Shammah’s Lentils

Shammah’s Lentils By Kirk Hunt

And after him was Shammah the son of Agee the Hararite. The Philistines had gathered together into a troop where there was a piece of ground full of lentils. So the people fled from the Philistines.   But he stationed himself in the middle of the field, defended it, and killed the Philistines. So the Lord brought about a great victory.

2 Samuel 23:11-12 NKJV

Shammah stood his ground in a field of lentils.  I always imagine him alone, matching his soft brass knife against a squad (or maybe a platoon) of hard steel swords.  Valiantly, Shammah fought the fight of his life over a patch of beans.

Why there?  Why then?  Why single-handed?  Scripture does not say.  The Bible only records that God used one man to bring about a great victory.

Shammah’s lentils are a symbol of the victories God gives despite impossible circumstances.  To those without faith, it seems God’s men and women too often risk everything, against ridiculous odds, for nothing of value.  Even God’s faithful sometimes feel alone and friendless against endless hordes.

You are not alone.  Jehovah-Shammah, the God who is there, fights beside you.  Like Shammah bar-Agee, God will bring about a great victory through you.

What has God called you to do?  Champion the cause He set in your heart.  Nurture the soul he put in your path.  Despite all of the really good reasons you should pull back, push forward in God’s power.

It may seem that you are defending a patch of beans against impossible odds.  Be confident in fulfilling the call of God.  Be faithful and God will deliver victory through your faithful courage.

Think:        If God sent me, the issue is not trivial, and the odds are not impossible.

Pray:           “Lord, help me to have faithful courage over what, where and when You command.”

 

Copyright © March 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.

Endure

Gift Minister By Kirk Hunt

But he who endures to the end shall be saved.

Matthew 24:13 NKJV

Endurance is the hallmark of a champion.  Endurance allows you to continue on when others have given up in discouragement, or fallen in exhaustion.  To win, you must first endure.

Athletes deliberately develop their endurance in order to better excel at their sport.  The strategies of coaches, teams and individual competitors always include outlasting opponents.  Military leaders may call it “toughness” but that does not change the fundamental character of staying on task after others have given up or fallen down.

Endurance is far more than physical stamina.  A large portion of enduring is simply deciding that you will not quit.  Often, athletes complain about “betrayal” by their own bodies.  Their minds are fully prepared to continue, but their bodies stop at the edge of exhaustion (or worse).  Physics or biology more often limit us than our mind-power or will-power.

Men and women of God have more than willpower to call upon.  God grants endurance to those who ask, in His purpose.  His power can suspend the laws of nature.  His grace can give the gift of persistence.  His mercy can push back the limiting results of poor decisions. 

Who needs you to stay on task?  What part of His Kingdom needs you to continue on after everyone else has given up or passed out?  What stronghold, yours or theirs, needs just a few more strikes of the hammer before it falls?

You can be a Gospel champion.  First, decide you want to endure.  Second, ask God for what you need to endure.  Everything after that is just time or miles.

Think:        Endurance is not optional in the life of a Christian.

Pray:           “Lord, help me to endure through your power, grace and mercy.”

 

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.

Honor Your Birthright

Honor Your Birthright By Kirk Hunt

And Jacob gave Esau bread and stew of lentils; then he ate and drank, arose, and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.

Genesis 25:34 NKJV
Please also read Genesis 25:29-34.

Too often we put all the blame on Jacob.  Scripture clearly states that Esau despised his birthright.  In exchange for a simple meal, Esau rejected the blessings of God and his earthly father.

You have a birthright in God.  Rich or poor, workhouse or jailhouse, God’s blessings, legacy and heritage are yours.  All you have to do is honor what God has guaranteed for you, despite today’s difficulties.

A birthright is a future benefit.  To receive it, I must not despise it or my present.  Easily said; not as easily done.

A moment’s inconvenience led a mighty man to disdain what was not immediately at hand.  Esau was so shortsighted and immature that he cast aside his legacy and heritage for a bowl of soup.  The worst part is I recognize this same attitude in myself.

From time-to-time, we all want immediate fulfillment.  Delayed gratification can sometimes be a hard path.  Going without today, even for a great tomorrow, has its difficulties.

