April 29, 2015

“We do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.”
~1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

Beloved, we grieve for those that we love; but God ensures us that we do not have to grieve as those who have no hope. Although our loved ones who have trusted in Jesus may no longer be with us, we have this promise: that those who put their faith and life in Christ, although absent from the body, are now present with the Lord.

Their salvation was in Christ. They lived through and were kept by Christ, and now they are with Him, waiting for that day when the Lord Himself will descend with a shout. We who remain who have received salvation through Christ are abiding in Him and are now waiting for His return.

The mutual faith in Christ will cause us all to see each other again. We shall always be with the Lord; and so, because we be with Him, we shall be with one another always. What joy there is in knowing Christ. What comfort and peace we have in Him alone, yet His goodness continues on as He blesses us with the love we have for one another and the fellowship of faith. Such love and fellowship one day shall always be as we are all with our Savior and King.

Therefore, comfort one another with these words, for they are a promise to the family of God that we shall see Him and each other one day forever.

In Christ alone.

Pastor Wight

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

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April 28, 2015

“Remove the wicked man from among yourselves.”
~1 Corinthians 5:13

Such strange words to some in a church culture that only talks about the love of God with no regard to repentance and holiness. Yet these words are from God’s word written to a church that was not dealing properly with known sin in their midst. Rather than mourning, they were tolerant, accepting of the sinful state, oblivious to the fact that such carnality would affect the whole. Just as a little yeast affects the whole lump of dough, so sin tolerated has an effect on the assembly as a whole. In their case it already had for they were permitting such things amongst themselves.

Beloved, is such a verse still applicable to the body of Christ today? Shall we not confront those who persist in their sin and have no godly sorrow or have we made the word of God of no effect in our midst? One would never delight in putting out an individual; but for the safety of the whole, the yeast must be removed with great sorrow, love, wisdom, and yes authority.

The church has allowed the passivity of the culture to dictate its convictions. Standards of holiness and godliness have been marginalized. The perception and tolerance of accepting any form of behavior just as long as you come to church. Have we not heard the words of our Lord that none can enter the kingdom of heaven unless they have been born again? To be born of the Spirit and to have evidence of the indwelling Holy Spirit in life. Just as one sees the effect of the wind upon the trees, so those who have been born of the Spirit bear evidence of His regeneration.

Beloved, may we pray for a sweeping revival amongst God’s people and hear the call of God to holiness. Finding once again the strength that comes from the Lord and the authority that comes from the word to deal with the yeast for the preservation of the whole. The Lord is coming back for a glorious church.

In Christ alone.

Pastor Wight

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

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April 27, 2015

“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.”
~1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Beloved, many may be aware of this verse for it is often quoted in regards to how we are the temple of the Holy Spirit; but some may not be aware of the context of what is being said. We should be humbled by the fact that God’s Spirit resides in us, but these verses are a sober call for holiness and sexual purity.

The Word of God is calling for His people to flee immorality. How can one who is filled with God use that very body in an immoral way? This should not be because you do not belong to yourself. You belong to God, and He has redeemed you with the sinless life of His own Son. The precious blood of the Lamb of God was poured out for your sin and has reconciled you unto God. The Holy Spirit dwells within you so how can you even think of bringing something that belongs to God and is filled with His Spirit into an immoral act of sin?

Such works of the flesh should not even be mentioned among God’s people. They are walking in the light of His holiness. With a culture that is seething with immorality and every form of perversion, the child of God must remember the One to whom they belong and rely upon the indwelling Holy Spirit to empower them over their own flesh and the spirit of this age. God can keep His people and has promised that with every temptation there is a way of escape.

The sin that would want to entangle and the weight that would want to burden down can be thrown off and escaped from as one dwells in Christ and is filled with the Spirit. May our understanding be opened to the great price for which we were redeemed, to whom we belong, and who we are in the Lord as the temple of God. Be ye holy for God is holy.

In Christ alone.

