Fighting the Good Fight

Disagreements can occur between true friends.

Linn Winters
Sep 10, 2017    39m
Pastor Linn Winters discusses that fact that true friends will have disagreements. He explains that although they are having a disagreement that if they aim to bring their friend closer to Chist rather than aiming to be right they are arguing in a healthy way to resolve their differences. 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.

Pastor Linn 00:01 Yeah, you get that friendship can be confusing, it can be a little bit funny, and it can be a little bit painful. We're going to kind of unwrap some of that stuff today as we kind of land this conversation we've been having about friends who benefit our lives.

Pastor Linn 00:15 Before we dive in though, I just want to take another second or two and talk to you about Huruma. If you haven't been around here very long at all, you probably don't know that when we do missions rather than going after a hundred missionaries, what we do instead is we try to figure out where God's doing amazing, amazing stuff, and we pick two or three places and then we lean in huge. We've become significantly involved in those places. And one of those places is Huruma Children's Home with Mama Zipporah; where, think about this - you have a widow who is caring for 150 orphans, and I don't know any other way to say this than just to say if you and I don't step into the moment, if we don't pick up the ball, then they don't eat. It's just that simple.

Pastor Linn 00:57 I know what some of you are thinking - have the orphans get jobs. We will eventually, but we're thinking maybe they should go to school first; which means in the meantime, you and I have got to step into the gap. I'm just going to tell you guys, when you and I step into the lives of widows and orphans, we look an awful lot like Jesus. Guys I cannot tell you enough what it was like to be the first time sitting in that little chapel in Huruma Children's Home when we were trying to figure out are we in or not, and watching Mama Zapporah walk up to the front in a chapel service and say to those little orphans, you have been rescued by God and He brought you to Huruma Children's Home and I watched 150 little orphans sit there and go, yes, that's what's happening.

Pastor Linn 01:45 And then she said, "God has rescued you and brought you here so that you would know His son Jesus Christ as your savior", and 150 little kids are just nodding their heads and she said, "and then God's plan is that you would leave here someday and go out into Kenya and make Him famous, and change this country for God; and 150 little kids are nodding their heads. I looked, and I realized I was nodding my head too! I was going, man, that's, the plan and I know, I know. I know. I know that sounds fantastically absurd that a little orphanage with a hundred orphans is going to change a country for God. I get it, but here's what I would tell you: there are a remarkable number of young people coming out of that little orphanage who are amazing leaders.

Pastor Linn 02:33 I would tell you about David who ended up at the largest university in Kenya, a secular university. He ended up being voted the student body president, and I watched as over and over and over again he made absolutely God honoring decisions and shook that university for the cause of Christ. I would tell you about JoeJoe, a little orphan that grew up in that home and went off to be an amazing influential pastor there in Kenya. When I go over there in a few months and have a pastor’s conference, he'll have 500 plus pastors in the room because that's the influence God has given him to hear that conference. I'm just telling you, a remarkable number of young people coming out of this tiny little orphanage have been hugely used by God. And so here's what I'm asking you to do: would you just pray? Would you just pray between now and the next couple of weeks and just say "God, what do you want us to do? What do you want me and mine to do about a little orphanage on the other side of the world where you're doing some really amazing things? How do you want me involved?" And then whatever he says, you do that. Okay? Alright.

Pastor Linn 03:37 We're jumping back in. We're talking about this whole idea of friends who benefit our lives. Today we're going to talk about how do you navigate disagreement? How do you, what do you do when you and your friend? See things totally, totally, totally different, and there's all the capacity in the world for this to go bad. Because, isn't it true that most of the time when we have a disagreement, here's what we think to ourselves: I'm going to go to my friend. I'm going to explain to them the three reasons they're wrong, and when they hear my three well thought out and logical reasons, they will succumb to my superior intellect. They will fall on the ground and say, "why didn't you tell me this earlier"? And, they will completely agree with me. So, then we go to our friends and we say, "hey let me tell you, you know you didn't consider. You didn't think about it. That's why you're wrong", and all of the sudden instead of agreeing, they get angry with us. All the sudden there's a breach in the friendship. All of a sudden there's emotion and anger and push back and stubbornness, and we're left to go: how in the world did they not see the obviousness of my case, and how come they cannot understand that they are mistaken? And isn't it true that more often than not that our disagreements end up in fights and that we have become incredibly prolific in taking things and actually making them worse by how we approach them with our friends?

