A Life Of Peril And Calling

A Life Of Peril And Calling by Kirk Hunt

In journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren

2 Corinthians 11:26 NKJV
Please also read 2 Corinthians 11:22-28 NKJV

The Apostle Paul could have had tenure.  He had the intelligence, education and connections to establish a Christian Academy and live comfortably.  He could have taught and published with zero risk to himself.  Instead, he lived a life of peril.

Paul lived a life of danger, risk and suffering for the Gospel.  Paul’s history, and scars, gave him tremendous credibility among the Roman legions.  Some traditions report that Paul single-handedly evangelized the Praetorian Guard, elite soldiers and body guards of the Caesars.

Personally, I find more comfort in the scarred face of a veteran than the smooth skin of an academic.  I like living proof that it can be done, or at least survived.  I feel better knowing somebody else struggled, stayed with God, and overcame the same “little problems” I face.

Your scars are a blessing.  They give you knowledge and experience you could never get any other way.  They give you credibility with people you might not otherwise effect.

For someone, your scars are comfort and reassurance.  Struggling folks often do not want to hear from someone smooth and polished.  More often, they want to hear from a survivor.  They want to hear from someone just like you.

Think:      The scars, in service for God, are really a blessing.

Pray:         “Lord, help me to faithfully persevere in Your calling on my life.”

 

Copyright © October 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.

These My Brethren and Sistren

These My Brethren and Sistren by Kirk Hunt

“Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink?   When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You?   Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’   And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’”

Matthew 25:37-40 NKJV

Some people see marauding invaders.  Others see plague bearers.  God’s faithful should see brothers and sisters.  Jesus called them brethren (and sistren). 

I have a sister and three brothers.  I have been very annoyed at all of them, at one point, or another.  Still, in the middle of our greatest disagreements, I would never let any of them go hungry or lack shelter.  How could I even bear to think of Momma or Poppa if I mistreated one of my siblings?

God loves all of the men and women who cross over a border, regardless of the papers they do, or do not, carry.  Whether fleeing a violent criminal gang or a devastating storm, a refugee is one of Jesus’ siblings.  When you stand before God’s throne how will you explain your treatment of men and women that Jesus loves? 

God’s people are commanded by Jesus himself.  “Care for those in need.”  Do not check their credentials.  Refuse to look at how do, or do not worship.  Comfort and support them because they are Jesus’ siblings.

Think:      I am commanded to care for those in need by Jesus Himself. 

Pray:         “Jesus, help me to serve Your brothers and sisters.”

 

Copyright © September 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.

The Greatest Among You

The Greatest Among You by Kirk Hunt

“But not so among you; on the contrary, he who is greatest among you, let him be as the younger, and he who governs as he who serves.”

Luke 22:26 NKJV

Just a few hours (at most) before Jesus’ arrest in Gethsemane the Disciples bickered.  All of them wrestled with each other for supremacy.  All of them thought they should be called the “greatest” Disciple.

In later days, the Disciples would be the selfless saints who advanced the Kingdom until death itself stopped them

Jesus’ rebuke is less than fierce.  He carefully calls His men to give meaningful service to others instead of demanding conspicuous glory for themselves. Jesus points them to reverent humility rather than ego and self-aggrandizement.

I have too often seen men and women push to be recognized for minimal or trifling achievements.  Not often enough, men and women with extreme or extraordinary levels of accomplishment do not get the recognition they deserve.  The greatest among us know who they are and do not need to elbow their way to the front.

As a follower of Jesus Christ, you focus is supposed to be on building God’s Kingdom not your own ego.  If your motivation is self, you can far too easily be let by your lust to satisfy yourself.  The first check on a runaway ego is a relentless focus on Jesus and the things of God. 

By all means, be great in God.  Seek to be the servant who faithfully builds the Kingdom, even if no one sees.  You are not hidden from God and He is far too faithful not to reward you.

Think:      Am I obedient to Christ’s command to achieve much and demand little?

Pray:         “Lord, help me to be the greatest in Your Kingdom by being the greatest servant.”

 

Copyright © July 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.

At All Times

At All Times By Kirk Hunt

A friend loves at all times,
And a brother is born for adversity.

Proverbs 17:17 NKJV

I hate the need for “at all times” calls.  “I know it is short notice, but…?”  “Can you come, now, then…?”  “I hate to ask but we are at the emergency room, so…”

I may grumble and grouse as I get off of the couch.  I do not always think the kindest thoughts on the way over.  Still, when I get there, I do all I can to be cheerful, joyous and helpful.

Love is not a feeling.  Love is a choice, followed by action.  Especially during 2 AM crises.

