Police Devotion 7-12-2017

“O how love I thy law! It is my meditation all the day.” (Psalm 119:97)

The psalm writer, who lived long ago, told God that he loves His law and meditates on it all day. You may ask, “What does that have to do with me?” If you know Jesus as Saviour, it’s important. God didn’t just give us His Word so we could read about how people served Him in times past. He also gave it to us to help us serve Him now. He loves people today as much as He loved people back then.

Do you love God’s law, the Bible? If you don’t and you’re honest enough to admit it, that’s good. Now if you want to love God’s Word more, the verse tells us how. The psalmist says: “O how love I thy law!” He obviously didn’t read the Bible just because “Christians are supposed to.” No, he actually enjoyed it! How did he get that way? How can we get that way? The verse tells how: he learned to meditate, or think, on God’s Word. In order to meditate on it, he started memorizing passages. He’d memorize, then think about what he’d memorized. So at any given time, even with no Bible in front of him, he’d have God’s Word.

Obviously, he enjoyed doing this because he got to a point when he meditated on it “all the day.” We don’t know how much Scripture he memorized, but it was probably a lot. It’s hard to imagine thinking on just one verse all day. But this is a way we learn to love God’s Word more—make a habit of Bible memorizing and meditation. Psalm 23 is a great place to start. It’s a well-known Scripture and not too long:

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

Memorize one verse perfectly, then two, then three, and so on, until you have all six. As you do this, and as you think about the words later, you force yourself to pay attention to God’s Word much more than if you just read it. Obviously, you won’t go around all day thinking about Scripture and nothing else, but when you commit Scriptures to memory, you can recall them from time to time and be helped by them.

If you get into this habit, you’ll learn to love God’s Word more. If you’re a cop, you’ll also feed your mind and heart with something better than all the junk you see every day. It will also help sharpen your memory. Most importantly, God promises to bless those who meditate on and obey His Word: “…thou shalt meditate therein [in God’s Word] day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success” (Joshua 1:8). Get into this habit. See if God doesn’t honor His promise in your life and career.

Do you know for sure that you have an eternal home in heaven? The Bible tells you how you can! Please click “Helpful Links” on the top menu and then “How Do I Go to Heaven?” on the dropdown menu to see how to receive Jesus as Saviour.

Brian Miller 7/12/2017

Cleveland Baptist Church | 4431 Tiedeman Road, Brooklyn, Ohio 44144 | 216.671.2822

 

Police Devotion 6-20-2017

“And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” (Revelation 13:16-17)

When the apostle John wrote Revelation around AD 95, he probably had no idea how all the things he wrote about would happen. He just wrote as the Holy Spirit directed him, and he knew these things would happen. So it was with Old Testament prophets who wrote of Jesus’ future death and resurrection:

“Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:  Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.” (1 Peter 1:10-11)

The “he” in our opening verse is the Antichrist, also known as “the beast.” During what the Bible calls the Tribulation, he’ll force people under threat of death to worship him and to take his mark. Of course, doing so will mean eternal damnation: “…If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God…And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever” (Revelation 14:9, 10, 11). Then during the Tribulation, people will have to choose either to receive Jesus as Saviour, refuse the Antichrist’s mark, and be killed or take the mark and be condemned to hell for ever.

Before the Tribulation there will be an event often called the Rapture, when all who have received Jesus as Saviour will be taken away to be with Him: “…We [born-again people] shall not all sleep [die], but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye” (1 Corinthians 15:51-52).

Don’t believe it? Here’s food for thought: nowadays you can put a credit card into a scanner so it reads a chip. Couldn’t a chip also be put into your hand or forehead? Here’s more: Jesus said, “But as the days of Noe [Noah] were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be” (Matthew 24:37). In Noah’s time, “The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence” (Genesis 6:11). The Lord also said, “Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot” (Luke 17:28). In Lot’s time, “…the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly” (Genesis 13:13). Same-sex intimacy was epidemic in Lot’s time. Don’t the “days of Noah and Lot” sound like today, with out-of-control crime and violence, as well as governments, businesses, the media, and even churches trying to be “gay-friendly?”

