Principal’s Pen: Action & Reaction

pen_8416c“For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.”

In Science, students learn Newton’s Third Law of Motion. It states that when two separate forces act on two corresponding objects, the size of the force on the first object equals the size of the force on the second.3rd law of motion

Soon after God created humans, the Bible relates what is perhaps the saddest chapter in history: the fall into sin. Adam and Eve had perfection. Without sin, there was no aging, pain, or death. Their relationship with God was perfect. They wanted what God wanted because they were holy. But, that would soon change.

The serpent tempted Eve with the forbidden fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Against God’s clear command not to eat it, Eve succumbed and Adam did the same.

Now, the perfect world plunged headlong into sin. Perfection disappeared. Evil infected every human thought. Yes, holiness was gone as evidenced by Adam and Eve immediately blaming others, vainly attempting to salvage their own sinful pride.

thorns_17324cAt this point, God could have destroyed creation and his creatures. Yet, he did the unthinkable. While cursing the serpent, he announced grace and mercy to Adam and Eve. He said, “And I will put enmity between you (serpent) and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he (the Savior) will crush your head, and you will strike his heel” (Genesis 3:15). God showed unimaginable love by promising One who would remove sin’s curse. Years later, in his proclamation from the cross, “It is finished,” (John 19:30), Christ, the serpent crusher, fulfilled this very promise.

Newton’s law explains the traits of objects and motion well. But, when considering the unfathomable grace of God, words can’t explain it. Adapting Newtonian verbiage, one might well say, “For sin’s every action, God’s grace and love respond with an immeasurable reaction.”

Lord, lead us daily to appreciate your great love for humankind as seen in the life, death, and resurrection of your Son, our Savior. Amen.

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

Principal’s Pen: Paying it forward

Print“Paying it forward.” It’s the practice of paying a stranger’s bill with no expectations. You may have “paid it forward” for someone—or someone may have “paid it forward” for you.

By grace, we have experienced “paying it forward” in our lives.

In his epistle to the Ephesians, Paul wrote to believers who were under fire. The times were perilous. The persecutions had begun. Nevertheless, Paul encouraged the Ephesians and believers of all times to walk with Christ and serve him in unity and love.

b12year17ecEarly in the epistle, Paul writes, “In [Christ] we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace” (Ephesians 1:7). Jesus made payment “through his blood.” These words refer to Christ’s death on the cross as sin’s complete payment. His payment releases us from the eternal penalty of sin. Furthermore, it helps us manage sin’s earthly consequences—guilt, hopelessness, and despair.

However, our freedom through Christ is not free. It cost him everything when he died to pay for our sins. What Christ did clearly illustrates grace—God’s undeserved love. By faith, we have the privilege of being God’s children with no strings attached. It is his free gift.

In a sense, Jesus “paid it forward” for our sins. Before we believed, “even when we were dead in our trespasses, [God] made us alive together with Christ” (Ephesians 2:5, ESV). The reason is humanly inexplicable: “for it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast”(Ephesians 2:8-9).

By grace, Christ “paid it forward” so that all believers may enjoy “the riches of God’s grace.

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

Principal’s Pen: I don’t deserve this

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Someone—feeling that life is unfair—may say or think these words. Christians could also utter them. However, by faith, they convey a completely different meaning.

Jesus and his disciples left Judea for Galilee. Unlike their countrymen, they traveled through Samaria. Eventually, they arrived at Sychar, the location of Jacob’s well. Jesus sent his disciples to town to buy food while he waited at the well.

A Samaritan woman came to draw water. Jesus asked her for a drink. Immediately, her defenses went up. “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (John 4:9). She knew that Jews did not associate with Samaritans or even share their cups. However, Jesus would not be dissuaded. He said, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water” (v. 10).

water4cThis woman did not realize that the long-awaited Messiah sat before her. After further conversation, Jesus revealed, “I am he” (v. 26). This woman did not deserve this. Jesus could have avoided Samaria. He could have said nothing when she approached the well. He could have ended the conversation after her rebuttal. Yet, by grace, he revealed himself to her as well as to “many of the Samaritans from that town [who] believed in him because of the woman’s testimony” (v. 39).

Those in Sychar did not deserve this. Neither do we.

We are “enemies of God” (Hebrews 10:27) through unbelief. We have “turned from following him and [have] no regard for any of his ways” (Job 34:27). This alone is grounds for God’s rejection.

Yet, by grace, he reveals Christ to us through his Word. Scripture provides the gospel’s “living water” (John 4:10) to identify Jesus as “that Messiah called Christ … [who] will explain everything” (v. 25).

“I don’t deserve this!” No. It should be, “I don’t deserve this”—“the incomparable riches of [God’s] grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus” (Eph 2:7).

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