No More Doubts

"NO MORE DOUBTS"

Rev. Lon Lorton

February 11, 2018

Luke 9:28-36

Jesus reveals His glory.

Jesus shows us that He is God's son.

  • These three men had seen Jesus' physical appearance day after day.  Now they see His spiritual appearance!  And He's conversing with Moses and Elijah!
  • God makes a plain statement that removes any doubt, "This is my Son, whom I have chosen!"

God makes clear what the disciples are to do with this information.

  • "This is my Son, whom I have chosen!  Listen to Him!"
  • Moses may have thought to himself, "I remember saying that!"  (Deuteronomy 18:15-19)

Shouldn't we also feel the burn of the disciples over our own doubting?

  • They knew what to do.  They fell face down on the ground.
  • When Jesus spoke, He meant what He said.  In the midst of our doubts, we should feel Jesus' touch and hear His words, "Don't be afraid."

 

 

The Life of Fellowship

"THE LIFE OF FELLOWSHIP"

Rev. Lon Lorton

February 4, 2018

Acts 9:26-27

The Setup

  • Paul's history
  • God's history with people like Paul

The Situation

  • Paul's desire to associate (kol-lah'-oh) with the church
  • The church's desire to not associate with Paul
  • Where are we in this story?

The Solution

Barnabas stood up for Paul.

  • Every believer needs a Barnabas (mentor/friend).
  • All believers are called into a ministry of investing in others' lives.
  • A church is only as strong and effective as its fellowship.

Allow God to move in your heart, to place someone on your heart.

Along the California coastline there are some of the largest living organisms in the world - redwood trees.  In at least one respect, these giant trees are similar to Christ's church.  Some are 300 feet high with circumferences of 40 feet or more, and the largest have been there more than 250 years.  These trees are so strong and massive because they only grow in groves and their roots intertwine underneath the ground.  Where there is no intertwining, there is no growth.  As in the church, where there is no "connectedness," there is no growth.

 

The Centrality of the Cross

"THE CENTRALITY OF THE CROSS"

Rev. Lon Lorton

January 21, 2018

Galatians 6:11-16

The cross is central to the Christian.

  • Remember Christ and the cross.  Galatians 6:14
  • Make the cross central in your own life.  Galatians 2:20

The cross provides power.

  • Look to the power of Christ.

The cross provides a relationship, not a religion.

  • Do not let religion replace the cross.
  • Focus on your relationship with Christ.  Galatians 5:1-2 and 4
  • Serve God out of love instead of duty.

The cross provides a new view of your world.

  • Let yourself be spiritually crucified with Christ.  Galatians 6:14
  • Line up your life with the life of Jesus.

The cross provides our identity.

  • Carry your cross daily.  1 Corinthians 15:31
  • Bear the abuse Jesus bore.
  • Recognize that you are a new creation.  Galatians 6:15; 2 Corinthians 5:17

The cross provides peace and mercy.

  • Walk according to the "Rule of the Cross."
  • Guard against trusting in religion.
  • Let the Holy Spirit empower us.

 

God and a Dollar

"GOD AND A DOLLAR"

Rev. Lon Lorton

January 28, 2018

1 Kings 17:1-6

What can you do with just one dollar?

Brother Andrew was God's smuggler.

The son of a blacksmith, he never finished high school.  But God used this ordinary man, with his bad back, limited education, and no sponsorship or funding to do things that many said were impossible.  From Yugoslavia to North Korea, he penetrated countries hostile to the Gospel in order to bring Bibles and encouragement to believers.

His thirst for adventure led Brother Andrew into the Dutch army at the age of 18.  The atrocities he saw (and committed) as a commando in World War II haunted him with a sense of guilt.  Having not considered himself a Christian, God was able to reach Brother Andrew in a way that the world never did.

Andrew's pursuit of God led him to a Bible college in Scotland.  Without funding or any means of support, he continually received exactly what he needed exactly when he needed it.

Brother Andrew dedicated his life to the needs of the church in communist countries, smuggling Bibles and Christian literature to millions who had never known Christ.  When the doors to communist Europe were opened, Brother Andrew moved the direction of his ministry to serving and strengthening churches in the Middle East and Islamic world.

What might our lives look like if we lived fully for God, relying totally upon God?

We might ask Elijah, or Moses, or Jesus, or Peter.

Can I trust God?  Is God really enough for me?

 

 

 

 

Church Family: Can We Expect What Jesus Expects?

"CHURCH FAMILY: CAN WE EXPECT WHAT JESUS EXPECTS?"

Rev. Lon Lorton

January 7, 2018

John 13:33-35

The difference between professors of faith and active members of the body: commitment to Christ and His commands.

Paul mentions the two different types of commitment in 2 Corinthians 8:5:

  • “First, they gave themselves to the Lord;
  • and then, by God’s will, they gave themselves to us as well.”

Koinonia: Being as committed to each other as we are to Christ.  Jesus said, “You must love each other, just as I have loved you.”  [John 13:34]

1.  I will protect the unity of my church:  [Romans 15:19]

  • by acting in love toward other members.  [1 Peter 1:22]
  • by refusing to gossip.  [Ephesians 4:29]
  • by following the leadership.  [Hebrews 13:17]

2.  I will share the responsibility of my church:  [1 Thessalonians 1:2]

  • by praying for its growth and inviting the unchurched to attend.  [Luke 14:23]
  • by warmly welcoming those who visit.  [Romans 15:7]

3.  I will serve the ministry of my church:

  • by discovering my own gifts and talents.  [1 Peter 4:10]
  • by being equipped to serve alongside the pastors, teachers, and ministry leaders.  [Ephesians 4:11-12]
  • by developing a servant’s heart.  [Philippians 2:3-4,7]

4.  I will support the testimony of my church in the community:

  • by attending faithfully.  [Hebrews 10:25]
  • by living a godly life.  [Philippians 1:25]
  • by giving regularly of my time and talent and resources.  [Leviticus 27:30]