Our Deepest Question

Worship Service for August 15, 2021

WELCOME

Good day, welcome, and thanks for joining CrossPointe Community Church’s online worship presentation. Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. May They bless you this day as a result of your choosing to worship them.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

As a reminder, we are having in-person worship at 10:00 AM on Sundays. Because the numbers in Medina County remain low, vaccinated individuals are not yet required to wear a mask. If you are not vaccinated, we ask that you wear a mask and sit on the right side of the sanctuary where the chairs are spaced out further. If you wish to sit six feet apart from someone else, make sure that there is one chair between you and them.

Okay, to get the gray matter and the funny bone working; whereas an Astrophile loves stars, a Bibliophile loves books, not the Bible, a Hippophile loves horses (not hippos) a Lexophile loves what? And the answer is ‘a play on words.’

For an example, or two, I know a guy who’s addicted to drinking brake fluid,
but he says he can stop any time.

A thief who stole a calendar got . . . twelve months.

When the smog lifts in Los Angeles . . . U.C.L.A.

I got some batteries that were given out . . . free of charge.

This girl today said she recognized me from the Vegetarians Club,
but I’d swear I’ve never met . . . herbivore.

I couldn’t find a phile that describes someone who loves God. Religiophile, as a person who loves religion is close, but no cigar. We’ll just have to make up our own. Since all these philes are Greek terms; ‘phile’ being one of the four Greek words for love, in this case, affectionate love and since the Greek word for God is Theo, we could say that we are all Theophiles; lovers of God. Or more specifically I suppose we are Christosophiles, lovers of Christ. Theophiles and Christisophiles that’s what Paul has in mind for us to be in today’s . . .

SCRIPTURAL CALL TO WORSHIP

When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit. Then Christ will make His home in your hearts as you trust in Him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

Ephesians 3:14-20

OPENING WORSHIP SONGS

No Greater Love

Walker, Tommy

There’s no greater love than Jesus,
There’s no greater love than He gives.
There’s no greater love that frees us
So deep within.

There’s no greater love than Jesus,
There’s no greater love than He gives.
There’s no greater love that frees us
So deep within.

We praise Your name,
Stand in awe of Your never ending love.
Love so great that it covers
All my sin and shame.
No greater power,
There is no greater force in all the earth
Than the strength of His love.

There’s no greater love than Jesus,
There’s no greater love than He gives.
There’s no greater love that frees us
So deep within.

©1993 Doulos Publishing (Maranatha! Music [Admin. by The Copyright Company])/
Dayspring Music, Inc. (a div. of Word Music Group, Inc.)
CCLI License No. 1843349

Your Everlasting Love

Batstone, Bill

Your everlasting love is higher
Higher, higher than the sky,
Your everlasting love is higher,
Higher, higher than the sky
Higher than the sky.
O the wonder of…Your everlasting love
Is higher than the sky.

Higher than the heavens above
Is the glory of Your wonderful love.
I’m lost in the mystery of
Your everlasting love,
Your everlasting love.

Your everlasting love is deeper,
Deeper, deeper than the sea.
Your everlasting love is deeper,
Deeper, deeper than the sea.
Deeper than the sea.
O the wonder of…
Your everlasting love
Is deeper than the sea.

Higher than the heavens above
Is the glory of Your wonderful love.
I’m lost in the mystery of
Your everlasting love,
Your everlasting love.

Your everlasting love is reaching,
Reaching, reaching out to me.
Your everlasting love is reaching,
Reaching, reaching out to me
Reaching out to me.
O the wonder of…
Your everlasting love
Is reaching out to me.

Higher than the heavens above
Is the glory of Your wonderful love.
I’m lost in the mystery of
Your everlasting love,
Your everlasting love.

©1993 Maranatha Praise, Inc.
CCLI License No. 1843349

Think About His Love

Harrah, Walt

Think about His love.
Think about His goodness.
Think about His grace
That’s brought us through.
For as high as the heavens above,
So great is the measure
Of our Father’s love.
Great is the measure
Of our Father’s love.

