Pastor's Message 

 

 


“I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” Philippians 3:8

Mixed Up Mess

You may have heard the story about the pranksters who broke into a hardware store. Strangely enough, they didn’t steal a thing. Yet what they did created chaos of epic proportions—they switched all the price tags!

The store owner was unaware of anything amiss until the first customer stepped to the cash register with a hammer that rang up at $199.95. Naturally, the customer’s jaw dropped. “What’s that thing made of?” he demanded. “Platinum?”

On further inspection, employees noticed that a big screen TV in the appliance section was selling for $14.95. The goods were all the same, resting on the same shelves as the night before, but the assigned values were hopelessly jumbled.

I can’t help but think that Satan likes to pull the same stunt with us. Unaware of his stealth work, we go through life with mixed-up price tags on our accomplishments and accolades. We assign the wrong value to who we are and what we have—not to mention the lack of value we assign to God who unequivocally deserves the highest value.

Paul had the price tags right when he wrote to the Philippian believers: “ But, whatever things were a profit for me, these things I have come to consider a loss because of Christ. 8 But even more than that, I consider everything to be a loss because of what is worth far more: knowing Christ Jesus, my Lord. For his sake, I have lost all things and consider them rubbish, so that I may gain Christ (Philippians 3:7-8 EHV).
 
There’s Paul at the cash register, looking at all the price tags attached to his experiences, achievements, and treasures. He’s got a red pen in his hand, and all those things that used to be so valuable, so precious, so terribly important to him have been slashed down to zero. In fact, Paul’s loading them up in boxes, headed for the dumpster out back.  Paul’s whole world was reordered, and he never looked back. The value of his relationship with Jesus became “priceless.” What’s more, he lived like he really meant it.

Unfortunately, in this glitz-and-glamour world, we are far too prone to place great value on all that is temporal and seductive. And believe me, we pay a high price for that. It means that we miss out on the most valuable asset of all—the joy of a deep, abiding relationship with the only One who can meet all of our needs and fill us with His joy. His invitation still stands: “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33).
 
Jesus is your greatest treasure! His grace is priceless.  The Holy Spirit will help you re-value the valuable.
 
Prayer:  Lord Jesus, I want you to be my most valuable treasure.  Send your Holy Spirit to keep my heart on you and not the mixed up mess of this world.  Amen

 

After attending the University of Washington,  John Eich received his B.A. from Northwestern College in Watertown, WI.  He then attended Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary in Mequon, Wi. receiving his Masters in Divinity.   He was assigned to Grace Lutheran Church in Alma, MI in 1985.  He also served Zion Lutheran in neighboring St. Louis, Mi. until both churches merged to become Good Shepherd Lutheran.  

He serves on various district and synodical boards.  He frequently writes for the synodical magazine "Forward in Christ."  He has also been involved in the translation and review of the Evangelical Heritage Version of the Bible, a new translation of the Bible which is being prepared.

In 1983 he married Susan Ann Wendt who has been his best friend and help mate since.  Together they raised three boys who are now living their faith in Jesus away from mom and dad.