Some Assembly Required

Living the godly life has three main elements to it.

Linn Winters
Jan 28, 2018    38m
Pastor Linn tells us there are three elements to following Christ. Worship, a renewed mind and using our gifts for his kingdom. 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.

Video: 00:00 [Introductory video playing]

Linn Winters: 00:50 Hey Cornerstone, how you doing? Super, super glad that you are here. Uh, just want to do a real quick shout out to our San Tan campus, our Scottsdale campus; just super glad you guys are part of this third week in this series a just called "follow". So here's the disclaimer today, at some point, uh, you and I are going to have an "oh crud" moment. Uh, there's going to be a part of the discussion when you and I are going to go, really, really? I mean because if I listen to that, if I respond to that, it's going to mean backing up in my life. It's going to mean potentially rethinking my calendar. I may have to reshuffle priorities. I'm just telling you, there is no part of that that's convenient. There's no part of that that's easy for me to do.

Linn Winters: 01:50 What you are going to discover though is that whatever pain that has, whatever sacrifice that has it's well worth it because--you ready for this--because God built you and me in such a way; there are certain parts that need to be bolted on and attached in our lives so that we can follow Jesus the way that we were built to follow Jesus. So that we can experience this Christian thing the way we were designed to experience it and leave those pieces off, leave those parts off, and you will only experience a diminished relationship, it's worth whatever effort it takes to go back and attach those parts to our lives.

Linn Winters: 02:35 A couple months ago, I, uh, I bought a work bench, so I, I felt the need, actually, I bought two of them. I felt the need to do that because at my house, uh, my garages are fairly full. I don't have, you know, kind of a work area. So, I find myself, you know, out there kind of, you know, doing this and sawing some things and trying to hold things and drill holes and you know, at some point that's not a great idea. So I had gone out, I got two work benches, brought them back to my house, opened up the boxes and lo and behold, falling out of the box, a massive bag of parts. I'm sitting there going, how can this have sixty parts? I mean that's just, that's just crazy! And then there's an instruction manual in there that looks like it's a John Steinbeck novel and of course written by somebody who clearly has not mastered English as a second language. Right? And so now I've got, I've got pieces to this thing, I've got packing material, I've got all sorts of tools spread out in the living room because of course you might as well watch TV while you're assembling it, right? So, uh, I'm doing that. I get through the first workbench in an hour and a half. I mean, yeah, you would've thought we were doing brain surgery here together. I get through it and then comes the moment, the "oh crud" moment. I'm going, Surely they didn't give me an extra bolt. There must be some purpose for this. As I went back and researched, sure enough on page three of one hundred forty-three pages, right; page three, this was part of holding on the clamp part of the work bench. So part of the workbench is that you can put things here and then you can turn the handle and then it clamps together and holds your stuff. So now I'm thinking to myself, what if I just don't have the clamping part of the bench? What if I just simply hold stuff from now on and leave the bolt out right? Because, because putting that bolt in means I have to disassemble tons of what I've done to put the bolt in and reassemble it all again. And I'm going, "oh crud."

Linn Winters: 05:05 That moment is going to come today for a whole bunch of us in the room. Uh, there's, there's gonna come a moment in which you and I go, man to do that, to follow that, to obey that; if that's what following Jesus looks like, I'm going to have to disassemble a whole bunch. It's gonna, it's gonna take a lot of effort.

Linn Winters: 05:24 Here's the interesting thing. About a week or two ago I uh, was working on a chest of drawers in our bedroom and uh, it, it, they're kind of funky. They've got kind of this like French provincial kind of --you ladies would know-- I have no idea. I just know it's funky looking and uh, so I had to find handles that match and guys, I'm just telling you, it took forever to find, handles, looked anything like those handles. We've had multiple drawers that we have not open for two years at my house because you just, you know, there was nothing. So finally I find him online. I ordered them online, they come online. You ready for this? One-eighth of an inch too long on either side. And if I hadn't done my workbench I'd be--can you imagine me trying to get an eighth of an inch? No chance, but because I had taken the time to go back and put the bolt in on my workbench; I walked out in my garage, slid the little handle in, closed it down on, and here's the crazy part; it was like it was made--I mean, it was just so perfect. And I got through, and guys you ready for this? I saved more than the redoing hour.