Think about His love.
Think about His goodness.
Think about His grace
That’s brought us through.
For as high as the heavens above,
So great is the measure
Of our Father’s love.

Great is the measure
Of our Father’s love.
Great is the measure
Of our Father’s love.

©1987 Integrity’s Hosanna! Music (c/o Integrity Music,Inc.)
CCLI License No. 1843349

OPENING PRAYER

Our gracious Heavenly Father, thank You for Your call upon our lives to worship You. Thank You that by Your Spirit you moved us to participate today. Thank You for the reminder from the Apostle Paul and from the songs we just sang for the reminder of Your everlasting love revealed in Jesus. It is our prayer that as we continue to worship that Paul’s prayer for us to think about how wide, how long, how high, and how deep Your love really is will be answered anew, for we ask this in Jesus’ name, amen.

OFFERING

I want to thank you for your faithfulness in worshipping and honoring God in this tangible way. Doing so enables all of us to be at least somewhat like Jesus, who gave His very life for us. Remember that He Himself said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).

If you would like to send your offering through the mail, our mailing address is:

P.O. Box 126
Chippewa Lake, OH 44215

OFFERING/PRAYER SONG

Near to the Heart of God

McAfee, Cleland

There is a place of quiet rest,
Near to the heart of God;
A place where sin cannot molest,
Near to the heart of God.

O Jesus, blest Redeemer,
Sent from the heart of God,
Hold us, who wait before Thee,
Near to the heart of God.

There is a place of comfort sweet,
Near to the heart of God;
A place where we our Savior meet,
Near to the heart of God.

O Jesus, blest Redeemer,
Sent from the heart of God,
Hold us, who wait before Thee,
Near to the heart of God.

There is a place of full release,
Near to the heart of God;
A place where all is joy and peace
Near to the heart of God.

O Jesus, blest Redeemer,
Sent from the heart of God,
Hold us, who wait before Thee,
Near to the heart of God.

©Public Domain
CCLI License No. 1843349

MORNING PRAYER

Brad Winter

Dear Heavenly Father,

We thank you for this beautiful summer morning and for bringing us all together in this moment to express our love for you through song and prayer.

We thank you for your love and grace and for creating each one of us with talent, skill, and ability so we can work hard to provide for our families and work hard for the benefit of serving others.

God, grant us the courage to handle the challenges before us. When we are tempted to give up, give us the strength through your almighty power and love to help us overcome any challenge or temptation that may arise.

Please quiet our hearts and our minds so we can hear and receive the message our pastor has prepared for us.

When we exit this building today, may we be reminded of our duty to serve our mission: Sharing God’s grace with our community. Please guide our thoughts, words, and actions to always glorify you!!!!!

In Jesus name…. Amen

SCRIPTURE

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them. For God knew His people in advance, and He chose them to become like His Son, so that His Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And having chosen them, He called them to come to Him. And having called them, He gave them right standing with Himself. And having given them right standing, He gave them his glory.

What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since He did not spare even His own Son but gave Him up for us all, won’t He also give us everything else? Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one; for God Himself has given us right standing with Himself. Who then will condemn us? No one; for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.

Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean He no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow; not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:28-39

MESSAGE

Our Deepest Question

Randy K’Meyer

Author Patsy Clairmont makes the point that God asks an awful lot of questions throughout the Scriptures.

Tell you what; I’ll ask some questions; three from the Old Testament and three from the New and let’s see if you can come up with the name of the person being asked (answers at the end):

  1. Q. “Where are you?” (Genesis 3:9)
  2. Q. “Whom shall I send?” (Isaiah 6:8)
  3. Q. “Can these dry bones live again?” (Ezekiel 37:3)
  4. Q. “Who do you say that I am?” (Matthew 16:15)
  5. Q. “Do you believe this?” (John 11:26)
  6. Q. “Do you love me?” (John 21:16)

Hey wait a minute; I thought the Bible taught that God is all-knowing?

