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No Pain/No Gain?

January 15, 2010

I have heard many times in my life that if you feel it, whatever it is, then it is working. You need to feel the burn, feel the pain—oh but not too much pain. So when is it too much? How do you feel after a long day working in the yard? This past fall, the family and I put a patio in the back of our house. This was very hard work, taking three days to dig a ditch to build a foundation with retaining wall blocks. After many tons of gravel were shoveled, placed, tamped, and leveled we were ready for the retaining wall blocks each of them weighing 82 pounds. After two and half days of shoveling, three days of lifting, placing, moving and finally setting the large blocks, I felt the burn—oh boy did I feel the burn. I was physically in pain after day five, but when it came to lay the pavers in place, I was past the burn and ready to go. As my family helped carry and help with leveling sand and placing the pavers, they were starting to feel the burn, for me no there was no challenge because I had triumphed over the burn.

As I strive to live my life out loud, I first had to understand that I need to feel the burn. I started by understanding that when we first strive to live for Him and to live my life out loud, I needed to be struck down. In 2 Corinthians 4:7-12 “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.”

As you read through that scripture we can see that God understands that we have pressures, persecutions, frustrations, and failures. He promises that we will not be crushed, perplexed, not in despair, and not destroyed. As we journey to live our life out loud, we need to understand that it is our lives that are showing who Christ truly is. We are simple clay pots, fragile, nothing special to look at, plain. So the simplicity of the pot develops who Christ is and shows that it is not from us but an “all-surpassing power” that He has, and only from Him, nothing from us. As we take our fragile lives around this world we are the vessels that will truly show the light of Christ. It is not because of a perfect life that we living but a life that is showing signs of stress. The stress cracks, and fissures are exposing His light to this world. Paul wrote in Galatians 6:17 “Finally, let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.” He was trying to convey to those criticizing his ministry by showing that he truly belonged to Him, the Christ. Are we living a life with pain for Him, are we suffering? If there is no pain then are we truly living for Him. A life living out loud for Him will not be easy, it is definitely not a bowl full of cherries. So if there is no pain are you really gaining for Him? Life is hard, living for Christ is hard, the pain comes when we ultimately stand for Him, by consistently, truly and adamantly living our lives out loud. The litmus of your life is your struggles and strife but not living in despair or feeling abandoned because He is there with you. The greatest reminder in all of this is that with Him, we will not face anything that we are unable to bear. He just desires to be seen through you. So live your life out loud, for Him and let Him been seen by all.

God Bless,

Mark A Williams

Minister of Involvement

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January 15, 2010 - Posted by | Mark |

2 Comments »

  1. Your timing with this is impeccable.

    Comment by Graig | January 15, 2010 | Reply

  2. Amen

    Comment by Amy Palitto | January 16, 2010 | Reply


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