The Burden In His Heart

The Burden In His Heart By Kirk Hunt

 

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

Galatians 6:2 NKJV

 

It was 1990-ish and I sat alone in a room of white men and told the story from my heart. “White cops do not stop to help black men.” I was there to learn about how to minister. Instead, I discovered a burden in my heart I did not know I had. A hurt I would have otherwise kept hidden.

 

My Christian brothers listened carefully to a viewpoint they did not expect to hear. They could not reject my story without rejecting me. So, for a little while, they helped me bear my burden. Their obedience to Jesus helped begin healing an infection that could have disqualified me from ministry.

 

I did learn a lesson about ministering to men and women during that day. Whatever you think, a man’s experience is his experience. He is correct about what he felt. You may not understand or agree, but you cannot reject the story that comes from his heart without rejecting him. And it may be appropriate for your heart to ache with him.

 

I struggle when men and women tell me hard, painful stories about their earthly fathers. My memory of Poppa Hunt remains my most valuable possession. Still, I believe the story they share from their heart. I then lead that hurting soul to Jesus, our Healer.

 

In the coming days and weeks, God’s people will be ministers of healing, reconciliation and restoration. It starts with a willingness to accept the heart the story comes from. Then lead them humbly and graciously to Jesus. Bear their burden, for a while, so that healing can begin.

 

Think: Reconciliation and healing begin by bearing someone’s burden.

 

Pray: “Lord, help me to bear someone’s burden, as Your instrument of healing.”

 

Copyright © July 2016, 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.

Christians Do Not Hate

Christians Do Not Hate By Kirk Hunt

 

If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?

1 John 4:20 NKJV

 

I am always disappointed when someone, claiming to be a Christian, expresses hate for others. Jesus told us the world would hate Christians. Not once did He command us to hate sinners, even in retaliation. Multiple times, He commanded us to love those who hate us.

 

Jesus said in Luke 6:27, “But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you.” Perhaps the hearing part is the tricky part. Perhaps the obedient to Christ part is a different tricky part.

 

Jesus could have called down fire on various sinners and adversaries during His earthly ministry. He did not do so, even once. Instead, He died for the Pharisees who hated him. Jesus forgave His executioners during His execution. He died for you and I, even though we were sinners.

 

The Christ I serve healed foreigners and aliens. He proclaimed that He came to minister to sinners and tax collectors. May I remind you that He personally refused to condemn an adulteress, caught in the very act?

 

Condemnation ends the conversation. Conviction leads to restoration. Christians are commanded to make disciples (Matthew 28:19) of all men and women. We cannot hate the souls we expect and want to love Jesus.

 

Think: I cannot (effectively) share Jesus with someone I hate.

 

Pray: “Lord, help me to live out my love for You by loving Your (sinful) children.”

 

 

Copyright © June 2016, 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.

Healing Instruments

Healing Instruments By Kirk Hunt

if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

2 Chronicles 7:14 NKJV

 

I am horrified. Each black man could have been a nephew, cousin, brother or one of my precious sons. Each policeman could have been a nephew, cousin or one of my Gospel brothers. “God where is Your healing?”

 

There is pain and outrage as the carnage continues. There is fear, anger and despair as the body counts climb. The cycle of violence can only be broken through reconciliation and restoration.

 

Clearly, America needs healing. God’s power is the only source powerful enough to cleanse the infection and mend the wounds. Consider this: He will use His people to do the work.

 

The image is not of held hands and gentle songs. The picture is of the hard, painful labor of self-examination and repentance. There will be the hard, sweaty work of choosing a different, better way. After that, there will be grueling practice until righteousness becomes an engrained response. And through it all, we will have to start trusting each other.

 

God is our source, but we are the instruments. It will take everyday men and women, just like you, to reach out to others in grace and humility. Consider someone else’s heart and mind, first and last. Do the hard things that end the violence and fear.

 

There may be hot tears and harsh words. That is okay. Healing will begin after the infection is cleared and the wounds begin to close.

 

Think: I am God’s instrument of reconciliation and healing.

 

Pray: “Lord, we seek Your face. Heal our land.”

 

Copyright © July 2016, 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.

Christians Do Not Fear

Christians Do Not Fear By Kirk Hunt

 

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us.

1 John 4:18–19 NKJV

 

In recent days it is hard to avoid the media fixation on anger among citizens, the world over. There are many potential reasons for all of that rage, but most fall short of explaining the root or true cause. Fear, on the other hand, easily explains the driving force of so much poor behavior in the world.

