Great Power, Wonderful Results

Worship Service for January 10, 2021

WELCOME

Good morning and welcome to CrossPointe Community Church’s on-line 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 am hopeful that we will be able to announce soon a date for returning to in-person worship.

If any of you are interested in doing a 13-week survey of the New Testament, I have three people who will be gathering with me on Thursdays to do just that. I realize that some of you may want to do this, but because of the coronavirus cannot. I understand. Be aware, those who do come will be wearing masks and sitting six feet apart. If we have too many to do that, we will revert to a zoom format.

CALL TO WORSHIP

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’

Psalm 91:1-2

The New Testament warns that Christians have three enemies: the world, the flesh, and the devil. Left to our own devices, we would wilt against these three formidable foes. That is why Martin Luther, the leader of the Protestant Reformation, wrote the song we are about to sing. It was his intention to remind us of what the Psalmist proclaimed: He is our refuge and fortress.

So as we continue to relish the hopes for a blessed New Year, let us boldly proclaim our faith in a God who enables to “to become more than conquerors through Christ who loves us” (Romans 8:37).

OPENING WORSHIP SONGS

A Mighty Fortress Is Our God

Luther, Martin

A mighty Fortress is our God,
A bulwark never failing;
Our Helper He, amid the flood
Of mortal ills prevailing.
For still our ancient foe
Doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great,
And armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.

Did we in our own strength confide,
Our striving would be losing,
Were not the right Man on our side,
The Man of God’s own choosing.
Dost ask who that may be?
Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth, His name,
From age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.

A mighty fortress, a mighty fortress is our God.
A mighty fortress, a mighty fortress is our God.

And though this world, with devils filled,
Should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed,
His truth to triumph through us.
The prince of darkness grim,
We tremble not for him.
His rage we can endure,
For, lo, his doom is sure;
One little word shall fell him.

That word above all earthly powers,
No thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours,
Through Him who with us sideth.
Let goods and kindred go,
This mortal life also.
The body they may kill;
God’s truth abideth still.
His kingdom is forever.

A mighty fortress, a mighty fortress is our God.
A mighty fortress, a mighty fortress is our God.
A mighty fortress, a mighty fortress is our God.
A mighty fortress, a mighty fortress is our God.

© Public Domain
CCLI License No. 1843349

Awesome God

Mullins, Rich

Our God is an awesome God.
He reigns from heaven above;
With wisdom, power and love,
Our God is an awesome God.

Our God is an awesome God.
He reigns from heaven above;
With wisdom, power and love,
Our God is an awesome God.
Our God is an awesome God.
Our God is an awesome God.

©1988 BMG Songs, Inc. (Admin. by BMG Music Publishing)
CCLI License No. 1843349

OPENING PRAYER

O Lord, our God, we affirm our faith and praise Your holy name because You are the Creator, the Savior and the Sustainer of the Universe! And we are overjoyed that You have touched our hearts and minds with the faith necessary to follow You and Your Son, Jesus, the Messiah. Grant O Lord, that this time spent with you and Your Word would enable us today and throughout the coming year to be more than conquerors through Christ who loves us and in whose name we pray, 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 think through how we respond to the invitation to give, here are some words from Paul’s first letter to his friend Timothy:

As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.

1 Timothy 6:17-19

PRAYER SONG

Hear My Cry

Founds, Rick/Collins, Todd

Hear my cry, O Lord,
Attend unto my prayer.
From the ends of the earth,
Will I cry out to Thee.
And when my heart is overwhelmed,
Lead me to the Rock
That is higher than I, that is higher than I.

For Thou hast been a shelter unto me,
A high tower Lord against the enemy.
And when my heart is overwhelmed,
Lead me to the Rock
That is higher than I, that is higher than I.

And when my heart is overwhelmed,
Lead me to the Rock
That is higher than I, that is higher than I.

©1977, 1982 Maranatha Praise, Inc.
CCLI License No. 1843349

MORNING PRAYER

Heavenly Father, we count ourselves blessed this morning for we, as believers in and followers of Jesus, enjoy the precious privilege of coming to You in prayer when our hearts are overwhelmed. And we are saddened to realize this is not true of all people. We wish that all people everywhere would become followers of Christ. For we believe that although the world would not be perfect, it would be a more peaceful world.

