Grace Martial Arts Fellowship began in 1990, went online with a website in 1995 and began publishing newsletters to the Christian martial arts community in 1998.
Because of the quality of information found in those early newsletter articles and the fact they are no longer available online, we’ve decided to re-publish many of them in the coming weeks and months. Our hope is that a new generation of Christian martial artists will be blessed by the wisdom of those who were on the path before them.
GMAF NEWSLETTER November-December 2002
Welcome to the GMAF Newsletter! We pray it will encourage you in your Martial Arts and Outreach for Christ.
Thoughts from the Master
“Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”
“For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.”
The Apostle Paul
“My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; so that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.”
“The Ministry of Preaching”
Sensei Mark McGee
Preaching is one of our primary ministries as Christians. We preach Jesus Christ the Lord and ourselves servants for Jesus’ sake. The Greek word for “preach” in Mark 16:15 and 2 Corinthians 4:5 comes from the word kerusso . It means to be a herald, to proclaim, to preach. The word is sometimes translated “proclaim” and “publish” in the KJV of the Bible.
What do you think of when you hear the words “preach” and “preacher?” Do you think of someone standing in the pulpit of a church, in a large convention center or arena or under a tent “preaching” the Gospel of Christ? That person is doing the work of preaching, but we must not limit ourselves to that image. What do you think of when you hear the word “ministry” and “minister”? Do you see a pastor, evangelist or missionary working fulltime in a church, organization or foreign land? That person is doing the work of the ministry, but don’t limit your concept of the ministry to that picture. The idea of a separation between clergy and laity has hurt the Body of Christ more than we know.
Every believer is a preacher and minister. We proclaim the Gospel of Christ and serve Him in the ministry every day, if we so choose. As Paul wrote the Corinthians: “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost.” If we do not proclaim the Gospel of Christ, the message is hidden to those who are lost. God set into motion a phenomenal system for reaching the world for Himself. He saved millions of people through His Grace, changed their lives, gave them a powerful message that will change the lives of others and told them to preach, proclaim and publish that message.
We do have an enemy; someone who doesn’t want us to become the mighty preachers God intends for us to be. “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who comanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.” (2 Corinthians 4:3-7)
Notice the special wording in the Scripture: “hid” “lost” “blinded” “minds” “believe not” “light” “shine” “out of darkness” “knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” “treasure” “earthen vessels” “excellency of the power may be of God” “not of us.” Satan, the god of this world, has blinded the minds of unbelievers. Satan does not want us to preach the glorious Gospel of Christ because it is light that would shine unto the unbelievers. God commanded the light to shine out of darkness. That Gospel light has shined in our hearts “to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” How amazing! The “light of the knowledge of the glory of God” is in the face of Jesus Christ. That is our message. That is what we preach, proclaim and publish. “For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord.”
There’s nothing fancy about what we do. It’s very simple. We preach Christ Jesus the Lord. We tell people about Jesus, what He did for us and what He can do for them. The Gospel of Christ has been hidden to the lost for centuries because Christians have allowed it. Misunderstanding, fear and pride on the part of the Body of Christ and a stunning campaign on the part of Satan have kept the Gospel hidden to millions. It’s time for Christians to rise up and win that battle. Everything we need to succeed is within our reach.
Where do we begin? With humility. Some other key words in 2 Corinthians: “not ourselves” “earthen vessels” “not of us.” One of Satan’s schemes has been to use Christians’ pride in keeping the Gospel of Christ hidden from the lost. How many wonderful ministry opportunities have been lost to pride? The Bible tells us that God hates pride. Pride is a destroyer and brings disgrace. Pride breeds quarrels. Sound familiar? How many churches, how many ministries, how many missionary organizations, how many pastors, how many believers have been destroyed by pride? The ministry is not about “us;” it’s about Christ. We preach that He is Lord. We must humble our hearts and realize that the “treasure” of the Gospel is in “earthen vessels” for a specific purpose: “that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.” Our pride must always be in Jesus. We did nothing to earn our salvation. We did nothing to earn God’s Favor. Jesus suffered and died on the Cross to pay the penalty for our sins. He rose from the dead to give us eternal life. He forgave us our sins. And we did nothing to earn or deserve it. The “excellency of the power” is God’s, not ours. We glory in His Cross, not ourselves. We cannot and must not take personal pride in the Gospel. It is all of God. He deserves all the praise. Begin with humility. It is not something that comes naturally to the flesh. Pride is deceitful. It can fool any of us. We must not allow pride to get a foothold in our lives. It will disgrace and destroy us. It’s a daily battle for all believers.
Paul says something quite astonishing to the Corinithans in the same context about preaching Christ Jesus the Lord. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men.” (2 Corinthians 5: 10-11) Look again at the words: “all appear” “judgment seat” “receive the things done” “in his body” “good or bad” “knowing the terror of the Lord” “we persuade men.” Christians are headed in the same direction. The day is coming when we will leave our earthly home and go to our heavenly home. We have a common future. We will appear before Christ and listen to what He says about our life and ministry while we lived on earth. Christ will share the good and the bad with us. So how should that knowledge affect us now? “…we persuade men.”
Christians know the future; unbelievers don’t. Satan has blinded their minds “lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” That’s where we come in. We preach the glorious Gospel of Christ to the lost.
We’re going to share in this newsletter some of the things Christian martial artists are doing around the world to “preach” Jesus Christ to their students. We invite you to borrow any idea you read here and use it to help make a difference in the lives of the saved and the lost. This is our opportunity to “persuade men.” If you have an idea you don’t see listed in this newsletter, please send your idea to us and we’ll share it with the fellowship in the next newsletter.
Please know that our prayers are with you as you preach Jesus Christ!
Martial Arts Ministry Ideas
These are some of the special things GMAF members are doing in their classes. We invite you to use anything you believe would help your ministry. As a Fellowship, our desire is to support and encourage you in your work for Christ.
- “We pray at the beginning and end of every class.”
- “Everyone bows to God first. We start with prayer. After we finish bowing to God, we bow to the teacher and each other. God comes first in our class.”
- “We memorize a different Scripture verse for each belt promotion. We discuss the meaning of the verse during classes. Students say the verse aloud as they memorize it.”
- “We share the Gospel message regularly in class. We want all the students to know that Jesus loves them.”
- “Each class is a new opportunity to show students how the Bible and martial arts have common principles: like rooting and grounding and protecting others.”
- “We use the Bible to teach English to the children. Many receive Christ.”
- “We applaud when a student quotes a Bible verse. It’s a positive reinforcement for learning God’s Word.”
Taking God’s Grace to the World!
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