The Joy in Blooming Where You’re Planted

Worship Service for October 4, 2020

WELCOME

Good morning. Welcome to CrossPointe Community Church’s online video presentation. I thank my wife, Gail, for being behind the camera as we speak and Lindsay Brandenburg for receiving and posting these files to YouTube so that you can participate.

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 leaders met last Sunday and decided that until further notice we would continue to meet at 9:30 am. And we invited you to make your voice heard in this regard. Please e-mail me and let me know what you would prefer; 9:30 am or 10:30 am.

Today, we will be celebrating the Sacrament of Holy Communion. So, I invite you to stop and make sure you have on hand your communion elements.

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 most of this service is also available in video format on the same page where you accessed this.

CALL TO WORSHIP

Let the whole earth sing to the Lord!
Each day proclaim the good news that He saves.
Publish His glorious deeds among the nations.
Tell everyone about the amazing things He does.
Great is the Lord! He is most worthy of praise!
He is to be feared above all gods.
The gods of other nations are mere idols,
but the Lord made the heavens!
Honor and majesty surround Him;
strength and joy fill His dwelling.
O nations of the world, recognize the Lord,
recognize that the Lord is glorious and strong.
Give to the Lord the glory He deserves!
Bring your offering and come into His presence.
Worship the Lord in all His Holy splendor.

I Chronicles 16:23-29

HYMNS OF PRAISE

How Great Thou Art

Hine, Stuart

O Lord, our God,
When I in awesome wonder,
Consider all the worlds
Thy hands have made;
I see the stars,
I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy pow’r throughout,
The universe displayed.

Then sings my soul,
My Savior God to Thee,
How great Thou art!
How great Thou art!
Then sings my soul,
My Savior God to Thee,
How great Thou art!
How great Thou art!

When through the woods,
And forest glades I wander
And hear the birds
Sing sweetly in the trees.
When I look down,
From lofty mountain grandeur,
And hear the brook
And feel the gentle breeze.

Then sings my soul,
My Savior God to Thee,
How great Thou art!
How great Thou art!
Then sings my soul,
My Savior God to Thee,
How great Thou art!
How great Thou art!

And when I think
That God His Son not sparing,
Sent Him to die,
I scarce can take it in;
That on the cross
My burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died
To take away my sin.

Then sings my soul,
My Savior God to Thee,
How great Thou art!
How great Thou art!
Then sings my soul,
My Savior God to Thee,
How great Thou art!
How great Thou art!

When Christ shall come
With shout of acclamation
And take me home,
What joy shall fill my heart!
Then I shall bow
In humble adoration,
And there proclaim,
‘My God, how great Thou art!’

Then sings my soul,
My Savior God to Thee,
How great Thou art!
How great Thou art!
Then sings my soul,
My Savior God to Thee,
How great Thou art!
How great Thou art!

©1941, 1953, 1955 Stuart K. Hine, renewed 1981 Manna Music, Inc.
ARR UBP of Manna Music, Inc.
CCLI License No. 1843349

How Great is Our God

Tomlin, Chris

The splendor of the King,
Clothed in majesty
Let all the world rejoice,
All the world rejoice.
He wraps Himself in light,
And darkness tries to hide,
It trembles at His voice,
Trembles at His voice.

How great is our God,
Sing with us
How great is our God,
And all will see,
How great, how great is our God.

Age to age He stands,
And time in His hands,
Beginning and the end,
Beginning and the end.
The God head three in one,
Father, Spirit, Son,
The lion and the lamb,
Lion and the lamb.

How great is our God,
Sing with us
How great is our God,
And all will see,
How great, how great is our God.

Name above all names,
Worthy of our praise;
My heart will sing,
‘How great is our God’.

How great is our God,
Sing with us
How great is our God,
And all will see,
How great, how great is our God.

How great is our God,
Sing with us
How great is our God,
And all will see,
How great, how great is our God.

©2004 worshiptogether.com Songs
CCLI License No. 1843349

OPENING PRAYER

O Lord, our God, all honor and glory and praise be unto You. For You God, the Creator and Sustainer of all that is, have touched our lives with the truth and the power of the gospel. When we contemplate that You sent Your Son to die, we scarce can take it in. It takes our breath away. But when we breathe again, we rejoice because where Your truth interests our hearts, there is salvation. And for that gift we can only offer You ourselves in this act of worship. Please accept our offering in the name of Jesus, amen.

THE GIVING OF THE LORD’S OFFERING

(see announcement above)

Before we pray, please open your hearts to this word of affirmation that comes from the pen of Isaiah the Prophet:

Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of His understanding. He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.

Isaiah 40:28-31

PRAYER SONG

Everlasting God

Riley, Kenneth Henry/Brown, Brenton

Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord.
We will wait upon the Lord.
We will wait upon the Lord.
Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord.
We will wait upon the Lord.
We will wait upon the Lord.

