Until the Day Comes

Worship Service for May 16, 2021

WELCOME

Good morning, welcome and thanks for joining CrossPointe Community Church’s on-line worship presentation. As does the Apostle Paul in his letters to churches, I thank God for all of you and pray that as a result of participating today, you will draw closer to the Lord’s presence and grow more and more into His likeness.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

May is a 5th Sunday month and you know what that means: Gather to Scatter.

So on Sunday, May 30th, after worship, we will be asking for several volunteers to go to the home of Ron and Rena Thomas. We’d like to give them a hand with a couple of outdoor projects. We are also going to give you all a chance to purchase some items for one of the group homes run by SHC. And lastly, we would like to encourage all of you to do business with local sponsors of the Where’s Chippy benefit. For example, if you have a hankering for good broasted chicken or pizza, check out Contessa’s on the Lake. This will be our way of saying thanks to them. We will be providing little thank you cards that you may hand to the folks you are doing business with. Look for more details about this in Wednesday’s e-mail and next Sunday.

If you recognize today’s call to worship, it’s because I read from the same passage last Sunday morning. Last week, I wanted to emphasize that not only are we blessed for all God has done for us, but that God desires for you and I to do what can to bring others under the shelter of God’s blessings. This past week, I was drawn back to the opening of this passage which speaks of God’s protection. And I wondered if some might be thinking, ‘Really, there have been times of pain and suffering in my life that have made me wonder if God has my back.

CALL TO WORSHIP

But now thus says the Lord, He who created you, O Jacob,
He who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
When you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.”

Isaiah 43:1-3

OPENING WORSHIP SONGS

How Firm a Foundation

Rippon, John

How firm a foundation, Ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!
What more can He say than to you He hath said,
To you who for refuge to Jesus have fled?

Fear not; I am with thee. O be not dismayed,
For I am thy God, and will still give thee aid.
I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by My gracious, Omnipotent hand.

When through fiery trials, Thy pathway shall lie,
My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply.
The flames shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.

The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose,
I will not, I will not desert to its foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake.

©Public Domain
CCLI License No. 1843349

Strong Tower

Furler, Peter/Taylor, Steve

Strong and mighty…
Strong to save us
Like a fortress…never failing
Strong in battle…strong in kindness
When we stray Lord…
You’re strong to find us.

When the wind comes hard against us
You are steadfast, You are true
When the ground beneath us trembles
Your foundation never moves.

Strong tower…high and glorious…
Strong tower…mighty in love
Our refuge…our defender…
Strong tower…Lord above.

Strong to lead us…through the shadows
Strong to carry…all our sorrows
When the enemy surrounds us…
Closes in as darkness falls
Though his armies rage against us
They can never scale these walls.

Strong tower…high and glorious…
Strong tower…mighty in love
Our refuge…our defender…
Strong tower…Lord above.

You are my shelter…my shield
You are the home…
I could never deserve
Here I will serve…
Ever under Your gaze
Here I will serve…
Ever singing Your praise.

Strong tower…high and glorious…
Strong tower…mighty in love
Our refuge…our defender…
Strong tower…Lord above.
Strong tower…high and glorious…
Strong tower…mighty in love
Our refuge…our defender…
Strong tower…Lord above.

Strong tower…Lord above.
Strong tower…Lord above.

©2004 Ariose Music/ASCAP, admin by EMI CMG Publishing/Soylent Tunes (SESAC)
CCLI License No. 1843349

My All in All

Hernandez, Frank/Powell, Sherry Saunders

You are my strength O God
You are my help O God
You are the One on whom I call.
You are my shield, O God
My life I yield O God
For You will ever be my all in all.

©1975 Birdwing Music/BMG Songs/Garden Valley Music
CCLI License No. 1843349

OPENING PRAYER

Almighty God, our Heavenly Father, we thank for Your Word that inspired the authors of these songs to write so that we could worship You through singing. We are so blessed to be able to put our faith in You, our firm foundation, our strong tower, our rock and redeemer, our all in all. Help us O Lord to put our whole trust in You today, through Jesus Christ, Your Son and our Lord. Amen.

