Hope on the Government, Part I

Worship Service for June 28, 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

I will remain after worship today until 1:00pm for those of you who wish to drop off 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.

I assume most of you are at least somewhat familiar with the television show Family Feud; originally hosted by Richard Dawson and now by Steve Harvey. Believe it or not, the following are actual questions and answers given:

Name a type of foreign money:
Monopoly

Name something you eat too much of:
Food

Name a farm animal a farmer may grow so fond of he won’t want to eat it:
A dog

Name something a duck and a chicken have in common”
They both quack.

If someone tells you a secret; how many people do you tell?
Five

Name a place where you might see a person take off all their clothes:
The mall

Name a place where it’s smart to know where the exits are:
A church 1

My guess is those answers probably really did start some family feuds!

And with that, we better turn our attention to worship.

CALL TO WORSHIP

It is the Lord who created the stars, the Pleiades and Orion. He turns darkness into morning and day into night. He draws up water from the oceans and pours it down as rain on the land. The Lord is his name!

Amos 5:8

HYMNS OF PRAISE

How Great Thou Art

Hine, Stuart

O Lord, our God,
When I in awesome wonder,
Consider all the worlds
Thy hands have made;
I see the stars,
I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy pow’r throughout,
The universe displayed.

Then sings my soul,
My Savior God, to Thee,
How great Thou art!
How great Thou art!
Then sings my soul,
My Savior God, to Thee,
How great Thou art!
How great Thou art!

When through the woods,
And forest glades I wander
And hear the birds
Sing sweetly in the trees.
When I look down,
From lofty mountain grandeur,
And hear the brook
And feel the gentle breeze.

Then sings my soul,
My Savior God, to Thee,
How great Thou art!
How great Thou art!
Then sings my soul,
My Savior God, to Thee,
How great Thou art!
How great Thou art!

And when I think
That God, His Son not sparing,
Sent Him to die,
I scarce can take it in;
That on the cross
My burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died
To take away my sin.

Then sings my soul,
My Savior God, to Thee,
How great Thou art!
How great Thou art!
Then sings my soul,
My Savior God, to Thee,
How great Thou art!
How great Thou art!

When Christ shall come
With shout of acclamation
And take me home,
What joy shall fill my heart!
Then I shall bow
In humble adoration,
And there proclaim,
‘My God, how great Thou art!’

Then sings my soul,
My Savior God, to Thee,
How great Thou art!
How great Thou art!
Then sings my soul,
My Savior God, to Thee,
How great Thou art!
How great Thou art!

©1941, 1953, 1955 Stuart K. Hine, renewed 1981 Manna Music, Inc.
ARR UBP of Manna Music, Inc.
CCLI License No. 1843349

All Creation Worships You

Dearman, Kirk/Mills, Jim

You are God and we praise You.
(And we praise You).
You are Lord, we acclaim You.
(We acclaim You).
You are eternal Father,
All creation worships You.
All creation worships You.
Amen.

©1988 Integrity’s Hosanna! Music (c/o Integrity Music, Inc.)
CCLI License No. 1843349)

OPENING PRAYER

Oh Lord, Our God; as all creation worships You, so we too worship You. How could we not? “For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything You have made, we can clearly see Your invisible qualities—Your eternal power and divine nature. So we have no excuse for not knowing You” (Romans 1:20).

You are not only the One who created all there is; You have caused us to be recreated in Christ Jesus, our Lord. And so we sing in adoration and worship, “How great Thou art, how great Thou art.

In the name of Jesus, amen.

THE GIVING OF THE LORD’S OFFERING

(see announcement above)

“You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’”

Acts 20:35

PRAYER SONG

Cares Chorus

Willard, Kelly

I cast all my cares upon You.
I lay all of my burdens
Down at Your feet;
And anytime that I don’t know What to do…
I will cast all my cares upon You.

I cast all my cares upon You.
I lay all of my burdens
Down at Your feet;
And anytime that I don’t know What to do…
I will cast all my cares upon You.

©1978 Maranatha Praise, Inc.
CCLI License No. 1843349

THE MORNING PRAYER

Alan Robbins

Please join me in prayer.

Dear Lord, our Heavenly Father.

What an important message the Cares Chorus song conveys:

I cast all my cares upon You.
I lay all my burdens down at your feet
And any time I don’t know what to do,
I will cast all my cares upon You.

