Joy in Troubled Times

Worship Service for October 18, 2020

WELCOME

Good morning. Welcome to CrossPointe Community Church’s online video presentation. I have been told that there are over a 1,000 people a month accessing these videos. I had no idea that many people were looking on.

A little bird told me an old friend of mine, Betty Akers, from Litchfield, Ohio recently began to tune in. Betty, welcome aboard. Long time, no see. Still can’t see you, but I am hopeful that when all of this pandemic stuff is over, we can remedy that. It would be great to see you again.

I thank God for all of you and for the opportunity to spend these moments with you. If you’d like to reach out to me, I’d love to hear from you. You can e-mail me at randykmeyer@hotmail.com. And now I pray that God will bless us all as we join together to worship Him.

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

Our church leaders met last Sunday and made a decision to revert to our normal worship time of 10:30am beginning Sunday, October 25th.

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 on the same page where you accessed this.

CALL TO WORSHIP

Come, let us sing to the Lord!
Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come to Him with thanksgiving.
Let us sing psalms of praise to Him.
For the Lord is a great God,
a great King above all gods.
He holds in His hands the depths of the earth
and the mightiest mountains.
The sea belongs to Him, for He made it.
His hands formed the dry land, too.
Come, let us worship and bow down.
Let us kneel before the Lord our maker,
For He is our God.
We are the people He watches over,
the flock under His care.

Psalm 95:1-7

HYMNS OF PRAISE

Come Now is the Time to Worship

Doerksen, Brian

Come, now is the time to worship.
Come, now is the time to give your heart.
Come, just as you are to worship.
Come, just as you are before your God…
Come.

One day every tongue
Will confess You are God.
One day every knee will bow.
Still the greatest treasure remains
For those who gladly choose You now.

Come, now is the time to worship.
Come, now is the time to give your heart.
Come, just as you are to worship.
Come, just as you are before your God…
Come.

©1998 Vineyard Songs (UK/Eire) (admin by Mercy/Vineyard Publishing)
CCLI License No. 1843349

It is the Cry of My Heart

Butler, Terry

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

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

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

Open my eyes so I can see
The wonderful things that You do.
Open my heart up, more and more
And make it wholly devoted to You.

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

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

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

Jesus Draw Me Close

Founds, Rick

Jesus, draw me close; closer, Lord, to You.
Let the world around me… fade away.

Jesus, draw me close; closer, Lord to You.
For I desire to worship and obey.
For I desire to worship and obey.

©1990 Maranatha Praise, Inc.
CCLI License No. 1843349

OPENING PRAYER

Lord Jesus, into Your most holy presence we now come. Calm our anxious spirits. Remove the distractions that would keep us from you here today. Forgive and break down any walls of separation that we may have built to keep us from fully worshipping You. Lead us in joy and celebration of the only reality worth knowing, that You love us as we are. Free us for joyful obedience to Your claim and call on our lives this day and every day. Amen.

THE GIVING OF THE LORD’S OFFERING

(see announcement above)

Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, ‘Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.’

Mark 12:41-44

PRAYER SONG

My Peace

Routledge, Keith

My peace I give unto you.
It’s a peace that the world cannot give.
It’s a peace that the world cannot understand.
Peace to know, peace to live.
My peace I give unto you.

My love I give unto you.
It’s a love that the world cannot give.
It’s a love that the world cannot understand.
Love to know, love to live.
My love I give unto you.

©1975, 1980 and this arrangement ©1997 Kenwood Music.
Admin. by Maranatha! Music
CCLI License No. 1843349

MORNING PRAYER

Our heavenly Father, peace and love are all we want. Love and peace are all we really need.

When we are alone with our thoughts, when we stop to think deeply about our lives, about what we want and what we need, we realize that what we need is peace and love. Not just any peace and love, but Your peace and Your Love.

To be sure Lord, we are grateful for the peace and love that we have encountered in people and places in this life; in our friends, in our families. However; we confess that the kind of peace and love that we really crave can only be found in You. And so we are so blessed because love and peace are what You excel at giving.

