Why Preach?

Worship Service for February 21, 2021

WELCOME

Good morning and welcome to CrossPointe Community Church’s online 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

You all know that I plan on moving into a new phase of my life in March of 2022. I will no longer be your pastor. You also know our Pastoral Succession Team is working toward this transition and plan to secure what is called an Intentional Interim Pastor; someone who has been specifically trained to lead a congregation in the process of securing the next pastor. There will be a time in the near future when you will have an opportunity to ask questions about that process.

At the same time, there are three dynamics that could make it difficult to find a new pastor. First, a large cohort of baby-boomer pastors across the country have been retiring for the last ten years. During that same time, the number of people entering seminary with the goal of becoming pastors has decreased 50%. Add to that the fact that many pastors have left the ministry as a result of Covid. I caught a blog by Church Consultant Thom Rainer last week, who said he is aware of hundreds of churches going without senior pastors.

With that in mind, it is my intention to prepare CrossPointe for any eventuality. So I am announcing that I will be offering classes to train people who feel called to it in some practical skills in preaching. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have several people within our congregation who could step into the pulpit at any time? What a great asset to the church and to a future pastor this would be.

I am going to do this in two phases. The first will be a four-week class on how to share your faith with another person. This is something that all Christians should be able to do and is in my mind a prerequisite for anyone wishing to engage in preaching. So I am encouraging any person who feels led to join me starting Wednesday, March 10th. Then at the end of that class, we will continue on with those who wish to further their training. If you have any questions about this, do not hesitate to call or e-mail me.

CALL TO WORSHIP

The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display His craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make Him known. They speak without a sound or word; their voice is never heard. Yet their message has gone throughout the earth, and their words to all the world.

God has made a home in the heavens for the sun. It bursts forth like a radiant bridegroom after his wedding. It rejoices like a great athlete eager to run the race. The sun rises at one end of the heavens and follows its course to the other end. Nothing can hide from its heat.

Psalm 19:1-6

OPENING WORSHIP SONGS

God You Reign

Brewster, Lincoln/Fieldes, Mia

You paint the night
You count the stars…
And You call them by name.
The skies proclaim…
God You reign.
Your glory shines
You teach the sun
When to bring a new day
Creation sings God You reign.

God You reign…God You reign.
Forever and ever…
God You reign.

You part the seas
You move the mountains
With the words that You say.
My song remains…God You reign.
You hold my life
You know my heart
And You call me by name.
I live to say…God You reign.

God You reign…God You reign.
Forever and ever…
God You reign.

God You reign…God You reign.
Forever and ever…
God You reign.

©2008 Integrity’s Praise! Music and Mia Fields/Hillsong Publishing (admin in US and Canada by Integrity’s Hosanna! Music)
CCLI License No. 1843349

God of Wonders

Byrd, Marc/Hindalong, Steve

Lord of all creation,
Of water, earth and sky
The heavens are Your tabernacle,
Glory to the Lord on high.

God of wonders beyond our galaxy,
You are holy, holy;
The universe declares Your majesty
You are holy, holy;
Lord of heaven and earth.
Lord of heaven and earth.

Early in the morning,
I will celebrate Your light.
And as I stumble in the darkness,
I will call Your name by night.

God of wonders beyond our galaxy,
You are holy, holy;
The universe declares Your majesty
You are holy, holy;
Lord of heaven and earth.
Lord of heaven and earth.

Hallelujah!
To the Lord of heaven and earth
Hallelujah!
To the Lord of heaven and earth
Hallelujah!
To the Lord of heaven and earth.

God of wonders beyond our galaxy,
You are holy, holy;
The universe declares Your majesty
You are holy, holy;
Lord of heaven and earth.
Lord of heaven and earth.

God of wonders beyond our galaxy,
You are holy, holy;
The universe declares Your majesty
You are holy, holy;
Lord of heaven and earth.
Lord of heaven and earth.

©2000 Meaux Mercy/Blue Raft Music
CCLI License Number 1843349

All Creation Worships You

Dearman, Kirk/Mills, Jim

You are God and we praise You.
(And we praise You).
You are Lord, we acclaim You.
(We acclaim You).
You are eternal Father,
All creation worships You.
All creation worships You.
Amen.

