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Are You in Tune with God?

I spent five years as a member of my school band.  Playing the alto saxophone as a novice required hours of practice each week.  As long as I put in the necessary time, progress was made, developing an ear for music.  However, the older I became, other things took priority causing my musical talent to slip.  Before long I was one of the worst members of my junior high band, completely out of tune with the songs for our spring concert.

He was stating the matter plainly [not holding anything back]. Then Peter took Him aside and began to reprimand Him, Mark 8:32.

If setting aside time to perfect an instrument is key to remaining sharp, then spending a portion of your day praying, reading the Bible and listening to worship music is crucial to staying in tune with God.  Delaying, postponing or skipping this portion of your day will have a similar impact on your life.  Initial signs may be relatively obscure.  However, the more Bibles collect dust, prayers cease and Sunday becomes a day without attending church, attitudes, behavior and life styles will change for the worse.

But turning around [with His back to Peter] and seeing His disciples, He rebuked Peter, saying, “Get behind Me, Satan; for your mind is not set on God’s will or His values and purposes, but on what pleases man,” Mark 8:33.

Whenever someone makes a scene in public, this is an obvious sign that an individual is out of tune with God.  After Jesus laid everything on the line to his disciples, disclosing his future death, Peter scolded Jesus.  While its unclear how long this occurred, Jesus responds with a powerful statement, referring to Peter as Satan.  Instead of meditating upon and pondering what Jesus said, Peter had an emotional outburst.  Though its never pleasant to see someone explode, these acts serve as a warning that you are not in tune with God.  Therefore, the next tune you are about to lose it, be still so that you can get back in tune with the Holy Spirit, Galatians 5:25.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

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Pumping Iron: A Spiritual Guide to Working Out

The addition of Hans and Franz to State Farm’s Discount Double Check slogan has infused life into this ad campaign.  Known for their saying on SNL, “I want to pump you up,” Hans and Franz played by Dana Carvey and Kevin Nealson have become icons in today’s pop culture.  However, long before these two were ever born, another writer crafted a spiritual blueprint for pumping iron.

Your commands are always with me and make me wiser than my enemies. – Psalm 119:98

The warm up to working out spiritually begins with the commands inside of the Bible.  When you read, reflect and mediate on God’s principles, you are exercising your mind.  Subsequently, over time, through a daily workout routine, you can become wiser than your enemies if you commit to spending time in God’s gym, the Word.

I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your statutes. – Psalm 119:99

Following this warm up, an extensive study using commentaries, historical references and examining the meaning of Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic phrases is like pumping iron.  Not like something that happens overnight, this discipline takes time to develop.  However, if you are faithful, spiritual muscles will blossom in the form of insight, becoming equal to and perhaps surpassing your teachers in life.

I have more understanding than the elders, for I obey your precepts. – Psalm 119:100.

Finally, the cool down requires practicing what you learn daily, Matthew 7:24.  Unless you apply God’s Word, spiritual muscles will disappear into a fat and lazy soul.  Therefore, if you want to become the Hans and Franz of the Bible, obey the Lord’s precepts and in God’s timing, you will have more understanding than the elders.  God is waiting to pump you up; the only question is, are you willing to make the Lord a priority to see the results you desire, Matthew 6:33-34?

by Jay Mankus

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