Going With You

Going With You by Kirk Hunt

Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.”

They said to him, “We are going with you also.” They went out and immediately got into the boat, and that night they caught nothing.

John 21:3 NKJV

Peter and the Disciples had seen the risen Savior, but still did not know what to do with themselves. Men and women, when faced with the unknown, often return to the last thing they know worked. Peter returned to his profession of fishing. The other Disciples said, “We are going with you.”

Maybe you feel battered or beaten. Since all humans have limits, being overwhelmed does not mean you are weak. And you might still be the strongest one in the room.

Do the smart thing. Do the strong thing. Do the right thing. Return to Jesus. Others may go with you.

They are going with you because you are strong. Or at least the strongest in the room. Go back to the real source of strength. Your risen Savior, Jesus Christ, has fresh strength and clear instructions for you.

There, on the beach, Jesus met with Peter and the Disciples. They gained strength and clarity of purpose directly from Jesus, the only source. Peter was glad he went to Jesus. The Disciples were glad they went with Peter.

God’s strength flows to those who ask. Ask for strength to fulfill His calling on your life. Encourage those who are going with you to do the same.

Think: Jesus is the source of my strength and I will now turn back to Him.

Pray: “Lord, I need Your strength. Help me and those who come with me to You.

Copyright © January 2021, 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.

Strengthen Your Faith

Strengthen Your Faith by Kirk Hunt

And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”

Luke 22:31-32 NKJV

Mere hours before His crucifixion, Jesus had to stop and help his lead disciple. Simon Peter would weep in shame and heartbreak because of his denial of Jesus. Still, Jesus knew Peter would re-strengthen his faith. Then Peter would help the other Disciples restore their faith.

Strengthen your brothers.” Peter too easily could have felt disqualified and incapable by his error and flawed faith. Jesus directly instructed Peter to help others with their faith. Peter followed Jesus commands and helped the Disciples to re-grip their faith.

Imperfect faith is still faith. Your faith is still valid, despite your questions, doubts, or concerns. Not even mistakes nullify your faith. Real faith requires serious thought about what you believe and why you believe it.

Unthinking fanaticism is not faith. Unquestioning subservience to a dogma is not faith. Your faith should flow from your relationship with Christ Jesus.

Despite his time with Jesus, Peter had to restrengthen his faith. After his renewal, Peter was able to help his brothers and sisters. Now is a good time for you to draw closer to Jesus. Restrengthen your relationship, and faith, in Him.

Think: Is my faith in Jesus based on my relationship with Him?

Pray: “Lord, help me to deepen my relationship, and faith, in You.”

Copyright © January 2021, 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.

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.

Flying On Instruments

Flying On Instruments by Kirk Hunt

Now the Lord had said to Abram:
Get out of your country,
From your family
And from your father’s house,
To a land that I will show you.

Genesis 12:1 NKJV

Pack up. Move out. I will tell you where you are going, later.” Abram, later renamed Abraham, led his household into the wilderness on God’s Word, alone. At God’s command, Abram started flying on instruments.

Abram’s obedience was an act of faith. He left home, hearth, kith and kin, for whereabouts to be determined. Faith is the only rational explanation.

Aircraft have long had the ability to fly on instruments. On instruments, a pilot doesn’t need to see out of the cockpit at all. The pilot trusts the instruments, and the instruments get the pilot (safely) to the destination.

The things God asks of us are sometimes too big for us. The ending is too far for us to see. Worse, we can see the goal, but the path to the goal seems impossible to us. The God of creation asks you, and I, to trust Him.

He sees farther and deeper than we can. His knowledge exceeds the total of all humanity. His power exceeds anything and everything.

God faithfully led Abram to Canaan, and established him as a father of nations. You can put your faith in God, just as Abram did. Your faith and obedience will land you safely in His purpose for your life.

Think: I can trust Him. Especially through the instruments of faith.

Pray: “Lord, help me respond to You in faith and obedience.”

Copyright © November 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.

