Recent Sermons

Recent Sermons

Curtis Baker

“He Shall Come and Purify”

Text: Malachi 2:17-3:5

In our first week of Advent, we saw how Handel’s Messiah began with a text from Isaiah 40 that spoke comfort to God’s people. This week, however, we discover another aspect of Advent. While comfort is certainly part of the anticipation of the Christmas story and the coming of the Christ, so also is the promise of judgment and purification. When the Messiah comes, He will be like a refiner’s fire. The prophet Malachi asks, “Who will be able to endure His coming?” We might ask the same question of the second coming of Christ. Join us this Sunday as we explore the tougher side of Advent.

Curtis Baker

“Comfort My People”

Text: Isaiah 40:1-5

This Sunday we begin our journey toward Christmas by looking at some important texts used in Handel’s “Messiah”. The first comes from Isaiah 40, as God asks His prophet to speak comfort to His people who have spent generations in captivity. But as we will discover, this text has more to say than just to Israel during the time of her captivity. It also speaks a universal message to mankind who is in captivity to sin and death. Join us this Sunday as we examine how God speaks comforts through the ministry of his Son, The Messiah.

November 25

Curtis Baker

“Some Thoughts on Visions and Revelations: What to do with Our Desires and Experiences of the Deep Mysteries of God”

Text: 2 Corinthians 12:1-10

In the churches of Christ we are often shy about speaking of ecstatic experiences of God, and many people in the Bible and throughout history have had such experiences. Perhaps there are some among us who have also had these experiences, but stay quiet in fear of being ostracized. If such visions are real, what are we to make of them? And what attitude should a Christian have in regard to them today? Join us this Sunday as we learn what to do with both our desires and perhaps our experiences of the deeper mysteries of God.

November 18

Curtis Baker

Seeing Through Angels of Light

Text: 2nd Corinthians 11:1-15

For several weeks we have followed Paul into his discussion of giving. But as we move now in the last two weeks of our study of 2nd Corinthians, we see how Paul resumes the defense of his ministry against the so called “super apostles.” This week Paul addresses a question that is still very relevant in today’s society. With so many people claiming to be able to speak for God, how do you determine who is an authentic spokesman for Christ? Join us this Sunday as we explore Paul’s answer to this very important question.

November 11

Curtis Baker

A Discussion on Principles of Giving
2 Corinthians 9:1-15

This week we will be doing something special for our lesson. Rather than a traditional sermon, Jay and I will be having a discussion together about principles of giving in the New Testament. We will continue this in our study of 2nd Corinthians, and will be basing our discussion this week on the principles that Paul teaches in chapter 9 about giving in the congregation. Join us this Sunday as we explore what Paul has to teach us about the nature and quality of our giving.

November 4

Curtis Baker

“From Our Abundance to Their Need: An Appeal for Missions Sunday”

Text: 2 Corinthians 8:1-15

As we approach missions Sunday, perhaps providentially, we continue our study of 2nd Corinthians, into chapter eight. In this chapter, Paul appeals to the Corinthians to resume their special contribution to the church in Jerusalem. As we consider our own special contribution for missions this year, the principles that Paul draws upon in this text are still relevant to us today. Join us this Sunday as we discuss the greater motivation behind our giving, and admonish one another to give generously to the mission work supported by the Riverwalk Church of Christ.

October 28

Curtis Baker

Compelled by Love: The Deeper Motivation for Christian Life and Service

2 Corinthians 5:11-21

Last week we focused on how the coming judgment was a motivation for Paul to do his ministry. We learned that each person, including Christians, must come before judgment, even though those in Christ are assured there will be no condemnation. Having said that, this week Paul will point to a deeper motivation for his ministry: not only does the thought of judgment move him, Paul feels compelled by love. Where does this deep love come from that compels him into his “ministry of reconciliation”?

Listen as Curtis leads us to explore how the sacrifice of Christ reconciles us to God, and compels us into His service for the sake of love.

October 21

Curtis Baker

Reflections on the Judgment to Come

2 Corinthians 4:16-5:10

We don’t hear much about the judgment anymore, but the New Testament speaks of it regularly as a reality that all people will face in the future. But someone might ask, “I thought Christians will not face judgment?” While it is true that the Bible confirms that Christians need have no fear of “condemnation,” we do still have to face a future “judgment” where finally we will be fully known to ourselves. In this week’s text Paul talks about how he does ministry in light of the coming judgment.

Listen to the recording as we explore the implications of this teaching for our own life and ministries.

October 14

Doug Vile

The Joy of the Gospel

Acts 8:26-40

Philip shares the gospel with the Ethiopian eunuch, who goes “on his way rejoicing” after his baptism.

Sept 30

Curtis Baker

Transformed by the Glory of God:
The Surpassing Greatness of the New Covenant

Text: 2 Corinthians 3:1-18

By now we have seen that Paul is quite embattled in the Corinthian church. Not only has Paul had to confront and then forgive someone who was undermining his reputation, but now missionaries from Jerusalem have come into the church and are doing the same thing. These men come with letters of recommendation, but Paul is not impressed. Paul insists he does not need such a letter, because the Corinthian church itself is his letter, written on his own heart. However, this fact leads Paul into a mysterious reflection: The New Covenant, which is also written on the heart, is of greater glory than the Old Covenant. Through the glory of the New Covenant, they are being increasingly transformed into the image of Christ.

