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.

Who Is The Troubler?

Who Is The Troubler? By Kirk Hunt

Then it happened, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said to him, “Is that you, O troubler of Israel?” And he answered, “I have not troubled Israel, but you and your father’s house have, in that you have forsaken the commandments of the Lord and have followed the Baals.

1 Kings 18:17–18 NKJV
Please also read 1 Kings 18:7–18

We see it a lot in modern America. Problems and issues come up, and the chief troublemaker(s) lay the blame at the feet of others instead of themselves. The real troubler, too often, is the very leader or administrator who is supposed to know better and guide better.

Yes, Elijah declared the drought that God sent. It was Ahab’s deliberate leadership to idolatry, and repression of God’s true worship, that caused God to hold the rain. In willful disobedience, Ahab remained defiant against God and His messenger, despite his own suffering and that of the nation.

Nearly three millennia later, men and women still try to shift the blame for their failings and wrongdoing. Ahab fought against the very God of heaven, yet expected someone else to take the blame. If common folk can see through your pretense, clearly God’s omniscience never sees anything but your error and wrongdoing.

King and prophet met in confrontation. One represented error, heresy and rebellion against God. The other represented the God of heaven in a call to contrition and repentance. Where would you stand then? Where do you stand now?

Think: Godly men and women take responsibility for their errors or wrongdoing.

Pray: “Lord, help me to take responsibility for the things I do or lead.”

 

Copyright © October 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.

Whom Do You Fear?

Whom Do You Fear? By Kirk Hunt

And it shall come to pass, as soon as I am gone from you, that the Spirit of the Lord will carry you to a place I do not know; so when I go and tell Ahab, and he cannot find you, he will kill me. But I your servant have feared the Lord from my youth.

1 Kings 18:12 NKJV
Please also read 1 Kings 18:7–16

Obadiah feared God then. I fear God now. After all, the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.

Many Biblical scholars and teachers ascribe cowardice to Obadiah for his reaction to Elijah in these verses. A coward would not have attempted to hide the prophets from Ahab and Jezebel’s murderous purge. Instead, Obadiah recognized his risk should God whisk Elijah away suddenly.

The Hebrew word used in these verses, yare, often translates “afraid,” but it also often translates “reverence.” Obadiah respected the absolute and complete mastery of God over time and space, death and life. After personally witnessing Ahab’s extensive international manhunt, Obadiah wanted assurance that God would let Elijah make the meeting.

God is, first and foremost, love. God is also holy and righteous. In an instant, God can issue verdicts and enact judgement over men and nations.

I often run to Him, child to Heavenly-Father, but I also consider that His holy anger slew Uzzah, Ananias, and Sapphira for their less-than-righteous actions. Obadiah refused to take God, or His true servant, lightly. I seek to follow that same wisdom and prudence.

Think: God’s power over creation calls for a lot of reverence and at least a little fear.

Pray: “Lord, Your power commands me in reverence and trepidation.”

 

Copyright © October 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.

Called To Integrity

Called To Integrity By Kirk Hunt

And Ahab had called Obadiah, who was in charge of his house. (Now Obadiah feared the Lord greatly. For so it was, while Jezebel massacred the prophets of the Lord, that Obadiah had taken one hundred prophets and hidden them, fifty to a cave, and had fed them with bread and water.)

1 Kings 18:3–4 NKJV

King Ahab ranks as one of the most wicked leaders of ancient Israel. Yet, as king, Ahab called devout Obadiah (writer of the Book of Obadiah) to serve as his majordomo. While there was wisdom in Obadiah’s selection, there was wisdom in how Obadiah answered his call.

Serving a corrupt, pagan king, Obadiah maintained his faith and integrity. At great personal risk, he cleverly hid God’s prophets from Ahab’s murderous purge. His work for the king always took a back-seat to his absolute obedience to God.

As God’s people, our service should always be conditional. If they watched closely, they would know: “No matter how good his/her work for me, he/she serves God first and absolutely.”

In this modern age, too many appear to worship at the altar of self and greed. God’s people should be found (or uncovered) completely and only sold to Father-God. Now, more than ever, we need men and women who serve with unwavering integrity and devotion to God, no matter who signs their paychecks.

Is your integrity and devotion above reproach? I pray your service to men and women is excellent. I pray more your life and conduct before God is excellent and pure.

Think: My service is always first to God, then to men and women.

Pray: “Lord, I am yours. Help me to serve You, even as I serve men and women.”

 

Copyright © October 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.

Believe The Truth

Believe The Truth By Kirk Hunt

And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

2 Thessalonians 2:11-12 NKJV

Apostle Paul wrote 2 Thessalonians to warn God’s people to love the truth and reject lies. The truth is often simpler and less complicated than the lie. The problem is that the lie appeals to something sinful in us.

All too short a time after the establishment of the Church at Thessaloniki, someone was teaching that Jesus had already returned and raptured His Church. Paul spoke against this apostasy but then addressed the deeper issue of loving the truth.

Paul states it is important for God’s people to cultivate a love for the truth. He states just as clearly that men and women can take “pleasure in unrighteousness.” Which do you choose; truth or unrighteousness?

Addicts believe the drug is a benefit. Adulterers believe in their reasons to lie and betray. Swindlers believe the money in your account is theirs, rather than yours. Of course, there are subtler ways to believe a lie, rather than the truth.

Do you love the truth, rather than a lie? Are you willing to believe a lie and be damned? The choice is binary. Either you seek God’s truth or you love the enemy’s lies. Believing the lie means accepting a delusion that leads to condemnation.

Believing the lie requires that you set aside the facts and data. Loving the truth makes it easier to spot the lies. Seek His righteousness. It is easier in the long-run.

Think: Do I really seek the truth, or do I prefer unrighteousness?

Pray: “Lord, help me to love Your truth and righteousness.”

 

Copyright © January 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.