Sermon Date: 1/8/17 Speaker: Scott Field Bible Text: Matthew 2: 1-18

Epiphany, a traditional observance of Christians, recalls the arrival of the Magi from the East. We think of the Star of Bethlehem guiding the Magi from the east, of course. But the Light of Christ is much more challenging to us.The Bible says that with the arrival of Jesus, God's light has come into the world.
But many actually prefer the darkness to the light. We would rather remain in the shadow lands of the soul than let the light of Christ shine into the nooks and crannies of our desires, thoughts, actions, and loves.

Sermon Date: 1/1/17 Speaker: Cesar Hernandez Bible Text: Joshua 4: 10-11

Everything in life is a transition. When we are in a transition, we understand that we move to another stage in our lives; and we think that everything changes. But it isn’t necessary for everything to change. The fact is when we transition or "cross over" we just move to another stage in our lives. We see every day is not just as another day, and we see that it means something more.

Sermon Date: 12/24/16 Speaker: Scott Field

Christmas Eve 2016 - The 9:00 PM traditional candlelight service at First Church - Crystal Lake, IL

Sermon Date: 12/18/16 Speaker: Scott Field Bible Text: Isaiah 60:1-4 / Isaiah 35:1-10

Sometimes Christians lack the spiritual capacity to realize all we have in Jesus. ...We are like the eight-year-old boy who rests his happiness in his circumstances rather than recognizing what we have in Christ.
The coming of Jesus, which we celebrate at Christmas, announces God's final victory, invites us to anchor our joy in him, and assures us that all will, by the grace of God, be well.
So it's no wonder that sometimes at Christmas the joy just overflows in songs and lights and decorations and gifts. It's joy to the world!

Sermon Date: 12/11/16 Speaker: Scott Field Bible Text: Isaiah 9:2; 11:6-9

"The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep
darkness, a light will shine." Isaiah 9:2

Right now, in December of 2016 -- we experience this darkness socially, politically, and economically. What is the connection between the national example of social darkness in the Scriptures and the eruption of animosity that shrieks from OUR headlines, social media feeds, and the influential opinion-makers in our current cultural climate?

Sermon Date: 12/4/16 Speaker: Scott Field Bible Text: Psalm 27

Each year during this special season of peace, love, joy, and hope -- all based upon the grace and mercy of God -- is interrupted and undermined by the various Christmas Competitions.One of the most interesting is always the competitive displays of Christmas lights.

Sermon Date: 11/27/16 Speaker: Scott Field Bible Text: Genesis 1:1-5

Today begins the season of Advent. It is the season when we prepare our hearts and minds to welcome the long-awaited Messiah, our Savior, the Lord of the Universe and Hope of the World...whose name is Jesus. During these four weeks of Advent our theme will be the Advent Light. Each week we will focus on a particular perspective of God's light with a particular verse of God's Book, the Bible.

Sermon Date: 11/20/16

Faith Promise Prayer
"Lord, what would you give through me that you would not normally give to me for the exclusive purpose of healing the world in Jesus' name through First Church?"

Faith Promise is stretching, going beyond what you think you can do to further Christ’s Ministry in the World. When you decide, in your Faith Promise, to say “Lord, stretch me!” God will honor that promise and you will see the results in the lives of the people you reach out to.

Sermon Date: 11/13/16 Speaker: Scott Field Bible Text: Acts 1:1-12

Touching the world in Jesus' name is right at the heart of what the Lord intended from the start. At First Church we can touch the world in a specific, intentional way. We call it Faith Promise.
Faith Promise is a way of praying for the funds that will support the work of God's Kingdom locally, regionally, and globally.

And that Prayer is:
"Lord, what would you give through me that you would not normally give to me for the exclusive purpose of healing the world in Jesus' name through First Church?"

Sermon Date: 11/6/16 Speaker: Scott Field Bible Text: John 11:1-44

   On All Saints' Day we celebrate the victory of resurrection life, the faithfulness of those who have, in the language of Scripture, run the race, fought the fight, and kept the faith. Those who, at the end of their life on earth, hear the voice of Jesus himself say, "Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world." (Matthew 25:34)

Sermon Date: 10/30/16 Speaker: Cesar Hernandez Bible Text: 1 John 4:4

The Bible refers to keeping faith in God as living by faith. You see, the Christian life is by faith from first to last. We belong to Him and we have already conquered the enemy, but also he reminds us that there are some spiritual pieces that we can use in case we feel that we are losing the fight. We need to stand up firm and wear the armor of God.