Sept 23

Curtis Baker

Led In Triumphal Procession:
Following Christ’s Call to Come and Die

Text: 2 Corinthians 1:23-2:17

The church is often tempted by the culture to act in ways that are not according to its mission. The temptation to use power and manipulation to control others is always present. In our text this week we learn how Paul uses restraint in dealing with a difficult situation in the Corinthian church. Rather than assert his apostolic power, he appeals to them in meekness and humility through the form of a “tearful letter.” Where did Paul learn to do ministry like this? The answer, of course, is from our Lord.

Sept 16

Curtis Baker

Jesus as God’s Yes
A Model for Integrity in Leadership

Text: 2 Corinthians 1:12-2:4

Today we live in a time of great crisis in Christian leadership. With the recent renewal of sex scandals among Catholic clergy and the downfall of several well known mega-church pastors, we see once again the devastation of a lack of integrity. However, what happens when someone is falsely accused of lacking integrity? In our text this week, Paul is accused of just such a thing and is forced to defend himself. Paul draws upon a profound theological truth to defend his ministry: In Jesus, all God’s promises are “yes.” Join us this week as we discover how this truth informed and confirmed the integrity of Paul’s leadership and challenges us to integrity in our own.

Sept 9

Curtis Baker

How our Pain is Our Greatest Source of Ministry

Text: 2 Corinthians 1:1-11

This week we begin our new fall series on 2nd Corinthians. Why study 2nd Corinthians? Because in this letter Paul faces one of his greatest challenges in ministry. The church is threatened by “super apostles” who have come in and criticized Paul’s way of ministry. However, Paul defends his ministry as being in the pattern of the cross, which often involves weakness and suffering. Join us this Sunday as we explore the first in this series of messages, as Paul teaches us that we can give comfort to one another because of the comfort God has given to us in our sufferings.

Sept 2

Curtis Baker

“It is Well With My Soul”

A Song of Joyful Trust

Text: Colossians 2:6-15

This Sunday, we come to the final song in our series of Hymns of the Fathers. Many of the songs we have looked at have had fascinating stories of how they came to be. But few are as interesting or as impacting as the story behind the words of “It is Well.” But equally compelling is the story of the composer of the song’s music. Join us this Sunday as we learn about their stories, and also reflect on the words of this classic Christian hymn.

August 26

Curtis Baker

“Take Time to Be Holy”

A Song about the Intentionality of Holiness

Text: 1 Timothy 4:1-8

Today we live in a busy world. Between work, family, school, church, sports and other responsibilities, we often feel frazzled and overwhelmed. One of the things that often gets sacrificed in this hurry is our pursuit of God and a holy life. There is also the mistaken idea that holiness is something that just happens to us as we live the Christian life. But while it may be true that life will teach certain things about how to be holy, true holiness comes out of time spent with God. Only in this way will God’s character rub off on us. According to the author of our hymn, we must “take time to be Holy.”

August 19

Curtis Baker

“Father Hear the Prayer We Offer”

A Song about Courage in an Evil World

Text: Revelation 21:5-8

When you pray, what do you most often pray about? If you are like me, you may be tempted to pray for things that would serve as a blessing in your life. Perhaps you pray for prosperity. Perhaps you pray for comfort. Perhaps what your really desire is an easy life. While it is certainly good for us to pray for God’s blessing, we are also invited into an adventure in the Christian life, and that adventure requires courage. Our song this week teaches us that we cannot forever stay by the still waters, but must strike out into the desert to smite the rocks that stand in our way. Join us this week as we learn how to pray courageously from our next hymn, “Father , Hear the Prayer We Offer.”

August 12

Curtis Baker

“He Leadeth Me”
A Song of Reflection on God’s Guidance
Text: Psalm 23

How often has fear been your companion? We fear the consequences of the past; we fear the duties of the present, and more often than not, we fear what might be in store for us in the future. But what if we had the assurance that nothing could happen to us that God will not use it for our good. This is the assurance that led to the words of the Song “He Leadeth Me.” While reflecting on the 23rd Psalm and the promise that God is our Shepherd that guides us, Joseph H. Gilmore wrote the words to this beloved hymn. However, they were almost lost to the world forever.

Join us this Sunday as we discover how this song was saved, and what it can teach us about a life of trust in the sure guidance of God.

August 5

Curtis Baker

“On Zion’s Glorious Summit Stood”

Text: Revelation 14:1-5

This week we resume our summer study on the great hymns of the faith. As we do so, we come to a song written not by a religious professional, but by a shipbuilder. While perhaps not as sophisticated as the poems of John Greenleaf Whittier or Isaac Watts, this song paints a beautiful picture for us of the future destination of heaven. Imagine with the song writer how scenes of bliss forever new will rise in succession to our view. This is the destiny that awaits those who remain faithful to Christ, come what may. Join us this Sunday as we explore what this hymn has to teach us about our great destiny in God’s redeemed creation.

