What Is In It for Me?

Bible verses about giving back from Nehemiah are shared.

Linn Winters
Nov 4, 2018    46m
In this sermon Pastor Linn Winters discusses the story of Nehemiah, and how he risked everything to give back, and rebuild the wall in Jerusalem. He challenges his congregation to follow Nehemiah's lead, and to help the church build a new building on the campus. Video recorded at Chandler, Arizona.

messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

Lauren Salomon: 00:05 So before we came to Cornerstone as a family, before I came to Cornerstone, our life was spiraling out of control. We were in a really dark place. I was very, very ill, I had lost my job, I was pregnant with my third child, my husband didn't have work. It was just a bad time for us financially, physically, mentally, and spiritually. I didn't know where else to go. I reached out to every possible place to even help me with my pregnancy. Like I just didn't know what to do. I was literally laying in bed for days at a time without my husband, without my other two kids, and just wallowing in pain and shame and anger and anxiety. And I was lost, completely lost. We knew that we had to do something. We had to go somewhere. My husband started putting the pieces together, and figuring things out for us. And one of the pieces that we had always talked about was getting our kids into church, and so we felt like if we could at least do something for them, let's at least get them to church. That's all we have left. So the first time we came to Cornerstone, it was during the Mix Tape series. We dropped off our kids at childcare, my husband and I together walked into the sanctuary, and they were playing Sweet Child of Mine. He and a buddy, that has since passed away, loved Guns and Roses. And we just knew at that point, like this wasn't like anything we had expected, this was something that we could connect to and we could hear and we could feel and we could see, and we could be a part of. So we sought out the young family small church and we started going there, and it changed the way we parented. We became better parents, and then God started showing up in our kids. Our son, who's five years old, is walking through the Diamondbacks baseball games, screaming big news, Jesus is alive. The pains of the real world slice like knives, and we had a lot of wounds, and God is amazing and he's not just going to sweep us off our feet and make everything a yellow brick road. He's taking each wound, simply one at a time, and healing them. I have a happy, healthy family, not homeless anymore, like I'm not hungry, and so we just keep stepping forward. We keep working on it. We keep getting involved in a Bible study, or getting involved in another small church. We got baptized, that was the most amazing experience ever. I'm Lauren, I have wounds and the scars and battle marks, but God is healing those, and he's not finished. He keeps going every day, I know he's making new.

Linn Winters: 03:05 Okay, so I don't know about you, but when I hear a God story like that. It just amps me up, man. I just go, man, how incredible is it that you and I get to be part of a church, part of a place, where God is literally just transforming lives. You get, that's not a self-help book, that's not some program she's on. That's life changing transformation that comes out of a relationship with Jesus Christ, and you and I get to be part of that. Matter of fact, stop and think about this. What you and I just saw happening in her life, it's not the end of the story. I mean it's amazing is that was, and as far as her and her family have come right now, that if you and I were to check back into their lives in two years, it'd be different. God would have done even more in her life, because you ready for this? Once you and I encounter Jesus, he's happy to meet us wherever we are, but he refuses to leave us there. And he will work in our lives, moving us forward, which means you ready for this? None of us has finished. Every single one of us is an unfinished story that God is working and doing. So think of this, every weekend when we come onto this campus, you and I rub up against, we sit next to, we bump up into, thousands of people whose lives are being transformed. Unfinished people, people who are still far from the cross, and trying to figure Jesus out. People who have figured Jesus out, and God is making them every single day just a little bit more like his son. How cool is it to be in a room full of those people, and how amazing is that?

Linn Winters: 04:38 And guys, here's maybe the most amazing part of it all, you are one of those stories. That wherever you are today, and wherever God has brought you to, he's not done. You are an unfinished story, that God is just absolutely committed, to writing new chapters in your life. We're going to be having a conversation for the next couple of weeks. We've entitled it Unfinished. As we have that conversation, you and I are going to be talking a little bit about buildings, and we're going to talk a little bit about money. But listen to me, here's what you need to hear me say. Although we're going to talk about buildings, and although we're going to talk about money, this conversation is not about buildings and it's not about money. It's about unfinished lives, and what would it mean, and what would it require, for you and I to join God in this incredible thing that he is doing all around us.

