The Centurion Law Enforcement Ministry Newsletter
&
Bible Study
UPDATED 01/04/2019

HAPPY NEW YEAR to all my fellow officers and sheepdogs (and all their spouses and supporters)!

With the new year, the new decade and this image in mind, I'll be brief here to allow more time for my special New Year Bible study below -- RESOLVED!

Miss last YEAR's special CHRISTmas newsletter and Bible study? Here's the updated, "A Cop's Christmas." As always, these studies are re-posted for you on our social media feeds ( Twitter , Facebook ) and (eventually) on our website as well.

In light of our first Centurion Bible study of the new decade, let's be RESOLVED to make what everyone else calls a New Year's "resolution" our "everyday."

Again, Happy New Year!

MC
_____________________



RESOURCES

Also part of Zack's legacy (started by his widow, Gracie Parrish): The Shelter Foundation.


PRAYER REQUESTS

(1) Pray for all our unsaved brethren while asking God to give you a Code 3 sense of urgency to carry out our Great Commission mandate.

(2) Pray for a Christian officer who recently lost his job here in CO. God knows the details and the need -- just pray (peace, provision and more).

(3) Pray for our divided nation and our leadership, including that those lost in sin and wickedness would repent and come into a genuine saving faith in Christ.

(4) Pray for all those families and agencies who are starting off 2020 having lost an officer in the past year.


UPCOMING EVENTS

Our first FCPO-Denver (Chapter 217) of the New Year is set for Tuesday evening, January 7th in Highlands Ranch starting at 6:30 PM. We'll be starting a brand new study and of course there will be a time of prayer and fellowship. If you're a police officer (former, future, past), join us in the southern Denver metro area in 2020. As always, spouses are encouraged to attend with their LEO! Email me for the details (address, etc.).


*Have a prayer request, event or announcement you would like included here? Need help/prayer? Email me I also post prayer requests on   my personal Facebook page   ("friend" and message me).   




Let's be RESOLVED (our "everyday" versus a passing resolution) to be "ALL IN" for Christ. 
  _______

Our first Centurion Bible study of the new decade comes in the wake of a sad but worthy anniversary in the line of duty death (LODD) of Douglas County Sheriff's Deputy Zachari S. Parrish, III on December 31, 2017. My prayer is that you'll open your heart to what God has for you here as we take Zach's legacy and then "play it forward" in 2020.

The practice of making New Year's resolutions goes back to at least 1000 BC to the ancient Babylonian empire. Yet in a 2007 study, Richard Wiseman from the University of Bristol revealed that 88% of those who set New Year resolutions fail, despite the fact that 52% of the study's participants were confident of success at the beginning. 

My own informal research revolves around the gym. I've been a strength athlete and "gym rat" now for over 40 years and each January I have the "pleasure" of dealing with hordes of "resolutioners" who pack my place of "strength and honor" only to spend most of their time texting or otherwise goofing off before being pretty much gone by March.  Sadder still -- and more to the point of this study -- are the many who make a false "confession of faith" or simply "repeat a prayer" as part of an emotional response to a traumatic event, sickness, a crusade, altar call, etc. but then soon fall away in the absence of being "born again" into a genuine, life-saving/life-changing personal relationship with God in Christ (and the ongoing discipleship and sanctification that is so important in the life of a genuine believer). 

Now understand me: I give altar calls when I speak/preach as the Lord leads, and I've been blessed to witness many genuine confessions of faith (the lost coming to a saving faith), but I always do it with full disclosure (keep reading).
 
Getting back to our New Year's theme, while the Bible does not speak directly on the concept of New Year's resolutions, Paul, writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in   Philippians 3:7-11 , does give us an outstanding blueprint for what we could easily call "A Cop's Resolution." He writes, But whatever gain  (another translation uses the word "profit")   I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish  (the Greek word used here for "rubbish" actually refers to human and/or animal waste),  in order that I may gain Christ, and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, that that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith.
 