Being a friend, a Gospel brother or sister, can be inconvenient at times.  Godly men and women find themselves helping at the strangest times and oddest places.  Worse, you could be the one being assisted. 

I know what it is like to be the giver.  I also know what it is like to be the receiver.  Sooner, or later, you will know both sides.  It is part of the human condition and being part of God’s family. 

When you share your strength and patience, especially with a Gospel brother or sister, you are building God’s Kingdom.  As your Godly friend comes to help you, he or she is building into your life.  Either way, God is pleased.

One day, stuff will happen.  A night will come when your brother or sister will need you.  This is why God gave them to you, and you to them.

Think:        Real brothers and sisters help others, especially within the Gospel family.

Pray:           “Lord, help me to be a true brother or sister during adversity.”

 

Copyright © December 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.

Evidence Which Dorcas Had Made

Evidence Which Dorcas Had Made By Kirk Hunt

Then Peter arose and went with them. When he had come, they brought him to the upper room. And all the widows stood by him weeping, showing the tunics and garments which Dorcas had made while she was with them.

Acts 9:39 NKJV

Dorcas’ life was on trial.  There was no judge.  No jury sat in a box.  There were plenty of witnesses, giving evidence.  Life and death hung in the balance.

Her life had impact.  Her good works were tangible and presentable.  The widows gave dramatic, emotional testimony of the life Sister Dorcas lived among them.

What will they say?  Will anyone hold up examples of how you built God’s Kingdom, here and now?  Will anyone speak, or cry, about how you impacted their life?

We know that God’s grace cannot be earned through works or purchased with gifts.  We also know that an evidence of faith is works.  So the tension is that God’s people should be engaged with good works knowing they are strictly the outward evidence of an inward condition.

As a saint of God, you are leaving behind a trail of evidence.  Is your case file thick or thin?  Does it point to a life of faith in God?  Would anyone feel compelled to any action or conclusion after listening to the witnesses?

After hearing the case of Dorcas’ life, Peter prayed that she would be restored to life.  God’s power raised her from the dead. The case of Dorcas’ life was compelling.  Is yours?

Think:        What is the evidence, and who are the witnesses, of my faith in God?

Pray:           “Lord, help me to outwardly demonstrate my inner faith in You.”

 

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.

Now Is The Time To Shine

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Now Is The Time To Shine By Kirk Hunt

 

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

Matthew 5:16 NKJV
Please also read Matthew 5:1–20

 

Roman-occupied Israel was not quiet, placid or especially righteous.  Despite the occupying pagans, and corrupt leadership, Jesus commanded His followers to shine out in acts of faith and service.  Then, as now, Christians have a prime opportunity to put their salt and light to good use.

 

The darkness of this present age has inflicted pain and suffering.  God’s people have been equipped and empowered to respond.  Do we have a heart to bless?  Do we have a mind to obey?  

 

Salt preserves.  Light guides.  All of His true followers and disciples are simultaneously salt and light.  Through Scripture, Jesus commands us to reach into the darkness and save the lost. 

 

We are commanded to serve.  We are to use our faith-fueled acts of service to show God to a dark and dying world.  If there has ever been an opportunity to reach out to the lost and hurting, this is that time and place.  

 

Reach out to the men and women around you who are wounded and confused.  Regardless of their faith, creed or activities, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the answer.  Prove, through faith-fueled acts of service, that the God you serve loves everyone, without exception.  Pour out your salt and light until they see God.

 

Think:                I can show God to men and women through acts of faith-fueled service.

 

Pray:                   “Lord, help me to obey You and Your commandments.”

 

 

Copyright © June 2016, Kirk Hunt

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

 

With Lovingkindness

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With Lovingkindness By Kirk Hunt

 

The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying:

“Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love;

Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.

Jeremiah 31:3 NKJV

 

In recent days my heart is heavy.  Too many of God’s people speak, or ardently follow those who speak, anger, hate and fear.  Christians should be reaching out in lovingkindness to refugees and radicals alike.  Instead with angry, unforgiving words we are pushing them back into the arms of error and sin.

 

God’s people are called to disciple all of the world.  That includes reaching out in grace and patience to Muslims, Wiccans and everyone else following error instead of Christ.  In order to reach a lost soul, you must first get close enough to touch them.

 

Exclusion, walls and isolation do not touch hearts and minds for Christ.  Jesus reached out to us in service (Romans 5:8) with lovingkindness.  Christians are commanded by Scripture (Matthew 28:19) to make disciples of all nations.  Disciples are only made (or maintained) by close, personal, prolonged contact.

 

Millions of refugees from “fallen houses” (Matthew 7:26-27) seek refuge in the stability of Christian nations (Matthew 7:25).  Are they receiving the gracious words and generous actions that flow from Jesus?  Are Christians obeying Scripture by discipling the nations who plead at the door?

