Hammond Christian Reformed Church

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September 17th, 2017-The Mission of the Church in the World

As Christ's servant-soldiers, why are we here? Why doesn't Christ simply take the those who are saved by His blood out of this world? He has made it clear that this world is not our home; that we are strangers in a strange place. So why are we here.

We are here to fulfill the mission of the church. The church are believers around the world. Believers in Cameroon, Shanghai, Perth and Brussells. Believers striving to care for those in Mexico as they recover from the earthquake, to walk with those dealing with loss after the hurricanes. The church are those who seek to be the fragrance of Christ, ready to give a reason for our hope in Christ to those who are being drawn to Him.

Our mission is to make disciples, not in our own power but as those submitted to His Spirit to be salt and light in this darkened world that through our lives and testimony, we might win some.

Learn more about our mission in this world in this week's sermon, "The Mission of the Church in the World." Please review Matthew 28:16-20 before listening.

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September 10th, 2017-Growing Spiritually Through Prayer

Review Matthew 14:21-33 and Joshua 1:9 before listening.  

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September 3rd, 2017-The Subject of Fasting

Please review Matthew 6:16-18 before listening

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August 27th, 2017-Worry

We live in time.  We can't see the future and often ruminate on the past.  This can cause worry.  We worry that there won't be enough; enough money, time or opportunities.  We worry that there might be too much; too much pain, loss and grief.   Worry causes fear.   It causes doubt.  It causes stress that damages our bodies and overwhelms our mind.  So what does worrying get us?  Yet, it is so hard to stop.  

Jesus says, "Don't Worry."  But how can we do that?  Isn't worry just part of life?  According to the bible, it does not have to be.  When Jesus says
"Don't Worry," he also tells us why we never needed to worry and if we chose, never have to worry again.  Learn more about why in Christ, we have nothing to worry about in this week's sermon, "Worry."

Please review Matthew 6:25-33 before listening

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August 20th, 2017-Prayer is about God

Prayer is God focused.  Our prayers are focused on His character, plans and purposes.  We pray that God's name be hallowed; that His kingdom will come here on earth as it already has in heaven.  Our prayers focus God's glory because He has a right to be honored and praised.  We owe Him our service, obedience and submission because He is God Almighty.  Our praise is also founded in deep gratitude.  We want His name to shine in the heavens and earth.  We want others to bow with us before His throne in worship.  In our thankfulness for all He has done for us, we want others to call Him Lord.  He has made us His children through the merciful blood Jesus shed for our sins.  In fact, He asks us to call Him "Abba Father" to remind us that we are part of His family.  Prayer gives us the opportunity to honor the Lord of all for all that He is.

Learn more about prayer and our focus on God in this week's sermon, "Prayer is about God.  

 

Please review Luke 11:1-4 before listening.

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August 13th, 2017-Prayer Begins with God

What is prayer all about? It's about God! Now let me back up. God doesn't need our prayers. We were made to praise the Lord, it's true but not because God can't exist without us. We praise the Lord because He deserves praise and that in our praise, we remember all that we have. All that we have in times of pain, struggle, fear and doubt. Praise reminds us of how big God is and how close. It reminds us of who He is and how much He loves us.

Prayer begins with God and ends with freedom to rest and worship Him because we have been reminded of what a mighty God we serve.

Learn more about God and prayer in this week's sermon, "Prayer Begins with God."

Please review Matthew 6:9-10 before listening.

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August 6th, 2017-The Kind of Prayer God Desires

Sweet hour of prayer-the joy of communing with a loving Father. But is it always that way? Sometimes, a believer's prayers are fraught with striving, painful tears, guttural cries of fury or deep, wrenching despair. What then makes every moment of prayer sweet? It is the opportunity to chat with a Holy God who asks us to call Him "Abba-Father." Through prayer, we gain a growing understanding of who He is and what His will is for us and for the world around us. In prayer, He draws us closer to Him and reveals His heart for us. How sweet it is.

How then does God want us to approach His throne when we bow before Him to pray? Learn more in this week's sermon, "The Kind of Prayer God Desires."

Please review Matthew 6:5-15 before reading.

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July 31st, 2017-Easier Said than Done

Please review Deuteronomy 30:1-20 before listening.  

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July 23rd, 2017-The Kind of Giving God Desires

God gives us everything. He gives us life, resources, strength, wisdom and comfort, even when we don't even acknowledge His existence. For those who know Jesus, He gives so much more. From an eternal place with Him to Christ's intersession on our behalf, He covers us totally with His everlasting love.

What do we give to Christ in return? God said, "If I was hungry, I wouldn't ask you! I own cattle on a thousand hills." So since God needs nothing, why does He ask us to give?

Learn more about giving in Christ's name and for His purposes, in this week's sermon, "The Kind of Giving God Desires."

Please review Matthew 6:1-4 before listening.

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July 16th, 2017-Dont Move the Ancient Boundary Stone

Remember when we were kids? We liked to push the boundaries. Many of us still do. In situations in which boundaries have been set based on sinful motives, goals and attitudes, those boundaries should not only be pushed. They should be destroyed. However, Christ’s boundaries as set in His word are always righteous. His boundaries are designed to guide us, gather us together under His holy banner and protect us f...rom ideas, behaviors and situations that pull us away from perfect will of God.

Breaking Christ’s boundaries open our lives to Satan’s deception, the world’s foolishness and man’s broad road to destruction. Christ’s boundaries are like a fence, keeping us close to Him and safe from harm while keeping the dangers of an unsaved world on the other side.

What are God’s boundaries and how do they impact your life? Learn more about God’s words and the boundaries He sets in this week’s sermon, “Don’t Move the Ancient Boundary Stones.” Please review Proverbs 22:17-28 before listening.

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July 9th, 2017-Ask for the Ancient Paths

God's word is our sanctuary. He lays out truths to comfort, guide and protect us. Yet so often we question God's purposes. We chaff against His righteous will and resist His sovereign right to expect our total obedience. Even through our willful disobedience, Christ seeks to care for us and through his atoning grace, make our paths eternally straight.

How do we find Christ's holy path and why should we struggle to follow Him... along these ancient roads? Learn more about Christ's ancient wisdom in this week's sermon, "Walk in the Ancient Paths."

Please review Jeremiah 6:9-21 before listening. 

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July 2nd, 2017-The Ancient of Days

Being ancient is a title that most of us will never achieve.  It means being here from the beginning and before.  God describes Himself as the Ancient of Days.  He is eternal, immortal, all powerful and all wise.  He is the great I AM. 

Learn more about the only wise God who is from age to age, always the same in this week's sermon, The Ancient of Days.  Please review Daniel 7: 1-14 before listening. 

 

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June 28th, 2017-Remember Lot's Wife

Lot's Wife was unique.  Jesus rarely mentioned specific people in His warnings.  We don't know her name but her story is damning.  The fact that she was exposed to the blessings of God yet turned back to morn the life she left in Sodom is a tale that should make us sit up and take notice.  Have we experienced God's blessings only to turn away?  Have we heard the truth of salvation, experienced the conviction of the Spirit and still won't accept Christ's grace? 

We don't know what will happen tomorrow or in the next 10 minutes.  Are we like Lot's Wife?  Have we tasted and seen that God is good yet we still stand at the door, listening to Jesus knock but refusing His call?

Learn more about this cautionary tale in this week's sermon, Remember Lot's Wife.  Please review Luke 17:20-37 before listening. 

 

 

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June 11th, 2017-My Father's Hands

When I was a kid, I spent summers with my grandfather.  I remember his face with smiling eyes.  I remember the hats over every description that he sported year round.  I remember his words of wisdom of which there were so many.  More than anything, I remember his hands; gnarled from years of work; weathered and calloused.  I held his hand in full confidence, knowing they would go to the ends of the earth to help and care for me and that they would protect me with everything they had.  Those hands were a lifeline and symbol of love to me.  Walking down tree lined streets, he took my hand as I closed my eyes, skipping along with the sun in my face.  Even with eyes closed, I could sense the sun's bright light with slices of shade from the shadowy trees.  If I tripped, his hand pulled me up.  Before any crack in the street, his hand lifted me up and over.  The grandfather's hand kept me safe even when I wasn't aware and allowed me to rest and enjoy the delights of the day.

God is our father.  His hands reach for us through salvation and lift us up.  They care for our souls and annoint our bodies for service and fellowship with Him.  Though we can't always see His purposes, His hand of love and concern is always present, holding our lives in his palm.

Learn more about God the father in this week's sermon, "The Father's Hand."  Please review Psalm 145: 9-21 before listening.  

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June 4th, 2017-The Benefits of Pentecost

Spirituality. Can you dig it? Do you second that emotion? Do you have that loving feeling? These sayings may sound good and have certainly resulted in amazing musical masterpieces but they are not a reflection of what spirituality truly is. Spirituality or being "in the Spirit" is not an emotion. It is a biblical based, God ordained state of being based on the covering of Christ's blood and the presence of His Holy Spirit.

Being filled with the Spirit is the result of a believer's submission to Jesus Christ. Before one can be filled, however, they must have the presence of the Holy Spirit and that happens when a person accepts Christ as their savior from sin.

