Rest for the Weary

Worship Service for November 7, 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.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Our leaders have authorized the opening of a fund for the purpose of purchasing and installing the equipment needed for us to be able to live-stream our worship services. That means you will be able to see from your internet-connected devices the entirety of our worship as it happens in real-time. If you are interested in contributing to this fund, please mark your check with the words, “live stream.”

Thanks again for your faithfulness in those Gather to Scatter projects that we completed last Sunday. You guys go above and beyond the call!

For those of you who would like to know more about CrossPointe, I invite you to attend the first of two Membership Classes next Sunday after worship.

Today, we have the high privilege of celebrating the Sacrament of Holy Communion. I trust you all received your communion elements. Anyone who wishes to confirm or renew their faith in the death of Christ as the means of being right with God are welcome to receive the sacrament.

By the way, a mother tells the story about her and her husband sharing communion at their church. In their church, their son Seth, who was only 5, was not eligible to receive the sacrament but was curious about it nonetheless. His mother noticed he watched intently as she received the sacrament. Then she bowed her head to pray. A few seconds later, she looked up and saw that he was by then intently watching his dad at prayer after taking communion. She was delighted that Seth was observing the solemnity of the occasion. “Good parental example,” she thought to herself. But her gratification was short-lived as Seth leaned toward her and whispered: “What’s in that stuff anyway? You guys eat it and go right to sleep.” 1

CALL TO WORSHIP

But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed! It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed. For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies. Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture (Hosea) will be fulfilled:

“Death is swallowed up in victory.
O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”

For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.

I Corinthians 15:51-57

OPENING WORSHIP SONGS

Be Thou My Vision

Hull, Eleanor/Byrne, Mary E.

Be Thou my Vision,
O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me,
Save that Thou art.
Thou my best thought,
By day or by night,
Waking or sleeping,
Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom,
And Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee
And Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father,
I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling,
And I with Thee one.

Riches I heed not,
Nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine inheritance,
Now and always:
Thou and Thou only,
First in my heart,
High King of Heaven,
My Treasure Thou art.

High King of heaven,
My victory won,
May I reach heaven’s joys,
Bright heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart,
Whatever befall,
Still be my Vision,
O Ruler of all.

©Public Domain
CCLI License No. 1843349

Stronger

Fielding, Ben/Morgan, Reuben

There is a love that came for us;
Humbled to a sinner’s cross;
Broke my shame and sinfulness,
You rose again victorious.

Faithfulness none can deny
Through the storm and through the fire
There is truth that sets me free.
Jesus Christ, Who lives in me.

You are stronger…You are stronger.
Sin is broken…You have saved me.
It is written…Christ is risen,
Jesus, You…are Lord of all.

No beginning…and no end;
You’re my hope…and my defense.
You came to seek, and save the lost.
You paid it all…upon the cross.

You are stronger…You are stronger.
Sin is broken…You have saved me.
It is written…Christ is risen,
Jesus, You…are Lord of all.

So let your name be lifted higher…
Be lifted higher…be lifted higher.
Let your name be lifted higher…
Be lifted higher…be lifted higher.
Let your name be lifted higher…
Be lifted higher…be lifted higher.
Let your name be lifted higher…
Be lifted higher…be lifted higher.

You are stronger…You are stronger.
Sin is broken…You have saved me.
It is written…Christ is risen,
Jesus, You…are Lord of all.

You are stronger…You are stronger.
Sin is broken…You have saved me.
It is written…Christ is risen,
Jesus, You…are Lord of all.

©2007 Ben Fielding/Reuben Morgan/Hillsong Publishing (admin. In US and Canada by
Integrity’s Hosanna! Music) c/o Integrity Media, Inc.)
CCLI License No. 1843349

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

Lemmel, Helen H.

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth
Will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace.

©Public Domain
CCLI License No. 1843349

OPENING PRAYER

Father God, thank You for this Sunday. We come before you first and foremost with hearts of gratitude for sending Your Son. We praise Your name that His death and resurrection have yielded forgiveness of our sin and eternal life for those who believe. May our communion with You today remind us of the opportunities coming our way this week to daily commune with You, that we might be spiritually strengthened to both serve You as well as face whatever challenges that lie ahead of us. We humbly ask this in the strong name of Jesus, amen.

OFFERING

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

P O Box 126
Chippewa Lake, OH 44215

I thank God for you and for your continued faithfulness in giving.

OFFERING/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

MORNING PRAYER

O Lord, our God, we acknowledge that You, You are without origin. You have always been and always will be, the alpha and omega, the beginning and the end. You are infinite, immutable, all-powerful, all-knowing, and everywhere present. You are the Holy One. And though You didn’t need us for anything, You created human beings in Your likeness by giving us the choice to believe in and worship You.

