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

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


To illustrate the point further, Jesus told them this story: “A man had two sons. The younger son told his father, ‘I want my share of your estate now before you die.’ So his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons.

“A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and moved to a distant land, and there he wasted all his money in wild living. About the time his money ran out, a great famine swept over the land, and he began to starve. H He persuaded a local farmer to hire him, and the man sent him into his fields to feed the pigs. The young man became so hungry that even the pods he was feeding the pigs looked good to him. But no one gave him anything.

“When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, ‘At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger! I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.”’

“So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.’

“But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began.

“Meanwhile, the older son was in the fields working. When he returned home, he heard music and dancing in the house, and he asked one of the servants what was going on. ‘Your brother is back,’ he was told, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf. We are celebrating because of his safe return.’

“The older brother was angry and wouldn’t go in. His father came out and begged him, but he replied, ‘All these years I’ve slaved for you and never once refused to do a single thing you told me to. And in all that time you never gave me even one young goat for a feast with my friends. Yet when this son of yours comes back after squandering your money on prostitutes, you celebrate by killing the fattened calf!’

“His father said to him, ‘Look, dear son, you have always stayed by me, and everything I have is yours. We had to celebrate this happy day. For your brother was dead and has come back to life! He was lost, but now he is found!’”

Luke 15:11-32

Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature, we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else.

But God is so rich in mercy, and He loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, He gave us life when He raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) For He raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of His grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus.

God saved you by His grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.

Ephesians 2:1-10


God’s Great Grace Gospel

Randy K’Meyer

A man dies and goes to heaven and meets St. Peter at the pearly gates. St. Peter says, “Here’s how it works; you tell me the good things you’ve done, and I give you a certain number of points for each item, and when you reach 100 points, you’re in.”
“That’s exactly how I thought it would work, so let’s get started. I was married to the same woman 50 years and never once strayed.”
“That’s wonderful,” says St. Peter, “that’s worth three points!”
“Three, is that all? Well, I never missed a Sunday all my life and tithed to boot.”
“Terrific!” says St. Peter, “that’s certainly worth two points.”
“One point? How about this: I started a soup kitchen in my city and worked in a shelter for homeless veterans.”
“Fantastic, that’s good for two more points,” he says.
“Only two more? At this rate, the only way I get in is by the grace of God!”
“That’s what I’m talking about! Come on in!” 1

This past Monday evening, I hosted the introduction to this year’s Disciple Bible Study class. I informed my students that the course is a survey of the entire Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, from Genesis 1:1, “in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” to Revelation 22:21, “the grace of the Lord Jesus be with you all.” And I mentioned to them I was thinking about talking about those verses today.

Actually, I want to suggest that the two most poignant verses in the Bible are the first verse and the last verse. Everything sandwiched between those two verses explain the first verse and the last verse. You get the first verse and the last verse and you’ve got it all!

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1).

And from there Genesis tells us God made the stars, the planets, this planet, the oceans, the fishes, the animals, women and men, boys and girls; everything that we can hear, see, smell, taste, and touch.

But today, I’m talking about something else He created that cannot be discerned with the five senses. “In the beginning, God created,” that is, He placed within the man and the woman an instinctive seed of belief in Himself.

This is why people in every culture, every civilization down through the ages believe in a God of some sort.

I know that people claim to be atheists, but as someone who claimed that title for myself, I don’t believe that there is such a thing as someone who doesn’t believe in God. I believe I deluded myself into thinking there is no God so that I could live my life my way.

Paul talks about this in his letter to the Romans: People “know the truth about God because He has made it obvious to them. For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see His invisible qualities—His eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God” (Romans 1:19-20).


During my days at Ohio State, I had a philosophy professor who at the time was the Editor of Atheists Magazine. I couldn’t understand why he spent so much of his time and energy thinking about, talking about, and writing about something he didn’t believe in. One day he came to class and told us how on the previous evening he and his wife were amused at the dinner table when his 10-year-old son asks, “Hey pop, do you think God knows we don’t believe in Him?”