On the day of Pentecost, the third member of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit began a new ministry; living permanently in the souls of those who are saved by the blood of the Lamb. Before this time, the Holy Spirit's ministries did not include living within the believer because God needed to send a Savior to pay for our sins before the Spirit could live within. Cleansed by the blood, the Spirit can now remain, filling those who believe in Christ with all wisdom, power and understanding when we submit ourselves to His leading. What a fellowship! That power includes a boldness to reach others for Christ and stand firm against the wiles of Satan who wants to nullify our message by dragging us down in sin and selfishness.

Does the Spirit's presence that make us God? Absolutely not? The presence of the Spirit is a spiritual seal, guaranteeing the promises of eternality, unity and blessing God has offered those who believe. Believers are members of the body of Christ, commissioned as soldiers, bought from the slave markets of sin to be children of God and servants before the most High. The Spirit's presence is evidence of these truths.

The question is what can the Spirit do through our lives to glorify the Almighty? To draw all people to Himself? To bring praises to His Holy name? Ask not what the Spirit can do for us! Ask what the Spirit can do through a submitted life to glorify the King of Kings....Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ!

Learn more about the Spirit, his ministry and the believer's life in the Spirit in this week's sermon, "The Benefits of Pentecost."

Please review Acts 2: 1-4; 14-21; 37-41

 

 

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May 14th, 2017-Three Marks of the True Church-Church Discipline

One of the hardest parts of being a parent is disciplining our children. The sad business of instituting limits, setting boundaries, applying punishments and allowing consequences brings tears to many of our eyes. Yes without a clear moral path, our children will become babes in a very dangerous wood. Peace will escape them as they ignore the eternal in favor of earthly achievements which will quickly fade away. The world is happy to teach our children to pray, who God is, what the bible says and how to live "the Christian life." If we do not hold fast to the truths of the bible and ask our children to do the same, they will wander away into the world's version of truth which will leave them frustrated and confused. Discipline keeps our children focused and clear.

If we are believers, God is our parent. He has adopted us into His family through the sacrifice His son made for our sins. As His children, He is going to redirect us, guide and discipline us and He does this through church authority. He gives the church the responsibility and the privilege to help believers remain on track and to draw them back if they go astray. Discipline is God's way of doing this and He does this for the same reasons we discipline our children; out of love.

Elders are commissioned to care for the flock. This includes discipline. But discipline is not designed to bully or to break the person but to restore them to fellowship. Discipline is designed to wake a person up to Christ's directives and to guide them back to obedience for their benefit. Discipline's ultimate goal is to draw a person back to the fold and help him or her to walk in the light. Discipline is a private matter, between those who are wounded and those who have wounded and it is something that as family members, we do in love. Not to expose to but alert. Not to commend but to draw back in. Discipline is the way back to a place of rest and peace.

What is discipline to you? Learn more about the blessing of God's discipline in this week's sermon- The True Marks of the Church-Christian Discipline.

Please review Matthew 16:19; 18:15-20 before listening.

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May 7th, 2017-The Three Marks of the Church: The Sacraments

When we smile, that is an outward sign of what is happening inside us. Whether a smile of joy, irony or amusement, it is a reflection of our internal thoughts. So is a furrowed brow, tears running down our cheeks or a deep sigh. These are outward signs of what is happening in our souls.

According to Augustine, the sacraments are visible signs of an invisible grace. Infant baptism is a sign that the church has committed to seek God's face for a child's salvation and reflect to that child what it looks like to walk with the Lord. Communion is a sign that helps us remember what Christ did on the cross. The bread and wine are outward signs of our recognition that because of Christ's bruised body and shed blood, we who have accepted Him have an eternal place with Him.

What do the sacraments mean to you? Are they just rituals without connection or personal meaning or have you committed your life to the invisible truths behind these visible signs.

Learn more about the Sacraments in this week's sermon and how these signs can represent real change in our lives.

Please review Matthew 28:16-20 before listening.

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April 30th, 2017- The Three Marks of the True Church-The True Preaching of the Word (The Content of the Message)

Content. No matter what we are doing, the content of it is more important than the facade. We may see the most beautifully frosted cake in the world but what about the taste? We may visit the most architecturally sophisticated university in the world but what about the teaching? We may work for the richest company in the world but is their work based on moral integrity? Content...that is the foundation upon which every every presentation rises or falls.

When we seek the true preaching of the word, what is the content? Is it based on what God has said in His word, the Bible or what we say about His word in books, articles and commentaries? Is it centered on Christ or on our opinion? Are passages understood according to their context or do we apply God's word to our own circumstances without understanding in what context God is speaking?

Let's learn more about what we should be looking for when we evaluate what is being preached in this week's sermon, "The True Preaching of the Word-The Content of the Sermon. Please review II Timothy 4: 1-5 before listening.

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April 23rd, 2017-The Three Marks of the True Church-Part 1

What are the three marks of the True Church?  One of these marks is the pure preaching of the Word. Without addition or subtraction, God's true church preaches Christ crucified and salvation through the acceptance of His death on the cross as our only means to be saved from the consequences of our sins.  Jesus alone is the only source for salvation.  If the church is following God's word, that is what is preached.  Learn more about Jesus and the gospel of salvation in this week's sermon, "The Three Marks of the True Church-The Truth Preaching of the Gospel."   

Please review II Timothy 4:1-5 before listening.  

 

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April 9th, 2017- EXTREME Glory

Rocks on the ground.  Not very glamorous.  But did you know they could speak!  Jesus said so.  He said,  I tell you, if these (the crowd) become silent, the stones will cry out!”  They would cry out because Jesus deserves our praise.

Jesus has been glorified by the Father because that is His due.  He humbled himself, taking on the flesh of man to die for sins that He did not commit.  He did this for us that we might have an opportunity to stand before His throne, praising Him forever.  In response to this great, undeserved gift, let us bow before Him, admit our sins and accept Christ's death as our only means to be saved.  Let us bow before Him, crying, "Hosanna, Almighty God in the highest, we worship you because you are the only God and you deserve our praise."

Learn more about Jesus and the glory He deserves in this week's sermon, EXTREME Glory. Please review John 12:20-36 before listening.

 

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April 2nd, 2017-Extreme HUMILIATION

God. When you think of God, what do you envision? A lamb, being slain? When you think of God, what comes to mind? A man, beaten and bruised, naked, hanging on a cross? Isn't God is all powerful, all knowing, all seeing? Isn't He mighty, sovereign, above all, eternal and holy? Then why did Jesus Christ , in very nature God, come to earth as a man, live among sinners and die a criminal's death although he never sinned? Because of His great love for us.

Christ stepped out of His rightful place as Lord to serve man by dying for the sins they committed. He became a sin offering for those who defied Him as he did it. He humbled Himself that we may be eternally saved.

Learn more about the humiliations Christ suffered that we may have rest in Him in this week's sermon, Extreme HUMILIATION.

Please review Philippians 2:1-11 before listening.

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March 26th, 2017-Extreme MERCY

Mercy-compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one's power to punish or harm. That's Webster's definition. It is also Christ's.

At our worst, when we stomped our feet before His throne and mocked His rightful place as King, God made a decision to send His only son, Jesus into this world to die for our open rebellion. When we were enemies of Christ, He sacrificed His life on the cross for our choice to sin against Him and His word. What amazing mercy.

We can't even show mercy when it's obvious that others need it. Could we give our lives for someone who spits upon us and keeps on walking. Very unlikely. Can we then, expect to truly understand what mercy God has extended to us through salvation? The beauty of God's great mercy, however, is that we don't have to understand it to accept it.

Learn more about Christ's unbelievable mercy in this week's sermon, Extreme MERCY.

 

Please review Matthew 27:15-26 before listening

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March 19th, 2017-Extreme SACRIFICE

As human beings, we are so changeable.  One day, we want to do this.  The next that.  Our level of commitment often changes with the wind, even to those with whom we are most close.  Especially in the face of hurt, anger, humiliation or betrayal, we will walk away from just about anyone or anything.  Not so with Jesus.  From the beginning of time, The father determined that Christ would die on the cross to save that prisoner of sin, us.  Though we stood in hostility and rebellion against Him, He extended his nail scarred hand of grace to a wounded, pitiful world.  This is Sacrifice.  He sacrificed not only His life on the cross but His right to justice by offering eternal time through His shed blood to His enemy, mankind.  Knowing this, how will you respond?

Learn more about Christ's EXTREME Sacrifice in this week's sermon.  Please review John 13:1-17 before listening.

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March 12th, 2017- Extreme COMMITMENT

Our modern culture resists commitment.  We don't want to live anywhere for very long.  Work anywhere for very long.  Keep friendships and relationships for very long.  Why?  Because we want to be free.  We don't want to be bound by anyone or anything.  But can we really live in this world without committing to the ideas, activities and people we hold dear? We offer our opinions, protestations and soliloquies quite readily.  But what part of our day to day privileges, freedoms and opportunities are we willing to sacrifice for what we claim to believe?

Christ made the ultimate commitment.  He gave His life that we might live eternally with Him.  His was a painful journey of horrible loss just to gain a position before God's throne for us.  His commitment to us never ends, even to covering our sins with His blamelessness, inviting us into His family and placing our daily needs at God's feet.  

