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.

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.