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.

Who Comes Near To You?

Who Comes Near To You? by Kirk Hunt

And his servants came near and spoke to him, and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do something great, would you not have done it? How much more then, when he says to you, ‘Wash, and be clean’?”

2 Kings 5:12 NKJV

Naaman stormed off, offended at Elisha’s response to his request.  The prophet’s promise of healing and restoration was not theatrical enough for him.  Thankfully, Naaman’s men could come near him.

Sooner, or later, you are going to respond the wrong way.  Ego, frustration or misunderstanding will lead you to make matters worse.  Eventually, you are going to miss your chance.  Inattention, urgency or preconception will lead you to walk past the opportunity of a lifetime.

Who in your life can come near and stop you from making a critical mistake of commission or omission?  Perhaps your friend will speak quiet cautions in a back room, or shout accusations at center stage.  Either way, are you willing to hear the truth from someone you trust?

It requires humility on your part.  It requires courage on their part.  Both of you must possess the wisdom to know it needed to be said and why.

“Go wash in a dirty river.  What have you got to lose?”  Who has the heart and head to stop your mistake?  Do you let folks close enough to know when or how to help? 

Naaman nearly walked away from his healing.  Someone close to him refused to remain silent.  Naaman was smart enough to listen.  How about you?

Think:      You need Godly wise people close enough to help you.

Pray:         “Lord, help me keep Your appointed helpers close to my heart and head.”

 

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.

How To Heal

How To Heal by Kirk Hunt

And Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, “Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored to you, and you shall be clean.”  But Naaman became furious, and went away and said, “Indeed, I said to myself, ‘He will surely come out to me, and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, and wave his hand over the place, and heal the leprosy.’

2 Kings 5:10-11 NKJV

Naaman, and his personal security team, arrived at Elisha’s door in a chariot.  Most men (or women) would go out and greet the visiting general.  Elisha sent a messenger with healing instructions and did not see the man.

Naaman responded with anger.  After all, a man of his importance and combat record deserves more and better attention.  Certainly, Naaman’s mental image of his healing involved ceremony and dignity, not multiple dips in the muddy Jordan River.

Do you want God to heal you?  Then be obedient.  Do you want God to intervene in circumstance beyond your control?  Approach Him with humility.

God does not need to move or act because of your impulses or whims.  His power is absolute and sovereign.  You came to Him because of your needs, not His.  Trust His eternal wisdom for the answers and solutions you need. 

Consider His august majesty and the legions of angels at His beck and call.  Speak your request in humility, knowing the God of all creation has what you need.  When God speaks, respond in obedience, confident that His answer come from His love for you.

Think:      Your healing is going to require humility and obedience.

Pray:         “Lord, I come to You in humility and obedience for my healing.”

 

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.

Naaman The Honorable

Naaman The Honorable by Kirk Hunt

Now Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Syria, was a great and honorable man in the eyes of his master, because by him the Lord had given victory to Syria. He was also a mighty man of valor, but a leper.

2 Kings 5:1 NKJV

Despite being a general in the army of the pagan Syrians, Naaman was an instrument of God’s will.  Being a great and honorable man (or woman) does not mean you are sinless.  Leprosy, long a symbol or analogy of sin in human lives, changed the viewpoint of others.  Naaman’s grateful king (historically, Ben-Hadad II) saw him less as a national hero and more as a dangerous threat to his own health and wellbeing.

Even today, Naaman’s leprosy can serve as an object lesson:  Being good and moral is not enough.  Christians, God’s people, must live more than clean lives.  We must live separate from the sin that can so easily taint and contaminate our lives.

Despite all of his achievements and benefits to the Syrian King and nation, Naaman lived as a separated pariah.  Even his wife would have shunned his immediate presence, or merest touch.  Naaman’s bacterial infection defined him more than his courage, valor or noble character.