And how could we not? For You are glorious, true, and wise. And You have revealed Yourself to us in Jesus, Your Son, who Himself is all-loving, compassionate, faithful, forgiving, good, gracious, kind, and merciful.

And beyond all this, You have dispatched Your Holy Spirit to come near to us, to comfort us in our afflictions and our pain. We thank You, O Lord, that with You by our side, even when the chips are down, we can be more than conquerors through Christ who loves us.

Hear us, our Heavenly Father, as we cast all our cares upon You, as we pray for our friends and loved ones who are in need of your grace (pause as people pray).

We thank You O Lord, for prayers answered as well as unanswered prayers for they provide us with the opportunity to trust You more. And as He taught us to, we pray in the name of Jesus, amen.

SCRIPTURE

Then Jesus said, “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30

MESSAGE

Rest for the Weary

Randy K’Meyer

Come to Me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.

Matthew 11:28

‘Come to Me.’

I don’t know of a more wonderful and appealing invitation in the Bible. To me it exudes grace, mercy and encouragement.

Jesus says, ‘Come to Me.’

‘Come;’ not ‘do this’ or ‘don’t do that’ but simply ‘Come.’

‘Come,’ not come to a church, and especially not a clergyman, or to anything but to Jesus Himself.

The words are simple; the meaning unmistakable. Anyone who struggles with problems or difficulties and seeks relief is urged to come to Jesus.

And receive ‘rest,’ rest, rest for the weary. An old saying says, “No rest for the wicked,” but Jesus says there will be rest for the weary.

What kind of restful images do you conjure up in your mind’s eye to evoke feelings of rest? A babbling brook, lying in a hammock? This past week I lit the pilot on our gas fireplace and thought how restful to watch those flames.

For one young mother of three children, the image of choice is a playpen that she had received as a gift from several friends. The friends were surprised when they received a thank you note that read: “Many thanks for the playpen. It is being used every day. From 2 to 3 pm, I climb into it to read and the kids can’t get near me.”

“Come to Me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”

I believe that Jesus is offering two different kinds of rest in this passage.

The first is the rest from carrying the burden of sin and we will return to that subject shortly.

But I believe He also offers to help carry the burden of life’s daily difficulties.

Many of us are anxious and troubled by so many different things.

Some of us are wondering whether life before the pandemic will ever return.

In light of recent and growing inflation, some of us worry about whether we are going to be able to stretch the budget far enough without breaking it.

Some of us are in turmoil as it concerns some relationship going awry.

Some of us are dealing with medical issues or watching a loved one struggle with the same.

Some of us are getting older and wondering what the future holds.

Even though we are followers of Jesus at times we are anxious, and in the midst of our anxiety, we wonder if we really can cash in on the promise of ‘rest.’

But before we dismiss the possibility, we need to be reminded that His gracious invitation to come and promise of rest are accompanied by a simple imperative:

Take My yoke upon you. Let me teach you because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Matthew 11:29

To take His yoke is to submit to His guidance and authority, to let Him choose the way, and to follow Him in it. At first glance that may seem difficult, but when through experience we learn how gentle and humble our Savior is, appreciating the greatness of His love, experiencing His gentle care, and being influenced by His perfect example, His yoke becomes easy. Duty becomes desire.

But do you know what often gets in the way of submitting to His yoke? The temptation to think that we are strong enough to go it alone, to bear life’s load in a single collar.

But God never intended a man to carry his burden alone. Jesus; therefore, offers us His yoke; a beautiful thing, really. A yoke, by its very nature, was not meant for one, but always joined two to work as one.

Which implies two things.

First, His invitation to share our yoke implies that there are indeed, burdens to bear. Jesus does not say, “Come to Me and I will make all your troubles disappear,” but rather, “Come to Me and I will help you shoulder your load.”

And second, it is important to note the ‘rest’ that Jesus holds out for us is not the rest of sitting calmly in front of a fireplace. According to W. E. Vine, the word for rest “is not a rest from work, but in work;” 2 in this case because someone else; i.e., Jesus, is helping share the load. “Take My yoke upon you.”

That great preacher of yesteryear, F B. Meyer once visited D. L. Moody. Moody showed Meyer a team of oxen in a field and told him that whenever one of those oxen was being yoked, the other, which might be on the far side of the farmyard, would trot up and stand beside the other one until it was yoked in too. 3

Do you see the challenge Moody was giving Meyer? To be as smart as an ox!