Understand that Paul is not talking about any virtue found in himself. On the contrary, he is actually setting aside all of his credentials and saying they are worthless. Now those of us serving in law enforcement are big about our "credentials" -- the badge and ID that are symbolic of our God-given authority as set forth in   Romans 13:1-4  -- but they will do NOTHING to get us into heaven or out of hell (stay with me). But Paul is  resolved  (versus just a passing "resolution") in stating, "I want to know Christ more and better." What is remarkable is that at the time of this writing he had known Christ as Lord and Savior for some thirty years, yet he is still  resolved  to know Him even better. He adds to this in  Philippians 3:10-11  -- "... that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and may share in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead." By faith and under the power of the Holy Spirit, Paul is saying, "It is not enough that I'm saved. NO, I want to be "all in" for Christ; to live and serve in radical (the world radical just means "root" -- as in Christianity 101) faith in His finished work."  And so should we!

What a great example for us to  follow hard after  today, and what a wonderful thing for us be RESOLVED about! I've had a genuine saving relationship with Christ for some fifteen years now (I was at best a generally unrepentant "make-believer" before that), but I still desire get to know Him better each and every day. 

A concrete way to understand and apply this is our spouses. My bride Diana and I will celebrate our 12th anniversary in March, yet I'm still getting to know her better every day (and every day is a gift from God). How do I do that? By spending time with her, talking with her, praying with her, loving her and listening to her (not my best virtue, to be sure -- something I'm RESOLVED to be better at). Likewise, we get to know Christ by regularly (hopefully daily) spending time in His Word, being in regular fellowship with other believers (church, small group fellowships, our Centurion "cop church" gatherings, etc.), discipleship, going to Him in prayer, listening to Him, obeying Him and seeking His guidance.

Folks, for us, this must not be a mere "resolution" but an emphatic, "I AM RESOLVED!"  Here in 2020, let's be RESOLVED to pray, study God's Word (the Bible), tell others about Christ (a command, not a suggestion) and continue in regular,  iron sharpens iron   fellowship with other like-minded, "all in" believers who will hold each other accountable and challenge us to SERVE and grow in our faith (a big part of what we do both in our FCPO chapter meetings and through regular service and participation with other believers in a solid, Bible-teaching church).  
 
Now understand that I'm not talking about our own "good works" or so-called righteousness (our service as cops, for example), but rather that which we do through Christ in accordance with His will and by virtue of what He's done on our behalf. As Randy Alcorn correctly wrote, "It's one hundred percent Him, zero percent us, and all to His glory." Amen!
 
Why do the vast majority fail in their resolutions? Because they are seeking to accomplish them on their own strength outside of God's will and the power of the Holy Spirit. Paul goes on to emphasize this further in  Philippians 4:13  where he exclaims,  "I can do ALL THINGS  through Christ who gives me strength" (added emphasis mine). The "all things" are of course those things that are done in accordance with God's will and plan versus anything we can do on our own. Jesus Himself declares in   John 15:5 ,  "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."    Psalm 37:5-6  adds, "Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun."

Folks, a young, Christian deputy named Zackari Parrish III  had this kind of faith (he recommitted his life to Christ just over two months before his line of duty death on December 31, 2017). He finally  RESOLVED  himself -- by the power of the Holy Spirit that indwells every born again believer -- to do what God had called Him to do in the way God called him (and us) to do it! Let's RESOLVE to honor both Zack and God by emulating that in our own lives (talk about a legacy)!

So how can we be RESOLVED (be resolute ) in this New Year? Here are just six short suggestions:
(1) First and foremost, enter into a genuine, all-in, life-saving/life-changing personal relationship with God in Christ (scroll down to the "Know God?" section below for more on that).
(2) Then pray for the wisdom and strength to be RESOLUTE in living out your Christian faith and in fulfilling the goals and plans God has for you. 
(3) Rely on God's strength to help you stay the course (without which you will most likely fail).
(4) Ask God to help you find a Christian accountability partner who will help you and encourage you (or better yet, enter into a discipleship relationship with an older/wiser believer).  
(5) Don't become discouraged with failure; instead, allow God to use them to help grow, sharpen and motivate you further.
(6) Be RESOLVED in embracing the call God gives to each of us: "For I resolved   to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified." -- 1 Cor. 2:2  (ISV, added emphasis mine).   

Finally for us who serve in law enforcement, my challenge and encouragement for you this year is that you RESOLVE to not only "Go Blue, Live Like Zach" (a motto adopted by Zach's family -- both blue and natural -- in the wake of his death) but more importantly, to live like Christ by wholeheartedly embracing our God-ordained calling to live, love and serve biblically under Christ our Captain. Friends, I can assure you, if Zach was writing this for us today, he would undoubtedly change the motto to read, "Go Blue, Live Like Christ!"

