Hope in You

Worship Service for August 30, 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

Thanks to all who participated in this past Wednesday’s Prayer Vigil.

And thank you to all who so generously purchased groceries for the Church-at-the-Lake Food Pantry. Jay Bair picked up what we had last week because they were very low. And so anything else that comes our way today will be greatly appreciated.

Since we changed our worship time to 9:30 am, I will remain after worship until 12 noon for those of you who wish to drop off your offering. You may place it in the box that is located in the lobby.

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

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

Lastly, next week is Communion Sunday.

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.

CALL TO WORSHIP

Let me now remind you, dear brothers and sisters, of the Good News I preached to you before. You welcomed it then, and you still stand firm in it. It is this Good News that saves you if you continue to believe the message I told you—unless, of course, you believed something that was never true in the first place. I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and He was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said.

I Corinthians 15:1-4

HYMNS OF PRAISE

For All You’ve Done

Morgan, Reuben

My Savior….Redeemer
Lifted me from the miry clay
Almighty…forever…
I’ll never be the same
Cause You came near
From the everlasting to the world we live
The Father’s only Son

And You lived and You died
And You rose again on high
And You opened the way
For the world to live again
Hallelujah…for all You’ve done.

My Savior….Redeemer
Lifted me from the miry clay
Almighty…forever…
I’ll never be the same
Cause You came near
From the everlasting to the world we live
The Father’s only Son

And You lived and You died
And You rose again on high
And You opened the way
For the world to live again
Hallelujah… for all You’ve done.

And You lived and You died
And You rose again on high
And You opened the way
For the world to live again
Hallelujah…

Cause You came near
From the everlasting
to the world we live
The Father’s only Son
Cause You came near
From the everlasting
to the world we live
The Father’s only Son

And You lived and You died
And You rose again on high
And You opened the way
For the world to live again

And You lived and You died
And You rose again on high
And You opened the way
For the world to live again

Hallelujah…Hallelujah…Hallelujah…
For all You’ve done.

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

Majesty (Here I Am)

Smith, Martin & Garrard, Stuart

Here I am, humbled by Your Majesty.
Covered by Your grace so free.
Here I am, knowing I’m a sinful man,
Covered by the blood of the Lamb.

Now I’ve found
The greatest love of all is mine
Since You laid down Your life,
The greatest sacrifice.
Majesty, Majesty,
Your grace has found me just as I am,
Empty handed but alive in Your hands.

Here I am, humbled by the love that You give,
Forgiven so that I can forgive
Here I am, knowing that I’m Your desire,
Sanctified by glory and fire.

Now I’ve found
The greatest love of all is mine
Since You laid down Your life,
The greatest sacrifice.

Majesty, Majesty,
Your grace has found me just as I am,
Empty handed but alive in Your hands.

Singing Majesty, Majesty,
Forever I am changed by Your love
In the presence of Your Majesty, Majesty.

©2002 Kingway’s Thankyou Music
CCLI License No. 1843349

OPENING PRAYER

God of majesty, we praise Your Holy Name for providing Your Son, Jesus, as the means whereby through faith we have been gifted with the greatest love of all. And we thank You for another opportunity to Sabbath with You, to stop what we were doing in life to reflect for a time upon the greatest sacrifice and the miracle of the resurrection of Christ. For all You’ve done, take our lives and let them be consecrated Lord for Thee. Amen.

THE GIVING OF THE LORD’S OFFERING

(see announcement above)

While on his 3rd missionary journey, the Apostle Paul spent three years in the city of Ephesus nurturing the infant church there. The latter part of Acts 20 records Paul’s farewell speech to the elders of that church, which he closed with these words: “You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’” (Acts 20:35).

PRAYER SONG

Still

Morgan, Reuben

Hide me now… under Your wings.
Cover me, within Your mighty hand.
When the oceans rise and thunders roar,
I will soar with You above the storm.
Father, You are King over the flood.
I will be still…know You are God.

Find rest my soul…in Christ alone.
Know His power…in quietness and trust.
When the oceans rise and thunders roar,
I will soar with You above the storm.
Father, You are King over the flood.
I will be still…know You are God.