Pastor Linn 05:07 And today we're just going to take a journey and here's what we're going to discover. That friends are not focused on winning an argument. That's not what friendship does; that real friends are focused on helping their friends move forward and closer to Christ. This isn't about us being proved right. This isn't about convincing someone to agree with us that at the end of a disagreement, the win for us is not, that they acquiesce, it's that they take at least one step a little bit closer to Jesus because of the argument, because of the discussion.

Pastor Linn 05:48 Today you and I are going to step in and begin to be able to observe an incredible moment, a moment that by all rights should have gone in the ditch, a moment that should have just ended with bitterness and anger and refusal. And instead, a friend of David's by the name of Nathan is going to talk to him at one of the most volatile moments of his life, and David is going to be moved forward instead of arguing with Nathan. Because, because, because you ready? It's not about winning a fight. It's about moving my friend to better. So, grab your Bibles and watch what he does in this incredible conversation. It’s II Samuel, Chapter Eleven. If you're not familiar, if you go to the front of your Bible, start working to the left. You're going to find this book of II Samuel.

Pastor Linn 06:39 Let me set up the moment just a little bit. This moment, this conversation happens on the heels of David's most disastrous decision of his life. It's the worst moment of sin. It's a moment when he's up to his eyeballs in fear and regret and trying to hide what he's done. And in that vulnerable moment, a conversation that guys I'm just telling you is by all likelihood, harder, more complex, more volatile than any conversation that you'll ever have with any of your friends. Nathan is asked to go and have a conversation with David, and the remarkable, remarkable thing is he does not win a fight. He moves his friend.

Pastor Linn 07:26 So here we go. It's II Samuel 11:1. Here's what it says: In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the men, the king's men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah, but David remained in Jerusalem. Now, it's interesting because Samuel is actually the author of the Book of Samuel and he wants you and I to know something. It's spring. It's the season of the year kings went with their men to wage war, but David stays in Jerusalem. He lets his friends go off to potentially die while he rests back in Jerusalem, and Samuel wants you to know this: that everything that's about to unfold, everything that's about to happen would not have happened if David had simply been where he should've been. Guys, if we're honest so often in our lives, the worst lived moments of our lives happened because we're not where we should have been when we should've been.

Pastor Linn 08:51 Back to the passage. II Samuel 11:2: one evening David got up from his bed and walked around the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful, and David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, she is Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite. So, you need to get the moment. David is walking around the palace. He looks down and he sees a woman bathing on her rooftop. And at first glance you would say, well, hey wait a minute. That's pretty wild that she would be on her rooftop taking a bath. Actually, homes in those days had a parapet around the top. It was like a screen wall. You and I have some of those on our houses. We have little parapets up, so you don't see the air conditioning unit. And the very same thing was happening in these homes, and actually the most modest place that Bathsheba could have taken a bath would have been on her rooftop because the wall would have blocked everybody's view. It was much more modest than being down at the river where someone might walk up upon her. But David, knowing that the palace is several stories taller than the surrounding buildings and knowing that t's evening time and that's when women would have been bathing. David knows. David knows what he'd potentially see when he takes the walk, and it's all on him. Verse Four, then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him and he slept with her. Now she was purifying herself from her monthly uncleanness. And then she went back home, and the woman conceived. So, she sent word to David saying, I'm pregnant.

Pastor Linn 11:05 Now the dilemma is her husband, Uriah, is at battle with his friends where David is supposed to be, so there's no chance that Uriah got his wife pregnant. So, David comes up with a plan. He sends a message to the front and he says: hey it's been a while since you've given me any sort of a battle report. Why don't you send someone back? Send that Uriah guy. Send him back to give me a report of how things are going. So, sure enough they send Uriah back, and Uriah comes to David. He says, hey, it's been hard going. It's been hard fought. We're taking land incrementally, but we are moving the right direction. To which David says, oh, thank you. Thank you for your report. So, I'll tell you what, Uriah, go on home, spend the night at home and then tomorrow morning we'll send you off back to the battlefield. When David wakes up the next morning, Uriah has spent the night sleeping on the steps of the palace to which David then calls him in and says: Uriah, what's the deal? You didn't go home, you didn't spend the evening with your wife? And he goes: no, my friends, my friends are at the battle dying. How could I spend an evening with the pleasures of my wife when they're there without me? And, in that moment, Uriah had more integrity than his King.

