Police Devotion 9-20-2018

“And he [Jesus] said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given. For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath” (Mark 4:24-25).

In the above verses, Jesus said the one who has something will receive more of it, and the one who has a little bit will have it taken away. That doesn’t sound fair, does it? In actuality, it is fair, and it makes all the sense in the world, when you know what He’s talking about.

You may have heard sayings like, “the haves and the have nots” or “the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.” Those sayings, talking about riches, didn’t come from this passage. They may sound similar, but the Lord is not talking about money. He’s talking about the knowledge of God.

Just before these verses, the Lord gave the parable of the sower and the seed. The seed represents the Word of God which is sown like seed in people’s hearts. Four different kinds of soil are mentioned: the wayside, the shallow ground, the thorny ground, and the good ground. They all represent how people respond in their hearts to God’s Word.

The first soil represents people who hear God’s Word but don’t want to listen (“then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved” Luke 8:12). They hear how to receive Jesus as Saviour but aren’t interested. The shallow ground represents people who hear the Word, and it interests them for a while. However, their interest doesn’t last, especially “when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word” (Matthew 13:21). Others hear the Word, but their hearts are like thorny soil, “choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life” (Luke 8:14).

Finally, the good ground represents people who “in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience” (Luke 8:15). They hear the truth that they’ve sinned against a holy God. They’re convicted and uncomfortable, but still they listen. They hear how Jesus died for their sins and rose again. And by coming to Him in repentance and receiving Him by faith as their personal Saviour, they will have forgiveness of sins and eternal life. They make the decision to receive Christ.

Once they are saved, they learn to spend time in God’s Word and listen to God’s voice as He speaks to their hearts through it. They enjoy it and want more of it, and they learn more about God: “unto you that hear shall more be given” (Mark 4:24).

People choose in their hearts what kind of “soil” they’ll be, whether or not they’ll receive God’s Word. God said this to the prophet Ezekiel about Israel, who had rebelled terribly against Him:  “Son of man, thou dwellest in the midst of a rebellious house, which have eyes to see, and see not; they have ears to hear, and hear not: for they are a rebellious house” (Ezekiel 12:2). The problem was not their eyes or their ears, but their heart. They decided in their heart that they wouldn’t take heed to God’s Word.

People choose either to be the spiritual “haves” or “have nots,” and “the spiritual rich who get richer” or “the spiritual poor who get poorer.” God wants people to enjoy the riches of His salvation and the treasures of His Word, but we have to choose, “whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely” (Revelation 22:17). The only regret you will have about receiving Jesus as Saviour will be that you hadn’t done it sooner.

If you want to see from the Bible how to have forgiveness of sins and eternal life by receiving the Lord 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 9/20/2018

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

 

 

Police Devotion 8-28-2018

“For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another” (Galatians 5:14-15).

Churches are made up of imperfect human beings, like police departments. And like police departments, churches can have people problems. One pastor said, “If you have people, you’re going to have drama.”

Paul the apostle said the words of our opening passage in his epistle, or letter, to church members in the region of Galatia. Obviously, a dispute was going on between some of the church members. The Bible doesn’t say what the issue was, but the dispute that resulted must have been ugly because some of them were “biting and devouring one another,” to use Paul’s words.

Isn’t that terrible—for Christian people to speak biting, devouring, hurtful words to each other? Proverbs 12:18 says, “There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health.” Words can do awful damage, or they can do a lot of good. As an officer, you often have to deal with emotional people, and you need to learn quickly how important it is to use words wisely.

Our passage also says that they were biting and devouring “one another,” which refers to many people, as opposed to “each other,” which means just two. So the primary combatants may have gotten others to jump into the fight, either on the “Hatfield” side or the “McCoy” side so to speak. One thing about sin, it tends to spread: “A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump” (Galatians 5:9). Can you picture Paul reminding the combatants in so many words, “Hey, guys, didn’t the Lord say to ‘love thy neighbor as thyself?”

Were these people hypocrites? Granted, their behavior didn’t help the cause of Christ, but there’s no indication that they were. In Galatians 5:17, Paul talks about the battles that a Christian has between the godly inclinations of the indwelling Holy Spirt and the sinful inclinations of his old flesh nature which he still has: “For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.”

