Do Likewise

Do Likewise by Kirk Hunt

So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?”

And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.”

Then Jesus said to him,
“Go and do likewise.”

Luke 10:36-37 NKJV
Read also Luke 10:25-37

You would think it was complicated. Jesus commands us to show mercy to those who have suffered misfortune. “Do likewise” is not tricky or complex.

Still, too many who call themselves Christians, refuse to follow a straightforward instruction from our Lord and Savior. The unhoused are forced to make their homes in the streets. Refugees are refused protection or due process. Millions suffer hunger and thirst across the world, and right here at home.

Facing a violent street gang is not the only way to “fall among thieves”. An unjust or merciless eviction inflicts a world of loss and suffering. Ask a victim of flood or fire if they feel beaten and robbed.

Jesus wants you to spend your time, talent and treasure helping your neighbor. Take your plenty and bind up someone else’s wounds. Spend your time to save the life of a helpless victim. Use your influence and reputation to benefit those who have fallen in hurt and harm.

Go and do likewise” is not hard to understand. Your neighbors are waiting. You are not still sitting on your couch are you?

Think: Am I following Jesus’ commandment to minister to others?

Pray: “Lord, help me to love You enough to minister in Your Name.”

Copyright © January 2022, Kirk Hunt

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

And You Will Live

And You Will Live by Kirk Hunt

So he answered and said, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’ ”

And He said to him, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.”

Luke 10:27-28 NKJV
Read also Luke :10:25-37

Jesus, our Lord and Savior told us to love our neighbors, and live. If you squint, really hard, there is the implication that if you do not, you will die. Certainly, if you do not love your neighbor, you are not being obedient to Jesus.

The parable of the Good Samaritan has been covered, in volume and depth, by better teachers and scholars than myself. Why then do so many Christians act like Jesus never commanded us to love our neighbors? What motivates them other than willful disobedience?

Could it be that they really do not want to live? Do they love their current comfort and wealth more than God’s eternal approval and blessing? Do they follow a false god or false messiah rather than Jesus?

Verse 29 states that the lawyer wanted to “justify himself.” Did his own recitation of Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18 convict him? Was his conscience squirming under Jesus’ commands? We can never know for sure, but I doubt my guesses are far from the mark.

Jesus commanded us to love our neighbors. Obedience to Christ gives life. Love your neighbors and live.

Think: Am I following Jesus’ commandment to love and live?

Pray: “Lord, help me to love You enough to follow Your commandments and live.”

Copyright © January 2022, Kirk Hunt

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

Love One Another

Love One Another by Kirk Hunt

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

John 13:34 NKJV

Jesus commanded us to love each other. He also commanded that we look at His acts as examples. Just do what Jesus did.

Perhaps you think that love is just an emotion. You should know that love is an act. It is something you choose, then spend blood or sweat or tears to make happen.

At the tomb of Lazarus, Jesus wept. He then called a cold corpse back to warm life. Love overcomes death.

The Pharisees threw the adulterous woman at His feet and demanded blood and judgment. Jesus silently revealed the shame or error of the accusers, then forgave her. Love overcomes sin.

The Romans scourged Him, then nailed Him to a cross. And His blood gave us salvation. An act of love returned us to fellowship with God.

Love cannot stand at the side and watch. Love jumps into the middle of the storm and does something about the situation. Love gives, at great cost. Love takes the hurt and loss and gives blessing and benefit.

Love is not just a warm, fuzzy feeling. Real love demands that we expend time or talent or treasure for others. Often for those who scorn you for the benefit they receive. Just like Jesus did.

Think: Do I follow Jesus’ commandment to love?

Pray: “Lord, help me to love You enough to follow Your commandments.”

Copyright © January 2022, Kirk Hunt

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

Where Is Your Pleasure?

Where Is Your Pleasure? by Kirk Hunt

And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

2 Thessalonians 2:11-12 NKJV

Too often, the truth hurts me. I may flinch, but I refuse to turn away. I have to work hard for it, but I always seek to find pleasure and joy in God’s truth. His truth always brings life and increase for His sons and daughters.

You can always take pleasure in the lies. They are, after all, easier to hear. Unfortunately, the lies always lead to death, loss, and condemnation.

Ask a drug addict. Ask anyone deep in debt. It was fun at first, but the pain and hurt outweigh the temporary pleasures.

The preacher said, God will only save you from your enemies, not your friends.” God can separate you from an addiction, but you have to want to be clean and stay sober. God can separate you from the lies, but you have to want His truth.

If you want His truth, all you have to do is ask. You may have to work hard to find joy and enjoyment in God’s truth. When you are living in His grace and blessing, it will be worth it.

Think: Do I love God’s truth? Do I find pleasure in His truth or the lie?

Pray: “Lord, help me to love and take pleasure in Your truth.”

Copyright © September 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.

Take Another’s Burden

Take Another’s Burden by Kirk Hunt

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.

