Do you remember the advertisement for Bowflex? “No pain. No gain.” Of course, you do. But that statement is more than just memorable, it’s true. To build muscle, there must be resistance = pain. Pain is inevitable. It is part of life.
“. .. Here on earth, you will have many trials and sorrow…” John 16:33 If you watch TV, even a little bit, you will see ads for pain relievers. No normal person enjoys pain. John 12:10-11 We will go to the doctor, buy the strongest medicine all to avoid pain. I am very thankful for all the advances in medicine but in our effort to avoid pain, we may be missing something.
Pain might be telling you something. Have you been listening? Are you using the pain of your past for the sake? C.S. Lewis said, “ God whispers to us in our pleasures; speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our world.”
One of the most beneficial books I have read is Don’t Waste Your Sorrows by Paul Billheimer. The author shows us how to use our pain to produce ‘gain.’ What about you? Have you heard God shout? Is there bad news that lingers, compelling you to better?
Remember, God doesn’t waste pain and neither should you.
After living 71 years on this earth and serving 30+ years as a minister of the Gospel, I have learned much about people just from observation and interaction. I grew up in a church that was very legalistic where keeping all the “rules” meant that you were holy and pleasing to God. Ephesians 2:8-9
These were good people who loved God and people. I believe that in their zeal to help people; they went astray. They began teaching the principles of God’s Word but somewhere they started giving new converts “guidelines” how to apply those principles. John 16:13 It was not long before the guidelines became rules and the focus of Christian living and the principles of God’s Word took a back seat.
For years the Church taught the principle of modesty but not today. People are trying to emulate the fashions of Hollywood. We should not allow this world system to tell us how to dress. [Don’t live the way this world lives. Let your way of thinking be completely changed. Romans 12:2] The next time you go to the supermarket look at the front page of the magazines at the checkout. Almost all we tell you how you can look sexy! Why would anyone who is trying to live a godly life and please God want to be sexy? Paul thought modesty was important when he wrote “…women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty… what is proper for women who profess godliness…“ 1 Timothy 2:8-10
This subject is too complex to fully explore it with this short blog. Therefore, allow me to share some scripture passages for your further study:
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Cor. 10:31 This includes what we wear. Ask yourself, “Is what I am wearing pleasing to God?
Then out came a woman to meet him, dressed like a prostitute… Proverbs 7:10 The way you dress sends a message to others.
Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2 When women dress immodestly, it places a burden on men to keep their thoughts pure.
This blog’s intent is not to judge or condemn but to instruct and encourage all it live a life pleasing to God. “Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord…” Colossians: 10
A young ministerial student was reminded by his professor that one of the graduation requirements was he had to preach in front of his peers. He told him that he would be preaching at the next chapel service. He went to his room, got out his study books and began to prepare.
The day arrived for him to preach, he stepped unto the platform and said, “How many of you don’t know what I am going to say?” Hands were raised all over the chapel. “Neither do I. Go in peace, you are dismissed.” His professor met him as he was leaving the platform. “That message was not acceptable. I am going to give you a second chance.”
His second message began, “How many of you know what I am about to say?” Hands were raised all over the chapel. “Since you already know what I was going to say, there isn’t any reason for me to say it. Go in peace, you are dismissed.” His professor met him as he was leaving the platform and once again he said “That message was not acceptable either. I am going to give you one last chance.”
The next chapel service had a standing room only crowd. Everyone wanted to hear the student’s next (and maybe last) sermon. He began his message by saying, “How many of you do not know what I am going to say?” Half the room raised their hands. He continued, “How many of you know what I am about to say?” Half the room raised their hands.
He finished his message by saying, “Those of you that know what I was about to say; please tell those you do not know what I was going to say.” His professor shook his hand as he stepped down from the platform. “Excellent message my boy! Excellent.”
We that know the Good News of the Gospel must tell others that do not not know. Jesus said to his followers, “Go everywhere in the world, and tell the Good News to everyone.
We hear a lot about the media’s bias on choosing which news to withhold and which to share with the public. Assuredly, their decision is often based on their political leaning. Even conservative journalists may choice not to reveal the “whole” truth.
The Bible is truly “fair and balanced” in telling the truth. It shares “the good, the bad, and the ugly” truth about people’s lives. David’s sexual ‘indiscretion’ was not excluded. 2 Samuel 11. Even the Apostle Paul’s fallout with co-worker Barnabus is recorded in Acts 15:36-41 And then there is Peter’s denial of Christ. John 18:15-27
So why share the “ugly” side of people’s lives? The Bible wanted everyone to know that failure doesn’t have to be final. Proverbs 24:16 says, “for though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again,…” Even the best of us have failed; “Everyone has sinned. No one measures up to God’s glory. Romans 3:23
“Failures, repeated failures, are finger posts on the road to achievement. One fails forward toward success.” C.S. Lewis