Esau was having a tough day.  His twin brother should never have considered making the sales pitch.  Esau should never have considered selling out.

Do not let a difficult day (or season) sway your faith.  Keep your faith though the rough spots.  If you do not sell out, God will deliver your birthright at the right time. 

Think:        Do I honor the blessings, legacy and heritage I have in God’s Kingdom?

Pray:           “Lord, I honor the birthright I have in You.”

 

Copyright © January 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.

Enough Love To Persist

Enough Love To Persist By Kirk Hunt

 

Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother.   But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’

Matthew 18: 15–16 NKJV
Please also read Matthew 18: 15–17

 

Confrontation is an act of love and loyalty.  It is part of the healing protocol against moral and spiritual infection.  One dose is not always enough.  Godly men and women must persist in loving confrontation until there is change.

 

Jesus gave us a procedure for resolving conflict.  We are commanded to have courage and speak, alone the first time, directly to an offending brother or sister.  The goal is not hurt feelings but restoration.  The best outcome is reconciliation driving out separation.

 

Men and women continue to sin (a specific way) either because they do not know better, or because they benefit (profit) from the sin.  Persistent, Godly confrontation forces home the truth and degrades the benefit. 

 

Human beings can be willful, obstinate creatures.  While it is easy to recognize error and willfulness in others, it is more difficult to see it in yourself.  Dismissing a single complaint is one thing.  Dismissing a growing portion of your community is a different thing.

 

Persist in saying the truth, especially to power.  Shine the lights of Scripture and publicity on injustice and wrongdoing.  After a while, God’s righteousness will disinfect even the most deeply entrenched infection of sin.

 

Think:                I must be persistent in Godly confrontation, an act of love and loyalty.

 

Pray:                   “Lord, help me to persist with love and grace, especially in confrontation.”

 

 

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.

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Endurance

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Difficulty Happens By Kirk Hunt

 

But he who endures to the end shall be saved.

Matthew 24:13 NKJV

 

Endurance is the hallmark of a champion. Endurance allows you to continue on when others have given up in discouragement, or fallen in exhaustion. To win, you must first endure.

 

Athletes deliberately develop their endurance in order to better excel at their sport. The strategies of coaches, teams and individual competitors always include outlasting opponents. Military leaders may call it “toughness” but that does not change the fundamental character of staying on task after others have given up or fallen down.

 

Endurance is far more than physical stamina. A large portion of enduring is simply deciding that you will not quit. Often, athletes complain about “betrayal” by their own bodies. The mind may be willing to continue. Unfortunately, sheer will power cannot forever deny physics or biology.

 

Men and women of God have more than willpower to call upon. God grants endurance to those who ask, in His purpose. His power can suspend the laws of nature. His grace can give the gift of persistence. His mercy can push back the limiting results of poor decisions.

 

You can be a Gospel champion. First, decide you want to endure. Second, ask God for what you need to endure. Everything after that is just time or miles.

 

Think:             Endurance is not optional in the life of a Christian.

 

Pray:               “Lord, help me to endure through Your power, grace and mercy.”

 

 

Copyright © November 2015, Kirk Hunt

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

Difficulty Happens

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“Difficulty Happens” By Kirk Hunt

For we do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, of our trouble which came to us in Asia: that we were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life.  Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead

2 Corinthians 1:8-9 NKJV

Sooner or later, all Christians face difficulty. An unpleasant crisis could crash into your life. A loss could rob your world. Basic daily life and work could become a heavy burden.

It hurts. It seems no one understands your situation or pain. It may even be that others seek a blessing from you at the center of your crisis.

God can use your situation for good. It is at this place of trial and grief that you stop relying on yourself. It is here that you learn to rely on God.

Paul suffered a series of painful and crushing hardships. Despite his fortitude, eventually even he found the limit of regular folk. Sound familiar?

At that place of exhaustion and emptiness, Paul looked up. Jesus, in all His glory, stood ready to carry him the distance. Paul felt dead inside, but God’s Power poured in life.

Whatever you are facing today, know that you are not alone. He wants to bless you with strength and power beyond your wildest dreams. Turn to Him. Let Him restore your life.