Jesus stands today with the yoke upon His shoulder. He calls to each one and says, “Come and share My yoke, and let us plow together the long furrow of your life. I will share your burden and together we will press on.

Jesus invites us to come to Him, to learn from Him, to seek His will, to follow Him, with the promise that as we do, He will help us shoulder our burdens.

Come to Me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Matthew 11:28-29

But more importantly than His promise to shoulder our troubles is His promise to relieve us of our heaviest, largest burden: the burden of sin.

In his commentary on Matthew, James Montgomery Boice explains that

The phrase ‘weary and carry heavy burdens’ does not primarily refer to physical weaknesses or to what we might call the burdens of a difficult life, though it may include them. It chiefly refers to a sense of sin’s burden and the need of a Savior. The context makes this clear, for the earlier verses describe the rejection of John the Baptist and Jesus by the Jewish masses, followed by the Lord’s denunciation of Korazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum for their failure to repent at Jesus’ preaching. 4

In other words, Jesus knows our ultimate need is to be able to rest in the fact that our sins are forgiven.

It is probable that there are some here today who are weighed down under the burden of sin.

Some by sin that we consider a whopper; committed yesterday or in some cases years ago. And because it was a whopper, we feel that we have to pay the price for it by bearing the burden of it. And in that way, God will take notice and be pleased and perhaps forgive us.

That’s an extremely heavy burden to bear. But many choose to go to their grave carrying that load.

Others are weighed down by a sin that we can’t seem to let go of. We know it’s wrong. But we do it anyway. And we feel terrible about it. And, get this: it interferes with our ability to get close to Jesus. Some of us are missing out on the rest we just talked about because our shame keeps us from being as smart as an ox.

Doesn’t the prospect of resting from all that burden sound enticing? Wouldn’t you just love to come to the point where you can take the load off and be done with it forever?

And the good news is that we can!

If you have already come to the cross of Jesus believing that He has paid the penalty for your sins, then rest assured; all of your sins are already forgiven.

If you are not a Christian, then rest assured that if you choose to come to the cross of Jesus, all of your sins are forgiven.

“Come to Me and I will give you rest.”

All who turn to Christ, realizing and confessing their need, will find in Him what they can find nowhere else. Only the Son of God can give peace and satisfaction in this regard. As St. Augustine said centuries ago, “Our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee.”

In his book, Unoffendable, Brant Hansen told his kids a bedtime story of two dogs who lived in the country. They had pretty much the ideal country-dog setting: beautiful rolling hills, lots of sunshine and romping, and a good master who was kind to them and loved them. It was the kind of life you’d love to have if you were a dog.

Gypsy was an older dog, and the young dog was named Snowball. Every day, at about the same time, their master called them in for dinner. They knew they had to respond as soon as they heard their master’s call.

One day at the exact moment the master called them “Gypsy! Snowball! Dinnertime!” a rabbit came across Gypsy’s path. Suddenly, she felt a strange sensation: she wanted to ignore her master and chase after the rabbit. She was tempted. But she yielded to what she knew was right and went to dinner immediately as she was trained.

But the next day, it happened again. And this time, she gave in to the temptation. She heard her master’s voice but she decided she just wanted to chase the rabbit right now. And when she finally came for dinner, she came with her tail between her legs. She knew she had done wrong. She didn’t want to do it again. But she did it again. And again until it became easier for her.

One day, the master loaded his dogs into the car to take them for a walk in the woods. Gypsy and Snowball loved the smell of the woods. When they arrived, Gypsy, now used to disobeying, took off before her master could put a leash on her. She was free! She ran and ran into the woods. Free!

Her master called her name desperately, “Gypsy… Gypsy… Gypsy,” in hopes that she would return to him. He and Snowball searched for hours. But to Gypsy, his voice became more distant, until she couldn’t hear him anymore. She was excited, but she noticed it was getting cold. The sun was going down.

Meanwhile, Gypsy’s owner and master, who loved her so, cried as he put Snowball back in the car and drove home. He never saw Gypsy again.

“Daaaaaaad! That can’t be the end of the story! Daaaaad!”

As I told you, you might think I’m pretty messed up for telling my kids that story. Of course, there’s little more to it, but not much.

I told them that the master drove home, and while Snowball missed Gypsy, Snowball resumed a wonderful life, romping through the meadows and always responding to her owner.

Gypsy lived in the woods the rest of her life. Her fur grew matted, and she was lost and alone. She missed her master’s voice and the way he took care of her. She eventually had some puppies, and she told them about the master, and how good he was. But they only knew some stories. They didn’t know him.

