It’s Not About Us

Worship Service for October 11, 2020

WELCOME

Good morning. Welcome to CrossPointe Community Church’s online video presentation.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

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

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 this service is also available in video format above.

Before I read today’s Call to Worship and we sing, let me clue you to what both are about by telling a story; a story about someone going to heaven. In fact, I am going to begin and end with a story about going to heaven.

After a long illness, a woman died and arrived at the Gates of Heaven. While she was waiting for Saint Peter to greet her, she peeked through the Gates. She saw a beautiful banquet table. Sitting all around were her parents and all the other people she had loved and who had died before her. They saw her and began calling greetings to her; “Hello, How are you! We’ve been waiting for you! Good to see you.”

When Saint Peter came by, the woman said to him, “This is such a wonderful place! How do I get in?”
“You have to spell just one word,” Saint Peter told her.
“Which word?” the woman asked.
“Grace.”
“The woman correctly spelled ‘G. r. a. c. e.’ and she was welcomed into Heaven.

About two years later, Saint Peter came to the woman and asked her to watch the Gates of Heaven for him that day. While the woman was guarding the Gates of Heaven, her husband arrived. “I’m surprised to see you,” the woman said.
“How have you been?”
“Oh, I’ve been doing pretty well since you died,” her husband told her. “I married the beautiful young nurse who took care of you while you were ill. And then I won the lottery. I sold the little house you and I lived in and bought a big mansion. My wife and I traveled all around the world. We were on vacation and I went water skiing today. I fell, the ski hit my head, and here I am. How do I get in?”
“You have to spell just one word,” the woman told him.
“Which word?” her husband asked.
“Czechoslovakia!”

CALL TO WORSHIP

Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and He will dwell with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’

He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be My children.

Revelation 21:1-7

HYMNS OF PRAISE

The Joy of the Lord is My Strength

Vale, Alliene

The joy of the Lord is my strength,
The joy of the Lord is my strength,
The joy of the Lord is my strength,
The joy of the Lord is my strength.

He gives me living water and I thirst no more
He gives me living water and I thirst no more
He gives me living water and I thirst no more
Oh, the joy of the Lord is my strength.

He fills my soul with laughter
Ha, ha, ha…ha, ha.
He fills my soul with laughter
Ha, ha, ha…ha, ha.
He fills my soul with laughter
Ha, ha, ha…ha, ha.
Oh, the joy of the Lord is my strength.

The joy of the Lord is my strength,
The joy of the Lord is my strength,
The joy of the Lord is my strength,
The joy of the Lord is my strength.

CCLI License No. 1843349

Alive Forever, Amen!

Cottrell, Moffitt and Smith

Let the children sing…a song of celebration,
The God of our salvation set us free.
Death where is thy sting?
The curse of sin is broken.
The empty tomb stands open, come and see.

He’s alive, alive, alive! Hallelujah!
Alive, praise and glory to the Lamb.
Alive, alive, alive! Hallelujah!
Alive forever amen!
Let my heart sing out,
For Christ the One and Only,
So powerful and holy, rescued me.
Death won’t hurt me now,
Because He has redeemed me.
No grave will ever keep me from my King!

I’m alive, alive, alive! Hallelujah!
Alive, praise and glory to the Lamb.
Alive, alive, alive! Hallelujah!
Alive forever amen!

Alive, alive, alive! Hallelujah!
Alive, praise and glory to the Lamb.
Alive, alive, alive! Hallelujah!
Alive forever amen!

Worthy is the Lamb,
Worthy of our praise
Worthy is the One
Who has overcome the grave.
Let the people dance,
Let the people sing.
Worthy is the Mighty King.

Worthy is the Lamb,
Worthy of our praise
Worthy is the One
Who has overcome the grave.
Let the people dance,
Let the people sing.
Worthy is the Mighty King.

Worthy is the Lamb,
Worthy of our praise
Worthy is the One
Who has overcome the grave.
Let the people dance,
Let the people sing.
Worthy is the Mighty King.

Worthy is the Lamb,
Worthy of our praise
Worthy is the One
Who has overcome the grave.
Let the people dance,
Let the people sing.
Worthy is the Mighty King.

Alive, alive, alive! Hallelujah!
Alive, praise and glory to the Lamb.
Alive, alive, alive! Hallelujah!
Alive forever amen!

Alive, alive, alive! Hallelujah!
Alive, praise and glory to the Lamb.
Alive, alive, alive! Hallelujah!
Alive forever amen!

Alive forever amen!
Alive forever amen!
Alive forever, amen!

