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  • Pastor Ralph

Price Tags

Several years ago, in the Halloween season, Tony Campolo writes about a prank he was considering, as a kid in Philadelphia. Here is the story associated with it, as told by another writer…

“Years ago, Tony Campolo wrote a book about Christianity called ''Who Switched The Price Tags.'' He told about the time he and his best friend decided to break into the basement of the local five-and-dime store. They didn't plan to rob the place (Sunday school boys after all); instead, they planned to do something that was far worse for the owner. Their plan was to break in and change the price tags on everything. I don't think they actually got beyond the planning stages... but they imagined customers arriving and discovered that radios were selling for a quarter and bobby pins were priced at five dollars each. Campolo wrote: ''With diabolical glee, we wondered what it would be like when... nobody could figure out what the prices of things really should be.''”

Price tags tell us the value of something. If they had (and I am glad they didn’t) pursued this prank, the store owner would have had a major problem on his hands. Hopefully, people would have questioned things and, obviously, as people checked out, the prank would have been revealed.

I don’t know what Campolo’s book is about but I can guess that it is centred on our society and even Christians getting mixed up as to what is truly valuable both in God’s sight and in Eternity. Often times, people get fooled by their own desires and the shallowness of living life without Christ’s direction. Satan lulls people to sleep by “changing price tags” on things life has to offer and the approach we should take towards them. Jesus said, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33 (NIV)).

“Seeking righteousness” starts with the right “price tags” and we can only find them in God’s word. It gives us the “true inventory” on life, relationships, material pursuits and general values. God’s word dictates what is truly valuable and, in the end, lasting. Through directives like commandments, exhortations and descriptive narratives, God’s word gives us the light we need for our daily paths (Psalm 119:105). As we apply His truth to our lives, we allow the Holy Spirit to work, God to be honoured, and the world around us to be transformed by His redeeming love. At the end of the day, as “we cash out everything will balance!” Thank the Lord we don’t have to guess what something is worth or to pay too much or too little. We have an objective measuring stick, the Canon of Scripture (that’s what Canon means a measuring gage or stick), to guide us each day. You might say it is our “employee handbook.”

The cry of the Psalmist is this, “I am but a foreigner here on earth. I need the guidance of your commands. Don’t hide them from me” (Psalm 119:19 (NLT)). Our cry is still the same today.

May God’s word show us and empower us as we seek to live for Him and encourage others. It gives us those “price tags” we can really trust. God bless you my friends

Your shepherd,

Pastor Ralph

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