|FCPO Newsletter and Bible Study
||The "thin blue line" covered by the blood of Christ.
UPDATED on June 22nd, 2018
While I hope your
Father's Day was blessed, I also know that it can be a tough day/tough subject for many of us. Thus the topic of this week's
Centurion Law Enforcement Ministry Bible study that I've written and posted for you below:
"A Warrior's Father's Day."
Here on the local front (meaning the Colorado "Front" Range), our
FCPO-Metro Denver chapter met last Tuesday evening in Highlands Ranch. Obviously, I'll recap the message in NEXT week's newsletter for all those around the country and world who could not join us.
Speaking of these newsletters, here again is last week's if you missed it: "Spring Cleaning"(the recap of our study through John 2). Don't forget that I also
re-post past editions on our
pages as well.
Finally, please check out the prayer requests and announcements I've posted for you below.
Let's stay safe on the street but radically
bold in Christ!
Here's a short
Christian (faith-based) PTSD resources (I can't vouch for these one way or the other but am just trying to help):
PRAYER REQUESTS/PRAISE REPORTS
(1) Please continue to pray for police supporter and trainer (
Under the Shield
Susan Lewis Simmons
who is battling some serious health issues and is facing surgery (God knows the details -- just pray).
(2) Cop-turned-chaplain Jason Pearson asks that we be in prayer for a colleague (and his family) whose wife suffered a medical episode and did not survive. Hits multiple police agencies. God knows the details...just pray.
(3) Pray for a former officer and his family as he battles PTSD (really rough issues). Again, God knows the details -- please pray.
(4) Please pray for me as I battle some chronic health issues (rough year).
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.
(3) 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.
Due to the holiday, we will NOT be meeting on July 3rd. Our next meeting is therefore set for Tuesday,
A Warrior's (Cops/Sheepdogs) Father's Day
"I am about to go the way of all the earth. Be strong, and show yourself a man..."
King David was a man who was very much flawed, yet still commended as being a "man after God's own heart" (Acts 13:22
). In and of itself, it should be a great encouragement to us that God speaks of David like this in His Word. David was a God-empowered, servant-
(cop/sheepdog) who knew what it was to be unjustly persecuted (by King Saul in
1 Samuel 19
), to have tremendous faith and slay a giant (Goliath) when everyone else cowered in fear, to be consumed at times with a passionate vision for the Glory of God as well as a man who poured out his heart and soul to God (see the Book of
). He was "
" through whom God gave great victory, who
danced before the LORD
and found great pleasure in God.
But, he was also the man who committed adultery and who intentionally arranged the death (murder) of a loyal friend -- one of his "mighty warriors" -- who happened to be married to the woman with whom he was having an affair (see II Samuel 11). He was also man who had more than one wife (see "What About Polygamy in the Bible?") and concubines to boot -- more issues with sexual sin. More specifically to our study today, he was also not a great dad (at times profoundly neglecting and isolating his children -- with disastrous results -- see David and Absalom). I think more than a few of us can relate!
In short, when David was living as God intended, he was "a man" whom God led to incredible victory. When he was not, he tended to really blow it! I can relate to that as well.
Still (and a message of hope and encouragement for us dads and parents in general), God loved David because he was a "man after God's own heart." God was therefore faithful to David, even when David was, well, less than faithful (sin, disobedience). This is indeed "good news"
for all of us who feel like we spend more time falling down, stumbling and generally failing than we would care to admit. Praise God Almighty, the Father's faithfulness to David is also ultimately extended to us by sending His Son -- the "son of David" -- to die in our place on the cross!
The words from our main text today are some of David's last to his son Solomon before David died. They are powerful words and, in this small sentence, we see some important application for us as servant-warriors (cops/sheepdogs), husbands and fathers:
1) We are only here for a short period of time. Even if we live to be 100, time flies. Our lives are but a mist, a vapor (James 4:14). In this text, David tells Solomon he "is about to go the way of all the earth," meaning, like everything that lives on this earth, there is a cycle of birth, life and -- short of rapture for the believer today -- death.
