Hope in Love

Worship Service for June 14, 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.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Our leaders will meet today at 1:00 pm to discuss re-opening for corporate worship. Please continue to pray for them. Ask God to grant them wisdom. Pray for our congregation. Pray for the churches of America. Pray for our country.

I will be at the church building today from 12 noon to 1:00pm for those of you who wish to drop offer your offering. You may place it in the box marked “God’s Offering” that is located in the lobby.

If you wish to send your offering in the mail, the address is

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

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.

And now let us begin to worship

CALL TO WORSHIP

Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. ‘This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Matthew 22:34-40

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

More Love More Power

Del Hierro, Jude

More love, more power,
More of You in my life;

More love, more power,
More of You in my life;

More love, more power,
More of You in my life;

More love, more power,
More of You in my life;

And I will worship You
With all of my heart,
And I will worship You
With all of my mind;
And I will worship You
With all of my strength
For You are my Lord….
You are my Lord.

More love, more power,
More of You in my life;

More love, more power,
More of You in my life;

More love, more power,
More of You in my life;

More love, more power,
More of You in my life;

And I will seek Your face
With all of my heart,
And I will seek Your face
With all of my mind.
And I will seek Your face
With all of my strength
For You are my Lord.

And I will worship You
With all of my heart,
And I will worship You
With all of my mind;
And I will worship You
With all of my strength
For You are my Lord….
You are my Lord.

©1987 Mercy/Vineyard Publishing (admin. by Music Services)
CCLI License No. 1843349

Love the Lord

Brewster, Lincoln

Love the Lord Your God
With all your heart,
With all your soul,
With all your mind,
And with all your strength.

Love the Lord Your God
With all your heart,
With all your soul,
With all your mind,
And with all your strength.

With all your heart,
With all your soul
With all your mind,
With all your strength.

Love the Lord Your God
With all your heart,
With all your soul,
With all your mind,
And with all your strength.

I will serve You, Lord
With all my heart,
With all my soul,
With all my mind,
And with all my strength.

I will serve You, Lord
With all my heart,
With all my soul,
With all my mind,
And with all my strength.

With all my heart,
With all my soul
With all my mind,
With all my strength.

I will serve You, Lord
With all my heart,
With all my soul,
With all my mind,
And with all my strength.

I will love You (echo)
I will praise You (echo)
I will serve You (echo)
I will trust You (echo) LORD!

With all my heart,
With all my soul
With all my mind,
With all my strength.

With all my heart,
With all my soul
With all my mind,
With all my strength.

I will love You, Lord
With all my heart,
With all my soul,
With all my mind,
And with all my strength.

I will love You, Lord
With all my heart,
With all my soul,
With all my mind,
And with all my strength.

I will love You, Lord
With all my heart,
With all my soul,
With all my mind,
And with all my strength.

©2005 Integrity’s Praise! Music; c/o Integrity Media, Inc.
CCLI License No. 1843349

OPENING PRAYER

As we focus our thoughts on worshipping you, we rejoice in the love of Christ that has no bounds. And we pray, asking You to help us to love You with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength. As a result of our being here now, let this love for You overflow into loving our neighbors as ourselves. In the name of Jesus, Amen.

THE GIVING OF THE LORD’S OFFERING

(see announcement above)

PRAYER SONG

Love Like You Loved

Diaz, Jonny

Help me to love like You loved.
To serve like You served.
To speak only words of truth.
Help me to care like You cared.
For a world in despair.
Help me to love like You.

There are lots of different people.
From a lot of different places.
With a lot of different points of view.
There’s a lot of debating,
A lot of speculating.
There can only be one truth.

Some would say You’re a leader.
Claim You’re a liar.
Some would even say that You’re a fool.
But I know You’re a healer,
The perfect Messiah.
And I want to live life like You.

Help me to love like You loved.
To serve like You served.
To speak only words of truth.
Help me to care like You cared.
For a world in despair.
Help me to love like You.