 

Remove fear of coming events and people will live without violence or unrest. Even when conditions are harsh or difficult, they keep their heads. When people become afraid of what will happen next, the torches and pitchforks come out. Keep in mind that neither fearful mobs nor fearful individuals make good decisions.

 

Christians of course should never give in to fear. We are loved by God Himself. The Creator looks after His own.

 

Consider also that His love drives out fear. The more you allow His care and concern for you to saturate your life, the less room there is for fear. Sound like a good deal to me.

 

If you are a son or daughter of God, you can trust in His love for you. Things may not be easy, but you can live in the confidence of His care and concern especially for you. There is no room for fear in a heart filled with God’s love.

 

Think: God’s love for me drives out my fear.

 

Pray: “Lord, help me to live out my life in Your love and without my fear.”

 

 

Copyright © July 2016, 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.

 

Loving Under Authority

Loving Under Authority By Kirk Hunt

 

Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.

Romans 13:1–2 NKJV
Please also read Romans 13:1–14

 

The Apostle Paul commanded Christians living in Rome to obey the rule and authority of the Roman Caesars. These same Roman leaders would eventually behead the Apostle. Paul’s words, and example, remain a commandment for Christians today. Our dual citizenship in God’s Kingdom, and a secular government, leads to complexities we answer through His love and grace.

 

Christians are good citizens of God and heaven, first and foremost. When push comes to shove, His grace and love should flow out of us to the men and women who persecute us. Especially when they respond with dogs and firehoses.

 

Paul was beheaded for preaching the Gospel. Traditionally, all of the Apostles, save John, were martyred for preaching Jesus. The Apostles loved Jesus, and their pagan persecutors, more than themselves. Instead of a clenched fist they used their loving hearts to turn the authorities to Jesus.

 

Through prayer and living as authentic Christians, the Apostles turned pagan Rome into a Christian nation. No nation, or group, is so far gone that it cannot be brought, or returned, to Christ. Are you willing to live, love and potential die as a citizen of heaven?

 

Think: I am first and foremost a loving citizen of heaven. Regardless of the cost.

 

Pray: “Lord, help me to live out my life as a testimony of Your love.”

 

 

Copyright © June 2016, Kirk Hunt

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

My Relationship With Poppa

My Relationship With Poppa By Kirk Hunt

 

And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.

Luke 2:52 NKJV

 

The day I was born, I was in relationship with Poppa. At first, I spent most of my time with Momma, but over the years my time and intensity with Poppa grew. Sometimes, Poppa and I had relationship, despite my protests. Through it all, my love, respect and honor for my earthly father has only grown over the years.

 

Poppa has gone to God, but his voice and teachings continue to resonate within me. My feeling about what or how he said things can be complicated. My relationship with him remains simple.

 

The day you were born, you had a relationship with Father-God. At first, you spent most of your time with parents and other leaders. I am sure you have felt the desire for a deeper relationship with Father-God, even if you did not understand at first. God’s heart has called to you from the beginning and will seek you out until the end.

 

Your relationship with a parent or other leader may have complicated your relationship with God. Still, Father-God wants a close, personal and intense relationship with you. He always has. He always will.

 

Still, I pray that you will look past even a good earthly father to our eternal God. Father-God loved you then, loves you now and will love you tomorrow. No matter how complicated your feeling for God, your relationship with Him remains simple.

 

Think: Father-God loves me.

 

Pray: “Lord, help me to draw closer to You.”

 

 

Copyright © June 2016, Kirk Hunt

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

 

Now Is The Time To Shine

Now Is The Time To Shine By Kirk Hunt

 

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

Matthew 5:16 NKJV
Please also read Matthew 5:1–20

 

Roman-occupied Israel was not quiet, placid or especially righteous. Despite the occupying pagans, and corrupt leadership, Jesus commanded His followers to shine out in acts of faith and service. Then, as now, Christians have a prime opportunity to put their salt and light to good use.

 

The darkness of this present age has inflicted pain and suffering. God’s people have been equipped and empowered to respond. Do we have a heart to bless? Do we have a mind to obey?

 

Salt preserves. Light guides. All of His true followers and disciples are simultaneously salt and light. Through Scripture, Jesus commands us to reach into the darkness and save the lost.

 

We are commanded to serve. We are to use our faith-fueled acts of service to show God to a dark and dying world. If there has ever been an opportunity to reach out to the lost and hurting, this is that time and place.

 

Reach out to the men and women around you who are wounded and confused. Regardless of their faith, creed or activities, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the answer. Prove, through faith-fueled acts of service, that the God you serve loves everyone, without exception. Pour out your salt and light until they see God.

