Tuesday, August 7, 2012


God has high expectations for His people.  If you're saved, God has high expectations for you.  God obviously expects more from His people.  There are legitimate reasons why the world, the church, and our Lord Jesus, Himself, may expect more from Christians than from the rest of mankind

Why are there such high expectations of Christians?  Christians profess more.  We claim to be something more than the world.  We often claim to be more than other Christians.  Christians, in fact, are more.  We have been changed by the power of God.  We are now children of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ.  Christians possess more.  As believers, we have the internal presence of the Holy Spirit.  We have heavenly resources at our disposal (prayer, anointing, Holy Spirit leading).  Christians promise more.  We have great potential in Jesus!  We “can do all things through Christ” (Phil 4:13).  Christians know more.  We have the Word of God to instruct us.  We understand so much more about life, the world and eternity as we read God's Word.  Christians expect more.  We expect things from God; why shouldn't God expect things from us?  We expect things of other Christians, why not of ourselves?

What are these expectations?  Many of these expectations can be found in Matthew 5.  We are to be an example (Vs 13-16).  If seasoning has no flavor, it has no value.  If Christians make no effort to affect the world around us, then we are of little value to God.  If we are too much like the world, we are worthless.  What kind of an example are you?  We are to be a people of obedience (Vs 17-20).  Some of those in the crowd were experts at telling others what to do, but they themselves missed the central point of God's laws.  Jesus made it clear that obeying God's law is more important that explaining it.  How are you at obeying God yourself?  Gentleness should be a staple of the Christian life (Vs 21-26).  Broken relationships can hinder our relationship with God.  If we have a problem with a brother or sister, we should resolve the problem as soon as possible.  We are hypocrites if we claim to love God while we hate others.  Our attitude toward others reflects our relationship with God.  We are to be a people of purity (Vs 27-32).  When Jesus said to get rid of your hand or your eye, He was speaking figuratively.  He didn't mean to literally pluck out your eye, because even a blind person can lust.  But if that were the only choice, it would be better to go into heaven with one eye or hand than to go to hell with two.  We sometimes tolerate sins in our lives that, left unchecked, could eventually destroy us.  It is better to experience the pain of removal – of getting sin out of our lives - than to allow the sin to bring judgment and condemnation.  It's important that we examine our lives for anything that causes us to sin, and take every necessary action to remove it.  Truthfulness is a trait that should be part of every Christian’s life (Vs 33-37).  Oaths or vows were common, but Jesus told His followers not to use them – their word alone should be enough.  Are you known as a person of your word?  Dare I say it?  Patience is an important characteristic of the Christian life (Vs 38-42).  When we are wronged, often our first reaction is to get even.  Instead, Jesus said we should do good to those who wrong us!  Our desire should not be to keep score, but to love and forgive.  This is not natural – it's supernatural.  Only God can give us the strength to love as He does.  Instead of planning vengeance, pray for those who hurt you.  Love is a powerful weapon for the Christian(Vs 43-48).  By telling us not to retaliate, Jesus keeps us from taking the law into our own hands.  By loving and praying for our enemies, we can overcome evil with good.  If you love your enemies and treat them well, you will truly show that Jesus is Lord of your life.  This is possible only for those who give themselves fully to God, because only He can deliver people from natural selfishness.  We must trust the Holy Spirit to help us show love to those for whom we man not feel love.

Why should we be concerned about meeting these expectations?  There are some very good reasons why God's people should measure up to these high expectations.  Because we are known by our fruits.  People should not judge, but they will.  There should be a differentness about Christians.  Because our works will be revealed.  Don't worry about not judging – Jesus will take care of that.  This is a matter of motives.  We can stop the talk of the enemy.  We can't stop all criticism, but we shouldn't create any either.  A godly life does silence the critics.  Because doing so will glorify God.  The more things are out of character the more they glorify.  We glorify God most by becoming like Him.  Because it brings peace to our own conscience.  We know we are doing what is right.  We know that we are doing what pleases God.

How we live is of great significance.  The salvation of Christ is not in sin, but from sin.  We are to be different!  God has high expectations of His people.  I challenge you to search out your own life today. See how you measure up – not to man’s – but to God’s expectations!

Until next time…enjoy the journey!


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