The puppies grew up, and they told their own puppies about the master, but by then, no one really knew him at all. And that’s the end of the story.

That’s how I told it to my kids. I wanted them to know that when they grow up, they’ll have the option to reject God’s love, to go their own way, to buy into the idea that “freedom” exists elsewhere. Or they can trust that God’s way brings freedom. he has our best interest at heart. When God shows us how to live, He’s doing so because He wants us to flourish, like Snowball. 5

I stand here an ambassador for Christ; I ask you to come and be reconciled to God.

I ask you to come with all your sins, however many they may be. If you come to Him, they will be taken away.

I ask you to come as you are.

You feel unfit; you say you are not good enough? The worse you think yourself, the better prepared you are. Christ is not a Savior of those who think they are righteous—but of sinners.

I ask you to come now to the cross of Christ and receive grace upon grace.

All who come to Christ for salvation and continue to come to Him for grace shall never be turned away; never be turned away.

That grace is offered in both word and sacrament. Gathered around His word and seated at His table, feel His presence, experience His grace and hear His voice, as He continues to say, “Come to Me, all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

CLOSING PRAYER

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

THE SACRAMENT OF HOLY COMMUNION

COMMUNION INVITATION

As they were eating, Jesus took some bread and blessed it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “Take this and eat it, for this is My body.” And He took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. He gave it to them and said, “Each of you drink from it, for this is My blood, which confirms the covenant between God and His people. It is poured out as a sacrifice to forgive the sins of many. Mark my words—I will not drink wine again until the day I drink it new with you in my Father’s Kingdom.” Then they sang a hymn and went out to the Mount of Olives.

Matthew 26:26-30

“Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”

Isaiah 1:18

PRE-COMMUNION PRAYER

Lord Jesus, what a privilege to be able to come before Your throne of grace and partake of this precious sacrament, in remembrance of Your atoning sacrifice on the cross of Calvary.

We confess that we do not always live our lives in accord with Your will. And we humbly ask that You would hear us as we confess our shortcomings to You now.

Thank You for giving Your life for us on the cross and paying the enormous price for our sins, so that we could be made right in Your sight. Open Your arms and accept us as we are as we come to You now, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

COMMUNION SONG

I Come to the Cross

Somma, Bob/Batstone, Bill

I come to the cross
Seeking mercy and grace,
I come to the cross
Where You died in my place.
Out of my weakness
And into Your strength,
Humbly, I come to the cross.

Your arms are open,
You call me by name.
You welcome this child
That was lost.
You paid the price
For my guilt and my shame.
Jesus, I come,
Jesus, I come,
Jesus, I come to the cross.

©1996 Maranatha Praise, Inc./Meadowgreen Music Company
CCLI License No. 1843349

RECEIVE THE SACRAMENT

“The body of Christ, given for you.”

“The blood of Christ, shed for you.”

POST-COMMUNION PRAYER

Gracious God, we thank you that in this sacrament You assure us of your goodness and love. We thank You that through our faith in Your sacrifice we can rest assured that our sins are forgiven. Help us to grow in love and obedience, that we may serve You in the world and finally be brought to that table where all Your saints feast with you forever.

Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be Thy name,
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil,
for Thine is the kingdom,
the power, and the glory forever.
Amen.

CLOSING SONG

It is Well with My Soul

Spafford, Horatio G./Bliss, Philip P.

When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
‘It is well, it is well, with my soul.’

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, tho’ trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control;
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

My sin, O the bliss of this glorious tho’t,
My sin not in part but the whole
Is nailed to the cross and I bear it no more.
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

O, Lord haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound and the Lord shall descend,
‘Even so’ it is well with my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Public Domain
CCLI License No. 1843349

Today’s Benediction is the verse that follows today’s call to worship that ended, “Thanks be to God who gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ” (I Corinthians 15:57).

BENEDICTION

Therefore, my beloved brothers and sisters, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

1 Corinthians 15:58

1 Sherri Yates, Glendale, AZ, Christian Reader, “Lite Fare.” https://www.preachingtoday.com/illustrations/1998/august/3919.html

2 W. E. Vine, Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, [Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson Publishers, © 1985], Page 529.

3 Richard W De Haan, Our Daily Bread
https://www.preceptaustin.org/matthew_1128-30_commentary

4 The Gospel of Matthew – Baker Books
https://www.preceptaustin.org/matthew_1128-30_commentary

5 Brant Hansen, Unoffendable, How Just One Change Can Make All of Life Better, [Nashville, Tennessee: W Publishing Group, an imprint of Thomas Nelson, © 2015], Pages 45-47.

Randy K'Meyer

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