Poppa’s Hands

Poppa’s Hands By Kirk Hunt

And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.

John 10:28–29 NKJV

The scene plays in my mind with thoughts of peace, safety and golden warmth. I was 4, maybe 5 years old. I sat on the front pew of Prayer Temple (now Nash Temple) and examined Poppa’s hands with rapt fascination. To my innocent young eyes his hands seemed without limit and without equal. 50 years later, my opinion is better informed, but no less convinced.

Even then his hands were scarred and rough from years of hard labor. His hands were strong from pulling electrical cable or cutting wires. In later years I would watch him switch seamlessly from casual displays of raw strength to deft demonstrations of control and finesse.

Despite how gnarled and unattractive they appeared, Poppa’s hands were a blessing of rare quality and strength. Poppa ministered to, provided for and gave protection to his family and anyone who sought his help. His hands were instruments of deliverance and provision.

Consider now the hands of Father-God. God’s hands are omnipresent, omnipotent, guided by his omniscience and motivated by His bottomless love for you. His hands are a place of peace, safety and warmth for every soul that will seek Him. And even for some souls who flee Him.

I sit in Father-God’s hands. It is a place of peace safety and golden warmth. With each passing day, my opinion is better informed and more convinced of His love and provision for me.

 

Think: The best place to be is in the hands of Father-God.

Pray: “Lord, guide me every day with Your loving hands.”

 

 

Copyright © June 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.

Exacting Usury

Exacting Usury By Kirk Hunt

After serious thought, I rebuked the nobles and rulers, and said to them, “Each of you is exacting usury from his brother.” So I called a great assembly against them.

Then I said, “What you are doing is not good. Should you not walk in the fear of our God because of the reproach of the nations, our enemies?

Nehemiah 5:7,9

 

The working people of Jerusalem and Judah were being oppressed. Men were first exacting usury, then selling men and women, sons and daughters, into slavery. Who was inflicting poverty, pain and hardship on the people of Judah? The leadership of Judah exploited their own.

 

Nehemiah openly rebuked the leadership of Judah regarding their corrupt government. They were deliberately violating God’s laws plus making Judah an object of contempt among the nations. He demanded restitution, giving back what they stole, from the nobles and rulers.

 

Kleptocracy, rulership by thievery, is not a new concept. Exploiting others, just because you can, seems to an epidemic throughout ancient and modern nations. Not even my beloved nation of birth, the United States of America, is immune.

 

Unfortunately, all enemies are not hostile foreigners. All too often, your oppressor is a familiar and friendly-looking countryman. Too often, the very people who should be insuring your wellbeing are instead enriching themselves. At your expense.

 

As one of God’s people, you are called to be honest and fair dealing with everyone. Do not be fooled: Exacting usury can take a lot of different forms. God judgment will come. Keep your hands clean.

 

Think: Exploiting others violates God’s laws and invites His judgment.

Pray: “Lord, guide me in honest and fair dealing with everyone.”

 

Copyright © June 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.

Becoming A Delightful Land

Becoming A Delightful Land By Kirk Hunt

“And all nations will call you blessed,
For you will be a delightful land,”
Says the Lord of hosts.

Malachi 3:12
Please also read Malachi 3:8–12

 

You can be a delightful land, if you choose. All it takes is to be a giver. If you are generous in fact and nature, men and women, boys and girls, will see the glow of God through your life.

 

Malachi 3:10 is a promise of God. “If you give, He will bless.” Your platform may be small or large. Your capacity may be expansive or limited. What matters is your determination to serve and honor God through what you give.

 

You can do your generous acts in secret and anonymity. God’s omniscience will see your sincere heart anyway. His delight, in you honoring Him, will still fall on your life.

 

Yes, your giving must include finances. Your giving should also include your talent and especially your time. Consider that your time, talent and treasure may not all go to the same recipient, at the same time.

 

Nor is your giving limited to your personal resources. Channeling or enabling organizations and others is just as important as what you give yourself. Becoming delightful is never a zero-sum game. The more you do, the more you become able to do, and the richer your joy in service and giving.

 

God rewards His faithful daughters and sons. Do what you can, right where you are. Watch as you become blessed and even more blessing.