Rotten Green Tree

Rotten Green Tree by Kirk Hunt

Wait on the Lord,
And keep His way,
And He shall exalt you to inherit the land;
When the wicked are cut off, you shall see it.
I have seen the wicked in great power,
And spreading himself like a native green tree.

Psalm 37:3435 NKJV

The tree was big, green and notable in its surroundings. The problem is that the good looks were hiding a critical rot in the roots. The rot had so weakened the tree that it could not keep itself upright. The tree fell suddenly and without warning in the dead of night. Had it fallen in daylight, someone could have been crippled or killed.

The fallen tree blocked a central set of walkways. The mercy is that in its fall, the most serious damage was limited to a single directory sign. In a matter of seconds, the tree was transformed from a living state of beauty and utility to a dead object of hindrance and destruction.

And for days, men and machines labored hard to clear away the remains of a once healthy-looking tree. The hidden rot had killed the tree and tainted the wood. The wood could not become lumber, only firewood.

When men and women fall, they can do serious damage. The moral disease, thought hidden, is exposed to everyone. Where once there had been benefit and profit, there is suddenly destruction and damage.

As God’s saints, you must keep yourself free of rot and disease. Otherwise, like my tree, your fall will come suddenly and without warning. The remains of your passing suitable only for a fireplace or furnace.

Think: The green of the tree can hide a killing rot.

Pray: “Lord, keep me in Your way, free of moral taint or decay.”

Copyright © May 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.

Sacrifice Is Personal

Sacrifice Is Personal by Kirk Hunt

Then the king said to Araunah, “No, but I will surely buy it from you for a price; nor will I offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God with that which costs me nothing.” So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. And David built there an altar to the Lord, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. So the Lord heeded the prayers for the land, and the plague was withdrawn from Israel.

2 Samuel 24:24-25 NKJV

Araunah (also called Ornan) had every reason to give King David anything he needed for a sacrifice. In addition to being a devout worshiper of Jehovah, he also owned great wealth. David needed to sacrifice the goods to stop a heaven-sent plague coming his way. “Anything you want, your majesty.”

David, a true leader who cared for his followers, made a point of buying, not taking. David refused to sacrifice a cost-less gift to God. David understood what made a sacrifice or offering acceptable to God. As the flames burned on the altar, the king’s once heavy purse held only a bill of sale.

Saints, especially leaders, must personally sacrifice for the Kingdom. Wealth, time and comfort are often burned on the altar of our worship. As the smoke and flames go heavenward, tears often flow downward from our too human eyes.

The point of worship and sacrifice is to demonstrate that we love Him first and foremost. If you want your offering to be real to God, it must be significant and personal. You give what is yours to prove the love is yours.

Well meaning hearts and souls might offer to pay at the wrong times. Remember David’s example. Give your personal sacrifice out of love and devotion.

Think: Sacrifice to God must always be personal to be real.

Pray: “Lord, accept my sacrifice to You.”

Copyright © April 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.

Faith In The Storm

Faith In The Storm by Kirk Hunt

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. But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?

Mark 4:39-40 NKJV

Did Jesus need to calm the storm? Since the boat was sinking, His interference in the natural course of events was welcomed by the Disciples. Still, the need or desire for God to intervene in circumstances is not an excuse to lose (or set aside) your faith.

God is God, all of the time. Not even a series of circumstances can exceed God’s sovereignty or mastery of creation. You might be in over your head, but God remains above everything. He is the final authority of all time, space and situations.

Keep and guard your faith, no matter how fierce the storm. Since God is always omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent, your inconveniences are never an issue for Him. Your faith should be based on Him, not what is going on around you.

Jesus rebuked the storm. Then He rebuked the Disciples. Their concern about the storm was reasonable and to be expected. Their sudden loss of faith was a failure to think and act on their understanding of God and the presence of Jesus.

No matter how difficult the situation, God is your source. Keep your faith strong. The Master is more than equal to your storm.

Think: In the middle of the storm, my faith remains in God.

Pray: “Lord, help me to keep my eyes and faith on You.”

Copyright © March 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.

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.