Summary: This message looks at four areas in which we need to examine our expectations. It was preached during a combined service with our Hispanic mission hence it’s brevity and spacing to allow for translation.
What expectations do you have?
Everyone has expectations.
Some are simple day to day expectations that we have but never give any thought to, like… we all expect the sun to rise and set.
We don’t give any thought to these expectations because they are always met.
Other expectations are more deliberate, like… I expect to have a good day at work.
Of course if you have lived for very long then you know that these types of expectations are not always met even though they are practical and realistic.
Then there is yet one more type of expectation we have and it is unrealistic expectations.
These are expectations not founded in reality or probability but rather an attitude that causes us to expect something less or more than is merited by the circumstances.
For example on the less side, if I owe the IRS money and expect them to simply overlook it because I am a little fish in a big pond then I have an expectation not founded in reality.
Now on the more side, if I am being audited because of the former example and I expect the IRS to be kind and gracious and help me to find all of the ways I could save on my taxes and avoid this situation then again my expectations are not founded in reality and I will be sorely disappointed with the outcome.
We as Christians have expectations as well and I think more often than not our expectations fall in the unrealistic and less category.
We tend to expect far less of God than He is both willing and able to do.
We will see that here in Acts 10:44-48.
As a result we need to engage in an expectation examination.
Let’s see what is taking place here in this passage that we can identify and learn from. (read the passage)
I believe there are four areas that we can identify in which we need to examine our expectations.
The first we see is in the beginning of verse 44. THEY BELIEVED (the gospel)
It says “while Peter was still speaking these words”.
Peter was in the middle of his gospel presentation and those who heard believed.
So often our expectation is that somehow we must be good speakers and thoroughly convince someone for them to believe and receive the gospel.
We completely underestimate the power of God to work and move in the hearts and minds of the people He has given us to share with.
Our expectation ought to be that God can speak to anyone so that they might believe when we are willing and faithful to share the gospel.
The second we see is at the end of verse 44. THEY RECEIVED (the Holy Spirit)
This is something the believing Jews that were with Peter never expected.
They thought until now that the gift of salvation and the Holy Spirit was just for the jews.
But God again went beyond their expectations. They were learning not only the meaning of Peters vision but seeing the application of it.
They were also seeing the continued fulfillment of Acts 1:8.
Now this is something we do expect, at least in word, but what about in deed?
You see these believing Jews would never have accepted these new Gentile believers without confirmation from God that He was at work in this instance.
We too need to make sure that we are unconditionally accepting of those whom have believed and received the Holy Spirit.
Our expectation needs to be that they are one in the spirit with us and nothing less.
The third we see is in verse 46. THEY MAGNIFIED (the Lord)
The speaking in tongues here was not some ecstatic utterance. It was known language.
It is also very likely that the language spoken was Hebrew since the Jews with Peter understood that they were magnifying God with their words.
Very often when a person accepts the Lord they are filled with enthusiasm to do and say whatever they can to tell others about their new found faith.
Then some well meaning “mature” Christian brother or sister comes along and assures them that their enthusiasm is good while it lasts but they will soon get over it.
Our expectation seems to be that enthusiasm in magnifying God is something that is supposed to be short lived and temporary.
The expectation ought to be that ALL believers will magnify the Lord with their speech and actions their entire lives.
The fourth and final area we see is in verse 48. THEY IDENTIFIED (with Christ)
The verse says they were all baptized.
There are some things we should understand about this baptism.
They did not have to be baptized so they could be saved.
They were baptized because they were saved.