When the oceans rise and thunders roar,
I will soar with You above the storm.
Father, You are King over the flood.
I will be still…know You are God.
I will be still…know You are God.
I will be still…know You are God.

©2002 Reuben Morgan, Hillsong Publishing
CCLI License No. 1843349

MORNING PRAYER

Robyn Tresch

Dear Lord,

I thank You for this day and each person here to take part in it. Today is a day created for taking time to focus on You.

In this noisy world, we pray to be still. Stillness instead of rushing everywhere, so that we may get in touch with ourselves, with nature, with Your creation. Stillness to see others, their goals, struggles, losses, and victories. Stillness to see where we are whole, where we are broken, and to evaluate our relationship with You and others.

Lord, You are not blind to the storms that rage in this world. Some of which are visible to the eye, but others hidden in our hearts. Let us remember the joy that You have set before us so that we may let go of fear and doubt.

You know us, we hurry from task to task, from crisis to crisis, carrying the weight of the world. Remind us that this world is Yours along with everything in it so that we can lay down what keeps us too busy to be still, and instead lift our eyes up to You.

In Jesus’ name, we pray.
Amen.

SCRIPTURE

[As we read the scripture, notice the bracketed remarks that give a brief explanation.]

I have written and sent this short letter to you with the help of Silas, whom I commend to you as a faithful brother. My purpose in writing is to encourage you and assure you that what you are experiencing is truly part of God’s grace for you. Stand firm in this grace.

Your sister church here in Babylon [not that Peter was writing from that ancient city located on the Euphrates River in modern-day Iraq. Here, as in the Book of Revelation, Babylon is a secret Christian code word to signify Rome.] sends you greetings, and so does my son Mark. [surely a reference to the author of the gospel that bears his name Mark, who was known as a side-kick of Peter’s] Greet each other with a holy kiss. Peace be with all of you who are in Christ.

I Peter 5:12-14

And so ends Peter’s first letter to the church.

Speaking of that ‘holy kiss:’ Lord Halifax, a former foreign secretary of Great Britain, once shared a railway compartment with two prim-looking spinsters. A few moments before reaching his destination the train passed through a tunnel. In the utter darkness, Halifax kissed the back of his hand noisily several times. When the train drew into the station, he rose, lifted his hat, and in a gentlemanly way said: “May I thank whichever one of you two ladies I am indebted to for the charming incident in the tunnel.” He then beat a hasty retreat, leaving the two ladies glaring at each other . . . ha!1

I also want to go back and read I Peter 3:15-16. I told you a few weeks back when we were working our way through this section of the letter that we would return to these two verses.

And if anyone asks you, always be prepared to give an account of the hope you have in you. But do this in a gentle and respectful way.

I Peter 3:15-16

By the way, let’s be clear, these words, “if anyone asks you” does not mitigate the imperative given to us by our Lord to be proactive about sharing the good news about Christ, as the following passages remind us, all Christians are to be proactive in sharing Christ:

Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Matthew 28:20

And then He told them, ‘Go into all the world and preach
the Good News to everyone. Anyone who believes and is baptized
will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe will be condemned.

Mark 16:15-16

Peace be with you. As the Father has sent Me, so send I you.

John 20:21

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be My witnesses, telling people about me everywhere, in
Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.

Acts 1:8

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?

Romans 10:14-15

So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us.

II Corinthians 5:20

THE MESSAGE

Randy K’Meyer

Hope in You

Toward the end of the conflict in Bosnia in June of 1995, our nation held its breath waiting to discover the fate of 29-year-old, Air Force Captain Scott O’Grady. As captain O’Grady flew his F-16 over Bosnia on a routine air patrol, the Serbs fired a missile that ripped his plane in half. As the aircraft erupted in flames, O’Grady parachuted to a wooded area below, where for six days, he hid in the woods, surviving on only grass and ants to eat.

Back in the States, Pentagon officials weighed the costs of sending in a rescue team to locate and save O’Grady. How much would it cost in fuel and the potential loss of further equipment? More importantly, how many lives should be risked to save one man? Yet it was decided the value of saving one life outweighed all potential risks. Tracing O’Grady’s signals, the rescue team landed and in just over two minutes, they had the downed pilot aboard their helicopter; headed for home. 2

Many people around us have been shot down by the enemy we talked about last week, who is “prowling around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour” (I Peter 5:8). And unless somebody takes the initiative to embark on a rescue mission, they will die in captivity.

