Home arrow Articles arrow HOW THE CHURCH DISCOVERS ECONOMIC JUSTICE arrow DOES GOD HAVE XPECTATIONS FOR HIS PEOPLE?
Home
Articles
Bible Studies
DOES GOD HAVE XPECTATIONS FOR HIS PEOPLE? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jim Jordal   
Wednesday, 15 November 2017

DOES GOD HAVE EXPECTATIONS FOR CHRISTIANS?

By Jim Jordal

“Unto whom much is given, will much be required…” Luke 12:48b

“ He who received the five talents came and brought another five talents, saying, 'Lord, you delivered to me five talents. Behold, I have gained another five talents besides them.' "His lord said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a few things; I will set you over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.' “     Matt. 25:20-21 WEB

Darrell Royal, the great Texas football coach of the 1960s and 70s was noted, not just for his powerful teams, but for his philosophy of coaching and of life. His life and personal philosophy stood out even among the legendary players and coaches of his era. His loyalty to the state of Texas and the University of Texas will be long-remembered among his players and fellow coaches.

Each year his scouts and assistant coaches would gather hopeful players from around the nation, and when they arrived on campus, Coach Royal would call them individually into his office and say: “Son, they tell me yuh got potential. Well, potential don’t mean nuthin’ to me except that yuh ain’t done it yet. Now get out there on the field and do it!”

Now I’m not a great student of football, but after a long career as school teacher I think I know a bit about some factors that lead to success in any field. They don’t always guarantee success, but they make it more likely. Among many factors or abilities leading to success, expectation stands as being vital to success. Potential leaders soon find out that if they don’t expect anything from players, students, or workers, they won’t get anything. Participants in any game or task rise toward expectation and fall toward mediocrity under its absence.

Christians, like talented football players, have great potential, but unfortunately, for various reasons some of it never gets used. Our potential lies in the power of God revealed and applied by spiritual leaders having exceptional wisdom, huge expectations for “what could be,” and righteous foresight coupled with an ability to nurture meaningful relationships.

History records many great leaders who succeeded in building institutions and groups of highly respected people. Much depends upon the performance expectations of leaders who can set examples, provide support for team members, judiciously apply discipline, and succeed in building that “one for all and all for one” attitude.

Yet today we miss much of that wisdom in our society. Politicians, who formerly worked only for their constituents and their nation, now seem to exist only to raise sufficient money for reelection. Money is now king of the commercial side of the nation, while fame-seeking and constantly falling moral standards define our entertainment. The citizens able or willing to consider this moral quagmire often tend to turn away from involvement in disgust over the chaos now impersonating good government or leadership.  

Sociologist Margaret Meade said: “Never doubt but that a small group of dedicated people can change the world. In fact, nothing else ever has.” Too many of us think we can be successful only through a large group of like-minded people.

There is great need today for small groups of concerned people to gather and organize around the pressing need to identify and practice what God expects of his people. Some of us get turned off to religion early in life due to overly-strict, literal-minded, cold-hearted parents or important people like teachers and religious workers who spoke of God’s love, but didn’t let much of it show. Others of us never really get “introduced” to Christ in the first place, and so feel a sort of alienation from serious believers. Others of us grew up under a sort of “feel-good” gospel that never established either viable goals or spiritual commitment. And some of us watched expectantly for evidence that faith actually meant something to its proponents, and were let down.

But whatever your angst concerning religion, there’s a place at the table for you---fears, doubts and all. The idea that God may have expectations for his people scares people because it seems to contradict what we understand to be the full acceptance by God for his children, no matter what. 

Micah 6:8 puts God’s expectations this way: “He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” Not many words, but great impact if we would just “do” them.