Pastor Wight

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

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April 24, 2015

“…there is the daily pressure on me of concern for all the churches. Who is weak without my being weak? Who is led into sin without my intense concern?”
~2 Corinthians 11:28-29
“Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.”
~Hebrews 13:17

The true heart of the shepherd is akin to the Good Shepherd; he is burdened for God’s people. For godly leaders are not just concerned with expounding truth. Their affections are interwoven into the well-being of those whom the Lord has put in their charge. What affects God’s people in all areas of their lives affects those called by God to care for His people.

Although God’s grace is sufficient, there is the reality of the daily pressure of watching over souls. The heart of the shepherd is touched by the condition of the people and the sobering reality of having to give an account to the Chief Shepherd for what was said and done. Just as a father cares for his family with loving provision and protection, so those called to lead and watch have a burden.

Sadly, some do not realize to what extent the leader is called to keep watch. In some instances they are toiling in greater measure than the one who is struggling. Just as a parent does not relay to the children the sacrifice of parenting nor burden them with the trials, so God’s leaders labor on. As a parent walks through the darkness of the night in the home to see that all is safe and children are tucked in, so the watchman stands in his place through the night, making intercession as a faithful priest and when necessary crying aloud as the prophet to warn of the sins crouching at the door. Beating back and exposing the wolves who are dressed in sheep’s clothing. Watching and praying, Pleading and proclaiming.

The joy of such a work cannot be compared with anything here on this side of eternity. To see a life transformed by Christ and to grow in the grace and knowledge of Him brings true joy. Yet there is a sadness and a weariness that come when those you have watched over cease to watch over themselves, who reject the counsel and the pleas, not understanding the consequences of rejecting godly instruction.

To those who lead, will you have the heart of God for His people? To those who have been put in the care of those who are charged by God to watch over you, how will you respond to their leadership? Both one day will have to give an account to Jesus Christ. Will it be unprofitable for you? May it be joyous now and then.

In Christ alone.

Pastor Wight

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

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April 23, 2015

“In a similar way these are the ones on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy; and they have no firm root in themselves, but are only temporary; then, when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately they fall away.”
~Mark 4:16-17

Jesus here explains His own parable of the Sower and soils, His word going out and how the hearts of men receive it. He describes how some seed fell upon rocky ground; and although it sprang up immediately, because there was no depth to the soil, the sun scorched the plant because there were no roots and it withered away.

The word was received, but it was not permitted to take root in the life; and so when affliction and persecution come because of the word, the seed withers. The cost of following Christ is too much, and so the abiding of His word is rejected and has no opportunity to take root in the life.

Beloved, let us understand that there will be pressure and persecution when one desires to follow Christ in complete obedience to His word. As your life becomes like the lamp of God, the same darkness that has always tried to put out the light of God’s witness in the earth will try to snuff you out. Therefore we must ask the Lord to break up the fallow ground of our hearts and that stony places be removed so that His word will take a firm root within us.

This is a persecution that is external just as the sun beat down upon the seed that sprang up and caused it to wither because it had no roots, but may I also call attention to how the word brings a conflict within. When we hear the word by the Holy Spirit convicting and correcting us about a particular area of our life, there is the temptation to vacillate between our will—rebellion–and God’s will–obedience.

The word can be received with joy when only considered in the light of its promises, but when one weighs the cost of denying oneself, taking up a cross, and following Jesus, the affliction it brings to the flesh causes the plant to wither. The seed could not take root.

Beloved, let us yield our hearts to God as good soil. Let Him reap a harvest from His seed in your life. For the Spirit of God can make His word come alive in your life, being rooted deep down within you, changing you and causing you to be Christ like. In a season when the ground is being prepared to receive the seeds and many are making preparation for planting, yield your heart to God and the planting of His word, for who can tell what a harvest shall unfold.

In Christ alone.

Pastor Wight

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

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April 22, 2015

“It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do.”
~1 Timothy 3:1

There was a time when I used to travel as an Evangelist, and one of the things I also did at that time was work as a carpenter. I remember driving from a job one day in which my friend lifted up one of his worn, beaten, and dirty hands and said, “No one wants to pay for these anymore.” His remark was one of sadness and exasperation. He felt, what I think most true craftsmen feel, that quality work is not appreciated as it once was. People will be willing to pay for something far less even though it lacks quality and the skillful touch of the artisan, even though things built with integrity have a lasting beauty and prove to be more durable.

