February 13, 2020

Today you should read: Song of Solomon 4

When Pastor Tim mentioned that early Jewish leaders advised young Jews to not read this book until they were at least 30 years old, they must’ve been talking about this chapter right here. After serving with teenagers for well over a decade I can also picture those young Jewish boys getting together at sleepovers in the middle of the night, huddling over the book by candlelight while their parents are sleeping. As mentioned already, there have been two types of interpretation for this book: 

  1. A Pursuit, Engagement & Fulfillment in Marriage of a Covenantal Love Relationship as intended by God for man and woman. 
  2. A Metaphor or Picture of Jesus’ love for His Church, the Bride. 

Although I can accept a view of both in some ways, I have some real uncomfortableness reading chapter 4, where Solomon talks about his bride’s breasts as a picture of Jesus and the church. So with that said, we should read, at least this chapter, knowing that there is good romance and sex within a good, Christ-centered marriage. These things within a marriage are a gift from God and wouldn’t be included in God’s Word if it wasn’t a gift. 

However with that being said, before one gets to enjoy such a gift within marriage, one must be ultra careful with how they treat their girlfriend or boyfriend before getting married in such areas as well. For example, look at how Solomon refers to his soon to be bride in verses 9, 10 and 12. He calls her his SISTER first, then BRIDE. 

One time when teaching through this book, an unchurched person asked if this was justifying incest. I told them no, it was justifying how a man should treat his girlfriend and fiancé and overall view his wife first and foremost, as a sister in Christ. His wife is a sister in Christ first and foremost. They will not take that covenantal marriage into heaven but will be church family forever eternally. This view would help with not only sexual temptations before marriage but, an overall view and true purpose of marriage as you prioritize your faith over all other things. Now, of course, as this book has made abundantly clear, there are some pretty great physical and emotional benefits you have within the earthly marriage as husband and wife. But know that you’re bonded in Christ, adopted as His family first.

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.

February 12, 2020

Today you should read: Song of Solomon 3

Today we are going to be focusing on verses 1-5 of chapter 3. Chapter 3 opens with what many scholars say is a dream. It is a dream that reveals the woman’s strong desire for her future husband.

I sought him whom my soul loves;
    I sought him, but found him not.
 I will rise now and go about the city,
    in the streets and in the squares;
I will seek him whom my soul loves.
    I sought him, but found him not. (v. 1-2, ESV)

In her dream she goes on to find him and takes him to an intimate location. And then verse 5 seems to be an aside to the women she is talking with that serves as a warning:

I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem,
    by the gazelles or the does of the field,
that you not stir up or awaken love
    until it pleases. (ESV)

This verse, perhaps spoken from experience or simply from wise people around her, is advocating for the purity of heart and mind that should be pursued in a dating relationship. This verse has implications for all people however, because everyone is accountable to be submissive to God’s design for sexuality, whether you are married or not.

  • To singles, are you treating relationships with an appropriate amount of caution? Are you planning even now about how you will keep yourself pure if/when God brings someone you are pursuing a dating/future marriage relationship with into your life?
  • To those dating, what are you doing to guard yourself from sexual temptation in your relationship? Do you have purity guidelines that you and your partner have set, and do you have an older, more mature couple to keep you accountable to it?
  • To those who are married, are you seeking sexual fulfillment through your spouse and your spouse alone? Who do you have to keep you accountable so that you do not allow something like an affair or secret sexual sin to lead you astray from God’s design?

 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.

February 11, 2020

Today you should read: Song of Solomon 2

Song of Solomon, along with Revelation, are two of the hardest books to understand in all of the Bible. They use intense imagery and are subject to much misinterpretation and misunderstanding. Even I struggle to understand completely so I will be referencing Christ Centered Exposition… Exalting Jesus in Song of Songs written by Daniel Akin – President of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary – as a guide as we walk through this chapter and then draw some application from it. Song of Solomon 2 is a beautiful dialogue between a man and a woman in love.

It opens up with the woman being insecure that she is just another flower, another girl (v.1). The man responds in verse 2, “No, you are one of a kind”… you are a “a lily among brambles [thorns].”  He was affirming her uniqueness (Akin, 34). As he affirms this in her she responds to him.

