The Centurion Law Enforcement Ministry Newsletter
&
Bible Study
UPDATED 12/27/2019

With the understanding that Christmas was never mean to be a "once a year" thing, Merry CHRISTmas (and now Happy New Year) once again to all my fellow officers, sheepdogs , spouses and supporters.

With the busyness of the Season, I will be extra brief here but I can't encourage you enough to take in the study below -- "A Cop's CHRISTmas" -- and then share this newsletter and message with others in keeping with our Great Commission "call for service" (again, it is not the "great suggestion").

Miss last week's newsletter and Bible study? Here's the updated, "Man Up!"
As always, these studies are re-posted for you on our social media feeds ( Twitter , Facebook ) and (eventually) on our website as well.

It is again with a "Code 3" sense of urgency that I press you to be sure you're in a genuine, life-saving/life-changing personal relationship with the inventor of CHRISTmas (if that's not you, scroll down to the study)!

Blessings!

MC
_____________________



RESOURCES

I was remiss in not sharing this in the original Christmas newsletter: Lee Strobel's books, including The Case for Christmas , are outstanding, evidence-based resources.



PRAYER REQUESTS

Please join me in praying for three main things this week:
(1) God's protection over at all of us who will be on duty over the CHRISTmas and New Years holidays.

(2) For an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of the lonely and hurting (including sharing the Hope of CHRISTmas with them).

(3) For the families of those who lost an officer or loved one this year (Christmas can be a very rough holiday for them).


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 staring 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).   



A Cop's CHRISTmas

The "police" of Jesus' day had a powerful impact on the first Christmas and the mission for which history's greatest "Cop" was born.

  _______
The focus for Christians (the real kind) at Christmas each year is typically on the "babe in the manger" as described in the  second chapter of Luke  and the  first and second chapters of Matthew   Yet Christmas, to have true meaning, cannot be separated from "the mission" for which Jesus was born: a God-dispatched call for service that included horrific torture and His death on the  cross (the first "Christmas tree").

The angel said at the birth of Jesus, "He will save His people from their sins" (Matthew 1:21) . Jesus Himself -- speaking just before His death on the cross -- said, "For this cause was I born" (John 18:37) . He was the only person in history who was born with the specific purpose of dying for others (through which He fulfilled some 300 Old Testament prophesies that, taken as a whole, provide indisputable, mathematical    evidence   that what the Bible says is true beyond any shadow of a doubt).  

Folks, the context of Scripture reveals that the purpose of the manger was realized in the horrors of the cross and the joy (for us who "repent and believe") of the empty tomb. And the "cops" of Jesus' day had a disturbing hand in all of it. Disturbing? Consider this written by William Smith in World Magazine back in 1992: 

Most of us have not come to terms with the baby in the manger. We sing, "Glory to the newborn King." But do we truly recognize that the baby lying in the manger is appointed by God to be the King, to be either the Savior or Judge of all people? He is a most threatening person.
Malachi foresaw his coming and said, "But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner's fire or a launderer's soap." As long as we can keep him in the manger, and feel the sentimental feelings we have for babies, Jesus doesn't disturb us. But once we understand that his coming means for every one of us either salvation or condemnation, he disturbs us deeply.
The baby's destiny from the moment of his conception was the cross in the place of sinners. When I look into the manger, I come away shaken as I realize again that he was born to pay the unbearable penalty for my sins... Christmas is disturbing .


Smith is right on target (the biblical kind). Disturbing? Absolutely! From the moment of Jesus' conception, the cross loomed before Him, and "cops" -- the law enforcers of His day -- had a disturbing hand in all of it. Let's quickly break this down:

(1) Jesus is ultimately the greatest "cop" (a servant-warrior) in all of history. Where's that in the Bible? One of the titles given to describe Jesus long before his birth was " Mighty God " (Isaiah 9:6) . It looks beautiful on a Christmas card alongside " Wonderful Counselor " and " Prince of Peace " (the ultimate peacemaker -- and the true focus of the oft-misused "Blessed are the peacemakers" in Matthew 5:9 ) but it's more than a nice title.    This is a term heretofore only used for God the Father but is now applied to the coming King (God the Son). This phrase also points us to the war (battle) between good and evil. The word "mighty" in the Hebrew can be translated into "warrior" (who is fighting against the forces of darkness on behalf of His people). Is this not what we do as modern-day police officers and combat military personnel fighting against terror and evil? In fact,  Exodus 15:3  drives this home: "The Lord is a warrior, the Lord is His name." Jesus, the ultimate  peace officer , was  born to us  in a manger (a feeding trough for animals) on a heaven dispatched rescue mission (thus "Savior") that ends not only on the cross where Jesus paid the ultimate price to rescue us from the just penalty for our sin but then to the Resurrection that has to go with it. Moreover, this rescue mission also involves Satan's -- history's most horrific criminal -- "arrest" and eternal (ultimately) imprisonment ( Revelation 20:7-10 ) .

(2) While we who serve in law enforcement have this incredible role model in Christ Jesus, there is also another disturbing side. Sometime after Jesus' birth (perhaps 50 days to a year or more), Herod dispatched his secret police force to murder every male child up to two years of age in an effort to take out Jesus in the process (the Massacre of the Innocents as described in  Matthew 2:16-18 ). Can you imagine coming home after your shift with the knowledge that you were responsible for the murder of numerous innocent children (on pain of your own torture and death should you fail)? Talk about a recipe for PTSi (again, Post Traumatic Stress injury -- not "disorder")!

(3) At Jesus' six trials before His death, it was the "cops" of His day who falsely arrested and abused/tortured (excessive force) Him (see The Trials of Jesus).   

(4) Finally, it was the Roman "Feds" who nailed Jesus to the cross, witnessed His death (with the Centurion and the LEOs with him seeing the overwhelming EVIDENCE before them, exclaimed, " Surely this is the Son of God! " ) and were eye witnesses to His miraculous Resurrection three days later!

Disturbing indeed! So, what is the application for us here today? For starters, despite the fact that ours is a   God-ordained profession , unless we are first born again (saved and transformed) in Christ, our so-called "good" service and "good" deeds we do as police officers (and people in general) will amount to nothing more than filthy rags in the eyes of a wholly righteous and just God.

Folks, here's the truth of Christmas as summed up wonderfully in  John 3:16-19  -- out of love for us, God the Father sent His only Son into the world to pay the price for OUR (yours and mine) sin, including even the sin of those officers who killed innocent kids and then falsely arrested, tortured and executed a truly innocent "cop" and King! That said, the Christmas "mission from God" has to include you being willing to accept, unwrap and fall in love with "The Gift" and "reason for the season" -- Jesus Christ. Have you done that? If not, will you? And if not now, then when?

Perhaps you'll argue that those officers were just following orders. Or that their actions are not representative of us today. That you're a "good person" or a "good cop" who "deserves" to go to heaven because of your "good deeds" and sacrifices stemming from your "righteous" service in law enforcement or the military. If so, let me lovingly encourage you to scroll down to the "Good Person Test" and the other links in the Know God? section below where I've "wrapped" for you the greatest Christmas gift that has ever been given.

Blessings!
____________________


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:
(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