Gifts To The Poor

Gifts To The Poor By Kirk Hunt

To establish among them that they should celebrate yearly the fourteenth and fifteenth days of the month of Adar,   as the days on which the Jews had rest from their enemies, as the month which was turned from sorrow to joy for them, and from mourning to a holiday; that they should make them days of feasting and joy, of sending presents to one another and gifts to the poor.

Esther 9:21–22 NKJV

The Jewish holiday of Purim is a time of joy and celebration.  Haman’s conspiracy was thwarted and Mordecai personally promoted by King Ahasuerus.  Yet, in all of the feasting and festivity, gifts to the poor were intended to be a part of Purim.

Too often those who are doing well give no thought about those who are struggling.  You may not be able to erase all of their suffering or difficulty, but you can share your joy.  Joy and celebration is not a zero-sum game.  You and they can win, simultaneously.

Were the poor at risk from Haman’s plot?  Yes, just like wealthier folk.  Life and liberty are precious commodities, regardless of your income level.  Was their salvation from Haman’s conspiracy any less precious?  Not one iota less than other folk.

Consider the things you enjoy, the privileges you experience, and the benefits you receive.  Is it really so difficult or onerous to share from all that God has provided to you?  After all, sharing increases joy in the world. 

God has blessed you.  Consider how you can pass His blessings on to others, as Jesus commanded.  Give your gifts, especially to those less fortunate.  Joy, divided and distributed, gets larger, not smaller.

Think:        I can share my joy, especially with those who are less fortunate. 

Pray:           “Lord, help me to remember to bless others in Your Name.”

 

Copyright © July 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.

Hope In The King

Hope In The King By Kirk Hunt

“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I hope in Him!”

Lamentations 3:24 NKJV

I pray that in this New Year you will build God’s Kingdom.  Of course, it would be better (and easier) to do so from a place of great provision and extraordinary favor.  Your circumstances, rich or poor, renowned or reviled, do not define your hope.  Your hope rests in God.

The Book of Lamentations was traditionally written by Jeremiah, at the time of Jerusalem’s destruction by Babylon.  In the figurative or literal smoke of the burning Temple, grief is easy.  Still, Lamentations points to hope.  No matter what our circumstances are, we can rely on God.

Lamentations correctly points out the errors of Judah and her kings.  If anything, God’s judgment was overdue.  Still, there was mercy and grace for the Jewish people, despite God’s discipline.

Regardless of our circumstances, we are in the hands of a loving God.  Even when we are in rebellion against Him.  Even when we are disciplined by Him.  No matter your current circumstances, you can move forward with hope in God. 

Today, you are living in the love, mercy and grace of God.  God has not given you up or turned His heart from you.  No matter what circumstance you are in, you are still loved by Him. 

We can rely on God.  He cares for and nurtures us in all of our situations.  In this New Year, and every other moment of your life, Your hope in Him is never misplaced.

Think:        Do I put my hope in God, instead of my circumstances?

Pray:           “Lord, I choose to hope 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.

Abide With The King

Abide With The King By Kirk Hunt

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.”

Psalms 91:1–2 NKJV
Please also read Mark 4:35-41

Where you trust, you abide.  Do you abide under the authority, power and influence of God Almighty?  Consider how safe, secure and dependable you will be, living with God.

His safety does not mean you are free from concern.  God’s security will not excuse you to make poor decisions.  His dependability does not mean you go without tasks and duties. 

God’s shadow is a place of light, warmth and peace.  Under God’s authority, you are enabled to fully be His child.  Living in His influence will free you to follow your calling in His Kingdom.

The next season of your life will come.  Storms may batter your life.  Do not let your concerns become fears.  Make your decisions in light of His Word.  Carry out your tasks and duties in the light of His promises.

Overcome your fears.  Keep your faith.  Abide in His shadow.

Consider carefully your opportunity.  You can choose to continue or renew your relationship with the all-powerful (omnipotent), always everywhere (omnipresent), all-knowing (omniscient), God.  Except for  your uncertainties, what do you have to lose?

All you have to do is choose to live close to Him.  Dwell near His side and heart.  He has reserved space there, where He wants you to dwell. 

In safety.  With security.  Enjoying peaceful joy. 

 

Think:        Do I choose to abide under the shadow of the Almighty?

Pray:           “Lord, help me to choose Your influence for my life.”

 

Copyright © December 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.

The King’s Purpose

The King’s Purpose By Kirk Hunt

“Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”

Matthew 1:23 NKJV

Mankind, through Adam, had caused the separation from God.  As any loving Father would, God made a way to mend the breech.  “God with us,” is both purpose and outcome.

