Rebuked The Nobles

Rebuked The Nobles by Kirk Hunt

After serious thought, I rebuked the nobles and rulers, and said to them, “Each of you is exacting usury from his brother.” So I called a great assembly against them. And I said to them, “According to our ability we have redeemed our Jewish brethren who were sold to the nations. Now indeed, will you even sell your brethren? Or should they be sold to us?”

Then they were silenced and found nothing to say.

Nehemiah 5:7-8 NKJV
Full account: Nehemiah 5:1-13

Nehemiah confronted the worst enemies of the emancipated Jews: Jewish nobility and rulers. In a great assembly of the people, Nehemiah publicly rebuked the nobles and rulers for their criminal behavior. Their crimes? Using usury to steal the homes and farms of other Jews and sell Jewish men and women into slavery.

The rich and powerful exploit the poor and weak before Nehemiah’s era. Current events have taught us that greed for money and lust for power still leads people down the same shameful roads. Still, what are you doing about it?

As one of God’s people, you have the calling and purpose of standing up against domestic enemies. It may lead to an uncomfortable public confrontation. I cannot guarantee you that the wrongdoers will repent or become silent.

Nehemiah publicly rebuked the nobles who callously enslaved neighbors and countrymen. How are you going to stand against domestic enemies? Your friends and family are looking to see how you will live out God’s righteousness.

Think: Should I be rebuked as a domestic enemy? How can I help to make things right?

Pray: “Lord, help me to restore men and women in Your righteousness.

Copyright © January 2021, 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.

Going With You

Going With You by Kirk Hunt

Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.”

They said to him, “We are going with you also.” They went out and immediately got into the boat, and that night they caught nothing.

John 21:3 NKJV

Peter and the Disciples had seen the risen Savior, but still did not know what to do with themselves. Men and women, when faced with the unknown, often return to the last thing they know worked. Peter returned to his profession of fishing. The other Disciples said, “We are going with you.”

Maybe you feel battered or beaten. Since all humans have limits, being overwhelmed does not mean you are weak. And you might still be the strongest one in the room.

Do the smart thing. Do the strong thing. Do the right thing. Return to Jesus. Others may go with you.

They are going with you because you are strong. Or at least the strongest in the room. Go back to the real source of strength. Your risen Savior, Jesus Christ, has fresh strength and clear instructions for you.

There, on the beach, Jesus met with Peter and the Disciples. They gained strength and clarity of purpose directly from Jesus, the only source. Peter was glad he went to Jesus. The Disciples were glad they went with Peter.

God’s strength flows to those who ask. Ask for strength to fulfill His calling on your life. Encourage those who are going with you to do the same.

Think: Jesus is the source of my strength and I will now turn back to Him.

Pray: “Lord, I need Your strength. Help me and those who come with me to You.

Copyright © January 2021, 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.

Strengthen Your Faith

Strengthen Your Faith by Kirk Hunt

And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”

Luke 22:31-32 NKJV

Mere hours before His crucifixion, Jesus had to stop and help his lead disciple. Simon Peter would weep in shame and heartbreak because of his denial of Jesus. Still, Jesus knew Peter would re-strengthen his faith. Then Peter would help the other Disciples restore their faith.

Strengthen your brothers.” Peter too easily could have felt disqualified and incapable by his error and flawed faith. Jesus directly instructed Peter to help others with their faith. Peter followed Jesus commands and helped the Disciples to re-grip their faith.

Imperfect faith is still faith. Your faith is still valid, despite your questions, doubts, or concerns. Not even mistakes nullify your faith. Real faith requires serious thought about what you believe and why you believe it.

Unthinking fanaticism is not faith. Unquestioning subservience to a dogma is not faith. Your faith should flow from your relationship with Christ Jesus.

Despite his time with Jesus, Peter had to restrengthen his faith. After his renewal, Peter was able to help his brothers and sisters. Now is a good time for you to draw closer to Jesus. Restrengthen your relationship, and faith, in Him.

