Seek Faithful Teachers

Seek Faithful Teachers By Kirk Hunt

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.

2 Timothy 4:3-4 NKJV

Too many, including myself, have put the blame on the false teachers. Suddenly, I understand that the students and followers should be held accountable. You have to want the truth, in the first place.

I am guilty of not always wanting to hear the truth. Scripture has a way of roughing up God’s men and women. Still, find a faithful Bible teacher and dig in. Do your homework and follow along in your own copy of the Bible.

A faithful Bible teacher has one agenda: To teach God’s truth from God’s Word. A faithful Bible teacher does not care about your political leanings, cultural bias or level of sensitivity. A faithful Bible teacher cares only that you hear the pure and untainted Word of God.

Also, you must make the effort to learn from God’s Word for yourself. Your Bible teacher cannot have a relationship with God for you. You must seek Him and His truth for yourself. And there will be times in your Christian journey when only God’s voice will satisfy you.

It is your soul and therefore your responsibility. If you can read and understand this devotional, then you can read and understand the Holy Bible. Do your part of the hard work of learning God’s Word.

Think: It is my responsibility to find and support a faithful Bible teacher.

Pray: “Lord, help me to learn Your Word as deeply as I can.”

 

Copyright © November 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.

Evangelize The Strangers And Foreigners

Evangelize The Strangers And Foreigners By Kirk Hunt

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 25:38-40 NKJV

The word stranger in Scripture almost always translates as foreigner (xenos). God’s people are commanded in both the Old Testament and the New Testament, to treat foreigners with generosity, justice and grace. In this current season, foreigners fleeing war, persecution and enslavement are greeted as villains, not victims.

After killing an Egyptian, Moses fled to Midian. Would you have turned Moses the fugitive away as a threat to national security?

David fled from his father-in-law Saul to Moab and later Philistia. Would you have kept David the persecuted out of the country as a risk to law and order?

Joseph, Mary and Jesus fled from Herod to Egypt. Would you have denied the Holy Family admittance as an economic drain on the country?

The refugees and evacuees are fleeing death and destruction. Where are they going? To the very Christian nations who should be busy evangelizing them.

Who could be more open to the Gospel of Christ than someone desperate to enter a Christian nation? They may be strangers to you, but they are well known to Father-God. Should you not make an effort to minister to the “least of these?”

Think: God help me to remember that refugees and foreigners are open to Your Gospel.

Pray: “Lord, help me to minister to Yours sons and daughters from another land.”

 

Copyright © November 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.

No Eyes, Clear Sight

No Eyes, Clear Sight By Kirk Hunt

Then the Philistines took him and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza. They bound him with bronze fetters, and he became a grinder in the prison.

Judges 16:21 NKJV

The mill stones crushing the grain would have made a low, steady growl in Samson’s ears. In weather hot and dry, or cold and wet, Samson did the work of a horse. Or mule. Or ass.

Either in haunting silence or with a chorus of tormentors, Samson walked his circle in darkness. The man who had once burned Philistine grain fields now made flour for them. I am certain the irony was not lost on Samson or his Philistine captors.

Do not be angry at the Philistines: Samson’s life had been shrouded in darkness for years. Samson’s lust, willfulness and disobedience had long since blinded him to God’s truth and call. The Philistines, heathen foreigners, should have been guided to God by Samson. Instead, Samson’s lack of spiritual vision became his lack of literal vision.

Blinded and in prison, Samson finally saw the light. Chained to a millstone, he was free to spend time with God. Despite all he did wrong, Samson still remembered the correct way to love God.

God had not abandoned Samson. When Samson finally figured out his own errors, God was there. Arms open. Restoration was just a prayer away.

Samson is named as a hero of faith in Hebrews 11. Despite his mistakes and errors, he returned to God. God always faithfully restores the truly repentant. No matter how dark it seems, you are not alone. God is waiting, arms open, to restore you.

Think: God is faithful and constant, even if I am not.

Pray: “Lord, forgive me. Lord, restore me.”

 

Copyright © October 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.

What Is Inside Of You?

What Is Inside Of You? By Kirk Hunt

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.”

Matthew 23:27–28 NKJV

Jesus’ criticism of the Pharisees is sharp and pointed. Our Savior called the elite religious leaders hypocrites. Their sanctimonious words and ceremonies were a thin veneer over their sinful actions, thoughts and intentions. All men and women are containers of something. What is inside of you?