The philosophers ignored You.
The Pharisees abhorred You.
Cause You didn’t follow their rules.
But the sinners were changed.
And their lives rearranged.
When they put their trust in You.

Help me to love like You loved.
To serve like You served.
To speak only words of truth.
Help me to care like You cared.
For a world in despair.
Help me to love like You.
Hal-le-lu-jah. You’re the truth.
Show us to love like You.
Hal-le-lu-jah. You’re the truth.
Show us to love like You.

Help me to love like You loved.
To serve like You served.
To speak only words of truth.
Help me to care like You cared.
For a world in despair.
Help me to love like You.

Help me to love like You loved.
To serve like You served.
To speak only words of truth.
Help me to care like You cared.
For a world in despair.
Help me to love like You.

©2009 Jonny Diaz
CCLI License No. 1843349

THE MORNING PRAYER

Robyn Tresch

Dear Lord,

We thank You for this beautiful day we get to share with all your children on earth. As believers and followers of Christ, we are part of the greatest love story ever written. The greatest act of love we have and will ever be shown was when you sent Your only son to take the punishment for our sins.

When we fall in love, we don’t want to keep it a secret, we want to shout it from the mountain tops! Help us to feel just as compelled to share our love for You with all others because it is not a love exclusive to us, it is available for anyone. Your love knows no color, gender, or socioeconomic level.

As Your children, it is a love we all share. We never have to earn or work for it, You give it freely. Your love encourages us to come as we are, not all cleaned up on our best behavior. Your love is extravagant, never ending, and never gives up. It is a love meant for sinners like us.

So Lord, we thank You that love does not act unbecoming. We want to extend kindness instead of rudeness towards all people. Help us to put away the critical tone and words used to tear each other down, so we can truly walk together in peace. Let our lives be the proof of your love.

All this we pray in Jesus’ name.

Amen.

THE SCRIPTURES

Dear children, I will be with you only a little longer. And as I told the Jewish leaders, you will search for Me, but you can’t come where I am going. So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are My disciples.”

John 13:32-34

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.

I Peter 1:21-25

Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love. God showed how much He loved us by sending His one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through Him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and His love is brought to full expression in us.

I John 4:7-12

THE MESSAGE

Randy K’Meyer

Hope in Love

For the umpteenth time Barbara Billingsly said to her pastor, “I’m so scared! Herb says he’s going to kill me if I continue to come to your church.”

“Yes, yes, my child,” replied the pastor, more than a little tired of hearing this over and over. “Have faith Barbara, the Lord loves you and will watch over you.”

“Yes, I have faith that God loves me and He has kept me safe thus far, but I just hope . . . ”

“Hope what, my child?”

“Well, I hope he doesn’t follow through on his latest threat.”

“And what would that be Barbara?”

“Well, now he says if I keep coming to your church, he’s going to kill YOU!”

“You better check out that little church on the other side of town!”

Faith, hope and love are all closely interrelated not only in that little ditty, but also in the Bible, as Paul, in one example, makes clear in his letter to the Corinthians,

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love” (13:13).

I have heard it said that whereas Paul is the Apostle of faith and John is the Apostle of love, that Peter is the Apostle of hope. For whereas, Paul in his letters urges us to come to faith in Christ, and John in his prioritizes the theme of loving God and one another, it is Peter, in his letter, who puts a premium on hope and, who like Paul, links the three virtues together in today’s text.

Listen closely for those three words, as I read it again:

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” (I Peter 1:21-22).

I have never noticed this before, but studying this passage in the original language I discovered that Peter employs two different words for ‘love.’ “So now you must show sincere love (phileo) to each other as brothers and sisters,” where phileo means brotherly affection, a deeply heartfelt feeling of affection, what we usually mean, I suppose, when we tell someone we love them.

But Peter continues, five words later with a different word for love; “Love (agape) each other deeply with all your heart.” Now agape is different from phileo. Phileo is a feeling or emotion of affection. Agape is not a feeling at all.

