Gift Minister

Gift Minister By Kirk Hunt

As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

1 Peter 4:10 NKJV

You have a gift or gifts.  God gave it (or them) to you as part of the “saints of God” package.  Use them to minister, as a good steward of God’s grace.

Do not make it complicated or difficult.  You have an ability, skill or talent that makes you uniquely valuable and useful, especially to the Kingdom of God.  If you are not using it, you are not being a good steward of His gift to you. 

You do not get to age out.  There is no disability clause.  Wherever you are, no matter whom you are with, you have a God-given gift.  I pray you are using your gifts to demonstrate the many paths of grace.  When God does not send angels, He sends men and women just like you.

In your eyes, your gift may not seem big or flashy.  That does not mean that you cannot touch lives or impact souls.  Use what He gave.  Watch the blessings ripple out, farther and greater than you thought.

All of the gifts God has already given you can be used to build His Kingdom.  The gifts you possess can benefit you, yours and others.  All it takes is a heart willing to trust Him and a spirit generous enough to pass on His grace to others.

There may be sweat-stained headbands in your future.  Your shirt might become tear-soaked.  You may even have to put on a bandage or two.  When you stand before His throne, such things will testify to your stewardship of His grace.

Think:        I should be using my gift(s) to build God’s Kingdom.

Pray:           “Lord, help me to use my gift from You to build Your kingdom.”

 

Copyright © February 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.

Still Know, Know Still

Still Know, Know Still By Kirk Hunt

Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!

Psalms 46:10 NKJV
Please also read Psalms 46:1–11

In these days of unending motion and turmoil, Scripture commands us to be still and know.  While knowing requires some level of contemplation, that is not point of this verse, or chapter, of Psalms.  Do you have a complete, instinctual and unshakable knowledge of God?  Do you truly understand His unending power and absolute authority over all creation, especially your personal affairs?

As a Christian, you should have a deep and absolute knowledge of the fact of God’s power and authority.  You should no more question the absolute greatness of God than the existence of gravity.  After all, gravity is just one of many concepts He casually made up while creating the universe. 

Christians do not seek the rules for their own sake.  We pursue the Rules-Maker.  What understanding we glean from the world simply magnifies His majesty. 

Stop and take a few minutes to re-consider the immeasurable length, depth and breadth of our omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent God.  Reserve in your heart and mind an unmovable and unshakable knowledge of who He is and what He can do.  In that paused moment decide, once and for all, how that knowledge will influence your everyday thoughts and actions.

God allows us to act with a great level of freedom.  Do not confuse God’s restraint and allowance with a lack of power or authority.  His grace and love is so great He does not make us, or them, robots. 

Pause for a moment.  Think about Him.  Know that He is God

Think:        I should stop and remember that God is a great and powerful God.

Pray:           “Lord, help me to remember just how big you really are.”

 

Copyright © January 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.

Yet Will I Trust Him

Yet Will I Trust Him By Kirk Hunt

Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.  Even so, I will defend my own ways before Him.

Job 13:15 NKJV

In the space of a day, maybe a week, Job lost everything a man can lose.  Job’s children died, his wealth destroyed or stolen, business wrecked, health lost and even his friends turned on him.  Still, Job declared, “Yet will I trust Him.” 

Authentic trust and true love are an active choice, not passing feelings.  Rich or poor, well or sick, do you love God first and truly?  It is easy to trust someone or something that heaps only blessings on you.  What happens when the flow reverses is the real test.

Battered and beaten, seemingly past human endurance, Job declared his faith in God.  Eyes and sores weeping in equal measure, a mere man decided that the God of heaven continued to have his confidence.  Armed with Scripture and empowered by the Holy Spirit, am I capable of the same naked faithfulness.  Are you prepared to love God despite what he allows to happen in and to your life?

What would happen if the first two chapters of Job happened to you?  Would you remain faithful to the God of heaven?  Would you continue to love God, despite your losses and wounds?

Job illustrates the standard for trust in God.  There will come a time in your life when you will have to declare for or against God.  Will you continue to trust and love God despite the hurts and losses of the short run? 

Think:        Do I really trust God through bad times?

Pray:           “Lord, help me to always trust You, no matter the circumstances.”

 

Copyright © January 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.

