Holy Hope!

Worship Service for May 31, 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 hopefully face the difficult days in which we are presently living.

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

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Our Leadership Team is meeting again today to further discuss our proposed re-opening that we set for next Sunday. I mentioned that this was a fluid situation. And without going into detail, new information about the spread of CoVid 19 has come to light that will have an impact on our regathering for corporate worship. So, at this point, I cannot tell with certainty that we will proceed to open next week. All I can tell is that our leaders are doing the best they can to make a decision that will reflect God’s will for us. I will e-mail you with any updates later today.

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

And now let us begin to worship by recognizing that this is Pentecost Sunday, the day on which the promise of Jesus to His disciples that His Father would send the Holy Spirit was fulfilled. This event was recorded by Luke in Acts.

CALL TO WORSHIP

On the day of Pentecost, all the believers were meeting together in one place. Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting. Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability.

Then Peter stepped forward with the eleven other apostles and shouted to the crowd, “Listen carefully, all of you, fellow Jews and residents of Jerusalem! Make no mistake about this. These people are not drunk, as some of you are assuming. Nine o’clock in the morning is much too early for that. No, what you see was predicted long ago by the prophet Joel:

“In the last days,’ God says,
‘I will pour out my Spirit upon all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy.
Your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams.
In those days I will pour out my Spirit even on my servants;
men and women alike and they will prophesy.”

Acts 2:1-5, 14-18

SONGS OF WORSHIP AND PRAISE

Holy, Holy, Holy

Dykes, John B./Heber, Reginald

Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning my song shall rise to Thee.
Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty!
God in three Persons, blessed Trinity!

Holy, holy, holy! All the saints adore Thee,
Casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
Cherubim and seraphim, falling down before Thee,
Which wert, and art, and evermore shall be.

Holy, holy, holy! Though the darkness hides Thee,
Though the eye of sinful man Thy glory may not see.
Only Thou art holy; there is none beside Thee.
Perfect in power, in love, in purity.

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
All Thy works shall praise Thy name in earth, and sky, and sea.
Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty!
God in three Persons, blessed Trinity.

Public Domain
CCLI License No. 1843349

It Is the Cry of My Heart

Butler, Terry

It is the cry of my heart to follow You.
It is the cry of my heart to be close to You.
It is the cry of my heart to follow
All the days of my life.

Teach me Your holy ways, O Lord,
So I can walk in Your truth.
Teach me Your holy ways, O, Lord,
And make me wholly devoted to You.

It is the cry of my heart to follow You.
It is the cry of my heart to be close to You.
It is the cry of my heart to follow
All the days of my life.
Open my eyes so I can see
The wonderful things that You do.
Open my heart up, more and more
And make it wholly devoted to You.

It is the cry of my heart to follow You.
It is the cry of my heart to be close to You.
It is the cry of my heart to follow
All the days of my life.

It is the cry of my heart to follow You.
It is the cry of my heart to be close to You.
It is the cry of my heart to follow
All the days of my life.

©1991 Mercy/Vineyard Publishing (Admin by Music Services)
CCLI License No. 1843349

Change My Heart O God

Espinosa, Eddie

Change my heart, O God,
Make it ever true.
Change my heart, O God,
May I be like You.

Change my heart, O God,
Make it ever true.
Change my heart, O God,
May I be like You.

You are the potter, I am the clay.
Mold me and make me,
This is what I pray.

Change my heart, O God,
Make it ever true.
Change my heart, O God,
May I be like You.

©1982 Mercy/Vineyard Publishing (admin. By Music Services)
CCLI License No. 1843349

OPENING PRAYER

Thank You Holy Father for sending Your Holy Spirit to your disciples; then as now. Teach us Your holy ways O Lord that we might be more like and devoted to You, for the sake of Christ, our Lord. Amen.

THE GIVING OF THE LORD’S OFFERING

(see announcement above)

PRAYER SONG

Consuming Fire

Hughes, Tim

There must be more than this
O breath of God come breathe within
There must be more than this,
Spirit of God, we wait for You.

