Are You Persuaded?

Are You Persuaded? by Kirk Hunt

Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’

Luke 16:29-31 NKJV
Please also read Luke 16:19-31

The parable of The Rich Man and Lazarus has always haunted me. Simply put, Jesus is telling us that there are limits to grace and mercy. Those who are not persuaded will be prosecuted. It takes an overt act of mercy or grace when our holy and just God withholds justice and judgment.

Mercy is not receiving the punishment or penalties you earned. Grace is receiving gifts and benefits you do not merit. Mercy and grace suspend, or refuse, justice and judgment.

At Psalm 103:8-10, King David explained simply: God will not restrain His anger indefinitely. You can listen voluntarily now or be compelled before His judgment throne. Do the math.

Being teachable does not make a man or woman weak or gullible. We listen to wisdom, and compare it with scripture, think carefully, and pray thoroughly. Then we make a decision.

You have been exposed to Scripture and Godly teachers. Are you persuaded? When judgment and prosecution come, it will then be too late.

Think: God speaks through scripture and teachers. Are you listening?

Pray: “Lord, guide me to Your truth and make me teachable.”

Copyright © August 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.

God’s Word The Second Time

God’s Word The Second Time by Kirk Hunt

Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and preach to it the message that I tell you.”

Jonah 3:1–2 NKJV

“Don’t make me tell you again,” is the exasperated admonition (or warning, or threat) every parent has said at least once to a beloved but recalcitrant child. Even God’s people are more child-like than we admit. God too often has to tell us the second (or third, or fourth) time.

At God’s command, the great fish had spit Jonah out on dry ground. God’s prophet likely smelled like fish belly, and he may have been spitting sand out of his mouth. . The storm and time in the fish had the desired effect of getting Jonah’s attention. The prophet listened when God spoke the second time.

There are reasons God has to repeat Himself to us. We can be too busy with our plans and agendas to listen to Him now. Our daily cares, concerns, or pains drown out His voice. Too often, our willfulness or disobedience leads us to knowingly ignore or disobey God.

God loved Jonah and patiently worked to get his attention. Thankfully, God loves us and patiently works to get our attention. Instead of reacting to us with justice and judgment, He responds to us with mercy and grace. God unfairly allows His children to misbehave and not pay the (full) cost they should.

Perhaps God is speaking to you the second (or third, or fourth) time. You should listen, this time. You should be obedient, this time. After all, God is demonstrating His great love for you, this time.

Think: When God speaks to me I should listen and obey every time.

Pray: “God, please help me to listen and obey every single time.”

 

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.

Who Comes Near To You?

Who Comes Near To You? by Kirk Hunt

And his servants came near and spoke to him, and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do something great, would you not have done it? How much more then, when he says to you, ‘Wash, and be clean’?”

2 Kings 5:12 NKJV

Naaman stormed off, offended at Elisha’s response to his request. The prophet’s promise of healing and restoration was not theatrical enough for him. Thankfully, Naaman’s men could come near him.

Sooner, or later, you are going to respond the wrong way. Ego, frustration or misunderstanding will lead you to make matters worse. Eventually, you are going to miss your chance. Inattention, urgency or preconception will lead you to walk past the opportunity of a lifetime.

Who in your life can come near and stop you from making a critical mistake of commission or omission? Perhaps your friend will speak quiet cautions in a back room, or shout accusations at center stage. Either way, are you willing to hear the truth from someone you trust?

It requires humility on your part. It requires courage on their part. Both of you must possess the wisdom to know it needed to be said and why.

“Go wash in a dirty river. What have you got to lose?” Who has the heart and head to stop your mistake? Do you let folks close enough to know when or how to help?

Naaman nearly walked away from his healing. Someone close to him refused to remain silent. Naaman was smart enough to listen. How about you?

Think: You need Godly wise people close enough to help you.

Pray: “Lord, help me keep Your appointed helpers close to my heart and head.”

 

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.