These My Brethren and Sistren

These My Brethren and Sistren by Kirk Hunt

“Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’”

Matthew 25:37-40 NKJV

Some people see marauding invaders. Others see plague bearers. God’s faithful should see brothers and sisters. Jesus called them brethren (and sistren).

I have a sister and three brothers. I have been very annoyed at all of them, at one point, or another. Still, in the middle of our greatest disagreements, I would never let any of them go hungry or lack shelter. How could I even bear to think of Momma or Poppa if I mistreated one of my siblings?

God loves all of the men and women who cross over a border, regardless of the papers they do, or do not, carry. Whether fleeing a violent criminal gang or a devastating storm, a refugee is one of Jesus’ siblings. When you stand before God’s throne how will you explain your treatment of men and women that Jesus loves?

God’s people are commanded by Jesus himself. “Care for those in need.” Do not check their credentials. Refuse to look at how do, or do not worship. Comfort and support them because they are Jesus’ siblings.

Think: I am commanded to care for those in need by Jesus Himself.

Pray: “Jesus, help me to serve Your brothers and sisters.”

 

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.

Except This Foreigner?

Except This Foreigner? by Kirk Hunt

So Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?”

Luke 17:17-18 NKJV

They kept their distance per the Law but that did not stop them from calling out to Jesus for mercy. They were lepers, men still alive, but rotting to death. Jesus sent them to the priests to be declared clean of their living putrefaction. None said thank you for their miraculous healing, “except this foreigner.”

He could not take another step. His slow, cruel death sentence had been lifted. His desperate separation from friends and family was ended. His days of being despised and feared were over.

How could you not be grateful? Why would you refuse to thank God for the enormous mercy and miraculous goodness you had just received? Looking at his restoration, this nameless foreigner knew the priests could wait. His gratitude on the other hand, could not.

So he did what the native-born would not. He ran to Jesus and kneeled to Him in thankfulness. The same voice that cried for mercy now cried out glory to God.

All ten received the same miracle blessing. All ten had their miserable and degrading suffering ended through healing and restoration. Only the foreigner, the man who should not have received anything, bothered with gratitude or appreciation.

What mercy have you received? What mercy have you given? Did you show gratitude to God for the privilege given to you or through you?

Think: God’s mercy is for native-born and foreigner alike. Am I grateful for what I receive?

Pray: “Lord, help me to give and receive Your mercy freely, and with gratitude.”

 

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.

His Compassions Fail Not

His Compassions Fail Not by Kirk Hunt

Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:22-23 NKJV

In recent months I have been concerned by the general lack of compassion I see from my Christian brothers and sisters.  Consider God’s compassions toward us, His people.  Should we not follow the example of our heavenly Father and Jesus?

The Book of Lamentations was written at or after the destruction of Jerusalem and the Babylonian captivity of the nation of Judah.  For their great sins and open rebellion, God could have cast away the Jewish nation for good.

Instead, He was faithful to His people.  His mercy spared their lives.  His grace arranged their eventual restoration.  Not for the last time, God proved both His strength and His character to His people.

The capacity for mercy exists only where there is a reservoir of strength.  Only a man or woman of strong character can commit an act of grace.  When you see displays of mercy and grace, know that the powerful and honorable are nearby.

Are you an adopted son or daughter of Father-God?  Then you should have a measure of His strength and your character should be a growing reflection of Him.  What acts of mercy or grace prove your heavenly pedigree?

Judah had death and destruction coming, but a loving God gave them mercy and grace instead.  Look around you.  Do you have enough of His strength to give them mercy?  Is your character Christ-like enough to extend His grace?

Think:      His compassions fail not.  Do mine?

Pray:         “Lord, help me to show Your compassions to those around me.”

 

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.

Evangelize The Strangers And Foreigners

Evangelize The Strangers And Foreigners By Kirk Hunt

When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’

Matthew 25:38-40 NKJV

The word stranger in Scripture almost always translates as foreigner (xenos). God’s people are commanded in both the Old Testament and the New Testament, to treat foreigners with generosity, justice and grace. In this current season, foreigners fleeing war, persecution and enslavement are greeted as villains, not victims.