 

Think: I can show God to men and women through acts of faith-fueled service.

 

Pray: “Lord, help me to obey You and Your commandments.”

 

 

Copyright © June 2016, Kirk Hunt

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

 

Worship Anyway

Worship Anyway By Kirk Hunt

And being in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, as He sat at the table, a woman came having an alabaster flask of very costly oil of spikenard. Then she broke the flask and poured it on His head.

Mark 14:3 NKJV

Please read one (or all) of the Gospel accounts:
Matthew 26: 6–13; Mark 14: 3–9; Luke 7: 36–50; John 12: 1–8.

 

Even today, an alabaster box (for perfume) is costly and uncommon. Spikenard, which grows only in the Himalayas of Nepal, remains rare and expensive. Mary spent over a year’s wages to worship.

 

The whispering Pharisees used her past to slander Jesus. Jesus’ Disciples complained about the “wasteful” expression of her worship. Given a say, it appears that Pharisee and Disciple would have denied her the opportunity to worship. Despite them, or their intentions, Mary worshiped anyway.

 

The Bible does not confirm that Mary was a prostitute. Scripture states she had been demon-possessed and a notorious sinner. Mary did not let her past, or the murmuring busybodies, keep her from Jesus.

 

You have an opportunity to worship today. Will you pay the price? Will you walk past your history or circumstances and worship God? Are you willing to ignore the whispers from without, or within, to worship Jesus?

 

Whatever it costs, He is worthy. No matter what others do or say, Jesus is available to you. No matter what has happened before, He waits for you.

 

The voices are noise and distraction. If you want to, you can worship. Everything else is just details.

 

Think: I can worship Jesus, if I am determined.

 

Pray: “Lord, I worship You, because You are worthy.”

 

 

Copyright © June 2016, Kirk Hunt

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

Which Voices Are Speaking?

Which Voices Are Speaking? By Kirk Hunt

 

And the Lord said to me, “The prophets prophesy lies in My name. I have not sent them, commanded them, nor spoken to them; they prophesy to you a false vision, divination, a worthless thing, and the deceit of their heart.

Jeremiah 14:14 NKJV

 

To my dismay, people I know, treasure and respect make poor choices and take disreputable actions. Despite what I know they know, their actions conflict with what I know of their character. It seems that there are voices in their lives that lead them down these unworthy paths.

 

The false prophets of Jeremiah’s era assured the nation of Judah that their continuing sin and corruption would not be held against them. Perhaps, the Babylonian conquest could have been averted, had Judah repented and returned to God. The voices of the false prophets convinced Judah to remain in their sinful ways, and the great captivity fell on the nation.

 

There are voices in my life as well. I trust, or trusted, certain men and women to speak into my life. Now, sometimes retroactively, I screen their words through Scripture. I am too often surprised at how poorly their words compare to the Word of God.

 

True prophets speak God’s truth. Their voices match Scripture. Their only agenda is to speak what God says.

 

You and I have voices, past and present, speaking to our hearts, minds and souls. Only the true prophets should be listened to. The routes you follow accurately report which voices you hear.

 

Think: The voices I listen to must agree with Scripture.

 

Pray: “Lord, help me to hear only Your voice.”

 

 

Copyright © June 2016, Kirk Hunt

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

 

The Power Of Consistency

The Power Of Consistency By Kirk Hunt

 

He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much.

Luke 16:10 NKJV

 

The card said simply: “Thank you for your 171 donations!” It has taken 5 years of consistency to deliver that many units (pints) of platelets. I am humbled that God would grace me to do so much, and for so long, for His Kingdom.

 

I have been able to share my good health 171 times. 171 times I have been able to minister, not just to a seriously ill patient, but to all of the kin and kith looking on. 171 times I have answered God’s calling on my life for a man, woman or child (except one) I will never meet.

 

What should you be doing consistently? How many men, women or children will be blessed if you press toward the goal? You have a calling that will build the Kingdom of God, here and now. Have you answered your calling?

 

I could never give 21 gallons of blood products at one time. I cannot give platelets as quickly and easily as other men and women. Still, I do what I can. And what I give is not trivial. Especially to those who receive the gift that I pass on from God.

 

Follow your calling. Faithfully pass on the gift that God has given you. There is power in your consistency.

 

Think: Consistency has more impact and blessing than I think or know.

 

Pray: “Lord, help me to consistently live my life in You.”

 

 

Copyright © May 2016, Kirk Hunt

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