Think: Is my faith in Jesus based on my relationship with Him?

Pray: “Lord, help me to deepen my relationship, and faith, in You.”

Copyright © January 2021, 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.

Into The Midst

Into The Midst by Kirk Hunt

20201213DevoTherefore, because the king’s command was urgent, and the furnace exceedingly hot, the flame of the fire killed those men who took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.

Daniel 3:22-23 NKJV

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego called Nebuchadnezzar’s bluff. The king ordered them thrown into the midst of the furnace. Keep in mind, the heat of the furnace killed the men ordered to carry out the executions.

Integrity always has costs. Missed opportunities at profits or pleasures. Lost relationships or connections. Open derision or scorn from some. Naked opposition or attack from others.

The unbent knees of your integrity may start your journey into the midst of circumstances you never imagined. Or wanted. The flames in the midst of your personal furnace will be hot. The heat may hurt people close to you, whether they are friend or foe.

No matter where you go, God is there. He was present, before you got there. He is present, the entire time you are there. He remains present, even after you leave there. Rely on God’s power, no matter where you go or why you went.

It takes integrity to say “I will not serve your gods.” It takes courage to stay on your feet as they stoke the fires of the furnace. Maintain your Christian integrity, even in the midst.

Think: Am I willing to maintain my Christian integrity in the midst of opposition?

Pray: “Lord, help me to maintain my integrity before You, no matter what happens.”

Copyright © December 2020, 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.

We Do Not Serve Your Gods

We Do Not Serve Your Gods by Kirk Hunt

If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”

Daniel 3:17-18 NKJV

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego stood before the king and politely told him his power had limits. “We do not serve your gods.” Their direct, plainspoken words were likely to land them in a fiery furnace.

They understood the order. They understood the penalty for non-compliance. They were at risk of making the ultimate sacrifice for their integrity.

The snitches and tattle-tails had to bring these men to the attention of the king. These three ethnic minorities tried to find the quieter route to maintaining their integrity. Moral or principled stances are not amplified by decibels or press releases. They are magnified by quiet courage and uncomplaining determination. Faithful men and women stay on their feet despite brutal retaliation and unjust retribution.

Embarrassed before his assembled government, Nebuchadnezzar bellowed fearsome threats. The smell, smoke, and possibly heat of the furnace were proof that the king was not bluffing. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego said their words calmly and with unbent knees, proved they were not bluffing.

Having integrity in private is one thing. Keeping your integrity in public is a different thing. Are you bluffing?

Think: What am I willing to sacrifice to maintain my Christian integrity?

Pray: “Lord, help me to maintain my integrity before men and especially You.”

Copyright © December 2020, 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 Swallowed Them

And Swallowed Them by Kirk Hunt

Now it came to pass, as he [Moses] finished speaking all these words, that the ground split apart under them [the rebels], and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, with their households and all the men with Korah, with all their goods.

Numbers 16:31-32 NKJV
Please read also Numbers 16:1-40

Korah’s rebellion against Moses had a deadly, clear-cut resolution. The dirt beneath the feet of the rebels and mutineers split open, swallowed them, then closed again. The mutineers, their family members, and even their possessions, disappeared in a moment. Please read Numbers 16:1-40 for the complete account.

Why did Korah rebel against Moses? At Jude 1:11, Korah’s rebellion is associated with other notorious sinners and their sins of greed: Cain the brother slayer; Balaam the spiritual sell-sword. Whatever his reasons, Korah, and 250 other men, were destroyed with their families. No one could deny their destruction as a clear move of God. Whatever their motivations, God judged their actions with harsh finality.

There was time between the start of the rebellion and their punishment by God. I believe there was time and opportunity (Numbers 16:16, 23-24) for Korah or his mutineers to repent and receive mercy. Instead of confessing error and sin, the rebels pushed ahead to God’s sovereign judgment.

Often, men and women get minutes, or hours, to confess before God and withdraw from their sin and rebellion. Too often, rebels push ahead to God’s final and very public judgment. In this pause, have you re-considered what you are doing?