©1988 Integrity’s Hosanna! Music (c/o Integrity Music, Inc.)
CCLI License No. 1843349)

OPENING PRAYER

God of wonders, with all creation, we praise Your Holy Name as we worship. As you reign over creation, we invite You to reign also in our lives. Lord, whether we are worshiping by watching a screen or are with others in a sanctuary, what’s really important is that Your will be done in all of our lives. Therefore; we humble ourselves before You. Open our eyes, minds and hearts to what You want to do in our lives today. For we ask this in the name of Jesus, the Messiah, who came that we might live with You forever, 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 continue to worship God through the giving of our offerings, let us be reminded of God’s word concerning what the Bible calls the tithe, as given in one of the oldest book of the Bible, Leviticus:

A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the Lord; it is holy to the Lord.

Leviticus 27:30

PRAYER SONG

Breathe

Barnett, Marie

This is the air I breathe,
This is the air I breathe,
Your holy presence, living in me.
This is my daily bread,
This is my daily bread,
Your very Word, spoken to me.
And I, I’m desp’rate for You.
And I, I’m lost without You.

This is the air I breathe,
This is the air I breathe,
Your holy presence, living in me.
This is my daily bread,
This is my daily bread,
Your very Word, spoken to me.
And I, I’m desp’rate for You.
And I, I’m lost without You.
I’m lost without You.
I’m lost without You.

©1995 Mercy/Vineyard Publishing (admin. by Music Services)
CCLI License No. 1843349

MORNING PRAYER

Brad Winter

Dear Heavenly Father.

Thank you for the beautiful day you have blessed us with. And thank you for answering our prayers! We are back together again! At Crosspointe Community Church in Chippewa Lake, Ohio. Hear our prayers of thanks Lord!!!!

We are here and ready to serve you! We are engaged and ready to continue fulfilling our mission of sharing your grace with our community…..in person!

We are thankful for the dedication of our pastor, his wife, and our leadership team who worked together with our amazing musicians to keep us safe and deliver your word through scripture and song to each of our homes each and every week we could not meet together.

May our faith not be shaken during challenging times. Stand by us and empower us to put our faith into action and tell everyone the wonderful news that you are our savior! May each of us be inspired to be a bright shining light in these dark times as we go out in the community and interact with others.

We love you Lord and look forward to the amazing things you have in store for all of us. Please bless this day and keep us safe in Jesus’ name….Amen.

SCRIPTURE

After Jesus rose from the dead early on Sunday morning, the first person who saw Him was Mary Magdalene, the woman from whom he had cast out seven demons. She went to the disciples, who were grieving and weeping, and told them what had happened. But when she told them that Jesus was alive and she had seen Him, they didn’t believe her.

Afterward He appeared in a different form to two of His followers who were walking from Jerusalem into the country. They rushed back to tell the others, but no one believed them.

Still later He appeared to the eleven disciples as they were eating together. He rebuked them for their stubborn unbelief because they refused to believe those who had seen Him after He had been raised from the dead.

And then He told them, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone. Anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe will be condemned.”

Mark 16:9-16

But you must remain faithful to the things you have been taught. You know they are true, for you know you can trust those who taught you. You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.

I solemnly urge you in the presence of God and Christ Jesus, who will someday judge the living and the dead when He comes to set up His Kingdom: PREACH the word of God.

II Timothy 3:14-4:2

By the way, the word preach, which appears 60 times in the New Testament means ‘proclaim’ and always has in mind proclaiming the good news about Jesus. 1 In that regard, preaching is not, and should not, be limited to pastor-preachers. You don’t have to have a seminary degree hanging on your wall to preach. Anyone who shares the good news about Jesus can be considered a preacher, that is, one who engages in telling others about Christ, and that can and should include all of us.

PREACH the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching.

For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. They will reject the truth and chase after myths.

II Timothy 4:2-4

THE MESSAGE

Randy K’Meyer

Why Preach?

