Recent Sermons

Recent Sermons

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