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.

Because He Was Faithful

Because He Was Faithful by Kirk Hunt

So the governors and satraps sought to find some charge against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find no charge or fault, because he was faithful; nor was there any error or fault found in him.

Daniel 6:4 NKJV
Please also read Daniel 6:1–24

The conspirators spent time, money and effort, but came up empty.  Daniel continued to conduct his affairs in a carefree manner, with a joyous spirit.  The shadowy and sinister men who sought his downfall were defeated by his clean record.  When you are righteous and faithful, you are protected beyond reasonable measure.

Scripture says Daniel (and his friends) were smart, wise and clever.  Clearly, Daniel knew the honest play is always the smartest play.  A long record of clean and honest work is its own protection. 

Do not confuse Daniel’s clean record with a lack of hard work.  It takes longer and costs more to do it right the first time.  But when you are done, there is nothing to do but the next task.  It is difficult to threaten an honest man or woman with the honest facts and figures.

Daniel’s record, transcripts and witnesses told a consistent story of fair dealing and honest work.  The men who wanted to bring him down had to look for a different path.  How you do the work is just as important as the outcome.

How do you do what you do?  Are you faithful to God through your work?  Do you play fair and straight, or will there be a problem when we read your transcripts or call the witnesses?

Think:      A righteous, faithful lifestyle is its own protection.

Pray:         “Lord, help me to be Your righteous and faithful servant before all men and women.”

 

Copyright © April 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.

Naaman The Honorable

Naaman The Honorable by Kirk Hunt

Now Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Syria, was a great and honorable man in the eyes of his master, because by him the Lord had given victory to Syria. He was also a mighty man of valor, but a leper.

2 Kings 5:1 NKJV

Despite being a general in the army of the pagan Syrians, Naaman was an instrument of God’s will.  Being a great and honorable man (or woman) does not mean you are sinless.  Leprosy, long a symbol or analogy of sin in human lives, changed the viewpoint of others.  Naaman’s grateful king (historically, Ben-Hadad II) saw him less as a national hero and more as a dangerous threat to his own health and wellbeing.

Even today, Naaman’s leprosy can serve as an object lesson:  Being good and moral is not enough.  Christians, God’s people, must live more than clean lives.  We must live separate from the sin that can so easily taint and contaminate our lives.

Despite all of his achievements and benefits to the Syrian King and nation, Naaman lived as a separated pariah.  Even his wife would have shunned his immediate presence, or merest touch.  Naaman’s bacterial infection defined him more than his courage, valor or noble character.

The sin in your life defines you more than your generosity, virtue or clean living.  Some souls who see your taint and contamination will shun you as one of the unredeemed.  Other souls will seek to drag you further into the worst of sinful living.

Leprosy, the disease, can be cured.  Sin, the corruption of your soul, can be cleansed and avoided through the salvation of Jesus Christ.  I pray you are honorable, but know it is more important to be sinless.

Think:      Honorable is good.  Sinless is better.

Pray:         “Lord, help me to live sinlessly through Your Holy Spirit and power.”

 

Copyright © February 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.

Who Have You Received?

Who Have You Received? by Kirk Hunt

Then Paul dwelt two whole years in his own rented house, and received all who came to him,   preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence, no one forbidding him.

Acts 28:30-31 NKJV

Chained to a Roman soldier, Paul received everyone who came to him.  The prisoner freely taught and preached about Jesus Christ.  For two years, handcuffed to his captors, Paul repeated the crime that brought him to trial in Rome. 

It took courage to visit Paul in Nero’s Rome.  Christians were already under suspicion and discrimination.  Still, the opportunity to learn of Jesus, directly from Paul, brought men and women to his door.

Paul welcomed his guests, then generously gave them his richest gift: Jesus Christ.  In the face of political, social and religious (Pagans or Jews) opposition, Paul insisted on sharing his knowledge of the Gospel.  Whether with those in the room, or with saints around the known world, Paul spoke God’s truth to all who could hear.

Who do you receive?  What do you give them?  Why should they want what you give?

Under the watching eyes and listening ears of the elite Praetorian Guard, Paul taught the Gospel to all who asked.  The Apostle used his adverse circumstances to build the Kingdom.  Can you do the same?

Who is at your door?  What do you give them?  Even a prisoner can be a generous host, if they have something of value to give.  What is more valuable than the Gospel?

Think:      Who have you received?  What have they received from you?

Pray:         “Lord, help me to generously receive then give You to all who come to me.”

 

Copyright © February 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.

Who Are Gathered With You?

Who Are Gathered With You? by Kirk Hunt

David therefore departed from there and escaped to the cave of Adullam. So when his brothers and all his father’s house heard it, they went down there to him.   And everyone who was in distress, everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented gathered to him. So he became captain over them. And there were about four hundred men with him.