Pastor Linn 12:31 So, David takes the plan another step further. He says: Uriah here I'll tell you what, I'm giving you a letter to take back to Joab. It's kind of a don't open until you deliver letter, and so he takes it back to Joab and the letter simply says this: tomorrow you're going to engage in full scale battle against the city. You're going to go full on, torted. Put Uriah at the very front of the battle, and when the battle becomes fevered and pitched, everybody run away. You leave Uriah standing there by himself, so he'll be killed. And it happens. And now God, think about this, comes to Nathan and says: You've got to go have a conversation with David about his sin and about what he's done wrong. Guys, guys guys, imagine this for a minute. Imagine. Imagine that a supervisor comes to you at work and says, hey, you've been nominated. You've been nominated to go talk to the CEO, and you need to tell him that he's doing a horrible job leading this company. As a matter of fact, all the recent failures can be directly tied back to his behavior, and he better change or else! How many are signing up for that job? So yeah, I don't know about you, but I'm saying you know, I think that's out of my pay grade. But thinking about the moment God says to Nathan: hey Nathan, you're going to go have a conversation with your friend and you're going to go tell David "David, you have just blown chunks". And if I'm Nathan, I'm going: you realize a guy could kill me for that. Why is he going to listen to me? He's king and I'm not. I mean, how does this conversation work? And yet that's his assignment for his friends.

Pastor Linn 14:15 So here we go. It's II Samuel 12:1. Here's the conversation. Guys, guys, guys listen to this. This conversation is genius. This conversation is going to change the heart of David because, because, because, you ready for this? Nathan doesn't go to David to win an argument. He goes to his friend to move him closer to God.

Pastor Linn 14:39 It's going to be a whole bunch of conversation about sheep and lambs, and don't let that throw you off. Watch for how he has this conversation, because it is genius. Here we go. It's second II Samuel 12:1. The Lord said to Nathan, sent Nathan to David. When he came to him, he said there were two men in a certain town, one rich and the other poor. The rich man had a very large number of sheep and cattle, but the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb that he had bought. He raised it and grew it with him and his children. It shared his food, drank from his cup, and even slept in his arms. It was like a daughter to him. Now a traveler came to the rich man, but the rich man refrained from taking one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare a meal for the traveler who had come to him. Instead, he took the ewe lamb that belonged to the poor man and prepared it for the one who had come to him. David burned with anger against that man and said to Nathan: As surely as the Lord lives, the man who did this must die. He must pay back for the lamb four times over because he did such a thing and had no pity. Then Nathan said to David, the man is you. David, you're the man in the story. And David, for the first time, sees himself and sees what he's done. As a matter of fact, jump down to verse 13. And then David said to Nathan: I've sinned. I've sinned against my Lord. Because, because, because Nathan didn't go to win an argument, He went to push his friend a little bit closer to God.

Pastor Linn 16:48 Guys, this is hard for us, because isn't it true that most times when you and I get into a discussion, an argument, we go there to win? See what this becomes about is we say, hey, here's my friend and my friend is clearly mistaken. So, I'm going to give them my three or four reasons why they're wrong and why I'm right, and if they listened to me at all, they're going to come to the same conclusion that I have, and at that moment they're going to admit, hey, I'm completely wrong, and you were right. You win. I lose the argument. And that's how it's supposed to work. When they don't get there, then tempers flare and we get more heated and we pull out more weapons because you're not understanding. I win. You lose. Nathan in contrast says look, look, look. This isn't about winning an argument with my friend David. If I can simply get David to move a little closer to God, even if it's not as far as I'd want, even if it doesn't end right, if I could just get him going in the right direction, that would be a win for my friend.

