The Centurion Law Enforcement
FCPO Newsletter and Bible Study
The "thin blue line" covered by the blood of Christ.
Fellow  Sheepdogs  & Supporters:

Yes, a very busy work and ministry schedule (my Acts 18 "tent-making" position as an investigator with the state is very demanding and I still serve part-time in uniform with a local agency) necessitated missing a week with the newsletter. Praise God, here's the latest -- I pray it blesses, informs and challenges you. 

Our Bible study this week is the recap of my current verse-by-verse, chapter-by-chapter teaching through the Book of Acts. It is in fact very much on point here: scroll down to " Step Up and Serve!"

Miss our last  edition? Here again is "Watchmen on the Wall" with the undertanding that I'll always reshare them for you on our website  and social media (Facebook and Twitter) feeds.  

Here on the local (Colorado Front Range) front, we're set for our next "cop church" FCPO chapter fellowship this Thursday at Calvary Aurora starting at 7 PM (scroll down for more details). As always, I'll recap the message (Officer Matt Springer is continuing to teach his way through 2nd Corinthians) in NEXT week's newsletter -- stay tuned. 

Please take the time to review the latest batch of  prayer requests  and  event announcements  I've included for you below. Also be sure to reach out if you need prayer or counsel -- we're here to serve you.

Once again, encouraging you all to stay safe on the street (and to do that, you MUST be training your warrior skills) while being radically bold in Christ. As my own pastor (Sam Park) so often reminds us, "stay the course and finish strong."


This week's resources are ones I've shared before but I'm strongly led to do so again:
(1) Cold Case Christianity by fellow detective and speaker J. Warner Wallace is a powerful resource for believers and unbelievers alike. We have given away hundreds of copies during our annual Police Week outreach in DC and you'll find me and the Centurion Law Enforcement Ministry in the " Assisting Officers" section in the back. Right now it is only $2.99 on Kindle!

(2) Sgt. Charlie Eipper's " Jesus Christ on Killing" provides wholly biblical answers for officers wondering about whether or not a Christian officer (or Christian in general) can use deadly force. HIGHLY recommended. 

(1) Folks in Puerto Rico, including many First Responders, continue to suffer in the wake of the hurricane that devastated the island.  Please pray!  

(2) Pray for me as I seek to answer God's call to serve YOU through this ministry to our own.

Have a prayer request or announcement you would like included here? Need prayer?   Email me !  I also post prayer requests on my Facebook page ("friend" me).  


Here's the updated  Sheepdog Seminars  schedule (outstanding training for cops and sheepdog civilians alike):  Upcoming Training Calendar . I know the speakers (including Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, Officer Jimmy Meeks and Carl Chinn) -- rock solid and you'll come away blessed!  

The Centurion Law Enforcement Ministry

The Centurion Law Enforcement Ministry is a 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 website and on social media  ( Facebook and Twitter ) pages. Feel free to adapt these messages for your own individual or group use and please share them with others. 

In addition, I regularly speak at churches, retreats and both law enforcement and civilian conferences and seminars around the country -- please shoot me an email if I can be of service to your church, agency or organization.  
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. My metro Denver chapter -- FCPO #217((FCPO-Aurora), a Centurion affiliate -- meets every 2nd and 4th Thursday at Calvary Aurora (High School Room, 7 PM) for "cop church" Bible study, prayer and servant-warrior fellowship. Spouses are both welcome and encouraged to attend with their LEO.  Our next meeting is set for  Thursday October 26th (THIS Thursday)!  

Information on the other FCPO chapters meeting around the country can be found on the Chapter Locator pages on the FCPO-USA website.


"Step Up and Serve"

God is calling YOU to "serve and protect" the flock spiritually and not just in what we do as cops.  How will you answer?

  Acts 20

Full disclosure, I borrowed the title of this study from my former pastor, Ed Taylor, who used it when he covered this same chapter in four separate messages. I was led to do it in one, and I'm once again presenting it in an inductive, verse-by-verse teaching format (stay with me) in an effort to provide both full context and to help you understand and apply this chapter to your own lives. Let's dig in!

Dr. Luke, writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, divides this chapter into four main sections: The first section (verses 1-6) takes us from Ephesus to Troas, the scene of Paul's ministry to the church there, and the raising of Eutychus, which is described in the second section (verses 7-12). The third section (verses 13-17) takes us from Troas down to Miletus, and finally our final section (verses 18-38) where Paul calls the Ephesian elders and gives them his parting words of instruction, exhortation and admonition.  Paul's focus here is a call for ALL believers to grow in their faith and, in doing so, to " step up and serve."  

In terms of providing both a teaching op and life application for you here, let me suggest that you first take a look at how noted pastor and Bible commentator David Guzik broke down this chapter: Study Guide for Acts 20 (Pastor David's commentaries are a great resource for your own studies and I use them regularly in my own teaching/preaching and writing).

Secondly, how are you answering God's call to SERVE (aside for times of rest and growth, NONE of us are "called" to be "takers" and "pew warmers")?  Brethren, we need to step up!  Yes, Paul tells us in Ephesians 4:11-12 that, "... He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ..." However, even if you're not called to be a pastor, God has still equipped EVERY believer to serve in one capacity or other.  

Teaching on this same chapter, Pastor Steven Cole shared about a cartoon that showed  a woman lying in her sick bed, obviously in misery. In the sink were stacked piles of dirty dishes. A huge basket of clothes to be ironed sat nearby. Two dirty children were fighting in one corner, and in the other a cat sat licking spilled milk. A smiling woman stood in the doorway and the caption had her saying, "Well, Florence, if there is anything I can do to help, don't hesitate to let me know."

