That He Gave

Worship Service for March 14, 2021

WELCOME

Good morning and welcome to CrossPointe Community Church’s on-line worship presentation. 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.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

In honor of Saint Patrick’s Day,

What do you get when you cross a four-leaf clover with poison ivy?
A rash of good luck on St. Patrick’s Day.

How can you tell if an Irishman is having a good time?
He’s Dublin over with laughter!

What do you call a fake Irish stone?
A shamrock!

David: Mom, I met an Irish boy on St. Patrick’s Day.
Mom: Oh, really?
David: No, O’Reilly!

How can you tell if a leprechaun is sick of your joke?
He’s green with laughter!

One last one as sort of a preview of today’s message:

O’Malley was leaving his favorite bar when he was run over by a bus.
At the pearly gates, St. Pete tells him he cannot enter unless he passes a test. O’Malley is not the brightest bulb so St. Peter decides to go easy on him:
“What has 5 fingers and is made of leather?” he asks.
O’Malley scratches his head, thinks hard and finally gives up.
“A glove,” says St. Peter.
Let’s try again, “What has 10 fingers and is made of black?”
O’Malley is clearly stumped, and after a few minutes, gives up.
“Why it’s 2 gloves – don’t you see 10 fingers, leather,” says St. Peter. Being in a generous mood, St. Peter decides to give O’Malley
one more chance with an even easier question.
“Who is the patron Saint of Ireland?’ asks St. Peter.
“It wouldn’t be 3-gloves, would it?” says O’Malley.

Once again, I want to thank Jim Brandenburg for his careful attention to and preparation of last Sunday’s Communion worship service, both on-line and in person. That includes his fine presentation of the gospel and how he related the story of Jesus cleaning the Temple to the cleansing of our temples, bodies, through the blood of Christ.

Unless things change, I am at this time anticipating two worship services on Easter Sunday; the first at 9am and the second at 10:30am.

CALL TO WORSHIP

Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil; the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else.

But God is so rich in mercy, and He loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, He gave us life when He raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) For He raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of His grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all He has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus. God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.

Ephesians 2:1-8

OPENING WORSHIP SONGS

Now That You’re Near

Sampson, Marty

Hold me in Your arms…never let me go.
I want to spend eternity with You.

I stand before You Lord… and give You all my praise
Your love is all I need…Jesus, You’re all I need.
My life belongs to You…You gave Your life for me.
Your grace is all I need…Jesus You’re all I need.

Hold me in Your arms…never let me go
I want to spend eternity with You.

And now that You’re near, everything is different
Everything’s so different Lord.
I know I’m not the same…my life You’ve changed
I want to be with You…I want to be with You.

I stand before You Lord… and give You all my praise
Your love is all I need…Jesus, You’re all I need.
My life belongs to You…You gave Your life for me.
Your grace is all I need…Jesus You’re all I need.

Hold me in Your arms…never let me go
I want to spend eternity with You.

And now that You’re near, everything is different
Everything’s so different Lord.
I know I’m not the same…my life You’ve changed
I want to be with You…I want to be with You.

Now that You’re near, everything is different
Everything’s so different Lord.
I know I’m not the same…my life You’ve changed
I want to be with You…I want to be with You.
I want to be with You…with You.

This arrangement ©2008 Hillsong Publishing (admin in the US and Canada by Integrity’s Hosanna! Music/ASCAP
CCLI License No. 1843349

Amazing Grace

Newton, John/Excell, Edwin/Rees, John P.

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind but now I see.

‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved.
How precious did that grace appear,
The hour I first believed.

The Lord has promised good to me,
His Word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.

Thro’ many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come.
‘Tis grace that brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise,
Than when we first begun.

©Public Domain
CCLI License No. 1843349

OPENING PRAYER

Thank You Lord Jesus for offering to cover us with Your amazing grace. We freely admit we do not deserve Your grace, and, are therefore; all the more grateful that You have provided it through our faith in the sacrifice of Your Son. In turn, we offer You our very lives; to worship in this hour and to follow You in the week to come. In the same of Jesus we pray, amen.

