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The Line in the Sand

Briefing: If you are not with me, you are against me.

Dispatch (Assignment): Have you ever had to take sides? Read Matthew chapter 12:22-45.

On the Street: How do people perceive you? What are your characteristics? If two people were talking and one mentioned your name, what would be the first thing that popped into the other persons mind?

Not too long ago, I spoke to an officer from another agency and told him about a Christian Peace Officer organization of which I was a part. I invited him to one of our Bible studies and his answer was something like this, “I’ll pass it on, I know a few officers who are into that kind of stuff”. This guy was a nice guy whom I have a lot of respect for but his answer sent chills down my spine. His answer led me to believe that he was not for or against Christ or Bible study. He was indifferent to them. Revelation 3:16 says, “So, because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I am about to vomit you out of my mouth”. That’s not a good place to be.

According to Jesus it is black and white, good vs. evil, home vs. visitors. There are no neutral fans, you have to pick a side. Luke 9:26 Jesus tells us, “If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in His glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels”. Again, there is no room for neutrality or timidity.

Years ago, Bob Dylan sang a song called “Gotta Serve Somebody”. In it he makes many contrasts to who you can serve but when it all comes down to it he says, “It may be the devil or it may be the Lord but you are going to have to serve somebody”. Who are you going to serve?

Not getting involved is not an option.

Highlights from this Read: In verse thirty, Jesus said, “He who is not with me is against me”. It is time to make a choice. In verse thirty-four, we ask: how do people define us? Do they define us by what we say or what we do, or both? Most often I don’t have the luxury of spending the amount of time it would take to study someone’s actions so I have to rely on what they say. Verse thirty-five: a sponge soaks up the things it is placed into contact with. When it is squeezed, the things that were soaked up are the things that come out of it. What pours out of you when you are squeezed? How did all that junk get in there? It takes several squeezes to get all the junk out, be patient. Verses 36 through 37 continues this thought of what comes out of our mouth makes us unclean. Psalm 141:3-4 is a great illustration of this thought. Being clean is a foundational step but there is one more thing to do. In verses 43-45, the Word tells us to fill ourselves (clean sponge) with Christ.

Investigational Resources: Psalm 141:3-4 is a prayer for God to set a guard over our mouths and heart. Also read Mark 3:23-27 and Luke 11:17-22.

Officer Safety Principle: It is of the utmost importance to choose to serve Christ and then do it in a way that people know where you stand.

from The Gospel of Matthew 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!

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