Principal’s Pen: Don’t miss an opportunity

principals-message-1There are many stories of missed opportunity.

In 2012, a man wished to invest $10,000. He researched many options and found a company whose story interested him. It was in the relatively new and rapidly expanding field of social media.

As he waited, the company’s stock dipped to $20 a share. Knowing his limit, he instructed his broker to buy 550 shares when the price reached $18. As the price further declined, he assumed that his broker made the purchase. He didn’t check.

However, the lowest price the stock reached was $18.06. For $.06 per share, his order was never executed and this investor missed out on a big opportunity—Facebook. His $10,000 investment in 2012 would be worth $90,000 today!

There are many stories of missed opportunity.

Early on the first morning of the week, the women went to Jesus’ tomb. They expected to prepare his body for burial. But, they did not find a lifeless body. They found two “men” in brilliant clothing. Even before they spoke, one man declared, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? [Jesus] is not here; he has risen!” [Luke 24:5-6].

The women “hurried away from the tomb … and ran to tell his disciples” [Matthew 28:8]. They didn’t want to miss the opportunity to share the message of the Savior’s resurrection.

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For many, Easter is a missed opportunity. To them, it’s a spectator event and they miss the opportunity to make its joy their own. Moreover, they miss the opportunity to share God’s message of life and hope through Jesus.

This year, may God guide every believer to seize the opportunity and be like the women who joyfully received the news of Jesus’ resurrection. Furthermore, may he lead us to share our joy so that others may hear and also believe, “[Jesus] is not here; he has risen!

Jim Grasby is principal of Lakeside Lutheran.
Reach him at 920.648.2321 or jgrasby@llhs.org

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Principal’s Pen: Are you sure?

Do we know — for sure?

Job may well be one of the oldest Bible books. It raises an age-old question:
Do we know — for sure?

Throughout Job, he made pointed statements. “But a man dies and is laid low; he breathes his last and is no more.” [Job 14:10]. He also asked tough questions. “If a man die, shall he live again?” [Job 14:14].

redeemer_16912cHis thoughts came from a heart that suffered great personal loss. Yet, by faith, he also exclaimed, “I know that my redeemer lives” [Job 19:25]. Job knew this — for sure. With these words, he stood on solid ground. In spite of his troubles, the Holy Spirit led him to speak comfort and assurance to all believers.

Job begins, “I know.” He pointed with certainty to a central truth of Scripture: his “redeemer lives.” Christ is true God. He controls everything. He lives and has conquered death. Paul echoed the same thought: Christ “was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ [is] our Lord” [Romans 1:4].

Like Job, we, too, may know and believe that our Redeemer lives in spite of our troubles and doubts. This is God’s plan for us. This is why the Bible was written. The Apostle John agrees. “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life” [1 John 5:13].

Through God’s Word, we know — for sure!

Jim Grasby is principal of Lakeside Lutheran High.
Reach him at 920.648.2321 or jgrasby@llhs.org

Principal’s Pen: Victory. It began in hell.

He descended into hell. We recite these words in the Apostles Creed. But, what do they mean? When did Christ descend into hell? Why did he do it? What does it mean for us?

Three days after Christ “was crucified, died and was buried,” he “rose again from the dead” (The Apostles’ Creed). Scripture provides little commentary about Jesus’ being between his burial and resurrection. His lifeless body lay in the grave. However, he earlier prophesied that he would use his “authority to take [his life] up again” (John 10:18). Doing this, he “rose again from the dead” and “he descended into hell.”

it is finishedIt is perhaps Peter who provides the most information on Christ’s descent. He writes, “After being made alive, [Christ] went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits – to those who were disobedient long ago” (1 Peter 3:19-20). Jesus clearly testified to those in hell who earlier heard his message and rejected it. He preached judgment, not repentance and forgiveness. There was no second opportunity. Christ showed himself alive to those lost souls so they would know and understand that their judgment was just and right.

Christ’s descent into hell has great meaning for us. It begins his exaltation. He defeated sin, death, and Satan. His descent into hell is a victory parade in front of those who denied him. This act helps us know and trust that our Victor-Savior has “authority to take [his life] up again” and will one day raise our glorified bodies to live with him forever in heaven.

He descended into hell.” These words express an important truth of the Christian faith. They point to the risen Christ.

God bless your victorious Easter celebration!
Christ has died! Christ is risen! Christ will come again! (CW 406)

Jim Grasby is principal of Lakeside Lutheran High.
Reach him at 920.648.2321 or jgrasby@llhs.org

Principal’s Pen: Identity theft-proof

Identity theft is the world’s fastest growing crime. Government websites, online financial records, and other secure databases are vulnerable. In the hands of identity thieves, stolen personal information can be used to apply for loans, credit cards, and government benefits. Identity theft is serious. Last year, it cost Americans $16 billion!

Before the world experienced this type of identity theft, a different kind occurred. More destructive and far-reaching than cyber theft, this identity theft affects every human. Tragically, its effects are eternal.

snake_15215cThis identity theft first occurred in the Garden of Eden when Satan stole God’s holy image from humans. Satan convinced the first man and woman that God was holding back from them. His line, “Did God really say,” (Genesis 3:1) drove a sinful wedge between God and humankind. The once perfect knowledge of God and his holy will was eternally gone—stolen by Satan. With this loss, the joy of serving God was gone. Life would now be a daily scenario of sinful, self-survival with no hope of self-rescue or self-renewal.

God, however, would not allow it to end this way. He intervened and promised restoration through his Son’s perfect life, innocent suffering, and death. Through faith in Christ, all believers would enjoy holiness and righteousness. God the Father even declared his approval for his Son’s perfect atonement by raising him from the dead.

Christ’s resurrection at Easter foreshadows our resurrection. His resurrection is God’s sure sign to all believers that our identity as God’s children is fully restored. Jesus paid this cost to reestablish us as “fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household” (Ephesians 2:19). This is Easter’s promise.

No one can steal it from us—ever!

Mr. Jim Grasby is principal of Lakeside Lutheran.
Reach him at 920.648.2321 x2204 or jgrasby@llhs.org