Bring One, Move One

The Christian life calls us to please Jesus and do his will.

Linn Winters
Feb 11, 2018    29m
The Christian life of following Jesus doesn't mean that we can just sit on the sidelines and watch the world go by. We must be actively go out there and do what is God's will to further 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 plays --

Pastor Linn: 00:50 Hey Cornerstone, how are you doing? Hey, super, super glad that you're here today. And I think before the day is over you're going to be super glad that you're here today. We're finishing up our Follow series and today is decision day. Today's the day we're going to say, "Hey, what would it mean for me to make at least one significant decision in my follow-ship, following of Jesus, that would move me forward big time in 2018? That if I did that, if I made that one move in my faith and my Christian walk, then I'm just telling you I would be way, way, way down the road at the end of 2018." And so, uh, we're just talking about this idea of would you move one and then would you bring one through the course of this year? So when you came in, you should've received inside of your Weekly something that looks like this. My "move one", my "bring one". If you don't have one, then real quick raise your... everybody's going to want one. You're gonna want one if for nothing else so that you can pretend like you're filling it out at the end of the service, OK? So if you don't have one, raise your hand. You're gonna want one I promise today. Keep them up, keep them up till they get them to you on the deal.

Pastor Linn: 02:14 So let me just say this and what we're going to do over the course of the next few minutes together, I'm just going to invite you, if you haven't figured out what your "move one" is or who you're "bring one" is that you would just, you know, even now start kind of praying and saying, "God, what is this for me? What is it I want, I want to be sure I do the thing that you're asking me to do," and to prayerfully consider. If you're a guest today, then look, no pressure, man. Don't, you know, don't worry about this, just, just watch. Just watch what we do. I think if nothing else, you're gonna to get a deep sense of who we are as a church and you're gonna decide, hey, those are my type of people or you gonna go, you know, just a little weird and it's OK, it's OK. But again, if you're a guest, please don't, don't feel any, any, any, any pressure at all to be part of this. This is the end of a conversation that we've been having together for the last couple of weeks.

Pastor Linn: 03:10 All right, really, really good chance that even if you've been coming to the series that you didn't make it to every single week, that's just kinda how it often works. So in order to catch us all up, because where we're going may not make sense if you've missed one of the weeks. Let's just review for a moment. This is, this is how we got to today. This is, these are the conversations we've had leading up until now. If you were here in week one we had a conversation about a fisherman by the name of Peter and it just so happens one day he's cleaning his nets on the side of the lake. Jesus uses that location to be preaching a sermon. Peter kinda works and listens in. When Jesus gets to the end of the sermon, he does a really interesting thing. He turns to Peter and he says, "Peter, let's go fishing." Now, why this is so interesting is because the middle of the day is exactly the wrong time to go fishing, and yet he says to Peter, "Peter, let's, let's do this, and I know you're a fisherman. I know this isn't how it's supposed to work. I get that this may even look slightly embarrassing to your friends as you go out to do this, but Peter would you join me in fishing in the middle of the day?" And what we said was the takeaway for that is that there are moments in our lives when Jesus is going to ask us to do something we've already done a thousand times before and we might even argue I've done it with a reasonable level of success and yet Jesus is going to come into that moment. He'll go, "I know, I know, I know, I know. I know you've done that a thousand times before. I know you've done your marriage till now. I get it. I get it. I know you've done your finances that way. I get it, I get it, I get it. I know you've managed your habit a thousand times before, but here's what I'm asking you to do. I'm going to ask you this time would you do it my way? Would you go fishing in the afternoon with me?"

Pastor Linn: 04:59 And it's interesting because when Jesus makes that request to Peter, the answer he gives is this, "Jesus, if it was anybody else asking, I wouldn't do it, but because you said so I'll give it a try." And we said, look, this is just a big deal because as you follow Jesus, there's going to be these, I guarantee you, these moments in where Jesus is going to poke into a part of your life. He's going to poke into your dating relationship. He's going to poke into your how you function at work. He's going to poke into how you raise kids and he's going to say, "No, no, no, no, no, no. I know you've done this a thousand times before your way. Would you consider doing it one time my way?"

