Manipulating The King

Manipulating The King by Kirk Hunt

All the governors of the kingdom, the administrators and satraps, the counselors and advisors, have consulted together to establish a royal statute and to make a firm decree, that whoever petitions any god or man for thirty days, except you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions.

Daniel 6:7 NKJV

King Darius’ advisors manipulated him. Their flattery and appeal to his ego got him to sign a law designed to kill a single man, Daniel. Were it not for God’s divine intervention, Daniel would have become lion chow.

What was Daniel’s crime that the highest advisors of the Kingdom sought his life? Daniel, a foreign-born man had achieved high rank. He also prayed his prayers daily and openly to a foreign God (Jehovah-Jireh). Daniel’s righteous living matched his prayer life. The only way to get at Daniel was to manipulate the king into executing him without good cause..

Men and women must seek and labor to do the right thing. Righteousness does not come naturally or easily. And there are others who will encourage, or trick you into going down a wicked, evil path.

Your advisors may, or may not, be working in your best interests. Had King Darius stopped listening to his own ego and self-image long enough, he might have asked why this new but temporary law needed to be signed. Seek God’s wisdom and insight at all times, no matter how you trust those around you.

Think: Am I doing what I am doing for my ego or for God’s righteousness?

Pray: “Lord, help me not to be manipulated by false and wicked advisors.”

 

Copyright © November 2019, 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.

A Life Of Peril And Calling

A Life Of Peril And Calling by Kirk Hunt

In journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren

2 Corinthians 11:26 NKJV
Please also read 2 Corinthians 11:22-28 NKJV

The Apostle Paul could have had tenure. He had the intelligence, education and connections to establish a Christian Academy and live comfortably. He could have taught and published with zero risk to himself. Instead, he lived a life of peril.

Paul lived a life of danger, risk and suffering for the Gospel. Paul’s history, and scars, gave him tremendous credibility among the Roman legions. Some traditions report that Paul single-handedly evangelized the Praetorian Guard, elite soldiers and body guards of the Caesars.

Personally, I find more comfort in the scarred face of a veteran than the smooth skin of an academic. I like living proof that it can be done, or at least survived. I feel better knowing somebody else struggled, stayed with God, and overcame the same “little problems” I face.

Your scars are a blessing. They give you knowledge and experience you could never get any other way. They give you credibility with people you might not otherwise effect.

For someone, your scars are comfort and reassurance. Struggling folks often do not want to hear from someone smooth and polished. More often, they want to hear from a survivor. They want to hear from someone just like you.

Think: The scars, in service for God, are really a blessing.

Pray: “Lord, help me to faithfully persevere in Your calling on my life.”

 

Copyright © October 2019, 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.

Having Great Faith

Having Great Faith by Kirk Hunt

When Jesus heard these things, He marveled at him, and turned around and said to the crowd that followed Him, “I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!”

Luke 7:9 NKJV
Read also Luke 7:1–10

Jesus did not note great faith amount the Pharisees or the Sadducees. Jesus instead found faith worth mentioning in the life of a foreigner. Great faith is not a found intellectual commodity. Faith in God is something you can develop, if you choose.

Centurions were officers in the Roman legions. Such men had to distinguish themselves in battle, but they also had to get recommendations from others of rank such as generals or Senators. Centurions understood authority from giving orders and from following orders.

Jesus’ miracles would have screamed real authority and true power to this veteran soldier. The centurion understood Jesus’ literal command over life and death. To the centurion, Jesus’ spoken word of healing might as well be a written order from a superior officer. Such an order would be obeyed.

Faith does requires a small amount of understanding and belief. Just as much, faith requires a maximum of willingness to act, based on your understanding and belief. The centurion acted on his belief that Jesus only needed speak, and his servant would be healed.

The facts and figures are what they are. What does Scripture say? What is God telling you in prayer? What will you now choose to do?

Think: Anyone with true faith understands the power and authority of Jesus.

Pray: “Lord, help me to act out my faith in You.”

 

Copyright © October 2019, 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.

Praying In Anguish

Praying In Anguish by Kirk Hunt

And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed to the Lord and wept in anguish.

1 Samuel 1:10 NKJV

Hannah appeared before the altar and poured her heart out before God. No lyrical or poetic phrases were spoken. Not one theological utterance, elegant or otherwise, came out. Hannah prayed and wept in anguish.

Hannah’s heart gushes out raw, unfiltered grief and sorrow. To the untrained eye, Hannah’s heart-cry looks like drunkenness. Even Eli, the High Priest, assumes she is under the influence.

