Forgetting the Past

Worship Service for November 1, 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

Today, we have the high honor and privilege of sharing in the Sacrament of Holy Communion. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to make sure your communion elements are nearby.

A big shout-out to Alan and Vanna Robbins, Jim and Gale Arthur, Shirley Ware and Phil Strauss who helped serve our Community Meal this past Friday. Thanks to all of you and, of course, John and Amy Topola for cooking up the delicious Harvest Chicken dinner.

How about a shout-out to the L. A. Dodgers who beat the Tampa Bay Rays Tuesday night to win the 2020 the World Series.

In honor of their win and to honor baseball in general, I have two baseball stories in my message today and these little ditties for you to cogitate on right now:

Which baseball legend loved fireplaces?
Mickey Mantle.

Which baseball player makes flapjacks?
The batter!

What do you call a winged insect that hits home runs?
A fly swatter.

Bob didn’t believe that Fred’s dog could talk. So Fred asked his dog,
“What’s on top of a house?”
“Roof,” the dog barked.
Bob wasn’t convinced. So Fred asked the dog how sandpaper feels.
“Rough.”
Bob still wasn’t convinced.
“O.K., who was the greatest baseball player of all time?” Fred asked the dog.
“Ruth.”
With that, Bob walked away, shaking his head in disbelief.
The dog turned to Fred and asked: “Was it Hank Aaron?”

Lastly, did you know baseball is the first sport in the Bible?
Yep, in Genesis it says, “In the big inning!”

Speaking of the Bible:

CALL TO WORSHIP

I will greatly rejoice in the Lord; my soul shall exult in my God, for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation; He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

Isaiah 61:10

SONGS OF GRACE

Sing

Morgan, Reuben

It used to be darkness…without You.
I lived my life in blindness….but now I’m found.
And I’ll sing….sing….I love You so.
And I’ll sing…because the world can’t take away…
Your love.

You found me in weakness…broken.
You came to me in kindness…and now I live.
And I’ll sing….sing….I love You so.
And I’ll sing…because the world can’t take away…
Your love.
And I’ll sing….sing….I love You so.
And I’ll sing…because the world can’t take away…
Your love.

I’ll give my life…. for You Lord,
For all You’ve done
I’ll give my life…. for You Lord,
For all You’ve done
I’ll give my life…. for You Lord,
For all You’ve done
I’ll give my life…. for You Lord

And I’ll sing….sing….I love You so.
And I’ll sing…because the world can’t take away…
Your love.
And I’ll sing….sing….I love You so.
And I’ll sing…because the world can’t take away…
Your love.

©2003 Hillsong Publishing (Admin. in U.S. & Canada at EMICMG Publishing.com)
CCLI License No. 1843349

Amazing Grace

Newton, John/Excell, Edwin/Rees, John P.

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind but now I see.

‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved.
How precious did that grace appear,
The hour I first believed.

The Lord has promised good to me,
His Word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.

Thro’ many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come.
‘Tis grace that brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise,
Than when we first begun.

©Public Domain
CCLI License No. 1843349

I Love You, Lord

Klein, Laurie

I love You, Lord, and I lift my voice
To worship You, O my soul, rejoice.
Take joy, my King, in what You hear.
May it be a sweet, sweet sound in Your ear.

©1978, 1980 House Of Mercy Music (Maranatha! Music [Admin. by The Copyright Co])
CCLI License No. 1843349

OPENING PRAYER

We thank You, O Lord, for Your call upon our lives to worship; to remember who You are, to confess who we are, and in light of that, to express our gratefulness for Your amazing grace shed abroad in our hearts through our faith. As we continue to work our way through this worship experience, prepare us to receive with joy the precious gift of the sacrament freely given and shared by our Lord Jesus, in whose name we pray, amen.

THE GIVING OF THE LORD’S OFFERING

(see announcement above)

“Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, ‘I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.’”

PRAYER SONG

Breathe

Barnett, Marie

This is the air I breathe,
This is the air I breathe,
Your holy presence, living in me.
This is my daily bread,
This is my daily bread,
Your very Word, spoken to me.
And I, I’m desp’rate for You.
And I, I’m lost without You.

This is the air I breathe,
This is the air I breathe,
Your holy presence, living in me.
This is my daily bread,
This is my daily bread,
Your very Word, spoken to me.
And I, I’m desp’rate for You.
And I, I’m lost without You.
I’m lost without You.
I’m lost without You.

