Freedom Of Speech

Freedom Of Speech By Kirk Hunt

And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.

1 Corinthians 2:4–5 NKJV

 

It is my prayer that the speech of every son and daughter of God is full of quality, eloquence and diction. Still, more than mere excellence, I pray that what you say comes directly from the Holy Spirit. I pray that your every word drips with God’s wisdom, shines with God’s grace and throbs with God’s power.

 

Americans are used to freedom of speech. I suspect that too often we make use of the privilege without taking full responsibility for what is said. Just because you can say something, does not mean you should say anything (1 Corinthians 8:9).

 

All freedoms consist of two parts, the privilege and the responsibility. I have the privilege of driving an automobile and the responsibility to do so safely and courteously. A car can be a weapon like any other, in the hands of the irresponsible.

 

The tongue, our speech, can bind wounds or start wars. What you say can bless hearts or blast souls. Your words are a destructive weapon or beneficial tool, depending on how skillfully and responsibly you use your privilege.

 

You have the freedom to speak in your circles and spheres of influence. I pray that you consider carefully what you say and why. You are an authorized representative of Jesus Christ. Consider your responsibilities as you exercise your privileges.

 

Think: Do I use the privilege of speech responsibly?

 

Pray: “Lord, help me to take responsibility for my free speech.”

 

Copyright © November 2016, 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.

Do You Persecute?

Do You Persecute? By Kirk Hunt

Therefore, indeed, I send you prophets, wise men, and scribes: some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city

Matthew 23:34 NKJV
Read also Matthew 23: 31-36

 

Neither foreigners nor pagans persecuted any of the Old Testament prophets. Their own supposedly devout countrymen and kinsmen tortured and murdered them. Why? The greater your sin, the harder it is to hear the truth. Just ask Cheney, Goodman and Schwerner.

 

The prophets, scribes and others called God’s people back from sin and error. Often they were met with violent opposition. Even when Jesus walked the earth, men and women often met God’s truth with unrighteous responses.

 

James, Andrew and Michael left the safety of their homes to help register men and women to vote in their local elections. Instead of being congratulated for their American spirit they were brutalized and murdered under the cover of darkness. The very men (and women) charged with keeping them safe participated in the heinous act or protected the perpetrators.

 

The terrorists were American sons, born and bred on American soil. Their targets? Other Americans born and bred just as they were. Sort of.

 

Jesus was sent to the Cross for healing the sick then preaching grace and truth. Here in America, the land of my fathers, truth has also been met with violence and murder. Still, many brave souls continue to speak out God’s truth.

 

Roman hands may have swung the hammers, but it was Jewish priests and leaders who sought Jesus’ blood. What is your response? Do you persecute truth-tellers or do you respond in God’s grace?

 

Think: Do I encourage those who speak God’s truth, or do I persecute them?

 

Pray: “Lord, help me to hear Your truth and respond with grace and humility.”

 

Copyright © October 2016, 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.

Spirit Of Kindness

Spirit Of Kindness By Kirk Hunt

To Godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Peter 1:7–8 NKJV
Read also 2 Peter 1:5–9

 

Kindness can be defined as the act of being friendly, generous, and considerate. Not just one or two of those adjectives. Real kindness requires all three. The spirit of kindness is a component of your knowledge of Jesus. The Holy Spirit will help you, but you must also make your own effort.

 

Kindness cannot come from a place of weakness or ignorance. Kindness comes from a heart that knows and understands Jesus and is powered by the Holy Spirit. Perhaps that is why so many men and women do not understand how to be kind; they do not know Jesus.

 

God showed kindness to all of mankind by sending Jesus to the Cross. Jesus showed kindness to you by sacrificing Himself for you. Follow their example and show kindness to the souls around you. Even to those who are currently your enemies.

 

Your profession of Jesus is not enough. Men and women, boys and girls, will see and react to your acts of kindness. No human heart can forever resist sincere kindness.

 

Jesus knew the real you and died for you anyway; so you have an example. The Holy Spirit stands by to assist you. Who will you be friendly, generous, and considerate to today?

 

Think: Kindness is the act of being friendly, generous, and considerate.

Pray: “Lord, help me to show kindness in Your Name.”

 

Copyright © October 2016, 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.

Spirit of Self-Control

Spirit of Self-Control By Kirk Hunt

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

Galatians 5:22–23 NKJV

 

Self-control is the act of deciding if or when you engage in a particular behavior. I say if, then when, I will eat a cookie. Fasting, an exercise in self-control, is the deliberate restraint of consuming food. Media fasting is a different example of voluntary restraint.

 

Do you really want power in your own life? How about the ability to easily resist the plots and plans of others? Develop your self-control. “More salad, fewer cookies.”

 

The ability to control your own actions is the first step to purity. Joseph demonstrated self-control when he refused Potiphar’s wife. Daniel was immune to political attack because of his impeccable personal and public life. Jesus was worthy of the Cross because of His sinless life. Purity (via self-control) gave them power, influence and impact.

