Believes in Him

Worship Service for March 21, 2021

WELCOME

Good morning and welcome to CrossPointe Community Church’s on-line worship 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

We only have until Friday to purchase and/or sell raffle tickets to show our support for this year’s version of the Lion’s Club annual Polar Bear Plunge. The funds we receive from this event are very important to our mission ministry at CrossPointe. They help defray the expense of our Free Community Meal. They have enabled us to get training and even purchase some materials for our Grief Support, Divorce and Addiction Recovery and Stephen Ministry of caring. More recently, we have made up Care Bags containing food and gas gift cards as well as a Bible and DVD of the new YouTube series on the life of Jesus called the Chosen. So let’s do our best to show our support for this cause. Doing so is as easy as taking a minute of time to access the Chippewa Lake Lions website and clicking on the yellow “Buy Raffle Tickets.”

CALL TO WORSHIP

“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in Me. There is more than enough room in My Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with Me where I am. And you know the way to where I am going.”

No, we don’t know, Lord,” Thomas said. “We have no idea where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.”

John 14:1-6

OPENING WORSHIP SONGS

One Way

Douglass, Jonathon/Houston, Joel

I lay my life down at Your feet
Cause You’re the only one I need
I turn to You and You are always there.
In troubled times it’s You I seek
I put You first that’s all I need
I humble all I am all to You.

One way, Jesus
You’re the only one that I could live for.
One way, Jesus
You’re the only one that I could live for.

You are always, always there
Every how and everywhere
Your grace abounds so deeply within me
You will never ever change
Yesterday, today the same
Forever till forever meets no end.

One way, Jesus, You’re the only one that I could live for.
One way, Jesus, You’re the only one that I could live for.

One way, Jesus, You’re the only one that I could live for.
One way, Jesus, You’re the only one that I could live for.

You are the Way, the Truth, and the life
We live by faith and not by sight for You.
We’re living all for You.

You are the Way, the Truth, and the life
We live by faith and not by sight for You.
We’re living all for You.

You are the Way, the Truth, and the life
We live by faith and not by sight for You.
We’re living all for You.

You are the Way, the Truth, and the life
We live by faith and not by sight for You.
We’re living all for You.

One way, Jesus, You’re the only one that I could live for.
One way, Jesus, You’re the only one that I could live for.

One way, Jesus, You’re the only one that I could live for.
One way, Jesus, You’re the only one that I could live for.

©2003 Jonathon Douglass/Joel Houston/Hillsong Publishing
(admin. in the U.S. and Canada by Integrity’s Hosanna! Music)
CCLI License No. 1843349

Shout to the Lord

Zschech, Darlene

My Jesus, my Savior,
Lord there is none like You,
All of my days, I want to praise,
The wonders of Your mighty love.
My comfort, my shelter,
Tower of refuge and strength.
Let every breath, all that I am,
Never cease to worship You.

Shout to the Lord, all the earth let us sing,
Power and majesty, praise to the King.
Mountains bow down and the seas will roar
At the sound of Your name.
I sing for joy at the work of Your hands.
Forever I’ll love You, forever I’ll stand.
Nothing compares to the promise I have, in You.

My Jesus, my Savior,
Lord there is none like You,
All of my days, I want to praise,
The wonders of Your mighty love.
My comfort, my shelter,
Tower of refuge and strength.
Let every breath, all that I am,
Never cease to worship You.

Shout to the Lord, all the earth let us sing,
Power and majesty, praise to the King.
Mountains bow down and the seas will roar
At the sound of Your name.
I sing for joy at the work of Your hands.
Forever I’ll love You, forever I’ll stand.

Nothing compares to the promise I have,
Nothing compares to the promise I have,
Nothing compares to the promise I have… in You.

©1993 Darlene Zschech (Hillsong) 
(Admin in U.S. & Canada by Integrity’s Hosanna! Music)
CCLI License No. 1843349

OPENING PRAYER

Our Heavenly Father, we rejoice in Your love for us and take great comfort in the precious promise of eternal life through faith in Jesus’ name. May Your Holy Spirit open our eyes and ears to reveal Your word and Your will for our lives; for we pray in the name of the Savior, amen.

THE GIVING OF THE LORD’S OFFERING

I will be at the church today until 12 noon if you would like to bring your offering. Or you may send it in to

CrossPointe Community Church
PO Box 126
Chippewa Lake, OH 44215

As we consider once again, the call upon our lives as Christ followers to give as Christ has given to us, here’s a verse to think about: “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money” (Matthew 6:24).