That’s the theme of today’s message as we conclude our series of messages
taken from I Peter, the overall theme of which is ‘hope.’

We began this journey on May 17th as we opened with the topic sentence in 1:3: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has caused us to be born anew to a LIVING HOPE through the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.”

Since then we have looked at hope, hope, hope; hope in holy living, hope in prayer, hope in the church, hope in relationships, even hope in the midst of suffering and as we conclude today, I want to remind you about the hope in you!

You are, because you are a Christ follower, filled with hope. And our calling as Christians is to share that hope with those who have no hope!

YOU are filled with the hope as this letter has promised throughout:

“Now you live with great expectation, and you have a priceless inheritance; an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, (3b-4a)

“And you have placed your faith and hope in God because He raised Christ from the dead and gave Him great glory” (1:21).

“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” (1:23).

“And you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple” (2:5).

“For you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation,
God’s very own possession” (2:9).

“Christ suffered for your sins once for all time. He never sinned,
but He died for sinners to bring you safely home to God” (3:18).

“In His kindness, God called you to share in His eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, He will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation” (5:10-11).

You have hope in you because you have Christ in you! And that makes all the difference.

On the other hand, people without Christ have no hope.

Paul says in Ephesians 2:12, “remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God.”

Peter says of them in 4:17, “what terrible fate awaits those who have never obeyed God’s Good News?”

Gabrielle Bellot speaks for those who are searching for hope in a magazine article. Stressed out by the overwhelming events caused by the coronavirus in NYC, she has a thirst for reassurance that everything will turn out all right. However; Bellot attempts to find comfort and encouragement apart from God.

She looks to science first: “certainly our medical researchers will come up with something fast to end this pandemic.” And if not she places her hope in the government to stop this pandemic in its tracks through policies and prohibitions. “We’re in a dance with Lady Death,” she says, and if science or the government won’t come to our rescue, where else do we turn?” 3

Isn’t that sad?

I mentioned last week that I believe God is using this pandemic to wake up people to their need for Him. And I also said God is using this pandemic to wake up the church to creatively reach out to people and offer what they are desperately searching for . . . hope!

That’s where, according to Peter, you and I come in.

He writes, “always be prepared to give an account of the hope you have in you” (3:15).

We who are filled with hope need to find ways to open the floodgates of our souls and let our hope in Christ out for others to embrace.

William Barclay writes, “To do so we must know what we believe; we must have thought it out; we must be able to state it intelligently and intelligibly. … The Christian must go through the mental and spiritual toil of thinking out his faith, so that he can tell what he believes and why.” 4

In other words, if we have not, we need to do some homework in this regard. We must give some time and effort to prepare. We must think through what we believe about Christ and the story of how we came to faith in Christ. Even better; we should write down what we believe and how we came to believe it and then better yet, memorize it in such a way that we can tell our story as naturally and as easily as one tells about why we are a Democrat or Republican or an OSU or Michigan fan.

I. Howard Marshall adds, “it is fair to add that that they (Christians) will be unable to capitalize on opportunities if they are not already prepared with a coherent understanding of faith and some practice in rehearsing it.” 5

Are you prepared to give an account of the hope you have in you? If the Lord suddenly appeared right now and called upon you to share the story of how you came to believe what you believe about Jesus, could you? If not, why not?

If you are not yet prepared to give an account of the hope in you, here are four questions that will help you formulate your story:

  1. When and what happened to cause you to consider the claims of Jesus?
  2. What is it that you believe about Christ?
  3. After you made a decision to become a Christian, how did your life
    change?
  4. What impact does your faith in Christ have on your future hope?

We should all be prepared or preparing to “give an account of the hope we have in us!” (I Peter 3:15).

“But do this in a “gentle and respectful way” (I Peter 3:16a).

In a negative sense, we can take this to mean we should refrain from being aggressive or overbearing or obnoxious in sharing the hope we have in us.

