|Newsletter and Bible Study
||The "thin blue line" covered by the blood of Christ.
I had an amazing experience this past weekend that I'm pressed to share with you as a way of opening this week's Bible study. I was selected (on behalf of my agency) to receive a
tactical body armor package
from my ministry partners at
and our supporters with
Fox 31 News
(yes, a news station that actually supports law enforcement). Check out the story:
Support the Shield
Accordingly, God has used this event to press me into sharing a fresh Bible study on the
spiritual body armor we have available to us as
believers (Christians as God defines it). Scroll down to "
A Christian Warrior's Spiritual Body Armor (the Armor of God)."
First, join us in praying for our nation and our God-established leaders (
) today (
Thursday, May 3rd) on the 2018
National Day of Prayer
Secondly, our multi-ministry
FCPO Police Week Mission Team
will be serving our own in Washington, DC from May 12th through May 16th during Police Week. We hope to see some of you there (look for us in
) while at the same time asking you to join us in praying for God-ordained appointments to share the hope we have in Christ with the lost and hurting in our God-ordained but also very troubled profession.
Let's stay safe on the street but radically bold in Christ!
PRAYER REQUESTS/PRAISE REPORTS
(1) Again, p
lease be in prayer for our
Police Week 2018 FCPO Mission Team
as we serve in DC from May 12-16 to minister to our own. Also pray for me as I minister (the word in Greek simply means "servant") at a FOP conference here in Durango this weekend.
(2) Pray for a Texas officer (
Carlos) who broke his arm in an on-duty motorcycle accident.
(4) Praise and thanks moment: Wounded (shot on Dec. 31st) Douglas Co. S.O. Deputy Jeff Pelle is back to work today! Praise God, and thanks to all who have been praying for him.
Have a prayer request or announcement you would like included here? Need prayer?
! I also post prayer requests on my Facebook page ("friend" me).
(1) As I shared above,
Police Week 2018
is fast approaching (May 12-16) and we seek your prayers as we again pray and plan for this year's national outreach in DC where we will be ministering to/sharing Christ with our own in law enforcement. Hope you'll stop by and see us at our space in Tent City!
(2) The "411" for our next Centurion/FCPO-CO fellowship and Bible study is posted for you below (right side), but it's set for Tuesday, May 22nd (not on our regular day of May 15th as we'll be serving in DC during Police Week).
(3) Colorado Springs PD Officer Nick Ryland is hosting the 2018 First Responder Retreat this coming June 13-16 in the mountains near Wheatland, WY. Sweet!
(5) FCPO-Canada is hosting their 2018 National Conference in Newfoundland & Labrador on August 3-5. You'll get to see a special part of Canada while hanging out with a great group of brother and sister officers.
(6) The Sheepdog Seminars is led by my friends Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, Officer/Minister Jimmy Meeks and fellow church safety expert Carl Chinn (among others). Outstanding, highly recommended training for every sheepdog (sworn and unsworn alike)!
The Centurion Law Enforcement Ministry
The Centurion Law Enforcement Ministry
is a national, FCPO-affiliated, evangelical Christian outreach to our own in law enforcement. These newsletters and Bible studies are part of this effort and past editions can be found on our
and our social media
) feeds. As always, feel free to adapt these messages for your own individual or group use and please share them with others.
The Centurion Ministry is lead by Police Officer and Chaplain/Evangelist Michael "MC" Williams, a 30-year law enforcement veteran and sought-after instructor and speaker at churches [including the well-received Centurion Church Security Seminar], retreats and both law enforcement and civilian conferences and seminars around the country. Contact MC via email for more.
Fellowship of Christian Peace Officers
FCPO-USA exists to provide biblical support ("backup"), accountability and iron sharpens iron fellowship to Christian officers first in the U.S. and throughout the world as well. Our metro-Denver chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Peace Officers -- (aka FCPO Chapter 217) -- is a Centurion Law Enforcement Ministry affiliate. We meet most 1st and 3rd Tuesday evenings (or as otherwise announced) starting at 7 PM in Highlands Ranch (email me for details) for profession-focused/life-focused
Bible study, prayer and servant-warrior/sheepdog fellowship. Our meetings are open to all current, former and future officers (and police chaplains as well). Spouses are both welcome and encouraged to attend with their LEO.
Our next meeting is set for Tuesday, May 22nd.
Hope to see you there!
A Cop's Spiritual Body Armor (the Armor of God)
Do you have it? You can and you must!