Jesus wants us to know that he is always there for you. That simple thought should strengthen us for the troubling times we are in and the search for the right thing to do. Please don’t forget to cast all your cares to Jesus and he will guide you.

As we approach the July 4th weekend, we pray about the ultimate love of Jesus Christ, by his sacrifice on the Cross and the Grace he has given to us all.

We are so ever remindful and thankful for the freedom and independence we have to worship freely Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.

Lord we know you will listen and guide us as we want our prayers to reach out and to hold….. to give help….. and to give Love to those that are grieving, for those that are ill, for those that are hurting in any way and prayers for our own needs.

We pray for our church, we pray for our members, we pray for our community, we pray for our friends, we pray for leaders to help us do the right thing and to give God’s Glory and Grace to our community and the world in which we live.

For these things we pray. Amen

THE SCRIPTURES

I Peter 2:11-25

Before I read from I Peter it is important to note that with today’s text, we move into what is structurally the second half of this letter. Similar to Paul’s letters, the first part is primarily theological in focus, and this second section is, for the most part, practical in nature; indicating how believers are to live.

To be sure, Peter scatters some sparkling theological gems here and there as he does at the end of the reading you are about to hear but the majority from this point forward focuses on living the Christian life.

Verses 11 and 12 serves as an introduction and summarizes what he is about to begin teaching in detail from 2:13 through the end of the letter.

“Dear friends, I warn you as temporary residents and foreigners to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls. Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when He judges the world”.

I Peter 2:11-12

“Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors” is the key phrase and clues us to the idea that will come up several more times. And that is, Peter is very keen on the salvation of unbelievers and wants us to know that our behavior can have a tremendous impact on that.

William Barclay in commenting on this verse writes, “Here is a timeless truth. Whether we like it or not, every Christian is an advertisement for Christianity; by his life, he either commends it to others or makes them think less of it. The strongest missionary force in the world is a Christian life.” 2

And therefore, Peter is going to talk about living a Christian life in relation to governments, slave/master relationships, husband/wife relationships, how Christians should treat one another, even how to respond to persecution and suffering.

With all that as a backdrop, let’s pick it up at verse 13:

For the Lord’s sake, submit to all human authority—whether the king as head of state, or the officials he has appointed. For the king has sent them to punish those who do wrong and to honor those who do right. It is God’s will that your honorable lives should silence those ignorant people who make foolish accusations against you. For you are free, yet you are God’s slaves, so don’t use your freedom as an excuse to do evil. Respect everyone, and love the family of believers. Fear God, and respect the king.

You who are slaves must submit to your masters with all respect. Do what they tell you—not only if they are kind and reasonable, but even if they are cruel. For God is pleased when, conscious of his will, you patiently endure unjust treatment. Of course, you get no credit for being patient if you are beaten for doing wrong. But if you suffer for doing good and endure it patiently, God is pleased with you. For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in His steps.

He never sinned,
nor ever deceived anyone.
He did not retaliate when He was insulted,
nor threaten revenge when He suffered.
He left his case in the hands of God,
who always judges fairly.
He personally carried our sins
in His body on the cross
so that we can be dead to sin
and live for what is right.
By His wounds
you are healed.
Once you were like sheep
who wandered away.
But now you have turned to your Shepherd,
the Guardian of your souls.

THE MESSAGE

Randy K’Meyer

Hope on the Government, Part I

Honorable Secretary of Agriculture, Washington, D.C.

Dear Sir,

My friend, Dan Hansen, over at Honey Creek, Iowa, received a check for $1,000.00 from the government for not raising 50 hogs. He is very joyful about the future of the business.

So I want to go into the “NOT RAISING HOGS” business next year. In your opinion, what is the best breed of hogs not to raise? And if Dan Hansen got $1000.00 for not raising 50 hogs, then can I safely assume I will get $2000.00 for not raising 100 hogs?

Now another thing – these hogs I will not raise will not eat 100,000 bushels of corn. I understand that the government also pays people not to raise corn and wheat. Would I qualify for payments for not raising these crops not to feed my hogs I will not be raising?

Be assured, Mr. Secretary, you will have my vote in the upcoming election.

