Obey The Voice

Obey The Voice By Kirk Hunt

“Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the Lord your God will set you high above all nations of the earth.   And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the Lord your God:

Deuteronomy 28:1-2 NKJV

The front-line versions of the F-16 Falcon, F-18 Hornet and A-10 Warthog (uh, Thunderbolt) are single-seat aircraft.  Still, before hotshot pilots get to be lone combat aces, they fly the two-seat version.  They learn their craft from the voice of the instructor in the back seat

The instructor guides, exhorts and corrects.  In the heat of action and danger, his or her echoing voice and lessons are often the difference between defeat and victory.  No one interested in returning home safely would ignore wisdom and guidance in such a moment.

Moses, on the verge of his death, urged the nation of Israel to continue to obey the voice of God.  Jesus, preparing the Disciples for His sacrifice, urged the same.  He also promised the Holy Spirit would live inside any believer who would welcome Him.  No one interested in correctly living the Christian walk would ignore the wisdom and guidance of the Holy Spirit at any time.

Christian men and women face the heat and action of this modern life, every day.  In the constant give, take and turmoil it is all too easy to do badly or say wrongly, destroying your Christian walk or your righteous witness.  The Holy Spirit and God’s Word have voices and speak.  Are you listening?

Think:       Do I seek to live by the voice of the Holy Spirit?

Pray:         “Lord, give me the Holy Spirit and the heart to live by Your law.”

 

Copyright © June 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.

Greater Love

Greater Love By Kirk Hunt

This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.   Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.

John 15:12–13 NKJV

Jesus taught, than demonstrated, the pattern of greater love.  Determine you love a group of people so much that you are willing to serve them.  If your love is great enough, even the threat of death will not stop you from giving your service.

On Memorial Day, Americans celebrate the men and women who died while serving in the armed forces of the nation.  Their great sacrifice for America is to be sincerely remembered and deeply appreciated.  Still, the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for His “nation,” anyone who chooses to accept Him into their heart, sets the greater example. 

Jesus first gave up heaven to come to earth.  Then He agreed to live as a mere man, so that He would truly understand our lives.  Finally, He sacrificed His sinless life as the last and final payment for our sins.  

Jesus demonstrated His love for mankind on the Cross.  Men and women can freely kneel at the Cross and receive the salvation they so desperately need, from His willing sacrifice.  Jesus does not restrict the benefit of His service on race, nation or past behavior.  

The only restriction on salvation is your confession of sin and acceptance of Jesus as your Savior.  He has already proven His greater love.  Have you accepted His love?  Do you demonstrate His love in turn?

Think:       How am I demonstrating my greater love?

Pray:         “Lord, help me to love greatly for Your Name and people.”

 

Copyright © May 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.

Back Seat Companion

Back Seat Companion By Kirk Hunt

Two are better than one,
Because they have a good reward for their labor.
For if they fall, one will lift up his companion.
But woe to him who is alone when he falls,
For he has no one to help him up.

Acts 14:19–20 NKJV

The F-15 Eagle is a key component of the US military.  The Eagle’s complex and sophisticated targeting systems allow it to fly and fight with anything from simple air-to-air missiles to super-heavy bunker busters.  Only a team, a pilot and weapons system officer (WSO), team can fly the F-15 to victory.  Two companions, but one mission.

While the pilot “drives the bus,” the WSO works targeting, defense and offense from the back seat.  Both must be skilled and tough.  Neither alone are enough to win.

You need a man or woman who knows the real you.  A strong soul you invited to help you walk God’s Path.  You need a Gospel sibling, who asks hard questions and waits patiently and lovingly for your answers.

There ought to be a Christian man or woman in your life with permission.  If they ask, you have to answer.  If they say it, you must consider their words. 

Your back seat man or woman helps you avoid the missiles and bullets of the enemy.  His prayers form a covering for your soul.  Her Godly advice keeps you working in His will and way.  It is a comfort, knowing he or she is there.

The Godly voice from the back seat is on your side.  She knows what you want to accomplish and intends to help you.  He “gets it” and “gets you.”  Still, their only concern is that you are doing God’s work, God’s way.  Who is in your back seat?

Think:       A Godly companion is a treasure and a necessity.

Pray:         “Lord, help me to find and be a Godly companion.”

 

Copyright © May 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.