After killing an Egyptian, Moses fled to Midian. Would you have turned Moses the fugitive away as a threat to national security?

David fled from his father-in-law Saul to Moab and later Philistia. Would you have kept David the persecuted out of the country as a risk to law and order?

Joseph, Mary and Jesus fled from Herod to Egypt. Would you have denied the Holy Family admittance as an economic drain on the country?

The refugees and evacuees are fleeing death and destruction. Where are they going? To the very Christian nations who should be busy evangelizing them.

Who could be more open to the Gospel of Christ than someone desperate to enter a Christian nation? They may be strangers to you, but they are well known to Father-God. Should you not make an effort to minister to the “least of these?”

Think: God help me to remember that refugees and foreigners are open to Your Gospel.

Pray: “Lord, help me to minister to Yours sons and daughters from another land.”

 

Copyright © November 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.

He First Loved

He First Loved By Kirk Hunt

We love Him because He first loved us.

1 John 4:19 NKJV

In prayer, I step out of my mundane living room and into the august grandeur of His presence. Seated on His Throne, His full glory and holiness shines out, promising nothing but perfect justice and impeccable judgment. Instead, He first loved me.

Our infinite and all-powerful God is perfection, holiness and justice. Mankind should have been found guilty in judgment long ago. Instead, He first loved us.

Jesus chose to reconcile man to God in righteousness. Father-God allowed Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross to tear the veil and once again allow us free access to Himself. He acted because He first loved us.

Grace gives gifts we can never earn or be worthy to receive. Mercy blocks the results of our sin, despite the condemnation and judgment we have so richly earned and deserved. After all, He first loved us.

His love is not blind, yet we are precious in His sight. God moved heaven and earth to make provision for us. We should understand he did so because He first loved us.

We should return His love with all our hearts and mind. It should be easy, since He gave the first proof. He first loved us.

This New Year’s Day, consider the eight words of 1 John 4:19. Make your plans understanding how He loves you. Map out your strategies, understanding how much He loves them. Your work should be easy, considering He loved you first.

Think: God reached to me first. How will I respond?

Pray: “Lord, thank you for loving me first.”

 

Copyright © December 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.

Fallout On Sons And Others

Fallout On Sons And Others By Kirk Hunt

So the king commanded this to be done; the decree was issued in Shushan, and they hanged Haman’s ten sons.

Esther 9:14 NKJV

What you do impacts others. What you allow to continue impacts others. Far too often, the fallout of acts of omission or commission falls on our own sons and daughters. Just ask Haman.

Haman’s conspiracy to destroy the Jews ended in the death of his own sons. His plot to loot the wealth of others ended with the plundering of himself and his family. Haman’s cruel, vindictive, destructive strategy was executed on his own family.

God’s people are called to justice and mercy; blessing of friend and foe. Do not limit the implications of Galatians 6:7. What you do, and what you do not do, are seeds you sow. Your harvest is coming.

Mordecai took in an orphan in kindness, mercy and generosity. He reaped a queen who stood for her people when it counted. Haman hatched a murderous conspiracy of genocide. He harvested destruction for himself and his family.

Consider what you are doing or allowing to be done in your name. You are planting a harvest. Scripture promises you will receive what you sow.

Pastor Martin Niemöller would plead with you not to stand by as others do wrong. He would implore you to safeguard others, as your own. Of course, his experiences in the Dachau Concentration Camp probably colored his opinions.

If you are a Christian, then Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan should give you pause in this era of fear and hatred of others. Listen to the testimony of Pastor Niemöller. Read carefully the example of Haman.

Think: Do I extend God’s help and goodness to others?

Pray: “Lord, help me to bless and benefit everyone around me.”

 

Copyright © July 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.

When Bullies Are Pleading

When Bullies Are Pleading By Kirk Hunt

Then the king arose in his wrath from the banquet of wine and went into the palace garden; but Haman stood before Queen Esther, pleading for his life, for he saw that evil was determined against him by the king.