Most likely, some people in Galatia got caught up on an issue that stirred their emotions, they said things they shouldn’t have, and the whole thing snowballed. It was unfortunate, but it gave Paul a chance to do some teaching. In fact, his teaching was put into the Bible to help church members in the future who would have a similar problem. Isn’t it neat how God turned something bad into something good!

Say a bad guy provokes a cop into losing his temper and saying something inappropriate. Bad guys may do that sometimes. If it’s on the officer’s body camera, you may see it on TV as “BREAKING NEWS!” complete with the “shocking video” of the officer’s transgression. Of course, the “shocking video” may be edited and the bad guy’s words or deeds beforehand may be cut out. But people may see the video and say, “That officer is a bad apple. He should be fired.” Although the officer may deserve some discipline, he is NOT a bad apple. He’s an imperfect human being trying to do his job and was provoked.

There are no perfect Christians, just as there are no perfect cops. That’s one reason to go to church, to learn more and grow in your relationship with the Lord. Do you want to see how to be sure of a home in heaven? Please click “Helpful Links” on the top menu and then “How Do I Go to Heaven?” on the dropdown menu.

 

Brian Miller 8/28/2018

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

Police Devotion 8-15-2018

“Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee. But he [Jesus] answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” (Matthew 12:38-40)

Why did these people ask Jesus for a sign? Were they honestly seeking proof that He was the Messiah? Or did they have an ulterior motive? Up until this passage in Matthew 12, you’ll see that Jesus had done plenty of miracles. So it wasn’t that they had never seen Him do anything supernatural.

Some of them may have asked Him because they hated Him and wanted to discredit and destroy Him. Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount—Matthew 5-7—“…except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:20). How do you think they reacted to that statement? No doubt some snarled, “How dare He say that!” and were determined to destroy Him. Others among them may have been unsure, and maybe even heard the Pharisees arguing among themselves whether or not Jesus was the Christ.

When they asked Him for a sign, He could have said, “You want signs? Look at the sick people I’ve healed, the dead I’ve raised, and the devils I’ve cast out.” However, because he was God, He knew their thoughts. He was not trying to win arguments—He was trying to win souls. He saw past the sneaky motives of some and the uncertainty of others. He gave them the answer they needed IF they heeded it, and IF they were honestly seeking the truth. And this answer came from the source they already had: Scripture.

He referred to the book of Jonah in the Old Testament. He said that Jonah’s time in the whale’s belly was a preview of Jesus’ time in the grave before rising again. In a nutshell, the Lord’s basic answer to them was, “If you want a sign from God, look in God’s Word.”

John the Baptist was in prison at this time and sent two disciples to ask Jesus if He was the Messiah. Maybe he sent them because his faith was a little shaky. Ever feel that way? It can be encouraging to see that you’re not alone. Anyway, Jesus gave him the answer he needed. In part, His answer was, “The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them” (Matthew 11:5). The boldface is added to the last part because Jesus’ most important reason for coming to earth was to die for sins, be buried, and rise again. That’s a description of the gospel. He came, most importantly, so people could receive Him as their Saviour and have forgiveness of sins and have eternal life.

As a cop, you deal with so much sin and wickedness. Did you ever want a sign from God that He’s still in control? Don’t wait for lightning or a booming voice from heaven. God gave us a reliable, detailed sign that He’s very real and very much in control. That sign is the Bible. He also gave a promise that those who are honestly seeking Him will find Him: “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13). When you need to hear from God, take time to open your Bible. Most importantly, if you need to see how to have forgiveness of sins and eternal life, please click “Helpful Links” on the top menu and then “How Do I Go to Heaven?” on the dropdown menu.

Brian Miller 8/15/2018

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

Police Devotion 8-10-2018

“And he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath. And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself. And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity. And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God. And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because that Jesus had healed on the sabbath day, and said unto the people, There are six days in which men ought to work: in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the sabbath day. The Lord then answered him, and said, Thou hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering? And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day? And when he had said these things, all his adversaries were ashamed: and all the people rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by him” (Luke 13:10-17).

