God's Love for Us

"GOD'S LOVE FOR US"

Rev. Lon Lorton

First Sunday of Advent

December 3, 2017

Christmas, a time for?

Is it possible to lose the significance of the Christmas story by taming it to suit ourselves?

Can we accept the Christmas story as strange and provocative, even challenging and current?

Why did God "send Jesus"?

"Again and again they struck Him on the head with a staff and spit on Him.  Falling on their knees, they paid homage to Him.  And when they had mocked Him, they took off the purple robe and put His own clothes on Him.  Then they led Him out to crucify Him."  Mark 15:19-20

"For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him."  John 3:16-17

 

In Search of a Promised Son

"IN SEARCH OF A PROMISED SON"

Rev. Lon Lorton

November 26, 2017

1 Kings 2:1-4

Connecting with Old Testament characters:

  • Interesting stories, but where's the "so what?"

Too many times, maybe, we jump to easy principles:

  • This person did good, so you do good, too.
  • This person acted like an idiot, so don't act like an idiot.

We don't always need more education for our brains:

  • Sometimes we need more resurrection for our hearts.

The Old Testament is a story of people in search of a Promised Son:

  • The Son of David who would bring on the new kingdom was Jesus, not Solomon.

The focus of Jesus' life was not His excellent teaching:

  • It was His perfect death.

Hebrews 12:1-2 tells of a great crowd of witnesses (including Solomon?):

  • "Keep your eyes on Jesus!"
  • "He's already run the race and won - for you!"

God's acceptance of us does not depend on us having more wisdom:

  • We need more than wisdom.  We need Jesus!

Honoring the Faith of a Veteran

"HONORING THE FAITH OF A VETERAN"

Rev. Lon Lorton

November 12, 2017

Matthew 8:5-13

Why veterans are deserving of our honor.

1.  The cause to which a veteran is committed.

  • Freedom
  • Courage
  • Love of Country

2.  The cost a veteran is willing to pay.

The military veteran gave honor to Christ.  (vs. 5-8)

Christ gave honor to the military veteran.  (vs.10-13)

True faith honors Christ, and Christ honors true faith.

True faith

  • sees the invisible
  • believes the impossible
  • receives the incredible

It is the veteran, not the preacher, who gave us the freedom of religion.

It is the veteran, not the reporter, who gave us the freedom of the press.

It is the veteran, not the poet, who gave us the freedom of speech.

It is the veteran, not the lawyer, who gave us the right to a fair trial.

It is the veteran, not the politician, who gave us the right to vote.

It is the veteran who salutes the flag and served under the flag, who gave us the freedom to proudly wave our flag.

Always Thankful

"ALWAYS THANKFUL"

Rev. Lon Lorton

November 19, 2017

Luke 17:11-19

“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

What would you say you are thankful for?

Jesus typically does not respond with special effects.

Consider what Jesus may be saying to you with His instruction, “Go, show yourself.”

Have you ever caught yourself forgetting to thank God for a particular blessing?

Is there possibly one thing (good or bad) in your life that you have left “un-thanked?”

The art of thanksgiving is thanks-living.  It is gratitude in action;

  • thanking God for the gift of life by living it triumphantly.
  • thanking God for all that others have done for you, by doing for others.
  • thanking God for your happiness, by striving to make others happy.
  • thanking God for inspiration, by trying to be an inspiration to others.

The Blessing of a New Name

"THE BLESSING OF A NEW NAME"

Rev. Lon Lorton

October 29, 2017

Genesis 32:24-29

A new life can emerge out of a new name.

Jacob was alone with God - finally.

Jacob was broken by God.

Jacob was blessed by God.

Many people do not feel blessed because we do not want to allow God to break us of whom we think we can be on our own.

Jacob was finally found to be leaning on God.

"Providence is the hand of God in the glove of history."  Tony Evans