Buying Reconciliation

Buying Reconciliation By Kirk Hunt

But Esau said, “I have enough, my brother; keep what you have for yourself.” And Jacob said, “No, please, if I have now found favor in your sight, then receive my present from my hand, inasmuch as I have seen your face as though I had seen the face of God, and you were pleased with me.

Genesis 33:9–10 NKJV

The murderous hatred of Esau did not soften; instead, it transformed into brotherly love. Not suddenly with gifts, but slowly in the two decades of separation from his twin brother. Whatever Jacob’s opinion of Esau before, he is delighted by his brother’s acceptance in reconciliation. “You were pleased with me.”

Reconciliation is rarely a complicated business. Restoring relationships is almost always a lavishly expensive affair. The cost in swallowed pride and forgiven offensives starts high, then grows with each passing day. Unwinding, or flat forgiving, old grievances can take more out of you than you think or know.

Jacob’s wealth and blessings could not buy off his conscience or wrongdoing. He had to face his brother and fix their relationship. Unsure of his brother’s response (400 men), Jacob faced the regional warlord with nothing but courage and determination.

The fortune in livestock Jacob gave to Esau was not a bribe. It was an apology. Esau’s embrace of Jacob restored peace and joy, too long absent between them. Tears, of joy and relief, marked the return of brothers to each other’s life.

It is not too late or too hard for you. Spend your time, money and tears on reconciliation. Use your every skill and resource to restore the relationship. It will be a bargain at twice the price.

Think: Reconciliation is expensive but satisfying.

Pray: “Lord, help me find the way to bring us back together.”

 

Copyright © April 2018, 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.

Be The Strong One

Be The Strong One By Kirk Hunt

We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves.

Romans 15:1 NKJV

 

Now is the time to be strong. Be strong enough to survive injustice. Be strong enough to overcome fear. Most of all, be strong enough to help others.

 

Often, our best ministry comes when we are most under pressure. We are God’s best ambassadors when we stand after hurt and loss, then reach out to those who oppose us the most. It is not enough to turn the other cheek. You must also carry the burden (Matthew 5:38-42).

 

My heart has been torn by recent events. Anguish and fear are not a help. I have turned to God’s strength and grace. They are the tools that bring reconciliation and restoration.

 

Strength is not a clenched fist. Strength is found in skillful hands that bind wounds and uphold the weak. An avenging spirit is not strength. Strength is found in hearts and minds that pierce the chaos with wisdom and justice.

 

All Christians should be eager to respond with the strength they get from God. Strength that refuses to hate. Power that acts through wisdom and justice. Might that overcomes fear and injury.

 

The solutions to today’s problems are neither quick nor easy. The solutions to the issues we face require strength and fortitude to work through the chaos to God’s peace. God calls you to take His strength, then serve others with wisdom and justice.

 

Think: Strength is not a fist of vengeance. Real strength chooses wisdom and justice.

 

Pray: “Lord, help me to minister to others with Your strength.”

 

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.

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.

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.