 

I am not suggesting that you move into a convent or monastery. If anything, I encourage you to engage with your city. Just do so with self-control. “More grace, less (no) condemnation.”

 

All things are lawful, but not all things are helpful.” If I want to look better in the mirror I must eat more salads and fewer cookies. Do I want to impact my city for Jesus? I must act with increasing grace and forbearance.

 

I can stride confidently and peacefully through work and home. All I have to do is live with more grace and no sin. The spirit of self-control lets me decide my next act.

Think: Self-control is the act of deciding my own behavior.

Pray: “Lord, help me to have the self-control You want me to have.”

 

Copyright © October 2016, 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.

Spirit of Faithfulness

Spirit of Faithfulness By Kirk Hunt

“But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”

Luke 22:32 NKJV

 

In the hours before His crucifixion, Jesus carefully strengthened His Disciples. Especially Peter. Before dawn, Peter would deny any knowledge of Jesus. Knowing he would fail the first test, Jesus knew Peter’s faithfulness would pass the final test.

 

Faithfulness can be defined as the act of remaining true to your word or promise. Traditionally, Peter was also crucified, because he would not deny Jesus a second time. We remember Peter as Jesus’ man because he kept his word.

 

Too often we expect perfect, error-free living from God’s people. Too often we throw away perfectly good souls because it turns out they were human. Peter is a prime example of a man who refused to be less-then again.

 

Peter did not keep his word the first time. Still he died a martyr for the man he once denied. That is faithfulness, even if it is human.

 

Faithfulness sees the task and acts. Despite the risks. Without any credit. Silently, in the background.

 

Perhaps there is a task that you should be doing. There could be a responsibility you need to take on, knowing there is no return on investment but a lot of risk. Flinch if you have to, but give your word. Be the man or woman who gives and keeps promises.

 

Think: Faithfulness is the power to give and keep your word or promise.

 

Pray: “Lord, help me to be faithful for Your Kingdom.”

 

Copyright © October 2016, 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.

Spirit of Forbearance

Spirit of Forbearance By Kirk Hunt

And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?

Romans 2:3–4 NKJV

 

Forbearance can be defined as the act of restraining an action, despite right or privilege. The bank can choose not to start foreclosure. The officer can choose not to write a speeding ticket. They choose to restrain their right and capacity to act. Jesus and the adulterous woman (John 7:53-8:11) is a prime example of the spirit of forbearance.

 

Jesus, sinless, pure and perfect, could cast the first store. The Law said He ought to cast the first stone. Instead, He refused to condemn her.

 

Jesus was more concerned about her soul than the opinion of the Pharisees. He had the power to act and the power to restrain Himself. Graciously, He instructed her to give up sin then sent her back to her life.

 

Jesus held the right, the privilege and capacity to condemn her. By restraining His action, the woman received an opportunity for repentance and restoration. Jesus’ forbearance was a strong act of mercy, grace and outreach.

 

The spirit of forbearance is a sister of gentleness. Forbearance and gentleness only matter where there is the ability to act. Both require you to consider the impact on others, before yourself. Do you choose to act against others at every opportunity? Can you restrain yourself, sometimes?

 

Think: Forbearance is the power to restrain yourself. Can you?

 

Pray: “Lord, help me to restrain myself in order to benefit others.”

 

Copyright © October 2016, 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.

Spirit Of Gentleness

Spirit of Gentleness By Kirk Hunt

Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.

Galatians 6:1 NKJV

 

Perhaps your mental image of gentleness needs adjustment. Too often, men (and some women) associate gentleness with weakness or a lack of power. In fact, only the strong and powerful can be gentle. God’s love to us is the ultimate example of gentleness.

 

My favorite definition of gentleness is “strength or power with skillful control”. Anyone who cannot restrain their own strength or power is a threat to all around them. Worse, they may cause harm where they intended to help.

 

Without strength or power, you cannot have an impact in the world. Without gentleness, your strength or power will tend toward harm and never help. Who could you help, if you could skillfully apply your might and muscle on their behalf?

 

Gentleness is a fruit (characteristic) of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22–23). The longer your walk with God, the more we should see evidence of all of these characteristics in your life. You may not have perfected one or any of them, but we should see you growing in all of them.

 

Gentleness is arguably the most easily recognized of the fruit. Regular folk easily see if you wield your power or strength to benefit others. It is obvious to everyone if you leave wreckage or blessing in your wake.

 

Think: Gentleness is power with skill. Do I help or hurt with my strength?

 

Pray: “Lord, help me to live my life showing the same gentleness You show me.”

 

Copyright © October 2016, 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.

Mature Understanding

Mature Understanding By Kirk Hunt

Brethren, do not be children in understanding; however, in malice be babes, but in understanding be mature.