THE GIVING OF THE LORD’S OFFERING

I will be at the church today until 12 noon if you would like to bring your offering. Or you may send it in to:

CrossPointe Community Church
PO Box 126
Chippewa Lake, OH 44215

As we consider once again, the call upon our lives as Christ-followers to give as Christ has given to us, here’s a verse to think about:

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.

1 Peter 4:10

PRAYER SONG

I Need You

Founds, Rick

Lord, look upon my need;
I need You, I need You.
Lord, have mercy now on me;
Forgive me, O Lord, forgive me
And I will be clean.

Lord, look upon my need;
I need You, I need You.
Lord, have mercy now on me;
Forgive me, O Lord, forgive me
And I will be clean.
O, Lord, You are familiar with my ways;
There is nothing hid from You.
O Lord,You know the number of my days;
I want to live my life for You.

Lord, have mercy now on me;
Forgive me, O Lord, forgive me
And I will be clean.

©1989 Maranatha Praise, Inc.
CCLI License No. 1843349

MORNING PRAYER

Nancy Carr

Will you please join me in prayer.

Thank you, Lord, for this community of believers, who chose to be here today, to gather at CrossPointe and worship you in scripture, prayer, and song.

Father, we have your blessed assurance that… “No one who believes in the Son of God, Jesus Christ, will be separated from eternal life.”

We are in awe of the magnitude of your mercy and grace. Your sacrifice, made for us, by the blood He shed for us on the cross leaves us speechless.

Each saved person has been chosen by you, Father, to be a loving gift for your Son.

He is our shepherd.

We are secure because as His sheep, we hear His voice and follow Him.

We cannot be snatched away from Him.

We have life everlasting.

We will not perish.

This is a gift too wonderful for words! This is amazing grace!

Fill us Lord with a capacity to know you better.

As Paul wrote to the Colossians, “Let our roots grow deep into Him and draw nourishment from Him so we may grow in faith, strong and vigorous in the truth we have been taught. Let our lives overflow with thanksgiving for all He has done.”

Help us to recognize that we are rich beyond measure, loved beyond our comprehension, and equipped to do wonders on this earth by the power of your holy spirit.

May we courageously step out in faith, be bold followers of Christ, step into the battlefield, share the Good News with the world around us, and perform miracles in the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.

Amen

SCRIPTURE

Today, we continue to consider the crown jewel of the Bible, John 3:16. Before I read from John’s gospel, let me remind you that I am preaching from this text for two reasons. First, to give all of us another opportunity to contemplate and appreciate what God has done for us in the gracious acts of His Son, Jesus. And if we haven’t already, to encourage us to make a decision to become a believer. And secondly, to provide you who are believers with some basic theological concepts and stories that illustrate the same that you can use to share with someone who has yet to become a “whosoever believes.”

Allow me to read with parenthetical pauses, John 3:14-21:

And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in Him will have eternal life.

For God so loved the world;

(the ‘cosmos,’ the whole sphere of humanity. God loves all people so much)

that He gave.

(That’s what agape love does. Remember, ‘agape’ is not the emotional, feeling word for love, agape is an action word. Agape is the willful decision to look out for the best interest of the other and do whatever it takes to meet that need. Because God loves us in this way, God took action);

He gave His only Son so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent His Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through Him. There is no judgment against anyone who believes in Him. But anyone who does not believe in Him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.

John 3:14-21

When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, He will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of His Son while we were still His enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of His Son. So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.

Romans 5:6-11

THE MESSAGE

Randy K’Meyer

That He Gave

If you were paying attention to the news out of the great state of Texas a couple weeks ago as they endured the fallout from that brutal winter storm, perhaps you heard the name Ryan Sivley?

Over the course of two days, using chains, ropes, and his four-wheel drive, Ryan helped rescue about 150 people stranded on the road in their cars that had run out of gas. After thinking about what it would be like to be stuck like that in freezing temps, he knew he had to do something. ‘If I was in that spot, he said, I would certainly beg and hope that somebody would rescue me. So that’s what I’m doing.’