Running out of patience with his preacher’s long-winded sermon, Delmar couldn’t take it anymore and got up and walked out of the sanctuary. He ran into his friend Pete who was on a bathroom run. Pete asked Delmar, “Has he finished yet?”

Delmar replied, “Oh yea, he’s finished; but he won’t stop.”

I’ve heard it said, “Some preachers are like camels: they can go a long time without knowing how dry they are.”

I apologize for the times I’ve been both longwinded and dry; and although I might be a little long-winded today, I pray I won’t be dry.

Why preach?! Why should anyone engage in preaching? Why am I standing here today preaching?

Why did Paul write with such urgency, “I solemnly urge you in the presence of God and Christ Jesus, who will someday judge the living and the dead when He comes to set up His Kingdom: PREACH the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not” (II Timothy 4:1-2a).

And the answer is because there are two groups of people who need to hear the word of God.

First there are those implied in II Timothy 3:17, “God uses it (His word) to prepare and equip His people to do every good work” and 4:2, “Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching.”

And the second audience is implied in II Timothy 4:4: Those who “will reject the truth and chase after myths.”

I’m going to spend just a couple minutes talking about that first group and give more attention to the second.

As you already know, that first group of people includes you.

Those, who according to Paul in 3:15b, have already been given “the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus.” He’s talking, of course, about believers in Christ.

“Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching” (4:2b).

We preach because preaching nourishes the people of God. It feeds our souls. As someone once said, scripture is to our souls what the oxygen is to our bodies. “This is the air I breathe, Your very word spoken to me.”

This is why Peter wrote: “Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment, now that you have had a taste of the Lord’s kindness” (I Peter 2:2-3).

Peter, like Paul, is talking about people who have come to faith in Jesus and who now need to be fed the scriptures through preaching of the word so they might grow spiritually.

Each time we sit under the preaching of the Bible, we grow. We may not realize it, but we are.

This was illustrated nicely when The British Weekly published this letter:

Dear Sir, It seems preachers feel their sermons are very important and spend a great deal of time preparing them. I have been attending church quite regularly for 30 years and I have probably heard 3,000 of them. To my consternation, I discovered I can’t remember a single one of them. So I wonder if a preacher’s time might be spent on something more profitable.”

For weeks a storm of editorial responses ensued until this letter put an end to it:

I have been married for 30 years. During that time, I have eaten approximately 32,850 meals. To my consternation, I have discovered I cannot remember the menu of a single meal. And yet I have the distinct impression that without them I would have starved to death years ago. 2

Preachers preach because as the word of God is preached, we, His children, receive from our heavenly Father the spiritual food we need to mature into Christlikeness.

That’s what we are engaged in right now. I am preaching not to rebuke, but, as Paul writes, “to prepare and equip His people (you) to do every good work” (II Timothy 3:17).

With that in mind, let’s consider that second audience; those who “reject the truth.” Why preach to those who reject the truth of the gospel?

First, we preach because God exists.

The fundamental assumption of God’s word is that God exists. The Bible doesn’t try to prove that God exists; it simply indicates He does.

As J. Kent Edwards states in his book, Deep Preaching, “He looms over the lives of all humankind in the same way that Mount Everest towers over the Himalayan Mountains.” 3

Of course, there are those who “reject the truth” and argue that God does not exist.

There was a Christian who went to a barbershop for a haircut and decided to talk to his barber about Jesus. The barber said, “Look man, I don’t believe that God exists. If god exists, there wouldn’t be so much pain and suffering in the world.”

The Christian wasn’t sure how to answer that one so he didn’t, but after he left he got an idea when he saw a guy with long hair and a beard. He went back to the barber and said, “You know what? Barbers do not exist. If they did, there would be no people with long hair and beards.”

The barber replied, “No, what happens is that people do not come to me.”

“Exactly! That’s the point, God does exist, what happens is people don’t go to him and that’s why there’s so much pain and suffering in the world.” 4

Edwards again, “He is the elephant in everyone’s room, and those who ignore Him will be crushed by His enormous reality.” 5

Preachers preach, that is, they proclaim the good news about Jesus, first, because God exists. And because God exists, knowledge about God must be made known. Knowledge of God is the most important knowledge a human being can obtain. Therefore, someone must stand up and tell people that God exists.