Linn Winters: 05:36 Now, here's the deal. The reason that we have to talk about buildings and some money, is because you and I are standing in a moment in time when our buildings are actually restricting us from being able to fully join in with what God is doing in this place. Our buildings are actually restraining us from being part of the unfinished stories that God is writing. You may or may not know this. Did you know that every single day, almost every day we have Bible studies, we have groups meeting on this campus. Every single night, this campus is occupied. On Monday night, our singles program runs here. On Tuesday night, we've got children doing Kaboom. We're doing a thing called The Mine, a Bible study here in the auditorium. On Wednesday night, our junior-highers invade the campus, and I do mean invade, and they do small groups. They literally just cover this campus with small groups on Thursday night, our high schoolers come and they cover the entire campus doing small groups. On Friday nights, every single one of our ministries fights for a Friday night, to do whatever programming they're trying to do every Friday night. On Saturday and on Sunday, we're holding services. We literally are using these facilities seven days every single week.

Linn Winters: 06:58 Now at first glance you go, well Linn, that's great. I mean, what amazing stewardship of these facilities. I mean, how cool is it that we're just using them over and over and over again, and at first glance you would be right. You and I are stewarding these buildings really, really well, but guess what we're not stewarding? The lives of the people who are here. Because using these buildings every single day of the week, is actually a horrible ministry plan. Let me explain why. If you're a family, and you're trying to go after maturity, we're saying, hey, come back another hour, come join us again. So you come on Tuesday night, you bring your grade schooler, you're grade schooler goes over into Kaboom, you come in here to The Mine. But God forbid that you have a junior higher, because if you have a junior higher than after Tuesday night, you have to get that junior higher home from school, get their homework done, cram a burger down their mouth, drive them up to junior high for small groups, drop them off, you have to drive back home, an hour and ten minutes later you've got to leave the football game, get back up, drive and pick up your junior higher, and take them back home again. You want to make it worse, have a high schooler too. And now all of a sudden you're coming Tuesday night, and Wednesday night. And now you're getting in your car again on Thursday night and driving your high schooler down here, dropping them off, going home, coming back, picking them up, bringing them back home. Make it harder than that, be a single mom.

Linn Winters: 08:22 And guys I'm just telling you, here's the answer, we're not doing it, we're opting out. We have families that say, Hey, I'll take my kids, but I'm not going to go, because that's too many nights out. We've got students who are not going to maturity venues, because parents are saying it's too hard to get them down here all the time. And in a church, you ready for this? A church that says maturity matters, and a church that says, hey, we will not be satisfied till we grow up and look like Jesus. We're taking really, really, really good stewardship of our buildings, but we're not stewarding the lives of the people God gave us very well. We're not doing maturity like we should.

Linn Winters: 09:02 Here's another one. Our two packed services on Sunday, 9:00, 10:30. In our 10:30 service, where you guys are right now, there's a couple seats. The reason there's a couple of seats, because we just started Saturday night. It gave us a little bit of relief. Look around you, they will be filled in the next couple of weeks. Anybody want to guess when visitors come to church? Sunday morning, 9:00, 10:30. So imagine this, imagine a wife who has begged her husband for a year and a half. Please, please, please can we go to church as a family? And finally he has acquiesced. He says, okay. And she says, well, there's this place called Cornerstone, let's go check that out. So they think to themselves, hey, if we get to church 10 minutes early, we'll be okay. They began to pull on to our parking lots, where they soon discover that Christians flip them off. They now park their car, and they have to walk across three counties to get to our buildings. They walk into the children's building, where they find hundreds of parents standing in line to pick up their children. From the very same classrooms that hundreds of other parents are standing in line to check their children in. And by the time they make it to the auditorium, there are 15 minutes late. And if you're 15 minutes late at Cornerstone, guess where we make you sit? In overflow. And when they make it back to their car, guess what that husband says to that wife? We are never, never, never doing that again.

