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.

Come To Save Them

Come To Save Them By Kirk Hunt

But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” And they went to another village.

Luke 9:55–56 NKJV

The Disciples were eager to use their power. They wanted to indulge their lust for control and dominance. Jesus reminded them He came to save lives.

I am distressed and saddened by the adversarial and vindictive words and actions of too many in our society. I am especially upset by those who claim to be God’s people. Even cursory examination of the Gospels reveals that Jesus is neither a brawler or spiteful.

He extended dignity, mercy and grace to adulterers, prostitutes and publicans. He was silent before Pilate. He did not call a host of angels to save Himself from the Cross. Jesus demonstrated, in the flesh, that the truly strong understand how to restrain their strength.

By having control over His strength, Jesus was able to fulfil His purpose to save mankind. He did not come to destroy men’s lives. Nor did He allow His disciples to flame strike the Samaritan village, despite their rudeness and inhospitality.

Do you have self-control? Do you understand Jesus’ purpose should be your purpose as well? God’s people are called to save men and women.

We save others by being careful how we use the power that God entrusts to us. Just because you can, does not mean you should. Remember; Jesus saves.

Think: As a disciple of Jesus, I am to save the lives of men and women, not destroy them.

Pray: “Lord, help me to save the lives of those 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.

Troubled Yet Strong

Troubled Yet Strong By Kirk Hunt

Your words have upheld him who was stumbling,
And you have strengthened the feeble knees;
But now it comes upon you, and you are weary;
It touches you, and you are troubled.

Job 4:4–5 NKJV

It is easy, from the comfort of your living room couch, to complain about what is or is not happening on the field of play. It is different when you are the one troubled by difficult circumstances, coworker miscues and unfair criticism. Stay strong, no matter how much this life batters you, and false-friends or intractable enemies bad-mouth you.

In the 4th chapter of Job, Eliphaz criticizes Job. Eliphaz does not complain that Job’s prior support of others was poor or incorrect. Instead, he condemns Job for experiencing grief at the loss of his children, misery in the midst of his illness and distress in the middle of devastating losses. “Thanks for the support, Eliphaz.”

I pray you have a long and prosperous life building God’s Kingdom. Still, no matter how clean your living, or wise your conduct, difficulties will come to your doorstep. Still, through your strength in God, you can live through your troubles and emerge victorious.

Job did not dance and sing through his sorrows and distresses. His first and second responses were to turn to God and continue to trust Him. Job’s trust in God and grounding in His righteousness gave him the strength he needed.

What God did for Job, He will do for you. Despite your troubles, are you strong enough to rely on God? I pray so.

Think: Despite my difficulties I can live in victory through the strength of God.

Pray: “Lord, help me to be strong in You, despite my troubles.”

 

Copyright © February 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.

Spirit of Forbearance

Spirit of Forbearance By Kirk Hunt

And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?

Romans 2:3–4 NKJV

 

Forbearance can be defined as the act of restraining an action, despite right or privilege. The bank can choose not to start foreclosure. The officer can choose not to write a speeding ticket. They choose to restrain their right and capacity to act. Jesus and the adulterous woman (John 7:53-8:11) is a prime example of the spirit of forbearance.

 

Jesus, sinless, pure and perfect, could cast the first store. The Law said He ought to cast the first stone. Instead, He refused to condemn her.

 

Jesus was more concerned about her soul than the opinion of the Pharisees. He had the power to act and the power to restrain Himself. Graciously, He instructed her to give up sin then sent her back to her life.

 

Jesus held the right, the privilege and capacity to condemn her. By restraining His action, the woman received an opportunity for repentance and restoration. Jesus’ forbearance was a strong act of mercy, grace and outreach.

 

The spirit of forbearance is a sister of gentleness. Forbearance and gentleness only matter where there is the ability to act. Both require you to consider the impact on others, before yourself. Do you choose to act against others at every opportunity? Can you restrain yourself, sometimes?

 

Think: Forbearance is the power to restrain yourself. Can you?

 

Pray: “Lord, help me to restrain myself in order to benefit others.”

 

Copyright © October 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.

Spirit Of Gentleness

Spirit of Gentleness By Kirk Hunt

Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.

Galatians 6:1 NKJV

 

Perhaps your mental image of gentleness needs adjustment. Too often, men (and some women) associate gentleness with weakness or a lack of power. In fact, only the strong and powerful can be gentle. God’s love to us is the ultimate example of gentleness.

 

My favorite definition of gentleness is “strength or power with skillful control”. Anyone who cannot restrain their own strength or power is a threat to all around them. Worse, they may cause harm where they intended to help.

 

Without strength or power, you cannot have an impact in the world. Without gentleness, your strength or power will tend toward harm and never help. Who could you help, if you could skillfully apply your might and muscle on their behalf?

 

Gentleness is a fruit (characteristic) of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22–23). The longer your walk with God, the more we should see evidence of all of these characteristics in your life. You may not have perfected one or any of them, but we should see you growing in all of them.

 

Gentleness is arguably the most easily recognized of the fruit. Regular folk easily see if you wield your power or strength to benefit others. It is obvious to everyone if you leave wreckage or blessing in your wake.

 

Think: Gentleness is power with skill. Do I help or hurt with my strength?

 

Pray: “Lord, help me to live my life showing the same gentleness You show me.”

 

Copyright © October 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.

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.

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.