Four Dimensions of God’s Love, Part III

Worship Service for May 3, 2020

WELCOME

I pray that your time spent here on CrossPointe’s website will rejuvenate and reinvigorate your faith in the Risen Lord Jesus to more confidently and peacefully face the difficult days in which we are presently living.

But before we begin to worship, I have a few church announcements:

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Although it seems like the day is getting closer, we still do not know for sure when we will be able to resume corporate worship. I can tell you that today at 1:00 pm our leaders will be meeting to begin to discuss when and how we will reopen for worship. When we have made a decision, I will let you all know. All we can say for now is, “it’s Friday, but Sunday’s comin’.”

Once again, let us open our hearts to praising and hearing the Word of the Lord by reading through the worship service. Please take advantage of the opportunity to read, pause, reflect and pray when you feel led. I hope you also noticed that most of this service is also available in video format on the same page where you accessed this.

I will be at the church building again between 12:00 noon and 1:00 pm for those of you who choose to drop off your offering. Look for a box on a stand in the lobby. If you wish to send it in the mail, the address is

CrossPointe Community Church
P. O. Box 126
Chippewa Lake, OH 44215-0126

Here is the last letter written by one of the participants in my Thursday night Disciple 3 Bible Study, Tony Wolfe:

Dear CrossPointe,

We all have a road to Damascus; realizing that what we once were no longer counts, but what we can become with God’s light. With Jesus in our lives nothing is impossible anymore! The thought that we can be a part of a community full of love for all, no man an enemy, no more war is an outstanding idea. God/Jesus has opened a door for us . . . we just have to step through. The Road to Damascus will define us as part of God’s community. Rejoice all you sinners for there is light!

Tony Wolfe

Now, before we begin to worship, I want to remind you that this is Communion Sunday. If you haven’t already, now is the time to prepare your bread and juice (or whatever you will use as symbols of Christ’s love). After you read the message, there is a communion scripture, a communion prayer that will lead to receiving the bread, a communion song, Give Thanks, another communion prayer that will lead to taking the cup, followed by another singing of Give Thanks.

Now allow me to invite you to worship with a beautiful passage from Psalm 103:

CALL TO WORSHIP

Let all that I am praise the Lord;
with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name.
Let all that I am praise the Lord;
may I never forget the good things he does for me.
He forgives all my sins
and heals all my diseases.
He redeems me from death
and crowns me with love and tender mercies.
He fills my life with good things.
My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!
The Lord gives righteousness
and justice to all who are treated unfairly.
He revealed his character to Moses
and his deeds to the people of Israel.
The Lord is compassionate and merciful,
slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
He will not constantly accuse us,
nor remain angry forever.
He does not punish us for all our sins;
he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve.
For his unfailing love toward those who fear him
is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.
He has removed our sins as far from us
as the east is from the west.

Psalm 103:1-12

SONGS OF WORSHIP AND PRAISE

No Greater Love

Walker, Tommy

There’s no greater love than Jesus,
There’s no greater love than He gives.
There’s no greater love that frees us
So deep within.

There’s no greater love than Jesus,
There’s no greater love than He gives.
There’s no greater love that frees us
So deep within.

We praise Your name,
Stand in awe of Your never ending love.
Love so great that it covers
All my sin and shame.
No greater power,
There is no greater force in all the earth
Than the strength of His love.

There’s no greater love than Jesus,
There’s no greater love than He gives.
There’s no greater love that frees us
So deep within.

©1993 Doulos Publishing (Maranatha! Music [Admin. by The Copyright Company])/Dayspring Music, Inc. (a div. of Word Music Group, Inc.)
CCLI License No. 1843349

In Christ Alone

Townsend, Stuart/Getty, Keith

In Christ alone my hope is found,
He is my light, my strength, my song;
This Cornerstone, this solid Ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love,
What depths of peace,
When fears are stilled,
When strivings cease!
My comforter, my All in all,
Here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone!
Who took on flesh,
Fullness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness,
Scorned by the ones He came to save;
Till on the cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied
For every sin on Him was laid;
Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay,
Light of the world by darkness slain:
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me,
For I am His and He is mine.
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death,
This is the power of Christ in me;
From life’s first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home,
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand.