Weapons Of Our Warfare

Weapons Of Our Warfare By Kirk Hunt

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh.   For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds

2 Corinthians 10:3–4 NKJV

From his jail cell in Birmingham, Alabama Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. confronted the clergy who criticized his leadership during the Birmingham Campaign.  King’s fostering of tension and even crisis did not involve violence or threats.  “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal,” ought to be the strategy of activists the world over.

In his “Letter from Birmingham Jail” Dr. King declared the strategy of the Birmingham Campaign: “Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue.”  The marchers did not carry bombs.  Not one of the young teenagers facing fire hoses or attack dogs raised a gun.

God’s people have powerful weapons at our disposal: Scripture, prayer, fasting, personal sacrifice.  We can change the culture.  We can build the Kingdom of God.  To do so, we must wield Godly (spiritual) not mundane weapons.

Too often, we try to use the mundane weapons of carnal men: media buys, political power, legal proceedings.  Too often we avoid touching the hurting, comforting the distressed, confronting the wicked.  God’s Church cannot change the culture comfortably or from a distance. 

To change the culture, God’s people will have to deploy spiritual weapons.  The scars of Apostle Paul’s beatings, stonings and whippings gave him the gravitas and credentials.  When he spoke to the hardened men of the Praetorian Guard they listened and believed.

If you are truly a man or woman of God, you can have an impact.  You have access to the spiritual weapons of God.  Are willing to wield them as His faithful soldier?

Think:        Our struggle to change the culture requires that we use spiritual weapons.

Pray:           “Lord, help me to build Your Kingdom Your way.”

 

Copyright © January 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.

He Would Not Drink

He Would Not Drink By Kirk Hunt

And David said with longing, “Oh, that someone would give me a drink of the water from the well of Bethlehem, which is by the gate!”   So the three mighty men broke through the camp of the Philistines, drew water from the well of Bethlehem that was by the gate, and took it and brought it to David. Nevertheless he would not drink it, but poured it out to the Lord.

2 Samuel 23:17–18 NKJV
Please also read 2 Samuel 23:15–19

 

In a moment of human weakness, David wished out loud for something he knew he could not have.  Through cunning, skill and boldness three of David’s finest soldiers risked their lives to bring David a canteen of water.  In humility and reverence, David would not drink.

Once these three men had been losers.  Or whiners.  Or deadbeatsAfter their time with David they had been transformed into mighty men.  Their hard-won heroism, skill and courage had transformed mere water into an offering fit only for God. 

To the untrained eye, the canteen was full of water from a specific well.  To spiritual eyes, the precious vessel was full of the blood of living champions.  David instinctively knew only God was worthy of their offering.

As leaders in God’s Kingdom, we are privileged: we get to help men and women become champions for, and in, God.  And when they are so much more than anyone expected, there is a temptation to think more of ourselves than we should.  Like David, we must keep our awe of God’s power and humility regarding our role as God’s instruments.

Fulfill the role God has given you.  Be pleased when the “least of these” become mighty men and women.  Remember it is His power that transforms souls.

Think:        They become champions because of God’s power, not mine.

Pray:           “Lord, thank you for guiding me to help others.”

 

Copyright © January 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.

He First Loved

He First Loved By Kirk Hunt

We love Him because He first loved us.

1 John 4:19 NKJV

In prayer, I step out of my mundane living room and into the august grandeur of His presence.  Seated on His Throne, His full glory and holiness shines out, promising nothing but perfect justice and impeccable judgment.  Instead, He first loved me.

Our infinite and all-powerful God is perfection, holiness and justice.  Mankind should have been found guilty in judgment long ago.  Instead, He first loved us. 

Jesus chose to reconcile man to God in righteousness.  Father-God allowed Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross to tear the veil and once again allow us free access to Himself.  He acted because He first loved us.

Grace gives gifts we can never earn or be worthy to receive.  Mercy blocks the results of our sin, despite the condemnation and judgment we have so richly earned and deserved.  After all, He first loved us.

His love is not blind, yet we are precious in His sight.  God moved heaven and earth to make provision for us.  We should understand he did so because He first loved us.

We should return His love with all our hearts and mind.  It should be easy, since He gave the first proof.  He first loved us.

This New Year’s Day, consider the eight words of 1 John 4:19.  Make your plans understanding how He loves you.  Map out your strategies, understanding how much He loves them.  Your work should be easy, considering He loved you first.

Think:        God reached to me first.  How will I respond?

Pray:           “Lord, thank you for loving me first.”

 

Copyright © December 2017, 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.

