Police Devotional

“It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house…It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.” (Proverbs 21:9, 19)

Solomon, one of King David’s sons, wrote the book of Proverbs. He was known for wisdom. However, when it came to marriage, Solomon’s wisdom was a little lacking—he had 700 wives. Although multiple marriages were accepted in the culture back then, they weren’t biblical or very smart. The Bible clearly states, “…let every man have his own wife [singular], and let every woman have her own husband [singular].” (1 Corinthians 7:2)

Currently, polygamy is illegal in the U.S. That law may change, too, since Justices Breyer, Ginsburg, Kagan, Kennedy, and Sotomayor threw out God’s standard for marriage with the same-sex marriage decision. Any approach to marriage outside of God’s way is an invitation to trouble—His way of marriage is one man and one woman. Problems happen when people don’t do things God’s way.

With his multiple marriages—even though they weren’t God’s will—it can be said that Solomon knew more about marriage and domestic trouble than most men. How could he not with seven hundred wives? These two verses are about marriage. They both talk about what to do when your wife is in a bad mood and wants to fight. They both give the same piece of advice: VACATE.

Most of the time, fights don’t start with blows; they start with words. Say two guys are arguing. They may end up fighting. First, they exchange words. Then they may exchange blows. When a woman is contentious and wants to fight, she usually starts with words, too. You may have learned on the job that in a domestic fight a woman’s favorite weapon is often her mouth. She is usually smaller and weaker than the man, but she knows how to hurt him with words. When a woman starts to use her mouth as a weapon, it’s time for the man to take a walk and cool off—that’s Bible.

Our scripture also says that if the woman wants to fight, it’s time for the man to take a walk, not for him to make the woman take a walk. Did you ever get a call to a domestic fight to find out that it’s just an argument? Then after you’ve heard both sides, decide that they should part for a little while, and tell him to take a walk, only to hear him whine, “Why do I have to go? Why can’t she go?” If you ever get a call like that, you could say this to him, “Because you’re the man, and Proverbs 21:9 says that the man should be the one who takes a walk.”

I Peter 3:7 tells husbands to be “giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel.” Because women are generally smaller and weaker, men are to treat them with respect. That’s why men should open doors for ladies (how often do you see that?) and why boys don’t hit girls. Nowadays, though, many men don’t respect God or His Word, so they don’t respect women. They don’t respect them enough to marry them, and they don’t respect them enough not to assault them. How often do you get calls of “a female assaulted by her child’s father?” Find out why he hit her. See if it wasn’t because of something she said. Marriage is an institution that God ordained, and it should be done God’s way.

God’s Word is so wonderful and enlightening. Best of all, it tells us how to be sure of heaven when we die. If you want to see that, please click “How do I go to Heaven?” on the sidebar to the right.

Brian Miller 7/22/2015

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

 

Police Devotional

“Seek ye out of the book of the LORD, and read.” (Isaiah 34:16)

One reason police work is so interesting is because it deals with real people in real situations. Some of them are tragic, some dramatic, some funny, some dangerous, and some bizarre, but they’re all real. The Bible is about real life, too. God inspired His Word through real people who lived real lives and had real problems. One reason God gave us His Word is to give us practical wisdom to deal with real life.

Psalm 119:105 says, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” God gave us the Bible—“the book of the Lord”—to be the light for our life. When you’re on duty, you should always have a flashlight, even if you work the day shift. You may be called to a break-in and have to check the basement. If you don’t have a flashlight and the power doesn’t work, you could miss a suspect hiding there. In the same way, we need spiritual light for guidance in our lives, which is why God inspired the Bible. Psalm 119:130 says, “The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.”

The Bible doesn’t tell us everything there is to know about God. There is no way that all the information about God could be compiled into one volume! In fact, John 21:25 says, “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.”

The Bible does tell us, however, everything we need to know about God. In fact, everything that we need to know about God can be found between Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” and Revelation 22:21, “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.”

Is that statement hard to believe? You may be skeptical, which isn’t necessarily bad. Cops often need to be skeptical, because they often deal with people who can’t be trusted. When it comes to the Bible, it isn’t wrong to be a skeptic, as long as you’re honest. An honest skeptic says, “I don’t believe it. I need to check it out for myself.” A dishonest skeptic, on the other hand, says, “I don’t believe it, and I don’t want to hear about it.” An honest skeptic is willing to look at the evidence—a dishonest skeptic isn’t.