That’s why Paul sounds a note of urgency to Timothy because he knows that the people who live where Timothy is ministering need to know all they can about God.

That same dynamic still exists; as does God.

Second, we preach, not only because God exists, but also because God has spoken.

He has communicated with us through what theologians call ‘general’ and ‘special’ revelation.

General revelation is information about Himself that God makes available
to all people, in all places at all times.

General revelation speaks to us in at least two ways. First, through creation. We opened this worship with the words of the Psalmist:

The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known.

Psalm 19:1-2

“Creation sings, God you reign.” 6

Everyone who has witnessed the stunning beauty of a rose in full bloom or the majesty of the Grand Canyon has at the same moment witnessed the handiwork of the Creator.

Now, as we know, not everybody acknowledges the Creator, many “reject the truth,” but make no mistake, God has spoken clearly in this ‘general revelation’ manner.

In Romans, Paul writes about people who refuse to accept this:

They know the truth about God because He has made it obvious to them. For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see His invisible qualities—His eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.

1:19-20

So God speaks through His creation and the second reason people have no excuse is that God also speaks to people through their conscience. Our sense of right and wrong; however misguided it sometimes can be, is an echo of God’s universal moral standards.

Paul also talks about this in Romans:

Even Gentiles, who do not have God’s written law, show that they know His law when they instinctively obey it, even without having heard it. They demonstrate that God’s law is written in their hearts, for their own conscience and thoughts either accuse them or tell them they are doing right.

2:14-15

So, we preach because God speaks to all people at all times in all places through what we call ‘general revelation;’ that is, using creation and conscience to communicate about Himself.

But in addition to general revelation, theologians speak of ‘Special Revelation’ whereby, God makes information about Himself available to specific people, at specific times in human history.

Special revelation includes divine miracles, as when God revealed His Holy presence to His people, the Israelites, in the pillar of fire. It includes angelic visitations as when Gabriel appeared to Mary and Joseph.

But the most important and comprehensive way that God has spoken to us through special revelation is through the pages of Holy scriptures, the Bible. If the goal is to get to know the God who exists and who has communicated, it would seems the best way to do that would be to listen to them. In the Bible, God speaks; “all scripture is inspired by God,” and He invites us to pull up a chair and listen.

Why did God go to all the trouble to make the Bible available; wasn’t general revelation enough? It would have been, except for one thing.

The decision to sin by Adam and Eve changed everything, including the kind of information God need to communicate with us. For now, God had to tell us how to be saved from our sins, a message that general revelation cannot deliver.

You might experience your breath being taken away by the Grand Canyon, but that won’t save you from your sin. You gaze at a beautiful red rose as long as you like, but it will never help you understand that God sent Jesus to die on a cross.

In the special revelation of the Bible, God speaks to us about who He is, and about who we are.

And we preach because the predominant message of special revelation given in the Bible is that GOD LOVES HUMANITY.

That includes unsaved people, who need to be reminded that we, all of us, are sinners. I say reminded because all human beings are conscious of their sin. And people need to understand that for God to be true to Himself there must be a penalty paid for human sinfulness. And someone needs to tell people the good news that God loves them so much that He paid the penalty on their behalf when His Son gave His life for us!

We can sum up the Bible in Three words: God loves everybody! That’s what the world needs to hear! He loves you, who have already entered into His Kingdom. And He equally loves those who have yet to enter it.

So we preach, we tell, we share the good news of God’s love through Jesus so that people can receive and experience the love of God through the forgiveness of their sins.

And don’t miss the urgency in the imperative: “I solemnly urge you in the presence of God and Christ Jesus, who will someday judge the living and the dead when He comes to set up His Kingdom, PREACH the word of God!” (II Timothy 4:1).

For it is quite literally a matter of life and death. “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, whoever does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16).

This is why I have chosen to preach throughout Lent from John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that whosoever believes in Him might not perish, but have everlasting life.” So that we can reminded of God’s love for us, and be better equipped to pass on His love to so many others who are lost without Him, and, therefore; are in desperate need for Him.