In addition to rescuing people stranded in their cars, Ryan also took stranded nurses to the hospital and drove discharged patients home. And he didn’t ask for anything in return! 1

Ryan Sivley saw people in desperate need and did what he could to effect proper rescue.

That in a nutshell is today’s message of John 3:16. God the Father saw our great need and sent His Son to effect rescue. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son.”

Paul says it like this in today’s text: “God demonstrated His own love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

You may not have ever thought of this way before, but you and I needed rescuing.

And our situation was much more extraordinarily dire than the possibility of freezing. According to Paul, we’re already dead! As he writes the Ephesians, “Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins” (Ephesians 2:1).

Why? Because we have a fatal heart condition!

The prophet Jeremiah writes about it: “the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked.” (17:9).

Jesus our spiritual cardiologist, scans our hearts and says, “For from within, out of men’s hearts come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly” (Mark 7:21-22).

In today’s passage, Jesus referred to the heart problem when He said, “God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil” (3:19b).

In Romans, Paul makes it clear that our heart disease is so serious he describes it in terms of a world-wide pandemic: “When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned” (Romans 5:12).

I know it’s not popular to talk about sin. You won’t see it as a topic of discussion on late-night television. Many self-help books tell us that it’s not productive to talk about the negative; that we need to focus on positive aspects of human behavior. Human beings are basically good folks. You know. Really?!

Meanwhile, barbarism is alive and well on planet earth. In the last 100 years, slightly over 500,000 million people have been exterminated through wars, ethnic cleansing and political oppression. Lest you think we’ve come a long way since 1920, over 8 million of those genocides have occurred since 2000. 2

Okay, it’s one thing to talk about other people who have a heart problem, but not me. But when we think about it, you and I know that we have a problem.

If not, I invite you to take a spiritual EKG measuring your heart against just 3 simple standards of God’s law given to Moses.

“Thou shall not steal.”
Have you ever stolen anything, a paper clip?

“Thou shall not lie.”
Those of you who just said you haven’t just did.

“Thou shall not covet.”
Have you ever hankered after something someone else had?

We have a heart problem that we are incapable of fixing! We need to be rescued from our own fatal condition.

Why?

Because our sinful hearts separate us from God our heavenly Father. He created us to live in peace and harmony with Him forever, but Adam’s pandemic has isolated us from God. Isaiah 59:2 says: “Your iniquities (sins) have made a separation between you and your God.”

I am convinced we instinctively know this for I believe that every human being has a deep-down longing to be right with God. This is why, throughout history, in virtually every culture around the world, there has been some kind of “sacrifice” that is offered to the god or gods to appease the god and make the people right with him. In ancient times, Greeks and Romans made sacrifices to be right with the many gods and goddesses. When Spanish explorers came to the New World, they found that the Maya and the Aztec people were offering sacrifices to their gods. Today in India, thousands of Hindus, walk down to the Ganges river to offer what they call “puja” — sacrifices of food and fruit — to their gods.

Why is it that in virtually every culture, in every age, in every part of the world, you discover people making sacrifices to their gods? Because people know deep down in our hearts that we are not right with God, and we need some kind of gift, some kind of sacrifice, in order to make us right with Him.

Some well-meaning and confused Christians still engage in this practice today!

“God, I sacrifice my time to go to church!”

“God, look, I sacrifice my money by putting some of it in the offering plate!”

“God, look at all the things I am giving up for You!”

But it doesn’t work that way! No sacrifice we can offer is enough to make us right with God. Galatians 3:11 says, “So it is clear that no one can be made right with God by trying to keep the law.”

We have a fatal heart condition. There’s nothing we can do to rescue ourselves from it.

It’s like we are in the middle of the Pacific without a life jacket, going down for the third time into the abyss!

“Lord, look upon our need, we need You, we need You.”

And just when we were going down for the count, God came to our rescue!