You love us so much that You breathed our air and walked our sod before giving up Your life as a sacrifice for our sinfulness. And You called out to us and invited us into this faith in Christ. And now in Jesus, we have experienced the true love and real peace that only You can provide.

And now we humbly ask, O Lord, that You will enable us to be partners with You in joyously sharing love and peace with people we encounter, that Your love and peace will bless their lives through us.

For these gifts we give You thanks and praise in the name of Jesus, amen.

SCRIPTURE

Dear friends, you always followed my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away, it is even more important. Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him.

Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. Hold firmly to the word of life; then, on the day of Christ’s return, I will be proud that I did not run the race in vain and that my work was not useless. But I will rejoice even if I lose my life, pouring it out like a liquid offering to God, just like your faithful service is an offering to God. And I want all of you to share that joy. Yes, you should rejoice, and I will share your joy.

Philippians 2:12-18

THE MESSAGE

Randy K’Meyer

Joy in Troubled Times

Talk about having two different perspectives concerning the same situation; in Reader’s Digest’s “Life In These United States” a lady relates the story of driving with her three young children in the back seat one warm summer evening. Suddenly they were startled to see a young woman in the convertible ahead stand up, turn around and begin to wave at them madly! As this mother was reeling from the shock, because you see this gal was naked, she hears her 8-year-old shout from the back-seat, “Mom! That lady isn’t wearing a . . . seat belt!”

We need some perspective on the troubled times in which we live. Perhaps a historical perspective will help.

The last time there was a world-wide crisis was the second world war, which claimed 80 million lives. Prior to that it was the dual crises of World War I which claimed 20 million lives and the Spanish Flu pandemic which took another 50 million. Compared to those two 20th century events, we can thank God that this pandemic is not so severe. But even so, the troubled times in which we find ourselves can be daunting, if not overwhelming.

More than a historical perspective, we need a Biblical perspective on troubled times. And that’s exactly what Philippians has to offer. Paul says that there is joy to be discovered in the midst of troubled times.

In chapter one, Paul talks about joy in reaching others for Christ in the midst of troubled times. In chapter three, it’s joy in grace-filled living in the midst of troubled times. In chapter four, we have joy in learning to be content in the midst of troubled times. And in the second chapter, Paul declares there is joy in serving the Lord in the midst of troubled times.

A joy that is so deep-seated that what Paul is conveying in today’s text is akin to: My service for the Lord might very well cost me my life, but if it does, I will rejoice because I know that I have served the One who gave His life for me and consequently, Philippians, I want you to rejoice with me.

The big picture for today is there is joy to be found in working hard for the sake of unity realizing that God is working in us to help us be shining lights in our world.

“Therefore work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear.”

“Work hard” not to earn your salvation; as we know full well salvation is a gift of grace through faith and cannot be earned by any of us.

Frank Thielman writes, “When Paul says in Philippians 2:12 that believers must work out their salvation, he does not mean that they should work for salvation. He means instead that they should conduct themselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ” (1:27). 1

Our salvation was earned by God in Christ who paid the price for our sinfulness as Paul has just expressed in 2:8: “He humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.”

Since God in Christ did this for us, we confess that Jesus is Lord of our lives by working hard; not to earn our salvation but to show the results of our salvation.

In other words Paul agrees with James who writes:

What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do?

So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless. Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.”

You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror. How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless?

James 2:14-20

So, saving faith is verified by good works.