Linn Winters: 06:36 Right there. And guys, this is what you're going to discover. This is what we're gonna learn today; although this may be uncomfortable and although we're going to have to go, "oh crud" and that means readjustment. When you get this thing done, when you bolt these pieces onto your Christian walk, it's going to change following, and it's going to change your experience with Christ so dramatically that I just promise you, as you begin to, you're gonna go, oh my, how did I not do this before? And the "oh crud" moment is going to be worth it.

Linn Winters: 07:06 Okay, so here we go. Grab your Bibles right now and we're going to go to Romans, chapter 12 in a moment, where the apostle Paul is describing to you and me three essential parts; three things that you and I need bolted on to our Christian walk and our Christian faith--If we're going to follow Jesus the way we're supposed to follow, if we're going to experience this thing the way we're supposed to experience it. And he unpacks it for us in Romans, chapter 12, here we go.

Linn Winters: 07:37 Romans, chapter 12. Go the back of your Bible. Work to the left. You're going to find this book of Romans. Romans, chapter 12, starting in verse 1. As we read, see if you can figure out the three parts, the three pieces that Paul is pushing us toward, okay? Here we go. Romans, chapter 12, starting in verse 1. Therefore, I urge you, some versions say, I beg you, so get the moment, Paul is saying, look, look, look, look, whatever you do, I mean this is so important and, and you're gonna, you're gonna think about neglecting this and you're gonna think about opting past this. He said, look, look, I beg you, I beg you; just do this because when you do the it will so drastically change your experience with Christ. It will so change what it's like to follow Christ. I'm begging you. He says, do this. Don't leave bolts off. Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, when you stop and consider that this was so important that Jesus would leave heaven to come show us the way he would preach for three years. He would go to a cross and substitute himself for you and me and die for our sins in view of what Jesus was willing do to make this available to you.

Linn Winters: 09:02 Surely, you and I can do this; in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God. This is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is, his good, pleasing and perfect will, for by the grace given me, I say to every one of you, do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgement, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, many parts, and these members do not all have the same function. So in Christ, we though many form one body and each member belongs to all the others.

Linn Winters: 10:09 We have different gifts according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith. If it is serving, then serve. If it is teaching, then teach. If it is encourage than give encouragement. If it is giving, then give generously. If it is to lead, do it diligently. If is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. And Paul in this moment unpacks three vital parts. Three things that need to be bolted into--attached in our Christian life, if we're going to actually be able to follow Jesus the way that we should, and the first one, he starts with is worship. Go back to verse . He says, therefore I urge you, I beg you, brothers and sisters, in view of what Jesus has done for us, God has done for us his mercy to offer your bodies a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God. This is your true and proper worship.

Linn Winters: 11:13 Get what he says. He says that you and I understanding what God has done for us should be willing to take our life and say, God, you know what? Whatever plans I had, whatever ideas I had, I'm willing to sacrifice those. I'm willing to lay those down and put your plans and your desires in first place; because you're God and I'm not. And Paul says that when you and I do that, it's worship. Because, okay, you ready for this? Worship is not singing songs.

