April 11, 2020

Today you should read: 1 Thessalonians 3:11-13

I love 1 Thessalonians. In it we see an up close and personal view of Paul’s heart for this church and his disciples. And in verses 11-13 we see what he desires for them.

1) TO SEE THEM IN PERSON (V.11)

I love this. In this we see Paul’s heart for people. He wanted to be with them. He wanted to be able to encourage them and minister to them in person. He did not want to do the bare minimum – write letters. He wanted to point them to Jesus in person. He pursued them. How can you pursue someone like this today to encourage them in their faith in Jesus?

2) THEIR LOVE TO INCREASE + ABOUND (V.12)

Paul wanted love to genuinely overflow out of their hearts. We, as followers of Jesus, have gotten really good at allowing the “fake love” to flow out of our hearts. Paul wants genuine love. He wants it to abound. He is reminding us that as followers of Jesus there should be something supernatural about our love. Our love should look, feel, and hit differently. It is more than just being kind, more than just giving a little… it is all consuming.

Jesus talked about this in John 13:35,

“35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Paul wants them to love because it is (1) commanded and (2) because people see Jesus when we increase with and abound in genuine God-given love. What do you think it means to have supernatural love?

3) ESTABLISHED HEARTS (V.13)

He wanted their hearts established, rooted, and grounded in the truth of the gospel of Jesus. I love how it says “he may establish”… It is God who does the established but we have to participate with Him in this. We do this by actively trying to grow, read scripture, pray, fight sin, try to live in truth, but most importantly by asking him to establish our hearts. Take a second and pray… ask God to establish your heart in the truth of Jesus.

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.

April 10, 2020

Today you should read: 1 Thessalonians 3:1-10

The church was created to be a “koinonia” which is the Greek word for a communal body that shares everything they have with each other. We are to live as unified brothers and sisters in Christ who are willing to bear each other’s burdens and will spend an eternity with each other worshipping Jesus together. You can see why it also hurts so much when people leave this “koinonia.” Sometimes it’s because of sin, rebellion and church discipline. Sometimes it’s because we feel like that church is not “meeting our needs.” Other times it’s because God is sending people elsewhere or it’s just a season of life. As a student pastor I saw this even more than most people as families switch churches, students come and go and graduates move away. And one thing that always intrigues me each time a person comes and goes is how they are doing now that we aren’t sharing life together within the church? Are they still following Jesus? Are they still pursuing holiness? Are they still striving to become biblical men and women? Are they still living on mission and sharing the Gospel?

In today’s devotion we see the apostle Paul having these similar thoughts about the church of Thessalonica. The apostle Paul is left alone at Athens and he misses the Thessalonica “koinonia” so much that he sent Timothy to the church to check on them (v. 1). I’m sure they were hurting without Paul as well. Paul sends Timothy to encourage them amidst afflictions (v. 2-4) and to make sure they were staying strong in their faith in fear that they may fall into temptation and that all of their Gospel ministry with them would be in vain (v. 5). Timothy comes back with a report in the next four verses that causes Paul to give thanks to God, experience joy and be comforted in his faith. I’m sure those reports weren’t always that great but these verses bring up something very important. As people come and go in our life through the church do we check up on them every so often?

I’ll be the first to confess that I’m convicted by my answer. When serving in student ministry it was very easy to focus on the new grade moving up, the new spiritual needs that popped up and the new visiting students that walked in that door. My mind constantly goes back to that season of ministry, wondering how that graduate is doing at college, why that 9th grader who went to camp would not answer texts anymore and how those parents are doing as they left the church amidst marital problems? Now it goes to those who may slip through the cracks as it’s easy to have little to no accountability with worship on Sunday morning via a screen. Maybe the Holy Spirit is speaking to you through His Word this morning for you to check in on some of those people and pray for them right now.

By: Erik Koliser — West Campus 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.

April 9, 2020

Today you should read: 1 Thessalonians 2:13-20

One thing that is evident in this passage is the love that Paul has for the church in Thessalonica. What does a church that Paul approves of look like?

1. They took heed to the Word of God. The church acknowledged the Word of God and took it to heart. Verse 13 shows us that they accepted the Word of God and it was at work within the believers there. As a staff, we are so grateful to help lead a church that loves God’s Word as much as you do! It’s amazing to see example after example of how God’s Word is changing lives.

2. They lived out the Word of God. The church did not just hold the Word of God to a high standard, they actually sought to live it out. They were a church that was becoming more and more like Jesus. They were imitators of Jesus in that they were able to withstand suffering, and in withstanding suffering, they kept a positive witness for Christ.

These aspects of a healthy church were so strong that Paul could say that this church was his boast, glory and joy.

Thank you, Center Point, for having similar characteristics of this church! You are truly a joy to lead and shepherd, and your staff loves you and cares for you deeply. Each and everyone of us is walking through this pandemic in various ways, but be encouraged today to be an example of Christ’s suffering in whatever you do. Even in suffering, his focus was on God, not his circumstances, and this freed him to keep a proper focus and love people well.

By: Graham Withers — Pastoral 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.

April 8, 2020

Today you should read: 1 Thessalonians 2:1-12

After reading the passage there are three specific things we need to focus on. First, Paul’s point in going to Thessalonica was to spread the Gospel. His primary goal was to tell others about Jesus no matter what happened to him (v. 1-4a). As Christians, this should be our primary mission. I know it is more difficult amidst the Coronavirus, but there may be opportunities through technology to share the Gospel. We all know someone around us who is lost (family, close friends, etc.). With that being said, be praying for one person you can share the Gospel with this week.

Second, Paul did not share the Gospel for earthly gain (v. 4b-8). Listen, sharing the Gospel is one of the most humbling things you can do, because you are taking the focus off of yourself and placing the focus on God. What would it be like if we woke up every morning and said, “God, what do you want from me today?”, instead of the usual, “Here is the list of things to accomplish today” or “Here is what I want to do today”. I am not saying those things are bad, but often when we have a list of things to do, we tend to focus entirely on the list and do not want any distractions going on: even possible Gospel conversations. In the fast paced world we live in, we need to slow down and ask God, “How can I best serve You today?”.

The last thing we need to focus on is how Paul was not a burden to anyone (v. 9-12). One thing the Thessalonians struggled with was idleness, meaning they were lazy. Paul is reminding them that, as Christians, we should not let anything come in the way of our witness. Paul worked to pay for the things he needed, so that he could be a better witness to them. God has called us to work (unless not physically able), and that is what we should do. If you haven’t gotten the chance to listen to the God At Work series we did at CPC, I recommend going back and listening to it. It is super helpful in understanding how work and a relationship with God correlate. 

All in all, who can you tell about Jesus this week? How can you best serve God in your life?

By: Brice Stockton — Student Ministry Apprentice


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.