A Peace Worth Pursuing

Worship Service for November 8, 2020

WELCOME

Good morning. Welcome to CrossPointe Community Church’s online video presentation. I thank God for all of you and for the opportunity to spend these moments with you. If you’d like to reach out to me, I’d love to hear from you. You can e-mail me at randykmeyer@hotmail.com.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

I will remain after worship until 12 noon 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

As you are probably aware, we will do our best to fill 15 Thanksgiving boxes that will be distributed on Sunday, November 22nd after worship. Please call Suz Lemmon to let her know what you plan on donating.

Please note that this month’s Community Meal will take place a week early. That would be November 20th.

Today is National Cappuccino Day.

Trivia Question: what is the derivation of the word, Cappuccino? It derives from Capuchin friars, an order of Catholic Friars associated with the Franciscans. Cappuccino got its name from the color of the hooded robes that these Friars wore.

What did the cappuccino have to do when it got home from school?
Foamwork.

After waiting fifteen minutes for my cappuccino I got the wrong order.
Still, it’s better latté than never!

CALL TO WORSHIP

The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display His craftsmanship.
Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make Him known.
They speak without a sound or word; their voice is never heard.
Yet their message has gone throughout the earth, and their words to all the world.

Psalm 19:1-4

SONGS IN PRAISE OF CREATION

God You Reign

Brewster, Lincoln/Fieldes, Mia

You paint the night
You count the stars…
And You call them by name.
The skies proclaim…
God You reign.
Your glory shines
You teach the sun
When to bring a new day
Creation sings God You reign.

God You reign…God You reign.
Forever and ever…
God You reign.

You part the seas
You move the mountains
With the words that You say.
My song remains…God You reign.
You hold my life
You know my heart
And You call me by name.
I live to say…God You reign.

God You reign…God You reign.
Forever and ever…
God You reign.

God You reign…God You reign.
Forever and ever…
God You reign.

©2008 Integrity’s Praise! Music and Mia Fields/Hillsong Publishing (admin in US and Canada by Integrity’s Hosanna! Music)
CCLI License No. 1843349

God of Wonders

Byrd, Marc/Hindalong, Steve

Lord of all creation,
Of water, earth and sky
The heavens are Your tabernacle,
Glory to the Lord on high.

God of wonders beyond our galaxy,
You are holy, holy;
The universe declares Your majesty
You are holy, holy;
Lord of heaven and earth.
Lord of heaven and earth.

Early in the morning,
I will celebrate Your light.
And as I stumble in the darkness,
I will call Your name by night.

God of wonders beyond our galaxy,
You are holy, holy;
The universe declares Your majesty
You are holy, holy;
Lord of heaven and earth.
Lord of heaven and earth.

Hallelujah!
To the Lord of heaven and earth
Hallelujah!
To the Lord of heaven and earth
Hallelujah!
To the Lord of heaven and earth.

God of wonders beyond our galaxy,
You are holy, holy;
The universe declares Your majesty
You are holy, holy;
Lord of heaven and earth.
Lord of heaven and earth.

God of wonders beyond our galaxy,
You are holy, holy;
The universe declares Your majesty
You are holy, holy;
Lord of heaven and earth.
Lord of heaven and earth.

All Creation Worships You

Dearman, Kirk/Mills, Jim

You are God and we praise You.
(And we praise You).
You are Lord, we acclaim You.
(We acclaim You).
You are eternal Father,
All creation worships You.
All creation worships You.
Amen.

©1988 Integrity’s Hosanna! Music (c/o Integrity Music, Inc.)
CCLI License No. 1843349)

OPENING PRAYER

Creator of the cosmos, we join all creation in worshipping You this morning. We praise You, we acclaim You as Lord of all, and that includes us. And so we invite You to reign over our lives in some new and wonderful way today through Jesus, our Lord, amen.