Linn Winters: 11:54 All the men in the room are going, oh, thank heaven. Uh, so great. No, no, look, look; worship is not singing songs. Worship is any time I give God his proper place. Anytime I say to God, God, you are, you're bigger than me, you're greater than me, you're stronger than me and I'm not. Anytime you give God his proper place, that is worship. Okay, so watch this. It's why singing songs can be worship because when we sing the words that we are powerful, and if you actually think about what you're singing; in other words, look, look, you can't sing worship songs like you sing the national anthem. You can't know right? You got to, you got to know what you're singing, but if you do, and now all of a sudden you're singing songs that say, Hey God, look, I wish you would help me right now. I wish you would move that mountain and fix my problem, but even if you don't; I'll still trust. And in that moment, you're saying, God, look, I'm not God, your God. It's going to be your plan, not my plan, and even if you don't behave the way I want you to behave, God, I'm going to trust you and in that moment, you're putting God in his proper place and that's why that song is worship. It's worship when you mean the words, it's worship anytime you put God in. Hey guys, did you know that coming to church today, just getting out of bed, getting into your car and coming to church was worship? Because here's what you did today; you said the most important place I can be on the first day of the week is in God's house and the first thing I'm going to do in my week before I go earn any money or go make new friends or anything else, the first thing I'm going to do in the week is honor God. You put God in his proper place simply by getting up and coming here today. That act was worship.

Linn Winters: 14:08 You know, it's interesting because in our culture we think of Sunday as being part of the weekend; Saturday and Sunday are the weekend. Sunday is not the weekend. Sunday is actually the first day of the--you guys, you guys have been using your iphones too much. Sunday is actually the first day of the week and guys here think about this is how this got started. You realize that in the time of the early church, Sunday was a work day because if you were a Jew, you went to, you held Sabbath on Saturday. Sunday was actually the first day of the week and you went out and did your crops or knitted your basket. Sunday was a work day and Christians, Christians decided the most important thing we could do on the first day of the week as the very first thing that we do, honor God. Even if we don't earn as much money, even if our crops don't come in as big. The first thing we're going to do every week is honor God. That's why coming to church on Sunday and letting that be the first thing you do in your week, that is worship.

Linn Winters: 15:31 It's a little girl who's dating a guy and she knows; she knows he's not a believer. She knows that when she hangs around him, he's pressuring her to do things that she shouldn't be doing and she sits through a couple of messages at church or she reads her Bible and she knows she ought to break up. But, if you asked her, she would say to you, if I'm being honest, I may love him almost as much as I love Jesus. So this is a big deal. And you realize her sitting on that bench telling that boy that she's not going to date him any longer because it doesn't honor her Jesus is worship, because in that moment she's putting God in his right place and her boyfriend and his right place. It's worship.

Linn Winters: 16:27 It's why when you tithe, it's worship. Because when you and I take the first tenth of what God has given us and we say, look, God, before I spend any of this on myself, before I buy anything else, I'm going to honor you first, cause I love you more than anything I could buy with this money, so I will give it to you before I touch it for any other purpose. It's worship. Anytime you and I put God in his right place, it's worship. It's one of the critical pieces that you and I have got to get right as we attempt to follow Jesus that over and over and over again, we're going to come to this conversation that says, have I placed Jesus where Jesus belongs? Have I given him worship by placing him in the right place?

Linn Winters: 17:17 The second thing, Paul, comes back to you, so jump back into the passages, verse 2. Here's what Paul says, do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you'll be able to test and approve what God's will is. His good, pleasing, and perfect will. So watch this. Paul says, Hey, the second thing, the second huge component of following Jesus, you've got to have is that you've to be in a growing relationship with him. He says it this way; stop being conformed to this world. Look, there's a whole pattern. There's a whole way of behaving that you did before Jesus. There's a whole thought process that everybody else thinks, and if you don't get that washed out of your mind, you're going to keep behaving that way. Stuff like: hey, get them before they get you; if it feels good; as long as I don't hurt anybody else; if it works for me. Paul says, if you keep thinking the way the world thinks, you'll keep behaving the world, the way the world behaves, and instead what you've got to do is turn your life and begin to follow Jesus as we're talking right? Follow Jesus, and you're going to do this by the renewing of your mind. How do you renew your mind? You begin to put what God teaches in its place. You erase that and you start filling yourself with the things God teach such as, love your enemies. You were never going to get that here. You get that here. Forgive each other the way I forgave you. If you want to find your life, be willing to lose your life. Guys, you ready for this? How do you know how to obey the word of God, if you're not learning the word of God? See you, you can't do what you don't know and ignorance is not an excuse. And Paul is saying, here, look, we got to, you got to turn from this and you got to begin to learn this, and here's the dilemma that you and I have; that coming here every other Sunday for a thirty-five minute sermon, you won't grow fast enough. You won't learn enough in your life to truly follow Jesus the way you were built to follow Jesus. You'll be --you ready for this--you'll be on the slow program to being a follower of Christ. Imagine this, imagine uh, your son graduates high school. They go down and enroll in college. That evening, you're sitting around the dinner table and you say, "Hey, how did, how did enrollment go today?"

