More Perfect Love

More Perfect Love By Kirk Hunt

Can a woman forget her nursing child,
And not have compassion on the son of her womb?
Surely they may forget,
Yet I will not forget you.

Isaiah 49:15 NKJV
(Please also read Jeremiah 49:14–18

I cannot imagine a mother forgetting about her infant. Or see the picture of her heartlessly condemning her baby. Among human beings, a mother’s love is the gold standard. Still, even a mother’s love is second-best, compared to the perfect love of God.

 

He loves us. Despite how we speak and act. Despite our disobedience and flaws. He loves us, absolutely. Tenderly and graciously, God cares for us, no matter what. Sound familiar?

 

Human mothers are flesh and blood. Money, knowledge, health and time itself place limits on even the best mothers. With perfect knowledge and infinite power, God has the will and the means to do what is best for us. And He does so, more often than we think or know.

 

Of course, one of His best instruments for demonstrating His love for us is through your mother. As beloved and honored as our earthly mothers are, their love is a pointer to perfect love. A mother’s love reflects an infinite and flawless source.

 

God loves you purely. God loves you endlessly. God loves you perfectly.

 

Think: Not even a mother can love me as well as God loves me.

 

Pray: “Lord, remind me again how much You love me.”

 

 

Copyright © May 2016, Kirk Hunt

This devotional is a ministry of http://devotionals.cadremenpress.com.

Alone With Your Limits

Alone With Your Limits By Kirk Hunt

But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he prayed that he might die, and said, “It is enough! Now, Lord, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!”

1 Kings 19:4 NKJV
(Please also read 1 Kings 19:1–4.)

 

Queen Jezebel’s single messenger did what scores of pagan priests could not. Elijah, fresh from winning an entire nation back to God, was intimidated. He fled alone into the wilderness. There his prayers were unworthy of Jehovah-Sabaoth or even of the (still) faithful man who prayed them.

 

Everyone, even the strongest or smartest of us, has a limit. And as you approach your limit, you become vulnerable to injury and pressure. Despite his close connection to God, and the miraculous events of his ministry, Elijah proved to have mere human limitations.

 

Yes, you are a daughter or son of God. He chooses to focus His limitless power through (very) limited vessels. Be grateful for the privilege, but know that he has not done away with your humanity. Especially your human limits.

 

Elijah proves that even the best of us must constantly refer back to our source of strength. God provides His power for His purposes. Know your limits even as you operate in His power.

 

Think: I must rely on God’s power to build His Kingdom, despite my human limits.

 

Pray: “Lord, use me in your Kingdom, despite my limits.”

 

 

Copyright © April 2016, Kirk Hunt

This devotional is a ministry of http://devotionals.cadremenpress.com.

More To Finish The Job

More To Finish The Job By Kirk Hunt

Then it came to pass the seventh time, that he said, “There is a cloud, as small as a man’s hand, rising out of the sea!” So he said, “Go up, say to Ahab, ‘Prepare your chariot, and go down before the rain stops you.’”

1 Kings 18:44 NKJV
(Please also read 1 Kings 18:41–46.)

 

Elijah’s victory on Mount Carmel was incomplete. God caused the drought because of Israel’s disobedience. The nation repented and returned to God. Since God is faithful to His promises, the drought had to end to finish the job of restoration.

 

Quietly and alone, Elijah prayed for rain. Elijah’s assistant ran back and forth, looking for an answer to the prophet’s prayer. Finally, a single, small cloud became visible.

 

The big, flashy event is (probably) important. Still, more is usually needed to finish the job. Follow-up, and follow-through, are often the hidden key(s) to success for the Kingdom.

 

Elijah knew that God’s answer by fire did not finish the job of restoration of Israel. God’s people were humbled by years of drought, famine and the decimation of the Ba’al cult. Israel’s repentance needed to be answered with restoration of the rains and fertile fields.

 

Your victory was a lot of work. You are rightfully tired and worn. Do not stop now. Finish the job God assigned you.

 

Think: After the big event, finish the job God assigned you.

 

Pray: “Lord, help me to complete Your job, Your way.”

 

Copyright © April 2016, Kirk Hunt

This devotional is a ministry of http://devotionals.cadremenpress.com.

Short Prayer, Full Impact

Short Prayer, Full Impact By Kirk Hunt

 

Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood and the stones and the dust, and it licked up the water that was in the trench. Now when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, “The Lord, He is God! The Lord, He is God!”

1 Kings 18:38-39 NKJV
(Please also read 1 Kings 18:30–40.)

 

The water-soaked altar was disintegrated. God’s fire consumed all of the animal sacrifice, stone, wood and water in an instant. The impact of Elijah’s short prayer, asking for God’s power, rocked the entire nation.

 

The prophets of Ba’al had spent hours imploring their pagan superstition. Elijah spent perhaps sixty seconds asking the living God. Without fanfare or furor, God answered Elijah’s simple prayer before all the people of Israel. He re-proved Himself to His chosen people.