Pastor Linn 18:07 Let me see if this helps. So, a couple of years ago, Lisa and I are going on vacation. And a part of it, we would run up to Payson, and we were going to stay in a little cabin while we were up there. So, we take my convertible, we put the top down, and head up to Payson. When we get to Payson, we pull into Walmart to buy our groceries for the next couple of days. We buy our groceries, throw them in the trunk and now we're pulling out of the parking lot. As we're pulling out of the parking lot, a young lady with a truck just piled as high as you can imagine with camping gear (so she can't see around it very well) begins to back up toward my car. In that moment, I did what anybody would've done in that moment, and I yelled, "hey, you're backing into my car!" To which, she just continued to backup. Boom! Hit my car. Big ole dent on the front side. So, we got out, we exchanged phone numbers and exchanged insurance information. I had to go weep a little bit over my car, and then we were done. I got back and called the insurance company. I said, "I'm sure she's called you by now to let you know that she backed into my car and it was 100% her fault. And so, I'm waiting to know when I can get the check." They call me up a couple of weeks later and they said, we're going to take 90% responsibility for the wreck. You're going to take 10%, to which I said what? They said, yeah because when she was backing up into you, you yelled at her and you didn't honk. And I said, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, wait a minute. You don't understand I'm, just not a honker kind of guy. You know if I'm at a light and somebody doesn't start out in front of me very fast, you know, I just kind of like wait. And then when I finally honk, I try to politely honk. You know, I'm just not a honker kind of a guy. And they said, well, that's why you're 10% at fault. And I go, whoa wait a minute. What if she was backing into a pole? Would you expect the pole to honk at her? I mean, aren't you making me responsible for her bad driving? How does this work? And they go, it works that we're going to pay for 90% of this, but you're responsible for last 10 percent. At that moment, I shared with them my impression of their insurance company. I just had to let them know, you know, I laid out such a logical case and at the end of it they said we're 90%, you're going to pay the other 10%, to which I assured them that I would never buy insurance from their company. Ever. Neither would any of my friends. And I may have mentioned that I have a lot of friends, right? And I can tell you that to this day, it still bothers me that they did not pay the last 10% so much that I'm going to tell you the name of the insurance. No, no I'm not.

Pastor Linn 20:50 Contrast that with. I recently became a grandfather, which means I've got this incredible little grandson by the name of Caleb. Caleb is in that toddler process where he's starting to learn how to walk for the first time. So, his grandmother and I went out and we bought this little walker thing that has a little lion face on it. And so, Caleb will get behind it and he'll take about three steps and then he falls on the ground. And then he takes about three steps and falls on the ground. Every time he takes three steps, I applaud him and say "Oh Caleb, you're so wonderful! You’re amazing! Good job Caleb!" Now think about that. Caleb is only getting walking like 3% right. How come we're not saying, "Caleb you're like a walking idiot? I mean, it’s one foot in front of the other. What's wrong with you? Come on. Everybody else's is doing it. Why can't you?" Why are we so thrilled and satisfied with my grandson who's only moving forward at about a three percent rate? Some of you would say, "Well Linn, it's a little bit different because the whole insurance thing. That's like a one-time thing and then you've got to get it done. You know with your grandson, it's a process. You've got a lot of time to work with him and he's got a lot of time to figure this out. Maybe." Some of you would say, "Well, Linn, it's simple because you don't love the insurance company, but you love your grandson. That's why it's easy to fight with them and easy to praise him."

Pastor Linn 22:42 So, let me ask you a question. When you were disagreeing with your friends, you treated them like an insurance company. Are you treating them like someone you love? Because if you love them, you don't have to win a fight. You just have to be sure they're taking a couple steps forward toward Jesus. And isn't it true that whenever you and I get into a fight, fights require weapons? So, we come loaded for bears. More often than not, our weapons are words, and because we've been friends and because we've known each other for a while, we know exactly the right words to say to cut right through the flesh and hit them in the depths of their heart and wound them deeply. It's one of the privileges of friendship. We raise our voice, so we can talk over each other. We call each other names. We use forever words like "you never" and "you always" because this isn't about being accurate. This is about winning an argument. Hey guys I just need you to know that when you bring a weapon to the discussion with your friend, you cause wounds. Here's what our physical bodies are built to self-heal, but our hearts aren't. The wounds you inflict with your words in order to win a momentary argument with your friends, may take a lifetime for them to navigate so that you can win an argument. Isn't it interesting that Nathan - I mean, think about it? He had all the words he needed. He could have gone to David and said, "David, you're a stinking murderer. You're an adulterer. You're like, you're like a hypocrite to the 10th degree, when all of your men are off at war and dying, and you talk about being this Christian king and loving God and you're sitting at home lazy". When you think of all the things he could've said, and you realize in this moment that although there were plenty of weapons available, Nathan brought none. He came, unarmed to the discussion because, because, because, it wasn't about winning a fight. It was about moving his friend closer to God. So, let me ask you a question. When you argue, are you more worried about winning an argument or winning your friend?