THE GIVING OF THE LORD’S OFFERING

(see announcement above)

These are the instructions regarding the different kinds of peace offerings that may be presented to the Lord. If you present your peace offering as an expression of thanksgiving, the usual animal sacrifice must be accompanied by various kinds of bread made without yeast—thin cakes mixed with olive oil, wafers spread with oil, and cakes made of choice flour mixed with olive oil. This peace offering of thanksgiving must also be accompanied by loaves of bread made with yeast.

Leviticus 7:11-13

I offer you this scripture today to let you know there is a link between making an offering to God and being at peace with God.

PRAYER SONG

My Peace

Routledge, Keith

My peace I give unto you.
It’s a peace that the world cannot give.
It’s a peace that the world cannot understand.
Peace to know, peace to live.
My peace I give unto you.

©1975, 1980 and this arrangement ©1997 Kenwood Music.
Admin. by Maranatha! Music
CCLI License No. 1843349

Cares Chorus

Willard, Kelly

I cast all my cares upon You.
I lay all of my burdens
Down at Your feet;
And anytime that I don’t know what to do…
I will cast all my cares upon You.

©1978 Maranatha Praise, Inc.
CCLI License No. 1843349

MORNING PRAYER

Nancy Carr

Lord, thank You for the blessing and privilege that allows us to gather to worship and praise Your name. we are very grateful for this freedom to worship You freely.

As the leaves and the temperatures fall, we are reminded that You are the author of all living things. You tell the sun when to rise and set; You offer the moon and stars as a beacon to guide us in a midnight sky. The seasons change but only You provide warmth and light to us in a world that sometimes feels full of darkness and turmoil.

Our world is fraught with uncertainty, sometimes hate and evil appear to be winning.

We long for peace. We know in our hearts that only You offer hope and peace.

Paul reminds us “to be anxious for nothing”, instead we must pray to You Lord about everything.

You love each and every unique person. All have been created by You. We bear the image of the Most High God. You have engraved our names on Your hand. Our desires You hold close to Your heart. This makes us a priceless treasure to You Father. May we live our lives according to this amazing truth!

Use us Lord to be a blessing to everyone we encounter this week. May we encourage others as You have encouraged us. Where there is pain, where there is need, may we offer the same healing grace we receive from You. To those needing wisdom, may we point to Your Word. To those without hope, let us share our hope in Christ. This is a gift that swallows up all fears. Help us plant seeds of faith on the sacred paths You lead us on Lord. May our prayers be filled to the brim with Your joy! For we are assured, that You will supply all our needs from Your glorious riches which have been given to us in Christ Jesus. Amen.

SCRIPTURE

I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. Remember what I told you: I am going away, but I will come back to you again. If you really loved me, you would be happy that I am going to the Father, who is greater than I am. I have told you these things before they happen so that when they do happen, you will believe. I don’t have much more time to talk to you, because the ruler of this world approaches. He has no power over Me, but I will do what the Father requires of Me, so that the world will know that I love the Father. Come, let’s be going.

John 14:27-31

Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stay true to the Lord. I love you and long to see you, dear friends, for you are my joy and the crown I receive for my work.

Now I appeal to Euodia and Syntyche. Please, because you belong to the Lord, settle your disagreement. And I ask you, my true partner, to help these two women, for they worked hard with me in telling others the Good News. They worked along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are written in the Book of Life.

Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon.

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:1-7

THE MESSAGE

Randy K’Meyer

A Peace worth Pursuing

Once upon a time, there was a Peanuts cartoon with Lucy saying to Charlie Brown, “I hate everything, I hate everybody. I hate the whole wide world!”
Charlie says, “But I thought you had inner peace.”
Lucy replies, “I do have inner peace. But I still have outer obnoxiousness.” 1

My guess is most of would prefer peace to obnoxiousness.

If you google Webster’s definition of peace the first citation given is: “freedom or period of freedom from public disturbance or war.” 2

If that’s what peace is all about, then we haven’t been doing so well. The Center for Research on Globalization has a 2011 article that states our country has been involved in war for 93% of our existence as a nation. 3 That equates to only 21 years when we have not been engaged in conflict.