Our God, You reign forever. Our hope, our Strong Deliverer.

You are the everlasting God. The everlasting God.
You do not faint. You won’t grow weary.

Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord.
We will wait upon the Lord.
We will wait upon the Lord.
Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord.
We will wait upon the Lord.
We will wait upon the Lord.

Our God, You reign forever. Our hope, our Strong Deliverer.

You are the everlasting God. The everlasting God.
You do not faint. You won’t grow weary.

You’re the defender of the weak. You comfort those in need.
You lift us up on wings like eagles.

———————————-BREAK———————————-

Our God, You reign forever. Our hope, our Strong Deliverer.

You are the everlasting God. The everlasting God.
You do not faint. You won’t grow weary.

You’re the defender of the weak. You comfort those in need.
You lift us up on wings like eagles.

©2006 worshiptogether.com. CCLI License No. 1843349

MORNING PRAYER

Amy and Abigail Topola

Dear Lord,

Thank you for the changing fall season that allows us to enjoy everything special that comes with it. The wonderful smell of falling leaves, warm apple cider, and picking that perfect pumpkin with our families. As we wake up every morning, we thank you for keeping us safe through the night and pray that you watch over our loved ones as we go about our week.

We all have our own struggles and trials Lord, that may leave us feeling alone and depressed. You also know how tired we have grown with what we see and read about in the news every day. Grant us patience and understanding during these times to know that when we walk in the way You intended for us, Your glory will shine and we will not faint, but remain spiritually strong. Please help us to remember that when we place our hope in you, our strength will always be renewed.

In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen

SCRIPTURE

An important reason for Paul’s letter to the Philippians was to describe the circumstances under which he is laboring for the gospel. In the first section (verses 12-18), he describes how his present circumstances have served to “spread the good news.”

And I want you to know, my dear brothers and sisters, that everything that has happened to me here has helped to spread the Good News. For everyone here, including the whole palace guard, knows that I am in chains because of Christ. And because of my imprisonment, most of the believers here have gained confidence and boldly speak God’s message without fear. It’s true that some are preaching out of jealousy and rivalry. But others preach about Christ with pure motives. They preach because they love me, for they know I have been appointed to defend the Good News. Those others do not have pure motives as they preach about Christ. They preach with selfish ambition, not sincerely, intending to make my chains more painful to me. But that doesn’t matter. Whether their motives are false or genuine, the message about Christ is being preached either way, so I rejoice. And I will continue to rejoice.

Philippians 1:12-18

As to these people Paul refers to who are preaching with less than good motives, different scholars propose different ideas on what they believed, but they all agree on one thing: that these preachers were purposefully attempting to denigrate Paul.

In the second section (19-26), Paul reflects on the two possible circumstances that await him; either being released or being put to death.

For I know that as you pray for me and the Spirit of Jesus Christ helps me, this will lead to my deliverance. For I fully expect and hope that I will never be ashamed, but that I will continue to be bold for Christ, as I have been in the past. And I trust that my life will bring honor to Christ, whether I live or die. For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better. But if I live, I can do more fruitful work for Christ. So I really don’t know which is better. I’m torn between two desires: I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me. But for your sakes, it is better that I continue to live. Knowing this, I am convinced that I will remain alive so I can continue to help all of you grow and experience the joy of your faith. And when I come to you again, you will have even more reason to take pride in Christ Jesus because of what he is doing through me.

Philippians 1:19-26

THE MESSAGE

Randy K’Meyer

The Joy in Blooming Where You’re Planted

Dr. Stephen Hawking is one who exemplifies the idiom, “blooming where you are planted.” He is an astrophysicist at Cambridge and is probably the most intelligent man on earth despite the fact that he is planted in a body afflicted with ALS. He is too weak to feed himself, comb his hair, write, or even speak. All of these things we take for granted must be done for him. He has been confined to a wheelchair for years, where he can do little more than sit and think.

But that’s exactly what he does so brilliantly. He has advanced the general theory of relativity farther than any other person since Albert Einstein. His A Brief History of Time and The Universe in a Nutshell have influenced millions of would-be scientists like yours truly. From that wheelchair, he has given the world’s scientists enough to ponder to keep them busy until the Kingdom comes.

And there’s Paul, who shares in common with Hawking not only blooming where they are planted but doing so in less than ideal soil for continued growth. The difference between the two men is that whereas Hawking spends much of his time speculating about eternity, Paul is into helping people prepare for it!

Even as he sits in a Roman prison, chained to a Roman soldier awaiting trial and possible execution, he busies himself writing letters helping people prepare; four of which still exist: Philippians, Ephesians, Colossians and Philemon. And Paul continues to prepare others for eternity by preaching the gospel of Christ.