Left For Dead

Left For Dead By Kirk Hunt

Then Jews from Antioch and Iconium came there; and having persuaded the multitudes, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing him to be dead.   However, when the disciples gathered around him, he rose up and went into the city. And the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe.

Acts 14:19–20 NKJV

Paul was not attacked by pagans or heathens.  The Apostle was stoned to “death” by pious, religious folk.  Their contempt and anger for Paul was so great that they did not bother with burying him.  They simply dragged his “dead” body outside of the city limits and left him for rot or wild animals.

Paul was nearly murdered for preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ, by kith and kin, not strangers or foreigners.  Of course, Paul once had persecuted Christians in similar manner.  The saddest fact is much of the persecution against early Christians came from their own kinsmen, not the pagan Roman invaders.

Too often, modern, Western Christians blame the unchurched for difficulties or resistance in building God’s Kingdom.  Religious fratricide is the more likely reason saints and ministries struggle.  Outsiders are easier to blame but insiders are the more likely culprits.

Consider how you respond and are responded to, by fellow Christians.  Is there upset over differences of style or tradition?  How does your disagreement or conflict look to outsiders and unbelievers? 

You may not agree with other Christians.  Still, there are Biblical ways to work through our differences in grace and love.  Certainly, there are Nero-like folk (modern and ancient) who persecute Christians.  Make sure, my Gospel brother or sister, that you are not one of them.

Think:       Our greatest hindrances are too often religious folk, not the unredeemed.

Pray:         “Lord, help me to approach other Christians in Your grace and love.”

 

Copyright © May 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.

Buying Reconciliation

Buying Reconciliation By Kirk Hunt

But Esau said, “I have enough, my brother; keep what you have for yourself.”   And Jacob said, “No, please, if I have now found favor in your sight, then receive my present from my hand, inasmuch as I have seen your face as though I had seen the face of God, and you were pleased with me.

Genesis 33:9–10 NKJV

The murderous hatred of Esau did not soften; instead, it transformed into brotherly love.  Not suddenly with gifts, but slowly in the two decades of separation from his twin brother.  Whatever Jacob’s opinion of Esau before, he is delighted by his brother’s acceptance in reconciliation.  “You were pleased with me.”

Reconciliation is rarely a complicated business.  Restoring relationships is almost always a lavishly expensive affair.  The cost in swallowed pride and forgiven offensives starts high, then grows with each passing day.  Unwinding, or flat forgiving, old grievances can take more out of you than you think or know.

Jacob’s wealth and blessings could not buy off his conscience or wrongdoing.  He had to face his brother and fix their relationship.  Unsure of his brother’s response (400 men), Jacob faced the regional warlord with nothing but courage and determination.

The fortune in livestock Jacob gave to Esau was not a bribe.  It was an apology.  Esau’s embrace of Jacob restored peace and joy, too long absent between them.  Tears, of joy and relief, marked the return of brothers to each other’s life.

It is not too late or too hard for you.  Spend your time, money and tears on reconciliation.  Use your every skill and resource to restore the relationship.  It will be a bargain at twice the price.

Think:       Reconciliation is expensive but satisfying.

Pray:         “Lord, help me find the way to bring us back together.”

 

Copyright © April 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.

Profane And Idle Babblings

Profane And Idle Babblings By Kirk Hunt

But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness.    And their message will spread like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort

2 Timothy 2:16–17 NKJV

 

It was not that long ago that cursing and foolish talk was a negative.  Men and women would demonstrate their education, or refinement, by speaking in words and phrases that you would proudly repeat to others.  It seems now that profane and idle babblings pervades throughout society and sadly the Church.

Foul language and foolishness are ugly, coming from unbelievers.  Such things are especially foul, coming from those who call themselves Christians.  Christians are called to be a peculiar people.  In this case peculiar refers to careful conduct that puts a positive light on Christ and fellow Christians.

All Christians are a witness regarding Jesus Christ.  Do you testify to the purity and grace of Jesus?  Does your conduct and speech draw, or repel, non-believers? 

Holding yourself to a higher, purer form of conduct and communication will make you stand out.  Trust me, they will notice.  Do they wait eagerly for you to slip up?  Some, yes.

What comes out of your mouth may not be cursing, per se.  You can speak the absolute truth with hurtful intent and wicked motives.  Deliberately, or thoughtlessly, injuring others with your words is just as wicked and sinful as anything else

Think:       Is my life and conduct profane or pious?  Am I thoughtful or thoughtless when I speak?