Some people are dishonest skeptics when it comes to the Bible. They may not believe that God exists or that He inspired people to write the Bible. They can’t prove otherwise, but they simply reject the idea that the Bible is God’s Word without even giving it an honest look. That’s no way to handle evidence. As a cop, you know not to ignore a possible piece of evidence. It could be the very piece that makes a case.

So, how do you look at the evidence about God’s Word? Do what our verse says: “Seek ye out of the book of the LORD, and read.” If you’re seeking truth, you’ll find it. Jesus said, “seek, and ye shall find.” (Matthew 7:7). God speaks to people’s hearts through “the voice of his word.” (Psalm 103:20).

You may already know Christ as Saviour. Still, when you read the Bible, don’t just read because “that’s what Christians are supposed to do.” Read it like you’re seeking something from God. If you need help with a problem, “Seek ye out of the book of the LORD, and read.” If you need encouragement, “Seek ye out of the book of the LORD, and read.” If you need direction, “Seek ye out of the book of the LORD, and read.” Whatever your area of need, “Seek ye out of the book of the LORD, and read.”

Whether you’re skeptical and want to find the truth, or you’ve already come to faith in Christ, it will amaze you how God speaks to the hearts of honest seekers. The most important information that God gives us from His Word is how to have our sins forgiven and go to heaven. To see that, please click “How do I go to Heaven?” on the sidebar to the right.

Brian Miller 7/9/2015

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

 

Police Devotional

“And when king David came to Bahurim, behold, thence came out a man of the family of the house of Saul, whose name was Shimei, the son of Gera: he came forth, and cursed still as he came. And he cast stones at David…And thus said Shimei when he cursed, Come out, come out, thou bloody man, and thou man of Belial: The LORD hath returned upon thee all the blood of the house of Saul,…and, behold, thou are taken in thy mischief, because thou art a bloody man.” (2 Samuel 16:5-8)

At the time of this passage, David’s rebellious son, Absalom, had taken over the kingdom, and David was on the run. He and his group of loyal followers were fleeing when a man named, Shimei, started throwing stones at David and cursing him. Shimei is of the house of Saul, Israel’s first king. He obviously hated the fact that Saul’s house no longer ruled Israel. In truth, though, Saul’s downfall was his own fault—that was common knowledge. Shimei, though, didn’t seem to care about the truth. As far as he was concerned, Saul was right, and David was wrong. Period.

Shimei followed David and his people, cursing and throwing stones. One of David’s soldiers, Abishai, offered to “…go over…and take off his [Shimei’s] head.” (2 Samuel 16:9), but David said no. He allowed Shimei to continue cursing and throwing stones.

Eventually, Absalom was killed and his revolt fizzled. The good guys—David and his people—won, and David was back in power. Shimei, the stone-thrower, now had good reason to be afraid, so he went to David, “And said unto the king, Let not my lord impute iniquity unto me…” (2 Samuel 19:19). Shimei apologized profusely to David. Abishai thought Shimei should be put to death, but King David forbade it. He was glad that God had put him back into power, and he accepted the apology.

As a cop, sooner or later, you will likely have a “Shimei” on the sidelines of a police incident. Like Shimei, he doesn’t care about the facts of what happened. He just can’t stand the police, and he’ll use the opportunity to call you vile names. He knows he’s doing wrong, but he likes “dogging out” the police in public because he knows he can get away with it. He knows that the police have to show restraint, and he has a First Amendment right, up to a point, to say what he wants. You may not be angry enough to want to “take off his head,” but you know that, by law, he’s provoking disorder and should be arrested. Still, if he fights and you have to use force, you may end up as the lead story on an evening news broadcast, and it won’t look pretty. So, sometimes you have to “eat dirt” on this job, which is never fun.

Although the “Shimei” on the sidelines may think he’s getting away with something, in the big picture, he’s not. People have a way of reaping what they sow. Galatians 6:7 says, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” You may never see how your “Shimei’s” wrongdoing will crash down on his head, but the Bible assures us that somehow, someway, it will.