You may ask what this has to do with this verse. May I suggest a lot. I would encourage you to read the verses following verse one through to verse seven, for there you will find the qualities that should be present in those who desire to be an overseer. In fact, in the more than a dozen specific requirements, only one could be considered a gift—“able to teach.” The rest represent more of the inward working of the Spirit of God, one who is yielded to the Holy Spirit and who characterizes godliness.

It has come to a place where it seems people want to talk more about how gifted someone is rather than how godly. People are put into position based upon apparent charisma rather than godliness. The church has sold out for the cheaper, rather than expecting lives of integrity.

In part, such conditions exist because the word of God is no longer held with reverence. It is not honored or held as the guidepost. Because the word is not read and obeyed, there is a lack of discernment. People cannot distinguish between that which is cheap and that which has been trained by the Chief Shepherd, coupled with carnal men looking for other carnal men to be put into position, who may be charismatic, yet they are there to simply tickle ears.

Beloved, what makes this also very sobering is that the rise of such leaders who hold only a form of godliness is a kind of judgment from God Himself who is permitting people to have what they want–their lies and false gospel. And although they seem to become more and more prominent, there is coming a day when everything will be shaken, and that which is not of God will fall.

The office of an overseer is a fine work to do, but one cannot take up such a work carelessly. The matter must be weighed and the calling from God. Godliness is the emphasis, not talents. May we pray that the Lord would keep those He has placed in leadership within His house, that He would keep them and continue to work through them, that The Lord would continue to raise up those who desire to do the work of the Lord in whatever capacity He may so choose, and that we would see a revival and a reformation amongst God’s people.

In Christ alone.

Pastor Wight

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

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April 21, 2015

“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”
~Philippians 4:13

Beloved, this is probably a very familiar scripture to most Christians; but unfortunately, because it has been dumbed down, we have lessened the significance of its powerful truth.

It is true that the Lord will strengthen us and help us through our days, but this verse has been applied to many things that have very little to do with how the apostle came to know this truth revealed by the Holy Spirit. We see athletes writing this verse on their equipment or even tattooing it on their bodies. The worker holds onto it when passed over for the promotion. In other words, we have applied this verse when we feel the least bit slighted and attach it to many endeavors that lack no eternal significance. We should desire to be Christ like in all things and to do everything by the grace of God, no matter what that is; but may we look at the apostle’s life in light of how he came to know that he could do all things through Christ who strengthens him.

“Are they servants of Christ?–I speak as if insane–I more so; in far more labors, in far more imprisonments, beaten times without number, often in danger of death. Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep. I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren; I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. Apart from such external things, there is the daily pressure on me of concern for all the churches.” (2 Corinthians 11:23–28)

“I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:11-13)

Beloved, Christ will strengthen you this day and enable you to endure anything. As you find in Him all that you need, nothing in this life will be able to move you from peace and contentment in Christ and His will. Trust the Lord this day, and He will teach you how to be content and to persevere in Him.

In Christ alone.

Pastor Wight

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

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April 20, 2015

“There are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books that would be written.”
~John 21:25

In this last chapter of the Gospel of John, one cannot reflect upon this last verse and not consider the faithful goodness of God in their own life.

In this chapter alone we have the appearance of our risen Lord unto His disciples in the early morning. He asks them if they have any fish for breakfast, tells them where to catch a great many large fish, and prepares breakfast for them. He instructs and counsels Peter, gives prophecy concerning Peter’s death in an encouraging way, and tells him not to worry about what He has in store for others but for Peter to focus on following Him and tend to His sheep.

Almost every season in life and circumstance is covered in this one chapter, from the physical needs to the spiritual. Jesus addresses them all. So it is to this day that the Lord is still instructing, comforting, and encouraging His people. In three and half short years John is overwhelmed by all the works of Christ, besides redeeming His people and sending the Comforter.

Beloved, let such a verse cause your heart to trust in expectation of the goodness of God in your own life, that the faithful works of God in your own life are without number. He is working in this very moment and will continue till you be called home.