The sin in your life defines you more than your generosity, virtue or clean living.  Some souls who see your taint and contamination will shun you as one of the unredeemed.  Other souls will seek to drag you further into the worst of sinful living.

Leprosy, the disease, can be cured.  Sin, the corruption of your soul, can be cleansed and avoided through the salvation of Jesus Christ.  I pray you are honorable, but know it is more important to be sinless.

Think:      Honorable is good.  Sinless is better.

Pray:         “Lord, help me to live sinlessly through Your Holy Spirit and power.”

 

Copyright © February 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 Have You Received?

Who Have You Received? by Kirk Hunt

Then Paul dwelt two whole years in his own rented house, and received all who came to him,   preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence, no one forbidding him.

Acts 28:30-31 NKJV

Chained to a Roman soldier, Paul received everyone who came to him.  The prisoner freely taught and preached about Jesus Christ.  For two years, handcuffed to his captors, Paul repeated the crime that brought him to trial in Rome. 

It took courage to visit Paul in Nero’s Rome.  Christians were already under suspicion and discrimination.  Still, the opportunity to learn of Jesus, directly from Paul, brought men and women to his door.

Paul welcomed his guests, then generously gave them his richest gift: Jesus Christ.  In the face of political, social and religious (Pagans or Jews) opposition, Paul insisted on sharing his knowledge of the Gospel.  Whether with those in the room, or with saints around the known world, Paul spoke God’s truth to all who could hear.

Who do you receive?  What do you give them?  Why should they want what you give?

Under the watching eyes and listening ears of the elite Praetorian Guard, Paul taught the Gospel to all who asked.  The Apostle used his adverse circumstances to build the Kingdom.  Can you do the same?

Who is at your door?  What do you give them?  Even a prisoner can be a generous host, if they have something of value to give.  What is more valuable than the Gospel?

Think:      Who have you received?  What have they received from you?

Pray:         “Lord, help me to generously receive then give You to all who come to me.”

 

Copyright © February 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 Are Gathered With You?

Who Are Gathered With You? by Kirk Hunt

David therefore departed from there and escaped to the cave of Adullam. So when his brothers and all his father’s house heard it, they went down there to him.   And everyone who was in distress, everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented gathered to him. So he became captain over them. And there were about four hundred men with him.

2 Samuel 22:1-2 NKJV

King Saul issued a death warrant for his loyal and valiant son-in-law, David.  Unjustly hunted and cruelly hounded, David found refuge in the cave of Adullam.  There, at his lowest point, losers, deadbeats and whiners gathered with David.

David could have easily become a brigand and villain, leading a band of cutthroats.  Instead he transformed himself into a valiant king-like leader.  The crybabies and snotnoses who gathered with him?  They became an elite fighting force who championed the defenseless.

You always have a choice.  There is the easy way or the right way.  You can choose to walk upward in righteousness or slide downward in villainy.  It is just that easy.

Insist that the people who gather around you have a simple choice:  1) Get with your program or 2) leave.  Keep their immediate decision clear and simple. 

It takes courage, fortitude and intention to choose righteousness.  There will be confrontations and conflicts, but insist that anyone who stays with you does the same.  No one said it would be easy.

Who is gathered with you?  You can help them change their story.  Make sure you choose the right story to tell with your life and theirs.

Think:      Who is gathered with me and why do they stay?

Pray:         “Lord, help me and those gathered with me to choose Your righteousness.”

 

Copyright © February 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.

Where Are You Stationed?

Where Are You Stationed? by Kirk Hunt

And after him was Shammah the son of Agee the Hararite. The Philistines had gathered together into a troop where there was a piece of ground full of lentils. So the people fled from the Philistines. But he stationed himself in the middle of the field, defended it, and killed the Philistines. So the Lord brought about a great victory.

2 Samuel 23:11-12 NKJV

Shammah is listed in Scripture as one of David’s “mighty men”. His greatest deed? Alone and abandoned, Shammah stood and fought while others ran. He stationed himself in a patch of beans and defended them.

