Change My Heart, O God

Worship Service for February 7, 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

Looking back to last Sunday, which was Gather to Scatter Sunday, I thank you again for your generosity in assisting the Church-at-the-Lake Food pantry. I was privileged to be at the church along with Annie Dean, when Jay Baer who runs that pantry came to pick up. Again, he was overwhelmed with your kindness.

I also want to thank Jay, Alan Robbins, representing the Lions, and Shelly Wharton representing the Society for participating in last Sunday’s worship by sharing what they do for the community and how we partner with them.

Speaking of the Society, I have two announcements. First, I have a thank you letter dated January 17th from the director, Melanie Kasten-Krause, thanking us for a $100 contribution to their annual campaign. Secondly, my e-mail this past Wednesday contained information about becoming a pen-pal to some of the residents they serve. If you’d like to participate in that worthy cause, please contact Annie Dean at ane2corinth129@gmail.com.

Or feel free to call the new church office phone and leave a message. The number is (330) 975-4309.

Lastly, I step aside so that Sandy Barnes can read a letter that was mailed last week to the CrossPointe family:

Dear CrossPointe Family,

As you are well aware, our pastor has been approaching retirement age. In fact, he just turned 70! At one time, Randy was going to hang it up at 70. But he has chosen to delay until Gail will also retire in March, 2022.

With that in mind, we thought it best to not only formally announce this, but to also assure you that this pastoral transition is in good and capable hands. Our Succession Team is comprised of some of CrossPointe’s most faithful, committed and wise Christians (if we do say so ourselves … lol). We have been meeting periodically for several years and are now ramping up our work, meeting on a monthly basis.

To assist us with this important work, we have enlisted church consultant Gary Diehl, who has been helping guide us for the past six months. Gary has extensive experience with pastoral transitions, including his home church.

Because of all we have learned so far—about ourselves and transitions like ours—we have decided we will be working with an Intentional Interim Pastor as Randy and Gail conclude their ministry at CrossPointe. Intentional interim pastors come to a church on a temporary basis; somewhere between 12 and 24 months. They are especially trained to help a church like us make a healthy transition to our next long-term pastor. While with us, that person will live and serve among us, providing on-going pastoral leadership, continuity in weekly preaching and compassionate pastoral care. They will also help us celebrate our past, guide us in looking forward and prepare us to fully embrace the next chapter in our God-led future.

Until then, we will continue to keep you informed of anything relevant in this regard. In the meantime, please pray for us; that we will be attentive to God’s will and wisdom. Pray for one another; that we will all remain faithful to Christ and continue to be His Church. Pray for our future intentional interim pastor and for the individual God is already preparing as our next long-term pastor.

In Christ, we remain,
Your Pastoral Succession Team

CALL TO WORSHIP

And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Romans 12:1-2

OPENING WORSHIP SONGS

It is the Cry of My Heart

Butler, Terry

It is the cry of my heart to follow You.
It is the cry of my heart to be close to You.
It is the cry of my heart to follow
All the days of my life.

Teach me Your holy ways, O Lord,
So I can walk in Your truth.
Teach me Your holy ways, O, Lord,
And make me wholly devoted to You.

It is the cry of my heart to follow You.
It is the cry of my heart to be close to You.
It is the cry of my heart to follow
All the days of my life.

Open my eyes so I can see
The wonderful things that You do.
Open my heart up, more and more
And make it wholly devoted to You.

It is the cry of my heart to follow You.
It is the cry of my heart to be close to You.
It is the cry of my heart to follow
All the days of my life.

It is the cry of my heart to follow You.
It is the cry of my heart to be close to You.
It is the cry of my heart to follow
All the days of my life.

©1991 Mercy/Vineyard Publishing (Admin by Music Services)
CCLI License No. 1843349

Arise

Moen, Don/Baloche, Paul

One thing we ask of You,
One thing that we desire,
That as we worship You,
Lord come and change our lives.
Arise, arise, arise, arise.
Arise, take your place.
Be enthroned on our praise.
Arise, King of kings,
Holy God, as we sing.
‘Arise, arise, arise, arise’.

