“And it came to pass, after the year was expired, at the time when kings go forth to battle, that David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the children of Ammon, and besieged Rabbah. But David tarried still at Jerusalem.
And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king’s house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon.
And David sent and enquired after the woman. And one said, Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” 2 Samuel 11:1-3
If you know Jesus as Saviour, sin can’t take away your salvation, but it can still do terrible damage to you and those you love. If you need proof, look at the story of David and Bathsheba.
Israel was fighting a huge battle against the heathen Ammonites, but for some reason David stayed home. One night, he saw a woman bathing. Her name was Bathsheba. He committed adultery with her, and she became pregnant. David had Bathsheba’s husband Uriah, a soldier in Israel’s army, come home on leave. David wanted Uriah to be with her, apparently so people would think that the baby was his. Uriah, though, didn’t want to be on R & R while the troops were out in the field. David tried twice to get Uriah to go home. Uriah refused. Finally, David had Uriah sent back to battle and put into a dangerous position, then abandoned so he would be killed by enemy troops. After Uriah was killed, David took Bathsheba to be his wife.
David’s life was never the same after that. Nathan the prophet gave him a warning from God: “Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house;…” 2 Samuel 12:10 David and his family paid one horrible price after another for a long time afterward because of his sin.
Do you know what David’s first sin was? It wasn’t the adultery. It was not being where he should have been. 2 Samuel 11:1 says, “…when kings go forth to battle…David tarried still at Jerusalem.“ For some reason, David justified his decision not to go to battle, but that was a wrong decision. First, he gave in to the temptation not to go to battle, and the other temptations and sins followed. So we see how one sin leads to another.
Sometimes officers justify not doing their job, but it’s still sin before God. When they ignore the dispatcher who tries to give them a run, that‘s sin. When they hang onto runs so they can goof off, that’s sin. When they let others do the work for them, that’s sin. When they eat up city time and taxpayer money to do their personal business, or call in sick just because they don’t want to work, that’s sin. They may justify it in their minds, but God still sees it, and it’s dishonest and sinful, and no officer who claims to know Christ as Saviour has any business doing those things.
If you’ve not seen in the Bible how to be sure that you’ll be with Jesus in heaven, please go to www.clevelandbaptist.org and click, “How do I go to Heaven?” If you’re looking for a Bible-believing, Christ-honoring, soul-winning church, please visit.
Brian Miller 6/10/2013
“Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” Mark 8:38
Police work is often dangerous. If you spend your day doing things like responding to crimes in progress, making traffic stops, and checking suspicious people, you probably realize, or at least you should, that officers have been killed in the line of duty doing the very same things that you do. Your next traffic stop, domestic suspect, or suspicious individual may have the same intent to murder you that suspects in the past have had against officers.
So when you’re going to a crime in progress, rolling up on a group of drug suspects, searching a building, or any of the other dangerous things that cops do, that heart-in-your-throat feeling is good, in a way. It helps you to be wary, to concentrate on what you’re doing, to watch suspects’ hands as an officer should, to wear your body armor, and not to use stupid tactics. Keep in mind that if you use stupid tactics, you not only could get yourself hurt, but you could also get other officers hurt trying to get you out of the trick bag that you’ve gotten yourself into.
So up to a certain point, fear is good. Fear is not cowardice. But when you let fear dominate you to where you won’t do what you’re supposed to do, that’s cowardice, and it’s disgraceful. Police work is risky, but people need your help, so you have to face those risks in order to help them and do your job.
If you’re saved, you know how good the Lord has been to you. You know there was a time in your life that He made you see your need for Him. You called on him in repentance and received Him as your personal Saviour. You love His Word and His promise of eternal life, and the fact that He’s forgiven your sins, hears your prayers and is always with you.
You also know that many people around you who don’t know Him as Saviour. They‘re still under condemnation of hell for their sins. The Lord wants you to witness for Him to them. He said so plainly: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” Mark 16:15 So it’s your job to tell people about Jesus.
Now that job also comes with risks. People may not listen, they may get mad, they may make fun of you, they may not like you or want to talk with you. Just like police work, though, those are risks that you have to take. These people need Jesus, and the Lord will use you to show them their need for Him. So don’t be a spiritual coward. Don’t be too ashamed to tell others about Jesus, even in this adulterous and sinful generation, as our Scripture warns.