So how can we do that? Only if we have the Holy Spirit to guide and empower us, and that can ONLY occur by first being born again in Christ (a "Christian" as God defines it -- and thus the only definition that matters). And what does that look like (the "how" of coming into a genuine, saving faith in Christ)? See the Know God? section below!

In Christ, let's be RESOLVED to be "all in" for Him in the New Year!

____________________


KNOW GOD?

(1) Do you hold to an utterly false hope that you can "earn" or otherwise "badge" your way into heaven and escape hell because you consider yourself to be a " good " cop or "good" person? That you can be "good" enough without God? That you "deserve" heaven because of your so-called "good" service? Take  the   Good Person Test   and see how you do!  

(2) Jesus' first recorded words in His earthly adult ministry included, " Repent and believe in the Good News " ( Mark 1:15 ). To  repent  is a "180" -- a complete,  radical  change of mind and heart as it relates to our sin (as God defines it). To "believe"  ( pisteuo  in the original Greek) as Jesus intends it here is to wholeheartedly trust and  surrender your life to Him in faith in the same way we have "faith" that our body armor will do its job against the rounds it is intended to stop; that a well-maintained weapon will function properly when used in defense against criminals intent on destroying us or others; or that our parachute will open when it is supposed to on a combat jump (we stake our very lives on it)! For more, see What does it mean to believe in Jesus?

(3) This same concept of " believe " (the saving kind) is further revealed in  John 3:1-21   where Jesus says, " ... you must be born again ." Again, note our Lord's emphasis on the word " must " (not "may" or "should" or even "someday"): this is ultimately the life-saving AND life-changing  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 ? [hint -- there is no other kind]).

(4) NOW then, with this in place, go to:   How can I be saved?  

(5) Need more? Then check out this powerful, short video message that also comes to us from Travis Yates  Cops and Salvation

(6) Have you now said "yes" to Jesus as Lord and Savior but are wondering what to do next? The "now what" is also an important part in dealing with the issues that can lead to suicide and sin in general. Click on,   Now what?   

Questions? I'm here to serve --  contact me .    
MC



ABOUT US


The Centurion Law Enforcement Ministry is a national, FCPO-affiliated, non-denominational, evangelical Christian outreach to our own in law enforcement. These newsletters and profession-focused Bible studies are part of this effort and past editions can be found on our website and our social media  feeds. Our desire is (1) to be used of God to WIN the lost in our profession to a saving faith in Christ; (2) to DISCIPLE the Christian officer; (3) SEND out discipled (trained) officers to "repeat" 1 and 2; (4) to SUPPORT police marriages; (5) to transform our God-ordained profession by infusing it with all-in Christian officers; and (6) to IMPACT (reduce) police suicides and PTS with the Cure found in Christ Jesus alone. In keeping with these 6 points, please feel free to adapt these messages for your own individual or group use and share them with others. 

The Fellowship of Christian Peace Officers (FCPO-USA) exists to provide biblical support ("backup"), accountability and  iron sharpens iron  fellowship for Christian officers first in the U.S. and throughout the world as well. Our Denver-area FCPO chapter ( FCPO Chapter #217 ) is a  Centurion Law Enforcement Ministry  affiliate. Locally, we meet approximately twice a month in the south Denver-Metro suburb of Highlands Ranch for profession-focused, sound (uncompromising) Bible study, prayer and servant-warrior fellowship (and spouses are both welcome and encouraged to attend with their LEO).  Contact me for complete details.

The Centurion Law Enforcement Ministry and FCPO-Metro Denver ( Chapter 217 ) are led by veteran Police Officer, Chaplain and Evangelist Michael "MC" Williams . MC is an active (32-years and counting) sworn police officer/investigator and sought-after instructor and speaker at churches (including the popular  Centurion Church Security Seminar ), retreats and both police and civilian training conferences and seminars around the country. Contact MC via  email  for details on how to book him for your event.

Finally, we covet your prayer and financial support for this vital ministry outreach. Reference the latter, you can give in two ways (and "thank you" for your support):
(1) Send a check to the address posted below.
or
(2) Go the the FCPO giving page and designate " FCPO #217 " or the "Centurion Law Enforcement Ministry."

* All donations are tax-deductible.

The Centurion Law Enforcement Ministry , P.O. Box 630854, Littleton, CO 80163 | Email Address | (720) 371-1022 | Website