|FCPO Newsletter and Bible Study
||The "thin blue line" covered by the blood of Christ.
I know folks are busy so will try to be brief. First off, thanks again to all who have been praying for Chaplain Jim Bontrager and those of us serving with him in Indiana last week. God did (and is doing) a work and we had great weather on Saturday with big crowds. I posted a plethora of pics on Facebook.
Here on the local front, our next
Centurion Law Enforcement Ministry
) "cop church" fellowship is set for TOMORROW at
starting at 7 PM. I'll be teaching through
. Bring your spouse, invite a colleague and join us for a great time of servant-warrior "
iron sharpens iron
" fellowship and Bible study. I will of course post the recap in NEXT week's newsletter for all my readers -- stay tuned!
And speaking of these newsletters/devotions, if you missed last week's edition, here again is "Playing in the Mud" (one of the more interesting message titles, to be sure). Don't forget that I will always re-share them for you on our
and social media (Facebook and Twitter) feeds.
As always, please take the time to review the latest batch of
I've included for you below. Also be sure to reach out if you need prayer or counsel -- we're here to serve you.
We're at war folks (the
War on Cops
). Accordingly, let's be sure we're exercising good officer safety while watching each other's "six" and remaining radically bold in Christ!
Praise Report: Thanks to all who prayed for Jim Bontrager and all of us serving at the 2017
Breaching the Barricade Law Enforcement Conference
National Peace Officer Appreciation Day
events in Indiana last week. God was (and is) on the move, the Gospel was shared, a great many Centurion t-shirts and ministry resources were given away, and more. Seeds have been planted...let's pray they fall on good soil.
Praise report #2: Thanks to all who have been praying for Chattanooga PD Officer Joe Warren's son,
Michael. He is now out of the woods (no longer critical) but is facing a long road of rehab and recovery in the wake of a terrible fall. Let's keep him in prayer.
(3) October is
Pastor Appreciation Month, and the best way to show YOUR pastor appreciation is by praying for him.
(4) Pray for those of us serving in ministries to our own in law enforcement...the battle rages and our common enemy is fierce.
(5) Be in prayer for those impacted by the fires in CA (they include First Responders on multiple levels).
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) Retired Albuquerque (NM) PD Detective and a fellow church security expert (he taught me much of what I know on the subject),
-- a dear brother who God used to lead me to a genuine saving faith in Christ -- has announced the Global One
Place of Worship Threat Survival Seminar
, 2017 at Calvary Albuquerque. Outstanding training.
(2) Aurora (CO) Police Officer James Seneca, a cancer survivor, leads "Cops Fighting Cancer," a 501(3)(c) that provides support to cancer patients and their families. They have a benefit concert coming up on October 20th -- see the Cops Fighting Cancer website for full details.
(3) 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! Next one is this weekend here in Colorado -- I hope to attend.
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
and on social media
) 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), typically 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.
Information on the other
meeting around the country can be found on the
pages on the
"Watchmen on the Wall"
Are you faithfully carrying out your God-ordained calling to "man the wall" and warn (and thus protect) others?
This message is one God laid on my heart during my time serving in Indiana last week. In this oft-quoted passage in the
Book of Ezekiel (one my spiritual brother Jim Bontrager quotes often), God presents a challenge and a warning to believers (those how have been born again in Christ -- to wit -- Christians) and unbelievers alike. As always, my heart is that you'll prayerfully seek the LORD for what He has for YOU here.
As we dig into this important passage of Scripture (God's wholly inerrant Word), here are three truths for us to keep in mind:
Let's begin by looking at the first six verses of this passage:
The word of the Lord came to me: "Son of man, speak to your people and say to them, If I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from among them, and make him their watchman, and if he sees the sword coming upon the land and blows the trumpet and warns the people, then if anyone who hears the sound of the trumpet does not take warning, and the sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet and did not take warning; his blood shall be upon himself. But if he had taken warning, he would have saved his life. But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, so that the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any one of them, that person is taken away in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at the watchman's hand.
Who is God speaking to here?
Ezekiel was a Jewish temple priest at a time when the Jews were removed by God from their homeland because of their sinfulness and idolatry (and being held captive into the land of the Babylonians). God called Ezekiel to a prophetic ministry in Babylon, and to the captive people of Judah during this dark time of exile from their homeland. Now here in this passage, God uses the figure of a "watchman" (a servant-warrior, soldier, "cop" or paladin) to describe Ezekiel's role in calling out a warning to His people
. NOTE: I would be remiss if I failed to point out the fact that God has so far stayed His hand on our own nation is nothing short of His grace, love and mercy...we deserve the same fate as the Jewish people to whom Ezekiel ministered. Code 3 sense of urgency indeed!