2 Samuel 22:1-2 NKJV

King Saul issued a death warrant for his loyal and valiant son-in-law, David.  Unjustly hunted and cruelly hounded, David found refuge in the cave of Adullam.  There, at his lowest point, losers, deadbeats and whiners gathered with David.

David could have easily become a brigand and villain, leading a band of cutthroats.  Instead he transformed himself into a valiant king-like leader.  The crybabies and snotnoses who gathered with him?  They became an elite fighting force who championed the defenseless.

You always have a choice.  There is the easy way or the right way.  You can choose to walk upward in righteousness or slide downward in villainy.  It is just that easy.

Insist that the people who gather around you have a simple choice:  1) Get with your program or 2) leave.  Keep their immediate decision clear and simple. 

It takes courage, fortitude and intention to choose righteousness.  There will be confrontations and conflicts, but insist that anyone who stays with you does the same.  No one said it would be easy.

Who is gathered with you?  You can help them change their story.  Make sure you choose the right story to tell with your life and theirs.

Think:      Who is gathered with me and why do they stay?

Pray:         “Lord, help me and those gathered with me to choose Your righteousness.”

 

Copyright © February 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.

Where Are You Stationed?

Where Are You Stationed? 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 is listed in Scripture as one of David’s “mighty men”. His greatest deed? Alone and abandoned, Shammah stood and fought while others ran. He stationed himself in a patch of beans and defended them.

Shammah’s duty was made harder, and riskier, because others failed in their duty to their nation and God. Still, he stood his ground and fought. Despite his personal courage and skillfulness, Scripture is clear that Shammah did not bring about success. God’s faithfulness and power bought and brought victory.

What has God assigned you? Steel your heart and determination, even if it seems you are defending something of low value. Courageously hold your ground against greater numbers and firepower, no matter how alone you are. Mighty men and women are determined by faithful courage and determined hearts.

Military last stands tends to favor the attackers and are universally costly to the defenders. Determine now that you will do your part, confident that Father-God will do His. Despite your personal courage and skill, victory will come through God’s faithfulness and power.

Think: Do your part to bring about victory.

Pray: “Lord, help me to fulfill your assignment to me, regardless of what others do.”

Copyright © February 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.

Seeking Something Better

Seeking Something Better by Kirk Hunt

These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised,   since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.

Hebrews 11:39–40 NIV

Despite (partial) victories (such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965) Dr. King continued the work of freeing all of America’s citizens from injustice and discrimination.  His earthly reward for seeking something better for America?  An assassin’s bullet

Scripture summarizes the suffering and victories of Old Testament Prophets and Heroes in Hebrews 11.  Those men and women did not live to see God’s promises completed, but they did their part to fulfill their callings.  Usually, at great personal cost or their very lives.

Hebrews 11 rehearses the faithfulness and endurance of Old Testament saints.  They fulfilled their calling and purpose, despite not seeing their victory in complete fullness.  Hebrews 12 exhorts New Testament saints to be just as faithful and enduring. 

Christians of the Roman world often suffered and died but they eventually converted polytheistic pagans into devout Christians.  With the continuing advantage of Jesus and the Holy Spirit, we should do as much.  Echoing the faith and diligence of Old and New Testament saints, our faithfulness will require that we seek something better, regardless of the personal cost.

Seek something better, no matter who is bother or how they object.  Your prize for delivering freedom or salvation will be God’s eternal approval.  Try not to mind any short term inconveniences or even living to see it completely fulfilled.

Think:      Do your part whether or not you see the final victory.

Pray:         “Lord, help me to fulfill my calling from you, no matter how others object.”

 

Copyright © January 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.

Seek Faithful Teachers

Seek Faithful Teachers By Kirk Hunt

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers;  and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.

2 Timothy 4:3-4 NKJV

Too many, including myself, have put the blame on the false teachers.  Suddenly, I understand that the students and followers should be held accountable.  You have to want the truth, in the first place.

I am guilty of not always wanting to hear the truth.  Scripture has a way of roughing up God’s men and women.  Still, find a faithful Bible teacher and dig in.  Do your homework and follow along in your own copy of the Bible.

A faithful Bible teacher has one agenda: To teach God’s truth from God’s Word.  A faithful Bible teacher does not care about your political leanings, cultural bias or level of sensitivity.  A faithful Bible teacher cares only that you hear the pure and untainted Word of God. 

Also, you must make the effort to learn from God’s Word for yourself.  Your Bible teacher cannot have a relationship with God for you.  You must seek Him and His truth for yourself.  And there will be times in your Christian journey when only God’s voice will satisfy you.

It is your soul and therefore your responsibility.  If you can read and understand this devotional, then you can read and understand the Holy Bible.  Do your part of the hard work of learning God’s Word.