Fill us a-new we pray.
Fill us a-new we pray.

Consuming Fire, fan into flame
A passion for Your name.
Spirit of God, fall in this place.
Lord have Your way,
Lord have Your way…with us.

Come like a rushing wind
Clothe us with power from on high
Now set the captives free
Leave us abandoned to Your praise.

Fill us anew we pray
Fill us anew we pray.

Consuming Fire, fan into flame
A passion for Your name.
Spirit of God, fall in this place.
Lord have Your way,
Lord have Your way…

Consuming Fire, fan into flame
A passion for Your name.
Spirit of God, fall in this place.
Lord have Your way,
Lord have Your way…with us.

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

THE MORNING PRAYER

Robyn Tresch

Dear Lord,

We thank You for each and every day we’ve been given. During these uncertain times, we ask You for comfort during sleepless worries, gentleness with any rising doubts, forgiveness for all our handmade hurts, patience in our needless hurry, and counseling as the waves come crashing.

We thank You for the Spirit of Peace that calms our minds, the Spirit of Love that touches our hearts, the Spirit of Joy that lifts our souls, and the Spirit of Power that gifts us grace.

We ask for Your forgiveness when we forget to trust our own strength. Remind us of the day Your spirit transformed the lives of those who hid in fear, for they have been gifted with power. We remember this day that You’ve given us a gift. Now, we shall use that gift and let it grow, fanning it until we see flames, so that we may use it for Your good.

During these unusual days, we ask that Your wisdom guides our decisions and tempers our impulses; for it is Your knowledge and understanding that can increase our empathy and compassion for others.

All this we pray in Jesus’ name.

Amen.

THE SCRIPTURES

So prepare your minds for action and exercise self-control. Put all your hope in the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world. So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then. But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.”

And remember that the heavenly Father to whom you pray has no favorites. He will judge or reward you according to what you do. So you must live in reverent fear of Him during your time here as “temporary residents.” For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And it was not paid with mere gold or silver, which lose their value. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. God chose him as your ransom long before the world began, but now in these last days he has been revealed for your sake.

Through Christ you have come to trust in God. And you have placed your faith and hope in God because he raised Christ from the dead and gave Him great glory. You were cleansed from your sins when you obeyed the truth, so now you must show sincere love to each other as brothers and sisters. Love each other deeply with all your heart. For you have been born again, but not to a life that will quickly end. Your new life will last forever because it comes from the eternal, living word of God. As the Scriptures say,

“People are like grass; their beauty is like a flower in the field. The grass withers and the flower fades. But the word of the Lord remains forever.”

And that word is the Good News that was preached to you.

So get rid of all evil behavior. Be done with all deceit, hypocrisy, jealousy, and all unkind speech. Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment, now that you have had a taste of the Lord’s kindness.

I Peter 1:13-2:3

THE MESSAGE

Randy K’Meyer

Holy Hope!

There’s a popular statement that most of us have heard at one time or another. In fact, my guess is you can finish what I start: “Human beings can live for 40 days without food, four days without water, four minutes without air. But we cannot live for four seconds without . . . hope.

Dr. Shane Lopez, the psychologist who was, before he died, regarded as the world’s leading researcher on hope, claimed that hope isn’t just an emotion, but an essential life tool.1

One of my Chicken Soup for the Soul books, has the story of a school system in a large city that has a program to help children keep up with their schoolwork during stays in the city’s hospitals. One day, a teacher assigned to that program was asked to visit a particular child. She was told the boy’s class had been studying nouns and adverbs. No one mentioned to her that the boy had been badly burned and was in great pain. Upset at the sight of the boy, she stammered as she told him, “I’ve been sent by your school to help you with nouns and adverbs.” When she left she felt she hadn’t accomplished much.

The next day, a nurse asked, “What did you do to that boy?” The teacher felt she must have done something wrong and began to apologize. “You don’t know what I mean. We’ve been worried about that boy, but yesterday his whole attitude changed. He’s fighting back, responding to treatment. It’s as though he’s decided to live.”

