When Less Is More

Sometimes we find ourselves struggling with faith to follow Jesus.

Linn Winters
Oct 21, 2018    43m
In this sermon by Pastor Linn Winters we learn that there are two path's in life that we can take. One looks big and inviting, like it leads to more, however this path eventually leads to destruction. The other path causes some people to feel like they are struggling with faith, because the small path looks scary, and like it leads to less. But if you find the strength to take this path, you will find that it brings you to Jesus, and more than you could ever imagine. 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.

Linn Winters: 00:18 Hey Cornerstone, how are you guys doing? How bout them Cardinals? Here's my prediction, church attendance across the state of Arizona is about to skyrocket.

Linn Winters: 00:40 Okay, enough. Alright. Okay. Alright, so we're finishing up, today, a series that we've been in called More. And if you've had a chance to kind of pop in and out, or if you've been part of this series, you understand that more is really a conversation about the life of a guy by the name of Solomon. Who is the wisest guy who ever lived in the history of humankind. And yet despite his wisdom, he still was haunted with a question that said. What would I have to have, what would I have to do, in order to feel fully fulfilled in my life? To feel like I've accomplished, that I had a life's meaning, a life's purpose. And maybe maybe if I pursued that thing, maybe if I got more and more and more of whatever that is, that more would finally bring me a life that was worth having lived.

Linn Winters: 01:34 So what is the more? And so Solomon goes on really an epic journey. He begins to chase a whole bunch of things. Here's what's interesting. The things he chooses to chase, just lineup lock and step, with the things that our culture chases today. And he goes after them to say, maybe if I had enough of, it would be enough to finally complete me. He chases money, we found out that he had, you ready for this, 36 times the wealth of Bill Gates. He chases sex, he ends up with a thousand wives and concubines. He chases pleasure. He says, maybe if I just had the right experiences, the right vacations. He chases a work. He says, maybe if I could accomplish enough, maybe if I could reach a pinnacle of success, maybe that would be the thing that would ultimately fill me up. He chases politics. He says, maybe if we could bring reform, maybe if we could get everybody working together and get society doing the right thing, maybe that would be the thing that would ultimately bring fulfillment in my life.

Linn Winters: 02:40 I mean, think about this. Imagine, imagine if Solomon had been on social media. So now he's sitting there, and he's facebooking out and he's going, hey, back in the Caribbean again. Just got a second promotion in six months. Hashtag new boat. Hashtag new house. Hey, check out the new girlfriend. 38,24, Hashtag,,,you realize Solomon would be the guy we would all unfriend, right? We'd all be going, dude, nobody, nobody, nobody has a life that perfect. Here's the interesting thing Solomon did. Solomon got all the things that you and I think we need. He got all the more that you and I look at and say, boy, if I just had. If I could only have a relationship like that, if I could have that much wealth, if I could just accomplish. He got all the things that you and I believe the more, that would bring satisfaction and fulfillment in or lives. And here's what Solomon said, when I got more, I actually found out it was less, it was less than what I hoped. It didn't bring the fulfillment that I was looking for. It was disappointing to acquire more.

Linn Winters: 04:07 And today, Solomon's going to kind of bring us to the conclusion, and it's interesting because he's going to kind of come back and land the plane for us. And here's what you and are going to discover today, that it is actually possible to have more. But the path to more are you ready for this? The path to more is originally going to look like a path to less. That if you and I are actually ever going to find true fulfillment, true happiness within our life, it starts on a path that's going to appear to bring less, not more.

Linn Winters: 04:41 Here we go. Grab your bibles, we're going to go back into the Book of Ecclesiastes. Solomon is going to bring us his conclusion. If you're looking for the Book of Ecclesiastes, he says, let me help you get there. You stick your thumb just like dead center in your Bible, you're probably going to get the Book of Psalms. Start going to the right Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes. We're going to go to the very last chapter of Ecclesiastes, Ecclesiastes, Chapter 12 because Solomon is wrapping up the discussion. Ecclesiastes chapter 12, verse 1, here's what he says, "Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach, when you will say, I find no pleasure in them." He just said, look, just follow God before you waste all the time that I wasted, before you chase everything I chased, and find out that none of it is going to bring true fulfillment or meaning to your life. Rather than do that, just while you're still young, just follow God now.

