Acts 10

God repeated Apostle Peter’s vision in Acts 10 three times for clarity and understanding.  A man or woman, cleansed by God, is suitable to God.  It is not your or my call, even as a follower of Jesus Christ, to say otherwise.

It is too easy to sit in judgment and declare who is in and who is out.  The ability to dismiss others as “less than” is too frequently done in our day and age.  Like the ancient Pharisees, we add our own rules and expectations to God’s Word, as if we are always correct or have the authority.

As followers of Jesus Christ, we are called to make disciples of all men and women.  Scripture does not say this will be easy nor that unbelievers will be immediately friendly.  Still, we should follow Jesus’ commandments, if we are truly His disciples.

Do not think that this allows us to condone ungodly or unbiblical behavior.  We must first hold each other accountable to God’s Word.  After, we can approach all of God’s children with grace and humility, carefully showing them the way to our loving Father.

All men and women are God’s children.  Show His lovingkindness to all of them.  This opens the door of their hearts and the eyes of their mind to their heavenly-Father.

Think:      All people, even unbelievers, are still God’s children.

Pray:         “Lord, help me to love all Your children as You would.”

 

Copyright © March 2019, 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.

Works Are Good and Profitable

Works Are Good and Profitable by Kirk Hunt

This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men.

Titus 3:8 NKJV

Scripture is clear that faith is an internal matter and salvation is not a matter of doing enough good deeds.  Scripture is just as clear that men and women of faith should perform good works on an ongoing basis.  God’s people are good and profitable to others in the here and now.

The phrase “thoughts and prayers” has become a symbol of lip-service and inaction.  The best demonstration of what you feel or think are concrete actions that help.  What you do with your time, talent and treasure are the game-changers that matter.  Everything else is platitudes. 

Just to be clear:  No one cares about what your heart feels or your head thinks; until the acts of your hands are visible.  A man and woman may be skeptical of your motivations, but they will believe the nutritious food you feed them.  Folks may disagree with your morality but they will approve of the warm shelter you place around them.

Good works open a path for unbelievers to understand.  Your good works give your presentation of the Gospel weight and substance.  It is difficult to ignore the folk who feed, clothe and shelter others.

We all know that words can come easy.  We all know that actions are the best proof of your thoughts and feelings.  Obey Scripture and get to work.

Think:      My works demonstrate my faith in God to hard hearts and skeptical minds.

Pray:         “Lord, help me to demonstrate my faith in You at every opportunity.”

 

Copyright © March 2019, 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.