Hearts and Lips

Worship Service for May 9, 2021

WELCOME

Good morning, welcome and thanks for joining CrossPointe Community Church’s online worship presentation. As does the Apostle Paul in his letters to churches, I thank God for all of you and pray that as a result of participating today, you will draw closer to the Lord’s presence and grow more and more into His likeness.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms out there. During our live worship service this morning, we will be recognizing and rewarding the woman or girl who is wearing the gaudiest hat. Since you obviously won’t be able to be with us, here’s a couple of Mother’s Day funnies to tickle your fancy:

Elephant: Why do mother kangaroos hate rainy days?
Hippo: I give up.
Elephant: Because their kids have to play inside!

Sunday school teacher: Tell me, Johnny. Do you say prayers before eating?
Johnny: No, ma’am, I don’t have to. My mom’s a good cook.

And here’s one that ties in with our second worship song.
Larry’s mother had four children. Three were named North, South and East. What was her other child’s name?
West?
No, Larry.

CALL TO WORSHIP

Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth!
Worship the Lord with gladness.
Come before Him, singing with joy.
Acknowledge that the Lord is God!
He made us, and we are His.
We are His people, the sheep of His pasture.
Enter His gates with thanksgiving; go into His courts with praise.
Give thanks to Him and praise His name.
For the Lord is good.
His unfailing love continues forever,
and His faithfulness continues to each generation.

Psalm 100

OPENING WORSHIP SONGS

Now That You’re Near

Sampson, Marty

Hold me in Your arms…never let me go.
I want to spend eternity with You.

I stand before You Lord… and give You all my praise
Your love is all I need…Jesus, You’re all I need.
My life belongs to You…You gave Your life for me.
Your grace is all I need…Jesus You’re all I need.

Hold me in Your arms…never let me go
I want to spend eternity with You.

And now that You’re near, everything is different
Everything’s so different Lord.
I know I’m not the same…my life You’ve changed
I want to be with You…I want to be with You.

I stand before You Lord… and give You all my praise
Your love is all I need…Jesus, You’re all I need.
My life belongs to You…You gave Your life for me.
Your grace is all I need…Jesus You’re all I need.

Hold me in Your arms…never let me go
I want to spend eternity with You.

And now that You’re near, everything is different
Everything’s so different Lord.
I know I’m not the same…my life You’ve changed
I want to be with You…I want to be with You.

Now that You’re near, everything is different
Everything’s so different Lord.
I know I’m not the same…my life You’ve changed
I want to be with You…I want to be with You.
I want to be with You…with You.

This arrangement ©2008 Hillsong Publishing (admin in the US and Canada by Integrity’s Hosanna! Music/ASCAP
CCLI License No. 1843349

Shout to the North

Smith, Martin

Men of faith rise up and sing
Of the great and glorious King.
You are strong when you feel weak,
In your brokenness complete.

Shout to the north and the south,
Sing to the east and the west:
Jesus is Savior to all,
Lord of heaven and earth.

Rise up women of the truth,
Stand and sing to broken hearts,
Who can know the healing pow’r
Of our glorious King of love.

Shout to the north and the south,
Sing to the east and the west:
Jesus is Savior to all,
Lord of heaven and earth.

Rise up church with broken wings;
Fill this place with songs again,
Of our God who reigns on high:
By His grace again we’ll fly.

Shout to the north and the south,
Sing to the east and the west:
Jesus is Savior to all,
Lord of heaven and earth.

We’ve been through fire,
We’ve been through rain.
We’ve been refined by the pow’r of His name.
We’ve fallen deeper in love with You,
You’ve burned the truth on our lips.

Shout to the north and the south,
Sing to the east and the west:
Jesus is Savior to all,
Lord of heaven and earth.
Shout to the north and the south,
Sing to the east and the west:
Jesus is Savior to all,
Lord of heaven and earth.

Lord of heaven and earth,
He is Lord of heaven and earth.

©1995 Curious? Music UK (admin. by EMI Christian Music Publishing)
CCLI License No. 1843349

He is Lord

Fettke, Tom

He is Lord. He is Lord.
He is risen from the dead and He is Lord.
Every knee shall bow, every tongue confess
That Jesus Christ is Lord.

