|FCPO Newsletter and Bible Study
||The "thin blue line" covered by the blood of Christ.
As celebrate Independence Day (or, inasmuch as the holiday falls in the middle of the week, perhaps "Independence Week"), I remain steadfast in what God has called me to do here. That most certainly extends to my annual Independence Day message: scroll down to "America's DEPENDENCE Day."
And speaking of these messages, last week's elicited both criticism and "kudos." Reference the latter, your encouragement, prayers and support are always appreciated and welcome, but know that what I write and preach/teach is not based on whether or not it is "popular" or (God help us) "relevant." On the contrary, God tells us in His Word (the Bible) that preaching truth without compromise is more likely to do just the opposite. Regardless, I seek the Lord's leading in all I do here.
The criticism? Again, we live in a time when proclaiming truth, as it did with our Savior and His disciples, is certain to bring detractors, persecution and yes, even death (martyrdom). Sadly, much of the criticism in this case comes from so-called "Christians" (?) who seem to have embraced a wholly unbiblical position that "all roads" lead to heaven, that we can "earn" it by our so-called "good deeds" or that God's message must be watered down to satisfy "the culture" of our day. As I share every week, these are all lies from the pit of hell.
So with that, and with the understanding that lives (our eternal destiny) are at stake, know that I will never waiver in standing firm on the "Gospel truth" (God's po
sition) that it is in Christ alone that we MUST be saved or otherwise preaching the whole counsel of Scripture (as my own pastor says, "relentlessly and without apology"), so help me God!
Staying the course He has set for me!
Please take the time to check out all the new resources, prayer requests and announcements I've posted for you below.
Again, stay safe out there but always radically bold in Christ.
is a cop's wife and activist for wounded officers. Her website (and book) go wonderfully with this week's message. Check out
(2) A plethora of Independence Day resources are included in the study below!
PRAYER REQUESTS/PRAISE REPORTS
(1) Pray for David who is seeking to get into law enforcement and is running into some roadblocks (God's will and direction).
(2) With all the ILLEGAL fireworks <sigh> going off, those dealing with combat-related trauma and PTSD (not to mention all the terrified K-9s right now) are having a very rough time of it. First, do the right thing and STOP setting off illegal fireworks (go to a
legal fireworks show) and second, pray for those impacted but this stuff.
(3) Pray for an officer (Mike) and his family as he enters a treatment program for PTSD.
(4) Pray for those being impacted by the fires here in CO, including the firefighters and other First Responders on the battle lines. Pray for rain. On a personal level, pray also for police chief-turned-pastor
Joel Shults and his family who reside near one of the fires and have been placed on alert.
(5) Pray for a deputy (Brian) who is making the move from the jail to patrol and is in his field training phase.
(6) Pray for our country and government leaders, including our President who is much in the need of them. We appear to be a nation on the verge of civil (well, most UNcivil) war.
Have a prayer request or announcement you would like included here? Need prayer?
! I also post prayer requests on my Facebook page ("friend" me).
(2) 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.
(5) 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 32-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 starting at 7 PM in Highlands Ranch (email me for address and details) for profession-focused/life-focused
Bible study, prayer and servant-warrior/sheepdog fellowship (the iron sharpens iron kind). Spouses are both welcome and encouraged to attend with their LEO.
Our next meeting is set for Tuesday,
America's "Dependence" Day
This week we are rightly celebrating
Independence Day (or glibly, the "4th of July"), but we often forget its daunting origin and true meaning. July 4, 1776 was, in reality, a courageous step of faith in a miraculous journey that stunned the world. The colonists had only a small, poorly trained army and a meager, underfunded navy. Yet by signing their names to our truly God-inspired Declaration of Independence, they essentially declared war against the most feared and experienced army and navy in the world. In response, the mighty British Empire openly mocked and laughed at these foolish colonists (to them, traitors all), but not for long.
Against all odds, at great hardship and sacrifice, the colonies united and, in no small miracle, defeated the British not once but twice (the second being the War of 1812). With that first victory came the right, as Abraham Lincoln later put it, to form "a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all people are created equal." Moreover, by God's grace and leading, the new nation was formed not as a brute democracy but as the first ever successful representative, Constitutional Republic. And the world laughed.
