…And Worshiped Him

…And Worshiped Him by Kirk Hunt

And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

Matthew 2:11 NKJV

They spent months trekking across hundreds (or thousands) of miles.  They braved dangers from violent weather, wild animals or armed marauders to find Jesus.  Then, despite their wealth, education, wisdom and stations, they threw themselves on the stable floor, before the newborn King of Kings.  And worshiped Him.

They came.  They saw.  They worshiped.”  At great cost.  At great inconvenience.  At great risk.  The Wise Men lived out a lifestyle of worship.

In the hustle and bustle, have you carved out a place and space for worship?  When last did your worship of Jesus really cost you?  How long has it been since your worship of Immanuel (God With Us) was truly inconvenient?  How much risk has there been, or will there be, in the worship you give to the King of Kings?

The various services and ceremonies Christians use as worship are nice and good.  Unfortunately, they can become mechanical and rote.  If you are not careful, you may come to think that is all there is to your worship of Jesus.

Real worship comes from the depth of your heart.  True worship takes you out of your zone and into His.  The best worship involves risk as you invest the best of yourself in recognition of all that is Jesus, your Savior.

The wise men set aside their comfort, safety and dignity to worship Jesus.  When last did you do the same?  When next will you worship Jesus with your all?

Think:      Does my lifestyle truly worship Jesus?

Pray:         “Lord, help me to live in a lifestyle of worship of You at all times.”

 

Copyright © December 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.

The Likeness Of Men

The Likeness Of Men By Kirk Hunt

But made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.

Philippians 2:7 NKJV

Jesus was born in the likeness of most men and women.  Mary and Joseph were people of quite humble means, despite Joseph’s royal lineage.  Were it not for the wise men’s reading of God’s stars or the announcement of the angelic host, no one would have known of Jesus’ birth.

Jesus came in my likeness.  He chose to exclude Himself from the wealth that could smooth His way in the world.  Jesus, despite being a direct descendent of King David was born without the advantages of privilege or position. 

Jesus loved us so much that He decided He had to look like us.  He was determined that salvation would be available to all of us, so He chose the station and lifestyle of the least of us.  The Creator of galaxies and nebula arrived as a baby, helpless except for His loving parents.

He arrived in your image, so that salvation could be extended to all of mankind.  He lived our life so that we would have an example, and proof, that the least of us come live out the Christian life.  All men and woman can live the Gospel life, if they chose to follow His Word.

This Christmas season, I pray that you see Jesus in the faces of men and women from every tribe, language and skin tone.  He came to earth in their likeness, determined to make salvation available to everyone who would chose to accept Him as their Savior and obey His Word.  

Think:      Jesus decided to come in my image.  Have I committed to living in His image?

Pray:         “Lord, help me to live in Your likeness.”

 

Copyright © December 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.

Can God Send You?

Can God Send You? By Kirk Hunt

Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying:
“Whom shall I send,
And who will go for Us?”

Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”

Isaiah 6:8 NKJV
Please also read Isaiah 6:1–10

Freshly purged of his sin, Isaiah was eligible to answer the call.  Standing in the very presence of God, Isaiah could not miss the call.  Isaiah’s answer echoes still: “Send me.”

Calling is not a spiritual form of conscription.  It is a Godly empowerment for a specific ministry or mission.  You can thwart a God-ordained call on your life, through disobedience and rebellion.

Isaiah chose the better path.  On hearing the call, he responded to God with willingness and obedience.  “Here I stand.  Give me the assignment.”

Calling is best exercised with joy and energy.  What is the difference between an exasperating drudgery and a soul-enriching adventure?  Do you respond God’s call as an inconvenient conscription or life-fulfilling opportunity?

There may be difficulties or dangers.  They might receive you with gladness or reject you with anger.  As much as you want good results, it is more important that you have good obedience.  Let God sort out the hearts that hear God’s Word, spoken with skill and grace.

Let God purge you of sin and error.  Listen carefully to His heart for men and women.  What He asks who to send, raise both hands.

Think:      Am I willing to let God purge me of my sin and impurity?

Pray:         “Lord, purge me of my sin so I can have fellowship with you.”

 

Copyright © December 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.

Have You Seen?

Have You Seen? By Kirk Hunt

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple.

Isaiah 6:1 NKJV

The Temple was just as beautiful and impressive as it had always been.  Then suddenly, it was pale in comparison.  The majesty, glory and presence of God filled a space unable to begin to contain so much power, might and eternity.  In that moment Isaiah saw the God of heaven as you should see Him.

Perhaps you are new in Christ.  You may be a seasoned veteran of God’s Kingdom.  Either way, you need to see again.  I pray that you will come into His presence, in His full glory.  I want you to see God, as He should be seen.

We are His children.  He loves us as no other can.  Still, He is a big God and we are a very small part of His creation.  We need to understand what it means for the God of all creation to concern Himself with us.

He is at the center of all things and He designs and plans in love and grace toward us.  With swirling galaxies and nebula, whirling around Him, He turns the loving eye of a father on mere men and women.  With all of creation clamoring to worship our infinite God, He concerns Himself with us.