©Arr. 1986 by Word Music (a div of Word Music).
CCLI License No. 1843349

OPENING PRAYER

O Lord our God, now that You have come near to us in Jesus Christ, your only Son, everything certainly is different. We have been blessed in so many ways. You created us. You granted us faith to believe the good news. With the Psalmist, we rejoice in Your unfailing love and faithfulness. Help us to shout to the north, south, east, and west that Jesus is not only our Lord but also the Lord of heaven and earth. Because this is so, help us receive and obey Your Word until every knee bows and every tongue confesses that Jesus Christ is Lord. Amen.

THE GIVING OF THE LORD’S OFFERING

For those of you who participate in the Lord’s offering by giving through the mail, our address is:

P. O. Box 126, Chippewa Lake, OH, 44215.

As we consider God’s call upon our lives to give, I invite you to consider these words from the Apostle Paul as recorded in Romans 12:1. “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.”

PRAYER SONG

As the Deer

Nystrom, Martin J.

As the deer panteth for the water,
So my soul longeth after Thee.
You alone are my heart’s desire,
And I long to worship Thee.

You alone are my strength, my shield;
To You alone, may my spirit yield.
You alone are my heart’s desire,
And I long to worship Thee.

You’re my friend
And You are my brother
Even though You are a king.
I love You more than any other
So much more than anything.

You alone are my strength, my shield;
To You alone, may my spirit yield.
You alone are my heart’s desire,
And I long to worship Thee.

I want You more than gold or silver,
Only You can satisfy.
You alone are the real joy-giver
And the apple of my eye.

You alone are my strength, my shield;
To You alone, may my spirit yield.
You alone are my heart’s desire,
And I long to worship Thee.

©1984 Maranatha Praise, Inc.
CCLI License No. 1843349

MORNING PRAYER

Nancy Carr

Will you please join me in prayer.

Father, we thank you for the blessings of this congregation. Through their steadfast prayers and faithfulness, they continue to offer encouragement to those within the church family, those in the surrounding community, and give witness to all who are still struggling to find Hope.

Thank you for the blessings of spring. As we leave the chill and gloom of winter behind us, let us rejoice in your presence that shines all around. Your glory abounds in the budding of fragrant blossoms on the trees…..the longer days….the sunshine….even the rain which nourishes and allows rebirth throughout the earth. You bring wonder, awe, and hope to all.

Today we offer you special gratitude for the gift of Mothers, Stepmothers, Grandmothers, Aunts, Sisters, Cousins, Friends, Caregivers, and Surrogate Moms that have enriched our lives.

No matter where we travel upon this earth, no matter what language we hear spoken, whether it be, Mom, Mum, Anne, Nana, Eema, Okaasan, Aiti, Makuahine, Mama, Mueter, Madre, or many more, the word Mother means one who cares for with affection.

We praise and honor all the women who have shared their faith, love, and joy with us throughout the ages, past, present, and future. Their sharing of these many gifts reflect your love to the world so perfectly. How profoundly blessed we are Father, that you saw our need for earthly care, affection, love, and protection just as much as our need for You eternally.

We have been blessed by the women who have dried our tears, bandaged our wounds, encouraged our dreams, taught us to pray, and held us fast in their hearts and arms. Their tireless and devoted acts have strengthened and encouraged us to walk forward in faith reminding us to place our trust wholly in you Lord.

We pray for the Mothers who have given all and lost much. Ease the pain of the Mothers who have lost sons and daughters to war, to disease, to drugs, to senseless violence and help them find the peace that only comes from knowing Jesus Christ.

Forgive the Mothers that have abandoned their children or turned their faces away Lord, just as you forgive our trespasses and we forgive those who trespass against us.

Forgive the Children who have abandoned their Mothers, please awaken their hardened hearts to compassion and love.

Forgive our doubts Lord when we worry for our Mothers. Help us to be tolerant and patient with them as they age accepting them for who they are just as you have accepted us.

Christ has created a stream in the desert for us, making a way where there has been no way.

May our lives be forever marked with the power of His rich love so that we may become conduits of love to our Mothers and to others, offering hope and healing to all who are broken and so desperately need Him.

Revive our hearts for consistent and earnest prayer, always hopeful of the day of your return Lord.