THE GIVING OF THE LORD’S OFFERING

For those of you who participate in the Lord’s offering by giving through the mail, our address is P. O. Box 126, Chippewa Lake, OH, 44215.

Here’s something to consider concerning the giving of an offering to the Lord through His Church. The Apostle Paul was inspired by the Holy Spirit to write in his second letter to the Corinthians: “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (9:7).

PRAYER SONG

Psalm 23

Morgan, Trevor

The Lord is my Shepherd
And I shall not want
He makes me lie down in green pastures
And He leads me beside still waters
And He restores my soul
He leads me in paths of righteousness
For His Namesake

Even though I walk through the valley
Of the shadow of death
I will fear no evil
For You are with me
Your rod and Your staff
They comfort me
Oh, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
In the presence of my enemies
You anoint my head with oil
My cup overflows

Even though I walk through the valley
Of the shadow of death
I will fear no evil
For You are with me
Your rod and Your staff
They comfort me
Oh, they comfort me.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life
And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
Forever…forever.

Even though I walk through the valley
Of the shadow of death
I will fear no evil
For You are with me
Your rod and Your staff
They comfort me
Oh, they comfort me.

CCLI License No. 1843349

MORNING PRAYER

Brad Winter

Dear Heavenly Father

Thank You!!!! for this beautiful morning and bringing us safely together to hear Your word and sing beautiful praises to Your name.

Please allow us a moment to imagine ourselves as sheep in a green, lush pasture. You are our Shepherd standing firm with your rod to protect us and your staff to rescue us. As sheep, we look cute and cuddly on the outside, but on the inside, we are stubborn, dirty, afraid, needy creatures of habit. We tend to wander and go astray.

The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want. How could we want anymore Lord? You laid down your life and paid the ultimate sacrifice so those who believe will have everlasting life and spend eternity with you.

We constantly find ourselves going astray and walking through dark valleys tending to our busy, bustling, and worldly lifestyles. Exposed and vulnerable to all the temptations the world has to offer. Starving for rest, comfort, nourishment, courage, safety, love, and peace. You stand there firm and rescue us with your staff, lead us beside still water and bring us back into that lush green pasture and make us lay down in your presence so you can protect us and keep us safe.

Peace can only be found in you, Lord. There is nothing else in this world that can give us peace other than the love that comes from you and the beauty that you created.

Please restore our hearts and minds as we find peace and comfort in You. When we find ourselves getting close to the edge and wandering away allow us to feel the gentle nudge from Your shepherd’s hook pulling us back to that lush green pasture of peace, rest, and righteousness.

Please keep us safe and bring us all back together next week. Please light our paths with hope, love, and joy that can only be found in Your presence.

In Jesus’ name Amen….

SCRIPTURE

This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and from our brother Timothy. I am writing to God’s church in Corinth and to all of his holy people throughout Greece. May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with His comfort through Christ. Even when we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your comfort and salvation! For when we ourselves are comforted, we will certainly comfort you. Then you can patiently endure the same things we suffer. We are confident that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in the comfort God gives us.

II Corinthians 1:1-17

After this I saw a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation and tribe and people and language, standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes and held palm branches in their hands. And they were shouting with a great roar, “Salvation comes from our God who sits on the throne and from the Lamb!”

And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living beings. And they fell before the throne with their faces to the ground and worshiped God. They sang, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and strength belong to our God forever and ever! Amen.”

Then one of the twenty-four elders asked me, “Who are these who are clothed in white? Where did they come from?”
And I said to him, “Sir, you are the one who knows.”
Then he said to me, “These are the ones who died in the great tribulation. They have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb and made them white.
“That is why they stand in front of God’s throne and serve him day and night in his Temple. And He who sits on the throne will give them shelter. They will never again be hungry or thirsty; they will never be scorched by the heat of the sun. For the Lamb on the throne will be their Shepherd. He will lead them to springs of life-giving water. And God will wipe every tear from their eyes.