Had we known Paul and been aware of his circumstances we might have said, “Why don’t you just give it up, Paul? Enough already; you’ve been at it for over 30 years, walking thousands of miles all over the Mediterranean basin, telling people about Christ wherever you go. Now here you are awaiting word on whether Nero is going to let you live or die, why don’t you just let it go, you’ve done enough, no one’s going to blame you if you give up the fight.”

But not Paul! He’s not about to allow the negative circumstances of being in prison to interfere with the task given to him by the Lord of the church to help people prepare for eternity any way he could. Paul is not only is blooming where he is planted; he rejoices as he does so!

What made this possible? And the answer is the divine perspective he developed over time.

Proper perspective is so very important in our blooming where we are planted!

Right now we are, all of us, planted in the soil of a worldwide pandemic. A pandemic that last Spring we all hoped would be over by now. But it is not. If the stats are accurate, two grim milestones reminded us of that this past week: 200,000 deaths in our country; and over 1 million worldwide. And we are constantly reminded of the negative circumstances in which we live every time we encounter a fellow citizen or a fellow Christian wearing a mask.

It’s easy to become disillusioned. Add to that the idea that here’s a little bit of the human tendency to play the victim in all of us. But to do so is to focus on our problems. And when we focus on our problems, it is difficult to find creative solutions.

To keep from falling into that trap, we need some perspective.

Like the wife received before she showed her pastor, Lee Eclov, the following two quotes from her journal entry and her husbands:

Her Journal: Tonight, my husband was acting weird. We had made plans to meet at a nice restaurant for dinner. Conversation wasn’t flowing, so I suggested that we go somewhere quiet so we could talk. He agreed, but he didn’t say much. I asked him what was wrong. He said, “Nothing.” I asked him if it was my fault that he was upset. He said he wasn’t upset, that it had nothing to do with me, and not to worry about it. On the way home, I told him that I loved him. He smiled slightly and kept driving. When we got home, he just sat there quietly and watched TV. He continued to seem distant and absent. Finally, with silence all around us, I decided to go to bed. About 15 minutes later, he came to bed. But I still felt that he was distracted, and his thoughts were somewhere else. He fell asleep. I don’t know what to do.

His Journal: Rough day. Boat wouldn’t start, can’t figure out why. 1 Lol!

That perspective helped that wife view her situation in an entirely new way!

Sometimes we too need a fresh perspective. We need God’s perspective!

Paul had developed a divine perspective that enables him to rise above the negative circumstances he was enduring to flourish!

Paul firmly believed that things could only happen to him if God permitted them to happen to him.

In his fine commentary on Philippians, Frank Thielman writes, “The theological principle lying at the foundation of this passage and supplying the motivation for virtually everything Paul says in it is that human circumstances lie in God’s hands and that God uses them to advance the gospel.” 2

Paul learned to look for the divine purpose in ALL circumstances. And as he did he discovered that things happened to him in order that things should happen in him. And things happened in him so that things could happen through him.

To get perspective on problems and difficulties in life is one of the greatest Christian graces. Proper perspective can make the all the difference between winning and losing, between overcoming and even prevailing, as opposed to giving in and giving up.

A few years ago, as part of a D-Day remembrance, two interviews provided two different perspectives on the Normandy Invasion. The first interview was with a marine who had landed on Omaha Beach. He recalled horrors that sounded like scenes from Steven Spielberg’s Academy Award-winning movie Saving Private Ryan. The aging veteran recalled seeing all the casualties on the beach and then admitted how he had thought at the time, “We’re going to lose this!”

The next interview was with a U.S. Army Air Corps reconnaissance pilot who had flown over the whole battle area. He viewed the carnage on the beaches and hills. But he also witnessed the successes of the marines, the penetration by the paratroopers, and the effectiveness of the aerial bombardment. He looked at everything that was happening and thought to himself, “We’re going to win this!” 3

Perspective made all the difference.

When difficult, even life-threatening circumstances face Christian people, we look to Paul as our example and do our best to perceive how God might be working in such circumstances to advance the gospel, either in our lives or in the lives of others. For clearly, the teaching here is that God works through adverse circumstances.

Therefore; let us individually as well as a church, not be defined by what we face, but how we face it.

As it concerns how churches have faced negative circumstances, five years after the collapse of the Berlin Wall, theologian Thomas Oden was able to visit many congregations in Cuba that had been enduring very difficult circumstances. He was delighted to discover that despite 35 years of socialism and oppression, those churches grew from 6,000 to 50,000 members. That growth came because people had grown weary of the atheist party-line and turned to the church for a more satisfying answer to the meaning of life. Despite its best efforts, Castro’s government was not able to stamp out the church. On the contrary, the gospel of Christ flourished!