On the other hand, you may see it. You may arrest someone one day, then suddenly recognize him and watch his face drop when you ask, “Aren’t you the guy who dogged us out at the crime scene last week?” It’s fun when things like that happen. He may then mumble an apology when he sees that “what goes around comes around.” If he does, whether or not he really means it, you’ll probably do what David did: accept it and fluff the matter off. After all, you’re the good guy. That’s what the good guys do.

Even good guys need to receive Jesus as Saviour to get to heaven, though. If you want to see how to know for sure from the Bible that you’ll get to heaven? Then please click “How do I go to Heaven?” on the sidebar to the right.

Brian Miller 6/23/2015

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

Police Devotional

“For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee.” (Psalm 5:3)

One of the most disgusting things you’ll do as a cop is go into a roach-infested residence. When you first walk into a “roach motel,” it looks and smells filthy. You can almost guess that it has roaches. As you talk with the people there, especially in the kitchen, you see one, then another. They’re on the counter, in the cupboards, and on the wall, crawling around and waving their antennas back and forth. You learn to keep moving your feet while you’re in there, so you’re less likely to leave with “passengers.”

The Bible doesn’t mention roaches specifically, but they do provide us an idea of how God is about sin—God doesn’t take sin lightly. Just as roaches are disgusting, sin is disgusting to God. That’s why Psalm 5:3 says, “For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee.”

Imagine looking for an apartment at a certain complex. The rental agent shows you a suite. The rooms all look nice. Then you open a kitchen cupboard and see a roach sitting there. You tell the agent, “This place has roaches!” What would you do if he replied, “Well, maybe one or two?” You couldn’t get out of there fast enough! First of all, if it has one that you can see, it probably has more that you can’t see. Second, when the agent tells you that it only has one or two, he’s not taking the problem seriously.

If you’ve received Jesus as Saviour, your sin-debt is eternally forgiven. However, sin can still “infest” your life and do awful damage, so you need to take sin seriously. Sin displeases a holy God, and it what put Jesus on the cross. Unconfessed sin makes believers wrong before God and is unacceptable in a Christian’s life.

People may say, “Well, we sin every day,” as if that is an excuse to harbor sin. “Since we sin every day, we might as well enjoy it.” Well, sin is still disgusting to God. Psalm 66:18 says, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.” Even one known, unconfessed sin will hurt the fellowship between you and your Saviour. You can’t just let sinful behavior stay in your life, any more than you can let “just one roach” remain in your residence.

Worse yet, unconfessed known sin hardens your heart and invites more sin—almost like an infestation—in your life and the lives of those around you. After Adam ate the forbidden fruit, he not only was guilty of sin, but his heart was hardened against God. When God asked him, “Hast thou eaten of the tree?” (Genesis 3:11), Adam replied by accusing God, “The woman WHOM THOU GAVEST TO BE WITH ME [capitals mine], she gave me of the tree.” (Genesis 3:12). One sin led to more sin.

You’ve probably seen white powder along the baseboards of some residences. That’s roach powder. When people use roach powder, they’re saying, “We won’t let the roaches win. We’ll fight them.” God’s “roach powder” for sin in a Christian’s life is confession. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9). If you find a roach in your home, kill it. If you need to use roach powder, use it. You may need to use it more than once, but keep using it so the roaches won’t dominate in your home.  Likewise, if you have some known sin, confess it. Ask God for help to stop. If you still struggle with it, keep confessing and praying for help. Don’t let the “sin” roaches win. God, by his grace, can help you, so that sin won’t “infest” and dominate your life. Get into the habit of confessing sin and trusting God to help you win victory over it: “my heart trusted in him, and I am helped.” (Psalm 28:7).

If you’ve never seen in the Bible how to have an eternal home in heaven by receiving Jesus as Saviour, please click “How do I go to Heaven?” on the sidebar.

 

Brian Miller 6/17/2015

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

 

Police Devotional

“Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” (1 Corinthians 10:12)

In police work, you see how sin can ruin people’s lives, including officers’ lives. So you need to learn not to play games with temptation. Sin can ruin your marriage, family, career, and reputation. You may have heard of Samson and Delilah. Samson was a man who had a lot going for him but was ruined because he played games with temptation.

