May 13, 2015

“Hear, O sons, the instruction of a father, and give attention that you may gain understanding…”
“Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.”
“Let your eyes look directly ahead and let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you. Watch the path of your feet and all your ways will be established. Do not turn to the right nor to the left; turn your foot from evil.”
~Proverbs 4:1, 23, 25-27

A week ago I asked my own son to read this entire chapter in Proverbs, as a father instructing and encouraging his child. These verses in particular I want not just my son and daughter to glean from but all of us to consider.

First, we as those who are leading, whether as parents or spiritual leaders and fellow believers, must hold ourselves to these truths first before we call others to them. These precepts are simply stated, yet they hold tremendous wisdom and instruction for those who have ears to hear.

If one will watch over their heart they will in turn be watching over the path of their feet. If the heart is kept by the fear and wisdom of God given in godly instruction, the feet will not be so easily swayed to the left or the right and there will be a constant turning from evil because the heart will set the gaze of the eyes upon eternity.

Eyes, feet, and heart cannot contradict each other. They work and flow in unison. Whatever the heart is set on that is where the eyes will look, and the feet will follow that path, either for that which is evil, foolish, destructive, or temporal. If the heart be set on the Lord, then eyes and feet will press towards that which is godly, wise, blessed, eternal, and life giving in Christ.

Let us all hear the instruction of our heavenly Father and give attention to His precepts so that we might gain understanding of Him and His ways. Where you are looking, there your path will lead. Look to Jesus today and let Him watch over your heart and path.

In Christ alone.

Pastor Wight

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. www.lockman.org

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May 12, 2015

“For even when we came into Macedonia our flesh had no rest, but we were afflicted on every side: conflicts without, fears within. But God, who comforts the depressed, comforted us by the coming of Titus…”
~2 Corinthians 7:5-6

Are you depressed this hour, beloved? Have the afflictions which have come from every side taken your rest? So it is at times for the children of God when they experience the conflicts without and the fears within. Let no one ever make you feel condemned or shameful for feeling such things. We do not want to stay in such a condition or give way to such things because of the littlest of conflicts; but if the apostle and his companions experienced such times of trial, I say we be in good company.

May we not stop there in identifying with them, though, for they also knew the God who comforts the depressed. So depression is not out of the realm of experiences of God’s people. Even His children know such struggles, but He comforts them. God comforts them, and He also uses His people to encourage the faint of heart.

“But God, who comforts the depressed, comforted us by the coming of Titus…” God used the coming of His servant with good news to encourage His people. Beloved, will you this day be one whom the Lord could use in sending to others with words of comfort? If you are willing, He will send you and equip you. The Lord will give you His love, wisdom, and words.

May it be that we are not those who bring further affliction or depression; but rather, by the grace of God, may we bring joy to the hearts of His people. This is the beauty of the body of Christ, that God supplies that which is needed for each to grow and to be encouraged through its many members. Open your heart today to the Lord and may He enable you to be a source of His own comfort to others.

In Christ alone.

Pastor Wight

Scripture quotation taken from the NASB. www.lockman.org

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May 11, 2015

“For our proud confidence is this: the testimony of our conscience, that in holiness and godly sincerity, not in fleshly wisdom but in the grace of God, we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially toward you.”
~2 Corinthians 1:12

Beloved, how shall you conduct yourself in the world this day and toward those who are close to you? Will it be in fleshly wisdom or in the grace of God. By the mercy of the Lord may your testimony be that of holiness and godly sincerity.

The accusers of the apostle questioned his sincerity and integrity. However, Paul had confidence that by the grace of God he did not conduct himself in a deceptive manner nor anything unbecoming of godliness. Through Christ, his conduct in the world and especially toward them was a testimony of holiness and godly sincerity by the grace of God.

By the grace of God may our words never be ones of deception or of double meaning. Let us live and speak plainly with no hidden agenda or false motives. We are not to be characterized by the fleshly wisdom of this age but rather as ones filled with the Spirit, living in the fullness of the Spirit, and bearing the fruit of the Spirit so that the false accusers will be silenced by the fruit of our conduct.

They will come with their poisonous words, but may their accusations or complaints be empty of any validity. God’s grace will empower you, but you still have to make the daily choice in how you will conduct yourself in this world. Choose this day to serve the Lord and to live by His grace and wisdom.

In Christ alone.

