Being Unoffendable, the Ridiculous Idea

Worship Service for October 10, 2021

WELCOME

Good day, welcome, and thanks for joining CrossPointe Community Church’s online Word worship presentation. Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Our leaders have authorized the opening of a fund for the purpose of purchasing and installing the equipment need for us to be able to live-stream our worship services. That means we will be able to see from our devices the entirety of our worship as it happens in real-time. This will be greatly appreciated by those who are not able to attend for whatever reason. If you are interested in contributing to this fund, please mark your check with the words, “live stream.”

CALL TO WORSHIP

Sing a new song to the Lord!
Let the whole earth sing to the Lord!
Sing to the Lord; praise His name.
Each day proclaim the good news that He saves.
Publish His glorious deeds among the nations.
Tell everyone about the amazing things He does.
Great is the Lord! He is most worthy of praise!
He is to be feared above all gods.
The gods of other nations are mere idols,
but the Lord made the heavens!
Honor and majesty surround Him;
strength and beauty fill His sanctuary.
O nations of the world, recognize the Lord;
recognize that the Lord is glorious and strong.
Give to the Lord the glory He deserves!
Bring your offering and come into His courts.
Worship the Lord in all his holy splendor.

Psalm 96:1-9a

OPENING WORSHIP SONGS

How Great Thou Art

Hine, Stuart

O Lord, our God,
When I in awesome wonder,
Consider all the worlds
Thy hands have made;
I see the stars,
I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy pow’r throughout,
The universe displayed.

Then sings my soul,
My Savior God to Thee,
How great Thou art!
How great Thou art!
Then sings my soul,
My Savior God to Thee,
How great Thou art!
How great Thou art!

When through the woods,
And forest glades I wander
And hear the birds
Sing sweetly in the trees.
When I look down,
From lofty mountain grandeur,
And hear the brook
And feel the gentle breeze.

Then sings my soul,
My Savior God to Thee,
How great Thou art!
How great Thou art!
Then sings my soul,
My Savior God to Thee,
How great Thou art!
How great Thou art!

And when I think
That God His Son not sparing,
Sent Him to die,
I scarce can take it in;
That on the cross
My burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died
To take away my sin.

Then sings my soul,
My Savior God to Thee,
How great Thou art!
How great Thou art!
Then sings my soul,
My Savior God to Thee,
How great Thou art!
How great Thou art!

When Christ shall come
With shout of acclamation
And take me home,
What joy shall fill my heart!
Then I shall bow
In humble adoration,
And there proclaim,
‘My God, how great Thou art!’

Then sings my soul,
My Savior God to Thee,
How great Thou art!
How great Thou art!
Then sings my soul,
My Savior God to Thee,
How great Thou art!
How great Thou art!

©1941, 1953, 1955 Stuart K. Hine, renewed 1981 Manna Music, Inc.
ARR UBP of Manna Music, Inc.
CCLI License No. 1843349

How Great is Our God

Tomlin, Chris

The splendor of the King,
Clothed in majesty
Let all the world rejoice,
All the world rejoice.
He wraps Himself in light,
And darkness tries to hide,
It trembles at His voice,
Trembles at His voice.

How great is our God,
Sing with us
How great is our God,
And all will see,
How great, how great is our God.

Age to age He stands,
And time in His hands,
Beginning and the end,
Beginning and the end.
The God head three in one,
Father, Spirit, Son,
The lion and the lamb,
Lion and the lamb.

How great is our God,
Sing with us
How great is our God,
And all will see,
How great, how great is our God.

Name above all names,
Worthy of our praise;
My heart will sing,
‘How great is our God’.

How great is our God,
Sing with us
How great is our God,
And all will see,
How great, how great is our God.

How great is our God,
Sing with us
How great is our God,
And all will see,
How great, how great is our God.

©2004 worshiptogether.com Songs
CCLI License No. 1843349

OPENING PRAYER

Our Heavenly Father, we have responded to Your call upon our lives to gather together to put You first in our lives. We are here to give to You the glory You deserve, to bring our offering and come into Your presence to worship You in all Your holy splendor; fully confident that You accept us as we are. Help us to be attentive to Your presence, Your word, and Your love, for we ask this in name of Your Son, Jesus, amen.

