Be the One to Bring the One

Sharing the gospel is a duty every Christian has.

Linn Winters
Apr 2, 2017    41m
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Sharing the gospel points people to Jesus. Someone probably did that for you at some point in your life and we are called as Christians to do that with others. Video recorded at Chandler, Arizona.

Transcription
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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 -- Video playing --

Pastor Linn: 00:00 Hey Cornerstone, how 'ya?

Pastor Linn: 03:40 Hey, if you've been here any time at all you know that we do missions just a little different than some churches and what we've made a very conscious decision is to say, "Hey, we're going to look to see where we see God having his greatest impact. Where is God working in significant ways? And then we're going to join him there and rather than spreading out all of our missions efforts over, you know, 100 missionaries we're going to pick a couple and then put and leverage as hard as we can behind them to see what is, how far can we help a thriving ministry in changing their country? One of those ministries is Harvest India. And guys I'm just telling you it is a remarkable, remarkable, remarkable. You're going to have to put on your thinking cap just even capture the depth of what God is doing in this country through Harvest India and through a man by the name of Suresh.

Pastor Linn: 04:29 And so we just we'd take a few minutes, kind of get ourselves caught up on it and then I'm going to ask you to be a part of transforming a country for Christ. So do me a favor, welcome Suresh to the stage.

Pastor Linn: 04:51 Love you brother. OK so we just watched the video Suresh but here's my concern. I don't, I don't think the video does justice. Everything that's going on in India through Harvest India, so catch us up a little bit. You've got orphanages, how many orphanages does Harvest's India sponsor run?

Suresh: 04:51 We have 23 orphanages.

Pastor Linn: 05:11 23 orphanages. You've got old folks homes because often old folks are just kind of cast away and you've got old folks home, how many old folks homes do you have?

Suresh: 05:11 We have 13.

Pastor Linn: 05:20 13 old folks homes. You've got a thing called Shari'ah project which is about going to the red light district, caring for and telling the story of Jesus to prostitutes, bringing them into a place where they will be safe, teaching them a trade and then often you actually help these women get married. How many women do you have involved in Shari'ah project right now.

Suresh: 05:20 We have in all the centers 150 plus.

Pastor Linn: 05:44 150 women. And then you've got AIDS hospice going on and then you've got multiple, multiple schools that you actually you run. I mean you own the schools and you're doing that because you're trying to take young people in your country, have them know Jesus Christ and then be educated and go out and be leaders within the country. All the while taking the story of Jesus with them so tell us how many schools you've got.

Suresh: 06:35 We two elementary schools and we have two high schools we have two junior colleges and two degree colleges and we have ... colleges and we have 7 nursing colleges and we have 22 Bible colleges. All together we have 6000 students in our schools.

Pastor Linn: 06:36 6000 students in your schools. One of the ones I love is your is your nursing college because women and especially women who are in one of the lower castes in India have absolutely no opportunity. And yet you're taking a lot of times your orphan girls, you're sending them to nursing college so they're learning a trade that's just absolutely vital within the country. And they're, they're not only raising their ability to be productive citizens in India but they're doing it in the context of Jesus and to go out and be missionaries as they do medical work.

Suresh: 07:06 That's right, there is a next generation that we are looking to God because if we lose this opportunity we will lose the next generation. That's why we're building up for the next generation.

Pastor Linn: 07:15 One the other things I've found so intriguing Suresh is that in these orphanages where you just got literally thousands of orphans. You'll take some of the brightest and sharpest young boys and you'll say to them, "Hey, you need to be a pastor," and you send these boys to your bible colleges. And then they go off to villages where a lot of times they'll pastor two and three churches, they'll get on their bike and ride from church to church to church and pastor. How many churches has Harvest India started?

Suresh: 07:15 We have 3000 plus.

Pastor Linn: 07:42 3000 churches which is just mind boggling to us. I mean we're here and we go, "Hey we started about 13, 14 churches in the Phoenix area." "Ooo, you know, we think we're doing good." And you've done 3000 in India. Last year how many people came to Christ through Harvest India?

