South Lyon
church of christ

248-437-3585

office@southlyonchurch.com

21860 Pontiac Trail

South Lyon, MI  48178

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2017 created by South Lyon Church of Christ

  • South Lyon Church

It is one of those things you don’t think about very often, but you were taught. We don’t live under a democratic government. In that case every decision that would be made would be made by the group as a whole. Do we sign a trade deal with China? Do we start a new branch of the military called the Space Force? What should be the federal standard on social issues. All of these things are decided by those whom we elect to represent us, thus we have a representative government. Ah yes, the cobwebs coming off the old civics and government classes from school.


Another aspect of our country is that we are a republic--another term we must reach back to civics class to remember. It is a state where the members are equal, and the supreme power lies with the people and those they choose to represent them. And if they don’t represent us as we want, every two, four or six years, we can choose to not have them represent us. Again the supreme power belongs to its citizens, us. And we like it this way.

This month our sermons will center around the theme Home Sweet Home - The Kingdom of God. The idea of Home Sweet Home is nice.

It brings out warm feelings of a safe comfortable place. And when we are thinking about our Heavenly Father, hopefully safe is one of the aspects that we do feel. Since God is in control (though we sometimes are somewhat puzzled at why things happen as they do) we develop a peace knowing that He is truly in charge.


The downside of this can be our response to this control. The last part of this month’s theme is The Kingdom of God. By following God we submit to being part of that kingdom, having a king, and being subjects. That is where it can get difficult for us on an ongoing basis. The kingdom of God is a—well, a kingdom with a king. It is not a democracy. We don’t have a vote, the supreme authority does not lie with us, but with that king! That is a hard concept for us to accept, especially living within the government we do.


So why would we submit, “give up our vote,” and become subjects? The best answer comes from Peter in John 6:68. Many followers had stopped following Jesus because of the difficult teachings. Jesus asks the twelve if they want to leave also, to which Peter replies “Where would we go, you have the words of eternal life.” You are our Home Sweet Home.

Some of Jesus’ teachings are hard. They demand we submit to God’s ways. They call us to serve others rather than self. They order us to live differently from the world around us. They require us to die to self. But the King is there to protect us and to look after us, in this home and the sweet home that waits for us in eternity.


Home with my Father,

Randy



  • South Lyon Church

Now, on the surface this could seem to be a rude statement. I could have said “learning from those who went before me”, or “learning from those who have gained wisdom from their years on this earth.” Or maybe I could have said something like “wisdom gained from seniors.”Any of those would be a good way to state the point, if that was the point I was trying to make. But that is not the point I am trying to make, because the old I am referring to is what we call the Old Testament, the scriptures before Jesus was born into this world.

The Old Testament, though confusing at times, is fascinating. No, I am not under any of the old ways or laws. Do I try to keep most of the 10 Commandments? Yes, but not because they are binding on me, but because they are good rules to follow. Plus, most of them, except for the Sabbath command, are stated or at least alluded to in the New Testament.


I find the Old Testament fascinating for two reasons. First, is how so many of the laws and practices set up what we have through Christ. In theological terms it is referred to as the type and anti-type. In my way of thinking, it is more, “Oh, so that’s why that is done that way.” Or, “Oh yea, that makes sense when taking into account the Old Testament.” An example would be Jesus being called the Lamb of God, with reference to the blood shed for our sins. Taking into account the lambs that were slain on the night of Passover that signaled the freedom from the bondage of Egypt, we can see how we are freed from the bondage of sin by Christ’s blood. It makes sense. Another example would be Jesus as the high priest, or us now being called priests. It all makes sense when seen through the writings about high priests and their role in the Old Testament.


The second aspect I find fascinating are the people. These aren’t imaginary people on the pages of a novel, but real people who lived real lives. In the living of those lives we see great triumphs as well as some really stupid actions. We see tremendous acts of faith and we see despair, sometimes from the same person in a short period of time. What I see are real people. People trying to do what is right. People really messing up at times. People who are a lot like me. And through all of it, a God who is there for these people. A God who is serious about commitment to Him, but also one who is gracious. He had to be, or the Israelites would have never crossed the Red Sea.


So if you want to learn how to live your life or discover what God expects from a true follower, open what we call the New Testament and start reading. But if you want to find encouragement as you try to live your best, open up some of the books of History in the Old Testament: Kings, Chronicles, Samuel, maybe check out Exodus. Even the book of Numbers is more than just about counting the people. I learn a lot by observing others as they try to follow God, even if they are not perfect.


And if you want to gain some modern wisdom, sit down with one of our seniors and just visit. They have lived lives following God. Not perfect lives, but forgiven lives, and we can learn a lot from their History, too.



Observing Others,

Randy

  • South Lyon Church


Somewhere along the line, I became the breakfast cook in our family. It may have been because of my love for breakfast, or that I was always the “up and at em” one in my family. Regardless, on my day off each week, I would make a special breakfast for the kids and give Holly a chance to sleep in or just relax. The menu varied from omelets with bacon and home made hash browns to three loaves of French toast, most of which was frozen and then warmed in the toaster for the next couple of weeks. But probably the one the kids looked forward to the most was the Belgian Waffles.


Now, there was a learning curve for getting the waffles just the way we liked them. One aspect of this learning came before the kids were even born. One morning, another Randy and I were making waffles for a men’s prayer breakfast. I noticed that he wasn’t putting oil in his batter as I was. I got to thinking, I spray my waffle iron so they don’t stick, so, why do I need to put oil in them? The next time I made them was a disaster. They didn’t rise, they barely cooked, something was really wrong. After examining his recipe and mine I discovered that the oil was part of the rising agent in mine, while he had a different way of making his. Mixing the two ways wasn’t more efficient—it was a disaster!


We have to take the same precaution when it comes to the body of Christ, the church. God has given us a recipe for growth: individuals sharing with individuals. One person inviting another person to come be a part of our service on Sunday. Asking a friend to come to one of our activities or seeing if someone is interested in knowing more about God and His love for them. One person helping another person grow from where they are to a deeper relationship with God. The recipe God has given us is this: individuals helping individuals, a very personal approach.


Then there is the business recipe or model. It is all about advertising and flash. Get their attention then wow them with the production. And while I am not opposed to doing things the best way we can and having events being well planned and professional, we have to make sure we don’t lose sight of what it is all about. No, it is not about an auditorium full of people, the proof of success in the business model. It is about the individuals committed to Christ who come together to fill that auditorium.


It comes down to purpose and method. Are we looking around to see what is being done, or are we getting on our knees and asking, What can I do Lord? Who can I invite? How can you use me? What do I need to give up for your Kingdom? We don’t want to be vulnerable, we don’t want to step out, we want things done at an arm’s length; yet, God desires us to reach out the length of our arms and put them around people. Yes, God wants the church to grow; but success isn’t found by looking around at others’ tactics, but from bowing down at our Lord’s throne and saying Here I am, send me. If we follow God’s recipe for growth, attendance will rise. . .just the way the recipe says it will.


Avoiding disasters,

Randy