Now the task of a
watchman in this time period was to position himself high on the city wall or defensive tower where he could patrol or otherwise "keep watch" (a police and military term) for any approaching enemy. Then when a threat was identified, the watchman was to take up his trumpet (a shofar-- the "siren" of that day) and blow a loud and clear warning to both his fellow warriors (dare I say "officers") and the people they were charged with protecting. The watchman's service to his people was a matter of life-and-death importance! If he should fail to see the enemy approaching, or if he should--for whatever reason--fail to blow the warning signal, it is was very likely that many would be killed (or worse). Likewise, if he was faithful in carrying out his duty, an effective defense could be mounted and the lives of many of his people would be spared.
Obviously, watchmen had to be a trustworthy persons who were faithful and alert to their task--persons who understood the significance of their purpose, and who gave themselves fully to it. As it is with us who serve in our God-ordained profession of law enforcement, it was likely an unwelcome message at times; but they (and we) had to be utterly committed to give it when it was needed--no matter what the cost.
And here, God called Ezekiel to a most sobering and serious task--a task for which Ezekiel will be held responsible by God to the highest possible degree. He was called by God to be a spiritual "watchman" to his people. He was called to "blow" a warning that the people didn't want to hear concerning their sin (wickedness, idolatry).
So what is the application for us in this passage? On one end, there is a physical parallel to our call to "serve and protect" our nation and communities (military and police today), and that change is no less serious for us (
Romans 13:1-4, Psalm 82:3-4). But more importantly, there is the spiritual side that--as we'll see--applies to EVERY born again believer today.
The apostle Paul understood this passage well, and no doubt had it on his mind when the Holy Spirit led him to make this powerful statement in
Acts 20:26-27 (as I shared at last Thursday's Centurion Bible study): "
Therefore, I declare to you today that I am innocent of the blood of all men, for I have not hesitated to declare to you the whole will ['counsel'] of God." The context, of course, is that Paul was sending an Ezekiel-esque warning of God's righteous, coming judgement for those who fail to "
repent and believe" (
Mark 1:15) in Christ for their salvation.
Paul also commissioned a similar "watchman" charge to his "trainee" (young pastor Timothy) in
2 Timothy 4:1-5 in which he says, "
I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. (added emphasis mine)
Now part of this particular application is for those of us who teach God's Word, but I
also believe that it is a work that each one of us is charged with as believers. We are to be watchmen and ambassadors for Christ in this fallen world (2 Corinthians 5:18-20). Our Lord has charged ALL believes to be "the light of the world" (Matthew 5:14) and to sound a warning (ultimately hell) to those who fail to "repent and believe" in Christ (the one true Savior and ultimate shepherd, protector, servant-warrior and Lord of Hosts) for their salvation (Romans 6:23).
Moreover, God tells us through James that believers have a
watchman-like duty to carry out toward those who also profess the name of Jesus Christ and who claim to be His followers:
Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins (James 5:19-20).
So how are YOU carrying out your spiritual "watchman" duties? One reason that some don't is that they are not truly saved (2 Cor. 5:14-21). However, and as I've repeatedly stated, a great many Christians would rather do just about anything other than fulfill their God-commanded duty in this area. Sure, we as cops have little problem carrying out our police duties, but sound the alarm to unbelievers about what awaits them if they choose not to "repent and believe?" No way! Accordingly, let me close by sharing some practical points to help us carry our God-ordained/God-commanded "watchman" duty:
(2) Ask God to give you open doors/Divine appointments (Colossians 4:3).
(3) Be led by the Holy Spirit (ask for wisdom, guidance and discernment).
(4) Live your faith boldly (out loud) with the understanding that folks are watching the watchman (Titus 2:10, James 2:14-26)!
(5) As I've stated so often, it is ESSENTIAL that--as God's watchmen--we be in DAILY prayer and Bible study, along with regular iron sharpens iron fellowship with other "watchmen" (other faithful, "all in" believers). Consider the following as homework (powerful memory verses): John 3:16 (in context with John 3:1-21); Romans 3:23, 6:23, 10:9; Revelation 3:20; Hebrews 9:27.
(6) Just share these newsletters and the resources below with others!
Brethren, you and I are called to serve as Ezekiel 33 watchmen! To be the heretofore missing "man among them" who will "stand in gap" (Ezekiel 22:30). In light of our main passage here today, again I ask: What kind of a watchman are you? Understand that we can't be watchmen unless we first know and have a genuine relationship with our one true "Watch Commander." Is that you? Are you sure? Folks, if you fail to heed the watchman's warning and die without being in a right relationship with God in Christ, you will NOT go to heaven, and you WILL spend eternity in hell (see Who will go to hell?). It is therefore with an Ezekiel 33 watchman's trumpet call that I shout this warning and implore you to consider the following:
(1) Again, Jesus' first words in His earthly ministry were: "
Repent and believe...
is a "180" -- a complete, radical change of mind and heart as it relates your sin. To
as He intends it here is to
completely and radically surrender to Christ in
("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
where Jesus says, "...
you must be born again.
" Note our Lord's emphasis on
(not "may" or "should"): this is the
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")? Take the
Good Person Test
and see how you do. Then go to...
Need prayer, counsel or more info? Feel free to
! Finally, don't forget to pass these newsletters on to others in keeping with our Ezekiel 33 mandate.