Who Is The Troubler?

Who Is The Troubler? By Kirk Hunt

Then it happened, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said to him, “Is that you, O troubler of Israel?”   And he answered, “I have not troubled Israel, but you and your father’s house have, in that you have forsaken the commandments of the Lord and have followed the Baals.

1 Kings 18:17–18 NKJV
Please also read 1 Kings 18:7–18

We see it a lot in modern America.  Problems and issues come up, and the chief troublemaker(s) lay the blame at the feet of others instead of themselves.  The real troubler, too often, is the very leader or administrator who is supposed to know better and guide better.

Yes, Elijah declared the drought that God sent.  It was Ahab’s deliberate leadership to idolatry, and repression of God’s true worship, that caused God to hold the rain.  In willful disobedience, Ahab remained defiant against God and His messenger, despite his own suffering and that of the nation.

Nearly three millennia later, men and women still try to shift the blame for their failings and wrongdoing.  Ahab fought against the very God of heaven, yet expected someone else to take the blame.  If common folk can see through your pretense, clearly God’s omniscience never sees anything but your error and wrongdoing.

King and prophet met in confrontation.  One represented error, heresy and rebellion against God.  The other represented the God of heaven in a call to contrition and repentance.  Where would you stand then?  Where do you stand now?

Think:        Godly men and women take responsibility for their errors or wrongdoing.

Pray:           “Lord, help me to take responsibility for the things I do or lead.”

 

Copyright © October 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.

Whom Do You Fear?

Whom Do You Fear? By Kirk Hunt

And it shall come to pass, as soon as I am gone from you, that the Spirit of the Lord will carry you to a place I do not know; so when I go and tell Ahab, and he cannot find you, he will kill me. But I your servant have feared the Lord from my youth.

1 Kings 18:12 NKJV
Please also read 1 Kings 18:7–16

Obadiah feared God then.  I fear God now.  After all, the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.

Many Biblical scholars and teachers ascribe cowardice to Obadiah for his reaction to Elijah in these verses.  A coward would not have attempted to hide the prophets from Ahab and Jezebel’s murderous purge.  Instead, Obadiah recognized his risk should God whisk Elijah away suddenly.

The Hebrew word used in these verses, yare, often translates “afraid,” but it also often translates “reverence.”  Obadiah respected the absolute and complete mastery of God over time and space, death and life.  After personally witnessing Ahab’s extensive international manhunt, Obadiah wanted assurance that God would let Elijah make the meeting.

God is, first and foremost, love.  God is also holy and righteous.  In an instant, God can issue verdicts and enact judgement over men and nations. 

I often run to Him, child to Heavenly-Father, but I also consider that His holy anger slew Uzzah, Ananias, and Sapphira for their less-than-righteous actions.  Obadiah refused to take God, or His true servant, lightly.  I seek to follow that same wisdom and prudence. 

Think:        God’s power over creation calls for a lot of reverence and at least a little fear.

Pray:           “Lord, Your power commands me in reverence and trepidation.”

 

Copyright © October 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.

Called To Integrity

Called To Integrity By Kirk Hunt

And Ahab had called Obadiah, who was in charge of his house. (Now Obadiah feared the Lord greatly.   For so it was, while Jezebel massacred the prophets of the Lord, that Obadiah had taken one hundred prophets and hidden them, fifty to a cave, and had fed them with bread and water.)

1 Kings 18:3–4 NKJV

King Ahab ranks as one of the most wicked leaders of ancient Israel.  Yet, as king, Ahab called devout Obadiah (writer of the Book of Obadiah) to serve as his majordomo.  While there was wisdom in Obadiah’s selection, there was wisdom in how Obadiah answered his call.

Serving a corrupt, pagan king, Obadiah maintained his faith and integrity.  At great personal risk, he cleverly hid God’s prophets from Ahab’s murderous purge.  His work for the king always took a back-seat to his absolute obedience to God.

As God’s people, our service should always be conditional.  If they watched closely, they would know: “No matter how good his/her work for me, he/she serves God first and absolutely.” 

In this modern age, too many appear to worship at the altar of self and greed.  God’s people should be found (or uncovered) completely and only sold to Father-God.  Now, more than ever, we need men and women who serve with unwavering integrity and devotion to God, no matter who signs their paychecks.

Is your integrity and devotion above reproach? I pray your service to men and women is excellent.  I pray more your life and conduct before God is excellent and pure.

Think:        My service is always first to God, then to men and women.

Pray:           “Lord, I am yours.  Help me to serve You, even as I serve men and women.”

 

Copyright © October 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.