July 29

Doug Vile
Outreach Minister

Hospitality of the Kingdom of God
Text: Mark 1:40-45

Mark’s gospel tells us the account of the cleansing of a leper. People often read past these stories because they think it was only intended to show the authority and/or deity of Christ. Some may even believe that the stories in the gospels are elementary and offer no meat. While Jesus does demonstrate His authority over disease and His deity, Mark may have something else in mind by including this story in the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Join us this Sunday and listen to an old story told in a new and fresh way.

July 22

Rick Cline

Words Have Power

Text: John 6:63-69

Words have power. Jesus’ words have greater power. Peter once said to Jesus, “You have the words of eternal life.” The words of Jesus bring forgiveness, grace, purpose, salvation, and more. Jesus’ words have power. How much time do we spend with those words? Do I hang on every word of Jesus, believing He has the words of eternal life?

July 15

Curtis Baker

“Peace, Perfect Peace”

Text: Isaiah 26:1-4

In our third week of looking at some of the great hymns of the faith, we come across a song that is somewhat unique. If it is sung the way it is supposed to be, the song is a call and response, with the beginning of each verse posing a question, and then the end answering that question. The primary question this song raises is whether or not we can find peace in this world as we know it. Circumstances would seem to indicate “no, we can’t”. But the book of Isaiah tells us that if we keep our mind steadfast on God, peace is attainable. Join us this Sunday as we explore how the song “Peace, Perfect Peace” came to be, and also what it can teach us today about our search for peace.

July 8

Curtis Baker

“When I Survey the Wondrous Cross ”
Text: Philippians 2:5-11

As we continue our look at some of the great hymns of the faith, this week we come across a song written in the midst of the worship wars of the 1700’s. You may have thought that the worship wars did not happen until the 1990’s, but it is not true. In the 1700’s, church music in England mostly consisted of dry call and response chants of the Psalms. A young Issac Watts was discouraged by this and set about to write music that would help lift the worshiper closer to heaven. Among his greatest hymns is “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross.” Join us this Sunday as we examine this great song, written to be a reflection leading us to the Lord’s Supper.

July 1

Curtis Baker

“Dear Lord and Father of Mankind”
1 Kings 19:9b-13

This Sunday we begin our new series on Great Hymns of the Faith. We start with the great song “Dear Lord and Father of Mankind.” This song, written by a Quaker, explores the meaning of silence in learning how to listen for the guidance of God. In a world that is fraught with emotional manipulation, an appeal to a quieter and calmer way is something of which to take note. Join us this Sunday as we take a look at this great hymn of the faith, and enjoy what it teaches us about our relationship with God.

June 24

Curtis Baker

“Why This Mission At This Time?”
2 Corinthians 4:1-6

For the last six months we have been examining the principles behind our new mission statement. With sermon series a piece on Loving God, Transforming Lives, and Sharing Jesus, we have now laid out before the congregation the leadership’s vision of how we are to move forward. But perhaps there is one last question to be asked: Why this mission at this time? Why these three things as opposed to something else. Join us this Sunday as we answer this important question, and bring our journey through our new mission statement to a close.

June 17
Curtis Baker

Sharing the Story that Unites Us All

Romans 5:18-19; 8:1-4

Over the last year we have had an emphasis on learning to “share your story.” The whole concept behind our Hope for Life event was built on this phrase. It is, of course, important for us to share our own story, but what really matters is getting an opportunity to share the story that is larger than us. But what is that story and how is it best told? Join us this Sunday as the Apostle Paul helps us understand the story that we are all a part of, and how we me might share that story with others.

June 10

Ben Zickafoose
CEO of Carpenter Place

Mission: Nurture deeply hurting girls to a restored relationship with God, family, and community.
History: Deep roots within the Riverwalk Church of Christ; and this is our 72nd year of rebuilding families and restoring lives- we would not have the legacy and heritage if it wasn’t for this congregation!
Currently Serving: We currently have 13 girls in our Christian Family Program. The girls we are currently serving come to us from Kansas, Ohio, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas.
Upcoming Events: Restoration Ride and Car Show is Sat June 2 at Carpenter Place (BBQ lunch will be $5 and all are welcome to come see the cars and bikes). Also, the Carpenter Place Classic golf event is on Monday June 11th at Sand Creek Station in Newton. You can find more information about these events on our website
Upcoming Summer Plans: We have chosen James 1:26-27 as our theme this summer. We will be looking at how we can teach the girls how they can be an influence to those around them. June 5-8 the girls will be part of Wichita Work Camp, and we are planning to go to Silver Maple Camp during 3rd session in July.
June 3

Eric Manlove

Devotions from the Front Porch

May 27

Curtis Baker

“Loving Others from the Sufficiency of God”

Text: 1 John 4:7-21

This week we move into the third and final phase of our new mission statement — Sharing Jesus. According to our expectations, Sharing Jesus has two elements within it: serving others in love, and sharing the gospel. This week we focus on what it means to love others in the name of God. But as we will find out, our ability to love is directly tied to the experience we have of the love of God. John tells us that we love others because God first loved us. Join us this Sunday as we explore what it means to Share Jesus with others through loving service.

May 13

Curtis Baker

“Transformation Completed in Death to Self”

Text: Galatians 1:13-17; 2:20

As we have been studying in this series on Transformation, we have seen two out of the three elements to experience deep inner change. First, we learned about the spiritual practices that we can take up in order cooperate with the transforming grace of God in our life. Then we saw how faith is essential to transformation, because we must trust God in order to allow Him to take us through what is necessary to increase our faith. In this week’s lesson, we add the third piece to this spiritual triangle: “death to self.” But death to self does not mean death of self. Join us this week as we look at what death to self really means, and how it too is something that only comes as a gift from God.