How eternity will be filled with the testimony of all God’s people exclaiming all His good works without number in their lives. Certainly we shall enter His gates with thanksgiving and shouts of praise for His goodness. There are many other things which Jesus did and shall do this day in your life.

In Christ alone.

Pastor Wight

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

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April 17, 2015

“For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.”
~1 Corinthians 1:22-24

The Apostles understood the culture of their times. They knew what the people were looking for, yet they did not permit this to change their message. No matter what the sinful hearts of men were looking for, they were still going to preach Christ crucified, knowing that the sufficiency of the message would call those out from the Jews and Greeks who would be saved.

Let us pray this day that the church of this era and its preachers would follow the same God-given example from His word. That we would not alter the message to conform to the wicked hearts of men nor change the means in which we are called to proclaim it. God has chosen the foolishness of preaching and the message of the Gospel to bring people unto Himself.

The Apostles preached the message with clarity and in the power of the Holy Spirit. They trusted in His anointing and the sufficiency of the message. There was no need to add to it or take away from it or to present it in such a way that it would be more appealing to those who were seeking wisdom or signs. They knew to do so would incur God’s judgment upon themselves and in actuality take away from the power of God’s word and the glory of the name of Jesus Christ.

Today the church has succumbed to the sin of man’s technique rather than relying on the theology of God. Clever messengers of humanism refer to themselves as motivational speakers and inspirational leaders. Their sermons are called speeches and discussions on relevant topics while the church service has now been called a session. These may appear as just an adjustment to mere words, but for many it represents an ideology.

Beloved, should such things concern your everyday life in Christ? Yes. These convictions should direct you into what Christian writers you read and the content of the Christian songs you sing and listen to. Most of all, it should direct you to what church you call home; for all of these things are shaping your understanding of the true nature of God and who you are before Him. To add or take away from God is to make Him in our own image–idolatry. We need Him to reveal Himself to us as He has through His word. This cannot ever be changed no matter the culture.

Let us pray then that God would open our ears that we might hear and that He by His Spirit would create within us a hunger for the Lord Himself and His Word. Seek Him today, beloved, with all your heart and you shall find Him.

In Christ alone.

Pastor Wight

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

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April 16, 2015

“For I have been informed concerning you, my brethren, by Chloe’s people, that there are quarrels among you.”
“I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to infants in Christ. I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able, for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealously and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men?”
~1 Corinthians 1:11; 3:1-3

The Apostle Paul has written to the church in Corinth and is rebuking them for their fleshly behavior in regards to identifying themselves with a particular personality and quarreling about it. Sadly, such things still divide the body of Christ today; but may we consider how the Spirit of God sees the condition of quarreling, jealousy, and strife among God’s people.

Such behavior occurs, unfortunately, in almost every sphere of life. There is strife among friends and jealousy with co-workers and siblings. There are quarrels in marriages, families, and extended family, most of which are produced by the flesh not being yielded to the indwelling Holy Spirit. There may be cause for some quarrels; but if we were honest, we would consider that the majority of such things have no grounds for strife, as was the case in Corinth.

Because of the condition of their hearts, God could not speak to them as spiritual men. They were unable to receive solid food, for they were infants in Christ. Sometimes those who profess the greatest maturity are only mere infants because their pride keeps them from truly advancing in Christ. The quick tempered is a mere child, the one who brings strife and will not let things go lives only as a mere man, the jealous live on milk and know nothing of the solid food of God.

How many Christians remain in the flesh with no growth in Christ for they have not yielded to the Holy Spirit or have been unable to identify the condition of their own hearts because they are so busy arguing with everyone? Beloved, may not such things be named among God’s people. Rather, let us be known for our love. If we have found what was ailing the church in Corinth in our own hearts, may we humble ourselves before God and prefer others before ourselves. May we seek to have a teachable heart and a love that covers others. Although we are in Christ, we would never want to live on milk alone or to remain as an infant in Christ. Let us grow up by the Spirit of God.

In Christ alone.

Pastor Wight

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

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