November 17, 2018

Today you should read: Nahum 2

When God destroys, it’s usually followed up with a process of restoration. We see this with Nineveh as we see God’s wrath upon Nineveh for their great disobedience and sin against God but as we see in verse 2, He is also using it to restore the majority of Jacob as the majesty of Israel. They were raided by Nineveh but they will be redeemed in the ashes of Nineveh.  As the ESV Study Bible says: “Here Nahum gives one reason for the fall of Nineveh: God had used the Assyrians as his scourge of discipline on unfaithful Judah, but this scourge would no longer be needed because the LORD is restoring the majesty of Jacob. The true majesty of Judah, basically what was left of the nation Israel was spiritual, not secular or political. God separated Israel from the nations to be devoted to him; with them he made his covenants; from them would come the Messiah.”

This is a great example of God’s sovereignty in wrath and judgment. These things are looked upon as negative things about God but we know that God is ultimately good in His judgment and justice. If He wasn’t a just God who punishes evil, He wouldn’t be a good God. Beyond that, we see how He uses it for the restoration and reconciliation of His people whether it’s in discipline or teaching.

How has God used wrath and judgment in your life?

By: Erik Koliser — West Campus Pastor

November 16, 2018

Today you should read: Nahum 1

Welcome to a quick, 3-day read through the book of Nahum.  Most people don’t know much about this little book. Nahum is the 7the book of the Minor Prophets (there are 12 of them) written in Jerusalem in the seventh century B.C.  Not much is known about Nahum personally. His name means “comforter” and he was from the town of Algosh (Nahum 1:1). He likely wrote his book about 615 or so BC at or right before the fall of Nineveh.  

Although this book is a prophecy of the destruction that God was going to bring against those who opposed Him, chapter 1 shows us much about God’s character.

God is Just (v.2)

2 A jealous and avenging God is the Lord; The Lord is avenging and wrathful. The Lord takes vengeance on His adversaries, and He reserves wrath for His enemies.

God is perfect in His justice.  He doesn’t allow unrepented evil to go undealt with.

God is Gracious (v.3a)

3The Lord is slow to anger…

Even though God is perfectly just, He shows unbelievable grace and mercy to humanity.  He is not quick-tempered – but slow to anger.

God is Thorough (v.3b)

3 And the Lord will by no means leave the guilty unpunished.

God is complete in His judgement.

God is Powerful (v.3-6)

3The Lord is slow to anger and great in power…

The wind and storms are beneath His feet.  He controls the rivers. Who can stand against Him?

God is Good to those who run to Him (v.7)

7The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble,  and He knows those who take refuge in Him.

God is mighty and powerful – but compassionate to those who turn to Him.  A stronghold – a place to run for those who take refuge in Him.

God is Perfect in Wisdom (v.9)

9 Whatever you devise against the Lord, He will make a complete end of it.

God acts in perfect knowledge and wisdom.  He knows all and always responds correctly.

God is Fair (v.10-14)

God wants the world to know and turn to Him (v.15)

15Behold, on the mountains the feet of him who brings good news, who announces peace!

We see these words again…

How lovely on the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news, Who announces peace And brings good news of happiness, Who announces salvation, And says to Zion, “Your God reigns!”  Isaiah 52:7 (seen again in Romans 10)

By: Tim Parsons — Lead Pastor

November 15, 2018

Today you should read: 1 Chronicles 29

Finally, we come to the end. Well, the end of the first book of Chronicles at least. In this passage we see a couple important things: first, the preparation of the Temple is complete, and second, the kingship is passed from David to Solomon.

As we read of all that has been collected, I was struck by one fact—everything belongs to God. David collected precious metals and gems, and gave great wealth from his own stores. But as he prayed to God, look at his attitude of his own wealth, “everything in heaven and earth is yours” (11). “Wealth and honor come from you” (12). “Everything comes from you, and we have given only what comes from your hand” (14). “All this abundance that we have provided…comes from your hand, and all of it belongs to you” (16).

David reminds us of our role as stewards. All that God has blessed us with isn’t really ours, it’s His. The problem is that the longer we hold on to something the more ownership we feel. However, everything is God’s and we are to use “our” treasures for His purposes, His glory, in alignment with His wisdom on how it should be used.

1st Chronicles ends with David’s death and Solomon’s ascension to the throne. David did everything possible to set him up for success. For the most part, David’s preparation paid huge dividends. Solomon’s rule is the pinnacle of Israel’s history. However, because of Solomon’s divided loyalties, after his reign the nation divided as well.

Solomon was the first son to sit on David’s throne. God had promised David an eternal throne, but Solomon, as great a king as he was, wasn’t the answer. Ultimately, God will fulfill the Davidic Covenant through Jesus. His will be a throne that never ends. For now, however, the torch is passed from father to son and the work of building God’s Temple lies ahead.   

I don’t know about you, but as I read the final chapter of 1st Chronicles, I cannot help but think about our church’s generosity. Although nobody (that I know of) in our church possesses the precious metals or gems like what David donated to the Temple, our church has been generous with what they have.

This year we asked for money and time to help with the building. People showed up and gave in droves. During Missions Impact Month, our church collected over $27,000 above our goal! We raised over $71,000 because our church loves the Bible, loves orphans, and loves to help train pastors that are taking the Gospel to places we ourselves cannot go. On top of all that, you continue to give through regular offering such that our normal operating budget has stayed on track. God has done so much through the gifts at CPC and it’s not over yet. This month we have the opportunity to bless lots of families in our own community through your generosity. There is a whole lot of food in the Gathering Point at East Campus that is going to go to families who need it. Not only that, we have the opportunity to give some families a Christmas they won’t forget. From the bottom of my heart, and I think I speak for our staff and our leadership team, thank you CPC for your generosity!

By: Tyler Short — Connections Ministry Associate

November 14, 2018

Today you should read: 1 Chronicles 28

We read today about David’s announcement to all of Israel that Solomon would soon be taking his place as king of Israel. David made it clear to everyone in Israel that it was God who put David on the throne, God who would put Solomon on the throne, and God who ordered the building of the Temple for the next generation.

David, in the sight of all of Israel tells his son, “Be careful to obey all the commands of the Lord your God…” and “Worship and serve him with your whole heart and a willing mind” (v.8-9). David also gives Solomon instructions for how to build the Temple. Go back to our passage today and look at how prepared David is! David was detailed in his instruction to his son, giving him the guidance required for building the Temple in a way that was God-honoring.

Then, before everyone, David tells Solomon, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don’t be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. He will see to it that all the work related to the Temple of the LORD is finished correctly” (v. 20).

What a great picture of a father discipling and encouraging his son! David knew that Solomon was called to build the Temple of God, and with the Lord’s help, it would be done. What has God called you to do? How do you need to “be strong and courageous, and do the work?” Is there a specific ministry area where God wants you to serve? Do you have a passion for a specific people or ministry?

For all Christians, God has called us to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18). Do you ever feel like you aren’t growing in your faith? Be encouraged that “he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6). Remember to not “be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you” (v.20).

What is God calling you to do today? Think of one area God wants you to grow in, and one area of service that God may be calling you. (Hint: the question isn’t whether you are called, but how!)

By: Lucas Taylor — West Campus Pastoral Ministry Apprentice