Because, Of Course, He Cares

Because, Of Course, He Cares by Kirk Hunt

But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?”

Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.

Mark 4:38-39 NKJV

The Disciples had faith enough to believe Jesus could save them. They had witnessed, or experienced, His many miracles of healing, provision, and restoration. Still, panicked and afraid, they woke Jesus and accused Him of not caring. Jesus stood and spoke peace to the situation. Because, of course, He does care.

Perhaps it feels like Jesus is asleep in the middle of your circumstances (your boat). God is always present in your affairs. He always knows your situation. And at the right moment, He will speak peace in your life. Be patient and keep bailing.

Wave-tossed and storm-battered are true, if inconvenient, facts and data. Remember that faith involves seeing what does not yet exist. Faith is the physical fabric of a future circumstance. He cares. He will act.

Our inconvenience or impatience do not impact His timing. His care and love for us will always settle the matter. Your faith is based on the absolutes of His love and care for you. In the meanwhile, keep bailing.

Think: He is present. He cares. At the right time, He will act.

Pray: “Lord, help me to keep my faith in Your love and care for me.”

Copyright © April 2022, 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.

Through Faith

Through Faith by Kirk Hunt

who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.

Hebrews 11:33-34 NKJV
Read also Hebrews 11:30-40

Hebrews 11, written by the Holy Spirit through Apostle Paul, illustrates what happens when people act in faith. Through faith, men and women take action. Through faith, God’s people stand their ground, or go on the offensive, against hellions and hellhounds alike. And they win through God’s power.

Faith requires spiritual eyes. Faith requires you to act on what you know does not yet exist. People without faith will think your actions are insane or weak-minded. Some people with faith will think you have lost your way. You may wonder yourself, in the middle of the action.

The Holy Spirit will speak to you. Deep within your soul and spirit, God will reveal His plan and set you on your path. All that is left is for you to take actions that appear to have no rational basis in reality.

God’s people act to bring about a future, God-ordained reality. Always in hindsight, the rationality of saints is easy to see. Still, the first steps into the void can be difficult, even for men and women of the strongest faith. Trust God with, and for, your future reality.

Think:Faith is the substance and evidence of a God-ordained future reality.

Pray: “Lord, help me to take action based on my faith in You.”

Copyright © March 2022, 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.

Do Likewise

Do Likewise by Kirk Hunt

So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?”

And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.”

Then Jesus said to him,
“Go and do likewise.”

Luke 10:36-37 NKJV
Read also Luke 10:25-37

You would think it was complicated. Jesus commands us to show mercy to those who have suffered misfortune. “Do likewise” is not tricky or complex.

Still, too many who call themselves Christians, refuse to follow a straightforward instruction from our Lord and Savior. The unhoused are forced to make their homes in the streets. Refugees are refused protection or due process. Millions suffer hunger and thirst across the world, and right here at home.

Facing a violent street gang is not the only way to “fall among thieves”. An unjust or merciless eviction inflicts a world of loss and suffering. Ask a victim of flood or fire if they feel beaten and robbed.

Jesus wants you to spend your time, talent and treasure helping your neighbor. Take your plenty and bind up someone else’s wounds. Spend your time to save the life of a helpless victim. Use your influence and reputation to benefit those who have fallen in hurt and harm.

Go and do likewise” is not hard to understand. Your neighbors are waiting. You are not still sitting on your couch are you?

Think: Am I following Jesus’ commandment to minister to others?

Pray: “Lord, help me to love You enough to minister in Your Name.”

Copyright © January 2022, 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.

And You Will Live

And You Will Live by Kirk Hunt

So he answered and said, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’ ”

And He said to him, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.”

Luke 10:27-28 NKJV
Read also Luke :10:25-37

Jesus, our Lord and Savior told us to love our neighbors, and live. If you squint, really hard, there is the implication that if you do not, you will die. Certainly, if you do not love your neighbor, you are not being obedient to Jesus.

The parable of the Good Samaritan has been covered, in volume and depth, by better teachers and scholars than myself. Why then do so many Christians act like Jesus never commanded us to love our neighbors? What motivates them other than willful disobedience?

Could it be that they really do not want to live? Do they love their current comfort and wealth more than God’s eternal approval and blessing? Do they follow a false god or false messiah rather than Jesus?

