All My Prayers...


Rev. Lon Lorton

August 30, 2020

Philippians 1:3-11

All of life is transitioning.

Transitions can be good and growing moments.

  • A time when we learn to move on
  • A time of remembrance

Upon every remembrance of you,

  • A time of some sadness
  • A time of incredible gratitude to God
  • "We live forward, but we understand backward."
  • "Memory must be selective if it is to be redemptive."

Jesus reminded us of our need to remember.

  • Remember Jesus in the many ways He comes to us.

My prayers for you are always joyful.

  • You have enthusiastically shared in and supported this ministry.

Hope toward a great future

  • Optimistically rely on God.
  • Optimistically allow Christ to live in you.
  • Joyfully allow Christ to live through you.
  • The same God who started a good work will bring it to completion.

My prayer for you all is that your love for one another and for God may grow even richer in knowledge and truth of every kind, allowing you all to learn from God's Word and by experience the things that really matter, and to let go of the other stuff, so that you have open arms to hug each other, all the others, and Jesus.

Attached at the Vine


Rev. Lon Lorton

August 23, 2020

Ephesians 1:15-20

Jesus living in me - a mystical, blind leap of faith?

We cannot live the Christian life apart from Christ.

  • Like a branch abiding in the vine, Christ can live through us.  John 15:5

So then, how do we learn to "abide" in Jesus?

  • Jesus points us to His Word.  John 8:31-32, 36

It is important to not separate Christ as the LIVING Word from the Bible as the WRITTEN Word.

Christianity stands alone, separate from all other religions.

  • Only by bringing Jesus into our daily lives will we ever grow in His grace.

The printed Word alone, doctrines, and theology cannot satisfy the "God-shaped vacuum" in our hearts.

To grow spiritually, we need both:

  • A commitment to Scripture, and
  • A humble recognition of our dependence on God's Spirit.

"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.  The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me."  Galatians 2:20

Good Eats!


Rev. Lon Lorton

August 9, 2020

Revelation 3:20-22

You cannot make yourself grow.

  • You can eat good food, exercise, and enjoy being who you are.

Do not turn natural and enjoyable activities into "disciplines."

  • Bible study, prayer, and fellowship form our relationships.

Read the Bible to know Jesus, not just to learn facts.

Study dependently.

Read the Bible "normally," and in context.

Emphasize the New Testament in Bible study.

Major on the majors, and minor on the minors.

"Here I am!  I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me."  Revelation 3:20

Grace-Growing: Show Them Some Love


Rev. Lon Lorton

August 16, 2020

2 Corinthians 5:16-6:1

It doesn't have to be the way it's always been.

  • 1 John 4:19

What can change?

  • The attitude with which we look at other people.  Ephesians 4:31-32
  • Developing an attitude of service.  2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Our freedom in Christ is the foundation of growth.

Growing in grace is not about "giving it all you've got."  It's about allowing Jesus to give you all He's got.

Really? Yes, Really!


Rev. Lon Lorton

August 2, 2020

2 Peter 3:11-18

In spite of a sincere and genuine faith in Jesus Christ, have you ever found yourself acting as if you'd never heard the Gospel?

Christians put each other on guilt trips.

Our identification is with Jesus Christ, not others.

  • God has given us "everything we need for life and godliness."  2 Peter 3:11

Though we have been given everything we need,

  • "We have a lifetime of growing in grace and knowledge to accomplish."  2 Peter 3:18 

Growing in grace is not a program or a list of principles to learn.

  • Growing in grace comes through a relationship with Jesus.

We grow in grace in spite of our failures.

  • Remain connected to Jesus.  John 15:5

We are to focus on what God is doing in the midst of what we are doing.

Growing in grace is not only possible, it is God's desire for us.

Growing in grace is not a subject to be learned.

  • It is a life to be lived!

Now to God who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church, and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever!  Amen!  Ephesians 3:20-21