As believers, what is our commitment to Christ?  He asked for our life in return for His.  He asks that we submit our bodies as living sacrifice, ready to serve and suffer for His sake.  Are we ready?  Are we focused on living our lives to honor and glorify Him?  Let's learn more about a life committed to the the things of God in this week's sermon, Extreme COMMITMENT.  Please review Mark 8:27-35 before listening

 

http://www.hammondcrc.org/ministries/studytools.cfm

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March 5th, 2017-Extreme NEED

Sermon of the Week: Extreme NEED

Man.  What a concept.  What an amazing creation we are!  The idea that given the delicate balance of chemical reactions, the human body behaves so efficiently most of the time is phenomenal.  The fact that a spongy set of swirls called the brain controls everything from our bodily functions to the higher ideas of courage, love and faith is beyond belief.  More unbelievable is that though we are so wonderfully made, our lives are steeped in selfishness, greed, hatred and lust.  Though God made us with His own mighty hand, we choose to reject Him and turn our faces towards the very things that destroy our bodies, minds and souls.

So what now?  Can we save ourselves?  Can we change ourselves? No!  Even our efforts to change seem fruitless. Even our attempts to do good are secretly fraught with personal gain and self seeking.  Everything we do has the stain of self. We are swallowed by our mistakes and confused by the evil around us.  We are helpless to fix the problem of our own sin and that of the world around us.  What then, is the answer?

Jesus Christ.  

God reacted to our extreme NEED to be saved from our sins with Jesus Christ .  He knew we couldn't save ourselves so He sent the Jesus to die for our sins and raised Him from the death that those who accept Christ as their savior can live eternally too.  

Are you tired of the muck and mire? The sense of hopeful rushing to the next thing that might bring joy only to find emptiness and pain? Learn more about God's reaction to our helpless state in this week's sermon, 'Extreme NEED.'  Please review Romans 5:6-18 before listening.  

 

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February 26, 2017-God's Unfailing Faithfulness

Life changes.  Sometimes it's scheduled but most of the time, the changes are drastic, immediate and out of the blue.  Is there anything that remains the same.  One perfect name: Jesus.  Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.  Learn more about the eternal Sabbath rest that can only be found in Christ's saving grace in this week's sermon, "God's Unfailing Faithfulness."  Please review Lamentations 3 before listening.

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February 19th, 2017-The Power of Prayer
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February 12th, 2017-Big Shoes and Little Feet
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February 5th, 2017-Trembling before the Holiness of God
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January 29th, 2017-Peace in the Midst of the Storm
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January 22, 2017- Snakes on the Plain
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January 15th, 2017-Mutiny in the Desert

The cost to be the Boss. Would would that be? In the world's eyes, it depends on who appears to be the strongest; who can push their way to the front of the pack and capture the golden ring of authority. With Jesus, it is that one who will bow his head in humility and serve Him with obedience. As Jesus said, the one who leads is the servant of all. God chooses His leaders, not based on their talents and abilities but on His purposes. He looks upon His servants and chooses as he wishes, regardless of what we think or see. And when He chooses, our response is to trust Christ and obey unless that authority demands allegiance to that which resists or denies the word of God. Not liking the person is irrelevant.

Have you been chosen to lead? If so, do you rest in Christ's purposes and trust that He who has chosen you will give you the ability to stand in His name. What type of leadership you offer to those who follow you and to whom are you leading them?  Has God placed a person in power whom you would not have chosen?  What is your response to God's rightful expectation that we trust Him?  

Learn more about God's leaders and our biblical response to them in this week's sermon, "Mutiny in the Desert." Please read Numbers 16 before listening.

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January 8th, 2017-I Spy with My Little Eyes

Depending on our experiences, we can interpret the same situation very differently.  When there is snow on the ground, some may remember that fall; that broken leg and begin to fear.  Some may remember the winter holiday with family and smile.  Our experiences often determine our reactions.  If we remember who Jesus is and what He has done in our lives, we can move forward without fear knowing that He is who He says He is.  But if we choose doubt; if we choose bitterness; if we choose to push our experience with Christ aside and succumb to anxiety, we will always fear, always doubt, always seem to wander.  Faith doesn't take a foothold because we choose to ignore what we know about God and trust in Him.  

Do we trust God?  Do we choose to remember our experiences with His grace when times are tough? Do we allow new challenges to wipe our memories clean or do we fall back on our history with God and rest in Him?  Learn more about seeing through our experiences with God in this week's sermon, "I spy with my Little Eyes."  Please review Numbers 14 before listening.

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January 1st, 2017-The Sin of a Critical Heart

Barry had one shoe. As he hopped into the park on one leg, he spied man sitting on a bench near the park entrance, "Oh, I only have one shoe. Why has God done this to me?, Barry wailed.   "Everyone else has two shoes. Some people even have more than one pair. Why do they get things when I don't? Is that fair?"   The man on the bench sighed and responded, "Here, you can have one of my shoes." Barry blinked with surprise and stared at this man, "Why would you give up one of your shoes?" The man smiled and answered, "What can I do with two shoes? I only have one foot." Barry looked down at the man's foot and sneered, "That's true. So why did you take two shoes in the first place?!"

Many of us are never satisfied, even with God's provision.  Humility is a door most of us never approach. We think we have a right to God's grace and accuse Him of not being gracious enough. Why do we feel this way? Because of a wrong view of who we are.

How do we develop an honest view of who we are and what God has really done for us? Learn more about Christ's view of us and how we can walk in His reality in this week's sermon, "The Sin of a Critical Heart."

Please review Numbers 12: 1-12 before listening.

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December 25th, 2016-Good News!

Sermon of the Week: Good News!

 

Any good news this week? A new baby born? A new job? New puppy? Have you ever noticed that most of our "good news" is about something new, exciting, and different.

 

What about the realization that someone older than time itself offers new life and life abundantly. Jesus Christ, the eternal God, entered time and space to die on the cross for our sins. Each of us. Sin that we could not pay for ourselves. That's very good news. Want more? If we accept His death as our only source of forgiveness, we will live eternally with Him.

Don't believe it? Don't just turn away! Learn more about Jesus, who He is and what He has done to set free those who place their trust in Him. Now that good news that will last forever.

Listen to our Christmas day sermon, "Good News!" and be blessed! Please review Isaiah 40:9-11 before listening.

 

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December 11th, 2016-Do You Hear the Cry?

In these dark, uncertain times, who has the Lord commissioned to cry out to those who will hear His message? Is someone beckoning to you to enter into Christ's Sabbath rest? Who are you crying out to in order to draw them near to His throne?

Jesus is the only answer to the woes of this world. To its empty promises, disparaging circumstances. To its overwhelming sin. Jesus is the only salvation from eternal death. And Christ has called His people, those who believe in Him to herald that call.

As the body of Christ, are we the comforters of the world? Are we the heralders of His truth? Will those who walk into heaven or those who reject His call be able to point to us as one of the ones who showed them the Way?

Learn more about Christ's purposes for His people as part of the harvesting of souls in this week's sermon, "Do You Hear the Cry?"

Please review Isaiah 40:6-8 before listening.

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December 4th, 2016-Prepare the Way of the Lord

Oswald Chambers said that it is only a faithful person who truly believes that God sovereignly controls his circumstances but most of us take our circumstance for granted, saying God is in control. We don't live as if we believe it.

As we, as believers, stand as servants and high priests before a unbelieving world, our comfort comes from knowing that God is on the throne of our hearts and we are committed to His purposes until He returns for His people.

Oswald Chambers ends with this thought: The goal of faithfulness is not that we will do work for God, but that He will be free to do His work through us. God calls us to His service and places tremendous responsibilities on us. He expects no complaining on our part and offers no explanation on His part. God wants to use us as He used His own Son.

Is God free to use us in anyway He chooses because we know that our Redeemer lives? Are we ready to prepare the way for Him on every path upon which He places us? Learn more about preparing the way in this week's sermon, "Prepare the way of the Lord."

Please review Isaiah 40:3-5 before listening

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November 27th, 2016-When the Comfort of God Comes

We live in a wounded world; people sin against each other every day. We are wounded by the results of our sins or the results of those who have sinned against us. Like zombies, we walk with hearts protected by the armor of resistance, shielding ourselves from pain, disappointment and shame. Yet, our souls still remain raw, reacting to ever supposed slight or snare with hot tears born of wounds that never truly heal.

That is why Christ died for us.

He looked at our broken, sinful lives with compassion. Compassion for our circumstances. For our lost souls and dying hearts. Through the mercies of Christ's death and resurrection, He took our hearts of stone and made them flesh. Flesh eternal, burnished by the fires of strengthen trials and marked by the Holy Spirit as sons and daughters of God. Do we realize what God's comfort truly means? Do we rest upon God's promised comfort and know that for those who believe, it is ours at the asking?

Learn more about God's comfort in this week's Hammond Christian Reformed Church's sermon, "When the Comfort of God Comes".

Please review Isaiah 40:1-2 before listening.

http://www.hammondcrc.org/ministries/studytools.cfm

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November 24th, 2016-An Attitude of Gratitude

When we say "Thank You," what does it really mean?  After years of Mommy and Daddy chiding us to "Say thank you," it's more of an automatic response than a realization of God's tender mercies.  So do we even know how much God does for us day to day?  Are we clear on the grace we constantly receive?