The Society of International Law, in London, states that during the last 4,000 years there have been only 268 years of world peace. 4

That’s why some unknown but creative wag said, “Peace is that brief glorious moment in history when everybody stands around reloading.” 5

Because we have no control over brokering the peace that ends war, we are more interested in Webster’s 2nd citation, “a quiet and calm state of mind.” 6

If so, we are fortunate for that is precisely what an Apostle of Jesus named Paul is offering us in his joy-filled little letter known as Philippians. In today’s passage, he gives us a prescription for inner peace, and not just any peace, but a peace which defies description. Therefore this peace is a peace worth pursuing. This prescription for peace contains three ingredients.

The first of which is, “Don’t worry about anything” (4:6).

Worry trips us up in our pursuit of peace.

Researcher Lucas LaFreniere asked participants to record their worries and how they caused distress and interfered with their lives. After 20 days, they reviewed to see if any of their worries had become true. 91.4 % of their worries never actually happened. The researcher wrote, “This is what breaks my heart about worry. It makes you miserable in the present moment to try and prevent misery in the future. Worry sucks the joy out of the here and now.” 7

Okay, I admit it; I tend to be a worry-wart. I tell myself worry is not all bad, that it is a powerful motivator for me. One Saturday night years ago, I went to bed less prepared than normal for the sermon I was set to deliver the next morning. I dreamed the professor of my preaching class and the students showed up. I woke up in a cold sweat and worked on my sermon till morning!

I like to think that my tendency to worry is evidence of my sense of responsibility. That may be true to a certain degree, but I must also face the distinct possibility that my worrying is due to a deep-seated self-reliance coupled with the need to control outcomes. (You may want to pause and consider that for you).

Jesus asked, “Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? (Matthew 6:27).

His sidekick, Peter, wrote, “Cast all your cares (worries) on Him for He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). It seems so cliché but the antidote to worry really is to trust in God; to cling to God as our firm foundation.

A ship was wrecked in a furious storm and the only survivor was a little boy who was swept by the waves onto a rock. He clung to that rock all night long until he was finally rescued the next morning. Someone asked, “Did you worry and tremble as you clung to that rock throughout the night?”
“Yes,” said the boy, “I worried and trembled all through the night, but the rock didn’t.”

Rather than worry about this and that, let’s cast all our cares upon the Lord, our Rock, for He cares for us.

“Don’t worry about anything, and then the 2nd ingredient: instead pray about everything” (Philippians 4:6).

Remember the context; as Paul wrote these marvelous words he was not lying back in a lounge chair on the beach at a resort on the Mediterranean Sea. He was in prison awaiting a word about his possible martyrdom.

But rather than worry about what he could not control, he prays and he encourages us to do likewise: “Tell God what you need” (4:6).

What are you worrying about? Do you worry about what the future holds? Pray and ask the One who holds your future to prepare you emotionally, and more importantly, spiritually, to handle whatever comes along.

Do you worry about losing your health? Ask God to strengthen you spiritually for when that day will surely come.

Is it that you don’t have enough money? Pray and ask God to help you learn to be content with what you have.

By the way, that last one always ranks at the top of the list of worries and concerns that people have. And it stands to reason as the world would have us believe that peace is a result of having an abundance of money, possessions, insurance, IRA’s, 401-K’s, pensions and social security. But rest assured, this is not the peace that God gives.

A Godly child had a special ring given him by his mother, and he greatly prized it, but one day he lost his ring and, for a time, cried bitterly. But recapturing his composure, he prayed, after which his sister said to him, “Brother, what is the good of praying about a ring; will all the praying in the world bring your ring back?”
“Perhaps not,” said the boy, “But praying has made me quite willing to do without it if that is God’s will. And is that not as good as having it?” 8

That’s the kind of praying Paul is advocating for here in Philippians; where we turn our worries and concerns into prayers of trust in God.

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You, all whose thoughts are fixed on You!

Isaiah 26:3

The shortest distance between a problem and a solution is the distance between your knees and the floor.

And the third ingredient: “Thank Him for all He has done” (Philippians 4:6).

Why? Two reasons.