Patriotically yours,
Don Genereaux 3

Which brings up the question, “What should we do with people who rely on government handouts, but refuse to do the work?” And the answer is: “Kick them out of Congress.”

By the way, this was originally going to be one message concerning government. However; I had so much material I found it necessary to preach Part I today on the role of government in our lives. And will focus next week on our role with respect to government.

The first thing we must notice when it comes to understanding the role of government in the affairs of men is that government was instituted by God.

In his letter to the Romans, Paul writes:

Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted. (13:1-2)

We probably don’t think of it this way very often, but according to the Bible human government is a gift of God!

I know, I know, I am aware that trust our in government has hit an all-time low. A chart published by the Pew Research Center in 2014 shows a dramatic decline which began during the 1970s with the Vietnam War and Watergate. After a slight resurgence during the 1980s, the number of people who trust the government has been steadily declining. Only 20% of Americans say they trust the government ‘all’ or ‘most of the time.’ Therefore, 80% say only ‘some of the time’ or ‘never.’ Politicians are considered less-than-honest by large numbers of us. 4

Most of us believe that politicians and diapers have one thing in common: they should both be changed regularly… and for the same reason.

Sadly, this lack of trust is the new normal.

But for you and I, as Christian people, that lack of trust needs to be tempered by the Biblical truth that God has gifted us with government. And for good reason.

When we pull together the Bible’s teaching on the general function of government, as instituted by God, we discover it has two functions: the first is ‘to protect.’

Again, Paul from Romans:

The authorities are God’s servants, sent for your good” (Romans 13:4).

Governments provide basic protections by passing and enforcing laws. In his fine little commentary on this passage, Ernest Best plainly states: “It is the duty of the state to maintain law and order and preserve society from anarchy.” 5

In order to accomplish this, as all modern societies should do, governments have created what we commonly know as, ‘police departments.’

What makes a modern society ‘modern?’ A modern society must set limits on people’s behavior. You can’t have a modern society in which everyone has the freedom to do whatever they want. Oh, that sounds nice. But freedom without limits is not freedom at all; it’s chaos!

It’s chaos because you see, human beings are fundamentally flawed. And if not kept in check with some semblance of morality, human beings will exploit other human beings for personal gain.

It’s an old, old story; going way back to Genesis 4:

One day Cain suggested to his brother, ‘Let’s go out into the fields.’ And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother, Abel, and killed him” (Genesis 4:8).

For modern society to be a modern society, rather than a barbaric society, that modern society must uphold the rule of law! And not only uphold the law, but also, enforce that law.

That’s what police departments are for. They are agents of and acting on behalf of governments that have been instituted by God.

For that reason, police departments deserve all the support we can give them, both with our prayers and with public money. This is not the time to defund or disband the police. Somebody’s got to make sure the law is being followed. Are there some individual policemen who are bad actors? Obviously, there are; just as there are bad actors in every sector.

But make no mistake, in order to provide protection in a modern society, someone must uphold the rule of law. God ordained it so!

If the first function of government is, ‘to protect,’ the second is, ‘to punish.’

What did Peter say? “For the king has sent them to punish those who do wrong” (I Peter 2:14a).

And Paul? “But if you are doing wrong, of course you should be afraid, for they have the power to punish you. They are God’s servants, sent for the very purpose of punishing those who do what is wrong” (Romans 13:4).

For the last few weeks, we have seen a trend of giving certain law-breakers a pass. I am speaking of those who seized public property as their own in Seattle. And in the last week, it’s been those representing the so-called ‘cancel culture’ who deface and/or tear down public property. In Oregon, statues of Thomas Jefferson and George Washington were torn down. In San Francisco, vandals demolished statues of Ulysses S. Grant, and the author of our National Anthem, Francis Scott Key. Those who engage in this kind of behavior are breaking the law.

But these folks are being given a free pass by some who have governmental authority to thwart such behavior, but who for whatever reason are holding back police departments from doing the job for which they exist.

The result is that in some places there is no one stopping those who break the law which only encourages others to do likewise.

By the way, many media outlets that cover these stories about the tearing down of statues, the burning of flags and the defacing and destruction of property refer to folks who are engaged in these ‘shenanigans,’ as ‘protesters.’ I’m sorry, but they are they are not simply protesters; they are lawbreakers . . . and they need to be punished.