 

God responds to the depth, sincerity and earnestness of your faith. Your faith may not be perfect, or without the taint of doubt. Still, He responds to a heart that trusts in Him. God still replies with fire to His sons and daughters who come sincerely to their heavenly Father.

 

You do not need long, complex or eloquent prayers. You only need to know that God answers in strength and power those who love and trust Him. It is just that easy. It is just that simple.

 

Think: God responds to the depth of your faith, not the length of your prayer.

Pray: “Lord, I come to you in faith and trust.”

 

Copyright © April 2016, Kirk Hunt

This devotional is a ministry of http://devotionals.cadremenpress.com.

All Noise, No Substance

All Noise, No Substance By Kirk Hunt

 

So they cried aloud, and cut themselves, as was their custom, with knives and lances, until the blood gushed out on them. And when midday was past, they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice. But there was no voice; no one answered, no one paid attention.

 

1 Kings 18:28-29 NKJV

 

For at least 8 hours (morning to noon to evening), the prophets of Ba’al screamed, yelled, leaped, jumped and otherwise made a lot of noise and sweat. They wasted their time and effort. Their invocations had no substance, power or effect in the real world.

 

The prophets of Ba’al failed from the start. They put their faith in dead idols instead of our living God. They literally bled with no chance of impact or effect.

 

High numbers of decibels or attendees do not automatically indicate anything of value. A few men and women, who are determined to make a difference, always have the greater impact. Substance always wins in the end.

 

Unfortunately, building God’s Kingdom, or Godly lives, requires wise and substantial effort. The Grand Canyon did not appear overnight. Doctors, lawyers and engineers study for years before they are competent in their professions.

 

God’s Kingdom, and Godly lives, come through faith in Him, then significant work in the real world. As modern day people of God, make sure that you are acting with substance and significance. Please, generate more for God than noise and sweat.

 

Think: Progress with God and His Kingdom requires acts of substance, not just noise.

 

Pray: “Lord, help me to serve You with acts of substance and significance.”

 

 

Copyright © April 2016, Kirk Hunt

This devotional is a ministry of http://devotionals.cadremenpress.com.

Modern Pharisees

Modern Pharisees By Kirk Hunt

 

But some of the sect of the Pharisees who believed rose up, saying, “It is necessary to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.”

Acts 15:5 NKJV

 

The Gospels clearly record how this ancient Jewish sect opposed Jesus and His message of grace and forgiveness. At best, the Pharisees were judgmental, harsh, unforgiving, graceless and snobbish. Except for the fact they accepted salvation from Jesus, I pray you are not like them.

 

After the Holy Spirit fell on the Gentiles, the converted Pharisees wanted to impose the Mosaic Law (and probably all of the rabbinical commentary and regulations) on these new Christians. Instead of embracing and promoting the new freedom and fresh grace of Christianity, they sought to impose old thinking and older rules. Thankfully, Paul, Peter and the Apostles blocked their attempt to weigh down the Gospel with inflexible directives and man-made regulations.

 

Unfortunately, the Pharisee way of thinking did not die out before 100 AD. A rules-laden, suffocating approach to the life-giving Gospel of Jesus is still with us and operating in the modern Church. Opposition to the modern Church can largely be linked to Pharisee-like thinking and practices. That should not be a surprise to saint or sinner.

 

Anytime non-Biblical rules, regulations or interpretation trumps the Gospel itself, you have a Pharisee-like problem on your hands. Living out the Gospel of Jesus Christ is difficult enough. Do not let anyone, including you, write-in additional rules and regulations.

 

Think: Disciples are made using grace and truth, not rules and regulations.

 

Pray: “Lord, help me to disciple people of all nations with grace and truth.”

 

 

Copyright © March 2016, Kirk Hunt

This devotional is a ministry of http://devotionals.cadremenpress.com.

With Lovingkindness

With Lovingkindness By Kirk Hunt

 

The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying:

“Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love;

Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.

Jeremiah 31:3 NKJV

 

In recent days my heart is heavy. Too many of God’s people speak, or ardently follow those who speak, anger, hate and fear. Christians should be reaching out in lovingkindness to refugees and radicals alike. Instead with angry, unforgiving words we are pushing them back into the arms of error and sin.

 

God’s people are called to disciple all of the world. That includes reaching out in grace and patience to Muslims, Wiccans and everyone else following error instead of Christ. In order to reach a lost soul, you must first get close enough to touch them.

 

Exclusion, walls and isolation do not touch hearts and minds for Christ. Jesus reached out to us in service (Romans 5:8) with lovingkindness. Christians are commanded by Scripture (Matthew 28:19) to make disciples of all nations. Disciples are only made (or maintained) by close, personal, prolonged contact.

 

Millions of refugees from “fallen houses” (Matthew 7:26-27) seek refuge in the stability of Christian nations (Matthew 7:25). Are they receiving the gracious words and generous actions that flow from Jesus? Are Christians obeying Scripture by discipling the nations who plead at the door?