Think:       It is my responsibility to find and support a faithful Bible teacher.

Pray:         “Lord, help me to learn Your Word as deeply as I can.”

 

Copyright © November 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.

After The Petition

After The Petition By Kirk Hunt

For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition which I asked of Him.   Therefore I also have lent him to the Lord; as long as he lives he shall be lent to the Lord.” So they worshiped the Lord there.

1 Samuel 1:27–28 NKJV

Hannah’s petition received a favorable response.  God placed Samuel in her arms, then stepped back.  Hannah, in turn, stepped up.

She sacrificed her treasured son, just as she vowed.  She brought Samuel to the Tabernacle and committed him to God’s service.  Then, she turned and walked away, leaving her tender aged child with Eli, the High Priest.  Samuel became a great Judge and Prophet because of Hannah’s faithfulness in doing her part.

Too often, we think that we are done after the request is granted.  After God does His part, there is much more.  We must do our part.

And the price of our part can be high.  Ask Hannah.  Ask Apostle Paul.  Ask Jesus

We are instructed to bring our prayers and petitions to God.  Please, do so.  God set His calling on your life and that prayer is part of it.  When He answers your petition, you will have another part of your mission in hand.

Just remember that after God does His part, you need to step up and do your part.  There will be labor.  Sacrifice will be part of your portion.  No one said it would be easy.

Flinch, if you must.  Cry, if the pain is great.  Refuse to leave your portion undone.  Be faithful and do your part.

Think:       After God grants my petition, my work begins in earnest.

Pray:         “Lord, help me to faithfully work during the process of my miracle from You.”

 

Copyright © July 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.

Next To You

Next To You By Kirk Hunt

And he said to him, “Do not fear, for the hand of Saul my father shall not find you. You shall be king over Israel, and I shall be next to you. Even my father Saul knows that.”

1 Samuel 23:17 NKJV

Jonathan, the Crown Prince of Israel, declared he would never be king.  Despite his age, position and lineage, Jonathan openly stated that David would be the next king.  Jonathan freely declared “I shall be next to you” as good news to his friend and protégé.  

Deep down, we all want to sit the “big chair” somewhere in our life and work.  Do you know the will of God enough, and have self-control enough, to say, “You, not me.”  Are you man or woman enough to be glad for your friend, despite their jump in line?

Deep in the woods, where David hid from a death warrant, Jonathan spoke gladly of David’s coming dynasty.  Jonathan would stand, or kneel, next to David’s throne and be glad of the privilege.  Only a Godly man or woman can be so pleased to be “passed over” for promotion, even for a friend.

The common wisdom is that Jonathan should have led the bounty hunters to David’s hiding place.  He could have executed David himself.   Instead he encouraged his friend, the outlaw.  Jonathan cheerfully pointed to a time when he would no longer be Crown Prince. 

Do you love God’s plan more than the big promotion?  Are you willing to push God’s choice to the position that should be yours?  Are you glad in your heart?

Think:        Do I know my place?  Am I willing to be glad, despite not getting the top spot?

Pray:           “Lord, help me to know, and be glad of, my place in Your Kingdom.”

 

Copyright © September 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.

In The Woods

In the Woods By Kirk Hunt

Then Jonathan, Saul’s son, arose and went to David in the woods and strengthened his hand in God.

1 Samuel 23:16 NKJV

Jonathan, the Crown Prince of Israel snuck out a side door and traveled across the miles.  There, in the woods, he found the outlaw the King wanted dead.  Knowing his own father wanted this criminal executed; Jonathan embraced his friend and strengthened David’s Godly faith and hope.

Maybe you are the man everyone turns to for strength.  Perhaps you are the woman others rely on for courage.  No matter your standing or track record, you will eventually need encouragement “in the woods.”

Unjustly a fugitive, and hunted for his very life, David fled alone into the wilderness.  At first only castoffs, deadbeats and losers came to him, looking for a handout.  Despite his successes in turning those men into champions, David needed encouragement in the wilderness of Ziph.  Thankfully for him, and eventually us, Jonathan strengthened his hand in God.

Real men and women have limits.  You can only be so strong, so long, for others.  Sooner, or later, you need someone to come to a lonely, isolated place and pour at least a little help and encouragement on you.

Before David sat the throne he walked (or ran) the woods.  Before he became an ancestor of Christ, David’s soul cried out for an encouraging word and a moment of reassurance.   Jonathan appeared at a dark and cold moment in David’s life and brought light and warmth.

In your woods, let them come.  Accept the blessing they bring.  God is answering your need.

Think:        God will provide encouragement and reassurance in my difficult places.

Pray:           “Lord, I accept the encouragement and blessing You send.”

 

Copyright © September 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.