Speaking of the media, it is doing a disservice to our country by eagerly and copiously covering every event in which a policeman has shown an error in judgment and ignoring all the times when policemen perform admirably. And the truth is the latter outweigh the former thousands, if not tens of thousands, to one.

The results of all this negative and misleading media coverage is that the reputation of policemen is tarnished, more policemen are resigning, and fewer people are applying for those much-needed jobs.

I don’t blame them. Being a policeman was at one time a highly esteemed, honorable job. It’s sad to say that in some circles this is no longer so.

Listen up; the police are our friends. They put their lives on the line every day to protect society. And part of that protection involves arresting lawbreakers and handing them over to our systems of justice so they can decide whether and how much punishment is required.

We must not defund or disband police departments. They exist for the good of society; for our good. And that is their God-given responsibility.

In his commentary on First Peter, Jay Grudem writes “Governments that fail to punish wrongdoers disobey God’s purpose for their existence.” 6

Therefore; we need to support police departments and those who supervise them any way we can. We need to pray for them and ask God to come alongside them to help them carry out their very difficult and stress-filled but God-ordained tasks. We need to pray that they will, as much as possible in a dangerous job, be safe. We need to pray that their reputation as those who work for our good will be restored and that they will be honored and respected for their work. We need to pray that they will be seen as Paul declares to the Romans, “as God’s servants” (Romans 13:4).

Presbyterian pastor and author, Joel Belz, wrote a much-quoted article back in 2006 about the role of government titled, Tender Toughness.

“People want to be lightly governed by strong governments.

That’s what you’ve wanted since you were a small child. You wanted your dad to be big and strong and able to do anything you could think of—except that, when he dealt with you, it had to be with gentleness and tenderness. You wanted a policeman on the corner tough enough to handle any neighborhood bully, but who would also hoist you to his shoulders and help you find your parents when you got lost in the crowd.

Lots of muscle; lots of restraint. There’s an innate yearning in almost all of us for that rare combination. When evil people rise up, we want a government with the clout to back them down. Yet we never want that clout turned on us.

If the framers of the U.S. Constitution and the common person on the street find it sensible to agree on this, it’s only because God himself put that important truth in their hearts in the first place. We may be rebels against Him, but somehow we still long for His kind of rule. And any government that thinks it can do it better than God can do it, is simply in for big trouble.

In the final analysis, people want to be lightly governed by strong governments because that’s how God governs. The omnipotent ruler of the universe is also the one who invites us tenderly: “Come unto me, all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” 7

And so my friends, let us conclude by praying; praying that our government will be able to faithfully discharge its God-given responsibilities to both protect unswervingly and punish justly where needed so that God’s will might more effectively carried out on earth as it is in heaven.

And let us pray for policemen that they receive the respect they are due, that they be blessed with safety and Godly wisdom to carry out their responsibilities admirably.

And let us also pray for those on the other side of the law; that those who have not, might see the light of the glory of the gospel of love and grace that has come to us in Jesus; that they might turn to Him with true discernment and faith. And for those who already have, may they come to respect governing authorities.

And let us pray for ourselves; that when we have an opportunity to speak up for what we believe to be true, that we find the courage to boldly do so for the sake of the One who has called us by His grace and who hears the cries of people and promises to make their darkness bright.

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

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and how inscrutable His ways! For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever. Amen.

Romans 11:33

1 Reader’s Digest, Life in These United States, July/August 2018, page 27.

2 William Barclay, The Daily Study Bible Series; the Letters of James and Peter [Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: The Westminster Press, © 1975]. Page 202.

3 Source unknown https://bible.org/illustration/raising-hogs

4 Chris Cizzilla, The Remarkable Collapse of our Trust in Government,
The Washington Post (12-4-14)
https://www.preachingtoday.com/illustrations/2015/january/6011915.html

5 Ernest Best, The New Century Bible Commentary; I Peter,
[Grand Rapids, Michigan: W. B. Eerdmans, © 1988] Page 114.

6 Wayne Grudem, Tyndale New Testament Commentaries; I Peter,
[Grand Rapids, Michigan: W. B. Eerdmans, © 1988] Page 120.

7 Joel Belz, “Tender Toughness,” © World magazine (7-22-06), p. 3;
https://world.wng.org/2006/07/tender_toughness

Randy K'Meyer

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