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

 

Police Devotion 3-11-2017

“Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby”  (1 Peter 2:1-2)

 The apostle Peter told believers in Christ to “grow in grace” (2 Peter 3:18). He also told us how to do that. Apparently, he was speaking to new Christians because he said, “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.” To grow in your relationship with the Lord—to grow in grace—you need to feed consistently on “the sincere milk of the word” which is the Word of God.

When a person first accepts Jesus as his Saviour, he may not know much about the Bible. Even if he is older when he accepts Christ, he is still, like Peter said, a spiritual “newborn babe” who needs to be fed from God’s Word to grow and become a strong Christian. A newborn baby starts out with milk. In the same way, new believers—and older ones—need consistent, basic Bible instruction about Jesus’ life, faith in God’s Word, prayer, and service. Most of the New Testament, as well as Psalms and Proverbs, are easy to understand and provide good basic spiritual food that believers need.  

By way of example, new officers often don’t know much about police work, but they’re excited about it, which is great. That’s why lazy cops should not train rookies. Young officers don’t need their heads filled with whiny stories from lazy veterans about how bad the job is. A rookie needs to hear the truth of how to do the job right so he’ll grow as an officer.  In the same way, a young Christian needs to spend time in God’s Word and hear it preached in church so he’ll grow as a Christian.

Peter also said to “desire the sincere milk of the word” which means that it’s possible not to desire the word. Interestingly, Christians can love the Bible but struggle taking time to read it. Bible reading can be lost in the shuffle of life. Yet the Bible can become something you actually enjoy. The way for that to happen is for you to read from it, memorize Scriptures that you particularly enjoy, and think often about what you’ve memorized. Even when you can’t read a Bible, you can recall Scriptures you’ve memorized, and they’ll help you all over again. In that way, Scripture is a gift that keeps on giving. The more time you spend in God’s Word, the more desirable it becomes. That’s why it’s good to have a New Testament, so you can read and memorize even a little when you have time on duty.

You may not always enjoy reading and memorizing Scripture, but the more you do it, the more God uses it to speak to your heart and the more you develop a taste for it and want to do it. Proverbs 2:10-11 says, “When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee.” So according to verse 10, it’s possible for knowledge from the Bible NOT to be pleasant to your soul. Yet the more you read and memorize it and attend church where the Bible is preached as God’s Word, the more pleasant it becomes. Your knowledge of Jesus, faith in Him, and your love for Him will grow when you feed on “the sincere milk of the word.”

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 3/11/2017

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

 

Police Devotion 3-4-2017

“But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 3:18)

The apostle Peter wrote two letters, or epistles, to believers in Jesus. 1 Peter and 2 Peter are found near the end of the New Testament. In them, Peter discusses many subjects of importance to believers. At the end of 2 Peter, he told believers to grow in grace, as our verse says.

For the sake of clarity, God saves people by His grace: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9). First, a person sees from God’s Word that he’s sinned against God and deserves eternity in hell. Then he sees from God’s Word that God the Son, Jesus Christ, died to pay for all his sins. Jesus was buried and rose again. The Holy Spirit uses God’s Word to convince the sinner to receive Jesus as Saviour, and he does. The Lord saves him, and the sinner is now saved and has eternal life. The sinner hasn’t worked or paid to be saved. He’s just come to Jesus in repentance and faith, and the Lord saved him by His grace.

God saves people by grace, but God wants to do much more in people’s lives. He also wants us to grow in grace. To grow in grace means to mature as a Christian and become more like Jesus. Romans 8:29 says, “[God] did predestinate [Christians] to be conformed to the image of his Son.” Growing in grace is—or should be—a continual process in a Christian’s life. We won’t be perfectly Christ-like in this life, but when we see Jesus, we will be: “we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2).

