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.

Press On

Press On By Kirk Hunt

 

Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.

Philippians 3:12 NKJV

 

From a Roman prison, Paul wrote a letter of instruction and encouragement to the Christian church at Philippa. Despite his evangelism work, and the resulting persecution, Paul understood that he remained a work-in-process. “I press on,” is a statement of faith, as well as fact.

 

Since Christians are imperfect, we work constantly to improve our own characters. At the same time, we also work to bring Jesus to the fallen world around us. We do not give up on them, because God has not given up on us. Given a new morning, we continue to push forward, for the world, and for ourselves.

 

Christians are not excused from life in the real world. Flat tires, bad medical reports and poor self-control happen to God’s people every day. The Christian walk exists in the nitty-gritty realities of here and now.

 

Understanding his own short-comings, Paul sought to build up others. He used an action verb to describe the internal and external work of his life and ministry. Paul made no apologies for being less-than-perfect. He only pointed out that he was working to that end, regardless.

 

So, like Paul, we press on. We are eager to win over hearts and minds to Jesus. Especially, but not exclusively, we labor to bring ourselves to Him.

 

Think: I push forward to build myself, and His Kingdom, here and now.

 

Pray: “Lord, help me to press forward to You.”

 

 

Copyright © February 2016, Kirk Hunt

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

Just Launch

Just Launch By Kirk Hunt

 

Then Gideon said to God, “Do not be angry with me, but let me speak just once more: Let me test, I pray, just once more with the fleece; let it now be dry only on the fleece, but on all the ground let there be dew.”

Judges 6:39 NKJV

 

Gideon had already met an angel, face-to-face. He also experienced (even if briefly) the in-dwelling of God’s Spirit; a rare thing in the Old Testament record. With all of Israel’s military might gathered with him at Jezreel, Gideon hesitated to engage with the enemy. Despite his intensive experience with God, and an army at his command, Gideon failed to launch.

 

The miracles of a wet fleece, then a dry fleece were designed to assure Gideon that he was following God’s authentic commands. We can read ahead in Scripture to Gideon’s victory at the end of Judges 7. Gideon had to live through the actual battles and difficulties in order to enjoy the success God promised him.

 

Do not get me wrong. I have done the same thing. With all of God’s presence and assurance, I have hesitated to follow His command. Despite seeing and knowing much, I draw back because I do not know all.

 

As God’s people, we are to love and trust Him more than ourselves. We may not always have our own best interests in heart or mind, but He does. God guides human history with one hand while the other hand holds endless power. We can trust His call to launch.

 

Think: I want the character to boldly launch when God commands.

 

Pray: “Lord, help me to have the courage and obedience to launch at Your command.”

 

 

Copyright © February 2016, Kirk Hunt

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

The Ministry of Training

The Ministry Of Training By Kirk Hunt

 

But Samuel ministered before the Lord, even as a child, wearing a linen ephod.

1Samuel 2:18 NKJV

 

Samuel literally began his ministry as a preschooler, if not a toddler. Dressed like an adult priest, he carried out mundane tasks in the Tabernacle, just like everyone else. Still, the “trainee” heard from God, even when the High Priest could not (or would not).

 

Perhaps you are truly in the apprentice phase of your life. Good. Learn all you can. Still, what is your output? Even as a learner, you can bless, benefit and build the Kingdom. Are you willing to be a source of output? Do you have the heart to be a blessing, here and now?

 

Too often we expect that we must be deeply qualified and extensively experienced before we can serve God, or men and women. You can fulfill your calling here, now and as you are. You may be better later, but today you are more than good enough for the tasks before you.

 

Samuel may have been the last of the Judges, but he was also the first of the Prophets. His authority, knowledge and service before God are recorded in Scripture. Still, he started his ministry as a child and delivered God’s Word to Israel’s elite leadership. Before he was considered an adult, or fully capable, Samuel was a heavy-hitter.

 

As you work and train before God, you too are a ministering learner. Your credentials may be thin. Your certificates may be few. Still, for some, what you have to give is a weighty matter. I pray that you deliver what God has given you.

 

Think: Even while training I can build God’s Kingdom.

 

Pray: “Lord, how can I build your Kingdom, today?”

 

 

Copyright © February 2016, Kirk Hunt

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

The Intention Of Training

The Intention Of Training By Kirk Hunt

They have a heart trained in covetous practices, and are accursed children.

2 Peter 2:14 NKJV

 

Training requires a target. High skills and knowledge always requires focus on a specific and deliberate outcome. What is your intention?

 

Peter and Paul both faced men and women who trained their minds and bodies for unrighteous, sinful outcomes. As if doing the wrong thing was easy enough, those souls focused their efforts on the very outcomes God’s people try to avoid. These “cursed children” want sin and wrongdoing to be expanded in the world.

 

History is full of examples of men and women who sought the worst in themselves and others. Millions have suffered, and will suffer in the future, because of the dark and malicious goals of a determined few. Thankfully, the opposite is also true. A few, determined souls can bless and benefit this generation and next.

 

Whose kingdom do you want to build? Do you seek to build the Kingdom of God, here and now? If so, you can be a “blessed child” to everyone around you and to generations to come.

 

Consider what you are training your mind, heart and body to do. The intention of your purpose exposes who you really are. It is my prayer that we will see that you are a child of Father-God.

 

Think: The intention of my training is building God’s Kingdom.

 

Pray: “Lord, I train diligently so I can build your Kingdom.”

 

 

Copyright © February 2016, Kirk Hunt

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