Pastor Linn 25:43 So, let me just give you a couple of practical, just for the next few minutes, I'm going to give you some practical ways to do this, okay? Some practical ways to navigate disagreement and conflict the way that Nathan just did it in front of us. And the first thing is. Look, look, look. You're going to stop before you go because most of what we say is because we run right in during the emotion of the moment and the frustration of the situation, and we just emotionally vomit all over that person. So, we're going to stop, and we're going to be thoughtful before we come to the conversation. You guys think about this. When you realize the brilliance of what Nathan does, do you think he just walked in and made that up on the fly? My guess is, I don't know this for sure, but my guess is he thought, man, I've got to go in front of the king and tell the king that he has just screwed up his life. How do I help my friend David see that? My guess is this story is filled with thoughtfulness and my guess is this story is filled with prayer before he ever got to the conversation.

Pastor Linn 26:47 So, let me give you a thoughtful way to disagree. My challenge is going to be will you do this for the next two weeks? For the next two weeks, every time you disagree, every time it's a moment when it could turn into that, that you'd thoughtfully consider what you do next. I'm going to give you three steps and I'm going to give you three steps, three things to do. Step One - ask questions. Don't make statements. Ask questions. Don't make statements. Here's what I want you to imagine: imagine that this is a disagreement. This is a discussion going on in the context of a marriage. Now I know that's hard for some of you to believe that you guys should be married and be friends, but we're going to imagine that for a minute.

Pastor Linn 27:27 OK, you're married and you're actually friends. It's in the context of the marriage, and the discussion is about going to church - whether we're going to church enough okay? So, the first step in, we're going to ask questions and not make statements because we are most likely to make statements such as, "we said we were going to church. We haven't gone to church in the last three weeks. Our marriage is screwed up. Our kids are going to hell. Why aren't we going to church?" Right? We make statements, and statements are nothing but inflammatory. So instead of making statements, we're going to ask questions and here's what would be an appropriate question and a conversation between two people who are married, about going to church. "Hey, how do you want our kids to turn out? What are you hoping they figure out, find out, and work out in the course of their life? What is that?" And chances are the spouse is going to say something like, "Hey, I'm hoping they make good friends. I'm hoping that they make good decisions in their life that don't lead them to regret. I'm hoping they find a really good mate, someone who does not name their children granola and fig bar. I'm hoping that they understand how to overcome peer pressure, because I want to be able to stand on their own feet and not be swayed by the crowd." Second question, "In light of where we want our children to be, and considering we live in a culture that takes our children completely away from that, how often would you suggest we need to go to church?" It's a question. It's not a statement.

Pastor Linn 29:17 Number two: Offer solutions and not accusations. See, all too often we say, hey, wait a minute. You promised you'd go to church. We haven't been to church in three weeks. You're breaking your promise. You're not a person of your word. When are you going to do what you said you're going to do? It's accusation. Instead, offer solutions. How much more powerful is it in the moment to simply say "Hey, you consider the solution that we go to church every other week? We go to church this week. Next week you can sleep in. Next week you can watch football, catch up on the cleaning, I don’t care. Next week is your week. Then the next week we go to church, and then the week after that, you're free. You can do whatever. Would you consider as a solution that we would commit to going to church every two weeks?" Then finally, praise - praise incremental progress. "Hey, I just can't tell you when you come with us to church, how thrilled I am. I can't tell you how much different it makes the kids. I just can't tell you how powerful that is. I’m so proud of you for doing that." And, my challenge is simply this: for the next two weeks, you and I refuse to win fights, but instead we win our friends to be closer to God when we're done.

Pastor Linn 30:44 If you've been here the last few weeks, we've gone through this conversation about friends and just to land this conversation together; In the very first week we talked about this idea of Jonathan who stepped down so that David could step up. He was willing to take second place so that David could take first place. In the second week, we talked about a group of just hooligans who decided to attach their lives to be friends with David, and that friendship changed their lives. It changed the destination of where they went because of their friendship with David. Then we talked about a guy named Joab who said to David the things that David needed to hear, not the things that David wanted to hear, the things that David need to hear. We said that's just such a powerful expression of friendship. Last week we talked about a gal by the name of Abigail, who in a critical moment of David's life, pushed him away from sins and said David please, please don't do that. You'll regret that the rest of your life. Then today we've talked about a guy named Nathan who made it not about winning a fight, but about helping his friend get closer to God. And my guess is, since we're landing this thing together, that many of us in this room would say "Man, I'd give my right arm for a friend like that. " I wish I had a friend like that.

