by Pastor Eric
Raising children is an amazing blessing from God. The fact that God would empower us and equip us to be parents is actually remarkable. He places his children into our arms to raise up, to teach, to care for, and to love. From the moment they enter into this world we feel the pressure of this great responsibility. Although it’s not always easy, the joy of being a parent is an awesome feeling! It definitely has its ups and downs, but in a small way, they make our lives complete!
Although parenting is a joy most of the time, it also comes with challenges and difficulties. As we raise our children up, we teach them about boundaries and establish expectations. This is even more true for parents who are raising their children up to know and to fear the Lord. As they grow, we expect our children to talk, act, and live a certain way. This can come in the form of small things, like expecting them to keep their rooms clean before playing, to obeying us. As they grow, expectations can change: they are expected to be home before 11pm or they are expected to get a job to help pay for their car insurance. Expectations are important for growth, and help them in decision-making and dealing with the consequences when they miss the mark.
As they move into college or the work field, there are different expectations, like being on time for class or work. Maybe it’s expecting them to find a good church to go to or to call home on Sunday afternoons. And it doesn’t stop there! As they move out, get married, and have children themselves…there are even more expectations in every season of life.
As I thought about this, specifically with my own four daughters, I couldn’t help but reflect on God’s expectations for his children, his expectations for you and me. When we proclaim that we are “Christians,” the world, the church, our families, and even God himself has certain expectations for us. We proclaim that we are more than the world, that we are fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God, that we are his children–so, more is expected from us. God has given us gifts of the Holy Spirit, full access to our heavenly Father through prayer, and an intimate relationship with our savior Jesus–so, more is expected of us. Through God’s Holy Word we have more knowledge and instruction about this world, wisdom, love, about life, death, and salvation–so, more is expected of us. As Christians we have the promise of hope, forgiveness, peace, joy, and eternal life through Jesus Christ…….more is expected of us.
Being a Christian is more than just getting our “ticket punched” to heaven and although our “expectation” is to be at home with our heavenly Father one day, he has us here, right now, and much is expected of us. We are called to share the good news of Jesus with a world that desperately needs to hear it. When we live our lives in a way that meets these expectations, our witness will be full, impactful, seen, and known by everyone. In Matthew 5, we read about some of these tangible “expectations”: we are called to be an example (vs 13-16), obedient (vs 17-20), forgiving (vs 21-26), pure (vs 27-32), trustworthy (vs 33-37), bearing with one another (vs 38-42), and to be love (vs 43-48). This is in just ONE chapter of scripture. I’m certain that you can find many others throughout God’s Word. Most importantly, each one of these expectations points back the person and character of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The Lord does not expect us to be or do anything he wouldn’t be or do…..and we can expect that! We won’t always get it right, but we have to keep our eyes focused on the giver of all that is good and to seek earnestly to be more and more like Jesus himself. “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ” 1Cor. 11:1.
Brothers and sisters, we can expect the world, the church, and even God to place certain expectations on us as we boldly proclaim to be children of the living God……what will they see when they encounter you? Will you meet or even exceed their expectations?
“From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded [expected]; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked [expected]” Luke 12:48.
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