Suresh: 07:59 We had 30,000 people who gave their lives to the Lord Jesus Christ thru, our crusades.

Pastor Linn: 08:08 So here's, here's the thing that we love about Harvest India Suresh is that you have found what I think is probably the most powerful balance between saying, "Hey look, we're going to meet your humanitarian needs. You know we're going to, we're going to take orphans. We're going to take lepers we're going to take people who are hurting. But in the midst of doing that we're going to take the story of Jesus front and center and we're going to deliver the gospel to you because at the end of the day more than digging a well and more than putting sandals on someone's feet, the story of Jesus is the hope for India," and you guys have kept that front center and I applaud you, I honor you for it. We as a church have come alongside and said, "Hey, we want to, we want to be part of this ministry and the piece that we've picked is the ministry to lepers. And part of our heart in doing that Suresh, and you know this, is that within India, I mean the lowest of the low. I mean you can't, you can't get further down than being a leper. And so we've said, "Hey, we're going to reach out to the lowest of the low, to people who have the least amount of hope in their lives. We're going to help you do that. So how many lepers does Harvest's India minister to every month?

Suresh: 08:08 We've been taking care of 400-plus lepers from eight colonies.

Pastor Linn: 09:16 And help us understand what is life like for someone who has leprosy?

Suresh: 09:24 They are untouchables and nobody wants to even touch them. They cannot travel with others like in common transportation like trains and buses, they are living in a very far away area. You see in the Old Testament the way they are still living. Even they come to our camp every month they get up early morning two o'clock, sometimes four o'clock to come and attend our camp. It was a pathetic and miserable lives and they are more than lowest of the Low. Low caste. That nobody wants anything to do with them.

Pastor Linn: 10:03 Yeah, and you were just telling me not only can they not use public transportation often. It's hard for them to even go in a store because the shop owner doesn't want a leper seen in his store and so they'll say, "Even if you have money you can't shop here," and then it even spills over to their family because then they go, "Well you know the family may be contaminated," right? So all the family is affected by this. What does Harvest India do for these people?

Suresh: 10:28 We do once a month camp and in that camp we have doctors and nurses and we have a very big camp every month. So we feed them and also our doctors and our nurses they clean their wounds, they treat them with the medicines and also we give monthly groceries so that they can take back to that homes.

Pastor Linn: 10:51 And then the other thing is is that you've actually built some homes, you've built some, there's actually leper colonies you built some homes for them to live in. How many homes do you have?

Suresh: 10:51 We built 56 homes. Your checks supported that project.

Pastor Linn: 11:05 Part of that is because we've helped you build some homes, right?

Suresh: 11:05 Yes, you helped us.

Pastor Linn: 11:13 So, when I was in India and I'm just, I'm just telling you one of the most profound moments was going to one of these leper camps, leper colony and you're there with people who do not have fingers they don't have toes. Sometimes part of there arms ... and, and they want you to pray over them and I'm just going to be honest one of the hardest things for me to do was to reach out my hand, put my hand on a leper and pray for them while I was there. But all of that was overtaken when we got into the church service and I mean you have never seen joy on someone's face until you've seen these people sing. And part of it is because they live in a culture that just absolutely despises them and Harvest India comes into that moment of just absolute despair and says, "Hey we love you. And there's a Savior who loves you." And they have found a light in what is otherwise just a lifetime of darkness. And you have never seen people more thrilled to be Christ followers and to follow Jesus. And while I was there I asked him I said, "Hey, what's what is your greatest need?"

Pastor Linn: 12:11 And they looked at me and they said, "Food."

Pastor Linn: 12:11 And I said, "Well how can that be?"

Pastor Linn: 12:15 And they said, "Well, we're getting one meal a day."

Pastor Linn: 12:18 And I just came back I said, "That can't be the answer. That cannot be the answer." And so what we've asked is what does it mean to give them at least two meals a day and what does it mean to cover their medical needs? What would that take? And you told us that for us to do that for a year would take how much?

Suresh: 12:40 Every month we need 5000 dollars for the medical camp and that includes the food and monthly grocery. To those people so that is what Harvest India is doing. We need 60K, $60,000 per year.

