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He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing in love.” 

Ephesians 4:16

Over my adult life I have learned a valuable lesson. This lesson is one that can save people from many moments of disappointment, frustration, and disharmony. This lesson is one that can help people be clear in their vision, direction, and quality of life. This lesson is so important that I talk about it with my wife, daughters, couples preparing for marriage, and almost everyone who will listen. What have I learned? I have learned the power of expectations.

Expectations are interesting. We all have them. A lot of the time we are not fully aware of our expectations. We enter into a situation with an expectation in the back of our mind. When that expectation is not met we are not happy, we are frustrated, or we are disappointed. When it comes to relationships we often have expectations of the other person. We expect them to treat us well, to encourage us, support us, and love us. When these expectations, or any others, are not met we experience a breakdown in the relationship. Expectations, and how we manage them, are extremely important in our life.

The church is not different. Everyone comes to church with expectations. In a church of over 1,000 members, there are thousands of expectations at work. We expect good worship, we expect a good message, good Bible studies, good programs for children, students, and adults. We also expect people will be warm, friendly, and loving. At the deepest level we expect to encounter Jesus in all of this. What expectations do you bring to church?

Then there is what the church expects of us. Jesus founded the church on the Great Commission. The expectation is that we will go into all the nations and make disciples. The expectation is that we will baptize those who become disciples and teach them all the things Jesus has taught us. The church expects us to be actively making new disciples and leading them to experience God’s grace through a growing relationship with Jesus Christ.

How are we doing? What expectations do you have of the church? How do you react when that expectation isn’t met? How are we doing at meeting the expectation of making disciples? These are important questions to ask and even more important to answer.

This Sunday we will discuss what it means to be Grateful for Church. This is such an important discussion for us to have today. I can’t wait to see you in church at 8:15|NINE45|11:15 or on livestream at SAUMC.NET. The best is yet to come.


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