Linn Winters: 10:49 We may be really, really good stewards of our building, but we're not doing ministry very well. And guys, we are running up against a moment, where the limitations are brick and mortar are keeping you and I from engaging and joining in with God, to write the unwritten stories that he's trying to write in this place. Now, there's a really good chance that somebody in the room would say, well Linn, yeah, but it really doesn't affect me. Because here's the deal Linn, I've already got a seat. I've figured out how to come early, and get into the service. You know that children's building that you guys are talking about building? That really doesn't affect me, I've already screwed up my kids. They have moved out of state, there is no chance they'll ever come to that building. And you know that maturity building that you guys want to put up, you know, that has all those classrooms and it's going to make it so much more convenient for people to get into Bible study. I don't need that maturity building, because here's the deal. I have so much Jesus oozing off of me already, that people often ask me for my autograph, so I don't need any of that. Okay. So you may need the conversation we're going to have today, even more than the rest of us. Because you ready for this? We're going to have a conversation today about a guy by the name of Nehemiah, who got himself involved in a building program, that had absolutely no benefit for him.

Linn Winters: 12:18 Here we go. Grab your bibles, and we're going to go to the Book of Nehemiah, Nehemiah chapter one. And if you're not familiar today on how to get there, you can just go to the front of your Bible. Start working to the right, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, First Samuel, Second Samuel, First kings, Second Kings, First Chronicles, Second Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah. Actually, there's an easier way to get there, if you just open your bibles to the middle, and go to the left two books, it's right there. I just wanted you to learn your Bibles a little bit. So Nehemiah chapter one, starting in verse one. Let me set up the moment. Nehemiah is a captive, God has allowed the Babylonians to invade Israel, decimate the country, and take almost everybody as slaves. The reason he's done this is because the children of Israel began to leave God, and started worshiping the gods of the Babylonians. And God just simply said, well, hey, if you liked the Babylonian gods so much, then how about if the Babylonians become your master's. We're peaking in, in a moment that's literally a spanking. It's a discipline moment from God, to the children of Israel. As the Babylonians came and invaded, they not only destroyed the country.

Linn Winters: 13:56 They left behind a remnant, a small group of people, typically old men and old women, who probably would not be able to make the hundreds of mile journey back to Babylon. Sometimes young children for the same reason, they wouldn't be able to travel that far. And then they left a smattering, a small group, of able bodied men to farm the field, so that every year at harvest that could pay tribute to Babylon. Besides that small group. That small remnant, everybody else's taken off into slavery to Babylon. Nehemiah is one of those people living in slavery in a foreign land. Here we go. Nehemiah chapter one, starting in verse one, "The words of Nehemiah son of Hakalau: In the month of Kislev in the twentieth year, while I was in the citadel of Susa, Hanani, one of my brothers, came from Judah with some other men, and I questioned them about the Jewish remnant that had survived the exile, and also about Jerusalem. They said to me, “Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire." Now, let me explain why this is a big deal. If you have no defensive fortifications, you are absolutely vulnerable, so the surrounding hostile tribes don't have to plant their own crops. What they do is they wait until harvest time. They invade Israel because it's defenseless. They steal all the food, and leave the remnant of people there to starve on whatever they can scratch together. If you don't have any walls to hide behind, if you don't have any gates to hold off the enemy, you are in desperate trouble.

Linn Winters: 16:00 Verse Four, "When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven." Nehemiah then goes on to pray an amazing prayer. I mean, it's a remarkable prayer in which he simply kind of says, Hey God, look, we did this to ourselves. We're the ones that turned our backs on. You were the ones that went after false gods. We deserve the spanking, but I'm simply saying to you now, would you forgive us? Would you bring your mighty hand to bear, and would you rescue us from this moment? At the end of his prayer, verse eleven, "Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man.” So you got to remember, he's a captive, he's a slave. If he is going to do something about the broken down walls, if he's going to return and rebuild them, he needs permission. And so he's got to go ask, can I have a leave of absence? And then he tells you who it is that he needs to ask permission from, I was cupbearer to the king."

Linn Winters: 17:24 Now, don't miss the moment. Nehemiah has nothing to gain by the request. Think about this, he's the king's Cup bearer, which means he lives in either the palace, or in the palace courtyard. His home is better than the home he would have had back in Israel. The clothes he's wearing, the clothes he's wearing, are better than the clothes he would have ever worn back home. I mean, he has reached the highest height. I mean, he has gained unbelievable status. Everything in his life is going really, really well. Matter of fact, he just bought a brand new electric camel, with a tesla on it. He's doing good. Ready for this? He has nothing to gain, he has everything to lose, by asking for permission to leave his position and go back and build a wall for somebody else. And when you and I hear that story, our most intuitive reaction is to go, hmm. You know why it doesn't land? Do you know why we're not sitting in this moment going, well, of course that's what he did. I mean it's obvious, I mean anybody would do that. You know why it doesn't ring that way for us? Because if you and I are honest, you and I are intuitively selfish and self-centered.

