Their Own Desires

Their Own Desires 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

 

The classic strategy of a swindler is to promise “something for nothing.”  The desires and lusts betray the “victim” more powerfully than the confidence man or woman.  Unfortunately, this applies to God’s people as much as anyone else.

 

If you want anything more than God, it is a lust.  If you want something enough to alter or deliberately misinterpret God’s Word, it is a lust.  The desires for control, ego or status can be lusts, just like money, sex or power.

 

And there is always someone out there who will tell you what you want to hear.  False teachers (read: con artists) will gear their lessons to the biggest paychecks, not your well-being or Godliness.  Local or national, near or far, the false teachers we heap up for ourselves preach false stories that lead to destruction.  

 

Why do you want what you want?  What does the Bible say about what you want?  What does the Bible say about how you are working to get what you want?  The honest answers to these questions will tell you what you need to know about your desires.

 

Read and study the Bible yourself.  Compare every “teacher” you hear to the Bible, our one true source.  Do not let your own desires lead you astray.

 

Think:        My own desires and lusts will lead me astray, if I let them. 

 

Pray:           “Lord, help me keep my desires on You.”

 

Copyright © April 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.

They Shall Flee

They Shall Flee By Kirk Hunt

“The Lord will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before your face; they shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways.”

Deuteronomy 28:7 NKJV

 

Sometimes, it appears that the bad guys have won.  Still, often at the last moment, God makes you victorious.  You watch in wonder as the villains flee in seven different directions.

 

Deuteronomy 28:2 holds the not-so-secret key to God’s intervention on your part: obedience.  Obedience to Him, not your overwhelming firepower, will save you.  Obedience to Him, not your backroom maneuverings, will promote you.  Obedience to His commands in Scripture and the authoritative direction of the Holy Spirit will advance you.

 

Consider the example of Daniel:  He landed in the lion’s den because of his obedient devotion to God.  Daniel walked out of the lion’s den, unscratched, because of his obedience to God.  Daniel’s enemies did not fare quite so well

 

We all want control of our circumstances.  Our human nature wants to have the ways and means of enforcing our will on everything around us.  As disciples of Jesus Christ, we follow a different path.

 

There will likely be hard work and long hours in front of you.  You may have to exercise severe restraint on what you say and what you do.  There may even be the inconvenience of being thrown into a (modern) lion’s den. 

 

Stay strong, courageous and obedient to Father-God.  You will see the defeat of your enemies.  You will witness them fleeing on multiple paths.

 

Think:        My obedience to God causes the defeat and scattering of my enemies.

Pray:           “Lord, show me how to be more obedient to You.”

 

Copyright © March 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.

Love One Another

Love One Another By Kirk Hunt

Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

1 John 4:11 NKJV

 

“Love one another.”  Too often, even God’s people make it more complicated than it needs to be.  Care for each other.  Make sure folk have enough.  Inconvenience yourself (if a little) for someone struggling just to survive.

 

John did not invent this commandment on his own.  Jesus Himself ordered us (see John 13:34) to love one another.  After telling us to care for, minister to and support others, Jesus did not fold His hands.  Instead He went to the Garden of Gethsemane and started His walk to the Cross.

 

Out of care for our future, Jesus endured His trial by Pilate.  Because of His concern for men, then and now, Jesus allowed His public scourging.  Out of love for generations yet to be born, Jesus died on the Cross.  Perhaps you could pay just a little bit more for those who have little or nothing?

 

Will some of the folks you care for only take advantage?  Probably.  Will some of the people you love reply with hate or disdain?  Again, probably.  Does Jesus’ command to His faithful disciples stand?  Absolutely.

 

Love gives.  It also creates opportunities.  Men and women, boys and girls, are drawn to authentic love.  That positive attraction gives us the opportunity to share the Gospel. 

 

It will cost you something to show love to others.  Someone, somewhere, will find a way to exploit, mishandle or ill-use what you give.  However they respond, His command to you remains clear.  Are you obedient to His Word?

 

Think:        Real love requires action and pays costs. 

 

Pray:           “Lord, show me how to love others as You do.”

 

Copyright © March 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.

Being A Brother Or Sister

Being A Brother Or Sister By Kirk Hunt

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

Proverbs 17:17 NKJV

Too often folks use the labels “brother” or “sister” loosely.  To me, it is a very serious commitment.  You should be prepared to shoulder any adversity, hardship or risk for a real brother or sister.  That is what Scripture commands.

 

My friend called from two counties over.  I had to borrow a truck.  I paid a lot for gasoline.  He needed me.  Of course I was going to help him.

 

Do you stand with your kindred during difficulties and storms?  Do you go the extra mile to help or comfort your kith and kin?  Supporting from the living room couch is easy.  Supporting in the stinging rain and lashing wind is more difficult.

 

Real love is a choice.  Too often, that choice involves inconvenience, difficulty and sacrifice.  Are you ready to bring it where it is needed?  Being involved is not always enough.  Real love requires real commitment. 

 

Real commitment acts, despite the difficulties and obstacles.  Faithful men and women love enough to run in when everyone else is walking out.  Closeness matters most when the tears are falling and the hearts are breaking.

