“If It Is Your Will?”

“If It Is Your Will?” By Kirk Hunt

And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.”

Luke 22:41–42 NKJV

The enormity of His coming trial and execution fell heavy on Jesus. Alone, He appealed to God, the only One who could change the course of events. “If it is Your will,” proves that Jesus went humbly and obediently to the Cross.

Too often we expect men and women to face the worst of life with a beatific expression and wise words of faith and encouragement for others. Instead, when the worst of circumstances decent on us, we can do what Jesus did. He went to God, and asked to be excused.

“If it is Your will” is the request of a faithful and obedient son or daughter who knows (or suspects) just how difficult events are going to get. A real saint, with Real Faith™, will follow God’s path, no matter where it goes. Still, in humility and obedience, we are allowed to ask our loving Father-God if there is another way.

Maybe there is a different way to fulfill God’s will. Perhaps, as with Jesus, events unfold as we knew they would. It is okay to ask in either case.

Jesus went to the Cross and bought our salvation with His perfect sacrifice. As you face your place in His will, be strong in your faith and obedience. And your prayer for a different path may draw an angelic encourager to stay the course.

Think: God’s will is not always easy, even though it is always best.

Pray: “Lord, I will follow Your will. Help me have the strength to stay Your course.”

 

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.

“Mother, Go With Me?”

“Mother, Go with Me?” By Kirk Hunt

And Barak said to her, “If you will go with me, then I will go; but if you will not go with me, I will not go!”

Judges 4:8 NKJV
Please read also Judges 4:4–9

Deborah sent for Barak, a leader and general of Israel. She confirmed to him that God had already commanded him to fight Sisera’s army, and promised him victory. Barak responded with “Mother, will you go with me?”

Barak faced a bigger, better equipped army with a history of brutally beating against Israel. God told Barak to lead footmen against chariots (infantry against tanks) and promised him a win. Barak, through faith, trusted God. Still, who could blame him for wanting God’s woman to go with him?

If you are one of God’s people, you run a risk. God, at any moment, may command you to face insurmountable odds with no assurance but His promise. Barak faced the real risk of losing a battle that common wisdom said could not be won. To his credit, Barak went in obedience and faith.

True saints with Real Faith™ follow God’s Word in complete confidence and trust. Real saints, like me, might want a trusted man or woman of God to go along, just to keep repeating God’s promise. Things are different when your life, legacy and liberty hang in the balance.

God, of course , delivered on His promises. Barak went in with and trust. Still, he kept a grip on Mother Deborah’s hand. Your faith, like Barak’s, may not be completely perfect, but God always honors our obedience.

Think: Trust God Word in your life and purpose. Take men and women of faith with you, to help.

Pray: “Lord, my faith and trust is in You. ”

 

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.

Next To You

Next To You By Kirk Hunt

And he said to him, “Do not fear, for the hand of Saul my father shall not find you. You shall be king over Israel, and I shall be next to you. Even my father Saul knows that.”

1 Samuel 23:17 NKJV

Jonathan, the Crown Prince of Israel, declared he would never be king. Despite his age, position and lineage, Jonathan openly stated that David would be the next king. Jonathan freely declared “I shall be next to you” as good news to his friend and protégé.

Deep down, we all want to sit the “big chair” somewhere in our life and work. Do you know the will of God enough, and have self-control enough, to say, “You, not me.” Are you man or woman enough to be glad for your friend, despite their jump in line?

Deep in the woods, where David hid from a death warrant, Jonathan spoke gladly of David’s coming dynasty. Jonathan would stand, or kneel, next to David’s throne and be glad of the privilege. Only a Godly man or woman can be so pleased to be “passed over” for promotion, even for a friend.

The common wisdom is that Jonathan should have led the bounty hunters to David’s hiding place. He could have executed David himself. Instead he encouraged his friend, the outlaw. Jonathan cheerfully pointed to a time when he would no longer be Crown Prince.

Do you love God’s plan more than the big promotion? Are you willing to push God’s choice to the position that should be yours? Are you glad in your heart?

Think: Do I know my place? Am I willing to be glad, despite not getting the top spot?

Pray: “Lord, help me to know, and be glad of, my place in Your Kingdom.”

 

Copyright © September 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.

In The Woods

In the Woods By Kirk Hunt

Then Jonathan, Saul’s son, arose and went to David in the woods and strengthened his hand in God.

1 Samuel 23:16 NKJV

Jonathan, the Crown Prince of Israel snuck out a side door and traveled across the miles. There, in the woods, he found the outlaw the King wanted dead. Knowing his own father wanted this criminal executed; Jonathan embraced his friend and strengthened David’s Godly faith and hope.

Maybe you are the man everyone turns to for strength. Perhaps you are the woman others rely on for courage. No matter your standing or track record, you will eventually need encouragement “in the woods.”

Unjustly a fugitive, and hunted for his very life, David fled alone into the wilderness. At first only castoffs, deadbeats and losers came to him, looking for a handout. Despite his successes in turning those men into champions, David needed encouragement in the wilderness of Ziph. Thankfully for him, and eventually us, Jonathan strengthened his hand in God.

Real men and women have limits. You can only be so strong, so long, for others. Sooner, or later, you need someone to come to a lonely, isolated place and pour at least a little help and encouragement on you.

Before David sat the throne he walked (or ran) the woods. Before he became an ancestor of Christ, David’s soul cried out for an encouraging word and a moment of reassurance. Jonathan appeared at a dark and cold moment in David’s life and brought light and warmth.

In your woods, let them come. Accept the blessing they bring. God is answering your need.

Think: God will provide encouragement and reassurance in my difficult places.

Pray: “Lord, I accept the encouragement and blessing You send.”

 

Copyright © September 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.