Here I will commend you, as I do not know one Christian at CrossPointe who would want to bully another into believing, or would treat another person as if they are better than the other person because they are a Christian.

In my opinion, too much aggressive evangelism has done more harm than good.

Positively, I think that being gentle and respectful includes the idea that we are willing to listen before we talk. Because evangelism should be a dialogue not a monologue.

The book, Irresistible Evangelism includes the story of a Jan, a staffer with Athletes in Action. After attending a conference where the importance of listening to unbelievers was stressed, Jan and others were relaxing in the hotel whirlpool. Two teenage girls joined them. One of the teens, named Brittany, began passionately telling her friend about an upcoming Wiccan gathering she was planning to attend.

Jan says: Normally we would have tried to counter the girl’s ideas right away, but we decided to listen instead. I said something simple like, “Wow, you really sound excited about this!” That was all the encouragement she needed to launch into a 5-minute explanation of why she was so attracted to pagan rituals. The bottom line was she’d had a really traumatic time in high school and the Wiccas accepted her.

She said, “For all the troubles and heartache I’ve been through I’ll probably be in therapy for the rest of my life!” I tried to mirror back what she said with, “It’s hard for you to even imagine a future where you’d be free from all of the pain you’ve gone through.” What came next completely floored us. With complete sincerity in her voice, she said, “Sometimes I wish I could be born all over again.” 6

“Gentleness and respect” implies listening.

We should always be prepared, and we should be gentle and respectful, always more prepared to listen than talk.

Another reason, we don’t have to be aggressive, that is work so hard at it, is because we don’t have to do all the work.

J. I. Packer, writes, “While we must always remember it is our responsibility to proclaim salvation, we must never forget it is God who saves. … If we forget that only God can give faith, we shall start to think that the making of converts depends, in the last analysis, not on God, but on us.” 7

But we don’t bear the burden of responsibility for the reaction of the other person. We are not responsible for how the other person responds; whether they say, ‘yes’ or ‘no’ or ‘maybe later.’ That’s God’s prerogative. We are only responsible to share realizing that God is working on our side.

Dr. Jerry Root in Evangelism Really Isn’t that Hard, tells as troy to illustrate that Christ is already working in the hearts of others around us.

“While my flight was delayed I met a woman in the Vienna airport. She was and carrying a clipboard and obviously taking a survey for the airport. When she came to me I asked what her name was.

‘Allegra,’ she replied.

‘Allegra, are you from Vienna?’

‘No, I grew up in southern Austria.’

With that answer came the permission to ask, ‘What brought you to Vienna?’

She said she was a student, which opened the door to more questions.
Where did she go to school? What was she studying? After 20 minutes or so I knew a good deal about Allegra. I knew her mother abandoned the family to go to Canada with her lover. I learned her father’s bitterness was toxic. I learned she and her brother were estranged. I learned that her fiancé had just told her he met someone better than her. I told her that I knew she had a survey to fill out but that I had been sent to tell her something. She rushed through the airport’s survey, then put down her pen, looked me in the eye, and eagerly asked, ‘What were you supposed to tell me?’

I said to her, ‘Allegra, the God of the universe knows you and loves you; He would never abandon you or forsake you.’

Sometimes, it takes two or three times before the words sink in, so I said it again. After the third time she burst into loud sobs. Everyone in the gate area was looking in our direction.

Through her tears, she blurted out, ‘But I’ve done so many bad things in my life!’

I responded, ‘Allegra, God knows all about it and that’s why he sent Jesus to die on the Cross for all of your sins and to bring you forgiveness and hope.’

I was explaining the gospel to ears willing to hear and a heart willing to receive. And was grateful that God had set the whole thing up.” 8

As we think about sharing the hope within us, it can be extremely encouraging to know that God precedes us and even accompanies us.

Rebecca Manly Pippert, in Hope has It’s Reasons, tells of a man who had no hope.

He was an eastern European Jew who had married a gentile woman, had one son, and was prospering in the family business when WWII broke out. He thought because his wife was non-Jewish he would be able to escape notice. But one day he came home to see the Gestapo waiting for him. The Nazis took great delight in telling him that his wife had turned him in and was having an affair with the local constable. As they drug him away, the last look his wife gave him confirmed her guilt.