Lord, many of us must confess that though we know this to be true, we lack zeal when it comes to praying for folks who have yet to come to faith in Christ. We confess we sometimes lack faith in the power of Your name to answer our prayers.

Forgive us our sin. Strengthen our faith in the power of prayer. And stir up our hearts to pray for the conversion of the peoples of the world and of our country, so that Your Kingdom peace might come and Your truth might reign in the kingdoms of men.

We pray specifically for the country known as The United States of America. We thank You for the privilege of living here. We pray that the Church in America would rise to the challenge to be both witnesses and influencers, helping to shine Your light into dark corners. We thank You that we at CrossPointe have shared in that privilege and we ask You, O Lord, to increase our brightness. And we pray, O Lord, that you would use us as individuals to brighten the corner where we are.

For You have been a shelter unto us, a place of refuge for our sometimes weary souls. When our hearts become overwhelmed, we turn to You and You do lead us to the Rock of our faith, even Jesus, our Lord. We relish the peace that passes all understanding that descends upon us when we come to Him. Lord, we come to You now. Hear our cries O Lord, attend to the prayers of Your people at CrossPointe.

We thank You for hearing our prayers. We thank You for answering our prayers in accord with Your perfect will. As always and in faith, we pray in the powerful name of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

SCRIPTURE

Last Sunday, as we began a New Year together as Crosspointe Community Church, I called us to be what the Bible calls us to be: a people of prayer. I asked us to pray for one another, for our church, for our church leaders, and for me. And I reminded you to pray for yourselves; to ask God to help you grow spiritually in 2021 so that regardless what comes down the pike in this coming year, we will be able to handle it in the sure knowledge that God not only loves us but will enable us to do His will in Christ Jesus, our Lord.

To that end, I will continue in a mini-sermon series on the blessings of prayer.

And so I invite you to turn with me in your Bibles first to Acts 12:1-11.

About that time King Herod Agrippa began to persecute some believers in the church. He had the apostle James (John’s brother) killed with a sword. When Herod saw how much this pleased the Jewish people, he also arrested Peter. (This took place during the Passover celebration. Then he imprisoned him, placing him under the guard of four squads of four soldiers each. Herod intended to bring Peter out for public trial after the Passover. But while Peter was in prison, the church prayed very earnestly for him.

The night before Peter was to be placed on trial, he was asleep, fastened with two chains between two soldiers. Others stood guard at the prison gate. Suddenly, there was a bright light in the cell, and an angel of the Lord stood before Peter. The angel struck him on the side to awaken him and said, ‘Quick! Get up!’ And the chains fell off his wrists. Then the angel told him, ‘Get dressed and put on your sandals.’ And he did. ‘Now put on your coat and follow me,’ the angel ordered.

So Peter left the cell, following the angel. But all the time he thought it was a vision. He didn’t realize it was actually happening. They passed the first and second guard posts and came to the iron gate leading to the city, and this opened for them all by itself. So they passed through and started walking down the street, and then the angel suddenly left him.

Peter finally came to his senses. ‘It’s really true!’ he said. ‘The Lord has sent his angel and saved me from Herod and from what the Jewish leaders had planned to do to me!’

Acts 12:1-11

Are any of you suffering hardships? You should pray. Are any of you happy? You should sing praises. Are any of you sick? You should call for the elders of the church to come and pray over you, anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord. Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make you well. And if you have committed any sins, you will be forgiven.

Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. Elijah was as human as we are, and yet when he prayed earnestly that no rain would fall, none fell for three and a half years! Then, when he prayed again, the sky sent down rain and the earth began to yield its crops.

James 5:13-18

THE MESSAGE

Randy K’Meyer

Great Power, Wonderful Results

A woman is being interviewed for jury selection. She says to the judge, “I don’t believe in capital punishment so I can’t serve.”
But ma’am,” the judge replies, “This case is about a man who promised his wife an expensive necklace for their anniversary but blew the money gambling.”
“Oh, in that case,” she says. “I change my mind.”

Although you and I change our minds on an almost continual basis, it might be interesting to consider whether or not God ever changes His mind.

Some of you may be thinking of verses like Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.” Or Malachi 3:6, “I am the Lord, and I do not change.”

