Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Being a C.O.P.


You’re probably wondering why today's devotional is about being a ‘cop’, well really its not. “COP” is an acronym for ‘committed’,obedient’ and ‘pure’, characteristics that we all need to have.
“Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, ... and I will receive you,” (2Co 6:17 AV)

God has told us in His Word that He expects us to be different than the world that we live in. He wants us to be an example to the world. We are suppose to be salt and light. People should know that we belong to Him by our actions, our speech and the love that we have towards each other. We need to be the genuine article.
So let’s take a few moments to look at these three characteristics.

As representatives of Christ we need to be committed in our relationships. We need to be committed not only when it’s easy and things are going good, but especially when things are not going so good and it’s hard. We need to determine to honour God with our commitments. I recently read an interview that Kirk Cameron gave to Focus on the Family magazine. In it he said “marriage is a covenant relationship between me, my wife and Jesus. And there is no exiting out of that covenant relationship”.
Being committed to our relationship means that we are to be supportive of one another regardless of how we are feeling. Jesus told us that we are always to show love, not just when we feel like it. It is through that obedience that we will be blessed, not through acting on our feelings.

What has God asked you to be committed to? Is it to be a wife and mother? A husband and father? Whatever He has asked you to be we need to have a walk that is worthy of His praise. We need to stay committed to being the best we can be for Him.

Maybe you have never thought that being a good wife is a way of serving the Lord. Maybe you never knew that one way we can show our love to God is in how we treat our spouse. So many people get married thinking ‘oh I’ll change him’ or ‘oh she’ll be different after awhile’, but that doesn’t work and people end up being miserable. I can’t change anyone, only God can through His Holy Spirit. Instead of focusing on the person we can’t change, we need to ask the Lord to change us and then to concentrate on getting our part of the marriage right.

How do we get our part right? First by forgiveness. When we choose to forgive we allow God to heal our heart and to change it to be more like His. If we have an unsaved spouse or a wayward child, it is even more important to remember our commitment to them and to exhibit the love of Christ towards them so that we may be an example to them and possibly win them for the Lord. The only One who can change the heart of a sinful person and to cause them to love unconditionally is God.

If we are to love, as Christ loves us, we will love unconditionally and be committed to our relationships. Christ loves us no matter what. He loves us when we are being hard to get along with, He loves us when we are unlovely, He loves us even when we tell Him we don’t love Him. He is committed to us. He will never leave us nor forsake us. He will always be there for us and He is as close as the mention of His name. He is committed to us and we need to be to Him and to the relationships He has blessed us with.

Our next characteristic that we will look at is obedience. Obedience is a pretty big thing in our house. It always has been. When our children were small we expected obedience and received it and because of that they have grown up to be obedient children who honour and respect us. By teaching our children obedience it becomes a natural progression for them to obey the Lord and respect Him. The Lord is not looking for head strong, rebellious children, He is looking for someone to obey His Word and honour Him in the way we live.

“And Samuel said, Hath the LORD [as great] delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey [is] better than sacrifice, [and] to hearken than the fat of rams.” (1Sa 15:22 AV)

God appreciates obedience even more than a sacrifice. When we have an obedient heart we have a heart that is soft, one that can be used for His purposes. When we are disobedient we have a hard heart, one that won’t let Him in.  We can show our obedience by knowing God’s Word and to follow His teachings. It’s good to hear God’s Word being preached and taught but we have the responsibility to know it ourselves. If we become a student of the Word, we will know what God expects of us and we will be more willing to be obedient to Him.

I never could understand how people could hear the Word being preached and still go out and do whatever they want to do, knowing full well that what they are doing is wrong. Do they think that God is suddenly blind? That He doesn’t see what they are doing?

“Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth [it] not, to him it is sin.” (Jas 4:17 AV)

We are going to be held accountable for what we do that is not pleasing to God. It is our job to know what the Word says and to obey it. It is the pastor’s job to teach us and to encourage us to live right and because we have been taught what is wrong and what is right, it is now up to us to be obedient unto God.
So many Christians are like children playing around a mud puddle they have been told not to go near. They first poke their toe in it, thinking I know I’m not suppose to do this but a little bit won’t hurt, then that doesn’t satisfy so they put in more of their foot, then suddenly both feet are in and they find themselves in trouble. But disobedience will never bring blessing. If we know something is wrong and still insist on doing it thinking that oh well God won’t mind, then we are just like the child in the mud puddle, we’re going to get in trouble.

“Then shall they cry unto the LORD, but he will not hear them: he will even hide his face from them at that time, as they have behaved themselves ill in their doings.” (Mic 3:4 AV)

God will not bless disobedience, instead He has promised in His Word that if we are sinning and there is no repentance for that sin, that He will turn His face from us and will not hear our prayers. So it is vitally important that the child of God is an obedient child of God. We honour our Father by our obedience to His Word.

Finally, let’s look at purity. “ Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.” (Ps 24:3-4 AV)

God is looking for a people who have clean hands and a pure heart. We can have clean hands when we choose to live our lives according to God's way instead of our own. When we turn away from the sin in our lives we are taking a step towards having clean hands and a pure heart.  It is an ongoing journey towards sanctification (being set apart for God's purpose). All of our desires to do good and good works  can never give us clean hands and a pure heart, only God can do that with our willingness to be more like Him.
We sing a little song in Kids Club, that you probably all know: “oh be careful little eyes what you see, oh be careful little eyes what you see, for the Father up above is looking down in love, oh be careful little eyes what you see” the verses go on to say “be careful little mouth what you say”, “be careful little hands what you do” and “be careful little ears what you hear”, and finally “be careful little feet where you go”. It is a simple little song but has a very important truth in it: we have to be careful of everything that we see, say, do, go etc.

Are the TV shows we watch pleasing and good? Or do they tear down the family or individuals? Do they promote sinful behavior? What about the magazines we look at or the movies we see? Would God be pleased with our choices? Will they go towards helping us have a pure heart?

What about what we are listening to? Are we part of the gossip circle? Do we join in on a dirty joke? What about our choices in music? Are they pleasing to God? What goes in our ears? Would God be pleased? Will it help us to have a pure heart?

What about our speech? The way we talk? Is it pleasing to God? Our speech should always be uplifting others, never tearing them down. God is not pleased with us hurting another with our words or our actions. God will not bless a heart that has malice in it. God is seeking a pure heart.

“For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of [them] whose heart [is] perfect toward him..” (2Ch 16:9 AV)

As children of God we should desire and strive to have a pure heart, just like the psalmist David said in Psalm 51:10:
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
King David, is asking the loving and merciful God of all to create a perfectly clean heart in him. God is the Creator of all things and He created our phyiscal bodies as well. That same God, who created your physical heart can give you a new heart if you ask Him to. He will change your life if you choose to let Him in.

God is looking for cops, people who are committed, obedient and pure. If you are not sure if you are living up to that, why not ask Him today to search your heart.

“Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:” (Ps 139:23 AV)
He will reveal any impurities to you, if you are willing to be searched. Our greatest desire should be to please Him in all that we do. We need to be committed in a world that has forgotten what commitment means. We need to be the ones who say ‘leaving is not an option’. We need to take our commitments seriously.

We need to be obedient to His Word and try to follow it every day. And when we find ourselves doing something that God would not be pleased with, we need to repent and turn back to Him.

And finally we need to be pure, in our hearts, our minds and our actions. If we are committed, obedient and pure we will be the genuine article, the real deal. The world will see us as being true disciples of Christ and they will be drawn to Him through us. Let’s make that our desire to live a life that is pleasing unto Him.

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