©2002 Thankyou Music (PRS) (admin by EMI Christian Music Publishing)
CCLI License No. 1843349

Father I Adore You

Coelho, Terrye

Father, I adore You, lay my life before You,
How I love You.

Jesus, I adore You, lay my life before You,
How I love You.

Spirit, I adore You, lay my life before You,
How I love You.

©1972 Maranatha! Music (admin. by The Copyright Company)
CCLI License No. 1843349

OPENING PRAYER

Our Heavenly Father, You have freely and lavishly bestowed upon us the wonderful gifts of mercy and grace, life and righteousness, comfort and hope; yea, even victory over death! How can we respond with anything other than our adoration for You our Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Now grant us the further gift of worship as we lay our lives before You. Amen.

THE GIVING OF THE LORD’S OFFERING

(see announcement above)

PRAYER SONG

Everlasting God

Riley, Kenneth Henry/Brown, Brenton

Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord.
We will wait upon the Lord.
We will wait upon the Lord.
Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord.
We will wait upon the Lord.
We will wait upon the Lord.

Our God, You reign forever. Our hope, our Strong Deliverer.

You are the everlasting God. The everlasting God.
You do not faint. You won’t grow weary.

Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord.
We will wait upon the Lord.
We will wait upon the Lord.
Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord.
We will wait upon the Lord.
We will wait upon the Lord.

Our God, You reign forever. Our hope, our Strong Deliverer.

You are the everlasting God. The everlasting God.
You do not faint. You won’t grow weary.

You’re the defender of the weak. You comfort those in need.
You lift us up on wings like eagles.

——————–BREAK———————-

Our God, You reign forever. Our hope, our Strong Deliverer.

You are the everlasting God. The everlasting God.
You do not faint. You won’t grow weary.

You’re the defender of the weak. You comfort those in need.
You lift us up on wings like eagles.

©2006 worshiptogether.com.
CCLI License No. 1843349

THE MORNING PRAYER

Kevin Sparks

Let’s pray,

From your words spoken through your Prophet Isaiah, you are the everlasting GOD. We rejoice that you are our everlasting source of power when we are weary and exhausted. You are our everlasting source of strength when we are weak. You are our everlasting source of knowledge when we don’t understand. Today we remember your love as shown through the sacrifice of your only Son, and celebrate your promise fulfilled through the resurrection of your son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

THE SCRIPTURES

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16 (NIV)

When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

Ephesians 3:14-19 (NLT)

Two weeks ago, we considered how wide the love of God is as we examined “For God so loved the cosmos;” that is, the beautifully ordered creation. That includes all creation, all humanity and that includes you and I.

Last week, we saw the length of God’s love in that He “gave His only Son” who gave up His heavenly home and came all the way to earth to become a sacrificial substitute so that when we choose Him we are reunited with God our Father.

Today, let’s contemplate the depth of God’s love as we focus on the phrase, “THAT WHOSOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM might not perish but have everlasting life.”

THE MESSAGE

Randy K’Meyer

Four Dimensions of God’s Love, Part III

A little girl who was born and raised in Alabama went to church for the first time ever when she was visiting her grandparents in Ohio. When the pastor announced it was time for the Lord’s Supper, she was suddenly interested because she was hungry and ready for lunch. She eagerly followed her grandparents up to the altar rail for some victuals but then watched in confusion and disappointment as her grandparents received that tiny wafer and small plastic cup of juice. As soon as they got back to their seats she said to grandma, “Grandma, I know for sure that Jesus wasn’t from Alabama.”

“Why would you say that, dear?” asked grandma.

“Because that was the most meager meal I’ve ever seen,” she said. “My mama would’ve at least given everybody a big piece of corn bread and a tall glass of sweet tea!”

It wasn’t her fault, but that little girl from Alabama had no way of knowing that the meal she refused to take part in is the most satisfying meal of all for the whosoevers of the world who have chosen to believe in Christ so that they might not perish but have everlasting life.

Let’s consider Paul’s prayer that we might understand the ‘depth’ of God’s love in light of John’s statement “that whosoever believes in Him.”

The first thing I note is that John’s claim is not exclusive. He doesn’t say, For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son so that only those who are good people, or only those who go to church every Sunday, or those who say their prayers every night, or those who read their Bible every day.

He says, ‘whosoever!’ there are no pre-qualifications.