You may think, “Well, if all this happens and I miss the Rapture, I’ll accept Jesus and be killed during the Tribulation.” Please think again. 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12 talks of those who “received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” If you’ve heard the gospel and how to receive Jesus as Saviour but won’t do it now, God will send a delusion in the Tribulation that you’ll believe and you won’t receive Him then, either.

It’s tough enough being a cop nowadays when the anti-police sentiment is so toxic. You definitely don’t want to be a cop during the Tribulation.

Please click “Helpful Links” on the top menu and then “How Do I Go to Heaven?” on the dropdown menu to see how to receive Jesus as Saviour.

Brian Miller 6/20/2017

Cleveland Baptist Church | 4431 Tiedeman Road, Brooklyn, Ohio 44144 | 216.671.2822

 

Police Devotion 5-30-2017

“Be of good courage, and let us behave ourselves valiantly for our people, and for the cities of our God: and let the LORD do that which is good in his sight.” (I Chronicles 19:13)

King David sent some of his servants to the Ammonite king, Hanun, to comfort him after his father’s death. Some of Hanun’s people thought David’s servants were coming to spy, and Hanun believed them. As a result, he took David’s servants, humiliated them, and then sent them away. After this, Hanun figured he was in trouble with Israel and enlisted the help of other peoples to help him fight against them. When David heard of Hanun mustering troops, he also mustered his troops to battle.

Joab and his brother, Abishai, were two of David’s military commanders. Joab put his troops in place and gave a battle plan to Abishai. At the end of his plan, he gave Abishai the encouraging words of this verse. It should be noted that Joab was not the most upright individual in the world. He was a bit of a bully and at times, seemed to have his own agenda. Yet these words are powerful, regardless of the questionable character of the man who spoke them. They were and still are a call to bravery—not to shrink in fear but to engage the enemy. Israel ultimately won a great victory against the Ammonites and their helpers.

I Chronicles 19:13 is a great motivation verse. It’s a verse you could tape to the inside of your locker and look at before you go on patrol, or even memorize and recite to yourself, especially before you go on a dangerous assignment. The Bible has some great motivation verses like that. Psalm 23:4 is another one:  “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me.”

Our opening verse says to be of good courage and behave valiantly, which means that, at times, you may be tempted not to be of good courage or behave valiantly. At a fresh burglary call, for instance, you have to check the house for suspects. So you go slowly from room to room, gun drawn, eyes darting here and there looking for hiding places amid the tense, spooky silence. You don’t know if the suspects are gone or if they’re sitting in a dark corner, gun drawn, waiting to shoot. Yet you have to complete the search. You can’t quit and say, “This is too scary. I’m leaving.” No, even if you’re afraid, you do your job. It’s not wrong to be afraid, but it is wrong to let fear overcome you so that you don’t do your job.

Police work will always have its inherent dangers. Because you sometimes have to deal with dangerous people, you have to deal with them in a certain way. That’s the nature of the job. The unavoidable dangers of police work are a fact that most critics in the media, government, activist ranks, and clergy don’t seem to understand because most of them have probably never dealt with dangerous people on that level, much less on a regular basis. When critics influence a police department, police work can be hindered and life can be harder for decent citizens and easier for criminals. You can’t always help that. Just trust the Lord to deal with it. You keep doing what cops do. Behave valiantly “for our people” for the decent citizens who count on you, and then “let the LORD do that which is good in his sight.” So you do your best, and trust the Lord to bless and guide: “Trust in the LORD, and do good” (Psalm 37:3).

First of all, though, you need to be sure the Lord is with you and that you’ll be in heaven if the worst should happen to you. The way to do that is to receive the Lord Jesus as your personal Saviour. To see how to receive the Lord Jesus and be sure of a home in heaven, please go to click “Helpful Links” on the top menu and then “How Do I Go to Heaven?” on the dropdown.