Think: Father-God am I in Your will, or am I in rebellion?

Pray: “Lord, help me to be in Your Will and not in rebellion against You.”

Copyright © November 2020, 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.

Bearing With Each Other

Bearing With Each Other by Kirk Hunt

Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.

Colossians 3:12-13 NKJV

Bearing with people is not easy. Folk can be so wrong, so annoying, and so in need of a slap in the head. Instead, we are commanded to treat the worst of them with forbearance which consists of patience, courtesy and dignity. This is so important that the apostle does not frame it as a request.

Keep in mind that folk, at their best, rarely change in a moment. Even when they want to badly. During the transition, they need friends, family and saints to stay with them as they do the work and follow the process.

So, with the rebels or lawbreakers disarmed and at your feet, you are commanded. Show them your best patience. Give them your sincerest courtesies. Blanket them with your richest dignity. Prove that you are one of God’s selected saints.

Somewhere in there, you will need to forgive them. For yourself, not for them. Forgiveness makes your work with and towards them lighter and easier.

Follow the forbearance commandment whether they ask for forgiveness, or not. Because you are commanded to love and forgive others as Christ forgave and loves you. And when you find yourself receiving patience, courtesy and dignity, do the math.

Think: Forbearance is a commandment to God’s people.

Pray: “Lord, help me to be forbearant with everyone, especially other saints.”

Copyright © November 2020, 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.

Flying On Instruments

Flying On Instruments by Kirk Hunt

Now the Lord had said to Abram:
Get out of your country,
From your family
And from your father’s house,
To a land that I will show you.

Genesis 12:1 NKJV

Pack up. Move out. I will tell you where you are going, later.” Abram, later renamed Abraham, led his household into the wilderness on God’s Word, alone. At God’s command, Abram started flying on instruments.

Abram’s obedience was an act of faith. He left home, hearth, kith and kin, for whereabouts to be determined. Faith is the only rational explanation.

Aircraft have long had the ability to fly on instruments. On instruments, a pilot doesn’t need to see out of the cockpit at all. The pilot trusts the instruments, and the instruments get the pilot (safely) to the destination.

The things God asks of us are sometimes too big for us. The ending is too far for us to see. Worse, we can see the goal, but the path to the goal seems impossible to us. The God of creation asks you, and I, to trust Him.

He sees farther and deeper than we can. His knowledge exceeds the total of all humanity. His power exceeds anything and everything.

God faithfully led Abram to Canaan, and established him as a father of nations. You can put your faith in God, just as Abram did. Your faith and obedience will land you safely in His purpose for your life.

Think: I can trust Him. Especially through the instruments of faith.

Pray: “Lord, help me respond to You in faith and obedience.”

Copyright © November 2020, 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.

Vote Against

Vote Against by Kirk Hunt

Indeed, I myself thought I must do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. This I also did in Jerusalem, and many of the saints I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I cast my vote against them.

Acts 26:9-10 NKJV

People, even Godly folk, make mistakes or wrong choices. Godly men and women (saints) fix their errors when they can. When you discover you made the wrong choice before, vote against error now.

Before his conversion to Christianity, Saul of Tarsus was a vicious and merciless persecutor of Christians. After his conversion on the Damascus road, the same man became a strong supporter of those he once brutalized and murdered. He even changed his name to mark his new choices.

Listening to the very Jesus he once sought to stamp out, Paul the apostle wrote 14 of the New Testament’s 27 books. Each word he wrote down was a vote cast against his prior errors. Each book he completed became a repudiation of his prior life and choices.

Even Godly men and women can make wrong choices. The difference is that God’s saints, when confronted with their error, change their actions. Even if they need a little nudging, God’s saints vote against the wrong and choose the correct.

Think: You must vote against your wrong actions. Changing your name is optional.

Pray: “Lord, give me the strength to follow You correctly in grace and truth.”

Copyright © November 2020, 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.

