February 19, 2020

Today you should read: Leviticus 1

Leviticus is a book about the Law of the Lord. It shows all through the Holiness of God and how we could never keep God’s law to perfection. Here is a quick overview video:

 

In the beginning of this book God is telling Moses to instruct the people with what He is about to tell him (v. 1-2). The first chapter in particular is about the ritual of burnt offerings. Though the Israelites in reality did this was foreshadowing of what was to come in Jesus. There were strict requirements:

  1. Perfect (v. 3, 10)
  2. Blood had to be spilt (v. 5)
  3. The skin had to be cut (v. 6,12)

There were other requirements but when we look at these we see Jesus. Jesus was perfect. His blood was spilt for us. He was lashed and beaten for us. He did this in order to make us right with God just like in verse 4. But Jesus didn’t just provide a temporary cover or “fix” of our actions… He brought us from death to life. He fixed our heart. 

This made me think of Psalm 51:16-17:

16 You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one.  You do not want a burnt offering. 17  The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.

This is why Jesus came. He came not to set us free from the requirements of the law but the burden of the law (performing for our salvation). We are free to obey and grow in holiness. We are free now to obey the heart behind the law. Jesus became our sacrifice to make this possible.

Just like the burnt offerings in Leviticus, Jesus was substitutionary – He took our place.

How can you live in this truth & praise God? What do you need to give to God today and walk in the light in?

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.

February 18, 2020

Today you should read: Song of Solomon 8

Love is a great gift from God.  The love between parents and the children, the love of brothers and sisters, the love of friends.  God gave us a special gift when He gave us the love of a husband for his wife and a wife for her husband.

This love flourishes within God’s guidelines.

  • Man and woman
  • Exclusive
  • Reserved for covenant of marriage
  • Self-sacrificing
  • For a lifetime

For this love to function best, it must be practiced God’s way.  1 Corinthians 13 helps us understand what that looks like:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a

Jesus showed us how to love like that through His life on earth.  It is a selfless love that prioritizes the other person.

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:  Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.  Philippians 2:5-7

If you’re married, work today on loving your spouse like that.  If you’re not, ask God to grow His love in you.

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.

February 17, 2020

Today you should read: Song of Solomon 7

As Tim started in Song of Solomon 1, “Well here we go…”

Previously, in the courtship of our couple we have read the excellent advice, not stir up or awaken love until it pleases. Then in chapter 4, we turned on some Barry Manilow, lit a candle, and poured a flute of sparkling grape juice because the time had arrived.

As we step into chapter 7, we understand that some time has passed. This couple has some miles on the tires. They aren’t newlyweds anymore. And, for those of us who have been married more than a few months, there is a whole lot to learn in this passage.

First, notice that for the first time in the Song of Solomon the man is not starting at the head. He’s starting with his bride’s feet. For newlyweds, intimacy starts with a good make out session, but as you get older, you’re not lighting any fires without a foot rub. But seriously though, notice the tour this man takes of his wife’s body.

This is a slow, methodical approach of complimenting his aging wife’s body. Husbands, we need to remind our brides that we find them beautiful. The act of sex does not necessarily communicate the admiration you have for your wife’s features. As a woman’s body changes with time and kids, we must be proactive in telling our bride that she is lovely. Your shared experiences play a role in that change and the mother of your children should not have to wonder if you still find her attractive.  She must feel deeply the words of this bride, “I am my beloved’s and his desire is for me.” (10)

Second, there are a few words in this brief passage that we refer to as “hapax-legominon.” It’s a fun word you can use at parties meaning that this word only appears once in scripture. As you might imagine, there’s not a whole lot of scripture referring to “thighs” and “navels.” These words only appear here and the exact meaning isn’t clear. However, this scene and these words represent what you might call “extreme intimacy.” These are areas that God has designated only for a spouse.

This husband is complimenting his wife in intimate detail. He speaks gently and lovingly to her, and she responds with passion (11–13). It’s hard to imagine, but there are some men out there who are only gentle, loving, and complimentary when they want something from their wife. Although the man’s approach had a welcomed result, it’s not manipulative or coercive.

In conclusion, intimacy and time are connected. Time can kill intimacy if you’re not careful. If your focus is on your own gratification, time has a way of eroding those things over which you formerly lusted. However, with a proper perspective and a little effort, intimacy gets better with age.

To illustrate this point, think of a cast iron skillet. Cast iron requires a process for seasoning. Then each time you use it, you must clean it without using detergent, heat it until it’s dry, apply a thin layer of oil, and heat it past it’s smoking point so the oil doesn’t turn rancid. Why go through the trouble when I can just use a non-stick pan? Because with a little care and attention cast iron gets better and better with age. Cast iron cooks better, the food you cook tastes better, and it’s strong enough that it can be passed down to your kids.

Your marriage shouldn’t look like a cheap, thin pan from Walmart. It should smoke like steak in cast iron! It just takes a little extra effort.

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.

February 15, 2020

Today you should read: Song of Solomon 6

I will be using Daniel Akin’s Christ-Centered Exposition: Exalting Jesus in Song of Songs to help write this commentary.

Chapter 6 is a great illustration of how both husband and wife play a huge role in maintaining a healthy marriage. The previous chapter talked about reconciliation after a fight. In this chapter, things are going really well and they know that it will require work to keep it that way. Both the man and women give really good examples of how to keep a healthy relationship. They do and say the right things and really connect with each other.

The wife:

She began using her words to complement him at the end of chapter 5, but she begins using her actions to complement what she has already said. 

She studies his actions. She does this not in a creepy kind of stalking way, but instead it is a, “I want to know my husband so that I can be one with him.” She studies him to know him.

She also welcomes his advances. The garden she is referring to is believed to not be a physical garden, but instead a metaphor about their love making. She says, “I am my lover’s and my lover is mine. He browses among the lilies.” She knows that sex is important to her husband and because of that it is also important to her.  She knows this because she studies her husband.

The husband:

The husband responds with words of affirmation. Telling her how beautiful (verse 4), irresistible (verse 5), and special (verses 8-10) she is to him. 

This chapter shows a healthy balance of words and actions that shows how to maintain a healthy marriage. I know this is an area in my life where I need to improve. Sometimes I tell my wife how great she is, but never use actions to show that. Sometimes I do the opposite and do all of these things, but never tell her how beautiful she looks today or how special she is to me.

To singles: Are you lifting up those around you through your words and actions? Are you creating habits of building others up or tearing others down through your words?

To those dating: Are your words uplifting to your partner? Is there a balance of words and actions to show how much you care?

To those who are married: Are you taking the time to study your partner and intentionally creating intimate conversations? Are you balancing your words and actions to show your affection? 

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.