Linn Winters: 19:12 There's something about our fallenness. There's something about our brokenness. That causes you and me, whenever something comes up, hey, are you going to help with this? Would you do that? That are most intuitive responses is whoa, whoa, whoa, what's in it for me? If I were to do that, if I were to sacrifice, if I was to work hard at that, what do I get out of it? And you and I don't even have to think about it, it's not even a conscious decision, that you and I automatically default to a self-focused, selfish point of reference. You doubt that for a second? Here let me do this, get a couple of your friends together, take a selfie. The minute you see the picture, guess who's the first person you look at? You, and if you look at that picture and you look remarkable, all of your friends can look like starving aardvarks. It's okay. It's okay. Hey, that's a great picture, Instagram. But look at that picture, and all of your friends look like models, but you've got that kind of half-closed eyes thing going on. You're like, can we retake this? Next time you land in an airplane, and you pull up to the gate, and the pilot pushes the selfish button. You know what button I'm talking about right? The ding, you may now undo your seatbelt. And watch what people who have just spent the three hours being reasonably nice to one another, watch what they do when the selfish button goes off, they leap to their feet, and they rush forward in the plane to gain seven feet of advantage on everybody else. Little old women become MMA fighters, all so that they can get off the plane, three point two seconds ahead of you. Because truth be told, we're all intuitively selfish. Take the stakes up, have somebody talk about something that's really important to you, like your time. And watch your little heart shrivel up and you go, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, you're talking about my time. Whoa, whoa, whoa, you're talking about my money. Let the stakes go up, and you really quickly see the depths of how selfish we truly are.

Linn Winters: 21:57 Here's the problem. If you're a Christ follower, if you're trying to walk in the steps of Jesus, there is never a moment that you look less like Jesus than when you're being selfish. I challenge you, find me one moment, find me one word, find me one action where Jesus was even the slightest bit selfish. Matter of fact, if Jesus had been asking the question, hey, what's in it for me? The cross would have never happened. Because guys look, those nails, those nails did not benefit Jesus. There was nothing exciting for him about the cat of nine tails. Laying down his life, had nothing in it for him. It was all about you, and all about me. And you and I are never less like Jesus, then when we behave selfish and self-interested. Matter of fact, think about this. When Jesus was talking to his disciples and said, hey, if you ever get serious about this, if you ever decide you really want to follow me, you want to be a disciple. Here's what you're going to need to do, deny yourself, take up your cross, follow me. What does it mean to you that when Jesus gave the job description of being a Christian, he said, the first thing you're going to have to conquer his selfishness, deny self.

Linn Winters: 23:43 How many of us in the room, how many of you have been at Cornerstone since this auditorium was built? In other words, when you came, this auditorium was already here. How many people? Come on, raise your hands, you realize that the majority of the room. Here's the deal, every person who just raised their hand, you should understand this discussion. Let me tell you why, because there was a time when we were meeting in the other auditorium, and the people who were meeting there already had a seat. Their children already had a classroom. There was nothing to gain for them in building this building, and they selflessly chose to buy you a chair, the chair you're sitting in today. They selflessly chose to build a room for your children, to go into, and learn about Jesus. And if there was ever a group of people who ought to say, I get it. It's every person who's come here since someone selflessly built this building for you. Some of you in the room and say, well Linn, you really don't have to talk to me about being selfless. Because I'm probably less like Nehemiah. I'm probably a little more like the people living in Jerusalem who need the wall. Because here's the deal, that children's building you talk about. Man, that excites me out of my head, because my kids, my kids would love a building like that. The idea that my kids would wake up on Sunday, and beg me to take them to church. I mean, that would just be a huge win, are you kidding me? I'm going to benefit from the wall, I'm going to benefit from the buildings going up.