They Worshiped Him

They 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

Waves of men crowded into the little barn to give reverence to a child cradled in a feeding trough.  The shepherds likely came first, especially considering they received divine declaration of the Savior’s birth.  The magi calculated His birth through the stars and prophecies, then came at great expense to recognize His importance.  However they learned of Christ’s birth, they came and worshiped Him.

The shepherds, lowly even among the common folk, likely gave gifts limited to sincere hearts, bowed in awestruck wonder.  The magi were able to add valuable and tangible gifts to their worship, but ultimately they worshiped Him just as the shepherds did.  Early or late, formally educated or practically trained, they worshiped Christ the same way.  Their hearts were humbled before the King of heaven.

As you consider Him this Christmas, think about the manger. Thank Him for a grace that would endure humble circumstances. God gave the ultimate Gift wrapped in literal rags.  Jesus surrendered the glories of Heaven to endure the human condition.

He lived as a mere man among common people, His royal lineage little more than a technicality.  By coming as the least of these, He ensured that all men gained complete and unhindered access to the throne of God.  Before He had a chance to reconcile men to God, wise men, shepherd or magi, worshiped Him. 

Like the magi, or the shepherds, I pray you have found Him and are wise enough to worship Him.  Understand that you do not come to Him empty-handed.  The most important gift He wants is a heart that rejoices in Him and adores His presence.

Give your gifts.  Mere goods do honor Him.  Your heart, on the other hand, delights Him.

Think:        No matter how I know, I know He is Lord and Savior.

Pray:           “Lord, accept the gift of my heart.”

 

Copyright © December 2017, 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.

Do Not Condemn

Do Not Condemn By Kirk Hunt

When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours?  Has no one condemned you?” 

She said, “No one, Lord.”

And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”

John 8:10–11 NKJV
Please also read John 8:3-12

Why have modern Christians become so ready to condemn people?  According to Jesus, we are called to save, not destroy, souls (Luke 9:51–56 NKJV).  Christians should always be known to dispense grace and reconciliation. 

Grace and reconciliation are not the same thing as indulgence or permissiveness.  Jesus did not approve of the adulteress’ error, and He commanded her not to sin anymore.  Still, He let her go back to her life, prayerfully convicted to make better choices in the future.

Please understand these definitions (Romans 8:1–2): Conviction is different from condemnation

•  Conviction is the act or condition of “convincing someone of error.”
•  Condemnation is the act or condition of “assigning (especially final) punishment.”

Real strength, especially among Christians, is not harsh or heartless.   It is not strength or righteousness to lash, batter or destroy anyone.  The heart of Christ is to save the lost, not destroy them. 

Jesus loves all of His children.  Do you love all of His children?  Consider how God would react to those who hate and attempt to destroy you?

Are you busy convincing others of the need for Christ’s salvation or just trying to punish folks?  Even if they fight and slash at you, you are commanded to love them (1 John 4:20).  Jesus rebuked His Disciples for wanting to destroy.  Are you really a disciple of His?

Think:        Do I really understand conviction is not the same thing as condemnation?

Pray:           “Lord, help me to save not destroy souls.”

 

Copyright © December 2017, 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.

Go Disciple Nations

Go Disciple Nations By Kirk Hunt

And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.   Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”

Matthew 28:16–20 NKJV
Please also read Matthew 28:16–20

The Great Commission is the instruction from Jesus, after His resurrection, to go and make disciples.  While theologians might delve more deeply, for the rest of us, Jesus’ directive is obvious and simple:  Go everywhere and turn all nations to Christ.

Consider that the great power of Jesus’ time on earth was Rome.  Pagan and polytheistic, Rome spent a lot of money and manpower on a brutal campaign: openly killing Christians.  The disciples responded to Rome’s blood-thirsty persecution by winning the nation to Christ.

Jesus did not promise ease or safety, then or now.  Nor did Jesus ask for opinions or consensus.  He gave direction and expected his faithful followers to carry that instruction out.

The early disciples conquered the most powerful and hostile foe imaginable.  They marched in sandals, armed only with faith and Scripture.  They overwhelmed a hostile nation with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Your assigned “nations” may be far off or close in.  You, may, or may not, have to learn a new language for faster results.  Sincere disciples of Jesus already speak the languages of love and reconciliation.  True disciples already have all the tools they need for disciple–making.