God blessed Samson with amazing strength and used him to win many victories against Israel’s enemy, the Philistines. You may know cops who could play the lead in a movie about Samson. Their arms are so big that they look like they need specially-made shirts. It’s great to have guys with that kind of muscle on your side, especially when you’re up against a group of thugs.

Samson had a problem, though. He kept company with sinful people. Ephesians 5:11 warns, “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness.” That doesn’t mean that a Christian shouldn’t talk with lost people; it means that a Christian shouldn’t fellowship with their sin. It means that you don’t go to the sinful places they go: the bars, casinos, or even the after-work “watering hole” with the guys.

Judges 16:4 says, “And it came to pass afterward, that he loved a woman in the valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah.” Delilah was a Philistine. Samson never should have gotten involved with her, but he didn’t want to obey God. He kept company with her and ended up falling in love with her.

Delilah didn’t love the true God, or Samson—her loyalty was to the Philistines. When the lords of the Philistines offered her a reward to find out the secret of Samson’s strength, she was happy to oblige. Delilah asked him how he could be bound. He lied and told her that if he were bound with seven green, undried cords, he’d become weak. So she tied him up with them, and he snapped them. She pouted at him for lying to her. Then she asked him again how he could be bound. He replied that if he were tied with new ropes, he’d become weak. So she tied him up with new ropes. He snapped them, too. She pouted at him again for lying to her and kept asking him how he could be bound.

Samson was obviously having fun teasing her, but he was playing a dangerous game. He was strong and likely used to being in control, but he wasn’t in control here at all. Maybe he thought Delilah was just asking these questions to be flirtatious. Not hardly. She was on the Philistines’ payroll. She knew how to use her feminine charm to get what she wanted, and he was obviously clueless. Reading this story, you almost want to say, “Duh, Samson, why do you think she keeps asking about your strength?”

Finally, her persistence paid off: “And it came to pass, when she pressed him daily with her words, and urged him, so that his soul was vexed unto death; That he told her all his heart” (Judges 16:16-17). Samson told her that he had a vow before God and part of it was not to shave off his hair—that’s what she wanted to hear. She had him doze off, and a man came in and shaved his head. He woke up and found out that “…the LORD was departed from him” (Judges 16:20). God’s blessing was off, his strength was gone, and Delilah walked away with the money. The Philistines put out Samson’s eyes and bound him with fetters in prison. Samson played with temptation one time too many times, and now his life was in shambles.

Don’t think you can’t be entangled, enslaved, and eventually, ruined by some certain sin. It can ruin you like it did Samson, so don’t toy with temptation. If you’ve never seen in the Bible how to be sure that heaven is your eternal home, please click “How do I go to Heaven?” on the sidebar.

 

Brian Miller 6/1/2015

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

Police Devotional

“And Joseph saw his brethren, and he knew them, but made himself strange unto them, and spake roughly unto them…” (Genesis 42:7)

Joseph had come a long way. He had gone from being sold by his brothers to the slave trading block, then to Potiphar’s house, then to prison, and finally to the governorship of the mighty nation of Egypt, and God’s hand was on him the whole time.

Now the seven year famine had begun. People were flocking to Egypt for food. One day ten men show up. Joseph knows them, but they don’t know him.  Joseph knows their language but speaks Egyptian through an interpreter. He is not friendly. Genesis 42:7 says that he “spake roughly unto them.”

Picture this scene: Joseph asked why the men were there. The interpreter asked them in their language why they came. They say they want food. The interpreter translated their words into Egyptian for Joseph. He glared at them and told the interpreter that they were spies. The interpreter told the brothers, “The governor said that you men are spies.” The brothers were scared and insisted that they came for food.

Joseph wasn’t playing head games with his brothers. God was using him to deal with their hearts and make them see that they didn’t just need food—more importantly, they needed forgiveness. Joseph’s unfriendly approach to them was very sensible. He wanted to forgive them, but for all he knew, they were only there for food and were still the same cold-hearted men that sold him into slavery.