If you want to see what the Bible says about how to be sure you’ll be in heaven when you die, please go to www.clevelandbaptist.org and click, “How do I go to Heaven?” If you’re looking for a church that preaches God’s Word, please visit.
Brian Miller 6/1/2013
“Then came to him the mother of Zebedee’s children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him.“ Matthew 20:20
In police work, you often get called to domestic fights. Many of these involve couples living together and having kids out of wedlock. So you’ve probably heard, “that’s just my baby’s father (or mother)“ more times than you can count. Couples “shacking up” is symptomatic of a sinful culture. One man was complaining around Christmastime that he had two (or was it three?) baby’s mothers to deal with. Another time the police were called where a woman was having a dispute with another woman, whom she referred to as “my baby’s father’s baby’s mother”.
So what in the world does this have to do with the Scripture? If you’ll notice, the lady in this verse is called “the mother of Zebedee’s children”. That verse is written that way for a reason. Remember, “Every word of God is pure:…“ Proverbs 30:5 She’s not called Zebedee’s wife, so it’s possible, although we can only speculate, that either she and Zebedee were divorced, or her sons were born out of wedlock.
At any rate, regardless of what had happened in her past, she’d received Jesus as her Saviour. The passage tells us that she worshipped Him (recognized Him as God), and asked that her two sons could sit on his right and left in his kingdom. Jesus responded to her request at some length, too much length for this devotion, but one thing He DIDN’T do was beat her over the head with her past. Jesus didn’t say, for instance, “You’ve got some nerve, lady, after you’ve had kids out of wedlock (or been divorced) and you’re going to ask ME something like that!”
The two sons, by the way, were the apostles James and John. They were two of Jesus’ three closest apostles, Peter being the third. James also wrote the Epistle of James, and John wrote the Gospel of John, the three epistles of John, and the book of Revelation. God used those two men powerfully to touch lives throughout history for Christ, regardless what had been in their past.
Sin can do a lot of damage to your life, and maybe some of it can’t be undone. But when you come to Christ for forgiveness of sins and receive Him as Saviour, all of your sins–past, present, and future–are forgiven in His sight. When people come to Jesus to be saved, he will “…cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.” Micah 7:19 Not only that, when you receive Christ, God works in your heart to change your life. You find that you want to live pleasing to the Lord because of what He’s done for you. “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” Philippians 2:13
So don’t think that you can’t be forgiven for your sins and saved because you’re divorced or you’ve got some past issues in your life. These words about Zebedee’s “children’s mother” are in the Bible to assure you that the Lord wants to forgive and save you just as much as anyone else, and He wants to use you to serve Him and reach others, too. If you want to see in the Bible how to be saved, please go to www.clevelandbaptist.org and click, “How do I go to Heaven?”
Brian Miller 5/18/2013
“Thus saith the LORD; Stand in the court of the LORD’s house, and speak unto all the cities of Judah, which come to worship in the LORD’s house, all the words that I command thee to speak unto them; diminish not a word: If so be they will hearken, and turn every man from his evil way,…” Jeremiah 26:2-3
God called the prophet Jeremiah to preach to the Israelites, who as a nation were desperately wrong with God. As our passage says, He commanded Jeremiah to preach to people who were worshipping in the LORD’s house. Surely of all places, Jeremiah should have gotten a warm reception from people in church, right? After all, isn’t that why people go to church, to hear God’s Word? It should be.
God sent Jeremiah to the house of worship because even there, people were guilty of sin. Our passage makes that fact very clear: “If so be they wll hearken, and turn every man from his evil way…” Jeremiah 26:3 Apparently they had some evil ways that needed to be addressed, and apparently the leader at the house of worship wasn’t doing his job of addressing them.
So Jeremiah preached to the people there, as God commanded. He warned them that if they didn’t repent, their land would come to ruin. But they weren’t receptive to Jeremiah’s words. The priests and prophets and people were angry, and took Jeremiah, and told him, “Thou shalt surely die. Why hast thou prophesied in the name of the LORD, saying, This house shall be like Shiloh, and this city shall be desolate without an inhabitant?“ Jeremiah 26:8-9 Isn’t it sad that the very men who should have been giving God’s Word to the people not only weren’t doing their job, but they threatened violence against one who WAS giving God’s word?
