Guest speaker: Kevin Cox
CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP, PERSONAL GROWTH, AND EXPECTATIONS
Where do expectations come from? <> What is the source of expectations? <> Are expectations generated from personal preference, from a satanic source, or from the Lord? <> Why does the Lord allow expectations to occur since they often result in personal difficulties with either oneself, with others, or with the Lord, or with all three; myself, people, the Lord?
NOTE: We aren’t just finding fault with people but we are finding fault with the Lord?
*If with a believer, can not God change that believer?
*If with the Church, can not God change the Church?
*If God doesn’t make a change, why doesn’t He? Is there a reason?
Psalm 62:5 “My soul, wait in silence for God only, For my hope is from Him.”
THEREFORE: Any expectations we have about family, deacons, pastors, Church members, even ourselves; we give those expectations to the Lord.
REALITY: We cannot do anything about these expectations outside of what the Lord does. If we could have done something then we would not have needed JESUS to die and remove our sin, and remove the condemnation from the LAW against us. ~ Colossians 2
BUT WHEN DO EXPECTATIONS OCCUR?
When someone becomes a Christian, the Lord gives that person a dream or vision of what a Christian should be like; the vision typically centers upon Christ. He is the standard.
However, unbelievers/ non-christians, also have expectations of what Christians should be like. But those particular standards are fed by satan simply because he is the accuser. To “accuse” means that a person has to have some kind of standard by which to find fault. (Revelation 12:10)
NOW – God does not want any of us as His people to live in a DREAM WORLD. So what happens? God allows and works to break us out of that possibility. We often find ourselves then accusing brother in Christ, sister in Christ, even the Lord Himself, and even yourself. Some standard is depended upon. The standard one uses may not be substantiated by God’s Word; it might just be personal preference as to what someone ought to be.
WHAT IS GOD THEN DOING/ ALLOWING WHEN THESE EXPECTATIONS OCCUR?
He means to bring you to the foot of the Cross. No one is better than another at the cross.
A. We all need the forgiveness of Jesus in our daily life.
B. The standard is perfection found only in the life of Jesus Christ.
C. At the Cross we find thankfulness for fellowship, church, each other.
Whatever the expectations, they would likely not have existed prior to becoming a believer within a given fellowship of people. Interesting that unbelievers don’t sweat it.
AS THE SUPPOSED FAILURES OF OTHER PEOPLE ARE ENCOUNTERED WHAT RESPONSE SHOULD BE PROMPTED?
How do we approach each other in the Church?
1. Thank you, Lord.
2. Thank you, for loving me.
3. Thank you, for giving your life for me.
4. Thank you, for giving your life for my Christian brother or sister.
5. Thank you, God, that we get to enjoy eternity because of Your love and grace.
REMEMBER THE IDEA OF ‘NEW LIFE’ IN CHRIST!!!
1 Corinthians 2 and 3 – references made to a child who feeds on milk. (Hebrews 5-6)
Note, that people grow as able and sometimes regress in certain ways for many reasons.
REMEMBER WHEN FINDING FAULT, WHERE IS IT COMING FROM?
Walking in the Holy Spirit, (Galatians 5:22-24) one would see Christ’ work rather than particular faults along the way as a person grows up in their Christian maturity.
Question: How do we look at other? right/wrong, good/bad, responsible/irresponsible.
1. Romans 14:4 – “Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls, and stand he will for the Lord is able to make him stand.”
2. When wrong is done? Ask, what is the pain driving the behavior? How can we minister to that pain? What is the source? Book – “Connecting.” What is the Spirit doing? How can we draw that out in their life?
3. What is God doing in my life personally as I look on in a given situation? If in heaven would my perspective be different? Why am I having an issue? How might I nourish the faith of another? What do I need to study or hear; help them here?
NOTE 2 Corinthians 4:11 – Jesus is allowing need for the goal of stimulating growth in Him. 1,000 commands/ expectations in NT – I have yet met one person that has been flawless in all. Revelation 2 – note the condition of the Ephesian Church.