Expectations and Standards

By Karen Polich

Once Jesus has entered our life, we all start with the same potential for Kingdom impact.    – Michael M. Cook

What expectations and standards matter in our lives? We all face the ultimate final exam. It is not a judgment of salvation, but a life audit that looks at our service. This exam is not related to our salvation, which is a matter of its own. We either choose Christ or we don’t. (If we don’t, the final exam doesn’t really matter.)

Good works do not take you to heaven but they do accompany you to heaven. Michael M. Cook

By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames. 1 Corinthians 3:10-15

I’d like to do more than escape from the flames. We have a choice about how we establish our standards and expectations. We can begin each day with a goal to serve Him. What we do with that opportunity is up to us.

Yet, there is no comparison or envy that comes with the judgement. The calling on each of our lives is as unique as the creation God made us to be. My potential is mine and your potential is yours. Jesus is the cornerstone. The similarities come in the principles impacting the time when we will stand before Jesus Christ.

God is concerned with every single minute of your life. – Michael M. Cook

We will all have a life reviewed. It is impending. It will be intense and exhaustive. There will be no negotiation or argument. It won’t resemble anything like a debate. It will simply be what it is. We will have a labor rewarded because we are called to be co-laborers with Christ. How and what we have done will be reviewed. What matters is the “why”. It isn’t about quantity, but about the quality and motives of our heart. Did we do what we could? Was excellence (our very best) at play?

We don’t work “for” God, we work with Him so He can work through us. Think about that the next time you are bringing something to God in prayer. How can He work with you, not for you? How can He help you stay focused on the prize?

Setting standards and expectations with our eyes on Christ brings new perspective to the daily distractions of this world. What really matters? How can I be a person of excellence in His eyes?

Listen to Pastor Michael M. Cook’s sermon series, Forming the Church We’re Called to Be, here.



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