The first being that there is a connection between gratefulness and well-being. Research has shown that practicing gratitude boosts the immune system, bolsters resilience to stress, lowers depression, and even helps you sleep better at night. In fact, “few things have been more repeatedly and empirically vetted than the connection between gratitude and overall well-being.” 10

Second, II Corinthians 11 contains Paul’s litany of pain when he speaks of being persecuted, his many imprisonments, being stoned, beaten with rods, and shipwrecked. And as he thinks back, He is reminded that God brought him through it all. And as he thanks God for those times, he is filled with peace because he knows God will get him through whatever his future holds.

Similarly, in the process of thanking God for all He has done for us in the past, we will be reminded that God has been with us through thick and thin. That gives us peace in the present because we are confident that God will get us through whatever our future might hold.

If we are seeking peace, we must thank God for all His blessings, not the least of which is that He gave His Son. And because He did, we can even be at peace about our impending death in the sure knowledge that “nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from God’s love in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39).

There’s Paul’s three ingredient prescription for peace: “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all He has done” (Philippians 4:6).

Please note that this peace will envelop us as we pursue it on a regular basis.

Sarah Young, in Jesus Calling, writes as if Jesus were speaking:

Peace is My continual gift to you. It flows abundantly from My throne of grace. Just as the Israelites could not store up an abundance of manna for the future but had to gather it daily, so it is with My peace. The day-by-day collecting of manna kept My people aware of their dependence on Me. Similarly, I give you sufficient peace for the present when you come to Me with prayer and petition with thanksgiving. If I gave you permanent peace, independent of My presence, you might fall into the trap of self-sufficiency. May that never be! I have designed you to need Me moment by moment. … approach My throne of grace with bold confidence, receiving My peace with a thankful heart. 9

Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:7).

Though we cannot fully understand it, let me tell you a little about it. Some of you here today have lost a child. Some of you have lost a husband, others a wife. Some of you have lost a job. Some of you have lost your health, I could go on and on.

Oftentimes on Sunday mornings I look out over this wonderful congregation and my heart sighs, because I know that many of you have burdens. I see the tears well up; I see the grief. I see the confused and frustrated looks that can come from any number of situations.

After the service, many of you will share with me some of your troubles. I have heard many say, “It’s been very hard coming to church since I lost my husband, wife, son, daughter, job, house.”
“It’s been very hard coming to church since my bills just keep piling up.”
“It’s been very hard coming to church …”

But you come and you sing and you pray and you listen and you respond to the grace of God at work in your hearts. You have “Cast all your cares upon the Lord, for you know He cares for you” (I Peter 5:6).

And as a result you have experienced the peace the passes all understanding.

We’re talking about something that is beyond the touch of humanity. We’re talking about something that the world can’t comprehend. Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. And the peace I give isn’t like the peace the world gives.” We’re talking about something that we don’t always understand.

But do we need to understand the peace of God to experience it? No.

Do you have the peace that passes understanding this morning?

To obtain it, one must first be at peace WITH God.

Probably all of us have seen the bumper sticker or the changeable sign out in front of a church building that reads, “No Jesus, No peace!” Then underneath it are these words, “Know Jesus, Know Peace.” That’s not only a clever bumper sticker, it’s also Biblically accurate. To know Jesus is to be at peace with His Father. If you don’t know Jesus, there will be no peace.

Romans 5:1 says, “Now that we have been made right with God through faith in Christ, we have peace WITH God”

If you need peace, the Prince of Peace is waiting here to greet you if you will come. And once we have obtained peace WITH God, we can begin to pursue the peace OF God.

Max Lucado tells the story of how some time back, he and his daughter, Jenna, spent several days in the old city of Jerusalem. One afternoon, as they were exiting the Jaffa Gate, they found themselves walking behind an orthodox Jewish father and three small girls. One of the daughters, perhaps 4 or 5 years of age, fell a few steps behind and lost sight of her father. “Abba!” (the Hebrew word for Daddy) she called to him. He stopped, looked back and realized he was separated from his daughter.

