Profane And Idle Babblings

Profane And Idle Babblings By Kirk Hunt

But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness.    And their message will spread like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort

2 Timothy 2:16–17 NKJV

 

It was not that long ago that cursing and foolish talk was a negative.  Men and women would demonstrate their education, or refinement, by speaking in words and phrases that you would proudly repeat to others.  It seems now that profane and idle babblings pervades throughout society and sadly the Church.

Foul language and foolishness are ugly, coming from unbelievers.  Such things are especially foul, coming from those who call themselves Christians.  Christians are called to be a peculiar people.  In this case peculiar refers to careful conduct that puts a positive light on Christ and fellow Christians.

All Christians are a witness regarding Jesus Christ.  Do you testify to the purity and grace of Jesus?  Does your conduct and speech draw, or repel, non-believers? 

Holding yourself to a higher, purer form of conduct and communication will make you stand out.  Trust me, they will notice.  Do they wait eagerly for you to slip up?  Some, yes.

What comes out of your mouth may not be cursing, per se.  You can speak the absolute truth with hurtful intent and wicked motives.  Deliberately, or thoughtlessly, injuring others with your words is just as wicked and sinful as anything else

Think:       Is my life and conduct profane or pious?  Am I thoughtful or thoughtless when I speak?

Pray:         “Lord, help me to be a good witness of You.”

 

Copyright © April 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.

Follow Your Leadership

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Follow Your Leadership by Kirk Hunt

 

Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.

Romans 13:1 KJV

Paul is writing to Christians leaving in pagan Rome.  The most likely Caesar or Emperor of the time?  The notorious Nero.

 

Why did not Paul tell the Christians of Rome to take up arms?  Because all governments are ordained by God.  Ordained is defined as invested officially, or appointed by authority.

 

Does being subject mean following every direction a secular leader gives?  Had the Roman Christians been more obedient to Nero, fewer of them would have been martyred.  Still, they lived and worked in a society with radically different beliefs and morals.

 

Modern day Christians live and work using beliefs and morals radically different from the society-at-large.  Like our ancient Roman brothers and sisters, we are called to live out our lives as light and salt.  Most Western Christians do so without the threat of real or serious persecution.

 

What should modern-day Christians do?  First, remain subjects of the King of heaven.  Second, be subject to the secular government God placed ordained for you.

 

Will you agree with everything?  I hope not.  Still, you must be a good citizen of two Kingdoms.  I am sure you know which has priority.

 

Think:             I am called to live and work as salt and light under the current government.

 

Pray:              “Lord, help me to be a good subject first of You, then of the earthy leaders you ordain.”

 

 

Copyright © August 2012, Kirk Hunt

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

Riding The Storm

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Riding The Storm by Kirk Hunt

 

And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man’s life among you, but of the ship.   For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve,

Acts 27:22–23 KJV

The wind-driven salt water stung Paul’s face just like everyone else.  The Apostle suffered with nausea from two weeks of violent pitching, like everyone else.  The storm beat and battered everyone on the ship, without exception.

 

To the trained experts, the situation seemed forlorn of anything positive.  Still, Paul stood up in the middle of the group with words of hope.  Not because he was missing the storm, but because He was riding the storm.

 

We do God and ourselves a disservice.  We try to limit how He can act.  We set up rules that limit His salvation.

 

God’s angels can chat and visit with water-soaked believers.  Even in the middle of a typhoon.  His hope can shine through, even when rain and storm-clouds block the sun.  If you let Him, God can ride the storm with you as well.

 

God does not have to stop the storm to ride with you.  You can climb on to His hope at any time.  When the wind is howling at its loudest, God’s power shines brightest.

 

Everyone on the ship made it safely to land.  The angel did not lie to Paul.  Paul passed on what he knew was a true and complete message: God is riding the storm with us.

 

Think:             God’s power can shine in any circumstances.

 

Pray:              “Lord, help me to live, knowing you ride the storm with me.”

 

 

Copyright © December 2011, Kirk Hunt

Now, With Profit

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“Now, With Profit” by Kirk Hunt

 

I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds: Which in time past was to thee unprofitable, but now profitable to thee and to me: (Philemon 1:10-11 KJV)

Philemon 1:10–11 KJV

The relationship between Onesimus and Philemon clearly had problems. Onesimus was an escaped slave and a thief. Onesimus had a lot of nerve, walking back in Philemon’s door.

 

Still, the two men came back into each other’s lives. Apostle Paul insisted that the two men reconcile with each other. Paul must have sensed that there would be profit in their relationship.