For God so loved the world (that was dead in sin) that He gave His only Son so that whosoever believes that He came to sacrifice His life might not perish, but have everlasting life.

John 3:16

You may not have every thought about like this before, but The Old Testament points to the once-for-all sacrifice of Jesus.

In Genesis 22, God told Abraham to go and offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice. So he took Isaac, and tied him up, and reached out his hand for the knife when God stopped him, and showed him a ram caught in the thicket, and Abraham offered up that ram to God as the sacrifice instead.

Exodus 12, God told His people to sacrifice the Passover Lamb so that the angel of death would pass them by.

In Leviticus all the details of the sacrifices prescribed by God pointed to the sacrifice that Jesus would one day make to effect forgiveness.

In today’s text, Jesus reminds Nicodemus of the story told in Numbers 21, where when the people of Israel had been bitten by poisonous snakes, God told them to put a bronze snake on a pole, and everyone who looked at that serpent on the pole would be healed.

We could go through the whole Old Testament and see how it all points to this: that God was going to provide the once-for-all sacrificial gift that we couldn’t.

And that is exactly what He did: “He gave His only begotten Son.”

But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, He will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of His Son while we were still His enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of His Son. So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.

Romans 5:8-11

What Paul is saying is that we were lying on the bottom of the ocean when and God in Christ came down into the murky depths to pull off the rescue of all rescues. “For God so loved the world that He gave, He gave His only Son.

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me, I once was lost but now I’m found, was blind but now I see.

Perhaps you have never thought of His gift of grace this way before but, Max Lucado, in his book, In the Grip of Grace, invites us to think about grace in terms of receiving a letter from your car insurance company informing you that they have canceled your insurance; not because you missed a premium payment, but because you made too many mistakes? And they summarize a list of your infractions with the law and accidents, that time you hit a deer, or backed into a car in a parking lot or worse.

And they write, “In view of the above information, we will not renew your insurance policy. It will terminate at 12:01 am March 14. For your protection, we urge you to obtain other insurance to prevent any lapse in coverage.”

Wouldn’t you think, what’s up with this? I bought insurance to cover my mistakes. But then I get dropped for making mistakes.

What if God’s coverage had limitations? Imagine getting a letter from God that said, “I’m sorry to inform you that you have reached your quota of sins.”

And then it would list our infractions. “My records show that since employing My services, your heart has been plagued with greed, you have gossiped about others one too many times. Because of your sins, you are a high-risk candidate for heaven. You understand that grace has its limits. So Jesus sends His regrets and kindest regards and hopes that you will find some other form of coverage.” 3

Many live of fear of receiving such a letter.

Some of us wonder whether or not we already have.

Listen to this. When we accept what God gave, the perfect record of Jesus is given to us. And what did He do with our poor record? According to Paul in Colossians, “He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross” (2:14).

But wait, I don’t deserve that. None of us do. It was and is an unspeakable gift of grace.

One Sunday morning a church’s pastor invited a childhood friend to share.

An elderly man stepped up to the pulpit and told a story about a father, his son, and a friend of his son who were sailing off the Pacific Coast when a fast-approaching storm blocked their attempt to get back to shore. The waves were so high, that even though the father was an experienced sailor, he could not keep the boat upright, and the three were swept into the ocean.

The speaker hesitated for a moment, making eye contact with two teenagers, who were, for the first time since the service began, listening.

The old man continued, “As the father grabbed a rescue line, he began to think about the most excruciating decision he would ever have to make: to which boy would he throw the other end of the line first? The father knew that his son was a believer in Christ, and he also knew that his son’s friend was not. The agony of the decision could not be matched by the torrent of the waves. And as the father yelled out, ‘I love you son,’ he threw the line to his son’s friend. By the time he had pulled the friend back to the capsized boat, his son had disappeared beyond the raging waves into the darkness of the deep. His body was never recovered.”

By this time, those two teenagers were sitting straighter in the pew, waiting for the next words to come out of the old man’s mouth.