Pastor Linn: 05:46 And it's going to look crazy, and in that moment you gotta be willing to say, "Hey Jesus, if anybody else asked... but because you said so I'll follow."

Pastor Linn: 06:03 Week number two we said, "Hey, following Jesus is not a cosmic game of Simon Says." We talked about this guy by the name of Matthew who was a tax collector, and we just unpack the whole idea that, I mean he was, he was, you know, when you're talking sinners, this was the top box. This was, I mean, he was bad. And the interesting part was with Jesus he didn't say to Matthew, "Hey Matthew, look, before you follow me, you got to clean up a couple of things." You know, Jesus says, "Stop getting drunk every night." Jesus says, "Stop sleeping with your girlfriend." Matthew this is not, this is not a cosmic game of Jesus Says. That's religion. See, religion says to you and me, "Hey, here's the behaviors you need to do. Stop doing that. Start doing this..." Simon Says, and then you can be a follower. Jesus instead said, "Hey, follow me. Let's just hang out. Let's just do life together. That other stuff, let's just see what happens with that and chances are that's going to change and chances are you're going to make adjustment. But let's just hang out, let's just follow me. And guys, I guarantee you in every one of our lives, you've had somebody like that. You've had a friend, you've had a coworker, you've had a family member that just being around them affected you and changed you, and that's exactly what Jesus invites us to, not a set of rules or a religion. He invites us into a relationship that's just come walk life with me, we'll figure it out.

Pastor Linn: 07:34 Week number three we talked about this idea that following Jesus is always going to express itself in three areas of our life. It's just, it's just how it is. It's just what... how it works, and we said one of the areas is the area of worship, which we redefined. We said, "Guys, this is not singing songs. Worship is anytime in my life that I give God his right place." So that's why singing a song can be worship because you declare, "You're Lord, I'm not." Coming to church today was an act of worship because you said of all the other places I could be, I choose on the first day of the week to honor God by being in church. That was an act of worship. You gave God the right place in your week, it's an act of worship. It's why when you tithe and give you're putting God in his right... whatever that is, that's an act of worship. And then we said growing. This idea of growing in community and in follow-ship with Jesus it's just saying, "Look, I'm going to, I'm going to be involved in whatever it takes to go and that Sunday is not enough. If all you do is come on Sunday, you will not get far enough, fast enough in your follow-ship of Jesus. You just won't and somewhere when you get serious about following, you're going to get serious about growing and and, and, and you may be staying an hour later at service on Sunday to be in a growth group. You might be going out on a Tuesday night to be... I don't know, but when you get serious about following, you'll get serious about growing. And then finally we said serving because at the end of the day, every one of us has a purpose, a reason why God created us and put us on this earth, and the reason you're here on earth is not to build your 401K, it's not why you're here -- that God actually intended for you to have a place in making the kingdom bigger, in making Jesus famous. He had a place in which you are going to help other Christians move in their Christian walk. There's a reason you were born and you're going to discover that when you begin to use the gifts God gave you and serve. And maturity is simply worshiping bigger, growing bigger and serving bigger. That's what maturity is. Baby Christians do all that small, mature Christians do all that big.

Pastor Linn: 09:45 And then we got to last week and we talked about this idea that if you're going to follow Jesus, you've got to love what Jesus loves and I gave the example of my granddaughter Catalina who's now living with us and I said, shocking thing is, because this is the first time I have raised a girl, I'm suddenly doing searches online for dolls and doll accessories. I mean that her presence has changed my life because, are you ready for this? Because my grandchild, my granddaughter Catalina loves dolls. Which means at the very least, are you ready? At the very least I have to care about dolls because she loves dolls, and that the same thing applies to you. That whatever Jesus loves, at the very, very least, if you're going to follow Jesus, you've got to care about what he loves and Jesus loves people. Which means like it or not, you have to at least care about people and that there are people that God has placed in your life because, because, are you ready for this? Because you're their best chance of ever becoming a follower of Jesus, and that's why he placed them. And then we said, OK, so you get this. This whole thing is about I'm going to move one and then I'm going to bring someone with me. Move One, bring one. Here's the deal. Uh, this thing that we're about to do in just a few moments when we start filling up our cart, it's going to be hard. Can I just say that out loud? Can I just read the fine print to you and be really, really honest right up front because, because, because following Jesus doesn't have a frequent flyer pass, it doesn't have a post Easter sale. There is, there is no low cost, low fare discipleship path. Following Jesus always costs.