Revelation 7:9-17

THE MESSAGE

Randy K’Meyer

Until the Day Comes

A priest and a pastor stood near a sharp curve on a busy road holding signs. “The end is near!” read the priest’s sign, while the pastor’s warned, “Turn around before it’s too late!” As he passed by, a jerk in a corvette shook his fist, and yelled “Idiots!” Moments later there was the sound of screeching tires and a big splash. The priest turned to the pastor and said, “Maybe we should change our signs to ‘Bridge Out’.”

People shake their fists at pastors and priests on a regular basis, but would you believe it’s not uncommon for people to even shake their fists at God? Especially when they are in the midst of pain and suffering. Even the Bible includes stories of righteous people, take Job for instance, who questioned God for what they considered poor management of creation.

But Nebraska State Senator Ernie Chambers took his fist-shaking to extremes when he took his complaints to court. That’s right; in October 2007, Sen. Chambers sued God for “causing untold death and horror” in the form of fearsome floods, horrendous hurricanes, terrifying tornadoes.” Furthermore, says the senator, God has wrought “widespread death, destruction and terrorized millions upon millions of the Earth’s inhabitants.” Chambers filed the suit, tongue in cheek, to make a statement about the American court system where anybody can file a lawsuit against anybody; even God.

His case raises important questions about God’s activity in this broken world. Is God to blame for poverty, warfare, and natural disaster? To Chambers the facts are clear: there is suffering everywhere, and God is everywhere. Therefore, God must cause suffering. 1

Now, to be sure, we could argue until we turn blue in the face about whether God causes or allows pain and suffering. But it is not an argument that any human being on this side will ever win.

Rather than struggle with theological conundrums that only cloud the issue, God would have us turn our attention to what the Bible tells us for sure about pain and suffering. That someday it will end! And how the knowledge of that truth can help us better cope with the trials and tribulations that we will certainly encounter in this life from time to time.

Whatever else the Book of Revelation is, we must not lose sight of the fact that, like the rest of the New Testament, it was written to a particular people in a particular life situation to bring those people a good word from God.

The particular life situation for those early followers of Christ living throughout the Roman Empire was dire! Domitian had become Emperor about 81 AD and one of his first official acts was to re-institute Caesar worship. Not only did he see Himself divine, he required that everyone else do the same. And the proclamation went out all over the empire: people must proclaim Domitian god or die. If one couldn’t say, “Caesar is Lord,” pain and suffering would inevitably follow; as it did for many of those folks.

Perhaps they looked at the text in Isaiah that we opened with today and wondered where God was in the midst of their difficulties. They needed a word from the Lord.

So God gives John a vison, in which he sees a great congregation, all types of people from everywhere in a huge gathering before God’s throne. Who are these people? They are Christians for they have washed their robes in Christ’s blood. Furthermore, they have endured terrible pain and suffering.

And they are worshipping and praising God? Why? At one time, the throne of Rome had threatened them, but now the throne of God is protecting them. They had been hungry and thirsty and scorched by the sun, now their cups are running over as every need is satisfied. In persecution, they cried out in pain, now God ministers to their need as He wipes every tear from their eyes. They had been led to the slaughter, but now they are drinking from springs of living water. Is it any wonder the exclaimed, “Salvation comes from our God who sits on the throne and from the Lamb!” (Revelation 7:10).

This text is just one example of the underlying message of the whole book that in the end, God will gain final victory for His people!

I want to tell you that when these first-century Christians got this book in their hands and began to devour it, they knew what John was talking about. And they drew encouragement to more faithfully endure whatever trials and afflictions they were called upon to endure, knowing that in the end they would gain the final victory in the presence of God and His Lamb, the Lord Jesus Christ!

Before we speak more about the final victory over pain and suffering, let me remind you that in this life we are not left comfortless.

Jesus told His disciple, “I will not leave you comfortless, I will ask the Father and He will send another comforter; the Holy Spirit” (John 14).

The Apostle Paul opens his second letter to his pals in Corinth with, “All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort” (II Corinthians 1:3).