Agape means looking out for the best interest of the other person and sacrificing whatever it takes to make sure that happens, as in, “For God so love (agaped) the world that He gave His Son” (John 3:16). So you see, whereas, phileo is a feeling, agape is a sacrificial action. In other words, Peter is saying, “If you say you have affection for someone, show it by your actions.”

Ernest Best mentions in his commentary, agape is a “steady resolve to love with the whole being involved; love can be no passing emotion.” 1

So Peter’s counsel for today is “My friends in Christ, who are enduring these difficult days, (1) love one another with deep affection and (2) let that love manifest itself in sacrificial action to bring about the best interest of the person you are loving.

I know what some of you may be thinking. How can we put love in action when we can’t even see each other? We still have strong affection for one another, but there’s nothing we can do about right now.

It’s when we are together and we see one another, and spend time with one another we express our affection to one another through shaking and hugging and talking, through laughing with those who laugh and crying with those who weep. And through our interaction, when we discover someone in need, we engage in loving actions to help bring about the best for our brothers. And for sure, those loving feelings and actions confirm to us that God is alive and well and living in us to reproduce His love. And that, you see, causes our hope in God to remain steadfast.

But during this pandemic time when we have been unable to meet together, both our phileo and agape are in danger of diminishing, and with them our hope.

By the way, it wasn’t a pandemic, but rather persecution, that was creating a similar situation for the original readers of this letter. It was quite likely that some of them were being tempted to bail on worship.

The Letter to the Hebrews was written in the same circumstances and that author explicitly warns his readers not to give in to that temptation:

And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another to love and good deeds (10:25).

Just what Peter is encouraging his readers to: “so now you must show sincere love to each other as brothers and sisters. Love each other deeply with all your heart” (I Peter 1:22).

Until we get back together, I am suggesting we nurture our faith, hope and love by engaging in acts of love and good deeds.

And here’s how we can.

I know some of you have been calling others; facetime and zoom is even better. But I have another way we can express our love to one another. It is a time honored way to show love and encouragement and give hope. Indeed, it is the way that Peter chose to encourage hope: by writing a letter.

I want us to think of someone in our congregation and then sacrifice the time it will take to write that person a letter letting them know how much we care for them, or telling them how much they mean to us, or expressing our appreciation to them for some way they have blessed us, or whatever you want to say to them to share your love with them.

Expressing love in this way can change a person’s entire perspective!

I recall in the first church I attended after becoming a Christian that we participated in a Lenten program titled Forty Days of Love. Each week members of the congregation were encouraged to show their love and appreciation in different ways. The first week we were encouraged to send letters of encouragement to people.

I ran across a story this past week of a man who participated in the same program. He was kind of a macho-man, a former football player who loved to hunt and fish. The man told his pastor, “I love you and I love this church, but I’m not going to participate in this Forty Days of Love stuff. It’s OK for some folks, but it’s a little too sentimental and syrupy for me.”

The next Sunday this man waited after church to see his pastor again. “I want to apologize for what I said last Sunday about the Forty Days of Love. I got one of those letters!” the man said.

The letter came as a total surprise from a person he never expected to hear from. It touched him so deeply he now carries it around in his pocket all the time. “Every time I read it,” he said, “I get tears in my eyes.”

It was a transforming moment in this man’s life. Suddenly he realized he was loved by others in the church. This changed his entire outlook. “I was so moved by that letter, I sat down and wrote ten letters myself.” 2

Perhaps we can emulate that fellow and write to more than one person. Perhaps even write a letter to someone you may not at first think of.

For its one thing to write a letter to someone we know and even have affection for, but that story prompts me to encourage you to write a letter to someone who would not expect it.

I. Howard Marshall writes:

If the ideal is that Christians should love their brothers, then let them love one another. Get on and do it. This is a clear and direct command. We must take action without ifs and buts. Peter assumes that Christians can and must love one another. Think now of the man who sits on the opposite side of the church from you and to whom you rarely speak. Think of the woman in the choir with the cacophonous voice, who ought to have retired voluntarily years ago. Think of that teenager with that ghastly hairstyle, who shows an adolescent disdain for an “old square” like you. Do you love them; deeply and from the heart? If not. What excuse can you offer for going against this plain, straightforward demand? What excuse can I offer? 3

Expressing love in a letter can change a person’s life by giving them renewed hope.

