Devotional- Form vs. Function- AJ Iovino

Posted: May 8, 2012 in Devotionals & Bible Studies





JULY 27, 2008



New International Version –  2 John   1:7-11
2 John 1     Read   This Chapter
1:7 Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge   Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such   person is the deceiver and the antichrist.
1:8 Watch out that you do not lose what you   have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully.
1:9 Anyone who runs ahead and does not   continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in   the teaching has both the Father and the Son.
1:10 If anyone comes to you and does not   bring this teaching, do not take him into your house or welcome him.
1:11 Anyone who welcomes him shares in his   wicked work.

In weight training, proper form is extremely important.  In your attempts to perform any given lift you need to execute several key factors.  Let’s take an example from a lift that most people are familiar with:

The Bench Press-

In order to properly perform the bench press you need to lay flat on the bench with your feet planted firmly on the floor and your back slightly arched.  Your grip will need to be slightly wider than shoulder length and your hands spaced evenly on the weight bar.  Once the weight is lifted off the rack, you need to lower –under control until the bar touches your chest.  Once this happens you need to drive the bar straight back towards the rack using nearly every muscle in your upper body while staying perfectly still and not losing your original form.  Your feet cannot lift off the floor, you cannot pick up your head or lift your butt off the bench.  Your form needs to be perfect or you will not reap the benefits of training with the weight.  In a bench press contest, any movement and your lift will not count.

In every other lift- (squats, curls, shoulder press, triceps press, dead-lifts, etc.) you will need to use proper form in order to execute the lift and reap the full benefit and stimulate your body to grow and become bigger, stronger and faster.

When executed correctly, proper form will dictate how far you advance in your weight training.  You will be able to increase the amount of pounds you can add to the bar, thus increasing your growth and strength potential.  When form is not used correctly, you can become injured, and you will not see the results you desire.  In fact, you may never advance from a novice to a pro.

When it comes to religion, many people follow a particular form.  Before I knew Christ as my Savior, I thought form was all that mattered.  Let me explain.  On Sunday mornings, I would attend church being on my best behavior.  Before entering, I would dip my fingers in the small basin of “holy water” and make the sign of the cross.  I would proceed down the aisle and genuflect before being seated in the pew.  As I listened or not during mass, I  would responded from memory to all that was being preached.  After service, I would say a series of prayers, light a few candles for my loved ones, and kneel before the altar to pray some more.   Perfect Form- Right?  In my head I was doing everything pleasing to God.  After all, my form was near perfect. I knew when to sit and when to stand, when to respond and when to be quiet.  What I was doing was attempting to earn God’s favor by performing rituals that I thought were important to Him.  The problem being I was exhibiting outward form only.  It was all outward actions and reactions with nothing taking place in the heart.

Once I accepted Christ as my savior, my form began to change.  I slowly began to concentrate on truly giving my heart to the Lord, reading and meditating on His Word and praying.  This is the proper form.  This is heart-form, out of love for my savior and not out of an attitude of trying or even hoping I was doing the right thing- WORKS!  I now know that God wants my heart and not my outward works.

Look closely at the scripture above-  Just like the many weight trainers out there today who do not use proper technique and form, there are teachers of God’s Word who preach the wrong doctrines that ultimately lead their congregations down the wrong path.  Many people are being taught that Jesus was not really God, but just a man.  But John is saying in verse 7, that Jesus was, is and always will be God.  In verse 8, John says in effect, stand firm in the truth concerning Jesus Christ so that your labor is not in vain and so that you will receive your full reward.  Just like performing the correct weight training lift will yield a body that grows stronger by using the correct form and the full range of motion.  If we encounter someone who is teaching improper form and we know the correct form we should not listen to that person.  The same is true to anyone who comes to us and tries to teach another gospel.  That person should be ignored and we should have no fellowship with that person.

Friends, God’s Word is unchanging and eternal.  Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.  It is only through accepting Christ’s atoning sacrifice on the cross that you or I can stand before a holy God.

HOW IS YOUR FORM?  If it is wrong, change it today!



Holy Father- we come before you today with thanksgiving and praise.  We thank you, Father for your great love for us.  We thank you for your holy and unchanging word that continually shows us what is true and right.  Your word is eternal, your word lifts us when we are down, your word directs us to the proper path when we stray on our own path.  Continue to shower us with your wisdom and guidance.  Help us to recognize all the false teachers that try to deny the deity of your precious Son.  Cleanse us each and every day of our sins as we confess them to you.  Help us as we struggle against evil forces that seem to lurk at every corner.  May your Holy Spirit empower us and give us the words to say in any and all situations.  Father, if there is anyone who has been straying from your word to another gospel, that is no gospel at all—wake them up from their slumber and bring them back to Jesus Christ- The Righteous One.  We thank you with all of our hearts.  In Jesus’ mighty name—Amen.


Devotional- Form vs Function 7-27-08

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