And through the difficulties of life, can we recognize Christ's hand of hope and provision, even if only to help us survive the pain this sinful world heaps upon us all.  Learn more about the mercies of God in our everyday circumstances and how Christ's life, death and resurrection offer everylasting hope to the world in this Thanksgiving sermon, "An Attitude of Gratitude."  Please read Luke 17 before listening.  

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November 20th, 2016-The Beauty of the LORD

This world demonstrates Christ's glorious beauty.  We can look at nature and see just a touch of God's magnificence.  But can the beauty of the LORD be seen in His children? In His body?  When those seeking Christ walk through our chapel doors; when they watch us at work, in our neighborhoods and  at play, do we reflect the beauty of Christ?  Does our life shine with his soft, yet penetrating light so that others are drawn to Him?

Learn more about Christ's beauty and how our lives can reflect it in this week's sermon by guest pastor, Donald Jabaay, "The Beauty of the LORD."  Please review Psalm 90 before listening.

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November 13th, 2016-Wanting More and More

To covet. According to the bible, it means to want something excessively to the point that it becomes our primary focus. There is nothing wrong with wanting something but when it becomes an obsession or rather, when it becomes something we must have to be content, it can destroy us. We live in a society that is saturated with the idea that we must have more of what this world offers to be at peace. The word of God says just the opposite. Ultimately, nothing satisfies except our fullness and rest in Jesus. As believers, we know this but how does this truth become a reality in our lives and minds.

Learn more about coveting, what it can do to our lives and how to focus on Christ as our Sabbath rest in this week's sermon, Wanting More and More.

Please review Numbers 11:4-10, 18-23, 31-34 before listening.

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November 6th, 2016-The Wilderness of Grumbling

Murmuring has a particular sound.  If you get a bunch of people together and make a murmuring sound, it sounds just like discontentment.  And that is what it is.  It is a bitter, frustrated spirit of malcontention with no effort to improve or accept the situation and God hates it.  Why?  Because grumbling spirits display a lack of trust in God's purposes and an unwillingness to bring our concerns to His throne.  It's a lack of humility that wants to demand a certain something without seeking God's face to know His will.  We don't believe God can take care of us and we don't like the way He does it when He does.  In the eyes of a grumbling spirit, God is failing and that is an attitude God finds offensive.  Do we have respect God's sovereignty or do we expect Him to jump at our demands?  Are we prepared to seek God's grace for contentment with whatever He provides or are we forever complaining before His throne.

Learn more about God's view of a grumbling spirit in this week's sermon, "The Wilderness of Grumbling."  Please review Numbers 11 before listening.  

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October 30th, 2016-Making Our Hearts a Home for God's Word

Authority.  What is it?  Who has it?  Although we all seek a certain level of authority, Christ has it as a matter of course.  Because He's God.  And His word has authority because they are from the lips of the Almighty.  Do we immerse ourselves in the word of God that we may walk in His wisdom and power?  Learn more about God's word in this week's sermon "Making our hearts a home for God's word."  Please review Psalm 119 before listening.

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October 23rd, 2016-One Heart and Mind

Those who know Jesus Christ as their only means of salvation from sin are part of the Body. Described in the word of God, the Body encompasses all believers with Christ as their leader or head. As His Body, if we pray according to Christ's word, we experience His power.

Often, we look around this world and fold with frustration. Maybe that's because we focus on our personal fears rather than God's will. Or because we try to reach for Christ's purposes through the world's resources, methods and procedures. Satan loves to scare us with wars and rumors of wars then separate us into factions, seeking our personal safety through worldly means. When our prayers seem to bounce off Heaven, Satan loves to blame God by saying, "Why isn't God helping you? You prayed, didn't you?" He loves to set our focus on day to day struggles then accuse God of not caring enough to intervene. That's because Satan knows something we often forget. When we focus our prayers on Christ's eternal will, we have power. Satan doesn't want the God's people to pray for God's will His way because through our prayers, God opens our eyes to what He is really doing around us. Open eyes mean Satan's eventual doom.

If we want to experience God's power to change the world around us, we have to seek His will. And seek it His way-through prayer. Prayer moves mountains. It calms the waves of the sea. Prayer heals. It raises kings and topples kingdoms. Prayer reaches the ears of a Holy God and asks the eternal One to crash into time. Prayer conquers evil with one little word-Jesus. Prayer opens our eyes to God's deep love for us and His eternal plan that can not fail. For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God's children.

Learn more about the power, purpose and position of prayer in the lives of a unified Body in this week's sermon, "One Heart and Mind."

Please review Acts 4:32-37 before listening.

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October 16th, 2016-When God's People Pray

When we raise our voices to Jesus, who leads the way?  Is it our goals, interests and hopes or is it biblical truth and His plans for our future in Christ?  The prayers of the saints have power but only if they have God's purpose.  Are we seeking the Spirit's guidance as we kneel before the King?  One pastor said that prayer is asking an eternal God to crash into time.  The major question is therefore, whose time are we on?; ours or His.  Learn more about the work of the Holy Spirit in our prayer life in this week's sermon, "When God's People Pray: Prayer and the Work of the Holy Spirit."  

Please review Acts 4:23-32 before listening.

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October 2nd, 2016-Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things

We read about miraculous things in the Old and New Testament and wonder why God isn't mighty anymore. Why isn't God parting seas, healing lepers and raising the dead to life again? Yet, isn't salvation the greatest miracle in all eternity; that Jesus, 100% man and 100% God, would reach into history to die for such as us. That Jesus, the Lord almighty, would clothe himself in frail humanity to rescue our souls from the slave markets and death sentence of sin.

We look for the miraculous like gawkers at a circus. When is God going to dazzle me next? But is that God's purpose in miracles; to entertain us? Isn't His purpose to show Himself mighty so that we might bow before Him and recognize His right to rule? Through salvation, He eternally bends our souls to His will that we may call Him Lord. But here's the most unbelievable part. He so graciously also gives us the right to call Him "Abba, Father." Isn't that amazing! That such as we may, through the precious blood of Jesus, clutch the hand of the Almighty, as children of the Everlasting Father...Prince of Peace. And who does Christ use to reach people with this message of salvation, kinship and peace? Those who know Him. His people. Us. Through the submitted, committed life of the believer, Christ's miracle of salvation is spoken and lived that others may be drawn by His light.

Learn more about how Christ reaches into ordinary lives with His extraordinary purposes and plans in this week's Hammond Christian Reformed sermon, "Ordinary People doing Extraordinary Things."

Please review Acts 3-4 before listening.

 

 

 

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September 25th, 2016-The Character of Christ

Please review Colossians 1:15-20 before listening.

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September 18th, 2016-Joshua and Jesus

It takes courage to be a believer in this day and age.  If we follow the word of God and stand as a servant of the Most High, we will be persecuted, ostracized, isolated and held in suspicion.  That is what Jesus told us when he said, "In this world, you will have tribulations.  But do not fear for I have overcome the world."  

Are you an overcomer?  Are you one who has committed to follow Christ through the fire and trust Him to stand with you regardless of the outcome?  Are you convinced that this world is passing away but that Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end?  If so, you may be able to relate to Joshua.

Joshua has been called to take Moses's place.  He was commissioned to take the place of a man who stood before the burning bush, led the Israelites out of Egypt and met with El Shaddai to receive His commandments.  He was to take of the staff of a man who oversaw the well being of millions of people in God's holy name.  Wow!  What anxiety he must have felt, stepping into shoes as huge as these.  But God was with him, saying, "As I was with Moses, I will be with you.  I will never leave you nor forsake you.  Be strong and courageous."

Are we ready to stand on the promises God has made to us?  Will we trust Him to guide and care for us as we walk in His way?  Do we set His word above all else in our desire to honor and obey Him?

Learn more about courage and Christ in this week's sermon, "Joshua and Jesus."  

Please review Joshua 1 before listening.  

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September 11th, 2016-No More Sea

The Sea.  Tumultuous, raging, unforgiving.   Beautiful, nourishing, life sustaining and seeming calm yet swirling just below the surface.  Isn't that what life is like for each of us?  This world, though still beautiful, has been tainted and damaged by the impact of our sin.  And much like the ancient sailors, we may seek the comfort and safety of dry land yet live a lifetime finding nothing but hostile territory and dreadful circumstances. For believers, however, Christ has determined our ultimate destination.  Through His blood, He has purchased for us a place on rest, safety and eternal joy.  Because of His merciful grace, our destiny is one of everlasting righteousness and fellowship with Him.  

In Revelations, we learn more about Christ's plans for us in His new heaven and new earth.  Join our visiting pastor, Rev. Jabaay as we discuss our future with Christ in this week's sermon, "No More Sea."  Please review Revelations 21:1-11 before listening.

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September 4th, 2016-Let's Go Home

II Kings: 1:11-12- "As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind. Elisha saw this and cried out, “My father! My father! The chariots and horsemen of Israel!” And Elisha saw him no more. Then he took hold of his garment and tore it in two."

Home. What does that word mean to you? Is it a place where you can throw your shoes by the door, lounge around in your favorite chair and sleep without reservation? Is it a group of people, present and past, who know you, love you and can read your thoughts with only a glance or smile? After wading through life's high waves and blinding winds, here is your resting place?

Elijah and Elisha knew where home was. With Jesus. After a life of struggle, turmoil and pain, they looked forward to the outstretched arms of a loving God, longing to draw them near.

