The following outline came from a sermon I heard Brother Harold Hazelip (former Lipscomb University President) give at Brentwood Hills on September 15 entitled "Power of Expectation". This outline could be used for a powerful sermon or Sunday school class.
What do you expect of yourself?
* It's easy to place blame (I MADE an "A" but she GAVE me a "B").
* A Reader's Digest article tells the story of a successful college pole vaulter who when asked about the secret of his success told about keeping a picture on his desk of him clearing the pole.
* Lance Armstrong overcame cancer to win the Tour de France, cycling's most grueling and glorious race. He won it not once, but three times in a row (as of 2002).
* Wilma Rudolph was the 20th of 22 children. She had scarlet fever and was told she'd never walk again. By 10 she was running. By 13 she was playing basketball. By 16 she had won three gold medals in the Olympics.
* Ephesians 3:20, Philippians 4:13
What Do You Expect of Others?
* Low expectations limit - from parents, teachers, coaches
* Robert Rosenthal was a Harvard psychologist who gave each student in one of his classes five rats each. He told one group that their rats had been specially bred to run a maze. He told the other half of the class that their rats were just regular rats with no special training. When he came back several weeks later, the rats that had supposedly been trained to run a maze were doing just that. The rats that had not been trained to run a maze couldn't run a maze. To the students' surprise, Rosenthal told them all the rats were the same. There was actually no special breeding. They performed or didn't perform due to their own expectations of the rats.
* A sociology professor at Johns Hopkins University sent his class to the Baltimore slums to survey the young people there. The class reported their findings and suggested that 90% of the 220 children in that neighborhood would probably do prison time. 25 years later a new class was sent to the same slums. Remarkably they were able to find 180 of the 220 children. They found that only four of them had done jail time. When they began to wonder and ask why over 100 mentioned the name of a teacher named Sheila O'Rourke. When asked what exactly she'd done to make such a difference, Mrs. O'Rourke just shrugged and said, "I loved every single one of them."
* Genesis 32:18, John 1:42
What Do You Expect of God?
* Not "ought" but really, what do you expect?
* Misguided expectations - John the Baptist, Emmaus Road, Become Our King!, Vindicate my cause!, Story of Two Brothers arguing over inheritance
The Good News
* God expects good things of us
* Romans 2:4, 2 Peter 2:4
* We miss the mark. He waits.