A Good Report
Briefing: Do you remember seeing the news reports of the NYPD Officer who saw what looked like a homeless man, sitting on the sidewalk on a cold day with no shoes on? The Officer went to a nearby shoe store and bought the man a pair of shoes. It made national news.
Dispatch (Assignment): Read Romans 1:8-15.
On the Street: Bad news and gossip travel fast but good news seems to move slower. There is less interest in positive, feel good stories today. If you don’t believe this, just watch your local news. The majority of new stories are not positive.
Like Paul, I had a good report delivered to me today. I received a phone call about a couple of police officers in Portland and Seattle who were sharing their faith and taking a stand for Christ! I can understand how excited and encouraged Paul must have been.
In verse 9 Paul makes the declaration, “God, whom I serve with my whole heart”. In Jesus’ parable of the sheep and goats, Matthew 25:31-46, He says, “The King will reply, I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” So, Paul, who serves God with his whole heart will feed the hungry, give clothes to the stranger, help the sick and visit the prisoners. He will serve the least of these because Jesus said this is how we can serve Him. This is the kind of service and impact the New York officer had, not just on the man who received the pair of shoes, but the witnesses who were standing around seeing this act of serving the least of these.
Standing up for Christ is so out of the norm today that when it happens, it peaks our attention. It is both exciting and sad. Sad because there don’t seem to be many law enforcement officers willing to take a firm stand for Christ and willing to share the good news of Jesus with fellow officers and the people they serve. It is exciting because it only takes one man or woman to have the courage to jump out of the fox hole and lead the charge. When that leader jumps out and takes the fight to the enemy, it is amazing how it sparks the courage of those around them. There are peace officers all across this country that are waiting for someone to step up and set the example. They are just waiting to be led.
You and I need to be that leader! We can’t wait for someone else to make the first move. We have seen in Romans how God has called us and set us apart. He has equipped us and prepared the way. Through His strength we can make the difference. Take the stand and be the encouraging report that others need to hear to join in the fight.
Lastly, verse 10 cannot be overlooked. Paul says he prays constantly for the believers. Have you ever prayed for your fellow officers? How about praying specifically for other Christian peace officers who need encouragement and support in walking out this service to God? Do you pray for opportunities to have impact on the people you serve? Do you pray for the officers who do not know Christ? Prayer is one of our most powerful weapons. You would not go on shift without your gun.
Investigational Resources: Read 1 Samuel, chapter 17, with special emphasis on verse 52.
Officer Safety Principle: Look for opportunities in your community to show love, kindness, and compassion. You never know who is watching and what impact you might have.
from The Book of Romans Through the Eyes of a Cop
©by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.
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