Later, he explained that he had completely given up hope until the teacher arrived. Everything changed when he came to a simple realization. He expressed it this way: “They wouldn’t send a teacher to work on nouns and adverbs with a dying boy, would they?”2

An essential life tool especially needed when times, like these are bleak.

We are turning for the third time to the Apostle Peter’s first letter to the church because it is a letter that offers hope in the midst of difficult circumstances in several different ways; two of which we have looked at.

Today, Peter offers what I am calling ‘holy hope’ which comes to us through ‘holy living.’

Those first-century Christians were in danger of losing hope as a result of slipping.

Slipping back into the sinful lifestyle that preceded their coming to Christ.

Peter writes, “Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then” (I Peter 1:14b). And then in chapter 2, after Peter takes a little detour, completes this thought: “So get rid of all evil behavior. Be done with all deceit, hypocrisy, jealousy, and all unkind speech” (2:1).

Clearly, this is not an exhaustive list of evil behaviors, but it does make the point. Peter is warning them not to slip back, or as some still refer to it; ‘backslide.’

What does slipping back into a former way of behaving have to do with losing hope?

Human beings have a natural psychological tendency to maintain alignment between beliefs and behaviors. If beliefs and behaviors don’t match up, we experience what psychologists refer to as uncomfortable feelings of ‘cognitive dissonance.’ “The uncomfortable feeling caused by cognitive dissonance might manifest itself as stress, anxiety, regret, shame, embarrassment, or feelings of negative self-worth.”3

So here’s this Christian, living then or now, doesn’t matter, thinking ‘Gee, I believe that as a Christian I should behave in certain ways; I should be loving and kind and soft-spoken, etc. But just the other day pastor, you wouldn’t believe it; I went off the rails. I completely lost my mind. I said things that a Christian has no business saying. I did something that you would be shocked to know. And now I feel terrible about myself; embarrassed and guilty before God.’

To eradicate those feelings of dissonance, we change one of two things; either our beliefs, (God doesn’t matter), or our behavior (I better get my act together).

Peter didn’t want his readers to slip back into old ways of behaving because that would cause them to change their beliefs about God. This is when doubts begin to creep in: ‘I thought God was supposed be with me to help me live a good life. Or, Maybe I’m not a Christian after all.’ And if that’s the case, I can say goodbye to that “living hope” (1:3) Peter wrote about in his topic sentence.

Knowing that bad behavior will eventually impact belief in a negative way,
Peter writes, “So don’t slip back into your old ways of living.”

So in order to maintain your beliefs, and; therefore, your hope in God, he continues,

You must live as God’s obedient children. But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy” (I Peter 1:14-16)

‘What did he say? I must be holy?! Forget it then; there’s no hope for me; God might be perfect, I am not.’

But the word ‘holy’ does not mean perfect; it means ‘set apart’ or ‘separate.’ It was a Holy Temple because it was ‘set apart’ for worship. It was Holy Sabbath because it was ‘set apart’ from the rest of the week.

Howard Marshall helps:

Peter quotes from Leviticus, a command God directed to the people of Israel as they journeyed to the Promised Land. It referred to their character in keeping His commands. Holy; therefore, includes the sense of belonging to God, a people marked off and separate from the world by their way of life.”4

In other words, we ought to give our best shot too, as Peter says, “you must live as God’s obedient children.”

“So get rid or straighten up this evil behavior. Be done with all deceit, hypocrisy, jealousy, and all unkind speech” (I Peter 2:1)

Yes lord! That’s what I want! It is the cry of my heart to follow you! It is the cry of my heart to be close to You. So, change my heart O God, make it ever true. Change my heart O God, may I be like You. You don’t know how bad I want to live my life for You.

But sometimes I win, sometimes I lose. Sometimes no matter how hard I try, I slip back.