Here’s an interesting application for police work: when you meet a possible suspect in a serious crime, don’t be afraid to “speak roughly.” That doesn’t mean that you swear and act abusively.  It means that you’re no-nonsense. Say you’re called to a “male with a gun,” and you find someone who fits the description. Don’t be “Officer Friendly.” Be on your tactical “A” game. He may have a gun and may be willing to use it on you. If he whines about you harassing him, let him whine. His whining may just be a stall tactic while he tries to figure out how to escape, pull out his gun, or grab yours.

Approach him like you mean business, with your words and body language. Give short, simple, direct orders: “Hands up,” “Don’t run,” “Hands on the car,” “Spread your feet.” Take a tactical stance. Protect your gun side. WATCH HIS HANDS. Secure him. He may be scared, but if he’s the bad guy and you make him scared to attack, that’s good.

If he turns out not to be the bad guy, you can explain why you did what you did, and even apologize—not because you did wrong, but because he suffered some indignity. “Sorry for the tough approach, but we’re looking for a guy with a gun. Thank you for cooperating.” Most people understand why police do what they do, so if a “possible suspect” turns out to be innocent, try to end the encounter as positively as you can. There is a time to be cordial, but there is also a time to “speak roughly.”

Did you ever expect to find information like that in the Bible? This information about Joseph “speaking roughly” to his brothers is there for a reason. The Bible isn’t just some religious book of “thou shalts” and “thou shalt nots.” God gave it to be our guide for life, “a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” (Psalm 119:105). You’ll be amazed at what you’ll find in God’s Word if you’ll just take the time to read from it.

God has ways of providing for people’s needs, and He uses His Word to do so. Man’s biggest need is to know how to have a home in heaven. If you want to see how, please go to click “How do I go to Heaven?” on the sidebar.

 

Brian Miller 5/27/2015

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

 

Police Devotional

“There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:1-3)

The Pharisees were a Jewish ruling class. Jesus had many harsh criticisms for them, and with good reason. As religious leaders, they were dishonest because they didn’t preach the truth from scripture. Instead, they substituted man-made religious traditions for God’s word. That’s why Jesus had sharp words for them, like, “Ye are of your father the devil…” (John 8:44), and “…ye are not of God.” (John 8:47). Even today, any so-called “minister” who doesn’t preach the Bible as God’s word and puts doubt on God’s word is dishonest like the Pharisees were and has no business calling himself a “minister.”

Many of the Pharisees hated Jesus. They wanted him destroyed for exposing their hypocrisy. Others, like Nicodemus, were honest enough to know that Jesus’ words about the Pharisees, harsh as they were, were true. Obviously, quite a few of them realized that Jesus was of God. That’s why Nicodemus told Jesus, “Rabbi, WE [capitals are mine] know that thou art a teacher come from God” (John 3:2).

Nicodemus wanted to hear more of what Jesus had to say. God was also convincing him, although he probably didn’t realize it just then, that he needed to receive Jesus as Saviour. So why did he come to Jesus by night? He obviously knew that many of his fellow Pharisees hated Jesus. Most likely, then, he didn’t want to raise eyebrows among the Pharisees, so he met Jesus when he wasn’t likely to be seen.

When Nicodemus told Jesus, “Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God,” Jesus didn’t thank him and end the conversation right there. It wasn’t enough that Nicodemus respected Jesus as a teacher come from God. Jesus got to the heart of the matter. He told Nicodemus that he needed to receive Jesus as Saviour. Nicodemus needed to be born again: “Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.” (John 3:7).

In any secular environment where you strive to live for Christ, you can expect some people—not all, but some—to dislike you because of “your religion.” That’s the price of doing business. Don’t let the devil use difficulty like that to convince you to quit serving the Lord and sharing Christ. Romans 12:21 says to “…overcome evil with good.” It doesn’t say, “…oppose evil with good,” but “…OVERCOME [capitals are mine] evil with good.” When you do good to people, even if they intend evil toward you, you’ll overcome by God’s grace.

You also may not see God working in people’s hearts, but he is; just like God was working to convince Nicodemus to receive Jesus as Saviour, so he’s working on those around you. You never know when a co-worker will come to you “by night,” privately. He may be in a personal crisis, or he just realizes his lost condition. He doesn’t want to talk with his buddies from the bar, the union, or the softball league. He wants someone who knows the Bible and knows that God is real. Then you’ll have your chance to show him compassion, pray for him, and most importantly, share with him how to be born again.

