A Higher View

Worship Service for July 12, 2020

WELCOME

I pray that your time spent here on CrossPointe’s website will rejuvenate and reinvigorate your faith in the Risen Lord Jesus to more confidently and hopefully face the difficult days in which we are presently living.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

If weather permits, we will be worshipping at the church pavilion once again today. If the 50% predicted chance of showers is fulfilled, we will be inside. In either case, we are still masking and distancing. I will remain after worship until 12:30 pm for those of you who wish to drop off your offering. You may place it in the box that is located in the lobby.

If you prefer to send your offering in the mail, the address is:

CrossPointe Community Church
P. O. Box 126
Chippewa Lake, OH 44215-0126

Please be aware and pray for the weekly ministries that have begun once again. These include Tuesday night’s Disciple I Bible Study, Wednesday night’s training of Stephen Ministers, and a Thursday night group that is studying the Book of James.

Once again, let us open our hearts to praising and hearing the Word of the Lord by reading through the worship service. Please take advantage of the opportunity to read, pause, reflect, and pray when you feel led. I hope you also noticed that most of this service is also available in video format on the same page where you accessed this.

Before we go on, I’d like to tell a story that will set the table for what’s to come a little later. The well-known Southern Californian preacher, Jack Hayford, tells about a married couple who had attended a seminar taught by one of those demagogues determined to show that scripture teaches that the man is in charge at home. It was that kind of terrible teaching on submission that turns women into doormats.

Well, the husband just loved it! He had never heard anything like it in his life, and he drank it all in. His wife, however, sat there fuming as she listened to hour after hour of this stuff! When it was over the husband was drunk with power. While driving home, he pompously said, “What did you think about that?”
She didn’t utter a word, so he continued, “I think it was great.”

When they got home, he slammed the door and said, “Wait right there, just stand right there.”
She stood tight-lipped and stared at him.
“I’ve been thinking about what the fellow said tonight and I want you to know that from now on that’s the way it’s going to be; you got that, that’s the way things are gonna run in this house from now on.”

And having said that, he didn’t see her for two weeks. After two whole weeks, he could just start to see her a little bit out of one eye.

CALL TO WORSHIP

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
Serve the Lord with gladness!
Come into His presence with singing!
Know that the Lord, He is God!
It is He who made us, and we are His.
We are His people, and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise!
Give thanks to Him; bless His name!
For the Lord is good; His steadfast love endures forever,
and His faithfulness to all generations.

Psalm 100

HYMNS OF PRAISE

All For Love

Fieldes, Mia/Smith, J. Daniel

All for love a Father gave
For only love could make a way.
All for love the heaven’s cried
For love was crucified.
Oh, how many times
Have I broken Your heart.
But, still You forgive
If only I ask.
And how many times
Have You heard me pray,
‘Draw near to me.’

Everything I need…is You
My beginning, my forever.
Everything I need…is You.

Let me sing…all for love
I will join…the angel’s song.
Ever holy…is the Lord
King of glory…King of all.
Oh, how many times
Have I broken Your heart.
But, still You forgive
If only I ask.
And how many times
Have You heard me pray,
‘Draw near to me.’

Everything I need…is You
My beginning, my forever.
Everything I need…is You.

Everything I need…is You
My beginning, my forever.
Everything I need…is You…is You.

©2004 Hillsong Publishing/ASCAP (admin in the US and Canada
by Integrity’s Hosanna! Music) This arrangement ©2008 Hillsong Publishing/ASCAP
(admin in the US and Canada by Integrity’s Hosanna! Music)
CCLI License No. 1843349

You, You Are God

Beach, Walker

You, You are God, You are Lord.
You are all I’m living for.
You are King of everything.
I want my life to praise You.

Here I am; I’ve come to find You.
Here I am to see Your grace,
To bring to You an offering.
I have to ask myself one thing:
How can I do anything but praise?
I praise….

You, You are God. You are Lord.
You are all I’m living for.
You are King of everything.
I want my life to praise You.

Here I am; I’ve come to thank You.
Here I am, a life You’ve changed.
Because You gave Your life for me,
You crucified Your Son for me,
Now how can I do anything but praise?
I praise….

You, You are God. You are Lord.
You are all I’m living for.
You are King of everything.
I want my life to praise You.

You are God. You are Lord.
You are all I’m living for.
You are King of everything.
I want my life to praise You.