Brian Miller 5/30/2017

Cleveland Baptist Church | 4431 Tiedeman Road, Brooklyn, Ohio 44144 | 216.671.2822

 

 

 

 

Police Devotion 6-8-2017

Although thou [Job] sayest thou shalt not see him [God], yet judgment is before him; therefore trust thou in him.” (Job 35:14)

You’re on patrol and get a domestic call. You pull up to the house, and a woman flies out the front door. She’s bloody and hysterical. Her boyfriend is inside the house with their son. You run in and go quickly from room to room, gun pointed. You get to the kitchen. A man with a BIG knife has a little boy in front of him. You yell at him to drop it. He swears at you and says he’ll kill the kid. You yell again. He won’t drop it. You sight in at his chest, above the boy’s head. You yell again. He pulls the boy’s head back. You yell again. He puts the knife to the boy’s throat. You fire. He drops. The knife falls. The boy screams.

You pull the boy to safety, kick the knife away, and grab your collar mic: “Radio, send EMS. Officer-involved shooting, suspect down, everyone else OK.”  You’re surprised at how calm you are. You holster your gun, put on latex gloves, and give first aid. You talk to the man. You don’t want him to die. Police cars fly to the scene. Cops barge in. Crowds gather. EMS takes him away. You hear later that he died.

Did you do right? Although you’ll probably feel crummy that you had to shoot someone, that doesn’t mean you didn’t do right. Don’t trust emotions—they can deceive you. Instead, ask yourself two questions:  1) who could have been killed or injured if you hadn’t done something? and 2) what other REASONABLE thing could you have done (key word: REASONABLE) with the same amount of time to decide?

The boy probably can’t understand why you did what you did. Hopefully, his mom will tell him the truth in a simple way so he gets it:  “Daddy tried to hurt mommy, and he tried to hurt you. The police came to help, and they had to do what they did.” If he hears the truth, he’ll more likely have peace of mind about it. However, if people fill his head with lies, he may believe them and hate cops because he listened to lies.

You understand the shooting incident far more than the boy. Likewise, God understands everything far better than we do. Isaiah 55:9 says, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”  Like the boy in the shooting, we may not know why things happen, but as our opening verse says, we can trust in God even in our dark times. Job was a real person who served God, but he had lost seven kids at one time. If anyone had the right to ask God why, Job did. Yet Job even said of God, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him” (Job 13:15).

What if the boy grows up and learns more about the shooting from a public records check? That’s good. The more truth he gets, the more peace of mind he’ll have. The records will give him truth and dispel lies. God also gave us a public record—the Bible—to tell us the truth about Him and dispel lies. If you want to know about God, don’t just look for a sign in the sky or listen to people who may not know what they’re talking about. Look in His Word for answers you need to help you trust Him. God promises us, “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13).

If you need assurance that God loves you, the best proof of God’s love is the cross of Jesus. That’s where God the Son loved you and paid your sin-debt: “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us” (1 John 3:16). To see how to receive Jesus as your personal Saviour please click “Helpful Links” on the top menu and then “How Do I Go to Heaven?” on the dropdown.

Brian Miller 6/8/2017

Cleveland Baptist Church | 4431 Tiedeman Road, Brooklyn, Ohio 44144 | 216.671.2822

 

 

Police Devotion 5-23-2017

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” (Philippians 4:8)

God tells us how to occupy our minds: with things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, and of good report. Of course, it isn’t always easy to do that with all the mental and spiritual “junk food” that you take in throughout the day, either by choice or because it’s thrown at you from the TV, radio, or internet. For a cop, the challenge is even tougher because you see horrific sights and vile human behavior on a regular basis so you get more “mind poison” than most people. Yet God in His kindness has provided help.