©2003 New Spring Publishing, Inc.
CCLI License No. 1843349

OPENING PRAYER

O Risen Lord, who in death has gone before us, we join the Saints already in glory to praise Your Holy Name for removing the sting of death and making us alive forever, amen. Truly, truly we exclaim, the joy of the Lord is our strength. As we continue to worship, help us to rejoice in who You have made us to be, through Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray, amen.

THE GIVING OF THE LORD’S OFFERING

(see announcement above)

As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.

1 Timothy 6:17-19

PRAYER SONG

Bind Us Together

Gillman, Bob

Bind us together, Lord;
Bind us together
With cords that cannot be broken.
Bind us together, Lord;
Bind us together, Lord;
Bind us together with love.

There is only one God,
There is only one King,
There is only one body;
That is why we can sing:

Bind us together, Lord;
Bind us together
With cords that cannot be broken.
Bind us together, Lord;
Bind us together, Lord;
Bind us together with love.

©1977 Thank You Music (PRS) (admin. by EMI Christian Music Publishing)
CCLI License No. 1843349

MORNING PRAYER

Nancy Carr

Will you please join me in prayer.

Most gracious and holy Lord, we thank you for the blessings you bestow upon us each and every day. Thank you for our church family and for enveloping us in your amazing and powerful love. Guide us Lord to create unity in your church. As brothers and sisters in Christ we are to live with Christian humility which is based upon undeserved grace.

Paul reminds us that we are to live a life worthy of our calling by being humble, gentle, and patient. A patient attitude will not give up on people and does not give into defeat. We must exercise tolerance, and led by Christ’s example, encourage and comfort each other.

Patience comes through faith in God in all circumstances. May we cling to our faith during these uncertain and anxious times. Help us Lord to yield to the control of the Holy Spirit all of our thoughts, instincts, imaginations and ambitions.

This past week, as we engaged in our daily activities, while we worked, played, prayed and worried as we ran to and fro..…You were there. When we have battled sickness, sadness, financial worries, loss, despair and uncertainty …… You were there.

As this new week unfolds, help us preserve church unity by thoughtfully practicing humility, gentleness, patience, and “bearing with one another in love” in our daily lives. No matter who we are or what we do …….. because You have called us in Christ to be Your children ….. We Are Never Alone.

May we treasure your voice above all others and share Christ with everyone we meet. In Jesus Holy Name, We Pray. AMEN.

SCRIPTURE

The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the Lord God had made. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?”
“Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,” the woman replied. “It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said, ‘You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.’”
“You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman. “God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.”

The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too. At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.

When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man and his wife heard the Lord God walking about in the garden. So they hid from the Lord God among the trees. Then the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”
He replied, “I heard you walking in the garden, so I hid. I was afraid because I was naked.”
“Who told you that you were naked?” the Lord God asked. “Have you eaten from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat?”
The man replied, “It was the woman you gave me who gave me the fruit, and I ate it.”
Then the Lord God asked the woman, “What have you done?”
“The serpent deceived me,” she replied. “That’s why I ate it.”

Then the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all animals, domestic and wild. You will crawl on your belly, groveling in the dust as long as you live. And I will cause hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.”

Then he said to the woman, “I will sharpen the pain of your pregnancy, and in pain you will give birth. And you will desire to control your husband, but he will rule over you.”

And to the man he said, “Since you listened to your wife and ate from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat, the ground is cursed because of you. All your life you will struggle to scratch a living from it. It will grow thorns and thistles for you, though you will eat of its grains. By the sweat of your brow will you have food to eat until you return to the ground from which you were made. For you were made from dust, and to dust you will return.”

Genesis 3:1-19

As we come to the next section in Philippians, we immediately note a change in tenor. Whereas last Sunday, we saw Paul was concerned with making the Philippians aware of his circumstances, in today’s passage, indeed, for most of the rest of the letter, he is concerned with the circumstances of the Philippians.

This is apparent in the first verse: “Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ” (1:27).

I must stop and explain that the verb Paul chooses for “conduct yourselves”
was used in the common vernacular to admonish a Roman citizen to conduct themselves as a Roman citizen. The great British Bible commentator William Barclay writes:

Philippi was a Roman colony; and Roman colonies were little bits of Rome planted throughout the world, where the citizens never forgot that they were Romans, spoke the Latin language, wore the Latin dress, called their magistrates by Latin names, however far they might be from Rome. So what Paul is saying is, “You and I know full-well the privileges and responsibilities of being a Roman citizen. You know full well how even in Philippi, so many miles from Rome, you must still live and act as a Roman does. Well then, remember that you have even a higher duty than that. Wherever you are you must live as befits a citizen of the Kingdom of God. 1

This living as a citizen of heaven is what I want to talk about today as I think we should do our best in reading these letters to imagine what the recipients heard as it was read for the first time (what I call the big picture) and how they felt about what they heard.