Pray:         “Lord, help me to be a good witness of You.”

 

Copyright © April 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.

It Shall Be Well

It Shall Be Well By Kirk Hunt

And he said, Wherefore wilt thou go to him to day? it is neither new moon, nor sabbath. And she said, It shall be well.

2 Kings 4:23 KJV
Please also read 2 Kings 4: 18-37

“It shall be well.”  The Shunammite heard her little boy’s breathing rattle to a stop.  She felt the living warmth fade from his body.  She laid his cold, still form down to take the only action she knew could help.

“It shall be well.”  Her grim determination testified to her understanding of her situation.  She wanted a different outcome.  Her every word and action demonstrated her unrelenting hope.

“It shall be well.”  Her heart and mind likely swam in grief.  Her faith carried her over all-too-human reactions and feelings.  As she drove hard over the miles, faith kept her in her saddle.

“It shall be well.”  Whatever you are facing.  No matter how it looks to the natural eye.  Regardless of expert opinion.

“It shall be well.”  Speak the words, long before you can see the outcome.  Testify to your coming success, despite your present setbacks.  Use your faith to warm the cold reality of your situation.

“It shall be well.” These words do not prevent hot tears.  They are a prelude to hard work.  Despite all of that, they are still warm comfort and unyielding hope.  Speak the words with real faith™.

“It shall be well.”  God is there, with you.  He sees your entire situation.  He cares.  Do you have the faith to speak the words?

Think:       Faith stands and acts, despite the circumstances.

Pray:         “Lord, I declare, in Your Name, ‘It shall be well.’”

 

Copyright © April 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.

See The Goodness

See The Goodness By Kirk Hunt

I would have lost heart, unless I had believed That I would see the goodness of the Lord In the land of the living.

Psalms 27:13 NKJV

 

The road stretches out before me, narrow and barren.  For a moment I consider not continuing.  It is then that I remember His many promises, breathed in my soul by the Holy Spirit and confirmed in Scripture.  I will walk on and see the goodness.

Even King David could not settle all of his problems and issues with swords or proclamations.  He had to work our his own salvation with fear and trembling.  Just like you and I.  There were days he had to wait to see God’s goodness, in faith and belief.

It is not always easy; doing right, the right way.  Laboring and staying faithful for promises you see only faith.  Still, now is not the time to lose heart or hope. 

Sometimes, as now, there are storms and difficulties.  His promises remain certain.  There will be better, even in the turbulence.  His joy is in you, not in the circumstances.

Do not let anyone, even yourself, tell you that you lack faith or courage.  Faith does not ignore the difficulties.  Courage does not lessen the blows. 

Your advantage is that you know it will be worth it.  God’s goodness will be there and then, and eventually it will be here and now.  Keep walking the long narrow road to God.  Along the way you will find yourself living in the land of God’s goodness.

Think:       No matter what I see now, I will live to see God’s goodness in the future.

Pray:         “Lord, help me to have faith in Your promises, even in storms.”

 

Copyright © March 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.

Your Gift Makes Room

Your Gift Makes Room By Kirk Hunt

A man’s gift makes room for him,
And brings him before great men.

Proverbs 18:16 NKJV

God is against bribes, but He is for generosity.  May the Holy Spirit convict (not condemn) you about graft, but He will commend you for giving.  The gifts you give make room for you.  What do you put in that space?

“Make room” is not just a reference to physical space.  Your room may be the positive opinion of decision makers.  Perhaps your gifts open the opportunity to witness to souls about Jesus.  Are you wise with the opening made by your gifts?

As a Christian, a follower of Jesus Christ, you have gifts and are a minister.  Your gifts are not just for your benefit.  You are intended and custom-made to benefit the men and women around you.  By giving your gifts, you almost literally compel souls to make space for you in their lives.  What do you place in that hard-won place?

The healing of a skillful doctor or nurse usually gets the gratitude of the patient.  Even difficult students speak well of a key teacher who taught important skills and knowledge.  The friend who comes through at midnight earns warmth from a friend’s heart.  Given a door to another’s spirit, what will you choose to leave behind?

Your gifts lower defenses.  Your gifts draw consideration.  Your gifts soften hearts.  What do you do with that precious opportunity for God’s Kingdom?