 

Onesimus returned to his owner, prepared to answer on two felony charges. Philemon suddenly had to re-prove his reputation regarding generosity and compassion to Christians.

 

The call to profitable relationships is not always easy. The call is rarely with risks. Still, the call rings out, today.

 

You have a choice. You can leave the relationship the way it is, or you can re-build. You can write off the loss, or you can go for the profit.

 

God is always honored when His sons and daughters work it out. No one said that is easy. But he is honored.

 

Think: The call to profitable relationships is not always easy, but it is worthy.

Pray: “Lord, help me to live in grace with others, especially believers.”

Copyright © October 2011, Kirk Hunt

When It Is Still Raining

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“When It Is Still Raining” by Kirk Hunt

For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

2 Corinthians 12:8 – 9 KJV

Video: Praise You In This Storm

 

The good news is that God always answers prayer. The bad news is that God’s answer is not always “yes.” “No” is an answer, like it or not.

 

There is no Scriptural description of Paul’s “thorn in the flesh.” Whatever his issue, Paul petitions God three times for relief or removal. God answers Paul with a clear “no.” Paul says “amen,” but it is still “raining” in his life.

 

We do not always understand God’s actions, but we always understand His faithfulness. Pain and sorrow invade the lives of Christians, but His love is always with us. Even in the low, dark places of our lives, God’s high power shines brightly in us, and through us.

 

Even in the pelting rain of your life, God loves you. His power in you is greater than anything you face. His grace is sufficient, strong enough, to carry you through whatever you face.

 

Think: God’s grace and love for me are constant and faithful.

 

Pray: “Lord, help me to love and trust You, no matter Your answer.”

 

Copyright © September 2011, Kirk Hunt

Profitable Saints

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“Profitable Saints” by Kirk Hunt

 

Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry. (2 Timothy 4:11 KJV)

2 Timothy 4:11 KJV

 

Apostle Paul wrote these words from a prison in Nero’s Rome. Especially under house arrest, Paul would need reliable, capable, productive people around him. From all of the Christian men in the Roman world, Paul chose to ask for Mark.

 

Paul needed someone who could help. Paul needed someone who would help. A man or woman who’s output exceeds input is always in demand.

 

Mark had been less-than-profitable at one point. Prior errors do not disqualify you from serving in God’s Kingdom. The more profitable you are, the quicker everyone gets over your mistakes.

 

Profitable saints are the men and women who serve the Kingdom. They take on the tasks set before them. They do what must be done. With excellence. With grace.

 

Do you want to serve His Kingdom? Are you willing to be a go-to man or woman for the sake of the Gospel? All it takes is heart and hands that are willing.

 

You do not need to be perfect. You may have to learn to be effective. You must be a saint of God. After that, profitability will not be far off.

 

Think: I can be profitable for God’s Kingdom.

 

Pray: “Father-God, help me to serve Your with skillfully and effectively.”

 

 

Copyright © April 2011, Kirk Hunt

No Further Mention

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“No Further Mention” by Kirk Hunt

And the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other: and so Barnabas took Mark, and sailed unto Cyprus;

Acts 9:39 KJV

This verse is the last mention of Barnabas in the Book of Acts. In separation. With broken fellowship.

We forget that we live and work with human beings. Even the saints filled with the Holy Spirit. Stuff will happen. Sometimes ugly, messy stuff.

Still, there can be more to the story. It may take weeks, or months, or years. There may have to be acts of serious remedial brotherhood.

Galatians 2 makes full mention of Barnabas. In fellowship. In unity. Even, in disagreement again.

Gospel family is a lot like actual family. There are episodes of fussing and fighting. There are chapters of reconciliation and reunion. “Fall out if you must, but don’t forget to fall back in.”

There is no further mention of Barnabas in Acts, but his story (and Paul’s) didn’t end there. Maybe there’s a chapter in your life with an awkward ending. How do you want the story to end?

The story can have a happy ending. Maybe there’s a brother or sister you need to call. I pray you will take their call, when it comes. Either way, let God continue to write the script of your life.

Think: How do you want your story of Gospel fellowship to end?

Pray: “Lord, help me to be the Gospel brother or sister who heals.”

Copyright © October 2009, Kirk Hunt

Running Risks

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“Running Risks” by Kirk Hunt

But Barnabas took him [Paul], and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus.

Acts 9:27 KJV

Please read Acts 15: 37-39 also.

Barnabas, the risk taker took a huge risk on Paul. He wagered his good name, and literal life, that Saul the Inquisitor had become the Paul the Evangelist. He took a similar risk that John the Flake had become Mark the Gospel-writer.