Believe The Truth

Believe The Truth 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

Apostle Paul wrote 2 Thessalonians to warn God’s people to love the truth and reject lies.  The truth is often simpler and less complicated than the lie.  The problem is that the lie appeals to something sinful in us.

All too short a time after the establishment of the Church at Thessaloniki, someone was teaching that Jesus had already returned and raptured His Church.  Paul spoke against this apostasy but then addressed the deeper issue of loving the truth.

Paul states it is important for God’s people to cultivate a love for the truth.  He states just as clearly that men and women can take “pleasure in unrighteousness.”  Which do you choose; truth or unrighteousness?

Addicts believe the drug is a benefit.  Adulterers believe in their reasons to lie and betray.  Swindlers believe the money in your account is theirs, rather than yours.  Of course, there are subtler ways to believe a lie, rather than the truth.

Do you love the truth, rather than a lie?  Are you willing to believe a lie and be damned?  The choice is binary.  Either you seek God’s truth or you love the enemy’s lies.  Believing the lie means accepting a delusion that leads to condemnation.

Believing the lie requires that you set aside the facts and data.  Loving the truth makes it easier to spot the lies.  Seek His righteousness.  It is easier in the long-run.

Think:        Do I really seek the truth, or do I prefer unrighteousness?

Pray:           “Lord, help me to love Your truth and righteousness.”

 

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.

Faith In The Rain

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Faith In The Rain 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

 

What happens to your faith when you finish your prayer and it is still raining in your life? The checkbook is still empty? The hospital bed is still full? The casket lid is still closing?

 

Job lay on a literal ash heap, the only comfort for his own illness. His sons and daughters were dead. His wealth had become a dimming memory. Then his friends arrived to accuse him of secret sin.

 

Job’s faith in God remained strong. Job trusted what God was doing or allowing in his life. His confidence in his own integrity remained firm. Job was prepared to give an account of himself to any audience, including God Himself.

 

The rain of circumstances pours into the life of both the redeemed and unredeemed. Hurt and battered, saints look toward heaven in faith. The redeemed respond in faith, trust and continuing integrity before God. We trust God, even as the raindrops mingle with our tears.

 

The rain in your life should have nothing to do with your faith. God’s people trust that God is faithful and loving, even when our circumstances are difficult. Faith is not absence of difficulty. Faith is the presence of trust in God.

 

Think:            Is my faith strong when circumstances are difficult?

 

Pray:               “Lord, help me to trust You despite the circumstances.

 

 

Copyright © March 2015, 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

The Impact Is Never Just You

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The Impact Is Never Just You By Kirk Hunt

 Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him.   And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling.

Mark 4:36–37 NKJV

 

Neither Jesus nor the Disciples asked for the other boats to join them.  Still, there they were, traveling along with Jesus.  The storm did not impact just Jesus.  The storm impacted a fleet of ships.

 

Your actions, or inaction, always impact someone.  It is never just about you.  No matter how alone you think you are, what you do takes someone else along.

 

You probably have an intensely personal relationship with some of the folks in your community.  You may be surprised to learn of the influence you have on folks you never imagined know of you, or care about what you do.  Your impact is never just you.

 

Your successes benefit others.  Your losses reduce some else.  Saint or sinner, your community is impacted because of you.  Choose the impact you intend to have.

 

Think through what you say or do.  You cannot be responsible for where others sail, but you can be responsible for your course. Make sure your actions, or stillness, build up God’s Kingdom.

 

Think:            My impact in God’s Kingdom is never just me.

Pray:              “Lord, help my impact to increase Your Kingdom.”

 

 

Copyright © October 2013, Kirk Hunt

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

Seeking Justice

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Seeking Justice by Kirk Hunt

 

Thus saith the Lord God; Let it suffice you, O princes of Israel: remove violence and spoil, and execute judgment and justice, take away your exactions from my people, saith the Lord God.

Ezekiel 45:9 KJV

 

It is easy to question the justice of ancient Israel’s leaders.  Their error and injustice is recorded in Scripture.  What about leaders, including you, in the modern era?  Do you seek justice in the here and now?

 

“Let it suffice you.”  Injustice is almost always preceded by lust.  Greed is simply the money-focused version of lust.  Be content with what you have, or at least content to pursue more without cheating.

 

God does not forbid His people from having and acquiring.  In fact, Jesus said that He came to give us abundant life.  Still, wealth and advancement does not have to come at the unfair expense of those around you.

 

Pursue God.  He will add everything else to you.  His blessings never flow from swindling or oppressing someone else.  Do your part in righteousness and He will bless you more than you think or imagine.

 

You can win, acquire and live in the big house on the hill.  Just be sure you can face God with a clean record and unstained hands.  It may take a little longer, but His approval is worth the longer route.

