In 1991-1992 two congregations of the Lord’s church merged to form South Cobb church of Christ. We built the building we are in now in and it is now paid off.
What was and is more important than a building is the people. We must always remember that the building is WHERE THE CHURCH MEETS, it is not the church. After the building was opened, we had attendance in the 300s on a couple of occasions; and stayed around 200-250 for many years. We worked together to serve the Lord. I remember giving away over 80-100 food baskets during Thanksgiving as well as Christmas. We supported numerous missionaries, which, by and large, we still support. We supported and continue to support works like Georgia Agape, Rainbow Omega, and Raintree Village Children’s Home. We support Robert Martin in the Pacific Island work; Oasis Outreach in the Middle East, and Wayne Parker in Pohnpei Islands. We were excited about the possibilities before us, and what great things we would accomplish.
We were a working congregation. We visited and helped the sick on numerous occasions with money to help pay medical bills. We reached out in our communities and tried to help every way we could. We remember the floods of 2009 and how many of us worked days on end trying to get food, water and supplies to those who had lost everything. Such was as it should have been – God’s people reaching out to help others and teach the gospel.
As timed marched on we said goodbye to some members who left after Henry left.
Over the years we said goodbye to many older members who passed away or moved away. We said goodbye to many members who left us because they did not agree with decisions elders have made that created discord in the congregation. Such is often the case with churches, because, sadly, we do not always live like Jesus! Every church has and will have problems because of our failings to be like Jesus – because we want things our way. This is nothing new. Every church Paul wrote letters to had problems in the first century – we would live in a dream world if we thought we could escape these things. Beloved, we must know and understand that Satan is as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). We know there will be good times, we also know that we will all struggle from time to time as Christians as we work together for the Lord.
We have gone from having six elders to having two. Sometimes the elders have been remiss in leading the flock of God closer to God. We have not always made the best decisions for the good of the church. We have struggled with sin in the church (as they did in the first century – see 1 Corinthians; 1 and 2 Thessalonians, Colossians, Ephesians . . .). We have struggled with decisions that we never thought we would have to make with regards to COVID, and some left us because of this. We closed assemblies with the church for one or two months at the outbreak and had online services. As we struggled with what to do and not do due to COVID everyone had their opinions, and we tried to listen to them all. Satan has used this to divide the church in so many places, and the body of Christ continues to deal with the fallout.
One of the things that has been most affected is fellowship. We are afraid to visit others in the hospital and at home lest we get COVID or give it to someone unawares. We have been reduced to a life of fear, not faith. Our young people need fellowship with one another, as do our older members. It has been a struggle to have any kind of fellowship — ZOOM beats nothing, but not by much. God created us as social beings that we need fellowship with one another! Our assemblies should be places for fellowship and encouragement!
The key to success in the church is being like Jesus! WE MUST LET THE WORD OF GOD DICTATE TO US HOW TO LIVE AND WHAT TO DO! Church problems happen because we may be selfish, or we may want our way with no regard to others in the body. We have let fear dictate too many things over the last two years.
Top Twelve List – How Can I Imitate Jesus?
Jesus called upon his disciples to take up their cross daily and “Follow him.” (Luke 9:23). Paul said, “Imitate me, just as I imitate Christ.” (1 Corinthians 11:1). In Philippians 2:5 Christians are instructed to have the mind of Christ. The apostle Peter’s instruction says, “For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow his steps.” (1 Peter 2:21). So, there can be no doubt that God calls upon his children to be imitators of Christ! The question is, “HOW CAN I IMPROVE IN IMITATING CHRIST?”
# 12 By respecting and obeying those in authority. (John 19:10-11 Matthew 22:15-22. Matthew 26:63-64)
# 11 By feeding the hungry. (John 6:1-15)
# 10 By helping the sick (Matthew 8:1-3).
# 9 By sharing in people’s joy and in their pain (Jahn 2:1-11; 11:35; Romans 12:15)
# 8 By rebuking the prideful and exhorting the humble (Luke 7:36-50).
# 7 By standing up for God and standing against those who pervert God’s word (Mt 15:3-9).
# 6 By not allowing prejudice to turn me aside from God’s will Mt 15:21-28; 28:9).
# 5 By having a habit for assembling for worship (Lk 4:16).
# 4 By bringing myself into subjection to do God’s will when it is easy and, even more so, when it is the most difficult. (Jn 5:29; Mt 26:39-42)
# 3 By seeking to save the lost (Lk 19:10; Mt 18:11).
# 2 By loving my brethren and my neighbor as Christ has taught (Jn 13:34-35; Mt 22:39).
AND THE # 1 way I can grow to be more like my Savior and Lord Jesus Christ is:
# 1 By loving God first and foremost in words and in action (Mt 22:37-38; Jn 14:31).
After Jesus’ baptism God spoke from heaven saying, “This is my beloved Son, In whom I am well pleased” (Mt 3:17). On the mount of transfiguration God spoke from a cloud saying, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!” (Mt 17:5). In Acts 1 and 2 God demonstrated his pleasure in His Son by bringing Him home and saying, “Sit at My right hand, till I make your enemies Your footstool.” (Acts 2:34-35). Because of God’s pleasure in Jesus, He made him both Lord and Christ (Acts 2:36).
If God has such pleasure in Jesus, will he not take pleasure in us also as we strive to become more like Jesus? “It is enough for a disciple that he be like his teacher, and a servant like his master” (Mt 10:25a).
Create your own list of ways you believe you need to grow to be more like Jesus. Post it somewhere you will see it every day. Make it your daily goals to imitate more and more your Savior and dearest friend ever — Jesus Christ.
Steve Vice Forest Park Church of Christ Vol 47 Issue 44 10/24/2021