©1995 Mercy/Vineyard Publishing (admin. by Music Services)
CCLI License No. 1843349

MORNING PRAYER

The Topola family

Thank you, Lord, for everything you have blessed us with this week and for keeping watch over our family and friends. We know we are completely lost without you in our lives. We love You; we need You and we are desperate to hear Your every word. As we go through the upcoming week, we humbly ask You to remind us to spread kindness and love in the way You have taught us.

Oh Lord, please forgive us when we forget to be thankful for all You have done for us. Help us hear your every breath and feel your holy presence around us. We pray for those who are lost without you in their lives. Guide us so we too may share your love throughout our community and into the world. We pray for the sick and isolated people. Help heal and comfort them. We pray for our church, country, and leader. We do all this in your name. Amen.

SCRIPTURE

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.”

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.

Luke 22:14-20

Whatever happens, my dear brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord. I never get tired of telling you these things, and I do it to safeguard your faith.

Watch out for those dogs, those people who do evil, those mutilators who say you must be circumcised to be saved. For we who worship by the Spirit of God are the ones who are truly circumcised. We rely on what Christ Jesus has done for us. We put no confidence in human effort, though I could have confidence in my own effort if anyone could. Indeed, if others have reason for confidence in their own efforts, I have even more!

I was circumcised when I was eight days old. I am a pure-blooded citizen of Israel and a member of the tribe of Benjamin—a real Hebrew if there ever was one! I was a member of the Pharisees, who demand the strictest obedience to the Jewish law. I was so zealous that I harshly persecuted the church. And as for righteousness, I obeyed the law without fault.

I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with Him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with Himself depends on faith. I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised Him from the dead. I want to suffer with Him, sharing in His death, so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!

I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.

Philippians 3:1-14

THE MESSAGE

Randy K’Meyer

Forgetting the Past

Did you hear about the Spanish speaking magician who specializes in disappearing, who said, “Uno,” “dos” and then disappeared without a “tres?”

Then there was the cruise ship magician who was being heckled by the captain’s parrot “it’s under his hat, it’s up his sleeve, his assistant has it.”
Unfortunately, the cruise-ship sinks. The magician wakes up on a piece of driftwood with the parrot. They spend 2 days floating at sea without saying a word. Finally the parrot says, “Alright, I give up . . . where’s the boat?”

You ever notice that a magic trick loses its luster when you figure them out. When a magician performs his trick, your response is, “Wow! That’s amazing! How did he do that?” But then you find a You Tube tutorial on how to do the trick. And after you discover the secret, you think to yourself, “Oh, that’s easy.” When you figure out the mystery of a magic trick, the glory of the magician fades.

The exact opposite happens when you learn more about Jesus. As the Spirit unfolds the mysteries of Christ for us, His glory shines all the more. This is because there is no end to the wonderful things for us to discover about Jesus. You just learn one thing about Him only to see that there are still more amazing things to discover.

That’s why the Apostle Paul reminds us in Philippians 3 that there is nothing more important on this earth than knowing Christ. Of all the millions of things that the human brain can consider over a lifetime, there is nothing more important than knowing Christ and what He has to offer because what He has to offer not only affects our finite lives on earth but much more importantly our eternal lives . . . wherever.

“Everything else is worthless,” he writes, “when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” (Philippians 3:8).

Why does he write such inspiring words? He gives two reasons; both of which will prepare us to CELEBRATE the Sacrament of Holy Communion more joyfully.

The first has to do with the ‘amazing grace’ we just sang about.

For in no other letter does Paul compare and contrast so vigorously the methods of grace vs. works as the way to obtaining right standing with God.

There is a great temptation to believe that if we are good enough people we will merit right standing with God and deserve to go to heaven someday. This kind of thinking is at the root of a humanistic philosophy of life that says: “By working hard I will earn God’s favor and receive His nod of approval.” I don’t know of a more subtle, yet more heretical idea than that; and yet, the sad truth is many people have swallowed it hook, line and sinker.

This is why Paul warns his readers, “Watch out for those dogs, those people who do evil, those mutilators who say you must be circumcised to be saved” (Philippians 3:2).

Concerning these ‘dogs,’ in his fine commentary, Frank Thielman identifies them as:

Judaizing missionaries, like those who have invaded his churches in Galatia … Their ‘gospel’ mixed the notion of faith in Christ for salvation with the idea that all who want to belong to God’s people must accept the yoke of the Jewish law. Gentile believers, in their view, had to become Jews in order to be saved.” 1

There will always be those who come along and say things like, “Yeah, that’s right, Jesus died for our sins, but in addition, if you want to be right with God you also must (you fill in the blank). And they are therefore guilty of adding requirements to the pure gospel of grace. To be sure, as we looked at last week, our faith is authenticated by works. But make no mistake; it was and is the work of Jesus that makes us right with God.

