The question, “What is my reasonable service to God?” may never cross your mind. But I believe most of us have asked or do ask this question at times, “What does God expect from me?”.
We know God has expectations of us, but most people are not at all clear about what they are. This is due in part to ignorance of the word (just not knowing), usually for lack of reading it. Then there’s all the false doctrine being taught out there today. You know, the teaching that God has no standards, no expectation of right or goodness because, you know… Grace! Of course, let’s face it, some people don’t want to know, because knowing would obligate them to act on the knowledge, either in obedience or disobedience. Excuses, all of it.
Spoiler Alert: If You Don’t Want To Know What God Expects Of You As A Christian. STOP READING NOW!
Still here? Okay then, let’s see what the word of God says about God’s expectation of His people. First, let’s make something clear. These expectations apply only to those people who have been born again, saved by God’s grace through faith in the Lord Jesus, who are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, regenerated and renewed by the power of God.
For a lost person, God’s will is that you repent and come to Jesus Christ by faith and trust Him to save you from sin and make you a new creature, in His own image.
Okay, that’s settled. Here’s what God says about His expectations for His people (Warning: It’s kind of big – One Whole Chapter):
Romans 12:1-21 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. (2) And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (3) For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. (4) For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: (5) So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. (6) Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; (7) Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; (8) Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness. (9) Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. (10) Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; (11) Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; (12) Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; (13) Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. (14) Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. (15) Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. (16) Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. (17) Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. (18) If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. (19) Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. (20) Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. (21) Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
And that’s it in a nutshell. In other words, God wants all of us, and He says that’s ourREASONABLE SERVICE. He expects us to surrender to His will in our lives, which can be found in the Bible, His word. He wants us to sacrifice our pride, lust, and self-will in exchange for humility, charity, and submission to Christ. He expects us not to conform to this world with its sin, and to be transformed by the renewing of our minds (empowered by the Holy Spirit).
He expects us to be faithful members of His church (meaning a local congregation), and to participate and contribute to the church’s ministries and not just attend to receive something. He expects us to use our Spiritual Gifts to build the church, encourage and edify its members, and to help spread the Gospel in our communities, neighborhoods, cities, towns, counties, and beyond. AND He expects us to give up SELF to make that happen.
He expects us to show love, even when it’s hard to show love. He expects us to be honest and diligent in our business endeavors. He expects us to keep our word, and be honorable. He expects us to rejoice in the good times, be patient in the hard times, and pray at all times. He expects us to care for and help provide for one another’s needs. He expects us to be a blessing to those that persecute us, and to be unified with our brethren and stay humble. He expects us to never repay evil for evil. He expects us to be honest so that our witness is not damaged. He expects us to live peaceably with all men as much as possible and to never avenge ourselves, but rather to trust Him to balance the scales of His justice. He expects us to repay evil with good. Be good, Do good.
There you have it: God’s expectations of His people. Seeing how God created us, formed us in our mother’s womb, designed a purpose for our lives, and gave Jesus as the payment for our sins. I’d have to say that God’s expectations are indeed, reasonable. How about you?