One great remedy for “mind poison” is God’s ageless antidote—His Word. Isaiah 40:8 says, “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.” God’s Word cleanses our way: “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word” (Psalm 119:9). It also provides comfort and joy: “The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart” (Psalm 19:8), “This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me” (Psalm 119:50).

Read God’s Word. Commit Scriptures to memory and recite them to yourself from time to time. Bible memorization isn’t just for kids in Sunday school. The more Scripture you commit to memory, the stronger you’ll be against the devil’s “mind poison.” 1 John 2:14 says, “I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.”

Another remedy for “mind poison” is to confess sinful thoughts to God. Proverbs 24:9 says, “The thought of foolishness is sin.” People can’t see your evil thoughts, but God can. “I know the things that come into your mind, every one of them” (Ezekiel 11:5). So confess them to God. He knows them already, but He wants you to admit your wrongdoing. If your kid has crumbs on his mouth and you ask if he’s been in the cookie jar, you already know the answer, but you want honesty. God wants honesty, too:  “I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin” (Psalm 32:5). Confessing sin will also help you steer away from things that provoke sinful thoughts to begin with.

Still another great remedy for “mind poison” is to pray. “Casting all your care upon him [upon God]; for he careth for you” (1 Peter 5:7). God cares about your behavior, but more importantly, He cares about you. Everyone has cares and troubles. God wants to help you with them. The old hymn What a Friend We Have in Jesus by Joseph M. Scriven and Charles C. Converse goes in part like this:

What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!

What a privilege to carry Everything to God in prayer!

O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear,

All because we do not carry Everything to God in prayer.”

When you pray, give God details. He already knows them, but He wants you to confide in Him. He wants you to see how He answers and gives peace, as well as the help for your thought-life that comes from His Word and from confession.

If you haven’t seen in the Bible how to have your sins forgiven and an eternal home in heaven, please click “Helpful Links” on the top menu and then “How Do I Go to Heaven?” on the dropdown.

Brian Miller 5/23/2017

Cleveland Baptist Church | 4431 Tiedeman Road, Brooklyn, Ohio 44144 | 216.671.2822

 

 

Police Devotion 5-1-2017

“And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came and drew nigh to meet David, that David hasted, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine.” (1 Samuel 17:48)

The Bible is filled with wonderful gems of truth. Although you may not see them the first or even the second time you read a certain passage, later after reading the same passage, you may see something you’ve never noticed before. When you find hidden truths in the Bible, you learn to appreciate how God inspired it, and you’re encouraged to read through and ponder on it, not just once but many times.

Take the story of David and Goliath. Many people know the story: David was a worshipper of the true God. Goliath, a Philistine, worshipped false gods. Goliath was much larger and more experienced in combat, but David killed him with a sling. Yet under God’s inspiration, the author of the story, the prophet Samuel, includes interesting details, one of which is found in our opening passage.

Think about this statement: “David hasted, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine.” When it was time for battle, Goliath “arose, and came and drew nigh to meet David.” It doesn’t say that he hurried. But David “HASTED [capitals added], and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine.” So Goliath didn’t seem in a hurry to start the battle, but David was. Interesting detail, but why is it there?

Here’s some food for thought: did you ever hear the term, “OODA loop?” OODA stands for Observe, Orient, Decide, Act. Air Force Colonel John Boyd developed the concept. Here’s a way to describe how it works. Say a suspect decides to shoot an innocent victim. He OBSERVES a victim, ORIENTS himself to shoot him, DECIDES to do so, then ACTS. But what if the victim-to-be throws some object at the shooter? If the shooter flinches, which he probably will, he’s lost his orientation. He must re-orient. The victim has bought maybe a half-second by goofing up the shooter’s OODA loop. (info taken from “Understanding the OODA Loop” by Derek Stephens, POLICE magazine online)

Back to David and Goliath. Goliath is about 9’9”. Goliath sees David, who is no doubt much smaller than he. Goliath may not see the need to hurry because he has all the time in the world to crush David like a bug—or so he thinks. Suddenly David is SPRINTING toward him! With a SLING! David may have even let out a yell as he charged.