©2003 Walker Beach, admin Can’t Get Enough Publishing/BM
CCLI License No. 1843349

OPENING PRAYER

Our Heavenly Father, we come into Your presence with singing and praise. We give You thanks for Your steadfast love and faithfulness; for Your forgiveness and grace. We worship You as the King of kings and the Lord of Lords. And we thank You for this opportunity to once again align our will with Your will. And if there is room for us to grow in Christ, show us the way that we can become more like Him, for we ask this in His name, amen.

THE GIVING OF THE LORD’S OFFERING

(see announcement above)

The discipline of Christian giving has its roots in the Old Testament tithe that was introduced in Genesis 14 when Abraham began the practice and was prescribed by the Lord in the Law of Moses as in the Leviticus 27:30:

“A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the Lord; it is holy to the Lord.”

PRAYER SONG

As the Deer

Nystrom, Martin J.

As the deer panteth for the water,
So my soul longeth after Thee.
You alone are my heart’s desire,
And I long to worship Thee.

You alone are my strength, my shield;
To You alone, may my spirit yield.
You alone are my heart’s desire,
And I long to worship Thee.

You’re my friend
And You are my brother
Even though You are a king.
I love You more than any other
So much more than anything.

You alone are my strength, my shield;
To You alone, may my spirit yield.
You alone are my heart’s desire,
And I long to worship Thee.

I want You more than gold or silver,
Only You can satisfy.
You alone are the real joy-giver
And the apple of my eye.

You alone are my strength, my shield;
To You alone, may my spirit yield.
You alone are my heart’s desire,
And I long to worship Thee.

©1984 Maranatha Praise, Inc.
CCLI License No. 1843349

PASTORAL PRAYER

To You alone, O Lord. For to whom else can we turn to acknowledge and confess that blessing, glory, honor, majesty, and power belongs to You, to You alone? For You and You alone are responsible for the creation of the heavens. With the Psalmist, when we look up into the night sky and see the moon and stars, and contemplate the vastness of the universe, we too think who are we that You would even think of us, let alone care for us and love us so much that You entered into our finite little world. To what do we owe the honor? For when we stop to think about the people who live on this planet, it seems to us that the majority move through their lives oblivious to who You are and what You have in mind for Your children. Forgive the human race; and forgive us when we stray from Your will revealed to us in Your book. Help us so to live that You alone ARE our heart’s desire, that we would always and forever long to worship You. For You alone are our strength. If we didn’t have this relationship with You, our lives would be a meaningless pursuit of pleasure. Bus as the deer pants for water, so our souls long after You. We confess that everything we need is You, our beginning, our forever. So, if we may be so bold to ask Lord, hear us as we pray out of our need, making known our requests (please take this time to pray for your needs). As we continue in this worship experience, we yield our lives to You. We pray that by Your grace and through the power of Your Holy Spirit You would help us to commit our ways to You in such a way that our lives would reflect the sacrificial love of Your dear Son Jesus, in whose name we pray, amen.

SCRIPTURE

In the same way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands. Then, even if some refuse to obey the Good News, your godly lives will speak to them without any words. They will be won over by observing your pure and reverent lives.

Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God. This is how the holy women of old made themselves beautiful. They put their trust in God and accepted the authority of their husbands. For instance, Sarah obeyed her husband, Abraham, and called him her master. You are her daughters when you do what is right without fear of what your husbands might do.

In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered.

Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude. Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and He will grant you His blessing. For the Scriptures say,
“If you want to enjoy life
and see many happy days,
keep your tongue from speaking evil
and your lips from telling lies.
Turn away from evil and do good.
Search for peace, and work to maintain it.
The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right,
and his ears are open to their prayers.
But the Lord turns his face
against those who do evil.

I Peter 3:1-12

And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church. As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything.

For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up His life for her to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word. He did this to present her to Himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault. In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself. No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church. And we are members of His body. As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.” This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

Ephesians 5:21-33

THE MESSAGE

Randy K’Meyer

A Higher View

A husband read an article to his wife about how many words women use a day; 30,000 to a man’s 15,000.
The wife replied, “The reason is because we have to repeat everything to men.”
The husband then turned to his wife and asked, “What?”

As we come to Peter’s counsel here in chapter 3, we come to a much misinterpreted, misunderstood, and sometimes maligned passage of scripture. I say maligned because there are some Christian husbands out there who use these words to Lord it over their wives. For centuries this passage and Ephesians 5 have been used to keep women in very abusive relationships. Over the years of my ministry, I have met several men who use this passage to justify everything from demanding obedience to physical punishment for disobedience.

