May 25

Happy Memorial Day!

As a quick notice, we received conflicting information that was finally clarified about when we could meet as a church again. Right now, it looks like Mayor Kim has chosen to allow churches to meet on Monday, June 1 rather than Sunday, May 31 for some reason. So, our actual first reconvening will be June 7. Stay tuned for more details to follow.

I used to own the 45 for Debbie Boone’s, “You Light Up My Life” hit single back in the ‘70s (for those of you born in the CD era, a 45 is the vinyl music record with the big hole in it). Light has many positive traits that we relate to in our lives. Artists, photographers, stage productions, and movies all use light in different ways to create emotion, to highlight certain aspects, and to influence where our eyes are drawn to. Same goes for interior designers, landscape architects, and so forth.

On a practical side, lighting is important for safety, from roads and parking lots, building safety and theft protection, to military uses, and so on. In fact, the first time I ever tried to go to Jack in the Box in Kona was at night. I had never been there before and was trying to navigate my way into the restaurant as there were no obvious entrances, there was a gas station out front that didn’t look like the entrance but actually was, and everything was so dark that I couldn’t make head or tales of what to do. I turned into the gas station finally after driving around in circles forever and then almost turned more to the left thinking it was maybe a separate entrance. Instead I just followed the parking lot back and voila! Jack in the Box! That was almost the end of the story, except I was in the same area on a different day in the daytime and saw that the area at the gas station parking lot which I was going to take at night was actually a dug out area that looked like they were possibly going to erect a building there or something. If I had turned to the left instead of continuing into the gas station parking lot, I would’ve driven down maybe 10’ or so into the dug-out area. It would’ve been nice if the area was lit (and if Jack in the Box had made it more evident that that was the entrance). Light is important for safety.

Think about Jesus’ statement that He is the light of the world. If we follow Him then He tells us we walk in the light and not in darkness. Because light exposes evil and sin, it is for our safety. Light shows us the correct path.

My passion is the church. I love to point people to Jesus, to give them a taste of the deep riches of God’s Word, and to help them see how the church is Jesus’ ordained means of reaching the world with His Gospel. But, one of the things I have been made privy to which saddens me is the overwhelming statistics, studies, and trends that show churches and professing Christians are consistently being drawn away from the things of Christ for multitudinous distractions and false teachings. My continual goal is to challenge each and every one of us (myself included) to stay focused on Christ and on the things He was focused on.

  • “We do not have a strong church today, nor do we have many strong Christians. We can trace the cause to an acute lack of sound spiritual knowledge. Why is the church weak? Why are individual Christians weak? It is because they have allowed their minds to become conformed to the ‘spirit of this age,’ with its mechanistic, godless thinking.”—James Montgomery Boice

We have seen Jesus’ pattern of speaking into peoples’ lives where they are at, but offering them spiritual answers to their needs rather than earthly/fleshly answers. We have seen Jesus continually discuss sin and wickedness so as to open peoples’ eyes to their needs. We have seen Him stand up strong and forceful and with no apologies against those who were leading people astray. Why? Because firstly He loved glorifying the Father, and secondly because He loves people (and would soon die for them).

You and I are the church. Waikoloa Baptist is the church body in our Village. The mark of love and loyalty to Jesus begins in our church body. We love each other sacrificially, refusing to entertain gossip, refusing to cause division and discord, and refusing to abandon our family. We love hearing, learning, reading, and studying the Word because it is the direct revelation from our God to us, and is the central mark of a true church. We hate false teaching, doctrines of devils, and leaven mixed in with the flour because Jesus hates false representations of Him. We serve each other, promote one another, and pray for our church because that is what a family does. And we love the light, the bread of life, and the living water because Jesus is our life, and no other name under Heaven provides us salvation and redemption; no other being in this universe convicts and forgives sin.