 

The world has come to us, seeking the Gospel. Christians have an unprecedented opportunity to turn back the darkness. Are we salt and light (Matthew 5:13–16) enough for the job?

 

Think: Disciples are made using open, serving hands; not angry, striking fists.

 

Pray: “Lord, help me to disciple people of all nations.”

 

 

Copyright © March 2016, Kirk Hunt

This devotional is a ministry of http://devotionals.cadremenpress.com.

Despite Your Outcome

Despite Your Outcome By Kirk Hunt

 

Now it happened afterward that David’s heart troubled him because he had cut Saul’s robe. And he said to his men, “The Lord forbid that I should do this thing to my master, the Lord’s anointed, to stretch out my hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the Lord.”

1 Samuel 24:5–6 NKJV

 

David had gotten close enough to Saul to have taken his life. The cloth cut from Saul’s robe proved the operation was a success. The cut in David’s heart proved the outcome was a failure.

 

Saul unrighteously sought David’s life. The common wisdom is that a new king would rescind the execution warrant against David. David’s action represented an assault against a leader appointed by God. David’s own conscience convicted (not condemned) him about this.

 

Sometimes, God’s people produce the wrong outcomes. Provoked, we can respond the wrong way. Threatened, we may take matters into our hands, rather than wait on God. Worst of all, simple willfulness leads us down the wrong path.

 

When a skilled soldier has a “silver platter” opportunity to kill a known enemy, you can assume the outcome. When a servant of God has an opportunity to serve a known enemy, you should assume that outcome also. The difference is that God’s people should only deal in blessing and service.

 

David confessed, and made right, his slight against the king. Perhaps you need to confess and redeem a poor outcome in your life. Prayerfully, the Holy Spirit will convict (not condemn) you until you do.

 

Think: As a servant of God, I must make sure my outcomes are correct.

 

Pray: “Lord, help me live, speak and act per Your heart.”

 

 

Copyright © March 2016, Kirk Hunt

This devotional is a ministry of http://devotionals.cadremenpress.com.

Consider Your Output

Consider Your Output By Kirk Hunt

 

Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”

John 20:25 NKJV

 

Often, God’s people read this verse and see “goodness out, goodness in.” While that is good, we need to also consider the other viewpoint: “garbage out, garbage in.” The output of our hearts, minds and voices always returns to us. Good or bad.

 

Too often, the good our hands do is drowned out by the bad our voices say. We heap help and support on the attractive and safe, but heap judgment and scorn on the unlovely and threatening. Sometimes regardless of the Kingdom building that could be done with more loving and accepting actions and voices.

 

We reach out to those who (say they) conform to our viewpoint and imagery. We turn away from those who do not rush to follow our formats and patterns. At the expense of those who need the Gospel, we cater to those who cynically play on our sympathies.

 

Jesus used a whip to drive out the moneychangers. He preached special rebukes against the hypocritical Priests and Pharisees. The moneychangers, priests and Pharisees were the righteous looking people. The Roman Centurion, with his foreign looks and uniform, was proclaimed by Him as an example of real faithfulness.

 

Are you receiving much good and blessing? Good. Are you receiving some rebuke and difficulty? Perhaps you not as consistent as you thought you were.

 

Think: My acts and my words must be consistent with each other.

 

Pray: “Lord, help me live, say and act per Your Word and Way.”

 

 

Copyright © March 2016, Kirk Hunt

This devotional is a ministry of http://devotionals.cadremenpress.com.

The Testimony Of Scars

The Testimony Of Scars By Kirk Hunt

 

The other disciples therefore said to him, “We have seen the Lord.”

So he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the print [scars] of the nails, and put my finger into the print [scars] of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.”

John 20:25 NKJV

 

Thomas wanted proof. Like the other disciples, he knew for certain Jesus had died on the Cross. Now, he wanted the same kind of certainty that Jesus again lived. He wanted to see and touch the scars of the living, breathing Jesus.

 

Enough hurt, pain and loss will rattle the confidence, or drain hope from, even those with iron wills and steel souls. Too often, the words of others mean nothing in those dark moments of distress. Only the testimony of scars can speak to those who seem to have lost everything.

 

“See? Jesus brought me through the same crisis.” “His Spirit carried me when I got the same late-night call.” “His grace healed me of the same illness.”

 

God’s people too often hide their scars. By hiding them, we also hide the evidence of God’s power and restoration in our lives. Only survivors have scars. Survivors speak with an authority that exceeds all others.

 

Thomas finally got his living proof of the resurrected Jesus. You also have proof of the resurrected Jesus. His power has brought you through. Your scars are irrefutable proof of His power and authority in the real world.

 

Think: My scars are irrefutable proof of God’s power and supremacy in my life.

 

Pray: “Lord, help me to use my scars to testify of You.”

 

 

Copyright © February 2016, Kirk Hunt

This devotional is a ministry of http://devotionals.cadremenpress.com.