The first four verses of Psalm 139, “O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord.”

First John 3:20 simplifies the matter: “He knows everything.”

If God already knows everything, why is He asking all these questions? And Clairmont says, “I think He questions us so we might think; think through our choices, our responsibilities, and our beliefs.”

That’s why Paul, on God’s behalf asks several questions in his letter to the Romans:

“If God is for us, who can ever be against us?” (8:31b).
“Won’t God, who gave us Christ, also give us everything else?” (8:32).
“Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for His own?” (8:33).
“Does it mean He no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?” (8:35).

And what is perhaps our deepest question, “Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love?” (8:35).

To help us think through these questions, I will turn one of them into a statement. For Paul is not doubting as he asks “If God is for us?” What he wants us to know to the depth of our being is, “God is for us!”

Ladies and gentlemen, believe it or not, the sovereign and holy GOD is for us.

Our parents may have neglected us, our siblings may be at odds with us, our children may take advantage of us, our friends may have given up on us, our colleagues may criticize us, some of our brothers and sisters in Christ judge us; but someone, God, in Christ, Paul wants us to know, is in our corner.

God’s love for us is not fickle or capricious or variable.

Human love often is. Humans’ love is often doled out or withheld based upon performance. ‘As long as you act this way or that, I will love you. But if you don’t, I just might give up on you.’ Human love can and often does let us down. Who among us has not experienced love disappointed?

God’s love, on the other hand, is truly unconditional. Psalm 36:7 says, “How precious is Your unfailing love, O God!”

We can even reject God and His love, but God keeps on loving us. No matter what our human choices, God still loves. This is why Paul closes this passage with, “I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love” (Romans 8:38).

“His everlasting love is higher than the sky, deeper than the sea, reaching out to me.”

God is the only one fully capable of loving us the way we crave.

In his book, The Pleasures of God, John Piper writes, “We joke about marriage, ‘The honeymoon is over.’ But that’s because we are finite. We can’t sustain a honeymoon level of intensity and affection. We can’t foresee the irritations that come with long-term familiarity. We can’t stay as fit and handsome as we were then. We can’t come up with enough new things to keep the relationship that fresh. But God says his joy over his people is like a bridegroom over a bride. He is talking about honeymoon intensity and honeymoon pleasures and honeymoon energy and excitement and enthusiasm and enjoyment. With God, the honeymoon never ends. He is infinite in power and wisdom and creativity and love. And so he has no trouble sustaining a honeymoon level of intensity. 1

God is for us, and He is incapable of ever letting us down.

God IS, present tense, for us.

Not was, not has been, not just now, at this moment, as we consider these verses in a worship service, not maybe, not will be again someday. He is continually for us in every present moment. God IS for us continually!

There is a story told about a little girl whose parents had both died in a car accident and was living with her grandmother in an upstairs bedroom. There was a fire and the grandmother perished while trying to rescue the little girl. While waiting for the fire department to arrive, neighbors could hear her cries in the upstairs bedroom. A man appeared, put a ladder up, broke a window, and disappeared into the house. Soon he reappeared at the window with the little girl in his arms. He descended the ladder, paramedics took her to the hospital, but the man who saved her disappeared into the night.

A few months later, that little girl went before a magistrate who had the responsibility of placing her in a foster home. Several prospective people who were willing to take her in were being interviewed. A schoolteacher said she would make sure the girl would get a good education. A farmer offered the little girl a wholesome environment, where she would learn principles of hard work and a simple life. A wealthy woman promised to give the little child anything she wanted.

“Anybody else have anything to say before I make my decision?” asked the judge. Just then a man came forward from the back of the courtroom. From his old clothes, it was obvious that he wasn’t rich or well educated. He stood directly in front of the little girl and held out his arms. The people gasped as his hands and his arms were terribly burned and scarred. “This is the man who saved me!” cried the little girl. She threw her arms around the man’s neck just as she had on the day of the fire. She cried for a few moments then she looked up with a smile that lit the room. “I think I’ve just made my decision,” said the judge, and the court was adjourned.