If we are to consistently move forward in the Christian life, we need God. If there’s any hope for being holy, if there’s any hope of becoming all God desires for us, that hope must be nurtured with God’s help.

And fortunately for us, Peter tells us God is there for us.

“Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment, now that you have had a taste of the Lord’s kindness” (I Peter 2:2-3).

It’s clear from the context what this milk is. Peter just ended chapter one by quoting Isaiah 40:6-8, “But the word of the Lord remains forever” (1:25).

Like new born babies, we must crave, meaning an ‘intense personal desire’5 the word of the Lord. And so part of our holy hope is found in God’s Word.

No wonder saints of old said things like:

I put my hope in your word.

Psalm 119:114

I rise before dawn and cry for help; I put my hope in your word.

Psalm 119:147

And Paul to Christians in Romans 15:4, “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”

So the question we must consider is how badly do we crave the word of the Lord?

Howard Marshall again:

Peter wants to remind his readers that, more than simply receiving spiritual nourishment they should be ardently longing for it. The newborn child does not act very much with its new environment, but right from the start it ardently desires milk. Christians should show the same eager desire for the spiritual equivalent; like children who consume ice cream with gusto. They should, to change the metaphor, be hooked on it.” 6

During this pandemic, when we are unable to meet for corporate worship, it is especially critical we develop a daily reading and meditating on the word of God so that we do not slip back. God’s word is the primary way we hear God’s voice in our lives. Some wise sage said, “When we open our Bibles, God opens his mouth.”

When we hear the word of God and then act on it we WILL become more like Jesus.

So we must do whatever it takes to cozy up to the Bible; to study it, meditate on it, memorize it, and ask questions about what it says. But most of all, do what it tells us to do.

Growth is impossible without the nourishment of God’s word!

Like new born babies, who are always hungry and will cry until they get milk we must crave the pure spiritual milk of the word of the Lord?

And then notice my friends that this is spiritual milk.

God has not only given us His Word to help us become holy, but has also given us His Holy Spirit.

We know that the Spirit of God inspired the Word of God, for Paul wrote Timothy, “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.” (I Timothy 3:16).

The Holy Spirit not only inspired the word of God, it still inspires the Word of God as we interact with it.

When we open the book, we are inviting the Spirit of God comes alongside. Jesus promised He would send them the Spirit who would come alongside and in

John 14:17 said the Spirit would lead them into all truth,
John 14:26 the Holy Spirit will teach,
John 15:26 the Holy Spirit will testify about Jesus,
and in John 16:8 the Holy Spirit will convict of people of sin and at the same time God’s righteousness, that is His forgiveness and grace.

It’s no wonder Martin Luther wrote, “Proper understanding of the Scriptures comes only through the Holy Spirit.” 7

I ran across a great illustration of this. The tropics of New Guinea cover 3% of earth’s land, yet surprisingly contain 50% of the world’s organisms. The reason for the vibrant wildlife is that the sun hits New Guinea straight on, in full strength, all year round. The constant exposure to the life-giving power of the sun results in massive animal, insect, and plant growth in that region. 8

In the same way, when we constantly expose ourselves to God’s life giving power that come from His Word and His Spirit, we WILL follow Jesus more closely.

William Greathouse, pastor and author of many theological books on holiness wrote:

The new man in Christ is therefore actually living a holy life in Christ and by the word of God in the power of the Holy Spirit. The old man he once was in Adam has ceased to be.” 9

I love the story of an incident in Augustine’s early Christian life. Before he came to faith on Jesus, Augustine had a mistress named Claudia. Shortly after he found Christ, Claudia saw him on the street in the city. “Augustine! Augustine!” she cried after her old paramour.
Augustine paid no heed.
“Augustine! Augustine!” she cried out again. “It is Claudia!”
“But it is no longer Augustine,” he replied, as he continued on his way. 10

Like Augustine, as our behavior lines up with our beliefs our hope in God who saves us and sustains us will increase; and that’s a good thing.

