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