Church, you are privileged to be in America today, where sadly too many have turned church into a consumeristic club where they shop for the things they want, and when they don’t get what they want, they then leave for a church that tickles their ears and tells them what they want to hear, and gives them the music and the temperature and the coloration just the way they want it. But our privilege is not in these self-centered negative practices that way too many involve themselves in, but in the fact that we have freedom of religion. That was a major item that was added to our Constitution by James Madison, who was educated at the old Princeton University (when it was a conservative, biblical Presbyterian institution). Before our Constitution, states controlled which denominational churches were allowed, and Britain restricted churches from forming that were not authorized by the government. And, with freedom of religion comes a greater responsibility to remain loyal and biblical when the options have increased exponentially.

Because Jesus is no longer on earth, we are the light of the world, reflecting His light to a dark and despairing globe of people on their way to Hell. This means we must be selfless and stop treating church as if it’s about us and our desires, and submitting ourselves to our Master, and sacrificing ourselves for each other in Christian love. We must stand strongly and proclaim from the Bible, “thus says the Lord”, preaching the exclusive Gospel, and standing against sin, regardless if we get labeled as unloving, narrowminded, arrogant, and bigoted. This is what being the light of the world. The world is getting darker every day, and unless blood-bought, born again Christians get back to being the light of Christ piercing the darkness, we will not see any spiritual change.

  1. When you read through the Epistles, most are to churches that had negative issues going on within them. When you read the 7 letters to the churches in Revelation 2-3 you see the same exact thing. How do the following within our churches inhibit our being a light in the world?
    1. Immorality ______________________________________________________________________________________________________
    2. Spiritual disunity ______________________________________________________________________________________________________
    3. False/improper doctrine ______________________________________________________________________________________________________
    4. Selfishness and discord (even infighting between members, such as between Euodia and Syntyche in the Book of Philippians) ______________________________________________________________________________________________________
    5. Gossip ______________________________________________________________________________________________________
    6. Creating disruptions, discord, and divisions in the body ______________________________________________________________________________________________________
    7. Standing for Jesus without loving Him ______________________________________________________________________________________________________
  2. On the positive side, how can you be a better testimony to the world, and a better member (servant) of the Waikoloa Baptist family as we work to be in unity, shining the light of Christ to the lost? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    1. Are there any areas of Question 1 that you need to address in your own life? ______________________________________________________________________________________________________
  3. Contrast the True Light of Christ (as found in the Bible) with the false light(s) of the world: ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    1. Isn’t it neat to read the Bible and see and understand all sorts of deep, spiritual truth you never saw before (especially before you were saved)? ________________________________________
    2. Reflect briefly on the James Montgomery Boice’s statement quoted above in reference to our need to be spiritually grounded in the True Light of Christ, abiding and growing in Him: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Christ, Be Our Light  Song by Bernadette Farrell

1 Longing for light, we wait in darkness

Longing for truth, we turn to You.

Make us Your own, Your holy people

Light for the world to see.

 

Christ, be our light!

Shine in our hearts.

Shine through the darkness.

Christ, be our light!

Shine in Your church gathered today.

 

2 Longing for peace, our world is troubled

Longing for hope, many despair.

Your word alone has pow’r to save us.

Make us your living voice.

 

Christ, be our light!

Shine in our hearts.

Shine through the darkness.

Christ, be our light!

Shine in Your church gathered today.

 

3  Longing for food, many are hungry

Longing for water, many still thirst.

Make us Your bread, broken for others

Shared until all are fed.

 

Christ, be our light!

Shine in our hearts.

Shine through the darkness.

Christ, be our light!

Shine in Your church gathered today.

 

4 Longing for shelter, many are homeless

Longing for warmth, many are cold.

Make us Your building, sheltering others

Walls made of living stone.

 

Christ, be our light!

Shine in our hearts.

Shine through the darkness.

Christ, be our light!

Shine in Your church gathered today.

 

5 Many the gift, many the people

Many the hearts that yearn to belong.

Let us be servants to one another

Making Your kingdom come.

 

Christ, be our light!

Shine in our hearts.

Shine through the darkness.

Christ, be our light!

Shine in Your church gathered today.