No Pain, No Gain
There is an expression among those who exercise regularly, “No Pain, No Gain.” The expression basically means that if you are not willing to work hard and suffer a little for your efforts, then you are not going to accomplish very much. The same principle is true in life as well. In order to be productive in business or relationships, sacrifices have to be made and commitments met.
Should it cause us to wonder, when it comes to our spirituality, that if we don’t make an effort at serving the Lord that we’re not going to get anything out of our relationship with Him? The above expression is true here as well. Sometimes I think that people expect church to be some kind of spiritual playground where we can just relax and have fun in the glow of God’s goodness. Our worship and service requires of us some effort, both mentally and physically.
Our efforts must start with attendance. If we don’t attend or attend sporadically, then we’re not going to get very much out of it. In church, we get our encouragement to continue to live Godly lives and have fellowship with other believers (Hebrews 10:25). We also must use our God given gifts and take an active part in serving in our local church (1 Cor 12:12-31).
We continue our efforts with how we worship. We must engage our minds (John 4:24, Matt 22:37). That means we need to listen attentively to the prayers and sermon (1 Cor 14:15). We need to sing with all of our hearts to the Lord (Eph 5:19, Col 3:16). We need to give with purpose and thanksgiving in our hearts (1 Cor 16:1-2). We need to remember the death of Jesus as we partake of the Lord’s Supper (Luke 22:19). We cheat ourselves out of a relationship with God when we don’t engage our minds in worship.
When we leave the church building our efforts must continue. If we take what we’ve learned and tell others about it, we will not only help others but ourselves as well. This may mean doing good to those who are in need (Gal 6:1); it may mean being a good example to our children (Eph 6:4); it may mean teaching someone about the gospel (Matt 28:18-20); or it may mean setting an example of model behavior for our coworkers (Eph 6:6).
What will happen if we engage ourselves in the work of God? We will grow as individuals. The church will also grow; others will see the wonderful things working in our lives and will want to be a part of it. Our efforts will not go unnoticed, and not only will it be a blessing for us but also to those we serve.
“No Pain, No Gain” means that if we want more out of our relationship with God we need to work harder at it. Let us all resolve to renew our efforts to serve God in all things.