If you want to see how to be sure of a home in heaven by receiving Jesus as Saviour, please click “How do I go to Heaven?” on the sidebar.

 

Brian Miller 5/16/2015

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

 

Police Devotional

Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;” (2 Corinthians 10:5).

God commands us to, “Fight the good fight of faith…” (1 Timothy 6:12). Serving the Lord can be a struggle in many areas. The Christian will struggle against things like the devil’s temptations to sin, the world’s temptation to vain attractions, and the flesh’s temptation to be indifferent to the things of God.

The place where people ultimately win or lose these struggles is their own heart: “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he:…” (Proverbs 23:7). People decide what kind of Christians they will be. Comedian Flip Wilson’s old line, “The devil made me do it” may have received some laughs, but it’s not true. The devil can only tempt people to quit on God. People ultimately decide how they’ll respond to the temptation.

The heart and mind are spiritual battlegrounds. Go to any Internet homepage, and you’ll see big and small headlines and photos about subjects like politics, war, sports, Hollywood, social issues, health, current events, as well as numerous ads. All of them are calling out to you, “CLICK ME! READ ME!” Some of them may seem interesting or entertaining. You could waste a lot of time and brainpower reading them. You could also intake a lot of “info” that’s the spiritual equivalent of junk food or outright poison.

Why are certain stories big news? Because the boss at the news agency says they’re news. How he or she decides that one story is news and another isn’t news is debatable; but if the boss thinks that you need to hear yet another story about global warming, anti-police protests, same-sex marriage, or some Hollywood scandal, then that’s what you’ll hear unless you decide, “I’m not wasting my time on that!”

Here is the importance of “…bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;” What you see and hear affects your thought-life, whether you realize it or not. Lamentations 3:51 says, “Mine eye affecteth mine heart…” What you see and hear on the Internet, in the newspaper, on the radio, and even in conversation can affect you as a Christian, for good or bad.

As a cop, sometimes you can’t avoid seeing and hearing things that Christians generally shouldn’t see and hear. At other times, though, you can. So when you have to deal with something filthy on the job that can poison your thought-life, ask yourself two questions: “Am I looking at this because I have to, or because I want to?” and “Can I do my job just as well without looking at or listening to this?” Be honest. God already knows the answer, because “…he knoweth the secrets of the heart” (Psalm 44:21).

Even off the job, be choosy about what you hear and see. When you log onto the Internet, listen to the radio, watch TV, or even converse, ask yourself questions like: “Do I need to be in this conversation?” “If the Lord were here (and if you’ve received Him as your Saviour, He is there!), would I be pleasing Him?” “Will this help me as a Christian?” “Is this done in good taste?” “Is this really important, or some silly, time-wasting ‘fluff’?” “Would it hurt my testimony as a Christian if others saw me watching this?”

Ask the Lord to give you grace and wisdom to be diligent about “…bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;”, to the obedience of Him. If you don’t know for sure that you have a home in heaven but want to see what the Bible says, please click “How do I go to Heaven?” on the sidebar.

 

Brian Miller 5/11/2015

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

Police Devotional

“Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad.” (Proverbs 12:25)

One great thing about the Bible is that it’s simple. It’s not some eerie, cryptic volume written in a secret code.  Most of it is easy to understand. Although there are some parts that aren‘t easy, most are: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1)—that’s easy to understand. “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” (Exodus 20:14)—that is, too. “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.” (Psalm 23:1)—so is that. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)—that is as well.

One time when Jesus prayed to God the Father, He said, “I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.” (Matthew 11:25). It wasn’t that the kids were smarter than the adults. It was that the kids were willing to believe Jesus, and the adults weren’t.

Our opening verse is a great example of how simple, yet powerful, God’s word is. It tells us that when a person has a heavy heart, a good word can make him glad. Isn’t that great? A good word is so easy to say, and it means so much. One good word can take a heavy heart and make it glad.

A public service ad appeared long ago, featuring a group of young kids in school. None of them seemed out of the ordinary, but the words on the ad read like this: “Can you tell which child has epilepsy? If you can’t, don’t feel stupid. Neither can the teacher.” The point was that epilepsy is a serious health concern, but most people may not know that someone has it until an episode occurs.