A Christian who owned a rowboat painted the word ‘faith’ on one oar and ‘works’ on the other. Whenever someone asked him about it he would invite that person to sit in his boat and invite them to slip the oar with ‘faith’ into the water and begin to row; with the result of course that the boat would make a tight circle. Then he would say, “Now, try ‘works’ without ‘faith’ and they would pull ‘faith’ and put in ‘works’ and again the boat began to circle, but in the opposite direction. Then so as there would be no misunderstanding he would say, “You see, to get anywhere on this lake, I need both oars working in order to keep the boat on the straight and narrow. If one does not have the use of both oars, ‘faith’ and ‘works’ he makes no progress, either across the lake or in the Christian life.” 2

What’s all this have to do with experiencing joy in the midst of troubled times? Simple: faith in action affirms our faith; not only to others but just as importantly, to ourselves. It’s those people who claim to believe in Christ, but who seldom put their faith in action that have the most doubts about their salvation. Whereas faith accompanied by authenticating works yields assurance of salvation, and therefore joy!

Work hard at what?

Generally, from the topic sentence for this section, Paul still has in mind, “Conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the good news” (1:27). More specifically, he wants them to work hard at maintaining unity in the church. In chapter 4 of this letter, Paul calls out two people for causing disunity. But he leads up to addressing them specifically by addressing this issue in one way or another several times prior to that.

Back in chapter one, Paul wrote, “Standing together with One Spirit and One Purpose fighting together for the faith” (27). And in 2:2, “Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.”

That’s how our country rose up to defeat the Germans and Japanese in four years. Our country was united; everybody got behind the war effort. As the men fought the battles, women rose up at home and built tanks and planes. Everybody on the home front rationed everything from gasoline, kerosene, and oil to all kinds of rubber products, metals of all kinds, and food products. Everybody sacrificed and pitched in whatever they could because there was a great cause at hand: to defeat the enemy at all costs.

Can you imagine what would have happened if everybody, soldiers included, would have done what he or she wanted based upon what was best for them? That flag would probably have a swastika on it! But instead everybody was of one mind and spirit working together for the cause! What a testament to our namesake: the United States of America!

That’s what God has in mind for His Church for all of us to join together to rise up and defeat the enemy; to accomplish God’s will on earth as it is in heaven.

Wilma Rudolph became the first American woman to win three Olympic gold medals in the 100-meter, 200-meter, and the 4-by-100-meter relay. After those 1960 Olympics games held in Rome, she was asked which medal gave her the most satisfaction and joy. “My favorite gold medal?” she responded, “That’s easy, it was the one for the relay race because I won that with my teammates and we were able to stand and celebrate together on the platform while they played our National Anthem!”

How do we find any joy in troubled times? There is much joy to be found in “standing together with one spirit and one purpose fighting together for the faith” (1:27).

First the command, “Work hard at maintaining unity,” and then the amazing promise: “God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.”

Wait a minute Paul, you say God is working in me? You don’t understand, Paul, sometimes I can go two or three days without ever praying or reading the Bible, surely He’s not going to be working in me. Sometimes I don’t listen to the preacher, sometimes I can’t get my mind off how the Browns are going to do today, surely God’s not going to be working in me. Sometimes I’m too discouraged to even think about living a Christian life, so surely the good Lord is not going to be working in me.

And Paul says, “Do you think the Philippians were perfect?” They had their problems too; just read this letter: some of them were selfish, some of them were causing disruption in the church, some of them were chronic complainers, some of them loved nothing better than to argue about everything but Paul says, GOD WAS WORKING IN THEM AND HE IS WORKING IN YOU TOO!

Here is the answer to any discouragement we might be experiencing as a result of this pandemic. It is coming to the realization that the God who created the heavens and the earth IS WORKING IN US! How can we possibly be ho-hum about that? There’s an attitude changer: GOD IS AT WORK IN HIS PEOPLE!

He continues to work through us, as we pray for our church, as we pray that our church will continue to accomplish our mission of Sharing God’s Grace with Our Community, as we continue to give our tithes and offerings so that the church can continue to manifest the presence of Christ in our community.

It should bring us great joy knowing that God is working in us and will continue to work in us to bring His kingdom here on earth as it is in heaven!

No wonder Paul goes on to tell the Philippians and us, that as a result of their and our efforts, they and we will be shining lights in a dark world.

The NASB translates verses 14-15 as, “Do all things without grumbling or disputing (unity); so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world.”