God used my involvement at a recent Shield 616 event ("616" standing for Ephesians 6:16 -- "...in every situation take the shield of faith, and with it you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one" -- HCSB) to press me into sharing a fresh study on the "Armor of God." Let's dig in!
Teaching on the "armor of God" is not new for me. In fact, it is a mainstay in my message "war bag" as I share at conferences or serve as a guest teacher at churches and ministry groups. So why another study on this? First off, as stated above, God used Shield 616's founder (an officer until last May) Jake Skifstad to press me into doing so, although he probably had no idea this had occurred. Secondly, we need to repeatedly apply the the Word of God -- the Bible -- to our daily lives (see below). Thirdly, as my own pastor (Sam Park of Truth Church Calvary) rightly stated this past Sunday, spiritual warfare is very real -- and raging! Finally, our God-ordained (Romans 13:1-4) profession of law enforcement is also very much in the middle of a raging, devil-inspired "War on Cops" here in the United States (with the understanding that most citizens strongly support their officers -- the Sunday Shield 616 event being an example of that). As such, we need to reinforce this message more than ever.
Yes, there are whole series, books and a plethora of related Bible studies on this subject (including this one that goes great with our study: What is the Full Armor of God?), but let's take a few minutes to explore this subject from a street cop's perspective and then apply it to our lives starting NOW.
Since I came a saving faith in Christ, the donning of my police uniform has become something of an "armor of God" prayer as I put on my boots, bullet-resistant vest, belt, badge (a "shield") and gun (sword). Powerfully, Pastor Chuck Stanley actually makes it part of his own daily devotions and prayer time. Here is part of it:
To prepare myself for the battle ahead, by faith I put on the
belt of truth. The truth about You Lord -- that You are a sovereign God who knows everything about me, both my strengths, and my weaknesses. Lord, You know my breaking point and have promised not to allow me to be tempted beyond what I am able to bear. The truth about me Lord, is that I am a new creature in Christ and have been set free from the power of sin. I am indwelt with the Holy Spirit who will guide me and warn me when danger is near. I am Your child, and nothing can separate me from Your love. The truth is that You have a purpose for me this day-someone to encourage, someone to share with, someone to love.
Next Lord, I want to put on the
breastplate of righteousness
. Through this I guard my heart and my emotions. I will not allow my heart to attach itself to anything that is impure. I will not allow my emotions to rule in my decisions. I will set them on what is right and good and just. I will live today by what is true, not by what I feel.
Lord, this morning I put on the
of the gospel of peace
. I am available to You, Lord. Send me where You will. Guide me to those who need encouragement or physical help of some kind. Use me to solve conflicts wherever they may arise. Make me a calming presence in every circumstance in which you place me. I will not be hurried or rushed, for my schedule is in Your hands. I will not leave a trail of tension and apprehension. I will leave tracks of peace and stability everywhere I go.
I now take up the
shield of faith
, Lord. My faith is in You and You alone. Apart from You, I can do nothing. With You, I can do all things. No temptation that comes my way can penetrate Your protecting hand. I will not be afraid, for You are going with me throughout this day. When I am tempted, I will claim my victory out loud ahead of time, for You have promised victory even now because I know there are fiery darts headed my way even as I pray. Lord, You already know what they are and have already provided the way of escape.
Lord, by faith I am putting on the
helmet of salvation
. You know how Satan bombards my mind day and night with evil thoughts, doubt and fear. I put on this helmet that will protect my mind. I may feel the impact of his attacks, but nothing can penetrate this helmet. I choose to stop every impure and negative thought at the door of my mind. With the helmet of salvation, those thoughts will get no further. I elect to take every thought captive. I will dwell on nothing but what is good and right and pleasing to You.
Last, I take up the
sword of the Spirit, which is Your Word
. Thank You for the precious gift of Your Word. It is strong and powerful and able to defeat even the strongest of Satan's onslaughts. Your Word says that I am not under obligation to the flesh to obey it's lusts. Your Word says that He that is in me is greater than he that is in the world. So by faith, I take up the strong and powerful sword of the Spirit, which is able to defend me in time of attack, comfort me in time of sorrow, teach me in time of meditation, and prevail against the power of the enemy on behalf of others who need the truth to set them free.
So Lord, I go now rejoicing that You have chosen me to represent You to this lost and dying world. May others see Jesus in me, and may Satan and his hosts shudder as Your power is made manifest in me.
In Jesus' name I pray, AMEN.
