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Briefing: Do you consider yourself a veteran officer? What does it take to reach veteran status?

Dispatch (Assignment): Read Romans 15:14-22.

On the Street: Paul has great confidence that his readers have become veteran Christians. He continues by telling us his mission and how blessed he is to be a part. Basically he is giving us one more characteristic to learn. By word and example he is telling us about the humility we, as veteran Christians, are to demonstrate. This will be the last characteristic we will talk about in this devotional.

What are the attributes of a veteran that Paul lists? First he tells us they are full of goodness. Paul does not say we are good. We know from Jesus that no one is good but God; however we can have goodness in our lives. Not only can we have it but we are told over and over to produce goodness. Goodness is part of the fruit of the spirit. God is good, perfectly good; no bad, just good, all good. We are called to imitate God’s goodness and reflect this in love to all. Paul says these Christians are full of goodness. Are we full of goodness or is it something we need to work on?

Next, Paul says these Christians are complete in knowledge. What kind of knowledge do you think Paul is talking about? I can assure you it is not knowledge of your favorite sports team’s current roster. We have the knowledge of life revealed to us in God’s Word. How confident are you in the knowledge of your Bible, or the knowledge of who God is? We need to be men and women of the knowledge of God. That means a good prayer life, staying and abiding, in His Word, the Bible.

The third thing Paul lists blooms out of the knowledge from God. Paul says they were complete in knowledge and competent to instruct one another. This takes it a step further and puts into perspective the level of competency Paul has in his veteran Christians. I never realized how little I knew about my job until I became a field training officer. I knew stuff but when I began teaching, I realized I didn’t “completely know” the stuff I thought I knew. When you teach, or instruct one another as Paul puts it, you must know it well enough to be able to answer tough questions about the subject matter you are teaching. You need to know its origin and why it is important. These two items require you to know and understand the history of what you are teaching. You need to know the practical applications which in some cases means the “spirit of the law” and not the “letter of the law”. Teaching and instructing takes a lot of time, effort and commitment. Have you taken the time, put in the effort and made the commitment to know God’s Word and who He is?

Lastly, Paul gives us the example of humility. Some people have issues with Paul because they believe him to be arrogant in his writings. There is a difference between being arrogant and being confident. Paul tells us that he only takes pride in how God has worked in his life. Paul constantly gives glory and all credit to God. Humility is one of the most important traits a veteran Christian can have. It is a learned characteristic and is not always easy, but it is vitally important. Can you say you are a humble person or are you the officer that has to brag on himself/herself?

Investigational Resources: Proverbs 11:2, Micah 6:8, Matthew 18:4 and Galatians 5:22-23.

Officer Safety Principle: Reflect God’s goodness, be complete in your knowledge to the point of being ready to instruct and be humble.

from The Book of Romans Through the Eyes of a Cop
©by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.
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