They were risks because history spoke against both men. Apostle Paul himself regretted killing and persecuting saints his entire life. Mark had abandoned Paul at Pamphylia. “The facts are the facts.”

Someone needs you to be a risk-taker. They need you to wager your good name and high standing. Not on a paragon of virtue but on a soul with fresh failures and recent faults.

Barnabas put everything on the line to help someone else achieve their purpose in the Kingdom. In the short run it cost Barnabas something. In the long run, Barnabas is a hero among saints. The two men he saved wrote 14 books in Scripture.

Someone around you needs you to take a risk. In the short run, it may cost you. In the long run, you’ll bless the Kingdom.

Think: God’s Kingdom needs saints who are willing to run the risks.

Pray: “Lord, help me to serve Your Kingdom. Even if it is risky.”

Copyright © September 2009, Kirk Hunt

A Profitable Worker

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“A Profitable Worker” by Kirk Hunt

Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry.

2 Timothy 4:11 KJV

Of all the men available to serve in the Gospel fields, Paul called for Mark. A powerful endorsement, to be sure. Mark did not always enjoy Paul’s high opinion.

Acts 15:37-39 tells a very different story. Paul and Barnabas argued over Mark. For at least a time, their relationship was ruptured. Mark’s imperfect past threatened his future with Paul, and in the Gospel fields.

In the miles and years between the two accounts in Scripture, Mark became a profitable worker. He became worthy of confidence. Somewhere along the line, Mark became a go-to man and a writer of Scripture.

Barnabas wouldn’t let past history kill Mark’s potential. Mark made the investment needed to become profitable. Paul eventually came to understand Mark’s worth to the Gospel.

You can be a profitable worker. All it takes is a willingness to invest your time, talent and treasure in God’s Kingdom. Your past history is not a dis-qualifier.

Maybe you have an unprofitable chapter in your past. Bad credit, or not, get up and start again. You have a profitable season in your future.

Think: I can be a profitable Gospel worker, now and in the future.

Pray: “Lord, help me to be profitable in Your Kingdom.”

Copyright © September 2009, Kirk Hunt

Paul’s Scars

“Paul’s Scars” by Kirk Hunt

Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;

2 Corinthians 11:24-25 KJV

Jagged marks from a stoning. A latticework of lines from various whippings. The Apostle Paul must have had a large set of ugly scars.

Still, Paul’s scars served a valuable purpose. Handcuffed to soldiers of the Praetorian Guard, the roughest and toughest of Roman soldiers, Paul had instant credibility. Writing and speaking to persecuted Christians, Paul’s scars gave his message undeniable authority and inescapable comfort.

Paul’s Scars represent the good that comes from a Christian’s bad experiences. Only God would choose to turn the ugly marks of our trials into the beautiful trophies of our victories. Or should I say, God’s victories?

Look at the lines and marks of your journey. The common wisdom calls them ugly reminders. In the light of God’s purpose they are beautiful trophies. God has a purpose and plan for your scars, and you.

You may not understand why you had to go through. Just remember that God loves you. He has a plan for those using your scars as trophies.

Think:     In God’s hands and purpose, my trials become triumphs.

Pray:        “Lord, I don’t always understand, but I choose to trust You.”

Copyright © July 2009, Kirk Hunt

Shake It Off

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“Shake It Off” by Kirk Hunt

And he shook off the beast into the fire, and felt no harm. Howbeit they looked when he should have swollen, or fallen down dead suddenly: but after they had looked a great while, and saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds, and said that he was a god.

Acts 28:5-6 KJV

“Shake it off.” The viper, unseen in the brush, bit Paul and injected its poison. Even in the continuing storm, the local residents of the island recognized the seriousness of the snake and its bite. They assumed Paul’s death would be momentary.

Any viper bite is a serious matter. In modern medicine, such a bite may require an amputation. The certainty of the ancient locals comes as no surprise .

“Shake it off.” Scripture doesn’t even record a prayer or comment by Paul at that moment. A few flicks of the wrist or elbow and the snake went in the fire.

Did it hurt? Probably. Should Paul have suffered sever harm from the bite? Definitely.

“Shake it off.” Scripture doesn’t hide or sugar-coat the truth. Even the best Christians suffer in this life. Don’t let your trials and tribulations get the better of you.

Let God’s power and Holy Spirit carry you through. It might hurt, but God will keep you from harm. Practice your prayers and shaking motions now.

Think: God has given me the grace and power to shake it off.

Pray: “Lord, in the Name of Jesus, help me to shake it off.”

Copyright © July 2009, Kirk Hunt