Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Toaster, Luxury Cruise or Better?

It’s your birthday. You open your fist gift. It’s a toaster. How nice. You’re thankful.

You open your second gift. It’s a travel itinerary documenting an all expenses paid cruise for two to the Bahamas! You’re thankful. Very thankful. No actually you are blown away with gratitude.

Two gifts, causing two very different reactions. Why? The recipient’s level of gratitude is directly proportional to the perceived value of the gift.

And that is precisely why the Apostle Paul spent such a significant portion of his life being beaten, rejected and imprisoned as he told people about Jesus. Paul was thankful. Very thankful. No actually he was blown away with gratitude. Paul knew how much he had been forgiven.

1 Tim 1:15b “ ‘Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners’ —and I am the worst of them all.”

Because a recipient’s level of gratitude is directly proportional to the perceived value of a gift, Paul, who saw himself as a vile reprobate, was stupendously appreciative toward Jesus.

Some people hear that Jesus died for them, and because they see them selves as a basically good person, react as if they were just given a toaster, “How nice”.

Some people hear that Christ died to give them life and, because they view themselves as a moderate to heavy sinner, they react like they’ve received cruise to the Bahamas.

But some people, like Paul, recognize how intensely they have sinned against God. And because they so completely understand the darkness of their wicked hearts, they spend the rest of their lives serving the King of Glory in meekness and overwhelming gratitude. Paul was this kind of guy. How about you?

How we react to Christ’s gift of life will show how much value we perceive in the cross. The person who knows they have been forgiven much, in return, loves very much. And folks who are merely church goers will simply make toast.

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