Isaiah saw and understood.  A very big God, uncontainable in any earthly place or space, concerned Himself with one soul.  Have you seen that the God of creation concerns Himself with you?

Think:      Do I really see God in all of His glory and majesty?

Pray:         “Lord, help me to see You.”

Copyright © December 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.

Thanksgiving In The End

Thanksgiving In The End By Kirk Hunt

All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God,   saying:

“Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom,
Thanksgiving and honor and power and might,
Be to our God forever and ever.
Amen.”

Revelation 7:11–12 NKJV

After a year of crisis, difficulty and calamity everything ends in thanksgiving.  Not the holiday, precious as that day is, but in victory through Jesus.  “Flip to the back of The Book.  We win!”

The Multitude of Revelation 7 are men and women who stood faithful in Jesus.  They stayed the course through hardship, martyrdom or persecution. Their reward?  An eternity of victory, joy and presence with our Savior. 

Despite the short-term negatives, they live forever in victory and thanksgiving to Jesus.  You too can do the same.  Wash your robes, the life you live, in the Blood of Jesus.  The rest will be joy and victory; at least, in the long-term.

I would that I could promise you pleasantness and ease in the here and now.  Scripture promises that even His precious ones see difficult and experience pain.  What I can guarantee that those who keep faith in Jesus will experience joy and victory in His eternity.  The there and then will be worth the journey.

The last year has been difficult for many and perhaps for you.  Sooner, or later, we all experience joy, victory and thanksgiving before God’s Throne.  Stay the course in Jesus.  There will be thanksgiving in the end.

Think:       It is my responsibility to find and support a faithful Bible teacher.

Pray:         “Lord, help me to learn Your Word as deeply as I can.”

 

Copyright © November 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.

Seek Faithful Teachers

Seek Faithful Teachers By Kirk Hunt

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers;  and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.

2 Timothy 4:3-4 NKJV

Too many, including myself, have put the blame on the false teachers.  Suddenly, I understand that the students and followers should be held accountable.  You have to want the truth, in the first place.

I am guilty of not always wanting to hear the truth.  Scripture has a way of roughing up God’s men and women.  Still, find a faithful Bible teacher and dig in.  Do your homework and follow along in your own copy of the Bible.

A faithful Bible teacher has one agenda: To teach God’s truth from God’s Word.  A faithful Bible teacher does not care about your political leanings, cultural bias or level of sensitivity.  A faithful Bible teacher cares only that you hear the pure and untainted Word of God. 

Also, you must make the effort to learn from God’s Word for yourself.  Your Bible teacher cannot have a relationship with God for you.  You must seek Him and His truth for yourself.  And there will be times in your Christian journey when only God’s voice will satisfy you.

It is your soul and therefore your responsibility.  If you can read and understand this devotional, then you can read and understand the Holy Bible.  Do your part of the hard work of learning God’s Word.

Think:       It is my responsibility to find and support a faithful Bible teacher.

Pray:         “Lord, help me to learn Your Word as deeply as I can.”

 

Copyright © November 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.

Evangelize The Strangers And Foreigners

Evangelize The Strangers And Foreigners By Kirk Hunt

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 25:38-40 NKJV

The word stranger in Scripture almost always translates as foreigner (xenos).   God’s people are commanded in both the Old Testament and the New Testament, to treat foreigners with generosity, justice and grace.  In this current season, foreigners fleeing war, persecution and enslavement are greeted as villains, not victims.

After killing an Egyptian, Moses fled to Midian.  Would you have turned Moses the fugitive away as a threat to national security?

David fled from his father-in-law Saul to Moab and later Philistia.  Would you have kept David the persecuted out of the country as a risk to law and order?

Joseph, Mary and Jesus fled from Herod to Egypt.  Would you have denied the Holy Family admittance as an economic drain on the country?

The refugees and evacuees are fleeing death and destruction.  Where are they going?  To the very Christian nations who should be busy evangelizing them. 

Who could be more open to the Gospel of Christ than someone desperate to enter a Christian nation?  They may be strangers to you, but they are well known to Father-God.  Should you not make an effort to minister to the “least of these?”

Think:       God help me to remember that refugees and foreigners are open to Your Gospel.

Pray:         “Lord, help me to minister to Yours sons and daughters from another land.”

 

Copyright © November 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.

No Eyes, Clear Sight

No Eyes, Clear Sight By Kirk Hunt

Then the Philistines took him and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza. They bound him with bronze fetters, and he became a grinder in the prison.

Judges 16:21 NKJV

The mill stones crushing the grain would have made a low, steady growl in Samson’s ears.  In weather hot and dry, or cold and wet, Samson did the work of a horse.  Or mule.  Or ass.

Either in haunting silence or with a chorus of tormentors, Samson walked his circle in darkness.  The man who had once burned Philistine grain fields now made flour for them.  I am certain the irony was not lost on Samson or his Philistine captors.