And that’s good news because the Bible truth is, none of us deserves God’s love. There was, and is nothing, in you or I or any human being that ever lived, anything that calls forth such a magnificent love.

On the contrary, “All of us, like sheep, have gone astray, each to His own way” (Isaiah 53:6).

Paul knew there was nothing in him that deserved God’s love. After all, he was in the act of persecuting followers of Jesus when the Risen Christ appeared and offered him grace.

That’s why he writes the Romans: “None is righteous, no not one” (3:10). And again, “We all sin and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

But, although none of us whosoevers deserve to be loved by God, the depth of His love has been demonstrated by Him giving His life for us.

Paul writes the Romans about this:

Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.

Romans 5:6-8

In other words, no man or woman has ever sunk beneath the reach of the love of God.

It is said that a certain medieval monk announced he would be preaching the following Sunday evening at sundown on “The Love of God.” It was unusual to have a service at that time as it was getting dark. As the shadows fell and the light ceased to come in through the cathedral windows, the congregation gathered. In the darkness of the altar, the monk lit a candle and carried it to the crucifix. First of all, he illumined the crown of thorns, next, the two wounded hands, then the pierced feet and finally the marks of the spear wound. In the hush that fell, he blew out the candle and left the chancel. There was nothing else to say.

Although there is nothing in us that calls forth such extravagant love, nonetheless, to God, the ‘whosoevers’ of this world are His treasures.

I Peter 2:4 says we are “chosen by God and precious to Him.” (NIV)

I know that some of you are thinking, precious to Him, treasures? It’s hard for me to believe that God thinks of me as one of His treasures.

But let me ask you a question. When you chose to believe in Him, did He know every sin you committed up until that point? And the answer is, ‘Yes.’

Did Christ know every sin you would commit in the future? ‘Yes.’

So, you are saying that Jesus saved you, knowing all the sins you would ever commit until the end of your life? ‘Yes.’

You mean He is willing to call you His child even though He knows each and every mistake of your past and your future? ‘Yes.’

If our sin was too great for His grace to overcome, He never would have saved us in the first place, right?

We are His treasures!

The wives who lived within the walls of Weinsberg Castle in Germany in 1141 A. D. were well aware of the treasures it held: gold, silver, jewels and wealth beyond belief. Then one day an enemy army surrounded the castle and demanded the fortress, the treasure and the lives of the men within. There was nothing to do but surrender.

The conqueror set a condition for the safe release of the women and children. Then the wives of Weisnberg refused to leave without having one of their own conditions met, as well. They asked if they could have as much of the treasure that they carry in their arms. Knowing that the women could not make a dent in the massive fortune, their request was honored.

When the castle gates were opened, the army outside was brought to tears as each woman was carrying out her husband. The wives of Weinsberg were well aware of the riches the castle held. 2

That’s what the love of God has done for us. We were surrounded by our enemy death, it looked as if surrender were imminent. But Jesus has picked us up in His arms and carried us to freedom.

Paul prays that we might be able to comprehend the depth of God’s love! And what we are being reminded of today is that no man or woman has ever sunk beneath the reach of the love of God because we are all God’s treasures.

“For God so loved the cosmos that whosoever believes in Him;” so I have to ask you, do you believe that Christ paid the price for your sin?

We understand, don’t we, that the Bible indicates our sin must be paid for?

In an article in Christianity Today, Mark Galli notes how, deep down, the idea of punishment for sins actually makes sense to us. This explains why most of us love revenge movies. When a great injustice has been done, retribution is due. The viewer wants the villain not merely caught . . . but punished. The movie builds until that moment and we say, yea, he got what he deserved. 3

So punishment for sin actually does make sense to us.

The question becomes, ‘Who is going to pay?’ It’s so sad to say but there are many whosoevers who believe that they must pay the price for their own sin.

A year ago, Gail and I watched the movie Get Low; the story of a 1930’s Tennessee hermit, Felix Bush (wonderfully played by Robert Duvall), who goes to see the local preacher to prepare for his own funeral while he is still alive.

“What would you say about me?” Felix asks Rev. Horton.

“Well, Mr. Bush, I don’t know much about you,” the reverend responds. But what really matters is have you made peace with God?”

“I’ve paid,” replies Felix.

What Felix means is he has spent most of his life trying to pay for his own sin.

