JOHN POTOTSCHNIK FINE ART

A gift rejected

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When there is a free gift to be had, long lines quickly form, desperate to take whatever’s offered. They may not even know what it is, or if they even need it or will like it when they get it, but, they must have it. Some are so anxious to get what is offered that they cut in line ahead of others to make sure they get IT. I’ve seen it over and over, gifts, in time, seem to be disrespected, mistreated, and eventually carelessly discarded. Sadly, often there is a lack of gratitude expressed to the giver…any expression of  “Thanks”, written or expressed, never crosses one’s mind.

At the heart of all this is selfishness; self-centeredness feeds entitlement; entitlement can devolve into nihilism…a total rejection of all religious and moral principles. We see a lot of that today. Why? How did we get here?

 

The world offers many excuses: inequality, poverty, prejudice, injustice, racism, lack of tolerance, hate speech, anti-Semitism etc. etc. None of these conditions even come close to answering the questions.

The world has rejected the God of the Bible. “Outsiders” even acknowledge that when a nation or a people trust in God, they are blessed. Christians, this time of year, celebrate Jesus, who’s gift to mankind is not some trinket that the world rushes to possess, His gift to humanity is of incalculable eternal worth…the promise of eternal life to those that entrust themselves to Him through faith for the forgiveness of their sins. It’s called substitutionary atonement. Jesus, called the Lamb of God, offered Himself as our substitute…taking upon Himself our just punishment for sin, becoming our atonement. The world hates this message and the giver of it because it is too exclusive; “I am the way, the truth, and the life” is detestable to fallen man. He wants to be his own god. Wanting to be like God, he is determined to live life his way and yet enjoy all the benefits of heaven when he dies. What man does not realize is that he is enslaved, enslaved to sin, enslaved to all the things he claims is wrong with society. Blindly, he creates more and more laws, none of which have or ever will change the heart of man.

 

What Jesus offers is freedom from enslavement, a heart change, and total forgiveness of one’s sin…and He is totally qualified to do so. First of all, He is God incarnate. As a man he led a sinless life, taught as He taught, performed miracles of amazing proportion, offered His life as an acceptable blood sacrifice to His Father, and was bodily raised from the dead just as He said he would.

The Book of Hebrews in the Bible speaks of Jesus. “In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, and through whom He made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by His powerful word. After He had provided purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.”

No, the world does not rush to Him, they don’t seek Him or desire Him. He is treated by most as merely a mythological trinket. Like many worldly gifts, He too is disrespected, mistreated, discarded, and rejected, having no real value to man.

 

For the Christian, the Son is received and fully embraced as Lord and Savior, apart from whom there is no hope. Praise the Lord. Today is the day of salvation. Why not make it a goal to read through the New Testament this year, prayerfully, and just see what God does.

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