Lord, we come to you this day with great expectations that You will forgive us, redeem us, grant us Your grace, and stand with us forever. We also come to You knowing above all expectations that You will hear our prayers. Be with us as we carry Your word to others and pray for the spiritual, emotional, and physical well-being of those we mention and those we hold in our hearts.
And as we begin, may the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable to You, O’ Lord, our Redeemer. Amen
Isaiah 6:1 – 4 (NASB) 1In the year of King Uzziah’s death I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple. 2Seraphim stood above Him, each having six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3And one called out to another and said, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD of hosts, The whole earth is full of His glory.” 4And the foundations of the thresholds trembled at the voice of him who called out, while the temple was filling with smoke. “ Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I live among a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.” Then one of the seraph flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.: Then I hear a voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I; Send me!” He said, “Go and tell the people………………..”
If you would look at the congregation in our Bethel, you would be amazed at how open each person is when they come and how filled they are when they leave. This worship center is a house of grace, peace, acceptance, and love. And all you have to do is walk in or click in to realize this.
Each week in our Thursday evening prayer group, we reach out to those in need of improved health, strength to move forward in their faith, and knowledge that the Lord is with them every step they take on their path.
We all have expectations in our spiritual walk. This week I’d like to focus on some. What is it that we expect here on this earth as Christians?
First, let’s look at the simple definition of”expect” from Miriam Webster:
: to think that something will probably or certainly happen
: to think that (someone or something) will arrive or that (something) will happen
: to consider (something) to be reasonable, required, or necessary
Now, let’s look at a few:
- I expect Christ in me to give me stability, for He is my Rock.
Psalm 61:2–From the end of the earth I will cry to You, When my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
Psalm 92:15–To declare that the LORD is upright; He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him. As we worship, we bring something in to the service; we bring in offerings to God. That offering is our lives, given to Him. As we bring our lives to God as a living and holy sacrifice each and every day, as we focus on the true experience that is God-Centered, beginning and ending with God. This little service or prayer group, as we call it, should be an extension of the life we are living for Jesus 24/7. At the same time, as we worship God, we also can expect to receive something in return – the forgiveness, love and grace of God.
- I expect He Who is within me to develop His Character qualities in me as I grow in Christlikeness.
We “go and tell the people” what the Lord has put on our hearts as to what expectations we have as Christians here on earth.
“When we gather for worship, we should expect to sense the awesome presence of God.” Bob Russell, “When God Builds A Church” p.48. That is what I expect from worship services whether there are two of us or hundreds of us. I expect it wholeheartedly.
If you are an athlete, you expect to perform your best because of your training. When you worship, you expect to worship in love because of your alignment and love of God.
- I expect through worship to be freed from anxiety, depression, fear, and loneliness. Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
- I expect to be a child of God through prayer, supplication, and worship, John 1:12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God.
- I expect through prayer and worship that God will always give me peace & rest even when I think it is impossible. Matthew 11:28-30 – Come unto me all you are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
Isaiah had that mountain-top experience and here he was called to his prophetic ministry by God. What a rare and wonderful encounter he had. He had that true worship experience; and he was expecting and did have a true sense of God’s presence. He expected a conviction of his own sinfulness : but was granted total redemption and moved forward in God’s light and direction to “tell the people.”
He knew he was not worthy and expected nothing but was given forgiveness and instructions instead. He expected God’s presence from there on out and had it.
I expect God through Jesus Christ to instruct and lead me. Matthew 24:35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
- I expect God to lead me. I expect to always walk with our Lord and be guided in righteousness. Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. and Proverbs 23:18 Surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off.
And all of us expect that we will be protected and kept safe and live in spiritual peace.
- I expect God to always provide for me – 1 Tim 6::17 – Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant not to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us for everything for our enjoyment.
- I expect to live my life under the total protection of God. Psalm 32:7 You will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance, and Psalm 34:18 – The righteous cries out, He delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and save those who are crushed in spirit.
- I expect that the Lord, my God, will deliver me from my troubles. Psalm 34:18 The righteous cries out; He delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are cursed in spirit.
- I expect that God will continue to set me free. Psalm 118: vs. 5-6. In m anguish, I cried to the Lord and He answered by setting me free. The Lord is with me. I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?
- And we all expect to be servants of our Lord throughout our time and follow Him in whatever way He leads us. I expect my life to be a light in darkness drawing people to the heart of God so they can experience His great love and kindness through the Lord/Savior Jesus Christ by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Proverbs 23:18 Surely there is a future and your hope will not be cut off.
- I expect to continue working toward and create with the help of my associates an on-line church for all those who desired spiritual direction, love, care, and access to our Father in addition to or in place of due to not being able, physically, emotionally, or spiritually to attend a church in a building. Jeremiah 29:11 – For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
- I expect to live a life of love toward every people. Proverbs 10:28 The hope of the righteous brings joy, but the expectations of the wicked will perish.
- I expect “tomorrow” will come. Because “then came the morning and night turned into day.”
- I expect to walk before all people with respect and honor no matter how they treat me. Ephesians 2: 8-9. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not of your own doing. It is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that one no one may boast.
When we realize how sinful we are, we do not have to feel like we are finished! God’s grace shines through our weakness. If you cannot forgive yourself, or if you think God cannot forgive you, you are saying that sin is bigger than God. We do expect that we are forgiven and redeemed and held close in our Lord’s loving arms.
Each week, (each day) we should leave our place of devotion a different person. Whenever we are in the presence of God, we should NEVER be the same. We know beyond expectations that we become a better person as we hold out our hearts and turn them over to the Lord.
And as we do so, I expect each person to feel open and free to express themselves in what ever way they choose to show their love and worship of God.
- I expect that in our Bethel, people feel free express themselves to God during our worship.
- I expect that each person can feel free to raise their hands to God during the music in our service. I expect them to feel free to clap and do lots of toe tapping. I also expect that if a person does not feel like expressing themselves that way, they will not be forced into doing it.
- I also expect those who want to raise hands will not look down at those who do not feel comfortable doing that.
- I expect people to feel free to shout out “amen” if they want to.
- I expect people to feel the peace and acceptance and grace of our Lord in this Bethel where we worship.
Come to worship ready and expecting to be in the presence of God. When you come to worship, bring your sacrifice with you, the life that you have given to Jesus. We expect you to come and enjoy the fullness of God in your life with other Christians.
I know there are those that say these are unrealistic expectations for any person to accomplish on the earth. If these are unrealistic then Satan has more power in our lives than the Holy Spirit has who lives inside every Christian.
None of these expectations are out of reach for those seeking to please God. What a miserable life if you ever thought that God could not give us the desires to do right before Him. I refuse to believe that seeking to live like Jesus Christ is impossible to do on this earth.
Yes, I do expect to be led by the Holy Spirit into all truth, which is the desire of our Father God for my life on this earth. I expect it is yours also. How do I know (expect)? The Bible tells me so!
Believe and you shall be blessed. Come; join us in our Bethel of Great Expectations! We will be expecting you.