That’s why Paul is drills down on this:

though I could have confidence in my own effort if anyone could. Indeed, if others have reason for confidence in their own efforts, I have even more! I was circumcised when I was eight days old. I am a pure-blooded citizen of Israel and a member of the tribe of Benjamin—a real Hebrew if there ever was one! I was a member of the Pharisees, who demand the strictest obedience to the Jewish law. I was so zealous that I harshly persecuted the church. And as for righteousness, I obeyed the law without fault.

Philippians 3:4-6

What Paul is saying is, if anyone deserves to be right with God based on their own merits; it’s me.

However, he also says , “we put no confidence in human effort” (Philippians 3:3c)

Instead he writes, “we rely on what Christ Jesus has done for us” (Phil. 3:3b).

What did He do for us? He paid the price for our sin when He gave His life as a sacrifice for sin.

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.”

Luke 22:20

But wait a minute Paul, what about all of our fine accomplishments for God?

I once thought all these things were so very important, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the priceless gain of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. I have discarded everything else, counting it as garbage, so that I may have Christ and become one with Him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith.

Philippians 3:7-10

Knowing Christ yields great joy because we, with confidence in Christ, never have to worry about when we have done enough to merit the Lord’s favor! Because He has done everything necessary for our salvation.

Barry Spilchuk, President of You’re My Hero Books, tells of Pete Rose being interviewed in the year he was about to break Ty Cobb’s all-time hits record.

One reporter blurted out, “Pete, you only need 78 hits to break the record.
How many at-bats do you think you’ll need to get the 78 hits?”
Without hesitation, Pete very matter-of-factly said, “78.”
“Ah, come on Pete, you don’t expect to get 78 hits in 78 at-bats do you?”
“Every time I step up to the plate, I expect to get a hit!”
Now that’s confidence.

And you and I can be confident, not in our own ability, but that Jesus stepped up to the plate for us and He never whiffs. The most important thing in this life, securing a place in the next, has already been taken care by Jesus; He knocked the ball out of the park for us. We don’t have to worry about gaining our own salvation, or losing it. That’s why we call it amazing grace!

The first reason for rejoicing in today’s passage has to do with amazing grace. And the second is now that amazing grace has been poured out upon us we have been forgiven! And because we have, we can forget the past!

“Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God through Christ Jesus is calling us” (Philippians 3:13-14).

My guess is there are some here today who are living in the past; always looking in the rear view mirror, dwelling on poor decisions, past mistakes.

A Duke University study concluded happiness is fostered by several key factors; one of which is NOT LIVING IN THE PAST! “An unwholesome preoccupation with old mistakes and failures leads to depression.” 2

Just like Paul, all of us have baggage from the past. Things we wish we had not said; things we wish we had not done. But there’s nothing we can do about the past . . . it’s gone. We can’t change it, no matter how much we might want to.

But what Paul is saying here in the very heart of this letter is there is great joy to be found in living in the present; not in the past. There is no joy to be found always looking in the rear view mirror. Joy is found in living in the present with an eye on where we are headed.

When Shannon Ethridge of Greenville, Texas was just 16 years old, while driving to school, she hit and killed a woman riding her bike. Her name was Marjorie Jarstfar, a wife and mother who had served many years with Wycliffe Bible Translators. Terrified of ever having to face Marjorie’s family, Shannon was shocked when Marjorie’s grieving husband Gary, insisted that she come to their home. She expected the worst, but instead of seeking justice, Gary showed mercy, saying, “You can’t let this ruin your life, Shannon. I forgive you and God wants to forgive you and He wants you to put this behind you. And He even wants to use you for His glory.”

Gary’s act of forgiveness showed Shannon the amazing grace of God and changed her life forever. She put the past behind her and went on to become a Christian counselor, and national bestselling author, that includes Every Woman’s Battle and her latest book, Completely His, Loving Jesus without Limits. 3

Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God through Christ Jesus is calling us.

Philippians 3:13-14

I was reading about a man who was taking his son to a San Diego Padres game for his birthday. They couldn’t wait to go see their beloved Padres play the San Francisco Giants. They turned in their tickets at the gate, bought hot dogs, drinks, Cracker Jacks, and a program, and sat down in their seats right on the first-base line.