Goliath may have seen David running and thought, “What is this kid, crazy?” That would have goofed up Goliath’s OODA loop, causing him to hesitate, which gave David a quick advantage to load, aim, fire the stone, and drop Goliath dead. So David “hasted, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine.” Nice tactical tip, isn’t it? And it’s in the Bible, of all places. You may be in a situation one day where you defeat a suspect by goofing up his OODA loop. Aren’t you glad God had that little detail put in?

You won’t find the term “OODA loop” in the Bible, but obviously the idea has been around long before the term was used. This fascinating detail is further proof that the Bible is God’s Word. Who else but God would have thought to put a detail like that into the Bible? God also put something far more important into His Word: how to have forgiveness of sins and a home in heaven when we die. As a cop, you work a dangerous job. Are you sure that your sins are forgiven and heaven is your eternal home? If not, please click “Helpful Links” on the top menu and then “How Do I Go to Heaven?” on the dropdown.

Brian Miller 5/1/2017

Cleveland Baptist Church | 4431 Tiedeman Road, Brooklyn, Ohio 44144 | 216.671.2822

 

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Philippians 4:13)

Saul of Tarsus had made a career of persecuting Christians. He later said, “I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. Which thing I also did in Jerusalem: and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I gave my voice against them” (Acts 26:9-10).

One day as Saul was on the way to Damascus to persecute more Christians, he saw a bright light from heaven. A voice asked him, “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?” (Acts 9:4). Saul knew that God was speaking to him, and obviously God was displeased. He asked, “Who art thou, Lord?” (Acts 9:5). Imagine his shock when the voice said, “I am Jesus whom thou persecutest” (Acts 9:5). Saul needed to repent, recognize Jesus as God, and receive Him as Saviour for forgiveness of sins. He did, and Jesus saved him.

Saul (later known as Paul) started preaching about Jesus and suffered much hardship, but he did not regret it one bit. God used him mightily to reach people for Christ. Paul wrote thirteen books of the New Testament, so his words are still used today. Paul was grateful that the Lord gave him strength and grace.

Our opening verse isn’t just there for a history lesson about Paul. In fact, the Bible isn’t just a history book, although it is historical. The promises in the Bible are just as true for us today. That’s one reason God inspired the Bible writers to put down what they did: so even centuries after the fact, we could still claim His promises as true, trust in them, and rejoice in them. If Jesus gave Paul the strength to serve Him, then believers can trust the Lord to give us strength today to serve Him and live for Him, too.

Every promise in the Book is mine, Every chapter every verse every line,
All are blessings of His Love divine, Every promise in the Book is mine.

Every Promise in the Book is Mine by Rick Altizer

Living for Christ isn’t easy, but if Philippians 4:13 is true—and it is—then the Lord will give you the strength you need to serve Him and live for Him, even as a cop. You’ll face temptations on this job that most Christians won’t face. You’ll see things most Christians won’t see. You’ll deal with struggles most Christians won’t understand. You’ll likely even goof up at times, as all Christians do.

Yet nothing will happen to you, even on the job, that God doesn’t know about in advance and hasn’t addressed it somewhere in His Word so you could deal with it: “his understanding is infinite”  (Psalm 147:5). That means that God knows all that will happen, and He’s given us provision in advance to deal with it when it does. Nothing will ever happen on the job, either, that Jesus can’t or won’t help you with. He said, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth” (Matthew 28:19). He walked on water, calmed a storm at sea, fed 5,000 people with five loaves and two fishes, cast out devils, raised the dead, took all our sins upon Himself, died horribly, was buried, rose again, ascended into heaven, and is alive today. Yes, He can help you with any problem or challenge you face, even on this job.

Have you received Jesus as your personal Saviour? If you haven’t but want to know what that means, please click “Helpful Links” on the top menu and then “How Do I Go to Heaven?” on the dropdown menu.