 

Think: Generosity of act and spirit, even in secret, makes you visibly blessed and blessing.

 

Pray: “Lord, help me to give so I can honor You.”

 

Copyright © June 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

No Greater Love

No Greater Love By Kirk Hunt

Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.

John 15:13

 

The test came, and three true Americans passed. Good men refused to stand by and let evil triumph. For friends they may not have truly met, they proved their greater love.

 

It is appropriate on this Memorial Day that we Americans recognize this fresh proof that freedom is not free. It requires men and women, many without arms or armor, to stand in courage. Some will make the ultimate sacrifice, out of love.

 

Real love requires standing against all enemies, foreign and domestic, natural and spiritual. Real love stands against sin, hate and violence with grace and truth. All too often, the enemy of our souls, or his agents, will retaliate viciously.

 

However they act, God’s people are commanded to respond in love and grace. Even when provoked, God’s people must respond as Jesus would. His greater love lives in us and finds its expression through us. Sometimes at the risk of being known as a hero.

 

Jesus knew He would face the ultimate test. He refused to stand by and let mankind continue in separation from God. Jesus stood in courage and made the ultimate and eternal sacrifice, on the Cross. He proved that the evidence of greater love requires action.

 

I pray you are never tested this way. May His wisdom and grace lead you around or past any situation. Still, do not hesitate to become a known hero. True heroes are in short supply.

 

Think: Jesus gave His life to save us from the enemy of our souls.

 

Pray: “Lord, guide me in Your wisdom, with courage.”

 

Copyright © May 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.

At The River’s Bank

At The River’s Bank By Kirk Hunt

But when she could no longer hide him, she took an ark of bulrushes for him, daubed it with asphalt and pitch, put the child in it, and laid it in the reeds by the river’s bank.

Exodus 2:3
Please read also Exodus 1:8–22

 

At the river’s bank, Jochebed carefully laid her infant son in a waterproofed basket. Driven by a mixture of fear, hope, desperation, ingenuity and determination, she sought life and safety for her boy in the Nile. She risked the life of her helpless infant with crocodiles or drowning. She saved him from the certainty of death at the hands of Pharaoh’s soldiers.

 

“Amram, I put the baby in the river today. Now I am being paid by the royal court to raise our baby. God is good.”

 

Desperate people do extraordinary things. Some acts, in retrospect, are unwise. Others actions demonstrate courage and determination despite stress and danger. In some circumstances, you must do what you can with what you have.

 

Perhaps you stand at a river’s bank in your life. Your circumstances have driven you in ways you never imagined. Even in a place of risk and danger, God is still with you.

 

Turn to His wisdom and guidance. Ask Him to guide you in what He is blessing. God’s direction may not make sense to others. His guidance may not make sense to you. His path remains the way to safety and blessing.

 

Think: God sees and cares for me, even in the worst of circumstances.

Pray: “Lord, guide me in Your wisdom, even at the river’s edge.”

 

Copyright © May 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.

We Call Her Blessed

We Call Her Blessed By Kirk Hunt

Her children rise up and call her blessed

Proverbs 31:28a

 

The church was large and full. Any one you asked would claim to be Mother Hunt’s son or daughter, regardless of age or family-line. Certainly, we all call her blessed.

 

At first, she would convince you she was the most fragile and delicate creature you ever met. Eventually she would target you, for your own good, with her iron determination and steely strength of character. Still, you would love her and call her blessed.

 

Momma always appreciated what you did for her. Then she would tell you how you could have done it better. You might roll your eyes, but you would call her blessed.

 

She beamed with delight and pride over her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and the fifth generation she held in her arms. No matter how large the crowd near her, she concerned herself with who was far away. We would sigh, then call her blessed.

 

Her work in God’s Kingdom generated a host of spiritual sons and daughters. Everyone close to her understood the demands and privileges of being one of her children. And when they rose up, they call her blessed.

 

Momma spent her life trying to lead others to Christ and Christ-like living. Her love could be fierce and severe, but was always from the deepest part of her. The part of her that taught and corrected loved you, and more importantly, loved God. No wonder we call her blessed.