Despite her hurt and pain, Hannah chooses carefully and wisely. She appears before God. She tells Him all that is on her heart.

Never think God does not see you and your situation. Always remember that He cares for you and yours. Know that He will move, in His timing, in your situation.

Hannah’s appeal to God draws a response. The prophet Samuel is the first of Hannah’s six children. God replaced her season of lack and sorrow with a season of plenty and joy.

No matter how deep your hurt or anguish, you can choose your response. Appear before God. Tell Him about it all.

He understands tears and sobs. He sees the pain and sorrow that you keep hidden from everyone else. He will respond to you.

Hannah eventually wrote a song of praise to God for His answer to her heart-cry. Father-God has an answer that will make your heart sing. Are you willing to tell Him all about it?

Think: No matter how much I hurt, God cares and He will respond.

Pray: “Lord, I am here. Please, hear my prayer.”

 

Copyright © October 2019, 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.

Not Ashamed

Not Ashamed by Kirk Hunt

In You, O Lord, I put my trust;
Let me never be ashamed;
Deliver me in Your righteousness.

Psalms 31:1  NKJV

David fled from his father-in-law like a criminal.  King Saul viewed his loyalty, faithfulness and fidelity as crimes, fit only for death.  Still God never let David be ashamed.

Certainly, there is nothing like the fugitive life to teach you fear and paranoia.  Or perhaps the lesson David learned is faith and confidence in God.  God delivered David through His righteousness, at a time of His choosing.

Hunted as a fugitive, David did not despair.  Unjustly accused, David did not lose faith.  Despite these admirable responses, David remained human after all.  David cried out for deliverance and confirmation.

Christian saints, like all human men and women, are hurt and battered at times.  The storms and tempests of this life can stress and strain the best of us.  Despite those times our faith in God is never misplaced.

God’s faithfulness is unending and immeasurable.  No one who trusts in God will ever be disappointed.  Still, during a long, sleepless night, it’s too easy to wonder when His deliverance will arrive.

God is there.  You will not be left “holding the bag.”  God will not let your inconveniences be the end of you.

Put your trust in Him.  Stand and wait for His deliverance.  It may take a while, but God will not let you be ashamed.

Think:      Put your trust in God.  No matter how it looks, He is in control.

Pray:         “Lord, I choose to trust You.  You will not let me be ashamed.

 

Copyright © September 2019, 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.

A Son Trusts His Father

A Son Trusts His Father by Kirk Hunt

It is better to trust in the Lord
Than to put confidence in man.
It is better to trust in the Lord
Than to put confidence in princes.

Psalm 118:8–9 NKJV

My toddler son came out of the 3rd floor apartment and launched himself at me. He did not care about my 15-hour day, the rain slick stair steps, or the books and bags in my hands. He put his trust in me to catch him and not let him fall.

He squealed in joy and delight as stuff tumbled down, or through, the concrete stair treads. I clutched him to my chest in wild-eyed panic, my heart pounding. In that moment the Holy Spirit asked me, “If he can trust you that much, why don’t you trust God that much?”

Father-God’s arms are so much stronger and longer than mine. His power is so much greater than mine. His knowledge is so much greater than mine. I can always trust Him to catch me.

Years later, I still work to trust him. No matter what leaders do, God is in control. No matter how ill-behaved others are, I can have joy, safety and security in the arms of Father-God.

Do I trust God that much? Of course I do. My eyes may see the circumstances but my heart and soul never forgets that my loving Father will never let me fall.

Men and women have let me down. God has not and will not let me fall. I will leap into His arms with joy and abandon.

Think: God will not let me fall. Why am I worried about what others do?

Pray: “Jesus, help me to remember to place all of my trust in You.”

 

Copyright © September 2019, 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.

These My Brethren and Sistren

These My Brethren and Sistren by Kirk Hunt

“Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’”

Matthew 25:37-40 NKJV

Some people see marauding invaders. Others see plague bearers. God’s faithful should see brothers and sisters. Jesus called them brethren (and sistren).

I have a sister and three brothers. I have been very annoyed at all of them, at one point, or another. Still, in the middle of our greatest disagreements, I would never let any of them go hungry or lack shelter. How could I even bear to think of Momma or Poppa if I mistreated one of my siblings?

God loves all of the men and women who cross over a border, regardless of the papers they do, or do not, carry. Whether fleeing a violent criminal gang or a devastating storm, a refugee is one of Jesus’ siblings. When you stand before God’s throne how will you explain your treatment of men and women that Jesus loves?