Brian Miller 4/28/2017

Cleveland Baptist Church | 4431 Tiedeman Road, Brooklyn, Ohio 44144 | 216.671.2822

 

 

Police Devotion 4-13-2017

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3)

During His earthly ministry, Jesus said several times that He would be killed and rise again. “Jesus said unto them [His disciples], The Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of men: And they shall kill him, and the third day he shall be raised again.” The verse goes on to say, “And they were exceeding sorry” (Matthew 17:22-23). Why were the disciples sorry at what Jesus said? Maybe they caught the part about Jesus being killed, but not the part about Him rising again.

Jesus’ enemies caught the “rising again” part, though. That’s why they told Pontius Pilate after He was crucified, “..Sir, we remember that deceiver said, while ye was yet alive, After three days I will rise again” (Matthew 27:63). They didn’t believe He’d really rise again, though, so they told Pontius Pilate, “Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first” (Matthew 27:64). They thought Jesus’ disciples would steal His body and tell people that He rose from the dead. Jesus had already troubled their phony religious racket enough with His miracles and words of rebuke against them. Now that they’d had Him crucified on false charges, they wanted to go back to business as usual. So they got Pilate to provide a unit of soldiers to guard the tomb.

The third day, though, something happened that they didn’t expect: Jesus rose again! “And the angel answered and said unto the women [Jesus’ followers], Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said” (Matthew 28:5-6). “And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him” (Matthew 28:9). Ironically, the soldiers at the tomb—the ones Jesus’ enemies had asked for—ended up witnessing the truth of Jesus’ resurrection.

Some of the soldiers told the chief priests what happened. Here’s what the chief priests did: “And when they [the chief priests] were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers, Saying, Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept. And if this come to the governor’s ears, we will persuade him, and secure you” (Matthew 28:12-14). They could bribe the soldiers to keep quiet, but the word still got out: Jesus rose from the dead! “And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus” (Acts 4:33).

Jesus’ resurrection proves that He is God the Son and that His death satisfied God’s holy justice against sin, and that He can forgive sins. Jesus ascended into heaven, but He is still alive and real, just as He was back then! “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen” (Revelation 1:18). As our verse says, Jesus’ resurrection gives us a “lively” hope, a true hope, a sure hope, for eternity in heaven. Jesus still forgives sins, saves souls, and changes lives today for those who will receive Him as Saviour.

If you want to see how to receive Jesus as Saviour, please click “Helpful Links” on the top menu and then “How Do I Go to Heaven?” on the dropdown.

Brian Miller 4/13/2017

Cleveland Baptist Church | 4431 Tiedeman Road, Brooklyn, Ohio 44144 | 216.671.2822

 

Police Devotion 4-8-2017

“Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little” (Isaiah 28:9-10)

The growth of a baby from conception to adulthood (Life DOES begin at conception, by the way. Psalm 139:14 says, “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made:” [boldface added]) is a slow process, but over time, the growth is obvious. What do visiting relatives tell kids all the time? “You sure have grown since I last saw you!”

Christian growth is a process, too. When someone receives Jesus as Saviour and is born again, that’s an event, just like a baby’s physical birth is an event. Growth, however, is a process. Someone may receive Jesus as Saviour as an adult and not know much about the Bible. He may be from a church where the Bible isn’t considered important and where people aren’t told how to be saved, so he may have wrong ideas about God. The idea of the Bible being God’s infallible Word may be new to him. He may also have sinful behaviors as part of his life. He may be thinking, “Ok, I’m saved. Now what?”

To illustrate the point, God delivered Israel from the bondage of Pharaoh. Yet when Moses went up to Mount Sinai to receive God’s word, the people became impatient. They were exposed to the ways of Egypt and wanted something to worship. Aaron made a golden calf. They credited the calf with delivering them from Egypt—“These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.” (Exodus 32:4)—and started a religious service that was more of an orgy: music, dancing, and nakedness. Where did they learn to act like that? Obviously, in Egypt. It was one thing to get them out of Egypt, but another to get the ways of Egypt out of them.