 

Think: The children of a true Mother rise up and call her blessed.

 

Pray: “Lord, thank you for providing true Mothers for Your earthly children.”

 

Copyright © May 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.

He Cried Out

He Cried Out By Kirk Hunt

And he said to her, “Give me your son.” So he took him out of her arms and carried him to the upper room where he was staying, and laid him on his own bed. Then he cried out to the Lord and said, “O Lord my God, have You also brought tragedy on the widow with whom I lodge, by killing her son?”

1 Kings 17:19-20 NKJV
Please read 1 Kings 17:14-21

 

She confronted him with the boy’s cold, limp body. Elijah took the boy’s body from his mother and went to the presence of God. Alone with all-powerful Jehovah, Elijah used the only tool available to him: He cried out.

 

Elijah did not understand any more than the widow. He had no more power over the situation than the grieving mother. All he could do is ask God for His intervention. And he did so with force and abandon.

 

The facts are what they are, even to God’s people. No amount of wishful thinking or force of personality will change the laws of nature. No matter the circumstances, we can appeal to our heavenly Father.

 

God always answers prayer. He loves us enough to say “no” when we ask for the wrong things. He loves us enough to say “wait” when the circumstances are difficult to us. He loves us enough to comfort us through whatever we are experiencing.

 

His power is absolute. His will is sovereign. His love for you is constant and unending. Cry out to Him, wherever you are.

 

Think: I can appeal to God in every circumstance.

 

Pray: “Lord, I cry out to you because You have the power.”

 

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.

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.

 

Rejoice. He Is Risen.

Rejoice. He Is Risen. By Kirk Hunt

And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, “Rejoice!” So they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me.”

Matthew 28:9–10 NKJV

 

Mary Magdalene and the other disciples intended to complete the sorrowful work of Jesus’ burial. Instead, they found the tomb empty. Then Mary had conversation with the risen Jesus.

 

When the founders of other religions (such as Bahá’u’lláh, Buddha, or Mohammed) die they are buried then remain in the grave. They are no longer available for a personal relationship. Their direct influence and wisdom is no longer available.

 

The truth of Jesus is revealed by the empty tomb. The power of Jesus is undeniable because of the empty tomb. Fresh from overcoming death, Jesus wanted relationship with His Disciples.

 

The risen Jesus is available to anyone who wants Him. He is available to anyone who seeks Him for a personal relationship. New wisdom is available to anyone who asks. His influence is direct and unending.

 

The relationship between Jesus and the Disciples was disrupted, but restored. To the power of Jesus, death was an inconvenience, overcome on the first Easter morning. His power, and direct relationship, are available to you. Will you seek Him out?

 

His sacrifice made salvation available. His resurrection proved his power over all aspects of creation. Will you enter into a personal relationship with Jesus?

 

Think: Jesus is risen from the grave. What could limit Him?

 

Pray: “Lord, thank You for the sacrifice and resurrection of Your Son.”

 

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.

Their Own Desires

Their Own Desires By Kirk Hunt

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.

2 Timothy 4:3-4 NKJV

 

The classic strategy of a swindler is to promise “something for nothing.” The desires and lusts betray the “victim” more powerfully than the confidence man or woman. Unfortunately, this applies to God’s people as much as anyone else.

 

If you want anything more than God, it is a lust. If you want something enough to alter or deliberately misinterpret God’s Word, it is a lust. The desires for control, ego or status can be lusts, just like money, sex or power.

 

And there is always someone out there who will tell you what you want to hear. False teachers (read: con artists) will gear their lessons to the biggest paychecks, not your well-being or Godliness. Local or national, near or far, the false teachers we heap up for ourselves preach false stories that lead to destruction.

 

Why do you want what you want? What does the Bible say about what you want? What does the Bible say about how you are working to get what you want? The honest answers to these questions will tell you what you need to know about your desires.

 

Read and study the Bible yourself. Compare every “teacher” you hear to the Bible, our one true source. Do not let your own desires lead you astray.

 

Think: My own desires and lusts will lead me astray, if I let them.

 

Pray: “Lord, help me keep my desires on You.”

 

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.