He spent the next 5 years in a prison camp hoping that he might die as bitterness, despair and utter hopelessness filled his heart. The only thing keeping him alive was the possibility of seeing his son again. He was one of the few who survived the war, but when he returned to his home was told that his wife and son had left town shortly after he was taken. He concluded he would never see his boy again and his last hope was gone.

Because he was emaciated and had no money or other place to stay, he ended up sleeping on a park bench and was arrested for vagrancy. He told the judge his story and that he might still have a brother living in Israel. The government paid his way but when he knocked on his brother’s door, his brother refused to believe it was him, having not seen him since they were kids.

Another park bench found him starving and hoping once again to die. A few days later, he woke up to see a teenage girl entering the park full of bums. He wondered what she was doing there, but closed his eyes again. Then he heard a soft voice speaking to him, “Sir, I got off my bus too early and was ready to wait for the next one, but when I saw your sad face, I just had to come over and tell you something. I wish I knew how to say it better, but Jesus loves you; He really does.”

He looked at her in disbelief; the audacity of this teen who had probably never known a day of suffering telling him after all the indignity and rejection he had suffered that some gentile God loved him. But as he looked into her face he saw tears streaming and he began to cry too.

“It’s too late for me child, no one could love me.”

“No, it’s not too late, there is hope;” as she took his hand in hers, “God will
gladly accept you if you’d let Him; He loves you now and always will.”

He said it was at that moment that he realized that God was reaching out to him through her. To make a longer story short, that man reached back to God and his journey began.

Twenty years later, he said to Rebecca Pippert, “To think that God reached out to me, gave me a home and a family who loved me, restored my health and above all gave me a joy and gladness I never knew possible. That girl was right; there was hope for me.” 9

Captain O’Grady waited six days.

We all know people who have been waiting longer than that for someone to come to their rescue.

The time is now! God is working behind the scenes during this pandemic stirring up peoples’ hearts to look for hope. Not hope in science, not hope in the government; because in the end, people know that science and/or the government are both helpless when it comes to helping us safely through death’s door.

But that’s when God does His best work! And He is counting on us to join Him in “always being prepared to give an account of the hope that is in us!”

The great preacher of the American First Great Awakening, Jonathan Edwards, once said,

Resolved first: that all men should live for the glory of God. Resolved second: That whether others do or not, I will. 10

CLOSING PRAYER

(I encourage all of you to pray as you feel led).

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?
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

SCRIPTURAL BENEDICTION

May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Romans 15:5-6

1 Bits & Pieces, May 27, 1993, p. 22
https://bible.org/illustration/lord-halifax

2 https://scholar.lib.vt.edu/VA-news/VA-Pilot/issues/1995/vp950609/06090529.htm

3 Source: Gabrielle Bellot, Why Do We Read Plague Stories? Catapult Magazine (4-6-20) https://www.preachingtoday.com/illustrations/2020/june/writer-searches-for-reassurance-during-pandemic.html

4 William Barclay, The Daily Study Bible Series; the Letters of James and Peter, [Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: The Westminster Press, © 1976]. Pages 230-231.

5 I. Howard Marshall, The IVP New Testament Commentary Series; I Peter,
[Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVaristy Press, © 1991]. Page 116.

6 Steve Sjogren, Dave Ping, Doug Pollock, Irresistible Evangelism, [Loveland, Colorado: Group Publishing, © 2004], p. 109

7 J. I. Packer, Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God, [Downer Grove, Illinois: IVP Books, © 2008]. Page 32.

8 Adapted from Dr. Jerry Root, When Evangelism Really Isn’t That Hard, Christianity Today (2-17-17) https://www.preachingtoday.com/illustrations/2017/march/8031317.html

9 Rebecca Manly Pippert, Hope has It’s Reasons, [San Francisco: Harper Collins Publishers © 1989] From Stories for the Heart, Compiled by Alice Gray, [Gresham, Oregon: Vision House Publishing, © 1996], Pages 240-246.

10 Jonathan Edwards, Leadership, Vol. 6, no. 1.

Randy K'Meyer

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