Linn Winters: 05:55 Code for, I wish I'd listened to my dad. We've got some young people in this room this morning, it was time to go to church and your parents came in the room and said, hey, get up, we've got to get ready. And you thought to yourself, hey, wait, wait, wait, wait, I got 100 other things that are more important than church today. I could be on social media, I could be getting my homework done, getting ready for the weekend, I could just watch football on TV. And your parents said to you in that moment, hey, we are the Smith family, and the Smith family goes to church. So here's the deal, you're going to get your posterior out of bed, get your clothes on, get in the car, and come with us, and your gonna like it. And let me just say to any young people today who that's been your experience, you get what your parents did that right? They were simply saying to you, follow your Creator while you're still young, before you waste a whole bunch of your life chasing the things that your friends are chasing, having to learn lessons the hard way, having to waste your life, chasing for more, only to find out that more disappoints. Listen to your dad. And I'm going to tell you that they blessed you today, when they brought you today.

Linn Winters: 07:21 Jump down in the passage. It's verse 13, here's what it say, "Now, all has been heard." In other words Solomon says, look, I told you everything I did, I told you all the things I chased, I told you everything I acquired, everything I accomplished. I left nothing out of the conversation. Now all has been heard, and here's the conclusion of the matter. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil. He says look, at the end of the day, I'm just telling you, the best path forward, the thing you ought to do just follow God. Just follow God. Stop chasing all those things, stopped trying to acquire all those things. Look, your best move, follow God. Because after all, you ready? He's the one that's going to keep score of your life. What does it say? It says, hey, ultimately you'll stand before him, he'll judge your entire life, what you have done that's good or what you have you done that's bad. Look if he's the scorekeeper, just follow him. Because I chased more, and I discovered that more was actually less. Here's what's interesting. Think about the things that Solomon chased. There was nothing wrong with any of them. Matter of fact, everything on the list was actually a gift from God. See, it'd be much more understandable to you and me, if Solomon had chased sinful things. We'd go, well, of course, of course, you didn't find satisfaction and fulfillment there, because they were sinful, but he doesn't chase sinful things. He chases good things.

Linn Winters: 09:04 He chases wealth, and guys wealth is a good thing, it's a gift from God. If you've got money, good for you. He chases sex. Do you realize sex is a gift from God? There is nothing wrong with sex? He chases pleasure. He chases work, work is a gift from God. He chases politics. There's nothing wrong with any of the things that chased. Here was the problem. He took something that was good and tried to make it God. He took something that in and of itself is actually a neat thing, a good thing, a wonderful thing, but he tried to make that the thing that would ultimately fulfill his life. And when you make something that cannot possibly fill you, your God, you will always, always, always be disappointed.

Linn Winters: 09:59 It's a little bit of like a drug addict. Let me see if I can explain that. So if any of you have had any experience at all with somebody who's struggled with drugs in their life, here's how that works. See, there's always that gateway drug. There's that kind of that first moment, that first experience in using drugs, and here's the deal. When they use the drug, it feels like it works, it feels satisfying, it numbs some of the pain they're feeling, it takes their spirits and makes them feel better about life for a period of time. But there always comes the moment when that high begins to fade, that experience begins to diminish. And so here's what the drug addict says, maybe because it was sort of successful, it was sort of satisfying, maybe what I simply need is something stronger, or maybe I need more of. And so they move to the next rung. Maybe if I had, ready? Maybe if I had more, it would ultimately fulfill. And then of course that begins to fade, it no longer satisfies, it's not enough. And so then they move into something harder, something stronger, more often, and they move, and they move. And you and I already know, they ultimately come to a point where their life is absolutely shipwrecked, and it's just death.