Pastor Wight

Scripture quotation taken from the NASB. www.lockman.org

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May 8, 2015

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”
~Matthew 5: 14-16

Beloved, sometimes it is easy to bemoan, be grieved, and grow weary because of the darkness that is in this world; but let us never forget we are to be light for this very purpose, so that those who are sitting in darkness may see the light of Jesus Christ in His people.

You in Christ are the light of the world. Illuminated by God not to be hidden but to live among men as a living epistle of Jesus. Shining as a city on a hill or a lamp upon a table. Bringing light and clarity to all those around. In godliness, the Lord through His grace and by His mercy will enable you to bear the fruit of the Spirit in all places and circumstances.

Whether at work or play, among those who are close to you or even the stranger, as we live for Christ we bring forth His glory. His love, wisdom, mercy, forgiveness, gentleness, kindness, patience, and righteousness shine forth in a dark and perverse world. Never be taken back by the severity of the darkness; rather, shine boldly for the Lord. Let men see your good works. Let it be evident that you are different and living with eternity in view.

There are those who are now in darkness waiting to see the light of Christ, waiting for their prison door to open and the eyes to see. Let Christ use your life, beloved, so that in their darkness they may see Christ, and in coming to Him bring glory to God. Shine for Jesus Christ today, beloved, for you are His lamp to be put onto the lampstand so that all may see.

In Christ alone.

Pastor Wight

Scripture quotation taken from the NASB. www.lockman.org

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May 7, 2015

“For we do not want you to be unaware, brethren, of our affliction which came to us in Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life…”
~2 Corinthians 1:8

When one reads this verse, one cannot help but think of the misleading statement quoted by many well-meaning Christians: “God does not give you more than you can bear.” I’m sure many of us have heard these words before, but they are a gross misunderstanding of the scripture found in 1 Corinthians 10:13. There we are told, “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.”

What the Lord has promised is that through Christ we can overcome the power of sin. Through the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit we can overcome the temptations from within our own hearts and the spirit of this age. He did not promise, however, that we would not be given trials that we cannot endure on our own. What He promised is that He would be with us through them all.

This statement of God not giving us more than we can bear has done more damage than good. It brings about confusion as to why things may be happening, guilt, condemnation, and further doubts about the goodness and love of God when things feel like too much. People question their faith and if they are even saved or not for doubting God, questioning God, and for feeling that they’re not strong enough.

If things were not more than what we good bear, we would not call it suffering, painful, trying, fearful, or discouraging. The apostle Paul was right when he wrote under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, “…we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life…”

I’m sure he is not the only Christian who has felt this way. It is not because he lacked faith or because he was in sin. He was suffering as a servant of God for preaching the gospel. So, beloved, if today as a child of God you feel burdened excessively beyond your strength, do not feel condemned or ashamed. Rather tell the Lord exactly how you feel and that you need Him. For if we read the next verse we see how hope still came to the apostle in spite of the fact that his very life was being threatened continually, not to mention the other trials he was going through and feeling.

“…indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead; who delivered us from so great a peril of death, and will deliver us, He on whom we have set our hope. And He will yet deliver us…” (2 Corinthians 1:10-11)

You see, beloved, it was the trial, the very threat of his life, that brought the apostle to a place of not hoping in himself but rather in God. He knew that within himself he had not the strength or courage to go on. There was no hope within. He had to look to God, knowing that even if he died as a martyr for Christ, he would be raised in the great resurrection. God had delivered and would continue to deliver him from many perils and threats of life. His hope was that the Lord was with him, enabling him and keeping him. He might die one day, but even in that the sting of death had been removed and the grave has no victory over those who are in Christ.

Beloved, are you dealing with something beyond what you can bear? This is a place of hopelessness if you are only looking to yourself. But if you understand that God is bringing you to the end of yourself in order that you will cling to Him more closely, then you will be comforted. Not because your circumstances have changed, but because you know the One who is with you through them and working in them. The Lord will give you more than you can bear, but it is so you will come to the One who bears all things. Cast them upon the Lord, for He cares for you. Hope not in yourself but in God, who is able and will deliver you.

In Christ alone.

Pastor Wight

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. www.lockman.org

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May 6, 2015

“…one whom you forgive anything, I forgive also; for indeed what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, I did it for your sakes in the presence of Christ, so that no advantage would be taken of us by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes.”
~2 Corinthians 2:10-11

The Apostle Paul writes to the church in Corinth in regards to forgiving one who has brought him personal trouble within their fellowship and so causing them all a measure of grief. The individual evidently repented and was sorrowful for the pain he brought to the apostle and the body of Christ. Therefore, Paul identifies, forgives, and identifies with the forgiving hearts of those involved. How many marriages, friendships, and church families could be saved if we would take to heart the truths put before us?