So how do you grow in grace? It is by growing in “the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” When people first hear about being saved, they may not know much about the Bible. When they see that they really can be sure of heaven, it’s an eye-opener. Once a person receives Jesus as Saviour, it’s great to be able to point to Scripture and say, “I know I’m saved because the Bible says so.” Yet God doesn’t want us to just go about saying, “I’m glad I’m saved.” Imagine a cop saying that he’s glad he’s a cop, but he never does much police work. Yes, it’s good that he’s glad to be on the job, but he’s on the job to serve. Likewise, God wants Christians as servants of Christ to grow in grace, and in the knowledge of Jesus.

When you’re saved and you read God’s Word, God speaks to your heart. He may deal with you about things that should be in your life, such as faithful church attendance, regular Bible reading and prayer, witnessing or service. He may also deal with you about things in your life that shouldn’t be in it, like wrong talk, bad habits, or ungodly entertainment. He speaks through “the voice of his word” (Psalm 103:20). He may also speak to your heart through other people or circumstances. When you respond obediently to His leading, you grow in grace and in the knowledge of your Saviour. Paul the apostle said, “That I may know him [Jesus]” (Philippians 3:10). Paul knew Jesus as Saviour, but he wanted to know Him better.

   “More about Jesus would I know, More of His grace to others show,

    More of His saving fullness see, More of His love who died for me.”

   “More about Jesus” – Eliza E. Hewitt, John R. Sweney

As you read God’s Word, hear it preached and respond obediently, you grow in grace. First of all, though, you need to be born again by receiving Jesus as Saviour. If you haven’t been but want to know how, please click “Helpful Links” on the top menu and then “How Do I Go to Heaven?” on the dropdown.

Brian Miller 3/4/2017

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

 

Police Devotion 2-23-2017

“He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life” (1 John 5:12).

There are two kinds of people in the world: those who have the Son—that is, the Son of God, Jesus—and those who don’t. Those who have Jesus have eternal life, and those who don’t, don’t have it. By the way, this verse isn’t about earthly life; it is about eternal life. Even an atheist or a devil worshipper has earthly life. But when you’ve received Jesus as your personal Saviour, you have eternal life. The Bible says so.

When you have Jesus, you never have to worry that you won’t go to heaven because the Bible says, “He that hath the Son hath life.” Verses like this are in the Bible so people who’ve received Jesus as Saviour won’t need to doubt if they’ll get to heaven. In fact, 1 John 5:13, says, “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know [boldface added] that ye have eternal life.” So anyone who’s received Jesus as Saviour can say, “I know I’m headed for heaven because I’ve received Jesus as my Saviour. The Bible says that anyone who’s done that HAS eternal life!”

The Bible gives many “assurance of salvation” passages. In Philippians 1:21, Paul said, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” He also talked about trials he faced as a Christian and said he had “a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better” (Philippians 1:23). How could he be so sure that when he died, he’d be in heaven with Jesus? Because he’d accepted Him as Saviour. Peter also said in 1 Peter 1:4 that believers in Jesus have “an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,” [boldface added]. Aren’t those words of assurance great?

Peter, Paul, and John said so; even Jesus Himself said to believers, “rejoice, because your names are written in heaven” (Luke 10:20). God doesn’t want people to be uncertain whether or not they’ll go to heaven. The Bible has these verses and plenty more to prove that point. 1 John 4:18 says, “fear hath torment.” God doesn’t want people tormented with uncertainty about eternity. That’s why He inspired the writers to say what they did. God wants people to enjoy the assurance that they’re headed for heaven.

Now some may ask, “Well, if I’m guaranteed to go to heaven, what would stop me from going hog-wild with sin?” Good question. Here’s the answer. God has given us His written Word, the Bible, to help us live right: “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word” (Psalm 119:9). Once you’ve received Jesus as your Saviour, you also have something else—His permanent presence inside you. Day and night, 24/7/365, and even when you’re tempted, Jesus is with you and in you. Galatians 2:20 says, “Christ liveth in me.” The Lord also says in Hebrews 13:5, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” Let that thought sink into your heart. Once you receive Jesus as Saviour, He’ll never leave or forsake you. Ever. His indwelling presence will also help you live for Him.