Can you imagine being stuck in a hunched over position for eighteen years! This lady had to be miserable!  No doubt there were times when she was tempted to think that God didn’t care about her. However, she still had faith in God and attended the synagogue. One day Jesus was there teaching. He called her to Him and healed her. That had to be exciting! No doubt many people were used to seeing “the hunched-over lady” in the synagogue and were thrilled that Jesus had healed her, and she was no longer hunched over!

The ruler of the synagogue wanted to make it an issue that Jesus “worked” on the Sabbath when He healed her. He didn’t bother to mention that Jesus had delivered her from her misery. Shows how much he cared about people, doesn’t it? By the way, this was one of the “company lines” of the religious establishment: that Jesus wasn’t of God because He broke the Sabbath. Of course, many Pharisees knew Jesus was of God, although they apparently said so secretly. Nicodemus, a Pharisee, told Jesus, “Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him” (John 3:2).

When the ruler said she should have come on a non-Sabbath day to be healed, Jesus replied, “Thou hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering?” If they took care of animals on the sabbath, why not take care of people?

On another Sabbath day, Jesus healed a man with a withered hand and faced this accusation about breaking the Sabbath. He answered His accusers, “What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out? How much then is a man better than a sheep?” (Matthew 12:11-12). By the way, if you meet any animal-rights people who say animals are equal to humans, you can show them this Scripture and tell them that Jesus said they’re not.

After Jesus replied to the ruler, as our Scripture says, all His adversaries were ashamed. They saw that Jesus, God the Son, was right, and they were wrong. The religious leaders confronted Jesus many times during His earthly ministry, and every time they did, they lost. This essay is not about police work at all, but it helps us because it tells us a lot about Jesus. The more we read about Jesus, the more we grow “…in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18).

If you’ve never seen in the Bible how to receive the Lord Jesus as your personal Saviour for forgiveness of sins and eternal life, please click “Helpful Links” on the top menu and then “How Do I Go to Heaven?” on the dropdown menu.

Brian Miller 8/10/2018

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

 

 

Police Devotion 6-19-2018

“Who is left among you that saw this house in her first glory? and how do ye see it now? is it not in your eyes in comparison of it as nothing? Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, saith the LORD; and be strong, O Joshua, son of Josedech, the high priest; and be strong, all ye people of the land, saith the LORD, and work: for I am with you, saith the LORD of hosts:” (Haggai 2:3-4)

Here is a little background on this passage. God let the Babylonians take Judah into captivity for their continual sin against God. The Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple. This captivity lasted seventy years. Eventually, the Babylonians were defeated by the Medes and Persians. Cyrus, the Persian king, let the Jews return to their homeland and rebuild the Temple.

At the time of this writing, the Jews had just laid the foundation of the new Temple. According to the passage, Zerubbabel was the governor of Judah. Joshua (not the Joshua who led the Israelites after Moses) was the high priest. When the foundation of the post-captivity Temple was laid, many older Jews were there who’d seen the previous Temple that King Solomon had built. According to Ezra 3:12, “…when the foundation of this house [the post-captivity Temple] was laid before their eyes,” many of the older Jews “… wept with a loud voice.”

Why did they cry? Verse 3 of the passage gives a clue: “Who is left among you that saw this house in her first glory? and how do ye see it now? is it not in your eyes in comparison of it as nothing?” Maybe they were sad that the new Temple wouldn’t be as splendid as the old one. Yet God assured them that no matter the size of the Temple, they still had Him: “…be strong, all ye people of the land, saith the LORD, and work: for I am with you, saith the LORD of hosts.” It was a new time, but God was still God.

Here’s the application: if you have, say, twenty or more years as a cop, you may be like the older Jews, in a way. You remember how the job was “when you were allowed to do police work,” and how it is now with all the restrictions, micromanagement, and toxic media. You may be discouraged at how cops aren’t able to do what they could before, and how criminals take advantage, and decent people in bad neighborhoods suffer (a fact which many people in power and set policy just can’t seem to get).

So what do you do? Quit? Let criminals run the streets? Better not. Restrictions or not, you may be the only defense these citizens have; you know it, and they know it. So do your best work and encourage younger officers to do their best, as well. Things aren’t like they were, but God is still on His throne. Police work is still a job that He ordained, no matter what anyone says to the contrary. If people in power set bad policy or generate a toxic environment for cops and decent people, that’s their sin, not yours.