OFFERING

If you would like to send your offering through the mail, our mailing address is:

P O Box 126
Chippewa Lake, OH 44215

As we consider the call upon our lives to be like Jesus and give, let us take our cur from the churches in Macedonia. Paul writes in his second letter to the Corinthians:

Now I want you to know, dear brothers and sisters, what God in His kindness has done through the churches in Macedonia. They are being tested by many troubles, and they are very poor. But they are also filled with abundant joy, which has overflowed in rich generosity. For I can testify that they gave not only what they could afford, but far more. And they did it of their own free will. They begged us again and again for the privilege of sharing in the gift for the believers in Jerusalem. They even did more than we had hoped, for their first action was to give themselves to the Lord and to us, just as God wanted them to do.

In other words, the people of the churches in Macedonia were so amazed by God’s love for them in Jesus, that they held nothing back in giving themselves to the Lord.

OFFERING/PRAYER SONG

Think About His Love

Harrah, Walt

Think about His love.
Think about His goodness.
Think about His grace
That’s brought us through.
For as high as the heavens above,
So great is the measure
Of our Father’s love.
Great is the measure
Of our Father’s love.

Think about His love.
Think about His goodness.
Think about His grace
That’s brought us through.
For as high as the heavens above,
So great is the measure
Of our Father’s love.

Great is the measure
Of our Father’s love.
Great is the measure
Of our Father’s love.

©1987 Integrity’s Hosanna! Music (c/o Integrity Music,Inc.)
CCLI License No. 1843349

MORNING PRAYER

O Lord, our God, we acknowledge that You, You are without origin. You have always been and always will be, the alpha and omega, the beginning and the end. You are infinite, immutable, all-powerful, all-knowing, and everywhere present. You are the Holy One, the only One. and though You didn’t need us for anything, You created human beings in Your likeness by giving us the choice to believe in and worship You.

And how could we not? For You are glorious, true, and wise. And You have revealed Yourself to us in Jesus, Your Son, who Himself is all-loving, compassionate, faithful, forgiving, good, gracious, kind, and merciful. And when we are reminded that on the cross Your Son bled and died to take away our sin, we scarce can take it in. Is it any wonder that we sing, ‘How great Thou art?

And beyond all this, You have dispatched Your Holy Spirit to come near to us, to comfort us in our afflictions and our pain. We thank You, O Lord, that with You by our side, even when the chips are down, we can be more than conquerors through Christ who loves us. Great is the measure of Your love.

Hear us, our Heavenly Father, as we pray for our friends and loved ones who are in need of your grace (pause as people pray).

We thank You O Lord, for prayers answered as well as unanswered prayers for they provide us with the opportunity to trust You more. And as He taught us to, we pray in the name of Jesus, amen.

SCRIPTURE

About a month ago, while listening to Moody Radio on WCRF, I caught part of a show which had Brant Hanson as a guest. Brant himself has been a radio personality since 1991, working at several Christian radio stations around the country as a morning show host. As he traveled around the country, his love for baseball enabled him to also work as a radio sports announcer for the Cardinals, the Marlins, and the Mets. In 2014, he launched the Brant Hanson show which is heard in 32 states on over 200 radio stations.

In 2015, he released Unoffendable: How Just One Change Can Make All of Life Better. The subject of the book is anger, and according to Hansen,

giving up the ‘right’ to be offended can be one of the most freeing, healthy, simplifying, relaxing, refreshing, stress-relieving, encouraging things we can do.

After hearing him speak about that book on WCRF, I bought it. I read it. It has helped me significantly. Just this past week in Florida (Florida has lots of crazy drivers) some guy, or gal, did something that would have, before I read Brant’s book, caused me to fire the machine guns mounted under my headlights. Instead of erupting, I just whispered, “unoffendable, unoffendable.”

So, I did something I have never done before. I bought a copy for all of you. My hope is you will read it. It is well-written; an easy read, sprinkled with a great sense of humor and many heart-warming stories. I feel so strongly about the potential for this book to have an impact that in my endeavor to convince you to read it, I am actually going to read from it during this sermon time. You can consider this book a commentary on the scriptures we are about to hear.

Sensible people control their temper; they earn respect by overlooking wrongs.

Proverbs 19:11

Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.

