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

 

Police Devotional

“Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him hastily out of the dungeon: and he shaved himself, and changed his raiment, and came in unto Pharaoh.” (Genesis 41:14)

When we last saw Joseph, he was in the Egyptian prison along with Pharaoh’s chief butler and chief baker who had also been put there. God had worked in both the butler and baker’s lives. They both had dreams that they didn‘t understand. Joseph saw that they were sad, and even in his own predicament, he was concerned about them. They told him that they’d dreamed dreams, and he asked them to tell him what they were.

The chief butler told Joseph his dream. Joseph interpreted it to mean that the chief butler would get his job back in three days. Joseph also asked him to speak to Pharaoh for Joseph, because he didn’t deserve to be in the prison. Then the chief baker told Joseph his dream. Unfortunately, Joseph had bad news—the chief baker would be hanged in three days.

Can you imagine being the chief baker, knowing that you would die in three days, and not knowing what awaited you on the other side of the grave? No doubt many people live in fear of death and the afterlife. They don’t know Jesus as their Saviour, just as the chief baker probably worshipped the false gods of Egypt and didn’t know the true God, the Redeemer who would one day come. So Joseph had a chance to talk with him about the true God, the God of Israel, before he was executed.

As for the chief butler, unfortunately, he forgot about Joseph once he got his job back: “Yet did not the chief butler remember Joseph, but forgat him.” (Genesis 40: 23). God, however, had not forgotten Joseph. Pharaoh later had a troubling dream. He dreamed of seeing seven fat, healthy cows that were eaten up by seven scrawny cows. Then he dreamed about seven fat, healthy ears of corn on one stalk that were eaten up by seven withered ears of corn. Pharaoh didn’t know what the dream meant, so he called his astrologers and fortune-tellers. They couldn’t help him, and it was then that the chief butler remembered Joseph and told Pharaoh how he had interpreted dreams for him and the chief baker. Pharaoh sent for Joseph to be brought immediately to him.

Joseph shaved himself and changed his clothes. He cleaned up to show respect for Pharaoh. He was about to see someone important. Did you ever see defendants in court who weren’t dressed for the occasion? Defendants should dress up, as much as they can. They are about to see someone important. When they don’t take the time to put on decent clothes, they show lack of respect for the court, like the judge is not important. Some judges realize that, too. Isn’t that an interesting detail from scripture?

Pharaoh told Joseph his dreams about the cows and the corn. Joseph told Pharaoh that the dreams were a warning to Pharaoh. Egypt would enjoy seven years of plenteous crops, followed by seven terrible years of famine. Joseph advised Pharaoh to appoint a man to oversee the gathering of food, and later the distribution of it. Joseph may never have dreamed that Pharaoh would pick him to be that man, but he did. So one day, Joseph is in the prison. The next day, he is the second-most powerful man in one of the most powerful countries in the world at the time.

God may not work in your life as dramatically as He did in Joseph’s, but whatever your situation, just “Trust in the LORD, and do good;” (Psalm 37:3). Psalm 46:10 also says, “Be still, and know that I am God:” Whatever your situation, God is in charge and has ways of working things out. We’ll also see more of how God worked in the lives of Joseph and his family later. Meanwhile, if you want to see how to receive Jesus as Saviour, please click “How do I go to Heaven?” on the sidebar.

Brian Miller 4/8/2015

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

 

 

Police Devotional

“And Joseph’s master took him, and put him into the prison, a place where the king’s prisoners were bound: and he was there in the prison. But the LORD was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison. And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph’s hand all the prisoners that were in the prison; and whatsoever they did there, he was he doer of it. The keeper of the prison looked not to any thing that was under his hand; because the LORD was with him, and that which he did, the LORD made it to prosper.” (Genesis 39:20-23)

Joseph was a Hebrew who had been sold by his brothers, but God was with him. An Egyptian captain named Potiphar bought him. Joseph was honest and industrious. God blessed Joseph’s work in Potiphar’s house, and Potiphar made Joseph overseer over all his goods. Unfortunately, Potiphar’s wife kept hitting on Joseph to have an affair with her. He didn’t just tell her “no;” he also told her why. He said, “…how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” (Genesis 39:9) That was pretty bold, to tell a high-ranking military officer’s wife that she was wicked. She probably didn’t appreciate that comment, but Joseph was determined to do right.

