The nature of your expectations will have direct impact on your receptivity of future grace.
The preaching of the gospel is a powerful means of grace for the Christian, but is that your expectation? What is the nature of your expectations every time you hear the Word of God preached? A gospel-centered church will have a congregation full of gospel-centered expectations every time the Word of God is proclaimed. The commentary (and lifestyle) post-preaching will evidence the nature of expectations, whether they are God-honoring or not.
When it comes to the preaching of God’s Word (or gospel) . . .
» If you expect to come away with intellectual insights, you will find something to satisfy knowledge cravings.
» If you expect the preacher will say something debatable, you will find something to blog about.
» If you expect to judge the quality of the preacher’s message, you will find something he said wrong or could have said differently.
» If you expect to have a to-do list for moral improvement, you will find opportunity for behavioral modification to try harder and do better.
ON THE OTHER HAND . . .
» If you expect life transformation, you will discover the Spirit exposing sin and fostering greater desire for repentance.
» If you expect to become like Jesus, you will be granted fresh eyes of faith to behold Jesus.
» If you expect to be used in the service of the kingdom, you will find the Word empowering and enabling you to bear fruit disproportionate to your abilities.
» If you expect to meet with God, you will find God will not pass you by without glimpses of His glory and grace.
The question is . . . what are you expecting whenever you come under the authority and power of God’s living and active, faith-engendering, sin-exposing, Christ-exalting, gospel-centered Word?
He who has ears to hear, let him hear. – Jesus