Esther 7:7 NKJV

That morning, Haman mercilessly plotted genocide against the Jews because of Mordecai’s offense. That evening he was pleading for understanding, mercy and forgiveness for his own conspiracy. A typical bully, Haman could not feel for others until he faced his own reckoning.

All too often, men and women, like bullies, withhold mercy or consideration for others. Yet, when they or theirs encounter (even a little) difficulty, they expect everyone to rally to their aid and defense. They shamelessly ask, or demand, that exceptions be made to the rules they themselves set.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Jesus’ commandment to us, often called the “golden rule,” is not difficult to understand or follow. The problem is our inner bully; the all-too-human lust for power over others. Haman should have considered such things before he started bullying Mordecai and the Jews of Persia.

Knowing Ahasuerus’ rage, Haman cast about desperately for a protector and advocate. His best chance lay with Esther, a Jew and Mordecai’s adoptive daughter. The math is clearly not in Haman’s favor.

Haman’s murderous plot had reversed on him. His cruel, merciless conspiracy against the Jews had been exposed. Revealed as a bully, Haman begged like a wind for his life. Would you need to plead for mercy if your circumstances were reversed?

Think: Do I extend God’s kindness and mercy to others?

Pray: “Lord, help me extend Your grace and mercy to everyone around me.”

 

Copyright © July 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.

Remembrance Of Chains

Remembrance Of Chains By Kirk Hunt

Now it happened after these things that the son of the woman who owned the house became sick. And his sickness was so serious that there was no breath left in him. So she said to Elijah, “What have I to do with you, O man of God? Have you come to me to bring my sin to remembrance, and to kill my son?”

1 Kings 17:17-18 NKJV
Please read 1 Kings 17:14-18

 

Keening in grief, she rocked her son’s cold, limp body in her arms. It turns out even a poor widow a precious valuable to lose. Her heart was dominated by remembrance of past sin.

 

When Elijah entered the room, she immediately questioned the great prophet. Do you wonder about her tone? Bitter? Heartbroken? Angry? All of the above?

 

Of all the emotions that surged through her heart and mind, guilt pushed to the front. “Are you here to remind me about my sin?” Her son’s life was a price for her past transgression(s).

 

You should remember from time-to-time. What chains of sin or circumstance used to weigh down your soul? How did God save you?

 

It is too easy to forget. Human memory does not always remember God’s past salvation during a new crisis. If He brought you through then, He will bring you through now.

 

God restored her and the boy, even when giving up seemed the only response. The crisis called for more faith, not panic. God specializes in hopeless cases and unbreakable chains.

 

No matter what you were then or now, He would love to break your chains today. Are you willing to offer your situation to Him? Can you trust Him, for the first time, or one more time?

 

Think: God will not abandon me now.

Pray: “Lord, help me remember all that You have done, and will do, for me.”

 

Copyright © April 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.

 

Fresh Mercy, New Faithfulness

Fresh Mercy, New Faithfulness” By Kirk Hunt

 

Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:22-23 NKJV

 

Good morning. Welcome to a new year. Also, welcome to a fresh edition of God’s mercy.

 

Perhaps last year was not your best. Even if you feel convicted, you are not condemned. Take a generous portion of His mercy and begin again.

 

You may have done well last year. Praise God for your faithfulness. Still, you cannot rest on past accomplishments. Move, in His mercy, to your next assignment and task.

 

His compassion for His people never runs out. He understands our weak spots. Our quirks are not a surprise to Him. He only asks that we faithfully share His compassion and mercy with others.

 

This New Year is an occasion to begin again, or correct course. Faithfully, God has given us a fresh opportunity to work in His Kingdom. Use this choice benefit to its fullest.

 

Learn, of course, from past errors but otherwise put all your effort into future work. God has preserved and protected you. Not just for your sake, but for those you will bless and benefit.

 

The dawn signals a new day. The New Year is more than the passage of time. It is an opportunity to be blessed and bless others.

 

Think: New mercy and fresh compassion allow God’s people to work and bless others.

 

Pray: “Lord, help me to share Your mercy and compassion with others.”

 

 

Copyright © January 2016, Kirk Hunt

This devotional is a ministry of http://devotionals.cadremenpress.com.