One day she grabbed his garment, trying again to seduce him. He refused and fled, leaving the garment behind. Now she was mad. She told the house servants and her husband that Joseph had tried to rape her. She even showed the garment as evidence. Now in Egypt, whom do you think everyone would believe: a high-ranking captain’s wife, or a young Hebrew slave?

So Joseph found himself in a foreign prison. His situation looked pretty miserable. However, look at our passage: “But the LORD was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy…” God allowed the whole situation with Potiphar’s wife play out, but God had not abandoned Joseph. Look at what happened to Joseph in the prison. He was put into a place of authority over the other prisoners. “The keeper of the prison looked not to any thing that was under his hand; because the LORD was with him, and that which he did, the LORD made it to prosper.” People could see something different about Joseph. Even as a foreign prisoner, Joseph had integrity, served the Lord and did his best, and God blessed him in the middle of his predicament.

As a cop, you may find yourself in a bad situation that’s not your fault, like Joseph did. You may be in a place you don’t like, with a boss you don’t like or who doesn’t like you. You may not get a transfer to some great unit that you think you deserve. If you know Jesus as your Saviour, don’t be like some officers who say, “The city messed me over, so I’m not doing any work.” You don’t “get back at the city” by doing that—you sin against God, misuse taxpayer money by being lazy, and hurt innocent citizens who need your help. Maybe you got a bum deal, but so did Joseph. Psalms 37:3 says, “Trust in the LORD, and do good.” Ask the Lord to help you deal with it in a right way. Ask Him to use the situation to reach others with the gospel. Then trust in Him to work it out, and serve the Lord on the job by doing your best.

Most importantly, if you’ve not seen in the Bible how to have God’s forgiveness for sins and eternal life, please click on the “How do I go to Heaven?” link on the sidebar.

Brian Miller 3/24/2015

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

Police Devotional

“Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree…” (I Peter 2:24)

An officer working an impound desk took a call from a man who wanted his car released from the lot. The officer asked for the car’s VIN number. The man gave it using phonetics such as “One George Three Charlie Robert…“ The officer was surprised that the man knew the phonetic alphabet and asked if he’d been a cop. He said, “No, but I’ve been arrested a bunch of times.”

As a cop, you’ve probably dealt with people who have “been arrested a bunch of times.” One drunkard was arrested so often that the police just made a copy of his booking card. Then when he was brought in—usually was too drunk to make any sense—they used the info off the old card to make a new card. They just changed the date, time, and location of arrest.

It’s too bad that people end up having a “record a mile long,” but here’s a good illustration of the truth in our passage. It’s about Jesus, Who “bare our sins in his own body on the tree.” You’ve probably heard many times that Jesus died for your sins. Did you ever stop to think, though, about what it actually means, that Jesus died for your sins?

Just for the sake of the illustration, let’s say you commit ten sins a day. That means thoughts, words, and deeds. Ten sins a day means 3,650 sins per year. Over ten years, that’s 36,500 sins. Over seventy years, that’s 255,500 sins. Multiply 255,500 times the world’s population of say, six billion, and the number of sins for which Jesus died is huge. If you try to figure in all those who have died throughout history, and all of their 255,500 sins, you almost can’t count that high.

Now go back to your own sins. If you don’t think your sins are that bad, do this: write down each sin you’ve ever committed in your life, even as a child. You may not remember them all, but you will remember some. Write them down. As you write, you may remember more sins. Write them down. You may remember some really disgraceful, embarrassing things you‘ve done. God knows about them, too. Write them down.  Whatever sinful thoughts you’ve had, write them down, too. “The thought of foolishness is sin,” as it says in Proverbs 24:9. Be honest when you do this.

You’ll see then that you have “a sin record a mile long.” Each of your sins—and you don’t know the actual count—is offensive to a holy God. Each sin alone is enough to separate you from God: “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God” (Isaiah 59:2). Each sin alone is enough to condemn you to eternity in hell: “For the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:14).