Likewise, if you’re a Christian, don’t just lament about how bad things are nowadays. Jesus Christ still forgives sins, saves souls, and changes lives. The Bible is still true. God still answers prayer. The Great Commission is still in effect. God meant it when He said, “…I am with you, saith the LORD of hosts.” Trust His Word, share His gospel, and “…be strong, all ye people of the land, saith the LORD, and work.”

If you want to see in the Bible how to be sure of forgiveness for your sins and 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 6/19/2018

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

Police Devotion 4-20-2018

“Then Moses heard the people weep throughout their families, every man in the door of his tent: and the anger of the LORD was kindled greatly; Moses also was displeased.  And Moses said unto the LORD, Wherefore hast thou afflicted thy servant? and wherefore have I not found favour in thy sight, that thou layest the burden of all this people upon me? Have I conceived all this people? have I begotten them, that thou shouldest say unto me, Carry them in thy bosom, as a nursing father beareth the sucking child, unto the land which thou swarest unto their fathers? Whence should I have flesh to give unto all this people? for they weep unto me, saying, Give us flesh, that we may eat. I am not able to bear all this people alone, because it is too heavy for me. And if thou deal thus with me, kill me, I pray thee, out of hand, if I have found favour in thy sight; and let me not see my wretchedness. And the LORD said unto Moses, Gather unto me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom thou knowest to be the elders of the people, and officers over them; and bring them unto the tabernacle of the congregation, that they may stand there with thee. And I will come down and talk with thee there: and I will take of the spirit which is upon thee, and will put it upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with thee, that thou bear it not thyself alone.” (Numbers 11:10-17)

As you can see, Moses was stressed out from the grief the Israelites gave him. They were complaining about the manna that God had provided. They said, “We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlick: But now our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all, beside this manna, before our eyes” (Numbers 11:5-6).

Did they really talk about how nice it was in Egypt? Had they forgotten the cruel bondage? How Pharaoh had their sons thrown into the river to drown or be eaten by crocodiles? “And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, Every son that is born ye shall cast into the river, and every daughter ye shall save alive” (Exodus 1:22). Had they forgotten the plagues that God put on Egypt, sparing Israel? And how God destroyed Pharaoh and the mighty Egyptian army in the Red Sea? “…and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea shore” (Exodus 14:30).

Two lessons from the passage: first, don’t whine. Most of us are tempted to whine at some point. As a cop, you may be tempted to whine about the job because things aren’t perfect—they never are. But whining rarely does any good. If you’ve ever worked a tour of patrol duty with a whiny partner, you know how awful it is. Whining is also a bad testimony for Christ. If you know Jesus as Saviour but are tempted to whine, think instead of how the Lord brought you to Himself, and of things He’s done for you. As the Johnson Oatman hymn, says to do, count your blessings: “Count your blessings, name them one by one; Count your blessings, see what God hath done.”

Second, when something’s bothering you, pray and give God details. As Psalm 62:8 says, “…pour out your heart before him.” Look how much detail Moses put into his prayer. God knew what Moses needed, but He met Moses’ need when Moses prayed. Do you have problems you’re trying to work out? Before you do anything else, pray and give God details and ask for help.

If you’ve never seen in the Bible how to have eternal life by receiving Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour, please click “Helpful Links” on the main menu and then “How Do I Go to Heaven?” on the dropdown menu.

Brian Miller 4/20/2018

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

Police Devotion 4-12-2018

“Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour. And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple; Who, seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked an alms. And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them. Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God” (Acts 3:1-8).

Why did this handicapped man sit at the temple gate? Why not in the marketplace or another busy area?  Maybe he had faith in God. Or maybe he sat there because he knew people who believed in God would pass by him and out of fear of God and faith, they’d be moved to give him a donation.

People who ask for money may offer any number of stories. One man said he was a veteran of “Recon Special Forces Marine Corps.” Sounds impressive, except that Special Forces is in the Army, not the Marine Corps. A guy may tell you that his car broke down or it ran out of gas a mile away. Or maybe it is some other story that’s conveniently difficult to check. A man at the highway exit may hold a cardboard sign that says something like, “HOMELESS. PLEASE HELP. GOD BLESS.” Why put “GOD BLESS” on the sign? Does he really have faith in God, or does he think the phrase will improve his chances for a donation? Are these people legit, mentally ill, or just trying to get money for alcohol or drugs?

