Mourning The Rejected

Mourning The Rejected By Kirk Hunt

Now the Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go; I am sending you to Jesse the Bethlehemite. For I have provided Myself a king among his sons.”

1 Samuel 16:1 NKJV

At first, King Saul had been God’s man, in and through character, anointing and appointment.  Even before sparing King Agag, Saul, son of Tish, had become rejected by God.  Samuel grieved for the loss.

Saul chose to be rejected.  It came one act of pride, arrogance or disobedience at a time.  All too soon after his coronation, Saul decided he did not need to obey God or continue following His law.

Godly men and women rarely fall all at one.  You just suddenly notice.  Like David, Saul likely had multiple opportunities to repent and recover.  Thick, thin, bright or dim, the king crossed a final line in God’s judgment and divine rejection.. 

God is a God of mercy and grace.  He is also a God judgment and justice.  Seek Him while He can be found. 

God ordered Samuel to his feet and sent him to anoint the next king of Israel.  Saul could have stayed close to God’s heart and purpose.  Instead, he chose to reject God’s plan for himself and the nation.  His choice became a tragedy for him and the nation.

Please do not confuse God’s love and mercy for indulgence.  Your anointing can be lost.  Your appointment can be forfeited.

It may not be “just one more thing.”  It may be “the final straw.”  Seek God now and seek His continuing acceptance. 

Think:       What path am I choosing and why?

Pray:         “Help me to stay worthy of Your acceptance and approval.”

 

Copyright © August 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 Admonition

After Admonition By Kirk Hunt

Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition,   knowing that such a person is warped and sinning, being self-condemned.

Titus 3:10-11 NKJV

Admonition can be defined as authoritative counsel or warning.  Nathan’s confrontation of David (2 Samuel 12:1-15) is a definitive example of how to correct even a powerful leader.  Just as important, even the powerful should respond correctly to truth-speakers.  Paul, speaking to Titus, plainly states there are limits to the effort to help men and women who are in error.

David’s Israel was wealthy and militarily powerful.  Still, Nathan appeared in David’s throne room and rebuked him for his sin and error.  Success or good performance in one area of your life is not an excuse for sin anywhere in your life.

David, thankfully, had the wisdom and imperfect righteousness enough to respond with confession and repentance.  No one is so perfectly righteous, or extraordinarily wise, that they never need authoritative counsel or warning.  With all of his power and authority, King David meekly and obediently accepted Nathan’s rebuke.  David then patiently endured his (painful) process of repentance and restoration.

Christian men and women do not give up on someone the first (or second) time it gets hard.  On the other hand, Jesus Himself said, “Go and sin no more.”  Grace is not a “continue to sin” card.

Titus, on Crete, led folk who tended to go their own way, instead of following God’s path.  Paul the Apostle provided clear instructions on how to handle divisive men and women.  Sooner or later you will give the rebukes, or take the rebukes.  How will you act in that day?

Think:        After being admonished, do I, or others, sincerely seek to make a change?

Pray:           “Lord, help me accept admonishment as one of Your righteous men or women.”

 

Copyright © August 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.

 

Healing Instruments

Healing Instruments By Kirk Hunt

 

if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

2 Chronicles 7:14 NKJV

 

I am horrified.  Each black man could have been a nephew, cousin, brother or one of my precious sons.  Each policeman could have been a nephew, cousin or one of my Gospel brothers.  “God where is Your healing?”

 

There is pain and outrage as the carnage continues.  There is fear, anger and despair as the body counts climb.  The cycle of violence can only be broken through reconciliation and restoration. 

 

Clearly, America needs healing.  God’s power is the only source powerful enough to cleanse the infection and mend the wounds.  Consider this: He will use His people to do the work. 

 

The image is not of held hands and gentle songs.  The picture is of the hard, painful labor of self-examination and repentance.  There will be the hard, sweaty work of choosing a different, better way.  After that, there will be grueling practice until righteousness becomes an engrained response.  And through it all, we will have to start trusting each other. 

 

God is our source, but we are the instruments.  It will take everyday men and women, just like you, to reach out to others in grace and humility.  Consider someone else’s heart and mind, first and last.  Do the hard things that end the violence and fear.

 

There may be hot tears and harsh words.  That is okay.  Healing will begin after the infection is cleared and the wounds begin to close.

 

Think:                I am God’s instrument of reconciliation and healing.

 

Pray:                   “Lord, we seek Your face.  Heal our land.”

 

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Copyright © July 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.

Exposed

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Exposed By Kirk Hunt

 

Why have you despised the commandment of the Lord, to do evil in His sight? You have killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword; you have taken his wife to be your wife, and have killed him with the sword of the people of Ammon.

2 Samuel 12:9 NKJV

 

Nathan the prophet told his parable in public. David reacted in righteous indignation at the account of the rich man’s cruel disregard for others. Then Nathan exposed David’s sin, the cover-up and hypocrisy.

 

Thankfully, David had the good sense to respond with shame in his error. His repentance appeared to be sincere and complete. Still, it would have been best if David had refused to sin in the first place. Failing to prevent his indiscretion, David’s cover-up only led to more sin and additional sinners.

 

David was exposed. The adulterous sin he committed was exposed for all to see. So too, the murder he committed also came to light. His smartest play would have been to stay clean. His next smartest play would have been to repent and confess.

 

Even the best of us are tempted to cover up an error or sin. Public shame and humiliation adds to the private guilt and self-reproach. You will be held accountable for your error and sin. Do not add to the tally in a vain attempt to avoid or delay being exposed.

 

Think:             More sin is never a solution.