When you’re on patrol and see a speeder, what do you do? You pull into traffic, catch up to him and follow him. What usually happens then? Suddenly his driving is perfect: his speed is good and he signals his turns and even his lane changes. What made the difference? The presence of a person—specifically, a person with a badge—who helps him act right. Likewise, the indwelling presence of a person—Jesus—will not only help you “act right” but will also help you fellowship with Him and serve Him.

If you want to see from the Bible 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 menu.

Brian Miller 2/23/2017

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

 

Police Devotion 1-19-2017

“And when he [Jesus] was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep. And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!” (Matthew 8:23-27)

Jesus entered into a ship at the Sea of Galilee with His disciples. In this group were four fishermen:  Peter, Andrew, James and John. When the storm started, they probably knew what needed to be done because of their experience with storms on the Sea of Galilee. However, they soon realized that all their efforts weren’t doing any good so they called on Jesus, “Lord, save us: we perish.”

Imagine this scene: The disciples are scared to death while the sky is dark, the ship lurches, and water pours in over the sides of the ship. Yet the Lord calmly chides them for their lack of faith. In a way, the scene is almost funny—unless you’re one of the disciples. Then Jesus does what only God can do—He orders the wind and the sea to stop raging. Mark 4:39 records His words to the sea: “Peace, be still.”  The wind and sea obeyed their Master “and there was a great calm.”  The disciples looked at one another, and exclaimed, “What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!” They got a fresh lesson on just how powerful their Saviour was to help in time of trouble.

If you’re saved, you’ll go through storms at times. They may be financial, family-related, emotional, or even job-related. As a cop, you’ll likely go through storms that most people don’t understand because they don’t do what you do. You may have an idea of how to handle them, just as the disciples probably had an idea how to respond to the storm on the sea. It’s not wrong to try to solve problems in a practical way. Faith in God doesn’t preclude common sense. Yet whatever else you do, you need to pray and ask, “Lord, I need help with this problem” and tell Him what the problem is. He was only a prayer away from helping the disciples during the storm, and He’s also just a prayer away from helping you. There is no problem, not even in police work, that your Saviour can’t understand or handle.   

If you know Jesus as Savior, there was a time in your life when you realized that you were a hell-deserving sinner and that Jesus died on the cross, was buried, and rose again to pay your sin-debt. You called on Him to forgive your sins, you received Him as your personal Savior, and He saved you. You know He did because God’s Word says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13). Your Saviour also wants to help you in your time of trouble: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1). He wants you to pray when trouble comes so you can see Him work on the storms in your life: “And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me” (Psalm 50:15). Just like the disciples, you’ll see Him work in a powerful way you may never have seen before, and your faith in Him will be strengthened.

If you’ve not seen in the Bible how to know for sure that you have a home in heaven, please click “Helpful Links” on the top menu and then “How Do I Go to Heaven?” on the dropdown.

Brian Miller 1/19/2017

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

Police Devotion 1-13-2017

“For there is no respect of persons with God.” (Romans 2:11)

Imagine getting a call like this: “Any car able to respond, we have a report of a burglary in progress. The victims are a black couple in their 60’s.”  Or maybe, “Radio to any car, a white store clerk is being robbed at gunpoint at the mom-and-pop store.” Wouldn’t those be crazy calls? Who cares what race the victims are? All that matters is that they need your help NOW. So you speed off to help them.

Race doesn’t matter to good cops. Good cops do their best for victims, no matter the race. Cops are often accused of mistreating minorities, yet on any violent-crime-in-progress call with non-white victims, it’d be interesting to see how many cops responded, each officer’s race, how fast each one arrived, and what each officer did on the call that involved personal risk: searching a building, a foot chase through yards, a fight with a suspect. Stats like these will provide a more honest and thorough look at how cops perform. They’ll also demonstrate clearly what cops and decent people already know: cops put their lives on the line time and again to help people of different races, and they’ll continue to do so.