The same thing happened to Jesus years later. His worst enemies, the ones who engineered His crucifixion, weren’t the criminals and atheists. They were the religious leaders, who had turned Judaism into a racket. Jesus called them serpents, vipers, hypocrites, and children of hell. They didn’t like hearing that, but they knew that He was telling the truth. Even so, many people came to trust in Him as Saviour, but others didn’t. The chief priests, the religious leaders, were among the ones yelling, “Crucify him, crucify him.” John 19:6
So what does all this tell us? It tells us that having a building with the word “church” on it doesn’t necessarily mean that God’s Word is preached there, and the term “Reverend” in front of a man’s name doesn’t necessarily mean that he preaches God’s Word. It also tells us that people can have religion, but still be just as much without God in their life as an atheist. A church, by Biblical standard, is a place where God’s Word is preached by a man who recognizes himself as a servant to the Lord, and declares God’s Word faithfully as his Lord commands.
Most importantly, a church is a place for people to hear how to have their sins forgiven and have a home in heaven. If you want to know more, please go to www.clevelandbaptist.org and click, “How do I go to Heaven?” If you’re looking for a church where God’s Word is preached faithfully, please visit.
Brian Miller 5/11/2013
“And Saul armed David with his armour, and he put an helmet of brass upon his head; also he armed him with a coat of mail. And David girded his sword upon his armour, and he assayed to go; for he had not proved it. And David said unto Saul, I cannot go with these; for I have not proved them. And David put them off him.
And he took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag which he had, even in a scrip; and his sling was in his hand: and he drew near to the Philistine.” 1 Samuel 17:38-40
Here’s an interesting fact: if you’re a cop, the Bible says that you should practice your shooting. It also says that you should have your gun with you, even off-duty, so you can be prepared for an emergency. It doesn’t say that verbatim, but it does say that in principle. Colossians 3:23 says, “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;“ So if you’re going to do police work, you ought to do your best. Do it heartily, as if Jesus Himself were your supervisor, which, in reality, He is.
As for specifics about practicing your shooting skills, look at our Scripture. David was about to go fight Goliath. Saul lent him his sword and armor, but David didn’t want it; not because it was poor quality, but because he wasn’t used to it and had never used it to fight. “…I cannot go with these; for I have not proved them…” Instead, David went into battle with his sling. He had proven it. He practiced with it and he knew that he was proficient with it.
Do you practice shooting? You should. What if one day you have to shoot to save yourself, another officer, or an innocent citizen? If you don’t practice, you’re gambling with your life and other people’s lives. Some people may think, “Well, I’ll just trust the Lord if the time comes”. But faith in God does not preclude common sense. Proverbs 21:31 says, “The horse is prepared against the day of battle…” If you neglect your skills and then expect God to bless, you’re tempting God: “…Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” Matthew 4:7
David also had his weapon with him. He didn’t see Goliath and say, “Let me run back home and get my sling”. No, HE HAD IT WITH HIM. “…his sling was in his hand:…” Ever hear of officers who go unarmed off-duty, because they don’t want to be “the police”? Hopefully they don’t carry their work ID off-duty, either. If they’re in a bank one day and a robbery occurs, and one of the robbers finds their ID but no gun, the robber may just execute them on the spot. Or if one day they need to shoot to save an innocent life but don’t have their gun and an innocent citizen is killed, they have to live with that fact. It’s one thing to be in a situation where you can’t shoot because of the circumstances. It’s another when you deliberately refuse to prepare yourself.
It’s great to find things in God’s Word that maybe you never expected. When God inspired the Bible, He didn’t give us everything that there is to know about Him and about life, but He did give us everything that we NEED to know. Most importantly, God tells us in His Word how to have our sins forgiven and a home in heaven when we die. If you’d like to see that, please go to www.clevelandbaptist.org and click, How do I go to Heaven?”
Brian Miller 4/14/2013
“Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21
As a cop, you’re likely to meet other cops whom you don‘t like for some reason, and who don’t like you. You don’t like how they talk or act. You don’t want to work with them or even be around them. If you see that you’re scheduled to work with someone you don’t like, you’re tempted to call in sick (which, by the way, is a sin). In short, you want nothing to do with them.