In those days, a tomb would be beautiful from a distance, but up close it would reek of death and decay. Un-embalmed bodies would be placed on a shelf inside, then left to decomposition to run its course. A carefully crafted and expensively finished sepulcher would be a shell around corruption and putrefaction.

In Matthew 23, Jesus is not criticizing the occasional harsh word or stray thought. Instead, He rebukes sanctimonious words that end in naked greed, lust and exploitation. Jesus does not value high-form ceremonies that are followed by base-form lives, devoid of any attempt at true holiness.

In these days, men and women speak high-sounding words, but their actions too often reveal gutter-level intentions. “What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say.” Disciples of Jesus Christ, most of all, must make sure their actions match what they preach.

Think: Inside of my heart, mind and soul am I full of God’s Word, or something else?

Pray: “Lord, help me to be full of Your Word, Your grace and Your truth.”

 

Copyright © October 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.

Observe And Do

Observe And Do By Kirk Hunt

Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do.”

Matthew 23:1–3 NKJV

Jesus observed and commented. He clearly and plainly told the majority of folk that their religious scholars and leaders preached one thing but clearly practiced a different thing. How is it possible to mess up, “Observe and do the right things”?

Was Jesus critiquing pagan Romans? No. Was Jesus rebuking Roman collaborators or prostitutes? No. Jesus criticized the very people who should have known better than anyone else.

The Pharisees preached righteousness and adherence to the law, but their motivations however were corrupt or self-serving (Matthew 23:5). Of course, these high minded religious experts were not above exploiting the poor or vulnerable in the name of profit (Matthew 23:14). In general, the Pharisees did the easy part of looking sanctimonious, but did not do the hard part of living righteously (Matthew 23:23).

Living righteously before God and man is easier said than done. That is why the Holy Spirit helps those men and women who seek Him. Religious law can only help you realize how sinful you are. It takes God’s spirit and grace to fulfill the law by living a sanctified life.

Take a good look at how you actually live. Does your life match what you preach (or say you believe)? Seek the Holy Spirit and ask Him to help you live out what you say.

Think: Observe yourself. Are you really doing the hard work of living righteously?

Pray: “Lord, help me to live righteously, no matter the difficulty.”

 

Copyright © October 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.

Are You A Brood Of Vipers?

Are You A Brood Of Vipers? By Kirk Hunt

But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

Matthew 3:7 NKJV

The Pharisees and Sadducees were the religious leaders and Scriptural (Torah) scholars of the era. John the Baptist, as the son of the Temple Priest, Zacharias, likely knew many of them personally. One must wonder why John deliberately called the religious elite “vipers.”

It is easy to criticize leaders, right or wrong. In too many cases, the revelation of bad behavior and villainous schemes of leaders is the source of the criticism. In too many other cases, the mismatch between the words spoken from the lectern, and the lives led in the streets, is the reason for disdain.

Consider the moneychangers (merchants) in the Temple. The violation of the Mosaic law, and the sanctity of that holy place, was tolerated because the High Priest and other Temple officials were being paid. A clear violation of the letter and spirit of the Law they claimed to love so much.

We associate snakes with sin, evil and deception. By calling them Vipers, John deliberately references the poison that some snake breeds use to better devour their prey. There is no subtleness in John’s message.

Consider the Christian life you live. Does it match the Christian Gospel you preach? I pray that men and women see you as a child of God and not as a walking snake.

Think: Does my life match the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Why or why not?

Pray: “Lord, help me to live in obedience to Your Word and Spirit.”

 

Copyright © October 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.

Mourning The Rejected

Mourning The Rejected By Kirk Hunt

Now the Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go; I am sending you to Jesse the Bethlehemite. For I have provided Myself a king among his sons.”

1 Samuel 16:1 NKJV

At first, King Saul had been God’s man, in and through character, anointing and appointment. Even before sparing King Agag, Saul, son of Tish, had become rejected by God. Samuel grieved for the loss.

Saul chose to be rejected. It came one act of pride, arrogance or disobedience at a time. All too soon after his coronation, Saul decided he did not need to obey God or continue following His law.

Godly men and women rarely fall all at one. You just suddenly notice. Like David, Saul likely had multiple opportunities to repent and recover. Thick, thin, bright or dim, the king crossed a final line in God’s judgment and divine rejection..

God is a God of mercy and grace. He is also a God judgment and justice. Seek Him while He can be found.

God ordered Samuel to his feet and sent him to anoint the next king of Israel. Saul could have stayed close to God’s heart and purpose. Instead, he chose to reject God’s plan for himself and the nation. His choice became a tragedy for him and the nation.