Think: Difficulty is a place for God’s restoration.

Pray: “Lord, thank You for carrying me through the hard places.”

Copyright © November 2015, Kirk Hunt
This devotional is a ministry of https://devotionals.cadremenpress.com.

Flint Face

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Flint Face By Kirk Hunt

 

For the Lord God will help Me;

Therefore I will not be disgraced;

Therefore I have set My face like a flint,

And I know that I will not be ashamed.

Isaiah 50:7 NKJV

 

The opposition seems to come from every angle.  Neither kith, or kin, are returning your calls.  Doubts and uncertainties seem to crowd around you.  In these circumstances, your face feels more like mush than flesh.

 

Do you name Jesus as Lord?  Then you are not alone.  You cannot be abandoned.  And you will never be disgraced or abandoned.

 

The assurances and guarantees of Scripture demand that you take action.  You must be determined to face God’s purpose in your life.  You must unswervingly look to His purpose for your existence.

 

You are called and adopted by the King of heaven.  Still, despite your title and high position, you must act in faith and obedience.  And you must be firmly focused, and determined, to carry out His plan for your life.

 

You must be firm, despite the opposition.  You must have strength, greater than your fears.  You must be steadfast, even if others flee.

 

Finally, your face must reflect your resolve to see God’s ordained outcome.  You must act in faith and confidence in Him.  You must set your face like flint, in determination to see His salvation.

 

Think:                        I will set my face, hard, toward God.

 

Pray:                          “Lord, help me remember that you will bring me a proud and honored outcome.”

 

 

Copyright © March 2014, Kirk Hunt

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

Jesus Always Has Impact

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Jesus Always Has Impact By Kirk Hunt

 

And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!”

Mark 4:41 NKJV

 

Jesus got up from sleep and faced the storm.  Without hesitation or preamble, He spoke His power over the storm.  His words had impact.  A great calm followed.

 

The Disciples were awestruck by Jesus’ power.  Wind and waves obeyed instantly.  This came as a shock to them, despite all of the miraculous healing they had seen Jesus perform.

 

Perhaps their confusion comes from the duality, the two-part nature, of Jesus.  Yes, He is fully man.  Yes, He is fully God.  Both are true of Him, at the same time.

 

That is why Jesus will always have impact in your life.  Jesus, fully human, knows and understands the human condition.  Jesus, fully God, has the power to impact your life.

 

His impact may not come the way you think it should.  His grace and provision can be one of the most disruptive forces known to man.  Still, at the end, you have a better answer than you imagined, and joy in knowing that He is part of your life.

 

His impact can be felt in how He calms your storm.  His impact can be felt in how He calms you, despite the storm.  However He moves in your situation, He will have impact.  Brace yourself.

 

Think:            Jesus always has impact on the real situations of life.

Pray:              “Lord, help me to be confident in Your impact on my life.”

 

 

Copyright © November 2013, Kirk Hunt

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

Jesus Knows The Impact

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Jesus Knows The Impact By Kirk Hunt

 

But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?”

Mark 4:38 NKJV

 

The little fleet of ships (v. 36) was ambushed by the storm.  Peter and his brother Andrew, plus John and his brother James, were professional fisherman and skilled sailors.  They fished the Galilee, which means they had to be experts regarding that body of water.  Still, the impact of the storm threatened to sink them (v. 37).

 

Bad things happen to people.  Skill, expertise and preparation are not always enough to prevent not-so-good circumstances.  Sooner or later, unfavorable events will include you and yours.

 

Jesus, confident in the skill of His disciples, or exhausted from His ministry, fell asleep in the back of the ship.  Despite the water flooding over the gunwale or the howl of the wind, Jesus slept while His friends grew increasingly panicked.  Jesus woke up to desperate men and a violent, vindictive storm.

 

The disciples question is clearly driven by fear and distress.  Of course Jesus cares.  Yes, His completely human eyes were closed in sleep.  Yes, His complete God-power surrounded them.

 

It may seem that God is “asleep” during your circumstances.  The impact of the storm was not lost on Jesus.  The impact of your circumstances are known to God, and He cares.

