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.

Gifts To The Poor

Gifts To The Poor By Kirk Hunt

To establish among them that they should celebrate yearly the fourteenth and fifteenth days of the month of Adar,   as the days on which the Jews had rest from their enemies, as the month which was turned from sorrow to joy for them, and from mourning to a holiday; that they should make them days of feasting and joy, of sending presents to one another and gifts to the poor.

Esther 9:21–22 NKJV

The Jewish holiday of Purim is a time of joy and celebration.  Haman’s conspiracy was thwarted and Mordecai personally promoted by King Ahasuerus.  Yet, in all of the feasting and festivity, gifts to the poor were intended to be a part of Purim.

Too often those who are doing well give no thought about those who are struggling.  You may not be able to erase all of their suffering or difficulty, but you can share your joy.  Joy and celebration is not a zero-sum game.  You and they can win, simultaneously.

Were the poor at risk from Haman’s plot?  Yes, just like wealthier folk.  Life and liberty are precious commodities, regardless of your income level.  Was their salvation from Haman’s conspiracy any less precious?  Not one iota less than other folk.

Consider the things you enjoy, the privileges you experience, and the benefits you receive.  Is it really so difficult or onerous to share from all that God has provided to you?  After all, sharing increases joy in the world.

God has blessed you.  Consider how you can pass His blessings on to others, as Jesus commanded.  Give your gifts, especially to those less fortunate.  Joy, divided and distributed, gets larger, not smaller.

Think:        I can share my joy, especially with those who are less fortunate.

Pray:           “Lord, help me to remember to bless others in Your Name.”

 

Copyright © July 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.

Fallout On Sons And Others

Fallout On Sons And Others By Kirk Hunt

So the king commanded this to be done; the decree was issued in Shushan, and they hanged Haman’s ten sons.

Esther 9:14 NKJV

What you do impacts others. What you allow to continue impacts others. Far too often, the fallout of acts of omission or commission falls on our own sons and daughters. Just ask Haman.

Haman’s conspiracy to destroy the Jews ended in the death of his own sons. His plot to loot the wealth of others ended with the plundering of himself and his family. Haman’s cruel, vindictive, destructive strategy was executed on his own family.

God’s people are called to justice and mercy; blessing of friend and foe. Do not limit the implications of Galatians 6:7. What you do, and what you do not do, are seeds you sow. Your harvest is coming.

Mordecai took in an orphan in kindness, mercy and generosity. He reaped a queen who stood for her people when it counted. Haman hatched a murderous conspiracy of genocide. He harvested destruction for himself and his family.

Consider what you are doing or allowing to be done in your name. You are planting a harvest. Scripture promises you will receive what you sow.

Pastor Martin Niemöller would plead with you not to stand by as others do wrong. He would implore you to safeguard others, as your own. Of course, his experiences in the Dachau Concentration Camp probably colored his opinions.

If you are a Christian, then Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan should give you pause in this era of fear and hatred of others. Listen to the testimony of Pastor Niemöller. Read carefully the example of Haman.

Think: Do I extend God’s help and goodness to others?

Pray: “Lord, help me to bless and benefit everyone around me.”

 

Copyright © July 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.

When Bullies Are Pleading

When Bullies Are Pleading By Kirk Hunt

Then the king arose in his wrath from the banquet of wine and went into the palace garden; but Haman stood before Queen Esther, pleading for his life, for he saw that evil was determined against him by the king.

Esther 7:7 NKJV

That morning, Haman mercilessly plotted genocide against the Jews because of Mordecai’s offense. That evening he was pleading for understanding, mercy and forgiveness for his own conspiracy. A typical bully, Haman could not feel for others until he faced his own reckoning.

All too often, men and women, like bullies, withhold mercy or consideration for others. Yet, when they or theirs encounter (even a little) difficulty, they expect everyone to rally to their aid and defense. They shamelessly ask, or demand, that exceptions be made to the rules they themselves set.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Jesus’ commandment to us, often called the “golden rule,” is not difficult to understand or follow. The problem is our inner bully; the all-too-human lust for power over others. Haman should have considered such things before he started bullying Mordecai and the Jews of Persia.

Knowing Ahasuerus’ rage, Haman cast about desperately for a protector and advocate. His best chance lay with Esther, a Jew and Mordecai’s adoptive daughter. The math is clearly not in Haman’s favor.

Haman’s murderous plot had reversed on him. His cruel, merciless conspiracy against the Jews had been exposed. Revealed as a bully, Haman begged like a wind for his life. Would you need to plead for mercy if your circumstances were reversed?

Think: Do I extend God’s kindness and mercy to others?

Pray: “Lord, help me extend Your grace and mercy to everyone around me.”

 

Copyright © July 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.

Building To Destroy

Building To Destroy By Kirk Hunt

But he disdained to lay hands on Mordecai alone, for they had told him of the people of Mordecai. Instead, Haman sought to destroy all the Jews who were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus—the people of Mordecai.

Esther 3:6 NKJV

Based on an offense from one man, Haman sought to destroy an entire people. His reaction is retaliation on a massive, disproportionate scale. Vengeance is a blood-thirsty type of lust. Haman was not the first man or woman to seek vengeance. Unfortunately, he is clearly not the last.

Consider the men and women around you. There is a very good chance that someone you know personally is vindictive and unforgiving. Do not be fooled because their eyes do not glow red, nor do they froth at the mouth. Vengeful is as vengeful does.

Haman spent time, treasure and talent on trying to destroy Mordecai and the Jews. Haman could have focused on the duties of his office. Haman could have indulged in the privileges of his high rank. Instead he directed his mind to sinister and cruel thoughts.

Vengeance is not noble, strong or clever. Wise men and women seek righteous outcomes and avoid inflicting casualties, even on enemies. As a man or woman of God, avoid the all too human lust to inflict vengeance on those who offend you.

Haman could have sanctioned Mordecai alone. Instead, his lust for blood and dominance demanded no less than a gallows (Esther 5:14). Even now, I flinch at the overreaction.

Haman had rank and privilege, wealth and fame. Yet his lust for power and dominance ruled him. What rules you?

Think: Godly men and women flee thoughts of vengeance.

Pray: “Lord, guide my thoughts in paths worthy of You.”

Copyright © July 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.