 

I pray you are the stand-up brother or sister that someone else can rely on.  Sooner or later, everyone needs the help and ministry of a brother/sister born for adversity.  You were born to help.

 

Think:        God does not always send angels.  Sometimes, He sends me.

 

Pray:           “Lord, help me be a real friend and a true brother or sister in Christ.”

 

Copyright © March 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.

 

Born For Adversity

Born For Adversity By Kirk Hunt

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

Proverbs 17:17 NKJV

I have complained that my siblings do not gather well.  A breakfast or lunch for the pleasure of their company is a labored exercise in logistics and scheduling.  On the other hand, they appear instantly if there is trouble or adversity.

I pray your life consists of smooth waters and gentle breezes.  I would prefer you never need help or assistance.  More likely, you know that even God’s favorites can experience raging storms and violent winds.

It is when adversity batters you hardest that true friends and faithful brothers are revealed.  You may have to pick up the phone and ask for their support.  Their response may start with an awkward silence.  Perhaps their response will begin with hesitant stuttering.

You will know before the end.  The fair-weather posers will disappear.  Your real kith and kin will be revealed, standing at your side.  Those who refuse to leave until they know you are okay are the best of the lot.

God does not always send angels.  Sometimes He sends folks you did not know were watching or cared.  Not even the pelting rain and howling winds of the worst circumstances can drive off true friends or faithful family.

Be certain that God has appointed men and women, boys and girls, to love you in sincerity and faithfulness.  They will not abandon you in adversity.  In the choice between the pleasant lunch or the difficult lurch, I’m certain you know when it is best that they show up. 

Think:        God has surrounded me with true friends and faithful family.

Pray:           “Lord, if You do not send angels, please send true friends and faithful family.”

 

Copyright © March 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.

Divine Direction

Divine Direction By Kirk Hunt

In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths..

Proverbs 3:6 NKJV

What do you hear when someone speaks of “God’s divine direction?”  Does the pillar of fire and smoke come to mind?  Do you think of the angel that led Peter out of prison?

God’s direction and guidance can be miraculous and mystical.  Scripture is too full of examples to say otherwise.  Still, the visitation of angels is not part of a typical day in an office cubicle.  A glory-cloud does not often appear while driving to the supermarket.

God promises to guide us, if we acknowledge that we need His direction.  He desires to lead us past, around or through every circumstance in our lives.  If God leads you, despite the difficulties, there will always be joy and delight in your journey.

Cultivate a heart that listens for Him.  You may not be the cleverest soul alive, but you can live that way.  Be determined to hear from Him.

Study Scripture, regularly and often.  In those moments of reverent quiet, He will speak with you.  Hidden in study, God will find you.  There is no faster or more secure route to His guidance.

If Bible study gives so much, why is it often missing in our lives?  We think we do not have the time.  We believe it is beyond us.  We look for less accountability.

Decide you want God’s direction in your life.  The only entrance fee is making study of His Word a priority for your life.  If you seek Him, He will find you.  His Word promises you that.

Think:        I can have God’s direction if I want it.

Pray:           “Lord, help me to be guided by You.”

 

Copyright © February 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.

Troubled Yet Strong

Troubled Yet Strong By Kirk Hunt

Your words have upheld him who was stumbling,
And you have strengthened the feeble knees;
But now it comes upon you, and you are weary;
It touches you, and you are troubled.

Job 4:4–5 NKJV

It is easy, from the comfort of your living room couch, to complain about what is or is not happening on the field of play.  It is different when you are the one troubled by difficult circumstances, coworker miscues and unfair criticism.  Stay strong, no matter how much this life batters you, and false-friends or intractable enemies bad-mouth you.

In the 4th chapter of Job, Eliphaz criticizes Job.  Eliphaz does not complain that Job’s prior support of others was poor or incorrect.  Instead, he condemns Job for experiencing grief at the loss of his children, misery in the midst of his illness and distress in the middle of devastating losses.  “Thanks for the support, Eliphaz.”

I pray you have a long and prosperous life building God’s Kingdom.  Still, no matter how clean your living, or wise your conduct, difficulties will come to your doorstep.  Still, through your strength in God, you can live through your troubles and emerge victorious.

Job did not dance and sing through his sorrows and distresses.  His first and second responses were to turn to God and continue to trust Him.  Job’s trust in God and grounding in His righteousness gave him the strength he needed. 

What God did for Job, He will do for you.  Despite your troubles, are you strong enough to rely on God?  I pray so.

Think:        Despite my difficulties I can live in victory through the strength of God.

Pray:           “Lord, help me to be strong in You, despite my troubles.”

 

Copyright © February 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.

Free In The Truth

Free In The Truth By Kirk Hunt

Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.   And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

John 8:31–32 NKJV

Lots of folks try to sell you the “secrets” of freedom.  There are other folks who claim that they alone know the truth.  Only Jesus and the Word of God have the truth, or can truly set you free.  Everything else is either an error or a con.