Linn Winters: 20:20 "Oh, it was great. It was a snap."

Linn Winters: 20:20 "How many classes you taking?"

Linn Winters: 20:20 "One."

Linn Winters: 20:20 "One?"

Linn Winters: 20:29 "Yeah, I didn't want to strain myself too much."

Linn Winters: 20:29 "One? What's the plan?"

Linn Winters: 20:36 "Well, here's the plan. I'm going to do one class a semester. I'm going to drive and deliver pizzas so that I have spending money and I'm going to play video games the rest of the time. That's the plan. I'm on this little plan."

Linn Winters: 20:53 At some point you're going to say to your son, son one class a semester that's two classes a year. You realize it takes about forty classes to graduate college, which means you're on the twenty year plan. I mean, it's twenty years before you can start your career. Are you going to get married on the twenty year plan? So twenty years before you start. Let me come on. That's crazy. You need to get serious about going to school so you can get that done. You can then take and then you can get on with living your life.

Linn Winters: 21:29 You know what the problem is for some of us? We're on the 20 year follow Jesus plan. Should we go, hey, if I show up on church on Sunday, a couple of Sundays a month and at that rate--you ready for this--it's going to take you 20 years to figure out marriage and your wife ain't waiting that long. Ladies, your husband's hoping you get to that verse about nagging before twenty years, okay? I'm just, I'm just saying, I'm just saying guys, if you're on the twenty year plan, you realize your kids are going to be living with you when they're forty-five. That's happening no matter what plan you're on. It's just what type of kid do you want living with you when they're forty-five, right? And if you don't figure out parenting now, guys, I'm just telling you that the twenty year plan is the wrong plan and the, hey, I'm going to go to church a couple times a month and here Lynn speak for thirty-five minutes, does not get you far enough, fast enough. And Paul is saying, hey look, you've got to. There's so much of this has to change. You and I have so much growing up to do. At some point you gotta bolt that piece on and say, man, I am serious about growing in my faith, which means I got to get into a group. I've got to get into some sort of a maturity venue. I gotta I gotta get somewhere where I'm getting more to move my life forward.

Linn Winters: 22:58 He comes back, he gives us a third piece. He says, every one of us was empowered and gifted by God. Remember, he went through that list, some of us have prophecy, some have mercy, some have generosity, some have leadership. And he said, you realize that because you're a follower of Jesus now, not only do you not belong to yourself because you belong to God; remember putting God in the right place, but he goes a step further and says, not only do you not belong to yourself, you belong to one another. He says this thing called church is like a body that has a whole bunch of parts and God gave you giftedness. He gave you capacity that when you and I come together in the body of Christ form something amazing. Hey what do you call a person who's missing a body part? You call them handicapped, right? Special needs, whatever you wanna call that. What do you call the church? When the people in the church aren't bringing their God given giftedness to the church? And guys, here's what you hear me saying, God did not give you the capacities and the abilities, your reasoning, you're talent; he did not give you that so you could sell it to Intel. Don't get me wrong, look, look, look, I'm not hating on you today. I'm not, I'm not sitting here saying you can't. I'm not saying that it's OK. You can take that giftedness and you can use it in your career. It's all, it's all right. You just need to know that's not the primary purpose. It's not the primary reason that God gave you the giftedness and capacity that he gave you. He gave it to you for us, for one another. Think of it this way: uh, your daughter turned sixteen, you buy her a car and you say to her hey, look, here's the deal. We don't want you to be burdened with having to have a job right now because right now to us, your studies are more important. So your mom and I, we've agreed we're going to pay for your gas a little bit every week and we're going to pay your insurance because we want your studies to still be priority. The other is, uh, your brothers and sisters and need to be driven around a little bit so you having a car makes a ton of sense because you can contribute and be helpful in the family. And then you know, by the way, you're the only one of your friends that has a car. So it's going to be great for you guys to go hang out.

