Into The Midst

Into The Midst by Kirk Hunt

20201213DevoTherefore, because the king’s command was urgent, and the furnace exceedingly hot, the flame of the fire killed those men who took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.

Daniel 3:22-23 NKJV

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego called Nebuchadnezzar’s bluff. The king ordered them thrown into the midst of the furnace. Keep in mind, the heat of the furnace killed the men ordered to carry out the executions.

Integrity always has costs. Missed opportunities at profits or pleasures. Lost relationships or connections. Open derision or scorn from some. Naked opposition or attack from others.

The unbent knees of your integrity may start your journey into the midst of circumstances you never imagined. Or wanted. The flames in the midst of your personal furnace will be hot. The heat may hurt people close to you, whether they are friend or foe.

No matter where you go, God is there. He was present, before you got there. He is present, the entire time you are there. He remains present, even after you leave there. Rely on God’s power, no matter where you go or why you went.

It takes integrity to say “I will not serve your gods.” It takes courage to stay on your feet as they stoke the fires of the furnace. Maintain your Christian integrity, even in the midst.

Think: Am I willing to maintain my Christian integrity in the midst of opposition?

Pray: “Lord, help me to maintain my integrity before You, no matter what happens.”

Copyright © December 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.

We Do Not Serve Your Gods

We Do Not Serve Your Gods by Kirk Hunt

If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”

Daniel 3:17-18 NKJV

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego stood before the king and politely told him his power had limits. “We do not serve your gods.” Their direct, plainspoken words were likely to land them in a fiery furnace.

They understood the order. They understood the penalty for non-compliance. They were at risk of making the ultimate sacrifice for their integrity.

The snitches and tattle-tails had to bring these men to the attention of the king. These three ethnic minorities tried to find the quieter route to maintaining their integrity. Moral or principled stances are not amplified by decibels or press releases. They are magnified by quiet courage and uncomplaining determination. Faithful men and women stay on their feet despite brutal retaliation and unjust retribution.

Embarrassed before his assembled government, Nebuchadnezzar bellowed fearsome threats. The smell, smoke, and possibly heat of the furnace were proof that the king was not bluffing. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego said their words calmly and with unbent knees, proved they were not bluffing.

Having integrity in private is one thing. Keeping your integrity in public is a different thing. Are you bluffing?

Think: What am I willing to sacrifice to maintain my Christian integrity?

Pray: “Lord, help me to maintain my integrity before men and especially You.”

Copyright © December 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.

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.

Who Have You Received?

Who Have You Received? by Kirk Hunt

Then Paul dwelt two whole years in his own rented house, and received all who came to him, preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence, no one forbidding him.

Acts 28:30-31 NKJV

Chained to a Roman soldier, Paul received everyone who came to him. The prisoner freely taught and preached about Jesus Christ. For two years, handcuffed to his captors, Paul repeated the crime that brought him to trial in Rome.

It took courage to visit Paul in Nero’s Rome. Christians were already under suspicion and discrimination. Still, the opportunity to learn of Jesus, directly from Paul, brought men and women to his door.

Paul welcomed his guests, then generously gave them his richest gift: Jesus Christ. In the face of political, social and religious (Pagans or Jews) opposition, Paul insisted on sharing his knowledge of the Gospel. Whether with those in the room, or with saints around the known world, Paul spoke God’s truth to all who could hear.

Who do you receive? What do you give them? Why should they want what you give?

Under the watching eyes and listening ears of the elite Praetorian Guard, Paul taught the Gospel to all who asked. The Apostle used his adverse circumstances to build the Kingdom. Can you do the same?

Who is at your door? What do you give them? Even a prisoner can be a generous host, if they have something of value to give. What is more valuable than the Gospel?

Think: Who have you received? What have they received from you?

Pray: “Lord, help me to generously receive then give You to all who come to me.”

 

Copyright © February 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.

Who Are Gathered With You?

Who Are Gathered With You? by Kirk Hunt

David therefore departed from there and escaped to the cave of Adullam. So when his brothers and all his father’s house heard it, they went down there to him. And everyone who was in distress, everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented gathered to him. So he became captain over them. And there were about four hundred men with him.

