July 22, 2021 Pastor Mark Sage

Living Up to Expectations

Living Up to Expectations

I taught our midweek Bible study last night and one of the points was “God’s has Expectations for the Believer.”  It got me thinking about that truth a little.  We all have to deal with expectations.  We have expectations for ourselves; expectations for others; and there are many who have expectations for us.  Our job expects a certain degree of dedication.  Certainly, our immediate family as well as our extended family both have expectations.  Our church does, society does, our cultural norm’s also have things they expect.  But the most important expectation that Believers need to take heed to and live up to are those that God has for their lives. 

God has an expectation for you to receive salvation:

He wants you to be saved.

2 Peter 3:9 — 9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 

Oh friend, God’s desire and expectation for your life is that you would humbles yourself before Him and repent (turn from your sin and have) and trust Him as your Lord and Savior.   The Bible teaches us that tehre is no way to heaven but through Christ.  It is not by sacrifice; not by service; not by sacrament; not by self-righteousness, but only by the shed blood of Christ on the cross – can we be saved.  If you have not done it; the Bible says you can believe on Him right now.  Repent of your sin and put your faith solely in Him as your Lord and Savior.

God has an expectation of faithfulness:

While our personal faithfulness does not save us (his faithfulness to us does), we can be faithful after salvation to follow His will for our lives. 

We teach “FIVE TO THRIVE” at our church

1.     Be faithful to study the Bible everyday

2.     Be faithful to spend time in devoted prayer everyday

3.     Be faithful to your church “when the doors are open” (there is something new and particular for you at every service)

4.     Be a witness for Jesus Christ (tell other people about the Gospel [death burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ – that they might be saved] that is through Jesus Christ)

5.     Be a giver (follow God’s commands to tithe, give to special offerings as able, and help others in need)

If a Christian does these things, he will find that he is learning to live up to and be concerned with what God wants for his life.  

God has an expectation for you to endure trials:

Surprise, surprise! The Christian life is not as easy as some churches try to advertise it to be.  I often say: “SALVATION IS FREE; BUT DISCIPLESHIP IS COSTLY!”  This is certainly true.  It was a long time ago that I decided that I was going to follow Christ no matter the cost and no matter the discomforts.  I’m not looking for trials, but I must expect them and realize that God expects me to trust Him and endure them.  

In the Believer’s life, we are often confronted with many trials of our faith.  This is a good thing if we are walking with the Lord, because when He sends it our way, it is to challenge us and help us to grow.  

1 Peter 1:7 — 7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: 

God’s expectation through the trial for the Believer is success.  He expects the Believer to be faithful through the trial and be found “unto praise and honour and glory.”  He does not want or expect failure.  God knows you can go through it and be found faithful throughout.  He implies this in the Word of God several times.  

1 Peter 4:12–13 — 12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: 13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. 

None of us are happier quitting early, or getting lazy, or given in. Much regret comes as a result of quitting before we are supposed to.  But oh, the satisfaction of finishing a race, the joy in accomplishing a goal, and the relief after enduring a hardship – as we come out the other side having been faithful through it all.  

I’m glad our God is a God of simplicity.  Salvation is simple, believe on Him as your Lord and Savior.  Serving is not complicated, just be obedient to Him.  You are able to endure – by never quitting and continuing to trust in the Lord.  

I used to have this simple philosophy in bootcamp when I went into the Marines and I have used it in many situations since then.  If things seemed difficult, the way was arduous or the Drill Instructor was mad, I used to say to myself, “They can kick me out at anytime they want, but I will never quit.”  Let's have that same attitude with our Lord. "God, you know when my life is over, but until then I will never give up and will continue to serve you no matter what." God’s expectation far outweigh the world. Each of us as sincere believers should seek to fulfill God's expectations for our lives.

Galatians 6:9 — 9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

 Matthew 6:33 — 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.