May 6

Chris Stewart

“Grace Works ”
Ephesians 1

Paul prays — keeps asking — that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. Paul prays that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know …

April 29

Curtis Baker

“Trust in God: The Key to Transformation”

Text: Job 1

For several weeks we have been looking at practices that will help us live into the life of easy obedience that Jesus promised. These practices do not make us righteous, but they open us to God’s grace which does a work of transformation within us. But along with these practices, there is one other vital element to a transforming life: Faith. However, faith has often become a religious word that is hazy in meaning. Perhaps a better word is “trust.” Join us this week as we learn from the story of Job how trust in God is key to our life of transformation.

April 22

Curtis Baker

“The Art of Spiritual Change”

Text: Ephesians 1:15-21; 4:17-24

Each week we are moving closer to understanding what it means to experience spiritual transformation. We started with the idea that everyone has a ruined soul and then discovered how Jesus invited us to the kind of life where obedience is easy and a way of rest. But what is our part in the transformation process? If we understand that God does the real change, how do we make ourselves open to that change? Like many areas of life, there is a certain art to spiritual transformation. Join us this Sunday as we explore our role in the changing of our lives.

April 15

Curtis Baker

“The Way of the Easy Yoke”

Text: Matthew 11:28-30

April 8

Curtis Baker

“Evil in the Ruined Soul”

Text: Romans 3:9-18

Over the last several months, we have learned that God does not base His affection for us on our performance. God accepts us where we are. However, the good news cannot end there. It must go on to acknowledge that God wants to see us transformed. This week we begin our look into the second phrase of our mission statement, “Transforming Lives.” But in order for transformation to take place, something must first happen in our hearts and minds. We must see the evidence of ruin in our own souls. Join us this Sunday as we look at the condition of the human soul, and see why transformation is needed by every single person.

April 1

Curtis Baker

God Resurrects!

Colossians 3:1-17

For the last several months we have been learning about the attributes of God in order that we might increase our love for Him. As our series reaches its finale on Easter morning, it is only right that we end by reflecting on the fact that God resurrects! God’s first great act of resurrection was His Son, Jesus Christ. But Paul tells us that we ourselves have been raised with Christ and, therefore, must learn to live into our new identity. Join us this Easter morning as we learn what it means to live as people with a resurrected identity!

March 25

Curtis Baker

God Transforms
John 15:1-11

We have learned over the last several weeks that God does not accept us based on our performance. When we turn to him in repentance, God accepts us right where we are. However, is it God’s intention to leave us there? No, God intends for us to be formed into the image of His Son. But that is not something we can accomplish on our own. It is something that God gives to us as a gift as we abide in Him. Join us this Sunday as we explore one of Jesus’ last teachings to His disciples: “Abide in me and I will abide in you.” Through our abiding, God transforms!

March 18

Curtis Baker

God Is Self-Sacrificing
Romans 5:1-19

Often times we have a picture of a split God. In our imagination we see a Father who is angry, wrathful, and bent on punishing people for their sin. But then there is also the Son, who is meek and mild, and who willingly steps in to take the Father’s wrath, so that now it won’t come upon us. But it this the right view of God? It is not, because God is not split. The God who is just, and must deal with sin, is also the same God who decided to take on human flesh so that he could absorb the penalty for all sin. God did this out of his great love for us. Join us this Sunday as we reflect on how God’s holiness and love can be held together. It is held together when we understand that God is “self-sacrificing.”

March 11
Curtis Baker

God Is Holy

Luke 14:15-24

For several weeks we have looked at some attributes of God that make us want to love him. We have explored his goodness, his trustworthiness, his generosity, and his love. Along the way we have emphasized that God’s care for us is not based on our performance. However, there is a balance to be had in this discussion of God. All of these things we have discussed only make their appropriate sense when it is combined with idea that is also “holy.” Join us week as week seek to understand what it means for God to be holy, and why his holiness is also good news.

March 4

Curtis Baker

God Is Loving

Luke 15:11-31

As we continue on with our look at the attributes of God, this week we come to one of the more well known ones – God is love. Most people known John 3:16 and quote “for God so loved the world”, and yet, often times when we think of God, we think that instead it should say something like, “God so hated the world and wanted to condemn it!” But as we take up the well-known parable of the prodigal son, we’ll attempt to see the story through the eyes of the Father. What we will discover is a Father who runs to his wayward children. Why? Why else, but that God is love!

February 25

Curtis Baker

God Is Generous

Deuteronomy 30:11-20

Almost every part of our life teaches us that we are rewarded based on our performance. Whether we are talking about our parent’s treatment of us as children, or the grades we earn in school, or the way we are evaluated in our job performance, life teaches us that we are treated based upon how we perform. Because this is true, it is hard not to assume that God treats us in the same way. However, Jesus once told a parable that counters this common belief. In this story Jesus paints for us the picture of a God who is absolutely generous. Join us this week as we explore how our relationship with God is not like any other relationship we have.