Colossians 3:12-15

MESSAGE

[From the first chapter, BEING UNOFFENDABLE THE RIDICULOUS IDEA]

“Okay. So this may sound like the dumbest thing you ever read, but here goes: You can choose to be “unoffendable.”

I actually heard a guy say this at a business meeting. That is striking to me for a few reasons:

  1. I’d never, ever thought about that before;
  2. I actually remember something from a business meeting; and
  3. I was actually invited to a business meeting.

I remember the guy saying it’s a choice we can make, to just choose not to be offended.

Sure. Right, man. Choose to be unoffendable. Just . . . you know . . . choose, as if it’s really just up to us.

I found this offensive.

By the way, I just looked up the definition of offended, and all the dictionaries say something about anger and resentment. When I write about the word here then that’s what I mean.

There’s another definition, about having your senses affronted, or offended, but that’s not the definition we’re dealing with here. We just made some homemade barbecue sauce the other day, and we unanimously and immediately agreed, right then and there, it was highly offensive. That happens.

It’s the taking of offense, and the very presumption that I am somehow entitled to be angry with someone, that I’m talking about. Surely, there’s got to be a place for “righteous anger” against someone, right?

But what that guy said at the business meeting did get me thinking, because he was so obviously wrong. And besides, since I call myself a Christian person, wasn’t I supposed to be angry at people for certain things? Isn’t being offended part of being a Christian?

So I did what any rational, fair-minded, spiritually mature person would do: I scoured the Bible for verses I could pull out to destroy his argument; logically pummel him into submission, and . . . you know . . . win.

Problem: I now think he’s right. Not only can we choose to be unoffendable; we should choose that.

We should forfeit our right to be offended. That means forfeiting our right to hold on to our anger. When we do this, we’ll be making a sacrifice that’s very pleasing to God.” 1

[From the last chapter, AND LO, THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS LIKE A TERRIBLE FOOTBAL TEAM]

So let’s review: choosing to be unoffendable means choosing to be humble. Not only that, the practice teaches humility. Once you’ve decided you can’t control other people; once you’ve reconciled yourself to the fact that the world, and its people, are broken; once you’ve realized your own moral failure before God; once you’ve abandoned the idea that your significance comes from anything other than God, you’re growing in humility, and that’s exactly where God wants us all. 2

[From the middle of the book, AND HERE’S THE CHAPTER I KEPT PUTTING OFF]

“I knew this one was to be about the love of God, and I wanted to write while on some kind of “spiritual high” so I could somehow write about it poetically, and it would just flow or something. I really did. That was the plan.

But that’s not happening, apparently. I haven’t felt particularly spiritual for a long time, and that’s not out of the norm for me, for a lot of reasons. And now, I’m wiped out from a difficult week at work, and I am particularly aware of my own sinfulness too. So I am asking God to have mercy on me as I write this, and to help me anyway. Maybe it’s for the best since I’m now convinced of this . . . most people who genuinely want to know God are not living in a persistent, perpetual state of amazement at His love.

And yet, His love is amazing. And His love is persistent and perpetual and unrelenting, even as our emotions, and our and attention span aren’t. The goodness of God is not dependent upon my attentiveness to it.” 3 . . .

“But here’s a bigger problem, and it’s based on years of interacting with thousands of self-described Christians: It’s not merely that we’re not attentive to the fact that God loves us, I suspect many of us actually just don’t believe it.

I suspect this because our behavior gives us away. After all, what we believe isn’t what we say we believe; it’s what we do. [Actions speak louder than words]. And what many of us do, as far as I can tell, is strive and strain and push and pull and work and worry and even anguish to try to somehow win favor with a Father who’s already pleased with us. I could spend an hour on the radio, reciting scriptures about how we are no longer under the law, and how, if you’ve put your faith in Jesus, God has adopted you into his family, and I already know the inevitable response: Christians lined up to tell me it’s not really quite true, that the real issue is that we need to stop sinning right now and work harder.

No wonder we get so angry. We’re displeased with others because we’re convinced God is displeased with us. We believe God loves us, but we suspect it’s provisional, based on whether we ever get our act straightened out. That’s a lot to carry. . . .

So we believe the “good news,” but not really. Not fully. We simultaneously do and don’t. Humans manage to do this with a lot of things. Many of us are a lot like the man in Mark 9, who begs Jesus to help his boy, who’s being oppressed by a demonic spirit.