As a result of putting women down, naturally they have pushed back; sometimes too far.

For example, there’s the tongue-in-cheek story where Saint Peter is having the men who get to heaven form two lines. In one line are the men dominated by their wives, and in the other line are the men who dominated their wives. The line with the men dominated by their wives is hundreds of miles long. The other line has only three guys standing in it. Peter says to the men in the longer line, “All you men should be ashamed of yourselves, allowing your wives to dominate you.” And he approaches one of the three in the other line and says to one, “Tell me, my son, how did you do it?”
And the man replied, “My wife told me to stand here.”

So we, all of us, need the counsel of the Bible.

Now I am not going to go into the specifics of this passage today because I am afraid if do we will all get lost in the forest for the trees. This is not a carefully examine the trees passage, not today anyway. But rather, we need to take a step back and enjoy the beauty of the forest.

And as we do, the first vista I’d like to point to in the forest is that Peter is elevating the place of marriage.

And believe you me, it needed elevating. According to William Barclay:

In every sphere of ancient civilization, women had no right at all. Under Jewish law a woman was a thing; she was owned by her husband in exactly the same as he owned his sheep and his goats. In Greek civilization, the duty of the woman was to ‘remain indoors and to be obedient to her husband. She had no kind of independent existence and no kind of mind of her own. Under Roman law, a woman had no rights. In law, she remained forever a child. When she was under her father, she was under the father’s power, which gave the father the right even of life and death over her; and when she married she passed equally into the power of her husband. She was entirely subject to her husband and completely at his mercy.1

Now to be sure, Peter didn’t change things much for wives because he didn’t want these Christian wives to leave their unbelieving husbands, or to take their new-found Christian freedom to extremes by rebelling against the authority granted husbands by their culture.

No, “you wives must accept the authority of your husbands” (3:1). So granted, Peter didn’t change much for these wives, but he did give them a holy purpose: “They will be won over by observing your pure and reverent lives” (3:2). Ah, so he wants these wives to know there is a higher purpose for marriage.

And when Peter writes in verse 7, “In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life,” there is a higher purpose for husbands.

In both cases, Peter is advocating for a completely new, a higher way, of viewing the institution of marriage.

In this higher view, Peter is hopeful that the way husbands and wives relate to one another will influence others to become Christ-followers. Remember the topic sentence of this entire section of the letter is in 2:12 is, “be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors.” Why? So that unbelieving friends and neighbors will see and think, These Christian husbands and wives really love and respect one another. I want that in my marriage, perhaps I should become a Christ-follower too.

Christopher Ash reflects on the testimony of Christian marriages in his book, Married for God:

Some years ago a dispute arose in Britain between The Foreign Office and the Treasury. The argument was about which British ambassadors would be provided with a Rolls-Royce for their official duties in a foreign capital. The Treasury unsurprisingly wanted these wonderful cars restricted to a few cities: perhaps Washington, Moscow, and Paris. The Foreign Office argued for many more based on the following reasoning: most people in a foreign capital have never been to Britain, they said. But when they see this magnificent car gliding through their streets with the United Kingdom flag on the hood, they will say to themselves, ‘I have not been to Britain. I don’t know much about Britain. But if they make cars like that there, then Britain must be a wonderful place.’

In a similar way, it is Christ’s hope that men and women may say to themselves as they watch a Christian marriage, ‘I have never seen God, sometimes I wonder, when I look at the world, if God is good, or if there is a God. But if he can make a man and a woman love one another like this; if he can make this husband show costly faithfulness through sickness as well as health; if he can give him resources to love his wife with Christ-like sacrifice; well, then he must be a good God. And if Christ can give this wife grace to submit so beautifully, with such an attractive spirit, then again he must be a good God.’ 2

Have you ever stopped to think that the way you relate to others; not only in your marriage, but in all your relationships have an impact, one way or the other, on whether or not people see Christ in you? And consequently can influence them to become a Christian?

That’s part of the picture Peter is painting in this section of his letter. He is elevating the place of marriage in the eyes of the world; not only by declaring that wives and husbands are equal partners, but also by acknowledging that marriage has a higher purpose.

The second vista to take notice of is that the attitude and action of submitting to one another is not just restricted to wives toward their husbands.

