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.

Render As Appropriate

Render As Appropriate By Kirk Hunt

 

And He said to them, “Whose image and inscription is this?

They said to Him, “Caesar’s.”

And He said to them, “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.

Matthew 22: 20–21 NKJV

 

Jesus, the all-powerful King of all kings, did not move to overthrow the Roman Empire.  In fact, the Disciples themselves seem to have been bewildered (Acts 1:6) by Jesus’ “failure” to seize political power.  Instead, through His example and instructions, Jesus commands them and us to render good citizenship and make disciples.

 

The Romans were polytheistic pagans.  The Caesars spent lavishly on the human blood sport of the gladiator games.  Still, Jesus did not seek to directly overthrow the Romans.  Being a good citizen does not mean you condone or (choose to) participate in everything the government does. 

 

Jesus, Peter, John and Paul lived, worked and evangelized under the Roman Caesars.  There were occasional inconveniences (imprisonment, beatings, beheading or crucifixion).  Ultimately the Kingdom of Heaven was established in the earth. 

 

Christians today have the same instructions (Matthew 28: 19–20) as Christians then; make disciples, everywhere.  You may have to render some good citizenship to your “Caesar” but your King (Jesus) still commands. 

 

The Roman Empire eventually ended, but not because Christians worked against their government.  Despite being thrown to the (literal) lions, Christians worked to turn pagans into Christians.  It took blood sweat and tears, but enemies became Gospel brothers and sisters.  Should we not do the same?

 

Think:        Scripture commands me to make disciples and be a good citizen of my government.

 

Pray:           “Lord, help me to be a good citizen, first of Your Kingdom, then of my earthly government.”

 

Copyright © August 2016, 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.

Read

With Lovingkindness

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With Lovingkindness By Kirk Hunt

 

The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying:

“Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love;

Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.

Jeremiah 31:3 NKJV

 

In recent days my heart is heavy.  Too many of God’s people speak, or ardently follow those who speak, anger, hate and fear.  Christians should be reaching out in lovingkindness to refugees and radicals alike.  Instead with angry, unforgiving words we are pushing them back into the arms of error and sin.

 

God’s people are called to disciple all of the world.  That includes reaching out in grace and patience to Muslims, Wiccans and everyone else following error instead of Christ.  In order to reach a lost soul, you must first get close enough to touch them.

 

Exclusion, walls and isolation do not touch hearts and minds for Christ.  Jesus reached out to us in service (Romans 5:8) with lovingkindness.  Christians are commanded by Scripture (Matthew 28:19) to make disciples of all nations.  Disciples are only made (or maintained) by close, personal, prolonged contact.

 

Millions of refugees from “fallen houses” (Matthew 7:26-27) seek refuge in the stability of Christian nations (Matthew 7:25).  Are they receiving the gracious words and generous actions that flow from Jesus?  Are Christians obeying Scripture by discipling the nations who plead at the door?

 

The world has come to us, seeking the Gospel.  Christians have an unprecedented opportunity to turn back the darkness.  Are we salt and light (Matthew 5:13–16) enough for the job?

 

Think:                Disciples are made using open, serving hands; not angry, striking fists.

 

Pray:                   “Lord, help me to disciple people of all nations.”

 

 

Copyright © March 2016, Kirk Hunt

This devotional is a ministry of https://devotionals.cadremenpress.com.