Sermons by Brad Barrett
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.
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.
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.
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…
Life occasionally, or even often, brings us “hits,” that is, intense trials of all sorts. Some of these we bring on ourselves through foolishness or sin. Some of these are brought upon us by others, whether unintentionally or maliciously. And there are some trials that just seem to happen for no apparent reason or cause. David of Israel took many hits in life, and his legacy to us is, in part, the psalms he wrote expressing his anguish, complaints, and a thirst for justice—and he did this by faith as he prayed to the Lord. What can we learn from David’s prayers when life bring us some hits?
Having completed 1-2 Samuel which largely looks at David’s life, we are beginning a series on the Psalms that David wrote. Psalms is a unique book in the Scriptures, teaching us to pray, becoming like a mirror that reflects back to our souls. We learn from David (and other psalmists) how to be honest with God in prayer with all our praise, joy, sorrow, grief, anger, needs, and confusion. Today our focus is learning to praise God for who he is and what he has done. And the more we know the Lord, the more our hearts will find praise to be fitting and satisfying.
David, a great man of faith, fell from the glorious heights of intimacy with God to the lowest point of rebellion, even despising God and his word. Yet he repented and rejoiced in his forgiveness, and even though some devastating consequences from his sin followed him to the end of his life, he continued walking with the Lord. How did he endure in the midst of those consequences? For us today, David’s life and the gospel inspire us to walk with the Lord, even in the “aftermath” of sin.
David was a “man after God’s own heart,” and we can be inspired by his faith and many good qualities. Yet David was also a mere mortal like us and capable of sin, and in fact he sinned greatly against the Lord. But he later repented and found great joy in God’s mercy and forgiveness. So we are both warned by David’s sin and inspired by his response to it.
Only in his 20’s, David was a great warrior and a man after God’s own heart. And because the Lord was with David, King Saul was afraid and jealous of him, which quickly turned into a demonic pursuit to kill him, his own son-in-law. But even through years of running for his life, David remarkably doesn’t grow bitter or vengeful. Instead he keeps his heart fixed on the Lord.
When we lack strength for the Christian life, 1 Samuel 12 points us to the answer. In his final days, Israel’s leader Samuel called the people to follow the Lord with all their hearts. His appeal was to look to the Lord and consider all the great things he had done for them, not only then but over the centuries. Similarly, we Christians are called to consider what great things the Lord has done for us—the greatest of these is the death and resurrection of the Son of God—and so find motivation and strength to love the Lord with all our hearts.
From childhood to the end of his life, Samuel walked by faith in the Lord. His consistent life is a stark contrast to the people of Israel who, though they had brief periods of faith, generally rejected the Lord as their king.