2 Samuel 22:1-2 NKJV

King Saul issued a death warrant for his loyal and valiant son-in-law, David. Unjustly hunted and cruelly hounded, David found refuge in the cave of Adullam. There, at his lowest point, losers, deadbeats and whiners gathered with David.

David could have easily become a brigand and villain, leading a band of cutthroats. Instead he transformed himself into a valiant king-like leader. The crybabies and snotnoses who gathered with him? They became an elite fighting force who championed the defenseless.

You always have a choice. There is the easy way or the right way. You can choose to walk upward in righteousness or slide downward in villainy. It is just that easy.

Insist that the people who gather around you have a simple choice: 1) Get with your program or 2) leave. Keep their immediate decision clear and simple.

It takes courage, fortitude and intention to choose righteousness. There will be confrontations and conflicts, but insist that anyone who stays with you does the same. No one said it would be easy.

Who is gathered with you? You can help them change their story. Make sure you choose the right story to tell with your life and theirs.

Think: Who is gathered with me and why do they stay?

Pray: “Lord, help me and those gathered with me to choose Your righteousness.”

 

Copyright © February 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.

Where Are You Stationed?

Where Are You Stationed? by Kirk Hunt

And after him was Shammah the son of Agee the Hararite. The Philistines had gathered together into a troop where there was a piece of ground full of lentils. So the people fled from the Philistines. But he stationed himself in the middle of the field, defended it, and killed the Philistines. So the Lord brought about a great victory.

2 Samuel 23:11-12 NKJV

Shammah is listed in Scripture as one of David’s “mighty men”. His greatest deed? Alone and abandoned, Shammah stood and fought while others ran. He stationed himself in a patch of beans and defended them.

Shammah’s duty was made harder, and riskier, because others failed in their duty to their nation and God. Still, he stood his ground and fought. Despite his personal courage and skillfulness, Scripture is clear that Shammah did not bring about success. God’s faithfulness and power bought and brought victory.

What has God assigned you? Steel your heart and determination, even if it seems you are defending something of low value. Courageously hold your ground against greater numbers and firepower, no matter how alone you are. Mighty men and women are determined by faithful courage and determined hearts.

Military last stands tends to favor the attackers and are universally costly to the defenders. Determine now that you will do your part, confident that Father-God will do His. Despite your personal courage and skill, victory will come through God’s faithfulness and power.

Think: Do your part to bring about victory.

Pray: “Lord, help me to fulfill your assignment to me, regardless of what others do.”

Copyright © February 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.

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.

It Shall Be Well

It Shall Be Well By Kirk Hunt

And he said, Wherefore wilt thou go to him to day? it is neither new moon, nor sabbath. And she said, It shall be well.

2 Kings 4:23 KJV
Please also read 2 Kings 4: 18-37

“It shall be well.” The Shunammite heard her little boy’s breathing rattle to a stop. She felt the living warmth fade from his body. She laid his cold, still form down to take the only action she knew could help.

“It shall be well.” Her grim determination testified to her understanding of her situation. She wanted a different outcome. Her every word and action demonstrated her unrelenting hope.

“It shall be well.” Her heart and mind likely swam in grief. Her faith carried her over all-too-human reactions and feelings. As she drove hard over the miles, faith kept her in her saddle.

“It shall be well.” Whatever you are facing. No matter how it looks to the natural eye. Regardless of expert opinion.

“It shall be well.” Speak the words, long before you can see the outcome. Testify to your coming success, despite your present setbacks. Use your faith to warm the cold reality of your situation.

“It shall be well.” These words do not prevent hot tears. They are a prelude to hard work. Despite all of that, they are still warm comfort and unyielding hope. Speak the words with real faith™.

“It shall be well.” God is there, with you. He sees your entire situation. He cares. Do you have the faith to speak the words?

Think: Faith stands and acts, despite the circumstances.

Pray: “Lord, I declare, in Your Name, ‘It shall be well.’”

 

Copyright © April 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.