Verse 29 states that the lawyer wanted to “justify himself.” Did his own recitation of Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18 convict him? Was his conscience squirming under Jesus’ commands? We can never know for sure, but I doubt my guesses are far from the mark.

Jesus commanded us to love our neighbors. Obedience to Christ gives life. Love your neighbors and live.

Think: Am I following Jesus’ commandment to love and live?

Pray: “Lord, help me to love You enough to follow Your commandments and live.”

Copyright © January 2022, 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.

Love One Another

Love One Another by Kirk Hunt

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

John 13:34 NKJV

Jesus commanded us to love each other. He also commanded that we look at His acts as examples. Just do what Jesus did.

Perhaps you think that love is just an emotion. You should know that love is an act. It is something you choose, then spend blood or sweat or tears to make happen.

At the tomb of Lazarus, Jesus wept. He then called a cold corpse back to warm life. Love overcomes death.

The Pharisees threw the adulterous woman at His feet and demanded blood and judgment. Jesus silently revealed the shame or error of the accusers, then forgave her. Love overcomes sin.

The Romans scourged Him, then nailed Him to a cross. And His blood gave us salvation. An act of love returned us to fellowship with God.

Love cannot stand at the side and watch. Love jumps into the middle of the storm and does something about the situation. Love gives, at great cost. Love takes the hurt and loss and gives blessing and benefit.

Love is not just a warm, fuzzy feeling. Real love demands that we expend time or talent or treasure for others. Often for those who scorn you for the benefit they receive. Just like Jesus did.

Think: Do I follow Jesus’ commandment to love?

Pray: “Lord, help me to love You enough to follow Your commandments.”

Copyright © January 2022, 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.

Cleanse The Temple

Cleanse The Temple by Kirk Hunt

Then Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’”

Matthew 21:12-13 NKJV

Please read also:
Luke 19:45-48
Matthew 21:12-15
Mark 11:15-18
John 2:13-16

Jesus drove out the money changers. And the animal sellers. He cleansed the Temple with violent (intense, turbulent, furious and likely destructive) action.

Scripture does not report that anyone was killed or wounded, so some argue that Jesus was not “truly” violent. Men in mid-transaction left money and merchandise and fled. I doubt that a polite request was the reason they left so suddenly.

Many Bible scholars and historians assert that Jesus’ disruption of the commerce happening on the Temple grounds is the trigger event for His crucifixion. The High Priest and the elite leadership decided that Jesus had to die, because of the money. Real action that accomplishes something will make enemies.

Jesus reacted to injustice (theft) against faithful Jewish pilgrims plus violation of the sanctity of the Temple. People should have been praying in reverent quiet. Instead, the Temple was a common swap meet.

Circumstances will not change until you take action. The action you take will upset someone. Are you pleasing them or pleasing God?

Think: Righting an injustice, like cleansing the Temple, may take forceful action.

Pray: “Lord, give me the courage to uphold Your righteousness and justice.”

Copyright © June 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.

Love One Another

Love One Another By Kirk Hunt

Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

1 John 4:11 NKJV

 

“Love one another.” Too often, even God’s people make it more complicated than it needs to be. Care for each other. Make sure folk have enough. Inconvenience yourself (if a little) for someone struggling just to survive.

 

John did not invent this commandment on his own. Jesus Himself ordered us (see John 13:34) to love one another. After telling us to care for, minister to and support others, Jesus did not fold His hands. Instead He went to the Garden of Gethsemane and started His walk to the Cross.

 

Out of care for our future, Jesus endured His trial by Pilate. Because of His concern for men, then and now, Jesus allowed His public scourging. Out of love for generations yet to be born, Jesus died on the Cross. Perhaps you could pay just a little bit more for those who have little or nothing?

 

Will some of the folks you care for only take advantage? Probably. Will some of the people you love reply with hate or disdain? Again, probably. Does Jesus’ command to His faithful disciples stand? Absolutely.

 

Love gives. It also creates opportunities. Men and women, boys and girls, are drawn to authentic love. That positive attraction gives us the opportunity to share the Gospel.

 

It will cost you something to show love to others. Someone, somewhere, will find a way to exploit, mishandle or ill-use what you give. However they respond, His command to you remains clear. Are you obedient to His Word?

 

Think: Real love requires action and pays costs.

 

Pray: “Lord, show me how to love others as You do.”

 

Copyright © March 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.

