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.

Not Ashamed

Not Ashamed by Kirk Hunt

In You, O Lord, I put my trust;
Let me never be ashamed;
Deliver me in Your righteousness.

Psalms 31:1  NKJV

David fled from his father-in-law like a criminal.  King Saul viewed his loyalty, faithfulness and fidelity as crimes, fit only for death.  Still God never let David be ashamed.

Certainly, there is nothing like the fugitive life to teach you fear and paranoia.  Or perhaps the lesson David learned is faith and confidence in God.  God delivered David through His righteousness, at a time of His choosing.

Hunted as a fugitive, David did not despair.  Unjustly accused, David did not lose faith.  Despite these admirable responses, David remained human after all.  David cried out for deliverance and confirmation.

Christian saints, like all human men and women, are hurt and battered at times.  The storms and tempests of this life can stress and strain the best of us.  Despite those times our faith in God is never misplaced.

God’s faithfulness is unending and immeasurable.  No one who trusts in God will ever be disappointed.  Still, during a long, sleepless night, it’s too easy to wonder when His deliverance will arrive.

God is there.  You will not be left “holding the bag.”  God will not let your inconveniences be the end of you.

Put your trust in Him.  Stand and wait for His deliverance.  It may take a while, but God will not let you be ashamed.

Think:      Put your trust in God.  No matter how it looks, He is in control.

Pray:         “Lord, I choose to trust You.  You will not let me be ashamed.

 

Copyright © September 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.

Works Are Good and Profitable

Works Are Good and Profitable by Kirk Hunt

This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men.

Titus 3:8 NKJV

Scripture is clear that faith is an internal matter and salvation is not a matter of doing enough good deeds. Scripture is just as clear that men and women of faith should perform good works on an ongoing basis. God’s people are good and profitable to others in the here and now.

The phrase “thoughts and prayers” has become a symbol of lip-service and inaction. The best demonstration of what you feel or think are concrete actions that help. What you do with your time, talent and treasure are the game-changers that matter. Everything else is platitudes.

Just to be clear: No one cares about what your heart feels or your head thinks; until the acts of your hands are visible. A man and woman may be skeptical of your motivations, but they will believe the nutritious food you feed them. Folks may disagree with your morality but they will approve of the warm shelter you place around them.

Good works open a path for unbelievers to understand. Your good works give your presentation of the Gospel weight and substance. It is difficult to ignore the folk who feed, clothe and shelter others.

We all know that words can come easy. We all know that actions are the best proof of your thoughts and feelings. Obey Scripture and get to work.

Think: My works demonstrate my faith in God to hard hearts and skeptical minds.

Pray: “Lord, help me to demonstrate my faith in You at every opportunity.”

 

Copyright © March 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.

Seeking Something Better

Seeking Something Better by Kirk Hunt

These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.

Hebrews 11:39–40 NIV

Despite (partial) victories (such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965) Dr. King continued the work of freeing all of America’s citizens from injustice and discrimination. His earthly reward for seeking something better for America? An assassin’s bullet.

Scripture summarizes the suffering and victories of Old Testament Prophets and Heroes in Hebrews 11. Those men and women did not live to see God’s promises completed, but they did their part to fulfill their callings. Usually, at great personal cost or their very lives.

Hebrews 11 rehearses the faithfulness and endurance of Old Testament saints. They fulfilled their calling and purpose, despite not seeing their victory in complete fullness. Hebrews 12 exhorts New Testament saints to be just as faithful and enduring.

Christians of the Roman world often suffered and died but they eventually converted polytheistic pagans into devout Christians. With the continuing advantage of Jesus and the Holy Spirit, we should do as much. Echoing the faith and diligence of Old and New Testament saints, our faithfulness will require that we seek something better, regardless of the personal cost.

Seek something better, no matter who is bother or how they object. Your prize for delivering freedom or salvation will be God’s eternal approval. Try not to mind any short term inconveniences or even living to see it completely fulfilled.

Think: Do your part whether or not you see the final victory.

Pray: “Lord, help me to fulfill my calling from you, no matter how others object.”

 

Copyright © January 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.