Daily Devotional - "Through the Eyes of a Cop"
Briefing: We all know people who can put on a good show. I have a fellow police officer, and friend, who relayed the story of his best friend's father. From all appearances, this dad was very normal. One day, he was stopped on a routine traffic stop. The officers located a large amount of drugs in the vehicle. It turns out that he had been manufacturing and selling drugs for years and no one knew.
Dispatch (Assignment): Read Matthew 21:18-22.
On the Street: Jesus was running out of time. He was taking advantage of every teachable moment He had with His disciples. We all know the saying, "you can't judge a book by its cover" but you can judge a tree by its fruit.
The Jewish leaders looked good on the outside but on the inside their hearts were dark. Jesus will later say to the Pharisees, "You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men's bones and everything unclean" (Matthew 23:27). They looked very religious; they were as pretty leaves. John the Baptist said, "Produce fruit in keeping with repentance" (Matthew 3:8). What good is a beautiful fruit tree that produces no fruit? Jesus warned us about people like this, "By their fruit you will know them" (Matthew 7:16).
Jesus then gives them a lesson on faith. Why are these two lessons together? What does faith and good fruit have in common? I think Jesus is making a point of telling us whom we should put our faith.
There was a man trying to cross a frozen lake. He was afraid that the ice was not thick enough to keep him from falling through. He did not have much faith in the ice. He got down on all fours and began to slowly crawl across the lake. After about an hour he made it to the middle of the lake. Suddenly he heard a loud noise behind him. It was a man on a snowmobile crossing the lake. This man obviously had lots of faith in the thickness of the ice. The first man lay on the ice in terror and watched the snowmobile drive right by him and across to the other side. Six weeks later the same man was going back across the lake. He had a little more faith in the ice than the first time he crossed. As he reached the middle of the lake, he once again heard the roar of the snowmobile from behind him. It was also crossing the lake. As the snow mobile got even with him, the ice suddenly cracked, both men fell in and died.
Both of these men had faith in the ice. The first man had a little faith that it would not crack, dropping to an icy death. The rider of the snowmobile had a lot of faith in the thickness of the ice. The point is not the amount of faith in the ice but where they put their faith. Faith in man is misplaced. Put your faith in the unshakeable, unbreakable, unchangeable Son of the One and only God.
Highlights from this Read: In verse 21 Jesus says, "you can say to this mountain, Go, throw yourself into the sea, and it will be done". I think of a mountain of problems more than an actual mountain. A key to faith is in not doubting. Jesus says, "I tell you the truth" for a reason.
Investigational Resources: Matthew 3:10, 7:15-23, 12:33 (fruit), James 1:6. Also see Mark 11:12-14, 20-24.
Officer Safety Principle: 1. Make sure you are not a fruitless tree. 2. Who do you put your faith in?
from The Gospel of Matthew Through the Eyes of a Cop
©2012 by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.
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