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What Does God Expect of Us?

by Rev. Jacquetta on 01/30/19

Does God expect from us the same thing we expect from others?  Does God expect from us the same thing others expect from us?  Does God expect from us the same thing we expect from ourselves?


First of all, our expectations of others and what others expect of us are based on our own limited perspective.  We tend to see the world in light of who we are and what we've been through.  Consequently, we expect others to treat us the way we treat others or the way we've been told they treat people or the way they've treated us in the past.  We sometimes even expect people to treat us the way they say they'll treat us, whether they've done so in the past or not.  The same goes with the expectations others have of us.

Second, our expectations of ourselves are often very high.  We expect more from ourselves than we expect from God.  We expect to be able to meet every deadline.  We expect to solve every problem.  We expect to fix everyone's issues.  And we expect to do it right away.  We even give God some leeway.  We give God another chance when God doesn't come through immediately.  We're hard task masters over ourselves.  When we don't meet our own expectations, we begin the negative self-talk and beat ourselves up.

So what does God expect of us?  Absolutely nothing!  God has no reason to expect anything.  God knows exactly who we are and what we'll do.  God knows why we're here and why we behave the way we do.  God has no reason to expect anything.  We're a story God wrote.  If we write a story, we know exactly what's going to happen in the end.  We know every twist and turn and action and thought of each character.  God wrote our story and knows all about us, too, and knows our every twist and turn and action and thought.

So now we're asking, "But what about free will?"  We have that.  The difference between our story and God's is that we, in our limited, human capacity, write a limited story with only one way for our character to go--the way we send him or her.  God writes in all the infinite possibilities, and once we make one choice, God knows all the possible choices it leads to.  And of all the infinite choices that choice creates, God knows what we'll choose from there.  

If God didn't know everything, it would make a great suspense story.  And for those outside of us, we are a suspense mystery.  Wow, we're even a mystery to ourselves!

So do you see why we have no reason to feel we've let God down?  We can only let someone down if they have an expectation and we don't meet it.  God already knows us, loves us anyway and expects nothing of us but for us to be ourselves.  No heavy expectations.  No burdensome disappointments.  Just be the best you you can be, and God is pleased because God made you to be you.

Shimhotep!

The Reason for the Season

by Rev. Jacquetta on 12/19/16

Be on the lookout for those who celebrate Christmas but don't respect Yeshua, the reason for the season.  Christmas is named after the Christ.  Some sources say in the middle ages in England, "mass" meant a religious feast day.  The Oxford Living Dictionary says the origin of "mass" is Old English mæsse, from ecclesiastical Latin missa, the dismissal prayer at the conclusion of the liturgy or public worship.


Based on these definitions, mass, as a religious feast day, may have come from the Old English dismissal prayer at the end of worship.  The connection is that at the end of worship, we go out with a song of celebration, as taught to us when the disciples were sent out after their last supper with the Christ (Matthew 26:17-30).  They sang a hymn first, which is a song of praise or celebration.  They were celebrating that the end of Yeshua's life was the beginning of their lives, but they didn't know that at the time.  

Similarly, the beginning of Yeshua's life was the end.  Whether "mass" means festival or dismissal at the end, the Mass of Christ or Christmas means we are celebrating that the Christ began His life specifically to prepare for His end and our beginning.  Let's keep that in mind as we go about our celebration.  While we're shopping and cooking and eating, let's look at our families and friends and remember the gathering of the disciples when they ate together.  They sang a hymn...let's sing together and go out and share what Yeshua left for us...food and drink to a new life.

Thank God for Closed Doors

by Rev. Jacquetta on 08/24/15

Romans 8:28

 

Have you heard the saying, "When God closes a door, he opens a window?"  I didn't understand, much less appreciate, that saying growing up.  Most of us don't.  When the door we've been trying to get through closes, we get disappointed.  But there may be another way to handle a closed door.

            Everything works for our benefit when we trust God to take care of us.  So, when the job we want doesn't come through, or the car we want isn't on the lot, or when the partner we want happens to be married, that closed door might be working for us rather than against us.  Far too often, we try to force a situation to fit our desires.  All that does is create confusion, of which we know God is not the author.  If God isn't the author, who is?

            We can't fight every closed door.  And we often waste precious resources and time trying to make something work that was never meant to.  In Numbers 22, Balaam's donkey resisted moving forward and presented a closed door.  Balaam struck his donkey until it finally asked him, "Have I ever done this to you before?"  That's when Balaam realized God was trying to tell him something by not allowing him to move forward.  How long does it take us to have the same realization?  

 

Prayer:

Thank You, Lord, for loving me enough to close some doors.  Open my eyes, as you did for Elisha's servant.  Help me to always see your care and protection of me.  Amen.

 

Suggested reading:

Numbers 22:1-35

2 Kings 6:13-18