Yet God in his love put all your sins on his Son, the Lord Jesus, and Jesus “bare our sins [including all of yours] in his own body on the tree.”  Now do you see how meaningful it is that “Jesus died for your sins?” If you want to know how to have God’s forgiveness of your sins and eternal life by receiving Jesus as Saviour, please click “How do I go to Heaven?” on the sidebar.

Brian Miller 3/16/2015

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

 

Police Devotional

“And David said to Abigail, Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, which sent thee this day to meet me: And blessed be thy advice, and blessed be thou, which hast kept me this day from coming to shed blood, and from avenging myself with mine own hand.” (I Samuel 25:32-33)

After killing Goliath, David was a national hero in Israel, but King Saul was insanely jealous of him and wanted to kill him. As a result, David fled. One day he would be Israel’s king; Saul knew that. For the time being, though, he was basically a fugitive with a loyal following.

On one occasion, David’s men protected a group of shepherds who worked for a man named Nabal. He was very rich but was also “…churlish and evil in his doings” (I Samuel 25:3). Nabal was cruel and hard-hearted. David later sent some of his men to tell Nabal how his men had helped protect Nabal’s workers and to ask Nabal for some provisions. Nabal was rude to them and gave them nothing. When David’s men reported back to him about how Nabal had treated them, David was furious. He amassed his men to fight against Nabal.

One of Nabal’s workers told Abigail, Nabal’s wife, what had happened. He verified that David’s men had treated the shepherds well and protected them. He warned her that because of Nabal‘s action against David and his men “evil is determined against our master, and against all his household: for he is such a son of Belial, that a man cannot speak to him.” (1 Samuel 25:17) A “son of Belial” is a wicked person—that was Nabal.

Abigail quickly took action. She put together a huge peace offering of food and provision for David and his men but didn’t tell Nabal what she was doing. She stopped David and his men as they were en route to attack Nabal’s household. She gave them the gifts and asked David not to attack. She knew that Nabal was wrong for what he did, but she also knew that David would be wrong to shed blood over this offense and that he’d regret his hasty action later. He took Abigail‘s advice, accepted her gift, and didn’t attack. Our opening passage is part of David’s response.

If you do aggressive police work, you’re doing a tough job. You deal with vicious people who don’t care about other people’s lives or yours. They only care about themselves. They’ll prey on innocent people and put you at risk. They also know you’re human and may try to provoke you to do or say something in the heat of emotion that you will later regret.

If you see another officer being provoked into an angry response, just as Nabal provoked David into an angry response, don’t be afraid to step in for the officer’s good. Pull the suspect away if you have to. In a way, you’re doing what Abigail did for David—intervening to protect a good officer from doing something that would mess up his career.

If you haven’t seen in the Bible how to have your sins forgiven and have a home in heaven, please go click “How do I go to Heaven?” on the sidebar.

Brian Miller 3/10/2015

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Police Devotional

“Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” (John 6:28-29)

Did you ever get a call like this? An off-duty officer has a man under arrest. You go to the call and find a man with a badge around his neck who has a man in handcuffs sitting on the ground. The off-duty tells you that he stopped him for speeding and smelled marijuana. He took him out of the car, patted him down, and found a gun and a pound of weed. Good arrest, right?

You put the suspect into your car, take the evidence, and ask where the off-duty works. He now admits that he’s not really a cop. He wanted to do something about crime so he got the gear and started looking for criminals. Well, even if he meant well, the “off-duty” had no police power to stop the traffic violator in the first place. So, even if the arrest itself was good, it will be thrown out in court. If the “off-duty” wants to do police work, he needs to first become a cop.

The people talking with Jesus in this passage had a similar issue. They wanted to serve God—their intentions were good. They asked Him, “What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?” Maybe they thought that they needed to do something, like go to the synagogue or give to the poor or read their Bible. No, Jesus told them that if they wanted to do the works of God, they first needed to receive the Lord Jesus as Saviour—to “…believe on him whom he hath sent.”

Many people may consider themselves Christians because they go to a church that believes in the Bible, or they were baptized, or they give to the poor or try to do right morally. All of these are good in their proper place, but doing these things does not make a person a Christian, any more than pulling over traffic violators makes your “off-duty” a police officer.

In order for a person to become a Christian, he needs to be born again. Nicodemus was a very religious man, but he was not born again. Jesus told him, “…Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3) No doubt many people are very religious and try to do right and serve God, but they don’t know Jesus as Saviour and are not headed for heaven.