When Bonnie’s husband, Bob, died very suddenly she received condolences from people she hadn’t heard from in years: letters, cards, flowers, and calls. She was overwhelmed with grief, yet uplifted by this outpouring of love from family, friends and even mere acquaintances.

One letter touched her profoundly though. It was from Sue, her best friend from sixth grade through high school. They had drifted somewhat after graduation, as Sue remained in their home town and Bonnie had not.

Sue’s husband, Steve, had died 20 years earlier at a young age, leaving her with deep sorrow and heavy responsibilities: finding a job and raising three young children. In her letter to Bonnie, Sue shared a story about Bonnie’s mother (now long deceased). She wrote, “When my Steve died, your dear mother visited me and said, ‘Trudy, I don’t know what to say . . . so I’ll just say I love you.’”

She then closed her letter to Bonnie repeating her mother’s words of so long ago, “Bonnie, I don’t know what to say . . . so I’ll just say I love you.”

As she read those words, Bonnie could hear her mother speaking to her right then. “What a powerful message of hope!” she writes. “How dear of my old friend Sue to cherish those words of my mother after all those years and then pass them on to me in her letter of love. 4

My hope is that everyone will get a letter of encouragement like that.

And for a time last week I was fearful that unless I do something to organize it someone will not. And I thought I would ask Gail to help me come up with a clever way to organize it using some computer program. But then the thought hit me: Why should I try to organize what the Spirit of God can accomplish much more effectively than I? I’ll just put the word out and trust that God’s will be done.

So until we can get back together, and I do hope that is soon, let us “show sincere love to each other as brothers and sisters.” Let us, “love each other deeply with all our hearts.”

For as we do, our hope in God will not only remain steadfast, but will even increase. How can I be so sure?

“Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love. God showed how much he loved us by sending His one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through Him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and His love is brought to full expression in us” (I John 4:7-12).

PRAYER

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

CLOSING SONG

They’ll Know We Are Christians

Scholtes, Peter

We are one in the Spirit,
We are one in the Lord,
We are one in the Spirit,
We are one in the Lord,
And we pray that all unity
May one day be restored.

And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love.
Yes, they’ll know we are Christians by our love.

We will walk with each other,
We will walk hand in hand,
We will walk with each other,
We will walk hand in hand,
And together we’ll spread the news
That God is in our land.

And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love.
Yes, they’ll know we are Christians by our love.

We will work with each other,
We will work side by side,
We will work with each other,
We will work side by side,
And we’ll guard each one’s dignity
And save each one’s pride.

And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love.
Yes, they’ll know we are Christians by our love.

All praise to the Father,
From whom all things come;
And all praise to Christ Jesus, His only Son.
And all praise to the Spirit, Who makes us one.

And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love.
Yes, they’ll know we are Christians by our love.

We are one in the Spirit,
We are one in the Lord,
We are one in the Spirit,
We are one in the Lord,
And we pray that all unity
May one day be restored.

And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love.
Yes, they’ll know we are Christians by our love.

©1966 F.E.L. Publications
CCLI License No. 1843349

SCRIPTURAL BENEDICTION

May the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints.

1 Thessalonians 3:12-13

1 Ernest Best, The New Century Bible Commentary, I Peter, [Grand Rapids, Michigan: W. B. Eerdmans Publishing, © 1971], Page 94.

2 http://saltforsermons.org.uk/category/making-a-difference/Quoted from: www.devotions.net/devotions/files/2001/01jan/23.htm

3 I. Howard Marshall, The IVP New Testament Commentary Series; I Peter. [Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVaristy Press, © 1991], Page 60.

4 Bonnie J. Thomas, A Cup of Chicken Soup for the Soul. Editor: Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen & Barry Spilchuk. [Deerfield, Florida: Health Communication, ©

Randy K'Meyer

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