Let us rejoice in the truth that You keep your promises and answer our prayers!

In Jesus’ holy name we pray. Amen.

SCRIPTURE

We are still in the Eater season and therefore, I have an Easter text for us. At the beginning of John chapter 20, Mary Magdalene discovers the empty tomb, notifies Peter and John who verify her discovery, and then how Jesus appears to Mary. All of this occurs on Sunday morning.

That Sunday evening the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! “Peace be with you,” He said. As He spoke, He showed them the wounds in His hands and His side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord! Again he said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent Me, so I am sending you.”

John 20:19-21

Dear brothers and sisters, the longing of my heart and my prayer to God is for the people of Israel to be saved. I know what enthusiasm they have for God, but it is misdirected zeal. For they don’t understand God’s way of making people right with Himself. Refusing to accept God’s way, they cling to their own way of getting right with God by trying to keep the law. For Christ has already accomplished the purpose for which the law was given. As a result, all who believe in Him are made right with God.

For Moses writes that the law’s way of making a person right with God requires obedience to all of its commands. But faith’s way of getting right with God says, “Don’t say in your heart, ‘Who will go up to heaven?’ (to bring Christ down to earth). And don’t say, ‘Who will go down to the place of the dead?’ (to bring Christ back to life again).” In fact, it says, “The message is very close at hand; it is on your lips and in your heart.”

And that message is the very message about faith that we preach:

‘If you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord
and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
For with the heart one believes and so is justified,
and lips one confesses and so is saved.’

As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who trusts in Him will never be disgraced.” Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They have the same Lord, who gives generously to all who call on him. For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

But how can they call on Him to save them unless they believe in Him? And how can they believe in Him if they have never heard about Him? And how can they hear about Him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!”

But not everyone welcomes the Good News, for Isaiah the prophet said, “Lord, who has believed our message?” So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ.

Romans 10:1-17

THE MESSAGE

[The inspiration and the general outline for this message comes from notes I took over 30 years ago while listening to a lecture by Dr. Fred Craddock while in Seminary.]

Hearts and Lips

The three previous Sundays, I have offered three very practical, hands-on, Biblical methods for reaching others for Christ: ‘Each One Reach One,’ ‘Come and See,’ and ‘Do vs. Done.’

Each one of those tools is more effective than the most popular method of reaching others for Christ, called the Mute Method. The Mute Method promotes, ‘I’m just a silent witness for God.’ It’s rooted in the belief that, ‘All Jesus expects of us is to live a godly life. And when others see what remarkable sin-free lives we live, they will ask us about Christ.’

Now I’m not trying to minimize the value of a godly life. The Bible is clear that the way we live does have a direct bearing on our witness. But the truth is, deeds alone, apart from words, have never brought anyone into the family of God. For we must remember that Paul says in Romans; “Faith comes by hearing” (10:17), which obviously implies that someone is speaking.

With that in mind, we must also remember something else Paul said in Romans:

If you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord
and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
For with the heart one believes and so is justified,
and with the lips one confesses and so is saved.

Romans 10:9-10

Most Bible scholars agree that these verses represent an early confession of faith, perhaps even a little chorus to be sung, as in the original language it is a little four-line poem. Back then poetry didn’t have to rhyme; its form identified it as a poem. And here the author matches the theme of first verse with the fourth; talking about ‘confessing with the lips;’ and the second verse matches the third with ‘believing with your heart.’

But more striking than the form of this little poem is its content; for it joins the heart and the lips and how seldom they are joined.

When Paul says, “with the heart one believes and is justified,” we identify because we still use the heart as the seat of who we really are. ‘Do you really believe this in your heart? In the depth of your heart? In your heart of hearts? With all your heart?’ Did you ever hear anyone say, ‘I cross my brain? The heart!!!

So when Paul says, “Believe in your heart” (10:10) we say, ‘Right on, very clear, so true, no problem.’

But, “if you confess with the lips” (10:10). The heart and the lips; so close together biologically, but sometimes millions of miles apart.