However; when we take a careful look at these verses in their context, we come to understand that the writers are saying that God never changes His character, not His mind.

Does God ever change His mind? Guess it depends on your point of view.

For those of you who are willing to have your point of view shaped by the Bible, it may surprise and even shock some of you to know that God not only changes His mind, but He often does so at the urgings of His people.

We begin to see this in Genesis chapter 18, when God makes Abraham aware that He has decided to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. When Abraham hears this, he decides to go to the mat with God on behalf of his nephew Lot who lives in Sodom:

Abraham approached him and said, “Will you sweep away both the righteous and the wicked? Suppose you find fifty righteous people living there in the city—will you still sweep it away and not spare it for their sakes? Surely you wouldn’t do such a thing, destroying the righteous along with the wicked. Why, you would be treating the righteous and the wicked exactly the same! Surely you wouldn’t do that! Should not the Judge of all the earth do what is right?”
And the Lord replied, “If I find fifty righteous people in Sodom, I will spare the entire city for their sake.”
Then Abraham spoke again. “Since I have begun, let me speak further to my Lord, even though I am but dust and ashes. Suppose there are only forty-five righteous people rather than fifty? Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five?”
And the Lord said, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five righteous people there.”
Then Abraham pressed his request further. “Suppose there are only forty?”
And the Lord replied, “I will not destroy it for the sake of the forty.”

Genesis 18:23-28

And this prayerful bargaining continues until God agrees to change His mind and save the twin cities even if as little as ten righteous people are found.

The sad news is that not even ten could be found. The good news is that Abraham’s prayers had “great power and wonderful results” for Lot and his family.

The Bible is chock full of amazing stories of how God is willing to change His mind when His people ask Him to; yielding great power and wonderful results!

Exodus 32:9-10 tells us God was preparing to destroy the whole nation of Israel and begin anew with just Moses. But Moses pleads with God, “Change your mind about this terrible disaster You have threatened against your people!” (Exodus 32:12).

And verse 14 says, “So the Lord changed his mind about the terrible disaster He had threatened to bring on his people.”

The Lord changed His mind? Really? That’s what it says. But why? Why would He do that?

Because Moses prayed. One little speck of a human being asks the Creator of the whole shebang to change His mind and guess what; He does!

Hezekiah was king of Judah at the time of the invasion of the Assyrians. Hezekiah knew that the people of Judah deserved the cruel fate God was going to allow the Assyrians to inflict upon them. Even so, Hezekiah prayed (see II Kings 19:15-19) and asked God to spare him and his people. And guess what? God granted Hezekiah’s request.

Saint Peter has been arrested, imprisoned, awaiting trial, being guarded by sixteen Roman soldiers. Peter’s friend James has just been beheaded by Herod for being a leader of the infant church. Everyone knows the same fate awaits Peter. Even so, his friends begin to pray earnestly and Peter is miraculously released. (Acts 12:1-11).

No wonder James assures us that “The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results” (James 5:16b).

Things happen when God’s people pray! The history of nations and peoples has been changed because someone prayed.

And so it goes throughout church history.

Shortly after Dallas Theological Seminary was founded in 1924, it almost came to the point of bankruptcy. The bank was going to foreclose at noon on a particular day. That morning a couple of the bankers met in the seminary president’s office to join Dr. Chafer and a couple other seminary representatives to pray that God would provide.

In that prayer meeting, was a man by the name of Harry Allen Ironside, who in five years would become pastor of Moody Church in Chicago. When it was his turn to pray, Dr. Ironside prayed in his characteristic manner: “Lord, we know that the cattle on a thousand hills are Yours. Please sell some of them and send us the money.”

While they were praying, a tall Texan stepped up to the business office and said, “I just sold two rail cars of cattle in Ft. Worth. I’ve been trying to make a business deal but it fell through, and I feel compelled to give the money to the seminary. I don’t know if you need it or not, but here’s the check!”

A secretary took the check into the Presidents’ office where the men were praying. Dr. Chafer took the check out of her hand. It was exactly the amount of the debt. When he looked at the name, he recognized the cattleman from Ft. Worth, and turning to Dr. Ironside said, “Harry, God just sold the cattle!” 1

The prayer of God’s people can change things. If we will be a people of prayer, as we are called to be, and will pray fervently and in faith, as we are exhorted to do, God will change the course of history: the history of our lives, our families, our cities, our nation.