Linn Winters: 25:33 Next thing you know, your daughter is walking through the living room headed for the door and you go, "Hey, what's going on?"

Linn Winters: 25:37 "Oh I'm going out with my friends."

Linn Winters: 25:39 "Don't you have homework?"

Linn Winters: 25:39 "Yeah."

Linn Winters: 25:42 "Aren't you going to do your homework?"

Linn Winters: 25:44 "No I've got a car, I'm going to hang with my friends."

Linn Winters: 25:50 "Well, you realize your brother needs to be driven to soccer practice at 4:30."

Linn Winters: 25:56 "Yeah, I'm not going to be able to do that. We're going to the mall."

Linn Winters: 26:03 At some point. Aren't you saying your daughter, hey look; It's not that I have anything against the mall, but you understand the reason your mother and I did what we did for you was so that you wouldn't be burdened and you could study and so that you could be helpful in the family. And when you just take that car and all you do is run wild with it, you realize you are violating the very essence of why we gave you a car. And you realize that when you take the God given giftedness that God gave you and it's OK, it's OK to use it for your career, but if that's the only thing you use it for, if you never bring that to the body of Christ, if you never leveraged that for the kingdom, you're violating the very reason God gave it to you. And how about thinking about this? How incredibly powerful would it be if every believer in this room said, I'm going to take whatever giftedness and ability God gave me and I'm going to leverage it for the kingdom. I'm going to, I'm going to be in and I'm going to serve at my very best capacity.

Linn Winters: 27:03 What type of church would we have? And Paul says to you and me guys you get, you get this whole idea of serving is a huge component you'll never understand following Jesus, you'll never experienced Christ the way you were supposed to until this is bolted on, until this is part of your life. Now here's, here's what happens. None of these is convenient and so it's just super, super common for all of us to go, look, I, I, I can't do all of that. Right? And so then we start picking and choosing which ones we're going to be involved in. And so we go, look, you know, this whole growth thing, that's time. I mean, that's time that's coming back in another hour or that staying longer on Sunday to go into a group that's time and I just can't fit it into my schedule right now. And so then we eliminate one of the critical parts of following Jesus. And then we say, okay, let's go. And you and I are wondering why our experience with Jesus isn't everything it was cracked up to be. We're, we're wondering why our Christian faith feels flat and guys, when you're living that--you know is how much energy it takes to get your way past that. There's so much in the room. You've unbolted two of them and you're wondering why this following Jesus thing is so rough on you? And guys, I'm just telling you the thing that right now seems like it's inconvenient and seems a little uncomfortable and seems maybe just a little bit hard to do. It is a little hard. You realize when you get those things in place, you start moving with a whole new type of momentum. This, this experience with Jesus just changes. When you've got all the parts bolted on.