Episcopalian pastor and author, John Guest, writes, “Just as husband and wife live out their lives against the backdrop of being married, so do we live out the entirety of our lives against the backdrop of a constant relationship with God. He is always there, always loving us, always ready to listen to us. As we recognize his unwavering commitment to us, we are able to face more peacefully the day to day challenges of life.” 2

J. Oswald Sanders wisely posited, “Peace is not the absence of trouble, but the presence of God.” 3

Sarah Young writes in Jesus Calling,

I am with you. These four words are like a safety net, protecting you from falling into despair. Because you are human, you will always have ups and downs in your life experience. But the promise of My presence limits how far down you can go. Sometimes you may feel as if you are in a free fall, when people or things you had counted on let you down. Yet as soon as you remember that I am with you your perspective changes radically. Instead of mourning your circumstances, you can look to Me for help. You recall that not only am I with you, I am holding you by your right hand. I guide you with My counsel, and afterward I will take you to glory. This is exactly the perspective you need: the reassurance of My presence and the glorious hope of heaven.” 4

A woman caught in a frightening storm in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean had kept all the little children on board from panicking by telling Bible stories. After finally reaching the dock safely, the ship’s captain approached the woman whom he had observed during the storm. “How were you able to maintain your calm when everyone feared the ship would sink in the midst of the storm?” As she looked up, he noticed the same quiet peace in her eyes that he had observed throughout the journey.

“I have two daughters,” explained the woman. One of them lives in New York. The other lives in heaven. I knew that I would see one or the other of my daughters in a few hours. And it really didn’t matter to me which. 5

How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord, is laid for your faith in His excellent word. What more can He say than to you He has said? To you who for refuge to Jesus have fled.

And then Paul continues, “He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us” (II Corinthians 1:4).

God not only picks us up, dries our tears, soothes our fears, lifts our thoughts beyond the hurt; He also points us to others, knowing that helping others helps us.

On November 5, 1994, President Ronald Reagan wrote a letter to all Americans. In it he acknowledged that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Instead of feigning strength, the former President was honest and vulnerable. In his weakness, he reached out to others. He wrote in part:

My Fellow Americans, I have recently been told that I am one of the millions of Americans who will be afflicted with Alzheimer’s Disease. Upon learning this news, Nancy and I had to decide whether as private citizens we would keep this a private matter or whether we would make this news known in a public way. In the past Nancy suffered from breast cancer, and I had my cancer surgeries. So now, we feel it is important to share this with you.

In opening our hearts, we hope this might promote greater awareness of this condition. In opening our hearts, we hope this might promote greater awareness of this condition. Perhaps it will encourage a clearer understanding of the individuals and families who are affected by it.

At the moment I feel just fine. I intend to live the remainder of the years God gives me on this earth doing the things I have always done. I will continue to share life’s journey with my beloved Nancy and my family. I plan to enjoy the great outdoors and stay in touch with my friends and supporters. I only wish there was some way I could spare Nancy from this painful experience. When the time comes I am confident that with your help she will face it with faith and courage.

When the Lord calls me home, whenever that may be, I will leave with the greatest love for this country of ours. I now begin the journey that will lead me into the sunset of my life.

Thank you, my friends. My God always bless you.

Sincerely,
Ronald Reagan 6

What happens when bad things happen to God’s people? They can, if they wish to, become better people!

You see, my friends, the comfort which Christ gives in this life is not a comfort which promises to save us from trouble, but one which brings us triumphantly through trouble! It does not make life easy, but it can make life great as we use our difficulties to benefit others.

William Barclay writes, “It is not part of the Christian hope to look for life in which a man is saved from all trouble and distress. The Christian hope is that in Christ we can endure any kind of trouble and distress and remain firm through all of them, and come out to glory on the other side.” 7

The other side . . . the other side . . . speaking of the other side, the bottom line is not our fears, not our failures, not our pain and suffering, the bottom line is THERE WILL COME A DAY!