Pastor Linn: 11:53 Matter of fact grab your bibles real quick. Go with me to the book of Matthew. If you're not familiar, go to the back of your Bible. Start working to the left. You're going to come to Matthew Chapter Sixteen. Matthew Chapter Sixteen, back of your Bible and work left. Jesus, Jesus basically says to his disciples -- he's unpacking this idea that says, look, if you're gonna follow me there's really two things that you've got to get figured out and aligned in your life so that you can actually begin this following thing, and the reality is both of them are hard. Both of them take a huge amount of effort on your part because, because, because following Jesus, it's just expensive.

Pastor Linn: 12:40 Here we go. Matthew Chapter Sixteen, starting in verse 24. This is Jesus, here's what he says. Then Jesus said to his disciples, whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me, and in this moment Jesus just unpacks this and says, "Look, this is, this is what it looks like. These are the two things you do, and then follow me." First one is simply this, he says, "If you're going to follow me, you're going to end up denying yourself." It's just, it's just part in parcel. It's what followers of me do, and on the one side what that potentially looks like is it's denying the old self. You go, this is who I was before Jesus. This is how I behave before Jesus. This is how I thought before Jesus. Scripture would call that life before "the old man" and denial just says, "I'm not the old man anymore. I don't live like the old. I don't think like the old man," and chances are that denying for some of us, the thing that we're going to mark on our card today is going to be a sin. It's going to be something in our life that we know keeps us from following Jesus like we should, and it's gonna be a moment where we just go, look, that's part of the old me and part of this is turning and leaving that behind and there's a chance that that thing, that sin that I'm going to deal with is the sin. You know what I mean when I say that? It's the sin that when you pull in the Sundays on the parking lot and you say, "Boy, I hope Linn doesn't talk about that sin today." Uh, it's the sin that every time you come to church, when you know, once every six weeks and you'd go, look, he's preaching on it again. Him and Tim, apparently that's all they ever preach about is my sin, And here's what you need to know. We don't preach about your sin every six weeks. Here's what happens. You decided to come back to church. Jesus goes, talk about it again, and we're like, no, we just talked about six weeks ago. And Jesus goes, no, I've got a reason. And I'm just telling you, if you would come every week, you would help us out so much. First off, you could have five weeks conviction free. If you'd come the other weeks in between and you would be able to change Tim's and my repertoire of sermons. I'm just saying if you'd come more regularly, it wouldn't be that bad, but chances are it's that sin, is the sin that Jesus would say, "Hey, that's what you got to deny, to follow me." And guys I don't know what it is for you. I don't know if it's a person that you've just said, I'll never forgive that. I don't care how far or how long I follow Jesus. I'm just telling you that that anger... and that it will be the last thing I ever get to Jesus. For some of us in the room, it's just greed. Just the almighty pursuit of stuff. For some of us, it's lust. For some it's just gossip because I feel so much better about myself when I make somebody... I don't, I don't know what that is, but here's what I do know. You try to follow Jesus with that on your back. It's like having a backpack full of rocks and if you try to bring that sin along, if you don't deny that part of the old you as you turn to follow Jesus it is always going to slow you down and it's going to make this following Jesus way, way, way more work. Cause you're dragging that with you.

Pastor Linn: 16:36 For some of us denying ourselves is the opposite direction. It's OK, I turned from the old man. I'm starting to do the new man. I'm going to live this new life, but all the sudden Jesus intrudes and says, "OK, so we're going to talk about priorities. We're going to talk about what's important in your life," and all the sudden he's going to say, "No, no, no, no, no, this has greater priority, this has greater need." For some of us in the room it's going to be, hey, do you come to church every Sunday? And for some of us, I mean that, that decision's going to be a huge decision. Hey, I'm just in 2018 I'm going to go to church every single Sunday, that's just what I'm going to do. I would hope, and I get it, I get it, if you're a young Christian, that's probably a pretty significant decision. I would hope for the rest of us in this room that was already decided and if it's not that that one ought to be a gimme today. And you realize that making that move toward Jesus may not just be one thing. For some of us, some of us, it may be a couple things as we make that move and put it on that list. For some of us it's going to be, hey, you know what? I'm going to finally get into growth group. I'm going to stay that extra hour and I'm going to show up on another night, but I'm going to get myself into growth venue and I'm going to have to rearrange my calendar to do that. I'm going to change my priorities to do that. For some of you, what you're giving and you've said, "You know when I get my bills paid off when I..." Today just go, no, no, no. We're going to re-prioritize and we're going to put God on the first and I don't know what it is. I'm just telling you. He says one of the... it's about denying yourself. It's about denying the old way you used to live, my sin. It's about stepping into the new way I'm supposed to live re-prioritizing my life. Can I just say this out loud real quick too?