Pastor Linn: 12:51 So five thousand a month, it's 12 months. Sixty thousand a year. So here I do the math Suresh, so when you break that down by 400 leapers you're saying that for 50 cents a day which is just mind boggling to me, for 50 cents a day you will feed a leper or two meals and take care of their medical needs for 50 cents a day. Fifteen dollars a month per lepper on the deal which I can't get there right. I mean it just seems unbelievable that you guys are able to do that. And here's what I'm going to say to us guys.

Pastor Linn: 13:22 I don't think 60K is enough. I just think that you and I if we really put our hearts to it could do so much more than this. And does that mean that the lepers get three meals a day? Or does that mean that some of that money goes to Shreya house to rescue the prostitutes off the street? Does it does it go to an orphanage where there's a lease? I don't care. I don't think you care. But for you and I to be part of what Harvest India is doing is literally transforming a country. So here's what I'm going to ask you to do, I'm going to be this bold. I'm going to ask you to be radically generous today and I'm just gonna say to you I need you to go look, this is not me redirecting my tithes and giving it because that's not being generous that's just being a shuffler, right? So I'm going to ask you to give over and beyond. I'm going to ask you to give something you weren't planning to give but I'm going to ask you to do it with reckless generosity that we would make a difference, that we would line ourselves with what God's doing in India. And here's the easiest way to do that. If you've got your phone there's a Cornerstone app. And if you don't have the Cornerstone app you can go online right now. This is one the few times in church I next we invite you to take your phone out. OK. So you can grab your phone right now. You go to whatever app store works for you and you type in Cornerstoneaz and the moment you do that when you press on the app the first thing on our list is going to come up as Harvest India and there's all sorts of options. You can say having to get 15 dollars a month. I'm going to sponsor one Leper. You can say I'm going to give fifteen dollars one time, it doesn't... There's just all sorts of options for you to choose to do there. The one thing I will say, I did the app last night. There's a couple of places where you get to state and stuff like that and it looks like maybe it's not working. Well it's actually on the bottom. It actually has the state possibilities, you have to scroll through and pick them. But he'll watch for that. But guys I'm just encourage you to be absolutely generous. And then if you are app challenged, in other words you go, "Look, I just don't know how to work an app. OK. So out on the patio we've got a tent and I'm going to ask you to stand in line because I hope there's a huge line. And stand in line and let them help you figure out how to give something to Harvest India today. And I'm going to pray that you would just do that with absolute generosity. And I hope that we're able to write Harvest India check after today that thrills their hearts and allows them to do unspeakable ministry in India. Suresh can I pray for you?

Suresh: 13:22 Please.

Pastor Linn: 15:51 OK. So would you stand with me. While we pray for this man and for what God is using him to do.

Pastor Linn: 15:58 Dearest Heavenly Father. I just can't even hardly get my head around it. We, we as a church feel like we had a great year if we lead 1000 people to the Lord. 30,000 people came to Jesus last year at Harvest India. And God I just, I just don't know how we could not be part of this. And so God I'm just going to, I'm going to ask you boldly would you move on the hearts of every person in this room? Would you cause them to be fantastically generous and that God, that is Suresh would get the biggest check he's ever gotten to go and do the ministry of Harvest in India. God would you bless this man? Would you keep his eyes in the right place? Would you keep that ministry focused? May we see a country transformed because of what's going on in this ministry and we pray this in Jesus name, amen. Thank you Suresh, man we love you.

Suresh: 16:48 Thank you. Absolutely.

Pastor Linn: 16:53 Hey, you grab a seat. I want to give a real quick shout out to all of our other campuses to our San Tan campus to our Scottsdale campus to people who are going to be doing this service in the venue today to our 5:00 p.m. service. Man, just glad you're part of this conversation. We're landing a series that we've called Everyone and the idea in the series has just been hey, everyone needs someone. To help them come to a place of understanding who Jesus is. And today we're just going to land it really with a conversation that says, "Are you willing to be the one who brings the one."