The key words here are, “In the same way.’ (3:1) In the same way that citizens are to submit to government, and slaves to masters (employees to employers) and supremely as Jesus submitted to even laying down His life; in this chapter, Peter is calling husbands and wives, and even brothers and sisters in Christ to submit to one another.

“Wives, in the same way, submit” then he spells out what that looks like for her. “Husbands, in the same way, submit,” and then specifics for him.

Paul, in Ephesians, backs Peter up; where his topic sentence directs wives and husbands to: “Be subject (submit) to one another” (Ephesians 5:21).

So what’s this submitting all about?

In my copy of Linguistic Key to the New Testament, Rienecker and Rogers define υποτασσομαι as “to line one’s self up under; to submit. Used in a military sense of soldiers submitting to their superior or slaves submitting to their master. The word has primarily the idea of giving up one’s own right or will.” 3

But ‘submit’ doesn’t mean obey.

F. F. Bruce, commenting on this Christian act of submission, writes:

Christians should not be self-assertive, each insisting on getting his or her own way. As the Philippian believers are told, they should be humble enough to count others better than themselves and put the interest of others before their own, following the example of Christ, who “emptied Himself,” “humbled Himself,” and “became obedient,” even when the path of obedience led to death on the cross (Philippians 2:3-8). Out of reverence for their Lord, who set such a precedent, His followers should place themselves at one another’s disposal. 4

So submitting has to do with looking out for the best interest of the other, and doing what I can to bring that about, even if that means sacrificing what I want.

Paul conveys that idea in Ephesians when he tells the husband to love his wife as Christ loved the Church. As Christ died for the Church, for that is what was in our best interest, so we as His followers are called upon to die to our desires, our selfishness, in order to meet the needs, or give preference, or display honor, toward the other person with whom we are in relationship! Think about that for a minute.

By the way, Adam and Eve didn’t have to worry about all this, they had an ideal marriage. He didn’t have to hear about all the men she could have married, and she didn’t have to hear about the way his mother cooked.

We, on the other hand, need help. We need help because many of us have a somewhat distorted view of marriage.

In an article in The New York Times, philosopher Alain de Botton claims that for 250 years, many of us have been deluded by what he calls the Romantic view of marriage; “that a perfect being exists who can meet all our needs and satisfy every yearning.” When that ‘perfect being’ doesn’t meet all of our needs we think we’ve married the wrong person. He writes, “We end up lonely and convinced that our marriage, with its imperfections, is not normal.” Instead, he argues for the following view of marriage: “That we approach marriage with the awareness that every human will frustrate, anger, annoy, madden, and disappoint us and we will (without any malice) do the same to them.” 5

Another New York Times columnist, David Brooks, argues that there are three different lenses through which to think about marriage; psychological, romantic, and the moral lens.

Most of the popular advice books on marriage adopt a psychological lens. These books start with the premise that getting married is a daunting prospect. So psychologists urge us to pay attention to traits like agreeableness, social harmony, empathy, and niceness.

The second lens is the romantic lens. This is the dominant lens in movies and songs. More than people in many other countries, Americans want to marry the person they are passionately in love with. But in their book, The Good Marriage, the authors conclude that just 15 percent of couples maintain these kinds of lifelong romantic marriages.

The third lens is the moral lens. In this lens a marriage exists to serve some higher purpose.” 6

Which leads to the last vista in this beautiful forest.

For if we take an even further step back from this text, we find that these relationships give us opportunities to become more like Jesus.

God does not primarily give us these relationships for our enjoyment or fulfillment, but rather so that we have an opportunity to put Him on display! Marriage gives us just such an opportunity; so does being in a family of faith.

In his book, The Meaning of Marriage, Pastor Tim Keller argues that “marriage introduces you to yourself; you realize you’re not as noble and easy to live with as you thought when you were alone. In a good marriage, you identify your own selfishness and see it as the fundamental problem. You treat it more seriously than your spouse’s selfishness. The everyday tasks of marriage are opportunities to cultivate a more selfless love. Every day there’s a chance to inspire and encourage your partner to become his or her best self. In this lens, marriage isn’t about two individuals trying to satisfy their own needs; it’s a partnership of mutual self-giving for the purpose of moral growth and to make their corner of the world a little better.” 7

God is placing us in the arena and giving us an opportunity to practice sacrificial love; to look for the best interest of the other and sacrifice whatever it takes to bring that about. In this way, we put God on display and we become more like Jesus.