What a picture of the local church and ministries (obvious needs).  Being both a part of a new church plant and leading a national ministry, I can assure you that pastors, ministry leaders and staff are overwhelmed with work. More needy people cry out for our attention than we have time for. Our various ministries and programs consistently lack enough faithful workers (the word "ministry" or "minister" in the Greek is literally translated into English as "serve" or "servant"). At my church ( Truth Church Calvary), Pastor Sam Park constantly reminds us that we are ALL to be "ushers and greeters." Moreover, at every church and ministry, visitors need a warm welcome; missions programs needs dedicated workers; church set-up and tear-down involves effort and frankly, some sweat; church safety is a MUST;  etc. Yet sadly, even some who are involved seem to be committed only when it's convenient. Yet, like the cartoon Pastor Cole used to illustrate the problem, many continue to ask, "If there's anything I can do to help, let me know!"  Folks, I've now let you know -- your help IS NEEDED, and God HAS called you to " step up and serve!"  

The fact is, God does not save us so we can sit, but so we can serve (we are not saved BY works, but we are saved FOR works). Just as there is no such thing as a non-functioning member of your human body, so there ought to be no such thing as a non-functioning member of the body of Christ. If God has saved you from your sin, He has called you to share the Gospel with the lost and to serve Him and the body of believers in some way in accordance with the gifts and abilities He has given you.

Let's take a deeper look at verses 28 and 29 (aimed primarily at church pastors and elders, but with application for all believers): 
Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. 
The late pastor Ray Stedman correctly wrote that "the primary responsibility of an elder or pastor is to teach the Scriptures, to feed the flock. If he is not doing that, he is failing in his job, miserably. It is the truth that changes people. If the Scriptures are not being taught then people are not being changed. They are struggling in their own futile ways and nothing is being accomplished. So the primary job of elders and pastors is to set the whole counsel of God before the people."  But this call also goes out to ALL true Christians in general: Husbands, are you "shepherding" your wife and kids (teaching them the Word, praying with them, protectecting them, [serving] by example)? Wives, are you teaching your children? Christian, are you discipling new or younger believers? Leading a Bible study?  Earnestly praying for your pastors and ministry leaders in the face of extremely strong spiritual warfare? Actively stepping up to serve in the church or ministry?  

NO, it is NOT "someone else's job!"  It is YOUR job!  Here's an example: Recently, a relatively new FCPO chapter was disbanded after the founder retired and left the state. Why?  NONE of the other members of that chapter (whom this former chief had discipled) were willing to step up and serve (LEAD)! Folks, that is pure disobedience to their call (and tragic on multiple levels), especially when the need is so very great.  

As a new Christian, one of the greatest examples of what I'm talking about here was of retired cop-turned-chaplain and pastor Manny Hays and his late wife Angie serving together to clean our former church.  I can still see Manny with a vacumn straped to his back and Angie with a rag and bottle of spray cleaner. What a powerful picture that was and is for me and ALL of us (and NO, just serving on "the job" in law enforcement is NOT fulfilling your biblical call to serve the body)!

Folks, the context here is that God will equip us...that He can and will "qualify the unqualified" if we will be earnestly seek Him and OBEY His calling(s) on your life (I'm living proof)!  He alone is the source of any and all authority.  Even the Lord Jesus operated on that basis. He said to his disciples on one occasion,  If I do not do the works of my Father, do not believe me...  (John 10:37). That is, if what I am doing is not in exact accord with what I am saying, then don't trust me!

Would you dare say that to your children? To your spouse? To your Sunday school class? To others who observe you as a Christian (especially in our God-ordained profession of law enforcement in which, sadly, true believers are few and far between and where many so-called "Christians" are "undercover" about their faith)? 

Folks, God has a job(s) for YOU to do. Are you seeking Him for that call?  It is the Holy Spirit who calls, sets us "in office" and will equip us with the right gifts if we will but humbly submit and obey.  Will you do that?  Will you be the radical servant and servant-leader God has called you to be?

In closing, understand the audience Dr. Luke is writing to in Acts 20: believers (genuine Christians).  God's call to serve the body is for those who have been truly born again in Christ. Is that you? Are you sure?  If not, it is again with a "Code 3" (lights and siren) sense of urgency that I ask you to consider the following:

(1) Jesus' first words in His earthly ministry were: " Repent and believe... " ( Mark 1:15 ). To repent  is a "180" -- a complete, radical change of mind and heart as it relates your sin. To believe  as He intends it here is to  completely and radically surrender to Him in faith  ("believe" and "faith" have the same Greek root meaning) in the same way you have faith that your body armor will stop the rounds it is designed to stop or that a skydiver's parachute will open (we stake our lives on it)! The "Good News" of course is the Gospel of Christ. Moreover, the words repent and believe are literally two sides of the same coin in meaning and intent (see the "Are you really a Christian" link below for more). 

(2) The same concept of "believe" is further explained in John 3:1-21 where Jesus says, "... you must be born again." Note our Lord's emphasis on must (not "may" or "should"): this is the life-saving/life-changing personal relationship (not "religion") with Christ that I stress so often. See " What does it mean to be a born again Christian?" Now dig into the following: 

(a) Still think that you can "earn" or "deserve" heaven (or escape hell) by simply being a "good person" (or a "good cop")?  Then take the Good Person Test  and see how you do. Then go to...
(b) Are you really a Christian?   If not (or you're not really sure)... 
(d)  Cops and Salvation (a powerful, short message from police Commander Travis Yates of Ten-Four Ministries and Law Officer Magazine ).
(e) Got saved?  Now what?

Need prayer, counsel or more info? Feel free to  contact me !  Finally, don't forget to pass these newsletters on to others in keeping with our Great Commission "step up and serve" mandate.