Everyone knew that for a nation to be successful, it needed a singular ruler such as a king. Europe ridiculed our new county by calling us, "The Great Experiment." Commoners and adventurers, they said, could not rule themselves (and never before had this been accomplished). Their laughter and ridicule did not last long. This brave new nation, this United States of America, contrary to its critics and against all odds (stay with me), grew in power and influence until it stood as a military and economic super power, the envy of the world and (again) nothing short of a miracle (see
The Miracle of America
How did this "David" of a country made up of poor, simple "commoner" colonists, overcome the derision and challenges of the world's "Goliaths" like the British Empire? I believe that part of the answer was Holy Spirit-inspired. Our Founding Fathers, many of them clergyman or men of faith, came to understand that if they were to achieve the dream of America, they could not do it alone. They (and we) needed God. This new nation understood that to survive and prosper it needed to be "in dependence" on the Lord of Hosts. To overcome the impossible odds, the new country had to be -- as it would later be called -- "One Nation Under God" with a righteous national motto, "In God We Trust."
The architects of the new republic made certain to acknowledge their (and thus our) source of blessing. God is mentioned in the Declaration of Independence, in the U.S. Constitution, as well as in the constitutions of all 50 states. When they declared their (our) independence, they also correctly declared their
dependence upon God.
Now understand that this kind of dependence on God is not new. In
(for example) we find the fledgling "nation" of Israel depending entirely on God for their very survival (and against the most powerful armies of their day). The Book of Joshua is replete with incredible victories when Israel DEPENDED on God, while at other times they dealt with the consequences (defeat) when they sinned or otherwise ventured outside of of God's will and direction (
, for example). Even the concept of the warrior-sheepdog that I open virtually every newsletter with comes with the understanding that we serve under the Great Shepherd.
What we find time and time again both in history and in God's Word (the Bible) is that even the greatest of nations fail/fall, particularly when sin replaces righteousness (as God alone gets to define it). Frankly, given the depths of wickedness in our nation (slavery and discrimination in our past; abortion and the overall
2 Thes. 2:1-12
] today, etc.), I think it is only by God's grace and mercy in response to the prayers of His faithful that He has not already destroyed us.
The bottom line, of course, is that we can't save ourselves. Just as God blessed and protected Israel, He also righteously imposed consequences for their sin and rebellion (as He will one day do with us in America).
Independence Day is a great reminder to us that, as with our nation, we need to heed God's clear, clarion call to follow Him and be obedient to His "Constitution" (without "amendments" -- changes -- mind you) and statute book, the Bible. History -- including the Bible -- also teaches us that we will fail if we trust only in our own strength and so-called "goodness." In
David -- writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit with
no doubt in mind -- proclaims: "
Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God
." The prophet Isaiah also reminds us that those who place their dependence on the Lord will
renew their strength
rise up like eagles
Finally, for the born again believer (a Christian as God defines it), we can trust that whatever major issues we may be facing, whatever ridicule we receive for our faith, whatever the Goliath that tries to frighten or destroy us, we can depend on the Lord to carry us through to victory (ultimately eternity with Him). Let us make time to offer a prayer of thanks to God Almighty for His abundant blessings, recognizing that we can keep our independence only as long as we are "in dependence" upon Him.
If not on duty this Independence Day/week, let us enjoy our families, our cookouts, our public fireworks shows and our patriotic parades. If on duty, let's us thank God for the privilege of doing our part to protect the liberties of others. Let us also remember the great sacrifices that were made to earn us our liberty that we so enjoy in our God-ordained (
(again, we're not a mob-rule "democracy").
* Thanks to fellow Chaplain Art Pace from whose work served as a resource for this message.
More? Check out Tim Chaffey's excellent devotional that he too rightly entitled, "Dependence Day."
With that, where do YOU stand with the "Lord of Hosts" today? Are you DEPENDENT on Him (saved)? If not (or you're not sure), I plead you to consider the following with the understanding that there is only one way unto salvation:
I. Again, still think you do it on your own? That you can live "independent" of God? That you "deserve" or can otherwise be "good" enough to earn or "badge" your way into heaven or escape hell because you are a so-called "good" cop or person?Then take
Good Person Test
and see how you do.
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
(pisteuo in the original Greek) as Jesus 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 criminals intent on destroying us, or that a jumper's parachute will open when it is supposed to (we stake our very lives on it)! And the "Good News"? That is simply the Gospel of Christ (good news indeed)!
III. 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
?) through which we are in fact made "righteous" before a just and Holy God.
Still in doubt? Check out this powerful, short video message by my friend, fellow officer and noted trainer,
Cops and Salvation.
VI. So have you now said "yes" to Jesus but are wondering what to do next? Then
Understand that the "Now what?" has to include regular fellowship with other believers -- including other mature Christian officers -- who can help support you, encourage you, disciple (help you grow) you in the faith and yes, hold you lovingly accountable. Message me for how you can do that!