Police Devotional

And when he [Jesus] was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him, And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not. Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding. And all the devils besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them. And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea. And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid. And they began to pray him to depart out of their coasts.” Mark 5:2, 6-7, 11-13, 15, 17

A man was possessed with many devils. He lived in the cemetery: naked, cutting himself, and crying. By the way, those are three qualities that the devil likes to bring into people’s lives: indecent behavior, self-destruction, and misery. He also had superhuman strength. The people tried to control him with chains and fetters, but he tore right through them. Can you imagine trying to arrest someone like him? Have you ever tried to deal with someone so big and strong or so high on drugs that it took four or five cops to get him under control? What would you do if you had to deal with this man? If he broke your cuffs and ran away, you might just let him run and hope he wouldn’t return. That may have been how it was. Everyone knew that he was in the cemetery, but no one could do anything about him. They could only hope that he’d stay away.

Then something wonderful happened. As one old-time hymn describes it, “Then Jesus came and set the captive free.” Jesus could help this man like no one else could. Even the devils couldn’t stop the man from going to Jesus (“…he ran and worshipped him“). The devils knew that Jesus held command over them, because he is God and they were only angels. They begged him not to torment them, and asked permission to enter into the swine. The Lord allowed them, they fled into the swine, and the herd ran down a hill and drowned in the sea. The demon-possessed man was cured, “…sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind.”

The townspeople should have been grateful to Jesus that they no longer had to fear this man, but they weren’t. In fact, they asked him to leave, “…to depart out of their coasts.” What were they thinking? You’d almost want to ask them, “Was it better hearing the demon-possessed man screaming in your cemetery every night? Did youenjoy never knowing if he would jump out and attack you? Was it safer for your kids having him around like this than having Jesus?“

The man himself, though, loved Jesus and wanted to be with Him. Jesus did something for him that no one else could do and that he couldn’t do for himself. You may never be in such a wretched condition as the demon-possessed man, but there is something that you can’t do for yourself that Jesus did for you—paid your sin-debt so you could be forgiven of your sins and go to heaven.

If you want to learn more, please go to www.clevelandbaptist.org and click “How do I go to Heaven?” on the side bar of this page.

Brian Miller 1/30/2015

 

Cleveland Baptist Church 4431 Tiedeman Road, Brooklyn, Ohio 44144 216/671-2822

Police Devotional

Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.” Psalm 31:24

Proverbs 4:23 commands us, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” One thing you can do to keep your heart on fire for Christ is to “Be of good courage…” and God promises that “…he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.”

One way to “be of good courage” is to take advantage of opportunities to talk about Christ with others. Doing so can be a little scary because you don’t know how people will react, but that is where you need to “be of good courage.” The more you do it, though, the easier and smoother it becomes, and the more you gain confidence in God’s grace to help you share your faith.

By way of example, picture a young officer just off probation. He’s working alone on nights. While on patrol, he sees a speeder. He knows how to do traffic stops. He’s made many of them with his training officer. He knows to give the dispatcher his location and the car’s license plate, approach the car tactically, watch his surroundings, and especially WATCH THE VIOLATOR’S HANDS. Now he’s alone, though. The speeder may be an armed robber or drug dealer. The car may be stolen. The young officer knows nothing until he stops the violator. He may be uneasy, but he shouldn’t just ignore the speeder—he’s the police. Uneasy or not, he has a job to do. In fact, uneasiness is a good thing. It’s better to be uneasy than to be complacent. Once the officer works through the uneasiness and makes traffic stops, though, he’s gained experience and confidence in his ability. Even though the conditions and potential hazards of traffic stops are the same, his experience has made him more confident and better able to deal with them.

In the same way, it can be somewhat scary to take a stand as a Christian. You don’t want to be ashamed of your Saviour, yet you also don’t want people to think you’re some “religious nut.” There will be times, though, when you should take a stand. Look at them as opportunities for God to give you grace to share your faith with others, and increase your confidence in him.

Say your partner wants to tell a dirty joke. You know that kind of talk isn’t pleasing to God, but how do you handle it? You don’t have to preach a sermon. You could simply smile and say, “No, thanks.” If he insists on telling it, you can kindly but firmly insist on not hearing it, and change the subject. If he has any common sense, he’ll get the message. Your refusal to hear the joke could open an opportunity to speak of Jesus without being “holier than thou” about it.

You may feel uneasy about mentioning Jesus, but in a way, it’s good to be uneasy. As you see your need for His grace to help you, and He gives it, you’ll gain confidence in His willingness and grace to help you make mention of Him again, and your heart for Him will be strengthened.

If you’ve never seen how to have your sins forgiven and have a home in heaven, please go to www.clevelandbaptist.org, click, “Ministries”, “Reaching Out”, then “How do I go to Heaven?” on the side bar.

Brian Miller 1/22/2015

Cleveland Baptist Church 4431 Tiedeman Road, Brooklyn, Ohio 44144 216/671-2822

Police Devotional

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7).

