January 25, 2020

Today you should read: Zechariah 2

Today we get to continue in this amazing book in which God, after the horrific Babylonian exile, is reminding His people of how much he loves them, is for them, and is jealous for them. God proclaims this to them through 8 different visions. We saw the first two in chapter 1 and we see the next vision in chapter 2.

“In this vision Zechariah sees a man with a measuring line in his hand. The prophet asks the man where he is going, and the man indicates that he is on his way to take the measurements of Jerusalem. Then, as now, surveying property in this way was done in preparation for building. The man in this vision represents God’s desire to restore and rebuild the city.” (Rummage, 101)

This would have been shocking news as we see that in Nehemiah the city was unsafe and unstable. However, in verse 5 we see the love and faithfulness of God as he says “And I will be to her a wall of fire all around, declares the Lord…” The city would once again be all it should be because of God Himself. 

So God calls those lingering in exile to trust Him enough to return to Him (v.6-7). 

He reminds them of their identity (v.8). They are the apple of His eye. He loves them. He is for them. He is jealous for them. Because of that He WILL bring judgment on the peoples and nations harming them (v.9)

He reminds them that He will keep His promise of the coming Messiah (v. 10-11). “And many nations shall join themselves to the Lord in that day, and shall be my people.” We see this come to be realized in Ephesians 2:11-22 as in Jesus God made one new man. 

He promised them his presence (v.11) – something they felt like they had gone without for some time.

But He promised them they were still special to Him… Though He was/is a God for the nations, Israel is still special to Him (v.12).

This is a bold proclamation of God’s love and faithfulness and He calls us to worship Him in fear and love for He is the living and holy God (v. 13)!

Where do you need to be reminded of God’s love and faithfulness in your life today? He loves you, cares for you, is for you, and is faithful. Express this to Him and remind yourself of the Truth of God today.

By: Nick Parsons — Pastoral Ministry Associate: College


God is honored when we intentionally seek Him in prayer. As a church, we want dependent prayer to be something that marks us. Use the comment section to post prayer requests and experiences of how God has answered prayer and/or changed you through prayer! If you would like to be enrolled to get weekly prayer reminders, text @cpclex to 81010.

January 24, 2020

Today you should read: Zechariah 1

The book of Zechariah was written by Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo who was probably his grandfather (1:1 and Ezra 5:1 and 6:14) Zechariah was a prophet in Judah and he lived and prophesized about 520 B.C. during the reign of Darius king of Persia.  He was a contemporary with Haggai (Ezra 5:1). He was martyred – Jesus told us that Zechariah was killed between the altar and the temple (Luke 11:51).

Zechariah as depicted on Michelangelo’s ceiling of the Sistine Chapel

Like many of the other Minor Prophets we’ve studied, Zechariah chapter 1 is a call for God’s people to return to the Lord.

Return to me, and I will return to you, says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. (v. 2)

Zechariah goes on to challenge the people not to be like their stubborn ancestors who refused to listen and brought judgment on themselves and those around them.

Don’t be like your ancestors who would not listen or pay attention … (v. 4)

God is merciful – full of kindness to His people.  Aren’t you glad! This very prophetic chapter reminds us what John tells us about our Father.

And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.  John 1:14

Our Father is full of grace – giving us what we absolutely do not deserve and often holding back the punishment we do deserve.  However, we must also realize that He’s equally full of truth and justice. Our God is as just as He is loving – as full of truth as He is grace.

I think for many of us today – God is saying the same thing as He did to the people in Zechariah’s day…

Return to me.  Don’t be like others who pay no attention to my warnings.

What are the areas in which God is calling you to return today?  Unfulfilled promises? Forgotten commitments? Is He calling you away from destructive, habitual sin in your life?

What are you going to do?  Repent – turn from your sin, confess and seek accountability to keep you on track or continue to ignore the warnings?  

My prayer for you today, is that you will acknowledge God’s love and grace, and respond to your wonderful Father.

By: Tim Parsons — Lead Pastor


God is honored when we intentionally seek Him in prayer. As a church, we want dependent prayer to be something that marks us. Use the comment section to post prayer requests and experiences of how God has answered prayer and/or changed you through prayer! If you would like to be enrolled to get weekly prayer reminders, text @cpclex to 81010.