Pastor Linn: 17:39 Josiah woke from his sleep. He'd spent the night dreaming. He dreamed of running through fields and riding on horseback. And now the sun penetrated through his window only to remind him that dreams are just that -- dreams. He knew that he would spend the day confined to his bed looking at the ceiling and counting pieces of straw. Wondering, wondering why he'd been so reckless, why had he been so willing to climb higher up that hill than any of the other young men went? Why had it been so important to him to impress the girls of the village? Why in a moment of carelessness he had looked over his shoulder to make sure she was watching? Remembering what it felt like to hit the ground and in that instant know I'm broken.

Pastor Linn: 18:41 It would be another day. It would be another long day. And then his friend Samuel came in and Samuel looked different, Samuel was excited and he looked at Josiah and he said, "Hey Josiah I've got a plan, I've got, I've got a plan! There's something really cool is going to go on, Josiah you wait here, I'll be right back!"

Pastor Linn: 19:16 And then he ran out of the house and Josiah thought to himself, "Wait here? Like I'm going to go anywhere." Little did Josiah know that this day would change his life. That this day everything he'd ever hoped would come true. And his story is in Mark chapter two, so grab your bibles. Mark doesn't tell us those names, I put them in there. But his story is there nonetheless. It's Mark chapter two. If you're not familiar, if you go to the back of your Bible and then work to the left you're going to find this book of Mark, it's part of the Gospels, the stories of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. It's Mark Chapter 2 starting in verse 1.

Pastor Linn: 19:57 Here's what it says. A few days later. When Jesus again entered Capernaum the people heard that he had come home. They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left not even outside the door. And he preached the word to them. Some men came bringing to him a paralyzed man carried by four of them since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd. They made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith he said to the paralyzed man, "Son your sins are forgiven." Now some of the teachers of the law are sitting there thinking to themselves why does this fellow talk like that. He's blasphemy. Who can forgive sins but God alone. Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this is what they were thinking in their hearts. And he said to them, "Why are you thinking these things? Which is easier to say to a paralyzed man. Your sins are forgiven or to say get up, take your mat and walk? But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins. So he said to the man, "I tell you. Get up take your mat and go home." And he got up, took his mat and he walked out in full view of them. All this amazed everyone and they praised God saying, "We have never seen anything like this before." You get that every story of someone coming to Jesus begins with someone deciding to be the one to get them to Jesus.

Pastor Linn: 21:50 It's what Samuel does in this story. He remembers his friend and he remembers his heart sickness. He remembers the absolute depression and the the seemingly hopelessness of his life and Samuel says I've got to get my friend to my Jesus. His best hope for him is that I somehow get him there. And every story of someone encountering Jesus begins with someone who says, "I'll be the one to bring the one to the one."

Pastor Linn: 22:30 I'm a young kid and I'm filled with anger and I'm burdened with just huge bitterness in my life. And there's this little church a couple blocks away and two women in that church decide to be the one, they decide to watch my baby sister who was autistic so that my mom could come to church every Sunday and bring us kids. Now here's what you need to know. That church was small, they didn't have multiple services. So when those women decided to take turns watching my baby sister Diane it meant they were going to miss church half the time and you didn't video services back then. And yet they decided to be the one to help bring the one. In that same church. There was a man by the name of Les Mesbergen who just happened to be a sixth grade reading teacher. He just happened to be my sixth grade reading teacher. And I remember, I remember four or five times as I sat in his class Les Mesbergen would call me off to the side and he would just say to a little boy who was struggling so hard in his life, "Hey Linn, don't give up man. God's, god's got some amazing plans for you. I don't know what they are Linn but it's just so apparent that God has his hand on you."