As to how an individual faced negative circumstances, one of those Cubans wrote: The search for meaning is just as crucial as the search for bread. While the economy around us is falling apart, Christians are living in a state of special grace. It is not difficult to see the difference between the people of God and those who are desperately trying to live without faith. Ordinary Christians are becoming aware of the church as a life-saving community of hope. 4

Reminds me of a third-century man, who like Paul was anticipating being put to death for his faith, and who penned these last words to a friend:

It’s a bad world, an incredibly bad world. But I have discovered in the midst of it a quiet and holy people who have learned a great secret. They have found a joy which is a thousand times better than any pleasure of our sinful life. They are despised and persecuted, but they care not. They are masters of their souls. They have overcome the world. These people are the Christians . . . and I am one of them.” 5

God calls upon all of us to bloom where we are planted. And I would dare say that, unlike both Stephen Hawking and the Apostle Paul, God has planted most of us in pretty good ground really, where we have all the freedom in the world to prepare people for eternity.

Therefore; we will not be defined by what we face but how we face it. So let’s face these circumstances in the sure knowledge that God is with us and is encouraging us to follow Paul in discovering creative ways to prepare people for that which awaits us all.

PRAYER

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

THE SACRAMENT OF HOLY COMMUNION

COMMUNION SONG

Change My Heart O God

Espinosa, Eddie

Change my heart, O God,
Make it ever true.
Change my heart, O God,
May I be like You.

Change my heart, O God,
Make it ever true.
Change my heart, O God,
May I be like You.

You are the potter, I am the clay.
Mold me and make me,
This is what I pray.

Change my heart, O God,
Make it ever true.
Change my heart, O God,
May I be like You.

©1982 Mercy/Vineyard Publishing (admin. By Music Services)
CCLI License No. 1843349

RECEIVE THE SACRAMENT

On the night in which He was betrayed the Lord Jesus endured the most trying of all negative circumstances as He faced suffering and death. And yet, in the epitome of blooming where you are planted, Jesus not only died, but rose again. Because He did, we can confidentially face the future in the sure knowledge that nothing in all creation can ever separate us from the love of God which is found in Christ Jesus, our Lord.

As He prepared to die, He took some bread, gave God thanks for it, and gave it to His disciples, saying, “Take, eat; this is my body broken for you.”

Afterwards, He took a cup of wine, gave God thanks for it, and gave it to His disciples saying, “Take drink; this is my blood shed for the forgiveness of sins.”

LORD’S PRAYER

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 SONGS

Blessed Be Your Name

Redman, Matt & Beth

Blessed be Your name…in the land that is plentiful
Where Your streams of abundance flow…
Blessed be Your name.

Blessed be Your name…
When I’m found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness…
Blessed be Your name.

Every blessing You pour out
I’ll… turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord…
Still I will say:

Blessed be the name of the Lord…
Blessed be Your name.
Blessed be the name of the Lord…
Blessed be Your glorious name.

Blessed be Your name…
When the sun’s shining down on me
When the world’s all as it should be…
Blessed be Your name

Blessed be Your name…
On the road marked with suffering
Though there’s pain in the offering…
Blessed be Your name.

Every blessing You pour out
I’ll… turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord…
Still I will say:

Blessed be the name of the Lord…
Blessed be Your name.
Blessed be the name of the Lord…
Blessed be Your glorious name.

Blessed be the name of the Lord…
Blessed be Your name.
Blessed be the name of the Lord…
Blessed be Your glorious name.

You give and take away…
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say…
Lord, blessed be Your name.

You give and take away…
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say…
Lord, blessed be Your name.

Blessed be the name of the Lord…
Blessed be Your name.
Blessed be the name of the Lord…
Blessed be Your glorious name.

Blessed be the name of the Lord…
Blessed be Your name.
Blessed be the name of the Lord…
Blessed be Your glorious name.

©2002 Thankyou Music/PRS, admin by EMI Christian Music Publishing
CCLI License No. 1843349

In My Life Lord

Kilpatrick, Bob

In my life Lord, be glorified,
Be glorified.
In my life Lord, be glorified today.

In Your church Lord, be glorified,
Be glorified.
In Your church, Lord, be glorified today.

©1978 Bob Kilpatrick Music
CCLI License Number 1843349

SCRIPTURAL BENEDICTION

Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.

II Thessalonians 2:16-17

1 Lee Eclov, Vernon Hills, Illinois
https://www.preachingtoday.com/illustrations/2012/april/6041612.html

2 Frank Thielman, The NIV Application Commentary; Philippians, [Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, © 1995]. Page 63.

3 Leith Anderson, Leadership That Works, (Minneapolis, Bethany House, 1999), pp. 164-165; submitted by Deiter Duff, Sellersburg, Indiana https://www.preachingtoday.com/illustrations/2002/october/13915.html

4 Thielman, Page 69-70.

5 Moody Bible Institute’s, Today In The Word, June, 1988, page 18.
https://bible.org/illustration/christians

Randy K'Meyer

Leave a Reply Text