1 Corinthians 14:20 NKJV

 

Paul told the saints at Corinth to be clever but guileless. The Apostle wanted them to be people of insight and cleverness, yet without being maliciousness or conniving. Godly men and women should always have mature understanding and never be gullible or undiscerning.

 

Jesus, at Matthew 10:16, says the same thing. “All smarts, no venom” is for you and I, here and now. Intelligence, intellect and insight are not the opposite of faith, innocence and integrity. In fact, saints should be the smartest folks in the room, because the Holy Spirit empowers the mind as well as the soul.

 

There are a lot of folks who want to sell you a lot of nonsense. A suit, tie and holy mannerisms may disguise a malicious predator. Just because you want to hear something does not make it right or righteous. Be smart. Be perceptive.

 

Mature men and women examine what is presented to them. They are smart enough to know that the easy thing is not always the right thing. God’s people never dismiss a good messenger because of an imperfect past or difficult message.

 

With the Holy Spirit empowering your heart, mind and spirit, you can be mature and understanding in matters both sacred and secular. Through God, you can be perceptive and insightful, without losing your holiness or innocence. Still, you will have to be mature enough to do the hard work of seeing past the fake to the authentic.

 

Think: The strong and mature consider what people want them to believe.

 

Pray: “Lord, help me to understand what I should choose for my life.”

 

 

Copyright © September 2016, 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.

How To Vote

How To Vote By Kirk Hunt

You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men

2 Corinthians 3:2 NKJV

Dear Winston*,
I often thank God for you as a friend and Gospel brother. I have often turned to you for encouragement and advice, trusting that God’s wisdom is at work in your life. While I have not always used your guidance exactly as given, I cannot deny the skillful and Godly nature of your counsel. I am prayerful that I can now offer you direction on how you should vote this fall.

 

Your vote, despite all of its practical applications and greater symbolism, is nothing more than a choice. A man of your wisdom and insight knows that choices can be categorized as either intellectual decisions or emotional reactions. While no decision is ever purely intellectual or strictly emotional, one or the other dominates the choice(s) made.

 

As your own experience has taught you, choices based on emotional reactions are almost never the best course of action. Even in those rare episodes where an emotional choice worked out, you later found the facts and data that supported that path. Conversely, when you sit in the ashes of a poorly made emotional decision, the clear-headed reasons you could have easily read and understood were right there, mocking you.

 

Neither the politicians, the political system nor special interests can overcome the good judgment of thinking voters. Even when the choices seem dismal, the exercise of choosing, using facts and data, imposes rationality on everyone involved. One choice is always better than the other, even if by a razor’s edge. Set aside your emotional response and use your intellect and Godly wisdom to make a clear-headed decision.

 

Finally, I cannot urge you enough to vote this November. Americans’ failure to participate fully and completely in the core mechanism of the democracy has impaired the function of the Government. Those who do not vote are getting the America someone else chooses.

 

Your brother in Christ,
Cadreman

 

Copyright © September 2016, 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.

 

* “Winston” is the fictional name of a real Gospel brother.

Bad Princes

Bad Princes By Kirk Hunt

Neither our kings nor our princes,
Our priests nor our fathers,
Have kept Your law,
Nor heeded Your commandments and Your testimonies,

Nehemiah 9:34 NKJV

 

Nehemiah spent a lot of his time and energy getting national leadership to do the right thing. The Hebrew word for “princes” (see Strong’s 8269) refers to a “chief (captain), general, governor.” Nehemiah first called to repentance the very people who should have been the best behaved. God’s Law was not inadequate or incomplete. They chose to ignore or violate the Law to line their pockets and fill their purses.

 

Nehemiah faced widespread corruption among those who knew better. The leaders were supposed to respond according to the Law. The leaders became rich while the “regular folk” became poor, or in some cases, literal slaves. The problem was not pagan outsiders. The problem was greedy or immoral insiders. Nor could they claim they “did not know.”

 

Modern “princes” include more than members of Congress or State legislatures. Relatively senior members of the Judicial, Legislative or Executive Branches of government, State or National, are “princes.” The higher-ranking leaders of Corporations and other Commercial Interests are also “princes” by this definition. If you have a higher rank, and/or a higher paycheck, you are included in this group.

 

It is easy to blame foreign strangers. It is harder work to hold insiders of rank and privilege accountable. The problem is rarely a marauding outsider. Much more likely, the problem is an insider who is supposed to be the solution.

 

If you want compliance with God’s Law, as expressed in Scripture, then you have to get involved. Do not let a “prince” claim they “did not know.” Even “princes” can be held accountable, if you have the courage to call them on their unrighteousness.

 

Think: It is easy to blame others. Usually, the problem starts among ourselves.

Pray: “Lord, help me, and my leadership, to obey Your Scripture.”

 

Copyright © September 2016, 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.