|FCPO Newsletter and Bible Study
||The "thin blue line" covered by the blood of Christ.
I've posted the recap of our last FCPO chapter Bible study (John 2) for you below. It is rightly entitled, "Spring Cleaning!" (with powerful application for police and civilians -- sheepdogs and sheep -- alike).
As always, I can't encourage you enough to take the time to check out the latest resources, prayer requests/praise reports and upcoming events that I've posted for you below!
Finally, on the local front ("front" being the Colorado Front Range), our next FCPO chapter meeting (fellowship and Bible study) is set for this upcoming Tuesday, June 19th. We'll be continuing our study through the Gospel of John as we jump into John 3 (the "born again" chapter -- one of my favs)! Join us if you can but stay tuned here for the recap if you can't!
As always, let's stay safe on the street but radically
bold in Christ!
PRAYER REQUESTS/PRAISE REPORTS
(1) Colorado Mounted Rangers Captain
Doug Brown requests prayer ref. an upcoming hip surgery.
(2) Continue to pray for a colleague battling kidney disease. Praise God, his recent surgery to remove stones from his remaining kidney was a success.
(3) Pray for those being impacted by the volcano eruptions in Guatemala and Hawaii and the fires raging here in Colorado (First Responders on the front lines of each).
(4) Former police wife Jennifer Witkowski's (
Blue Lives Matter Colorado
was involved in a terrible motor vehicle accident in which he sustained numerous broken bones and related injuries. Luke needs our prayers -- he is in much pain and facing additional surgeries and a very long recovery.
(5) Pray for wounded (shot in the eye) Orlando PD Officer
and for his fellow officers who were at the SWAT standoff there (
4 slain kids
). Lord have mercy!
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/Pastor Jimmy Meeks and fellow church safety expert Carl Chinn (among others). Outstanding, highly recommended training for every sheepdog (sworn and non-sworn 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.
Our next meeting is set for next Tuesday, June 19th.
It's time to get clean (right) with God!
Our last FCPO chapter (FCPO-Metro Denver) Bible study through the
Gospel of John brought us to Chapter 2. This chapter is fact rightly divided into two distinct events that bear a powerful connection to one another. Now some will ask what the wedding at Cana (where our Lord turning water into wine) has to do with Jesus making a whip (a "less lethal" impact weapon) and conducting an enforcement action in the Jewish temple. Friends, they are indeed connected and have powerful application for us -- let's dig in!
Jesus said to the servants,
Fill the jars with water; so they filled them to the brim. Then he told them,
Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet. They did so,
Notice the simplicity of this account, how easily, quietly, with such dignity this was done. Jesus gives a simple command:
Fill the jars with water. And they filled them to the brim with 20 or more gallons of plain water (each likely weighing some 200 pounds). Then Jesus said,
Now draw some out, and take it to the steward of the feast. Note that there was no unbiblical, hysterical shouting, no pleading with a screwed-up face, no laying on of hands, no bogus (for humans) "binding" of Satan, no hocus-pocus or mumbo-jumbo. He did not even touch the water. He did not even taste it afterward to see if it had happened. He simply said,
Take it to the governor of the feast. What beautiful, simple dignity and power!
That said, it is important to understand that this first recorded miracle of Jesus was no small thing. Jesus supernaturally made wine -- and GOOD wine at that (
not simply grape juice as some would have you believe). With that, let's touch on two major points here:
(1) Take note of the issue of OBEDIENCE here and the changed relationship with His mother. Jesus uses a term of respect in calling her "woman" but it is said in such a way as to emphasize His changed role as Lord and King (God made flesh). Moreover, He gave a command that resulted in unquestioned
obedience. Are YOU responding with that kind of obedience in your life?
(2) Water in that day was often anything but pure but here Jesus directed that it be used to fill the large containers used for religious purification/cleansing. By transforming impure water it into something quite pure (the alcohol in wine being symbolic of purification) we see a picture of how our Lord cleanses us from our
sin when we are born again (miraculous
conversion) in Him. Teaching on this, the late pastor, writer and expositor Ray Stedman rightly said,
"Our Lord is able to take the humdrum, commonplace, ordinary events of any life and with his touch make them full of flavor, fragrance, strength and beauty; to turn them into wine. He will do this with any of us as we faithfully walk with him, follow him, and believe in him." Amen!