February 18

Curtis Baker

God is Trustworthy
Mark 14:32-42

Once it has been established that God is good, the next logical step is that God is worthy of our trust. And yet, how can we trust God when He allows us to endure such suffering? Jesus himself trusted His Father, and did so in the face of great suffering. In the Garden of Gethsemane, He laid down His own will as He trusted God to vindicate Him. Where did this trust come from? How did Jesus arrive at this trust? And perhaps most importantly for us, what might Jesus’ example teach us about how we are to trust God? Join us this Sunday as we take up the second aspect of God’s character ~~ God is Trustworthy.

February 11

Curtis Baker

God is Good
Ephesians 1:1-10

Often when we meet hardships in life, we become convinced that God is punishing us for doing something wrong. We wonder what we must do in order to make it right and worry about whether God is constantly upset with us. But is this the picture the Bible gives us of God? No … According to Jesus, God, the Heavenly Father, is “good”. He sends His rain on the righteous and unrighteous alike. He does not repay human beings with what they truly deserve.

Listen to Curtis as he deepens the idea of “Loving God” by learning that God is truly GOOD!

February 4

Curtis Baker

Sharing Jesus
Ezekiel 47:1-12

As we conclude the introduction of our Mission Statement ~~ Loving God ~~ Transforming Lives ~~ Sharing Jesus, this week`s sermon focuses on the third part, Sharing Jesus. Read Curtis’s blog about this third portion of the RiverWalk Church of Christ Mission Statement.

January 28

Chris Stewart

Every Kid Needs 5 Adult Fans

The second element in our new mission statement is “Transforming Lives.” This could be easily misunderstood. We do not believe that it is the church who will change anyone’s life, but as a congregation, we are committing to the practices, both corporate and individual, which will lead us to a transformative encounter with God. But what are these practices, and how can they be put to use in our life?

January 21

Curtis Baker

Transforming Lives
Romans 7:14-24

The second element in our new mission statement is “Transforming Lives.” This could be easily misunderstood. We do not believe that it is the church who will change anyone’s life, but as a congregation, we are committing to the practices, both corporate and individual, which will lead us to a transformative encounter with God. But what are these practices, and how can they be put to use in our life?

January 14

Curtis Baker

On Loving God

As we prepare to reflect on loving God in our sermon this Sunday, ask yourself a few important questions. What do I primarily think of when I think of God? Do I find God to be noble, beautiful, lovely, and praiseworthy, or do I find myself deeply troubled about God? Does my idea of God look like Jesus? What fills my mind throughout the week? What occupies my thoughts? What do the content of my thoughts reveal about me? These are important questions to reflect on.

Follow Curtis’s blogs as he delves more deeply into the message of loving, transforming and sharing.

January 7

Curtis Baker

Introduction of New Mission Statement

Over the last several months, the elders and ministers have prayerfully considered and developed a mission statement that they pray will be a source of guidance for moving us forward. The mission of the church has not changed from the ultimate mission statement that Jesus gave the Church when He told His disciples to go into all the world, preaching the gospel, baptizing believers in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything He had commanded them. The simple statement “Loving God … Transforming Lives … Sharing Jesus” reflects our leaders’ vision of how best to involve all members, all ages, all experiences in adopting the ultimate mission statement in our daily lives.

Join us weekly as this message is shared with us in sermons, Bible classes, and Life Groups. Learn how you can not only integrate this message in your own life, but how to share it with others who need the message of Christ and His salvation.

Also, follow Curtis’s blogs as he delves more deeply into the message of love, transformation and sharing.

December 17

Curtis Baker

“Do We Have Guardian Angels?”

Text: Psalm 91:9-16

One of the most commonly asked questions about angels is whether or not we have a guardian angel. Certain Christian traditions teach that we certainly do have one, while others remain more skeptical. But what does the Bible say about this important subject? Are we protected by angels? Join us this Sunday as we draw our advent series to a close and ask this very important question about the role of angels among us.

December 10

Curtis Baker

The Angels and God’s Story

Text: Genesis 28:10-16

Angels play a very important role in the Bible. When one takes a moment to examine redemptive history, we see that angels are involved at every important moment. Whether it was the confirmation of God’s promise through the patriarchs, the giving of the law to Moses, the announcement of the birth of the Messiah, or the final vision of things to come in the book of Revelation, angels were crucial to the deliverance of God’s salvation story. Join us this Sunday as we examine the angels’ role in the unfolding of God’s redemption.

December 3

Curtis Baker

“What Are Angels?”

Text: Hebrews 1:1-14

One of the simplest questions we can ask about angels is simply, “What are they?” Our culture gives us many different ideas about angels. Some think they are special spirit beings sent from God. Others think they are the blessed souls of those who have already passed from this life And still others see them as the cute and cuddly figures you often see on Hallmark cards. But what does the Bible tell us about the reality of angels? Join us this Sunday as we seek to answer this important question.

November 26

Curtis Baker

Can We Still Believe in Angels?

Text: Genesis 18:1-15

Can we still believe in angels today? Our modern world, which is absorbed with the idea of not believing in anything you can’t demonstrate or test, has trouble believing in such heavenly creatures. And yet, these beings play a very important role in the Biblical story. Join us this Sunday as we take up our first of four lessons on the angels. Do you believe that angels are among us?