Pastor Linn: 23:53 There were two junior high volunteers, Dwayne and Vicki Carr, and Dwayne and Vicki Carr happened to be heavyset. And unfortunately for them as I got to junior high I figured out that there were girls. And so I remember deciding I need to take over the Sunday school lesson, I need to be sure all the girls noticed me and so I would spend Sundays just throwing out sarcastic and witty little comments so that I could be the clown of the class. I remember once in particular, I don't remember why I said it but I remember saying out loud, "Boy you and Vicki are really fat." And I remember in a moment that I didn't deserve grace. That they treated me with the kindness of Jesus. They didn't retaliate and instead they showed grace to me. So much so that years later I'm sitting in a basketball arena and I look across the arena and I see Dwayne and Vicki Carr sitting there and I immediately got up out of my seat, I worked my way all the way around the arena till I found where they were sitting. And I went to Dwayne and I said, "Thank you, thank you for showing me grace when I was a silly little Junior High boy. Because I saw Jesus in you that day."

Pastor Linn: 25:15 Guys I'm just telling you my story is the story of people deciding to be the one to help the one figure out Jesus, and whether that was two ladies who said we'll give up half our time at church so that that family can come and be part of church and so they were one in the context of church or whether it was a Les Mesbergen who was a teacher in the public school system and stepped on the edge knowing that that would probably not be the most acceptable thing for him to do, to show his Jesus in a public schools and yet he chose to be the one. Or whether that was two people who out of their own grace and time and without any pay decided to work with the worst group of kids in the world, Junior Highers. And then to put up with the worst one of all. They decided to be the one to help bring the one. And guys I'm just telling you every story of someone coming to Jesus begins with someone deciding to be the one to bring one. And so the question I've got for us today is simply this, what would it take, what would it take for you to be on mission? What would it take for you to say hey, "I'm going to be the one to bring at least one too my Jesus.

Pastor Linn: 26:40 Samuel comes back and he's followed by three other gentlemen and Josiah recognizes them. They had been his friends before the accident. But now that he had been injured and confined to his house they had been long gone. And yet today Samuel was able to rally them and they came and Samuel says to Josiah, "Look here's the deal, I've got a plan. We're going to turn your mat into a stretcher. We're going to roll it up on these long poles and we're going to put some nails in it and then we're going to carry you.

Pastor Linn: 27:12 And Josiah says, "Well where are you going to carry me?"

Pastor Linn: 27:14 And he says, "We're going to carry you to Jesus."

Pastor Linn: 27:16 To which you can imagine Josiah says, "Look, the last thing I need right now is a sermon. I mean, I don't, I'm, I'm physically broken and sermons aren't going to help."

Pastor Linn: 27:30 Samuel says, "Josiah, I heard that last week he healed the leper. And I'm just thinking the God who can heal lepers might be able to heal a paralytic and I'm just thinking... Josiah your best chance your best chance is if I can get you, if we can get you to Jesus." And so they carry him. And you can imagine that as they carry Josiah to get him to the house where Jesus is teaching that with every step they take there, there comes this tiny little spark. This little bit of maybe, I mean maybe, how different would my life be if Jesus actually healed me. And then they come around the corner and all of his hopes were dashed because when they get there the house is overflowing. It is crammed full with humanity and everybody's is sweating because of all the all the crowd that's inside the house and all that are outside the house or leaning in as hard as they can just to pick up even every second word that Jesus is teaching. There's no way to get through the crowd. All the work all the efforts been for not. And then Samuel says, "I've got a plan. We're going to rip open the roof."

Pastor Linn: 28:37 Can you imagine how that was received by the rest of the guys. They're going, "Are you kidding me? Rip open the gate? We're going to rip open the roof? Samuel wait, wait, wait a minute, we're not talking small little chimney hole we're talking about a man sized hole, we're talking about a huge hole in the roof. Who's going to pay for that?"

Pastor Linn: 28:59 "We are, we will stay till it's fixed. We'll pay whatever we have to pay. But we're going to get Josiah to Jesus." And so they do. Four men crawl up on a roof. They begin to rip the roof to bits. Imagine if you were one of the crowd inside the house and somebody is ripping open the roof. I mean can you, you can just hear the cat calls, "What the heck do you guys think you're doing. How absolutely disrespectful that you would be interrupting the teachings of Jesus. How, how unthinking is it that you would destroy another man's property?" I guarantee you this was not well-received. Here's what these kids need to know.