The truth is not free.  The price of truth is a lifetime of reading (studying) and thinking about (meditating on) God’s Word.  Knowing God’s Word, even imperfectly, leads to more and greater freedom than you can imagine.  Jesus wants you to abide in God’s Word.

Do not be intimidated by Scripture.  Set aside a regular time (preferably daily) and read your Bible.  Then think about how it applies to your life.  You do not need a Theology degree to begin hearing everything God wants to say to you.

Suggestion:  For a week, spend 10 minutes a day less on social media, and 10 minutes a day more on Scripture.  You will be shocked at the difference it will make in your understanding of God’s Word and His truth.

Jesus’ words (in red) are simple.  “Study my Word…the truth shall make you free.”  No one with a Bible is locked out of real truth.

Real disciples abide in God’s Word (Scripture).  Knowing God’s Word gives you the truth.  The truth makes you free.

Are you free yet?

Think:        God’s Word makes me free.  Do I seek His Word?

Pray:           “Lord, help me to love Your truth and righteousness.”

 

Copyright © February 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.

Believe The Truth

Believe The Truth By Kirk Hunt

And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie,   that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

2 Thessalonians 2:11-12 NKJV

Apostle Paul wrote 2 Thessalonians to warn God’s people to love the truth and reject lies.  The truth is often simpler and less complicated than the lie.  The problem is that the lie appeals to something sinful in us.

All too short a time after the establishment of the Church at Thessaloniki, someone was teaching that Jesus had already returned and raptured His Church.  Paul spoke against this apostasy but then addressed the deeper issue of loving the truth.

Paul states it is important for God’s people to cultivate a love for the truth.  He states just as clearly that men and women can take “pleasure in unrighteousness.”  Which do you choose; truth or unrighteousness?

Addicts believe the drug is a benefit.  Adulterers believe in their reasons to lie and betray.  Swindlers believe the money in your account is theirs, rather than yours.  Of course, there are subtler ways to believe a lie, rather than the truth.

Do you love the truth, rather than a lie?  Are you willing to believe a lie and be damned?  The choice is binary.  Either you seek God’s truth or you love the enemy’s lies.  Believing the lie means accepting a delusion that leads to condemnation.

Believing the lie requires that you set aside the facts and data.  Loving the truth makes it easier to spot the lies.  Seek His righteousness.  It is easier in the long-run.

Think:        Do I really seek the truth, or do I prefer unrighteousness?

Pray:           “Lord, help me to love Your truth and righteousness.”

 

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.

Honor Your Birthright

Honor Your Birthright By Kirk Hunt

And Jacob gave Esau bread and stew of lentils; then he ate and drank, arose, and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.

Genesis 25:34 NKJV
Please also read Genesis 25:29-34.

Too often we put all the blame on Jacob.  Scripture clearly states that Esau despised his birthright.  In exchange for a simple meal, Esau rejected the blessings of God and his earthly father.

You have a birthright in God.  Rich or poor, workhouse or jailhouse, God’s blessings, legacy and heritage are yours.  All you have to do is honor what God has guaranteed for you, despite today’s difficulties.

A birthright is a future benefit.  To receive it, I must not despise it or my present.  Easily said; not as easily done.

A moment’s inconvenience led a mighty man to disdain what was not immediately at hand.  Esau was so shortsighted and immature that he cast aside his legacy and heritage for a bowl of soup.  The worst part is I recognize this same attitude in myself.

From time-to-time, we all want immediate fulfillment.  Delayed gratification can sometimes be a hard path.  Going without today, even for a great tomorrow, has its difficulties.

Esau was having a tough day.  His twin brother should never have considered making the sales pitch.  Esau should never have considered selling out.

Do not let a difficult day (or season) sway your faith.  Keep your faith though the rough spots.  If you do not sell out, God will deliver your birthright at the right time. 

Think:        Do I honor the blessings, legacy and heritage I have in God’s Kingdom?

Pray:           “Lord, I honor the birthright I have 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.

Face Of Glory

Face Of Glory By Kirk Hunt

And whenever the children of Israel saw the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses’ face shone, then Moses would put the veil on his face again, until he went in to speak with Him.

Exodus 34:38 NKJV
Please also read Exodus 34:29–35

Moses came out to the people and they retreated in panic and fear.  The face of their Lawgiver glowed with an unworldly light.  Moses’ time with God literally changed how the followers saw and reacted to their leader.

God’s people, especially pastors and leaders, should consider their approach to others.  How you preach, teach or minister should be done to meet your audience where they are.  Moses did not change his message, but he did help Israel to hear what God spoke.  He just had to shade the light of his face some (or a lot).

Do not get me wrong; I would that every saint of God, fresh from prayer, had a shiny face.  Still, our purpose is to build His Kingdom.  What does not make the message effective in reaching and changing hearts is a distraction.  Our job is not done until their faces are also bright with His glory

Your audience likely comes in fresh from the streets, rather than the prayer closet.  Meet them where they are, but help them get to where you are.  And where you are should reflect the glory of God.

Think:        Does my ministry reflect God’s glory?  Is it effective in reaching my audience?

Pray:           “Lord, help me to reflect the glory of Your Face .”

 

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.

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.