Police Devotion 8-17-2017

“Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.” (Habakkuk 3:17-18)

God had sent the prophet Habakkuk (pronounced Ha-bak’-kuk) to preach to the people of Judah, who had turned from God. Habakkuk was grieved at the wickedness he saw.  He wrote at the beginning of the book, “The burden [boldface added] which Habakkuk the prophet did see.” (Hab. 1:1) If he’s writing about a burden, he’s obviously not writing about something pleasant.

Habakkuk wrote of wickedness, greed, dishonesty, violence, idol worship, and lack of judgment by the leaders: “Therefore the law is slacked, and judgment doth never go forth: for the wicked doth compass about the righteous; therefore wrong judgment proceedeth.” (Habakkuk 1:4) He also wrote God’s warning that He’d allow the Babylonians (Chaldeans) to invade and take over because the people had become so sinful.

Here’s a lesson for America–many in the U.S, leaders and common people, don’t care about the Lord, and sin is rampant. God let Judah endure hardship for their sin. He could also let America suffer because of our sin. “He turneth rivers into a wilderness, and the watersprings into dry ground; A fruitful land into barrenness, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein.” (Psalm 107:33-34)

Habakkuk spoke of problems with the crops and livestock: “…the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines;…there shall be no herd in the stalls:” Yet he ends with hope and optimism: “…Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.” Habakkuk knew that one day it would be over and he’d be with God in an eternal land free of sin, death, and pain.

As a cop, you see daily how people live immorally, how their sin hurts themselves and their loved ones, and yet they do what they do. You also see how violent criminals bring destruction and pain to the lives of innocent citizens. Many people may not see violent crime as real and personal, just a news story: “Two people were shot to death tonight on Cleveland’s East Side, Police are looking for a suspect. And now, the weather…” As a cop, though, you learn just how malicious these servants of the devil really are.

Sometimes you may be hamstrung by bureaucratic restrictions put in place by people in power who don’t seem to care enough about people to take violent criminals seriously. As a result, innocent people get hurt, cops can’t do their job, and criminals run wild because “…wrong judgment proceedeth.”

Here’s the bright side: If you have Jesus as Saviour, you know that one day, all the wickedness of the world will end. One day you’ll see your Saviour in heaven, where the crime rate and sin rate are an absolute zero. So don’t ignore the problems on the job, handle them as best you can by God’s grace, but don’t let them bog you down spiritually. “Rejoice in the Lord ALWAY [“always”–capitals added]: and again I say, Rejoice.” (Philippians 4:4) Hope in Christ will help you be optimistic in the face of trouble.

If you’ve not seen in the Bible how to be sure of heaven, please click “Helpful Links” on the main menu and then “How Do I Go to Heaven?” on the dropdown.

Brian Miller 8/17/2017

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

Police Devotion 8-9-2017

“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is;” (Hebrews 10:25)

The book of Hebrews was written when the Christian church was still relatively young. Even back then, some people didn’t like going to church, that’s why the author said “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together,” (which means skipping church), “…AS THE MANNER OF SOME IS;” (capitals added). So the idea of skipping church is nothing new, but it was a bad idea then and still is now.

Church isn’t an idea some preacher thought up to make money. It’s an institution that the Lord Jesus Himself started. He said, “…upon this rock [the rock is Jesus Himself] I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18) Churches are mentioned in the New Testament as places to hear God’s Word preached, where God is worshipped in a public setting, and from where missionaries are sent to minister to other places. 1 and 2 Corinthians were written to …the church of God which is at Corinth,” (1 Corinthians 1:2) Galatians was given to “…the churches of Galatia:” (Galatians 1:2) Philippians was for “…all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons [church leaders; that is, preachers and laymen leaders]:” (Philippians 1:1)

A Bible-preaching church is where people hear God speak to their hearts through the preaching of His Word. Psalm 103:20 talks about “…the voice of his word.” It’s not an audible voice, but a voice that speaks to people’s hearts. Unfortunately, many so-called “churches” don’t respect or preach the Bible as God’s infallible Word. If you’re thinking of attending a church, here are three questions you might ask the pastor first: “1) Do you respect and preach from the Bible as God’s infallible Word? 2) Is the Bible your church’s only source of doctrine? 3) Can you show me from the Bible how to be sure I’ll go to heaven when I die?” If you don’t get all “yes” answers, you need to look somewhere else.