Linn Winters: 25:29 There's some of us in this room, and you go, I know I'm not cooked. And if you're telling me we're talking about building a building that's going to make it more convenient, more available, for me to get involved in and mature. Linn, I'm in. I mean, I'm just telling you, that walls for me, those buildings benefit me. This isn't even selfless on my part. I need the wall, I need those buildings to go up. But for those of us who would say, Linn, no, I don't, I'm okay, and I don't need any of it. Can I suggest that maybe you're asking the wrong question. Can I challenge you not to ask what's in it for me, and instead to choose this moment to live like Nehemiah, to go build it because it needs to be built because, it ought to be done.

Linn Winters: 26:30 Let's go back to the passage, verse four, "When I heard these things, Nehemiah said, I sat down and I wept. And for some days I mourned, and I fasted, and I prayed before the God of heaven." Why is Nehemiah so concerned? Why is this hitting so deeply within his heart? I mean his life is good, he's doing okay. You know it's one thing to go, oh, too bad for those people, but why is this bothering him so deeply? Because it bothers God. Because God cares that his people are living in fear, God cares that his people are living desperately with the knowledge that at any moment they can be raided, and they can be killed, that all of their crops can be stolen, and that matters to God. And you're ready for this? When you love someone, when you love someone, you care about what they care about. Nehemiah loves God, which forces him to care about the things that God cares about. Because when you love someone, you care about the things they care about.

Linn Winters: 28:00 Let me see if this helps. Some of you would know this. Right now, my wife Lisa and I, we're raising our granddaughter, Catalina. Chances are, as best we can tell, we're probably going to raise her for the rest of her life. I will just tell you that Catalina coming into our home has changed my life. I suddenly have faced a title wave of pink. I'm just telling you, I had avoided this, I'd raised a son, I hadn't had to raise her daughter. Suddenly everything, everything in my house is pink, and can I just say to you, I hate pink. It's just the worst color ever in the history. There are things in my house that are pink, that are biblically and morally, wrong to be pink, and I'm stepping on them every single day. Since Catalina's come into our home, I now have to go back and rethink and go, okay, so how do we get her to the bus every morning? Who drives her to the bus, and drops her off? Who Goes at 3:30, and has to leave work a little bit early and pick her up, and make sure she gets back home. Who's going to get her to Kaboom every single Tuesday night, and drop her off, and then come back an hour and 10 minutes later and bring her back home? Who's going to get her to dance two nights a week? And I hate dance, look at me, do I look dance, dance. Got to driver over there and drop her off, come home, go back pick her up two nights a week. And then guys are you ready for this? Dance is expensive. What in the heck am I doing paying for dance? The other night she forgot her backpack at dance. So now I have to go back to the dance studio with her. I have to navigate through, you ready for this? Hundreds of pink miniature women, little pink ballerinas, a little pink hip hop girls, because of course the lost and found is at the back of the damn studio. And now I'm digging through lost and found boxes, and there are pink tutus, and hair barrettes, and little girl things that I have no idea what they do. And in the midst of all that, I'm sitting there going, how did I get myself into this? And then I turned and looked to Catalina, and you know what the answer was, when you love someone, you care about the things they care about.

Linn Winters: 30:38 Which brings you and me to a question, what does God care about? Because if you and I today claim that we love God, then it is required of us to care about the things that God cares about, even if you and I would've never picked them or even if it feels like pink us. So what does your God care about? He cares about people who are far from the cross, people who haven't figured out Jesus yet. So that family that lives down the street from you whose marriage is imploding right now, and you look at them and go, you are just a sum total of a hundred horrible decisions. God loves that family, and he wishes they were sitting in the seat with you today. And that coworker who so obnoxious, everybody gets up and leaves the lunchroom when they walk in. God loves that coworker. And Uncle Fred who every time you guys have a family event, he comes a little bit drunk and pees on the couch. God loves Uncle Fred, because your God loves people who haven't figured him out yet, and he wishes they were in the room with us. You know what else God cares about? He cares about Christians growing up. That God just absolutely refuses to leave you and I where he found us, and that his deepest, deepest desire for every one of our lives is that we would constantly be taking steps forward in maturity, to look more and more like Jesus. That a world would brush up against us, and not see very much of us, but see a whole lot of Jesus in us, and God aches for Christians to grow up. So here's my question. If loving God means that I care about the things that God cares about, how much do you care about those who aren't in this room today, finding Jesus. How much do you care that we have made it really, really hard to go after maturity in our church? Because when you love somebody, you care about the things they care about.