And Marched Around

And Marched Around By Kirk Hunt

But it came to pass on the seventh day that they rose early, about the dawning of the day, and marched around the city seven times in the same manner. On that day only they marched around the city seven times.

Joshua 6:15 NKJV
Read also Joshua 6:15–20

To the untrained eye, Joshua was wasting everyone’s time and energy. Israel marched around Jericho, 14 times in silence. There were no shouts of triumph or defiance. Only the sound of trudging feet could be heard, unless the people of Jericho were hurling insults and taunts from the top of the walls.

Israel built no siege engines. Teams of sappers did not undermine the walls. Instead, Joshua and Israel were obedient to God’s instruction. “March. Then march some more.”

Perhaps you are facing a Jericho wall in your life. It is a circumstance that is big, blocks your way, and you see no way to overcome it. I implore you: Keep marching.

God’s people obey God, whether or not it makes sense to us. We insist on persistence. We patiently keep doing what He said, until our change comes. We compel ourselves to act out our faith in His Word. No matter how many laps it takes.

Too often, we obey conventional wisdom rather than God. We expect financial, political or numbers of people to carry the day. While it is good to be prepared to do the hard word, it is better to follow God’s instructions.

Even if your feet are sore, continue marching per God’s instructions. When God gets through, your Jericho wall will fall. Be read for the hard work to follow your victory.

Think: I will patiently persist at my God-given task until my Jericho wall falls.

Pray: “Lord, help me to act my faith in Your Word for my life.”

 

Copyright © September 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.

What Do You Preach?

What Do You Preach? By Kirk Hunt

For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness

1 Corinthians 1:22–23 NKJV

Paul would preach the same Gospel to Jews and Greeks. Some, from each group, would reject the message, for different reasons. Why did he continue to preach and teach the same thing?

Truth does not require agreement. No matter how much, or in what way, you or others disagree with gravity, you still fall from high to low. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is disruptive and convicting, in different ways, to different people. That does not change the truth of Him.

 

Greeks, using logic and rational thought, viewed the Gospel as superstition. Jews, using history and traditional interpretation, viewed the Gospel as heresy. Both were, and are, uniquely wrong.

Two millennia later, some folks are still getting it wrong. The truth of the Gospel is still the ultimate truth. His truth is almost always disruptive and convicting, even to the best of us. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is still the only way to salvation.

As a Christian, you must find a way to respectfully and lovingly communicate the Gospel. You must be prepared to just as respectfully and lovingly hear, or endure, the negative response some will give. For the sake of the Gospel most of the Apostles died in violent, tortuous ways. Saints in the western hemisphere rarely endure more than harsh words.

Mere disagreement, no matter who or how much, does not negate the Gospel. Preach His truth. Pray in faith they will receive and believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Think: God’s truth is the ultimate truth, no matter who disagrees.

Pray: “Lord, help me to believe and teach Your Gospel, no matter who disagrees.”

 

Copyright © September 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.

After Admonition

After Admonition By Kirk Hunt

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

Titus 3:10-11 NKJV

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Copyright © August 2017, Kirk Hunt

This devotional is brought to you courtesy of CadreMen Press. You can purchase a copy of Blessed and Blessing: Devotionals For Gospel Champions from your favorite bookseller or directly from CadreMen Press.

 

Sojourners And Pilgrims

Sojourners And Pilgrims By Kirk Hunt

Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul,   having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.

James 3:17 NKJV

Sojourners and pilgrims are temporary residents of a place but make no effort to become permanent citizens.  It is not, nor should be, adversarial.  As followers of Jesus Christ, we are foreigners and voyagers, seeking our final destination in God’s Kingdom.

You are a temporary resident of your place.  No matter what it says on your title deed or mortgage contract.  Christians are (or should be) marching to Zion, the beautiful city of God.

As you travel through this current land, bless and witness to those around you.  Let your honorable, Godly conduct compel men and women to praise and magnify God.  Let your passing through this world seem like a visitation by God to those left behind.

Of course, God’s Kingdom should be established within you.  That is how you can leave His glory behind as a witness and enticement for others to seek God.  You can only teach or demonstrate what you know.

As God’s people, we are only passing through.  By living a truly Godly life, we can leave good works and God’s glory in the wake of our travels.  What we leave behind should lead people to God and His Kingdom.

Think:        I am passing through to God’s Kingdom.  Do others want to join me on my journey?

Pray:           “Lord, help me to travel to Your Kingdom.”

 

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.

Without Partiality Or Hypocrisy

Without Partiality Or Hypocrisy By Kirk Hunt

But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.

James 3:17 NKJV

The last few months have been disappointing. I know partiality and hypocrisy exists in the world. I suspected even the best of us can have the occasional episode. I did not realize how blatantly, extensively and intensively it exists among those who are supposed to be the wisest among us.

It is directly related to the source of the wisdom. Wisdom from above, God’s wisdom, is pure and consistent with God’s character, and God’s Word. Since God’s wisdom restrains self-serving actions and motivations, men and women often seek other, easier ways to get what they want.

Of course, I expected a lack of Godly wisdom from unbelievers. What I did not expect was the number of God’s people, especially “leadership,” who embraced earthly, ungodly schemes and cheats. Suddenly, the actions and characteristics they decried, and held against, were okay on their side.

Godly men and women are consistent and true. Godly wisdom holds that what is good for you is good for them. What God’s Word rebukes in others, rebukes in us as well. Or would you have stoned the adulterous woman, but not the adulterous man?

God’s people are (still) the light of the world. Using God’s wisdom, you can live without partiality or hypocrisy. God’s people may not be perfect, but it should be obvious we live in and from God’s wisdom.

 

Think: God’s wisdom is never hypocritical or partial to anyone.

Pray: “Lord, help me to seek Your wisdom, above all else.”

 

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.