Some may say “I don’t feel like I get anything out of church.” Well, does the minister at the church you attend preach from God’s Word during the sermon? If not, maybe that’s why you don’t get anything out of it. He may tell some clever story or quote some human words of wisdom, but if he doesn’t give you God’s Word, he’s not doing his job. God commands preachers to preach HIS Word, not man’s word.  God’s Word touches the heart and soul like man’s word cannot. That’s why Paul told Timothy—and this command is for all preachers, “Preach the word.” (2 Timothy 4:2) The phrase “the word” refers to God’s Word.

Maybe you’ve seen church people who don’t act righteously. The church at Corinth had people like that. They bickered about minor things, sued each other, and worse. Maybe some people called them hypocrites, and rightly so.  But no doubt others in this church loved the Lord and wanted to serve Him, and were grieved by the problem people in the church, but they didn’t waste time focusing on them. They focused on the Lord. Police departments can be like that, with their share of apple polishers, crybabies, gossips, hatchet men, or drama queens (or kings), and not enough people who actually care about doing a good job. Don’t waste time focusing on problem people on the job, instead focus on doing your best.

Likewise, if you want to be your best as a Christian, you need to be in a Bible-preaching church. Please don’t skip church. If you’ve never been to Cleveland Baptist, this is your invitation. If you’ve not seen in the Bible how one can be sure of going to heaven, please click “Helpful Links”, then “How Do I Go to Heaven?”

Brian Miller 8/9/2017

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

Police Devotion 8-1-2017

“Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation;” (Psalm 51:12)

The Bible tells how to be saved and know it. It’s truly simple to know. A child can understand how to be saved. Jesus said, “Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3) He didn’t mean that full-grown adults should act like little kids, He meant that just as little kids tend to trust what people tell them (which is why kids are told not to talk to strangers), and people should trust what God tells them in His Word about how to be saved.

The best thing that can ever happen to you is receiving Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour. It’s great to be able to look at Scriptures like Romans 10:13—“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” and say, “I did that! Jesus said He’d save whosoever would call on Him and I asked Him to save me, trusting Him to do so, so I’m saved, according to God’s Word!” The Bible not only tells us how to be saved, but also gives us words of assurance that once we have Jesus as Saviour, we’re saved.

Many people think you can’t be certain of heaven until you die, that is not true. God doesn’t want people to live their lives on pins and needles, hoping that they’ll make it. God made a way for people to be saved and know it. Jesus once said to a crowd, “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:36) Now what if someone in the crowd asked Him, “But Lord, how can I be sure not to lose my soul?” And Jesus said, “There’s no way to know until you die.” The next question would surely have to be, “Then why warn us against losing our souls if there’s no way to be sure?” God doesn’t play head games. God wants people to have peace of mind knowing that heaven can be their home.

Jesus once told a group of His followers, “…rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.” (Luke 10:20) So obviously they were headed for heaven. Knowing Jesus as your Saviour is the happiest thing that will ever happen to you. It is “…joy unspeakable and full of glory:” (1 Peter 1:8) Yet even though you can’t lose salvation, you can lose the joy of salvation, as our opening verse says.

King David had seduced the wife of one of his soldiers, then tried to cover up her pregnancy. When that didn’t work, he had her husband killed in battle and then he married her. Galatians 6:7 says, “…whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” David reaped plenty of heartache and grief for his sin. In Psalm 51:12, he asked God not to restore his salvation, but to restore the joy of it. So you can’t lose salvation, but you can lose the joy of salvation due to unconfessed sin. If you’ve received Jesus as your Saviour but you find yourself not very interested or joyful about the things of God, maybe the problem is unconfessed sin.