God commands us to “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” (Proverbs 4:23). God also provided ways in His Word for us to keep our hearts. One way is to hide God’s Word in your heart: “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” (Psalm 119:11). Another is to pray to God from the heart about things that trouble you, including the things you see on the job.

 

Do you ever wonder why, for instance, drug dealers get rich, or drunk drivers kill innocent people and walk away unhurt, or child molesters do awful things to kids? You could probably think of other horrible events that you’ve dealt with. Do you ever want to ask God why He lets things happen as He does?

 

The prophet Jeremiah felt that way. He once told God, “Righteous art thou, O LORD, when I plead with thee: yet let me talk with thee of thy judgments: Wherefore doth the way of the wicked prosper? wherefore are all they happy that deal very treacherously?” (Jeremiah 12:1). He later said to God, “I sat not in the assembly of the mockers, nor rejoiced; I sat alone because of thy hand: for thou hast filled me with indignation. Why is my pain perpetual, and my wound incurable, which refuseth to be healed? wilt thou be altogether unto me as a liar, and as waters that fail?” Obviously Jeremiah was having a lot of problems and was troubled to see wicked people doing well while he struggled.

 

It seems almost irreverent for Jeremiah to talk to God as he did. In truth, though, he was doing exactly what God wants people to do when they’re troubled by some problem in their lives—pray from the heart. Psalm 62:8 says, “…pour out your heart before him:,” and Jeremiah did exactly that.

 

Our verse says, “Be careful for nothing;…”. “Careful” means “anxious”. So don’t be anxious about problems, but bring them to God with “supplication,” which has the idea of humility, earnestness, and “thanksgiving”. Be thankful because God promised that if we would come to Him like that, He would give us a peace that “passeth all understanding,” to “keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” God wants to give you peace in your heart in spite of problems. This is one way that He does it.

 

Some people may accuse God of being cruel for letting things happen, but in truth, God doesn’t owe anyone any explanations: “…he giveth not account of any of his matters.” (Job 33:13). We know He cares about us, though, because He gave His only-begotten Son to die on the cross. He couldn’t show His love for us any better than that. So when you see things that trouble you, do what Jeremiah did. Come to the Lord in prayer. Recognize that He is God and that He’s righteous, but also tell Him in detail what’s bothering you, and He has promised that His peace will keep your heart and mind through Christ Jesus.

 

Before anything else, though, you need to come to Christ as a sinner who needs to be forgiven and saved. If you’ve never done that but want to know more, please go to www.clevelandbaptist.org and click, “How do I go to Heaven?” on the sidebar of this page.

Brian Miller 1/14/2015

 

Cleveland Baptist Church 4431 Tiedeman Road, Brooklyn, Ohio 44144 216/671-2822

Police Devotional

Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” (Psalm 119:11)

God commanded us, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” (Proverbs 4:23). So it must be possible to keep this command. God wouldn’t give us a command that He knew we couldn’t keep. So how do you keep your heart from getting cold, in spite of all the sin that you deal with on the job?

One thing that will help is to make a habit of hiding God’s word in your heart. Our verse, Psalm 119:11, says, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” To hide God’s word in your heart means to memorize it regularly, and to bring it to mind and think about it often. Psalm 1:1-2 says, “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.”

When you make a habit of hiding God’s word in your heart, the Lord will bring scripture to your mind just when you need it. By way of example, two officers on patrol had an incident like this: they saw a young man on a bicycle some distance away. He saw them and spit in their direction. They knew that he had spit toward them to insult them. They also knew that spitting toward the police is not illegal. However, they also knew that riding a bike without a license plate—which he didn’t have—IS illegal. They had hidden the law about bike riding in their hearts, so it came in handy when they needed it.

Likewise, making a habit of hiding God’s word in your heart will help you when you need it. Do people ever provoke you to say things that a Christian shouldn’t say? Of course. Psalm 39:1 is a great scripture for times like this: “I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me.”

Meditate also on God’s word, which means to recite it, to think about it. Do you ever catch yourself daydreaming, and your thoughts aren’t even very pleasant or useful? Instead, focus on a scripture passage. Meditating on God’s word will help you in your thought-life, and it gives God a chance to minister to your heart through His word.

Don’t think you can’t memorize and recite scripture. Don’t say to yourself, “I can’t do that. I have a bad memory.” That’s like saying, “I can’t do push-ups. My arms are too weak.” The answer to weak arms is to do push-ups. Even if you can only do ten push-ups, do ten. Later, you’ll be able to do twelve, then twenty, and you’ll be stronger. Likewise, if you can only memorize short passages, start with short passages. You’ll get better and memorize longer passages, and you’ll be amazed at how God will use His word to help you in your personal and professional life.

If you want to see in the Bible how to have forgiveness of sins and eternal life, please go to www.clevelandbaptist.org, click “Ministries”, “Reaching Out”, then “How do I go to Heaven?”

Brian Miller 1/7/2015

Cleveland Baptist Church 4431 Tiedeman Road, Brooklyn, Ohio 44144 216/671-2822

Police Devotional

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:” John 1:12

Most people know that the “true meaning of Christmas” is Jesus’ birth. They know He was born of a virgin named Mary in a stable in Bethlehem. They know that an angel announced His birth to shepherds, and two years later wise men came to worship Him. They also know that, as an adult, He died on the cross to pay for sins, was buried, and rose again the third day.