January 23, 2020

Today you should read: 2 Timothy 4:9-22

Moments before he ascended into Heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father, Jesus said, “You will receive my power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all of Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

When Dr. Luke recorded these famous words of the living Christ—who had risen from the dead—we can imagine his amazement that he got to witness the prophecy come true. Jesus’ words provide the outline of the whole book of Acts. Starting at the Day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit rushed upon the disciples and the truth of the Gospel poured forth in multiple languages and 3,000 were saved. Later, unwilling missionaries fled Jerusalem at the stoning of Stephen and the Gospel spread to escape violence. As Stephen died, a Pharisee named Saul was honored. Saul took up the charge to crush this sectarian divide of Christianity—the illegitimate offspring of the true faith. That is, until on the way to Damascus, he was converted. 

The expectation of the Messiah is that when he came, he would be King of the whole world. He would crush Rome and put all government leaders under his feet. Instead, the Messiah died. The message of salvation would make it to the remotest part of the earth—to Rome—but not through military victory. After traveling the Roman roads sharing the gospel and planting churches, Paul was placed in jail. Uncommonly, he was a Roman citizen by birth and had a right that few of his kind possessed, he appealed his case to Caesar. Dr. Luke recorded the spread of the gospel all the way to Rome through a Pharisee in chains. 

Now, though much time has passed since the close of the book of Acts, Paul sat in prison in Rome. As he put the final touches on his final letter in his final days, only Dr. Luke remains. 

Paul wished to see his young disciple, Timothy. Likewise, he wanted Mark, who although he once fearfully fled the mission field, was now useful in ministry. He requested two things be brought to him: his cloak that saw him through many chilly nights and his books because we never stop learning. On his travels, Timothy was admonished to greet friends and be cautious of enemies, and to arrive before winter. 

As in many things, we don’t know the end of the story. Did Timothy make it before Paul died? We don’t know. What we do know is that the Gospel made it to where Jesus promised—far from where it all began. And even now it continues to spread. It would have encouraged Paul’s heart to know that his work has echoed for thousands of years, crossed oceans, and untold Gentile believers have come to know the risen Lord because he was faithful. 

How has Paul’s story encouraged you? Have you stopped to consider how today will impact your legacy? What can you do this week that will echo into eternity? 

By: Tyler Short — Connections Ministry Associate


God is honored when we intentionally seek Him in prayer. As a church, we want dependent prayer to be something that marks us. Use the comment section to post prayer requests and experiences of how God has answered prayer and/or changed you through prayer! If you would like to be enrolled to get weekly prayer reminders, text @cpclex to 81010.

January 22, 2020

Today you should read: 2 Timothy 4:1-8

Paul’s words in these verses sound very familiar to us. I think they are so familiar because it describes a lot of the world around us. We live in the “Bible Belt” where casual Christians are immensely prevalent. These people tend to settle into church environments where they won’t be challenged, rebuked, or shown truth that comes from the Bible. They find teachers who, as Paul says in verse 3, “suit their own passions.” This causes them to no longer listen to anyone who may interfere with their life even if they are living in sin.

This may sound judgmental of me, but Paul first mentions in verse 1 how God and Jesus are the only ones to judge, but instead we should preach the Word, reprove, rebuke, and exhort those who claim faith, but are not living it out (verse 2). How should we approach this? Paul answers that question at the end of verse 2 when he says, “with complete patience and teaching.” This is where a lot of Christians fail at this. Instead of presenting truth, they condemn and judge. I am quickly reminded of a church in my hometown that would carry huge signs at the town square, yelling at all the cars driving by telling them that they were going straight to hell. (This is not an exaggeration.) They didn’t present the truth of the Gospel or the hope that is found in Jesus. 

Lastly, Paul is reminded of the hope found in following Christ. Although he was thrown in prison and knew that he would eventually be killed for his faith, he continued to preach the Gospel. Paul kept the faith and was reiterating something that Jesus had mentioned in Matthew 24:13-14 where it says, 

“13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”

So I encourage you, fight the good fight, finish the race, keep the faith.

By: Jacob Kerr — West Campus Pastoral Ministry Apprentice: Worship & Students


God is honored when we intentionally seek Him in prayer. As a church, we want dependent prayer to be something that marks us. Use the comment section to post prayer requests and experiences of how God has answered prayer and/or changed you through prayer! If you would like to be enrolled to get weekly prayer reminders, text @cpclex to 81010.