Linn Winters: 11:16 This is what Solomon is saying about all the things that we chase after trying to find fulfillment. Because he says, look, here's the deal. You get that job. You say, hey, I'm an athlete, if I could simply make the team, that would be the thing. And here's the deal. It's satisfying. See you're chasing wealth, and you go, hey, if I could simply buy the car, if I could buy the house. And let's be honest, there's something really cool, there's something satisfying in the moment when you buy the car, when you get the new house. But here's what we all also know. It eventually diminishes, and we begin to say, well then maybe it's just a bigger car. Maybe it's a fancier house. Maybe if I accomplished more, maybe if I'm...and we begin to move up and move up and move up. And here's what Solomon says, when you get it all, whatever the more is that you're chasing, there will be nothing left to get, and it will be disappointing. Because when you get all of your more, it actually turns out to be less.

Linn Winters: 12:23 Which then brings up a question. What's your more? What is it today that you're chasing that you're saying, boy, if I just had more? If I had more of a better relationship, or if I had more wealth, or if I had more notoriety, or if I had more accepted. What's the more that you're chasing that you said, boy if I had more of that? I'm pretty darn sure my life would be filled with meaning and purpose, and I'd be good. And do you have, are you ready? Do you have to spend as much lost time as Solomon did, chasing your more before you realize it's a ladder that leads to nowhere. No wonder Solomon said, remember God in the days before you waste all that time, remember God, while you're still young, chase him.

Linn Winters: 13:21 Now, here's what's interesting. There is actually a path that leads to more. There is. There's a path that leads to more, but the beginning of that path is gonna look like less. That the way to more is less. Now, before you get all freaked out and you think, I'm asking everybody to become hipsters and stop taking baths, and sell your houses and move into tiny houses with little wheels on the bottom. That's not what I'm saying. You don't have to become amish. It's not what we're talking about, but what you need to know is the path to actually more, is a path that when you stand at the beginning, you'll think to yourself, this looks like less.

Linn Winters: 14:10 I'm seven years old, I'm sitting in a Sunday school class. How many remember Sunday school? Okay. A few of you are old farts too. Okay, so I'm in a Sunday school class, I'm seven years old. Here's the deal, I don't know what it was at my church, every, every Sunday school teacher had to be 110, and they had to have this bun on the back of their head and they had to smell like Ben Gay. That was the requirements of a Sunday school teacher. Anybody, have my Sunday school teacher? Okay. Alright, so I'm in Sunday school class, I'm seven years old. My Sunday school teacher says to me, hey, if you want to be fulfilled, if you want to be satisfied in your life, if you want to be happy, if you want to experience, you ready, real joy, then here's how you get it. It's Jesus first, others second, it's you third. Now I'm going to tell you that when she wrote that on the board, here's what my seventh grade mind said to me, she's been sniffing way too much, Ben Gay. Because I'm just telling you, that does not look like more to me, that looks like less. Because here's the deal. When you follow Jesus, there's sacrifice. When you follow Jesus, there's rules, and I'm just telling you, that's less right? That's not more, that's less. I have to give some of what I have and share it with others, that means less for me. And I'm just going to tell you this, a seven year old said, that's crazy, that's less.

Linn Winters: 15:56 It's interesting because Jesus knew that when you and I decided which path to go down, that this was going to be a struggle and he actually has a conversation with you about more and less. Grab your bibles, go with me to Matthew, Matthew Chapter Seven. And again, if you're not familiar, go to the back of your Bible, work to the left, you're going to find this Book of Matthew. Matthew, Chapter Seven. This is Jesus talking about more and less. Here's what he says, Matthew chapter seven, verse 13, "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate, and broad is the road, that leads to destruction and many enter through it. But small is the gate, and narrow the road, that leads to life and only a few find it." Here's what Jesus said, look, look, look, I get it. There's this world that you see on social media, there's this world you see when you turn on the television set, there's this world that all of your friends seem to be a part of, and it looks like an eight lane freeway. And when you look at that, it just says more. I get to sleep with whoever I want to sleep with, I get to spend my money however I want to spend my money, I get to do whatever I want to do. Nobody gets to tell me, I make my own rules, freeway, more. And then Jesus says, but if you go down that path of more, when you get to the end, that path brings regret. That path brings sorrow and death, and you will be disappointed if you choose the path of more.