We don’t know and probably won’t take the time to find out. We do know that God loves them, that the Lord Jesus’ death paid for their sins, as well as ours, and that they’ll all go into eternity one day. So don’t just look on them with disdain, because “…there is no respect of persons with God” (Romans 2:11). Ever hear the saying, “There but for the grace of God go I?” If you’re saved, give him a gospel tract along with whatever you choose to give. If your church gives out food, tell him. God said that when His Word goes out, “…it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11). Any effort to reach people for the gospel’s sake, no matter who they are, is never a waste of time: “…your labour is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58).

The biggest miracle for the man at the gate was not that he stood up and walked. The biggest miracle was that he trusted Jesus Christ as his personal Saviour, as evidenced by the fact that he “…entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.” People were amazed to see this lame man walking. Peter told them, “And his [Jesus’] name through faith in his name hath made this man strong” (Acts 3:16). Peter explained to them that God used this miracle of healing to show them their personal need for the miracle of forgiveness of sin and salvation. “Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities” (Acts 3:26).

You may be perfectly healthy and not need a miracle of healing, but if you haven’t trusted in the Lord Jesus as your personal Saviour, you need the miracle of salvation. If you want to see in the Bible how to receive Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour, please click “Helpful Links” on the main menu and then “How Do I Go to Heaven?” on the dropdown menu.

Brian Miller 4/12/2018

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

 

 

 

Police Devotion 3-15-2018

“Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15)

What’s the most dangerous job for a cop? Not the most dangerous assignment, as in patrol, SWAT, or Vice, but the most dangerous JOB? Many assignments can be dangerous, but the most dangerous JOB is actually confronting a subject. Whether you’re in patrol, traffic, Vice, SWAT, or anywhere else, you’re most likely to be wounded or killed confronting a subject. As long as violent criminals are willing to prey on innocent citizens, police work will always be dangerous, and the most dangerous part of the job will always be confronting a subject.  

But someone has to do it. The mice may all agree that a bell should be put on the cat, but someone has to do the dirty work. On a raid or “shots fired” call, you have some prior danger indicators, but on a traffic stop, for instance, you may not. When you approach a subject, you don’t know his intentions. He may go easy. He may not. He may be acting smooth, looking for an opening to attack. He may be young, strong, and a better fighter than you. He may not have a gun, until he grabs yours. Now he has one, and you don’t.  

When you confront subjects, you’re acting on behalf of innocent citizens. Without you, most of them would be at the mercy of thugs, which is what thugs want. So you have to confront subjects and take the risk. When you’re proactive in confronting subjects, though, it’s exciting because you’re doing something important that’s bigger than you—helping decent people against predators.

Now look at our opening verse. The Lord Jesus gave this command—often called the Great Commission—to His believers: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” In other words, go tell people about Jesus and how they can receive Him as Saviour. Everywhere you go, tell people about Jesus.

Telling people about Jesus is the most important job of a Christian because people are not going to be forgiven for their sins and saved unless someone tells them about Jesus: “How then shall they call on him [Jesus] in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?” (Romans 10:14). In a way, though, it can also be scary—not dangerous scary, but uncertain scary. When you talk with someone about how he needs Jesus as Saviour, you don’t know how he’ll react. But it’s like confronting criminal subjects. You have to do it.

Even if someone is not receptive at first, you plant a seed in his heart by telling him about Jesus: “I have planted, Apollos watered;” (1 Corinthians 3:6). Or he may be ready to hear how to be saved. The greatest thing in the world is to share Christ with a sinner, he receives Jesus as Saviour, and his name is now “written in heaven” (Luke 10:20). Also, “there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth” (Luke 15:10). And you rejoice that God has let you have a part in it.

When you go to a Bible-believing, soul-winning church and you’re active in sharing the gospel, you’re also part of something much bigger than you, but it’s far more important than arresting criminals. You’re “labourers together with God” (1 Corinthians 3:9) in reaching precious souls with the gospel.