When the demon saw Jesus, immediately the spirit convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and wallowed, foaming at the mouth. So Jesus asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?”
And he said, “From childhood. And often he has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”
Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”
Immediately, the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” (vv. 20-24 NKJV)

I believe; help my unbelief! I just said many of us are like this father, but maybe that’s not true, maybe we’re not as honest as he was. So let’s match his transparency before Jesus and admit we struggle with this.

And we can, because . . . get this! Jesus didn’t blast the guy. Instead, he made his dreams come true. There’s no, “Are you kidding me? You still don’t fully believe?”

Jesus set the boy free, and a father got his child back. No lectures, no diatribes.

By our standards, our ideas of rightness, it makes no sense. The way Jesus treats people often doesn’t, by our reckoning. I mean take this little test:

What does a properly religious leader do when seeing his so-called best friends for the first time after they disowned him and betrayed him in his hour on need?

A) Show them the error of their wicked way by pronouncing harsh, deserved
judgement upon them.

B) Give them a stern talking-to, but offers forgiveness if they prove themselves truly penitent.

C) Fry ‘em a hearty breakfast.

Jesus chose C.

And the breakfast didn’t even come with a good scolding or an ironic, “Hey, nice job fellas. Appreciate the way you handled that with such class.” He just wanted to be with them again.

God walked among us. Even though we completely messed everything up, He took on flesh, lowering Himself to be with us, and walked in our world. He let us mock, bruise, and beat Him, and deliberately subject Him to an utterly humiliating capital punishment on display for all. He let us do that.

He wanted to be with us that bad.

And there He is, encountering His friends for the first time, and while they’re coming back toward shore in their boat, God Himself is making breakfast.

You suspect you’re unlovable? He loves you. You wonder, deep down, if anyone could really, truly know you and still want you? He knows you better than you know you. And He wants you.

You’ve given up on yourself? He hasn’t given up on you. This isn’t feel-good talk; it’s the rightful conclusion we can draw from the cross itself.

He still loves us because He’s a Father . . . the One we’ve always wanted.” 4

“What does this have to do with being unoffendable? Everything. That is, it changes everything if I’m attentive to it. It’s the best news ever.” 5

“God still loves us. He has not abandoned us. Every hope we’ve ever had . . . that someone would find value in us, would think we were worthy of love, would find us enjoyable and attractive and pleasing and worthwhile . . . is met in Him. God Himself loves us!

His love trumps everything. And nothing, Paul wrote in Romans, can separate us from that love.

Nothing.

And, he also wrote if you put your trust in Jesus, there is no condemnation for you. None. You’re off the hook. This is so stunning, so hard to actually believe, because nothing else in the world seems to work that way. It’s not based upon my performance? It’s based on what God has done for me? He loves me because . . . He just loves? It’s who He is? He’s not constantly evaluating my religious “goodness”? He’s not angry with me? Seriously?

It’s a massive pressure relief. When I take it in, I’m still shocked. Really? I can see where a lot of those old hymn writers were coming from, “Amazing love, how can it be?” 6

[And for those of you who were wondering why that last chapter was titled, AND LO, THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS LIKE A TERRIBLE FOOTBAL TEAM]

“My son is like me. He’s not so much into athletics. But we signed him up for a flag-football league when he was in the sixth grade. My wife told me the league needed someone to coach my sons’ team, the Rams, and I told her point-blank, I would not be doing it. I know nothing about coaching football. Nothing. “I will not be coaching the Rams,” I said.

[Long story short, he became the coach.]

Over the first eight games, we not only didn’t win; we didn’t score any points. We were shut out, every game. I loved the kids but I didn’t know what I was doing. We’d all look over during our practices and see the Yellow Shirt team over there, the team that had six football dads, coaching positions, fancy drills, and foot-bally things I didn’t know about. They were amazing, a well-oiled machine. I feared playing them.

[But we played them] the very last game of the season.

We were 0-11. They were 11-0. Sounds like we had no chance right? Sounds like there’s no way in the world we could possibly beat these guys right? They laughed at us before the game.

Something incredible happened. Our best player, a little guy named Christian, returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown. We were ahead 6-0! This could be like the 1980 hockey upset, the “Miracle on Ice,” all over again. Unbelievable.