Linn Winters: 17:50 And then Jesus walks to the side and he says, I've got this other path, and this path has a really narrow gate because. you're ready for this? Because Jesus said, I am the way, the truth and the life, and nobody gets to God unless they come through me. You can't go through Buddha. You can't go through Muhammad. You don't go through Joseph Smith. You go through me. It's a narrow gate, but here's what's interesting. On the other side of the gate, he says, there's a path. So think about this. So I've already made my decision about Jesus, I've gone through the gate, I'm a Christian. But now following Jesus is a narrow path. And isn't it true that you and I who've accepted Jesus, look at that path and we go Dude, I'm looking at potholes, it's like overgrown with trees, and I think I see two little beady red eyes looking back at me, on that narrow path that Jesus walks. And I'm just going to tell you as a Christian, that narrow path is filled with sacrifice. And that path looks like less to me.

Linn Winters: 19:12 See, this is the little Gal who's who's hoping to date, and she hasn't had an offer in a year. And now Jesus says, Hey, come follow me, come do the narrow path that looks like less. And she goes, wait, wait, wait, I haven't had anybody ask me out in a year. If I follow you, you're going to tell me that my list of prospects goes down to really, really small. Because you're going to want me to only date really good Christian guys, that looks like less. Hey God, you want me to follow you, but to follow you, I've got to give up my favorite sin. I've got to take my worst habit, and give that...And I'm just telling you, that's one of the things I enjoyed, and that just feels like less to me. You ready? And Jesus smiles and says, if you go that way, I'm just telling you there is a thief. And that thief comes to steal and destroy and that his path. I came to give you life, and although it's really hard for you to believe right now, when you head down this path, you find more life.

Linn Winters: 20:46 Is it possible that some of us in this room today, you are literally at those crossroads. Some of us are pre-Jesus, and let's just be honest, the reason you haven't decided on Jesus yet is because the way everybody you know is living. What they're doing looks like more, and this whole deciding to be a Christian looks like less. There's Christians in the room standing at this very moment. You're going, look, I'm just telling you my friends, man they're out partying every weekend, and it just looks like more. And this selling out and following Jesus, I'm just telling you, it looks like less. So maybe after I get married, maybe after I make my money, maybe after. Then maybe I'll do it.

Linn Winters: 21:32 Alright, let me tell you a story about less that turned into more, that maybe, maybe, maybe, maybe helps us today. It's an amazing story out of the Old Testament. It's about a little gal by the name of Ruth. Now here's the deal, I shouldn't say this out loud. This story twists and turns, so you got to hang with me. Okay? You're going to go wait Linn, what does this have to do with anything? Hang with me, and see if less doesn't turn into more. Alright, so here it is. So there's a guy by the name of Elimelech, and he's got a wife by the name of Naomi, and they've got two sons. Israel ends up in a famine. So Elimelech says to his wife Naomi, hey, let's move out of Israel until the economy turns. Let's go to Moab. Which is just an absolutely dark, dark country, but their economy is good. So Elimelech takes Naomi and his two boys and now they're living in Moab. While they're there, both the boys get married. One of the boys marries a little gal by the name of Orpah, the other son marries a gal by the name of Ruth. While they're still there, Elimelech dies, both sons die, so now there's three widows living in the same house. And Naomi says to her daughter-in-law's, look, I'm going to head back to Israel, at least I've got a couple of relatives there, maybe I'll be cared for. You should stay, you should stay in Moab. You've got friends here, you've got relatives here that'll take care of you. Back in Israel, the culture is that Israeli men don't marry foreigners, you've got basically zero chance of ever having a family if you go with me. You stay here, there's going to be a Moabite man, he'll end up marrying you. Staying in Moab, you ready? Staying in Moab is more, choose more. Orpah says to her mother-in-law, hey, you're right, I'm staying, I'm going to be here. Ruth says to her mother, in law, I'm going with you, I choose less.