Nov 19

Curtis Baker

Sermon Title: “The Importance of Persistence in Prayer”

Text: Luke 18:1-8

It is a well known fact that the best things in life come hard. It is no different when it comes to the subject of prayer. How does one really learn to pray? Books and technique advice can help, but when it comes right down to it, the only way you learn to pray is by actually praying, and praying persistently. In our last sermon on the subject of prayer, Jesus teaches us an important lesson on prayer. Using a parable of a poor widow faced with an obstinate judge, Jesus teaches His followers to “always pray, and never give up.”

November 12

Curtis Baker

Sermon Title: “The Problem With Prayer”

Text: Matthew 21:18-22

Of all the Bible’s teaching on prayer, the most baffling is Jesus’ often repeated idea that if you ask anything in His name, and believe that God will do, you will have what you have asked. Is this really true? On the one hand, the teaching comes directly from Jesus, so it must be true. And yet, our own personal experience seems to be quite the opposite? If Jesus had never said this, I don’t think we would have near the confusion about prayer that we seem to have. Join us this Sunday as we explore this mysterious teaching of Jesus.

Nov 5

Mission Sunday

Text: Matthew 10:7, 8, 16

When Jesus commanded His small team to begin evangelizing the world, He instructed them to be not only as gentle as doves, but also as wise as serpents. Whether we are reaching across the street or around the world, we are to share His word and message.

October 29

Curtis Baker

Sermon Title: “Going Deeper, Pt 4: Learning How to Listen to God”

Text: 1 Samuel 3:1-10

Learning how to talk to God is one of the most important elements of any Christian life. But what about the flip side of that? How about learning to listen? Could it be that learning to listen to God is just as important? If so, how might we learn to distinguish the voice of God as a source of guidance in our life? These are the questions we will take up this Sunday as we learn how to listen to God in prayer.

October 22

Curtis Baker

Sermon Title: “Going Deeper: The Art of Celebration”

Text: Deuteronomy 14:22-29

The religious life is a very serious thing. But can we at times be too serious? At the very least, can we forget that life with God is meant to be a life of joy and happiness? While the life of prayer is a very serious thing, God has historically commanded His people to take up activities of celebration to foster joy in their relationship with Him. Join us this Sunday as we explore the art of celebration as a means of enriching our life of prayer.

October 15

Curtis Baker

Sermon Title: “Going Deeper: The Practice of Solitude and Silence”

Text: 1 Kings 19:1-14

Last week we learned that one of the ways we can deepen our prayer life is through a regular practice of fasting. This week we are going to add another practice that assists us in prayer – the practice of silence. We live in a busy world with many distractions, but in order to hear from God, we must find ways of quieting our soul before God. God does not compete for our attention. We must purposefully pursue Him in the quiet of our closet. Join us this week as we examine how silence can deepen our prayer life.

October 8

Curtis Baker

Sermon Title: “Going Deeper: Adding Fasting to Our Prayer”

Text: Matthew 4:1-11

As we continue to think about the practicalities of how to pray, this week we move into one of several things that will help us deepen our prayer life. While it is not something that we have traditionally practiced very often, the Bible presents fasting as one of the key practices of the spiritual life. But why? What does fasting do for us? How does it affect our relationships with God? In what ways does fasting complement and enhance our prayers? We will consider these questions and more as we look at deepening our prayer life through fasting.

October 1

Curtis Baker

Sermon Title: “The Master Course: The Lord’s Prayer”

Text: Luke 11:1-4

Last week we took the “beginner’s course” on prayer as we learned that we could use the language of the Psalms and prayers from the history of the church to form, shape, and supplement our own personal prayers. This week we graduate up to the “master class” where Jesus teaches his disciples very specifically how to pray. But what are we to make of this prayer? Can we still use it today? I would argue that in this prayer Jesus has given us a template for how to arrange our requests. The prayer has five primary requests, and through it we learn how to ask our Father for all that we need. Join us this Sunday as we enter the master class on prayer.

September 24

Curtis Baker

Sermon Title: “Praying the Psalms and Prayers of the Church”

Text: Jonah 2:1-10

Have you ever found it difficult to pray? Do you grow tired of your long lists of requests, and feel guilty about not praying as often as you should? The struggle to learn to pray is one of hardest disciplines of the faith to master. However, we have not been left alone in our striving. God has left us free to experiment and try new things. But God has not left us without resources to teach us how to pray. He has given us Psalms and the prayers of the church to assist us. Join us this week as we learn about some of the tools God has given us to teach us how to pray.

September 17

Curtis Baker

Sermon Title: “Prayer as Training for Reigning”

Text: Matthew 7:1-12

We began our series on prayer by learning that the quality of our prayer and our relationships with God can have a direct effect on our power to do ministry. This week we are going to add an important question to that. What exactly is prayer? The Bible has several answers to that question, but one often overlooked teaching is the idea that prayer is training for our future reigning. God’s plan for us from the very beginning is that we would reign with Christ forever and ever. This life prepares us for that future, and prayer plays a primary role in our development. This week we will learn that one of the primary ways God trains us is through the art of “asking” and “receiving.” God intends our life to be in partnership with Him, using His power to accomplish what we are doing together. Join us this week as we explore the importance of “asking” God in prayer.