Oh, I know, the Bible warns us about those lips, how deceitful the lips can be.
Psalm 141:3 “Take control of what I say, O Lord, and guard my lips.”
‘Words?’ many say, ‘Words aren’t important.’ ‘Actions speak louder than words.’ ‘Words are cheap, talk is cheap, chatter, chatter, chatter!’ ‘But did you really have it in your heart?’ ‘Deeds not words.’

So it is a striking that in this formula for salvation that the text would say, “with the lips.”

But the text understands what we sometimes forget: words are extremely important.

Jesus once said, “And I tell you this, you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak” (Matthew 12:36).

Words are extremely important, and they can do so many things.

There’s a story about a little church where pastors frequently came and went and all of them would stand at the back of the sanctuary after the service to greet the people as they left. And in that church was a proud mother of five children who would lead them out like a mother leading her ducklings. And the pastors would speak to the mother by name, and then pat the children on the head, ‘hello sonny, hello honey, hi there little one.’

But then along came Pastor Harold Hickenbottom. And after just six weeks, it was ‘Hello Thomas, nice to see you Julie.’ And those five kids, grown up’s now, still think of Rev. Hickenbottom as their finest pastor because he spoke them into existence.

Words are deeds.

But they are often so difficult.

Isn’t it true that there’s nothing more difficult than speaking about something important. Why is it that it’s so easy for us to chatter and gossip and talk about the weather and our favorite sports team, but when it comes to saying something important most of cannot say a word?

‘Well have you talked to your wife or husband about this?’
‘Oh my goodness no.’

We can holler some things. “O-H . . . I-O!” But I’ve never yelled, “Grandpa got the lab report today; it’s malignant.”

Do you suppose it’s because the more significant something is, the deeper down it is, the harder it is to bring it up in the sacrament of the lips?

I still remember being the chair of our Evangelism Committee in my home church and starting up a program of Thursday evening visitation of lax church members. We’d meet at the church, draw names out of a hat and in pairs head for our cars and the conversation would go something like this: ‘I’ll tell you what, we’ll take my car and you do the talking, okay?’
‘Oh no, I’m not going to fall for that one.’
And we’d drive off and pretend to get lost for a while, but finally we’d pull up in front of the house, 122 Myrtle Avenue. And we’d convince ourselves that the house looked deserted and almost with joy one of us would say, ‘I don’t believe anyone’s home.’
And the other would say, ‘No, I think I see a light out back.’
‘No. that’s just the night light.’
‘Well we can try, can’t we?’

And so we’d get out of the car, go to the dark side of the house, tap on the door, no response in the first 3 seconds we’d stick our Sorry to Have Missed You Card in the door and beat it back to the safety of the automobile. And what a thrill to be relieved of the grave, grave, difficulty of confessing with the lips something that is so close to our hearts.

I just can’t understand those folk you meet at Dairy Queen or the supermarket and talk about Jesus; how easily they do it.

But Paul also understands it doesn’t begin with the lips; it begins with the ear. For as the text goes on to say, “faith comes by hearing” (Romans 10:10). It all begins in the ear, hearing, then speaking. In all communication, listening is so very important before we speak. This is especially true with regard to listening to the person we are trying to reach for Jesus.

There is this disturbing passage in Isaiah that speaks of the preparation of the suffering servant, who we have come to know as Jesus.

I gave my back to those who lash, I gave my face to those who spit, I gave my cheeks to those who pluck out the beard. But most excruciating pain of all, I gave my ear to God, and God opened my ear so that I might sustain with a word the one who is weary.

Isaiah 50:4-6

The literal Hebrew expression is “God dug out my ear.” How vigorous, how painful; God dug out my ear.

I still recall taking my little girl Sarah to the doctor with an ear infection and watching him take that long plastic instrument with a hook on the end with which to scrape the infected material away from her ear canal.

God dug out my ear so that I’d have something to say.

Strange that God would have to do that. What’s the matter, can’t we hear without some kind of divine act? No, oftentimes we cannot.

Most of us are pre-occupied, have too many to-do lists, too many places to go, too many people to see, too many things to do.

And it’s just not preoccupation; there’s also conditioning.

There was a theory among a group of Christians in the early centuries (later they were branded as heretics, see what you think) who were trying to explain why children talk about Jesus and God so freely while we adults have such a difficult time of it. Their theory was that the soul of the spirit comes from God at birth, and while children are young, they just came fresh from God, they were with God not long ago, so they still talk of Jesus in heaven, ‘Jesus played with me today, I saw God today.’