One thing we ask of You,
One thing that we desire,
That as we worship You,
Lord come and change our lives.
Arise, arise, arise, arise.
Arise, take your place.
Be enthroned on our praise.
Arise, King of kings,
Holy God, as we sing.
‘Arise, arise, arise, arise’.

We lift You up,
We lift You up,
We lift You up on our praises.

We lift You up,
We lift You up,
We lift You up on our praises.

We lift You up,
We lift You up,
We lift You up on our praises.

We lift You up,
We lift You up,
We lift You up on our praises.

Arise, take your place.
Be enthroned on our praise.
Arise, King of kings,
Holy God, as we sing.
‘Arise, arise, arise, arise’.

Arise, take your place.
Be enthroned on our praise.
Arise, King of kings,
Holy God, as we sing.
‘Arise, arise, arise, arise’.
ARISE!

©2003 Integrity’s Hosanna! Music
CCLI License No. 1843349

OPENING PRAYER

O Lord, our God, Paul reminds us of all that You have done for us in Christ and; therefore, rightly pleads with us to give ourselves wholly unto You. I pray on behalf of the folks watching today. I pray that if it isn’t, it will become the cry of our hearts to follow You and; therefore, Lord Jesus come change our lives as a result of this worship today. For we ask this in the magnificent name of Jesus, 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 continue to worship God through the giving of our gifts, listen to these thought-provoking words from the Master preacher in His Sermon on the Mount as recorded by Matthew in chapter 6 verses 19 through 21:

Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.

PRAYER SONG

Change My Heart O God

Espinosa, Eddie

Change my heart, O God,
Make it ever true.
Change my heart, O God,
May I be like You.

Change my heart, O God,
Make it ever true.
Change my heart, O God,
May I be like You.

You are the potter, I am the clay.
Mold me and make me,
This is what I pray.

Change my heart, O God,
Make it ever true.
Change my heart, O God,
May I be like You.

©1982 Mercy/Vineyard Publishing (admin. By Music Services)
CCLI License No. 1843349

MORNING PRAYER

Lee and Rhonda Kehoe

Let us pray.

Dear God, the universe, this world, the people and everything in it belongs to you. We are not here by accident. You are the one who set us in this nation, at this special time, for the glory of your name. You are Lord over our beautiful nation and nothing that happens in this country escapes you or catches you by surprise. We thank you for this beautiful sunny day and the friendships we enjoy as we pray. We ask you to protect us from all the evil plans of the enemy. People in this country are turning against each other. We no longer have love for one another and live like brothers and sisters. Most people have chosen to put their selfish interests above the interests of our nation. Let your unconditional love overflow in our hearts that we may also pour it on each other.

When we are anxious, restore peace for our souls and calm for our restless minds. Thank you for restoring peace for broken relationships, situations, and hearts where there is division. When we are at the end of our own strength and chaos is all around us, may your peace calm and cover us. Thank you for restoring peace to our spirits and reconciling our hearts back to you.

As the days become increasingly dark in our country, we pray that the light of your love will shine on this land. We ask you to forgive our shortcomings and we ask that you destroy this virus that is causing death and fear around this beautiful planet and reign peace in our nation and beyond and protect us all from those that would seek our downfall. In God’s greatness he will repair social systems of injustice and strengthen our faith and reaffirm our trust in the greatness and power of God. Be reassured that God has not forgotten about us and can restore the most broken situations. Allow God to heal us and make room for his word to move and speak life. God’s power is transforming, true and steadfast. Find encouragement that God continues to mend, restore, and renew us and this broken world. Unify where there is division and help us to view each other in the image of You. Forgive us for times that we have played any role in perpetuating systems of injustice and soften our hearts to listen and hear from those who are different than us. We have one big thing in common – we are all your image bearers Lord, which means we all have equal value, we all have purpose, and we are all part of your plan. Father, you know the injustice that has occurred for thousands of years, in many countries, with many races and many classes of people. We pray that these wrongs look very wrong to everyone who views these situations. Make it clear to everyone, God, that different races or color are beautiful, valuable, and worthy.

