These My Brethren and Sistren

These My Brethren and Sistren by Kirk Hunt

“Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink?   When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You?   Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’   And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’”

Matthew 25:37-40 NKJV

Some people see marauding invaders.  Others see plague bearers.  God’s faithful should see brothers and sisters.  Jesus called them brethren (and sistren). 

I have a sister and three brothers.  I have been very annoyed at all of them, at one point, or another.  Still, in the middle of our greatest disagreements, I would never let any of them go hungry or lack shelter.  How could I even bear to think of Momma or Poppa if I mistreated one of my siblings?

God loves all of the men and women who cross over a border, regardless of the papers they do, or do not, carry.  Whether fleeing a violent criminal gang or a devastating storm, a refugee is one of Jesus’ siblings.  When you stand before God’s throne how will you explain your treatment of men and women that Jesus loves? 

God’s people are commanded by Jesus himself.  “Care for those in need.”  Do not check their credentials.  Refuse to look at how do, or do not worship.  Comfort and support them because they are Jesus’ siblings.

Think:      I am commanded to care for those in need by Jesus Himself. 

Pray:         “Jesus, help me to serve Your brothers and sisters.”

 

Copyright © September 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 Presence

His Presence by Kirk Hunt

Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.

Psalms 139:7-8 NKJV

With all of the negative and destructive situations and events going on in the world, you might wonder where God has gone.  God’s people, of course, know that He is Jehovah-Shammah, the-God-who-is-there.  His presence is here and now.  His presence is there and then. 

God is omnipresent and omnipotent.  His power is absolute and unmatched.  Why would I, or you, worship anyone with limitations?

His presence can be felt deeply in your mind and spirit.  His presence can be found in the loud crash of waves, or the quiet rustle of leaves.  You need only stop to listen.  He is there and speaking.  Pause yourself for a moment in the worst chaos and you can feel His calm touch.

We enjoy free will.  Men and women can choose to obey His Word or indulge yourself in wicked behaviors.  Do not get angry at God when He lets you suffer the consequences of you, or others, acting in sin and rebellion.

No matter where you go, or what you do, you are in the presence of God.  Perhaps you are facing the consequences of your poor choices.  You may be suffering from the actions of someone else.  God is still there and His presence and power are just a prayer away.

Think:      No matter where I go, God is there before me and His power is supreme.

Pray:         “Lord, help me to feel Your presence, no matter where I am.”

 

Copyright © August 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.

Has Not Kissed Baal

Has Not Kissed Baal by Kirk Hunt

“Yet I have reserved seven thousand in Israel, all whose knees have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.”

1 Kings 19:18 NKJV

Elijah stood alone on the mountain, speaking with God.  Despite the recent victory over the cult of Baal, God’s faithful prophet felt alone and vulnerable.  God points out, in plain simplicity, that thousands have not given into idol worship or kissed Baal.

You are never the only one to remain faithful to God.  You have brothers and sisters who never once give and bow their knee.  God’s true people never become intimate with and accepting of evil.  No matter how outnumbered or alone you feel.

Elijah watched God’s fire fall from heaven at his own prayerGod’s prophet, with a little help, personally executed Baal’s false prophetsStill, Elijah experienced a severe crisis and fled into the desert, convinced he alone served God.

Elijah came to understand that had never been alone.  By himself, perhaps.  Alone in the true worship of God?  Never.

No matter what is going on around you, you are part of God’s remnant.  You are part of the courageous and faithful few who refuse to compromise with evil and immorality. 

You have not bent your knee in compromise.  You have not kissed false worship or belief.  Neither have they. 

Continue to serve God in true and pure faith.  You may have to stand by yourself but you never stand alone.  Pray in pure devotion and watch God’s fire fall in your circumstances. 

Think:      Even when I am by myself, I am never alone among God’s faithful people.

Pray:         “Lord, help me to remain faithful even when I feel alone.”

 

Copyright © August 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.

Except This Foreigner?

Except This Foreigner? by Kirk Hunt

So Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine?   Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?”

Luke 17:17-18 NKJV

They kept their distance per the Law but that did not stop them from calling out to Jesus for mercy.  They were lepers, men still alive, but rotting to death.  Jesus sent them to the priests to be declared clean of their living putrefaction.  None said thank you for their miraculous healing, “except this foreigner.”

He could not take another step.  His slow, cruel death sentence had been lifted.  His desperate separation from friends and family was ended.  His days of being despised and feared were over.

How could you not be grateful?  Why would you refuse to thank God for the enormous mercy and miraculous goodness you had just received?  Looking at his restoration, this nameless foreigner knew the priests could wait.  His gratitude on the other hand, could not.

So he did what the native-born would not.  He ran to Jesus and kneeled to Him in thankfulness.  The same voice that cried for mercy now cried out glory to God.