PRAYER SONG

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.

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

Brad Winter

Dear Heavenly Father. Thank you for this beautiful day and bringing us all together this morning to hear your word.

Let us be reminded of your greatness, all mighty power and creation as we transition from winter into spring and feel the warm sunshine on our skin and witness the beautiful flowers and trees blossom.

Please gift us with the wisdom to understand that our time on this earth is temporary and everything we experience whether it be challenges at work, disaster, disease or the death of a loved one that Your love is permanent and everlasting.

The greatest gift we are blessed to receive is Your Love. Empower us as Christians to treat others with compassion, thoughtfulness, forgiveness, and goodwill. Give us the strength to overcome the urge to be cruel and revengeful toward others, no matter the circumstance. We pray that every day you will strengthen our ability to Love one another. Only Love will overwhelm our temptation to be angry and harbor hatred toward others.

We pray that you will keep us safe and bring us all back together again. Empower us to be a bright shining light for those we encounter each and everyday! And They Will Know We Are Christians By Our Love!

In Jesus’ name amen

SCRIPTURE

For this is how God loved the world: He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent His Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through Him.

There is no judgment against anyone who believes in Him. But anyone who does not believe in Him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.

John 3:16-21

[Skipping to verse 31, we pick up with the testimony of John the Baptist and he speaks about Jesus].

He has come from above and is greater than anyone else. We are of the earth, and we speak of earthly things, but He has come from heaven and is greater than anyone else. He testifies about what He has seen and heard, but how few believe what He tells them! Anyone who accepts His testimony can affirm that God is true. For He is sent by God. He speaks God’s words, for God gives Him the Spirit without limit. The Father loves His Son and has put everything into His hands. And anyone who believes in God’s Son has eternal life. Anyone who doesn’t obey the Son will never experience eternal life but remains under God’s angry judgment.

John 3:31-36

THE MESSAGE

Believes in Him

Randy K’Meyer

After Gail and I flew to Florida last week I saw a humorous post of two pictures that gave the definition of the insanity that we had just experienced.

The first shot was of a ticket counter in the airport in which all the people in a line were standing six feet apart and the rows leading to the counter were also spaced 6 feet apart. In other words, each person occupies 36 square feet of space.

And the second image, of course, showed the inside of the plane a short time later with those same people packed together with 12 people in the same space!

Insanity!!

For that reason, as well as many others, many people don’t believe in flying. Don’t get me wrong, people believe in flying. They know that planes can fly because they have seen them lift off the runway, climb into the wild blue yonder and remain aloft for hours at a time before coming down for a landing. They believe in the laws of nature that enable a plane to be lifted into the air. And if you were to ask them, “Do you believe airplanes can fly?” they would answer, “Of course, I believe that planes can fly.”

But in the Biblical sense of the word ‘believe,’ they don’t believe that planes can fly. They don’t believe the way the Bible uses the word believe until they put that belief to work by walking down the PBB (Passenger Boarding Bridge) stepping into the airplane and taking their seat.

In other words, the Bible word for believe as in “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son so that whosoever believes in Him” (John 3:16) implies much more than merely possessing mental knowledge, as in, ‘Oh yeah, I believe airplanes fly. Oh yeah, I believe that Jesus actually existed as a human being. In fact, I believe He was crucified and raised from the dead on the third day.’

But the person who expresses that sentiment may still not be a whosoever!

Why would I say that?

Because according to Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, belief, when used as a verb, means, “‘to be persuaded of,’ and hence, ‘to place confidence in, to trust,’ signifies, in this sense of the word reliance upon, not mere credence.” 1

The verb belief can also be used as a noun and is translated faith. Whereas John champions the verb believe, using it just shy of 100 times, the Apostle Paul favors the noun faith. But both words, mean essentially the same thing: as W. E. Vine has it; ‘to place confidence in, to trust.’

I often give folks three synonyms for believe: “trust in, rely on and/or cling to.”

It might help to remember what we learned in 7th Grade English Class; bless you, Mrs. Call, for teaching me that verbs are action words.

This word ‘believes in Him’ expresses itself in action toward Jesus; listening to Jesus, following Jesus, obeying Jesus as Lord.

This explains why John goes on to write in verse 36 of this chapter:

“And anyone who believes in God’s Son has eternal life. Anyone who doesn’t” (where we would expect John to repeat the word believe, but instead says) “anyone who doesn’t obey the Son will never experience eternal life but remain under God’s judgment.”