It doesn’t have to be blatant sin, t can be as simple as missing church, neglecting your Bible, or reading or watching or listening to things that pollute your mind. Don’t you get enough mind pollution on the job anyway? Cops also work crazy hours, work part-time to support families, and have goofy sleep schedules. The devil has ways to tempt you to be drawn away from fellowship with Christ. So please decide now, and ask the Lord to help you, to make time for the Lord with your Bible and prayer, and make time for church. Ask Him to help you prioritize your life, get closer to Him, and to restore to you the joy of your salvation.

If you’ve not seen in the Bible how to be sure of heaven, please go to www.clevelandbaptist.org, click “Helpful Links”, then “How Do I Go to Heaven?”

Brian Miller 8/1/2017

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

Police Devotion 7-25-2017

“And Satan answered the LORD, and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life. But put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face. And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life. So went Satan forth from the presence of the LORD, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown. And he took him a potsherd to scrape himself withal; and he sat down among the ashes. Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die. But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.” (Job 2:4-10)

Satan had already gotten God’s permission one time to bring disasters into Job’s life. Satan thought Job would curse God to His face after all the disasters, but Job did not. So Satan asked God’s permission to touch Job’s health. This passage describes the second meeting where God gave him permission to do so. The devil gave Job a whole-body case of boils. With the loss of his children, plus the pain he was now in, no doubt he was tempted to turn his back on God. Then Mrs. Job came along and she offered no help.

In fairness to Mrs. Job though, she’d been married to him all this time and mothered his ten children. She’d also seen how he loved and served God so faithfully, and she probably had a decent walk with the Lord too. Moreover, when the first round of disasters came, she was struck by them too. Mrs. Job had lost her seven kids too. She’d lost all that property and all those servants too. So it’s probably not like she was just standing by, giving him a hard time. She was probably in a terrible emotional state too, and as most cops know, people can say and do unwise things when they’re in a bad emotional state.

Here’s another important lesson: when you’re going through a tough time on the job, you can be sure your spouse is feeling it too. Police spouses have extra loads to carry that most spouses don’t, so they deserve whatever extra love and consideration you give them.

Anyway, Mrs. Job surely wasn’t trying to be a tool of temptation, but she was. So here’s an important bit of truth: the devil can even use people close to you, whom you love and respect, to tempt you to sin. The temptation to “curse God and die” was probably stronger coming from Mrs. Job then it would have been coming from a stranger. Yet even coming from her, Job didn’t respond to the temptation with sin.

If someone you love says something sharp or unkind, it can be worse than if  a stranger were to say it, but no matter where the temptation is coming from, you don’t need to respond with sinful words. It’s not God’s fault that your loved one is having a bad moment. Don’t we all have them? Christians, and even pastors, can have bad moments. Bible heroes like: Noah, David, Peter, and many others also had bad moments.

If someone in church acts in an un-Christian way, don’t quit church. Christians can say and do wrong things for whatever reason, but that’s not Jesus’ fault. Don’t sin against the Lord because of what others do. Temptation can come from many unexpected sources, so keep your focus on “…Jesus the author and finisher or our faith;” (Hebrews 12:2) He’ll help you when it does.

Do you know for sure you’ll be in heaven when you die? If not, please go to www.clevelandbaptist.org, click “Helpful Links”, then “How Do I Go to Heaven?”

Brian Miller 7/25/2017

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

Police Devotion 7-12-2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brian Miller 7/12/2017

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

 

Police Devotion 6-20-2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brian Miller 6/20/2017

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

 

Police Devotion 5-30-2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brian Miller 5/30/2017

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

 

 

 

 

Police Devotion 6-8-2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brian Miller 6/8/2017

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

 

 

Police Devotion 5-23-2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What a privilege to carry Everything to God in prayer!

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

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

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

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

Brian Miller 5/23/2017

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

 

 

Police Devotion 5-1-2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brian Miller 5/1/2017

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