February 8, 2020

Today you should read: Zechariah 14

HOW TO SURVIVE THE APOCALYPSE?

“That is not a philosophical question, or a theological one. And if it is a question that seems to beg any explication, you may stop reading now.

But if you are among the swelling class of weekend paranoiacs of affluent means who are starting to mull fantasies of urban escape following the endless headlines about disasters, both natural and manufactured, you may be starting to see a different image in your mind when think “survivalist.” You may no longer see the wild-eyed cave dweller in camouflage fatigues, hoarding canned goods. You may even see one in the mirror.”

This photo and article were taken from the New York Times. This article was published in 2017 in the wake of some troubling world events. It’s a tongue-in-cheek “prepper” guide to the apocalypse. Unfortunately for the “preppers,” however, no amount of gadgetry will help a person survive the actual apocalypse. And, while the article contains some decent advice and handy equipment, when world calamities take place, it is not always the beginning of the end. All that to say, today’s passage takes a hard look at what many call the “apocalypse” and what we’ll see is that, although apocalyptic movies might be fun, they’re not a good source for future history. 

Verse 1 begins “Hina yom-ba la-Yahova,” very emphatically “Behold, the Day of the Lord is coming…”  In verse 2, as the enemies of God’s people surround Jerusalem, “the Lord will go forth and fight.” In verse 4, Christ will return to the very place from where he ascended—the Mount of Olives (Acts 1:12). 

As we read the rest of the chapter, I am reminded that nothing can thwart the victory of the Lord. The second half of verse 9 stands out to me, “in that day the Lord will be the only one, and His name the only one.” This reminds me of Psalm 2, which pictures the Lord laughing at world powers, crushing His enemies, and establishing his Anointed One. 

From this great Psalm we get the answer to the above stated question—how do we survive the Apocalypse? “Now therefore, O kings, show discernment; Take warning, O judges of the earth. Worship the Lord with reverence and rejoice with trembling. Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way, For His wrath may soon be kindled. How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!”

God is timeless, and the events in our future He has seen. God knows the beginning from the end. These events will happen, they will be terrible for God’s enemies, but they are the hope of those who have trusted in Him. It is through the final destruction of evil that God’s goodness will prevail. 

For reflection: How does the victory of the Lord encourage you today as you consider the struggles of life right now?

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 7, 2020

Today you should read: Zechariah 13

In this chapter of Zechariah, he is prophesying of a day when God will cleanse the earth of sin and uncleanness (verse 1). There’s a couple of things to take away from this section.

1. God is sovereign over everything.

This section says that,”[God] will cut off the names of the idols from the land.” This shows that God is sovereign even over the idols in our lives. For you, this could be sports, or your kids, or your job, or money, or whatever that idol is for you, and God can take all of those things away in the flash of an eye because he is sovereign over it.

2. God uses times of testing to lead us to Him.

In verse 9, Zechariah says how the people who are still alive will be refined and tested. What’s described is being purified so that can be proven as God’s redeemed people. There is a process that his people take at the end of the chapter.

They call upon His name.

God will answer them with forgiveness and salvation.

God will say, “They are my people.”

They will say, “The Lord is my God.”

When we come into a relationship with God it seems to take these same steps. Listening to the song Run to the Father by Cody Carnes, he describes that we have to realize we desperately need God before we can truly come to know God and His love for us. This ending reiterates that process. I know I need God daily and this section reminds us of our need for Him.

 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.

February 6, 2020

Today you should read: Zechariah 12

Zechariah 12 begins with describing who God is. He “stretched out the heavens and founded the earth and formed the spirit of man within him” (v. 1). Zechariah is showing that these words are from the Lord Himself. The next set of verses (v. 2-9) speak about a specific day: The Battle of Armageddon. The Battle of Armageddon is spoken of in Revelation 16:16, and 19:19. On that day, the armies of the world are going to gather against God and wage war. That day will also culminate the second coming of Jesus. But as God has shown Zechariah, Jerusalem (God’s people) are going to conquer on that day because the Lord is with them. In verse 4, God says He is going to cause panic and blindness to the people against Him, while He will watch over the house of Judah. Then in verse 9, God promises to “destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.” But for God’s people, they will be like David (a man after God’s own heart) (v.8). God is going to protect His people on this day.

The next section, verses 10-14, speaks of forgiveness and repentance. The people listed from verses 11-14 are going to weep for the pierced Messiah, signaling their repentance. But God is going to His people (Jerusalem) a “spirit of grace and please of mercy” (v. 10), and yet these people will mourn when they see the Messiah who was pierced. 

Trying to understand these prophecies can be confusing, but the big takeaways are this: God has already won the battle, but it will be brought to completion on the Day of Armageddon. So for us, are we 100% sure that we are on God’s side? Have we trusted in Jesus? Do we have a relationship with Jesus? If there is doubt in your life to whether you have a relationship with Jesus or not, please talk to me or someone on staff at CPC. But if you have a relationship with Jesus, be confident in knowing that God has already won and one day it will be brought to completion. 

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.

February 5, 2020

Today you should read: Zechariah 11

Welp, since you’re only receiving commentary on this chapter and not the next one, we’re going to end on a bit of a down note here. As you can tell, this oracle shows the judgment of God on those who were supposed to be shepherds and leaders to God’s people. When trying to make comparisons to certain prophets, kings or nations to this oracle, much smarter people than your good ol’ trusty CPC Staff have interpreted this in many different ways. Many do lean on the analogy that they believe is being made to the leaders of Israel and Judah, whether it’s the actual shepherds, priests or kings. What we do know is that they were horrible, horrible leaders going through them in a short period of time like fast food restaurants go through employees (except Chick-Fil-A, at least I assume). This leaves Zechariah with the burden of leading the flock in which he gets sick of the people and they get sick of him (v. 8) which sadly happens way too often with pastors in churches these days as well. I wish I could say it goes up from there but like I said in the beginning it doesn’t as long as we stick to this chapter. In fact, it’s quite the opposite and Zechariah leaves the flock with who he calls a “worthless” shepherd who never cared for the flock in the first place and will end up exploiting it for his own selfish benefits.

When reading this chapter, we should be reminded how the sometimes stupid and suffering flock and incompetent and sometimes false shepherds are still around today and both face the same type of consequences and judgment from God. Don’t get me wrong, Jesus loves His church. After all, it’s His bride in which He pursued, sacrificially loved and brought into a forever covenant with. He wasn’t using hyperbole when He said the gates of hell will not prevail against it. But in the same way that God loved Israel and they were the apple of His eye, it doesn’t mean that sin and deceit will not creep in certain factions and flocks. We’ve seen it throughout church history and we’ll still see it today. We must keep guard as a church, not only of what is going on on Sunday mornings or in Connect Group’s and discipleship relationships but within our very own hearts and lives as well. 

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.