And how did Jesus' disciples respond to this miracle? They "
believed in Him" (v. 11). Again, the Greek word used here for believe is
pisteuō -- literally, to place one's whole trust and faith in Christ (to be "all in" -- a surrendered, saving faith). Moreover, what we see here is that
obedience and conversion (saving belief/faith -- pisteuō) go hand-in-hand!
Next, in verses 13-21, we see what my Bible entitles, the
CLEANSING of the Temple
. Here Jesus arrives in Jerusalem to find that His "Father's house" and a "place of prayer (in this case, the Court of the Gentiles -- one of the few places that non-Jews could gather to pray) had been turned a "
den of thieves
Jesus responded with righteous anger and took a
police action to forcibly restore order (God's order) -- to CLEANSE God's holy place of wickedness and vice (sin).
Teaching on this, Ray Stedman wrote, "Imagine going into the temple where this practice had been going on for decades and, without any appeal to authority, taking on himself this action of driving out the corrupt money-changers, pouring out their money, driving out the animals, and even driving out the people with a whip" (a "less lethal" impact weapon)! Ray continued, "...the disciples were highly embarrassed. But they were probably also fearful of what the authorities would do about this flagrant challenge to them. They knew these self-righteous Pharisees would not let Jesus get away with this.
But as they watched him do this, there came flashing into their minds a verse from the 69th Psalm. The psalm describes the suffering and the agony of the One who was to be the Messiah. There came into their minds this one verse, 'for zeal for thy house has consumed me' (v. 9
). There came for the first time, perhaps, the quiet realization in these disciples' hearts of the divine refusal to put up with inward impurities. They began to understand that God does not compromise with evil." (added emphasis mine)
This touches one of the great paradoxes of our Christian faith. Throughout John's Gospel we see plainly how anyone can come to Christ, no matter what his background, no matter how far he has gone wrong, no matter how evil he has been (murderers, prostitutes, thieves, liars, adulterers, fornicators [sex outside of biblical marriage], fraudsters, drunkards, hard-hearted cynics, religious hypocrites, prideful self-sufficient snobs, etc.). In short, anyone who realizes there is something wrong in his/her life and wants to be set free from their sin can freely come to Jesus to be purified (cleansed) and set free. On this, Jesus said in
Come unto me all you that are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest...
Now, Jesus' disciples (and likewise, us) understood that if you come, be assured that Jesus is not going to leave you the way you are. He is not going to settle for clutter, compromise, extortion and fraud (sin) -- whatever may be defiling and corrupting the the "courts" (temple) of our hearts. On this, Stedman added, "He may leave you alone for awhile. Many young Christians have misunderstood that. Because he brings us in love and he deals with us in patience, we think that he is going to let us get by with some of the comfortable but wrongful habits we have built into our lives. But he will not. If we mistake that delay for acceptance, we are in for a surprise. If we refuse to deal with what he puts his finger on, one day we will find him coming with flaming eyes and with a whip in his hand, and we will find all that traffic in immorality is driven out whether we like it or not."
Here in John 2, we begin with a miracle of conversion (changing water into wine). Then he shows Jesus doing a work of cleansing (the cleansing of the temple). This is always how Jesus works in His people: conversion, then cleansing (saving faith followed by repentance and forgiveness)..
More application for us here? How awesome that in Christ alone (
no "other" way
) we are made the dwelling place (temple) of God's Holy Spirit! Are we totally complicit with the rigorous cleansing/purification of
His holy temple
So where are you at today? Have you been cleansed and radically transformed (changed) in Christ? If not, it's "spring cleaning" time as we consider the following:
(1) Still think you "deserve" or can otherwise be "good" (clean/pure) enough on your own to "earn" or badge your way into heaven and escape hell? That you don't need Jesus? Take
Good Person Test
and see how you do. Well?
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 to Christ 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 our weapons will function properly in when facing criminals intent on destroying us, or that a sky 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)!
(3) 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 cleansed and purified (made "righteous") through Christ alone (no "other" way).
Still in doubt? Especially for us cops, check out this powerful, short video message by my friend, fellow officer and noted trainer,
Cops and Salvation.
So have you 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!
spring cleaning" time folks -- and summer is fast upon us (sense of urgency).