Do not be angry at the Philistines: Samson’s life had been shrouded in darkness for years.  Samson’s lust, willfulness and disobedience had long since blinded him to God’s truth and call.  The Philistines, heathen foreigners, should have been guided to God by Samson.  Instead, Samson’s lack of spiritual vision became his lack of literal vision. 

Blinded and in prison, Samson finally saw the light.  Chained to a millstone, he was free to spend time with God.  Despite all he did wrong, Samson still remembered the correct way to love God.

God had not abandoned Samson.  When Samson finally figured out his own errors, God was there.  Arms open.  Restoration was just a prayer away.

Samson is named as a hero of faith in Hebrews 11.  Despite his mistakes and errors, he returned to God.  God always faithfully restores the truly repentant.  No matter how dark it seems, you are not alone.  God is waiting, arms open, to restore you.

Think:       God is faithful and constant, even if I am not.

Pray:         “Lord, forgive me.  Lord, restore me.”

 

Copyright © October 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.

What Is Inside Of You?

What Is Inside Of You? By Kirk Hunt

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.   Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.”

Matthew 23:27–28 NKJV

Jesus’ criticism of the Pharisees is sharp and pointed.  Our Savior called the elite religious leaders hypocrites.  Their sanctimonious words and ceremonies were a thin veneer over their sinful actions, thoughts and intentions.  All men and women are containers of something.  What is inside of you?

In those days, a tomb would be beautiful from a distance, but up close it would reek of death and decay.  Un-embalmed bodies would be placed on a shelf inside, then left to decomposition to run its course.  A carefully crafted and expensively finished sepulcher would be a shell around corruption and putrefaction.

In Matthew 23, Jesus is not criticizing the occasional harsh word or stray thought.  Instead, He rebukes sanctimonious words that end in naked greed, lust and exploitation.  Jesus does not value high-form ceremonies that are followed by base-form lives, devoid of any attempt at true holiness.

In these days, men and women speak high-sounding words, but their actions too often reveal gutter-level intentions.  “What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say.”  Disciples of Jesus Christ, most of all, must make sure their actions match what they preach.

Think:       Inside of my heart, mind and soul am I full of God’s Word, or something else?

Pray:         “Lord, help me to be full of Your Word, Your grace and Your truth.”

 

Copyright © October 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.

Observe And Do

Observe And Do By Kirk Hunt

Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, saying:  “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat.  Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do.”

Matthew 23:1–3 NKJV

Jesus observed and commented.  He clearly and plainly told the majority of folk that their religious scholars and leaders preached one thing but clearly practiced a different thing.  How is it possible to mess up, “Observe and do the right things”?

Was Jesus critiquing pagan Romans?  No.  Was Jesus rebuking Roman collaborators or prostitutes?  No.  Jesus criticized the very people who should have known better than anyone else.

The Pharisees preached righteousness and adherence to the law, but their motivations however were corrupt or self-serving (Matthew 23:5)Of course, these high minded religious experts were not above exploiting the poor or vulnerable in the name of profit (Matthew 23:14).  In general, the Pharisees did the easy part of looking sanctimonious, but did not do the hard part of living righteously (Matthew 23:23).

Living righteously before God and man is easier said than done.  That is why the Holy Spirit helps those men and women who seek Him.  Religious law can only help you realize how sinful you are.  It takes God’s spirit and grace to fulfill the law by living a sanctified life.

Take a good look at how you actually live.  Does your life match what you preach (or say you believe)?  Seek the Holy Spirit and ask Him to help you live out what you say.

Think:       Observe yourself.  Are you really doing the hard work of living righteously?

Pray:         “Lord, help me to live righteously, no matter the difficulty.”

 

Copyright © October 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.

Are You A Brood Of Vipers?

Are You A Brood Of Vipers? By Kirk Hunt

But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

Matthew 3:7 NKJV

The Pharisees and Sadducees were the religious leaders and Scriptural (Torah) scholars of the era.  John the Baptist, as the son of the Temple Priest, Zacharias, likely knew many of them personally.  One must wonder why John deliberately called the religious elite “vipers.”

It is easy to criticize leaders, right or wrong.  In too many cases, the revelation of bad behavior and villainous schemes of leaders is the source of the criticism.  In too many other cases, the mismatch between the words spoken from the lectern, and the lives led in the streets, is the reason for disdain.

Consider the moneychangers (merchants) in the Temple.  The violation of the Mosaic law, and the sanctity of that holy place, was tolerated because the High Priest and other Temple officials were being paid.  A clear violation of the letter and spirit of the Law they claimed to love so much.

We associate snakes with sin, evil and deception.  By calling them Vipers, John deliberately references the poison that some snake breeds use to better devour their prey.  There is no subtleness in John’s message.

Consider the Christian life you live.  Does it match the Christian Gospel you preach?  I pray that men and women see you as a child of God and not as a walking snake.

Think:       Does my life match the Gospel of Jesus Christ?  Why or why not?

Pray:         “Lord, help me to live in obedience to Your Word and Spirit.”

 

Copyright © October 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.

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.