So, today’s invitation is to go outside and connect with the world, using the custom of the “Armor of God” and remember that “God’s Spirit is in you and is more powerful than the one that is in the world”.

Sermon Date: 10/30/16 Speaker: Cesar Hernandez Bible Text: 1 John 4:4

The Bible refers to keeping faith in God as living by faith. You see, the Christian life is by faith from first to last. We belong to Him and we have already conquered the enemy, but also he reminds us that there are some spiritual pieces that we can use in case we feel that we are losing the fight. We need to stand up firm and wear the armor of God.

So, today’s invitation is to go outside and connect with the world, using the custom of the “Armor of God” and remember that “God’s Spirit is in you and is more powerful than the one that is in the world”.

Sermon Date: 10/23/16 Speaker: Scott Field Bible Text: Psalm 33:12-22

Many Christians have it right: this is a very difficult election in which to choose whom to support with our vote. But beyond, our loyalties to Republican or Democrat, Libertarian or Independent commitments. These are secondary loyalties. From a Christian perspective what goes into a voting decision. There are some who would contend that Christian Faith has nothing to do with politics and that candidates for office should leave their faith and values at the door of the Oval Office. For Christians, however, this is not an option.

Sermon Date: 10/16/16

Contemporary Christian and gospel singer and songwriter, Cheri Keaggy, inspired and blessed the congregation of First Church today. With her Bible and journal close by, Cheri shared her life experiences and love of the Lord through her testimony and original songs.

Sermon Date: 10/9/16 Speaker: Tyler Hughes Bible Text: Deuteronomy 31:1 - 8

First Church is gearing up to enter a new phase, a new chapter in its life.This will mean reinventing ourselves for a new generation and a new opportunity, It will be exciting - but also a little scary and potentially awkward. And each of us will have a role to play.

Sermon Date: 10/2/16 Speaker: Scott Field Bible Text: Deuteronomy 1:1-8

The persistent threat for communities of faith, just like individual people of faith, is that we will settle for half-way. We quit before we’re done. We busy ourselves with matters of maintenance and don’t have time, energy, or money left over to engage in a partnership with God for the healing of our relationships, our community, and our world. 

Sermon Date: 9/25/16 Speaker: Scott Field Bible Text: Matthew 7: 15-23

Church congregations are made up of people with varying expectations of what a Church should be. Most of the expectations, however, have very little connection with Jesus. He was crystal clear that simply calling him Lord does not mean that we honor or follow him as Lord. The test is whether or not we are actually doing the will of God, actually living, serving, behaving like we belong to God’s Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven. 

Sermon Date: 9/18/16 Speaker: Scott Field Bible Text: Joel 2:28-30

This is the second in a series on planned congregational transitions.When we consider God’s calling to change we begin with awareness that there is a difference between what is timeless and what is timely. Tradition is good! That is passing along, generation by generation, what has ignited and nourished the faith of those who have gone before us. Traditionalism is not good – for it degenerates into what the bible calls the “form of godliness without any power”. 

Tradition is the living faith of the dead.
Traditionalism is the dead faith of the living. 

Sermon Date: 9/4/16 Speaker: Scott Field Bible Text: Matthew 13:31-32

One of the life-changing gifts of conversion, of following Jesus Christ, is the dawning awareness of WHY we are here and WHAT we are to be about -- through every season of our lives. And so we need as Christians—the ones interested in ‘first tier’ Christian ministry—to be spending time in

Sermon Date: 8/21/16 Speaker: Cesar Hernandez Bible Text: Ephesians 1:13b-14

God has made a purchase, and just to prove that He is going to follow through on His purchase, He has made a down payment. He has given a deposit in the form of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is God’s first installment to guarantee to His children, in this case us, that He will finish His work and eventually bring us to glory - which means to the redemption of the body of Christ.
We have been redeemed through faith in Jesus Christ 

Sermon Date: 8/14/16 Speaker: Scott Field Bible Text: Philippians 4:10-20

Our preferred affluence makes us prone to a driving force of suburban lifestyle -- discontent and the need to have the newest, best, trendiest. We can learn contentment at times like this when we trust God’s ways. In our striving we sometimes rush past the promise of God. We are invited to cast our cares upon Christ for he cares for us.