You are the author of justice Lord. Help us to look to you and your Word to remind us of what justice should look like. You know what injustice is like, God. Every sin committed is an injustice against you. Lord help us to fight injustice in the right way – may we always look to you as the solution to our problems. Transform hearts by your grace. May we seek you in our quest for justice and may we continue to pray in your name for justice to be served.

Thank you for your restorative power that can heal broken hearts, systems, and indifference. Teach us how to continue to glorify you in our actions, attitudes, and minds.

We thank you Lord that you have placed us in this country and we are grateful that we are a citizen of this great nation.

In Jesus’ name,
AMEN

SCRIPTURE

When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Galatians 5:19-23

By His divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know Him, the one who called us to Himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. And because of His glory and excellence, He has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.

In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.

The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But those who fail to develop in this way are shortsighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins. So, dear brothers and sisters, work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. Do these things, and you will never fall away. Then God will give you a grand entrance into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

II Peter 1:3-11

My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous. He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world.

And we can be sure that we know Him if we obey His commandments. If someone claims, “I know God,” but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth. But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love Him. That is how we know we are living in Him. Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.

I John 2:1-6

THE MESSAGE

Randy K’Meyer

Change My Heart, O God

A woman proudly hung on her mantelpiece a needlework plaque that said, Prayer Changes Things. A few days later she came home to discover that her needlework was missing. The woman asked her husband if he had seen it.
“I took it down because I didn’t like it,” her husband replied.
“But why,” she asked, “Don’t you believe that prayer changes things?”
“Yes, I honestly do, but it just so happens . . . that I don’t like change.”

We opened this series with the truth of that woman’s needlepoint: Prayer Changes Things. Things happen when God’s people pray. The history of entire nations, as well as individuals, have been changed because someone prayed.

But today I am reminding us of something I think we all know, but have a tendency to forgot; prayer changes us. Prayer can and does bring about change in you and I.

The reason we tend to forget, or not act on this truth, is that most of us have a default response to change illustrated by that husband, who said, “I don’t like change.”

I don’t like change; change is hard, change takes time. I don’t want to change. I like myself just the way I am, thank you very much.

But we are Christ followers and we know that implies becoming more and more like Him. That’s why we sing, ‘It is the cry of me heart to follow you.’

We freely admit that we have a ways to go before we can claim that we are just like Jesus. How can we not accept the fact that Godly change is necessary?

And prayer is an important key to Godly change. I said last week that prayer, or the lack thereof, will either make us or break us. What I meant by that was prayer help will either help us grow to be like Jesus; or the lack thereof will stunt our growth in Christ.

Prayer will help us tremendously when it comes to developing the kind of Christian character that Paul, Peter, and John encourage us to develop.

We need God’s help to grow our character.

Somewhere I ran across a prayer that could have been attributed to Charlie Brown in a Peanuts cartoon:

Dear Lord, so far today God, I’m doing all right. I haven’t gossiped; I haven’t lost my temper; I haven’t been greedy, grumpy, nasty, selfish, or overindulgent. And God, I am really glad about that! (long sigh and smile) And then in the last frame, he prays, ‘God, I’m going to get out of bed now, and from then on I’m probably going to need Your help. Amen.’”

Reminds me of when Robert Louis Stevenson was a boy, he once remarked to his mother, ‘Momma, you can’t be good without praying.’
‘How do you know that, Robert?’ she asked.
‘Because I’ve tried!’ he answered. 1

Prayer is the doorway that leads to bearing Paul’s fruit of the Spirit; “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23).

Prayer is the doorway to developing the Christian character that Peter describes in his second letter; “faith, moral excellence, knowledge, self-control, patient endurance, Godliness, brotherly affection and love” (II Peter 1:5-7).