Where is your home? Where is your finish line? Do you know the God of the Harvest and through Him, are you looking forward to meeeting Him on high?

Learn more about the God of the Harvest and the home He has prepared for those who know Him in this week's sermon, "Let's Go Home."

Please review II Kings 1:1-14 before listening.

 

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August 28th, 2016-Elijah

God....the elephant in the room.  When we watch the storms rise in the night skies, can we ignore the power God displays?  Yet we do.  In fact, we try to silence the truths of God by ignoring His word and persecuting His people.  Many times, we think if we change, challenge or ignore God's word, we change, overcome and silence God himself.  No can do.  Whether Old Testament or New, God is the same yesterday, today and forever.  So is his message; honor, worship and obey Me!  That's why He sent Jesus Christ: so that we, who are sinners by nature and by choice, could ve saved from our sins through Christ's death on the cross and return to our original created purpose, praising the God of the universe.

Are we attempting to ignore, change or challenge God?  When we come face to face with the Almighty, are with going to be with Him in Christ or against Him with the world's false bottom sliding out from under us.  He yearns to have us on His side.  

Learn more about God's all consuming grace and His regretful yet necessary wrath in this week's sermon, "Elijah".  Please review II Kings I before listening.  

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August 21st, 2016-Sin, A Deadly Opiate

Sin.....how fun.  Drinking at a party makes me look like a movie star.  Shopping til I drop calms my fears and anxiety.  Eating whatever I want is my right.  Right?  Sin....how fun...until the consequences destroy our lives.  But Satan never temps us with the truth.  Not the whole truth anyway.  Sin leads to death, literally.  Even for the believer, sin destroys our connections with reality, other people and dulls our relationship with Christ.  How can we recognize the temptations of sin?  How, through Christ, can we resist and overcome?

Learn more about "Sin, a deadly opiate" in this week's sermon.  Please study I Kings 21:1-28 before listening.  

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August 13th, 2016-Responding to God's Mercy and Grace

This world is a place where terror abounds.  For those who do not know Jesus, the only response is fear, anger and distress.  But as believers, we have a choice.  We can either follow the world in its self seeking efforts to control surroundings for their own benefit, without recognition of Gods purposes and plans.  Or we can trust God's word and allow Him to create a peace in our souls that surpasses all understanding.  We are the army of Christ; soldiers of the Cross.  Will we trust God's battle plan and show the world what kind of King we serve or will be fall into Satan's trap of believing only what we can see?  

Learn more through this week's sermon, "Responding to God's Mercy and Grace."  Please review I Kings 20 before listening.

 

 

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July 17, 2016-Running in the Rain

Disappointment. We've all face it. Even in ministry. We think we are on a path to seeing revival, change, growth. We are so excited. Then the bottom falls out of our vision. Or does it?  Whatever momentary troubles arise, it's God's vision. It's God's journey. As servants, remembering this truth is key. Are we following God's vision in His time or our own?

How does God deal with our disappointment when His vision isn't yet clear?

Learn more about how God encourages His servants as they work according to His will in this week's sermon, "Running in the Rain."

Please review I Kings 18:41-19:4 before listening.

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July 10, 2016-Praying for Fire

Commitment.  How far does that really go?  When the storms of life bowl us down, how fast to we lean on everything but God?  As believers, our focus on Christ is the basis for our lives in His service.  Unlike the world around us, we can not rely on the world's solutions.  The government can not solve the problem of sin.  The voting booth can not save souls.  If we are in the family of God, do we truly reflect the will and ways of the father?  Learn more about commitment to God's purposes and plans in this week's sermon, "Praying with Fire.

 

Please review I Kings 18:20-39 before listening.  

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July 3rd, 2016-Willing to Take a Stand

Life presents a daily battle. We fight for our place in line, our right to be heard and our self respect. But are these fights worth it? Are these the battles for which Christ shed His blood. No, we as the body of Christ are in a spiritual battle against principalities, powers and spiritual wickedness in high places. The world is against Christ and although in the Heavenies, the battle already won, we have been given the opportunity to stand. We stand as testaments to the power and majesty of Jesus.

Are you willing to stand for Christ? Even if we are alone. Even if the world is against us at every turn. Are we willing to represent Christ with our lives.

Learn more about standing for Jesus in this week's sermon. Please review I Kings 18: 7-21 before listening.

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June 26th, 2016-Crucible of Fire

In processing silver, silversmiths heat the silver to just the right temperature to burn out the impurities. If it's not hot enough, the impurities remain. But if the fire is too hot, the silver is ruined. How does the silversmith know that the impurities have been burned clean? It is when the silver becomes like a mirror in which he can see his own image reflected back at him.

Can Jesus see His image in us? Because Christ loves us, that what he seeks to achieve. Through the fires of life, God allows us to be burned clean, our impurities of sin eradicated yet never so hot that we are destroyed in the process. Learn more about Christ's work to create a clean heart in us in this week's sermon, "Crucible of Fire."

Please review I Kings 17:17-24 before listening.

 

 

 

 

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June 19th, 2016-Where Have You Placed Your Trust?

In a world in which we are often instructed to "trust no one," in whom does your trust lie?  Are you trusting politics, the government, family or friends?  When difficulties arise, to what are your eyes lifted for solace, direction and care?  Learn more about God's providence and provision in this week's sermon, "Where Have You Placed Your Trust?"  Please review I Kings 17:7-16 before listening.

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June 12, 2016-When Your Brooks Runs Dry

Does it seem as if the waters in your life are running dry? Perhaps it's time for a change. Learn more about God's provision, providence and promptings in this week's sermon, "When the Brook Runs Dry."

Please review I Kings 17: 1-7 before listening.

 

 

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May 22nd, 2016-True Love

Are you looking for true love? Total commitment? Permanent loyalty. Sacrificial surrender. Look no further. Jesus is calling. Learn more about marriage as a reflection of Christ's love for His bride, the church in this week's Hammond CRC sermon, "True Love."

Please review Song of Solomon 8:5-7 before listening.

 

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May 15th, 2016-Use it or Lose It

Have you ever seen America's Got Talent? Sometimes, after watching the show, you may have your doubts. But Jesus gives every believer a talent or talents designed to help other believers grow. We are not our own and neither are our talents. We are stewards of what God has given us to achieve the goals in life God has planned since the beginning of time. How are we using God's talents to His glory? Are we using them at all?

Learn more about the talents God has given us and what He expects in this week's sermon, "Use it or Lose it." Review Matthew 25:14-30 before listening.

Please review Matthew 25:14-30 before listening.

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May 8th, 2016-Godly Mothers; Adorning the Gospel

Crete was like the towns, cities and villages of today. There was an overwhelming level of immorality. People did practically whatever they wanted. The Apostle Paul sent Titus to Crete to encourage believers to stand for Christ. This wasn't easy. Believers often faced hostility and the pressure to conform could seem overwhelming. In addition, the inner spiritual battle between the sin nature and the Spirit's still small voice raged on. Yet Paul knew that being living examples was imperative, especially for wives and mothers whose influence impacted the family's walk with Christ generation to generation.

Learn more the mother's important work of representing Christ to her family and community in this week's sermon, "Godly Mothers: Adorning the Gospel."

Please review Titus 2:1-10 before listening.

 

 

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May 1st, 2016-Created for Community

Remember the Lone Ranger? I remember a joke someone told regarding the Lone Ranger's relationships. The Lone Ranger was preparing for battle and called to Tanto, "Tanto, my gun." Tanto looked at him and responded, "The only time you speak to me is when you want something. Get it yourself."

The Lone Ranger had the right name. He fought by himself. Rode by himself. Lived alone. The only time Tanto appeared is when he simply could not handle a situation solo. And how rare that was.

As believers, Christ desires just the opposite. He creates His people to work together, not just as His way of caring for each of us but as a testimony to the fact that Jesus changes lives. They will know we are Christian by our unity. By our support of one another. By our love for each other. We are a living testimony to what Christ's salvation does to the lives of those who believe.

Learn more about this community Christ builds through His spirit in this week's sermon, "Created for Community."

Please review Acts 2:42-47 before listening.

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April 24th, 2016-Our Upward Call in Christ

Running the Christian race can be tough. Because as believer, we now belong to Christ, our race includes God is stripping remnants of the old points of view and replace it with a mind focused on heaven's rewards.

Jesus is changing us. Molding us. So that we no longer have to struggle to carry the heavy burdens of self and sin. We can be free to press on toward the goal if only we would trust Christ to remove our burdensome loads. One of those loads is how we treat our body, whether promoting it as our primary source of self worth and importance or abusing it as part of our desire to calm our pains and fears.

Let's learn more about God's view of our body and how we can turn our eyes upward treat our bodies as temples for His glory in this week's  sermon, "Our Upward Call in Christ." Review Philippians 3:12-14

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April 17th, 2016-Prayer-Faith Unleashed

Hey friend, are you righteous?  What is "righteousness" anyway and how is it achieved? Can any of us call ourselves "righteous people" when we bow before the throne of God and how does being righteous impact God's response to our prayers.

Learn more about this powerful topic in this week's sermon, "Prayer-Faith Unleashed."  Please review James 5:13-16 before listening.  