Pastor Linn: 29:40 That bringing the one has the capacity to disrupt a service, bringing the one when you and I say, "Hey we're going to be a church that brings the one and we're going to let people discover who Jesus is and I'm going to bring..." You understand it's going to affect how things happen around here. It just is. It's going to be uncomfortable. Dirt's going to be falling from the ceiling, bugs, well not literally but you know what I'm saying. I remember years ago we were over in the other auditorium doing a church service and a guy by the name of Larry who was a worker on a construction crew had been coming for several months. And then he figured out Jesus. One Sunday he comes forward he says, "Hey, I think I need this Jesus in my heart." One of our counselors prayed with him. He asked Jesus... you could see the turn, you could see the turn of Larry's life. So a couple of weeks later I finished a sermon and Larry was the first guy running up front and he grabbed me says, "Hey, I want to talk to you about this." And so I'm talking to Larry. Out of the corner of Larry's eye he sees a guy at the very back of the auditorium who happened to be a fellow construction worker with a different company who was working on the job site with him. And Larry stopped mid discussion, turns to him and says, "Jim, what the f-word, f-word in church! What f-word are you doing in church!" Argh, and just I got to be honest man, when this first happened I was thinking what are all the Christians going to think, there's somebody right now who thinks he's an elder. Guys I'm just telling you when you and I decide to be a church and when we do, when we bring the one it just gets a little sloppy.

Pastor Linn: 31:18 People don't know how to dress when they come to church. They get up at the end of the service and run out of here before the service is over because they think the sermon' s over, I already know the final score, why am I staying? They don't get that sometimes the most powerful things that happen in church are in the last three minutes when people are making decisions and figuring out their lives. I'm just telling you guys, and here's what I love, I love that you are a church who's willing to live with it, that we're a church that gets it. You realize this is the reason that you and I do friend days twice a year because friend days are not for us. I don't care if you like Calais Campbell or not. It doesn't matter it's not for us, it's for our friends. And ladies I know a lot of times on friend day we'll invite a sports star and you go, "I don't care about a sports star." Look ladies, ladies this is the best gift we could give you. Let me tell you why. It's easy to invite a woman to church. Women are just intuitively more spiritual. I think that's just how they're wired. They get it. But you know who is really hard? Men. And ladies I guarantee you every one of you has a man in your life. Maybe he's a nephew, a brother, a husband who will not darken the doors of church without a good reason. And the truth is when you and I bring in a sports star, ladies we're giving you the best gift we could give you because it's your chance to bring that guy to hear the story of Jesus.

Pastor Linn: 32:55 Guys when we get to Easter. Have you ever noticed. We'll celebrate Easter but have you noticed that every time at Easter and every time at Christmas Eve we always give the gospel, you notice? Why? Because we know that literally thousands of people who will not walk into a church any other time. Will walk into church on Christmas and on Easter. And you and I tell the story of Jesus four Sundays a year. We just make sure that we have the opportunity to bring the one to hear about the one. Guys, that's why we buy billboards and it's just why we put mailers out and it's why we hand you rave cards and it's why we ask you to put bumper stickers on the back of your car and change your driving habits, that's why we do it. Because you and I are a church who gets it because isn't it true when you hear this story and you think about all those church people getting upset about those guys carving a hole in the roof, don't you just want to say to those guys stop it? If you'd been thinking, if you'd have had an ounce of compassion in your life you would have reserved a section for him. You would have said, "Hey, here's Jesus teaching and there is going to be paralytics, there is going to be lepers, there is going to be wounded, broken people, that the best chance they have is to get close to Jesus and I'm willing to give up a seat. I'm willing to make room in the room for them to have their best chance.

Pastor Linn: 34:20 And it's what you and I do over and over again. It's why we moved services. It's why some of us go into the venue on Sundays to make room in this room, is why some of us move to 11:55 or move to 7:40. It's what we do. It's who we are as a church. And guys I'm just telling you that. The question isn't should we be doing those things. The question is are we doing enough? Have we carried the stretcher far enough? Have we broken through enough ceilings to get our friends to the one?