Linn Winters: 29:12 Hey, you know what maturity is? Maturity is each of these getting bigger, so here's what's going to happen. When you first go to serve, you're going to go give me the fifteen minute version. You know, gimme, gimme the serving thing. I can come a little early on Sunday, get it over with and then leave, but as you grow, you're going to go, you know what? I think there's a chance my life could make a bigger dent in that and you're going to say, do you have something where I actually interact and share and maybe even teach a little bit of scripture to junior highers, right? And, and you know what's going to happen is all of a sudden this part of your wheel is getting bigger, so you're gonna, you're gonna. Start out with the two minute devotions that we're doing right now and at some point you're gonna go, you know what? I'm maybe I needed something. Challenges me a little more, something that pushes me a little harder and you're going to get involved in the growth venue. You're going to go somewhere where scripture is going to bump into you and push you forward, and all of a sudden this part of the wheel is going to start expanding. You're going to find parts of your life that you go, yeah, I know, I know I haven't surrendered that yet. I haven't put God in his right place and you're in your wheels going to expand and pretty soon--you ready for this--you're going to be big wheel Christian! All right.

Linn Winters: 30:50 And guys watch this, if you and I do these things every week, in other words, we worship every week, we grow every week, we serve every week, right? You get that the further you commit, the more you're in for, the more progress you make in a week's time. Right, and then you do that week, after week, after week, and all of a sudden you're completely outpacing other Christians. Why? Because you're a big wheel Christian. See, some of you in this room, you've been wondering hey I've been a Christian twenty something years. I gave my life to Jesus when I was a teenager. How come that person who's been a Christian for three years just looks like it's so easy and why are they so far down? Because you want that all wheel Christian and they're a big wheeling it.

Linn Winters: 31:42 We got a little gal in the church. You're going to love this story. She's a fairly young Christian and she did this almost by accident. She was coming on Sunday issue that was her worship part and somewhere she said, you know what? I think I'm going to go serve in the youth group and she started serving over there. Next thing you know, she got involved in women's Bible study, worship, grow, serve, and her Christian life just started moving forward. Her following became a thing of momentum in her life and I'm just telling you, if it worked for her, it will work for you. You're going to love this story. It's a Janeika. Here we go.

Video: 31:42 [Video playing]

Linn Winters: 35:24 You get you just heard the story of a Christian who's big wheeling it, right? And she's young in her faith. "Oh Crud." A whole bunch of us in the. room just realized, man, I got some pieces that I've left off. Some of us in the room would say, Man I, I've heard someone asked me to serve a hundred times and I've been so successful at say no. I know. I know. I know. I know. I gotta be more attentive, more, more committed to grow and I know, I know. I know. Remember the challenge. We said, hey, we're going to have this conversation about following Jesus and we're going to land it, where we're going together is at the very end, we're going to move at least one. See some of us probably need to move two or three, but we're all going to move at least one and we're going to make a decision in two weeks to say, hey, here's the thing, here's what I--here's where I'm going, here's the new commitment in my life that I know that if I do that, I'm going to be radically different, I'm just going to change my life. I'm going to be further along in this following Jesus at the end of 2018 because I did that.

Linn Winters: 36:44 So here's the really, really cool thing we've got. Today, we've, we've actually got an opportunity for you to start researching because I don't want us to get to two week and go, oh, I'm just going to grow more or oh just going to serve more. We want you to be able to say, hey, I have looked at it and I thought about it. I prayed about it and here's where I think I'm going to serve, here's what I think I'm going to join so that I can grow more and that every one of our campuses, we're going to pray right now. We're all gonna stay in our seats, and then someone's gonna talk to us for about a minute and a half and explain to us how do we explore what it would mean to take that step. Okay, let's pray, hey dear Lord Jesus, it feels a little bit like we put together the bench and we left one of the most important pieces out and God, the reality of this moment for a bunch of us is that we're going to have to disassemble some things. We're going to have to realign some things to finally get that bolt in, to put the pieces on that were always intended to be part of our Christian walk and our Christian faith and God were just praying for the courage. We're praying for the determination today to say, I choose, I choose to follow. No matter how inconvenient, no matter how uncomfortable it is, I choose to follow Jesus and this we pray in Jesus name. Amen.

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