Now, what if two weeks later, as that man tucked that little girl to bed, she would have begun to cry and said, “I’m afraid, I’m afraid that when I wake up in the morning you might not be here to fix me breakfast and take me to school? And he will surely say, “Haven’t I shown you, don’t you understand, I risked my life to save you, I have adopted you as my own, I gave you my name, you are my child, would I go that far only to turn my back on you, to leave you? I will always love you.”

God’s love for us will not increase if we are better or diminish if we are worse. God IS for us!

God is FOR us.

God is not against us, God is for us. Paul asks, “Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for His own?” (8:33)

Little mischievous Johnny killed his grandmother’s duck with a rock from a slingshot. And wouldn’t you know it, his sister saw the whole thing. When grandma asked Sally to help wash dishes, she said, “Johnny told me he really wanted to do the dishes today,” as she gave her brother the look. What choice did the boy have?

And for the next couple of weeks, Johnny found himself at the kitchen sink; sometimes for his duty, sometimes for his sin. If he began to object, Sally would always remind him, “Remember the duck.” Until he got so sick and tired of it that he confessed to killing the pet duck.

To his surprise, Grandma said, “I saw the whole thing and I forgave you right then. I wondered how long you were going to allow Sally to make you her slave.”

He had been pardoned, but he acted as though he were guilty. Why? Because he had been listening to his accuser.

We also have an accuser. The Book of Revelation says the devil accuses us day and night before God. But often there is another accuser at work, the voice inside our heads.

One Christian who had been straying for a long time wrote the following prayer: “I’ve read the story of the prodigal son, Father, and I realize that, as far as you’re concerned, confession is a joyful thing. We confess our sins and you throw your arms around us. Big party – great stuff! But, Lord, some of us are diseased with this guilt thing. We’ve grown up with it, we’re weighed down with it, we can’t get rid of it. Far from saying we have no sin, we don’t accept forgiveness when it’s offered to us. We need to come within the orbit of your fondness, Father – to know that the wanting of us is really real. We need to feel clean as well as being clean.”

An African once told Jill Briscoe about a dream he had in which he saw a man walk up a hill and soon recognized that he was the man. The hill was Calvary, and the crosses were at the top. Then he noticed that Jesus was walking behind him, but Jesus was having a hard time, staggering up the hill. He was almost crawling because he had this huge great burden on his back. The African went to help Jesus, saying, “Lord, are you carrying the sins of the whole world to Calvary?”
The Lord replied, “Oh no, just yours.” Just yours.

Guess what? God has forgiven it—whatever it is. God the Father forgave what we did as the Son took our sin to Calvary. 2

“Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one; for God Himself has given us right standing with Himself. Who then will condemn us? No one; for Christ Jesus died for us” (Romans 8:33-34).

God is for US.

“Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love?” (8:35). There it is, the deepest of all our questions. This is what we really want to know; does God really love us no matter what?

Not just on Sunday when my shoes are shined and we’re ready to worship; not just when I’m full of grace and ready to share it with everyone I meet. Even I like me then. I’m talking about when I act like a jerk; when I snap at anything that moves, when my thoughts are in the gutter, when my tongue is sharp enough to cut through solid rock.

How does He feel about me then; did I go too far? That’s what we want to know. Can anything ever separate us from the love of God? And the answer is: Nothing can ever separate us from the love of God!

When we make a mistake, especially when we really make a mess of things, how wonderful it is to know that there’s someone still pulling for us, someone who would never give up on us, someone who is ready, willing, and able to forgive us, to help us pick ourselves back up and get on our feet again, to encourage us to start over, to begin anew?