In this instance, an individual sinned against Paul; and it included others. The offense had to be addressed. Christian forgiveness does not mean we do not confront the sin or the one causing pain. This matter was confronted and dealt with. However, church discipline, as would all discipline and correction be, is also redemptive. In other words, the end goal is restoration. Issues were not swept under the rug, but they were dealt with in order that wrongs could be made right.

This we do in light of how the Lord has forgiven us. So in the presence of Christ, Paul forgives, as we all should; for the Lord has forgiven much concerning ourselves. There is also the penitent heart in this, though, that becomes the recipient of God’s mercy. Forgiveness and godly sorrow go hand in hand.

We must have a forgiving heart, but restoration cannot be realized until there is repentance. This individual did not justify himself or make excuses. How many attempt to apologize, yet it always includes “but” or “because” or “I was feeling this way or that” or “what I meant to say” to explain their words or actions? Excuses and self-righteousness justifying sinful and hurtful words and actions instead of a simple humble and contrite “I’m sorry.”

Because this individual showed godly sorrow, the apostle calls for the restorative application of forgiveness so that the enemy would not now succeed in another form of his tactics. The apostle was wise to the enemy’s schemes in bringing division through this individual; but once all was repented for and forgiven, the apostle did not want the enemy to succeed now through despair and discouragement.

Sin would not be permitted, nor would any other schemes of the enemy. Each device of the enemy would be dealt with in the wisdom and authority of God. Beloved, may we learn to address sin and those who cause pain towards others but with an aim towards redemption, keeping in mind the mercy of the Lord towards us but also the need of godly sorrow in humility. Hoping, praying, and working towards restoration lest we give the enemy another opportunity to have a foot hold. God grant us such wisdom and love through our Lord Jesus Christ.

In Christ alone.

Pastor Wight

Scripture quotation taken from the NASB. www.lockman.org

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May 5, 2015

“What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? But what did you go to see? A man dressed in soft clothing? Those who wear soft clothing are in kings’ palaces! But what did you go out to see? A prophet?”
~Matthew 11: 7-9

These were the words of Jesus for the crowds concerning those who went to see and hear John the Baptist. They went to hear a prophet. Sadly, I fear the crowds of Christianity today rather go to see a man dressed in soft clothing and the personalities like hollow reeds with hollow messages shaken in the wind. Their message is always shifting with the carnal whims of the crowds and has no edge like that of the double-edged sword.

We have succumbed to entertainment within the church, casually listening to our varied Christian artists, inspirational speakers, and writers with a constant need to have ears tickled. As scripture warns, “…always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (2 Timothy 3:7) No longer are the cushions the softest thing in our churches; any more it has become the messages, far softer and more comfortable than any pew. While the climate control is no longer an issue, the content of songs and messages alike have lowered the climate till most have felt so at ease they have fallen asleep.

Beloved, we need to pray for prophets to be raised up again–those who will preach the word of God because God has called them, laid His hand upon them, given them His heart, and equipped them with His anointing and message. Let us seek the Lord for a mighty revival and a reformation.

Rather than seeking to be entertained, let us seek the Lord and ask that we might receive His word from vessels He has chosen from the wilderness.

“He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward.” (Matthew 10:41)

Are the prophet or righteous man anything of themselves? Can they by their own authority bring you any reward? No. It is the one who sent them that is the difference. If the prophet be sent of God, if the righteous man be called by God, then their message is from the Lord. In receiving them you are receiving the Word of the Lord. So if you listen to the message, take it to heart, and apply it to your life, then you shall receive the blessing, the reward, for following God’s word in this day and in eternity.

What shall we go out to see then, beloved? Hollow reeds in soft clothing shaken in the wind or shall we hear the messengers of God? Do we want to be entertained or do we want to hear, “Thus saith the Lord?” One causes the soul to sleep and to slip into carnality while the other quickens and causes one to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord. Let us hear the Word of the Lord and never be the same again.

In Christ alone.

Pastor Wight

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. www.lockman.org

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May 4, 2015

“Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”
~Luke 23:43

How can a man hanging bleeding to death say such words to another man hanging from his cross waiting to die? Because the One who uttered these words was God in the flesh.