September 10

Curtis Baker

Sermon Title: “The Partnership of Evangelism and Prayer”

Text: Mark 9:14-29

This fall we once again have an emphasis on evangelism, as we prepare for our training with the Hope for Life event. However, will a new evangelistic strategy be enough to do the Lord’s work? I would suggest that it is not. So if evangelism is not enough, what is missing? PRAYER. This week we will explore a strange story in Mark, chapter 9, in which the disciples were prevented from doing ministry because of a lack of prayer. How does prayer go hand in hand with the power to do God’s work? Join us this Sunday to find out.

September 3

Curtis Baker

Sermon Title: “Faith and Deeds”

Text: James 2:1-26

One of the oldest debates in the Christian religion is the dispute over faith vs. works. Some try to say that this is a debate between Paul and James, and some have even gone so far as to say that the book of James does not belong in the New Testament. But is that really true? Are faith and works contrary to one another? I would contend that they are not, and if we are to truly understand what James or Paul has to teach on the subject, we have to see that faith and works are of the same substance. Join us this Sunday as we take up one of the most significant topics of the Christian religion, and learn how we can live a life of both faith and deeds.

August 27

Curtis Baker

Encounters with God, Part 9 – Ezekiel
“Can These Bones Live?
Ezekiel 37:1-14

Do you ever worry about the church today? With society going like it is, sometimes it is hard not to be pessimistic about the future, especially the future of the church. Ezekiel lived in a time when the people of God were a shadow of their former selves. False prophets were promising that “all would be well,” but Ezekiel was called to say something quite different. His preaching is sad, to say the least. However, will sorrow and depression have the final word? Can God’s people be resurrected? The message of Ezekiel is a definitive “yes!” The dry bones will live once again! Might the people of God learn something from those same words today?

August 20

Curtis Baker

Why Church Is Not Enough
Jeremiah 7:1-11

What is it that makes a person a truly good Christian? Sometimes we may be tempted to think that church attendance is the best barometer of faithfulness. No one would argue that it is not important, but the mistake has often been made among God’s people that worshiping in the right place and in the right way is the main indication of a right relationship with God. In Jeremiah’s day, people made the same mistake. They thought because they worshiped at the temple of the Lord that all was well between them and God. But Jeremiah showed them otherwise. Right worship is of no consequence if you don’t also have a right heart. As James says in his letter, pure and faultless religion is to look after orphans and widows and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

August 13
Curtis Baker

Encounters with God, Part 7
“I Am Ruined”

Text: Isaiah 6:1-8

Synopsis: Last week we spoke about the need to get quiet before the Lord, putting away for periods of time many of the things that distract us. However, if a person were to actually take up the practice, what might we expect to happen? One reliable thing is often we will become aware of who we really are before the presence of a holy God. This was Isaiah’s experience when the Lord called him to be His prophet. Isaiah was led into the temple of God where he saw a great and terrible vision of God on His throne. His response was to say, “I am ruined!” Many have become quiet before the Lord and discovered the same thing. But we have this promise from God ~ what He reveals He will heal. Join us this week as we learn from Isaiah’s encounter with God.

August 6

Curtis Baker

Encounters with God, Part 6 –
The Still Small Voice
1 Kings 19:1-12

Do you ever find yourself yearning to hear from God? Would you know His guidance if it came to you? Too much of the time we are unable to hear God’s voice because we are too busy or distracted to pay attention to God. We don’t make it a priority to get quiet and listen. What we are listening for is not a literal audible voice, but a communication of God’s presence to us. The story of Elijah reminds us that while there is much that can grab our attention to distract us, the people of God must position themselves to hear “the still small voice.”

Listen as we discuss how Elijah’s experience of God might teach us how to do that very thing.

Prayer request: That we might have the courage and conviction to intentionally seek the guidance of God.

July 30

Curtis Baker

Encounters with God, Part 5 – The Paradox of Prayer
1 Samuel 1:1-20

Have you ever been confused by the Bible’s various teachings on prayer? Jesus once said, “Ask anything in my name and you shall have it?” He also said, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘be tossed into the sea,’ and it will be so.” And yet, our experiences of prayer don’t seem to match that reality. Why is that so? This week we will examine the story of Hannah, which is a powerful story of a prayer offered and a prayer answered, but her story also raises the age old questions we have about our own prayer life. Join us this week as we examine together “the paradox of prayer.”

July 23

Tim Lewis

Doing the Right Thing
Philemon 4-7

Tim shared with us the story of Philemon and Onesimus and Paul’s letter of reconciliation.

July 16

Eric Manlove

Good, Good Father
Psalm 23

July 9

Curtis Baker

Encounters with God, Part 4: Lessons from the Wilderness

When one looks at the story of Moses, there are perhaps more opportunities than any other Biblical character to observe encounters with God. Perhaps the burning bush is the most famous encounter with God in all of history. But before Moses was ready to encounter God’s presence and mission for his life, first he had to go through “the wilderness.” For 40 years Moses labored in silence and solitude in the desert because he had tried to force God’s hand too early. Little did he know that God was using this time to prepare him for what was to come. Have you ever found yourself in the wilderness? Have you ever wondered if God has abandoned you. Perhaps, like Moses, God’s best for you is still to come. But that is only if we learn the lessons of the wilderness.