So how does a person become born again? By receiving Jesus as personal as Saviour:  “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will or man, but of God.” (John 1:12-13) According to this passage, the moment that these people became Christians, born again, was the moment in time when they received Jesus as Saviour. If you are a cop, there was a moment in your life when you raised your hand and took the oath of an officer. Technically, that was the moment you became a cop. Likewise, if you want to be a Christian, there needs to be a moment in your life when you took Jesus as your personal Saviour.

If you want to see how to receive Jesus as your Saviour, please click the “How do I go to Heaven?” link on the sidebar to the right.

Brian Miller 3/2/2015

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

Police Devotional

 

“I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.” (2 Timothy 4:1-5)

Timothy was a young preacher. Paul charged him to keep preaching God’s Word, even if people didn’t want to hear it. Paul knew that if people were to be saved, they had to hear God’s Word. In this passage, Paul’s message to Timothy can be boiled down to two words: don’t quit. Likewise, if you’re saved and you don’t want your heart for Christ to grow cold, then decide in your heart, “By God’s grace, I will not quit!”

As a cop, you’ll face a lot of temptation to quit—not to turn in your badge and gun, but to quit in the sense that you don’t care about doing a good job anymore. You may know officers like that. They show up to work and go through the motions. They answer radio calls and do reports, and even respond as a backup unit sometimes, but their interest in good police work has died. Don’t become like them.

If you strive to be a cop who makes a difference, don’t quit. If your lazy bosses get mad when you create work for them, and they actually have to earn their extra money, don’t quit. When protesters deface property, block intersections, and make life hard for decent people, then whine on TV about you, don’t quit. When the cops are the media’s go-to target for “our top story tonight”, don’t quit. When million-dollar pro athletes bash you with cheap, attention-getting antics, don’t quit. When “ministers” take time to demonstrate against police, and you wonder how much time they spend telling people from the Bible how to receive Jesus as Saviour or how much they preach against sin, don’t quit.

Don’t quit. Decent people need you. The girl being slapped around by her live-in boyfriend needs you. The elderly couple getting their house kicked in need you. The single mom calling on the drug dealer up the street needs you. The all-night gas station clerk who fears being robbed needs you. The neighbors who hear the scrappers tearing apart the next house like vultures need you. These people need and want you. They know that when they call 911, they won’t get pro athletes, suburban college students, or protesters. They’ll get dedicated cops who treat this job like a sacred vocation. So don’t ever quit.

If you’re saved, don’t quit serving the Lord, either. Don’t quit going to church, reading your Bible, praying, or striving to reach people for Christ and live right. People around you need Jesus as Saviour, so they need to see you living a consistent Christian testimony, whether they realize it or not. You have no idea how God is working in their hearts, or how close they could be to inviting your Saviour into their hearts as their Saviour. So please don’t quit. You may fail at times, but as one preacher said, you’re not a failure when you fail; you’re a failure when you quit. If you fail, ask God to forgive you and give you grace and strength to do better, and he will. Whatever you do, though, please don’t quit!

If you want to see how to receive Jesus as your Saviour, please click the “How do I go to Heaven?” link on the sidebar to the right.

Brian Miller 2/19/2015

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

 

Police Devotional

“And Jonathan said to the young man that bare his armour, Come, and let us go over unto the garrison of these uncircumcised: it may be that the LORD will work for us: for there is no restraint to the LORD to save by many or by few.” I Samuel 14:6

People who want to be police officers need to ask themselves this question:  “Can I use deadly force on another person if need be?” The question is not, “Do I want to?”—no decent human being should want to—but rather it should be, “Am I willing?” Deadly force is never a desirable option, but sometimes, it’s necessary. There are times when violent people present a deadly threat that needs to be dealt with on terms they have set themselves.

If you’re already an officer, you should have answered this question in your mind already. Even if you answered, “yes” though, you may feel a little uncomfortable about it. After all, doesn’t the Bible say, “Thou shalt not kill?” Yes, it does in Exodus 20:13. The Bible also says—and these are Jesus’ own words—“…all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword” (Matthew 26:52). However, the Bible doesn’t entirely forbid the use of deadly force. The story of Jonathan and the Philistine garrison presents one exception that is appropriate for police work.