And the cool thing is, as we engage in these loving actions, loving feelings will follow.

A man went to a counselor because his marriage was really bad and he wanted out, and he wanted to hurt his wife as much as possible.

The counselor said, “This is the way to really hurt her. For the next three months, treat her like a princess. Bring her flowers, buy her gifts, take her to dinner, do some of the housework. Treat her like she’s the most wonderful woman in the world. Then suddenly, you just leave; that’ll really kill her.”

So he did.

A few months later the counselor ran into that fellow and said, “How’d it go when you dumped your wife?”

“You’ve got to be kidding,” He replied, I’m married to the most wonderful woman in the world.”

There is an important principle in that story. Sometimes we don’t feel like sacrificially loving others, but if we commit to doing so, we will, before long, delightfully discover that we do feel like it. Loving actions will be followed by loving feelings. Let’s stop and think about that.

While imprisoned by the Nazis during WWII, Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote a beautiful sermon for the wedding of his niece and his friend. Bonhoeffer never had a chance to preach the wedding sermon, but this line has continued to challenge and bless many young couples: “Today you are young and very much in love and you think that your love will sustain your marriage. It won’t; but your marriage can sustain your love!” 8

Hey, love at first sight is easy to understand. It’s when two people have been looking at each other for years that it becomes a miracle.

Ernest Havemann, Bits & Pieces, writes,

You can see them alongside the shuffleboard courts in Florida or on the porches of the old folks’ homes up north: an old man with snow-white hair, a little hard of hearing, reading the newspaper through a magnifying glass; an old woman in a shapeless dress, her knuckles gnarled by arthritis, wearing sandals to ease her aching arches.

They are holding hands, and in a little while they will totter off to take a nap, and then she will cook supper, not a very good supper, but it will do. And then they will watch television, each knowing exactly what the other is thinking, until it is time for bed. They may even have a good, soul-stirring argument, just to prove that they still really care. And through the night they will snore unabashedly, each resting content because the other is there. They are in love, they have always been in love, although sometimes they would have denied it. And because they have been in love they have survived everything that life could throw at them, even their own failures. 9

Some of you are living that story out in your own lives. And I submit to you that you have because you have learned the secret of what it means to submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

For as Peter put it in the words that preceded today’s text: “Once you were like sheep who wandered away. But now you have turned to your Shepherd, the Guardian of your souls” (2:25).

CLOSING PRAYER

(I encourage all of you to pray as you feel led).

CLOSING SONG

Shepherd of My Soul

Nystrom, Martin J.

Shepherd of my soul,
I give You full control.
Wherever You may lead, I will follow.
I have made the choice
To listen for Your voice.
Wherever You may lead, I will go.

Be it in a quiet pasture
Or by a gentle stream,
The Shepherd of my soul
Is by my side.
Should I face a mighty mountain
Or a valley dark and deep,
The Shepherd of my soul
Will be my guide.

Shepherd of my soul,
I give You full control.
Wherever You may lead, I will follow.
I have made the choice
To listen for Your voice.
Wherever You may lead, I will go.

© 1986 Maranatha Praise, Inc.
CCLI License No. 1843349

SCRIPTURAL BENEDICTION

Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

Hebrews 13:20-21

1 William Barclay, The Daily Study Bible Series; the Letter of James and Peter, Revised Edition, [Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: The Westminster Press, © 1076], page 218

2 Christopher Ash, Married for God: Making Your Marriage the Best It Can Be, [Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway Book, © 2016), pages 91-92.

3 Frtiz Rienecker and Cleon Rogers, Linguistic Key to the New Testament, [Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, © 1980]. page 538.

4 F. F. Bruce, The New International Commentary on the New Testament; the Epistles to the Colossians, to Philemon and to the Ephesians, [Grand Rapids, Michigan: W. B. Eerdmans Publishing, © 1984], page 382.

5 Alain de Botton, Why You Will Marry the Wrong Person, The New York Times (5-28-16) https://www.preachingtoday.com/illustrations/2016/july/4070416.html

6 Adapted from David Brooks, Three Views of Marriage, The New York Times (2-13-16) https://www.preachingtoday.com/illustrations/2016/march/5032816.html

7 Ibid.

8 Eric Metaxas, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy, [Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, © 2011], page 458

9 Ernest Havemann, Bits & Pieces, June 24, 1993, pp. 7-9.

Randy K'Meyer

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