The slavery in Egypt is a picture of life without Christ. As Israel was enslaved by the Pharaoh, people without Christ are enslaved as children of the devil until Jesus saves them, just as God saved Israel from Pharaoh. When someone first accepts Jesus as Saviour, though, he may have sinful behaviors—“Egyptian ways”—in his life that need to be cleaned out. Yes, he’s saved, but he needs to grow.

When a new believer goes to a church where the Bible is preached and taught, and when he reads the Bible on his own, he gets things from God’s Word to help him grow. He may challenge what the preacher says until he sees the truth in God’s Word. Gradually, “precept upon precept;” “line upon line,” and “here a little, and there a little,” God deals with the believer about making changes in his life. He learns to obey God’s leading in His Word, and he grows as a Christian: “But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” (Proverbs 4:18)

The New Testament, as well as Psalms and Proverbs, are filled with practical info to help Christians grow. The more you read and hear God’s Word in a good church and obey it, and the more you make it part of your daily life, the more you grow. It’s not a fast process, but it’s a joyful process through your life as God deals with your heart and you obey: “Thou hast dealt well with thy servant, O LORD, according unto thy word” (Psalm 1119:65).

If you haven’t seen from God’s Word how to be sure of eternal life in heaven, please click “Helpful Links” on the top menu and then “How Do I Go to Heaven?” on the dropdown.

Brian Miller 4/13/2017

Cleveland Baptist Church | 4431 Tiedeman Road, Brooklyn, Ohio 44144 | 216.671.2822

 

Police Devotion 3-27-17

“And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away. And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone. But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased.” (Matthew 14:22-32)

The disciples were on a ship during a storm in the middle of the night. Sometime between 3:00 and 6:00 a.m., they see Someone walking on the sea. They’re scared and think that they’re seeing a ghost. Jesus, however, assures them that it’s Him. Peter then gives the Lord a challenge. If it’s really Jesus, then He should bid Peter to come out and walk on the water, too.

The other disciples may have been surprised at Peter’s request, but the Lord apparently took no offense. He invited Peter to walk on water, and Peter did. In fact, Peter did fine until he took his eyes off Jesus and put them onto the storm: “But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid.” His faith in the Lord wavered, and he started to sink. Jesus caught him, chastised him for lack of faith, and the two of them entered the ship. Then the wind ceased.

This story has great lessons. Jesus sent His followers into a ship knowing they were headed into a storm. When it hits, He’s with them, even though they don’t realize it at first. Here’s Lesson 1: if you’ve received Jesus as Saviour, He’s always with you. He said, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5). He’s there even in your storm, your time of trouble: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1). In fact, He may allow trouble in your life to remind you of your need for Him: “In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord” (Psalm 77:2). If things are going well, you may neglect your Bible and prayer, but when trouble comes, you may find yourself reading God’s Word and praying more intensely—like you mean business. Isn’t that how it should be, anyway?

With Jesus’ help, Peter did what he couldn’t do on his own. So here’s Lesson 2: When you know Jesus as Saviour, He’ll help you do what you can’t do on your own. Don’t think you can’t live for Christ as a cop. You can’t do it on your own, but with Jesus’ help, you can. Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (boldface added). Troubles, trials and “boisterous winds” will come, but they’re not too hard for the Lord to help you through. Keep your focus on Him and trust in Him, “Looking unto Jesus the author and finished of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2). The same God the Son who saved you will give you the grace and strength you need to get through trials and live for Him.

If you haven’t seen in the Bible how to have eternal life by receiving Jesus as your personal Saviour, please click “Helpful Links” on the top menu and then “How Do I Go to Heaven?” on the dropdown.

Brian Miller 3/27/2017

Cleveland Baptist Church | 4431 Tiedeman Road, Brooklyn, Ohio 44144 | 216.671.2822