Jesus willingly gave up the eternity and splendor of heaven to walk among us.  Not just for proximity but to give man back what had been lost.  Jesus restored direct access to, fellowship with, God.

Because of Jesus’ sacrifices, we can once against speak directly with God.  Because of His dedication to God’s purpose, we have been restored as God’s sons and daughters.  Jesus has restored walking with God in the garden.

Perhaps your garden is soft and grassy.  It could be that your garden is hard and rocky.  What is important is that you know you have a garden, and that God walks there with you.

We work, live and play in the garden where God has placed us.  Consider this Christmas that God with us is truer now, than it has ever been.  He came and restored the connection.  Now He calls to you, “Come walk with Me.”

You are part of His plan and strategy.  No matter how much you have surprised others, He saw everything about you, long ago.  Take time this season to simply walk with Him.  He has a purpose He wants to reveal you.

Think:        God’s purpose is to walk with me.  Do I walk with Him?

Pray:           “Lord, as I build Your Kingdom, help me to enjoy walking with You.”

 

Copyright © December 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.

The King’s Celebration

The King’s Announcement By Kirk Hunt

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:

“Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

Luke 2:13–14 NKJV
Please also read Luke 2:1–20

Humble shepherds witnessed a celebration by the King.  Literal angels sang of the birth of Jesus, our Messiah.  Scripture does not mention an angelic worship band or praise dancers, but my imagination likes to add them to the scene.

After millennia, evidence of the fulfillment of Genesis 3:15 could be seen by mere men.  Since the fall in Eden, sin kept mankind from full reconciliation with God.  Jesus’ birth was the (earthly) beginning of the process of restoring the fellowship on humanity with God.

And God celebrated.  The long separation of man from God would soon end.  Adam’s breech would be repaired by God’s own son.

Like Jesus, you were born for purpose.  God has a plan for you and your life.  And He will celebrate you in fulfilling the purpose He ordained for you.

The shepherds were not just passive witnesses.  The found their way to Jesus and joined the angels in celebration and worship.  God’s celebrations are open to any with a heart open to Him.

You too can be an active participant in God’s celebrations.  Find your purpose in the Kingdom and begin fulfilling it.  Join in with others who are completing the work for which they are ordained. 

Follow your calling.  Fulfill your purpose.  You may not see or hear a choir of literal angels, but you will feel His joy in your heart, nevertheless.   

Think:        God celebrates the fulfillment of His purpose in my life and others.

Pray:           “Lord, as I and others build Your Kingdom, I look forward to celebrating with You.”

Copyright © December 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.

Go To Him

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Go To Him By Kirk Hunt

 

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Matthew 11:28 NKJV

 

This simple and absolute promise seems too easy.  Show up where Jesus is and I get relief?  That’s it? 

 

We keep thinking there’s a catch.  There must be more to it than that.  Sometimes, we re-read the verse looking for all of the missing clauses and conditions.  Somebody must have left something out.

 

You probably need His rest more than you know.  Ask around.  Listen graciously.

 

I must confess there is usually a big obstacle.  I knew it.  You have to be obedient and present yourself to Him.  Me?

 

He loves you.  Just the way you are.  He’s asking for you.  Go to Him.

 

Rest is different from release.  The weight in your pack will remain the same.  What will change is your ability to carry the load.  Your attitude and spirit will become transformed.

 

Christian men and women work hard.  Often, harder than unbelievers, yet we live under the same conditions as the unredeemed.  The difference is our response.  We reply through His grace and in His joy.

 

Maybe you are doing too much.  It could be you are pursuing the wrong goal.  Perhaps you have the wrong attitude about the entire affair.  Go to Him.

 

His Love reaches out to you.  His Joy will restore you.  His Presence will give you rest, heavy pack and all.

 

Think:             He promises me rest.  I should take Him up on His promise.

 

Pray:               “Father-God, help me to rest in You, per Your promises.”

 

 

Copyright © May 2015, Kirk Hunt

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

Prayer With The Saints

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“Prayer With The Saints” By Kirk Hunt

 

‘Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’

Jeremiah 33:3 NKJV

 

Jeremiah the prophet had been jailed for speaking God’s truth.  At least this time, he was not in the mud and muck of the dungeon.  There in the prison courtyard, Jeremiah spent time in prayer with God.

 

Jeremiah had every reason to be depressed and broken.  The nation of Israel had taken to worshiping Baal and other idols, within Jerusalem itself.  Most of the other prophets of Jehovah God had been murdered.  The Chaldeans of Babylon were marching their armies straight to the city of Zion.

 

It is no surprise that Jeremiah wrote Lamentations.  What is surprising is that Jeremiah never gave up hope.  Jeremiah had hope because he never stopped speaking with God.