God Has Granted

God Has Granted by Kirk Hunt

For there stood by me this night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve, saying, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must be brought before Caesar; and indeed God has granted you all those who sail with you.’

Acts 27:23-24 NKJV

In all of the noise, frenzy and disruption of this season, it is too easy to miss God’s presence. I and my extended family are blessed to walk in the blessing, grace and peace God has granted. My life is notable for God’s peaceful calm, despite the many storms of the day.

Brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, and a host of cousins live on. None of the nephews and nieces are ill or injured. The extended tribe of my family faces neither undue hardship or harsh lack. We are blessed to prosper in the midst of the tempest.

Obviously, God’s angels stand close. Some carry sword and shield against disease and destroyers. Others carry boxes and baskets of provision for me and mine. I can only whisper, or shout, praise and thanksgiving.

God’s favor is not fair and cannot be earned. I are humbled by God’s tender attention. I am overwhelmed by His loving care. “Thank You” is too small a response to all of the good and benefit God has poured out on me and mine. In thankful response, I will pass on some of my blessing to others.

Look around. Despite the inconveniences you live with, you have enough to share. When God does not send angels, He sends His saints. Saints are men and women, just like you, who share the benefits and blessings they have received from God. Who have you blessed lately?

Think: God has granted. Have you shared?

Pray: “Lord, help me share the favor you have given me.”

Copyright © October 2020, 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.

Obey God Or Your Hardened Heart?

Obey God Or Your Hardened Heart? by Kirk Hunt

But the Lord said to Moses, “Pharaoh will not heed you, so that My wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt.” So Moses and Aaron did all these wonders before Pharaoh; and the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not let the children of Israel go out of his land.

Exodus 11:9-10 NKJV

Pharaoh denied, once again, Moses’ request to end the slavery of the Israelites. Despite the prior nine plagues that had wracked and ruined Egypt, Pharaoh refused to end the injustice against the people of God. Pharaoh set the stage for the tenth plague with his hardened heart and willful disobedience.

Many Bible scholars state that the ten plagues of Egypt systematically denied and refuted the supposed power of the Egyptian pantheon. God displayed His power over His creation and the Egyptians for all to see. The pagan myths of the Egyptians failed to stand against the actual power of God.

The nationwide suffering of the Egyptians could not be denied or hidden. Still, Pharaoh persisted. As each plague grew in power and punishment, one man led his nation in opposition to God. Pharaoh could have avoided the tenth plague. Instead, He chose rebellion and disobedience.

You have a choice. You can choose to harden your heart and embrace your tenth plague. Or you can chose belief and obedience to God.

Think: I can chose between my hard heart and obedience to God.

Pray: “Lord, please make my heart obedient and pliable in Your Hands.”

Copyright © July 2020, 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.

I Have Remembered

I Have Remembered by Kirk Hunt

And I have also heard the groaning of the children of Israel whom the Egyptians keep in bondage, and I have remembered My covenant. Therefore say to the children of Israel: ‘I am the Lord; I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, I will rescue you from their bondage, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments.

Exodus 6:5-6 NKJV

I have remembered.” For 400 years the children of Israel suffered injustice and mistreatment from the Egyptians. It must have seemed that God had stopped caring and forgotten His people.

It turns out that our timing is not God’s timing. He has never forgotten His promises and will never fail to deliver His benefits. Suddenly, things will happen. To you, for you and around you. And pray for those who will stand against God’s sovereign actions.

Moses came out of the backside of the desert and faced down the most powerful ruler in the world. By the time God was done, Egypt was eager for the children of Israel to leave and paid dearly for their departure. When God our all-powerful commands, you and they will obey, sooner or later.

God upended precedent and history. Perhaps the Egyptians thought their power and systems of oppression could stand against anything. They found out that God’s supreme power would deliver redemption and judgment on His schedule.

Think: God remembers His promises to His people.

Pray: “Lord, remember Your promises and answer in Your sovereign power.”

Copyright © June 2020, 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.