Sermon Date: 8/7/16 Speaker: Tyler Hughes Bible Text: Jonah 4

When the people of Nineveh turned from their evil ways, God forgave them. But Jonah was selfish and would not forgive Nineveh. God wants us to show forgiveness to our enemies. If we truly practice forgiveness it becomes a lifestyle - a rhythm of being forgiven and forgiving others.

Sermon Date: 7/31/16 Speaker: Cesar Hernandez Bible Text: Jeremiah 29: 11

God wants us to understand that He has a plan for each of us. Whatever your
circumstance, He promises to give you hope and a prospering future. Even if it seems
like you’re alone, you are not. Even when it seems like God has removed His blessings
from you, he has not.
God’s plan is to bring us to Himself. When we respond to His loving call and His plan for
us, our lives will look different and our planning will not be in our power, but in His

Sermon Date: 7/24/16 Speaker: Scott Field Bible Text: Exodus 20:1-21

Following God’s ways restores balance and confidence to our living. our overleveraged lifestyles leave no room for reflection and connection. We’re scrambling, but we don’t know why or where. Getting off the over-leveraged life  may start with something as simple as a daily reminder of God’s intentions for us.

Sermon Date: 7/17/16 Speaker: Scott Field Bible Text: Micah 6:1-8

The suburbs are a context, an environment, a setting designed for the fulfillment of our hopes and dreams It is such a popular lifestyle choice, that today more than half of the population in the United States lives in suburbs. So why, if we are living in the highly-preferred setting of North Americans, do we often have long faces, furrowed brows, and wringing hands? Some suburban values and lifestyle choices can undermine our devotion to Christ and compete for our allegiance to God’s Kingdom. 

Sermon Date: 7/10/16 Speaker: Cesar Hernandez Bible Text: Romans 12: 3-6

There is a beautiful satisfaction that comes from knowing that we are doing exactly what God made us to do and are being obedient to His calling in our lives. It is as we discover our strengths, and grow comfortable in the grace we have been given, that we begin to see the promises of God for our wide-open, spacious future beginning to take shape.

Sermon Date: 7/3/16 Speaker: Tyler Hughes Bible Text: Jonah 2:1-10

Jonah was prideful and didn't want to submit to God's will. But God wasn't impressed with Jonah's pride and so Jonah was swallowed by a large fish. We are all sometimes too proud of our own accomplishments and so God humbles us; a lot of times we are humbled not because of our own self-awareness and striving toward humility, but because life has a way of beating us down. Sometimes we humble ourselves. Sometimes life has a way of humbling us when we weren’t ready, but we’re humbled nonetheless. But God passionately pursues those who have been called to be instruments of his salvation.

Sermon Date: 6/26/16 Speaker: Tyler Hughes Bible Text: Jonah 1

We get our sense of justice from God; we should always be in pursuit of justice. But the Scriptures command us very clearly that we should not judge. Judging is God's business. He is able to judge tempered with love and mercy. His judgement cannot be tainted by misplaced vengeance or lack of truth.

Sermon Date: 6/19/16 Speaker: Scott Field Bible Text: Matthew 18:21-35

Why do children grow up to be so hate-filled and so prone to violence against others and, more importantly still, what we can do about it. We do have the power and possibility of changing the next generation. God has a radical way of converting the way we think about ourselves and about others so that animosity is overcome and replaced with mercy, compassion, and concern. Just get close to Jesus and His way and you will discover that you are loved and have the power to love others, too. And that is what we need to teach our children: forgiveness and love, not hate and violence.

Sermon Date: 6/12/16 Bible Text: Hebrews 10:23-25

Associate Pastor Charles Yoon preaches his final sermon at First Church today. He recounts his many fond memories of wonderful experiences over the past five years in Crystal Lake. His ministry focused primarily on pastoral care and ministry. Pastor Yoon feels that his ministries at First Church were God-driven. These ministries included planning the church's 175th year celebration, a mission trip with other church men to Mississippi, and his founding of the Stephen Ministry program at First Church. 