God’s people are commanded by Jesus himself. “Care for those in need.” Do not check their credentials. Refuse to look at how do, or do not worship. Comfort and support them because they are Jesus’ siblings.

Think: I am commanded to care for those in need by Jesus Himself.

Pray: “Jesus, help me to serve Your brothers and sisters.”

 

Copyright © September 2019, 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.

His Presence

His Presence by Kirk Hunt

Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.

Psalms 139:7-8 NKJV

With all of the negative and destructive situations and events going on in the world, you might wonder where God has gone. God’s people, of course, know that He is Jehovah-Shammah, the-God-who-is-there. His presence is here and now. His presence is there and then.

God is omnipresent and omnipotent. His power is absolute and unmatched. Why would I, or you, worship anyone with limitations?

His presence can be felt deeply in your mind and spirit. His presence can be found in the loud crash of waves, or the quiet rustle of leaves. You need only stop to listen. He is there and speaking. Pause yourself for a moment in the worst chaos and you can feel His calm touch.

We enjoy free will. Men and women can choose to obey His Word or indulge yourself in wicked behaviors. Do not get angry at God when He lets you suffer the consequences of you, or others, acting in sin and rebellion.

No matter where you go, or what you do, you are in the presence of God. Perhaps you are facing the consequences of your poor choices. You may be suffering from the actions of someone else. God is still there and His presence and power are just a prayer away.

Think: No matter where I go, God is there before me and His power is supreme.

Pray: “Lord, help me to feel Your presence, no matter where I am.”

 

Copyright © August 2019, 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.

Has Not Kissed Baal

Has Not Kissed Baal by Kirk Hunt

“Yet I have reserved seven thousand in Israel, all whose knees have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.”

1 Kings 19:18 NKJV

Elijah stood alone on the mountain, speaking with God. Despite the recent victory over the cult of Baal, God’s faithful prophet felt alone and vulnerable. God points out, in plain simplicity, that thousands have not given into idol worship or kissed Baal.

You are never the only one to remain faithful to God. You have brothers and sisters who never once give and bow their knee. God’s true people never become intimate with and accepting of evil. No matter how outnumbered or alone you feel.

Elijah watched God’s fire fall from heaven at his own prayer. God’s prophet, with a little help, personally executed Baal’s false prophets. Still, Elijah experienced a severe crisis and fled into the desert, convinced he alone served God.

Elijah came to understand that had never been alone. By himself, perhaps. Alone in the true worship of God? Never.

No matter what is going on around you, you are part of God’s remnant. You are part of the courageous and faithful few who refuse to compromise with evil and immorality.

You have not bent your knee in compromise. You have not kissed false worship or belief. Neither have they.

Continue to serve God in true and pure faith. You may have to stand by yourself but you never stand alone. Pray in pure devotion and watch God’s fire fall in your circumstances.

Think: Even when I am by myself, I am never alone among God’s faithful people.

Pray: “Lord, help me to remain faithful even when I feel alone.”

 

Copyright © August 2019, 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.

Except This Foreigner?

Except This Foreigner? by Kirk Hunt

So Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?”

Luke 17:17-18 NKJV

They kept their distance per the Law but that did not stop them from calling out to Jesus for mercy. They were lepers, men still alive, but rotting to death. Jesus sent them to the priests to be declared clean of their living putrefaction. None said thank you for their miraculous healing, “except this foreigner.”

He could not take another step. His slow, cruel death sentence had been lifted. His desperate separation from friends and family was ended. His days of being despised and feared were over.

How could you not be grateful? Why would you refuse to thank God for the enormous mercy and miraculous goodness you had just received? Looking at his restoration, this nameless foreigner knew the priests could wait. His gratitude on the other hand, could not.

So he did what the native-born would not. He ran to Jesus and kneeled to Him in thankfulness. The same voice that cried for mercy now cried out glory to God.

All ten received the same miracle blessing. All ten had their miserable and degrading suffering ended through healing and restoration. Only the foreigner, the man who should not have received anything, bothered with gratitude or appreciation.

What mercy have you received? What mercy have you given? Did you show gratitude to God for the privilege given to you or through you?

Think: God’s mercy is for native-born and foreigner alike. Am I grateful for what I receive?

Pray: “Lord, help me to give and receive Your mercy freely, and with gratitude.”

 

Copyright © August 2019, 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.