Linn Winters: 23:53 Here we go, it's Ruth and again, you don't have to go there. I'm going to read all this for you. Don't worry about that. But it's ruth chapter one, and here's what she says, verse 16, "But Ruth replied, don't urge me to leave you or turn back from you. Where you go, I will go. And where you stay, I will stay. Your people will be my people, your God, my God. Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me ever so severely if even death separates you and me. When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her. So here's Ruth's reply, Naomi, I choose less. You see this God you've introduced me to, he is so much better than the Moabite God's. I go back, that's all there's going to be for me, and I don't want that. I choose your God instead, Naomi, your old, you'll never be able to make it on your own. You'll never be able to take care of yourself, I choose to serve you. I love you so deeply, I choose to spend my life helping you. And in that moment what does Ruth do? I choose this new God that you've introduced me to, I choose to serve you instead of myself, I choose less.

Linn Winters: 25:29 They ended up going back to Israel, and when they get there, there's no employment for a woman. So Ruth is forced to go and basically glean in the fields. It's what poor people did in that day. You'd go behind the men and the women who harvested, and whatever they happen to drop on the ground, you'd pick up those few little kernels that they had missed. And Ruth is in a position where she has to try to find enough kernels, not only to feed herself for that day, but enough to find for Naomi because Naomi can't do that backbreaking work. And so she's out working in the fields, and a guy comes riding up on a horse, by the name of Boaz. It's his field, and he points and he says, hey, who's that woman over there? And they say she's a foreigner, she's the moabite daughter-in-law of Naomi. He goes over to her and he says, hey, from now on, just harvest in my field. Don't go to any of the other fields, it may be dangerous, stay in my field I've told my men to leave you alone. And a matter of fact, when it comes time to eat, don't eat what the rest of the beggars, go and eat with my servant, so you'll have plenty to eat and plenty to drink. She says to him, Ruth says, Boaz, why would you do this to me, I'm a foreigner in your land, why would you treat me so kindly? And Boaz simply says to her, I've seen what you've done for Naomi. It's a good thing, I want to help. He then goes to his own men and he says to them, Hey, while you're gleaning the field accidentally on purpose, take some of the good wheat and drop it on the ground in front of Ruth. When Ruth gets done with her day, she's got this monstrous, huge bag she can barely drag home to her mother-in-law. Here's what she says to her when she gets home.

Linn Winters: 27:19 Chapter 2, verse 19, if you want to look at it later. "Her mother-in-law asked her, where did you glean today and where did you work? Blessed be the man who took notice of you. Then Ruth told her mother-in-law about the one at whose place she had been working. The name of the man I worked for today is Boaz, she said. The Lord blessed him, Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, he has not stopped showing his kindness to the living and the dead. She added that man is our close relative. He is one of our (Ready?) guardian redeemers." Remember that word okay, guardian redeemers. Some versions will say kinsman redeemer. Alright, so here's the moment. Remember when Ruth encounters Boaz, she says to him, why would you treat a foreigner so well?

Linn Winters: 28:10 Anybody know who Boaz's his mother was? She is a woman by the name of Rahab. Some of you that know the story, know this, that when Israel invaded the promise land, the first city they come to ai the city of Jericho. They send spies into the city of Jericho. Inside the city of Jericho, there's a prostitute, her name is Rahab. She has heard about the God of the Israelites, and she realizes that God is more powerful than hers. And so when the spies come in, she says, hey, I'm switching teams. I want your God, not our God. I will harbor you here, I'll take care of you here, I'll feed you here, I'll make sure that you're safe. But when you attack the city, spare my family. And the spies say, it's a deal. And so when Israel invaded, and when they take Jericho all the way to the ground, they spare the family of Rahab. Now here's the interesting thing. Scripture tells us that it's one thing to spare their family, but it's another thing to let them be there, because they're foreigners, and so Rahab is forced to live outside the community. It takes years and years and years until finally one Jewish man decides to marry Rahab, Boaz's father. And so Boaz has watched his mother grow up in a community, or be in a community, where she is the outcast. She is the foreigner, and he's seen his own mother treated with disdain. God prepared his heart for Ruth.