I don’t believe that he was an atheist any more than I think any of us are atheists, because God built into him, and into us, that instinctive seed of belief that God is.

Now I do think it’s true that that seed may not have germinated in some of us yet.

That’s the subject of a poem I learned in college by William Carruth, titled, To Each His Own:

A fine mist over the planet . . . a crystal in a shell,
A jellyfish and a sword . . . in a cave where cavemen dwell,
And a sense of awe and beauty . . . in a face turned from the sod,
Some may call it evolution . . . others call it God.

A haze on the far horizon . . . an infinite tender sky,
The rich, ripe tent of the cornfield . . . and the wild geese flying high,
And all over upland and lowland . . . the tint of the goldenrod,
Some may call it autumn . . . others call it God.

Like tides on a crescent sea-beach . . . when the moon is new and thin,
Up from our hearts high yearnings . . . come welling and swelling in,
Come from that mystic ocean . . . whose rim no foot has trod,
Some may calling longing . . . others call it God.

What do you call it? Evolution, autumn, longing or God?

Oh, I do believe that there are practical atheists. They believe in the existence of God. They just don’t believe that God really matters, or that God can really make a difference in their lives. And thus they live out their lives within that kind of framework; ignoring the fact that they know deep down in their hearts that, “In the beginning God.” And the whole purpose of this book is to reveal the person of God; to tell us what God is like.

And the grand climax of the whole thing is “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.” There is no reason to write anything else beyond that for as we discover the grace of God supremely revealed in His Son, Jesus we discover the revealed character of the Creator.

So let’s spend a few minutes thinking about three kinds of grace.

First, there is saving grace as in Ephesians 2:9 “By grace you have been saved.”

The classic definition of grace is “undeserved favor;” it’s the loving-kindness of God “in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

One wise sage wrote, “Justice is when we get what we deserve, mercy is when we don’t get what we deserve, and grace is when we get what we don’t deserve.”

And we don’t receive it by earning it. Ask the average person on the street what they must do to get to heaven and like the guy in our opening story the vast majority reply, “Be good.”

But the stories of Jesus contradict that line of reasoning. And there’s none better than the parable of the lost son, who certainly didn’t have any good deeds to plead his case for reinstatement. The only thing he could do was throw himself on his father’s mercy and believe that his father granted it. And that’s all it took.

In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul is clear about this: “God saved you by His grace when you believed. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, it is a gift of God” (Ephesians 2:9).

Grace comes free of charge to people who do not deserve it; people like you and me. That’s why the Bible refers to the grace of God as good news!

In a book titled, Shame and Grace, Professor of Theology, Lewis Smedes, wrote of his own experience of seeking grace: Like the lost son, “What I needed was a sense that God accepted me, affirmed me, held me and would never let me go even if He was not too impressed with what He had on His hands.” 2

I had a good friend who was a member of my home church in Willard, Ohio. This man had a 30-something son who was continually in trouble with the law as a result of a drinking problem.

Almost every Friday night this son could be found in the Victory Inn; one of the saloons in Willard located right next to the police station. And almost every Friday night the bartender would call the police who would come over to the Victory Inn and help that lost one stumble next door to a cell for the night. And very early almost every Saturday morning this father would get a call to come down to the station and pick his son up and take him home.

Now on the first Saturday of every month, we would have a men’s breakfast at the church. On one particular Saturday, one of the men asked this father if his son had spent the night in jail again. My friend, Herb, hung his head as he said, “Yes, he did.”

This guy says to this father, “If he were my son, I’d wash my hands of him.” And my friend lifted up his head and said, “If he were your son, I would too. But he’s not your son, he’s my son,” and he pounded the table, “and as long as he’s my son I’ll never let him go.”

You see, we can sum up the entire Bible in 3 words. We don’t need to write a book about it. The message of the Bible is GOD LOVES YOU! That’s what the world needs to hear; we don’t win people by fussin’ at them.