Shammah’s duty was made harder, and riskier, because others failed in their duty to their nation and God. Still, he stood his ground and fought. Despite his personal courage and skillfulness, Scripture is clear that Shammah did not bring about success. God’s faithfulness and power bought and brought victory.

What has God assigned you? Steel your heart and determination, even if it seems you are defending something of low value. Courageously hold your ground against greater numbers and firepower, no matter how alone you are. Mighty men and women are determined by faithful courage and determined hearts.

Military last stands tends to favor the attackers and are universally costly to the defenders. Determine now that you will do your part, confident that Father-God will do His. Despite your personal courage and skill, victory will come through God’s faithfulness and power.

Think: Do your part to bring about victory.

Pray: “Lord, help me to fulfill your assignment to me, regardless of what others do.”

Copyright © February 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.

Seeking Something Better

Seeking Something Better by Kirk Hunt

These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised,   since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.

Hebrews 11:39–40 NIV

Despite (partial) victories (such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965) Dr. King continued the work of freeing all of America’s citizens from injustice and discrimination.  His earthly reward for seeking something better for America?  An assassin’s bullet

Scripture summarizes the suffering and victories of Old Testament Prophets and Heroes in Hebrews 11.  Those men and women did not live to see God’s promises completed, but they did their part to fulfill their callings.  Usually, at great personal cost or their very lives.

Hebrews 11 rehearses the faithfulness and endurance of Old Testament saints.  They fulfilled their calling and purpose, despite not seeing their victory in complete fullness.  Hebrews 12 exhorts New Testament saints to be just as faithful and enduring. 

Christians of the Roman world often suffered and died but they eventually converted polytheistic pagans into devout Christians.  With the continuing advantage of Jesus and the Holy Spirit, we should do as much.  Echoing the faith and diligence of Old and New Testament saints, our faithfulness will require that we seek something better, regardless of the personal cost.

Seek something better, no matter who is bother or how they object.  Your prize for delivering freedom or salvation will be God’s eternal approval.  Try not to mind any short term inconveniences or even living to see it completely fulfilled.

Think:      Do your part whether or not you see the final victory.

Pray:         “Lord, help me to fulfill my calling from you, no matter how others object.”

 

Copyright © January 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.

His Compassions Fail Not

His Compassions Fail Not by Kirk Hunt

Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:22-23 NKJV

In recent months I have been concerned by the general lack of compassion I see from my Christian brothers and sisters. Consider God’s compassions toward us, His people. Should we not follow the example of our heavenly Father and Jesus?

The Book of Lamentations was written at or after the destruction of Jerusalem and the Babylonian captivity of the nation of Judah. For their great sins and open rebellion, God could have cast away the Jewish nation for good.

Instead, He was faithful to His people. His mercy spared their lives. His grace arranged their eventual restoration. Not for the last time, God proved both His strength and His character to His people.

The capacity for mercy exists only where there is a reservoir of strength. Only a man or woman of strong character can commit an act of grace. When you see displays of mercy and grace, know that the powerful and honorable are nearby.

Are you an adopted son or daughter of Father-God? Then you should have a measure of His strength and your character should be a growing reflection of Him. What acts of mercy or grace prove your heavenly pedigree?

Judah had death and destruction coming, but a loving God gave them mercy and grace instead. Look around you. Do you have enough of His strength to give them mercy? Is your character Christ-like enough to extend His grace?

Think: His compassions fail not. Do mine?

Pray: “Lord, help me to show Your compassions to those around me.”

 

Copyright © January 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.

…And Worshiped Him

…And Worshiped Him by Kirk Hunt

And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

Matthew 2:11 NKJV

They spent months trekking across hundreds (or thousands) of miles.  They braved dangers from violent weather, wild animals or armed marauders to find Jesus.  Then, despite their wealth, education, wisdom and stations, they threw themselves on the stable floor, before the newborn King of Kings.  And worshiped Him.