Race also doesn’t matter to victims. When they’re being robbed, their houses are being kicked in, they hear gunfire, or the drug dealer is walking up and down the street, they don’t care if the cop who responds looks like them. They’re scared. They want cops who respond fast. Race doesn’t even matter to suspects. They don’t care if the cop is the same color as they are; criminals only see a uniform. White cops have been shot and murdered by white criminals. Black cops have been shot and murdered by black criminals.

The sacredness of life is a great racial equalizer. When you’re on a high-risk call with other cops, you know that the atmosphere is electric. You’re doing something dangerous but important. You don’t care about the race or gender of the officers or the victim. You’re working as a team, focused on one goal that’s bigger than any of you: helping a victim of violent crime and stopping a predatory suspect.

The gospel of Jesus Christ, however, is the greatest racial equalizer in the world. It puts all people on the same plane before God. Each person of each race is guilty of sin and separated from a holy God as a result: “For ALL have sinned, and COME SHORT of the glory of God” [capitals added] (Romans 3:23). Each person of each race is condemned to death and hell for his sin: “For the wages of sin is death.” “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire” (Romans 6:23, Revelation 20:14).

Yet God the Son, Jesus Christ, took the sins of each person of every race to His cross on Calvary: “And that he died for ALL” [capitals added] (2 Corinthians 5:15). Jesus was buried and rose again! “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen” (Revelation 1:18). Jesus’ offer of forgiveness for sin and salvation is for all: “But AS MANY AS RECEIVED HIM, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” [capitals added] (John 1:12). “For WHOSOEVER shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” [capitals added] (Romans 10:13).

When any person, of any race, comes to Jesus as a repentant sinner and receives Him as Saviour, the same wonderful thing happens: the Lord gives the sinner eternal forgiveness of all sins, Jesus’ indwelling presence, an eternal home in heaven, and the most important task in the world: to share this good news with people of all races.

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

Brian Miller 1/13/2017

Cleveland Baptist Church |  4431 Tiedeman Road, Brooklyn, Ohio 4414 |  216.671.2822

 

Police Devotion 1-9-2017

“Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.” (Proverbs 16:24)

Proverbs 21:19 says, “It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.” As a cop, you’ve probably dealt with domestic fights where no crime was committed, so you told the husband, or the “baby’s father,” to leave for a while and cool off. That’s the idea of Proverbs 21:19. If the woman is in a bad mood, the man needs to vacate, at least temporarily.        

Proverbs 21:19 not only gives instructions to the man, but also calls for the woman to do a personality check. Let’s say that whenever a man sees his wife getting into a “mood,” he politely vacates: maybe to the gym, garage, or basement, anywhere away from her. Maybe after a while, she’ll hopefully get the hint and strive to be less of a “contentious and an angry woman” and become more pleasant to be around.  

Of course, men can be just as bad. In fact, 1 Samuel 25:3 says that Abigail “was a woman of good understanding, and of a beautiful countenance: but the man [Nabal, her husband] was churlish [cruel] and evil in his doings.” One of their servants even told Abigail that Nabal “is such a son of Belial [a wicked person], that a man cannot speak to him” (1 Samuel 25:17). When a man tells his boss’ wife what a jerk he is and she agrees, the boss must be bad news. 

One main point from Proverbs 21:19 for men and women is that God wants His people to speak pleasant words that are “sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.” Did you ever work with a partner who consistently griped and whined and badmouthed others? Chronic whining is a bad testimony for Christ. If you need help to be more pleasant (and who among us doesn’t sometimes?), spend more time in God’s Word. Pleasant words are sweet to the soul and health to the bones, and God’s words are the most pleasant words on earth: “The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart” (Psalm 19:8).

God’s Word is pleasant to read and to think about. Psalm 119:48 says to “meditate” (ponder on) God’s Word: “I will meditate in thy statutes” (Psalm 119:48). The more you read God’s Word and commit it to memory, the more it will influence your thinking and speech. Keep a small Bible handy, or even just a New Testament, especially one with Psalms and Proverbs. When you have down time, even only a few minutes, you can take time for God’s Word instead of the newspaper or a game on your phone.   