Pastor Linn: 18:38 If you're in the room and you're pre-Jesus; in other words, you haven't figured out the cross, you haven't figured out Jesus yet, don't. If you decide to make a decision today, don't, don't make it giving up a sin. Don't, okay? If you do that that would simply be religious. That would be just you trying to be a better person, OK? So here's what you're going to be tempted to do. Look, uh, I'm going to stop going out every single night and getting drunk and sleeping with people. I'll cut it back to four nights a week, you know, and that's going to be your big religious thing to do for Jesus. And guys look, look, look, if you're not, if you haven't made it past the cross you, haven't made a decision for Jesus that's just religion and that's not what we're talking about today. If you're pre-cross and you haven't... can I suggest this for you as your big step? What if your big step was simply to take a step away from skepticism, to move a step from your preconceived ideas about Christ and in 2018 just say, I will give an honest look. I will investigate fairly who this Jesus is and see if I can figure him out in 2018. That'd be a huge move one, if you haven't found the cross yet. Deny myself, past, deny myself how I'm currently living, reprioritize.

Pastor Linn: 20:02 Second thing he says is deny themselves. Take up their cross. What is that? The Cross, the cross was Jesus's assignment in life. In other words, the whole reason Jesus was here was to go to a cross. That God said, "Look, people have sinned. They've broken in their relationship with me. There is no human way to restore that relationship. Jesus, you're going to go die on a cross and bridge the gap between me and man." That was his assignment in life. It was his purpose for being here. So then the question comes up and says, so what's assignment? Why are you here? Why did God create someone like you, and I know for some of us we've been asking that all our lives, but there is an answer even though your parents don't believe it. There's an answer to why you're here and here's how... Can I just help you? It's going to be when you begin to take the gifts and the talents that God gave you and begin to use them for the kingdom to make Jesus famous, to help other Christians move in their faith, which means it's most likely going to involve serving.

Pastor Linn: 21:27 And look, look, look, look, I know some of us in the room and you say, well, you know, I've been hesitant because I don't know exactly what God wired me for. I don't know, I don't know what my gifts are and so I just haven't been... Isn't doing something, even if it's not the perfect something, better than doing nothing? And so why wouldn't you just say, "Hey, look, you know, part of me stepping forward and trying to serve. I'm going serve, to find out why God created me and what I'm here for." Just be a greeter. Just stand at the door and smile and be nice to people.

Pastor Linn: 21:58 Guys, if that doesn't work out for you, I mean if you get to three weeks and you go, "Hey, just be nice to people thing, that it's not my thing." That's OK, it's OK. We will meet with you, we'll help redirect you. We will just go, look, look, look if being nice to people's not your thing maybe you should be a pastor. No, we won't. We won't, right? But you get it, you get it, right? We'll, we'll help, you get there, but isn't doing something better than doing nothing? And Jesus says, "Hey, you're going to take up your cross. You're going to figure out why God put you on the earth and you're going to begin to chase after that. That's what following me looks like."

Pastor Linn: 22:38 OK, so here's what we're gonna do. In just a minute we're going to fill these out. We're gonna move one and then we're going to talk about bringing someone a when we do that, but let me just push you. When you get ready in a few moments to fill this out, go big, go big. Just say, "Hey, this is the day. This is that moment when I'm just telling you my following Jesus is gonna move forward big. Because guys, guys, guys ready for this? And you know this. If you invest tiny amounts, what type of return do you get? Tiny amounts. You invest big and you have every reason to hope that you're going to get great return. Guys, you invest tiny in Jesus, you and I already know how that's going to look. Go big, go big.

