Summary: There are some reasons God has and we should have "High Expectations" for life.
* In 1999 the Broadman Holman Publishers released a book written by Dr. Thom Rainer entitled, “High Expectations.” The thesis of this book is that churches who expect much from their members get much. Conversely, it is true that if a church expects little, it will get what it expects. Dr. Rainer made his case after hearing from & studying several dozen churches from almost every state in the Union. You see, when you have HIGH expectations for anything, it will change your approach, and outlook.
* This morning I submit to you that our expectations about Christ and what HE can and will give to us, will impact our approach to life, our activities in life, and our outlook beyond life. If you and I keep our focus and find our hope only in this life we will be, like Paul writes, most miserable. And that is not a good place to be. But if our hope is built on nothring
* When Jesus comes into our life, we can and should have high expectations. He expects much from us and He expects much for us. Because of our connection to Him, through our coming to faith, the bar for our life and our future should be raised to a higher level than humankind can image. So let me ask, “Why should we have high expectations” and then, let me offer 5 reasons to expect much.
1. My Partnership with Christ – Quite honestly, I have mixed emotions about the sound of this thought. By definition, partnership is the sharing the profit and losses, the good and the bad, the triumphs and failure, and the joy and the suffering. Here’s the thing, I think I like the profits, the good, the triumphs, and the joys, but I prefer NOT to have to share the cross. Yet the Bible says that I am a partner and share with Him in an inheritance, an abundant life, and one day a home in heaven.
* Verse 17 says we are co or joint heirs with Jesus. This means we are in it together. We suffer like He did so that we can enjoy the glory that He does. Think about this; He was rejected. If we live for Him, we will be rejected. He was despised. If we become like Him, quite likely we’ll be despised. The list goes on. Whatever this world did to Him, they may well do to His followers. Why is this? The Bible says that “we” are the light of the world. When we let our light shine, it reveals the wicked-ness with which this world has become so comfortable. The very name Jesus is a dividing factor. Today, if one can pray in a public forum, they are instructed NOT to use the name of Jesus. Jesus is an offense to the sinfulness of this world, and you and I are His representatives.
High Expectations – Pg 2
* Last week I ended the message with the story of the elderly missionary couple coming home from a lifetime of work in Africa. If you remember the husband was disturbed that President Roosevelt got all the attention upon the ship arriving home in New York. Bothered by this the man prayed about not being anyone to greet him when he got home and the Lord reminded him, “You’re not home yet.”
* Here is what we need to learn from that story. We may never have wealth, fame, accolades, or the like in this world. But as a partner with Jesus there is more to come. Which brings us to the next reason,
2. My Perception through Christ - They say perception is reality. When we perceive that this life is “the best it can ever be”, then we give IT our full and undivided attention. When we do this, we set the bar of expectation very low compared to the expectations which God has for us. God wants the very best eternity has to offer for us and that “best” is only in Christ.
* While it’s true that our partnership with Christ may cause us heartaches on earth read verse 18 with me. (read) The scripture says, “Whatever we suffer down here is overshadowed by what lies ahead for us.” This was a concept which Paul was clearly coming to understand and teach because in the very next letter he would write, he gave the same message to the church at Corinth. (2 Corinthians 4:16-18).
* Have you ever wanted to give up? You are trying to live for Christ, then something happens, and a little voice says, “What’s the use?” If you listen to this voice and respond—you will quit. First, every one of us should know and realize that these urgings are directly from the enemy. He wants you to quit. Next, understand enemy does not want the best for us. If you are a believer then the enemy KNOWS he cannot separate you from your eternity. But he can make you ineffective and miserable for now. He will make a stab at keeping you away from the assembly.