Expectations abound! There are expectations at work, expectations in community organizations, expectations at home, school, sports and so on. There are times when we become frustrated at everyone’s demands and what is expected of us. When we fall short of expectations consequences will vary from being denied a promotion, fired, poor grades, not making the team, heated arguments, guilt feelings and more.
What about God? Does he have expectations? Since he is perfect maybe you don’t want to know. I believe most people think God expects us to do the best we can and hopefully that will be enough.
The author of Ecclesiastes was very wise, walked with God, walked away from God and returned to God. During those years he gained a great deal of insight about life and God. He sums it up in Eccl. 12:13-14. Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil. We don’t have to jump through hoops, risk our lives, join a cult and shave our heads or hug a tree. It’s simple; “fear God and keep his commandments,” in this order.
To fear God is to fear his punishment, that is the judgment that comes when one dies as an unbeliever. It has nothing to do with performance, but knowing God is our creator and as such we are accountable to him alone. We are to live as he has instructed in his word. At the same time fear of God is loving reverence. Showing respect and honor to God in how we live and use his name. Loving him by making him the top priority in life and wanting to please and obey him. This is possible only because Jesus removed the penalty of death for sin through his death and resurrection imputed to us through faith.
When we surrender our lives to Jesus as our savior, we will not fear eternal death as he paid the price for us. We need only to fear and love God and then we will want to do as he says. Remember it is God who provides and continues the, love of God and others, faith to believe and obedience. These should be high on our prayer list.
“Lord, help me to love, trust and obey you this and every day.”
Pr. Bob Snitzer
By the Way: Today 4:30, Confirmation
Sunday 30, 9:00 Morning worship. Sermon: Run From God
10:15 Sunday school for all ages.
Annual reports due to Val J.
February 13, 10:20 annual meeting following worship.
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