See With His Eyes

See With His Eyes 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

After all of the damage Samson had inflicted on the Philistines, they took poetic revenge. They put out his eyes, which led him once and again, into error and sin. Then, the burner of fields made flour for his enemies (for the rest of his life).

Walking in a circle, in the darkness, Samson had time. Time to think. Time to remember. Time to get serious with God.

Mortal men or women might have left Samson alone and defenseless, in the hands of his tormentors. God instead came close, then embraced and spoke with the man he still loved. Despite his rebellion and disobedience, Samson remained God’s beloved son.

Samson’s eyes were not restored, but his relationship with God was healed. Alone among his enemies, he dwelled securely in the hands of the Most High. A good father loves all of his children, not just the well-behaved ones. A father loves most when he disciplines his children.

Look at yourself through God’s eyes. He sees your sin. He sees your error. Still, He loves you. As you serve your sentence, He looks out for you, even when you cannot (or will not) look out for yourself.

Samson served his prison sentence with Father-God at his side. His eyes never looked away from Samson. His eyes will never look away from you. Are you looking to Him?

Think: Despite my circumstances I can have relationship with God, if I choose Him.

Pray: “Lord, forgive my sin. Help me to draw close to you.”

 

Copyright © January 2020, 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.

He Did Not Know

He Did Not Know by Kirk Hunt

And she said, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” So he awoke from his sleep, and said, “I will go out as before, at other times, and shake myself free!” But he did not know that the Lord had departed from him.

Judges 16:20 NKJV

Samson woke up and engaged with his enemies, but he did not know. As a man of God, he should have known that God’s Spirit and power had left him. His education and experiences should have told him that he was being set up, again, by a betrayer. He ran headlong into a trap and defeat.

Samson’s humiliation (and mutilation), at a minimum, should have impossible or at least more difficult. Instead he has become a byword for wasted potential and squandered opportunity. A man born a Nazarite ignored his upbringing. Intended for greatness in God, he ended humbled in prison.

Samson used God’s power and strength through God’s mercy and grace. God is full of love and tenderness for us, but He is also a God of justice and judgment. God eventually moves against deliberate sin and error. Psalm 103:9 warns us: He will not always strive with us, nor will He keep His anger forever.

So God withdrew from Samson. He allowed Samson to operate without Him. Deliberate sin and disobedience is a way of telling God you do not need Him or you know better. And Samson learned the truth.

We have all sinned and fallen short. After your error, do you repent and try to do better? Do you deliberately sin again and assume God is still with you? You may not know the truth when you start, but you will know at the end.

Think: Do I know the truth of how close I am to God?

Pray: “Lord, forgive my sin. Help me to be Your obedient child and know Your truth.”

 

Copyright © January 2020, 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.

Clothed By God

Clothed By God by Kirk Hunt

Also for Adam and his wife the Lord God made tunics of skin, and clothed them.

So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.

Genesis 3:21, 24 NKJV

The forbidden fruit had been eaten. Adam and Eve had lost their place in warm, safe Eden. Despite their sin and error, Adam and Eve had not lost Father-God’s love. With His own hand, God expertly tailored clothes then carefully dressed His children. They entered a cold, dangerous world clothed by a loving God.

No matter what you did wrong, Father-God goes right on loving you. You may be living through the consequences of your sin or error, but He has not separated Himself from you. You may be weeping over lost Eden, but the entire time He is personally preparing and equipping you for what comes next.

Just because you are by yourself, God has not left you alone. However empty your hands, God has provided, is providing and will provide for you. His love is too strong to throw you away. His love is too tender to leave you exposed.

He is a God of love, even when He chastises us. He is a God of provision, so His intention for us is never emptiness or lack. Even when he lets us live through some of the consequences of our actions, He is still close by.

His mercy protects us from full justice. We are still sons and daughters because of His grace. A warm coat is a sign of love, no matter how few the colors.

Think: God is close by, providing for me.

Pray: “Lord, thank You for what You provide.”