Prayer is the doorway that enables us to, as John states in his first letter, “live our lives as Jesus did” (I John 2:6).

Famous Danish philosopher and theologian Søren Kierkegaard agrees, “The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather, to change the nature of the one who prays.” 2

If that be true, and I believe that Kierkegaard is right, we must be willing to (1) prayerfully do what many of us refrain from doing: take a look in the mirror.

And I’m not talking about our bathroom mirror! I’m talking about God’s moral mirror, where we examine not our looks, but our character.

And when we take a good hard look in the mirror, if we don’t like what we see, we don’t blame the mirror, or anyone else. I know there is a huge cultural tendency to assign blame to any number of people and situations and institutions for the way we are. People who travel that road of blaming others for their faults might feel vindicated, but they never get out of the rut they are in.

No, when the person who follows Christ looks in the mirror and sees something they don’t like, they know it’s better to take responsibility rather to blame. ‘Lord, I’m not sure why I am the way I am, but before You I own the way I am.’

Once we feely admit to God that our character is not perfect and needs some work, we are ready for the second step. We need a sense of forgiveness before we can go on. That’s why 1 John 1:9 is one of the most important verses in the Bible: ‘If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.’

If we have never felt forgiven, we would think what’s the use, and wouldn’t make any headway on our journey. In order to change a behavior, we need a clean slate a chance to start over, to begin afresh.

II Samuel 11 tells the sad story of King David’s character failure with Bathsheba. He had some work to do before he could live up to his reputation as a man after God’s own heart. With the help of Nathan the prophet, he took the first step of looking in the mirror and admitting he was an adulterer. Then, secondly, he prayerfully sought God’s forgiveness, recorded in Psalm 51:

Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Oh, give me back my joy again; you have broken me—now let me rejoice. Don’t keep looking at my sins. Remove the stain of my guilt. Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. Do not banish me from your presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you.

Psalm 51:7-12

Confessing our sin enables us to deal with guilt and shame and puts in the right mindset for the third step on this journey.

We ask God to help us change, to become more like Jesus.

I would encourage you to review the fruit of the Spirit Paul lists in Galatians 5 or the character traits Peter lists in his second letter. And ask God, Where am I most deficient Lord? Help me to think about how I can be more loving, joyful, peaceful, etc. Help me to see who I need to be more loving, kind, and gentle toward? Help me to see some things I can do to become more like Jesus in these ways?

Change my heart oh God, make it ever true,
change my heart O God, may I be like You.
You are the potter, I am the clay,
mold me and make me, this is what I pray.
Change my heart oh God, make it ever true,
change my heart O God may I be like You.

Williams Carey, famous long-time missionary to China, wisely wrote, ‘Prayer; secret, fervent, believing prayer – lies at the root of all personal godliness.’ 3

It is in prayer that we approach God, that we open up to seeing ourselves as God sees us, and when we take a look at our reflection in God’s mirror and see some things we know are not quite up to snuff, we admit, we confess, we receive forgiveness and we ask for God’s help in becoming more like Christ.

Knowing all this to be true, who would not avail themselves of this wonderful opportunity to grow in Christ?

I’ll tell you who. Those who feel like they have disappointed God. For when we feel like we have disappointed someone, we avoid that person.

Back when I was in high school, before I had a car, my friend Jeff Blevins pulled his 1958 Chevy in our drive to give me a ride to school. Jeff started to back up before I had closed my door and it bumped the corner of the house leaving a dent in the aluminum siding. Rather than stop we did the hit and run thing. I was hopeful my mom, and especially my father, didn’t hear the noise. As a pharmacist my dad alternated every other day working mornings or afternoons. Was I glad that day he had to leave for work right before I got home from school. For some reason, I went to bed before he got home at 10pm. The next day I got up early and left for school before my father left for work. That night at supper, I didn’t say a word about the siding and to my relief, neither did father. But I didn’t sleep very well that night.