Exodus 2:11-25

July 2

Curtis Baker

Encounters with God, Part 3: “Until You Bless Me!”

All of us, at some time or another, encounter intense suffering in our life. Whether that suffering comes from our own bad choices or from circumstances beyond our control, we all have to learn how to live through it. Jacob brought about suffering in his life because of his own bad choices. And yet, despite his mistakes, he chose to cling to God. After a long night of wrestling, Jacob clung to God, refusing to let him go until he blessed him. The encounter changed his life. When we cling to God in our suffering, it can change our life as well.”

Text: Genesis 32:1-32

June 25

Curtis Baker

Encounters with God, Part 2: Clearing the Ancient Wells
Genesis 26:1-25

This Sunday, as we continue our look at various Encounters with God, we take up the life of Isaac. Not much is said about Isaac compared to his father Abraham or his son Jacob. However, despite the length of Isaac’s story, he was a man who encountered God in his life. One of the interesting notes about his story was how he cleared the ancient wells his father Abraham had originally dug. Could it be that there are some wells that are stopped up in our life, keeping the presence of God from flowing freely and powerfully through us? Join us this Sunday as we talk about what it takes to “Clear the Ancient Wells.”

The Sermon: Encounters with God, Part 2: Clearing the Ancient Walls

June 18
Curtis Baker

Help Our Unbelief
Mark 9:14-29

A father brings his son to Jesus for cleansing of an impure spirit. Jesus tells him that “everything is possible for one who believes.” The father’s response? “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief.” Join us as Curtis shares about fathers.

June 11
Curtis Baker

Encounters with God, Part 1: Abraham
Genesis 12

This begins our summer series of lessons on “Encounters with God”. We begin with Moses who had many close encounters with God over his lifetime. Our encounters with God may or may not be as dramatic as those experienced by Abraham. Although there is no cookie cutter approach to such encounters, there are similarities in the encounters we experience. How do we recognize them?

The Sermon:

May 28

Curtis Baker

Must We Choose Between Happiness and Holiness?

Here is an age old question: “Does God want us to be happy?” We are quite sure that God wants us to be holy, but many of us think that is something far different from happiness? But is there really a difference? Can we be truly holy without being happy? The dour reputation of some Christians often makes it look as if this is the case. But isn’t God also the most joyous being in the universe? And who could be holier than God? No one, of course…though some may try. This sermon will explore how the truly happy life is the truly holy life.

The sermon: Must We Choose Between Happiness and Holiness?

May 14

Curtis Baker

Salvation Begins with our Mothers

It’s Mother’s Day, and while I won’t preach a sermon specifically about mothers every year (or fathers on Father’s Day, for that matter), since this is my first year at RiverWalk I thought I would say something about the crucial role many of our mothers play. For many of us, it is likely true that we are a part of the church today in large part because of the influence of our mothers. This sermon will look at the unique and creative ways in which scripture teaches about the uniqueness of our mothers in the role of salvation.

The Sermon: Salvation Begins with our Mothers

April 30
Curtis Baker

Why Baptism?

Have you ever wondered by why God asks us to be baptized to enter into the Christian family? Members of the church of Christ have long emphasized the need for a person to be baptized to be saved, and rightfully so, for this is the teaching of scripture. But have you ever thought to ask the deeper question: Why did God choose baptism, out of all the available options, to be the means of initiating us into a state of grace and into the family of God known as the church? This sermon will explore the roots of baptism in the Old Testament to see why God chose this moving ritual to be a crucial step in our faith journey.

The sermon: Why Baptism?

April 23
Curtis Baker

Can a Christian Suffer from Depression?

Join us as Curtis shares his very personal struggle with depression several years ago, how he was able to overcome its debilitating effects with spiritual and medical guidance. And how he is able to use that experience to better minister to those wrestling with the same pain

This sermon’s blog

The sermon: Can a Christian Suffer From Depression?

May 7
Jim Fly

What’s In It For Me

Sometimes people have not yet accepted the Gospel story because they have not yet received enough information about “what’s in it for me?” To an experienced Christian, this may seem odd. We already know about the benefits of heaven. We know about protection by angels. We know about the value of love and fellowship with fellow believers. We know about the freedom from condemnation and the forgiveness of sins.

In 1 Peter 3: 15, Peter reminds Christians to “always be ready” to share reasons for our hope, and to do so with gentleness and reverence. The lesson on May 7th will offer thoughts on sharing what’s in it for us and for the other people of this world.

The sermon: Soil, Hope and What’s In It For Me?

June 4

Ben Zickafoose

Why Are You Here?

As the current CEO of Carpenter Place, Ben shares his view of the ministry provided to young women who are hurting in their lives and how RiverWalk has been a long-time partner in that ministry. Ben Zickafoose shared with us a two-fold message. First, a message of the 70-year bond between Carpenter Place and RiverWalk Church of Christ. No matter how many times the name of either mission for the body of Christ has changed over the years, the ties, both physical and spiritual, have always been and will continue to remain strong. And second a reminder of “Why Are We Here?” He will be basing his message on James 1:27.

The sermon:Carpenter Place

Board member announcements
Chris Purdum

Julie Scherz

Shellee Morrison

Liz Burr

Curtis Baker