 

Think:            Do I pursue justice through my own life and leadership?

 

Pray:              “Lord, help me to be an example of Your truth and justice.”

 

 

Copyright © October 2013, Kirk Hunt

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

Leadership Goals

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Leadership Goals by Kirk Hunt

 

And there was a great cry of the people and of their wives against their brethren the Jews.

Nehemiah 5:1 KJV

 

Nehemiah’s Jerusalem was a fixer-upper at best.  Jerusalem, the capital of the restored nation, remained a wall-less, gate-less, half-ruined city (Nehemiah 1:3).  The people in general were surrounded by hostile nations and individuals, like Sanballat and Tobiah (Nehemiah 2:10).  Worst of all, the Jews were generally impoverished.

 

What would you expect of the nobles and rulers, the Jewish leadership, in a situation like this?  Would they be fierce and selflessly focused on rebuilding the wealth and capacity of the nation?  Would their every waking thought be bent toward the restoration of the nation and the wellbeing of the people?

 

The rulers and nobles, the leadership of the Jews, were enriching themselves.  Wealth gained at the expense of their vulnerable kindred and countrymen.  It was not enough that they were taking title to all of the farms and vineyards in the area (Nehemiah 5:5).  They were forcing the sale of sons and daughters, nephews and nieces, into slavery.

 

Leadership is about achieving good for the organization (nation, business, family).  Leaders are supposed to be concerned with making things better for those lead.  Then, as now, some will selfishly exploit their positions of trust and privilege.

 

You lead someone, somewhere to some place.  At home, on the job or even at Church, someone trusts you to lead with integrity and wisdom.  Who is gaining (or losing) because of your leadership?

 

Think:            Do I lead for God’s goals or my own?

 

Pray:              “Lord, help me to lead in Your truth and wisdom.”

 

 

Copyright © October 2013, Kirk Hunt

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

Despised For His Name

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Despised For His Name by Kirk Hunt

 

Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 

Matthew 5:11 KJV

 

Tuesday morning, at 9:40AM, I was a colleague.  My character would have been described as open and compassionate.  I was seen as intelligent and well-spoken.  10 minutes later, at 9:50AM, everything changed.

 

Did I really say and do so many mean-spirited things in 600 seconds?  Could I suddenly become heartless, judgmental and condemning in those few minutes?  All I am sure of is that the relationship, built slowly in the last two years, went up in proverbial smoke.

 

I confessed to my coworker, “I am a Christian.”  What really got me were his eyes.  I could see the loathing and disgust that suddenly clouded his view of me.  He would gleefully turn me in to anyone rounding up Christians.

 

I happen to know some of the hurts and wounds in his background.  Still, Scripture spells out clearly what is right and wrong.  If righteousness will not bend for me, it will not change for him.

 

My coworker rejected Jesus, not me.  That is why my heart is broken, for him.  Unless God intervenes, he could be lost.

 

Scripture commands me to find a way to love him, anyway.  Jesus’ Great Commission calls me to make him a disciple.  I’m praying that God will open his eyes to the Gospel.  While there is life, and the Holy Spirit, there is hope and a way.

 

 

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.

Mordecai’s Gallows

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“Mordecai’s Gallows” by Kirk Hunt

 

And all the king’s servants, that were in the king’s gate, bowed, and reverenced Haman: for the king had so commanded concerning him. But Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence.

Esther 3:2 KJV

 

Mordecai’s defiant and conspicuous act of disobedience does not match his lofty place in high profile politics. Why would an advisor to King Ahasuerus deliberately and pointedly break the king’s command? Mordecai’s unbent knees and straight back certainly made a powerful, and vindictive, enemy of Haman.

His character and integrity lead him to stand straight while others folded. “Consequences be hanged. I won’t do it.” Right on cue, Haman built a 75 foot tall gallows.

What around you needs to be challenged? Is there an injustice near you, crying out for correction? If there is, I suspect God has planted you there “for such a time as this.”

God does not always send angels. Sometimes, He sends saints. Mere men and women, just like you and I, who love God enough to be obedient. Obedient enough to stay while they build a gallows.

Mordecai refused to bow to Haman, because it was wrong. Legal doesn’t mean legitimate. Doing the right thing can be inconvenient. For them. For you.

God needs a man or woman, just like you, to stand against sin and wrong. Let His Grace give you the courage to stay the course. Trust Him to work out the details.

Think: Sometimes, as a Christian, I am called to challenge wrong.

Pray: “Lord, teach me to see the wrong and resist it, in obedience to Your Grace.”

Copyright © June 2011, Kirk Hunt