God is the strength of His people! In the Spirit, He comes alongside to comfort us with His presence in this life. And He has gained a great victory over death and the grave that assures us of His presence in the next life!

And because this is so,

for those who wake up in the middle of the night worrying about where the money is going to come from to pay the bills, about whether or not your retirement or social security is going to be there, there will come a day!

for those who agonize over grown children who continually go astray or how you are going to care for your aging parents, there will come a day!

for those who helplessly watch loved ones suffer addiction, illness, and infirmity, there will come a day!

for those who are suffering from some dreaded disease, who live in bodies with pain as their constant companion, who will wonder for the rest of their days why they lived while others did not, there will come a day!

for those who have had to say goodbye to loved ones, there will come a day!

When tragedy strikes, when the pain is overwhelming, when we do not know where else to turn, how comforting to open the Book of Revelation and contemplate what God has laid up for those who have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb! There will come a day when all of our physical and emotional pain is past when we will be eternally with God and with God’s people! THERE WILL COME A DAY!

One Christian author writes, “The end of the Big Story is beauty, because the end of the story is God. This world and its history are prelude and foretaste; all the sunrises and sunsets, symphonies and rock concerts, feasts and friendships are but whispers. They are a prologue to the grander story and an even better place. Only there, it will never end.” 8

C. S. Lewis,’ 7 volumes of The Chronicles of Narnia, tells the story of four children, Peter, Susan, Edmond and Lucy, who discover a closet that leads to the mystical land of Narnia, which is symbolic of heaven. There they meet Aslan, the great Lion, who represents Jesus. They make several forays into Narnia and each time Aslan sends them back to what Lewis calls The Shadowlands, symbolic of earth.

On the final page of the final book, the children are lamenting that they once again must return to The Shadow-Lands. But this time, Aslan has good news for them. Lucy says, “We’re so afraid of being sent away, Aslan, we don’t wish to leave here. But you have sent us back into our own world so often.”

“No fear of that anymore,” said Aslan. “Have you not guessed?”
Their hearts leap and a wild hope rises within them.

“There was a real railway accident,” said Aslan softly. “Your father and mother and all of you are, as you used to call it in the Shadow-Lands, dead. But that is all over now; the holidays have begun. The dream has ended; this is morning.” And as he spoke, he no longer looked to them like a lion; and the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them.

For us, (the reader) this is the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page. Now at last they were beginning chapter One of the Great Story, which no one on earth has read, which goes on forever, in which every chapter is better than the one before. 9

There’s a day coming; for some sooner than others. But all the same, it’s coming and when it does it will be a day like no other day we can even dream of.

Until that day comes, keep your heads up and your hearts filled with the love and grace of the Risen Lord Jesus who loves you and who promised to be with you forever.

CLOSING PRAYER

[Please pray as you feel God is directing you.]

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

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 Neb. State Senator Sues God in Protest, (Associated Press)
USA Today (10-08-07)
https://www.preachingtoday.com/illustrations/2007/october/2102907.html

2 John Guest, Only a Prayer Away. Christianity Today, Vol. 40, no. 2.

3 Sarah Young, Jesus Calling, [Knoxville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson Publishers, © 2004] Page 51.

4 Ron Mehl, Calm in the Storm, in Stories of the Heart, Compiled by Alice Gray. [Sisters, Oregon: Multnomah Publishers, © 1997]. Page 285.

5 J. Oswald Sanders. Today’s Christian Woman, “Heart to Heart.” https://www.preachingtoday.com/illustrations/1998/november/5458.html

6 Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum Website
https://www.reaganlibrary.gov/reagans/ronald-reagan/reagans-letter-announcing-his-alzheimers-diagnosis

7 William Barclay,

8 Steve DeWitt, Eyes Wide Open: Enjoying God in Everything. [Grand Rapids, Michigan: Credo House Publishers, © 2012), pages 180-181.

9 C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle; submitted by Eugene Maddox, Interlachen, Florida https://www.preachingtoday.com/illustrations/2000/september/12609.html

Randy K'Meyer

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