Now to be sure, as part of living as a citizen of the kingdom, there are two subthemes in the section I am reading today that I will preach separate sermons on. Those subthemes are (1) suffering for the sake of the gospel and (2) Christian unity.

With that, let’s finish reading this passage.

Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ. Then, whether I come and see you again or only hear about you, I will know that you are standing together with one spirit and one purpose, fighting together for the faith, which is the Good News. Don’t be intimidated in any way by your enemies. This will be a sign to them that they are going to be destroyed, but that you are going to be saved, even by God himself. For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for him. We are in this struggle together. You have seen my struggle in the past, and you know that I am still in the midst of it.

Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose. Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.

You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Philippians 1:27-2:11

THE MESSAGE

Randy K’Meyer

It’s Not About Us

If you have to blame someone, blame it on Copernicus. We had a pretty good thing going until he turned our world upside down. Up until then, we could take our kids outside on a stray, starry night, put an arm around their shoulder, look up with them into the night sky, and proudly proclaim, “Everything you see, my children; the sun, the moon, the planets, the stars, everything revolves around us.”

And then Copernicus came alongside, pointed at the sun and said, “No, everything revolves around the sun.”

Despite the fact that his explanation of celestial movement made perfect sense, it was denied for a long time. In fact, when Galileo came along with his telescope 50 years later and corroborated what Copernicus postulated, they took him by the ear and tossed him out of the church. You’d have thought he had called the Pope a Baptist!

But it’s not easy to change peoples’ minds once they get it in their heads that everything revolves around them.

What Copernicus did for the world, God did for us. God put His arm around our shoulder, pointed His finger toward His Son and proclaimed, “No, everything doesn’t revolve around you, everything revolves around My Son.”

For that’s the big picture of today’s passage; where Paul reminds the Philippians that if they (we) are going to live as citizens of heaven, they (we) must learn what is perhaps life’s most difficult lesson: “it’s not about us.”

That’s life’s most difficult lesson to learn because we were born with the inclination to believe that the world should revolve around us.

That we are what’s most important in our universe and because we are, we deserve to get what we want. It’s called selfishness. Selfishness is the root of all sin. Every other sin stems from selfishness.

We inherited this self-centered proclivity from our forebears. The Bible says their names were Adam and Eve. God created them and placed them in the garden of His presence and issued one prohibition; just one! Don’t eat the forbidden fruit because if you do there will be dire consequences for you and for all your offspring.

Don’t you wish you could have been there as Eve reached for that forbidden fruit? Why, we would have grabbed her hand and shouted “Don’t touch that fruit, Eve!” We would have saved the human race from this scourge of selfishness, right? Or perhaps we would have joined her in her folly, after all, the fruit did look good.

Did you know that hunters in Africa have a clever way of trapping a monkey? They hollow out a coconut, cut a hole in it they can just squeeze an orange into. Sooner or later an unsuspecting monkey swings by, smells the delicious fruit, looks inside, sees that the fruit looks good and sticks it’s hand in to grab it. Of course, the hole is not large enough to accommodate the monkey’s hand while still grasping the orange. The monkey pulls and pulls, but to no avail. And he will not let go of the fruit. Even when the monkey sees a hunter approaching, it refuses to let go. 2

It could have saved its own life, but its determination to cling to the orange is its downfall.

You and I have inherited that tendency.

And in our selfish, grab all you can get and never let go world, the concept of cultivating an unselfish attitude is almost a joke! The world has always proclaimed that to be unselfish is stupid, will make us vulnerable, that people will walk all over us, that we won’t get what we deserve!

That’s the kind of thinking that lies behind this passage, where Paul reminds the Philippians that they no longer belong to that egocentric kind of universe.

“Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ” (Philippians 1:27). Citizens of heaven have rejected the idea that everything revolves around them.

They “stand together with one spirit and one purpose, fighting together for the faith, which is the Good News, agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.” They are not, “selfish; don’t try to impress others; but rather are “humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.”

There was once a woman who owned two prize-winning chickens. One afternoon, she forget to lock a gate and her chickens managed to escape and got into the neighbor’s garden. The neighbor, who was known for his foul temper, captured both birds, wrung their necks and threw their carcasses back across the fence. The woman was understandably hurt and for a moment considered getting even, but this woman was a Christ follower. So instead of getting even, she made a pot of chicken soup, took it to her neighbor and apologized for not watching her chickens more closely.