This is the high calling and privilege of every church, and every Christian, to in as many ways as possible proclaim the good news that God lives and God loves all people and desires that all His creation would be enabled to sing, “God, You Reign!”

Like 31 year old Tiffany who at one point in her life wrote: “When I was 9, I was molested by a family member. At the time I really didn’t understand what was happening, but I knew it wasn’t normal. I was too scared to tell anyone, and because he was a family member, I felt that somehow my mom and dad allowed it to happen. Looking back, I can see that wasn’t true, but at the time I didn’t know any better. The abuse continued until I was 12, and I told my mom what was happening. She cried so loud and for so long. I realized then the gravity of what had happened. I’ve never been able to scrub the sick feeling off my soul that was put there through the abuse. So I just go through life feeling that if anyone ever knew who I was on the inside, they would simply reject me. I’m angry with God. Why did he let it happen to me? He couldn’t really love me.

But by God’s grace, she later wrote, “Now I realize that God has loved me the whole time. The abuse taught me that I was worthless, but Christ has taught me that I am precious to him. And the greatest thing is that in his love, I could really forgive the person who hurt me and move on. I can’t say that it’s cut-and-dried or that the pain is gone forever, but it is different now. I can now say that the love I was looking for can only be found in Jesus. I am a grateful daughter who is just trying to stay in my Father’s love.” 7

Why preach?

That’s why we preach!

That’s why you and I were given the high calling and awesome privilege to proclaim, to tell, to share the good news of God’s love and grace that has come to us in His Son, Jesus.

For as Paul writes the Romans:

Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved! But how can they call on Him to save them unless they believe in Him? And how can they believe in Him if they have never heard about Him? And how can they hear about Him unless someone tells them?

Romans 10:13-14

CLOSING PRAYER

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

CLOSING SONG

Here I Am, Lord

Schutte, Daniel, L.

I, the Lord of sea and sky,
I have heard My people cry.
All who dwell in dark and sin;
My hand will save.
I, who made the stars of night,
I will make their darkness bright.
Who will bear My light to them?
Whom shall I send?

Here I am, Lord.
Is it I, Lord?
I have heard You calling in the night.
I will go, Lord, if you lead me.
I will hold Your people in my heart.

I, the Lord of snow and rain
I have borne My people’s pain.
I have wept for love of them;
They turn away.
I will break their hearts of stone;
Give them hearts for love alone.
I will speak My Word to them.
Whom shall I send?

Here I am, Lord.
Is it I, Lord?
I have heard You calling in the night.
I will go, Lord, if you lead me.
I will hold Your people in my heart.
I, the Lord of wind and flame;
I will tend the poor and lame.
I will set a feast for them;
My hand will save.
Finest bread I will provide;
Till their hearts be satisfied.
I will give My life to them.
Whom shall I send?

Here I am, Lord.
Is it I, Lord?
I have heard You calling in the night.
I will go, Lord, if you lead me.
I will hold Your people in my heart.

©1981 by Daniel L. Schutte and New Dawn Music
CCLI License No. 1843349

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 W. E. Vine, Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, [Nashville Tennessee: Thomas Nelson Publishing, © 1980]. Page 481.

2 Glass Window, John Schletewitz
https://bible.org/illustration/soul-food

3 J. Kent Edwards, Deep Preaching, [Nashville, Tennessee: B & H Publishing Group, © 2009], Page 13.

4 From: Sarah Longino Quoted from Sermon Fodder email list
http://saltforsermons.org.uk/category/god-existence-of/

5 J. Kent Edwards, Deep Preaching, [Nashville, Tennessee: B & H Publishing Group, © 2009], Page 13.

6 Lincoln Brewster and Mia Leanne Fieldes, God You Reign, Integrity’s Hosanna Music © 2008

7 Rick McKinley, Jesus in the Margins (Multnomah, 2005) pp. 13-14, 183
https://www.preachingtoday.com/illustrations/2005/april/15851.html

Randy K'Meyer

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