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April 10th, 2016-Eat Your Vegetables

Sermon of the Week: Remember that old saying, "You are what you eat." It's more than that. In Christ, we are not just what we eat. What we eat is a reflection of how focused we are on Jesus and his purposes for our life. This week, we meet Daniel, a young boy carried away as captive to a conquering nation. In the face of being ripped from his homeland, life and family, Daniel stands firm as a servant of God, seeking to represent and obey Him, even though the repercussions could be deadly.

Learn more about our bodies as reflections our commitment to Christ in this week's sermon, "Eat Your Vegetables."

Please review Daniel 1 before listening.

 

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April 3rd, 2016-It's my life and I will do what I want

Learn more about our bodies as temples of the Holy Spirit and how caring for our bodies is a reflection of our obedience and commitment to Jesus Christ in this week's sermon, "It's my body.  I will do what I want."  Please review I Corinthians 6:12-20 before listening.  

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March 27th, 2016-Easter Message

Jesus is not just a character in a book.  From history, we have evidence that he lived.  But He is more than a historical figure.  According to God's word, He came to die and rise again for a purpose.  He died for our sins and rose to live again so we might live eternally in Him.  What does that mean to you personally?    Learn more about Christ's death and resurrection and why these two things are the most important events in the history of the world and to our eternal destiny in this week's sermon, Do Not Fear.   Please review Matthew 28 before listening.  

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March 20th, 2016-The Purpose of Palm Sunday

Please review John 12:12-19 before listening.

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March 13th, 2016- For Jews; for All of Us

Ephesians 3:2-7:  For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for you Gentiles— if indeed you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which was given to me for you, how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already, by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ), which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets: that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel, of which I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effective working of His power.

 

Learn more the promise of unity in Christ between Jew and Gentile in this week's sermon, "For Jews; for All of Us."  Please review John 11: 45-53 before listening. 

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March 6th, 2016- The Reward of Discipleship

Disciple means servant.  Not as we think of "servant."  Discipleship means "bond slave"; one who has been purchased by and is bound by law and association to one Master.  Through Christ's death on the cross, we were bought with a price.  Jesus died for our enslavement to sin and with his blood, paid our ransom so we might be His alone.  As believers, our Master is Jesus Christ.  But in following Him, are our hearts divided?  Are we also servant to wealth, opinion, fame or comfort?  What other Masters remain in our lives to distract us from full focus on Him?  And what is God's promise to us if we keep our eyes on Him?

Learn more about the rich young ruler, his struggle with being single-minded and our reward for doing so in this week's sermon, "The Reward of Discipleship."  Please review Mark 10:17-31 and Luke 18:18-30 before listening.  

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February 28th, 2016-Are You a Disciple of Jesus?

One of the biggest reasons for getting lost on the road is losing focus. When we start our journey, we have a map or GPS. We keep our eyes open, looking for sign posts and landmarks. Then we get bored, or start talking. We watch the scenery or stop off to get lunch. We take our eyes off the destination and start to wander. We get lost.

When we first meet Jesus, we are thrilled, ready to serve, thirsty to know Him and be in His presence. Then life rushes in. We move our eyes off the Savior and onto the frustrations, worries and difficulties of life. We get lost.

Let's learn how to keep our eyes on the Savior and our focus on the path to His glory in this week's sermon, "Are You a Disciple of Jesus?" Please review Luke 14:25-34 before listening

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February 21st, 2016-Being a Non-Conformist

Remember that commercial for National Airlines, "I'm Ursula. Fly me?" The ad implies that part of the thrill of flying is the people we will meet in the air. Being a Christian is like that. When we commit ourselves to following Jesus, we commit to walking with Him. Part of the thrill of following Jesus is getting closer to Him. But there's a cost.

When we draw nearer to the Light of the world, the darkness around us backs away. Christ changes us, redirects our lives and the world sees the difference. For those who are heading for salvation, we are a lighthouse, showing them the lifeline. For those who resist Christ's grace, we are a reflection of how deep the waters really are. When we choose to follow Jesus, are we ready to stand with the Giver of life in a dying world? Let's learn more about our journey with Christ in this week's sermon, "Being a Non-Conformist."

Please review Romans 12:1-2 before listening. 

 

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February 14th, 2016-God's Valentine to the World

Valentine's day; an opportunity to remember those we love.  But what is true love?  And where can it be found?  Learn more about Christ's love and how he has demonstrated His love for us in this week's sermon, "God's Valentine to the World."  Please review I John 4 before listening.

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February 7th, 2016-Normal, Not Strange

Remember Rip Van Winkle? He awoke to a world in which he did not belong. In a way, we who believe in Christ are like Rip; awakened in Christ's blood to a world in which we no longer belong. The world, dominated by Satan, rejects our Savior and is suspicious of us because in following Christ, we reflect not only His love but His expectations. Nobody really wants a true reflection of that man in the mirror, especially if they like what they see.

Learn more the battle being waged against Christ and those who soldier in His name in this week's sermon, "Normal, Not Strange."

Please review John 15:18-25 before listening.

 

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January 31st, 2016-Worshiping the God of the Storm

he power and glory of His Majesty is all around us. In the winds, storms and rain, He reflects his all consuming greatness. How has Jesus shown himself in your life? How has his magnificence been displayed day to day? Learn more about our all powerful God in this week's sermon, "Worshiping the God of the Storm." Please review Psalm 29 before listening.

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January 24th, 2016-Getting Ahead of God

Remember when Mommy and Daddy planned a trip for the summer.  We were so excited.  At the first stop, remember rushing out of the car ahead of them then having to look back to see where you were supposed to go?  We are like that with God.  He has a plan for our lives and as he reveals pieces of it to us, we want to take over the reigns, plan to course and rush out ahead to follow it.  But we don't really know where we are supposed to go.  Let's learn more about what happens when we run out ahead of God in this week's sermon, "Getting Ahead of God."  Please review Exodus 2 before listening.  

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January 17th, 2016-In Whose Basket Will You Put Your Trust

The world around us challenges our commitment to follow Christ. To whom will we give our allegiance when these challenges arise? The world pressures us to conform to its ideas and dictates. Who will we choose to obey? As believers, we will face trials and tribulations. In whom will we seek refuge?

The word of God asks us to consider in whom we rely in this week's sermon, "In whose basket will we place our trust?"

Please review Exodus 2:1-10 before listening.

 

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January 10th, 2016-This is Only a Test

Forrest Gump said it, "Life is like a box of chocolates.  You never know what you're going to get."  Joy.  Pain.  Confusion.  Stress and strain.  Smiles and giggles.  You just never know.  Life is filled with tough times.  Sometimes they are trials.   Sometimes they are temptations.  What is the difference between the two?  Why does God bring trials and allow temptations?  What does having trials tell us about our relationship with God and how are we to respond?

Learn more about the trials. temptations and how God works through these to build an invincibly joyful servant in this week's sermon, "This is Only a Test."  Presented by guest pastor, Pastor Schutt.  

Please review James 1:1-18, focusing on verse 12, before listening. 

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January 3rd, 2016-The Blessed Hope: The second coming of Christ

Jesus is coming again.  He has had victory over death and in Him, so have we!  Our hope in Christ is our foundation and in God's word, He tells us that when the burdens of this world seem overwhelming, we can focus on the glory of His appearing, the second coming.  Unlike His first appearing at the Lamb who was slain for our sins, the second time, Jesus will part the clouds as the glorious King of Kings, Almighty God.  But what of those saints who have gone before us?  Those who know Christ will rise again!  No matter what the century, those who have served Jesus will see His face and join Him in the clouds.

In I Thessalonians 4:13-18, God reminds us, "Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words."

Learn more about Christ's second coming in this week's sermon, "The Blessed Hope-The Second Coming of Christ."

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December 27th, 2015- Winter's Sleep is Over

Remember C.S. Lewis' classic children's story, "The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe?"  The story opens with children sneaking into a magic closet where on the other side of the wall, they enter a land in which winter never ends.  The White Witch rules mercilessly and it is never Christmas.  Do you remember how Christmas finally came?  The appearance of Aslan, the majestic lion who brought with him neverending sun.  

Aslan was a representation of Christ, the Son of God.  He is the light to the world and he has redeemed us so we may rest in Him.   Let's meet Anna, a believer who yearned to see Jesus, her Reedemer.  In this week's sermon, "Winter's Sleep is Over," we'll learn what a redeemer is, why Jesus is the only one qualified to redeem and why all of us need His redemption.    

Please review Luke 2:36-38 before listening.  

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December 20th, 2015-The Light of the World

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

-John 1:14

Have you received the Word? Have you heard the good news? Learn more about Jesus, the Word of God, behold his glory, be blessed by His grace and truth in this week's Hammond Christian Reformed sermon, "The Light of the World."

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December 13th, 2015-Simeon's Bucket List

Simeon waited.  He was waiting for the coming of the Messiah and was told Holy Spirit that he would live long enough to see His arrival.  When entering the temple courts, he found the baby Jesus with his parents and was given the privilege to hold the salvation of the world in His arms.  What are our hopes and dreams?  As believers, we wait for Christ's return and we know that we are absent from the body, we will be present with the Lord but are we living for His glory?  Are our days numbered according to our service to Christ or our self satisfaction.  What are we hoping to accomplish while we wait for our King?  Learn more about Simeon and his dreams in this week's sermon, Simeon's Bucket List."  Please review Luke 2: 21-39 before listening.  