He is thinking of when 40 years ago he had an affair with a married woman; and when her husband learned of it, he became enraged and murdered her. Felix blamed himself for her death and spent the next 40 years depriving himself of a wife and children, living alone, deep in the woods, cut off from community and happiness, in a futile attempt to pay the debt of his sin. Now 40 years later, he hopes that he’s finally paid his debt in full.

But Rev. Horton wisely disagrees with Felix. “Mr. Bush,” he replies firmly, “you can’t pay for your own sin, Jesus paid it, trust Him.”

With that, Felix stomps out of the church. 4

Don’t let that be you! Don’t walk away from the greatest offer you will ever receive.

I can’t say it any better than Paul in his letter to the Corinthians:

You know the generous grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, so that by His poverty He could make you rich.

II Corinthians 8:9

I love the story about Dwight Moody who was on a preaching crusade in England and after preaching one night a young Brit introduced himself as Harry Moorehouse and said, “Mr. Moody, someday I plan to come to America and I’d love to come to Chicago and preach in your church.”

Moody looked at this 17-year-old kid and thought to himself, ‘He can’t even shave so I know he can’t preach.’

The lad told Moody he would like to return to America with him but Moody wouldn’t tell him what boat he was taking back. Six months later, Moody was surprised to receive a telegram from Mr. Moorehouse: “In NYC . . . be in Chicago to preach on Thursday night.” Moody took the telegram to his deacons, said he had to be out of town anyway so why not give this limey a chance and be prepared if he stammers or stutters.

So Thursday night, Harry Moorehouse stands up in the pulpit of Moody Church, reads his text, John 3:16, and proceeds to pour his heart out on the love of God. Twenty whosoevers gave their hearts to Christ. The deacons asked if he was doing anything Friday.

On Friday night, the crowd had grown. Once again, Moorehouse reads John 3:16 and preaches on the love of God. That night, more than thirty whosoevers came forward to accept Christ.

On Saturday afternoon, Moody returned home. Mrs. Moody said, “Dwight, we are having a revival down at the church.”

“What are you talking about, we didn’t plan any revival.”

“That young man from England is still preaching and I want you to go down there and get converted.”

“Woman, what are you talking about? I’ve been a preacher for 20 years.”

“Will you just please go; you’ll see what I mean.”

Moody sat in the front row as Harry Moorehouse opened his Bible to John 3:16 and poured his heart out again on the love of God as revealed in Christ Jesus.

Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday night the same scenario played out.

Dwight Moody said:

The seventh night came, and he went into the pulpit; every eye was upon him. All were anxious to know what he was going to preach about. He said: ‘My friends, I have been hunting all day for a new text, but I cannot find one as good as the old one; so we will go back to John 3:16 and he preached the seventh sermon from that wonderful text.”

And Moody later wrote,

It changed my preaching. Up to that time I had been preaching on the judgment side of the cross, the wrath of God, damnation and penalty for sin side of the cross. But after that young man preached for a week on John 3:16, I began to preach the love of God side of the cross, the mercy and grace side of the cross.” 5

That’s what we need! That’s what the whosoevers of the world need to hear! Grace is the ultimate expression of the love of God. That love that is always seeking, constantly searching. Grace that describes that activity of God as He relentlessly pursues you and I. Grace described by that hymn writer George Matheson, “Oh the love that will not let me go.”

No guilt in life, no fear in death, this is the power of Christ in me
From life’s first cry to final breath, Jesus commands my destiny
No power of hell, no scheme of man, can ever pluck me from His hand
Till He returns or calls me home, Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand.

There’s no greater love than Jesus, there’s no greater love than He gives, There’s no greater love that frees us so deep within.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son so that whosoever believes in Him might not perish but have everlasting life.

Amen.

THE SACRAMENT OF HOLY COMMUNION

Communion Scripture

For I pass on to you what I received from the Lord himself. On the night when He was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then He broke it in pieces and said, “This is My body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same way, He took the cup of wine after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with My blood. Do this in remembrance of Me as often as you drink it.” For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are announcing the Lord’s death until He comes again.

I Corinthians 11:23-26

Communion Prayer

Lord Jesus, I bow before you in humility and ask You to examine my heart today. Show me anything that is not pleasing to You. Reveal any secret pride, any unconfessed sin, any rebellion or unforgiveness that may be hindering my relationship with You. I know that I am Your beloved child, having received You into my heart and life and having accepted Your death as penalty for my sinfulness. The price You paid covered me for all time, and my desire is to live for You.

