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God gives each of us life and health. Although sickness and death are inevitable for all people, including Christians, we should do what we can to stay healthy and productive for His purposes. Yet there are so many different and often contradictory perspectives on diet, exercise, sleep, and whether traditional or alternative medicine is best. What does the Bible say about health? How much should we concern ourselves with health and what should that look like? We and everything we have belong to God. As wise managers, we should care for all that He’s entrusted to us, including our bodies.
Money can seem like a necessary evil at times: we need and want more of it; we stress over it; we argue about it. Yet we also see good from money: providing for needs; giving it away to good causes. What is the Lord’s view on money? He is our Creator and heavenly Father, so what does he tell us? What heavenly perspectives and solutions does he have?
Time is short and the days are evil. How will we live? How will we spend our time? In light of the glorious calling from God into his eternal kingdom, we are to carefully examine our lives and to spend them in wisdom.
Two thousand years ago, God sent His son into the world. It was God’s plan that He be born into obscurity, to a poor family, without privilege or power or fame. Yet it seems that God couldn’t resist celebrating His coming and sent angels to announce His birth to lowly shepherds. Centuries later, Charles Wesley wrote a hymn celebrating His birth—Hark the Herald Angels Sing. Steeped in rich theology, Wesley’s hymn aptly celebrates the most surprising event in the history of the world—when the Creator entered into His creation and became a man. Don’t let familiarity dim the wonder of this amazing event. Christ, the One by highest heaven adored, laid His glory by to bring healing and life to the sons of earth. Glory to the newborn King!
In this season we celebrate the Advent, i.e., the Coming, of Jesus Christ to earth. While we may think primarily of his First Coming to earth, we also ought to consider his Second Coming. A favorite song, Joy to the World, has relevance in the days leading up to celebrating the birth of Christ, but its author, Isaac Watts, wrote it 300 years ago with the Second Coming in mind. “Joy to the world, the Lord has come!” will be the shout of every Jesus follower on that glorious day when he returns to earth. He comes to judge and reign as King and Lord, and all things will be made right on that day. Joy to the world! Amen.
Our expectations shape our experiences, steer our emotions, and mold our hopes and dreams. But how can we keep our expectations rooted in what is real? This week, we’ll look at a true, hope-filled expectation that we can cling to on our darkest day, as we sing through a beautiful Advent hymn: Come Thou Long Expected Jesus.
Jesus Christ has come. And he is coming again. Advent means “coming,” so the Advent season looks both backward and forward to the eternal work of God through his Son. Emmanuel has come. We gratefully remember the past. We patiently wait in the present. We longingly hope for the future.
It’s hard to live without hope. Many of the Psalms narrate the psalmists’ renewal of hope in the midst of tragedy and trial. But several of the psalms also point to a broader, more universal hope—the Messianic Hope. God has a solution for all the wickedness, corruption and evil so prevalent throughout the world and its institutions. He will install His King on Zion, His holy hill. We must live in light of His coming, living not for this age and its rulers, but for Him and His coming kingdom.
SERMON POWERPOINT Sunday, November 17, 2019 Brad Barrett David’s Psalms: Mirror of the Soul–Week 5 To You, O Lord, I Lift Up My Soul 150 years ago, a classic hymn was penned. What a friend we have in Jesus, All our sins and griefs to bear! What a privilege to carry Ev’rything to God in prayer! Oh, what peace we often forfeit, Oh, what needless pain we bear, All because we do not carry Ev’rything to God in prayer! Author…
Where do we go with our faith when God seems absent? How do we maintain faith when prayers seem unanswered, our circumstances all seem to be stacked against us, and we are filled with grief and sorrow and darkness in our hearts? Are we trapped, or is there a way out? We’ll explore what David did during these times and how we can rightly follow his example.