Linn Winters: 33:23 Back to the passage, chapter two, verse one, "In the month of Nisan, in the 20th year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was brought to him, I took the wine and I gave it to the king. I had not been sad in his presence before. So the king asked me, why does your face look so sad, when you are not ill? This can be nothing but sadness of heart. And then he says, I was very much afraid. I was terrified." Here's why, because in the culture of Babylon, you say something that king doesn't like, lop off his head. You say something the king thinks is insubordinate, lop off his head. You say something that says, hey, you don't have my best interests at heart, lop off their head. And he knows he's about to say to the king, I'm asking for permission to go back to the city you destroyed, and rebuild its walls. And he knows that that could very easily be misconstrued, that the king could think, hey, why would you want to rebuild the walls? Are you trying to fortify the city so you can lead a rebellion, so you can stand against me? Why would you want to rebuild those walls? "But I said to the king, may the king live forever. Why should my face not look sad? When the city where my ancestors are buried, lies in ruins and its gates have been destroyed by fire? The king said to me what is it you want? Then I prayed to the God in heaven." Okay, look, look, look, I guarantee you Nehemiah has been praying before this. This is that, please Jesus, please Jesus, please Jesus prayer. That prayer you say when you go, okay, I probably have said as much as I should have said, I'm about to go to the point of no return. I'm about to say the thing that's just going to put my life on the line, and you’re just going dear Jesus, dear Jesus, dear Jesus, and you know that prayer because you've prayed that prayer. Then I prayed Jesus, dear Jesus, dear Jesus, dear Jesus, and I answered the king. If it pleases the King, and if your servant has found favor in his sight, let him send me to the city and Judah where my ancestors are buried so that I can rebuild it. I've I love that Nehemiah who has nothing to gain, and has everything to lose, pushes all in. I mean, think about it. He literally puts his life on the line, and if not that if not as life, how likely is that a king would go? What? What a horrible request. Or if he actually goes, if he gets permission, does the king hold his job for him? Does he get to come back and be the cupbearer at the end of this? You realize Nehemiah goes all in. I mean this, this is going to cost him.

Linn Winters: 36:19 And guys you get this right? Because the answer is following. Jesus always costs. Some of you've already experienced this. You've got friends that are no longer your friends because you've chosen to follow Jesus. And their like, no, no, you've gotten weird, and you've gotten way too religious for us, and the phone calls and the invitations have stopped. Some of you have lost jobs because your manager said, hey, here's what we're going to do. And you said I can't, I mean I'm a Christ follower that wouldn't be ethical, and you don't work where you used to work, because of your commitment to Christ. Some of you have families that no longer invite you to family functions, because you're too religious and your odd person out in your family, person non gratis. But we get this right. We get that following Jesus always has a cost attached. If you and I decide to build some buildings, it's going to cost, but what if this is our wall? What if those buildings are our moment of joining God, and doing what God truly cares about, and truly desires for us? Then wouldn't we, like Nehemiah, push all in? Because we're not surprised that following Jesus is expensive.

Linn Winters: 37:56 Let's talk about where we think we can go from here. So, some of you that have been here for a length of time, you know the original scope of the buildings that we were trying to build. I've got a picture up here, so the building that's marked F, that's an adult building, that's a building that has all sorts of options, all sorts of opportunities for us to go after maturity with our adults. The rooms move, the walls move, it is a absolutely remarkable venue, gives us all sorts of ability to go after maturity as a church. The next building over is the E building, it's the elementary building. Guys, this is probably the most remarkable children's building. I mean, kids jaws are going to drop, kids are going to beg their mom and dad to bring them to church, so they can just experience just an incredible, incredible building. The D building next to it, is the thing that we call the Depo. It's actually probably going to be used on Sunday mornings for fifth and sixth grade. We have hundreds and hundreds of fifth and sixth graders every Sunday morning. But, the cool part is it's a multipurpose room, so you and I get to go after maturity every other day of the week, and also in every single night in that D building. That was the original scope. Here's what you need to know, the original scope is still the original scope. We still believe we've got to get those buildings up, in order to do what we need to do together as a church.