“Abba!” she called again.

He spotted her and immediately extended his hand. She took it and Lucado took mental notes as they continued. He wanted to see the actions of an abba.

Max noticed the abba held her hand tightly in his as they descended the ramp. When he stopped at a busy street, she stepped off the curb, he pulled her back. when the signal changed, he led her and her sisters through the intersection. In the middle of the street, he reached down and swung her up into His arms and continued their journey together.

And then Lucado writes, “Isn’t that what we all need? An abba who will hear when we call; who will take our hand when we are weak? Who will guide us through the hectic intersections of life? Don’t we all need an abba who will sweep us up into his arms and carry us home?

There’s a God in heaven who wants more than anything for us to call Him our abba, to pray about everything, to tell Him what we need, to thank Him for what He has done; and therein discover His peace which is definitely worth pursuing.

PRAYER

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

CLOSING SONG OF TRUST

Leaning on the Everlasting Arms

Showalter, Anthony/Hoffman, Elijah

What a fellowship, what a joy divine,
Leaning on the Everlasting Arms!
What a blessedness, what a peace is mine,
Leaning on the Everlasting Arms!

Leaning, leaning,
Safe and secure from all alarms;
Leaning, leaning,
Leaning on the Everlasting Arms.

O how sweet to walk in this pilgrim way,
Leaning on the Everlasting Arms!
O how bright the path grows from day to day,
Leaning on the Everlasting Arms!

Leaning, leaning,
Safe and secure from all alarms;
Leaning, leaning,
Leaning on the Everlasting Arms.

What have I to dread, what have I to fear,
Leaning on the Everlasting Arms!
I have peace complete with my Lord so near,
Leaning on the Everlasting Arms.

Leaning, leaning,
Safe and secure from all alarms;
Leaning, leaning,
Leaning on the Everlasting Arms.

©Public Domain
CCLI License No. 1843349

SCRIPTURAL BENEDICTION

May the Lord bless you and protect you.
May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you.
May the Lord show you his favor and give you his peace.

Numbers 6:24-26

1 Nelson’s Complete Book of Stories, Illustration and Quotes page 605.

2 https://www.google.com/search?q=webster%27s+defintion+peace&rlz=1C1CHBF_en
US807US807&oq=webster%27s+defintion+peace&aqs=chrome..69i57j0i13i30i457j0
i8i13i30l4.8577j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

3 https://www.globalresearch.ca/america-has-been-at-war-93-of-the-time-222-out-of-239-years-since-1776/5565946

4 J. K. Laney, Marching Orders, pp. 50 ff
https://bible.org/illustration/wars-and-rumors-wars

5 https://www.monticello.org/site/research-and-collections/peace-brief-glorious-moment-historyspurious-quotation

6 https://www.google.com/search?q=webster%27s+defintion+peace&rlz=1C1CHBF_en
US807US807&oq=webster%27s+defintion+peace&aqs=chrome..69i57j0i13i30i457j0i8i13i30l4.8577j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

7 CJ Green, Sunday Scaries, MBird.com (8-9-19); Sarah Sloat, “Researchers Prove That What You’re Worried About Isn’t Likely to Come True” Inverse (8-4-19)
https://www.preachingtoday.com/illustrations/2020/january/91-percent-of-what-we-worry-about-never-happens.html

8 (from Barbara Brokhoff, New and Improved Jesus? C.S.S., 1991, p. 53).
W. Frank Harrington, “When You Really Want to Quit,” Preaching Today, Tape No. 138. https://www.preachingtoday.com/illustrations/1997/july/4634.html

9 Sarah Young, Jesus Calling, [Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, © 2004].
Page 113.

10 Source: Brett & Kate McKay, “The Spiritual Disciplines: Gratitude” Podcast #459, ArtofManliness.com (11-29-18)

11 Sojourner, Max Lucado Finds Insight in Jerusalem.
https://www.inspirationcruises.com/-/blog/2017/02/07/max-lucado-finds-insight-in-jerusalem/

Randy K'Meyer

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