More To Finish The Job

More To Finish The Job By Kirk Hunt

Then it came to pass the seventh time, that he said, “There is a cloud, as small as a man’s hand, rising out of the sea!” So he said, “Go up, say to Ahab, ‘Prepare your chariot, and go down before the rain stops you.’”

1 Kings 18:44 NKJV
(Please also read 1 Kings 18:41–46.)

 

Elijah’s victory on Mount Carmel was incomplete. God caused the drought because of Israel’s disobedience. The nation repented and returned to God. Since God is faithful to His promises, the drought had to end to finish the job of restoration.

 

Quietly and alone, Elijah prayed for rain. Elijah’s assistant ran back and forth, looking for an answer to the prophet’s prayer. Finally, a single, small cloud became visible.

 

The big, flashy event is (probably) important. Still, more is usually needed to finish the job. Follow-up, and follow-through, are often the hidden key(s) to success for the Kingdom.

 

Elijah knew that God’s answer by fire did not finish the job of restoration of Israel. God’s people were humbled by years of drought, famine and the decimation of the Ba’al cult. Israel’s repentance needed to be answered with restoration of the rains and fertile fields.

 

Your victory was a lot of work. You are rightfully tired and worn. Do not stop now. Finish the job God assigned you.

 

Think: After the big event, finish the job God assigned you.

 

Pray: “Lord, help me to complete Your job, Your way.”

 

Copyright © April 2016, Kirk Hunt

This devotional is a ministry of http://devotionals.cadremenpress.com.

Short Prayer, Full Impact

Short Prayer, Full Impact By Kirk Hunt

 

Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood and the stones and the dust, and it licked up the water that was in the trench. Now when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, “The Lord, He is God! The Lord, He is God!”

1 Kings 18:38-39 NKJV
(Please also read 1 Kings 18:30–40.)

 

The water-soaked altar was disintegrated. God’s fire consumed all of the animal sacrifice, stone, wood and water in an instant. The impact of Elijah’s short prayer, asking for God’s power, rocked the entire nation.

 

The prophets of Ba’al had spent hours imploring their pagan superstition. Elijah spent perhaps sixty seconds asking the living God. Without fanfare or furor, God answered Elijah’s simple prayer before all the people of Israel. He re-proved Himself to His chosen people.

 

God responds to the depth, sincerity and earnestness of your faith. Your faith may not be perfect, or without the taint of doubt. Still, He responds to a heart that trusts in Him. God still replies with fire to His sons and daughters who come sincerely to their heavenly Father.

 

You do not need long, complex or eloquent prayers. You only need to know that God answers in strength and power those who love and trust Him. It is just that easy. It is just that simple.

 

Think: God responds to the depth of your faith, not the length of your prayer.

Pray: “Lord, I come to you in faith and trust.”

 

Copyright © April 2016, Kirk Hunt

This devotional is a ministry of http://devotionals.cadremenpress.com.

All Noise, No Substance

All Noise, No Substance By Kirk Hunt

 

So they cried aloud, and cut themselves, as was their custom, with knives and lances, until the blood gushed out on them. And when midday was past, they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice. But there was no voice; no one answered, no one paid attention.

 

1 Kings 18:28-29 NKJV

 

For at least 8 hours (morning to noon to evening), the prophets of Ba’al screamed, yelled, leaped, jumped and otherwise made a lot of noise and sweat. They wasted their time and effort. Their invocations had no substance, power or effect in the real world.

 

The prophets of Ba’al failed from the start. They put their faith in dead idols instead of our living God. They literally bled with no chance of impact or effect.

 

High numbers of decibels or attendees do not automatically indicate anything of value. A few men and women, who are determined to make a difference, always have the greater impact. Substance always wins in the end.

 

Unfortunately, building God’s Kingdom, or Godly lives, requires wise and substantial effort. The Grand Canyon did not appear overnight. Doctors, lawyers and engineers study for years before they are competent in their professions.

 

God’s Kingdom, and Godly lives, come through faith in Him, then significant work in the real world. As modern day people of God, make sure that you are acting with substance and significance. Please, generate more for God than noise and sweat.

 

Think: Progress with God and His Kingdom requires acts of substance, not just noise.

 

Pray: “Lord, help me to serve You with acts of substance and significance.”

 

 

Copyright © April 2016, Kirk Hunt

This devotional is a ministry of http://devotionals.cadremenpress.com.