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What Does Jesus Expect?

While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. --ROMANS 5:8

Expectations create conditional love. "I love you, but I'll love you more if."

Now I know what you're thinking. Shouldn't we expect the best out of one another? Shouldn't we encourage each other to strive for excellence and never settle for anything else? Absolutely. But it was Christ who taught us how to use expectations. Does He demand a lot? You better believe it. Does He expect much? Only our best. Does He have expectations? Just that we leave everything, deny all, and follow Him. The difference? Jesus' expectations were accompanied by forgiveness and acceptance.

Study attentively these words written by Paul: "While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." When did He die for us? When we reached perfection? No. When we overcame all temptation? Hardly. When we mastered the Christian walk? Far from it. Christ died when we were still sinners. His sacrifice, then, was not dependent on our performance.

When we love with expectations, we say, "I love you. But I'll love you even more if.?" Christ's love had none of this. No strings, no expectations, no hidden agendas, no secrets. His love for us was, and is, up front and clear. "I love you," He says, "even if you let Me down. I love you in spite of your failures."

One step behind the expectations of Christ come His forgiveness and tenderness. Tumble off the tightrope of what our Master expects and you land safely in His net of tolerance.

SPREAD THE WORD THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Alone, expectations can be bullets that kill; but buffered by acceptance and forgiveness, they can bring out the best in us and those around us.

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