Please do not confuse God’s love and mercy for indulgence. Your anointing can be lost. Your appointment can be forfeited.

It may not be “just one more thing.” It may be “the final straw.” Seek God now and seek His continuing acceptance.

Think:       What path am I choosing and why?

Pray:         “Help me to stay worthy of Your acceptance and approval.”

 

Copyright © August 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.

Their Season In Your Life

Their Season In Your Life By Kirk Hunt

Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels.

Hebrews 13:2 NKJV
Please also read Genesis 18:1-14

Abraham rushed around the camp getting dinner together for three men. These men, often considered angels by Biblical scholars, came into Abraham and Sarah’s life for a very brief season. They left behind the God-given promise of an infant born within twelve months to the venerable couple. Abraham unwittingly entertained angels. Have you, or are you now, doing the same?

I am fond of the phase, “When God does not send angels, He sends men and women.” You cannot know the impact a kind gesture has in someone’s life. Conversely, who has helped you at key moments in your journey? Your miracle may have been delivered by an obedient Gospel brother or sister.

Perhaps God’s instrument of blessing and advancement is known to you. Bless and honor them for their obedience to God and you. Cherish the time you have and release them to their next assignment with (tearful) joy and singing.

Even if you do not see them, God has put His powerful agents in your life. God’s faithful ones are obediently doing their part. Honor their sacrifice and do your part as well.

Isaac was born per God’s promise. Were the visitors angels or mere men? All that matters is their season in the life of Sarah and Abraham.

Some of God’s “angels” are flesh-and-blood, just like you. Human or heavenly, they are only in your life for a season. Work your mission and be grateful for those who bless you in God’s work as they pass through.

Think: Who has God put in this season of my life, and why?

Pray: “Lord, thank you for the help of angels or Gospel sisters and brothers in this season.”

 

Copyright © August 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.

Your Season In Their Life

Your Season In Their Life By Kirk Hunt

“For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”

Ephesians 5:31 NKJV

Children are born helpless and vulnerable.  Without the care and nurturing of a parent (or two) they would not survive.  Yet, that is only a season in their lives.  If parents are successful, weak and dependent kids become strong and independent adults.

Parents are in the lives of their children, for a season.  Saints are in the lives of other saints, seekers and sinners for a season.  What impact do you have while you have them?  What legacy do you leave when they are gone?

You are in the lives of people for a limited time.  Often, your time of direct and personal influence and interaction is shorter than you think (or possibly want).  Whether you are ready, or not, your offspring, students, colleagues, or protégés will move into a new season in their lives.

Have you fulfilled your God-given purpose for the time you had?  How will they explain your impact and legacy to other people, or even themselves?  God only loaned them to you.  Are they better for their time with you? What will God say when you return them to Him?

You are not responsible for the choices they make, but you are responsible for your teaching and example.  They may not understand at first, but you understand now.  What impact did you have in their lives?  Look past the empty cradle, classroom or work floor to the Kingdom impact.

Think:       Am I fulfilling my God-given purpose in this season of their lives?

Pray:         “Lord, help me to faithfully build Your Kingdom in them, in this season.”

 

Copyright © August 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.

Changing Seasons

“Changing Seasons” By Kirk Hunt

And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.

Galatians 6:9 NKJV

Would it be crazy if autumn did not follow summer? No matter how joyous and relaxing the summer, autumn will come. Whatever is happening now, a new season in your life will come. Hard work or ease, placid or chaotic, God loves you and is guiding your walk with Him.

No matter how difficult a season is, unless Jesus returns, there will be a better season in your life. Unfortunately, easy and pleasing seasons will give way to harder seasons. No matter the caliber of a particular time in your life, God remains unchanging and deeply involved in your journey.

Do not confuse your tears with God’s absence. He is there, no matter how much you sweat in your labors. Even when your blood is part of the sacrifice, remember that He gave His blood first.

Father-God remains with us, and loves us, no matter our place or space. The redemption Jesus bought for us remains ours through every celebration, grief or episode. The consolation and empowerment of the Holy Spirit is always with us. Disciples of Jesus Christ can face anything and be victorious.

The seasons will change. God remains the same. Rest assured, He has a loving plan for you in this season and the next. Go confidently in Him from where you are to where you are going.

Think: In every season, God is with me.

Pray: “Lord, help me to faithfully build Your Kingdom in this season.”

 

Copyright © August 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.