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Not Always as They Seem

Briefing: There was a movie at the theater a couple of weeks ago that I had been waiting to see. A friend told me it was the best movie he had ever seen. I went to see the movie, expecting it to be the best movie I had ever seen. Unfortunately, my expectations were too high and I left the movie a little disappointed. The movie was not what I expected.

Dispatch (Assignment): Read John 11:1-16.

On the Street: Jesus came to correct our misunderstanding of this world. Have you ever let your preconceived notions or expectations cloud your understanding of anything? As a rookie officer, I learned you never go into a call confident of knowing what the outcome will be.

Letting your guard down and/or being overconfident is the enemy of law enforcement officers. Studies show that most officers who get seriously injured or killed usually have 5-7 years of experience. Experts say that being overconfident and having a superman mentality causes us to take chances and put ourselves in dangerous situations we normally don’t put ourselves in.

Law enforcement officers have to be reminded every once in a while that we are not bullet proof and we don’t leap tall buildings in a single bound. Reality checks are a good thing.

The saying, “perception is reality” is not always true. Your perception of being superman, taking on six armed gunmen and saving the day might not work out so well. No one knew this better than Jesus. He sees this world as it was created to be because He was the creative force. He also saw how human perception of the world did not line up with His creation. Sin has really screwed up our ideas of what is important and true.

Jesus sees this world differently than we do. A great example of this, in John chapter three, was when Jesus told Nicodemus we must be born again. Nicodemus did not understand and asked, “How can a man be born when he is old?” John 3:4 (NIV).

Another example of our misunderstanding of His words can be found in John 6:53-54 (NIV) when Jesus told the Jewish people, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.” They assumed He was talking about cannibalism.

In this chapter, we have another example. Lazarus has died. Jesus knows this and tells His disciples that Lazarus has fallen asleep. They do not understand what Jesus is telling them so He says, “Lazarus is dead” John 11:14 (NIV).

Not being able to understand what Jesus is telling us is concerning. How do we interpret what He is saying? The easy answer is the Holy Spirit.

God’s Word (the Bible) is a book of deep mystery. There will be some mysteries that we will never get the answer to (this side of heaven) and others that will be revealed to us when He decides we are ready. The way that works best for me is a combination of prayer, a worshipful attitude, reading the Bible and asking God to allow the Holy Spirit to lead me in the right direction. The point is that we have a role to play in this. The Bible is very clear that we are to meditate on God.

Sometimes we need to look deep into what the Word is telling us. Joshua 1:8 says, “Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”

Psalm 119:14-16 (NIV) says, “I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches. I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word.”

Psalm 119: 97-99 (NIV), “Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long. Your commands make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever with me. I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your statutes. I have more understanding than the elders, for I obey your precepts. I have kept my feet from every evil path so that I might obey your word.”

And my favorite Psalm, 1:1-3 (HCSB), “How happy is the man who does not follow the advice of the wicked, or take the path of sinners, or join a group of mockers! Instead, his delight is in the Lord’s instruction, and he meditates on it day and night. He is like a tree planted beside streams of water that bears its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.”

Make the Bible part of your daily life. Not something on your “to do list” but truly get into His Word. There is a difference between reading the Bible and meditating on God’s Word.

Investigational Resources: For more Bible verses on meditating on God and His Word, read Psalm 77:12, Psalm 119:23, 27, 48, 78, 148, Psalm 143:5, Psalm 145:5, Psalm 104:34.

Officer Safety Principle: Psalm 19:14 (NIV), “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.”

from The Gospel of John Through the Eyes of a Cop
©by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.
Click here to check out the entire Through the Eyes of a Cop series!