Did you catch that? “Anyone who believes, anyone who doesn’t obey.” In other words, believing in Jesus implies a willingness to obey or follow Jesus.

Then again, Jesus says in 5:24: “I tell you the truth, those who listen to My message and believe in God who sent Me have eternal life.”

And Jesus further clarifies what believing implies when in chapter 8, He says,
“You are truly My disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings” (John 8:31).

And 20 verses later, “I tell you the truth, anyone who obeys My teaching will never die” (John 8:51).

Or again in chapter 10: “My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me, I give them eternal life, and they will never perish” (John 10:27).

So you see, that believing in Jesus implies much more than simply an acknowledgment that Jesus was born in Bethlehem and died in Jerusalem.

The Jews were good examples of people who believed that Jesus existed; they saw Him with their own eyes, but it is clear they didn’t believe Him. Jesus said to them, “But you haven’t believed in Me even though you have seen Me” (John 6:36).

When I traveled with a church group to Israel in 1981, our tour bus group was assigned a man named Zvi as our holy land tour guide. Zvi was with us every day, all day for our entire ten day tour.

Israeli tour guides obtain their license after they take two years of training and maintain it by taking one course every year thereafter. They are generally more knowledgeable about the Bible and life of Jesus than the average American pastor.

Zvi was no exception; especially since he had been at it for 25 years. I was amazed that he was able to talk continuously from breakfast to dinner about every aspect of the Bible in general and Jesus in particular without ever consulting a note. He would quote extensively from the New Testament. One afternoon as we approached the Catholic Church built to commemorate the Sermon on the Mount, Zvi quoted Mathhew 5, 6 and 7.

Toward the end of our tour, my friend and I approached Zvi at lunch and asked, “How long have you been a believer in Jesus?”

He shocked us when he said, “What makes you think I am a believer in Jesus?
I was born a Jew and always will be.”

Is it possible, then, for someone to know all about the Bible, all about Jesus; who He was, what He said and did, be able to explain the basics of the Christian faith and still not be a believer?

And the answer is ‘yes,’ if that belief is not accompanied by a willingness to follow as best one can.

This is why James, the Lord’s brother, writes, “What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, ‘Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well, ’but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless” (James 2:14-17).

And then a couple of verses later continues, “You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God (in other words, you have your theological system all worked out) Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror. How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless?” (19-20).

So you see, listening to Jesus, following Jesus, obeying Jesus, authenticates our faith!

Wait a minute preacher, last Sunday you talked about amazing grace and how God has forgiven all our sins, past, present and future, based upon what Jesus has done for us in dying on the cross. Now you are making it sound like my eternal life might be in jeopardy if I don’t follow and obey Jesus.

No, I’m not saying that at all. To be sure, we are saved from our sins by grace through faith in the power of the cross. What I am saying is that saving faith and/or belief is more than mere knowledge. Genuine faith and belief result in action that reflects a willingness to follow.

Imagine an explosion on a ship in the middle of the Atlantic that causes it to sink and survivors of the explosion are running for lifeboats. Now suppose a man knows about the lifeboat, he has seen them ready for use, and he believes the boat is capable of floating and can save his life. But for whatever reason he chooses not to get aboard and goes down with the ship. He has knowledge about the boat, but he is not saved because he doesn’t act on his knowledge.

Others not only believe the lifeboat will save them, they take action and get into the boat. They are saved by faith, that is, they put their knowledge into action.

However, please note it is not their faith that saves them; no matter how much they have. It is the boat that saves them.

Similarly, saving faith trusts in, relies on and clings to Christ on the cross, and Christ alone saves. But then that saving faith is authenticated in the believer as we put our faith in action by following Jesus.

This is why Jesus said, “You will know them by their fruits” (Matthew 7:20).

How do we respond to this message? One word: Surrender.

The Crown Jewel of the Bible, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son so that whoever believes in Him might not perish but have everlasting life” calls for you and I to surrender ourselves to Jesus as Savior and Lord; surrender to what He accomplished for us on the cross where He died as our Savior and surrender our will to His as our Lord.

I came across the following story that illustrates the crucial issue in believing in Jesus is surrender.

Genelle McMillan was the last person to be rescued from beneath the rubble of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center after they collapsed on Sept. 11, 2001. The 30-year-old single mother had been trapped for 27 hours trying to stay alive, entombed in the twisted steel, hoping for a miracle. Her head was pinned between two pieces of concrete, her legs sandwiched by pieces of a stairway. Her toes had gone numb, and her right hand was pinned under her leg.