Galatians 6:2-3 NKJV

Apostle Paul is quite clear that Christians should bear, or take on, someone else’s burden from time to time. We do this as proof that we love our neighbor as ourselves. In recent days, it seems that too many of God’s people love themselves too much to bother obeying Jesus’ command.

Have you ever held a door for someone? Have you ever helped lift or carry a package? Have you ever covered your nose and mouth when you sneezed or coughed? Then you have been, in a very small way, obedient to Christ’s command, best found at Mark 12:30-31.

Of course, doing so requires you to have some measure of love, humility, grace, mercy, and self-sacrifice in your makeup. You must stop and consider the situation and condition of someone else, for a few moments, to see a need. Finally, you must sacrifice your time, money, or talent to do what needs to be done.

All because Jesus commands you. Of course, you are happy to do so, because you are an obedient son or daughter of God. Right?

Too often, we are so haughty or high-minded we fail to think of others the way Jesus would. Would Jesus refuge a refugee, punish the poor, or insist on his own rights to the injury of others? Should you?

Think: Have I taken on someone else’s burden lately?

Pray: “Lord, help me to demonstrate Your love to my neighbors.”

Copyright © August 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.

Who Showed Mercy

Who Showed Mercy by Kirk Hunt

So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?”
And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.”
|
Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

Luke 10:36-37 NKJV
Please also read Luke 10:25-37

At the time of Jesus’ earthly ministry, the Samaritans and Jew hated and despised each other. They even destroyed or desecrated each others’ Temples. Still, the Samaritan had more mercy and compassion on the Jewish robbery victim than either the Jewish priest or Jewish Levite.

The sanctimonious lawyer got the point of the parable. So did everyone listening to Jesus teach at the time. Are you listening now?

The priest and Levite of the parable were expected, if not obligated, to care for their distressed countryman. Instead, a hostile foreigner saved his life. Jesus made a blunt point about the nature of compassion, mercy, salvation, and righteousness.

Good Christians should reach out past the bounds of popular exclusions and exceptions. There will probably be cost or inconvenience. You may not like your neighbor, but that does not end your Godly obligation to assist or even safeguard him or her.

Jesus’ command at Luke 10:37 is simple, “Go and do likewise.” Put aside your rights, privileges, and comfort. Look around, in your own neighborhood, for men and women who need you to stop and have compassion. Your “do likewise” is here and now.

Think: I should show mercy even at the risk of cost or inconvenience to myself.

Pray: “Lord, help me to demonstrate Your love to my neighbors.”

Copyright © August 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.

Obey And Live

Obey And Live by Kirk Hunt

Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, “We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord and against you; pray to the Lord that He take away the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people.

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and it shall be that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, shall live.”

Numbers 21:7-8 NKJV
Please also read Numbers 21:4-9

Not learning enough from Korah’s rebellion (Numbers 16), God’s people again spoke against God, and God’s appointed leader. Because of their disobedience and rebellion, God sent “fiery serpents” among them. The cure for the sins of God’s people was an act of submission and obedience.

Moses, at God’s direction, mounted a bronze snake on a pole. Those suffering from snakebite had a simple test: look up and live. God did not remove the serpents, but He provided a way to survive serpent bites. If the people could exercise enough obedience and submission to do as instructed.

The powerless bronze image was a symbol or focus point for a man’s or woman’s obedience and submission. A heart submitted to God would understand the need for confessing sin and obedience. A mind and soul obedient to God’s command would look up and live.

You can choose today. Hearts, obedient and submitted to God, can live. Rebellious and disobedient men and women will suffer and die. Your choices are that stark and clear.

Think: Am I willing to be submitted and obedient to God?

Pray: “Lord, I choose to be submitted and obedient to You.”

Copyright © August 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.

Are You Persuaded?

Are You Persuaded? by Kirk Hunt

Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’

Luke 16:29-31 NKJV
Please also read Luke 16:19-31

The parable of The Rich Man and Lazarus has always haunted me. Simply put, Jesus is telling us that there are limits to grace and mercy. Those who are not persuaded will be prosecuted. It takes an overt act of mercy or grace when our holy and just God withholds justice and judgment.

Mercy is not receiving the punishment or penalties you earned. Grace is receiving gifts and benefits you do not merit. Mercy and grace suspend, or refuse, justice and judgment.

At Psalm 103:8-10, King David explained simply: God will not restrain His anger indefinitely. You can listen voluntarily now or be compelled before His judgment throne. Do the math.

Being teachable does not make a man or woman weak or gullible. We listen to wisdom, and compare it with scripture, think carefully, and pray thoroughly. Then we make a decision.

You have been exposed to Scripture and Godly teachers. Are you persuaded? When judgment and prosecution come, it will then be too late.

Think: God speaks through scripture and teachers. Are you listening?

Pray: “Lord, guide me to Your truth and make me teachable.”

Copyright © August 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.