Now think about the people you see, including cops, throughout your day. Can you tell who is dealing with a life-threatening illness? Who has a wayward child? Whose life is being destroyed by alcohol or gambling? Whose marriage is troubled? Who is almost ready to commit suicide? If you can’t, don’t feel stupid. Neither can anyone else in most cases. If you could help someone living in the middle of a personal nightmare, though, wouldn’t you want to try? Of course, you would.

One easy way to help is to get into the habit of giving people “a good word.” It can be as simple as saying “hello” or “how are you?” Not uncommonly, you’ll meet unfriendly people on the job. It may be that they don’t like police, but it may not be so. Their unfriendliness may have nothing to do with you. Giving a good word not only can leave people with a good impression of you and of your department, but you never know how much help your “good word“ can do for someone in need.

Do the same with other officers, too. Greet them when you see them. If you don’t know them, introduce yourself. If you don’t like them or they don’t like you, say “hi” anyway. If you get a cold shoulder, fluff it off. Show concern for them and their families. You never know if your “good word” will cheer a heavy heart, or that you’ll be a “shoulder to cry on” that someone needs in a bad moment.

So much good can be done with a kind word. That’s simple but powerful wisdom from God’s Word. God also shows us in His word how to have a home I heaven. If you’ve not seen that, please click “How do I go to Heaven?” on the sidebar.

Brian Miller 4/27/2015

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

 

Police Devotional

“And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt.” (Genesis 41:41)

Abraham Lincoln said, “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Power can be an awful weapon in the wrong hands, whether it is physical power, political power, or even police power. Psalm 62:11 says, “…power belongeth unto God.” God ultimately holds all power. He lends people small pieces of it for a time, but it must be exercised in the fear of God: “…He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God.” (2 Samuel 23:3).

As an officer, you have power over others. You have power to take their property and their freedom. You have power to use force on them—even deadly force. You have power to generate criminal cases that can damage them for life. You could do much good with police power, or much evil. Whether or not you believe it to be true, your police power has not just been given you by your department. It has been given you by God. “…there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.” (Romans 13:1). Don’t misuse the power God has allowed you to have. You have not been given power in order to serve yourself. You have been given power in order to serve God and others.

Joseph is now the second-most powerful man in Egypt. He is in a place of power. It’s also a place of temptation to misuse that power. If Joseph had wished, he may have been able to have Potiphar and his wife executed for having him imprisoned falsely. However, we see nowhere that he did that. God was with Joseph in Potiphar’s house and in the prison. God is still with Joseph to guide and help him in the place of power. Joseph knows that the power he has is not about him, but about God.

The famine has begun. People flock to Egypt for food. One day ten men show up. Joseph knows them, but they don’t know him. They are his brothers who sold him into slavery. He was separated from his family and suffered much because of them. Years later, they come to him in need. They may know his Egyptian name of Zaphnathpaaneah, but they don’t recognize him. He’s not the fresh-faced youth they had sold years ago. He’s now much older.

Did Joseph have power over them? Yes. Was he tempted to be bitter? Maybe. Could he have had them arrested as spies and executed or imprisoned? Probably. Did they deserve harsh treatment for what they’d done to him? Certainly. Yet Joseph heard them talk among themselves about how they were in trouble for what they’d done to Joseph. They didn’t know that he’d understood every word they said. Look at what he did! “And he turned himself about from them, and wept” (Genesis 42:24).

Joseph wept in compassion for his brothers. He knew that they didn’t just need food—they needed to be forgiven by him, and most importantly, by God. Joseph could have used his power to serve himself and destroy them, but he used his power to serve God, not himself. Just like Joseph wanted to forgive and save his brothers in spite of what they’d done to him, so the Lord Jesus wants to forgive people of their sins and save them so they’ll be with Him in heaven, in spite of their sins against Him. Jesus said, “For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.” (Luke 9:56).

Do you have a grudge against someone? If so, please think of Joseph and how God worked grace into his life to love his brothers. Ask the Lord to give you grace not to harbor grudges but to seek for people to know Jesus as Saviour. If you’ve not seen in the Bible how to be sure to get to heaven, please click “How do I go to Heaven?” on the sidebar.

Brian Miller 4/23/2015

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