If you know Jesus as Saviour, though, forget about how you feel about those people and think for a minute about how God feels about them. 2 Peter 3:9 tells us exactly how God feels:
“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9
Now put the name of someone you don’t like into the blanks: “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that _____ should perish, but that _____ should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9
If someone you don’t like is not saved, their worst problem has nothing to do with you. Their worst problem is that they’re lost and headed for hell. You were once lost and Jesus saved you. He also wants to save them, and He wants to use you to reach them: “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ…” 2 Corinthians 5:20 So please don’t let some petty dislike or silly grudge on your part ruin your chance to reach them for Jesus. Most importantly, don‘t let their hearts be poisoned against Christ because of what they see in you. Their souls are too precious.
Romans 12:18 says, “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.” You may never be friends with some people on this job, but you can live peaceably with them. Now if you‘re guilty of wrongdoing against them, swallow your pride and make it right; but if you‘re not, try to get along with them, so you can share Christ when an opportunity comes.
Jesus also said, “…Love your enemies,…” Matthew 5:44 That’s not easy to do that when people are nasty to you, but the Lord will give you grace. Romans 12:20 also says, “Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink:…“ Romans 12:20 Speak kindly to them. Do good for them. If they need help, give it. If they’re unfriendly, ignore it. Don’t gossip about them. Pray for them. And don’t think that doing all this won’t help. Yes, it will. Romans 12:21 doesn’t say, “oppose evil with good”, but “…OVERCOME evil with good.” Doing good will help you OVERCOME evil and reach them for Christ. God’s Word says so.
If you’ve never seen in Scripture how to have your sins forgiven and have a home in heaven when you die, please go to www.clevelandbaptist.org and click, “How do I go to Heaven?” If you like these devotions, please forward them to people you know. If you’re looking for a church that preaches God’s Word lovingly and without apology, please visit.
Brian Miller 4/3/2013
Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him [Stephen] with one accord, And cast him out of the city, and stoned him:…” Acts 7:57-58
Stephen one day debated with a group of Jews. He spoke very powerfully of how Jesus was the Christ. They became angry with him and falsely accused him of blasphemy against God. Stephen replied by using Israel’s history to show them how Jesus was Israel’s Messiah.
Stephen’s hearers were powerfully convicted by Stephen’s words, and could not argue against them. Still, they refused to listen. Instead, “…they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears…” Acts 7:57 They said, in so many words, “We don’t want to hear this! We won’t even listen to it!” They were so angry at Stephen that they stoned him to death.
Stephen’s death was in a way even more unjust than Jesus’. The Jewish rulers had taken Jesus to Pilate for execution because they didn’t have authority to execute. That lack of au-thority didn’t stop them from killing Stephen, though. His death was really a mob murder.
As an officer, you’ve no doubt met people who’ve “stopped their ears” at the truth when it wasn’t what they wanted to hear. Say you’re called to a neighbor dispute. You listen to Neighbor #1‘s version of the dispute, then Neighbor #2‘s. You hear both sides, as an officer should. You figure out how the law applies and advise Neighbor #1. He gets it. You then try to tell Neighbor #2, but as soon as you start telling him something that he doesn’t want to hear, he starts to argue and cut you off. You assure him that you’re not taking sides, only applying the law, but he insists that he knows the law better than you. You keep your cool and try to talk with him, but he continually interrupts. He threatens to call your boss, the commander, the chief, the media, and all the important people that he says he knows, because you won‘t give him what he wants. He’s really doing what the Jewish council did: stopping his ears, because it’s not want he wants to hear. He may hope that if he cuts you off enough, he’ll get his way, but eventually, he’ll have to deal with the truth. As 2 Corinthians 13:8 says, “For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth.”
The Jewish elders were not only stopping their ears against Stephen, but also against the Holy Spirit, who was dealing with them about believing on Jesus. Many people do that today. They hear that they’re sinners, separated from God, on the way to hell, and that Jesus, God the Son, paid their sin-debt in full, was buried, and rose again. They hear that if they’ll come to Jesus in repentance and receive Him as Saviour, trusting entirely in Him to forgive and save them, He will, as His Word says. Yet they “stop their ears”, not because it’s not true, but be-cause they don’t want to hear it. If you’ve not received Jesus as Saviour but think you should, the Holy Spirit is speaking to your heart. Please don’t “stop your ears” to the truth.