Pastor Linn: 23:45 Second part. As you fill this out, I want you to... I'm going to ask you to ask this question. What would make Jesus smile? If I, if I were to make that commitment, if I was to... if that was gonna be my move one or maybe you know my three or four move ones this year. What would I put, what would I put on that that would make Jesus smile?

Pastor Linn: 24:11 Yesterday, yesterday I was at the, uh, Chandler hall of fame awards banquet. My niece Chanel was inducted into the Chandler Hall of fame of sports. Fun day because I'm a big sports guy, so real, real fun. And my niece Chanel is a remarkable volleyball player just off the hook. And so her, along with several other athletes were all inducted in the Chandler Hall of fame. When the induction was over, they had a luncheon. I found a moment and I went up to Chanel and I said, "Chanel I'm just proud of you. All the work, all the, uh, I'm just, I'm just proud. I'm a sports guy. I'm proud, but here's what you need to hear from your Uncle Linn. There are some other things you've done in your life that I'm even prouder of, and when I think of them, I smile. Because I'm just going to tell you that my niece Chanel, she loves Jesus. That's a win, right? She found a guy who loves Jesus as much as her and married him. And that's a big deal, right? Because I can just tell you every single person in the room right now you know what that means, that means your dating pool gets really, really small and you do a lot of waiting to find that person. And I've had the privilege of watching her be a wife and watching how she's raising their kids and I smile because just to be honest, there were some moments when we weren't sure how it was going to turn out and so I just said, "Chanel, I just want you to know there's some things in your life that make me smile." I was getting ready to do this point in the message and I was thinking about what I was going to fill out on the card. I had some pretty good things written down and then I had to ask this question, "Linn if you do that will Jesus smile?" And my answer was, "Probably not." And so then I prayed this prayer, I said, "Jesus, what would make you smile?" Don't you hate that moment? I went, "Crud."

Pastor Linn: 26:41 Can I just tell you as your pastor, I'm going to make Jesus smile today. I'm just going to invite you to do the same thing when you fill out your card. Make him smile. Guys, what we're getting ready to do and I get it, because if you do it and you really mean it, this, this, this is scary stuff, right? It can be terrifying. That stuff I didn't think I was going to give up yet. That stuff I didn't think I was going to do yet. That's uncomfortable.

Pastor Linn: 27:12 A couple years back I went skydiving. I don't know why. I apparently lost a bet. I don't know why. So they take you into this perfectly good airplane and want you to leave it. And uh, they strap a guy on my back. Oh, by the way, he was about half my size. That gave me no confidence and uh, the plane begins with a circle and get to 13,000 fleet feet. They then turn on this buzzer and a light comes on. There was actually 13 other people on the plane besides me. When the light comes on, they jumped to their feet, run to the door and leaped out. I'm like, that's just crazy. Now I'm the only guy in the plane with the guy on my back and now we're strapped together so we can't stand, so I have to waddle up to the door. I get to the edge and he's behind me and he says, "OK, we're going to go on three. One, two…” and out of the plane. A bunch of us are going to waddle up to the door this morning and we're going to start asking all sorts of questions like why would you leave out of a perfectly good plane? Interestingly enough, you're going to watch Christians in this room who the minute the buzzer goes off, they're gonna run to the door and leap out. You know how come they're doing that? Because they've already trusted Jesus before, see they've already followed before and every time they followed before Jesus showed up and it was good and so they have no doubts and they're just going to [leap]. And then for all the rest of us, one, two, here we go.

Pastor Linn: 29:03 Here's what, here's what going gonna do, we're gonna, we're gonna, have a word of prayer, and then at every one of our campuses, someone's going to explain how we're going to go through this filling out and what we're going to do with our cards, so let's pray right now and then we'll do that.

Pastor Linn: 29:18 Dearest Lord Jesus, we simply come to the moment, we come to that will I move one and will I bring one? Will I decide to make a significant scary, big time step in my follow-ship? And in the midst of doing that, will I invite somebody else to be a follower of you? God, help us to go big. Help us to make you smile. This I pray in Jesus name, amen.

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