|Series Theme: "Faith Sermons"|
Title: 19. Expectations - the Bigger Picture
We have noted that:
we all live with expectations
for them to be realistic they have to be based on what has gone before.
Biblical expectations are built on God's faithfulness
When we are born again we enter a life that is supernatural, God empowered, changing and fruitful
We are to live in the light of these expectations
Our expectations can vary in the face of bad circumstances that are self-generated Jonah, Satan-generated Job or others-generated- Habakkuk
Our expectations are also a revelation of the state of our heart.
It is good to have high expectations of God but this is all about holding a balanced picture
We have said, when we are born again we enter a life that is supernatural, God empowered, changing and fruitful & we are to live in the light of these expectations
We said that the soil of a good heart has high expectations
That is right and it is based on the word of God
But there is a danger!
It is that we rely on our expectations of God for stuff to happen.
The truth is that we are to rely on God for stuff to happen.
Our expectations go up and down thus we can get into a mentality that says that things will only happen when I'm in a good place.
No, grace says things will happen because God decides they will happen
C. Examples of Good Expectations
1. The Centurion Lk 7:2,3
the centurion had a high level of expectation
he knew that Jesus just had to speak a word and it could happen
do we have such a high view of Jesus' authority?
2. The Paralysed Man Lk 5:17,18
the four friends were convinced that if they could get to Jesus their friend would be healed
they wouldn't let anything stop them getting to Jesus
do we allow ourselves to be put off getting to Jesus'?
3. The Canaanite Woman Mt 15:21,22
how did this woman's child get possessed?
she a Canaanite?
she didn't allow her past or nationality to keep her from Jesus
can we realise the truth about grace and not be put off by our past etc.
D. Examples of No Expectations Jesus just turns up!
1. The Deformed man Mk 3:1,2
Jesus just took the initiative
traditional religion was clearly helpless
2. The bent over woman Lk 13:10 -
again Jesus just took the initiative
she had been like this for 18 years - helpless
again traditional religion was helpless and just accepted it
3. The Widow of Nain Lk 7:11-
here was a situation beyond helpless
Jesus arrives and death is reversed
E. Understanding the bigger picture
there are times (mostly) when we are called to faith
yet that is not the extent of what will happen
God often lets us get on with our lives
but sometimes He turns up' and does things without warning
He is sovereign and all-wise
Life is a mixture of
If only we could know more clearly what He is doing
We think it would be easier for us to respond to His will
We think it would give us peace to know what He's doing
No, He calls us to walk by faith and not by sight (2 Cor 5:7)
It requires us to
F. And Finally
Yes, we are to have expectations about these lives that are supposed to be supernatural, God empowered, changing and fruitful & we are to live in the light of these expectations
But we are also to hang on to the revelation that God has a bigger picture and is working sovereignly in His world and we don't understand a lot of what he is doing.
It simply calls us to be alert and trusting and ready to respond to His leading.
A story is told of the Three Stone Masons:
Once upon a time a man out in the countryside came across a quarry where he saw 3 stonemasons at work. Each was busy working at cutting a block of stone. He asked the first man what he was doing. "I am cutting a stone!" He turned to the second man and asked him what he was doing. I am cutting a block of stone that has to be completely square so that it will fit exactly in a wall." He turned to the third man. He seemed to be the happiest of the three and when asked what he was doing replied: I am building a cathedral.
An alien arrived on earth and came across a bunch of Christians. He asked the first one what he was doing. I am living as a good person.
He turned to the second one and asked the same question. I am living a spiritual life, came the reply. He turned to the third one and asked the same question. I am a vessel in God's hand, came the reply, and sometimes He tells me what He wants to do and I do it, and thus I am used, and sometimes He just uses, and I am very happy about that as well. All I know is that He's got a plan and sometimes I'm aware of it and sometimes I'm not but He still has a plan and I'm part of it.