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December 6th, 2015-Nine Months

Before Jesus was born, he grew within Mary's womb, being prepared to enter the world as 100% man.  Life is precious from that first small cluster of cells to each human being who has ever walked the earth.  So precious is human life that Jesus was born to suffer and die for our sins.  He was born so that we may live.    Learn more about the lessons we can draw from those nine months Mary carried the Messiah in this week's sermon, "Nine months."

Please review Luke 1:39-45 before listening

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November 29th, 2015-Jesus Baptism Fulfilling All Righteousness

How can we work our way into heaven?  Even if we aren't mass murderers, rapists or government spies, are our good works ever good enough?  Guess what?  We will never be good enough to save ourselves.  We will never be good enough to impress God or work our way into his presence. The good news is that we don't have to.  Jesus died for our sins because he knew we would never be able to save ourselves.  Even our good works are as filthy rags because at heart, we are sinners.  That's why Jesus died on the cross, to shed his perfect blood as payment for the sins we committ.   To pay the price for sins as we never could.  Salvation is free to us because of the price Jesus paid by dying on the cross.  When Jesus comes to be baptized by John, this is the beginning of his road to securing our opportunity to be saved.  God is well pleased with Jesus and is preparing Him to die for us.  

Are you trying to be good enough to be saved?  It will never happen.  But if you want to Jesus to save you, the door open and Jesus is waiting for you to come on it.  Learn more about Jesus' work on our behalf in this week's sermon, "Jesus' Baptism-Fulfilling All Righteousness.  Please read Matthew 3:13-19 before listening.  

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November 22nd, 2015-Baptism of Jesus; Fulfilling All Righteousness

In Part 1 of this sermon, Jesus asked John the Baptist to baptize him.  John is surprised by this request, wondering why one whose coming he heralded, wants to be baptized by him.  However, this baptism was all important.  It signified the beginning of Christ's official path to the cross of our salvation.  In this moment, Jesus identifies himself as our Kinsman-Redeemer, taking our sin and it's penalty upon himself.  He identified himself as the Lamb of God, taking away the sins of the world.  Sacrificing himself for us so we could be with Him.  Learn more about the start of Christ's ministry in this week's sermon, "Baptism of Jesus; Fulfilling all righteousness."  

Please listen to Matthew 3:13-16

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November 15th, 2015- The Word Became Flesh

We all want to be remembered. We watch the flickering television screen by the light of the evening lamp and think, "I wish people knew my name." We may not be Bette Davis, Queen Elizabeth or George Clooney but the same person who knows their names knows ours. Jesus, God of the universe, maker of Heaven and Earth, knew our names before the beginning of time. He knew us before we began to grow in our mother's womb. He knew us because He planned for us to be here and He died on the cross so that we could know His name too.

Learn more about this astonishing Jesus in this week's Hammond Christian Reformed Church sermon, "The Word became Flesh."

Please review John 1:14-19 before listening.

http://www.hammondcrc.org/ministries/studytools.cfm

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November 8th, 2015- The Fruit of Repentance
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November 1st, 2015-Prepare Ye the Way

Please review John 1:6-9 and 19-28 before listening to this week's sermon, "Prepare Ye the Way."  

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October 25th, 2015-In Christ Alone

The world is filled with voices. Voices heralding the "coming of the Lord." But what Lord is that? Are all Gods the same? Will we all be in heaven, whether we are Mormon, Muslim, Buddhist, agnostic or atheist? Does it matter who we worship as long as we worship? Can we choose our own path to God?

The Bible says no.

Christ makes it clear that His name is the only one by which one may be saved. And what of all the other religions? Christ is not religion. Christ does not invite us to church. Through His death for our sins, Christ opens the door to know Him. We are invited to a relationship, not a doctrine, dogma or tradition. Salvation is the door to knowing Almighty God through his son, Jesus Christ. What will you decide?

Join us this week for visiting Pastor Jabaay's sermon, "In Christ Alone." Please review Acts 4:7-12 before listening.

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October 18th, 2015- Learning to be Light In Bangladesh

This week's sermon is based on Isaiah 42: 5-9 and Matthew 5:13-16, "Learning to be Light in Bangladesh."  Please review the scriptures before listening. 

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October 11th, 2015-The Adult Version of Noah and the Ark

Pastor Jabaay visits Hammond CRC with a message taken from Genesis.  God is preparing for the destruction of the world and Noah is called to herald the message of this holy judgement.  What a privilege to act as God's messenger but did this seem a privilege to Noah?  Picture a guy standing in the middle of his field, warning people about a flood that will cover the entire earth.  Noah's daily sermon had four words, "It's going to rain!"   How did his neighbors view him?  How did he see himself?  

Had just one person turned to God, that person would have received God's mercy and grace but none did.  Only Noah and his family believed.  When the door to the arc finally closed and rain drops started to fall, what did Noah's neighbors think then?  Did they wonder why they hadn't listened or why they never heard?  In Noah's case, it would have been the former.  What about us?

How do we see ourselves in a world that mocks, denies and outshouts Christ's message of salvation?  Are we clear on the urgency?  Are we clear that God is patiently waiting for people to accept his grace through salvation and that one day, his waiting will end?

We don't know when the end of God's patience will come; when we will hear that trumpet sound.  Are we available to give a reason for our hope in Christ Jesus even if the world responds with disdain and gales of laughter?  Are we clear on what not knowing Christ will mean for those who do not believe?  

Please hear this week's  message, "The adult version of Noah and the Ark" to learn more about Christ's sacrifice, our need for Him and his mercy and grace towards us.  Please review Genesis 6:5-22 before listening.

http://www.hammondcrc.org/ministries/studytools.cfm

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October 4th, 2015-Is Your Confidence in the Lord

All is topsy turvy. The world's expectations pull us further and further into a pit of self defensiveness, self denial and self promotion. Self, self, self. But where is God? Where is God in all this muck and mire? Governments fall and rise. Mountains erupt and explode. Lives are lost and reborn. Where is God?

As believers, is that the question? For believers, is the real question, "where are we?" Where are we when the bottom drops out of our lives; when we fall away from everything that seems to be holding us up? Are we resting on this world's ever falling bottom or on the everlasting Rock? Are we clear on the eternal fact that God is and always will be our only hope and strength?

When the world seems topsy-turvy, reality proves that God is the only strong bow in an ever raging storm. As believers, are we resting in His everlasting arms? Learn more about our God's presence and our need to recognize that He is ever near and always working on our behalf in this week's Hammond Christian sermon, "Is Your Confidence in the Lord." Please meditate on Psalm 46 before listening.

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September 20th, 2015-Remembered No More

How deep is the ocean?  How high is the third heaven?  When God forgives, our sins are further away from his mind than the deepest depths of the ocean or the furthest stars in the galaxy.  Moreso, he never remembers again.  His gift of Jesus on the Cross makes it possible for Him to see us through Christ's sacrificial blood.  Jesus paid for sin, yesterday, today and forever.  So when we, who have accepted Christ are our only means of salvation, stand before God's throne, we are perfectly redeemed.  Where do you stand in God's memory?  Learn more about forgiveness, now and forever, in this week's sermon, "Remembered No More."  Please review Psalm 130 before listening. 

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September 13th, 2015- Who Am I?

We are so small in this world.  Beneath the stars, moons and suns, we are as a speck, tiny and timid compared to the stratosphere.  Why does God favor us?  Why are we honored before His throne?  Sinful, rebellious, frail and futile, what does God see in us?  Learn more about God's view of us in this week's sermon, "Who I am."  Review Psalm 8 before listening. 

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Sept. 6th, 2015-Continuing to Look in Three Directions

How are we allowing ourselves to be influenced?  What does our character say about who we are?  What awaits us at our journey's end.  Join us for this week's sermon, Continuing to look in Three Directions, when we look around, within and ahead to determine in whom we will place our times, trust and talents.  Please review Psalm 1 before listening. 

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August 30th, 2015-Looking in Three Directions

Happily ever after.  Does it exist?  Everything in our existence is designed to make or keep us happy.  But as we pursue the evasive "happy zone," what are we really living for?  Do we ever fill that sense of empty, incompleteness that permeates our souls?  Where do we find true satisfaction, rest and peace?  Psalm 1 asks us to look in three directions; look around, look inside and look ahead.  This week, let's look around as we listen to the sermon, "Looking in Three Directions, Part 1." 

Please review Psalm 1 before listening.

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August 23rd, 2015-A Real After-Life Experience

What about that light at the end of the tunnel? Can we really die, go to haven and return? We've all read fantastic stories about people who say they've returned from the dead but what does the bible say?

Let's follow a discussion between Lazarus and the rich man, two men who truly had an after life experience. After death, these men speak to each other; Lazarus, from heaven and the rich man, from hell. Listen in as we learn what we can really expect after death and why only one specific life choice decides where we will spend eternity. Who is Jesus to you? What choice have you made? Check out this week's sermon, "A Real After-Life Experience."

Review Luke 16:19-31 before listening.

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August 16th, 2015- Seeing God in the Storm-Matthew 14

With the whirling winds of daily trials, stressors and strains, where is that invisible hand?  Sometimes it feels as if we are inch worms, dragging slowly along, seeking the path by which we might find a place of rest or resolve.  Slowly, slowly and weighed down with unimaginable, seemingly insurmountable woes.  