All ten received the same miracle blessing.  All ten had their miserable and degrading suffering ended through healing and restoration.  Only the foreigner, the man who should not have received anything, bothered with gratitude or appreciation.

What mercy have you received?  What mercy have you given?  Did you show gratitude to God for the privilege given to you or through you?

Think:      God’s mercy is for native-born and foreigner alike.  Am I grateful for what I receive?

Pray:         “Lord, help me to give and receive Your mercy freely, and with gratitude.”

 

Copyright © August 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.

Cast Your Bread

Cast Your Bread by Kirk Hunt

Cast your bread upon the waters,
For you will find it after many days.
Give a serving to seven, and also to eight,
For you do not know what evil will be on the earth.

Ecclesiastes 11:1 NKJV

Too often we worry too much about ourselves.  We are God’s people.  We are the sheep of His hand.  If we trust God, should we also worry or hoard His blessings?  Go ahead and cast your bread on the waters of circumstance.

I get it.  For a season, I fretted about something I had to give.  I give in faith and amazingly enough, I have never run out.  God taught me to give and trust Him to give again.  The people I served and blessed with my gift?  A bonus, over and above the approval of my God.

God commands our open, giving hands, and promises our hands will gather again.  And give again.  The advantage of giving per God’s Word is that He always provides more for us to give.  It can get to the point where we give out before His provision does.

First, we must act in faith, and purpose.  Then we must work in patient expectation.  Finally, we receive again.  God promised we will find more provision in the days to come, if we first give to others. 

God has already given to you.  Will you give to others?  Your obedience will please Him and bless you.

Think:      God promises that if I give, I will also receive.  Do I really trust God?

Pray:         “Lord, help me to freely give per Your commands.”

 

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.

Gathering The Spoil

Gathering The Spoil by Kirk Hunt

When Jehoshaphat and his people came to take away their spoil, they found among them an abundance of valuables on the dead bodies, and precious jewelry, which they stripped off for themselves, more than they could carry away; and they were three days gathering the spoil because there was so much.

2 Chronicles 20:25 NKJV

Jehoshaphat and Judah faced extermination.  A massive, three-nation alliance army from Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir were marching against Jerusalem.  Soon, the victors would be gathering the spoil from the dead bodies of the vanquished.

God’s people often face extreme circumstances.  The king and people of Judah faced a malicious and murderous force, larger than they could defeat.  Faced with more than he could handle, Jehoshaphat ran to The Temple and pled his case to God.

The battle is not yours, but God’s.”  As part of His victory, there will be spoils, goods and valuables taken from the defeated.  Your part is to obey God’s Word to you.  And pick through the remains of your enemies.

Too often, modern saints face circumstances we cannot defeat:  The medical report.  A court verdict.  The broken relationship. 

The battle is not yours, but God’s.  You will have cleanup work after He is done.  Be grateful, and humble, considering all you will gain. 

God’s people are to be active and engaged in their own lives.  Still, more often than we like to admit, that means standing patiently and obediently as God fights His battle for us.  If you are truly one of God’s people, the threat against your existence makes it God’s battle.

Think:      The battle is not mine, but God’s.  I just have to clean up afterwards.

Pray:         “Lord, help me to faithfully and patiently let You fight Your battles.”

 

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.

Wait Patiently For God’s Justice

Wait Patiently For God’s Justice by Kirk Hunt

Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him;
Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,
Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.

Psalm 37:7 NKJV

King David would understand how you feel.  It can seem that folk like Nabal, King Saul and even David’s son Absalom seemed to be getting away with all the sin and wickedness.  Wait patiently.  God’s justice will arrive for all concerned.

Consider Nabal, the man who accepted David’s protection and support.  Given a polite request for provisions Nabal not only selfishly refused but was insulting and rude.  Protected from David’s rage, Nabal was not protected from God’s justice.  God Himself struck Nabal and he died.

King Saul, David’s king and father-in-law, unjustly hunted David across hills and fields.  Still, given more than one opportunity to kill his tormentor, David righteously withheld his hand and that of others.  In 1 Samuel 26:10, David prophesied Saul’s ending, orchestrated by God.  And it was so.

Even David’s own son, Absalom, tried to murder him and steal the Kingdom.  Even as he out maneuvered the mutiny and crushed the opposition, David was desperate to save Absalom’s life.  David wept bitterly at his son’s death, despite his own danger.

In each episode, it seemed that wicked folk were winning against David.  In each case, David did the right thing and God gave him victory.  David’s righteous actions and patience made the difference.  God is love, but He is also justice.  It is just a matter of time.

Think:      God’s justice will come.  Am I doing the correct things while I wait?

Pray:         “Lord, help me to be patient but steadfast in waiting for Your justice.”

 

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.

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.