Monday, October 6, 2014

Pastor's Ponderings, October 6, 2014

No Pain, No Gain

“No pain, no gain” is a motto that came into prominence in the 1980s from the actress Jane Fonda, a famous aerobics video instructor. It is a motto that promises greater value rewards for the price of hard and even painful work. Under this conception one is required to endure pain and pressure to achieve excellence. However according to, it has even more ancient roots from the 1500s from John Ray, an English naturalist, who wrote, “Without pains, no gains.”

In the Bible, Paul described the athletes who disciplined themselves to get temporary crowns (1 Corinthians 9:24-25). People will put themselves through great agony and pain to gain the world’s admiration, respect, and rewards.  They have decided it is very important to painfully strive for the passing prizes of glory. But what good is it to finally attain the world’s good things and lose one’s eternal soul (Mark 8:36)?

Instead of painfully striving to reach the world’s goals, let us rather remember that we are simply to live for Christ and when we leave this earth, we get the true and lasting gain, eternal life (Philippians 1:21). Paul also said that anything that he formerly considered as gains in this world were losses so that he might live for Christ (Philippians 3:7).

We must decide that contentment with God is great gain (1 Timothy 6:6). When people are stressing out about their fight for position, power, status, and resources, remember that your decision to live for Christ will endure forever.  This does not mean that you won’t have to work hard to reach your goals, but that your primary objective is to serve God and keep His commandments (Ecclesiastes 12:13).  You can rest assured that we will live in Him throughout eternity when painfully gotten worldly gains have passed away.

Please comment below with your thoughts, suggestions, or concerns. Also, you can share with others how you learned to put living for Christ ahead of painfully striving to gain worldly goals. You can encourage others to do the same.

1 Corinthians 9:24-25
New International Version (NIV)
24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.
25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.

Mark 8:36
New International Version (NIV)
36 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?

Philippians 1:21
Amplified (AMP)
21 For me to live is Christ [His life in me], and to die is gain [the gain of the glory of eternity].

Philippians 3:7
New International Version (NIV)
But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.

1 Timothy 6:6
Amplified Bible (AMP)
6 [And it is, indeed, a source of immense profit, for] godliness accompanied with contentment (that contentment which is a sense of inward sufficiency) is great and abundant gain.

Ecclesiastes 12:13
New International Version (NIV)
13 Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind.


Anonymous said...

Awesome message

Dennis Fair said...