Briefing: In law enforcement, one of our greatest tools is our eyes. We use them to watch the hands of suspects, look for unusual movements, and keep us out of danger. You cannot let your eyes gaze off somewhere else while interviewing a suspect as they have to be fixed on the task at hand.
Dispatch (Assignment): Read Romans 8:1-4.
On the Street: In the last couple of previous devotionals we have discussed the importance of living a life of righteousness after being saved. This is not easy but I have a good friend that always says, “God does not call us to what is easy but to what is worthy.” Living out righteousness is not easy but it is worthy. Because it is not easy you must know you will not always be successful at it. When you find yourself in unrighteousness and sin, you cannot feel guilty or get down on yourself. You must pick yourself up and move forward in the direction of righteousness.
Paul starts chapter eight by saying, “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus”. We are not bound by the law of sin because God no longer sees us as sinful. We are covered by the blood of Jesus and He does not see past that to our sin. Again, this is not a free pass to sin all you want to without condemnation.
Back to the analogy of the rookie peace officer who just got their badge pinned on. They now have to start living and acting like a law enforcement officer. Back in the day, there was this thing called professional courtesy amongst law enforcement officers. If you got stopped for a minor traffic violation, you would normally get off with a warning. This “freedom from receiving traffic tickets” did not mean you blatantly violated the law from that point on. Just like our sin, as a Christian, now that we are saved we don’t get “tickets/condemnation” but it does not give us free reign to go around purposefully sinning.
The point is you do not need to waste your time feeling guilty about past sins. Make peace with God through repentance and move forward. Remember, we have work to do in living a righteous life and we can’t afford to spend time looking back. Proverbs 4:25 says, “Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you.”
Jesus gives a great explanation of this in Luke 9:62, when He says, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” Jesus told this to His followers before “pinning the badge” on 72 of them and sending them out on the street.
Back in His day, putting your hand to the plow was the beginning of your labor. When you are plowing land you must look where you are plowing, much like mowing. If you turn and look back while you are plowing you will begin to get off course and your lines will be crooked.
Investigational Resources: Hebrews 12:2, Psalm 143:8.
Officer Safety Principle: Keep your eyes fixed on the prize.
from The Book of Romans Through the Eyes of a Cop
©by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.
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