A couple of years ago I read a book entitled, "High Expectations' by Thom Rainer. The crux of the book was that growing, strong churches had high expectations for their members and adherents. I believe it. When we are challenged to rise to the occasion, we usually do. But the problem with high expectations is they challenge your lifestyle, attitudes and culture. Everyday we are challenged with the choice of Christ's expectations or living to please our culture.
Pentecost has high expectations for you and me. When we totally yield our life to Jesus we will be challenged to change. Some people complain about being challenged, but the truth the life that Jesus has in store for you is better than anything you can create on your own. If giving up some pleasure that only serves yourself instead of Christ improves your life - what is so hard about that?
Most of what we struggle with are those things which are self serving. What is the one thing that Jesus is trying to help us get out of our system? Our selfishness. So the next time you complain about the challenge to change your life - think about this. Who are you serving, yourself or Christ?
God created people to believe in Him. If they choose to reject Him, as they did Jesus right to His face, so be it. But the vast majority of people want to believe in a real Jesus. A recent study of young people (late teens though 30's) says that do not believe that the church today is a true reflection of Jesus, but if there were to find a church that was - they would most likely check it out.
Jesus was never ashamed to tell people the high standards that His Father desired for His people. Neither should we be ashamed to tell others. But Jesus never condemn them with such knowledge, unless the people chose to be condemned.