Think:        My gifts open the door to interactions with men and women.

Pray:           “Lord, help me to have faithful courage over what, where and when You command.”

 

Copyright © March 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.

Shammah’s Lentils

Shammah’s Lentils 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 stood his ground in a field of lentils.  I always imagine him alone, matching his soft brass knife against a squad (or maybe a platoon) of hard steel swords.  Valiantly, Shammah fought the fight of his life over a patch of beans.

Why there?  Why then?  Why single-handed?  Scripture does not say.  The Bible only records that God used one man to bring about a great victory.

Shammah’s lentils are a symbol of the victories God gives despite impossible circumstances.  To those without faith, it seems God’s men and women too often risk everything, against ridiculous odds, for nothing of value.  Even God’s faithful sometimes feel alone and friendless against endless hordes.

You are not alone.  Jehovah-Shammah, the God who is there, fights beside you.  Like Shammah bar-Agee, God will bring about a great victory through you.

What has God called you to do?  Champion the cause He set in your heart.  Nurture the soul he put in your path.  Despite all of the really good reasons you should pull back, push forward in God’s power.

It may seem that you are defending a patch of beans against impossible odds.  Be confident in fulfilling the call of God.  Be faithful and God will deliver victory through your faithful courage.

Think:        If God sent me, the issue is not trivial, and the odds are not impossible.

Pray:           “Lord, help me to have faithful courage over what, where and when You command.”

 

Copyright © March 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.

Endure

Gift Minister By Kirk Hunt

But he who endures to the end shall be saved.

Matthew 24:13 NKJV

Endurance is the hallmark of a champion.  Endurance allows you to continue on when others have given up in discouragement, or fallen in exhaustion.  To win, you must first endure.

Athletes deliberately develop their endurance in order to better excel at their sport.  The strategies of coaches, teams and individual competitors always include outlasting opponents.  Military leaders may call it “toughness” but that does not change the fundamental character of staying on task after others have given up or fallen down.

Endurance is far more than physical stamina.  A large portion of enduring is simply deciding that you will not quit.  Often, athletes complain about “betrayal” by their own bodies.  Their minds are fully prepared to continue, but their bodies stop at the edge of exhaustion (or worse).  Physics or biology more often limit us than our mind-power or will-power.

Men and women of God have more than willpower to call upon.  God grants endurance to those who ask, in His purpose.  His power can suspend the laws of nature.  His grace can give the gift of persistence.  His mercy can push back the limiting results of poor decisions. 

Who needs you to stay on task?  What part of His Kingdom needs you to continue on after everyone else has given up or passed out?  What stronghold, yours or theirs, needs just a few more strikes of the hammer before it falls?

You can be a Gospel champion.  First, decide you want to endure.  Second, ask God for what you need to endure.  Everything after that is just time or miles.

Think:        Endurance is not optional in the life of a Christian.

Pray:           “Lord, help me to endure through your power, grace and mercy.”

 

Copyright © February 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.

Gift Minister

Gift Minister By Kirk Hunt

As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

1 Peter 4:10 NKJV

You have a gift or gifts.  God gave it (or them) to you as part of the “saints of God” package.  Use them to minister, as a good steward of God’s grace.

Do not make it complicated or difficult.  You have an ability, skill or talent that makes you uniquely valuable and useful, especially to the Kingdom of God.  If you are not using it, you are not being a good steward of His gift to you. 

You do not get to age out.  There is no disability clause.  Wherever you are, no matter whom you are with, you have a God-given gift.  I pray you are using your gifts to demonstrate the many paths of grace.  When God does not send angels, He sends men and women just like you.

In your eyes, your gift may not seem big or flashy.  That does not mean that you cannot touch lives or impact souls.  Use what He gave.  Watch the blessings ripple out, farther and greater than you thought.

All of the gifts God has already given you can be used to build His Kingdom.  The gifts you possess can benefit you, yours and others.  All it takes is a heart willing to trust Him and a spirit generous enough to pass on His grace to others.

There may be sweat-stained headbands in your future.  Your shirt might become tear-soaked.  You may even have to put on a bandage or two.  When you stand before His throne, such things will testify to your stewardship of His grace.

Think:        I should be using my gift(s) to build God’s Kingdom.

Pray:           “Lord, help me to use my gift from You to build Your kingdom.”

 

Copyright © February 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.