Pastor Linn 32:06 There's an interesting passage of scripture is Proverbs 18:25, and it simply says this, "he who has friends must show himself friendly." So, what would it mean if instead of you and I waiting for a friend like that, that you and I decided to be a friend like that? That we just simply looked at every relationship that God's brought in our lives and said, I'll be Jonathan to them. I'll be Joab to them. I'll be Abigail to my friends, and I'll simply be the best friend that they've ever had in their life and hope that maybe God would bring me a few of those for me. How powerful would it be if people in our community who have no regard for God at all would say, "The best friend I ever had was a Christian from Cornerstone?" It would be a powerful moment.

Pastor Linn 33:03 I don't know if you've been kind of listening to the subtext all through our conversations the last few weeks, but you realize that everything we've talked about Jesus did for you. Jesus has already been your best friend. I know in a room like this, there's some of us that are kind of on the other side of the cross. You're, you're still trying to figure this Jesus guy out and you're trying to figure out what does it mean to be a Christian and to follow him. You know, don't get me wrong, I feel like I'm an acquaintance of Jesus and I've gone to church in the past and I've prayed in the past, but I know. I know there's still a decision between me and really being in for this. Here's what I just want to say to you. Jesus has already been the best friend you're going to have. He is your Jonathan. He stepped down from Heaven and landed on a cross so that you could step up to a new life. The scripture says, if any man be in Christ, he's a new creation. If you were to follow Him, it would change your destination. You'd be like David's mighty men whose lives were forever changed because they attached themselves to David. I'm just telling you, your life would be remarkably different if you attach yourself to Him, and not just your life, your eternity. Jesus is your Joab. He has said to you the things you needed to hear, maybe not the things you wanted to hear, but the things you needed to hear. The truth is this has been part of the struggle. It's been part of your hesitation because you just said, wow, that's pretty blunt. That's going to be hard, but can I tell you that it is only love and friendship that causes a friend say to you what you need to hear. He has been your Abigail. Abigail pushed David away from sin. Jesus forgave your sin, and he has been your Nathan.

Pastor Linn 35:26 All of this pursuit, all of this wrestling that you've done up until now, it hasn't been about Him winning an argument. He's simply been trying to get you closer to God. So, I just simply want you, if you're standing on the other side of the cross, to simply leave this place and just say, hey, what would keep you? What would keep you from just stepping in and saying, "I'm done being an acquaintance. I want to be best friends with this Jesus." And would you just think about that as you go? Chances are there are some in this room and you don't need to think about it. You're ready right now. You would pray the prayer if somebody would lead you in it, and so I just want to take a moment right now and give you that opportunity. If that's where you are, and so I'm just going to ask us all in here to bow our heads and if you're here right now and you just go, hey, I get it. I need to step into this Jesus thing. I need to stop being a casual acquaintance, and I need to step into a full-blown friendship commitment to this Jesus. You would just simply pray a simple prayer. I'll lead you in that little prayer. You can pray quietly right where you're at. It goes something like this" "Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for being my Jonathan. Thank you for stepping down from Heaven and going to a cross so that I could step up into a brand new life in you. Thank you for being my Abigail; not just pushing me away from sin, but saving me from sin, paying the price for my sin, and so I'm just simply coming into the moment of saying, I have pushed this friendship away far too long and I'm ready and I'm stepping in. So, would you please forgive me for all the times I've pushed you away, for all the sin in my life that's kept you at distance, would you wash that away for me and would you simply come into my life and into my heart to be my very, very best of friends. And this I pray in Jesus name. Amen."

Pastor Linn 37:50 Hey, if you, made that decision today, then right in your seat back, there are cards that look just like this to say, "I said yes to God", which is really in essence what you just did. And I want to challenge you right now, just reach in the seat back, take a moment and fill it out. I think it's got like five questions on the whole card and the rest of us are going to do something different today. We're not going to jump up out of our seats and come running out of the auditorium and trampling you while you're filling out the card. We're actually going to stay, and we're going to sing the last song and give you the opportunity to finish filling it out. The ushers are going to come down front right now. We're going to take up the offering, and when that offering plate comes by, you're going to simply drop the card in the offering plate. It's a big deal that you let us know that you made a decision today.

Pastor Linn 38:33 Hey, let me pray for the offering real quick. Here we go. Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for today. Thank you that in every regard you have modeled friendship to us. You have done for us everything that we thought was so exceptional, so remarkable in the story of David, you already did on our behalf. God, I pray that the ones in this room who just prayed would have the courage to fill out cards, would step wholeheartedly into this new relationship with you. And God, I pray for the rest of us that we would simply choose today to be the best friend our friends have ever had. And this we pray in Jesus name, Amen.

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