Knowing about someone, though, isn’t the same as knowing him. You may know a lot about someone, but unless you’ve met him, you don’t know him. Likewise, you may know the facts about Jesus, but if you’ve never “met” Jesus, never came to Him to be forgiven and saved, you really don’t know Him. As our verse says, you can know Him personally as Saviour.

How can you know someone whom you can’t see, hear, or touch? You can know Jesus through faith in His word. In 1 Peter 1:8, Peter calls Jesus the one “Whom having not seen, ye love.” The people to whom he was writing could not see Jesus, but they had received Him as their Saviour and loved Him. Here is how you receive Jesus as Saviour:

Realize what the Bible says about you—that you’re a guilty sinner and are separated from fellowship with God because of your sins: “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God,” Isaiah 59:2. Realize also that the punishment for your sins is death and hell: “For the wages of sin is death,” Romans 6:23. “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire,” Revelation 20:14.

Realize that Jesus died for you personally, was buried, and rose again! “Who his own self bare our sins [including yours] in his own body on the tree,” 1 Peter 2:24. “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen,” Revelation 1:18. Can you imagine having to write down every sin you do? That list would be huge! Well, all of your sins really were laid on Jesus, and He died and was buried, but He rose and is alive!

Repent. That means to change your mind. Don’t think that your sins aren’t that bad, that your religion is good enough, or that you can make up for your own sins. Accept the fact that you need forgiveness, and only Jesus can provide it: “…repent ye, and believe the gospel.” Mark 1:15.

Finally, receive the risen Jesus as your personal Saviour. Ask Him personally to forgive you all your sins and come into your heart, and trust completely in Him to get you to heaven. How do you know that if you’ll receive Jesus in this way, He’ll save you? God promised, and He can’t lie. When Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved,” it means just that. Once you receive Jesus, you’ll appreciate the “true meaning of Christmas” like never before. If you want to learn more about receiving Jesus as Saviour, please go to www.clevelandbaptist.org, click “Ministries”, “Reach out”, then “How do I go to Heaven?’

Brian Miller 12/23/2014

Cleveland Baptist Church 4431 Tiedeman Road, Brooklyn, Ohio 44144 216/671-2822

 

 

Police Devotional

He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.” Proverbs 18:13

When you receive an assignment, especially one that is potentially dangerous, you need to get as many facts as you can, for your own safety and to avoid a hasty, mistaken decision. Police were called to a burglary one night. They arrived to find a man pointing a shotgun at another man who was spread-eagled on the floor. It was good that they didn’t make a hasty decision because the man with the shotgun was the homeowner. The man on the floor was the burglar.

You may not always have time to get all the facts. Say you’re called to a “male with a gun.” You see a man matching the description with a gun in his waistband. You tell him to put up his hands, but instead, he runs. You chase him. It’s night. He suddenly turns, reaching for his waistband. Is he trying to dump the gun? Maybe. Should you give him the benefit of the doubt? What if you hesitate to take action and he shoots you or your partner? If that happens, one officer is disabled and the other has to deal with the suspect and try to help his wounded partner, if he‘s still alive. Now the suspect may shoot and not hit either of you, but if he kills a small kid in a house behind you after you gave him the benefit of the doubt, you’ll have to live with that kid’s death. Any way you look at it, the suspect has placed you into a rotten position.

Most people don’t think in these terms, because most people don’t have to deal with life-or-death, split-second decisions involving violence-prone people. Police, however, have to think in these terms because they deal with violent people and violent situations. Protesters may cry for police reform, but no one knows how to prevent suspects from acting violently toward innocent citizens and officers; so instead the protesters do what is easy—criticize the police.

Many people like to “answer a matter before they hear it” when it comes to police work, but few, if any, have all the facts about police work. They don’t know what it’s like to chase an armed suspect in the dark, to hear gunfire and go toward it, to feel a bullet wound, to fight  someone “unarmed” who is larger, younger, stronger, and trying to take your gun, while you’re getting tired and backup hasn’t arrived. To most people, the phrase “fear for your life” is only theory. Most people get their police knowledge from Hollywood, where movie actors are paid millions to pretend to do a job that cops do in real life for a small fraction of the money.

So when protesters block traffic at a “die-in” at a major intersection, and you have to keep them from being run over by irate citizens, and the protesters may not even thank you, remember that they don’t know about your job and may never take the time to learn. They are likely just answering a matter before they hear it, as the Bible says not to do. Of course, they may not care much what the Bible says about anything else, either, but that issue is for another time.

If you want to see from the Bible how to be sure you’ll go to heaven when you die, please go to www.clevelandbaptist.org, then “Ministries”, “Reach Out”, then “How do I go to Heaven?”

Brian Miller 12/16/2014

Cleveland Baptist Church 4431 Tiedeman Road, Brooklyn, Ohio 44144 216/671-2822