It gives us great joy in knowing that God is working in us helping us to shine
as bright lights in a world that is often characterized by darkness. God is at work in us to bring light and life and hope into a world that is in desperate need of His love and grace. God is at work in us helping us to plant seeds of grace in peoples’ lives so that they too will be drawn closer to Him.

I was so glad to hear that the Polar Bear team is moving forward in hopes of having a Polar Bear Event in January. And I am so glad that in addition to the way we have been assisting with that event they have asked us if this coming event they can use our building. It’s because our light has shined in the past and because it has, they know who they can count on!

In his 2016 documentary titled Light On Earth, David Attenborough tells of an unbelievable experience of the S.S. Lima. On January 25, 1995, as this British Merchant vessel sailed the waters of the northwestern Indian Ocean, the seas beneath them began to glow. The people on board said it appeared as though the ship was sailing over a field of snow or gliding over the clouds. Although this phenomenon has been a part of maritime folklore since the 1700s, it has never been scientifically documented. But a group of scientists using a Meteorological Satellite 600 miles up were able to spot that large luminescent area roughly the size of Connecticut in the exact area where the captain had reported his ship that night. Marine biologists were dispatched and discovered that the glowing sea was caused by massive swarms of individual bioluminescent bacteria feeding on large populations of algae. Imagine that for a moment: bacteria are microscopic. But when they congregate together, these tiny creatures, that cannot even be seen by the naked eye, radiate their light 600 miles into orbit. 3

Let us joyfully thank God for the opportunities He gives us to let our individual lights combine to shine brightly for Christ.

Paul wants the Philippians and us to realize that God is at work shining His light through us for His good purposes in this, His world! And this should give us great JOY no matter what is happening in the world at large or in our own private world.

PRAYER

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

CLOSING SONG

Shine, Jesus, Shine

Kendrick, Graham

Lord, the light of Your love is shining
In the midst of the darkness shining;
Jesus, Light of the world, shine upon us;
Set us free by the truth You now bring us.
Shine on me, shine on me.

Shine, Jesus, shine.
Fill this land with the Father’s glory;
Blaze, Spirit, blaze, set our hearts on fire.
Flow, river, flow.
Flood the nations with grace and mercy;
Send forth Your Word, Lord,
And let there be light.

Lord, I come to Your awesome presence.
From the shadows into your radiance;
By the blood I may enter Your brightness,
Search me, try me,
Consume all my darkness.
Shine on me, shine on me.

Shine, Jesus, shine.
Fill this land with the Father’s glory;
Blaze, Spirit, blaze, set our hearts on fire.
Flow, river, flow.
Flood the nations with grace and mercy;
Send forth Your Word, Lord,
And let there be light.

As we gaze on Your kingly brightness,
So our faces display Your likeness;
Ever changing from glory to glory,
Mirror’d here, may our lives tell Your story.
Shine on me, Shine on me.

Shine, Jesus, shine.
Fill this land with the Father’s glory;
Blaze, Spirit, blaze, set our hearts on fire.
Flow, river, flow.
Flood the nations with grace and mercy;
Send forth Your Word, Lord,
And let there be light.

Shine, Jesus, shine.
Fill this land with the Father’s glory;
Blaze, Spirit, blaze, set our hearts on fire.
Flow, river, flow.
Flood the nations with grace and mercy;
Send forth Your Word, Lord,
And let there be light.

©1987 Make Way Music
CCLI License No. 1843349

SCRIPTURAL BENEDICTION

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Ephesians 3:20-21

1 Frank Thielman, The NIV Application Commentary; Philippians, [Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1995], Page 138.

2 Faith Sermon Illustrations http://www.moreillustrations.com/Illustrations/faith%206.html

3 David Attenborough, Light On Earth, CuriosityStream.com (5-9-16)
https://www.preachingtoday.com/illustrations/2020/may/christians-are-light-of-world.html

Randy K'Meyer

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