Why does Jesus take us into the torrential winds?  Why does He weigh us down with difficulties that seem mountain high?  Why does he strip us of all the supports we so often lean upon?  We are like the emperor who has no clothes.  But isn't that the rub?  We are a holy nation; royal priesthood so in our God breathed nakedness, how can we stand?  Learn more about God's presence and purposes as you listen to "Seeing God in the Storm.  Review Matthew 14:22-33 before listening. 

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August 9th, 2015- Seeing God in the Storm

Have you ever been swept away in a storm? You know that you didn't nor could you have given rise to such high winds and rumbling seas yet there you are, braving a typhoon? Why does God allow these seasons of difficulty and strain? When we sit in a heap, having received some dreaded diagnosis or lose a job we worked so hard to keep, we may wonder where God is. When our children go astray or our parents no longer recognize us, how are we to response before the Lord? Listen with open heart to this week's sermon from Hammond Christian Reformed Church, "Seeing God in the Storm."

Please review Mark 6:45-52 before listening.

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August 2nd, 2015-When God Doesn't Make Sense

Life is unpredictable. Pain. Poverty. Stress. Death. And the hardest part is that we never know what to expect or when. Why does God's will seem so precarious? Sunny days then stormy. Why can't we know God's reasoning? Why is fog the path to clarity? Why are tears that turn to blood part of God's providential love? Learn more about God's personality and purposes in this week's sermon, 'When God Doesn't Make Sense.'

Please review John 11:1-44 before listening.

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July 26th, 2015-Can You See Jesus?

Three blind mice...do you ever feel like one of them?  Do you stumble through the world without a clue as to who or what is moving and shaking everything around and within you?  Join the club.   Through his person and presence, Jesus opens our eyes to the light of truth.  But how to we find our way?


Bartimeious was a blind man who, though he could not see, recognized the light.  Learn more about Jesus, the light of the world at the end of your tunnel as you listen to this message,  "Do you see Jesus?"  Please review Mark 10:46-52.

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July 5th, 2015-Peace In Spite of An Uncertain Future

The world...it is a'changing.  As Christians, are we to change with it or hold to the truths of God's word with even greater ferocity.  Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.  Does that mean the word is too?  As culture, people, politics and traditions spin to and fro like tidal waves, how to we find peace in the storm?  Listen to God's word in the sermon, "Peace in Spite of an Uncertain Future."  Review Acts 19:20-21-41

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June 28th, 2015-When the World Looks at you, what do they see?

What the world needs now...is the truth.  But what is word without deed?  Are we a reflection of Christ's ways or are we way off?  What does the world see when they look at us?  Do they want to know where our joy comes from or is our sorrow too hard for them to bear.  Listen to God's blessed word in this week's sermon, "When the Word Looks at You, What do They see?"  Please review Genesis 41:1-40

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June 21st, 2015-As Iron Sharpens Iron

Sometimes we can be so heavenly minded, we are no earthly good.  Serving with other saints exposes us, sharpens us, and makes us whole.  Especially when other believers rub us the wrong way, our edges get ruffled, tussled and smoothed down like glass.  We are made diamonds in the same way real diamonds are made; pressure, pressure, more pressure and time.  That pressure comes from rubbing elbows with other children of the living God.  In God's time, will we be made more beautiful in His sight by working together in His service?  Listen to God's word unfold in this week's sermon, "As Iron Sharpens Iron."    Please review Proverbs 27:17

 

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June 14th, 2015-Christ's Command for the Church

Evangelism. Slam 'em with the truth and move on, right?  Wrong.  The first voice our heart hears when we are called to God's salvation is the Holy Spirit, speaking the truth in love about the state of our sinful soul.  God has to open our sin-blinded eyes.  He has to soften our stony hearts before we can yearn for Christ's merciful grace.  Before we speak, God asks us to pray.   Before we seek the harvest, God fertilizes the ground. 

Please listen to this week's sermon as Pastor Jabaay helps us understand "Christ's Command for the Church."  Are you ready to give a reason for your hope?   In whom does your hope lie?   Please review Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and Matthew 22:34-40 before listening in. 

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June 7th, 2015- Are You Spiritually Asleep?

The world will wax worse and worse.  That's what the bible says.  But this waxing has nothing to do with crime, prejudice or that which we often fear.  It has to do with a growing open hatred for Christ.   It has always been brewing and has split the surface throughout history.  American Christians have been spared in the past.  No more.  Will we be able to stand for Christ in the midst of a culture determined to crucify Christ's followers in His name?  And what does "Standing for Christ" really mean?  Please review Daniel 10:1-23 before listening.   

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May 31th-Pray...Like Your Life Depended On It.

Daniel was a man of prayer but what does that really mean? Prayer was so much a part of his walk with the Lord; so important to his sense of connection, strength and wholeness in Christ that even death held no sway.

What does prayer mean to you? How frantically do you cling to the hem of His robe. Listen to this week's sermon, "Pray...like your life depended on it," and ask yourself how desperate is your need to kneel before the throne of God. Review Daniel 6:1-28 before listening in.

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May 24th-The Lord Our Banner

Following the Lord can seem like a perilous path until in the darkest wilderness, we meet Jehovah Nissi, the Lord our Banner.  Learn more about the power and majesty of the One who determines our path and leads the way in guest pastor Don's Jabaay's sermon, "The Lord Our Banner."  Please review Exodus 17:8-16 before listening. 

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May 17th-Writing on the Wall

To God be the glory....whatever the circumstance.  But are there times when we think the glory belongs to us?  Meet Belshazzar, king, ruler and fool.  When he challenged God's glory and tried to make it his own, the hand writing was on the wall, literally.  Learn more about his encounter with the eternal God in this week's sermon, "The Writing on the Wall." based on Daniel 5.

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May 10th-Godly Mothers in an Ungodly World

Mothering...what a blessing or is it?  In today's media directed, selfie driven world, how do mothers help their children become a selfless servants of God?  Please read II Timothy 1:3-7 before listening to this week's sermon, "Godly mothers in an Ungodly World."

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May 3rd, 2015: From Palace to Pasture to Praise

Have you ever looked at the world as your oyster?  Then all of a sudden, the lid seemed to slam shut before you could grab that pearl?  According to God's word, we can inherit the earth!  But what does it take?  Who is fortunate enough to do that?  (Matt 5:5) Learn more about God's majesty and our position in His kingdom.  You may wish to review Daniel 4:19-37 before listening.

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April 26th, 2015-Faith in the Fiery Furnace

Faith is a dynamic thing; becoming firmer with each valley forged or mountain breached.  God moves us through life's fiery furnace to remove the ravages of sin and refine the purity of His life within us.  Travel with us as we examine "Faith in the Fiery Furnace."  Please review Daniel 3 starting at verse 13. 

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April 19th, 2015-Wait Training

As believers, we wait on the Lord.  It is part of our life as warriors, servants and children of the King.  But how do we wait.  Do we wait with expectation?  Do we rest in His promises with hope and trust?  Or do our hearts pace and pant with anxiety, anger and fear?  How are we transformed by God's wait training?  Please review Psalms 27:1-14 before starting the sermon. 

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April 12th, 2015-What is your Heart's Desire

What do we truly want out of life?  Where is our heart leading us?  To seek love, riches, rest, peace of mind?  Jesus is our resting place.  His love fulfils the desires for which every human heart yearns.  Listen to this week's sermon, "What is your heart's desire?" and learn more about Jesus, our all in all.  (Review Psalm 27:1-6)

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April 5th, 2015: Transformed by the Resurrection

Jesus died on the cross and rose again.  He has finished the work necessary to provide salvation to all men.  But have you accepted that gift?  Have you been transformed by the blood of the Lamb?  Learn more about the finished work of the conquering Savior in this week's sermon, "Transformed by the Resurrection."  (Based on Mark 28:1-12)

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April 3rd, 2015, Good Friday-It Is Finished

Jesus Paid it all!  Those who trust in Him are held in His everlasting arms.  Learn more about the finished work of the only Wise Saviour in this Good Friday's sermon, "It is finished."  Please review John 19 before starting to listen. 

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March 29th- Extravagant Love
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March 22nd, 2015-The Barren Temple

Is our soul a waste land; thirsting for the living waters only Jesus can provide?  How do we fill our Barren Temples with the joy of the Lord?   March 11:12-25.

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March 15th, 2015-Christ in the Feast of Tabernacles
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March 8th, 2015-I saw the Light

The gospel opens our eyes to the the Light of the World, Jesus.  Have we seen the light of the gospel?  If not, what has kept us blind?  Listen in as the Pastor explores these questions in "I saw the Light." (review John 9:25-41 as you listen).

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February 22nd, 2015-Can God Trust You?

You'll never see a U-Haul behind a hearse.  So while we are here, what is God asking us to do with our time and talents?   Are we using God's gifts to His glory?  

Please join us as we study Luke 16:1-10 and ask ourselves the question, "Can God trust you?"   

 

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February 8th, 2015-Unlocking Prison Doors of the Mind Through Forgiveness
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January 25th, 2015-Change Your Life by Changing Your Mind

God's word changes us.  As we know Him better through the study of His word, our lives change too.  Learn more about this metamorphosis.

Pastor John Kostelyk-Hammond CRC
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Study Topics/Guides