At the top of the first inning, the Padres’ pitcher walked a batter. He walked the second batter and hit the third with a pitch, loading the bases. The next batter hit a grand slam home run; 4 – 0. The manager left the pitcher in, and he proceeded to walk two more players. Finally, the pitcher was replaced with a new guy, and bingo, the next batter hit a triple, scoring two more runs. By the time the inning was over, the Giants were ahead 7 – 0.

Things went from bad to ugly and to make a long story short, before the second inning was over, the score was 14 to zip. At that point the game was basically over. They knew it, the players knew it, and the fans knew it. There was no way the Padres could come back from fourteen to nothing. The players looked discouraged, fans were booing, people started to leave.

Chomping into his hot dog, he set out on a crazy line of thought: What if I could be a magician and could return the game to the score zero to zero—right now at the end of the second inning?

With that kind of score, the players would be hopeful once again. Their optimism would motivate them to play with intensity. The resulting competition would renew hope in the fans. The game would once again be exciting and interesting and we could finish eating all this junk food.

Resetting the score in a bad second inning is the way forgiveness works. Many people feel like it’s the end of the second inning and they’re losing so badly that their life is as good as over; that’s there’s no reason to even take the field for the 3rd inning.

But the great news of the gospel is, Jesus is able to reset the score to zero again! Forgiveness restores our hope! Forgiveness sets us free from constantly checking the rear view mirror. Forgiveness gives us a clean start; it’s a whole new ball game.

An old saying goes, “Today is the first day of the rest of your life.” That’s only meaningfully true when you can wipe away the past and get a fresh start. With faith in Christ, that’s exactly what we can do. With Jesus, today is the beginning of the first inning and no one’s keeping score!

This why Paul writes:

Everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.

Philippians 3:8

PRAYER

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

THE SACRAMENT OF HOLY COMMUNION

SCRIPTURAL AFFIRMATION

“Come now, let’s settle this,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool.

Isaiah 1:18

SONG OF AFFIRMATION

White As Snow

Olguin, Leon

White as snow, white as snow,
Though my sins were as scarlet,
Lord, I know. Lord, I know.
That I’m clean and forgiven.
Through the power of Your blood,
Through the wonder of Your love,
Through faith in You
I know that I can be,

White as snow, white as snow,
Though my sins were as scarlet,
Lord, I know. Lord, I know.
That I’m clean and forgiven.
Through the power of Your blood,
Through the wonder of Your love,
Through faith in You
I know that I can be,
White as snow.

©1990 Maranatha Praise, Inc./Sound Truth Publishing (Maranatha! Music)
CCLI License No. 1843349

RECEIVE THE SACRAMENT

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 sacrament)

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 sacrament)

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, the power and the glory forever. Amen.

CLOSING SONG

All I Once Held Dear

Kendrick, Graham

All I once held dear,
Built my life upon,
All this world reveres,
And wars to own,
All I once thought gain,
I have counted loss;
Spent and worthless now,
Compared to this.

Knowing You, Jesus, knowing You,
There is no greater thing.
You’re my all, You’re the best,
You’re my joy, my righteousness,
And I love You, Lord.

Now my heart’s desire,
Is to know You more,
To be found in You,
And known as Yours,
To possess by faith,
What I could not earn;
All surpassing gift of righteousness.

Knowing You, Jesus, knowing You,
There is no greater thing.
You’re my all, You’re the best,
You’re my joy, my righteousness,
And I love You, Lord.

Oh to know the power
Of Your risen life,
And to know You in
Your sufferings,
To become like You,
In Your death, my Lord;
So with You to live,
And never die.

Knowing You, Jesus, knowing You,
There is no greater thing.
You’re my all, You’re the best,
You’re my joy, my righteousness,
You’re my all, You’re the best,
You’re my joy, my righteousness,
You’re my all, You’re the best,
You’re my joy, my righteousness,
And I love You, Lord.
And I love You, Lord.
And I love You, Lord.

©1993 Make Way Music
CCLI License Number 1843349

SCRIPTURAL 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 Frank Thielman, The NIV Application Commentary; Philippians, {Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, © 1995] Page 166.

2 Randy Alcorn, Modern Research about Happiness Parallels Biblical Principles, Eternal Perspective Ministries (9-25-19)
https://www.preachingtoday.com/search/?query=joy&page=3

3 https://www.bookreporter.com/authors/shannon-ethridge

Randy K'Meyer

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