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With Pain - Great Gain!

Daily Reading: Acts 1

Scripture Focus: He presented himself alive to them after his suffering... (Acts 1.3a)

Devotional Thought: No pain, no gain. Without the valleys, there would be no mountain tops. If there were no rainclouds, there would be no rainbows. The darkest hour comes just before dawn. If you want to marry a prince, you gotta kiss a few frogs... Wait, I don't like that last one. I've got granddaughters! Be that as it may, there are many ways to say that suffering is a part of life, and that without it there will not be much progress. We're used to the concept.

We see the truth of 'no pain, no gain' in Jesus' life, don't we? Today's scripture proclaims that Jesus "presented himself alive to them after his suffering."

Jesus' pain was his death. The disciples witnessed his suffering - the beating, the crucifixion, and the last cry of death. They knew he was dead. I don't think it would have been as impressive to the disciples for Jesus to show up at their prayer meetings and potlucks, if he had not suffered as he did. His dying gave significance to his appearing.

We know Jesus' pain, but what was his gain? By dying, Jesus gained many things:

He became the firstborn from the dead.

He was exalted to the highest place.

He irrefutably demonstrated the love of God.

He was given a name that is above every name.

He conquered death forever.

He paid the price for our sins.

He was given the keys to death and life.

Jesus suffered pain for each of us. May his death not be in vain. Instead, may it be with great gain!

Prayer: Lord, thank you for taking my place on Calvary's cross. As the song says, you paid a debt you did not owe. May your life bring me, and those I love, abundant life evermore. Amen.

Psalm of the Day: Psalm 65.1-8

1 Praise is due to you, O God, in Zion, and to you shall vows be performed. 2 O you who hear prayer, to you shall all flesh come. 3 When iniquities prevail against me, you atone for our transgressions. 4 Blessed is the one you choose and bring near, to dwell in your courts! We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house, the holiness of your temple!

5 By awesome deeds you answer us with righteousness, O God of our salvation, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas; 6 the one who by his strength established the mountains, being girded with might; 7 who stills the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves, the tumult of the peoples, 8 so that those who dwell at the ends of the earth are in awe at your signs. You make the going out of the morning and the evening to shout for joy.

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