Sermon Date: 6/5/16 Speaker: Scott Field Bible Text: 2 Kings 22:1-13

The Great Rummage Sale underway all around us, among us, and, perhaps, within us is about how our culture and our churches are sorting through things, discarding some, holding on to others...a time of great transition and change for the position and image of Christians/churches/faith in our culture. In addition, we have the great(er) challenge of change in our own congregation and community.

Sermon Date: 5/29/16 Speaker: Scott Field Bible Text: Micah 5: 1-5

Memorial Day reminds us of the nature of the world in which we live. While we live in a world filled with evil, injustice, and oppression, we live by a dream of God's peace among the nations, between people, and within our own lives. God's Promise of Peace is Jesus, the Prince of Peace --and we, his followers, are people of peace.

Sermon Date: 5/22/16 Speaker: Scott Field Bible Text: 2 Corinthians 9:6-15

The Money that we faithful followers of Jesus, give to our church is SPECIAL MONEY; it can run like the wind, fly to the ends of the earth, reach across boundaries, do things many people just dream about: feed the hungry, provide for those in need, share the good news of to heal the world in Jesus' name. And we should WANT to be a part of that giving. We should become joyful in our giving as we partner with God.

Sermon Date: 5/15/16 Speaker: Scott Field

What does God expect of us when it comes to handling our money? Jesus speaks directly to the possibility of our partnership in utilizing our money for eternal benefit AND deepening our connection with the Lord here and now,. In Matthew 6:19-21 “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, ....Store your treasures in heaven....Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.”

Sermon Date: 5/8/16 Speaker: Scott Field Bible Text: Psalm 89:1

We will all experience difficulties, challenges, stresses, and failures in our lives and in the lives of those we love. And it would be easy to try to fix all the problems for ourselves and others and forget that God is there to help us in times of trouble. He promises to be with us in the midst of those things. Parents should especially remember God’s promises when they try to fix everything for their children. Better than always fixing is to remind them that “we’ll get through this together.” They can “count” on us.

Sermon Date: 5/1/16 Speaker: Scott Field Bible Text: Psalm 50:10-12

We are beginning a 21-day journey of Stewardship. nMoney can be a great good, but it is a counterfeit god; our role as managers on God's behalf clarifies our relationship with money and stuff. Over the next several weeks we have an opportunity for some honest conversations with God. 

Sermon Date: 4/24/16 Speaker: Scott Field Bible Text: Luke 24:32-49

News of the redemption through Jesus Christ is transferred from person to person and generation to generation through sharing the Message with others. Sharing our experience of Christ is a normal, predictable outcome of our relationship with Jesus. As followers of Christ we should be the hands and feet of Jesus -- attached to the body of Christ and FOR the world he has come to heal.

Sermon Date: 4/17/16 Bible Text: Luke 24: 13-27

As Cleopas and his fellow disciple neared the end of their walk with Jesus on the road to Emmaus, they felt strangely drawn to him. The disciples made a real connection to Jesus - found in him a kindred spirit. They admitted that their hearts were burning and they wanted more, but they had the same issue that you and I have whenever we talk about being connected to Christ in such a way that results in a transformed life. That issue is that Christ simply isn’t here; or more accurately, we aren’t able to discern his presence.

Sermon Date: 4/10/16 Speaker: Scott Field Bible Text: Luke 24: 13-34

Life sometimes overwhelms us. And when we're "running on empty" we tend to seek distractions to take our minds off our pain. Instead of filling our emptiness with these distractions, what if we were to fill the emptiness with the personal and powerful presence of the living God? What if empty could lead to an encounter with Jesus' Spirit here and now? We need to be available to each other to help in times of distress, but instead of giving advice, we just need to Listen.

Sermon Date: 4/3/16 Speaker: Scott Field Bible Text: Luke 24:13-49

God's purpose in reaching us is a life-transformation -- a lifelong process by which Christ is formed in us -- for the glory of God, the abundance of our own lives, and the sake of others. The whole life of following Christ is a life in community with other believers. Christian community is a discipline, a place of ordering our lives so God has access to change our hearts
During April we will explore the challenge of following Jesus through Christian community. It will involve some choices for us:
• The choice to walk together.