Linn Winters: 39:19 But here's what you need to know, we are probably not going to get a loan anytime soon. Let me tell you why, when you and I go to the bank and we say, hey, will you loan us loan? They say to us, you guys are a special use facility, which is code for your buildings are only good for one thing. Your buildings are good for holding church, and if you were to ever forfeit on the loan, if you were ever to not pay us. And then we had to have the buildings back, and sell them. The only people who would buy them are a church. It doesn't work as a strip mall, it doesn't work as dentist offices, all it's good for is to church. And we say to them, no, no, no, no, no, we're not going to default on a loan. And they say, no, no, no, we're bankers, we have to ask this question, and your buildings are only good for a church. And if we get them back, Central Christian over there, they've already got buildings, they don't need your buildings. Compass is sitting right there, they don't need your buildings. Who would buy a facility that holds 6,000 people on a Sunday? And the answer is no one. And so they say, if we ever got this back, we don't think we could ever sell it. And it freaks banks out.

Linn Winters: 40:40 Second thing, if you'll remember, we've had a conversation about this, back in January and February our offerings just went through the floor. I mean literally our offerings just went boom, went through the floor. Strangely enough, you get to March, our offerings a right back where they belong. You get to April, our offerings are back where they belong. You get to May, our offerings are right back where they belong. I can't explain January, and I don't know, I don't know what happened. But you remember I came to you, and I said, hey guys, help us catch up. We're behind on our bills. Help us catch up. We didn't catch up, so we have spent the entire year chasing our tails financially. When you spend a year chasing your tails financially, banks don't give you loans. So, short of God's striking a banker with a bolt of lightning, you and I are probably not getting a loan anytime soon. So here's our proposal, let's build a building cache. Let's go get that D building with this. The smallest building is the is the one we could get done the quickest. Let's go build a building cache. And here's the really cool part about that. If we build a building cache, we take the next 13 months, raise the funds. We could start breaking ground probably as early as June, seven to eight months after that, we could actually have a building up that we occupy. By doing that, we're going to enhance equity. It makes us that much more favorable in the discussion with the banks. Hey, we've got even more equity, we look more appealing to you. By going forward we're going to help those in the room that are like, hey, are we ever? Is it ever going to...And all of a sudden they go, hey, there's walls going up, this is really happening. And we could encourage late adopters to come join us, and if the late adopters would join us, who knows what we could build.

Linn Winters: 42:36 Guys, I'm just telling you there's nothing but positive in this, and it would be a really, really big deal if we got a building up. I believe, you ready for this? I believe this is a legacy moment for our church. Here's what I'm thinking. When the walls were finally built in Jerusalem, my best guess is that parents took their children for generations to a wall, and they said, see these walls that keep us safe, see these walls that protect us? Let me tell you about a guy by the name of Nehemiah, who had nothing to gain, and everything to lose and built these walls for you.

Linn Winters: 43:26 Here's my dream. I want to walk Catalina to a building, and say to her, hey, remember in 2019 when we went to the cabin for vacation, instead of going to California? Remember when Papa drove his old car an extra year, before he turned it in? We did that, to build this. Because we chose as a family, to love what God loves. To care about people who weren't here yet,` and to make room for them. We cared about Christians who needed to grow up in their faith, and we wanted a facility was going to make that happen. So we joined in building the walls, this is our legacy. When you came in today, we handed you one of these, if you didn't get one, you can get it on the way out. There's a pledge card in it, I'm not going to ask you to pledge anything today. Here's what I'm going to ask you to do as you leave. I'm going to ask you to begin asking yourself this question. If I love God, and I love and care about what he cares about. Then how in should I be, in changing our facilities. so that we can begin to finish unfinished lives. In light of the sacrifice that people made for me already, to have a chair in this room, what should I do in response to their selflessness on my behalf? And then I'm going to ask you to pray, and I'm going to ask you to consider helping me build some walls.

Linn Winters: 45:31 Let's pray. Dear Lord Jesus, it is so easy for us in a moment like this to say, hey, what's in it for me? Wrong question. God, help us to leave this place saying, if God loves it, if God cares about it, I care about it. God, I'm going to ask that you would raise up across Cornerstone, thousands of Nehemiah's, who would say, even if there's nothing in it for me, I'm willing to lean in, because it ought to happen. It needs to happen, God, that we would build some walls to your glory. And this I pray, in Jesus' name. Amen.

Recorded in Chandler, Arizona.
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Cornerstone Church
1595 S Alma School Road
Chandler, Arizona 85286