With that in mind, what are you praying for?

For peace in America?

Peace for your souls?

A good night’s sleep?

To see your family and friends again without the worry of COVID?

To put your marriage back together?

To change something about your job; to find a new job?

To live a normal life again?

To be able to worship together again?

To strengthen you with faith and commitment to Christ and His church?

Whatever your request might be, do you earnestly ask God to intervene in your situation?

There is an apocryphal story about a man who, after he died and went to heaven, was given a guided tour. When he saw a warehouse full of thousands of boxes of different shapes and sizes, he asked Saint Pete, “What are these?”
And Saint Pete says, “Those are the answers to the prayers you never prayed. God was ready to send them, but you never asked.”

The great tragedy in life is not unanswered prayer, but un-offered prayer.

As Abraham first bargained with God 3,000 years ago, so we are invited, I should say, implored to avail ourselves of the privilege of asking God to intervene in history; in our history.

When we make our wishes and feelings known, God responds. Like a real friend, or a real father, God says, “Let Me hear your side of things. They matter to Me; I’ll consider them. Maybe you can convince Me to change My mind.”

One of the most astounding teachings of the Bible is that God’s people can influence Him! Our God is an awesome God!

An overseas missionary on home leave told a story while visiting his home church in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

He reminded them that he was serving at a small field hospital in Africa, and that every two weeks he traveled by bicycle through the jungle to a nearby city for supplies. It was a two-day journey and required camping overnight at the halfway point.

On one of these journeys, he arrived in the city where he planned to draw some money out of the bank to purchase medicine and supplies and then return to the field hospital. As he rode into the city, he saw two men fighting, one had been seriously injured. “I treated him for his injuries and at the same time talked to him about the Lord. After taking care of my intended business, I began the return trip, camping overnight, and arrived home without incident.”

Two weeks later he repeated the same journey and upon arriving in the city, he was approached by the same guy he had treated. He told me that he had known I was carrying money and medicine. He said, ‘Some friends and I followed you into the jungle; we planned to kill you and take your money and drugs. But just as we were about to move into your camp, we saw that you were surrounded by 26 armed guards.’

The missionary laughed and said that he was certainly all alone in that jungle. The young man said, ‘No, sir, my friends also saw them, and we all counted them. It was because of those guards that we were afraid and left you alone.’

At this point in the talk, one of the men in that Michigan church interrupted the missionary and asked if he could tell him the day this happened. The missionary told the congregation the date. And the man who interrupted began to tell this story:

‘On the night of your incident in Africa, it was morning here and I was planning to play golf when I felt the urge to pray for you. In fact, the urging of the Lord was so strong, I called some of the guys to meet with me here in the sanctuary to pray. Would all of those men who met with me on that day stand up?’ The men who had met together to pray that day stood up. The missionary wasn’t concerned with who they were, he was too busy counting them; exactly 26. 2

Was that a coincidence or an answer to prayer?

Guess it depends on your point of view.

What’s yours?

PRAYER

(Please pray as you are led by God’s Spirit.)

CLOSING SONG

Jesus Your Name

Chapman, Morris/Cloninger, Claire

Jesus, Your name is power.
Jesus, Your name is might.
Jesus, Your name will break ev’ry stronghold.
Jesus, Your name is life.

Jesus, Your name is healing.
Jesus, Your name gives sight.
Jesus, Your name will free ev’ry captive.
Jesus, Your name is life.

Jesus, Your name is holy.
Jesus, Your name brings light.
Jesus, Your name above ev’ry other.
Jesus, Your name is life.
Jesus, Your name is life.
Jesus, Your name is life.

©1990 Maranatha Praise, Inc./Word Music,Inc. (a div. of Word Music Group, Inc.)
CCLI License No. 1843349

BENEDICTION

Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of His glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

Jude 24-25

1 http://www.sermonillustrations.com/a-z/p/prayer.htm

2 https://quotefancy.com/quote/1554695/Mary-Queen-of-Scots-I-fear-John-Knox-s-prayers-more-than-an-army-of-ten-thousand-men

3 https://bible.org/illustration/twenty-six-guards

Randy K'Meyer

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