And the kids just talk that way. But get a little older, make a few payments, mow the lawn a few times.

We’ve all experienced this dynamic when we get together with other adults at some kind of family dinner. And the hostess decides it’s time to ask someone to offer a blessing. Suddenly all the adults do their best to disappear. Then little Billy says, ‘I will; God is great, God is good.’

And those Christians said, “It’s because little Billy, he’s still fresh from God.”
But as we get older, as we get older, as we get older.

‘God, dig out our ears so that age 70 we can be as listening and as ‘God is great, God is good’ speaking as we were at age 5.

There is a hearing disorder or malfunction that shows up in some children where the ears are fine, but the message doesn’t get through to the brain.

There was a seminary student who worked with kids like that. One year after Thanksgiving break this student was out on the playground and went over to Jennifer, a beautiful 7-year-old girl, and said, “Jennifer, Jennifer, what did you have for Thanksgiving dinner?”

After about 15 seconds, Jennifer replied, “My shoes are red.”

I remember attending a Leadership Conference at Willow Creek in Chicago. As part of the conference, some of us attended a wonderful worship service; the music, the scripture, the sermon, the warmth and joy of the people. And when we were asked to stand for the closing prayer, I was so caught up in the worship that I didn’t want it to end.

But it did, and as I turned to leave the guy behind me says, “Think the Bulls will win tonight?” In other words, what he said was, “My shoes are red.”

In case some of you are of the prayer, God dig out my ear, so that my lips will speak, let me promise you that it will change you.

You’ll say prayers you never thought you’d pray. You’ll make sacrifices you never thought you’d make. You’ll hurt where you never thought you’d hurt because God dug out your ear.

There was a prayer written by Jewish women during the Holocaust. These women who were beaten, suffered, tortured, and extremely undernourished, got together one day and wrote this prayer:

God kill in us all sensitivity, all tenderness, all capacity to trust, all capacity to love so that we won’t hurt anymore.

But we’re not going to pray that prayer. We’re going to pray with Jesus, ‘God dig my ear, so that with my lips I can sustain with a word the one who is weary.’

And if you pray that prayer for God to open your ear, then open your ear.

You’ll not only have pain, you’ll also receive a blessing; a blessing that no one else will hear. You’ll lay your body down on the bed at night, on one of those days when you wished you hadn’t crawled out in the first place. One of those days when nothing went right, nothing got done, and you’re thinking, what’s the use?

And as you lay there thinking, you’ll hear a little voice, you know the voice;
“Servant, I heard what you said today. You spoke a word on My behalf, and I thank you, well done.”

CLOSING PRAYER

[Please pray as you feel God is directing you.]

CLOSING SONG

Here I Am, Lord

Schutte, Daniel, L.

I, the Lord of sea and sky,
I have heard My people cry.
All who dwell in dark and sin;
My hand will save.
I, who made the stars of night,
I will make their darkness bright.
Who will bear My light to them?
Whom shall I send?

Here I am, Lord.
Is it I, Lord?
I have heard You calling in the night.
I will go, Lord, if you lead me.
I will hold Your people in my heart.

I, the Lord of snow and rain
I have borne My people’s pain.
I have wept for love of them;
They turn away.
I will break their hearts of stone;
Give them hearts for love alone.
I will speak My Word to them.
Whom shall I send?

Here I am, Lord.
Is it I, Lord?
I have heard You calling in the night.
I will go, Lord, if you lead me.
I will hold Your people in my heart.

I, the Lord of wind and flame;
I will tend the poor and lame.
I will set a feast for them;
My hand will save.
Finest bread I will provide;
Till their hearts be satisfied.
I will give My life to them.
Whom shall I send?

Here I am, Lord.
Is it I, Lord?
I have heard You calling in the night.
I will go, Lord, if you lead me.
I will hold Your people in my heart.

©1981 by Daniel L. Schutte and New Dawn Music
CCLI License No. 1843349

BENEDICTION

Therefore, my beloved brothers and sisters, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

1 Corinthians 15:58
Randy K'Meyer

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