She called him “an apple tree among the trees of the forest” (v.3). An apple tree in this context is rare, it’s life giving, it’s sustaining. This is what she thought of Him. She affirmed that he made her feel safe (v.3) and loved (v.4-6). 

There is an intense love between them going on but they have committed to wait until it is time to “awaken” it. We know this because in verse 7 she charges the young women of Jerusalem to learn from her and to not “stir up or awaken love until it pleases.” God has a plan for sexual relations and this always involves a marriage between a  man and a woman. Anything outside of this is dangerous. Sex is not bad. God created it. God commands it in marriage. But just like fire is good inside of a fire pit and dangerous outside of the fire pit, so sex is good in marriage and dangerous outside of it. We must resolve to honor God with our bodies (1 Corinthians 6:12-20).

The story continues and she begins to adore her beloved as he expresses his love to her in 3 ways (Akin, 48):

  1. He expressed love in his actions (v.8-9)
  2. He expressed love with his eyes (v.9b)
  3. He expressed love with his words (v.10-15)

We too need to express love in these ways to our spouse but also to God. We need to love with our actions, eyes, and words.

We also see that we are to be proactive in catching the “foxes” – dangers – that threaten our “vineyard” – love. He uses the word catch. This is a command. This was a proactive action to protect the sweet love that God had given. 

“Foxes, we are told, “were notorious in the ancient world for damaging vineyards…” Solomon knows the beautiful vineyard of marriage is susceptible to destructive little foxes that can sneak in without our noticing them.” (Akin, 53) We must be proactive.

We are also told to “Enjoy the delights of love” (Akin, 56). Now this couple was not yet married but it did not mean that their life together hadn’t started and that they could not enjoy love. They were told to enjoy, in this betrothal period, that:

  1. You belong to each other (v.16)
  2. That you want each other (v.17)

It is clear that in verse 17 they longed for marital sexual love. This is normal. This is good. But they chose to honor God by abstaining and waiting until the day for it to “awaken.”

This is a beautiful chapter of the pursuit of love. We learn so much about how to love our spouse but also how to date well and to love God well. 

To the married couples:

  • How can you express your love to your spouse well today?
  • What “little foxes” need to be addressed before they get out of control?

To the singles:

  • How can you prepare to love your spouse like this?
  • How can you date well in this season?

To all:

  • What do we learn about how to love God well through this?
  • What impacts your heart most about the mutual pursuit of love seen here?
  • What do you learn about God through this?

 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 10, 2020

Today you should read: Song of Solomon 1

Well here we go… embarking on one of the most interesting books in the Bible.  Admittedly, this book is difficult to write a commentary on – it’s delicate and leaves us often not knowing really what to say.  But as we start we must remember that…

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness.  2 Timothy 3:16

Song of Solomon is a part of that Scripture – there has never been any doubt or argument to that through the centuries.  It’s unique in that the Name of God is not mentioned within it, it is never quoted in the New Testament, and it does not contain any expressions of pious devotion to God or any prophecy or revelation.  It’s always been regarded as unique. Early Jewish leaders advised that young people should not read it until they were thirty years old – “lest by the abuse of that which is most pure and sacred the flames of lust should be kindled with fire from heaven which is intended for the altar only”.

In an over-sexed culture such as ours, this brings up the question of What does God think about SEX ?

  • He thinks sex is good – He came up with the idea.

God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth”… Genesis 1:28

  • He carefully designed sex to ONLY work correctly within marriage.

Each man is to have his own wife, and each woman is to have her own husband.  1 Corinthians 7:2

  • ALL sexual activity outside of God’s plan (marriage) is sinful and deadly.

Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.  For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.  When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry.  Colossians 3:1-5

  • We must not think and act like those who don’t know God.

For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God…  1 Thessalonians 4:3-5

  • It’s worth the wait…

Whatever your station in life – single and waiting – or married and enjoying – commit this area of your life to God.  He must be the boss over every area of our lives.

 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.