They came.  They saw.  They worshiped.”  At great cost.  At great inconvenience.  At great risk.  The Wise Men lived out a lifestyle of worship.

In the hustle and bustle, have you carved out a place and space for worship?  When last did your worship of Jesus really cost you?  How long has it been since your worship of Immanuel (God With Us) was truly inconvenient?  How much risk has there been, or will there be, in the worship you give to the King of Kings?

The various services and ceremonies Christians use as worship are nice and good.  Unfortunately, they can become mechanical and rote.  If you are not careful, you may come to think that is all there is to your worship of Jesus.

Real worship comes from the depth of your heart.  True worship takes you out of your zone and into His.  The best worship involves risk as you invest the best of yourself in recognition of all that is Jesus, your Savior.

The wise men set aside their comfort, safety and dignity to worship Jesus.  When last did you do the same?  When next will you worship Jesus with your all?

Think:      Does my lifestyle truly worship Jesus?

Pray:         “Lord, help me to live in a lifestyle of worship of You at all times.”

 

Copyright © December 2018, 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 Likeness Of Men

The Likeness Of Men By Kirk Hunt

But made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.

Philippians 2:7 NKJV

Jesus was born in the likeness of most men and women.  Mary and Joseph were people of quite humble means, despite Joseph’s royal lineage.  Were it not for the wise men’s reading of God’s stars or the announcement of the angelic host, no one would have known of Jesus’ birth.

Jesus came in my likeness.  He chose to exclude Himself from the wealth that could smooth His way in the world.  Jesus, despite being a direct descendent of King David was born without the advantages of privilege or position. 

Jesus loved us so much that He decided He had to look like us.  He was determined that salvation would be available to all of us, so He chose the station and lifestyle of the least of us.  The Creator of galaxies and nebula arrived as a baby, helpless except for His loving parents.

He arrived in your image, so that salvation could be extended to all of mankind.  He lived our life so that we would have an example, and proof, that the least of us come live out the Christian life.  All men and woman can live the Gospel life, if they chose to follow His Word.

This Christmas season, I pray that you see Jesus in the faces of men and women from every tribe, language and skin tone.  He came to earth in their likeness, determined to make salvation available to everyone who would chose to accept Him as their Savior and obey His Word.  

Think:      Jesus decided to come in my image.  Have I committed to living in His image?

Pray:         “Lord, help me to live in Your likeness.”

 

Copyright © December 2018, 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.

Can God Send You?

Can God Send You? By Kirk Hunt

Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying:
“Whom shall I send,
And who will go for Us?”

Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”

Isaiah 6:8 NKJV
Please also read Isaiah 6:1–10

Freshly purged of his sin, Isaiah was eligible to answer the call.  Standing in the very presence of God, Isaiah could not miss the call.  Isaiah’s answer echoes still: “Send me.”

Calling is not a spiritual form of conscription.  It is a Godly empowerment for a specific ministry or mission.  You can thwart a God-ordained call on your life, through disobedience and rebellion.

Isaiah chose the better path.  On hearing the call, he responded to God with willingness and obedience.  “Here I stand.  Give me the assignment.”

Calling is best exercised with joy and energy.  What is the difference between an exasperating drudgery and a soul-enriching adventure?  Do you respond God’s call as an inconvenient conscription or life-fulfilling opportunity?

There may be difficulties or dangers.  They might receive you with gladness or reject you with anger.  As much as you want good results, it is more important that you have good obedience.  Let God sort out the hearts that hear God’s Word, spoken with skill and grace.

Let God purge you of sin and error.  Listen carefully to His heart for men and women.  What He asks who to send, raise both hands.

Think:      Am I willing to let God purge me of my sin and impurity?

Pray:         “Lord, purge me of my sin so I can have fellowship with you.”

 

Copyright © December 2018, 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.