Take a look over at the grandstands; that’s God cheering us on as we run the race. Look up ahead, beyond the finish line, see Him, that’s Him applauding our steps, can you hear Him shouting your name? If God has a calendar in His office, your birthday will be circled. If He drives a car, your name is on His bumper sticker. Guess whose name is inscribed on His tattoo? That’s right, yours. And most important of all, He’s carved your name on the Tree of Life which grows in His garden.

Zephaniah the Old Testament prophet wrote: “The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by his love; He will exult over you with loud singing” (Zephaniah 3:17). “There’s no greater love than Jesus!”

Pastor Gregory Boyle tells the story of a 15-year-old gang member named Rigo. Rigo was getting ready for a special worship service for incarcerated youth when Boyle casually asked if Rigo’s father would be coming.
“No, he’s a heroin addict and never been in my life. He used to always beat me.”

Rigo recalled an image from his childhood. “I think I was in fourth grade, I was sent home in the middle of the day. When I got home my dad says, ‘Why did they send you home?’ I said, ‘If I tell you, promise you won’t hit me?’
He said, ‘I’m your father. Course I’m not gonna hit you, so I told him.’ And Rigo began to cry, and he started wailing and rocking back and forth. Boyle put his arm around him until he slowly calmed down. When Rigo could finally speak again, he spoke quietly, still in a state of shock: ‘He beat me with a pipe, with a lead pipe.’

After Rigo composed himself, Boyle asked about his mom. Rigo pointed out a small woman and said, ‘That’s her over there; there’s no one like her.’ Then Rigo paused and said, ‘I’ve been locked up for a year and half. She comes to see me every Sunday. You know how many buses she takes every Sunday to see me?’ Rigo started sobbing with the same ferocity as before. After catching his breath, he gasped through the sobs, ‘Seven buses. She takes seven buses. Imagine.’ 3

God, as revealed in the person of Jesus, loves us like Rigo’s mother loves her son; with commitment, faithfulness, resoluteness, steadfastness, and sacrifice. If He had to, God would take seventy times seven buses to reach us. He actually traveled much further than that: all the way from heaven to earth to give His life, a sacrifice for our sins.

If you have never met Christ, He’s waiting right this moment for you to accept what He so freely offers: His never-ending, unfailing love.

I could offer to give you a hundred-dollar bill by holding it out with my hand. But until you reach out and take it from me, it will never be yours.

The same is true with God’s forgiveness; until we receive it, it’s not ours. But once we do . . . God is for US!

Can anything ever come between Him and us? Listen to the answer and as you do, stake your future on these triumphant words:

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:38-39

Answers to questions:

  1. Adam and Eve
  2. Isaiah
  3. Ezekiel
  4. The disciples
  5. Mary and Martha
  6. Peter

CLOSING PRAYER

[I encourage you to pray as you feel led by the Spirit of God].

CLOSING SONG

How Deep the Father’s Love for Us

Townsend, Stuart

How deep the Father’s love for us,
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure.
How great the pain of searing loss.
The Father turns His face away.
As wounds which mar the Chosen One
Bring many sons to glory.

Behold the Man upon a cross,
My sin upon His shoulders.
Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers.
It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished;
His dying breath has brought me life.
I know that it is finished.

I will not boast in anything;
No gifts, no pow’r, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ,
His death and resurrection.
Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer,
But this I know with all my heart;
His wounds have paid my ransom.

Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer,
But this I know with all my heart;
His wounds have paid my ransom.

©1995 Kingsway’s Thankyou Music
CCLI License No. 1843349

BENEDICTION

To the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

1 Timothy 1:17

1 John Piper, The Pleasures of God, [Sisters, Oregon: Multnomah Publishing, © 2000], Page 188.

2 Sermon by Jill Briscoe https://www.preachingtoday.com/sermons/sermons/2007/may/forgivenessofgod.html

3 Gregory Boyle, Tattoos on the Heart, [Glencoe, Illinois: Free Press, © 2010], Pages 26-27
https://www.preachingtoday.com/illustrations/2010/november/5112910.html

Randy K'Meyer

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