 

Copyright © January 2020, 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.

Able Men And Women

Able Men And Women by Kirk Hunt

So Moses heeded the voice of his father-in-law and did all that he had said. And Moses chose able men out of all Israel, and made them heads over the people: rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens.

Exodus 18:24–25 NKJV

Despite his superior abilities and extraordinary accomplishments, Moses could not do it all alone. Given excellent advice from a trusted advisor, Moses selected able men to help him lead. Moses demonstrated that strong leaders seek out and make use of other strong leaders.

Whatever your calling or mission for the Kingdom of God, you still have human limits. You can only be in one place at a time. You are limited to 24 hours in a single day. You require sleep, food and exercise.

What is far too much for one can be spread among a group of capable folk. All it takes is for the executive leader to properly delegate tasks or responsibilities, then follow-up. While proper delegation is also work, it allows results far beyond the capabilities of a single soul. And rest for the weary executive.

Moses lived to the age of 120. And his displeasure could still scare folk. Moses lived and led so long because he enabled others to help him with the work. His good health, right to the end, was at least in part, because he did not have to it all alone.

Look around and identify the able men and women around you. Give them part of your Kingdom work. If Moses could, so can you.

Think: Am I making good use of capable men and women for the Kingdom?

Pray: “Lord, help me to share the load with Your capable men and women.”

 

Copyright © December 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.

Too Much For Even You

Too Much For Even You by Kirk Hunt

So Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “The thing that you do is not good. Both you and these people who are with you will surely wear yourselves out. For this thing is too much for you; you are not able to perform it by yourself.

Exodus 18:17–18 NKJV

Moses had been a busy man: He had led the Israelites out of Egypt and into the Sinai desert. Through God’s power he had inflicted plagues on the Egyptians, parted the Red Sea for Israel and closed the Red Sea on the Egyptian army. And leading Israel was still too much for Moses.

Human beings have limits. Even great prophets and apostles are mere mortals, and therefore have performance and endurance maximums. You, my brother or sister, cannot do it all.

Proper nutrition and water, regular exercise and adequate sleep help. Still, there comes a point where you need to hand off some of the work. If Moses’ anointing and calling had limits, so will yours.

Look around you. There are men and women who can and will help you. Use your wisdom, discipline and humility to match the right tasks with the right workers.

Your workers will make mistakes. You will make mistakes as well. The work completed will not be done exactly the way you want it done. In many cases, that is an extremely good thing.

Kingdom work is too much for even the greatest of us. It is not a surprise that it is too much even for you. Share the load with your Gospel coworkers.

Think: God’s greatest men and women have limits. How will I deal with mine?

Pray: “Lord, help me to share the load and expand Your Kingdom.”

 

Copyright © December 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.

God Teaches His Teacher

God Teaches His Teacher by Kirk Hunt

So the Lord said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the Lord?   Now therefore, go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say.”

Exodus 4:11–12 NKJV

After 80 years of living and two different careers, Moses still needed teaching and training.  Standing in front of the miracle of the burning bush, and in the very presence of God, Moses questioned Jehovah and His call.  Patiently, God taught His man how to succeed in a new career.

Even God’s strongest saints can rely too much on facts, figures and “common sense.”  We think younger men (or women) need to lead 603,550 Israelite men (plus wives, children and sojourners) out of Egypt.  Out of all the men and women God could have selected for such a task, Moses is the one He called.

Despite his royal education in Egypt, and extended training in Midian, Moses still needed God to teach him even more for the tasks ahead.  His age did not qualify him enough.  His formal education did not prepare him sufficiently.  Moses needed to be taught before he could complete his calling.

Out of all His saints, is God calling you?  Be obedient to your God and creator, and go.  Still, ask Him to train you for success.  Listen as He teaches you to succeed in your new career.

Think:      I will need God’s teaching and training to succeed in His calling.

Pray:         “Lord, help me to be a good student and worker in Your calling.”

 

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.

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.