If you want to know how to have your sins forgiven and a home in heaven, please go to www.clevelandbaptist.org and click, “How do I go to Heaven?” If you’re looking for a church that preaches directly out of God’s Word, as churches are supposed to do, please visit. If you know someone who would enjoy this devotion, please forward it.
Brian Miller 3/28/2013
“…his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men:” Isaiah 52:14
If you’ve ever had to handle a gruesome scene, maybe a fatal traffic accident, homicide, or suicide, you may still remember the awful details, even if it had happened long ago. You may also remember the ghoulish bystanders, acting like they’re at a circus sideshow, trying to see the blood or dead bodies. People tend to have a horrific attraction to violence, gore, and bloodshed.
The entertainment industry, in their own despicable way, exploits this darker side of human nature for all it‘s worth, and for the rottenest of motives: money. They know that violence, like sex, sells. That‘s why scenes may feature people being shot, stabbed, thrown off high places, run over, bludgeoned, eaten alive, or any other mode of carnage that a sinful mind can conjure up.
The worst horror scene in history, though, didn’t come from the warped mind of some Hollywood scriptwriter. It happened when Jesus died on the cross, as our verse says. If you’ve ever seen art depicting Jesus’ death, it probably showed Him more or less physically intact, except for nails in His hands and feet, and a spear wound in His side. Maybe the artist wanted to portray Jesus’ crucifixion in good artistic taste, and inspire reverence, not revulsion and horror.
The fact is, though, Jesus’ death was brutally violent. His beard was ripped from His face. He was beaten so badly that His skin was pulled off. His bones actually showed! “I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair:…” Isaiah 50:6 “…they pierced my hands and my feet. I may tell all my bones:…” Psalm 22:16-17 His death was also long and drawn-out. He hung on the cross for hours, suffering the physical agony and the scorn of onlookers: “They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion. I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint:…” Psalm 22:13-14
Why did Jesus put up with that? He had to! There was no other way for our sin-debt to be paid and for us to be saved from hell. “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree…” 1 Peter 2:24 Just before He died, Jesus said, “It is finished:” John 19:30, which meant that our sin-debt was paid in full upon His death. He was buried, but rose again the third day. We can’t see, hear, or touch Him, but He’s alive today! “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen;…” Revelation 1:18 That’s why Easter is so joyful. It celebrates the fact that the Lord Jesus, the Saviour, is no longer dead but alive!
Jesus’ death was the most horrific event in history and yet the greatest act of love the world has ever known. Have you ever come to Him in repentance for sin and received Him as your personal Saviour? If you don’t know what that means, please go to www.clevelandbaptist.org and click, “How do I go to Heaven?” If you want to challenge someone you care about with that question, please forward this devotion. If you want a church that preaches Christ and the truth of God’s Word in love, as churches are supposed to do, please visit.
Brian Miller 3/21/2013
“And David behaved himself wisely in all his ways; and the LORD was with him.”
1 Samuel 18:14
After David killed Goliath, he went from being an obscure young shepherd to a national hero. Everyone knew him and loved him. Even King Saul made David a commander in his army. David may not have even been in the army before, but Saul appointed him because he had the power to do so. Ultimately, it was God’s hand that put David in this position. The Bible says, “…he was accepted in the sight of all the people, and also in the sight of Saul’s servants.” 1 Samuel 18:5 David was brave and skilled, and a great commander. People respected him.
One day, though, something changed. King Saul heard the women of Israel sing a song: “…Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.“ 1 Samuel 18:7 In effect, they were singing that David was a better warrior than Saul. Saul started to suspect that David was going to try to usurp the kingdom, although David never had any such intention.
