Friday, March 18, 2016

"High Expectations"

(a repeat from 2013)

  "High Expectations"   
     Children tend to succeed and accomplish in proportion to the expectations set forth for them.  Challenge rather than coddling produces responsible human beings who respect their own God-given dignity, as well as that of others.

     "Unto whomsoever much is given, much shall be required" (Luke 12:48).

     In spiritual terms, high expectations based on God's abundant provision in Christ instills in born again believers anticipation for a life of faith and faithfulness.  "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly" (John 10:10).  Conversely, low expectations for godliness reveal that we focus upon ourselves rather than "looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith" (Hebrews 12:2).  Do we anticipate that godliness will characterize our attitudes, words, actions, and relatings in this day?  Some might say that an affirmative answer to this question indicates pride and arrogance on our part.  Certainly, this could be the case if we base our confidence on our own dedication and discipline.  The Christian life cannot be lived by such fleshly means.  If, however, we ground our hope in the presence and promise of the God who "worketh in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure," how can we fail to join the Psalmist in his exultant affirmation, "My expectation is from Him" (Philippians 2:13; Psalm 62:5). 

     Past experience may scream at us, "You've failed before, and you'll fail again!"  Prospects of the future may appear dim despite the light of our Lord's promises of leading and enabling.  Moreover, our present sensibility may emphasize our native weakness rather than God's abiding strength in Christ.  What will we believe?  Or rather, Who will we believe?  Will we establish our expectation for this day on the faithful Word of the living and true God?  If so, high expectations will fill our hearts with hope.  We shall not be disappointed as through our indwelling Lord, we walk in a manner far beyond our natural abilities and capacities.  Even if we stumble along the way, and at times we shall, our Christ-instilled confidence will cause us to arise, stand, and walk again in expectation of the power of the Holy Spirit.  Yes, high expectations in the heart of believers leads to high performance when based upon the presence and working of the God who promises to provide Himself as the power of godliness...

"I will dwell in them and walk in them."
(II Corinthians 6:16)
"We shall live with Him by the power of God."
(II Corinthians 13:4)

Weekly Memory Verse
    And the LORD said, Behold, there is a place by Me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock.
(Exodus 33:21)

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