God reveals Himself as the Divine Warrior (no stinkin "guardian" mess here) who strides into battle to fight on behalf of those who profess to bear His name! While this truth was known under the old covenant (see, for example,
Exodus 15:3 and
), now under the new covenant we have a much clearer perspective on spiritual warfare, especially inasmuch as we are called to fight on the Lord's side against a vicious Enemy and his minions (the powers of darkness).
Paul, writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in his letter to the Ephesian church (and
, to us), teaches us to "armor-up" for this spiritual warfare with the spiritual armor God provides ONLY to His faithful (stay with me here). In
, he reminds us that our struggles with sin and with those people who hate the living God (and yes, who hate us for serving Him in law enforcement) are not battles against flesh and blood but against the Evil One (Satan) himself. Before we knew Christ as Lord and Savior, we were "of Adam" and enslaved to the powers of sin and death. Now having been reconciled to God through Jesus, we no longer have the devil as our captain but now serve in the army of the
Lord of Hosts
). Still, the influence of sin does not disappear at all at once, for the world, the flesh, and the Devil strive to make us forget whose side we are on as servants of the cross (
1 Peter 5:8-9
The only effective way to keep us from going against the way of Jesus and acting as traitors to His cause is to continually put on the
(armor) that identifies us as His servant-warriors (
). Paul uses the analogy of a 1st Century soldier's (the federal "cops" of that time) armor to describe the
armor of faith
. While we can and should draw powerful application from each particular piece of armor that has a specific spiritual characteristic (and the fact that each piece of armor is an integral part for the functionality of the whole uniform), it is more important to see that the roots of what God has for us through Paul go back to the Old Testament. In
, the prophet speaks of God wearing the same kind of armor He wants us to wear in battle against Satan. Putting on our spiritual armor simply means that we continually clothe ourselves in the Lord, relying on His power, gifts and grace to resist temptation and to enable us to risk even our own well-being (including even our lives) for the sake of the His kingdom. Does that not sound like what we do in law enforcement or in combat?
Continual prayer in the Spirit, both for ourselves, our families, partners and the public we serve and protect is the means by which we wear this armor (
). Understand also that
praying in the Spirit
is not a mystical experience but rather an alertness/quickness to pray because, knowing the Holy Spirit intercedes with and for us as we pray, we recognize the power in acknowledging our dependence on God (
Finally (and I love how Paul uses the word "
), it is absolutely crucial that we understand the audience Paul is speaking to here: other Christians (believers). Folks, unless we are first
in Christ -- a "Christian" as God alone can define it -- we are ultimately utterly powerless against a very determined enemy. In short, unless we are living under the power of the Holy Spirit that indwells every true believer, we have NO armor to protect us and no power with which we can effectively stand against the devil!
So do you have that
? Are you in
fact born again "in Christ"
and are thus able to daily "
" (v. 11) the WHOLE
armor of God
(and with the understanding that we are never told to take it off) and wield the sword (God's Word) against a most vile, powerful and determined enemy? Are you sure?
As I shared last week, being "good" or being a "good cop" won't cut it (again, take the "Good Person Test" and see how you do). I therefore urge (the "Code 3" lights and siren kind of urgency) you to consider the following in order to be issued your armor, weapons and shield and thus be able to stand firm against our common enemy:
esus' first recorded words in His earthly ministry were and remain: "
Repent and believe in the Good News
is a "180" -- a complete, radical change of mind and heart as it relates our sin. To
as He intends it here is to cry out to God for your salvation and wholeheartedly
surrender in faith to Christ
in the same way we have "faith" that our body armor will do its job against the rounds it is intended to stop, that our weapons will function properly in when facing an enemy intent on destroying us (or those we love, serve and protect), or that a soldier's parachute will open when it is supposed to (we stake our very lives on it)! And the "Good News" that Jesus refers to here? It is of course His gospel and plan of salvation.
(2) This same concept of "
" (the saving kind) is further revealed in
where Jesus says, "...
you must be born again.
" Note our Lord's emphasis on the word "
" (not "may" or "should"): this is ultimately the
personal relationship (and NOT "religion") with Jesus Christ that I stress here every week (see
What does it mean to be a born again Christian
Still in doubt? Check out this powerful, short video message by my friend, fellow officer and noted trainer,
Cops and Salvation.
Now, if you've made a genuine decision for Christ and don't know what to do next, see, Now what? (the "Now what?" has to include regular fellowship with other believers -- including other officers -- who can help support you, encourage you, disciple you and yes, hold you accountable). Message me for how you can do that!
Fellow Christian and Christian servant-warrior, let's
and get on duty to "serve and protect" behind Christ our Captain!