If you’ve never 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 menu.

Brian Miller 3/15/2018

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

 

 

 

Police Devotion 3-6-2018

“And he [Jesus] spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.” (Luke 18:9-14)

The Pharisees were a Jewish religious sect during Jesus’ days on earth. Their religion was a big show. Jesus said of them in Matthew 23:5: “But all their works they do for to be seen of men.”

The Pharisees didn’t care about people. They even said, “But this people who knoweth not the law are cursed” (John 7:49). How would you like to hear a clergyman say something like that? The Pharisees also weren’t close to God at all. In our passage, Jesus said the Pharisee “prayed thus with himself,” (boldface added); not with God. God wasn’t listening. On another occasion, some Pharisees started a confrontation with Jesus. He told them, “Ye are of your father the devil,” (John 8:44) and “ye are not of God” (John 8:47).

Look at the Pharisee’s prayer. He bragged about how he was better than others, and about the religious works he did. James 4:6 says, “God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.” Pride is wicked before God, including religious pride. One day, “as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?” (Matthew 9:10-11). It was like, “How can you sit with those people?” Pride shows itself with an unkind attitude toward people. The Pharisees “trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others.”

Jesus answered, “They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Matthew 9:12-13). Jesus came to earth to call sinners to repent and come to Him to be forgiven and saved. He promised, “him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37).

That’s what the publican in our passage did. He saw that he was a sinner with no other hope but God’s mercy. He went to God for mercy and was saved. He “went down to his house justified rather than the other.” That’s how you come to Jesus: as a repentant sinner with nothing to bargain with. Forget the fact that you go to church, or you’re a cop, or you’ve done kind deeds. Don’t depend on your works like the Pharisee did. Good deeds didn’t pay your sin debt. Jesus’ death paid your sin debt. His resurrection is proof of that fact. That’s why Easter, also known as Resurrection Sunday, is so wonderful.

If you’ve never come to Jesus, trusting entirely in Him to forgive and save you, please do. If you want to see more about how to have forgiveness of sins and eternal life by trusting on 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 3/6/2018

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

 

Police Devotion 2-6-2018

And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. (Revelation 5:8-12)

In the beginning of Revelation 5, John the Apostle sees God the Father on His throne holding a sealed book. No one is worthy to open it, and John weeps. But then he hears the wonderful news! “…the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof” (Revelation 5:5). John continues to write, “And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne” (Revelation 5:6-7). The Lamb is Jesus, God the Son. “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). He is the Lamb because His sacrificial death on the cross at Calvary paid our sin-penalty before a holy God, and then He rose again.

Now back to our passage. Look how much attention Jesus gets! “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.” No one in heaven will be thinking that he got there because he worked hard. He will know that he is in heaven and not in hell entirely because of Jesus: “…thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood…”

Some people are celebrities and have fame and attention on earth: actors, musicians, pro-athletes, people of power and influence. Do you have a favorite celebrity? What has he or she done for you personally? Could you just call your favorite celebrity on the phone? Probably not. They may be special to you, but you’re not special to them. They may even be decent people; which hopefully, they are. Still, they’re only human, and their celebrity status will one day be gone, like all things of earth: “…for the things which are seen are temporal” (2 Corinthians 4:18).

In heaven, though, for eternity, Jesus will have everyone’s attention, and He’ll deserve it all! If you’ve trusted Jesus as Saviour, you know that He did for you that which you couldn’t do for yourself! Here on earth you can draw near to Him by reading His Word and by prayer, but one day, you’ll see Him face to face!

And someday I shall see Him face to face
To thank and praise Him for His wondrous grace
Which He gave to me when He made me free;
The blessed Son of God called Jesus.”
Jesus is the Sweetest Name I Know by Lela Long

Won’t it be wonderful to see the Lord Jesus face-to-face and spend eternity with Him in heaven! Have you trusted in the Lord Jesus as your personal Saviour? If you aren’t sure but want to know more, please click “Helpful Links” on the top menu and then “How Do I Go to Heaven?” on the dropdown menu.

 

Brian Miller 2/6/2018

Cleveland Baptist Church | 4431 Tiedeman Road, Brooklyn, Ohio 44l44 | 216.671.2822