 

The world has come to us, seeking the Gospel.  Christians have an unprecedented opportunity to turn back the darkness.  Are we salt and light (Matthew 5:13–16) enough for the job?

 

Think:                Disciples are made using open, serving hands; not angry, striking fists.

 

Pray:                   “Lord, help me to disciple people of all nations.”

 

 

Copyright © March 2016, Kirk Hunt

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

Re-called To Serve

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Re-called To Serve By Kirk Hunt

 

“Most assuredly, I say to you, when you were younger, you girded yourself and walked where you wished; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish.”

John 21:18 NKJV

 

There, on the shore of the Galilee (also called Tiberias), the risen Jesus renewed Simon Peter’s calling. Jesus commanded Peter to “Feed His Sheep.” Then he informs Peter that, at the end, others will dress him and take places. Peter’s call to service will not be limited by his age or condition.

 

Scripture clearly says (v. 19) that this verse is a prophecy of Peter’s martyrdom. Tradition teaches that Peter was crucified in Nero’s Rome. Still, Peter’s call from Jesus is not to an ending but to Kingdom building service.

 

Saints I know speak of retirement from their ministries and lives of service. Yet, the next thing I hear from, or of them, is that they are deeply involved in a new approach to building God’s Kingdom. It may involve less running, jumping and lifting heavy things, but it is still important work. Work they are uniquely qualified to perform.

 

You may not be 15, or 35, anymore, but you are not excused. God’s Kingdom needs you to be where you are supposed to be, doing what you are called to do. Accept help, if you must, but keep moving for Him, regardless.

 

Think:            There is no retirement from the Christian Way.

 

Pray:               “Lord, help me to faithful to my calling my entire life.

 

Copyright © February 2015, Kirk Hunt

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

After The Mountain

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After The Mountain By Kirk Hunt

 

Now it happened on the next day, when they had come down from the mountain, that a great multitude met Him. Suddenly a man from the multitude cried out, saying, “Teacher, I implore You, look on my son, for he is my only child.”

Luke 9:37-38 NKJV

 

They went up the mountain to hear God. There on the mountain they received revelation. As they came down the mountain, they considered what they could share. Still, a single day after the mountain, the Apostles were met, and stumped, by the needs of the people.

 

There is always that special time after your mountaintop experience. It seems the problems bred bigger and tougher while you sat at His feet. God’s revelation to you does not seem to have any relevance to what you are facing.

 

His timing is perfect. Too often, His rhythm seems out of step, and tempo, with events. Trust Him. Even when you are faced by throngs with extra difficult issues.

 

Your deep, powerful experience remains valid. The needs you must now meet, head on, are part of His plan and purpose for you. Stay the course. Be patient with His path for you.

 

The boy was healed. The people were ministered to. Just one day after the Apostles’ revelation at the mountain top.

 

His timing is sometimes a mystery. At first. Grip your revelation from Him with faith. Face forward and do the work. You will use your mountain top, in His rhythm and timing.

 

Think:            Your mountain top experience matters, no matter what you face now.

 

Pray:               “Lord, help me to be patient with the timing and rhythm of Your revelation.

 

 

Copyright © February 2015, Kirk Hunt

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

Keilah’s Champions

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Keilah’s Champions by Kirk Hunt

 

So David and his men went to Keilah, and fought with the Philistines, and brought away their cattle, and smote them with a great slaughter. So David saved the inhabitants of Keilah.

1 Samuel 23:5 KJV

 

The Keilah militia was no match for first-line Philistine troops.  At best, the men and women of Keilah would starve that winter.  It was possible that the Philistines might not let anyone survive to be hungry.

 

David went to God.  “Should I go save strangers?”  Twice, the answer came back: “Yes.”

 

The marauders were mauled.  David’s and his men out maneuvered, then out fought the raiders.  The champions of Keilah saved the day.  Only after did the helpers meet the helped.

 

As God’s man or woman, you are called to service in His Kingdom.  Often, that will involve providing help and healing to folks you have never seen before.  Service is at its most refined when given to pure strangers.

 

There is a modern-day Keilah crying out for you.  The need is matter of life-and-death, even if military maneuvers are not needed.  They need the light and life from Jesus that you carry.  Nothing else will save those souls.

 

You may not be one of them, still you are their champion.  You carry His power, healing and help within you.  You’ll have to get close and personal for them to receive it.

 

You have what they need.  Get out there and be a champion.  There will be time to learn names afterward.

 

Think:            In God’s service you might be a champion to complete strangers.

 

Pray:              “Lord, help me to become the champion someone else needs.”

 

 

Copyright © May 2013, Kirk Hunt

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