When we live in light of this fact, we are not being morbid. Rather, we learn more of what it means to live and choose wisely in terms of what is and is not important. Reference the former, t
here is nothing more important than to live our lives for Jesus Christ, following Him, loving God and loving others in this brief time we have called "life." You are not "the job" (any job, but law enforcement in particular). You are not your paycheck. You are not the car you drive or the clothes (uniform) you wear or the house you live in. You are an image bearer made in the image of God, and He wants all of us to live for His glory. This is where life is truly found.
When David lived this out he was at his best. When he didn't? Well, he fell into all sorts of trouble (as do we).
2) David tells his son: "Be strong" in accordance with Joshua 1:9. Knowing what we know of David, and what he wrote of the strength of men in the Psalms (or trusting in the strength of men), David isn't telling Solomon to be a tough guy. He's giving Solomon valuable information for life: for Solomon to properly lead (serve) as King, he will need to be strong, and Solomon would know that the kind of strength his father spoke of was only found in God.
In our culture today, the tides are raging against Christianity and many a man is backing down and going with the flow, conforming to the pattern of the age.
Our wives and children, our churches and this culture need men who are strong in the Lord. Is that you? It can be (stay with me here)!
3) David concludes by telling Solomon to "show himself a man." Throughout David's life he had seen great examples of godly men (Samuel immediately comes to mind as does Nathan and David's mighty men). There were also men who were terrible examples (King Saul immediately comes to mind, and even Samson, among many others), and, I wonder if David thinks of the times he himself was weak and did not show himself to be a man?).
While whole studies (I've taught quite a few) and even books have been written and preached on what it means to be "a man" in God's eyes, consider -- for context -- just the following things we should be teaching our sons:
This then is a call to "stand firm" and "be men
." To not compromise. To be men after God's heart. To be men of integrity.
Our culture today suffers from a lack of men (and women) who will stand for Christ, take up their crosses and follow Him. To be shining beacons in our culture's tragic, downward spiral into darkness.
- To obediently serve God...even when it's hard!
- To be loving, faithful husbands!
- To be godly fathers and leaders.
- To fight against evil!
- To stand up for the less fortunate and those who are being hurt!
- To be the men God has called them to be!
Our families, our wives (and -- for the singles -- future wives), our churches, our nation need men like the kind of man David challenges his son to be even in the wake of David's own failures as a father and husband (sadly, Solomon would follow his father's failures as a husband). The time to do so is now, for sooner than we would like to think, we will all go -- short of rapture -- "the way of the earth" (death).
Now to be sure, Solomon was very much aware of his father's failings just as our kids are aware of ours. Praise God Almighty, we serve a God who is willing and able to "repair" broken warriors, broken dads and yes, broken kids: see God Can Repair Broken Dads. The end of this message bears repeating (the wise words of a wise woman in Elizabeth Elliot):
"The disorders and sorrows in my own life, whether attributable solely to my own fault, solely to somebody else, perhaps to a mixture of both, or to neither, have given me the change to learn a little more each time of the meaning of the cross. What can I do with the sins of others? Nothing but what I do with my own - and what Jesus did with all of them - take them to the cross. Put them down at the foot and let them stay there. The cross has become my home, my rest, my shelter, my refuge."
Fellow dads/warriors, is the cross of Christ your "home" for your sins, past and present? Kids, is the cross of Christ your rest and your shelter from disappointment and pain? Ladies, is the cross of Christ your refuge and your hope? Regret and remorse are covered in the precious blood of Jesus when our problems and failings are placed at His feet. And, especially at Father's Day, that is "good news" for David, good news for any would-be Solomon, and VERY good news for all of us.
Finally, I can't close this study without reminding you the this "good news" and the power to "
be strong and show yourself a man
" as God intends, is ONLY available to those to turn to Him in repentance and genuine, saving faith (
). It is only then that we can have the
power of the Holy Spirit living within us
to guide us, direct us, empower us and strengthen us to be the men (and women) God has called us to be.
So is that you? Are you serving, leading and living in the way that God would have you to? Have you embraced God's standard for fatherhood and manhood? Are you striving to walk in the Spirit to be the dad/parent and yes, COP, God has called you to be? Know that you can be (it is not too late), starting TODAY, but there is only one way to get get there:
I. Again, still think you do it on your own? That you don't "need" Jesus? 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 person?" 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.
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!