Oct 19

It was wonderful for Joyce and me to be with our former church home in Arlington, TX this past weekend. I appreciate all those who covered things here while we were gone, especially Sean McFarland, Phil Stapp and Ambrose Clincy for taking my teaching and preaching chores. It’s such a blessing to be able to leave for a Sunday and know that the church family you love is being nourished and fed! Thanks so much, brothers.

We saw lots and lots of friends we’ve known for many years, some we’ve known for almost 30 years! It was a special blessing to be able to preach for their 55th Anniversary Homecoming. We moved there when we were both 28 years old, and our girls were ages 4 and 2. We were there for 20 years before moving here, and I was the preacher there for 17 years. Our relationships with several families continue to be strong. I know you have that in your life as well and appreciate what a blessing that is.

I thought it might be good to share with you a little of what I preached while there. The sermon was titled “A Church Home to Come Home To” and was based on Acts 2:36-47, calling us to share the commitment and faithfulness of that first church in Jerusalem in its early days. Here’s a part of that passage.

42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. (Acts 2:42-47)

Here’s how I described what it is to be a church like that; to be a church home to come home to:

  • It’s a church home that looks to God’s Word.
  • It’s a church home that experiences life together.
  • It’s a church home that is a witness in the world.
  • It’s a church home that does none of these things perfectly.
  • It’s a church home that does all of these things faithfully.

What will it take to make our church home a church like this? It will take us doing more than simply recognizing Jesus as our Savior—as wonderful as that is!! For our South Fork church home to be like this we must call on Jesus to be more than just our Savior. We must make Jesus our Lord as well. Like those earliest Christians, each of us must be completely committed to Christ in thought and word and deed. I must be willing to crucify self and be truly given over to Jesus as Lord. And not just the Lord. My Lord.

Bill Allen

Dr. Bill Allen preached at South Fork from 2005 to 2015. He received a Bachelors degree in Bible from Oklahoma Christian in 1978, a Masters in Bible from Abilene Christian (ACU) in 1988, and a Doctor of Ministry from ACU in 1992. He now preaches at the West Erwin Church of Christ in Tyler, Texas.

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