Police Devotion 6-8-2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brian Miller 6/8/2017

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

 

 

Police Devotion 5-23-2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What a privilege to carry Everything to God in prayer!

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

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

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

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

Brian Miller 5/23/2017

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

 

 

Police Devotion 5-1-2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brian Miller 5/1/2017

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Every Promise in the Book is Mine by Rick Altizer

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

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

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

Brian Miller 4/28/2017

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

 

 

Police Devotion 4-13-2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brian Miller 4/13/2017

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

 

Police Devotion 4-8-2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brian Miller 4/13/2017

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

 

Police Devotion 3-27-17

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brian Miller 3/27/2017

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

 

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