 

He sees the impact.  He cares about you and yours.  Call on Him, in faith and confidence.

 

Think:            Jesus sees and cares about the impacts on my life.

Pray:              “Lord, help me to be confident that You know and You care.”

 

 

Copyright © October 2013, Kirk Hunt

This devotional is a ministry of https://devotionals.cadremenpress.com10282013Devo

He Removes The Opposition

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He Removes The Opposition by Kirk Hunt

 

Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded: they shall be as nothing; and they that strive with thee shall perish.

Isaiah 41:11 KJV

 

I am always the most puzzled by the rage of the opposition.  They see Christians as narrow and overly restrictive?  I disagree, but why all of the rage?

 

Whatever their reasons, God promises that they will not be able to block you.  As you live the Christian life in spirit and truth, you will advance.  To your destination and work in building the Kingdom.

 

Keep in mind that you must be living and moving in His purpose.  Your willful action contrary to God’s Word and purpose for your life puts you out there alone.  His protection for your life requires following your purpose for His Kingdom.

 

As you flow in God, your presence can be convicting (not condemning).  The silent witness of a man or woman seeking Him, can say a lot.  Very loudly.

 

If your life draws opponents, do not worry.  God is not worried about their anger or blocking actions.  No one can oppose the plans and calling of God.  No committee can vote down God’s anointing and purpose for your life.

 

Move forward in Him.  Follow your calling and build the Kingdom of God.  He will take care of those who would insert themselves between you and God’s purpose for your life.

 

 

Think:            A Christ-like life overpowers opposition through His power, grace and love.

 

Pray:              “Lord, help me to live like You, especially with my opponents.”

 

 

Copyright © March 2013, Kirk Hunt

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

He Is With You

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He Is With You by Kirk Hunt

 

Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.  

Isaiah 41:10 KJV

 

After answering the call, everyone hits that spot.  The corner of limitations and exhaustion, is a scary-looking intersection.  And it is a long way from success.  Even the best of us question our purpose and mission.

 

Pause for a moment and reach out and touch Him.  He is right there.  Close at hand.

 

I wish I could assure you that angels will drop the very things you need in your lap.  Instead, you will likely continue in hard work and True Faith™, as you continue your calling.  You will continue your Kingdom building in His power.

 

His presence means power.  There is clarity when God is close.  Only peace can dwell in His presence.

 

The task is not any smaller, but His power remains greater.  You will shoulder and move loads using the strength God gives.  You will not fall, because He is holding you up.

 

Your purpose and mission remain the same.  Your human limitations are not the end of the journey.  The hand of our infinite God will see you through to the end.

 

Think:            Your power will carry me through to success.

 

Pray:              “Lord, help me to rely on You to finish my calling.”

 

 

Copyright © February 2013, Kirk Hunt

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

Prepare Yourself

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Prepare Yourself by Kirk Hunt

 

And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

Ephesians 6:15 KJV

 

The work required more physical fitness than I assumed.  Walking 4-6 miles a day, in all kinds of weather.  Climbing in and out of the van.  Lifting the bunk lid to get at my stuff.  My deployment required more endurance, strength and flexibility than you get from just sitting at a desk.

 

God prepared an opportunity to reach people, but part of my preparation involved strength and aerobic exercises.  My ability to minister depended on going to the gym.  Who knew service involved so much athleticism?

 

Have you answered God’s call on your life?  Good.  Are you preparing for all aspects of your calling?  I pray you are.  Your full calling will require more than you realize.

 

Exercise and eating correctly?  Sounds mundane, does it not?  Mundane does not mean unimportant.  If you are going to answer your call, go all the way.

 

I worked every work day, and even some of my off days.  , I had the physical resources to do so because of my preparation.  My calling deserved nothing less.

 

Think through all aspects of your calling.  Be prepared for every aspect you know.  Ask God to show you anything you missed.  Your calling deserves no less.

 

Think:            Preparation for my calling involves a whole life commitment.

 

Pray:              “Lord, help me to be disciplined in every aspect of my calling.”

 

 

Copyright © January 2013, Kirk Hunt

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