Linn Winters: 29:53 And guys, get this moment, get this moment. That when Ruth stood at the beginning of that trail that looked like less, and in that moment when she said, I choose your God, and I choose to serve you, I choose less. There was absolutely no way for Ruth to know that God had already provided Boaz for her. You think it's an accident that it's his field she goes to glean in, or was it the hand of God?

Linn Winters: 30:25 And look, little Gal, and you're there and you're going, hey, wait, wait, wait, wait, I don't know if I can follow Jesus, because he's going to ask me not to date some of the guys that I want to date, and it just sounds like less. How do you not know that if you follow that course, that he has the guy. The guy your heart has always dreamed of. More than you could have imagined. And I'm just going to tell you, ready for this, you will not find him on that eight lane freeway.

Linn Winters: 31:03 See, this is the moment Christian, when God says, Hey, I want you to be faithful with your finances. And you go, God, this is crazy, I don't have enough the way it is. And Jesus would say, you don't know what I prepared for you, you don't know the blessing, you don't know how I have already taken care of you. If you would simply choose the path of less. And you will never experience that, you will never find that on the path of more. It's true about your habits, it's true about everything that we chase. Naomi has a less than great a moment, she says to Ruth, hey, that guy's our kinsman redeemer, our guardian redeemer. Here's my plan, all the men are going to be sleeping in the field tonight, get yourself all dolled up, put on a bunch of perfume. When everybody goes to sleep, you go lay down next to Boaz. If Boaz sleeps with you, then he'll be obligated to marry you. And so Ruth, being compliant to her mother-in-law gets herself all gussied up, goes and lays down next to Boaz. Mom's not a good plan, not everything in the Bible is a good plan. Okay? Just saying it out loud. It's interesting because Boaz wakes up, finds Ruth there, knows exactly what's happening. And he turns to Ruth and here's what he says. You have been a woman of honor till now, I will not be part of your dishonor. Good man. He says, instead you go on home, I will become your kinsman redeemer.

Linn Winters: 32:55 Now here's what a kinsman redeemer is. This is where you're going to have to follow, because this is so weird to us, our our culture isn't like it. A kinsman redeemer is somebody who marries a widow. Let me explain this. If a widow ends up with no male offspring, then there's nowhere for the inheritance to go because the inheritance always followed a male heir. So if her husband dies, and there is no boy child, they lose the family fortune, they lose the entire family estate. So here was the requirement, if there was a widow who had not had a male son, then the next living closest relative would marry the widow until she had a boy. But when the boy was born, he would be considered the son of the dead man, so that he could inherit the family inheritance, and the family name could go on. Kinsman redeemer, redeeming the family birth right. Boaz says, I'll be the family redeemer.

Linn Winters: 34:05 But here's the problem, there is somebody in line ahead of me, and so he gets first right of refusal. So Boaz, the next day goes to the city gate, waits, and here comes the kinsman redeemer, the Guardian Redeemer, who's first in line. And he says to the Guardian, Redeemer, Hey, Naomi is getting ready to sell a piece of ground, and I just thought I should tell you about it because you're first in line to buy it. The kinsman redeemer, the Guardian Redeemer says, okay, so let me get this right. I've got a widow who's in a desperate way, so now she's willing to sell her property. I can take advantage of the widow, and probably get it for a great price. I'm all in, because that looks like more to me. And then Boaz says, you ready? Let me read it to you. Then Boaz said, on the day that you buy the land from Naomi, you also are required acquire Ruth the Moabite, the dead man's widow. In order to maintain his name, you're going to have to sleep with her, have a male heir raise up a son to the dead man. At this, the Guardian Redeemer said, then I can't redeem it, because I might endanger my own estate. You redeem it yourself, I cannot. Let me explain what's happening. There's a good chance this man does not have a son, so if he marries Ruth, and Ruth has a son who becomes an heir, and then he dies never having a son. Guess where all of his property goes? To the dead man's son. And he's saying, look, I can't do that, that would be less. That would put my property in jeopardy, I'm out. Boaz, you marry her. Now, think about this. Boaz’s property is just as in jeopardy as the first man's property. And yet Boaz decides to marry her. Why? To care for Naomi, to care for Ruth. He puts others above his own potential loss. He chooses, ready? He chooses less.