I patrolled the sidelines, proudly announcing our intention to go for two.

And then we missed that, and then they scored 77 unanswered points, and we lost 77-6.

So, yeah, it’s not really that great of a story. Except for one thing. As our dejected, winless kids left the field, the kids that went 0-12 and just got humiliated again, something wonderful happened, something you usually don’t see in football.

A white stretch limo pulled up along the field, a limo with flags. Rams flags.

Everyone stopped and stared. The Rams, the playoff-bound Yellow Team, everybody. And a mom said, “Guys, it’s time for your end-of-the-season party!”

The Rams went from dejected losers to royalty. Just like that. They were smiling and laughing and jumping up and down. They all piled into the limo, and off we went for our big pizza and swim party.

The Yellow Team, coaches and all, were in awe.

This is how the Kingdom of God works. The last shall be first, the first are last, and in the end, as much as we want to think our performance is all that matters, the victory has exactly nothing to do with us. . . .

The things you think matter so much? They don’t matter so much. If you put your trust in God, you’re already a “success” because Jesus succeeded. You needn’t be insecure in who you are . . . not because you’re so great, but because your security isn’t found in who you are.

In the end, . . . here’s a sweet thought: The limo is coming for you anyway.” 7

CLOSING PRAYER

[I encourage you to pray as you feel led by the Spirit of God].

CLOSING SONGS

Majesty (Here I Am)

Smith, Martin & Garrard, Stuart

Here I am, humbled by Your Majesty.
Covered by Your grace so free.
Here I am, knowing I’m a sinful man,
Covered by the blood of the Lamb.

Now I’ve found
The greatest love of all is mine
Since You laid down Your life,
The greatest sacrifice.
Majesty, Majesty,
Your grace has found me just as I am,
Empty handed but alive in Your hands.

Here I am, humbled by the love that You give,
Forgiven so that I can forgive
Here I am, knowing that I’m Your desire,
Sanctified by glory and fire.

Now I’ve found
The greatest love of all is mine
Since You laid down Your life,
The greatest sacrifice.

Majesty, Majesty,
Your grace has found me just as I am,
Empty handed but alive in Your hands.

Singing Majesty, Majesty,
Forever I am changed by Your love
In the presence of Your Majesty, Majesty.

©2002 Kingway’s Thankyou Music
CCLI License No. 1843349

Mighty To Save

Fielding, Ben/Morgan, Reuben

Everyone needs compassion…
Love that’s never failing
Let mercy fall on me…
Everyone needs forgiveness
Kindness of a Savior…
The hope of nations.

Savior,
He can move the mountains
My God is mighty to save
He is mighty to save
Forever, Author of salvation
He rose and conquered the grave
Jesus conquered the grave.

So take me as You find me
All my fears and failures
Fill my life again
I give my life to follow
Everything I believe in
Now I surrender

Savior,
He can move the mountains
My God is mighty to save
He is mighty to save
Forever, Author of salvation
He rose and conquered the grave
Jesus conquered the grave.

Shine your light and
Let the whole world see
Singing… for the glory…
Of the risen King Jesus

Shine your light and
Let the whole world see
Singing… for the glory…
Of the risen King

Savior,
He can move the mountains
My God is mighty to save
He is mighty to save
Forever, Author of salvation
He rose and conquered the grave
Jesus conquered the grave.

Savior,
He can move the mountains
My God is mighty to save
He is mighty to save
Forever, Author of salvation
He rose and conquered the grave
Jesus conquered the grave.

©2006 Ben Fielding/Reuben Morgan/Hillsong Publishing (admin in the U.S. and
Canada by Integrity’s Hosanna! Music)
CCLI License No. 1843349

BENEDICTION

Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of His glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

Jude 24-25

1 Brant Hanson, Unoffendable, How Just One Change Can Make All the Difference, [Nashville, Tennessee: W Publishing Group, an imprint of Thomas Nelson, © 2015], Pages 1-3.

2 Ibid, pages 198-199.

3 Ibid, pages 123-124.

4 Ibid, pages 128-130.

5 Ibid, page 125.

6 Ibid, pages 126-127.

7 Ibid, pages 195-198.

Randy K'Meyer

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