 

Too often, saints forget to sit and talk with God.  We rush from appointment, to event, to activity, without pause.  Then we lay awake at night, too upset or anxious to sleep.

 

A saint who prays develops a deeper relationship with God.  On the other hand, a saint who does not pray drifts away from God.  Which Christian saint do you want to be?

 

God may take you farther, and faster, than you want to go.  He might make you wait longer than you might like.  In either case, He will speak wonders in your ears and majesties in your heart.  Your soul will be awestruck, and satisfied, by speaking with Him.

 

Think:                        Prayer is a saint’s response to adverse situations.

 

Pray:               “Lord, remind me to speak with You at all times.”

 

 

Copyright © September 2014, Kirk Hunt

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

The Trouble With Saints

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The Trouble With Saints By Kirk Hunt

 

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33 NKJV

 

Somehow, some of God’s people are convinced that the righteous do not have trouble. In this verse, Jesus says the opposite. Even saints struggle with problems in this life.

 

Still, Jesus commands us to have peace and joy. Trouble may come, but trouble will go. And Jesus will remain throughout.

 

Those words are easy when the trouble is minor and the solution is at hand. Those words are much harder in the hospital room, or jail cell, or a mortuary viewing room.

 

It does not matter how difficult the circumstances, Jesus remains. It may be more than you can bear, but not more than He can carry. You may not sense Him close, but He is immediately present.

 

You may not have done anything wrong. You may be as righteous as human beings can get. That will not keep trouble out of your life. Besides, that is not what He promises.

 

He promised that He has overcome the world. Your will overcome, through His power and grace. Do not let anything convince you otherwise.

 

Folks may not understand your peace of mind. They will be baffled by your joy, despite the circumstances. You have peace and joy because you know trouble passes through, while He remains.

 

Think:           Troubles come and go, while Jesus is present and remains.

 

Pray:               “Lord, give me your peace and joy, despite my trouble.”

 

 

Copyright © September 2014, Kirk Hunt

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

Peace In Your City

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Peace In Your City By Kirk Hunt

 

And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray to the Lord for it; for in its peace you will have peace.

 Jeremiah 29:7 NKJV

 

How is the peace in your city? Is the place where you live quiet and tranquil like Mayberry? Or is your town a lot rougher around the edges?

 

Jeremiah was talking to the nation of Judah. Captive in Babylon, God’s people wanted freedom. Instead they received instructions from God to benefit their conquerors.

 

I pray your circumstances are much different, and exactly the same. God has set you where you are, to bring His Kingdom to that place. Not just through faithful prayer, but also through faith-fueled work.

 

Your “city” may be a municipality, but it could also be a workplace. Your neighborhood is a city that could use some peace. I suspect your (extended) family would cheerfully take all the peace you can bring inside its borders.

 

If your current place and space is not your natural culture, you will have to pray hard and work tirelessly. The more hostile the inhabitants, the more you will have to love then pray. God intends for you to be the change agent that place needs.

 

Your job is to transform everything around you. Pour His grace, power and light into your city until you have completely won it over. In doing so, His grace, power and light will benefit you in ways you have not dreamed.

 

Think:            God has assigned me to bring peace to my city.

 

Pray:               “Lord, help me to bring peace to my city.”

 

 

Copyright © May 2014, Kirk Hunt

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

Time With Him

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Time With Him by Kirk Hunt

 

And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.  

Mark 6:31 KJV

 

Busy schedules can be a sinister, cruel trap.  Yes, the needs are great.  Surely, the opportunities are rich.  Still, below the surface of constant effort, lay the rocks of exhaustion and weariness.

 

Have you been busy in the Gospel fields?   Do you labor in the marketplace?  Then you are a good servant.

 

Still, the Master calls you.  He beckons from a quiet place where He can have you to Himself.  There is more to Christianity than labor and striving.

 

Do not go too many hours without spending time with Him.  Make sure He is in your meeting schedules.  Let His peace and joy flood through your soul on a regular basis.

 

Are you really His?  When was the last time you sat at His feet?  How long has it been since His presence blanketed your soul?

 

There will be times and days when you run non-stop.  It becomes all the more important to linger at a quiet place, resting with the Master.  The human mind and heart are not built for constant striving.  The mortal soul is not designed to be away from Him for long.

 

The lions and giants in your life will wait another few minutes.  Spend some money on a quiet chat with a loving Savior.  It will be a good investment.

 

 

Think:            No achievement should interfere with your time alone with Jesus.

 

Pray:              “Lord, help me to be disciplined about spending time with You.”

 

 

Copyright © February 2013, Kirk Hunt

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