Finally, the third day I couldn’t take it any longer and said, ‘Dad, when Jeff picked me up the other day the door of his car hit the house.’

He said, ‘I know.’

‘Why didn’t you tell me you knew? I’ve been agonizing about this for three days now.’

My father looked at me and simply said, ‘I wanted you to come to me.’

I have a feeling that there are some, if not many, who know what I’m talking about. Sometimes we fool ourselves into thinking we can hide our offenses from Him by avoiding Him.

The truth is Jesus desires for us to come to Him. “Come to Me, all you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give You rest” (Matthew 11:28).

So let us not be afraid, or reticent to humble ourselves and come to God in prayer. Let’s us avail ourselves of the opportunity to become better people,
Christ people. To admit before God, who already knows us inside out,
just exactly who we are, and where we fall short. To ask His forgiveness; He loves and longs to grant it. So that we can start afresh, in confidence that as we engage in these behaviors day by day, we will as John said, “live our lives as Jesus did.”

THE SACRAMENT OF HOLY COMMUNION

Communion Prayer

O Lord, our God, as we come before You, we humbly ask that you would open our eyes that we may see ourselves the way You see us (pause). Now that we see ourselves more clearly, we confess where we fall short of Your glory (pause). Having received Your forgiveness Lord, help us start afresh by revealing unto us the ways in which we can better follow in Your footsteps (pause). Having identified areas of our character that need to change, help us, O Lord, to daily ask for Your help that we may more faithfully serve You and Your Son, Jesus, the Christ, in whose name we pray, amen.

Affirmation of Faith

If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.

I John 1:8-9

Communion Song

Create In Me a Clean Heart O God

Green, Keith

Create in me a clean heart, O God
That I might serve You.
Create in me a clean heart, O God
That I might be renewed.

So fill me, and heal me,
And bring me back to You.
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
That I might serve You.

©1989 Big Steps 4 U (admin. by Music Services)/Maranatha! Music
(admin. By The Copyright Company) CCLI License No. 1843349

Receive the Sacrament

When the time came, Jesus and the apostles sat down together at the table. Jesus said, “I have been very eager to eat this Passover meal with you before my suffering begins. For I tell you now that I won’t eat this meal again until its meaning is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God.”

Then He took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. Then He said, “Take this and share it among yourselves. For I will not drink wine again until the Kingdom of God has come.”

He took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then He broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “This is My body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” (receive the bread).

After supper He took another cup of wine and said, “This cup is the new covenant between God and His people—an agreement confirmed with My blood, which is poured out as a sacrifice for you” (receive the cup).

Luke 22:14-20

Lord’s Prayer

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the Kingdom, and the Power and the glory forever, Amen.

CLOSING SONG

Jesus You Are My Life

Fry, Steve

You are my life,
Oh precious Christ.
You are to me
The pearl of greatest price.
My love for You will never die.
Jesus, You are my life.

I come to You.
I run to You.
There’s no greater joy than knowing You.

O Holy Fire,
Love’s Purest Light.
Burn all desires
‘Til You are my one delight.
My love for You will never die.
Jesus, You are my life.

I come to You.
I run to You.
There’s no greater joy than knowing You.

O conquering King,
Conquer my heart
And make of me
A pleasing gift to God.
My love for You will never die.
Jesus, You are my life.

I come to You.
I run to You.
There’s no greater joy than knowing You.

My love for You will never die
Jesus, You are my life.

©1994 Maranatha Praise, Inc/Word Music, Inc. (a div. of Word Music Group, Inc.)
CCLI License No. 1843349

BENEDICTION

To Him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood and made us a kingdom, priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Revelation 1:5b-6

1 Our Daily Bread, June 15
https://bible.org/illustration/robert-louis-stevenson

2 Five Prayers Jesus Prayed, Five Feet Away, January 10, 2018.
http://5feetaway.com/five-prayers-jesus-probably-prayed/

3 https://www.wholesomewords.org/missions/bcarey6.html

Randy K'Meyer

Leave a Reply Text