"And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him." Hebrews 11:6
If you want to please God you have to have a clue about faith because without it you cannot please Him. And, if there is someone you need to please it is God!
What is involved in this faith thing? To give a simple answer to a profound question, faith is one part belief and one part expectation. Who do you believe God is and what do you expect from Him?
How important is that? Very!
Therefore, the "E" in H.O.P.E. is EXPECTATION. You cannot have hope unless you expect something good to happen because you are trusting in Someone good.
For the 2011-12 year at Fredericksburg Wesleyan Church, along with our emphasis on Holiness and our focus on Outreach and our concentration on Prayer, we are going to elevate our expectations. We are going to expect God to do amazing things because He is an awesome God.
What are you believing God for? What are you expecting from Him?
At FredWes we will expect God to show up! We will cultivate an environment of expectation.
Whenever we gather in His name, whether on a Sunday morning for worship or Sunday evening for LIFE Group or any other time, we should expect God's Spirit to be there. We should expect that He will come to bless and come to convict and come to cleanse and come to heal. What is the point of coming to church if you don't expect God to show up? And if you do come and are not expecting Him, He could show up and you would miss Him.
Do you expect to meet God when you go to church? Do you expect Him to show up when you have your quiet time?
And, do you expect growth to happen in your life? Do you expect growth to happen in your church? Do your expect in your LIFE group? If not, why not?
You can be sure of this, if God shows up, growth with happen! Things will change!
The men and women listed in Hebrews 11 are there because they expected God to do something unexpected. Abraham expected a son. Noah expected deliverance from a flood. Moses God to speak when he climbed Mount Sinaii he expected God to meet Him there. And God did!
Our third emphasis for expectation deals with our expectations of others in whom God dwells - the people of God.
What should we expect from Christians is Christ-like attitudes and Christ-like behaviors. Not only should we expect it but we should encourage it when we notice it happening. We should humbly and firmly confront a believer if we detect words, conduct, or attitudes that are not consistent with the nature of Christ. We should set our expectations based on what the Bible sets out as a standard for the people of God.
Are you living up to what you expect from a follower of Christ? Are you living up to what He expects from you as His follower?
At Fredericksburg Wesleyan Church we will build an environment of expectation. We will expect God to show up and we will expect growth to happen because God has shown up. And we will expect those who call themselves Christians to experience a real personal presence of the Holy Spirit in their lives.
Over the past several years we have had a year of moping as we dealt with a church split. Some people did not measure up to what we recognize as godly behavior. We did not measure up to their expectations and stress resulted.
That was followed by a year of coping and we tried to adjust to a loss of attendance and offering and momentum. Out of that came a period of groping as we struggled to discover who we could count on and what we would become.
2011-12 is now a time to begin hoping again! We will put our hopes in God and demonstrate that hope by seeking Holiness, by doing Outreach, by Praying and by Expecting. We will expect God to have favor on us as we live according to His will and in obedience to His Word.
What is your plan?