The Academy of Life

The video is from my Chattanooga Police Academy 2007-3 graduation, created by Sgt Mark Smeltzer.  The following is an excellent blog post by Mike “MC” Williams of www.TheCenturionLawEnforcementMinistry.org.  His teachings are very scripturally sound, and I highly recommend that you sign up to his weekly devotional tailored especially for cops.

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The Holy Spirit really put it on my heart that there is an interesting correlation between our police academy (basic training, OCS, etc. fit just as well) experience and the “walk” our Lord intends for a Christian’s life. I broke down our study into five (5) main points:

(1) Acceptance: While the standards we had to meet to be accepted by an agency and just get in to the academy (not to mention “surviving” the academy, field training and probation) were indeed tough, God’s standard is absolute perfection. So how can we possibly get “in”? The answer — the ONLY answer — is Jesus Christ (John 14:6)! Sin and its consequence disqualify us from acceptance. In fact, our sin demands nothing less than the death penalty (Romans 6:23). However, God loves us so much that he sent His only Son into the world (what we celebrate at Christmas) to ultimately pay the “price of admission” for us on the cross (John 3:16-18). All we have to do is turn (literally an “about face”) from our sin, seek His forgiveness, and enter into a personal, life-saving relationship with the Savior. More on that in a moment…

(2) Fellowship: No one goes to the “academy” alone. Rather, we are drilled on the fact that we can’t be successful on our own – and we are never to leave one another without “cover.” That is what fellowship is all about – and a big part of why we meet on a regular basis. Having a “relationship” includes regular fellowship with one another and – even more importantly – with God (1 Corinthians 1:9, 1 John 1:3). We simply cannot and must not go it alone (no such thing as a one man SWAT unit – and no “I” in “team”). See Acts 2:42-47 and Hebrews 10:25.

(3) Training & Discipline to stay the course and finish strong (includes the FTO – “field training” phase) are essential facets of “academy” life: Hebrews 12:1-11; Philippians 3:12-14; Proverbs 3:11-12; 1 Timothy 4:7-10 and more. Moreover, just as we study manuals and statute books in the academy, we have the ultimate “manual” for our walk with Christ in this life – God’s perfect, inerrant word, the Bible. God communicates, disciplines and teaches us through His word (note that this “class” is not an “elective”). Finally, training and discipline also include holding one another lovingly accountable: Titus 2:11-15; Matthew 6:33.

(4) Probation (evaluation) Phase: Our life in Christ on this Earth – one of “trials and tribulation”, victories and defeats, sadness and JOY – is a time that we should be growing in obedience and godliness. That said, understand that we are NOT saved by “works” (Ephesians 2:8-9, Acts 15:9-11) and the true Christian can’t be “booted” out, but there should in fact be good evidence (what the Bible calls fruit – a changed, Christ-centered life) in our walk as Christians – 1 Cor. 15:2-6, Matthew 13:23, Galatians 5:22-25, and more.

(5) Graduation for the Christian warrior only comes when this life – the “academy” – ends. The “reward” is the “badge” (gift) of eternal life with our Lord and Savior. There will in fact be a graduation ceremony and the “speech” we’ll want to hear from our “Chief” will be a short and perfect one: “Well done, good and faithful servant…” (Matthew 25:23).

So where are you today? Have you been accepted into the “academy” of life and are you staying the course? If not, you can be “accepted” and begin that journey today.  Read “Are you a good person?” from the FCPO website.  Follow along – and say “yes” to God’s call on your life today.

Det. Mike “MC” Williams, Colorado

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