Study after study indicates that when people of all walks of life have hope, they live better lives. Hopeful college kids get higher GPA’s and are more likely to graduate. Hopeful athletes perform better on the field, cope better with injuries, and have greater mental adjustment when situations change. Hopeful Christians remain steadfast in the faith that will sustain them through the ups and downs of life.

Speaking of athletes, Willie Mays began his outstanding major league baseball career with only one hit in his first 26 at-bats. Though he went on to hit 660 home runs and steal more than 300 bases, his debut was so unimpressive it seemed he would never make it. The turning point for Mays occurred when his manager, Leo Durocher, found him crying in the dugout after yet another miserable performance. The famous coach put his arm around Mays and said, “What’s the matter, son?” Mays said, “There’s no hope for me to make it in the majors . . . I can’t hit. Durocher said this to Willie Mays: “As long as I’m manager of the Giants, you’ll be my centerfielder, now get back out there.”

Buoyed by his manager’s confident hope, Willie Mays began hitting the ball, and he was on his way to becoming a legend of the game. But if he had been left alone to cry in in the dugout that day, his career would have ended before it ever started. Fortunately for him (and for baseball) someone believed in him even when he didn’t believe in himself. Durocher’s speech wasn’t “You’re a disappointment. Do you know how much you’re costing the team? You’re on the verge on blowing your big chance!” He simply said, “As long as I’m manager of the Giants, you’re my centerfielder.” 11

Some of us may be sitting hanging our head in the dugout, or maybe the doghouse depending on how far back we’ve slipped. When our holy, holy, holy God sits down beside us, we are afraid He’s going to say, “You’re a disappointment, you blew it.”

But no, no says Peter.

The God we worship, the God we know and love, says, “As long as I’m manager of this Universe, you’ll be My child. Now pick yourself up and dust yourself off and get back out there. And as you do, open My book and I will be with you. Amen.

PRAYER

(I encourage you to stop and pray as you feel led).

CLOSING SONG

Spirit of the Living God

Iverson, Daniel

Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me.
Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me.
Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me.
Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me.

Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me.
Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me.
Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me.
Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me.

©1935. Renewed 1963 Birdwing Music (a div. of EMI Christian Music Publishing)
CCLI License No. 1843349

SCRIPTURAL BENEDICTION

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15:13

1 Shane J. Lopez, Making Hope Happen, [New York, New York: Atria Books, © 2014]
https://www.amazon.com.au/Making-Hope-Happen-Create-Yourself-ebook/dp/B008J2AEN4

2 Jack Canfield, Mark Hansen, Hanoch McCarty and Meladee McCarty, A Fourth Course of Chicken Soup for the Soul, “Nouns and Adverbs” excerpted from Moments for Mothers. [Deerfield Beach, Florida: Health Communications, Inc., © 1997]. Pages 151-152.

3 Anastasia Belyh, Understanding Cognitive Dissonance (and Why it Occurs in Most People). March 14, 2019
https://www.cleverism.com/understanding-cognitive-dissonance-and-why-it-occurs-in-most-people/

4 The IVP New Testament Commentary Series, General Editor Grant R. Osborne. I. Howard Marshall, I Peter, [Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarity Press, © 1991]. Pages 52-53

5 Wayne Grudem, Tyndale New Testament Commentaries, I Peter, [Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, © 1988]. Page 94.

6 The IVP New Testament Commentary Series, General Editor Grant R. Osborne. I. Howard Marshall, I Peter, [Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarity Press, © 1991]. Page 63.

7 Martin Luther
http://saltforsermons.org.uk/category/bible/

8 Eric McKiddie, Show Then Tell, 52 Illustrations for Believing and Living the Gospel, © 2015 by Eric McKiddie, page 50.

9 William M. Greathouse, Romans: Beacon Bible Expositions, [Boston, Massachusetts: Beacon Hill Press, © 1975), p. 103.

10 Ibid.

11 https://www.baseballhistorycomesalive.com/leo-durocher-and-willie-mays-2/

Randy K'Meyer

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