That’s the end of story; there’s no punch line. She took a pot of chicken soup to a neighbor who was convinced that the world revolved around him and apologized for letting her chickens escape.

Of those two, who do you think slept better that night?

People, like that neighbor, who have bought the devil’s lie, and cling to an, “it IS all about me” attitude are some of the most miserable people on earth.

On the other hand, Christian pastor, bishop and 5th President of Moody Bible Institute, William Culbertson, insightfully wrote:

I find that unselfish living means truly living. It does not mean a joy ride to heaven; it does not mean that there are no trials and no burdens. But it does mean peace in your soul and joy in your heart, and a sense, a supreme sense, of the smile of the Lord upon you.” 3

We are citizens of that joy-filled Kingdom of heaven! We have by and large learned the lesson that the world does not revolve around us! And it shows in the way we live our lives; the way we treat others, in the way we support the church with our prayers, our monetary gifts and the ways we help the church help others.

How in the world were we able to shrug off this “it’s all about me” attitude?

Paul reminds the Philippians and us: because they and we have embraced the attitude that Christ Jesus had:

Though he was God, He did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, He gave up His divine privileges; He took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When He appeared in human form, He humbled Himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.

Philippians 2:5-8

You see, my Christian friends, we have rejected the “it’s all about me” belief, and embraced “it’s all about Him.” And now we are, in spite of the fact that we still inhabit this world, no longer of this world. Jesus words about His disciples have come true in us: “They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world” (John 17:16). We are citizens of heaven!

Speaking of heaven, there is an apocryphal story about a man who died and was asked by Saint Peter if he wanted to go to heaven or hell. The man asked if there was a difference in the way people lived in heaven or hell.

So Saint Pete took him to hell and invited him to take a look. He saw a long tables stretching as far as the eye could see, filled with the most delicious-looking and wonderful-smelling foods he had ever seen. The people sitting on both sides of the table were holding 4-foot-long chopsticks. Some were attempting to stretch their arms far enough away from their mouths that they could actually place food in their mouths, but alas, no success. Most of the people had already given up and were sitting there emaciated. After looking around and growing sad at the dismal scene before him, the man asked if he could check out heaven.

There he saw a similar scene; the same endless rows of tables laden with the most exquisite looking foods. And like in hell, the people sitting on both sides were holding 4-foot-long chopsticks. But what a difference in the people themselves. Instead of being in a weakened, half-starved state, they were fully satisfied, in good health and filled with joy.

The man asked Saint Pete what accounted for the difference. And Saint Peter answered, “In heaven, we feed each other.”

So we thank Copernicus for correcting the error of thinking the universe revolves around us by rightly pointing to the s. u. n.

More than that, we join the Philippians in joyfully thanking Paul for pointing in the direction of God’s S. O. N.!

PRAYER

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

CLOSING SONG

Jesus You Are My Life

Fry, Steve

You are my life,
Oh precious Christ.
You are to me
The pearl of greatest price.
My love for You will never die.
Jesus, You are my life.

I come to You.
I run to You.
There’s no greater joy than knowing You.

O Holy Fire,
Love’s Purest Light.
Burn all desires
‘Til You are my one delight.
My love for You will never die.
Jesus, You are my life.

I come to You.
I run to You.
There’s no greater joy than knowing You.

O conquering King,
Conquer my heart
And make of me
A pleasing gift to God.
My love for You will never die.
Jesus, You are my life.

I come to You.
I run to You.
There’s no greater joy than knowing You.

My love for You will never die
Jesus, You are my life.

©1994 Maranatha Praise, Inc/Word Music, Inc. (a div. of Word Music Group, Inc.)
CCLI License No. 1843349

SCRIPTURAL BENEDICTION

Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of His glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

Jude 24-25

1 Williams Barclay, The Daily Study Bible Series; The Letters to the Philippians, Colossians and Thessalonians, Second Edition, [Philadelphian, Pennsylvania, The Westminster Press, © 1975]. Page 30.

2 Teaching Illustrations: Creative Youth Ideas
https://www.creativeyouthideas.com/resources/teaching-illustrations/how-to-catch-a-monkey/

3 William Culbertson in Listening to the Giants, Christianity Today, Vol. 40, no. 8.
https://www.preachingtoday.com/search/?query=joy&page=3

Randy K'Meyer

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