Linn Winters: 36:30 Here's what happens next, verse 13, "So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife, and when he made love to her, the Lord enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son. The women said to Naomi, praise be the Lord who this day has not left you without a guardian redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel, he will renew your life, and sustain your old age for your daughter-in-law who loves you, and who is better than seven sons, has given him birth. Then Naomi took the child in her arms and cared for him. The women living there said, Naomi has a son, that was her grandson, right? And they named him Obed. Now you need to know that in this period of time names meant something. Guess what Obed means? Servant, Servant. It's not about me, servant. What does it mean to you that his mother, who chose the God that she had newly discovered, choose to go for less, and take care of her mother-in-law? What does it mean to you that his father, who in a moment when he could have suffered great loss said, I'm going to put others ahead of myself. That when they had the opportunity to choose the name of their child, they chose servant. It's not about me.

Linn Winters: 38:06 And then watch this. Ruth had a son and they named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David, King David. Think about this. How would a little Moabite widow woman have ever imagined that if she chose less, if she chose to follow this God that she had newly acquired? If she chose to love Naomi more than herself, and go to a foreign land to take care of her. How could she have ever imagined that God would write her into the greatest story of all. That she would become the great grandmother of the greatest King of Israel all time? How could she have ever had... she couldn't have. But the answer is the path that looks like less, is actually the path to more. If it's the path that Jesus calls you to. Anybody know who's David's son was? Solomon, the guy we've been studying for the last five weeks. No wonder Solomon said, I wish I had listened to my dad. My Dad already knew this lesson, and my great grandmother lived it. I wish I had followed God in the days of my youth.

Linn Winters: 39:29 You and hear something super, super cool? Because Ruth is the great grandmother to David. That means she is a great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, Grandmother to Jesus, That God would choose a little Moabite widow to be in the family tree and the line of the Messiah. How could she have ever imagined when she stood looking at less, that God had that much more? And the answer is she couldn't, and neither can you. When you stand at that moment and say, man, there was a big freeway, and this just looks like more, and it's what all my friends are doing. And then Jesus says, come follow me. And here's what you need, (Are you ready for this?) When you follow Jesus, it will be harder. When you follow Jesus, it will be slower, but when you follow Jesus, it will never, never, never, never, never be less, it'll always be more. Let me say that again. For every one of us in this room, and you and I stand in this moment, and there's the way that all our friends are going. And there's all those things that we go, hey, and I could, and why not, and if I chased, and maybe, and when you and I turned from more and say I'm going to follow Jesus even though it looks like less, it will always be more

Linn Winters: 41:12 Let's pray. My guess in this room right now, we've got some "more" chasers. We got some people that are living on that eight lane freeway, and we're doing what our friends do, and what social media puts out there. And we've been saying to our self, if I could just get that, if I could get that relationship, if I could get that contract, if I could acquire enough things, or have that. That more would be enough more. You realize that when you get more, it will be less. Less than you hoped for, less than you desired, it will not fulfill. And there is a path. There's a path that when you first look at, it looks like you're losing, it looks like less. It's the path to more. More than you ever imagined, more than you ever dreamed, it's the path to the life that fulfills. I wonder if we have the courage today to choose the path that looks like less.

Linn Winters: 42:46 Dear heavenly father, I come before you, and God this is the struggle of humankind. The struggle that Solomon had a nearly 3,500 years ago, is the struggle that we have today, more, more, more. Maybe if I have more, I'll finally be fulfilled. God, help us to remember our creator in the days of our youth. Help us not to waste our lives chasing more, only to find out that it's less. God, may every person in this room today choose the path of less, the path of following Jesus, the path that's slower, the path that's harder, but the path that always leads to more, God, give us the courage to choose that path. In 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