Pastor Linn: 35:02 It's interesting, Jesus stops the service. Isn't that just like Jesus? He just stops. And the passage says he was so moved by their faith, not the faith of the guy on the stretcher, the guy on the stretcher. I don't think Josiah knew what to hope. This passage says Jesus was so moved by the faith of the four guys who would stop at nothing to get their friend to him. And he's so motivated and excited about it that he says, "Nothing else today matters, we're going to get this done." How cool is that? And in the midst of it Jesus says to him, "Hey, your sins are forgiven."

Pastor Linn: 35:44 And then all of a sudden the church people start a theological discussion with Jesus. Can you imagine if you’re Josiah? You're going, "Hey, quit it! This guy's about to heal me. I don't care how you parse your verbs."

Pastor Linn: 36:00 And Jesus turns to him and says, "Get up, take your mat. Go home." If you're Josiah, if you're the paralytic how thrilling is that moment. I mean you're there, one moment you can't feel your legs, in, in the next moment all of a sudden they're there and you begin to stand up and they're not just healed they're better than they've ever been. They're stronger than they've ever been. How excited are you in that moment? And here the story doesn't tell us but it's not hard to guess. My guess is this. My guess is that Josiah, every time from that day forward when he saw a paralytic he grabbed the corner of a stretcher and said let's get you to Jesus because I'm just telling you I've met the one who is the one. And the best thing I can do is get you to the one.

Pastor Linn: 36:59 You can tell me I'm stretching things. I think it's interesting that Jesus says to him, "Take your mat." Which really would have been like a rug. To us that in all likelihood has now been twisted around two long poles and they've put the nails in and they transformed the mat into a stretcher. And yet Jesus says to him, "Hey take take your mat with you." I don't need a stretcher... But your friends do, your friends do. When I read the story here I can't tell you for how many years I really related more to Samuel, you know, the friend who helped the friend, who carried the stretcher. I thought to myself that's probably what the meaning is behind it. And, you know, you and I are supposed to be gracious and kind to our friends, we should be the guys who look out for him, probably our obligation, right? It occurred to me I'm not Samuel. You're not Samuel. We're Josiah. We are the paralytic. We are the ones who have been touched by Jesus and made whole which means we can never pass another broken person and not grab a corner of the stretcher. Say to them, "I'm willing to be the one to take you to the one who fixed me." So the question today is simply this: Who's your one, who's the one who you are carrying your side of the mat to get them to the one?

Pastor Linn: 38:57 Let's pray. Hey dear Lord Jesus we simply come to the moment and it suddenly occurs to us that we are the broken who've been healed. That we have an obligation to go through life carrying the stretcher and looking for other broken people and in that moment to simply say, "I'll be the one to bring the one. I'll do whatever I have to do, I'll take on any inconvenience, I'll pay for holes in roofs, I don't care. If I could just get you to the one who could change your life." God my heart is this, that every person in this room today would leave a stretcher bearer, would leave hanging onto the handle and looking for the one who needs to find the one. And this I pray in Jesus name, amen.

Pastor Linn: 40:13 Here's what I wanted us to do today. I just thought how powerful would it be if every one of us left this room and just said, "Hey, I'm going to, I'm just going to be more aware. I'm going to be more conscious in my life of the people around me who their best hope is for me to get them somehow to Jesus on a friend day, on Easter, I don't care just in church, I don't care but I'm going to be the one to bring the one. And what if after you and I got the one we picked another one? And that in the course of our life, who knows maybe three or four people would be the ones that we had eventually brought to Jesus. If every one of us did that do you realize how quickly the gospel... how quickly our entire city would be transformed, our entire county or state would be transformed if every one of us brought a couple ones over the course of our lifetime? And so what I want us to do is you've each got a candle, I'm going to light the candle of a couple of people who are then going to come to light the candles for a couple more people. And when your candle’s lit if you'll turn it, light the candles for a couple of the people around you. You and I are going to get to witness the power of being the one to bring the one.



Recorded in Chandler, Arizona.
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Cornerstone Church
1595 S Alma School Road
Chandler, Arizona 85286
480-726-8000