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