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.

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Appoint Over This Business

Appoint Over This Business By Kirk Hunt

 

Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business

Acts 6: 3 NKJV

 

Can you be impartial yet considerate?  Can you serve others honestly and graciously?  Should we appoint you to important work?

 

The widows needed the distribution.  No one suggested otherwise.  Still, whose hands and feet would conduct the business effectively and joyously?  Whose head and heart would conduct the business with compassion and efficiency?

 

I am certain there were several Spirit-filled believers available who did not make the standard.  Good reputation requires time and focus doing the right things.  Wisdom comes from God, and from the hard work of seeking wisdom.  Salvation alone is not a passkey to all jobs.

 

Salvation opens the door to God’s work and benefit in your life.  God could instantaneously and radically transform your qualifications.  Typically, the Holy Spirit makes possible the long and sweat-soaked road to new abilities and characteristics. 

 

It is possible to be full of the Holy Spirit and have a less-than-good reputation.  Being saved does not automatically fill you with wisdom.  Because God gives us free-will, you and I get to choose. 

 

You choose your reputation and wisdom.  If you are filled with the Holy Spirit, then you have God’s power to carry you forward.  Still, you must make the choices, and do the work, that qualifies you for your appointment.

 

Think:        Am I qualified to be appointed over business in God’s Kingdom?

 

Pray:           “Lord, help me be qualified to serve your Kingdom.”

 

 

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.

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Render As Appropriate

Render As Appropriate By Kirk Hunt

 

And He said to them, “Whose image and inscription is this?

They said to Him, “Caesar’s.”

And He said to them, “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.

Matthew 22: 20–21 NKJV

 

Jesus, the all-powerful King of all kings, did not move to overthrow the Roman Empire.  In fact, the Disciples themselves seem to have been bewildered (Acts 1:6) by Jesus’ “failure” to seize political power.  Instead, through His example and instructions, Jesus commands them and us to render good citizenship and make disciples.

 

The Romans were polytheistic pagans.  The Caesars spent lavishly on the human blood sport of the gladiator games.  Still, Jesus did not seek to directly overthrow the Romans.  Being a good citizen does not mean you condone or (choose to) participate in everything the government does. 

 

Jesus, Peter, John and Paul lived, worked and evangelized under the Roman Caesars.  There were occasional inconveniences (imprisonment, beatings, beheading or crucifixion).  Ultimately the Kingdom of Heaven was established in the earth. 

 

Christians today have the same instructions (Matthew 28: 19–20) as Christians then; make disciples, everywhere.  You may have to render some good citizenship to your “Caesar” but your King (Jesus) still commands. 

 

The Roman Empire eventually ended, but not because Christians worked against their government.  Despite being thrown to the (literal) lions, Christians worked to turn pagans into Christians.  It took blood sweat and tears, but enemies became Gospel brothers and sisters.  Should we not do the same?

 

Think:        Scripture commands me to make disciples and be a good citizen of my government.

 

Pray:           “Lord, help me to be a good citizen, first of Your Kingdom, then of my earthly government.”

 

Copyright © August 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.

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Avoid Contrary Souls

“Avoid Contrary Souls By Kirk Hunt

Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them.   For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple.

Romans 16: 17–18 NKJV

 

Unleashed in the world are men and women who deliberately cause wounds, separation and needless controversy.  Contrary souls are not always easy to spot.  Contrary souls can be dealt with, once detected.

 

Contrary souls assault others because they can, and the victim cannot (usually) retaliate.  Contrary souls start brawls among others, because they somehow profit from the disturbance.  Contrary souls violate Scripture and take pleasure, or income, from the act.

 

Most groups have one or two souls who are (usually) at the root of controversies and clashes.  In too many churches, extended families, or workplaces a sigh goes up when certain names are spoken.  Everyone knows that bad news is associated with certain souls.

 

They may hide for a season, but sooner or later their contrary nature is exposed.  Once they are out in the open, you can start to minimize the damage and heartache they cause.  Shining Scripture and Godly wisdom on their toxic words and ways will always begin the healing process.

 

You may not be able to evade seeing a contrary soul, but you can avoid giving them room to operate.  You can avoid letting them get away with their selfish and self-serving actions.  The aggravation you avoid may be your own.

 

Think:        Scripture commands me to identify and avoid those who act contrary to Scripture.

 

Pray:           “Lord, help me to first see, then respond to contrary souls, according to Scripture.”

 

 

Copyright © August 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.

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