Jonathan was a son of King Saul and a high-ranking officer in Israel’s army. At the time of this verse, the heathen Philistines (Goliath was a Philistine) held rule over Israel, but Saul was unwilling to fight against them. Jonathan knew that something had to be done before Israel was destroyed; so he and his armourbearer attacked a Philistine military garrison. They were outnumbered ten to one, but God blessed their efforts. They killed about twenty Philistine soldiers and turned the battle around to Israel’s favor.

Jonathan knew going in that he was going to use deadly force. Why then was his use of deadly force righteous while the Philistines’ use of it wasn’t? Look at what Jonathan said, and you’ll see the answer:  “…there is no restraint to the LORD to SAVE (emphasis mine) by many or by few.” Jonathan’s purpose in using deadly force was to SAVE innocent lives. The Philistines used deadly force to destroy and enslave people—Jonathan used it to save people.

The guideline for police use of deadly force is simple. Officers are to use deadly force to protect innocent life, including their own, from death or serious bodily harm. Criminals shoot to violate the law and destroy life; police officers shoot to uphold the law and save life when no other options are available or reasonable. That, by God’s Word, is why police use of deadly force is right and criminal use of deadly force is wrong.

Hopefully, this Scripture passage helps settle your mind about the use of deadly force. What about the question of your eternal destiny? What about knowing for sure that you’ll be in heaven when you die? You can be sure of that, too. Please click, “How do I go to Heaven?” on the sidebar to the right.

Brian Miller 2/12/2015

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

Police Devotional

     “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:8-9).

One important way to stay enthusiastic about the Lord—even as an officer—is to “keep short accounts with God,” as one preacher put it. To “keep short accounts” means that when you’ve sinned, you confess it to the Lord right away, so that He’ll forgive and cleanse you, as our verse says.

For the sake of clarity, you have eternal forgiveness for your sins when you receive Jesus as Saviour. When Jesus died on the cross, He paid for ALL of your sins. 1 Peter 2:24 says that Jesus “…bare our sins in his own body on the tree,…” That term, “our sins,” means every sin: past, present, and future. So, Jesus even paid for sins not yet committed! We may not understand how that could be, but we can accept God’s Word that He did. If you have Jesus as Saviour, you can be sure that you still have eternal life, even if—or rather when—you sin again.

This other type of forgiveness, though, involves our daily personal fellowship with God.  John is addressing saved people, and he even includes himself—”If WE say that WE have no sin…” and “If WE confess OUR sins…” [emphasis mine]. Saved people are still prone to sin, and even though our sin will not send us to hell, it can still damage our lives terribly. We do not need to be “saved again” when we sin, but we do need to confess sin to keep our fellowship with God.

God is still holy, and sin still displeases Him: “For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness:…“ (Psalm 5:4). Unconfessed sin in a Christian’s life hurts his fellowship with God. Say that an adult child habitually uses profanity in front of his parents. He is still their child, and they love him, but his behavior offends them and hurts his fellowship with them. Unconfessed sin in your life is likewise offensive to your heavenly Father and hurts your fellowship with Him.

Unconfessed sin also hardens your heart against God, and the more you refuse to confess sin, the harder your heart becomes. When God confronted Adam about eating the forbidden fruit, Adam replied,  “The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.” (Genesis 3:12). Adam’s heart was hardened. He didn’t admit his sin honestly. He blamed Eve and indirectly blamed God: “The woman WHOM THOU GAVEST…“ [emphasis mine]

Your heavenly Father wants you to have close fellowship with Him, and enjoy a strong, happy,  and productive Christian life. Make it a habit to confess known sin so God will forgive and cleanse you of it. If some sin is habitual, don’t give up. Keep asking the Lord for grace and help to break it from your life. Confessing known sin right away, “keeping short accounts with God,” will help you stay in close fellowship with your Saviour and keep your heart on fire for Him.

If you’ve never received Jesus as Saviour and aren’t sure if you have eternal forgiveness of sins and a home in heaven, please click “How do I go to heaven? on the sidebar under Helpful Links.

Brian Miller 2/3/2015

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