Christ had given darkness its hour so that He might lay down His life for those who were dead in sin, who were outside the paradise of God and had no hope of entering by their own merit. All men should see themselves in this thief upon the cross, for he himself said, “We indeed suffer justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.”

We suffer justly, and we deserve wrath for our deeds; but the One who has done nothing wrong, who knew no sin, took our sin. Our sin and its penalty were laid upon Him. The Ancient of days knew the greatness of redeeming work. He knew death and sin were to be defeated by His sinless sacrifice and resurrection. The King of kings and Lord of lords had full authority to bring into His kingdom, His paradise, those He had delivered.

So with full authority, mercy, and loving forgiveness Jesus said to him who knew he deserved judgment but cried in penitent faith, “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!,” “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”

Though this man died, he will be spared the second death, the one that lasts for eternity. Never have so few words been answered so gloriously, “Remember me Jesus when You enter Your kingdom!” than to be ushered into Paradise by the Lord. Beloved, with full assurance the Lord has declared to all those who have put their faith in Christ, whose names are written in the book of life, they too will enter His kingdom and dwell with Him always. To God be the glory, great things He has done.

In Christ alone.

Pastor Wight

Scripture quotation taken from the NASB. www.lockman.org

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May 1, 2015

“We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”
~Romans 8:28

Those who love God only do so because He first loved them. It is the faithfulness of His loving kindness that assures us that all things are providentially working together for our good, for the good of those who have been called according to His purpose–the purpose of becoming more Christ like.

Beloved, if we are to stand firmly upon the truth of this verse, then we must hold to the attributes of our God. He is eternal and all knowing. Therefore, nothing takes Him by surprise, and He knows what is going on in our lives. Everything cooperates with His purposes for those He has called. He sees the beginning from the end, and all proceeds in accordance with His will.

All such things are kept and enabled by the fact that God is the Almighty. There is no other power or authority in heaven or earth that can hinder or take from His. Therefore nothing is too hard for Him, His providence and power working together perfectly in the lives of His people.

These things are guided by His loving wisdom which endures forever, the love that He would want us to know in its depths, height, width, and length in Christ Jesus. Such love is not realized, though, by our will always being fulfilled but by coming to know and experience the glory and wisdom of His will for us.

Such workings also include the removing of sin and the carnal areas of our lives. This is a refining process that is not always easily embraced unless we put our trust in His love for us and understand the work of sanctification. His working all things for our good also takes us from the temporal to the eternal, causing us to see more clearly the eternal and having our affections set upon them while the love of this world and the temptation for temporal things die. Therefore, we are tried and tested, suffer the loss of some things, but gain the heart of God, and are conformed into a greater likeness of our Lord.

Beloved, the Lord is working all things for your good because He first loved you and called you. He is bringing you along, promising never to forsake you, to keep you, provide for you, and let nothing separate you from His love, taking you from one glorious transformation unto another. Everything within the providence of God is cooperating to this end. Trust Him today and His goodness towards you.

In Christ alone.

Pastor Wight

Scripture quotation taken from the NASB. www.lockman.org

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April 30, 2015

“At my first defense no one supported me, but all deserted me…but the Lord stood with me and strengthened me…and I was rescued out of the lion’s mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed, and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom; to Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen”
~2 Timothy 4: 16-18

The apostle Paul faced and endured much persecution in bringing the Gospel of Jesus Christ unto the Gentiles. Yet through all the trials and even threats of life, the proclamation was fully accomplished, and the Gospel was heard.

Beloved, the same faithfulness of God in supplying the strength to endure is promised to you this day. In some instances Paul had no one to support him as he followed the will of God faithfully. At times he was even deserted. It’s one thing to have no one around to support you; it is another thing to have those around you leave you, especially when you’re trying to do what God wants you to do.

No matter how ferocious the circumstance, the Lord will rescue you. In fact, the Lord will bring you safely through every evil deed of the enemy. Through every trial, temptation, and persecution the Lord will enable us to keep trusting in Him as He holds us. Perplexed, struck down, afflicted, and persecuted but not despairing, not destroyed, nor crushed, and never forsaken because Immanuel is with us. He will bring you safely home, beloved, to His kingdom through grace, guarded by peace in your heart and mind, with a joy that comes from your salvation and the assurance that nothing can separate you from the love of God and His mercies that are new every morning.

To Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

In Christ alone.

Pastor Wight

Scripture quotation taken from the NASB. www.lockman.org

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