Psalm 23 is a great Scripture for cops. Verse 4 says, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me.” If you’re saved, the Lord is always with you. He even said, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5). If you’ve ever been in a situation on the job where you could’ve been killed, you can honestly say that the Lord was with you in “the valley of the shadow of death.” And He was and still is. Isn’t that great?

The more you read your Bible, the better you’ll know your Saviour, and the more you’ll love Him and want to fellowship with Him by reading His words which are sweet to the soul, and health to the bones. If you have never seen in the Bible how to have eternal life by receiving Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour, please click “Helpful Links” on the top menu and then “How Do I Go to Heaven?” on the dropdown menu.

Brian Miller 1/9/2017

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

Police Devotion 12-21-2016

“In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;” (Titus 1:2)

Christmas is a wonderful time. It’s not just the commemoration of an event. It’s also a celebration of a hope—a sure hope. Usually when you use the word “hope,” you talk about something you want to happen, but you aren’t sure that it will. For example, if you don’t like handling domestic fights (and who does?), you may tell your partner at the start of the shift, “I hope we don’t get calls for domestic fights tonight.” You have no way to be sure that you won’t get any domestic fights; you just hope you won’t get any.

Well, the hope of eternal life that the Bible talks about is not like that at all. It’s not a “maybe” hope—“I hope I get to heaven.” God’s promise of eternal life is based on promises that God made, and what God Himself did to give us eternal life. Everyone knows what a promise is. It’s a guarantee that someone makes that he’ll do a certain thing. God made a promise of eternal life. As our verse says, God cannot lie.

Say you promise to take your kids out for ice cream when you get home from work. They’re not sitting at home wondering if you’ll keep your word. No, they’re excited about the promise you made to them! But what if you got home and didn’t take them? They’d be angry, and rightly so. You’d made them a promise, and you didn’t keep it. You lied! For you to break a promise like that would be mean and wrong. Well, how much meaner and more wrong—and dishonest—would it be for God to make a promise of eternal life and not keep it! God made a promise of eternal life, and He always keeps His promises.

God’s first promise of the Saviour was after Adam and Eve sinned. God expelled them from the Garden of Eden, but He also gave them a promise. God said to the serpent, “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel” (Genesis 3:15). Jesus would be the seed, or offspring, of the woman who would defeat the devil.

God also repeated this promise many times in various ways in the Old Testament. When God clothed Adam and Eve with the skins of animals, it was a preview of Jesus’ death for man’s sin. God also told Abram (later known as Abraham), “in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed” (Genesis 12:3). That was also a promise of the coming Saviour. God’s later command to Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac, was not only an obedience test for both of them, but also a preview and a promise of Jesus’ sacrifice for sins. So was Plague #10—the death of the firstborn—in the book of Exodus, when the Hebrews were held in slavery in Egypt. The blood on the doorpost was a preview of Jesus shedding His blood for our sins to keep us from God’s judgment.

Finally, the day of Jesus’ birth came: “But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law” (Galatians 4:4). God the Son took on human flesh. We know that it happened because time is divided into BC (before Christ) and AD (anno domini, Latin, “the year of our Lord”). Some people use BCE (Before Common Era) and CE (Common Era), but removing the references to Jesus won’t change the facts about Him.

Jesus promised that He’d die for sins, be buried, and rise again, and He kept all these. He also promised that anyone who’d receive Him as Saviour would be eternally forgiven of sins and have a home in heaven: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life” (John 6:47). This promise is for anyone who will accept it by receiving Jesus as personal Saviour. That’s what Christmas is really all about: knowing Jesus as Saviour and rejoicing in His promises.

If you want to know how to accept God’s promise by receiving Jesus as Saviour, please click “Helpful Links” on the top menu and then “How Do I Go to Heaven?” on the dropdown. 

Brian Miller 12/21/2016

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