McMillan, who had been raised a Roman Catholic, at one time believed in Jesus, but had fallen away from her faith. But now, in the rubble, her thoughts turned to God.

Thinking of her 14-year-old daughter, she prayed that her body would at least be found so that she could be buried. Becoming a bit more bold, she revised her prayer and asked the Lord that if she had to die, that she could at least make it to the hospital so she could see her daughter one last time. But as time passed, she began to boldly ask God to be rescued alive.

“I was praying to God: ‘God please save my life, give me a second chance. I promise I will change my life and do your will.’” McMillan remembers saying that prayer over and over. “God please save my life. Give me a second chance. I promise I will change my life and do your will.” She had no idea now how many times she repeated it or how many hours passed. But she was rescued by firefighters who eventually found her. 3

Deep down we all know that the crucial issue in our turning to God is the need to surrender our will.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son so that whoever believes in Him might not perish but have everlasting life” calls for you and I to surrender ourselves to Jesus as Savior and Lord; surrender to what He accomplished for us on the cross where He died as our Savior and surrender our will to His as our Lord.

However, as you contemplate surrendering, may I encourage you to know that when we surrender, we delightfully discover great freedom and joy!

Pastor Matt Woodley tells about how during the summer of his 11th year of life, he learned the power and joy of surrender. It happened in Minnesota at the Edina community swimming pool high dive.

For five summers I had watched, in admiration and terror, the big kids climb 35 steps into thin air, walk a long concrete diving board, and then jump into the cool water below. For a few agonizing seconds, they disappeared in the deep end only to reemerge alive and whole, beaming with delight.

I had long avoided the high dive. I wouldn’t even come close to the deep end. But when my buddies, and even some girls, started plunging off the high dive, I knew I had to save face. Being uncool was worse than plunging to my certain death.

On a humid day in July, with my stomach reeling and my knees wobbling, I climbed the 35 steps into thin air. As I walked out on the plank, everything within me said, ‘You fool, turn around and climb back down. You can still live!’ But when I started to backpedal and looked over my shoulder, I saw the line of friends, older kids, and girls chuckling. I knew I must jump.

Creeping to the edge of the plank, I looked over the edge, and I finally let go and jumped. Down I plunged, hitting the water like a stone, sinking lower and lower into my watery grave. So this is how they die, I thought. Some people hit the water and never come back up. They get sucked through a grate at the bottom of the pool and turned into chlorine!

But then, surprise, surprise! I came up again, and I was alive! I was wet and dazed but utterly alive! I was not only alive, but transformed, liberated, and renewed. I shook my head of wet hair and laughed. I had let go of everything and lived to tell about it. I was more alive than ever. I had tasted the joy of surrender. 4

How about you?

CLOSING PRAYER

(I encourage you to spend some time and pray as you are led).

CLOSING SONG

Surrender

Brewster, Lincoln

I’m giving you my heart, and all that is within
I lay it all down, for the sake of You my King.
I’m giving you my dreams, I’m laying down my rights
I’m giving up my pride, for the promise of new life.

And I…. surrender, all to You, all to You.
And I… surrender, all to You, all to You.

I’m singing You this song, I’m waiting at the cross
And all the world holds dear, I count it all as loss.
For the sake of knowing You, for the glory of Your name
To know the lasting joy, even sharing in Your pain.

And I…. surrender, all to You, all to You.
And I… surrender, all to You, all to You.

And I…. surrender, all to You, all to You.
And I… surrender, all to You, all to You.

(Instrumental)

And I…. surrender, all to You, all to You.
And I… surrender, all to You, all to You.

And I…. surrender, all to You, all to You.
And I… surrender, all to You, all to You.

I’m giving You my heart, and all that is within.
I lay it all down, for the sake of You my King.

©1999 Integrity’s Praise Music/BMI
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 Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, W. E. Vine, Merrill Unger and William White, Jr. Editors, [Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson Publishers, © 1985] Page 61.

2 Twin Towers Survivor Surrenders to God.
Mike Kelly, the Bergen County, New Jersey, Record (9-10-03)
https://www.preachingtoday.com/illustrations/2003/september/14607.html

3 Boy Surrenders Fear of High Dive
Matt Woodley, in his sermon Freedom: Surrender Your Life, PreachingToday.com
https://www.preachingtoday.com/illustrations/2008/march/3032408.html

Randy K'Meyer

Leave a Reply Text