 

Pray:               “Lord, help me to repent quickly and in sincerity.”

 

 

Copyright © October 2015, Kirk Hunt

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

Do Not Cover Up

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Do Not Cover Up By Kirk Hunt

 

And the woman conceived; so she sent and told David, and said, “I am with child.”

2 Samuel 11:5 NKJV

 

The conception should have been happy news. Instead, Bathsheba’s baby-to-be was the ultimate evidence of adultery. David, the man after God’s own heart, engaged in a cover up.

 

We cannot know what motivated David as he tried to cover up his sin. Clearly, he wanted to avoid the truth coming out. Instead, the sin count grew, and others were drawn into a growing web of lies and deceit that grew into murder.

 

Of course, the best route is to not become caught up in sin. I understand how easy it is to give that kind of advice. Unfortunately, I am very aware of how difficult it is to live that out. Worse, I understand too well the temptation to sin “just a little more” to keep it under wraps. Scripture, and recent history, are very clear about the outcome of a cover up.

 

The correct solution requires confession then repentance. David, a beloved and wealthy king, could not avoid the consequences of his sin. David’s sin was exposed before his nation. David was convicted before God. And Uriah, and the baby, paid the price for David’s sin and error.

 

God is a forgiving God. He will forgive you. Confess and repent sooner, rather than later.

 

Think:             The first instinct of a sinner is to cover up the sin.

 

Pray:               “Lord, help me to confess and repent of my sin.”

 

 

Copyright © October 2015, Kirk Hunt

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

Rend Your Heart

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Rend Your Heart By Kirk Hunt

 So rend your heart, and not your garments;
Return to the Lord your God,
For He is gracious and merciful,
Slow to anger, and of great kindness;
And He relents from doing harm.

Joel 2:13 NKJV

 

Confession is the simple declaration of something you have done. “Career” criminals sometimes confess, but often repeat their crimes. Repentance begins with confession, but ends with a heart that refuses to do wrong again. You will have to rend or tear your heart.

 

Ancient Hebrews would tear their clothes, as a sign of grief or mourning. The “notches” in your suit coat are a relic of that custom. Tearing your shirt is one thing. “Tearing” your heart is another.

 

True repentance is painful. It will require you to face the muck and stench that too often stains human lives, especially your own. You have to come clean with an all-seeing, all-knowing God. While the return to God may be less than pleasant, His restoration will make it worthwhile.

 

His blood will wash your soul. His grace will refresh your spirit. His mercy will rebuild your heart. He is waiting for you to return to Him.

 

He wants to pour His grace over your life like a waterfall. His mercy will carry you over the deepest chasms of your existence. Like any loving father, all He needs to see is your repentant heart.

 

Return to Him. Let His grace and mercy restore you. No matter what happened yesterday, He loves you today. If you repent, you can live your tomorrows in His Presence.

 

Think:             If I return to Him, He will restore me.

 

Pray:                “Lord, I repent. Please restore me in Your Grace and Mercy.”

 

 

Copyright © August 2015, Kirk Hunt

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

He Restores You

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He Restores You By Kirk Hunt

 

So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten,

The crawling locust,

The consuming locust,

And the chewing locust,

My great army which I sent among you.

 

Joel 2:25 NKJV

 

You insisted on following your own lead. The consequences of your decisions, spiritually and naturally, seem more than you can bear. Desperately, you look for a way to restore what was lost.

 

The people of ancient Israel had invited God out of their lives. When the plague of locusts came, the people faced the onslaught without God’s provision or protection. The insect army devastated the land, and battered the people.

 

Repentance is the first step to restoration. The prophet Joel called on Israel to “tear your hearts, not your garments,” as a sign of grief and regret. As always, when we turn to God with sincere hearts, He listens.

 

God promised to make up the “eaten years” to His repentant people. There would be full barns, and hearts, if the people would return to God. God promised to pour out His Mercy and Grace, in place of His Justice and Judgment.

 

There will be hard work. First, you will labor at the altar when you return to Him. Than you will work at your day-to-day labors, under God’s Blessing. Working in His Plan is always better than the alternative.

 

The poor decisions of yesterday need not be the end of your story. You can return to God today. He promises a tomorrow of blessing and provision for hearts that seek Him in true repentance.

 

Think:            God loves me and will provide if I repent.

 

Pray:               “Lord, forgive me. Restore me in Your Grace.”

 

 

Copyright © September 2014, Kirk Hunt

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

Draw Near

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“Draw Near” by Kirk Hunt

Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

Hebrews 10:22 KJV

Draw near. No matter what you did. Regardless of how many times you did it.

Yes, He is holy. Still, He loves you. Come in sincerity. His arms will receive you.

Draw near. Don’t listen to the facts and figures. Over ride your feelings and emotions about the situation.

Faith sees things as they will be, not as they are now. Your faith carries you to Him. His faithfulness ensures He will be there for you.

Draw near. Because Scripture commands it. Because His Holy Spirit requests it.

Obedience ought to compel you. His loving kindness should draw you. Run, don’t walk, to His embrace.

Draw near. That is where His healing power is. In His embrace you will find comfort and restoration.

He wants to give, not take. He desires to bless you, not blast you. God is a good father who loves you, His child.

Draw near. Your soul knows that is where you will find rest and recovery. Your heart senses His loving desire for you.

Let His embrace draw you in. Accept the gifts He want to give you. Go close, where His love dwells.

Think: My response should be to draw near.

Pray: “Lord, help me to accept Your Call to come close.”

Copyright © November 2009, Kirk Hunt