A quick word about Saul: Saul was desperately wrong with God. He‘d started out fairly well as king, but it became apparent that he was very self-centered and disobedient toward God. In fact, God had already sent Samuel the judge to tell Saul that God had taken the kingdom from him: “…The LORD hath rent the kingdom of Israel from thee this day…” 1 Samuel 15:28
Saul, though, didn’t want to give the kingdom up. He now saw David as a threat, so he demoted him from commander to lower supervision, again just because he had the power to do so: “Therefore Saul removed him from him, and made him his captain over a thousand…” 1 Samuel 18:13 David didn’t whine or complain. He still performed his duties well. “And David behaved himself wisely in all his ways; and the LORD was with him.” 1 Samuel 18:14 Saul saw how well David took the demotion, and was afraid: “Wherefore when Saul saw that he behaved himself very wisely, he was afraid of him.” 1 Samuel 18:15
In police work, you can be placed into a great position because someone in power likes you. You can also be placed into a not-so-great position because someone in power doesn’t like you. It may not be that you did anything wrong, you just “angered the wrong people”, so to speak.
Wherever you are, though, do your best and strive to serve and please the Lord. If you’re in a not-so-great assignment, and even if you were put there unjustly, as David was, ask for God’s help to make the best of it. The Lord has ways to help you and make things turn out right. As for people in power, they only have power because God lets them have it. They‘re also accountable to God for how they use it. So pray for them to resist the temptation to use that power wrongly.
If you like these devotions, please send them to friends. If you’ve not seen from God’s Word how to have your sins forgiven and a home in heaven, please go to www.clevelandbaptist.org and click, “How do I go to Heaven?” If you want a church that treats the Bible like it’s really God’s Word, which it is, please visit.
Brian Miller 3/8/2013
“Whither shall we go up? Our brethren have discouraged our heart…” Deuteronomy 1:28
God had delivered Israel from Egypt. He led them through the wilderness to the border of the promised land of Canaan. God told Moses to send out spies, one from each of the twelve tribes of Israel. They were to learn what the land was like, “…whether it be good or bad…“, “…whether it be fat or lean…“ Numbers 13:19, 20 They were also to learn how the people lived in the land that God promised to give them: “…whether they be strong or weak, few or many;” “…and what cities they be that they dwell in, whether in tents, or in strong holds;” Numbers 13:18, 19
God had already promised to give Israel the land. When the spies returned, though, ten of them told the people that Israel wouldn’t be able to take it: “And they brought up an evil report of the land…saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature.” Numbers 13:32 The bad word of the ten spies went viral through the camp of Israel. The Israelites rebelled against God, and against Moses, and proposed a mutiny. When the two obedient spies, Joshua and Caleb, pleaded with the people not to disobey God, the people were ready to stone them to death.
For their rebellion, God condemned Israel to wander for forty more years in the wilderness, until all the rebels had died. God also killed the ten disobedient spies who had given the evil report. Even Joshua and Caleb had to wander for forty years as well, because of Israel’s sin, and when Israel finally entered into Canaan, Joshua and Caleb were the only ones of the old generation still alive.
The ten spies had experience, and they outnumbered the two, but they discouraged the people into sinning against God. Experience is often a good teacher, but experience doesn’t trump God’s Word, nor does majority rule. Regardless their experience or their majority, the ten spies were wrong.
In police work, you’ll hear criticism from many different sides. The people who criticize likely have never done your job, and you try not to let them get under your skin. It’s harder, though, when “your brethren”, people with experience on the job, speak discouragingly. It‘s tough when some veteran with umpteen years of mediocre police work says something like, “Kid, this job isn’t for real”; which, of course, he’d never dare say to an officer’s widow. It‘s also tough when you call a boss to a scene after a great arrest, and he‘s mad because you‘ve made him work. People like that have experience, and sometimes you have to tolerate them, but don’t let them discourage your heart. Police work is important and worthwhile, no matter what they say to the contrary.
If you’re a Christian, you may meet people who claim to be saved but their speech and conduct are a poor testimony for Christ. You don’t have to wonder if they’re really saved; that’s between them and God. Just don’t let those “brethren discourage your heart”. Do what Joshua and Caleb did: focus on pleasing Christ and being a good testimony to those around you who don’t know Him.
If you don’t know for sure that your sins are forgiven and heaven is your home, please go to www.clevelandbaptist.org and click, “How do I go to Heaven?’ If you’re looking for a church where God’s Word is preached plainly and lovingly, please visit.
Brian Miller 2/25/2013