I remember going to a Zondervan bookstore to buy my first Bible after going into the ministry. This guy behind the counter tried to sell me the biggest Bible I had ever seen. I said, “What do you think I need a big Bible like that for?” He said, “So you can roll it up and shake it at people!”

We don’t need to shake our Bibles at people, judge people, criticize people, or condemn people; the message of grace is GOD LOVES YOU!

That’s what we need to know! And grace is the ultimate expression of the love of God. That love that is always seeking, constantly searching. Grace described by that hymn writer George Matheson, “Oh the love that will not let me go.”

Have you accepted what God offers?

When we make a decision to embrace God’s saving grace through faith in Jesus then we are in line to receive what we call sustaining grace.

Paul had what he called a thorn in the flesh; what we would call a physical ailment. We don’t know what it was, but we know from his writing that it was painful. He tells us that he prayed three times that it might be taken away. And then he writes in his second letter to the church at Corinth (12:9) that “God didn’t remove the thorn, but He said, ‘My grace is sufficient for you.’”

Many times in life, we have thorns, don’t we; troubles, burdens, heartaches, grief? They come in all different shapes and sizes. Sometimes we wonder why a good God would allow such things to happen. And sometimes we feel resentment, don’t we?

I don’t know what your thorn is. If I did, I wouldn’t claim to understand it. But I do know this: through God’s sustaining grace, we can keep going.

William Barclay, Scottish pastor, seminary professor, and commentator, used to host a call-in radio show. One day a lady called in and said, “Dr. Barclay, do you really believe that Jesus stilled the storm on the Sea of Galilee?”

“Ma’am, that was a long time ago, but let me tell you a story. A few years after my wife and I were married, we had a precious baby girl. Oh, how we loved that little girl; she was the sweetest little girl and she was the only child God blessed us with. We thanked God every day for her. One day, she grew up to be a young woman, and one day she met a young man, and one day they decided to get married. We were so delighted with him and welcomed him as our future son-in-law. The wedding rehearsal went off without a hitch; everybody had a great and wonderful time. After the rehearsal, the plan was to have a rehearsal dinner at a little restaurant across a small lake from the church. Our little girl and her fiancée got in a little row boat to row across the lake. A storm came up and that boat capsized and both of them were drowned. And instead of conducting a wedding, I conducted a funeral.

You know I am not worried about whether or not Jesus stilled the tempest on the Sea of Galilee. But what I want you to know is He stilled the tempest in my heart.”

He doesn’t always remove the thorn, but Paul says, He gives us the grace to see it through. One writer put it this way: Sometimes God doesn’t save us from the storm, but God does save us in the storm.”

“Be still and know that He is God” (Psalm 46:10).

He doesn’t always remove the thorn, but He does give us the grace to bear it.

And the last meaning of grace is what I am calling supernatural grace.

In describing the early Christians the Book of Acts says that “great grace was upon them all” (Acts 4:33). There was something wonderfully attractive about those Christians. Something that radiated the love of God to others so much that early painters pictured those saints with halos around their heads. It was the great grace that was upon them all you see, because in the forgiveness that Jesus provides they discovered they were set free to live a brand new life.

I like the story of a lady, who while attending a dinner party spilled a little wine on a beautiful, gorgeous handkerchief, handmade and given to her by her grandmother. She felt terrible, thinking it was ruined. The great poet and artist John Ruskin was in attendance and asked if he could borrow it. He took it home and then brought it back to her a week or so later. She didn’t even recognize it because the previously white handkerchief had been transformed into a brightly colored handkerchief – that stain having been incorporated into a beautiful new design.

You know, that’s what God does for us. We have stains in our lives, sins, failure, and mistakes. But God in Christ takes our stains and through the blood of the cross makes them part of a beautiful new forgiven life.

And great grace can be upon us all.

In the beginning God! And what is God like? God is a God who loves us gracefully. God is a God who sustains us compassionately. God is a God who forgives us freely.

“In the beginning God, the grace of the Lord Jesus be with you all.”

1 The Turquoise Table

2 Lewis Smedes, Shame and Grace, [San Francisco, California: Harper One, © 2009]