See His Glory

See His Glory by Kirk Hunt

Jesus said, “Take away the stone.”

Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to Him, “Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days.”

Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?”

John 11:39-40 NKJV
Please also read John 11:1-44

Jesus did not rebuke Martha’s read of the facts and figures. Lazarus was dead. Jesus Himself cried in grief and heartache (John 11:35). We must not forget that God’s power always overcomes the facts and figures. The glory of God is always a believer’s prize.

God’s people must always grip two things at once. We have a rational view of life and cold hard facts. We always have an absolute belief in God’s power and grace. Lazarus was dead and stinking in decay. God’s power can raise even very dead people to life and health.

My strong faith does not change the medical test, or the legal judgment, or my flowing tears. I am still one of God’s faithful ones, even when I stand in grief and heartache. God’s faithful people see past the temporary to the eternal.

God is the ultimate healer. God is is my advocate and sovereign-most authority. God is comforter and source of every miracle. My faith and belief will enable me to see His glory.

Jesus’ tears were not the end of the story. His power surged and Lazarus hopped, bound in his grave clothes, out of the tomb. If you believe, you will see God’s glory.

Think: The facts cannot crowd out my faith.

Pray: “Lord, help me to keep faith, despite the facts and figures.”

Copyright © July 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.

On One Accord

On One Accord by Kirk Hunt

Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.

Philippians 2:1-2 NKJV
Please also read Philippians 2:1-18

The collapse of the physical building was the most visible (and final) sign of a flawed community. The lack of cooperation or collaboration among the residents fostered further deterioration of their shared residence. Without accord and unity, death and destruction almost inevitably followed.

Years of warnings from experts did not bring community or unity. The easily discerned physical conditions in the building did not foster cooperation or cohesion. Only the roar of collapse, the cries of the trapped, and the silence of the missing forced unified effort.

The Church, the universal community of Christians, is in a similar situation. Years of warnings from Bible scholars and Church leaders have not fostered community or unity among God’s people. Too many believers discount or discard the evidence of discord visible to their own eyes.

It is not too late for God’s people to work together. The Church, through the power of God and His Holy Spirit, could be a unifying force in the nation and the world. First though, we must be on one accord. Are you ready to set aside your individual concerns for our joint mission?

Think: Unity gives God’s people strength and fosters advancement of God’s Kingdom.

Pray: “Lord, help me to foster unity and cooperation in Your Kingdom.”

Copyright © July 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.

Gentle To All

Gentle To All by Kirk Hunt

And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth

2 Timothy 2:24-25 NKJV
Please also read 2 Timothy 2:23-26

Gentle to all.” Somewhere along the way, Christians forgot, or decided to ignore, this commandment in Scripture. Too often, God’s people are the brawlers and persecutors. When did we decide that a brutal approach is the best way to win people to Jesus?

Gentle is defined as ”free from harshness, sternness, or violence.” A gentle man or woman may be the strongest and toughest soul in the room. It is a matter of keeping your great strength under skillful control.

No one was more persecuted than the 1st Century saints. Crucifixion, burning alive, fed to lions and worst were inflicted on early Christians. For all their brutality, the Roman persecutors were converted to faith in Christ.

In contrast, the various Catholic Inquisitions, especially the Spanish Inquisition, served only to give Catholicism a notorious and negative reputation. Centuries later, the damage lingers. The brutal approach of the Inquisition generated terror, but no converts.

God’s Kingdom has never been advanced by thugs and brutes. The Kingdom of God has always been grown by men and women who invest their blood, sweat and tears in their God-given calling. A calling they pursue with strength, gentleness and holy means.

Think: It takes real strength to be gentle.

Pray: “Lord, help me to be gentle as I work to build Your Kingdom.”

Copyright © June 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.

A Mother’s Confidence

A Mother’s Confidence by Kirk Hunt

Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.”

His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.”

John 2:4-5 NKJV
Please read John 2:1-11

A wedding in the era that Jesus walked among us, was a major affair, important for the entire community, not just the family. To prevent an embarrassment of epic scope, Mary asked her Son, Jesus, for a literal miracle. Despite His answer, she acted with a Mother’s confidence.

Running out of wine would be a humiliation for everyone involved with the wedding. Mary, somehow connected to the affair, knew who could help. Despite His refusal to act, she committed her Son, as only a mother can.

The miracle of the Cana wedding proves that Jesus is concerned about every aspect of our lives. What concerns you concerns Him. As fits in His divine plan, Jesus acts on your behalf. Mary knew and understood Messiah’s power. She acted in the confidence that comes only from strong faith.

A mother’s confidence in her child is a special, beautiful thing. A mother’s confidence in Jesus Christ is also special and beautiful. Man or woman, boy or girl, you can act with confidence through faith in Jesus. Because He already cares for you.

Think: My confidence comes through my faith in Jesus.

Pray: “Lord, strengthen my faith so that my confidence in You.”

Copyright © May 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.