As I take the bread representing Your life that was broken for me, I remember and celebrate Your faithfulness to me and to all who will receive You. I can’t begin to fathom the agonizing suffering of Your crucifixion. Yet You took that pain for me. You died for me! Thank You, Jesus. Thank You for Your extravagant love and unmerited favor. Thank You that Your death gave me life—abundant life now, and eternal life forever. As You instructed Your disciples, I, too, receive this bread in remembrance of You.

Receive the bread.

Communion Song

Give Thanks

Smith, Henry

Give thanks with a grateful heart,
Give thanks to the Holy One;
Give thanks because He’s given
Jesus Christ, His Son.

Give thanks with a grateful heart,
Give thanks to the Holy One;
Give thanks because He’s given
Jesus Christ, His Son.

And now let the weak say,
‘I am strong.’
Let the poor say, ‘I am rich’
Because of what the Lord
Has done for us.

And now let the weak say,
‘I am strong.’
Let the poor say, ‘I am rich’
Because of what the Lord
Has done for us.
Give thanks.
Give thanks.
Give thanks.

©1978 Integrity’s Hosanna! Music
CCLI License No. 1843349

And in the same way, as I take this cup representing Your blood poured out from a splintered cross, I realize that You were the supreme sacrifice for all my sin: past, present, and future. Because of Your blood shed for me, and Your body broken for me, I can be free from the power and penalty of sin. Thank You for Your victory over death. You took the death that I deserved. You took my punishment. Your pain was indeed my gain. And today I remember and celebrate the precious gift of life You gave me through the blood that You spilled.

Receive the cup.

Communion Song

Give Thanks

Smith, Henry

Give thanks with a grateful heart,
Give thanks to the Holy One;
Give thanks because He’s given
Jesus Christ, His Son.

Give thanks with a grateful heart,
Give thanks to the Holy One;
Give thanks because He’s given
Jesus Christ, His Son.

And now let the weak say,
‘I am strong.’
Let the poor say, ‘I am rich’
Because of what the Lord
Has done for us.

And now let the weak say,
‘I am strong.’
Let the poor say, ‘I am rich’
Because of what the Lord
Has done for us.
Give thanks.
Give thanks.
Give thanks.

©1978 Integrity’s Hosanna! Music
CCLI License No. 1843349

CLOSING SONG

How Deep the Father’s Love for Us

Townsend, Stuart

How deep the Father’s love for us,
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure.
How great the pain of searing loss.
The Father turns His face away.
As wounds which mar the Chosen One
Bring many sons to glory.

Behold the Man upon a cross,
My sin upon His shoulders.
Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers.
It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished;
His dying breath has brought me life.
I know that it is finished.

I will not boast in anything;
No gifts, no pow’r, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ,
His death and resurrection.
Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer,
But this I know with all my heart;
His wounds have paid my ransom.

Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer,
But this I know with all my heart;
His wounds have paid my ransom.

©1995 Kingsway’s Thankyou Music
CCLI License No. 1843349

SCRIPTURAL BENEDICTION

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

Romans 15:13

1 Bridges, Kendall. Have a Better Day. [Memphis, Tennessee: Bell Bridge Books, © 2019] Page for June 2.

2 Stories for the Heart. Compiled by Alice Gray. [Sisters, Oregon: Multnomah Publishers, © 1997, 2001]. Page 156.

3 Mark Galli, “It Doesn’t Get Any More Personal,” Christianity Today (January 2018)
https://www.preachingtoday.com/illustrations/2018/february/punishment-is-only-way-to-remove-sin.html

4 Get Low (Sony Pictures, 2009), Directed by Aaron Schneider, Scene 2 at 0:09:24 to 0:11:13; submitted by, Van Morris, Mt. Washington, Kentucky https://www.preachingtoday.com/illustrations/2011/april/3040411.html

5 Moody, Paul, and Fitt, Arthur. The Shorter Life of D. L. Moody. [Chicago, Illinois: The Bible Institute Colporateg Association of Chicago, © 1900]. Pages 52-55.

Randy K'Meyer

Leave a Reply Text