“The father,” he continued, “knew that his son was going to step out of the darkness of the sea and into the light of eternity with Christ. And he could not bear the thought of his son’s friend stepping into a black eternity without Christ. Therefore, he sacrificed his son in order to rescue his son’s friend. And the old man concluded, “How great is the love of God that he should do the same for us.”

With that, the man turned and sat back down in his chair as silence filled the room. Within minutes after the service ended, the two teenagers were at the old man’s side. “That was quite a story,” said one of them, “but I really find it hard to believe that a father would really sacrifice his own son just so the other would have a chance to someday become a Christian.

“Well, you’ve got a point there,” said the old man glancing down at his worn Bible, “It sure isn’t very realistic is it? But I am standing here today to tell you that story gives me at least a glimpse of what it must have been like for God to give up His Son for me, for you see, I was the son’s friend.”

CLOSING PRAYER

(I encourage you to spend some time and pray as you are led).

SPECIAL SONG OF INVITATION

Rescue

Anderson, Jared

You are the source….of life
And I can’t be left….behind.
No one else will do.
And I will take hold of You.
I need You, Jesus,
To come to my rescue.
Where else can I go?
There’s no other name by… which I am saved.
Capture me with grace
I will follow You.

You are the source….of life
And I can’t be left….behind.
No one else will do.
And I will take hold of You.
‘Cause I need You, Jesus,
To come to my rescue.
Where else can I go?
There’s no other name by… which I am saved.
Capture me with grace.

And I need You, Jesus,
To come to my rescue.
Where else can I go?
There’s no other name by…
which I am saved
Capture me with grace,
I will follow You.
I will follow You.
I will follow You.
This world has nothing for me,
I will follow You.
This world has nothing for me,
I will follow You.
This world has nothing for me,
I’m gonna follow You.
This world has nothing for me,

I need You, Jesus
To come to my rescue,
Where else can I go?
There’s no other name by,
which I am saved,
Capture me with grace,
Capture me with grace
Capture me with grace,
I will follow You.
I will follow You.

©2002 Vertical Worship Songs
CCLI License No. 1843349

CLOSING SONG

Wonderful, Merciful Savior

Rodgers, Dawn/Wyse, Eric

Wonderful, merciful Savior,
Precious Redeemer and Friend.
Who would have thought that a Lamb could…
Rescue the souls of men?
Oh, You rescue the souls of men.

Counselor, Comforter, Keeper,
Spirit, we long to embrace.
You offer hope when our hearts have…
hopelessly lost the way.
Oh, we hopelessly lost the way.

You are the One that we praise,
You are the One we adore.
You give the healing and grace
Our hearts always hunger for.
Oh, our hearts always hunger for.

Almighty, infinite Father,
Faithfully loving Your own.
Here in our weakness You find us
Falling before Your throne.
Oh, we’re falling before Your throne.

You are the One that we praise,
You are the One we adore.
You give the healing and grace
Our hearts always hunger for.
Oh, our hearts always hunger for.

You are the One that we praise,
You are the One we adore.
You give the healing and grace
Our hearts always hunger for.
Oh, our hearts always hunger for.

©1989 Word Music, Inc. (a div. of Word Music Group, Inc.)
Dayspring Music, Inc. (a div. of Word Music Group, Inc.)
CCLI License No. 1843349

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 Shawna Reding, “Good Samaritan helping hundreds of drivers stranded in Austin winter storm,” KVUE (2-17-21); Catherine Garcia, “Austin Man Rescues Dozens of Drivers Left Stranded by Winter Storm,” The Week (2-18-21)
https://www.preachingtoday.com/illustrations/2021/march/man-rescues-dozens-of-drivers-left-stranded-by-winter-storm.html

2 List of Wars and Anthropogenic Disasters by Death Toll, Wikipeida
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_wars_and_anthropogenic_disasters_by_death_toll

3 Max Lucado, In the Grip of Grace, [Dallas, Texas: Word Publishing, © 1996] Pages 67-70.

Randy K'Meyer

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