Modern-day disciples have the same choice as the early disciples.  We are instructed, by Christ, to turn nations to Christ.  Are you choosing to follow your instructions from Jesus?

Think:        Jesus gave me an assignment.  How am I fulfilling my assignment from Jesus?

Pray:           “Lord, help me to fulfil Your Great Commission.”

 

Copyright © December 2017, 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.

At All Times

At All Times By Kirk Hunt

A friend loves at all times,
And a brother is born for adversity.

Proverbs 17:17 NKJV

I hate the need for “at all times” calls.  “I know it is short notice, but…?”  “Can you come, now, then…?”  “I hate to ask but we are at the emergency room, so…”

I may grumble and grouse as I get off of the couch.  I do not always think the kindest thoughts on the way over.  Still, when I get there, I do all I can to be cheerful, joyous and helpful.

Love is not a feeling.  Love is a choice, followed by action.  Especially during 2 AM crises.

Being a friend, a Gospel brother or sister, can be inconvenient at times.  Godly men and women find themselves helping at the strangest times and oddest places.  Worse, you could be the one being assisted. 

I know what it is like to be the giver.  I also know what it is like to be the receiver.  Sooner, or later, you will know both sides.  It is part of the human condition and being part of God’s family. 

When you share your strength and patience, especially with a Gospel brother or sister, you are building God’s Kingdom.  As your Godly friend comes to help you, he or she is building into your life.  Either way, God is pleased.

One day, stuff will happen.  A night will come when your brother or sister will need you.  This is why God gave them to you, and you to them.

Think:        Real brothers and sisters help others, especially within the Gospel family.

Pray:           “Lord, help me to be a true brother or sister during adversity.”

 

Copyright © December 2017, 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.

They Cried Aloud

They Cried Aloud By Kirk Hunt

So they cried aloud, and cut themselves, as was their custom, with knives and lances, until the blood gushed out on them.   And when midday was past, they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice. But there was no voice; no one answered, no one paid attention.

1 Kings 18:28–29 NKJV
Please also read 1 Kings 18:18–30

The prophets of Ba’al did not stand a chance.  They cried out to a lifeless idol.  Their numbers, hysteria and blood-letting did not add to the chance of Ba’al appearing or answering.  Instead, they received what a block of wood (or stone, or metal) could give: silence.

Who (or what) do you cry out to?  Do you appeal to financial resources or political power when you need an answer?  Do you appeal to aspects of a bygone era for a solution?  Are you getting a response?

God’s people should cry out to God, not for financial resources.  We should always make our first and only appeal to our Savior, Jesus Christ, not the ballot box.  We should always cry out for His truth and righteousness, not our flawed memory or slanted histories of years past.

I guarantee He will respond.  We may not immediately like His answers, but they are the loving responses of our faithful Father-God.  Father-God is always listening for our voices.  Are you listening to His voice?

Think:        I do not appeal to heaven or elsewhere.  I appeal to Father-God and His Son, Jesus.

Pray:           “Lord, I cry out to You for Your help and salvation.”

 

Copyright © November 2017, 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.

Repent: Early And Often

Repent: Early And Often By Kirk Hunt

Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem?   I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.”

Luke 13:4–5 NKJV

We live in a fallen world where thorns and scorpions grow.  We live in a fallen society where men and women are willing to publicly repudiate God’s judgment.  All kinds of pure evil and pure accidents are possible.  When did you last repent?

Sometimes a tragedy is just a tragedy.  As Jesus Himself comments:  Were 18 folk killed by a falling building the only sinners in Jerusalem?  He did not think so.

Approximately 7,855 people die in the United States, every day.  That includes Sundays.  Are they the only sinners in America?  I do not think so.  Do you?

God’s people should live ready to meet God.  At any time, a random traffic accident or a murderous gun-wielder could send you into eternity.  Are you ready for your final judgment and reckoning?

Could every bad incident in a church house be part of a sinister conspiracy against God’s Church?  Unlikely.  Could every bad incident in a church house be a reminder to live ready to meet God?  Absolutely.

Do not be distracted or fearful.  No matter what happens, nor when it happens, or how it happens, God is still in control.  What always remains in your control is if you are ready to meet Him, face-to-Shekinah.  You are ready, right?

Think:        Am I really ready to meet God in judgment at every moment?

Pray:           “Lord, help me to live ready for Your judgment at any time.”

 

Copyright © October 2017, 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.